Did you hear that?  Whoosh!  There it goes again – the sound of the summer holidays rushing past.  How did that happen?

In less than two weeks, small daughter will be starting high school; in four weeks’ time it’ll be Yarndale.  It’s only a couple of weeks since I was sitting under a sun shade with my biggest decision being whether to go for a dip in the pool or to persuade someone to pour me another glass of iced tea, and in some moments it feels like I’ve dreamt it.

Those particular moments have been when I’ve been up in the attic this week.  Our attic is a dusty, cobwebby kind of place and not somewhere that I’d ordinarily choose to spend my days, but my husband has been working away so I’ve taken the opportunity to bring stuff down to sort it out as there’s not much room to move up there.  He’s not terribly tolerant of mess so the girls and I decided we’d make the most of being able to take a couple of days to reorganise their bedrooms and make a start on the attic decluttering.  Our landing has been a bit of an obstacle course for the last week but it’s been worth it.  Furniture has moved from one bedroom to another, a new wardrobe has been built after the door fell off the old one and couldn’t be repaired (thank goodness IKEA is just down the road!) and numerous trips to the tip and the charity shop are now in the pipeline for the week to come.   There’s still a lot to sort out up there although it feels great to have at least made a start, to have organised some of the boxes and collected together some of the random things that have been left up there.  For years, I’ve just put things in bags or boxes and shoved them up through the access point thinking “I’ll sort that out another day”.  Fourteen years later, I’m regretting that plan as it’s now a REALLY a big job …!

Anyway, moving swiftly on to less cobwebby things …

First up, my treat for surviving the attic this weekend is to get to play with the new Blacker Yarnsbirthday yarn called Brushwork which will be launching at Yarndale.  You may have seen some of this around on social media over the last week or so; the Blacker birthday yarns are always a bit special and this one is no different.  Each shade is named after a painting technique and the lovely, heathered colours really do look like watercolours or inks.

It’s a blend of British yarns – Scottish Bowmont, Castlemilk Moorit and British Alpaca and this is what Sonja at Blacker Yarns has to say about the breeds:

“Scottish Bowmont are very special sheep, their fibre is renowned for its superb fine quality.  They were originally developed by crossing Saxon Merino with Shetland, to make a Merino-style sheep which could live comfortably in the UK’s damp climate.  The majority of Scottish Bowmont fibre goes into luxury garment manufacturing, so we were thrilled when Sue (Blacker, owner of Blacker Yarns) managed to purchase a bale for Blacker Yarns.  We immediately knew we had to do something truly special with this one-of-a-kind fibre.

We’ve chosen to blend our Bowmont with 10% Castlemilk Moorit, a breed listed as “at risk” on the RBST Watchlist – there are only around 1,000 of these sheep left in the UK.  Castlemilk sheep produce a wonderfully plump and bouncy fudge brown fleece which adds a depth of colour and a touch of rustic character to this yarn.  To give a little more drape and luxury to this lofty, woollen-spun yarn we added 20% British Alpaca, and we adore the resulting blend!”

You can guess what I thought when I heard this – what amazing socks these would be!  Sadly, Sonja has told me that this yarn is not for socks (although part of me is still tempted to try 😉 ) but she was still kind enough to send me a ball in my favourite colour to squish.  Oh, it’s lovely!  I haven’t knitted it up yet but I’m really looking forward to casting on to see how it comes out on the needles.  I’ll keep you posted!

There is sock news to share with you, as you’d expect.  I’ve finished the first of my Angee socks which I started on holiday and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.  I wasn’t sure if I’d lose the pattern in the colour variegations in the yarn (Wool is the Answer 4ply in shade Blueberry Mash) but it’s OK and in real life, the pattern stands out nicely.


I’m no further on with the other holiday socks as I’ve turned my attention to some commission knitting which I’ll be able to tell you about later in the year, but I’m super-excited about it and thrilled that someone has wanted to commission socks by me!  We never know how life is going to turn out, do we, and I am eternally grateful that mine allows me to fill mine with knitting and socks!

And there’s more sock news.  This is a sock-heavy post!  Last week, small daughter and I headed up to Skipton to meet up with Lucy and the younger two of her Little Peeps.  Small daughter gets on very well with them and we decided to meet up at Billy Bob’s Parlour, a 1950s themed American diner with an indoor and outdoor play area so that we’d cope with whatever the weather threw at us.  As it happened, it was a lovely day and we sat outside with hot drinks whilst the three youngsters threw themselves about on rope swings and leapt off straw bales.  They all looked like Worzel Gummidge when we went into the diner for lunch!

And here’s what I brought back with me …

Three huge bags full of sock parcels.  Wow, thank you so much!  I’m really looking forward to opening these up over next week when small daughter will be on hand to help with the cataloguing.  We had quite a system going with the last lot and she’s been able to indulge in some serious parcel-opening which is a always a nice thing to do but not something that often happens when you don’t get much post yourself.  You can see the socks that have arrived so far here and I’ll be adding the new socks in as we open them.

Right then, I’m off out with the dog now to blow the remaining cobwebs away and enjoy some of the Bank Holiday sunshine instead of shifting boxes.  Have a wonderful rest of the weekend, whatever you’re doing!

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6 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    Gosh Christine, when you finish your attic can you pop south and do mine?!

  2. Julie says:

    School starts tomorrow here for the children, it was so quiet this evening in the garden compared to recent weeks when DH and I sat outside, they must have all been having an early night in readiness for their big day.
    Looking forward to seeing the new socks that have been knitted for this years sock line.

  3. Loraine McLean says:

    I've two pairs that will be posted tomorrow for the Yarndale sock line. It'll be my first time at Yarndale and I cannot wait. I can't believe hubby agreed to come with me. We are having a mini break in Harrogate, so it can't come fast enough xx

  4. My Creative Life says:

    Having another try at sock making. I'm using your book and have purchased a small circular needle. I'm finding it quite a lot quicker than the previous 2 circular needle method. I wasn't keen on having the 2 gappy lines either from using 2 needles. Anyway, I'm enjoying knitting my socks and loving the book + photos, thank you. Cathy x

  5. Unknown says:

    The socks look great in the Blueberry Mash! This is my daughters final year of sixth form and I can't believe how fast her time at school has gone. Enjoy the moments with your children! x

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