The thing about Madrona

The thing about Madrona, is that even though it is supremely organized, cheerfully run and as easy for the teachers/speakers to navigate as possible, something about it kicks my ass and leaves me for dead. I think it starts with the time change. I was tired when I arrived that night, woke up earlier than I meant to, then stayed up later than I should have. It is so much fun, and there are such wonderful people and so many of them that I end up trying not to waste time sleeping. Avoiding sleep is a decision that totally comes back to bite you on the arse later, as there was one evening where I was forced to go to bed when I didn’t want to, since the risk of falling over in public seemed more plausible by the moment. There is SO MUCH rammed into every second that you are at the retreat that….well. Between the wool fumes, the knitters I wanted to meet and the ones who wanted to meet me and the lack of sleep I was on the edge of complete collapse before I left Tacoma and the hotel on Monday morning at 6:30am and arrived home about 6pm. (Hence no blog that day.) Yesterday I tried to blog but the needs of my corporeal self and those of my family won out…as it should be. I put the whole day down, stayed in my jammies and did only what I had to. Feeling much better today. It would take forever to tell you everything so I’m just hitting the high points.


Mount Rainier from my hotel room window. Nice eh? Also cool was this crazy fog in the morning. I would wake up and look out the window and it would be like the world was gone. Totally slipped into a void. We don’t get a lot of fog here in Toronto, so I found it fascinating. (Fog is something about warm air plus cold air plus moisture. We don’t have that. We have cold wet air, and warm wet air, not usually at the same time. We are a city of extremes.) I thought about taking a picture of the fog and the way it looked like nothing, and then realized I was on the brink of taking a picture of nothing and thought maybe I didn’t want my standards to slip that low.

Knitters. I got to see most of my FT friends again (though I slept through one of the meet-ups by accident.) Saw many, many wonderful people. Big shout out to Erica. (She was one of my favourites.)

Anita Luvera Mayer on women’s transitions. Sincerely. If you were there for her talk, I’m sure that you will agree with me that this was seriously a high point of not just Madrona, but your life. Discuss.

The Mittens of Rovaniemi class with Susanna Hansson. This was a super challenging class to learn how to make these.


I’ve got to catch a bus so I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow. Stunning crazy knitting. Crazy.

Discovering that Fiona Ellis and I were on the same plane home and bargaining for window time for days. Fiona slighted me on Saturday (not really) and I took a demerit of 15 minutes of window which she earned back by doing my homework (for her class) on Sunday. We went back and forth the whole weekend long, 15 more minutes window time for her, then a 15 minute demerit for me…on and on and on, only to discover when we got on the plane:


No window.

(Maybe you had to be there and/or sleep deprived for 5 days, but we could hardly get a hold of ourselves. Dudes, it was really funny. )

123 thoughts on “The thing about Madrona

  1. Maybe since you had the mountain out your hotel window, the gods decided you didn’t need to see all those other mountains out the plane window.

  2. I am still kicking myself for going to Tacoma (to see the extended in-laws) at the wrong time. (And there was No Coffee in their house! Can you imagine?? I bet there was coffee at Madrona.)
    Those mittens ROCK!

  3. Having a Charlie Brown sort of day – need an aspirin, so skim reading.
    Mountain view beautiful, mittens beautiful – will read words tomorrow!

  4. Thank you Stephanie, I enjoyed the mentor session at Madrona with you. It was educational and entertaining.

  5. So glad you’re back online–beginning to worry it was something more than ODing @ Madrona –and I totally get the window humour despite having lots of sleep!!! Look forward to more details of mitts, trip etc. when you get the time–also will you let those of us who donated to MSF after the 24th of Dec. know if you would like us to re-send email with donation amount? THX.
    Cheers, Barbie O.

    I have been reading your blog from 2004 and laughing my arse off to pass the time.

  7. Nice view of the mountain- quite a coup this time of year. I’m in eastern WA,we’ve been gloomed in for a while now- no sun or sky. The fog is cool- esp. when it blends in with the snow-covered rolling hills and you can’t tell which way is which.
    get your rest!

