Last time I wrote about stash busting.  And then I went to Madrona, and then I went to Stitches.  But I'm telling myself I did my shopping for the year, and at this point I intend on sticking with that.  In other words, my goal for the rest of the year is that every project here will be stash busting.  

I would love to write a whole Madrona post, but I didn't take any photos, so I will just say, it was lovely!  It was so cool to be in classes with a bunch of really passionate skilled knitters, and it was thrilling to be a little star struck taking classes from Jared Flood, Franklin Habit, Lucy Neatby, and Amy Detjen (Amy doesn't have much of a web identity, but she is the assistant for Elizabeth Zimmerman's daughter.  Pretty good pedigree!).  It is one of those things about knitting that you can get as broad or as precises as you want to about your technique.  I learned great color work and finishing tips that would mostly only be noticeable to a knitter, but are fun to think about.  And I would feel more confident about tackling an antique pattern, if I had a wild hair to do so.  I would totally recommend the conference and hope to go back.  The other major highlight of the trip was that I got to stay with friends in Seattle, one of whom was the recipient of the dutch sweater I've been working on, off and no, for almost a year.  So, ta-da:
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From the front, confident
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From the back, not too short!
Technical notes: I'm very pleased with the way it came out.  The fit ended up being pretty perfect and using the shoulder shapping from the Global Warming sweater worked so well.  

Because I had so many more stitches to each round than the Global Warming, I ended up with a boat neck, which was what I wanted anyway. 

Now, about that neck: I knew I wanted to do a rolled cast-off which requires a 1 x 1 ribbing, but I had done a 2 x 1 ribbing.  The way I've done it before, I had increased between the 2 knit stitches, to create the 1 x 1 ribbing that allows for the rolled bind off (which is essentially putting all the knit stitches on one double pointed needle, all the purl stitches on another double pointed needle, and doing a kitchner bind off).  Well, I did my increases, did my kitchner bind off, and ended up with a big floppy neck line.  I though, "blocking will fix this," but it didn't.  The night before I left, while the knitting was still slightly damp, I fear, I undid the bind off, and re-did it by knitting the two knit stitches in the ribbing together, so that I still ended up with a 1 x 1 ribbing at the end, but with 1/3 fewer stitches, instead of 1/3 more stitches.  I did the same rolled bind off and the results were perfect!
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Detail of the neck cast-off
Of course I learned some stranded color techniques at Madrona that would have improved this garment, but probably only to my eyes.  On the whole a very satisfying crafting experience.  
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Patterned dress competition in Tacoma