Madrona Fiber Arts – look who’s weaving!

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Madrona for the first time!  Madrona is a really wonderful fiber arts festival in Tacoma, Washington. It’s one that every fiber instructor I’ve ever met loves to teach, and that the students adore, as well.  It’s really well-organized, feels very cozy, and really offers some fantastic fiber arts classes.

You know that I’ve been weaving up a storm lately – well, actually, since I haven’t blogged in months, you might not know that!  Anyway, at Madrona, I took two rigid heddle classes from Linda Gettman, who is a fantastic instructor.

I learned lots of new  lace stitches (weave patterns?) and how to create different weave structures like waffle weave in multiple colors. The images in this post are of a few of the new patterns I learned.  I can’t wait to incorporate them into my own weaving!

All of this weaving is done on my 15″ Schacht Cricket loom. It was easy to transport, and I was so glad to have it to use in my classes!

A few TNNA pics

Usually I title this semi-annual post about the summer and winter trade show “TNNA wrap up” but I don’t have a ton to write about this one.

It was great to see everyone, and Craftsy threw a really fun event on Saturday.

Here’s one of my favorite pics from the whole weekend:


That’s my old knitting Yahoo Group buddy (yes, we were knitting together online pre-Ravelry!) Sarah Bible. Can you see what she’s wearing!? My first ever free pattern…the boobholder!! This pattern dates back to around 2003!

Here’s a blurry shot of Shirley Paden’s gorgeous dress on the fashion show runway:


And here’s one of a mysterious happening that you *might* have heard about on Twitter if you were tuned in on Friday night during the Yarn Thing dinner:


Look at this awesome goodie bag that Marly arranged:


Thank you, Hadaki, and all of Marly’s sponsors! Thank you, Knitty, for the darling project bag! Thank you TNNA for always being there and always inspiring me!

Bead & button … I love PMC!

I don’t know if I blogged about this when it happened, and I’ll look for the link later to see, but a few years ago I started dabbling in precious metal clay.

I won a ribbon at the state fair for some of my silver work, even!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about jewelry making in a more serious way, and even attended the Bead & Button conference by Kalmbach pubs earlier this month.

While I was there, I took a great class from Martha Biggar in Sterling PMC.


This is amazing stuff, and Martha is a truly amazing person and a great teacher.

Here’s one of my rings:


I’m wearing it instead of my wedding ring while it’s being sized (up.)

It’s a beautiful, simple thing. Love.

PMC is such a cool material, if you haven’t played with it, give it a shot. I never would have imagined I’d be able to make anything this professional-looking.

Do you craft with PMC? What are your favorite things to make?

Knit Knack Denver with Marly Bird … our road trip continues

Geri, Marly and me and Olive at Knit Knack in Arvada, CO

Marly and I have been friends for a LONG time. Marly is a great designer, both for knitting and crochet, and is currently the Creative Consultant for Bijou Basin Ranch.

She interviewed me for her podcast waaaay back when Fitted Knits first came out (2007) and we’ve been friends ever since. In “real” time three years isn’t that long, but in Blog Time, it’s an established friendship! She also recently interviewed me about my online classes. You can find marly’s podcast here, or on iTunes.

Marly is one of the friendliest, happiest, most outgoing people you are ever going to meet. She has a wonderful laugh and is just such a treat to be around. SO…when she offered to meet up with me and my kids and take us to Knit Knack, her local shop in Arvada, CO, I jumped at the chance. I was also really happy to meet her friend and expert knitter and photographer Karen (and her 3 kids), who met us for lunch before we went to the shop.

Playing in the water, Arvada CO

So Marly is a mom of three gorgeous, happy, boisterous, loveable kids. She drives around with the stereo up, singing and having a great time! When they pulled into the parking lot, they were blasting “Hey Ya” by Andre 3000. LOVE IT! Later, when we were following her to the shop, Mazie said, “Mom, my friends have a Rock -n- Roll car!” and they DO! Being with marly and her family was so encouraging…I can DO this! And I don’t have to be perfect at it…just have FUN. Have a rock -n- roll car! ENJOY it.

Mazie and the Bird Kids

We just the BEST time, you guys! We ate lunch at a place where the kids could all play, and they were so sweet with Maize. We let them play for about an hour, and then drove over to Knit Knack. Knit Knack is situated in an older downtown area (if you’ve been to Arvada, you know what I’m talking about.)

The space is just perfect for a yarn shop…it’s got a split-level floor plan, with the class space in its own little area, and a really cool almost apothecary vibe to the fixtures. They also have an espresso bar! The yarn and pattern selection is really wide and covers almost anything you could think to knit OR crochet!

(Sorry, another phone pic, but it shows how the shop is laid out and how neat the fixtures are.)

If you’re a local, definitely stop in and say hi to Geri and Beth for me, and sign up for one of Marly’s classes while you’re at it…it’s a guaranteed good time!

Next stop: Downtown Aquarium, Denver

PS: There *might* have been a little Bijou Basin stash enhancement:
L-R…Lhasa Wilderness (yak and bamboo), Bijou Bliss (yak and cormo), Himalayan Trail (yak and merino.)