  8. I’m glad you’re back. I was worred that you’d killed yet another Mac in Washington.

  9. That sounds wonderful! Maybe next year I’ll be able to plan a vacation and head out there. I’ve heard nothing but good things so far!

  10. Did you continue to laugh when you opened and closed the SHUTTER over the WINDOW or am just inventing that to laugh about it myself?
    Thanks for another entertaining post.

  11. Ah… thanks for the pictures and memories of the fog. My parents live right on the water on Tacoma’s west side. In the winter, the fog comes up off the Sound so much that you literally cannot see the end/edge of their yard.
    I now live in Maryland where out on the Eastern Shore (think bordered by the Cheasapeake Bay and the Atlantic), schools can be delayed for two hours for fog much like a snow delay elsewhere.

  12. I have a picture of the fog that should do the trick. Will post it for you, probably Friday.

  13. Welcome back! I’ve missed you and am anxiously waiting to hear all about your trip… the way, the mittens are beautiful! I bet your family was happy to see you!

  14. Stunning shot of Mt. Rainier – thanks! And oh, those mittens. I’m getting dizzy just looking at them. Fiona looks lovely, too. Having been to several Highlander cons, I know the sleep-deprived humor. ๐Ÿ˜‰ One of the best things about events like this. (Only you guys get classes, too; I’m jealous. Ok, I could’ve gotten sword classes, but somehow I just don’t see myself escaping one of those without decapitating myself.) Glad you managed to get some rest, and hope you catch up on more of it!
    PS – also glad you liked that sock pattern at Toots LeBlanc. I’m dithering about those meself.

  15. My mountain! Hello mountain! *beaming*
    Oh, hi, Stephanie. I hope you had fun and enjoyed my mountain for me.
    (did I mention I love that mountain?)

  16. Hi! Glad to hear you are safe and sound and recovering. Wish I could have been there – sounds like much of the best fun to be had anywhere.
    Heck I would bargain for time to sit with Fiona Ellis anywhere – park bench, sauna, yarn shop, etc.
    And now for the moment of truth – did you shop?

  17. I can’t believe I’m going to say this but fog is great. On days when I’m feeling especially homesick for Newfoundland, fog is on my list of things I miss.
    Those mittens look neat – like something that would make your brain hurt to knit. That’s always the best knitting (and usually what the blog world appreciates and the hubbys think is boring).

  18. Welcome back! Anita Mayer’s class description was intriguing and I’m sorry I missed it (well, I missed all of Madrona). It sounds like you had a wonderful time. The mittens are stunning. Yet another technique I need (want) to learn.

  19. Welcome back! (Nope, no picture of my sister’s house on your blog. But the window demerits story more than makes up for it.)

  20. Days and days of classes, knee-deep in knitters, teachers that DO YOUR HOMEWORK FOR YOU…
    Sounds like you were in Shangri-La, not Madrona.

  21. Glad all is well and you are rested . The mitts are something I would frame. Sounds like a fun trip that you will repeat again. Can’t wait to hear more Thank you

  22. Never realized that Toronto doesn’t get fog. We use to have school delayed due to fog all the time. My sisters lose about 2-3 school days a year to fog it is unsafe to have the school buses out in it. This is just south of Plattsville.

  23. Wow, sounds like you had a fantastic time! I’m totally jealous, except of the mountains and fog since I live in Vancouver and see those all the time (or don’t see them, as the case may be).

  24. It is amazing what you can learn when you completely throw yourself into something for a few days. It’s like time ceases to exist until it’s over and you have to bring yourself back to the real world. You’re sad to leave such wonderful people, such wonderful experiences, but you come away with a feeling like you’ve done something really awesome.
    Missed you in blog-land, but I’m very glad you had such a good time.

  25. I have taken a class with Anita Mayer and saw her fashion show and close ups of a lot of her knitting. Her series of clothes on a woman’s stages in her life is great. This was all way back in 1999.

