Thursday, April 04, 2013

The one thing that didn’t happen during our pleasant Easter weekend was a photograph of Ed in the Gardening Sweater. It’s too long, to my taste, but he said not to change it. The option remains open. But we’ll have to wait for a photograph to be sent from London.

I finished Helen’s first sock yesterday, and started the second. There was a moment of considerable panic when I grasped that I was nearly done. How to do a stretchy bind-off? I decided, after all, to attempt another of Judy’s Magic Cast-Ons for the second sock (instead of reverting to top-down). That technique, too, needed revision. In normal circumstances, when I run up against such a situation, I lay the knitting aside for an evening and grab the socks.

But these are the socks. I have no other knitting!

So, some rapid research. I think I have done a sufficiently stretchy bind-off. The difficulty for me, in a panic situation like that, is that I can’t remember which direction the yarn goes in a “standard yarnover” and that makes it difficult to reverse it. I can’t spend the evening knitting time peering at a computer screen. I had to do something. (Here are the instructions – crystal-clear when contemplated calmly.)

The cast-on went surprisingly well. Got it first time – that was with Judy’s own book open on my knees. I have completely forgotten why anyone would want to do this (other than trying the sock on as you go along, which is no good without the recipient). Once the cast-on is done, there follow a number of rounds of utter fiddliness, unlike the blissful toe decreases of a normal top-down sock.

However, it’s done. It looks good. I have now got 10 or 11 stitches on each of four needles, target 16, so the fiddliness is past, too.

Kristie, it did occur to me that knitting another, larger Relax would mean ordering some more madelinetosh sock yarn. It’s a definite consideration.


I don’t see any reason not to mention that Kristie and I and her cousin Kath are planning a long weekend in Shetland at the end of September. Alas, we can’t do Wool Week. The dates are fixed by Archie’s half-term weekend, September 20-23. Helen will come over, and Rachel up from London, to hold the fort here. Helen and I can refine plans when she is here in a fortnight. Can I leave on the evening of the 19th, for instance?

There is all sorts of delicious planning to be done. I’d be very grateful for knitterly must-do’s. We know about Jamieson & Smith, and the Lerwick Museum, and that’s about it. I want a taste of that seaweed-fed lamb, as well. September is good for lamb. 


  1. Ah, will you get a chance to visit Liz Lovick as well? September in Shetland should be lovely!

  2. rosesmama12:24 PM

    I like toe up socks for the special yarn. If I want to use the entire skein, I can split it into two equal balls and knit until it is gone. Voila, no leftovers.

    Shetland must be lovely anytime. Happy planning!

  3. I only use toe-ups for socks, where I might not have enough yarn - or if I want to use absolutely everything of a very special yarn... other than that I agree with the increases - you should try "deluge", it makes it even fiddlier, because they do them for right and left socks:)

  4. oh, about shetland: there's also jamieson's of shetland (not jamieson & smith!) to visit:

    happy planning!


  5. Sounds like a delightful trip!

  6. Please share as much of your Shetland trip as you can! Seaweed-fed lamb sounds intriguing

  7. Anonymous5:37 PM

    I'm looking forward to vicariously touring Shetland with you.

    Agree that toe-up socks are more trouble to knit than cuff-down: now, like WoolyBits, I knit toe-ups only if my yarn quantity is limited and I need to knit it down to the last inch.
    -- stashdragon

  8. =Tamar9:40 PM

    I am reevaluating the (few) socks I have knitted and I find that I still have not found the perfect pattern for me. On another topic entirely, sort of, has anyone heard from the Socklady since March 18?