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Tuesday, 12 March 2019

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - samples 'n' socks

Are you ready for the next instalment of the Winwick Mum Collection yarn adventure?  Yes?  It's been a-g-e-s since I showed you the yarn and now I can finally show you what it looks like knitted up!  Do be warned - there are a LOT of photos in this post!

You may have seen a few preview pictures of the socks from the Stitches trade show where - I am delighted to tell you - lots of WYS stockists very much liked the look of the yarn and are keen to have it in their shops, and I'll be able to show you the gorgeous pictures from the photo shoot very soon, but for now you get to see ... drum roll please ... new and exclusive photos taken in the exotic location of Winwick and modelled by big daughter and small daughter (both of whom now have bigger feet than me - how does that happen?!).  Yes!  Vogue has nothing on us!

But first, let's roll back just a little bit to my last posts on choosing the colours and what goes on at the West Yorkshire Spinners mill ...

It all started off with a conversation about colours.  I'd chosen the four sets of colours for particular reasons, as I talked about in my colour inspiration post.  By the time I left the mill that day, we had all the individual shades for each yarn picked out and it was all over to Sarah in the dye house to work her magic.  I drove home in a state of high excitement and not a little impatience to see what she was going to produce!


WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn

I didn't have to wait very long.  Within a day or two, there was a packet for me with the first sample of Hidden Gem inside; it was very good but something about it wasn't quite right.   However, it was a starting point and after a long phone conversation, a few photos emailed back and forth and some discussion about how the colours went together, the postman brought another packet of samples a couple of days later.  The note inside read: "we think number 3 is the best" - and it was!  Oh, have you ever had one of those moments where you catch your breath and the emotion hits you?  It might sound crazy to say that about a yarn sample but this was definitely one of those moments!

When I talked to Sarah about the colours for Hidden Gem, I showed her the amethyst pebble that I carry around in my pocket and we talked about the stripes of colours that occur in the stone.  Here's my pebble ...



and here is the sample that Sarah made using the amethyst-inspired colours that I chose ...


WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - samples 'n' socks
The stripes look different at the top because the sample is knitted flat

It was my amethyst pebble - in a yarn!  I was absolutely thrilled with this sample, and Hidden Gem became the very first yarn in the Winwick Mum Collection.  What I also like very much is that the stripes are different to the existing Signature 4ply stripes: I had originally expected them to be the same and I was looking forward to seeing my colours in those regular stripes, but when I saw this and how closely it matched the vision in my mind's eye, I couldn't have been happier.  These are now "Winwick Mum stripes" and as you'll see, all of the yarns follow the same pattern even though the colours change.  Most importantly, it's very easy to match these yarns so even though the stripes might look irregular, you can still wear matching socks.  Phew!

Back at t'mill, sample balls were produced (just as you saw in my post about the mill) but on a much smaller scale so that if any last-minute tweaks were needed to the colours or the pattern there wouldn't be a warehouse-full of yarn to deal with.  The very first balls were produced just in time for Yarndale weekend and as I was up in Skipton anyway, it was only a short hop over to the mill to collect them so that I could get started.  You might even have noticed me knitting away with it at Yarndale (hidden in plain sight! 😉), although it was so busy that I didn't get much knitting done at all!

Here it is!  One of the very first balls of Hidden Gem (my yarn!) in a photo taken outside the Woolly Sheep pub in Skipton.  Luckily, I was on my own in the car park or I might have got some funny looks, but I really didn't care!  The yarn is so new that it doesn't have a label, and it's hugely exciting to knit with a yarn that you know nobody else in the world is knitting with, I can tell you! 😀


WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - samples 'n' socks

I don't have a sample to show you for each of the colours as there were some later tweaks to Seascape and Brightside, but I can show you Wildflower ...

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - samples 'n' socks

As you can see from the photo, this was sample 1 and it was exactly what I wanted.  Sarah has put the colours together beautifully; I had no idea when I picked them that the dyeing process can influence which colours can go together and although all these colours work perfectly in nature, there was no guarantee that they were going to look good once they were put together in a way that would work for the machinery.  However, I had absolute faith in Sarah's colour wizardry and it was not misplaced!

