Monday, September 12, 2011

Almost no knitting yesterday, a most aimless day. Still two rows to go on the centre of the Mourning Shawl. I ought to be able to squeeze them in this morning and free the Serious Evening Session for grafting.

Yarnsapart no longer had madelinetosh DK scarlet on their website when I went back yesterday. I wrote, hoping there might be a couple of skeins lying about anyway, and heard back almost at once, despite its being Sunday: no. I flailed wildly about and wound up ordering two skeins from Jimmy Bean in (of all places) Reno.

I did a bit more flailing this morning, with no success. The difficulty is that there are quite a few different qualities of madelinetosh yarn, with a vast range of colours within each. There are lots of stockists, but it’s still difficult to find a particular colour in a particular yarn.

Madelinetosh doesn’t have dye lots, but the extra stuff from Nevada is bound to be different from the Dutch lot. Jared’s “Brownstone” pattern has a biggish shawl collar. Otherwise, I can’t see any way at the moment to introduce a discordant note. I will just have to alternate it with the main lot of yarn at the top of the sweater.

Ah! what about provisional cast-ons for sleeve and body so that the ribbing (as well as the ribbed collar) can be done in the “wrong” yarn if need be? That’s a thought. I’m assuming I’ll be ready to cast on before the yarn arrives from Reno.

I will get an idea of how the yarn is holding out as I knit along, of course. Jimmy Bean gives the gauge as 5.5 stitches to the inch which would make things even worse if true.

I do like this pattern. I have been reading it through to see what happens – it’s very straightforward, and meticulously written. I am glad to see that there are two short-row passages in the back. Seeing Joe in the Grandson Sweater on Games Day, I wished I had put in some short rows for him. I thought only EZ and Meg did that, and it’s wonderful to discover Jared paying attention.

Knitting oddities

This one is from a review in the FT in May, ’09, of a show of conceptual Russian art at a London gallery called Calvert 22 in Shoreditch. Rather off our beaten track, gallery-wise. It is called “The Knitling” by Leonid Tishkov, although the text says that it was actually knitted by the artist’s mother. (Lots of artists don’t make their own stuff these days. You can go to the City Art Gallery here in Edinburgh this very day and see David Mach’s studio – it has been moved to occupy a whole floor of the gallery while the current Mach exhibition is on. There you will find keen young people hard at work while Mach himself – if that was indeed him, the day we went – sits about reading the newspaper.)

In this case, we don't know whether Leonid or old Mrs Tishkov actually designed the suit. It is meant to “bring to mind the balls of thread leading the heroes of Russian fairy tales.”


  1. Anonymous5:23 PM

    I'm sorry you couldn't get more Madelinetosh from your original source, but must say that I've always been well served by Jimmy Beans Wool. Of course, they're much closer to me than to you - when they kept a shop in Truckee as well as in Reno I used to stop in during my vacation.
    -- Gretchen

  2. Jean, I saw this story and thought you might be interested:

    Here's a short version of the same link in case it has broken into smithereens:

    I'm sure you'll have seen this on the local news, but I was charmed by the whole thing.

  3. Anonymous6:48 PM

    Madelinetosh is headquartered about 25 miles from my house, and it sells so fast that we "locals" also have a difficult time finding it in yarn shops.

    I think you will be pleased with Jimmy Beans Wool's service. I buy yarn from them online when I can't find it locally, and their service has always been first-rate. For U.S. addresses, which doesn't help you, they will hold all of your purchases until Friday (with a request in the notes section of the shopping cart) to minimize the cost per purchase of their maximum $4 shipping rate. They know my name and address well, lol!

    Mary G. in Texas