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Sunday, 17 September 2017

DJ Winwick Mum

Another weekend already!  I hope you're having a good one!  

It's been another busy week here - small daughter is still loving high school  and had a new friend over to play (it's been a big relief to know that her first couple of weeks have been a success and yes, they're still at that age when they "play", which is lovely) and big daughter went back to university this weekend.  She's not very far away from us and it suits us all very well for her to come home whenever she feels like it, although I'm not sure that I always appreciate all the washing that comes back with her, or the food that disappears from the fridge when she leaves again!

You'll see that the title of this post is "DJ Winwick Mum" - no, I'm not about to become a disco queen or take to the airwaves, but as I was writing it struck me that all of the things I want to tell you about are connected, so I hope you'll forgive my DJ links! :) 

First up, Yarndale looms ever closer - it's next weekend!   Are you coming up to Skipton?  You are going to be stunned by this year's Yarndale Sock Line if you are - there are so many pairs of socks and they are all beautiful.  Such a range of sizes too, we're going to be keeping toes cosy from the tiniest to the largest pairs of feet and that's amazing!


spent a lovely day in Skipton with Lucy on Tuesday and brought home another huge bag full of sock parcels - Thursday afternoon saw me logging them all and taking more photos.  This is what my cloud drive looks like at the moment ...




socks, socks and more socks!  I'm a bit behind with getting them all up onto Pinterest as I managed to max out my camera storage but the camera didn't stop me clicking away - I only realised when I came to upload the photos and discovered that they weren't there!  Aargh!  I've got some of them up on the Yarndale Sock Line 2017 Pinterest board now and the rest are coming, I promise - once I've photographed them again!  Don't worry if you didn't get your socks to me in time, if you're coming to Yarndale then just bring them with you and hang them on the Sock Line yourself.  I'll photograph the socks that come in over the weekend after Yarndale so they'll still go onto the Pinterest board before they go out to their new homes.

Still on the subject of Yarndale, I have finally had a minute to work out a swatch in Blacker Yarns' new Brushwork yarn which is their birthday for this year.  It's going to be launched at Yarndale so you can squish it there, and then it will be available on their website until stocks run out - like all of their birthday yarns, it's a limited edition one so if you like it, you need to buy it!

I wrote about the yarn a few weeks ago and showed you the gorgeous colours that it's been dyed in - it's a very special blend of Scottish Bowmont, Castlemilk Moorit and British Alpaca - but at the time I hadn't had chance to do more than squish it myself.  The sample that I have is a lovely heathery purple colour and I've knitted up a small swatch to see how it comes out.

This is how it looks.  I struggled to capture the exact colours with my camera; there are subtle variations throughout the swatch and even the heathery shade changed from moment to moment as the strength of the light changed.  This is it in one moment ...



and here's the same swatch two minutes later.  Can you see the difference?  I think this will make for a very attractive garment which will pick out colours in a whole range of clothes that might be worn with it.


I started off using the pattern from my Watercress Leaves socks, and I think it works very well.  The stitch definition isn't quite as crisp as with some other yarns, but I think that works well with the more muted shades of the yarn palette and it certainly wouldn't put me off knitting a lace pattern with it.  


Blacker Yarns are in the process of re-working some of their patterns in new yarns (you can see their free pattern downloads here), and I also think this yarn would work well with one that I've had in my Ravelry queue for a long time which is Lush by Tin Can Knits.  I have no idea when I am ever going to find time to knit myself a cardigan, but I live in hope! :)  This is how the yarn looks in plain stocking stitch.  I really like it - it's soft and smooth and light too, which would make it ideal for lots of projects.  I haven't found a yarn by Blacker Yarns yet that I don't like, and this one is no different.  It seems that they have the magic touch when it comes to blending yarns!


Do go and have a look at the new yarn if you're coming up to Yarndale - I'd always recommend going and having a look at the Blacker Yarns stand anyway as it's lovely - but it's always extra-special to be one of the first to see a brand new yarn too!