So having given you a glimpse of the yarn knitted up, would you like to see how it looks in a sock shape? 😀

There are five patterns in the Winwick Mum Collection: there's one patterned sock for each of the individual colours and there's a basic sock pattern with mix and match heels so you'll have everything you need in a West Yorkshire Spinners go-to sock pattern book.  Each of the socks are based on my Sockalong pattern so if you're quite new to socks, you can use the Sockalong tutorials to help you as well.  As you'll know, I always write patterns for beginners and encourage beginners to be more adventurous (bring on the fearless knitters!) so there's nothing in these patterns that I would say is too hard for anybody to try out, although if you've never knitted socks before, I'd suggest that you give the basic socks a try first so that you can get to grips with how a sock is constructed.  I can recommend a very nice yarn for beginners too ...

Now four pairs of pattern socks plus four pairs of mix and match heel socks adds up to a LOT of socks and of course there's always a deadline for these things ... 

I knitted on the train ... I unravelled and started again on the train ... 

(Yes, my stitch marker is a Cornish pasty!  It came from here 😀)

I knitted in cafes ...


I knitted in the car, at the hairdressers, at friends' houses with a brew - I knitted everywhere!  My husband said I was even talking about knitting in my sleep which just confirmed to him that socks really are an obsession - although I think he already knows that!

There were sparks coming off my needles but I managed to finish all the pairs of socks in time to meet the deadline (it was the photoshoot, so there really wasn't any option of not meeting it!).  Before I packed the socks up and posted them off to the mill, I managed to persuade my girls to put them on for me so that I could take some pictures to show you.

Here are all the socks together ...


WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - samples 'n' socks

What was that?  You wanted to see more than that?!  

Oh go on then ... here goes!

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn

Eight pairs of socks in Winwick Mum colours.  I just LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  Those colours, those stripes - I know I am very biased but I think these might just be my favourite socks EVER! 

I'm not even going to pretend to apologise for the avalanche of sock photos coming next 😀

Here's Hidden Gem.  You'll have realised straight away that I don't have one daughter with four feet but instead had great fun getting the pair of them to contort themselves in various ways so that I could take photos - it's surprising how well chocolate works as a bribe sometimes!

The rib and lace pattern is on both sides of the sock but it's really easy to do - it's created by yarn forward increases and simple decreases so there's nothing that you haven't done already here if you've knitted some of my other sock patterns.


WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Hidden Gem

Twisted rib is perfect for showing off patterns, I think, and this sock uses the Ribbed Heel flap so that the ridges carry all the way down to the bottom of the leg.  What surprised me is how quickly these socks knitted up - the pattern block isn't as long as you might expect and once you've completed it several times, your sock is finished!

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Hidden Gem

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Hidden Gem

Seascape socks ... the glass fishing float that I showed you in my colour inspiration post wasn't just the basis for the colour but also for the pattern for these socks.

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Seascape

The pattern is sections of mock cable which create the balls which run down the leg.  They start at one side and go all the way round to the back of the sock, and then they start again across the foot. 


WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Seascape

These were such fun to knit, and I think the Eye of Partridge heel suits them perfectly - the pattern reminded me of sunlight shimmering on water which of course fits with the whole theme!

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Seascape

Next up is Wildflower.  It took me quite a while to settle on a pattern that I thought worked with what I could see in my mind's eye for the yarn, and also worked with the yarn itself.  There's quite a lot going on with all those bright colour changes and sometimes patterns can get lost in the colours.  At last, after a lot of swatching and playing about with pattern shapes, the pattern that I wanted emerged.  The heel is a traditional heel stitch heel flap and gusset, so if you've knitted the basic Sockalong socks, you've made one (two!) of these already.


WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Wildflower
Don't ask me why, but every time I look at this photo it makes me think of ABBA!


It's a very easy lace pattern that creates small flowers which cover the whole sock.  Just like Hidden Gem, the pattern is created by yarn forward increases and simple decreases so there are no complicated stitches to learn.  

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Wildflower

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Wildflower

Last but never least in the individually patterned socks, here's Brightside.  I always intended to use cables for these socks, but as these can cause sizing issues because of the way cables pull the fabric in, and worry issues for those who've never knitted cables before, I needed a cunning plan (as Baldrick* would say).  Fortunately, this particular cunning plan worked very well - mock cables which require no cable needle and don't pull the fabric of the sock in either so there's no need to compensate for sizes.  Perfect!

