I feel like we are finally at a place with Madeline Tosh where we are consistently and reliably stocked in these beautiful fibers. It was a little touch and go for a while, and we seemed to be waiting endlessly, over and over again, for shipments that would be sold as soon as we received them. I think that time is over, and it makes it possible for me to freely suggest these incredible fibers for the projects I discuss on the blog.
We all know Madeline Tosh yarns. These were some of the first big hand-dyed yarns to hit LYSs, and Madeline Tosh has been in demand consistently since its introduction. There’s a lot of hand dyers out there, but Madeline Tosh manages to maintain a palette that ranges from sophisticated to electric. We love her pop culture inspirations (from Game of Thrones to Stranger Things). Plus, Madeline Tosh thoughtfully sources their fibers from sustainably raised livestock around the world.
Our favorite yarns at Wool & Grace are Vintage and Tosh Merino Light (henceforth referred to as TML for the sake of brevity). Vintage and TML are both easy to care for and can go in your washing machine (on a cold, gentle cycle!), and this easy care makes them a really nice choice for hand knits for little ones. Vintage is a worsted weight yarn with a lot of twist, making it very easy to work with as it bounces off the needles. TML is a fingering weight yarn, a single ply that is very soft, and is a favorite for scarves, shawls, wraps and also for lightweight sweaters.
I love to recommend Vintage to our knitters who are making up gifts for babies and children. You’ve probably read my suggestions for basics like Baby Sophisticate, Entrechat and Little Coffee Bean. The wonderful thing about using Vintage is that the gorgeous dyes allow the yarn to do a bit of the work, adding the look of texture or some interest into simple stockinette stitch. Another wonderful baby sweater is Gramps, from Tin Can Knits, which takes the adorable “little man sweater” to another level.
Vintage knits beautifully into baby blankets as well. The Chevron Baby Blanket from Espace Tricot is a great way to mix colors of Vintage, the subtle (or not so subtle) hand dyed quality of the yarn can add texture to one chevron stripe, while others can read more solid.
Two other great baby blankets would be On the Porch by Fifty Four Ten Studios using one color of Vintage, or the Super Easy Crib Blanket from Purl Soho, using 7 colors of Vintage in a simple color block.
Vintage is dreamy to wear around the neck as a wrap or a scarf. Check out Gryer by Isabell Kraemer, using three colors of vintage for an oversized, triangular shawl. The Hipster Shawl by Joji Locatelli is a relatively new pattern, simple garter stitch with a fun eyelet-type look to it. Vintage is so squishy that it wraps beautifully around your shoulders and neck.
I’ve seen a number of Weekender sweaters (designed by Andrea Mowry) beautifully knit up in Vintage particularly using the speckled yarns! I’d love to see a version of this effortless to wear pullover using a color like Found Pottery.
Humulus by Isabell Kraemer has also been knit up beautifully using Vintage. Using the semi-solid dyes for the color work add a layer of interest to that stranded color work section of the sweater. Plus, this seamless sweater will get some structure from the stranded color work, making a super wash yarn a totally appropriate choice for this project.
Let’s be clear: Tosh Merino Light is absolutely magical. It is so soft. Despite its single ply it’s incredibly easy to work with. Knit up it gives us a sense of coziness and lightness all at once. You can really play with gauge with this yarn, giving yourself a tight knit for a sturdy baby sweater (and totally appropriate since it can go in your washing machine) or loose and light for a shawl or wrap.
I needed a good travel project for our recent 5-year Anniversary Retreat (SO FUN!) and I grabbed two skeins of TML from my stash that I’d been saving for I-don’t-know-what and decided to cast on the Kline Shawl (design by Jennifer Dassau), and the last week of knitting has hammered home why people never get tired of this yarn.
Wonderful projects that have come up on our Instagram feed or in our blog recently that are perfect for TML Include Breathing Space and Confetti, both by Veera Valimaki or Vasa, a simple striped sleeveless top by Diana Walla.
Also consider knitting up The Easy One (by Joji Locatelli) using TML. This choice will give you a sweater with a little more drape (and therefore a little femininity) than with Loft, the yarn its written for.
I’m still riding my wave of obsession with color work (from my Ninilchik Swoncho) and I’ve been taking a closer look at Caitlin Hunters designs. Sunset Highway, a beautiful color work sweater and Cardamom Coffee (a color work hat) are both wonderful projects that are perfect for TML.
TML knits into the most delicious shawls, scarves and wraps, so here are a few to consider:
- Fade the heck out of your knitting with Joji’s new Fading Point or one of Andrea Mowry’s shawls like Find your Fade or What the Fade ?! (let’s emphasize the ?! please!)
- Lace it up with the reliably popular Starshower from Hilary Smith Callis (a cool cowl/cape combo) or last year’s lace hit Waiting for Rain from Sylvia McFadden
- Brave the brioche with modern plays on color like Briochette by Nadia Crétin-Léchenne or All about that Brioche by Lisa Hannes.
When you use TML you make something that you can wear any time of year, going back to that cozy lightness I mentioned above. It’ll be come that piece that is easy to layer, easy to pack and take along for a bit of warmth or a lot of style.
The verdict is in. Madeline Tosh yarns are always in demand for good reason, and seem to be the first choice for hand-dyed yarns. Think about using these for a project that would suggest a solid yarn, as it will lend an effortless softness with their hand dyed beauty. We’ll never grow tired of Madeline Tosh at Wool & Grace, and we know you won’t either.