Counting down

With less than a week to go before Yarndale, I’d love to tell you that everything’s all ready here at Winwick Mum HQ and I’m putting my feet up before a wonderfully busy, yarny weekend.

Er – no.

However, I am well-practised at the last-minute-fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of preparation (and not just for Yarndale – this technique works well for Christmas too!) and this week is one giant to-do list that I am slowly but surely working my way through.

What I have been doing this week is making sure that I get out with the dog for a decent walk every day.  It’s been so tempting to skip it, to just take a few brisk laps of the village instead so that I can get back to The List, but I know that taking that hour out to give him a proper run will make all the difference.

By the time we get home, I’m all fired up from striding out and getting some speed up (it’s all very well taking time out but I’ve got a list of jobs to do, don’t you know?!), the dog’s a happy boy because he loves these muddy woods and I’ve made some sense of the order of my list in my head.  It’s like magic.  Fresh air really is magic, and it’s free.

What else?  Oh yes – when you’re super-busy, take time out to make some sourdough bread.  Because you’ve got time to do that, haven’t you?  (insert eyeroll emoji here 🙂 )

Do you know, making this bread has been surprisingly easy – and it’s worked out every time!  (Apart from when I didn’t mix the salt in properly.  That wasn’t a good loaf.)  It’s all about giving it time so you set up the starter to do it’s thing and leave it for a few hours, then you mix the ingredients and leave them for a few hours, do a bit of dough-stretching and then leave it overnight.  It’s the perfect loaf for busy people!  If you’re tempted to have a go, the recipe is here and if you’re new to sourdough or a bit disillusioned by your previous attempts (as happened to me) then I highly recommend looking at Kat Goldin’s sourdough course.

And there’s nothing like sourdough toast and a cup of tea when you’re working to a deadline.  Apart from biscuits, but I’d be looking like a biscuit if nobody stopped me this week so I’m safer with toast.

I’m a bit late with this as both the yarns have been released now, but I’ve knitted up the samples of John Arbon Harvest Hues 4ply in their new colours that I showed you a couple of weeks ago

These two colours are Woad and Bramble, there’s a heathery quality to the colours that I’m not sure shows up very well in the photo, but I do so wish this yarn was one you could use for socks!  It’s a blend of 65% Merino and 35% Zwartbles so it would be OK for socks that you didn’t leave the house in, but not for every day wear. It’s lovely and soft as you’d expect from a yarn with that much Merino in it and will be perfect for shawls, cardigans, jumpers – Sonja from John Arbon has designed a lovely tee (short-sleeved jumper/sweater) in Harvest Hues and there are so many colours to choose from that you could have more than one in your wardrobe!

I’ve also tried out the new birthday yarn from Blacker Yarns which I showed you a short while ago.  This one, called Tor, is an Aran weight so is much thicker than the John Arbon yarn.  It’s been dyed in colours that are reminiscent of the colours of the moors and the West Country were the fleeces have been sourced from and I’ve got two in beautiful purple colours.

Tor is a blend of five fleeces including British Alpaca (the others are Romney cross, Merino cross, North Ronaldsay and Shetland) and this one is suitable for socks – there’s a collection of patterns written especially for the Tor yarn and there’s a pair of thick socks in there.  I’ve been asked on a few occasions about knitting socks with yarn that’s thicker than DK and although I’ve never made any myself, this would be a good yarn to consider – they’d be super-thick and cosy socks!  I used Blacker Yarns’ Mohair Blends yarn for big daughter’s socks when she was trekking in Peru in 2015 and they wore very well so I wouldn’t hesitate to think about Blacker Yarns’ ranges for knitting no-nylon socks.

Both of these yarns are going to be available at Yarndale so if they look like something you’d be interested in, do go and have a squish!

