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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Socks ... for a change!

It's always exciting when a new sock yarn is launched and this week saw the arrival of the new Florist collection from West Yorkshire Spinners.  It's part of their Signature 4ply range and not specifically a sock yarn at all but is perfect for all kinds of projects - it's just that I am ever-so-slightly obsessed with socks and tend to look at yarns with my sock-obsession spectacles on and never consider knitting anything else!

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the yarn earlier in the year - but of course I left it until the last possible moment before casting on and have spent the last two days with sparks flying off my needles so that I would have something to show you today.  If nothing else, I'm impressed with how fast I can knit sometimes! :)

These are the colours that WYS sent me.  Aren't they pretty?  They're called Violet (on the left) and Foxglove (on the right) but I think you could probably have guessed that! 




There are 13 new shades; six prints and seven solid shades.  All of the colours are named after flowers and the variegated (print) yarn is different from all the others in the Signature range in that the colour changes are very short so it's quite a departure from stripes.  All of the colours are very pretty, though, I'd have had a hard time choosing if I'd had to; I'd say they're perfect for spring socks - or any other project. (Shall we just assume that when I say "socks", you can insert "shawl", "baby clothes", "hats" or anything else you like?  It's going to get a bit boring otherwise! :) )


Luckily, the yarn is typical of the WYS Signature yarns in that it knits up quickly (just as well given my last-minute-ness) and the stitches just zoom around your needles once you get into a rhythm.  I'm always happy to recommend this yarn for beginners for just that reason; it's not splitty or sticky to knit with, it's hard-wearing and you get good value for your money which is always important.  

So this was tea-time on Monday night when I'd realised that I'd better get cracking!  You can see how the pattern is starting to come out - definitely not stripes but actually more like mermaid scales when you stopped to look at them.  This is one of those yarns that I expect will be different with every sock - the stitch count, the tension, the dyeing process will all affect the pattern sequence and one of the joys will be seeing how it turns out.  


In the evening, my husband and I watched an episode of Endeavour on the TV and it was perfect for getting on with the sock.  So I did.  Heel turned, gusset on the go ... this sock was flying off the needles!  

And here it is.  You can see that the mermaid scales (or possibly flower petals?) of the leg section changed across the gusset and the foot; this is just how it will always be with this yarn for the reasons I've mentioned above - and despite my insistence on having my socks match, I actually quite like it.  I know that the second sock probably won't match exactly, but I'm surprised to find that I'm OK with that; it might be because the contrast breaks the pattern up but whatever it is, I find that it's not jarring to my matching sensibilities.  After all, no flower has perfect petals but they are all still beautiful.     


In fact, the more I've knitted this yarn, the more it's grown on me (I can hear you groaning!) and I'm looking forward to seeing more projects being knitted up now that the yarn is available.



What do you think?  Do you like it?  And where is it available from?  Well, anywhere that sells WYS should have it in stock now as it was officially launched on Monday, so do check with your local yarn store as it's important that we support our bricks and mortar stores, although it will be available online as well.  Magnolia Tree Wools* will post worldwide if you don't have a yarn store nearby.  

Let me know what you think if you try it out!

And in other sock news ... the black socks are finished!  Hooray!  We were away in London for a few days at the end of last week as it was half term here, and my train knitting for the return journey was these black socks - I was determined to get them finished!  I was going to tell you about our trip earlier in the week but as you've read, I got a bit sidetracked by new yarn so this week's posts are a bit backwards and you'll get to hear about our London trip (and see this sock still in progress!) later in the week.


Big daughter's sock is nearly finished too.  That was my train knitting on the way to London and I'm almost at the point where I need her to try it on for size; it will have to wait until she's home at the weekend now but I'm hoping that this sock will be done very soon as well.


And yes, there is still secret book sock knitting going on so you can be sure that I'm not sitting about doing nothing!  Thank you very much for all your lovely comments when I told you about it last week, they made me very happy!  I'm planning for it to be ready for Yarndale (ooh, deadline!) so I'll keep my fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly and I can manage that ... it might only mean that big daughter's socks get finished for next Christmas but I'm sure she won't mind!  At least, I hope she won't :)



Huge thanks to West Yorkshire Spinners for sending me the yarn to try out and show you.  *Magnolia Tree Crafts is a sponsor of Winwick Mum which means that I will earn a small commission for any sales made; my disclosure statement is at the bottom of this blog page.


25 comments:

  1. It is such a beautiful yarn! I can't wait to start knitting it myself ... after I finish packing customer orders ;-) Lucy @MagnoliaTreeWools x

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    1. You might just have to put a ball (or two) aside for yourself! :) xx

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  2. So jealous! All that pretty new yarn and Season 5 of Endeavour (which won't make it to the US for some time).

