FEBRUARY 11-14, 2016

Hotel Murano, Tacoma, Washington


  • The full 2016 Retreat Regular Class Schedule is announced. Go to the Retreat Class Schedule and Information page.
  • Registration is OPEN. Go to the Retreat Registration Instructions page for more information and to register.
  • Hotel Murano reservations will open November 10th when class registration opens. Go to the Make Hotel Reservations page for information about making online reservations and special Madrona hotel room rates. Reservations at the Hotel Murano for retreat dates can ONLY be make online at the Make Hotel Reservations page. NO PHONE RESERVATIONS.
  • Find out more about the Hotel Murano, places of interest and travel to Madrona. Go to the Hotel and Travel Information page.
  • Mini-Class Schedule will be announced in early January. Registration for mini-classes will open towards the end of January. Many of our teachers will be offering mini-class versions of their favorites.
  • Watch our website and sign up for our Mailing List if you have not already. We will keep you informed.
  • For more information see the 2016 Winter Retreat FAQs page.

Be part of the Madrona Community. Informal gatherings and hanging out are part of the Madrona fun and tradition. Even if you don’t take a class, come and enjoy the Market, demonstrations, clinics, evening events and knit and spin with old and new friends. Remember, you only pay for classes and the Saturday banquet — the rest of Madrona is FREE!


Click on a teacher’s name and learn more about each one!

We are thrilled to have Cat Bordhi return to Madrona—not for one day but for all 4 days! Cat’s enthusiasm will light up Madrona as she presents a retrospective of some of her favorite classes, adding new twists, techniques, and inspiration that only Cat’s fertile and creative mind can do. Be prepared to re-imagine Sock Architecture and explore new horizons on the Moebius theme and much more. Cat will be our Saturday Banquet speaker sharing her roller-coaster journey that will take us down many roads of her discovery and inventions while inspiring our own explorations of creativity.

Janine Bajus has lived her life in Technicolor as the original Feral Knitter and the spark that inspired so many of us in the Pacific Northwest to try Fair Isle knitting. Janine’s inventive Fair Isle designs showed us that there is a world beyond the traditional and taught us to create our own designs for Fair Isle. She has gathered all her wonderful Fair Isle world into a book The Joy of Color: Fair Isle Knitting Your Way soon to be published. Besides sharing her Fair Isle color secrets in classes, Janine will also be our Friday evening Teacher’s Gallery speaker taking us on her adventure dreaming in color!

Nancy Marchant returns to Madrona from Amsterdam. She is truly the Queen of Brioche, that wonderful versatile knitting stitch pattern technique. You will want to add Brioche to your knitting repertoire. Beth Brown-Reinsel will be teaching her brand new Cowichan Sweater class—a two day affair. We are delighted to have Beth return and to offer this traditional sweater from the Northwest Coast Salish people. We know that you did not get enough of Amy Herzog and we are happy to announce “she’s back”. Amy is working on a new book and we are thrilled to be able to offer some new classes based on it. From her signature Knit to Flatter classes to knitting your very first sweater, Amy has the answers! From her travels in Estonia this summer Nancy Bush will bring you new designs in those colorful Estonian cuffs and a three-sided scarf from Haapsalu that includes the Estonian technique of Nupps!

It is a great pleasure to welcome Jillian Moreno to Madrona! She is the editor of Knittyspin and passionate about handspun yarn! Whatever yarn you dream of or wish you could spin for that special knitting project, Jillian will show you how in her class Yarnitecture: Building Exactly the Yarn you Want. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is beloved by us and all of you at Madrona. When she walks through the door, Madrona lights up and we never know what to expect! Stephanie and our fabulous teachers will create another not-to-be-missed Teacher’s Talent Show for Charity on Thursday evening – remember it’s a secret! This year Judith MacKenzie takes you on a spinning journey in new horizons that have stood the test of time from wild silks to wool embroidery threads to encased yarn. Oh, and she will not forget her dye pots—this year you’ll be dyeing to produce gradient color effects!

