Thursday, September 25, 2014

Here I am, beset as often these days by severe anxiety about the journey to Kirkmichael – but mitigated in this case by the reflection that this very evening Greek Helen will be here – or, at any rate, there, in Strathardle – and we can settle all of life's problems a quattr'occhi, in the lovely Italian phrase.

Or, all but one. I began to look about for yarn for Archie's sweater yesterday, and have fallen utterly and irretrievably in love with Madelinetosh DK in a shade called Composition Book Grey. The problem is that Loop and Jimmy Bean put together don't have nearly enough of it – there's lots of Archie. Stripes wouldn't be wanted, indeed would distract from the surface interest of a tosh yarn knit simply.

I think the thing is to ring up Loop and see what they advise. I can wait, if they can get some eventually. Or email Jimmy Bean. Tosh yarns don't have dye lots. If the skeins differ too much one could blend them in the familiar way, by alternating rounds of one and another. Or one can Bash On Regardless, my usual approach.

I finished hemming Rams & Yowes. Next is a light touch with the steam iron and then five and a half miles of applied i-cord around the periphery. Or should I block it altogether before attempting that? I'm a little bit worried about whether it will be possible to keep straight. The turning point of the border is a ten-row garter stitch stripe in black – that is, five ridges of which the central one is meant to be the fold line.

The black is very black. Will I be able to see where I'm going? One can but try. Any serious difficulty and the i-cord edging will simply be abandoned.

Another of life's problems that Helen couldn't help with, was a mysterious lack of connectivity this morning. I seem to have solved that by rebooting and waiting while 12 updates were installed. I'll now try putting this message in a bottle and casting it out to sea for you to find. Just at the moment, the re-boot seems to have done away with the Potentially Unwanted Program Blocked pop-ups from McAfee. It's an ill wind...

Back Tuesday or Wednesday, insh'Allah.


  1. I've done a quick search on ravelry and there are 3 stash holders that would trade or sell 5 skeins each. Good luck!

  2. 15 in stock here in Germany 15 in France 13 in stock here and 12 here, I think the customs rules are the same as the EU?

    Hope that helps, Archie is a lucky young man

  3. I do love that shade of Tosh. Plus I love the name.

  4. I suppose the attraction of Tosh is that it is super wash? Love the shades of Tosh...not thrilled with the superwash aspect. Wool should be wool, especially for sweaters, to hold the shape and keep the wearer warm. For DK weight I'd suggest Jamieson's Spinning can't do better than Shetland yarn for a fellow at school in Scotland. This yarn comes in many shades of grey....both natural and dyed :)

  5. Thanks for letting us know your schedule so we won't be expecting you. I will miss you every morning until you return and hope you have a wonderful time.

    And thanks for giving me a name for my system of knitting with hand-dyed yarns (and other things): Bash On Regardless. (Is that copyrighted?)

  6. I was going to suggest Ravelry as well as the poster who did. Good luck finding enough. And have a lovely long weekend with your family.

  7. Ellen1:29 PM

    Tosh yarn not only varies greatly by dye lot, but sometimes within a skein. I firmly believe they should be examined before purchasing, and definitely from the same place. In the USA, often has large quantities and will try to make the best color match. perhaps they can email.

    While you are with Helen, please turn the issue of travel plans to the wedding into her hands...thats what daughters are for!

  8. Eat, Sleep Knit has 30 skeins in stock in your color. They are in Georgia so shipping would probably be less than from Jimmy Beans. Good luck in the hunt.

  9. Oops - fat fingered the amount - it's 13!

  10. Anonymous4:37 PM

    Jean, how many skeins of Madtosh DK do you need? I would be happy to contact the Madtosh Crafts store in Fort Worth to see if they have the amount of skeins that you need in Composition Book Grey. I have seen that shade in the store just a couple of weeks ago, and it is lovely. Madtosh Crafts doesn't sell online, but I would be happy to buy it and mail it to you, if that would help you. (Any excuse for me to go to the Madtosh store is fine with me!)

    Mary G. in Texas

  11. I noticed that you started your blog 10 year ago today so happy blogiversary!

  12. I live quite near Eat, Sleep, Knit, and would be happy to help pick matching skeins if needed (email is melfinatheblue at gmail dot com). Here's hoping you have a great time in the country and man, that Archie's a lucky fellow. Mmm, Tosh sweater.
    You probably already know this, but maybe a direct light shining on the black yarn will make it easy enough to work with. It helps me, but I know my eyes are much younger than yours.

  13. Anonymous8:06 PM

    Webs has 31 skeins if Madtosh pashmina in the DK weight in Composition Book Gray. It is more expensive, but does have more yardage than the super wash DK. The website is

  14. Anonymous3:11 PM

    Dear Jean,
    I love my Composition Book Grey but wanted to warn you that mine is definitely a purple blend.....depending on how Archie feels about purple-grey, this could be an issue. I actually chose a skein while I was looking for purple, and found the name surprising. It is a lovely subtle color, but I would wan to make sure you were OK with it before making a large purchase for a large sweater!

    Barbara M. In NH