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Madrona, yes I know it’s a month late!

So finally I am getting to post about Madrona.  It was absolutely lovely.  I was lucky to stay in Hotel Murano and look here is my key card, very pretty.
Hotel key card for Hotel MuranoFaye and I took the train to Tacoma and back.  Going there was a bit of an adventure since we got stuck in Everett for over 1 1/2 hours due to a possible mudslide then were loaded on buses for the rest of the trip.  Their plan was in Seattle travellers going to Portland were going to be bused, but all other passengers were going to continue on the train till Oregon where the slide was.  Sadly, it wasn’t the case.  I got a lot of knitting time in, but on the bus I ended up frogging all that I had knit!  The way home was uneventful and relaxing though.  I did end up at the train station way too early!  Oops next time I should double-check what time my train leaves because the Tacoma station is in the middle of nowhere.  I did end up working on my Tea Leaves Cardi and finished to the edging from an inch or so from the armholes.  Yay.  I haven’t worked on it since then though, boo.

It was such a wonderful sight to see knitters, weavers, spinners and crocheters everywhere.  Oh all the beautiful FO’s that were seen all over the hotel and surrounding area.  It was a fibre crafters wet dream!

Even if you don’t get any classes if you live in the area the marketplace and just crafting around the hotel common areas meeting new people is worth the trip.  The marketplace.  Well it was fantastic and overwhelming.  It is not everyday you turn around to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee fondling yarn in the Habu booth, there was much more knitterati and spinnerati to be seen, but alas my eyes suck.  I only noticed Stephanie because she was fondling stuff in my favourite booth!  Jasmine over at the Abstract Fibers booth has these great origami flat bags that I resisted buying then smacked myself for not grabbing the bag that had labs all over it.  I did end up buying one or two off their website and I will take pictures when they come.  I got fibre because I am planning to learn how to spin on my Bosworth spindle, I bought the lovely so I should really learn how to play with it!  I tried not to fall to hard at the BMFA booth and the one that had all the beautiful tencel yarn (sorry can’t recall the name!)  Here is a picture of my Madrona stash enhancement pile.  I didn’t fall down too hard and my credit card and His Tallest thanks me.

My classes were fun, educational and at times overwhelming frustrating.  The fine finishing class I took was in the Bite restaurant gallery and the lighting was horrible for me.  I have purchased myself a knit lite and will be prepared next year!  Jean Wong was delightful and very patient as well as her assistant (I’m sorry I am so bad with names).  Even with one assistant missing I learned quite a lot.  Like I need a lot of good lighting to do an invisible cast off.  I can do Japanese short rows in my sleep and in crappy light.  I was starting to feel really incompetent due to the light and slowness of my invisible cast offs till the short rows swatch took me only a minute or so.  My only complaint was the lighting, but I will come prepared next year!

My class with Franklin on photographing your fibre was an eye-opener.  It helped me not to be afraid of my new camera.  I went from a easy point and shot Canon to a Canon MegaZoom, so all my photos were on automatic.  Now I am playing with the aperture and ISO on manual and it’s so much fun.  He also taught us that a good photographer can take great pictures even with a cell phone camera.  I plan on playing with my camera a heck of a lot more now because practice will help me become more comfortable with my new camera.  I did startle him when I came into the room with my sunglasses and Faye, a blind girl in a photography class — oh boy what did he get himself into.  Thankfully, I noticed the confused look on his face and sat down and started playing on my iPad and knitting.  I could feel the relief emanate from where he was standing.  Yep you can teach a legally blind girl with a small window of functional vision how to get true colour in your photos!  Faye had a interesting time in this class too.  I introduced her to some of my classmates and Franklin and we got our picture taken.  I managed to keep my squeeing fangirl internalized when Franklin Habit asked me if he could blog about his reaction to Faye and I in his class and take our picture.  It was hard!  See here we are.  Also his talk at the banquet was hilarious and educational.  Thanks for being so awesome Franklin!

I also took Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Knitting with Mawata class.  I thought being a non-animal fibre knitter who mostly knits with silk that I had silk and its properties all sorted out.  I was so wrong.  Knitting with Mawata is so much different then spun silk and so much fun.  You have to be careful that you don’t get paper cuts from the silk, seriously strong stuff!  She had her Sock Summit BFF, the depraved dyer herself Tina Newton to help her out.  We learned how silk hankies are made and got to open a cocoon (thank the passenger the silk worm while taking him/her out) then spread the cocoon onto a canvas with nails on it, which is one layer of a hanky.  I also got to try on this mitten. Stephanie did not let them out of her sight nor let the two mittens meet unless they were in her hands.  Good thing I would have stolen them, they were the perfect fit for my small hands!  I have ordered from mawata from a few stores on etsy and plan to make myself a pair of fingerless gloves.  I do need sharper needles though.  I thought my Knitpicks Harmony needles would be sharp enough, but they were not.  I think next I’ll give my Addi Lace clicks a try.

Also there is this awesome deli across from the convention centre.  It is divine and has the best raspberry lemonade (with real raspberries) ever!  I plan on going there everyday during Madrona next year except Sunday, because sadly they are closed on Sundays.  They get super busy and crowded, but it is so worth the wait.  Lauren and I found this lovely restaurant called Indochine and the food as well as drinks where lovely.  Faye was very happy to have a little den between our chairs to curl up on my jacket.  I also tried Two Kois Japanese Restaurant and it was okay.  It’s not their fault I live in Vancouver, the home of awesome and cheap sushi.  I was taken back by the lack of diversity on the menu, but then again I am from Vancouver lol.  It was good and I will go back, the bento box was huge.  Next time I will make sure to only get a few rolls.  Here is the last of my food adventures at Madrona that I wanted to share with you, my experiences at Bite (Hotel Murano’s restaurant).  The servers were wonderful at checking food for me to help me avoid my allergies and my epi-pen.  I had a delicious lunch there on Sunday and breakfast on Monday.  Here’s a picture of my tasty breakfast on Monday.
Tofu scramble @ Bite

I wish I took more pictures, but I was too busy soaking up everything.  This was my first time at Madrona and I am definitely going back next year!

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