Thursday, May 16, 2013

New follower, welcome!

It is an extremely interesting shop. Had I but world enough and time, I would spend more of them there. She sells British yarn, as local as possible. No Rowan or Patons or Sirdar. The most familiar name you’ll spot is Jamieson and Smith.

I bought one of those things, I had heard of them, no idea what to call them, a strip of machine-knitted yarn which the artist has hand-painted after knitting the strip, and you’re meant to unravel it as you knit your sock, or whatever. It’s from but there are no other examples on the website – just yarn. I’ll have to take a picture of it for tomorrow.  I can’t even think of how to phrase the concept for googling.

The yarn is merino, cashmere and nylon and I could always just keep it as a scarf. But I think I’ll cast it on as a sock pretty soon.

I also bought two balls of Pure Natural Guernsey Yarn: Hebridean/Manx/Romney from Blacker Yarns with a pattern of Kathy’s own for a simple cabled hat. I don’t know when I’ll get around to that.

I’ve been thinking about the Faded Blue Raincoat yarn mentioned yesterday. I think, on close inspection, that the pattern in The Knitter would have to be classified as a poncho. Is that really what I want? Maybe so, as I am not one to twist a scarf artistically around my neck like some.

There’s no schematic. Front and back are identical, with a scooped neck rather like Relax itself. The model is wearing it almost off one shoulder, but it could be narrowed a bit. The final instruction is: To make up – sew edge seams. That’s it. And I think it must mean, sew the shoulder seams, the bottom remaining open.

I think the only reason I hesitate is that Franklin has an anti-poncho cartoon in “It Itches”. This one is rib-length and maybe doesn’t even count as a poncho. The thing to do is to wind the yarn and swatch.

I’m getting on fine with Relax2, if slowly – a third round of eyelets was added last night.


I’m going to have tea this afternoon with a neighbour who lives high above us. She owns the picture I would most like to have in the world. It was painted by an artist of some distinction – he’s in the national collections – who used to live on the south side of Drummond Place. It's quite small. It’s called “Going Round to Monty’s”, Monty being the familiar nickname of the famous man who used to live in our house.

It’s November (surely) in the picture, it’s dark, it's wet. The picture shows the whole tenement, thus including the top layer where our neighbour has lived for very many decades. But Monty lived down here, in our house. Climbing up to see her is hard work – I don’t see how she ever gets out at all. But I will be rewarded by spending an hour with the picture again. 


  1. Karen9:54 AM

    "Sock blank" is the term for the item you bought from Kathy's Knits. I remember a poncho I loved as a child - they work well as an outer layer provided they are long enough to belt round the waist. If it is to go under a coat, rib length sounds good. Think of it as a scarf that doesn't need pinning shut.

  2. Anonymous10:49 AM

    Yes, I believe Karen is correct: sock blank is the term I have heard, too. They were wildly popular in the United States for a while, often sold unpainted, in which case you were to be both painter and knitter. I haven't seen blanks offered in several years.

    1. KnitPicks ( still sells "bare" (undyed) blanks. Search on "sock blanks" on their site. Theirs are double-stranded so that after you've dyed the blank, you can make two identical socks. (Personally, I prefer two socks of related colors clearly meant to be a pair, but not identical.)

  3. Anonymous3:49 PM

    I was just looking at a pattern by Carol Sunday on Ravelry - Bay Laurel. (Sorry I don't know how to link.) It sounds a bit like your Knitter pattern in shape - seems to fall between a shaped cowl and a poncho, and I think rib-length sounds very usable and handy. (If I do Bay Laurel, will probably extend it to rib length for myself...)

    Beverly near Yosemite CA

  4. Anonymous4:54 PM

    I second the info you've already received on sock blanks.

    Not until I read this post did I really grasp that yours is a walk-up apartment (rather slow of me. What did I expect of an historic building in Edinburgh?) How many flights of stairs to reach your topmost neighbor?
    -- stashdragon

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I made two Half Circle Chapel Veils and seamed the side edges to turn into a rib-length poncho -- I can't figure out how to add a link, but the pattern "half circle chapel veil" by Allena Jackson is in Ravelry and you can see my resulting lace poncho in my projects in Ravelry: Kimberly3706. I get loads of compliments when I wear it and have found it to be very wearable.

  7. You can also get a sock blank (already coloured) from: where they are called a Sushi Sock Roll. They even make ones specifically for shawls (the yardage being more than the one for made for socks) but I think the shawl roll is only available through their Sushi Shawl Along club.

  8. =Tamar6:30 AM

    Curses be on all spammers, for they are unthinking robots with no humanity to them.

    How very neat, to be able to visit a well-done portrait of your home without having to go outdoors!

    I was tempted by the sock blanks when they came out but I have learned that I am in some ways very conservative about color and pattern. I like the idea that they could be used as a scarf; that would make it reasonable to pick one based on the existing image without having to guess how it might be altered by being made into socks.

  9. I have also seen them called sock flats.
    I didn't enjoy knitting on itou're knitting ’used' yarn the whole time, and it is extremely kinky.

  10. Google wouldn't let me edit...
    Anyway, if I were intrigued by a sock flat/blank in the future, I would ravel it, skein it, wash it before knitting it!

    Glad you are having a good week and are feeling better.

  11. Thank you for pointing me in the direction of Kathy's Knits. I only had an hour in Edinburgh yesterday after a work meeting, so hared across the city to find yarn, and find it I did! And a pattern! But like you I could have spent a lot more time and money in there :)