Yarndale Sock Line 2016

If you’ve been following the blog since the Sockalong started last year, then you will probably know about the Yarndale Sock Line which was started in time for Yarndale 2015.  If not, then read on to find out about our fabulous charity sock knit!

One of the loveliest sights at Yarndale is the crocheted bunting that is strung up in the entrance hall.  There are quite literally miles of it hanging from the ceiling to welcome visitors to the auction mart and remind people that Yarndale is a festival of creativity.  The Yarndale Sock Line came about after it was suggested that a different type of bunting might be displayed at Yarndale – sock bunting!  Who wouldn’t want to see socks hung up at a yarn festival?  (OK, I am biased but I still think that socks on a line are a sight to make you smile!)

However, there was still the problem of what was going to happen to all the bunting once Yarndale was over, and I had the idea of asking people to make pairs of socks to hang up that could then the passed on to people who needed a bit of hand-knitted love in their lives.  The original blog post is here if you’d like to read it, and the list of those who contributed and where their socks went is here.

I still get reminded that I said it would be nice if 30 people joined the Sockalong Facebook group and now our members stand at over 5,000 – I also said it would be nice to get one or two pairs of socks to pass on through the Yarndale Sock Line and we got 75.  I am clearly an expert at under-estimating how many people want to knit socks and how generous those sock knitters are!  You can see all of last year’s socks here on our Pinterest board.

I’ve been asked if we’re going to have the Yarndale Sock Line again this year – and the answer is a resounding “YES”!

Last year’s socks went to The Rucksack Project for homeless people, Blue Apple Heroes working with ex-servicemen with PTSD, Claire House children’s hospice, The Hope Centre and St Helens Women’s Refuge working with homeless and vulnerable adults, the Women Centre in Kirklees who improve the lives of women, St Oswald’s care home in Winwick, Leeds Women’s Aid who help victims of domestic violence and Wakefield Community Awareness Programme who work with disadvantaged people in Wakefield.  There is a list of the projects and links to their websites here. These centres were suggested by people through the blog and the Facebooks and they were all delighted to receive pairs of socks.  More suggestions are welcome this year!

Would you like to get involved?  It would be lovely if you did!  It’s very easy.  This is what we asked for last year and it worked so well, I don’t see any reason to change it.

1  Knit a pair of socks.  Any size, any pattern, any yarn (although proper sock yarn would be best for anything other than bed socks, please, so that they don’t wear out too quickly) – just a pair of socks that someone will be able to wear.  From plain socks to patterned, those of us who are sock knitters know that a kind of magic happens when someone puts on a pair of hand knits and they will be delighted with their socks of any style.  Top down, toe up, two at a time, even crocheted if that’s your thing – whatever your preference!

To give you an idea of the range of sizes we got last year, they went from tiny baby socks to size 12 men’s socks, with the majority of them being around women’s size 5.

These were the socks I knitted last year (I haven’t started this year’s pair yet!) and I got two pairs of children’s socks from this ball of Superba Circus yarn.

2  Create a gift tag for the socks.  A parcel luggage label is an ideal size, but you can make one of your own if you want to, and if you want to decorate it as well, then feel free.  It needs to be securely attached to your pair of socks and have your name (your first name is fine), the place you live, the size of the socks (in UK size, please) and what the yarn content is (in case anyone has issues with wool).  If there are any particular washing instructions you might want to try to squeeze those on too.

On the back, feel free to write a message to whoever might receive your socks, but don’t give any personal information.

3  Attach the socks securely together – I don’t want any socks going AWOL at the Auction Mart!  You can either do this by using a safety pin or by threading the string or yarn from your gift tag onto a wool needle and taking it through both socks (I’ve had to use another pair here to demonstrate as mine aren’t ready) …

bringing the yarn back through to the front of the socks and tying with a secure knot.

4  Post your socks.  Lucy has very kindly allowed me to use her PO Box address so your socks will be heading up to Skipton for me to collect during the summer.  To be sure that I have time to photograph them and get them up on the Pinterest board before Yarndale, I will need them to arrive by 12 September 2016 please!  Here’s the address:

Yarndale Sock Line

c/o Attic24

PO Box 97


North Yorkshire

BD23 9EN

Alternatively, if you’re coming to Yarndale and would like to bring your socks with you, then please do so – I’ll make sure I have plenty of spare pegs and hope that the Sock Line won’t be too high for me to reach during the weekend!  I’ll still make sure that they appear on the Pinterest board, so don’t worry that you’ll be left out if you bring them on the day.

What to do if you live abroad.  I am well aware that Yarndale is a UK-based festival and that to take part might involve a hefty expense with postage.  So, I thought that instead of sending me your socks from around the world – although you are very welcome to do so if you’d like to – you might prefer to gift your socks locally.  So that you can still join in with the Yarndale Sock Line, follow the steps above and take a picture of your finished socks, complete with the tag so we know who you are, and email it to me.  I’ll print out the picture and hang that on the Line along with the pairs of knitted socks so if you can also let me know whereabouts in the world you are and where you will be gifting your socks, I can add that information so we can see socks being gifted all over the world!

So that’s it.  There’s really not much to it, but I know that the socks we received last year were very much welcomed into their new homes so the effort that is involved in making the socks is more than appreciated.

Do ask if you’ve got any questions – and thank you if you are getting involved this year.  Your bit of knitted love goes a long way!

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37 Responses

  1. Unknown says:

    Yeah thanks for doing again Christine. Look forward to joining in.


  2. Sian says:

    I'm absolutely delighted you are doing this again this year..as I hadn't discovered you last year! Now, just have to decide which yarn to choose..

