Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I was able to knit all the way through the eye appt yesterday, including the pupil-dilation phase, except when actually being dealt with by medical professionals. (My sight is unchanged since last year: that’s good.) I’ve finished the ribbing for the second sock, and have considerable hopes of finishing the sock itself in London this weekend.

I found a knot, rare for Regia. Worse, a knot that interrupted the sequence of stripes. If I had been one of those knitters – and there are many – who carefully wind out the yarn so as to start both socks at the same point, in orderto achieve identical rather than fraternal twins, I would have been pretty cross. But I’m not, so I wasn’t.

And progress on the Brownstone sleeve, Mark II, has been good. I’m going to need more stitches than I thought to get the top sleeve circumference anywhere near what Jared seems to think appropriate, but I’ve got room to get them in. For the body, I think I calculated that I need about 5% more stitches than Jared’s Size L, to hit the circumference of the sweater Thomas sent me to measure. For the sleeve top, it’s going to be closer to 20% to get a size between Jared’s L and XL – no measurement from Thomas to guide me here.

Thomas himself is coming to see us at the end of October. It would be nice to have body and sleeves joined by then, but that may be a bit ambitious.

I continue full of enthusiasm for madelinetosh. I have mentioned here before that my stash, which I have been so virtuously nibbling away at for the past two years, is low on providing enough yarn in any single shade or quality to knit anything substantial. That’s probably at least partly why I’m having such a good time here.

I could dispose of the entire stash, couldn't I? except for Koigu and the KF sock yarn and one or two of the very choicest lace yarns, and devote the rest of my life to madelinetosh. Maureen in Fargo, you say you are knitting tosh socks. Have you done that before? Do they wear? I would be a bit hesitant about using pure wool for socks, even reinforced, but I would be very happy to be persuaded otherwise, especially in this case.

Edinburgh Freecycle? Is there a local charity which would welcome yarn donations? It's time to get serious about the stash cupboard.

I was even casting around in my mind yesterday for what to knit next after the Effortless. The mitred jacket in “Knit One Knit All” would be an interesting challenge. And, of course, “Knit, Swirl” should be with me soon.


Woolley Bits, couldn’t one grow madder in one’s garden? And woad? I’ve never tried, but that might be a project for next year. Your cochenille silk is gorgeous.

Well, London tomorrow. We haven’t done this since late last year and I am already in a tizzy over packing and train-catching. Shall I take the iPad? Back here Tuesday if all goes according to plan.


  1. If you were to p/hop your stash, I would be happy to come help photograph and mail it!

  2. Robin1:11 PM

    I take my iPad everywhere. Great companion for reading, surfing blogs and playing Solitaire. I downloaded the Solitaire City Deluxe app and have played 1,000's of games. Deluxe costs a bit. You could get Lite for free, I think. Enjoy!

  3. Gail (nosenabook)2:02 PM

    Knit Swirl had me from the moment I read the introduction from Cat Bordhi. My copy has arrived and I picked a pattern, provisionally, but I need to actually read the whole pattern before choosing yarn and beginning. Could be a plan for several years to come. I look forward to your take.

  4. Yes take the IPad and when you find free WiFi you can update the blog and tell us about all the interesting places you've been and sights you've seen.

  5. Jean, yes, of course I could grow madder in my garden, and woad/weld etc... but you need the roots, not the tops, and it would mean that I'd have to plant loads to get enough of the roots for my dyeing. and it's supposed to be at least 2, if not 3 years old - I'd need a lot of space for 3 years worth of madder:)) I compromise, collect and grow what I reasonably can - and buy the rest of it such as madder, cochineal and indigo... not perfect, but the best I can do eco-wise... life would be so much easier if yellows and beiges were my favourite colours:))

  6. Maureen in Fargo3:32 PM

    Jean, I finished my first pair of MadTosh socks early this Summer so have only worn them one, this past weekend when it was cold enough to wear shoes. Obviously that isn't enough to have any idea of how they'll wear! I have so many pairs of socks, many in good sturdy yarns like Regia and Opal, that I don't worry about how the plain wool ones will hold up. I just wear them more gently, not when I'm going to walk a lot. Since I live in a sprawling small city I pretty much have to drive everywhere so I don't walk a lot when I'm wearing many of my socks. Now, if I lived in a city like you do it would be a different story...I've put on a lot of miles walking around cities like Edinburgh and love it!! If/when I walk for exercise I wear store bought cotton socks in my walking shoes.

  7. dye plants in the garden - Jenny Dean's blog is interesting with lots of information recently on Anglo-Saxon dyes

  8. Hello Jean, those socks look lovely, I don't knit them but appreciate the efforts of those that do. With regard to the yarn you require, could not your sister buy it then mail it to you? When she visits in November recompense could be paid. Hope you achieve the yarn.xxxx

  9. If you don't solve your stash dilemma by January I'd be happy to take some of it down to the big p/hop yarn swap in York with me, which raises money for Medicines Sans Frontiers.

    By the sound of it I couldn't carry the lot though! But it might help make a dent and the knitters there would adore it. They're a generous group too.

  10. I donated two enormous boxes to a group here in the US called Interim House, which runs a knitting program in a half-way house for women fighting addiction. Surely there is something similar in the UK. It was a great way to winnow down the stash and for a good cause. What is really cool is that they have a blog and its fun to see what people create out of my yarn!

  11. I hope your trip is going well and that you get home with minimal fuss as I need a new photo to look at, at the top of your blog page. One of my goals is to never knit another pair of socks from sock yarn - takes toooo long. But that Regia is undermining my decision!

  12. Anonymous1:07 AM

    I work at a school. One of the this year's clubs is the learn-to-crochet club. Some of my stash will be going to the instructor of the club to be distributed among the students. Is there a school near you that could use your spare bits and bobs?