Thursday, April 11, 2013

The computer is excelling itself for slowth, this morning.

I've reached the ribbing of the second sock. So today I get to wind the Pakokku, and maybe even cast it on.  And I must spend a calm ten minutes with the instructions for the stretchy bind-off before I get that far.

Cat and Provisional Kitchener, the question of whether madelinetosh sock yarn is reliable for socks is close to my heart at the moment, as I have enough of beautiful Cosmos left over from the Relax which is too-small-for-anyone-but-Hellie,  for a generous pair of gent's socks. I tried a natural-language question to Google yesterday -- "Is madelinetosh sock yarn hard-wearing?" without successful result, and have started a thread on the subject in the madtosh Ravelry group. I suspect from the answers so far that it's pretty good, but not as good as those German yarns which are 25% something-phoney-and-strong, but feel like wool.

My most interesting experience on that front was a pair of bedsocks for my husband a few years ago, made of pure wool DK leftovers. He wore them only in bed, and for padding back and forth to the bathroom at night. They wore out immediately, in weeks -- didn't even make it to the first wash.

Today's excitement, surpassing even the finishing of those socks, is Amy Herzog's "Knitting to Flatter" class on Craftsy. Sue gave it to me, out of simple kindness. I am overwhelmed.

You have been exceeding kind to me lately, and in getting excited about Craftsy I don't mean for a moment to downplay other gifts . The Pakokku itself; the snood that Joe's girlfriend's mother knit me, comfort in this cold, cold spring; Kaffe's "Dreaming in Colour" which I am reading with great interest; and now this. Nor do I mean to hint for more. Heaven forfend. You reward me more than you can know, by logging on and sometimes commenting. By being here.

I've watched the first Herzog lesson (and ordered her book) -- I was impressed. She's pleasant, and confidence-inspiring, and perhaps best of all, was wearing an unfastened, shaped cardigan which sat perfectly on her shoulders. My attempts tend not to.

Rachel sent four pictures from our Easter weekend. Three of them you have already seen -- Ed in his Gardening Sweater and the panoramic view which currently forms my header. Here's the fourth:

That's Rachel herself, cutting the Easter cake, wearing her Adult Surprise and watched by my husband in his Georgia O'Keefe sleeveless vest (and by Ketki). And it's slipping off her left shoulder.

Can Herzog teach me how not to have that happen? I have my anxieties: my copy of Evelyn Waugh's "Men at Arms" falls open to the page on which we meet Major Erskine who "...was strangely dishevelled in appearance. His uniform was correct and clean but it never seemed to fit him, not through any fault of the tailor's, but rather because the major seemed to change shape from time to time during the day."

I am also, on this topic, looking forward to Sally Melville's new book "Knitting Pattern Essentials", not yet published here. I'm a fan of hers -- she is perhaps my most-admired designer whose designs I've never knit. Her book "Styles" had just come out when I was at Camp Stitches on Lake George in '99 (oh! happy memory). I was walking along one afternoon behind two women who were talking about it -- I think one was holding a copy -- and I butted in to say, That's a great book. And only then realised that one of the women was Sally Melville.


  1. And I'm sure you made Sally's day! I saw someone in a crowd in Minneapolis wearing a hat made from one of my patterns and smiled to myself for quite a while. A sighting in the wild. I have used Malabrigo sock, not unlike the tosh in structure and content I think. Gorgeous, but not very durable. They did last a winter before developing holes.

  2. lymeknitter1:42 PM

    How strange, I was just thinking about camp at Lake George and trying to remember when it was. Maybe it was the Sally connection as well. Your memory has mine beat hands down. Thanks.

    Janis in Lyme

  3. I just paged thru "Knitting Pattern Essentials" on Amazon/US. It looks like a wonderful book. Sadly, I no longer knit sweaters. I have shelves full of them for myself, and no one else in the family will wear hand-knit sweaters. Perhaps I could adopt someone else's family and knit sweaters for them. ;-)

  4. Gerri2:40 PM

    Great story about Sally! I enjoy her classes and talks immensely.

  5. Anonymous1:59 AM

    Some 15 years or so ago I was knitting outside on my lunch break and an elderly lady sat down by me to chat. She pointed out - kindly - that I was holding my left forefinger "too high". I just smiled and said I had done it so long I was used to it. We continued to chat and eventually it hit me that she was - Mary Walker Phillips!! She confirmed it! I was too starstruck to say much after that! I believe she grew up in Fresno, CA and returned there on retirement, and used to walk and bike around her neighborhood... And no one I related this story to had any notion who she was or why I was excited.

    Beverly near Yosemite CA

  6. Thankyou Jean. I had tried to find some information but without success. A friend insists on knitting his socks so I may offer her the choice. She may prefer to stay with Regia or Opal.

  7. I noticed your family wearing an awful lot of hand-knits, Jean. Much more than my family and friends. Do you have them well-trained to wear your knits around you or do you knit each piece to the particular style of the recipient so they wear your work all the time anyway...or both?

  8. Anonymous3:12 PM

    Tosh Sock: No. I have a pair of socks that I knitted from it; the first time I washed them the dye broke badly, they are terribly fuzzy, and the color is completely eroded in areas of great wear (heels, for me), so that the yarn is almost white there.

    Very upsetting as I have two further lovely (prior to actually being knitted and washed!) skeins which I don't dare do anything with.

  9. I had the chance to take Sally's Knit To Flatter and Fit class and also Amy Herzog's class. Each of these classes was different and covered areas the other did not. The material in Sally's class is covered in the second half of her "Mother-Daughter Knits" book. This class covered fitting your entire shape and what looks good on your body.

    Amy's class covered specifically sweaters and making them to fit you. Although I took her class (and will probably end up purchasing her Craftsy class), I also highly recommend her book Knit to Flatter that was just released at the beginning of this month. I was able to try on garments that Amy bought with her and found that those I thought would look least flattering were the most flattering.

    Both of these classes were extremely eye-opening and completely changed my viewpoint. I'm looking forward to slowly replacing many of the items in my wardrobe now!