  26. Those mittens!! *GASP* Thanks so much for posting a pic, as I’d all but given up trying to find a visual.
    The mountain. Um, WOW. I’m chuckling about the window-less plane ride, though. All that jockeying for nothing…DOH!

  27. It sounds fantastic, but truly exhausting. When you recover, don’t you think you need to come to NYC and see our “Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting” exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Design?
    check it out on their website: madmuseumDOTorg.

  28. I was in the Chameleon Colorworks booth (I think that was the name of it) at Madrona on Friday, fondling 1300 yards of beautiful handspun, hand-dyed wool. I was wishing that I had a use for it, and then thought “Screw it, this might never come my way again” and out came the wallet. After over 30 years of crocheting and one year of knitting, this was the first time I’ve ever bought yarn with no project in mind for it. You’re a bad influence. (Just kidding. Sort of.)
    AND I also somehow bought four skeins of sock yarn and then had to buy needles so I could cast one on to occupy my time on the bus ride back to Seattle. Again with the bad influence. That Blue Moon stuff is irresistable though.
    AND I spent some time fondling the roving and have decided that I’m going to have to take up spinning sometime, especially after peeking into the one conference room off the marketplace and seeing all the women with their wheels. I hope you’re happy.
    Glad you had fun. Hopefully I’ll be in time to sign up for some classes next year and will get to meet you.

  29. Wow, those mittens are fantastic. I have just been bitten by the mitten bug very recently after starting a pair of Snowdrift Mittens (from a vintage pattern). I can see they’re very addicting!
    It’s nice to hear you had such a great time in Madrona. Relax, recuperate, and take your time – we’ll be here. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  30. I too see what looks to be a shuttered window …? Or is that just modern decor?
    The west coast fog is driving me nuts about now. As it goes a little lower down the hill I live on the sun is glorious, and then the fog comes rushing back up the hill from the ocean. All week like this. Ah well, better than the storms of December and November.
    Gorgeous mittens!

  31. I know you are a smart, intelligent, and learned woman. But about sleep and it’s importance, you are still in denial. It’s not like money that you can borrow and pay back with a bit of interest thrown in. You actually lose it. Anyway, ’nuff said.
    There is actually a postcard I once saw in Seattle, of “nothing” i.e. fog.
    Glad you’re back. Looking forward to more anecdotes and info from Madrona.
    Marlyce in Windsor, Ontario

  32. I agree, fog can be fascinating… so long as you aren’t trying to drive through it!
    the mittens are AMAZING. they look every cozy too.
    i’m jealous again. just like every time you post pictures of your projects.

  33. Having just frogged a terribly mis-behaving convertible mitten, I am now very curious about the mittens in the picture.

  34. Hey! I remember you!
    The window thing is hilarious. Can’t wait to live vicariously through you for the rest of your trip!

  35. Stephanie:
    As a side note, in case no one told you, that beautiful mountain just outside your window…is a volcano. Yep, would not kid you. Mt. Rainier. Glad you enjoyed Madronna, I did too.

  36. Love the Mt. Rainier photo. I think I can see my house from there :-).
    I wasn’t able to get to Madrona this year :(. I hope you have some great yarn finds to share. Feel better.

  37. I enjoyed meeting you at Madrona. Your wedding shawl was gorgeous in person. I hope you catch up on your sleep soon and start feeling human. I felt the same way when I got home but a little less so as I didn’t have to fly across a country.
    Well, was the hamster cage was clean when you got home?

  38. The mountain, the fog, the wool, the knitting, the gorgeous mittens, sleeping in public and scrappin it out for a non-existant window seat on the plane with Fiona Ellis. Ahh, the perfect weekend. Of course I am assuming that there was beer involved somewhere.

  39. Glad you’re back and had a good time. We missed you in blog land here. I can’t wait to hear more about the retreat.

  40. I was wondering what happened to you. Glad it was just too much fun and wool. No window window seat? What’s up with that?

