Category Archives: Reviews

Mad for Madtosh

I confess I’m one of those people whose knitting ambitions far exceed the number of available hours in the day. I’m also too easily pulled by the promise of a few skeins of gorgeous hand dyed yarn . As a result I’ve often got several projects on my needles at the same time.

These are all sweaters presently in the works:

clockwise from upper left: Grandpa Cardiagan by Joji Locatelli in DK Twist, Tuck by Veronica Avery in Tosh Sock, Beatnik by Nora Gaughan in Vintage

clockwise from upper left: Grandpa Cardiagan by Joji Locatelli in DK Twist, Tuck by Veronica Avery in Tosh Sock, Beatnik by Nora Gaughan in Vintage

There’s a pretty nice range of projects on the go: each uses a different yarn weight, there are a couple of pullovers and a cardigan, and the styles range from casual to more tailored. At the same time they share a couple of things in common. Most obvious of these is that each of these three projects are being knit in a Madeleinetosh yarn:  Grandpa Cardigan in DK Twist,  Tuck in Tosh Sock, and Beatnik in Vintage.

While there isn’t a Tosh yarn base that I haven’t loved, it’s the colour that always pulls me in. I’m especially fond of the glazed solids with their subtle variegation’s that add a richness to the knitted textile fabric that seems I’ve only ever seen with hand-dyed yarns, and which to me are one of the subtle and very elegant distinctions of a beautifully hand-knit garment.

Madeleinetosh offers so many enviable colourways that I couldn’t choose without the help of serendipity. Knitty City, one of my favorite NYC yarn stores, just happens to be a hop, skip, and a jump from my daughters’ pediatrician and my hair stylist. While this is dangerous for my pocket book it is most advantageous for a little creative inspiration. Their Madeleinetosh stock must move quickly because they seldom have a sweater’s worth of a single colour but on a few occasions I’ve lucked out and found enough yarn in a single, to-die for colourway to make myself a sweater. The Vintage in Candlewick and Tosh Sock in Filigree I’ve currently got on my needles are two such hauls.

The DK Twist in Lolita was part of a particularly optimistic binge at the online shop that also included sweater quantities of DK Twist in Baltic and 80/10/10 Fingering in Seaglass, and Twist Light in Thistle:

Madeleinetosh Sweater Stash

Madeleinetosh Sweater Stash

Given the enormous distribution and popularity of Madeleinetosh yarn it’s clear that the founder and owner Amy Hendrix must be at the helm of a substantial enterprise. Nevertheless, the company has the feel of a small, woman-led, artisanal operation and that’s just the kind of business I’d like my retail therapy to support.


I confess I’m a little slow when it comes to pop culture…. but this is something else!  Apparently, back in 2013, 1. 3 million viewers in Norway (that’s about a quarter of the population) tuned into a 13 hour program that chronicles in more or less real time the knitting process, a program that was part of a broadcast movement called Slow TV.

The idea brings to mind something of the slow films of Andy Warhol or As Slow as Possible by John Cage though this television movement has apparently tapped into the popular zeitgeist (at least in Norway) while the Warhol and Cage projects perhaps remain a bit conceptual even granting their sensory pleasures.

Here’s a little more about the marriage of Slow TV and knitting:

You can watch a bit of the regular program that spun off from the original marathon broadcast here.

Some years ago I enjoyed the company of other knitters in a couple of knit circles. Alas, both groups have since dispersed. Since then,  I sometimes binge watch a television program while I’m knitting in the evening. Maybe Slow Knit TV is the best of both worlds.

Or not.