Happy things

What’s made you happy this week?  For me, it’s been …

💕  walking with the dog

Even when the weather is a bit rubbish and I can hear the rain on the windows before I get up, I know that I’ll feel better once I’ve been out with the dog.  It’s the time in the day when it’s just me and my thoughts (and one eye on my daft hound), there’s nothing to do except put one foot in front of the other and somehow, with the rhythm of my footsteps, everything falls into place so by the time I get home, I’m ready to face the day.

It doesn’t always feel like it sometimes, I have to say, with the rain dripping off my nose and the dog choosing the wrong moment to disappear into the bushes for what feels like an eternity, but I do know that whatever the weather, the fresh air will work it’s magic and by the time I get home, I’m in a much better mood.

💕  knitting socks

You’d have thought that after knitting socks pretty much constantly for over 10 years now, I’d have got a bit fed up of them but I really haven’t.  They fill my days (and, according to my husband, my dreams) and I just love them.

💚  I love them when they’re half-knitted …

like big daughter’s boyfriend’s ginormous socks.  I’m onto the second one now, and it’s coming along nicely.  Luckily, he’s far too polite to be chivvying me along whenever I see him, but I do need to get this sock finished soon so that he can wear his new pair.

💙  I love them when they’re nearly finished …

just the toes to be Kitchenered now on this new sock with the New Leaf no-nylon yarn that I’m working with.  It’s been interesting to knit with, quite different to anything else that I’ve got on my needles at the moment – beautifully soft but not a mindless knit which isn’t a bad thing, just different.

The yarn is so brand new that it’s not even up on the website yet, but that will change on Friday (24 November) when the yarn is launched if you want to check out the New Leaf Yarns website (2022 update – New Leaf Yarns is no longer trading) – do be warned, though, that the alpaca blend yarns there are seriously gorgeous and you will want to spend money!  There will be a review of this yarn next year when I’ve road-tested my socks for six months, but what I would say to you now is that a beginner might struggle with this as it’s quite fluffy (which can be a hindrance if you need to frog your knitting on a regular basis) and it does split in places.  For a more confident knitter, however, it’s a very natural type of yarn, it feels fabulously soft to knit with – you can really tell the difference when you pick up another yarn afterwards even if you thought that was a soft one! – and it’s definitely an option if you’re interested in no-nylon yarns.  It’s a limited edition run based on this year’s shearing which is all part of the fun of a natural yarn!

The pattern is one of my own which I’ll share at some point when I’ve finished my pair if anyone fancies trying it out for themselves 😀

💜  And I love them when I can put them on my feet!

These are my new Whistlebare socks in Cuthbert’s Sock yarn which I showed to you a short while ago.  I ran out of yarn at the toes but Alice at Whistlebare was able to come to the rescue and now they’re finished.  The turquoise is shade Kirk Yelthom and the pink is shade Grubbit Law, both named after places close to the Whistlebare farm.  Oh, I love love love these socks!  They feel very luxurious on my feet, as soft and silky as they were to knit, and I am so looking forward to wearing these out and about.  As it’s a no-nylon yarn, a lovely blend of mohair and Wensleydale which both come from the Whistlebare farm, there’ll be a review of how they’ve worn in about six months’ time so do look out for that if you’re interested in no-nylon sock yarns.

The pattern is Magic Mirroron Ravelry, it’s a free download and is actually a toe-up sock pattern, although it was easy enough to alter to my usual top-down style.  I used the smallest size with this yarn and they’ve worked out beautifully; Cuthbert’s Sock knits up slightly bigger than other yarns so a 56 stitch cast on which would otherwise have been too small for me worked out just fine.  The pattern is easier than it looks and was an enjoyable knit so if you’re looking for something new to cast on, I’d definitely recommend looking at this pattern.

💕  saying goodbye to Yarndale Sock Line socks.

The last of the socks are off to their new homes this week.  I am never sorry to see them go; rather, I’m excited to think that they’re finally going to be doing the job that they were knitted to do.  I’ll be writing about them next week and will be able to tell you where all the socks have gone then.  It was great to have so many suggestions of places to contact this year.  I have been in touch with all the places that were suggested to me, or as best as I could.  Some didn’t answer the phone, some said they didn’t want the socks, others said they would call me back but didn’t – the good news, though is that the people that I’ve sent the socks to are all absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to send them boxes of socks and knowing that they will be going somewhere they are appreciated is the best thing of all.