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Brightside
A dusty floor?  Oh no, that can't be right.  It must be your computer screen ... 

I've used a short row heel for these socks.  It's not one that I use very often but it's useful to know how to do, and also a good choice if you want to knit contrast socks that look more like the ones you can buy in the shops.  

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Brightside

The turning point for me came when my husband said that he would wear these cables (this is the man who only wants to wear plain black socks, remember! 😀) and I knew that this pattern would be just right for anyone who wanted a little bit of something extra on their socks without having to work a complicated pattern.

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn - Brightside

The last pattern in the series is a plain sock, but with four different heels to choose from - the same four that have been used in the socks above.  This pattern is called Mix & Match Heels because you can put these heels to any sock that you like - even changing the individual patterns if, for example, you wanted a traditional heel flap instead of Eye of Partridge for the Seascape socks.  

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn

Finally it was time to say goodbye to the socks and pack them up ready to go over to Yorkshire so that they were there in time for the photo shoot.  This was harder than you might imagine - I'd been living and breathing these socks for months - but the good news is that there's going to be enough yarn around for me to knit some more for myself 😉 

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn
This photo was taken under electric light rather than in daylight.  What a difference, eh?

The patterns are all going to be produced together in one book which I think is brilliant - that way, you've got everything together in one place so you can easily access it whenever you need to.  

The yarn and the pattern books will be available in yarn shops and online some time in April (I don't have the exact date yet but you can be sure I'll be shouting it from the rooftops when I know!) and it's available for pre-order now for WYS stockists so that it'll be sent out to the shops as soon as it's all ready to go.

WYS Winwick Mum Collection yarn

So there you go.  The Winwick Mum Collection of West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply yarn.  Ta-dah!  There's still more to show you from the photo shoot and the Stitches trade show so there's no escape from it all just yet (or ever ... mwah ha ha!) - oh, I really hope that you love these colours as much as I do, but don't worry if you don't as I would happily buy every last ball and build a house from it - although I'm not quite sure what my family would say about that!   

There'll be more blog posts about the yarn soon, but in the meantime, what do you think?  I'd love to know!




* Baldrick is a character in the BBC comedy TV series Blackadder who always comes up with an invariably useless but always hilarious "cunning plan" to get out of scrapes.  



58 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! I love ALL the colourway xxx

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    1. Your wonderful colours have re-awakened my desire to knit another pair of socks and ruined my resolution not to buy any more yarn until I had used up what I already had!!

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  2. Oh WOW!!!!! 😍 I have been eagerly awaiting this reveal post and I can’t imagine how you didn’t just burst from excitement with keeping all this in for all these months!!!! I thought I already had my favourites but now, seeing them knit up, I’m going to have to splurge on the whole lot 😂 plus book because those patterns you have created are so perfect for the yarn 👏🙌 the rib and lace one looks so much easier than Torrent I am itching to try it! Congratulations on a beautiful collection xx

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    1. It's been so very difficult not to burst, I can tell you! :) You'll find all the patterns a piece of cake after knitting Torrent, you'll have them all on and off your needles in no time! :) xx

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  3. Congratulations Christine they ALL look Fabulous I of course will have to have one of each colourway (for now anyway Lol) They’re Gorgeous cannot wait until they’re on sale 🤗💐💐💐

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  4. Socky, colourful, gorgeous, overload ... in the nicest possible way ...i'll be having a smile on my face all day aftr seeing these today.
    HGE WELL DONE AND CONGRATULATIONS x

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    1. That makes me feel very happy, thank you! :) xx

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  5. Just breath takingly beautiful. I am so pleased for you and ready to order, I want everything. Very well done.

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    1. I'm so pleased that you like them, thank you! xx

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  6. Reading this makes me want to cast on a sock right now xx

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    1. Excellent! That's always what I like to hear! :) xx

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  7. April, you say.That gives me time to get my needles emptied ready for a mad casting on session. Patterned first in each colourway and all for the Gift box, then the plain ones in each colour for me.as a reward for waiting.

