Today I traveled up to Tacoma, Washington, for the Madrona Fiber Arts with the Traveling Ewe. This may seem like an unusual way to spend a precious vacation day, but Madrona is is a bit of a cultural phenomenon among knitters and is a festival renowned for its high caliber of classes. The classes are geared toward advanced beginners and up, which in itself is unusual. But there is no where you can get such a quality assortment of special fiber-related content from some of the best minds in the country.

I signed up for a class from Galina Alexandrovna Khmeleva of Skansa Designs, writer of several books. While I didn’t start out as having a keen interest in the subject, it was one of the few classes I could get in one hour after sign-ups opened. I am delighted to say the class was wonderful. I had read her book before going, so I wasn’t completely unfamiliar with the topic, but Galina had great stories, clear tips, and an engaging manner of teaching.

After class, I went to the sales area where I saw many, MANY beautiful things, but held onto my yarn diet (beads, a book, and a silk handkerchief (not yarn) don’t count.) Besides… I had a coupon!

My wallet lighter (but I was SO good compared to many shoppers) I headed over to the big waiting area and joined a table of strangers who quickly became friends. Patrice was doing a Tunisian Crochet project.


Another person at my table had been in my morning class and we discussed Orenburg lace.

Other fibers artists (mostly knitters, but weavers, spinners, and crocheters were represented) came and went and sometimes I joined in the conversation, and sometimes I just listened.

I was among friends.