Today I went to the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat in Tacoma, WA. The retreat itself is a four-day thing with a full schedule of teachers and classes, but I just visited the market. There was much to see. There were quite a few local vendors, some I'd not heard of before, but also some from as far away as New York. I was tempted by a shawl designed and sold as a kit by Catherine Lowe, and the folks at Toots LeBlanc were also back this year with their version of a shawl in wool and angora.
But my purchases were restricted to 4 skeins of Black Water Abbey yarn worsted weight:
to make this, the damask pillow cover, below center (from Rowan no. 18). I realize the colors are similar to the ones in the picture, but I really did pick them based on the colors in the rug next to the bench where the pillow will go.
My other purchase was one skein of this, 85% angora and 15% merino hand-dyed yarn from Butternut Woolens. Butternut Woolens is run by Shelly Whitman, who raises angora rabbits, clips them herself, and dyes her own yarns and combed top in earthy, muted hues. On top of that, she's a super nice lady. This yarn is so soft, but not terribly fluffy like a lot of angoras, and has some weight to it. Shelly told me that her angora doesn't shed all over everything like commercially processed angora, which is the main drawback with this fiber. The color I bought is Meadow Sage. I have plans for a pair of gloves, and 2 oz is enough for that.
All in all, it was a fun visit and a good place to be inspired.