Yarndale Sock Line 2017

Do you know, I think sometimes that I must spend my life wandering along in a bit of a daze.

When I announced in January of 2015, “Right, that’s it, I’m going to write some tutorials to show people it’s really not hard to knit socks”, I never imagined that the Sockalong would be as useful or as popular as it has been.  Later that same year, when the idea of the Yarndale Sock Line came along, I had no idea that it would now be in it’s third year and we would have more socks than ever before to give away to people who need them.

And when I say “more socks”, I mean “more socks”!  In our first year, we had 75 pairs to donate, last year we had 160 pairs and this year we’ve got … not so fast!  I like to make you wait for this bit 🙂

Here’s a photo one of my minions helping me to unpack the first of the socks.  Small daughter had a surprisingly long attention span for this and we rattled through the packets, logging and photographing each pair of socks, in good time.

I like to make sure that I have a note of every pair of socks: where they come from, the colour, the size and who made them as it helps me to identify the socks and where they are going to go after Yarndale.  I think that last piece of information about who made the socks is especially important as I like to be able to tell you where the socks have gone later.  It completes the circle nicely, I think.  Every single one of these pairs of socks have been knitted with love for someone that the knitter will never know.  I do go on about this a bit but I think it’s important to keep saying it, because in our world where the media likes to focus on what’s going wrong, we need to remember that some things are going right.  I like to think that when I tell you that the pair of socks that you knitted has gone to, say, a homeless hostel or a children’s hospice, you will smile, your heart will smile and that moment of connection will send love and positivity out into a world that needs all the love it can get.

The socks kept coming, right over the summer.  There was a bit of a production system going on!

Another minion was roped in.  I’ve had lots of offers of help this year (thank you to everyone who offered!) but it doesn’t really take that long once we get going and I also think it’s important for my girls to see such generosity first hand.  They’ve got so used to me knitting socks now that I don’t think anyone in my family even notices (actually, I know that’s true as I’ve knitted birthday socks for my husband right under his nose and he didn’t notice)!  Big daughter was particularly struck by the messages written on the backs of the tags.  “That makes them really special,” she said, and I agree.

And still they kept coming!

By the time I headed up to Skipton to help set up ready for Yarndale, we already had over 200 pairs to hang up.  200 pairs!  We’d overtaken last year’s total by 40 pairs of socks and Yarndale hadn’t even started!  Isn’t that truly amazing?  I was VERY glad that I’d bought more line to hang up and lots more pegs!

It became quite obvious pretty early on that I was going to run out of space.  For the last two years, the Sock Line has hung above one of the sets of seating in the Knit n Natter lounge, but I had filled that space and was only half way down one of the bags of socks!

This year, the Yarndale Sock Line expanded!  It moved into the space above the second set of seating and it wasn’t long before that was full too.  And then Lucy handed me a bag of parcels that had arrived after the last time I’d been up to Skipton.  More socks!  It was the most wonderful feeling, opening all those parcels in the Auction Mart, surrounded by the smell of livestock and the noises of exhibitors setting up.  There they are at the bottom of this picture, or at least, some of them.  There were over 30 pair of socks in those parcels which took our total just before Yarndale opened to 246 pairs.  I know!  I had to sit down when I worked that one out! 🙂

We’ve got socks of all sizes.  Children’s socks down to the tiniest baby socks …

women’s socks, men’s socks, socks that would suit anybody …

socks with lace patterns, cables, Fair Isle, first pairs of socks ever knitted …

socks from all over the world, socks that came with their knitters to Yarndale and socks that have travelled thousands of miles to hang in the Auction Mart and be admired.

And admired they certainly were.  I don’t think that anybody who came into the Knit n Natter Lounge could have failed to spot all of these fabulous pairs of socks, not even in the busiest Yarndale moments.  I was asked on more than one occasion if they could be bought (to which I always replied “No, but can I teach you how to knit your own” 🙂 ) but the joy of these socks is that they are a gift and more than that, a gift without obligation, which makes them very special indeed.

At one point on the Saturday, I had so many pairs of socks that I ran out of space to hang them up.  You can just see them piled up on the table on the right of this photo!

Oh, and here are some of those messages that made big daughter catch her breath.  They may only have taken moments to write but the effect that they will have will, I am sure, last a lifetime.  I loved reading all of them and I know that whoever gets the socks will do too.

This is how part of the Sock Line looked on Saturday night.  I managed to cram more pairs of socks onto the top lines so that there was more space on the bottom for new pairs of socks which I had been told were coming on the Sunday.

All of the socks on the bottom line here are ones that arrived over the Yarndale weekend (including the parcels that I opened) – and that’s not all of them.  Did you ever think that we’d have so many socks?  I certainly didn’t!

