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Location: lake placid, florida

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

i came, i saw, i bohused

resistance is futile, i must knit a bohus sweater (or two).

but first, a word on madrona. the madrona fiber arts retreat is an exquisite experience. attending madrona is like winning sperbowl tickets if you are a football fan. or the world cup if you are a soccer fan.

the sheraton tacoma is a wonderful venue for madrona. it has all sorts of nooks and crannies for knitters and spinners to gather and hang out. and coffee and water stations all over the place.

the market this year was FABULOUS! too many temptations. let's just say i am no longer a socks that rock virgin and leave it at that.

sheila and michael ernst had a booth for the first time, as did karen campbell.
my room-mate, denise is just as sweet as she was last year :-)

first order of business. check in early, so you can get a fridge and micro. handy for leftovers from dinner. everywhere you eat, the portions are so huge (and cheap) that you have plenty for lunch the next day :-) galanga is divine, and close. gateway to india is a 10 minute drive, deliscious!!!

thanks francine for leading us to nirvana!

my first class was on thursday. susanna hansson, lapland hand garments -the mittens from rovaniemi.

let me just start by saying, if you get a chance to take a class from susanna - run- do not walk to sign up. her classes are a perfect blend of historic background, knitting content, knitted samples, and teacher prep. susanna is the consummate teacher and speaker.

on to rovaniemi. rovaniemi is a town in northern finland, close to the arctic circle. this techique is a twist on intarsia in the round. susanna and her friend lene collaborated on this class. lene will be teaching it in scandanavia.

first we learned the technique with cascade 220 and larger needles.

then we each got to pick our own colors of satakieli. i chose red, blue, green and gold. the colors of the flag of finland :-)

the technique reminds me of bobbin lace, each of the colored yarn stitches gets it's own length of yarn, and is wrapped into a small butterfly hank, then placed on a long straight needle in the order of knitting. this keeps the small yarn amounts from tangling, and makes it easy to see which one to knit next.

all the knitters in the class were experienced, we all had a great time! it was fun to see all the wristlets together, no one chose the same color combination.

at the end of the day, susanna told us we are the only 19 people on this continent who know the technique! quite an exclusive club :-)

lucky for me that karen's two swans yarn had plenty of satakieli to tempt me. i chose black, cherry, gold and pine green to knit a pair of mittens. on size 0000 dpns that ought to keep me busy for a while...

on to sweden. friday was susanna and bohus stickning.
o m g - the samples were too too luscious for words! you really must feel the yarn that solveig dyes to appreciate it. the merino angora blend is so fine, and soft, a pure pleasure to knit with. not splitty at all.
and the colors!!!

the bohus story is fascinating. a female triumph. lucky for us, so much documentation still exists!

we knit the blue shimmer wristlet. yum yum yum.

saturday was m*rta stina. let's just say m*rta stina translates from the swedish as "i am cursing you from my mouldy swedish grave" and leave it as that, shall we?

don't get me wrong, her coverlet designs were stunning, and she was waaayyy before her time, design speaking.

but the knitting technique described in class. torture.
saturday was a small blogger lunch with me, denise, ryan and tmk, kim, jessica, rebecca and peggy, marti, janine, and katie (blogless). i vented my frustrations on them.

as janine so succinctly put it, "how do they know how someone who died over 100 years ago held her yarn? " excellent point.

rebecca and peggy talked me into playing hookie for the afternoon it wasn't hard.

so i sat with them spinning on their beautiful betty roberts wheels, and experimented with different ways to hold my yarn til i came up with something that worked for me.
i'l have dd take photos when i get home and post them.

the 12 years of catholic school guilt set in, and i spent the rest of the weekend trying to avoid the teacher... the gal i know who was sitting next to me in class later told me there was much swearing going on all afternoon, and most everyone was simply knitting fair isle style by the end of the day.

the best part of the whole weekend was seeing all my friends again, and meeting ryan (and tmk), kim, kerry, and sheila for the first time in person, although we've been virtual friends for years!!!!!


Anonymous jess said...

oh wow! so cool. And I must learn that method that susanna taught you guys! so cool! I love the colors you picked, as well. :)

looks like you had a great time at madrona! :)

10:39 AM  
Blogger Marina said...

Wwellll! Which Bohus sweaters have you chosen?

Sounds like a great time was had by all! Hope we get to see all the cool things you learnt ;-)

11:16 AM  
Anonymous marti said...

i miss you so much too! next year i want to take different classes other than spinning. remind me. otherwise i will get sucked back into that vortex.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Beth S. said...

It sounds just heavenly--except for the M*rta St*na part, that is! I really enjoyed that article in Piecework, and I like the mitten pattern very much, but is there any reason why it couldn't be done in 'regular' stranded knitting? It's just a two-color chart, after all...

and you are SO lucky to have attended the Rovaniemi (sp?) knitting class. I used to have one of Lene's pictures of these mittens as my desktop wallpaper. They're gorgeous, aren't they! But the long needle and all the little yarn-butterflies are kind of scary.

12:03 PM  
Blogger kimber said...

I miss you, too!!

12:39 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Those mittens are just gorgeous! Thanks for the great photos.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

It sounds like a fabulous weekend! Thanks for the great description of all your classes. I want to go someday!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

I miss you already!

4:20 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Sounds like it was quite wonderful! Love that soft looking.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Don't tell me that you -- flaming fingers you -- finished that Satakieli wrist warmer during the class time - ?!

Loved seeing you and your Swallowtail shawl, however briefly our time together was. Sorry I missed out on the blogger lunch -- better luck next year.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Nice recap! I must look away now so I do not get sucked into Bohus knitting. The daggone Queen Anne's Lace sweater was bad enough.

Anne in SLC

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Susan Wallace said...

1st your QAL is lovely, I wasn't sure about the colors, it worked out smashingly!. 2nd I live on this continent,I've knitted one of those Finnish mittens, LOL, I've had the Mary Olki book since 1982, I used Pomfet sport it was way to big, as EZ always said, "it's been done before" Sue on LI in NY

3:58 PM  
Blogger Sheila E said...

What a wonderful thing to meet you Vanessa. Thanks for schlepping all the way across the country!! I am so glad that you did. A kindred spirit!!
I agree....I miss you already too!!

1:56 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I think you should skip your other October obligations and come back to Seattle for the Nordic Knitting event.
I had a great time - wish you lived closer!
ps-I took your advice and haven't touched the Rovieniemi sample while I've been sick (well except for the ripping out I'd already done). I may tackle it today.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Terri said...

Looks like another successful year at Madrona. Sorry you got sick when you got home. Feel better!

8:53 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Vanessa, I am Karen Campbell's friend, who drooled all over your Cape Cod sweater at the banquet. When I got home, I ordered a pile of yarn from Lisa Souza, the Petal in the Mother-of-Pearl, and several skeins of sock yarn. I can't wait to get it! I am trying to decide what to knit with the Petal- I don't want to copy you. I am thinking of knitting a delicate all-over lace pattern in a pullover. I will keep you posted! I love your blog, and you inspire me.

11:32 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

Looks like it was a fabulous retreat! Thanks for the photos and descriptions of the classes...(at least I could attend vicariously!)

8:05 PM  
Blogger June said...

Hey Vanessa! This looks so totally awesome! I am so glad to find your blog again!

9:35 AM  

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