Spinning Tuesdays: Quick Madrona Recap

I just got back from the  Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat. I went with Sasha of the SpinDoctor podcast. It was just what I needed.

When you are lucky enough to work in a field that you love there are still some times when it becomes more work than love. Madrona reminded me how much I love knitting and spinning.

Here’s a quick little tour through my classes. I’ll show my shopping haul next week.



My first class was Photographing Your Fiber with Franklin

I was so engrossed in this class that I forgot to take a picture of Franklin teaching. Franklin gives his all when he teaches, then entire class didn’t move while he taught, no shuffling for coffee or the bathroom, we just soaked it all in.

I can show you this:

A photo of yarn I might have taken before Franklin's class - dull

A yarn photo after Franklin's class - bright!



My next class was EPS -Elizabeth Zimmermann’s EPS System Updated with Amy Detjen

Amy Detjen purple goddess

True confession time. I have never read any of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s books. I know, I should turn in my best set of needles to the knitting police. I have skimmed and snacked in the books and even knit her patterns. But I have not sat down and figured out the EPS system. Amy explained it all. She did it with humor and diagrams and lots and lots of knitted examples. She knows so much about knitting, even her jokes teach you something.




On Friday I took a mini class Making the Most of Your Drumcarder with Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson and her beautiful batts

Because it was a short class it was all demonstration, but boy did I get a lot of ideas. Sarah showed how to blend colors on the drumcarder, how to make layered and striped batts, how to make art batts and how to keep your drum carder happy. The magic moment in this class for me was when she showed how to make roving by diz-ing off of the drum carder.



Friday afternoon I played Madrona hooky and went to the Museum of Glass

Part of the Glass Bridge that leads to the Museum of Glass

I also bought cupcakes for Sasha.



Saturday was a big fiber day for me.

The morning saw Hand Carding with Less Stress and More Fun with Carol Rhoades

Carding, carding, carding

For someone who love woolen spinning with all of my being I completely suck at hand carding. Carol actually fixed that.

I was horribly fumble fingered for 90% of the class then all of a sudden it came together and I was making decent rolags. I even made a cotton puni. I am adding get fabulous at hand carding to my list of goals for 2012.




The afternoon was all about Judith MacKenzie,  Yarns Recycled : Reuse and Reduce.

Cashmere sweater scraps carded with merino fiber

We learned about cashmere :-). We learned about unraveling and replying cashmere sweaters from thrift stores to make luscious new yarn. We learned about carding scraps and threads of cashmere and silk garments together with fiber to make really gorgeous textured yarns. Mostly we learned. When I take a class with Judith MacKenzie what the class description tells is only the tiniest fraction of what I learn. Every sidetrack, and aside is full of information. I always leave her classes especially full, in the best possible way.



Those were my classes. There was also a whole lot of goofing and knitting and a podcasting meetup. No one is a stranger at Madrona, everyone is welcoming and everyone is constantly knitting and spinning. It was bliss.


Being around so many creative people even for a few days, shifts your thinking.

You find yourself saying things like, “Wow, that would make a great colorway”

Herbal tea as a colorway



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10 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: Quick Madrona Recap

  1. Boo

    Whaaa??? You’ve never read any EZ?! Reading her is almost better than the knitting, in my opinion! The wit, the pithy instructions, the charm and intelligence. . . . Girl—get on it!!!

  2. Meg

    Ah Madrona, I will have to make it next year. It’s my home town. Could you see Mt. Rainier?(to the southeast). And the glass museum is most beautimous. Tres chaux! Thanks for posting your adventure.

  3. Anne

    I would simply-but not quite-KILL for a class on the EPS system! Or maybe just the concentration to sit down and figure it out.

  4. Sandy

    Looks like a great time in so many ways! I wish I could have been there. Maybe sometime after I return to Canada I can make the trek.

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