  41. Hurray! Hadn’t heard from you, was worried something had happened but hoping you were just busy. Thanks for the beautiful pictures – of the mountain and the knitting, and a good laugh on the window seat! My hub and I are flying away in March; we both have window seats (the only seats left on the plane, I think) – one behind the other! We’re still trying to decide if we should leave it that way or be romantic and all and sit together (one thus sacrificing the window, who will be my hubby, since I can’t fly without a window, claustrophobia and things like that) Glad you are back and glad you had a great time!!!

  42. Dude, at last you didn’t have your seatmate hitting on you this time. Window-shmidow.
    Glad you’re back…I was having some serious Harlot withdrawl.

  43. The fog is pretty weird. I’ve lived here for half of my life, but it’s still weird to look out my window in the morning (especially when I was in school all day) on my way to school and not be able to see more than fifteen feet in front of me, and by the end of my first class it would be totally clear out.
    Also, I am by far the coolest person in my music theory class now, despite messing up on today’s keyboard exam (which wouldn’t be nearly as bad if I wasn’t a piano major), what with my autographed theory notebook….

  44. I just finished Yarn Harlot last week and found the blog on Thursday. I have tided myself over reading old posts too-some from 2004. I have never attempted socks or mittens. I never thought I’d have the patience to use such small needles. But the pictures you have posted make it very tempting.

  45. Definite improvement on a seat-mate from the trip over! The mittens are astounding. What is that? 4-color fair isle? Intarsia? Some new knitting technique I’ve not yet heard about?
    And no need to make excuses for not blogging. We all need sleep, and jammie days!

  46. Wouldn’t it be even funnier if there *were* a window there, behind what looks to us all like a window shade? And you didn’t even try to open it because you thought there was nothing there? Then the nothing would have been for naught.
    Oh, Lord, I need to get out of the house. Glad you’re back, Steph!

  47. Hey Stephanie, I spent all day in bed yesterday trying to recover -which was so worth it for the fab weekend and all the laughs we had. And just to prove that I do indeed read your blog…here is the proof.

  48. I’m in a fog right now… sinus headache, too many clothes that are a little too tight (combination of holiday eating and long johns), need dinner and some knitting time. Here’s something funny though – my mom sent my birthday present today. It is a book I cannot open. It’s shrinkwrapped and signed by the author (how they do that I don’t know). Anyhow, it’s a collectors item she tells me. A present I cannot open for my birthday. I find this quite funny. Foggy, very foggy.

  49. Dudes…I’m totally replying under FIONA ELLIS…too much knitting super-stardom…must catch my breath…
    Can I tell you how cute it is that you think fog is fun? Seriously–I often have to commute into thick fog in the morning, and it’s such a pain in the arse, that to hear someone get excited about it…well, it makes me remember walking in it instead of driving in it… walking in it really is pretty cool…
    Someday, I promise all of you, someday, I will go to a knitting convention. If nothing else, for to see the muggles dance…

  50. I had such a wonderful time at Madrona, too. I was totally blown away by the quality & quantity of awesome teachers. I had a carding class with Jill Laski (don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun in a class), and modular knitting with Ginger Luters. I spoke briefly with Fiona Ellis – thank you, both for coming all the way from Toronto! ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. Welcome back! Madrona sounds wonderful… I’m jealous.
    The picture you posted is gorgeous! My Buddy B has climbed that bad-ass mountain. He also went into Di Gilpin’s shop in Scotland and bought me yarn all by himself. (But that’s another story! LOL)

  52. I wish that I hadn’t wimped out on that mitten class (the description freaked me out), although I’m glad I took the Bohus class.
    I really enjoyed your mentor session, Steph–I went home and got back into the sock-knitting groove that I abandoned after Sock Wars.

  53. Not having a window, of course, totally gave you a pass from having to pay attention to any “exit row” announcements.

  54. Madrona: I was feeling uncharacteristically shy when I stopped at your display at the teacher’s gallery and I didn’t want to come across as a gushing canadian fan-girl even though, truth be told, that’s how I felt – all tongue-tied, thinking there isn’t anything I could possibly say that a million other blog fans haven’t already said. It’s a bit awkward to “know” so much about someone’s life but not really know them to talk to…where to start? Anyway, good to see you there and all the other wonderful, friendly and knowledgeable knitters and spinners. My 24 hour whirlwind included a mentoring session with Sally Melville and an informal intro to hand-spinning in the vendor’s market where I wished I had timelapse photography to show the skeins disappearing from Blue Moons racks over the course of the afternoon, more popular than hotcakes!

