2015-06-05 16.12.30

It all began some time ago with wool/silk yarn and some madder dyeing.  There was madder root of antiquity.  I soaked it overnight first.  And tried to follow Jenny Dean’s wisdom.

2015-06-05 16.24.51

It all looked good to me.  Eventually I added wool to the vat to exhaust the dye, and got apricot shades on the wool.

2015-06-07 12.14.17

The yarn came out rather nicely.  So then I was looking for a pattern that might be suitable.  Somehow I slipped a gear and thought I might not just knit the sock that lives in my head.

2015-06-16 08.56.59

I cast on, on the bus to work one morning.

2015-09-11 09.14.28

Here we are preparing for class and waiting for lunch.

2015-09-18 13.14.49

Here we are at a break in a conference, admiring kangaroo paw.  I knit the heel three times at the conference because apparently I can’t be trusted to read a pattern.  The first time I knit as the pattern required, and then had a failure of understanding, so I ripped back, re-knit and then realised what I had missed on the first pass, and followed the pattern again!  That slowed me down.  I am prepared to knit in a conference but not to rip back and pick up live stitches!  I had to do that in breaks.

2015-09-22 13.19.17

Here I am on my way to a formal occasion, wearing a frock and knitting at the tram stop.  I thought perhaps the rare occasion of me in public in a frock should be recorded for posterity.

2015-09-28 14.35.07

Nearing the final moment… just prior to the grafting of toes…

2015-11-10 19.53.45

And here is a less than wonderful mood lighting photo of the socks on their rather wonderful intended recipient, at last!  The pattern  is Treppenviertel by Nicola Susen.  It is a rather lovely ode to the ‘stairs district’ of Hamburg.  As promised, I managed to pick up the pattern after a while, rather than needing to count every row–and this is just what a public transport knitter needs!  Three cheers for frieds, socks, and public transport.

2015-11-14 09.34.22



Filed under Knitting, Natural dyeing

8 responses to “Treppenviertel

  1. Lydia

    Magnificent, maddening, madder socks…..!


  2. Susan

    Great socks! I spent a day (only) in Hamburg this Sept and i didn’t see this area although I had the best tour I have ever had in a city! So I just ‘went’ there and really enjoyed the photos…I get the stairs bit. Fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha ha, love recording wearing a frock for posterity photo.


  4. Rebecca

    What a perfectly planned sock! The madder is wonderful. Have you grown this yourself before? Some of the ladies at the guild grow madder for dyeing but I haven’t heard about the logistics yet. I am propagating woad at the mo.


    • Thanks! I love it when the right pattern idea comes to mind… I am growing madder right now. I must say I am really surprised to find that everything likes to eat this stuff! Caterpillars eat it. Including some from native moths that I don;t see anywhere else in the garden. Grasshoppers like it too. The leaves feel like sandpaper, so to me it is very odd that it is evidently very tasty. Next autumn, I am going to see what lies under the ground, and hopefully move it to a place where it will thrive. Right now it is contained in a half wine barrel, which seemed like a good idea but seems to dry out too much. I am growing woad too. Mine is looking very satisfyingly leafy. I look forward to seeing what you do with it!


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