Fibre Friday in Tacoma

February 17, 2012

I met some lovely women today! Of course I can't remember anyone's name, that would be too much to ask, but the woman from Delta BC was knitting a little shawl and was a spinner.

The woman between us was from Seattle and was there with some of her friends. Francine (the only name I remember as we talked the most) is from Puyallup and is a spinner, weaver and knitter and aspires to publish her own patterns.

These women, and about three others, all met online several years ago, and they meet every year at Madrona for a big visit. They don't take a single class! but eat Indian food, stay up late to visit, and sit in the rotundra where the free demos are and talk to other people like me who are in for the festival. So fun!

I'll friend Francine on Ravelry and will keep in touch that way. They were waiting for a friend to fly in from New Hampshire for the weekend. Imagine that! My only class today was "Mitred by Design" taught by Jane Slicer-Smith, from Australia. I'm buying her book, of course, as I am smitten with her and her patterns. The garment construction she does is amazing. The short row shaping for bust and sleeves was worth the price of admission. She does pattern development for FibreTrends; her website is and while it isn't a beautiful website, it shows her book and patterns.

The two women behind me had a big visit about cattle and horses; one was from Texas and the other from the local area. Apparently there is some kind of horse that only has two different coloured eyes if it has white on its face and the one had that horse that had a colt that had the different coloured eyes and no white and they couldn't figure out how that happened. Her voice got kind of hushed when she told the story. I am amazed at people who have such a deep connection to animals.

I also met a woman who came from Virginia; she lived an hour east of Washington DC and had some holidays to use up, had always wanted to come to Madrona so decided that this was the year. She was  a spinner.

Early this morning I got John to take me to a local yarn store so I could check it out; I thought I would have enough time to do that. We got there too early so went to Starbucks for a coffee. There are not a lot of coffee shops here; mostly pubs and fast food places. And car dealerships! I've never seen so many car dealerships. I'm sure you could get coffee there but I suspect that is not why they exist.... Anyways, I digress. We wandered over to the store about 15 minutes after it was supposed to be open and it was closed! Not a person in sight. Such a disappointment! I think that is one of my personal pet peeves, when stores don't open on time. It has happened twice to me and it made me cry. I had an employee once that just didn't understand why it made me so mental, because "no one ever comes in at 9:30". Jeesh!!!!

I went to the marketplace again and here is what I bought: I broke down and went to the Habu Knits booth and bought two precious little balls of merino/silk  and one of cashmere. I am turning these into a little shawl, using a 5mm needle. The merino is wrapped with an oh-so-thin strand of silk. As for the price? Ah, well, what does it matter what it costs? What price beauty? How can one put a price on loveliness, on the satisfaction one gleans from working with such perfect fibres? (I'll tell you in person; the figure is not fit for this blog)

I also bought skeins of something luscious for Nina and Sue as they had to stay behind while I frolicked amonst the fibres. You can ask them about those lovelies. And I found some pretty cool magnet strips to mark your place on a pattern in a book; I have made arrangements to have a wholesale conversation with the women that make them. And I found a button that says "I knit so I won't kill people". It was a dollar and if you want one leave me a message on FB and I'll bring one back.

After class I went over to a yarn store in Puyallup that Francine recommended, called " Yellow House Yarns". They are on FB and Ravelry. Such a lovely store! I bought some Cascade 220, a skein of "shepherds wool" from Michigan, and a ball of Mini Moochi. Someone was looking for it so I got some so we can see what it is like, and see whether to bring it in or not. I think some Katia that I have in the store will be a perfect substitution, but we'll see. The shepherds wool is a big seller at Yellow House Yarns, so I wanted to give it a try. It is 17st/21 rows on a 5mm and is 250yards for 100g. I saw some Madeline Tosh that I absolutely fell in LOVE with but I left it behind; the colour that caught my eye was a lace weight and I know I won't knit it up. I'll look for it somewhere else. It's called plaid blanket. I think about bringing Madeleine Tosh into the store; what do you think? Have you knit with it? What do you think of it?

After a really great Italian meal we went to a mall that had Nordstroms, Macy's and Sears. Also every other hip chain, like forever21, sephora, american eagle, gap, and more. I walked around for an hour or so, hung out at the apple store, and then we left. I don't like those kind of malls anymore; after a bit I felt like I was getting sucked in to all the merchandising displays and started to think that I could not live without all the stuff I was seeing. The interesting thing was the people watching; familes out meeting other families, accompanied by grandmothers or cousins, young adults on dates, teenage boys and girls sitting in the foodcourt.

Give me the Sunshine Coast merchants and shops any day; a lovely handbag or top from Bodacious, a bit of jewellery from Waltzing Whippet, a beautiful candle from Swallows' Nest, shoes from Palmeros. And of course, a bit of fibre from Unwind! Until tomorrow......

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