  55. I’m so glad that you had such great weather while you were here…Mt. Rainier is just so awesome to gaze at…I’m glad she came out for you. Your gloves are beautiful!

  56. Yes, Anita is totally amazing and inspirational, and she is a member of the 2 guilds that I belong to! Anytime you get to talk to her, she always has a good story and bit of wisdom! Welcome back to Toronto, but you really should consider moving to Vancouver! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  57. Hey! Glad to see you home safe and sound. I was getting a bit worried and all. No Harlot for several days. My palms were starting to sweat.
    Those mittens look very cool and there is no way I am ready to tackle that project. Gotta knit a sock first.
    Mt.R. is a beauty and shy especially this time of year.
    Umm, how is the hamster situation?

  58. Couple of years ago, at Stitches West, I kept going by the SweaterKits booth, kind of in love with the idea of a silk sweater. A friend eventually talked me into buying it, and I remember that the lovely lady who wrote up the sales slip and took my money was named Fiona, because I think that’s such a beautiful name. At the time, I didn’t know much about the Wide World of Knitting.
    Couple of years pass, and “Inspired Cable Knits” comes out. I look at the author’s photo on the sleeve, and totally recognized her. I can’t believe that Fiona Ellis was working a booth at Stitches, and that I bought something from her!

  59. That picture is so postcardy. I love it.
    One of these days I’ll travel to a wool festival or a knitting retreat. I WILL!
    I’m planning to make a trip to TO and visit Lettuce Knit soon. I hope. OK, I’m just dreaming about it, but it really could happen at any minute.

  60. It was nice to meet you at Madrona.
    I am also still trying to recover from the busy-but-fun weekend.
    Funny to hear about the no window seats on the flight back!

  61. We had that veiw of Mt. Rainier and the fog, and my roomates thought it was hilarious I enjoyed it so much. Anita’s talk was so amazing. I was glad my daughter was there to hear it and I wish it could have been recorded.

  62. Madrona sounds like good times! Whenever you return from an event and have to spend a day decompressing, you know it must have been great.

  63. Errr…not fog…marine layer. Sounds so much better than fog! Come back in July — the mountain is really awesome then.

  64. I was hoping to say howdy at the FT gathering, but it didn’t work out. Glad you enjoyed the Washington sights. The mountains were in fine form that weekend. Lots of snow this year. Glad you made it home safely.

  65. in your part of Toronto there is no fog, but in my part, it’s one of the best things we’ve got. our street tilts down toward the bluffs [and the sheer drop off to the lake] and when the fog rolls in, it literally rolls down the street in front of my house.
    the east end rocks, i’m telling you.

  66. Those mitts were among my favorite things in the gallery.
    Wow. You’re right, Madrona is overwhelming. I was in “quiet observation mode” unable to speak, really. Just soaking it all in. And my attempts to blog about it have been pathetic. There’s too much. And I thought my days of having nothing to say were over. Ha!
    But, it was fabulous. I learned a ton. It was lovely to see you and your magnificent shawl. Laura

  67. This was my first Madrona, WOW! Great to see you again! Anita’s talk was fantastic!, I had a class with Sally Melville that was really great! and now I have new yarn to knit. I also was impressed with Mt.R’s beauty on Thursday morning. Next year’s Madrona begins on 2/14 and my wonderful hubby has already said that Valentine’s will be easy next year. Just a trip to Madrona!

  68. Man, everybody wants a piece of you. I’m sure you never anticipated when you started all this that you would become a rock star among fiber junkies. Don’t know how you do it… AND keep the hamster cage clean. My whole house is one big dirty hamster cage, even though I only have one small boy and I was only in Tacoma for 36 hours.
    Loved meeting you. Sorry to act like such a star-struck idiot. I was on an extreme first-time-at-Madrona high at the time. I WILL take you up on that logo contest idea.

