Well, Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat was really awesome in spite of some unusual coincidences.
First, I was going to take off for Tacoma Wednesday morning when we got a snow storm! I dropped the kids off at school, which is in a very hilly area. I was re-routed to the Washington State University campus where they made us wait until the snow cleared the hills which are at the entrance and exit to the campus. The kids school (The Gardner School) is on the East side of the campus. I waited for about an hour and a half for them to clear the streets so I could escape to Madrona.
Here's the view from the deck (not too bad here) and then the view at the WSU campus where I was stranded.
Of course, as it is here in the Pacific Northwest lowlands, the snow melted by noon. So, I finally got out to Madrona.
On Thursday I took class with Anita Luvera Mayer. Anita is an internationally recognized weaver and versatile fiber artist, designer and author. She was first introduced to weaving in 1955 when her mother-in-law gave her a floor loom as a wedding gift. Her focus on weaving contemporary garments began in 1972 and she has focused the last 12+ years of her work about women's stories. Although she still weaves, her creative fiber work has evolved to include many types of innovative surface design techniques as well as incredible beadwork, embroidery, freeform knitting and crochet. Anita's garment collection, Women of the World, featuring ethnic designs from the traditions of many countries, is currently touring galleries in the US.
Here are some pictures of her garments. We got a fabu up-close-and-personal look. My favorite one is the first one pictured here. It's called Renewed/Reborn.
In Anita's words...
"Recycling cloth fragments by stitching them into a whole cloth has been practiced in Japan for centuries. The resulting garments represent to me a profound story of perseverance and survival experienced by many women as they attempt to find their way in this life. We life in a youth-oriented society, and I want to share and celebrate the joys of self-discovery that come with age. I believe that gray hair, lines on the face, and gnarled hands signify that a woman has had a full and challenging life, and with the years has gained knowledge and wisdom. Renewed/Reborn is my tribute to our worn exteriors, and, on the reverse side, a celebration of the beauty within."
Does this not sum up my life right now? Finding my way in this life? I am about to turn 43, entering middle age and celebrating the changes I've had over the years, and the one's I've more recently made. I've had many careers, worn many hats and I'm looking forward to what the future is going to throw at me. I often cry in classes that move me and there were many tears of joy in Anita's class. She's so inspiring, beautiful inside and out.
Here's more of the garments...
I don't have a printed card of this piece, but she talked about all the anonymous women that did handwork and lived full lives. This piece celebrates anonymous women. All the doilies that she uses in her pieces were hand made. The photographs she got in antique shops and various other sources.
Here's another piece with her handmade scarves in the background. I apologize for not knowing the name of this piece.
On Friday, I taught Introduction to Double Knitting. The class went well. I had a typo in my pattern, but thankfully, the students found it. On Friday night, I went out to dinner with friends and wasn't feeling too hot. As it turned out, I got a virus and had a fever, chills, etc. Not fun. I was worried because I had two classes to teach on Saturday. Saturday morning I woke up, and the fever was gone replaced by cold symptoms. Must have been a 24 hour bug.
Saturday's classes went well. I've taught them both a bunch of times, so I really relaxed and enjoyed teaching this year. They were Yarn Substitution and Going To The Dark Side (Knitting with Your Opposite Hand).
Saturday night's speaker was Franklin Habit. He was a hoot! Very funny man and I share his love of ancient knitting books and patterns. He has a great blog. Here's the link to Franklin's blog.
And of course, I purchased some items in the market from Morgaine, the owner of Carolina Homespun. I purchased a beautiful, handmade weaving shuttle and a niddy noddy (can you believe I didn't own a niddy noddy?).