I’m nearly ready to start sending the socks out to their new homes, although don’t worry if you’ve thought of somewhere that might appreciate them as there’s still time to get in touch with me.  I’m looking for places where people can put the socks on their feet straight away so if you know of anywhere like that, do let me know through the comments or email me (the link is in the left hand side bar).  I’ll definitely let you know where they all go (you can see where the previous years’ socks went here) so you can see how many people we’ve been able to send socks to this year.

Thank you so much to everyone who got involved, either for the first time or as a Sock Line veteran.  Your generosity is amazing.  See you next year!

Ha ha, did you really think I wasn’t going to tell you how many pairs we got this year?  You might want to be sitting down for this …

340 pairs!!

Wow!  Just wow!  And thank you! xx

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42 Responses

  1. Linda Smith says:

    Wow! That's amazing! X

  2. Heidijo says:

    WOW WOW WOW!!!! that is amazing.

  3. cornishgomer says:

    That's great Christine, bigger number next year!

  4. Christina says:

    Wow, that's a lot of socks! The sock line looks amazing Christine, what a fantastic effort. x

  5. Pam H says:

    That's really good. You are to be congratulated, Christine along with your helpers, for all your effort and work in sorting them out. Knitting them seems the easy bit!!

  6. Eva says:

    Congratulations Christine, you've done a good job for the knitters and for the people who is going to receive the socks. For more socks next year and for more good actions to help the others (I hope I have expressed correctly in English) 🙂

  7. Janefrogged says:

    When do next year’s start arriving? Congratulations!

  8. gran ts handknits says:

    Wow that's amazing Thankyou for doing this and letting me knit a pair for your sock line. Gosh I can't remember who took my socks for me and hung them up now. Once again Thankyou for doing that and Thankyou Christine. Will make a pair or two for next year

  9. josiekitten says:

    That's amazing. So glad I got my act together this year!

  10. AnnieOBTextiles says:

    Oh Christine how amazing, 340 people are going to have warm toes and feel the love of this wonderful Sockalong community that you have created. It is quite remarkable that in just 32 short months you have taught and encouraged untold numbers to knit socks and other items; created two FB groups that have brought people from across the world together who are supportive and caring of each other; provided a space for new friendships to be formed and enabled the Sockalongers to share the love of sock knitting with those who are experiencing difficult times. It is so exciting to see all those wonderful socks and gifts of love. Thank you for creating this great community and all the work and organisation that must be involved in making the Sockline such a success.

  11. Meg C says:

    Wow…that’s made me cry…how amazing and very special thanks to you Christine for all your hard work in gathering, sorting, hanging and dispatching ������

  12. Lenore says:

    What a fantastic achievement Christine, well done. Now to break the record next year. Xx

  13. Unknown says:

    Well done everyone that donated socks. Well done to Christine and her Minions that unpacked and photographed them. I'm so pleased to be a part of this fabulous idea. I've already got a pair put aside for next year x

  14. One-oh-four says:

    That is just stunning – congratulations! You will have to find a bigger space next year as I predict there will be even more :). It was lovely to meet you and get your advice on my beginner socks – hopefully next year I shall be able to contribute too xx

  15. Shelagh says:

    Crikey! That's a lot of socks! It's quite a feat, the way you catalogue and organise them all.

  16. Francescacheryl says:

    WOW… That IS AMAZING Didn't we do well Absolutely honoured to have been a part of this 🤗 That You Christine for bringing this and all of us together and all your hard work You lovely lovely lady 🤗💐💐💐

  17. Unknown says:

    Just amazing! All that yarny love going out into the world xx

  18. StitchyDragon says:

    Congratulations that is an amazing total! They made a wonderful sight at yarndale but, more importantly, are going to touch 340 lives. Thank you so much for all you (& your girls) do in organising this, I hope to be more organised next year & send you a pair. Have a great week,

  19. michelle says:

    truly awesome

  20. Lilly's Mom says:

    What an amazing job you have accomplished! And, to know that each and every pair of these socks will go to those in need. It's truly a project made with love. You are a blessing to so many people. Hugs, Pat

  21. Susan M says:

    A-maz-ing! How wonderful! Well done everyone especially to Mum and her girls. How nice to have some good news.

  22. Fil says:

    That is fantastic Christine – I feel really emotional reading this. Well done. I'm just on to my second pair of socks from you're wonderful sock along – there'll be something for Sock Line for next year I think.
    By the way, you might be interested in this great knitting project that was done on the border over here in Ireland. Knitters can do anything 🙂 fil-campbell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/knitting-border-together-watwb.html

  23. linda says:

    That's just amazing and you do an amazing job organising it all. 🙂 x

  24. Unknown says:


  25. Susan Rayner says:

    Absolutely brilliant – it makes me feel very proud to be a small part of something so wonderful and generous!! Well done everyone!! And Christine for organising it all!