  69. Hey Stephanie!
    It was awesome meeting you and being late for your session :). It was so nice of them to put you in that lovely little room next to the automatic door!(Not so great for a gal with ADD). Tehehe. The best part was watching you knit and finally learning how to finish my sock toes without knots!

  70. Ok, just came in by way of your Knitty article and I have to tell you I can’t’ read you blog right now because I am absolute sure of a few things:
    a. my dog thinks I am crazy for laughing so hard at the machine that glows in the dark
    b. I wet my pants
    c. The neighbors have turned their lights on to see who is having a party due to all the laughter
    I will be back. You kill me, absolutely kill me. They should put a warning on your article – don’t sip tea while reading or you will ruin your monitor via your nose!
    Ok, I am returning to some kind of sanity. I wanna go with you to the yarn festival. Anytime, anywhere.
    Thank you very much
    (who is an avid spinner but just went to her first five day fiber event)

  71. They have to have fog in the morning in the Pacific Northwest, because they just can’t spring a mountain on you like that first thing in the morning. You need to get up, stretch, get that first cup of coffee, enjoy the nothingness, and then look out the window and OHMYGAWDLOOKITTHAT!!!

  72. Glad you’re back!
    I have a technical question for all you yarnaholics. I hope you can help. My sister in law has gotten me many bags of Fotrama Alpaca yarn from her trips to Bolivia. On the wrapper are the words “Title 2/4”. I believe this is a description of the yarn weight but I don’t know what it means.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  73. I’ve had the window argument with my dear spouse several times, and we also thought that it was hilarious when it happened to us! (It was on a return trip, so there was no possibility of “making up” the window time on the other leg of the trip.)
    Of course you will be tired after the long trip! Glad to hear you are okay–I’m hormonal, and irrational, and I was about to drop in on Ken to ask him to check on you. Not that he wouldn’t post and let us know. You do have a plan for that circumstance, right?
    Obviously I’m still a little skittery. Never mind; glad you had such a great time!

  74. I really thought you were not a buzzkill. Your talk was inspiring.
    I must have slept through the FT get together you went to. I crashed hard on Saturday night after Anita’s talk. Yes, life changing. I’m still digesting it. I had to fight back tears. Everyone always says, “Oh, that banquet food is bad, I’m not going next year.” But I don’t go for the food. Plus I smartened up and got the Vegetarian plate. The risotto was good but the sauce was a wee on the overspiced side. Ya think?
    While I’m an FTer, I’m still new. I didn’t even introduce myself when we spoke about the perils of crashing computers after your talk — and finding my coin dollar to buy the pin. Heck, I didn’t even tell you I was the one that offered the use of my extra laptop.
    Between fiberfriends (or is that fiends?) there really isn’t a need for “I’m so and so” now is there?
    Hope to see you next year.

  75. Awww, shucks. You were one of my favorites too:) At least, I am assuming I’m the Erica you meant, the one with Sherpa David with me? It was so fun to meet you, although I think I probably sounded like a big nerd when I was trying to explain my presence in Tacoma…David was a great sport about the whole thing until I wanted to take a picture of you with my sock-turns out he thinks that taking a picture of a writer with a sock is just strange. Go figure.

  76. Seeing Mt. Rainier (even in a photo!) is really nice! Boy do I miss that mountain! And I’d forgotten about the morning fog! I’m from Seattle/Bellevue which is a bit farther north than Tacoma, but mist in the morning’s is just part and parcel of living in Western Washington (I won’t go into what’s part and parcel of living in Eastern Washington. It’s like a whole ‘nother country over there.) I miss that too! Thanks for reminding me. Washington fog is the best. ๐Ÿ™‚
    And, about your window joke! I’ve been up until past 3 the past 3 nights finishing a knitting project so I’m pretty well sleep deprived myself and let me tell you that windowless photo had me in stitches. I tried to explain to all the people at work who don’t exhaust themselves with self-imposed and arbitrary deadlines night after night and they all thought I was mad. Finding that funny really must be a function of lack of sleep!
    ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you’re back on the blog. Thanks for letting me comment.

