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Current Cardigan

If you had told me a couple of weeks ago that I would buy a sweater quantity of yarn at Sock Summit and have it knit into a sweater 2 weeks later, I wouldn’t have believed you. Especially considering that it was fingering weight yarn and this was my first sweater using a yarn this thin. Well, let’s get to it! I’ll warn you, I have a gazillion pictures of this sweater!

Pattern: Current by Cecily Glowik MacDonald

Yarn: Three Irish Girls Bamboo/Cotton Fingering in Shale Be Coming Around the Mountain

Modifications: My gauge was a bit off, but I liked the fabric that the size 6 needles gave me so I did a little recalculating with hopes that I could follow the directions for one size smaller. It ended up working out perfectly. I followed the directions for the size 32″ and ended up with a finished size of 35 1/2″. Because my gauge was off I also had to modify the waist decreases and increase. I knit for 2 inches before starting the side decreases so that the smallest part of the sweater would hit the smallest part of my waist (or at least closer than it would have!). For the side decreases, I did a decrease row every 6th row twice and every 4th row 3 times. When it was time to increase, I did increase rows every 4th row 5 times. I also had to modify the sleeve decreases. I decreased every 8th round twice and every 4th round 4 times. I also knit the sleeves about an inch longer than the pattern called for. Phew. I think that’s all the mods!

Let me talk a little bit about the yarn. This spring I was looking for some non-wool yarns to knit up some spring and summer handknits that wouldn’t be quite as warm as wool. I looked at several online shops and nothing really appealed to me. But then, Three Irish Girls announced that they would be releasing some non-wool bases at several retailers. I didn’t order from any of the online retailers because I hoped that Sharon would bring some of the new stuff to Sock Summit. And, of course, she did.

I hadn’t really planned on knitting up the fingering weight version so soon after returning from Sock Summit, but when I realized what a great pair the Current Cardigan and the Bamboo/Cotton would make, I cast-on right away.

I can’t say enough good things about the Bamboo/Cotton base. Cotton can be a little rough to knit with because it doesn’t have a lot of give. But this stuff was amazing. The bamboo gives it a lovely sheen and wonderful drape, while the cotton gives it a nice sturdiness and softness. The resulting garment is very light and drapes nicely. And of course, it’s soft on the skin.

I’ve knit several of Cecily’s designs (I think this is my 3rd?), and all of her patterns are exceptionally well written and this pattern is no exception. I’m a big fan of her top down designing as I find I can get a better fit since I can try the sweater on as I go. Her instructions are always clear and she writes her patterns for a wide range of sizes.

This cardigan is very wearable, and I love it’s versatility. It can be just as easily paired with a summer dress as it can with jeans and a t-shirt.

The little cables on the front bands and around the collar are a nice touch. Not too fussy, but interesting enough to keep your interest while you’re knitting it.

All in all, I’m very pleased with the way this turned out. I know I’ll get a ton of wear out of it and I love that I can just toss it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle.

How about one more parting picture?

 

 

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Sock Summit!

Okay, this is the post where you see exactly how big of a knitting geek I am! This past Thursday was the official kickoff to Sock Summit. Sock Summit is basically what it sounds like, a yarn conference of sorts focusing on sock knitting. It has taken place one other time, 2 years ago, in 2009. As crazy as it sounds, people from all over the world (mostly North America…but from as far away as Australia!) flew into Portland, Oregon to take classes, shop at the wonderful marketplace, and participate in a flash mob (I didn’t, but I’ll post one of the videos so you can see!). There were approximately 1,800 knitters taking classes and hundreds more who just showed up to hang out and shop.

Initially I had planned to get a hotel room and stay up in Portland from Thursday through Sunday, but due to a variety of factors I decided to sleep at home and drive up to Portland on both Thursday and Friday. I was a little sad to miss the weekend events, but seeing how tired I was after 2 days I’m not sure I would have survived!

Bright and early Thursday morning, I loaded my spinning wheel into the car and headed up to Portland. I left extra early because I wasn’t sure  how bad Portland traffic would be close to rush hour. Thankfully I didn’t have to deal with much traffic and parking at the Convention Center was really easy (they have an underground garage that most people weren’t using because they could walk from their hotels). After registering and picking up my Sock Summit badge, I found my classroom and set up my spinning wheel so that I could take The Gentle Art of Spinning Socks with Judith MacKenzie. The class. Was. Awesome. She is soooo knowledgeable. And not just about spinning. She is a wealth of knowledge about the textile industry and it’s history as well as weaving, knitting, and other random unrelated tidbits! The class format was fairly laid back….she would show us things and then we’d all sit and practice on our spinning wheels. Then she would walk around checking in with everyone and answer questions and demo as things came up. We were able to spin with a variety of fibers that are good for spinning a strong sock yarn and even learn some raw fiber prep techniques. The full day classes have an hour and a half for lunch, so I was lucky enough to meet up with Anne (I still can’t believe I’m related to knitting royalty!) for lunch! We had lunch at a nearby cafe that was far enough from the convention center to not be completely mobbed with crazy, hungry knitters! The afternoon had more spinning and learning and then it was time for the marketplace to open!!