  3. Jan Maier says:

    I'm in the US, new to your blog, which I'm enjoying very much…especially the photos of sheep…I'm also very new to knitting and I find myself a bit fearful of knitting socks although I yearn to do so for myself, my family and would love to participate in this project. What is the EASIEST pattern for a beginner. I have used a circular needle but never the two pointed kind I see in some patterns.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Hello Jan, it's lovely to see you! Knitting socks is a fabulous thing to do – they're such great projects for spare moments and they're quick to knit too. Have a look at the Sockalong pages (click on the yellow "Join the Sockalong" picture at the top right of the page or the tab underneath the main header) and you'll find tutorials from choosing yarn and needles right through to knitting the socks on three different types of needles. There's a simple pattern there too (it's my basic 4ply sock pattern which is also listed in the "free patterns' tab at the top of the page). If you're on Facebook we've got a lovely group for help and support at Winwick Mum Sockalong 🙂 xx

  4. AnnieOBTextiles says:

    What a wonderful plan, showing care and love through socks. I am pretty slow and have only managed three socks so far this year (yes, that is three socks, not three pairs!) but surely I can manage a child sized pair by September. If I reduce your pattern down by 25% or 50% Christine, will take work? D

    • Winwick Mum says:

      That would be lovely, thank you! You can easily reduce the number of cast on stitches but do so in multiples of 4. I cast on 56 stitches for a UK size 3 pair last year, but you can go smaller than that if you want to – just remember to work on half the number of stitches for the heel flap and when you come to the set-up row for the heel turn, take off 1 stitch for every 4 less than 60 stitches you cast on (so 56 sts would be sl 1, p15; 52 would be sl 1, P14 etc) xx

    • AnnieOBTextiles says:

      Thanks very much for the advice, I'll do that. Looking forward to getting started. Sock four will have to wait!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Small socks grow so quickly you'll soon be back onto it! 🙂 xx

  5. Janet says:

    Thanks for this advice Christine re. adapting sock sizes. I will endeavour to make some in time, may be child size. Are teeny socks OK too?

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Yes, all sizes are very welcome, Janet. Last year the baby socks went to the children's hospice and although it's so sad to think that babies are there at all, it's nice to think that their feet could be cosy in hand-knit love, and I hope that knowing that someone knitted them helped their parents too xx

  6. Unknown says:

    This is the first year I'd heard of the sockline and I'd love to join in! Sadly, I live in the US and shipping costs so much 🙁 Maybe I'll just give it to a charity here and send you the picture. Well, I hope Yarndale goes well!!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Hi Carina, that would be perfect, thank you – a lady in France did just that last year and a picture of her socks and the name of the place she had gifted them to hung alongside the pairs of socks on the line. If you do decide to do that, you can email me at winwickmum[at]gmail.com with your picture and I'll make sure it's included 🙂 xx

  7. Helen Goodinson says:

    Hi Christine, one pair of socks coming up! love Helen x

  8. Unknown says:

    Socks all drying and then they'll be in the post. Fabulous idea Christine. I can't make Yarndale, but I know everyone will have a fabulous time and there will belots more toastie toes this year because of your fabulous idea and the generosity of sock knitters all over the world x

  9. amanda ecc says:

    What a fantastic idea I will certainly be knitting a couple of pairs and will bring them with me to Yarndale.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Ooh, that will be brilliant, thank you! You'll get to hang your own socks on the Sock Line! 🙂 xx

  10. Gez Butterworth says:

    Fantastic! I was wondering if your famous sock line would be appearing again this year! I hope I have time to join in the fun.. I will certainly try! I was brand new to making socks this time last year and will never be able to thank you enough for your time and patience. Your book never gets chance to sit on it's shelf !! I made socks as Christmas presents and know how much they are loved ♥

    Good luck with your sock line Christine xx

    • Winwick Mum says:

      That would be wonderful, thank you Gez! I can't believe it's been a whole year since you started knitting your first socks, you've done brilliantly well this year! xx

  11. Lazy Days & Sundays says:

    Hi Winwick Mum I think this is a great idea and would love to take part. I used to do craft fairs but just don't have the time a the moment. I have quite a few little bootee socks knocking around in a carrier bag without a home. Would these be useful for maybe the womens refuge if they have someone who has a young baby if so will put those in with the socks won't be offended if you think not appropriate just would like them to go to a good home. Mitzi

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Hello Mitzi, your bootee socks would be perfect, thank you! We also sent socks to a children's hospice last year and sadly, they needed tiny socks as well as bigger ones. I'm always open to suggestions for places to approach with socky gifts so if you know of anywhere then do let me know! xx

    • Lazy Days & Sundays says:

      Thanks Christine I will put them to one side ready to go once I've made some for the line. It's a very worthy thing you are doing and so much for taking the time to organise. Mitzi

  12. Kat says:

    Hi Christine, I have a pair all ready. Just need to get a label organised and send them off. I've just finished the first sock for my daughter's boyfriend. Luckily my husband is a size 9 too so he's had to try them on a few times since I've been improvising with numbers of rows to heel and then from shaping to toe shaping. She wanted red, white and blue for him so King Cole Zig Zag has turned out very well 🙂

    • Winwick Mum says:

      That's fabulous, thank you very much! I'm sure your husband hasn't minded being a foot model at all (although he will want more pairs for himself afterwards, I am sure!) xx

  13. Helen says:

    Would it be okay to put my completed socks in the same parcel as Lucy's woolly sheep? Or would that complicate matters?

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Yes, it's absolutely fine to do that – and thank you! If you mark your envelope "socks and sheep" then Lucy will know to take the sheep out before she passes the socks onto me 🙂 xx

  14. Helen says:

    Thanks, Christine. I've not ever attempted socks before, so I'm starting with toddler ones. Almost finished the first one, and I think it looks okay so far!😀

  15. Anonymous says:

    hi, just discovered this via attic24 website – will you do it again next year???

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