Still here

Hello, I’m still here!  Just three weeks to go till Yarndale now and I’m going as fast as I can to get All The Jobs done beforehand!

First of all, though, I want to say thank you very much to everyone who has pre-ordered a copy of More Super Socks to pick up at Yarndale.  I’m really looking forward to seeing you all there!  If you missed last week’s post and you’re coming to Yarndale, you can find the pre-order post here and the post about More Super Socks and what’s inside here.  I’m super-excited to think that it’s only three weeks till the book launch!

Now, though, let me tell you about what’s been keeping me busy this week: the Yarndale Sock Line Socks!  I’m so glad to finally have these now that I’ve been up to see Lucy, and thank you so much to everyone who has sent socks in to me.  I can’t tell you how lovely it is to see such a huge pile of parcels and know that each one contains a gift for a stranger who needs some woolly love.  This is just a small selection of them – there was a bin bag full plus another box – it was amazing!

Small daughter was easily persuaded to help me open the parcels, declaring that it was just like Christmas – so much so that she had to be told on more than one occasion to slow down so that I could get the details of the socks down before she ripped open another parcel!  We had a good system going in the end – she opened them and read out all the details whilst I logged the socks on my database (knitter’s name and place if we knew it, and the sock colour and size) and then we piled them up ready to take photos for the Pinterest board.

By the time we’d finished, the light wasn’t good enough for a photo of all the socks together but I’ll be sure to take one before Yarndale so that you can see the socks in all their splendid woolliness.  Once again, you’ve surpassed yourselves with the time, effort and skill that has gone into these socks – they’re all gorgeous and small daughter wanted to keep more than a few pairs (and this from the girl who won’t wear socks, hand-knitted or not, unless she absolutely has to at the moment).  I also know that there are so many demands on your time and resources from other charities and the increasing pace of life generally, so I never take your socks for granted.  I am so very grateful that you have wanted to be involved and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I must also say a huge thank you to everyone who has sent me money towards posting the socks out after Yarndale; it’s very much appreciated! xx

Small daughter managed a couple of photos of the socks safely stored away in bags – there’s not much to go on here but you might see yours!

I’ve made a start on getting the photos up on the Pinterest board – I’ll try to do the rest later tonight or tomorrow – but you can find the ones that are already uploaded here.

This week, I’ve also been working on the Kindle file for More Super Socks.  Originally, I hadn’t thought about getting this ready for the launch so that it would be available at the same time as the paperback, but so many people asked about it in the Winwick Mum Knit n Natter Facebook group that I thought I’d better get on with it!  I’m very glad that I have done, too, as it’s been an extremely useful proofing exercise; it’s surprising what you miss when you look at something too often!

The Kindle file is quite different to the paperback file because it needs to be written with HTML code to tell the Kindle (or other e-reader) what to do.  This wasn’t something that had occurred to me until I wrote my first Kindle book but a Kindle is just a small computer so everything needs to be written in language that it understands.  My knowledge of HTML has grown considerably since I started doing this! 🙂  (Apologies for the fuzzy photos, it’s really difficult to take pictures of a computer screen!)

I don’t think I’d have managed without this fabulous piece of software.   It’s called Kindlewriter2 and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to write a book for Kindle (or any other e-reader) as it makes the HTML so much easier.  (2022 update:  sadly, Kindlewriter is no longer available.)

It’s quite a painstaking task as you have to give every single command, right down to the spaces between the words and bullet points or numbers, but I keep telling myself it’s good for me to slow down and read everything again, and it’s really quite thrilling to see the book appearing line by line in the preview pane.  It does explain why I’m not getting much else done, though!