There was NO way I was going to lug my spinning wheel around the marketplace (it’s just too heavy and bulky), so I walked back to the car to drop the wheel off.  Then it was off to the marketplace. Almost immediately, I ran into Alysha, a friend from Ravelry who I’d never met in real life. We recognized each other right away despite having never met! Alysha and I wandered the marketplace for a few hours, first to check it all out and then to go back to certain places and make some purchases. One of the places I knew I wanted to hit up on Thursday was the Three Irish Girls booth so that I could check out their new non-wool bases for some summer knits. I ended up picking up a sweater quantity for a short-sleeved cardigan of some sort in the Cotton/Bamboo Worsted base:

Three Irish Girls Cotton/Bamboo (50/50) in Bramble

The Three Irish Girls booth was gorgeous and Sharon was just as lovely, funny, and tall in person as she is online! There was a wonderful selection of new bases, one-of-a-kind colors, mini-skein sets, and just plain gorgeous yarn!

I also picked up some luxurious yarn from Little Red Bicycle on Thursday, a merino/cashmere/silk blend and a merino/cashmere/nylon blend, as well as a skein of merino/nylon sock yarn from Hazel Knits.

On Friday, I didn’t have any classes lined up so I took my time heading up to Portland and arrived around 2pm. My first goal was to hit up the Plucky Knitter booth because I knew I wanted a sweater’s worth of yarn from there. As soon as I wandered into the booth I ran into some more lovely Raveler’s that I had planned on meeting up with for dinner, Jeannine and Erin. I think it would be a gross understatement to say that we went a little crazy at the Plucky booth! I could have spent a FORTUNE on Plucky. The Plucky Knitter booth was probably the most well stocked booth at Sock Summit. Sarah (of Plucky) had a second booth across the aisle that was filled with boxes of yarn that she used to restock as things got low. She had several “Sock Summit Specialties” that were released on Saturday and Sunday, as well. Honestly, my bank account is thanking me for not going back up this weekend!

Plucky Primo in Bohemian Blue

Plucky Primo in Can Can

Another booth that had a fabulous selection was Hazel Knits. I went back there on Friday so that I could pick up two skeins to use in a shawl together, and ended up with these two beauties:

Hazel Knits Entice MCN in Blacklight and Spanish Wine

After purchasing quite a bit of yarn (and a couple of other things!), I met up with some folks from Ravelry and we went to Mother’s Bistro for dinner. Out of the 7 of us that went, 6 of us ordered the Macaroni and Cheese! Delicious, I tell you. Two of the people at dinner work at Happy Knits (one of them was the owner, Sarah), a Local Yarn Shop in Portland, and they were kind enough to let us do a little after hours shopping! It’s such a lovely store, and I really need a make a point to get over to that side of town more often when we go to Portland.

So….how ’bout a photo of the whole haul?

Don’t judge. I knit a lot. 😉 

SO….from Left to Right:

Bottom Row: Hazel Knits Entice in Blacklight, sweater qty of Plucky Primo in Bohemian Blue, 4 skeins (short-sleeved sweater qty) of Three Irish Girls Cotton/Bamboo Worsted in Bramble, and Hazel Knits Piquant Lite in Violeta

Middle Row: Hazel Knits Entice in Spanish Wine, more of the Primo Bohemian Blue, 3 skeins of Three Irish Girls Cotton/Bamboo Fingering in Shale Be Coming Around the Mountain, 2 skeins Plucky Primo in Garnet martini

Top Row: Little Red Bicycle Penny Farthing (jumbo skein) in Fathom, LRB Dapper (new base) in Lullaby, Sanguine Gryphon Mithril in Blue Green Music, more of TIG, and 2 skeins Plucky Primo in Can Can

The yarn bowl is from Hazel Knits (but made by someone else…there was a sign saying who made them, but I can’t remember)…fiber is TIG SW Merino in Sunday Berry Pie, notions pouches from Splityarn, stitch markers from Beads ‘N Poodles, Pint Glass swag, and some Soak because I’m almost out.

I’m a little bummed I didn’t take pictures at sock summit and during dinner. Many of the booths were really impressive, and the Beads ‘N Poodles booth had a couple of standard poodles and a black lab hanging out with them! Ah well, I’ll try and remember to be better about taking pictures at Sock Summit 2013!

On Saturday there was a planned flash mob in front of the Convention Center…I’m sure the folks driving down MLK Blvd. were a little surprised to see people dancing with yarn! Here’s a video that another Raveler took:

I’ve spent most of the weekend recovering from all the festivities, but I did break into the Three Irish Girls Cotton/Bamboo Fingering weight yarn to knit a swatch! Knitting and other craftiness to come later in the week!

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