  77. Hi I’m back too, the virus got in the kids puter and we were off line for the past 2 weeks, remembered I tried too call you and you said internets down gotta go……I wanted to tll you my internets are down. It’s all up up up now, see ya soon.

  78. No pictures of The Sock? I hope he(she?) got to go along. You could have taken a picture of The Sock against the fog, then it wouldn’t have looked like just nothing – maybe next time. (You sound like you had so much fun, I’m sure there’ll be a next time.)

  79. I was the crazy knitter who accosted you after the charity talk to tell you about my dead laptop. I realized now that this was tmi for anyone. Sorry about that. I loved your talk.

  80. Hi Stephanie,
    It was so great to finally meet you after reading your blog for so long. I’m so glad I passed your “are you really Canadian” test and didn’t embarrass us both. Are you planning to make a pillowcase out of the dishcloths of Canada (if you get other provinces) or just a really small afghan?
    Loved your mentor session!

  81. Glad to hear you’ve recovered from the retreat. I’m still recovering, and am really jealous of your jammies day. Madrona kicks my butt too, but in a good way. I get the fiber version of monkey mind all night long every night I’m there! Jenn did, too. She kept saying, “Are you asleep yet? I have one more question…”
    My apologies for not being more social at dinner (on Thursday? it’s all a blur). I was tired and shy. Don’t know why I let myself fall into the old shy routine. Habit, habit, habit, and a bad one, at that.
    Anita’s talk was AMAZING. It completely brought me to tears, but was still very uplifting. At first, I fought the tears, then thought, “If I can safely cry in public anywhere, it’s gotta be here!” And just let it go. Myra nailed it: I wanna be Anita when I grow up!

  82. Your mittens look really nice. I know how difficult they are to knit. They have been on my to do list since I learned to knit over thirty years ago, but I haven’t mustered enough courage to try. I saw some pairs for sale at a tourist shop in Helsinki, and they were a sorry looking puckered mess. I can’t understand how someone is willing to even show them in public (and ask some serious euros for them… )

  83. After living here my whole life I’ve become immune to the sight of the mountain. Apparently it’s like the pair of socks in the middle of the floor to my hubby. You see it, walk right by it, but never stop to really look (or pick up).
    I was at Madrona briefly to visit (read: spend money) the vendors per your suggestion. I spent the whole time looking for you out of the corner of my eye. Okay, your hair. I was looking for your hair because in all it’s curly gloryness it’s not to be missed. I was sadly disappointed when I saw neither it nor you, but there’s always next year. I probably freaked a few people out prowling around like a tiger looking at nametags and hair. Ah well, they loved me when I pulled out the credit card.

  84. It’s always a treat to see you ๐Ÿ™‚
    The mittens look great, I think I freaked out Susanna with my enthusiasm. I really hope she teaches that class again this fall.

  85. If you want a picture of fog, you need to go to the Smokey Mountains and take a picture looking down at the fog in the valleys. Much more impressive than a picture of nothing.
    I would have been lmao about the lack of a window too.

  86. Hi Stephanie,
    What a treat, after gleefully reading your blog for months to find none other than a link to my own WeaveCast!
    Anita is indeed a life-altering experience. One can find themselves transformed from a mild-mannered soccer mom into a wild-woman artist with pink streaks in her hair after just one interview. Ask me how I know…
    Your Knitters Without Borders speech was thought-provoking. I keep finding myself looking at fifty cents and thinking, that’s a child’s life I’m holding in my hands.
    Happy knitting,

  87. I sympathize with the lack of sleep thing. My friend and I just traveled to Amsterdam, and between the plane trip, the get together with the other Marillion fans and just going out at night to see this beautiful city — I’m running on 10 hours of sleep over 3 days. Ouch.
    And as far as I can tell — there are no yarn shops in this city. Thankfully I brought lots of my own. Although if I rip these socks out one more time — they’re going to become a scarf . . .

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