The other thing that I have managed to do this week (OK, along with some knitting and some video-editing – I am getting closer to getting the new Easy Colourwork Socks tutorial ready to go!) is to re-start my sourdough starter.  I used to bake sourdough loaves quite regularly and developed this method which suited my Aga from another tutorial that I found on the internet.  And then something went wrong.  Loaf after loaf wasn’t quite right and I got a bit fed up of it all so I decided to leave it alone for a while.  But then I kept seeing images like this one all over social media …


and I wanted that loaf.  I’m already a sourdough convert – it makes the best toast – and we still go through a fair bit of it, albeit bought from the supermarket at the moment – so I decided that I would sign up for Kat Goldin’s Gartur Stitch Farm online sourdough course to try to get my bread-making back on track.  It’s running over three weeks and the first week has been all about the starter and getting it to – well – start.  As it happened, I had a starter resting in the fridge so I decided to see if I could revive that before trying again, and thanks to my newly-learnt starter knowledge, it’s worked!

This was after I’d set the starter up again in a new jar (you always need to buy a new jar for these things, I think, it’s what helps the magic along) and not much is happening …

a few hours later there were definite signs of life …

and today it’s looking distinctly frothy.  Exciting!  I like the way that the jar opens with a resounding yeasty-smelling pop! too, a bit like a bottle of flip-top beer.  Oh, I’m easily pleased 🙂

There were a few reasons why I decided to look at Kat’s course rather than just go back to my earlier method: I’d lost confidence in my ability to produce an edible loaf and even though I know my method does work, I began to be ready for it not to every time and that’s no way to approach your baking; Kat cooks on an Aga like me, and it’s always helpful to be able to compare notes with someone using the same method as you in case something goes wrong, and finally, she’s developed a way of incorporating baking sourdough loaves into everyday life and anyone who’s baked sourdough before knows that it takes a looong time for the loaf to be ready to bake, so I’m definitely up for sharing that knowledge!

Week two is about baking the loaf so I’m hoping I’ll be able to show you a picture that’s a bit more like the one above than anything I was producing before – even the birds wouldn’t eat it so something had obviously gone very wrong!

OK, I’m going to love you and leave you now – it’s approaching bedtime and a certain someone has school tomorrow.  It’s her first full week back and she did tell me last week that she probably wasn’t going to bother as she’d already done three days and that was quite enough, but I’m quite sure she’ll be on her way in the morning!

Have a great week, whatever you’re doing … more from Winwick very soon!

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6 Responses

  1. Heidijo says:

    How exciting to open all those socks, I was carefully looking to see if I could spot mine and hey presto they are the pair sitting on the sofa next to you 😀. Thank you for all your work sorting it out.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      And thank you for your socks! (And the pennies too, they're much appreciated – I realised I'd forgotten to say thank you in the post but have amended that now) xx

  2. selina says:

    wow CONGRATULATIONS on the launch of the book!
    have just caught up with your posts
    i want to buy your books too; i have all your patterns from the blog but having a book would be very handy as well & i just love the new patterns, Drunken Cable looks awesome meandering up the leg! your star cover socks are so colourful & happy! also looking forward to making your new colour works (2 colours) socks for something a little different, though will have to chase up some solid sock colour, most of mine is radiant?gradient? colouring. pretty enough but fairisle wouldn't be seen in them. the block sock looks interesting too, ohhh gosh will have lots to try out & knit! woohoo more socks to make!
    have a great time with everyone at the Yarndale Festival!
    thanx for sharing

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I'm really glad you like the look of it! I think it's always useful to have techniques in one place which is why I wrote the book as I did – there's nothing worse than knowing you've seen something somewhere and not being able to remember where it was! 🙂 xx

  3. dornydorndorn says:

    Good luck with your sourdough! I've not heard of Kat Goldin before but always on the lookout for more sourdough inspiration. We've been using Ken Forkish's Pain de Campagne recipe lately with 100% success so far. Anyways, hope it goes well

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Kat's a crochet designer (and one half of The Crochet Project) so you may have seen her designs but she's more recently started running online workshops. This bread is working very well for me, but I'll definitely go and take a look at the one you're making too! xx

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