Saturday, April 06, 2013

All our worries have melted away. The Socklady is fine. Madelinetosh and Jimmy Bean are probably both continuing to do good business. And I had an email from our niece in Strathardle yesterday to say that the sun is shining, birds are singing, the house is fine, snow is lying but the driveway is navigable.

I am very grateful to her for forming the advance party.

As for Queer Joe’s wonderful yarn, I had pretty well been forced to something like the conclusion you present, Skeindalous – that it was, somehow or other, a one-off, not on general sale. I hope he knits it soon so that we can at least luxuriate in its progress.

So I am going back and forth through the madelinetosh website trying to choose a shade – but I am beginning to wonder, can I really order it from there? The “shop”  seems to confine itself to a limited selection of heavyish worsteds. Google has found me a place called EatSleepKnit which seems to have a good range, with a fair amount of it actually in stock. Has anybody dealt with them? I’m sorry about Jimmy Bean’s currently empty shelves. I enjoy buying from them.

The shade “lichen” is the front-runner at the moment.

Here are yesterday’s achievements, in one omnium-gatherum picture. I should reach the heel of the current sock today.


You’re still looking for the perfect pattern, Tamar. I was pretty satisfied with the basic one – I bought some instructions from Patternworks for $1 in 1996, when I had just discovered the joys of the internet and had decided to take up sock knitting again, after a long lapse, for our journey to CT for my mother’s 90th birthday.

In those days I was terrified of flying. Sock-knitting wrought a marvellous transformation.

For years I went on with that pattern, and eventually internalised it. Top-down, heel flap, turn heel, pick up stitches along edges of flap for gussets. I can do all that, now, for any size, and also Kitchener the toe, without looking at any writing. The only thing wrong with the result is the tendency of those little holes to appear at the corners of the gussets.

Well, and the fact that my husband now finds the turn of the heel too abrupt, hard to pull on.

Then last year I had that big sock-session and learned a certain amount. The Strong-Fleegle heel may remain in my repertoire. It makes a less sharp turn, and the little holes are obviated.

It would take a long time to learn to do toe-up, Strong-Fleegle, stretchy-bind-off without consulting a book, and I doubt if it’s worth it for me. But I can see the point of toe-up to get the last inch of value out of a treasured yarn.  


  1. Glad to hear all is well (health, yarn supplies, strathardle..) did you catch tom lehrer on radio 4 this morning.... ? Should be on i-player if you missed it....

  2. To chime in on the sock discussion: I do toe-up socks if it matters that my toes match. I wear Birks and often my sock toes show.

    I am interested in the strong-Fleegle heel, must search it and learn more.

    I love peeking into your life, and missed you last weekend. Glad you had a good weekend with family.

  3. Have you tried WEBS for Madelinetosh? They give a pretty hefty discount ( 20% or 25%) depending on the amount spent. I find that they are very good about replenishing low stock. If there is a particlar color that I want I scan their site frequently until I find it back in stock.

    And, I have bought yarn from Eat, Sleep, Knit and found them to be lovely to deal with.

  4. Eatsleepknit has great service! Quick to answer queries and to mail yarn.

  5. Are you starting your potatoes?

  6. Deidra1:38 PM

    I buy my Madtosh from Jimmy Beans, WEBS, The Loopy Ewe, and Eat.Sleep.Knit. They are all wonderful people to deal with. The Madtosh tends to come in big batches at intervals. So if you see one of these get a big batch in, the others will soon follow. Both Jimmy Beans and WEBS will often have "one off's" that are discounted because they took the dye differently than the regular recipe for the colorway or were experimental. But they go fast and you have to be very lucky to snare them.
    Yes, that is my Madtosh stocking alarm system. :-)

  7. if all else fails, you can get the lichen colour from here, too:
    and others of the sock range, of course...

  8. Anonymous1:57 PM

    Needle Emporium has a wonderful selection of Madtosh sock yarn.
    Enjoying sharing your days as ever.

  9. Anonymous4:05 PM

    Like the staff of Jimmy Bean, the staff at EatSleepKnit have been a pleasure for me to work with. I also concur with your other readers that MadTosh seems to ship in great batches: retailers seem to get in their new stocks almost simultaneously. A LYS here, Green Planet Yarns in Cupertino, Calif, carries it, but I don't know whether they're accustomed to shipping internationally. Overseas mail can be dauntingly expensive, I know.
    -- stashdragon

  10. =Tamar6:08 PM

    Thanks for investigating; it may seem odd, but I do worry when regular bloggers stop without notice.
    With socks, in some ways I seem to be a slow learner. The basic sock patterns fit me, but I have finally observed that the star or round toe is too loose for my taste and the usual short-row heel tends to ride down into my shoes. I should do a disciplined test of various heels.

  11. The Loopy Ewe in Ft Collins, CO also carries Madelinetosh I've had really good customer service with them. They have both an "accumulate $25 store credit when you spend $250 on merchandise", and also a rewards program where, as you hit certain spending levels through the year, there's a gift.

    They'll also keep track of requests for out-of-stock items and alert you when they're back in stock.

  12. Be sure too to look at the stashes on Ravelry as there are those who have things for sale...
    I also had positive experiences with EatSleepKnit and Loopy Ewe.
    Take a look at the color Stovepipe.