So many of you have had an introduction to Rigid Heddle weaving the last few years that we have added more classes for those of you who want to delve deeper into the creative possibilities of this little loom!  We are delighted to welcome Deborah Jarchow to Madrona.  She is a knitter who transferred her love of fiber to Weaving. Since 2004 she has been an artist in residence, teacher, and weaver at Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Camarillo, CA.  You will want to discover new weaving patterns and many options for finishing your weaving projects with Deborah. We are excited to have Syne Mitchell back to Madrona with her new book out this fall from Storey Publishing, Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom which provides a comprehensive tour from color to patterns that will interest all weavers. Syne takes weaving on the Rigid Heddle to its most creative possibilities and her class using two heddles will have you enchanted with the results!

John Mullarkey returns with more card weaving adventures—this year with two new designs—Rams Horn for beginners and Coptic Diamonds for those with a little more experience. Franklin Habit loves to create new classes for Madrona students because you are fearless and savvy knitters. This year you will find an advanced “Embroider your Knitting” class, a new class on folk methods of garment shaping and traditional favorites. Daniel Hererra has long been our resident expert in the Rotunda Help Clinic available to consult on any of your knitting problems that have you stumped. In his new class, Daniel teaches multiple different knitting methods and shows which is best used for different knitted styles and designs—you will never ask again “Why would I ever knit THAT way!”

So many of you loved Catherine Lowe’s mystery technique that gives your knitted fabric a subtle yet elegant surface texture with a single color and becomes bold and arresting the more colors you use. YES, she’ll be teaching it again this year! Debbie Stone is back again with more secrets of “Knitting with your iPad” and creating your own stitch patterns. Galina Khmeleva joins her husband George in their booth in the market with all that luscious fiber and Orenburg lace spinning and knitting. She will step out long enough to teach her classic “Fundamentals of Orenburg Lace Knitting”. Jean Wong will help you delve into the world of Japanese knitting pattern drafting and finishing techniques and Karen Alfke provides the secrets of knitting for the challenges of a full-figure with elements of sweater design and style to get the fit and look you desire.

Spin for self-striping socks with Amelia Garripoli. Explore space-dyed and solid color rovings and all the spinning techniques from spinning to grist and Navajo plying to fractals and use of neutrals to get the stripes you want! Amelia will also teach her very popular e-spinning class. Sarah Anderson will introduce you to Targhee sheep with their fine, soft wool with loads of crimp. You’ll spin everything from cobweb fine yarn to larger diameter yarns using different fiber preparations. Sarah will again be our spinning mentor in the Rotunda. From the imagination of Ilisha Helfman who invented Jazzknitting, explore different color knitting techniques inspired by the shimmery glass art of Tiffany lampshades. Ilisha also returns with another Turkish spindling class for those who want to perfect their skills. Y’vonne Cutright has bedeviled Madrona knitters with her magical way to knit gloves with the “helicopter technique”. This year she adds color and more advanced techniques to these unique knitted gloves.

Evelyn Clark has been at the forefront of lace knitting design for many years. With Evelyn to guide you, explore Icelandic lace traditions based on the historic Reykjavik Shawl found in our own Nordic Heritage Museum. Explore intarsia motif design with Anne Berk and Sivia Harding who loves to combine beads with lace knitting, will guide you in choosing and placing the perfect beads in a variety of sampler lace patterns that will light up your lace knitting. Kyle Kunnecke joins us from San Francisco and will share with you his own technique for creating original to-scale charts for complex color work that is especially suited to spectacular non-repeating patterns. If you’ve ever thought of designing your own unusual color work patterns, this is the class for you!

Mary Scott Huff delights us with another exclusive design—this year it features water lillies with a beautiful border inspired by Chinese willowware. Mary will also get you started with all the right questions before you begin your next project so you don’t have to say “Rats! Why didn’t I think of that back when I started?” Finally but certainly not least, we could not keep on knitting, spinning and weaving without Carson Demers who will show you the secrets to sitting and knitting so that we banish all those kinks from our fingers, wrists and backs!

We may set the stage but what happens at Madrona is in the minds, hearts and inspirations of all of you who walk through our doors. We can never thank you enough for your extraordinary support and making Madrona YOURS!

Madrona is the community in which everyone is welcome and belongs. We are grateful that you want to come home to Madrona and share its magic with your ever widening circle of friends!

We look forward to seeing you — February 11-14, 2016

If you have questions, please click on “Contact Us” above and you will be able to email questions or phone us.