Thursday, March 7, 2013

Madrona in Review

The view from beautiful downtown Tacoma.
For the last few years, the Washington weather gods have smiled on Madrona and this year was no exception.  I spent all of Friday, Feb 15th in Tacoma and was treated to warm weather and blue skies, allowing me to walk all over the city during breaks in the festival.  

The day started off with a class on ergonomics by physical therapist and knitter Carson Demers (whose blog is woefully out of date).  This class was a complete revelation.  I learned so much about the way my body works and what I've done to injure it, not to mention how I can minimize these injuries/prevent new ones.  I spent the entire rest of the day practicing the knitting techniques he showed us, perhaps too much, as my wrist has been killing me for the past week. However, I really took to heart his teaching about reducing awkward, injury-causing postures in your non-knitting life, so as to be able to tolerate them more in your knitting life by buying myself an ergonomic keyboard, which I am currently taking for a test-drive (test-type?).  It's quite fascinating what changing up your tools can reveal about the way you use them.  Turns out, I only use about three fingers to type on a regular keyboard!  This keyboard is really forcing me to use all of my fingers.

After that, I resisted the urge to run straight to the marketplace and instead met up with some friends for lunch.  I returned just in time to do a little knitting with Brenda Dayne then it was off to the marketplace, where beauty, color and the miracles of knitting awaited!

This book was featured at nearly every booth and it's not hard to see why.  The variety of yarn styles featured was overwhelming.  I could see how a spinner could go from feeling like an expert to a novice just by buying this book!

 The Opulent Fibers booth blew me away with its glorious color and stylish, simple aesthetic.  I wanted to buy one of every color and fiber type there but I restrained myself because my fiber stash is already beyond my ability to spin through it anytime soon.

This is what I did allow myself to buy: two skeins of DK weight, hand-dyed, machine-washable merino by Fancy Image Yarn.  No idea what I will use it for yet but I don't have much brown or DK weight yarn in my stash so it seemed like the right time to add some.

As I was exiting the Fancy Image Yarns booth, I spotted a fascinating and unique garment I just had to photograph.  Yes, my friends, this is a completely hand-knit, long-sleeve dress with unique front and back detail.

I had some down time between the marketplace and the closing lecture so I continued working toward my unmeetable (& still unmet) goal of spinning that endless roving I bought two Madronas ago.  I made some serious progress but just couldn't get it all spun up, despite a couple late nights working away at it & the extension of my deadline from the beginning of Madrona until the end.

The day closed with a presentation by Donna Druchunas on Arctic Lace Knitting and a viewing of the teachers' gallery, full of garments they were using in their classes.  Before this presentation, I didn't know that Arctic Lace Knitting interested me (I just went because it was free!) but Donna's funny, conversational style and the story of the origins of the Oomingmak Co-op made it a fascinating lecture.

Next up, Vogue Knitting Live descends upon Seattle in early April.  With all these fiber festivals to attend, how's a girl supposed to find time any for actual knitting?!