Madrona Fiber Arts Festival, 2012


Posted on February 18, 2012

We’re pretty lucky in the Pacific NW to not only have a ton of talented designers and fiber artists nearby, but also some great fiber events. This weekend is the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival in Tacoma, WA: four days of classes and demos on knitting, spinning, designing and more, plus a free marketplace full of some of the best yarn purveyors in the area.

Madrona fiber arts festival
Do you like the random sheep heads in the corner?

I tried to sign up for two classes the morning registration opened, but they were already full: Franklin Habit‘s Photographing Your Fiber and Jared Flood‘s Seamless Sweater Workshop. But Madrona isn’t just about the classes, it’s also about the community (and the shopping! Who am I kidding), so I went down on Thursday to partake.

I’ve been on a year-long quest to acquire Goth Socks yarn. It started at Madrona in 2011, when I got to the marketplace maybe twenty minutes after it opened and found the Goth Socks booth already empty. For those who don’t know it, Goth Socks is hand-dyed self-striping yarn in hardcore colors (black, neons, blood red, you get the picture). I hadn’t heard of them before but liked the samples they had and figured this must be something special if it sold out so fast, so I became determined to get some. They’re constantly sold out online, though, and at Sock Summit they were mobbed and sold out before I could even find their booth. So this time I was determined to get there as soon as doors opened, and I was successful in my quest:

Goth Socks Laudanum Lâché
Goth Socks Laudanum Lâché in Evil Laugh

I also happened to queue up next to Jillian Moreno (editor of Knittyspin) and got to show her some of my designs while we waited for yarn. Remember how I said last year that Knitty is looking for lace socks? Well, that’s still true. I’m sensing that my near future may include some quality time with the stitch dictionary I bought on Thursday, which has lots of lace patterns. These Japanese stitch dictionaries are a bit pricey but in my opinion they’re so worth it; the pictures are great and the stitches are very creative.

Japanese stitch dictionary

In addition to the above, I picked up a new project bag and pattern holder from Slipped Stitch Studios, and a book of lace edgings recommended by everyone’s favorite lacemaster, Anne Hanson.

lace book, knitting project bag

After shopping I hung out in the rotunda. I saw several friends (Abbott Smith, Sam Roshak, Tina Newton) and also chatted with folks I’d never met before. This is one of the best and most underrated parts of Madrona—there are always interesting people hanging out in the rotunda, ready to talk! Oh, and I got tons of compliments on the sweater I wore, which I just finished last week.

Madrona continues through Sunday, so check it out or put it on your calendar for next year (it’s usually in February, and you can sign up to get an email reminder).



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