On the Tuesday before Madrona I flew to Seattle and hung out with my bud Kathy.  She took me to meet the owner of Serial Knitter, who ordered copies of the Mittens! booklet (woot!).  We had tasty Thai food for lunch, then went to a wine tasting room (delicious wine).

Steph at Freshy's

© Kathy Cadigan

Wednesday Kathy & I met Kathy’s friend (and my new online friend) Susan (a new designer/tech editer) (modeling the Adamson Mitts below).  We had coffee (I had a cappucino) at Freshy’s.

Susan modeling Adamson Mitts

© Kathy Cadigan

Thursday Kathy & I traveled to Tacoma for Madrona.

Madrona is wonderful.  The caliber of knitters is incredible — I saw so many gorgeous handknits.  I recognized many, including some gorgeous Starmore designs such as Abalone and Sheila’s Irish Moss, as well as many original designs.

Entrance Hotel Murano

© Kathy Cadigan

The hotel is lovely too — the glass is incredible.  My room was on the 18th floor with a view of Mt Ranier.  I would stay at the hotel again.  If you’re ever there, make sure you try the French Margarita (dippy name, but utterly yummy), made by Debbie, an incredibly nice & funny bartender at the lobby bar.

Hotel Murano

© Kathy Cadigan

I met up with some old friends (Marilyn of Black Water Abbey, Patti of Sweet Grass, Janine Bajus, Jen Hurley, and of course, albeit briefly, Suzanne of Madrona) and some new ones (Jeane de Coster, who I’d met at TNNA, Sheila/Fortuknit, Trisha and Allison of TAAT (Trisha wore her Emily skirt (see below) and looked absolutely adorable)).  I also got so, so lucky in my roommate, Mona, who’s as early a riser as I am, and likes the room cold too!

Tarte Tatin sample

© Kathy Cadigan

Trisha in her Emily

© Kathy Cadigan

I took 2 classes:  Catherine Lowe’s Full Fashioning on Thursday and Jean Wong’s Fine Finishing on Sunday.  Thursday and Saturday were spent hanging out at the market and knitting at the lobby bar.

Sweet Cicely

© Kathy Cadigan

Catherine Lowe’s class was very interesting.  I have to admit I wasn’t clear on what full fashioning actually was until the class (basically, it’s a term from ready to wear and comes about from machine knitting construction such that most of the shaping is on the front of the sweater, with the shoulder seam moved to the back).  I learned a lot of things I can apply to improve the fit of my sweater patterns:  cross back vs cross front sizing, armhole shaping tips, etc.  Catherine is quiet and elegant and smart (basically, what you’d expect from an East Coast professor (or at least what I expected)).  The finishing on her knits is incredible — I have a lot to learn from her book still.  I’m tempted to order one of her kits, but I honestly don’t know when I’d have time to knit one.

I actually did the elliptical machine Friday a.m. and felt very virtuous.  (For all you fangirls & boys out there, I used the elliptical machine after Franklin.  Dolores, I assume, was still in bed (somewhere).)

(On another fan-nish note:  I ran into Jared Flood in the elevator.  I mentioned that I did fingerless mitts with SHELTER and they were in Knitcircus and he remembered them!)

Jen & Steph

© Kathy Cadigan

I’d planned on running Saturday a.m., but by Friday night I was feeling tired (went to bed early) and really tired Saturday a..m.  In hindsight, I think by Friday night I was showing signs of the virus that had decimated Kathy & her kids (and later her husband).  Saturday I did meet Trisha, Allison & the rest of their posse.  I also got to meet Jen at the bar before the banquet.

By the end of the banquet I was utterly wiped and feverish.  I went to bed as soon as it was over (brief stop at Kath’s for Tylenol).

Sunday I packed and went to class.  I was both the class pariah and good pupil.  I was pleased as punch to get a ‘very nice’ from Jean Wong regarding my bind offs.  I wish she lived in LA so I could do the Nihon Vogue course….

Sunday night I dragged myself through the airport.  I do love flying on Virgin.  The guy next to me was sick too.

On the sickness update:  I was sick through yesterday (though the last day or so just more tired than normal, chest & sinus stuff much, much improved).  I’m still on antibiotics.  I got Dave sick, but he didn’t get as sick and got started on meds sooner.

Kathy took all the pics — you can see more here.

© Kathy Cadigan