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    1. Ooh, you'll love it when Season 5 reaches you! They've really kept us thinking until the end, and there's been no sign of naff storylines involving long lost twins who didn't appear until the end either! :) xx

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  3. Yarn has knitted up beautifully. Another must have including your book when Nola and I attend Yarndale this year. Xx

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    1. Oh now I definitely have to finish in time! Thanks for the incentive! :) xx

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  4. Such pretty colours, the combination looks good together. Cathy x

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    1. They are, aren't they? I think the whole range will look lovely for spring xx

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  5. Thank you for giving me this info on WYS sock yarn. To date, I haven't knitted anything with this yarn but it's been on my wish list. Currently, I'm knitting a pair of socks with The Handmade Sock Society. But, I ventured outside my comfort zone recently and completed a pair of socks knitted toe up. It was a fun experiment using DK weight yarn. But, you're the expert I can always turn to if I have questions. I hope spring is showing itself in your part of the country. My best to you, Pat xx

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    1. DK socks knit much more quickly so they're always good fun to knit, and I think it's always worth trying out different methods so that you can see what you like best! I am sure you would enjoy knitting with WYS yarns! xx

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  6. I love the new wool - I have had to order Dusty Miller - because I was a Miller (Maiden name) and my father was called Dusty in the Army (as per normal for someone who was a Miller) and Forget-me-Not to go with it - I will knit the socks in his memory!! Ordered from Magnolia Tree Wools as no LYS where I live - and I grew up living in Magnolienpark in Basel - how about that for co-incidences!! Another lovely recommendation - thank you Christine!!

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    1. Oh that yarn was named for you, wasn't it?! Thanks for ordering from MTW, although it's a shame you don't have anywhere closer (perhaps better for your bank balance though ;) ) xx

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  7. gorgeous yarn!
    am not much for the stripes myself but love those whimsical patterning yarns; often wondering how on earth they get it like that?!
    am still knitting your easy lace socks, have started the 2nd one; my first one i went with a cinched toe instead of the kitchener stitch, probably won't do that one again, it's too hard to get down to minimal sts, gave up at 8, so cinching was a tad tricky to get; can't wait to finish them so i can wear them :))
    a new book, with new patterns? sounds positively delightful! looking forward to that show & tell!
    hope small daughter feels better soon; lots of hot lemons & grated apple
    thanx for sharing

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    1. It's been interesting to see the yarns start to be knitted up in various pictures on the internet - they're all different! These are all going to be very unique socks! :) I hope you manage to finish your Easy Lace socks too! xx

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  8. Love the colours.I have not knitted socks before, but I really want to have ago now!

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  9. Where does one order this in the US?

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    1. Hi Barbara, if you have a look at the WYS Stockists page on their website (https://www.wyspinners.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=10) it will give you a list of all their stockists including those in the US. I do know that some people in the US order from the UK stores if the postage rates are right for them so it's worth having a look at those too xx

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  10. Beautiful yarn! I also enjoy using WYS yarn for the fact that it doesn't split. I've just made your cable socks, but substituted your regular slip stitch heel, it's such a nice cushioned heel. I must confess though that my favorite method of sock knitting is still toe-up, so I'm wondering if I can adapt your slip stitch heel to this method? Would you be able to give any pointers or point me in the right direction?

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    1. I don't see any reason why you couldn't adapt the heel stitch to use in a toe up sock - I have only made a couple of pairs toe up so am no expert but I am sure you would just substitute the usual knit stitch for heel stitch in the right place. Put a lifeline in when you get to that part so that you won't lose your stitches if you have to take it out and give it a go! xx

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  11. oooo loving the new yarn, the patterning of it looks very delicate and pretty.... better head off to the wool shop soon for a good snoop and see what they have to tempt me.

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  12. I got the Christmas variegated plus the plain red and green 4 ply WYS Signature and made those socks. They turned out beautifully. I am now trying to crochet my first pair of socks in the round using your yarn. It is a toe up sock, patterns starts with sc for 8 rows then goes into a linked treble crochet. How do you join from one round to the next. If you just st at the top of the ldc it leaves a big gap. I sure hope you can advise me. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Cheri, thanks for your message! I'm so glad your knitted socks turned out so well, but I'm afraid I don't know anything about crocheted socks. You could always try having a look at the Crafternoon Treats website (www.crafternoontreats.com) as I know that Kathryn has designed some crochet socks and might be able to offer some advice. I do hope you get them sorted! xx

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    2. The new colours look lovely. I knit a pair of socks using blacker mohair yarn in your cable pattern. I like them and did the cuff and toe in Northern Yarn Poll Dorset in your pattern. Just to let you know the durability. I have worn with boots for several months and when I came to handwash them as I always do I noticed a big hole on both heels. It's a shame because it is lovely wool but I just wanted to let other knitters know. I will darn them. I look forward to your comments. I am still interested in mohair and am considering Whistlebare Cuthbert sock and The Knitting Goddess has a new yarn out with mohair.Thank You

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