💕  a treat for me!

Source: Black Sheep Wools

Arne and Carlos are back at Black Sheep Wools this week with another of their fabulous workshops.  The lovely people at Black Sheep asked if I’d like to go along and I said that I most certainly would, even though some people might wonder why … they’re teaching their “easiest sock in the world” class!

Don’t I know enough about socks?  Well actually, no.  I don’t think that anyone can know everything, there’s always something new to learn and we should always remain open to that.  Arne and Carlos’ sock is different to the usual socks that I knit – their sock is a toe up sock with an afterthought heel – and I think it never hurts to know a new method for anything.  And I’d very much like to see them again, it’s always great to catch up with them 🙂

I’ll be able to tell you all about it later on in the week when I’ve been.

You’ll have noticed that I’ve discovered I can put emojis into my blog post.  That’s made me happy as well – although I resisted using the poo emoji, you’ll be pleased to see! 🙂

I hope you’re having a happy week too! 🙂

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20 Responses

  1. Lenore says:

    Hi Christine, terrific that you will spend time with Arne and Carlos again. Love the whistlebare socks. X

  2. Caroline says:

    I love them too; really stunning colours.
    Which pattern would you suggest for a second pair of socks Christine, if you don't mind me asking. I'm fine with knit and purl and increase and decrease but I've never tried cables or lace. I'm up for a bit of a brain stretch….well, use it or loose it they say!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      There's the Easy Cable and the Easy Lace sock pattern in the free patterns which you could try – that comes with a tutorial on reading charts and videos – either of which are a good next pattern. The patterns in Verity Castledine's book "The Sock Drawer" are lovely too, although if you've never tried lace before and want an easier pattern first, I'd say go for my Easy Lace sock and then move onto those 🙂 xx

    • Caroline says:

      Thanks Christine, I'll give them a go after Christmas.

  3. Susan Rayner says:

    I too love walking my dog every morning come rain or shine, snow or sleet – slower now that she is getting old -but still a wonderful way to start the day – every day! I love the Whistlebare socks and they will be ones to make soon – and the Magic Mirror pattern looks lovely. Can't wait to hear about easy socks from Arne and Carlos and I love everything they design! From Christmas Baubles to jumpers – I have tried a lot of them! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      The Magic Mirror pattern is easier than you might think but looks very effective (my favourite kind of pattern!), and I wonder what your dog has made of the recent snow?! xx

  4. Michelle says:

    Have a great time with arne and carlos. I would so love to meet them but Im at work when they are at Black Sheep.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Oh that's a shame. I'm quite sure they will be back to Black Sheep in the future, though, so perhaps you'll get chance another time xx

  5. Michelle says:

    Afterthought heals are soooooo much fun. Enjoy.

  6. Unknown says:

    Hi Christine, love your blogs, and your socks of course.
    I’m rubbish at choosing yarn, usually because there is too many to choose from. So my question to you is without being hugely expensive if you had to pick two and I’m only on my 2nd pair of socks, which would it be please. Xx

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Catherine, I'm a huge fan of West Yorkshire Spinners yarns which knit up quickly, are easy to look after and are a good price, and also Opal or Regia for the same reasons. I think that whilst you're on early pairs of socks it's best to stick with commercial yarns that you know are going to be able to survive being frogged and will knit consistently before you start to branch out and explore other options. You know that you're going to want to one day – but there's no rush 🙂 xx

  7. Unknown says:

    Thank you Christine, I’ve looked at the West Yorkshire Spinners yarn before so maybe that’s what I will try next. As I now live in North Yorkshire:) xx

  8. Christina says:

    A lovely uplifting post Christine, I read it with a cup of warm steaming coffee after a long dog walk. You are right, a good way to start a day. Weekends only for me but nice all the same. Your socks are fab, Love the fluffiness of the yarn, too. I like fluffy. Have a good weekend xx

  9. Bethany says:

    About a month ago I attended a knitting retreat with Arne and Carlos–they are two of my favorite people ever!!!

  10. Julie says:

    I wonder if you have kitchenered the toe of the beautiful fluffy socks, or are like me and find you have half knitted another pair before you get round to threading the bodkin and doing it?
    A post filled with such delights to tempt the pursestrings (or show to the kids this festive season and hope they get the message 🙂

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Yes, the toes are Kitchenered and the second sock is almost up to that point too now. I can't be doing with leaving nearly finished socks on the needles 🙂 xx

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