  26. Andrea Clare says:

    That's fantastic news! Amazing! Such a wonderful idea. I was so impressed seeing all those beautiful socks at Yarndale. Hoping to join in next year!

  27. Wendy says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I am quite teary eyed, and only wish that I could knit faster so that I can participate. (It takes me a while; I haven't a lot of time – yet) I am hopeful for next year because you are right – there is so much noise about all the Awful in the world, yet this is something happening right under our noses. (literally) And it grows as we knit. And the seed was a small one; your desire to show people how to knit socks. You gave us and 340 others a great gift. Again, thank you.

  28. Unknown says:

    That is so impressive. Congratulations. I am really glad to be starting out on my sock journey – hope I’ll be able to contribute next year.

  29. happy hooker says:

    Like others have said, this was such an emotional post. I'm so pleased I was able to send in a couple of pairs and it makes my heart sing to think that someone out there will receive "my" socks and my love. You've started something wonderful Christine, that can only grow. Thank you.

  30. Ruth says:

    Fantastic! And what a wonderful post xxx

  31. Inez says:

    Wow! That's incredible! Well you inspired to start knitting. I've got my yarn and needles ready and your great tutorial! I've been crocheting blankets over at Attic 24! I live in Southern California and do use a blanket or two. But it's not cold like you're neck of the woods!? But I'm determined to start those socks. Just need to finish a blanket I started from Attic 24! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  32. Libby Johnston says:

    Fantastic and I found my socks in a photograph. 500 pairs next year?

  33. Snickelfritz says:

    That's pretty wonderful. I learned to knit sock using your book and have knitted dozens of pairs since. So many people are wearing my socks now and I keep knitting them. My grandson says that he loves grandma's socks because they are so soft. Thank you, Christine for teaching me how to knit socks. It's a joy. Glad you received so many wonderful pairs for Yarndale.

  34. Unknown says:

    Wow that's amazing. Next year I'll get my act together and send you some.

  35. Lynette says:

    OMG! That's incredible! I had no idea of the scale of this project. What a wonderful thing to do for others. I shall certainly be donating to next year's appeal. Well done everybody, you've certainly madea difference to someone's life xxx

  36. Helen says:

    May I suggest somewhere that some socks would, I am sure, be so welcome, Christine? The Ardgowan Hospice, 12 Nelson street Greenock PA15 1TS Scotland. I grew up in this lovely area of Greenock, and the building that is now the hospice was right next to my primary school, of the same name. It is a wonderful place, and I would be so grateful if you might consider them. Thanks for organising the Sockline, I am so happy to be involved and will certainly be joining in again next year. Helen in Scotland xx

  37. Julie says:

    To pinch a well known phrase A-MAZ-ING and FAB-U-LOUS = well it is Saturday and i'm getting my latest knitting project ready for tonights Strictly episode LOL
    Well done Christine, a lot of hard work on your part to make this generous thing happen.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Hello Christine
    I know this is likely not the place for this question, but I'm not sure where else to put it. My question: In knitting socks, how do you weave in the ends invisibly? I'm sure I saw an explanation at one time, but have not been able to find it again. Do you show it on a video?
    Thank you for any help! – Ruth

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Hi Ruth, I think this may be what you're looking for: winwickmum.co.uk/2017/05/contrast-cuff-heel-and-toe-socks-free.html It's a tutorial on how I weave my ends in with a video as well 🙂 xx

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Christine,
      Thank you for the quick reply. I've looked through the tutorial and while it is very comprehensive, what I was really wanting to know is how to weave in (invisibly) the long tails from the cast on and the kitchener stitch after you've completed knitting the sock. Does that make sense?

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Ah right, yes I know exactly what you mean. No, I don't have a tutorial for bit as I think that everyone has their own style. For the tail end at the cuff I use mattress stitch and sew the gap on the inside of the sock, and for the toes I usually just go in and out of each stitch bar down the decreases at the side of the toes with my needle, then back up again, then back down again. The main thing is to make sure that the end of your yarn isn't going to come out again and that you don't give yourself a lump when you weave the yarn in that will annoy you after all the effort with the Kitchener stitch. You might even choose to turn the sock inside out and weave in and out of the stitches on the wrong side. There's really no right or wrong way to do this, just go with what feels best for you 🙂 xx

  39. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, that does help some. I have 3 pair socks that I've finished and they're all awaiting the ends to be woven in. If you ever do another video, I would enjoy actually seeing how you do that. I have had trouble with it showing on the right side of the sock and I've noticed it never shows on yours. Ruth

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