Now we're switching to something else brand new - I'm getting good at this!  Do you remember the cat nip socks?  I first mentioned them back in April and because they were a commission, I could only show you a few pictures.  This is one of them ... 


Oh, I so enjoyed knitting these socks!  They were knitted with West Yorkshire Spinners Candyfloss and Pink Flamingo yarns and I just couldn't put them down!  Well, now the cat is out of the bag (don't groan, I'm on a roll here!) and I can tell you that the pattern for these socks is now available ...


It's called Simple Rib Socks and is published by West Yorkshire Spinners.  You'll find it at local yarn shops who choose to stock it and also from the WYS website as a digital download or a paper copy. They are knitted in the round (the pretty pink straight needles are for decoration!) and if you can knit my basic Sockalong socks, you can knit these ones.  The ribbed pattern is very simple and also suitable for any of the WYS yarns so the socks are ideal for both male and female feet.  There are two versions of the pattern - one for the contrast heel and toe socks and one for the plain socks which are pictured on the inside of the leaflet.

I can't tell you how proud I am to see my socks as a published pattern, and I'm delighted to have been able to work with WYS on these too.  And I've loved seeing this photo on social media - it's kept me smiling all weekend!

Are you ready for my last link?  Can you guess what it is?


Hooray!  Full marks if you guessed it was going to be big daughter's boyfriend's ginormous socks, knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners Rum Paradise.  He's very pleased with how they're coming along, which is just as well as I'll be expecting him to wear them every day until the socks fall apart :)  I've cast on 84 stitches so these are definitely the biggest socks that I've ever knitted, but those delicious stripes make the knitting easy and it's only taken me a short while to get to the heel flap.  I'm going to be taking them to Yarndale so that I can knit a few rounds in quiet moments - you never know, I might even get one of them finished!

I think you've probably had enough of me and my cheesy links for one blog post so I'm going to stop here, wish you a lovely rest of your weekend and I'll be back soon!


16 comments:

  1. Hi Christine, wishing you all the very best at Yarndale this year. It was such a privilege to meet both you and Lucy last year, I hope that I can do it again some time. I love your new sock pattern and how lovely to have a commission. :) It looks easy enough for the likes of me who still hasn't quite mastered the perfect Winwick Mum sock yet!! I'll get there. Anne xx

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    1. It was absolutely brilliant to see you at Yarndale last year, Anne, I can't believe how fast the year has gone and that it's Yarndale again at the weekend! The Simple Rib sock is definitely easy enough for you - and don't do yourself down, I've seen your other projects! Stay well xx

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  2. Hi Christine (from across the other side of the world)
    I purchased your book several months ago and have now knitted 10 pairs of socks. Absolutely love it.
    Have just read your blog about big daughter's boyfriend's ginormous socks. What size feet does he have please? Two of my sons have size 14 and have wondered about how many stitches to cast on.
    Love reading your blog and seeing all the lovely yarny things. Wish I could make it to Skipton this weekend. Lucy is another blog I follow.

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    1. Hello Pam, it's lovely to hear from you, and thanks for buying the book! The ginormous socks are for size 14 feet so similar to your sons' feet. I took lots of measurements for these socks, not just around the ball of the feet as O is an American Football player and his calf size is different to his foot size. I've started with 84 stitches and after the heel I'll be reducing to 76 stitches, and I'm going to be doing a 3" heel flap. The length of his foot is 29cm (just short of 12") so that should keep me busy for a while! I'll keep you posted on the blog as to how they turn out and if you want a hand working out the stitch numbers if you're going to brave socks this size yourself, give me a shout :) xx

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  3. I'm going to Yarndale on Sunday. I shall pop along and say hello, if you're not too swamped :) Congratulations on the new pattern. The socks look fabulous! Finally, 84 stitches?! That is devotion above and beyond the call of duty o.O I think it's about time big daughter learned to knit socks herself. I hope the curse only applies to jumpers ;)

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    1. Ooh yes, do come and say hello! It's always much quieter on Sunday so hopefully we should get chance to speak to each other. At least there's not much thought in a plain sock so even 84 stitches isn't too bad when you get going :) xx

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  4. Reading this on the IoW ferry. Sad to miss Yarndale but birthday has to be celebrated!? Lovely article and the simple rib socks will be the next on my needles. When I finish a complicated and big baby blanket!

