Our journey to the Madrona Fiber Arts’s Winter Retreat began on a snowy Valentine’s Day morning here in Portland, OR. As we all gathered at the Brooklyn Tweed Headquarters before setting off, we double- and triple-checked our lists to be sure that things would go off without a hitch once we arrived in Tacoma, WA.
With Luigi driving a U-Haul full of precious yarn cargo and Christina as co-pilot and navigator, the rest of the crew — Lis, Korina, and Jamie — piled into a car with everyone’s luggage and WIPs and their compass pointed north.
After the normal bustle that happens when setting up a temporary home in a hotel room and many a “hello” exchanged with other vendors, the crew quickly got to work setting up the Brooklyn Tweed booth in the Madrona Marketplace. The space filled up quickly with each of our yarns represented in a beautiful gradient along the wall at the back of the booth. To the right we hung a carefully chosen selection of sample garments — some from our most recent Winter 18 collection and other BT classics that have stood the test of time. To the left was our yarn wrapping and general help station where we had on display a slideshow of photographs highlighting some of our most favorite BT patterns from over the years. In the midst of it all, our printed patterns and books were organized atop a wooden table covered by a lovely linen cloth, sewn by Lis only a few days before, and flanked by two dress forms sporting the day’s outfit of choice.
The Brooklyn Tweed booth was located at the Marketplace entrance, which meant that we had the good fortune to see the many smiling faces of excited retreat-goers as well as a gorgeous array of shawls, sweaters, socks, and skirts throughout the weekend. Ideas for projects soon-to-be-cast-on in workshops and hotel rooms flowed as easily as the tide at Point Defiance only a few miles away. A special joy was seeing many a lovely knitter leave the BT booth with purpose and an accompanying armful of woolly goodness. Thanks to Christina’s talent and knack for selecting complementary yet exciting colorways to grace a yoked sweater or two, by next year we’re sure to see more #BTintheWild garments when tending to our wares at the Marketplace.
The joy of knitting wasn’t the only thing that left its mark on our spirits during the weekend. Our feelings of team camaraderie grew as we worked together to lift boxes and keep each other spry with mid-day coffee runs; what a privilege it was to have an occasion like Madrona to be with one another to learn and grow together as the BT crew. It was also spirit stirring to be surrounded by a collective of passionate small business owners who share in our love of wool, design, and community.
Other more utilitarian lessons learned in our five days at Madrona were to be sure to leave extra room in our bags for the treasures that would make their way home to Portland with us, as well as how wonderful the steam setting on a hotel room iron can work when needing to block a just finished sweater in a pinch!
All in all, Madrona was an excellent chance to meet with knitters face to face and share in our collective joy for the wonders of wool and fiber arts. We’re already planning on where we’ll be off to next, and hope to have a chance to meet more of you in person soon!
If you’d like to know where BT will be next, visit our events page here.