Mad May Indeed


Over on the Ravelry group Madelinetosh Lovers, Mad May is in full swing.  Lots of people are knitting with Madelinetosh yarn with the aim of finishing a project within the month of May.  I started a project but I clearly won’t make the deadline.

Above is one finished sleeve.  I knit nearly all of it on my trip from Amsterdam to Bangkok.  I’ve also started the body, knit in the round, but I’m only about 3 inches (7.5cm) along.  I’m here in Thailand, on business (photos taken in my hotel room), and have been working a lot and not having a lot of knitting time.  I only have one day off while I’m here (today) and I’m going to spend 4 hours in a spa getting rubbed, scrubbed and pampered.

Anyway, back to the sweater.  This is a mashup of 2 sweater patterns.  I liked parts of each so put them together in my own kind of concoction.  I’ll detail all that out when the sweater is finished and I know which of my modifications really work.

Here are some closeup photos so you can see what the lace really looks like.  The yarn is Tosh Sock in color Lettuce Leaf which I’ve been hording for quite a long time, waiting for the perfect pattern to come along.  I guess I had to make up my own.

And, yes, you read correctly, Thailand.  The place that has just been taken over by a military coup d’etat.  Luckily I’m not in Bangkok, but in Chiang Mai, up north where life is still peaceful and people just go to work and go shopping and carry on with their lives.  As long as the airports stay open…..

Parnassia in May

We were at the beach before the crowds today.  Actually we were surprised at how quiet it was.  I went for a 5k run and DB sat at a table at Parnassia strandtent as he was recovering from a night with friends in Haarlem.  And his long run will be tomorrow.  Anyway, it was a lovely sunny day in the dunes and at the beach.

I did the usual 5k loop and even in that small distance I saw bunnies (too fast to photograph), 3 groups of highland cattle, 2 groups of wild horses, a shetland pony, lots of furry caterpillars, lots of birds and waterfowl.

I’m sure that tomorrow, Sunday, there will be traffic jams getting to the beach and back.  It’s a lovely place to come hang out or walk around or just sit and read or knit and drink coffee.  But come early or come by bike or train.  But definitely come.

On the Road with Hitchhiker

A while back I asked you to vote for which travel project I should make with 1 skein of Madelinetosh sock yarn in color Mansfield Garden Party.  The voters chose Hitchhiker, and here it is! Isn’t it lovely?

Now, this is seriously the most simple project I’ve ever made.  Ever.  Even when I was learning.  It’s just knit, back and forth, bind off a few, increase a few, on and on and on.  Which makes it great for jet lag but not so interesting for nights in a hotel room.

But just look at this color!  It’s like knitting with an unraveled Monet painting.

I am seriously in love with Mansfield Garden Party, although you have to be choosy about what you make with it.  If you made something that pooled the colors together it would look terrible.  The voters, in this case, were very wise indeed.  Perfect combination of yarn and pattern.

And the squishy goodness of garter stitch is suddenly refreshingly new to me.  Garter stitch is something that I always disdained because, well, it’s just knitting.  Anyone can do it.  Where’s the challenge or interest?  It’s the yarn, in this case, that makes it so very interesting.  Garter stitch turns fingering weight yarn into something warm and cozy against the wind and cold and just looks great.

I knit the scarf exactly per the pattern although I had less yarn so didn’t make it to the 42 points on the one end.  I ended up with 38 points and about 10 inches of yarn left from the skein.  I didn’t finish it as quickly as I thought I would.  It took 2 transatlantic flights (AMS-SFO-LAX-AMS) and 1 European flight (AMS-CDG).

Sunday I leave again for another long flight and nearly 2 weeks in a hotel.  I’m taking a bright green sweater with me.  It’s certainly more complex than Hitchhiker, but I’m willing to take the risk.  Photos coming next week.

Stash Enhancement

I’m discovering that it’s really difficult to keep up the blog while being away from home.  Even if I have time, I don’t have the tools I need to deal with photos and a blog post without photos is just not worth doing.  So I have some catching up to do before I have to hit the road again.

As you know, I was in California for 2 weeks in April.  My last post showed you the fabric I scored while in LA.  Now to show you the yarn I scored, all purchased online and shipped to my Mom before I even got there. It was all waiting for me when I got to her house.  It felt like Christmas in April!  Here we go…

First up, I ordered a sweater quantity (SQ) of Imperial Stock Ranch Erin yarn.  This is the same base that Madelinetosh used to dye and sell as Erin yarn, but they since stopped selling.  It’s non-super wash so much more like “real” wool yarn. Warm and sheep-y.  It’s worsted weight and will make a super cardigan.  I also bought a black separating zipper to sew into it.  I don’t know yet exactly what pattern I will use.  I do plan to knit it this summer while we have lots of daylight.  I can’t imagine knitting black yarn in the dark winters here.

Next up is another SQ of yarn, this time DK weight, DK Twist from  The color is called Ojai Sky.  I know exactly what I’m going to make with it.  Another Neon sweater!

Also from the Madelinetosh web site I bought some 80/10/10 Fingering in color Cardinal.  This 80% merino wool, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon.  This will make a nice lightweight sweater.  It’s almost like the color way Tart, but this is more orange-red whereas Tart is more blue-red.

I also bought yarn from 2 people who were destashing.  I bought 3 skeins, already caked, of Tosh Merino Light in color Begonia Leaf.  Again, another lightweight SQ worth of yarn.

and 1 skein of Tosh Sock in color Citrus.  You can never have too much Citrus.

Finally, from wool2dye4, I bought 10 skeins of DK weight yarn to dye this summer.  It’s 55% BFL (blue faced leicester (sheep breed)) wool and 45% silk.  I didn’t want to open the plastic yet, so you can’t see very well how wonderful this yarn looks. It has a nice twist to it and the silk really shimmers.  I can’t wait to dye it.  I think I’m going to go for a deep blue semi-solid color.

So, a bit more than 5 SQs of yarn.  Not bad, right?  Could have been worse.  I managed to fit this, and my fabric, and 8 sewing patterns, and 2 pompom makers, and 6 knitting magazine, along with some other shopping, into my suitcase.  And I was just a few ounces/grams under the weight limit.

I’m now looking forward to another long flight and some quality knitting time.  If you have pattern recommendations for any of the above stash, suggestions are welcome!