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    1. Have an amazing holiday and a fabulous birthday - I remember now that you said you were going. Fingers crossed the weather is good for you. Good luck with the baby blanket, that should keep you busy for a while! xx

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  5. love the new socks! funny enough i am doing my current pair in 2x2 rib, all the way down to the ankle, am using your basic pattern again too, have only just started the gusset. love your patterns, so easy to follow. please always keep them that way.
    hope Yarndale is a big success again, love what you do with the sock line, one day i'll send a pair your way but first have to practice!
    hope the weather stays nice for it as well.
    thanx for sharing

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  6. Can't come to Yarndale due to family commitments, but I'm sure it'll be a great success as usual. Love the new humungous socks! I'm working on a pair of toe-up, two-at-a-time, magic loops for hubby. First time I've done 2 at a time. Just finished turning the heel, so plain sailing now. Just look what you've started - I'm an addict now!

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  7. Hi Christine, wonderful to hear everyone is settled into their new routines. Change is always difficult, especially after a summer of lazy, wet mornings! The weather is much better today, if it's like this on Saturday we might be back in sandals! So looking forward to meeting you at Yarndale on Saturday, I can never ever thank you enough for putting your sockalong pattern out there, I have it loaded on all devices! And after a 6 month break (blame Lucy :D) I am back sock making again and can't wait to try your new pattern. My first time coming to Yarndale, I struggle in crowded areas and I'm trying my best to ignore the little voice in my head saying, are you sure about this!!! I'm going to bring a sock with me to work on my journey, I'm only travelling from the other side of Burnley, just a couple of buses and I'm bringing my sketch pad and pencil so hopefully they will help keep me calm! Always feels weird when you are a full time carer having time to your sel, I am excited beyond words tbh!!!! Looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere :) I imagine you are busy this week with preparations, fingers crossed for the weather. See you soon, Gez xx

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    1. That's going to be an exciting weekend, Gez, and I'll look forward to seeing you too! Yarndale will be busy on Saturday but there are places where you can sit down for a minute out of the crowds - you often see people having a moment with their knitting and a brew! I'm quite sure that you're going to be swept up in the excitement of it all, though, so don't worry about it! :) xx

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  8. Well done to all who have knitted socks for the sock line (I saw my pair in the pics) Have a wonderful weekend, looking forward to reading all about it after the event.

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    1. Oh good, I'm glad you found your socks! Yes, I'll definitely be telling you all about it! xx

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  9. I met you on Saturday, and I was so happy when you told me to be proud of my Socks, I am a lone knitter so compliments are rare. Yarndale moved me to tears, so much talent and inspiration. Wishing you a peaceful woolyluscious week, ang

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    1. Hello Ang, thanks for your message! It was lovely to meet you at the weekend, I'm so glad you enjoyed Yarndale. You should always be proud of whatever you make (and especially socks, but of course I'm biased ;) ) - and it can be tough being a lone knitter sometimes so it must have seemed overwhelming to be in the company of so many others! Are you on Facebook? If so, you might like to join the Winwick Mum knit n natter group - it's full of people who share an appreciation for each others' knitting, many of them lone knitters like you who have found our community to be somewhere where they are not alone. Lots of people have joined FB just to be in the group and never use their personal profile for anything else and that can work very well. Here's in the link in case you want to take a look: https://www.facebook.com/groups/387902971401325 Hope to see you at Yarndale again next year! xx

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