If you’ve sent socks in for the Yarndale Sock Line, you might well see them up on the Pinterest board now.  Wow, there’s so many of them and they are all going to be so appreciated, thank you!  Don’t worry if you can’t see yours – the ones uploaded at the moment are all the ones that I collected from Lucy at the beginning of September but I picked up another couple of bags of parcels last week …

and Lucy has told me that she’s got still more parcels up in Skipton that have arrived this week.   Small daughter is going to help me open these packets later on today as she had such a wonderful time doing it last time and I’ll do my best to get the photos online before Yarndale.  If you’re coming to the festival, do be sure to come and have a look at the socks – they’ll be on show in the Knit n Natter lounge as usual.  I think putting the socks up on the Yarndale Sock Line is my favourite thing about helping to get Yarndale ready for the weekend.  I’m so looking forward to it!

There’s been a bit of a revamp in the Knit n Natter lounge this year as the owners of the Auction Mart have chosen to renovate the space.  It looks very good – there are new comfy padded cushions on the bench seats for those who want to sit and knit, crochet or just take five minutes, and the light is much better than it was.  However, they’ve added some doors and changed the layout so the space is different and whereas previously Lucy and I were both in the same ground floor area, there’s going to be a change this year and I’m going to be upstairs.  It means I’ll be able to keep an eye on proceedings and supervise from a great height which amuses me no end (Lucy seems less impressed by the idea …) but it does also mean that if you’re coming to show me your socks, you’ll need to either come up some steps or use the ramp access as you can’t get upstairs from Lucy’s ground floor area.  Once you get to the Auction Mart, you’ll be able to see the layout – it’s going to be something new for all of us so it’ll be interesting to see how it works.

With just a few days to go now before Yarndale, that means there’s just a few days to go before the official release date of More Super Socks!  Oh, I’m so excited!

I came home the other day to discover that there’d been a delivery …

there’s lots and lots of books in that pile!  Thank you so much to everyone who’s ordered a copy to collect at Yarndale – I am really thrilled that you have!

On my list of things to do this week is to get the last of the sock tutorials published so I promise that I will do my very best to do that then if you’re not coming to Yarndale but fancy a new project over the weekend there’ll be one on my blog for you to look at.

These are the Easy Colourwork Socks so you’ll need a main colour and a contrast although you should be able to work the contrast in leftovers if you want to.

I’m off to consult my list again now so have a lovely day whatever you’re doing and I’ll catch up with you again later in the week!

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9 Responses

  1. Crafty archaeologist says:

    I wish you on the walks during hectic times. While writing my dissertations I just had to get outside after a long day of writing. It calmed those nerves and allowed me to process the day and plan for the next. Definitely beneficial for my mental health.
    I also can't wait until Saturday so I can order the book, it's such a shame I can't make it to Yarndale despite living so close. I'm sure you'll have an excellent time!

  2. Sarah Hardy says:

    Excitedly muchly to see you. Thank you for another lovely post x

  3. happy hooker says:

    You're right – fresh air is magical. It refreshes the soul. Your bread looks scrummy. Wish I could grab some off the screen! And I love the colours of the Harvest hues yarn. Sorry I can't be at Yarndale, but my socks are there in my place. Looking forward to seeing all the photos, and reading all about it. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful (if exhausting) time.

  4. Julie says:

    Have a fabulous time at the weekend meeting old friends and new.

  5. daydream in colour says:

    There's nothing better than taking the dog for a walk to clear the head and recharge the batteries, and what a lovely place to walk too. Good luck in getting through your list before Yarndale. xx Susan

  6. Kaisievic says:

    Looks like a lovely walk to me and a great idea to clear your head.

  7. Tiffany says:

    I'm so excited that you also have Tor! I'm making the short socks in Lanlavery & Sheepstor (the pale pink & undyed). It's lovely to work with 🙂

  8. Lazy Days & Sundays says:

    Autumn is my favourite season with all the gorgeous colours but it also means that Yarndale is with us again and with less than 3 days to go now the excitement is building. Look forward to seeing you and Lucy in your new revamped homes within the knit and knatter lounge.


  9. Lenore says:

    At last I am catching up with blogs. Nola and I arrived in Skipton last night,what a lovely town. We are looking forward to catching up with you tomorrow. Xx

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