I'm back from Madrona. My laptop is dead but I'm back up with our new Mac Mini. I have a couple pictures of Madrona but nothing great. I'd give the whole experience a B+. Here's my recap:
The Sheraton Tacoma was very nice, with lots of room for knitting. I met up with some KR folks Frday evening and there's plenty of room to sit and chat. The staff of the hotel was friendly and accomodating. My only issue was that the hotel is in the middle of a banking district without a lot of other stuff around it. I did wander over to the theatre and antique district which was nearby, but (well, let's just admit it) no Nordstrom's or anything like that within walking distance.
The Market was nice but very very small, nothing at all like the Black Sheep Gathering. They said there were 22 vendors, but there were probably only about a dozen or so booths, so maybe some of the vendors partnered up. Blue Moon was there...not a huge selection, but I did get some sock yarn in the Foo Foo colorway as well as some of their Seduction yarn in a solid burgundy color (got some sock yarn and roving for Jodie too). My friends Sheila and Michael were there with their glass needles. A few other people (who also go to the BSG) and some Seattle area stores rounded out the bill. Of course, I found some stuff to buy: some rovings, and some koigu (I don't think anyone in Eugene sells that). So, small but nice.
One for two. 67%, actually, since the good class was a six hour class and the not-so-good was a 3 hour glass. The good class: Spinning, Beyond Basics taught by Paula Shull. Great class....everyone knew how to spin and how to work their wheel, and the class concentrated on spinning different fibers and then plying techniques. I learned how to prepare and spin cotton (which I actually enjoyed, which most people don't) and I also learned to Navajo Ply, which is really terrific. Worth the whole trip. Anyway...it was a very empowering class.
Now, the not so good. It was a class in Shibori Felting, which is basically making 3-d forms on a felted fabric. My thought is that 3 hours just isn't enough to do anything, and when I walked into the class and saw no water or anything that would actually allow you to felt I got a bad feeling. So, the class was basically 1 1/2 hour of the instructor showing us things she had felted using the Shibori method, a break, followed by endless questions on 'how to felt' (which I already know) and then she gave us some stuff that we could rubber band into our 'samples' and then take home to felt. Which is fine, but nothing I couldn't have learned to do on my own. When you can't complete the process and get feedback, it's not a great experience (at least for me).
There was an activity each night. Thursday were presentations on Charity Knitting by the Yarn Harlot and by this saint of a woman who used to be a school bus driver and now works to help underpriveledged kids in the Seattle area. She's awesome. Friday night was a great presentation by Fiona Ellis on inspiration.
I completed two more hats for Kate's project, so I felt good about that.
I met some nice folks, but let me tell you, fiber snobs were abundant.
All in all, I'm glad I went. At a minimum, it showed me how lucky I am to have access to the Black Sheep Gathering, which I much prefer. I may go back, I may not, we'll just have to see.
How was your weekend?