I'm back from teaching at both Madrona and Stitches West. I taught these two events back to back because they were accidentally scheduled at the same time this year. I started off with two days at Madrona where my students wowed me in every way. The students in my spinning for lace class all came away with expert long draws, students in my stranded colorwork for socks class all learned to make pretty little elf socks, students in my designing socks with twisted stitches class puzzled out the intricacies of the german charting system, and students in my design your own stitch pattern class made their very own stitch patterns! I love teaching at Madrona because the students are so enthusiastic and passionate, the organizers are caring and thoughtful and the Hotel Murano is a beautiful boutique hotel that inspires and pampers. I was so delighted to be able to teach at Madrona this year.
After my two days of classes at Madrona, I caught a redeye down to Northern California where I began 4 days of teaching at Stitches West. Again, my students were amazing! My all-day spinning for socks class had loads of fun learning long draw and short draw and exploring different ply structures and fibers for socks. My students in the design your own lace shawl class came up with some really impressive ideas and designs! I think it was the quietest class I ever taught, they were concentrating so hard, and it really showed in their projects! Then I taught a two day class on color tricks in spinning for the Stitches ETC portion after the regular Stitches event. That class was loads of fun and they spun some really beautiful colorful yarn. The delightful Rick Mondragon and Sue Nelson from XRX were in that class and it was wonderful getting to know them. I love teaching at Stitches because the students are wonderful, the organizers are great and fun, and the marketplace is amazing!
Although I suffered a pretty severe case of *camnesia, I did have the presence of mind one of the days to take some photos of the incredibly beautiful hotel Murano. The hotel is in Tacoma in an area which is renowned for glass working, and the hotel is lavishly decorated with glass arts all throughout. Each floor features a different glass artist, and the lobby and public spaces are full of beautiful glass art pieces. If you've never been, and find yourself in Tacoma, it's a wonderful treat to stay in such a beautiful hotel.
here's the beautiful Chihouly chandelier hanging in the lobby
I'm not really sure what this instrument is, but it's made of gorgeous, luminous, glass.
These stained glass "viking" ships float in the open atrium of the hotel
here you can see they're sort of like two headed bird viking boats.
This delicate marvel is in one of the display cases
and here's another Chihouly beauty.
This backlit glass is dramatic and festive.
And the room is like a spa vacation.
When I finall finished all that teaching I headed off for a very tight connection at the San Jose airport. I was worried I wouldn't make my flight, but getting through security was a breeze. I found these cheerful tweeties welcoming me in the waiting area...
And then it was home to Eugene for a long winter's nap.....
*a disorder in which one forgets to use their camera to document events - usually because they're having too much fun
This week I lost my biggest fan. Longtime readers will remember her as "Lady R". Ruth Laidman was my biggest fan. Whenever I walked through the door a luminous smile would beam from her face and she always wanted to know what Mr. Bonnet and I were up to, where we were going, what I was knitting and when were we going to start playing poker! Ruth had so many stories and adventures in her own life, it was always entertaining to visit. And a few years ago we took a very memorable trip to Las Vegas and stayed at the Bellagio with Lady R. It was the last trip she took. Our visits went on regularly about 3 times a week for the last 20 years, and for Mr. Bonnet she was a touchstone his entire life. My first book was dedicated to Ruth, and she always asked with a sparkle in her eye, who the one-legged person was that I was knitting socks for (I might suffer a bit from second sock syndrome). She spoke Italian with aplomb, made a terrific meatloaf and delicious pea soup, could whip the pants off of you at scrabble, and was a fierce defender of human rights. Ruthie loved words and language and earned a well-deserved english degree after her kids had grown up. She was the center of this family and her house was always where the gatherings happened, the center of the universe. Ruthie, we will miss your big smile, your generous heart, your quick wit, your house rules at scrabble and all the stories. We love you Ruth Laidman.
Today I uploaded the first pattern to my ravelry store. My plan is to eventually move all my existing patterns over to the ravelry store, but for now, I'm opening up with a new pattern. At least it's new if you weren't in my sock club last year! This is hyacinth, the first pattern from last year's club, and the first pattern of the new beebonnet/janel ravelry store.
Ever have one of those days where you want to throw something at the wall (and by something I might mean your computer - unless, like mine, it happens to be brand spanky new) because you have about a million emails to send out out but for some reason your mailmerge program thinks it's pretty funny to put [LASTNAME] where you have clearly specified it should be [COLOR CHOICE] and "you are not signed up for this club" randomly into people's [ADDRESS] but only if they are not from the U.S. (because that makes perfect sense)? And then, just because you live in the only part of the U.S. that isn't covered in snow, the weather gods decide to send you freezing feet that just won't warm up all day for no discernible reason. Oh ho! and if you think that knitting will soothe that kind of pain... think again because your current, secret, deadline project decided to take a trip to funky town and you ended up having to rip back half of it, when you really thought you were in the home stretch and ready to start something new, maybe even tomorrow? Ever have one of those days? I knew you would understand.
So I did the only thing a good knitter could do. I decided to un-knit today. I mean, what the heck, my day was already heading in that direction anyway.
It's now this
That's right, I used scissors to undo the bind off edge. And it felt good! You got a problem with that Mr. Tuesday? I didn't think so. Oh yeah and don't let the door hit ya on the way out!
Now that it's officially Wednesday I've started the recovery program, and it involves this.
Yep, that is a little pile of heaven, and I'm going to make something heavenly with it. See that? The label says as soft as a cloud. Wednesday, you're looking mighty fine to me! Tuesday? you are toast!