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    1. Oh that's lots of knitting you've got lined up there! :) I found that the patterned socks knitted up very quickly - sometimes quicker than the plain ones - so you'll have sparks flying from your needles in no time too! :) xx

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  8. Looking forward to getting the patterns and some of the gorgeous coloured yarn xx

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  9. I love them all. Well done. Xx

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  10. These socks are lovely, every single one! Well done Christine - you’re a genius.
    Maggie

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  11. Great to see how they knit up. Now the only problem us sock-knitters will have is - which one first? I can just picture you with sparks flying off your needles! xx

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    1. Oh, I would have been "which one?" too! The only thing that saved my sanity over that was that I was given the balls one by one and had no choice in the matter, but I still couldn't pick now! :) xx

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  12. Thank you for showing us the yarn in "sock form"! I love them all! I am going to knit Seascape first then Hidden Gem then.... I'm going to purchase the pattern book too. I have knit 6+ pairs of the basic Winwick Mum pattern and have now decided it is time for me to branch out...with your continued help! I love the patterns you have created for this sock wool. Best wishes to you. Thank you for all you do. I don't think I ever would have kit a sock if it wasn't for you. Kindest regards, Dianne :-)

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    1. Hi Dianne, thank you so much for your lovely words! It's been great to be able to show people how the socks look ahead of the yarn becoming available - and it is often easier to make your choice before you're faced with all the yarns at the yarn shop too :) xx

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  13. I love them all and can't wait for the book (and the yarn as well) of course!

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  14. Just gorgeous - I cannot wait to get my hands on the book and the wool!! I think my summer sock knitting has just been sorted!

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  15. CONGRATULATIONS!
    love the Wildflowers, I thought I'd go with the Hidden Gem but am not keen on how the stripes have worked out there; don't get me wrong, ALL the sock colours are lovely, am just not a stripey person, always prefer them mismatched LOL
    lovely patterns
    thanx for sharing

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    1. All of the colourways are based on the same stripe pattern as Hidden Gem, but it's quite easy to knit them mismatched if that's your choice :) xx

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  16. What a lovely collection of socks. I would certainly be happy to see those in my sock drawer!

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  17. Love them all! Can't wait to add another four pairs to my sock drawer... x

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  18. Gorgeous, all of it, but I have to say that last photo is especially fantastic!! Seascape still has my heart...........love it!

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  19. I love all of the colors and the patterns are great. I hope this will be carried in the US at some point!!! Congrats on a great job!!!

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    1. It would be brilliant if it was! If you struggle, though, UK yarn shops will happily post over to you, and you can order direct from WYS too xx

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  20. Oh my I want to knit all of these! Hope YAK in Brighton will carry the books and yarn. That will start my UK holiday off on the right foot...tee hee

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    1. Ha ha, hopefully you'll have a great holiday! I keep my fingers crossed for you that YAK are going to stock it! :) xx

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  21. Fabulous can’t wait to start knitting from the new pattern book. X

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    1. I'm really glad you like them, thank you! xx

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  22. I am trying to join FB page but it says "answer these QUESTIONS" and then only asks if I am interested in cuff down socks..and leaves room for 250 letters. Can't tell if comment goes through. Any thoughts?

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    1. The reason the question is there is to help to deter spammers and also give some info to those who join and then find that it's a beginners' group and that's not what they wanted. If you've added your bit and clicked "join" then it's probably gone through. There was a problem with Facebook last night and I couldn't add anybody to the group so do check again and see if it's worked now xx

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  23. I absolutely love every one of them. You my dear are the reason I am knitting socks...... I had to take a short break to knit a baby afghan...finished it yesterday....and today I have my trusty 9"circulars back in my hands completing my husband's first pair. Your colorways are the cream of the crop. So eager to put the new book in my hands!

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    1. That's lovely to hear, thank you! I'm sure your husband is going to love his hand knits! xx

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  24. OMG they look amazing, you have done such a wonderful job. Can't wait to be able to buy some yarn online and get it shipped to NZ. We're coming into winter in the next few months so they will be perfect for knitting (what am I saying we knit socks all year round).
    Love the Models :-)

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    1. The models had more fun than they were letting on at the time - and of course the chocolate bribe always helps! :) xx

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  25. Can't to get my hands on it all!

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  26. The colourways and patterns are beautiful. I shall buy them all to knit for my daughter in Austtralia. I have been on the look out for something pretty and a little bit different. Many congratulation, you must be so proud.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I am super-proud of the socks, the yarns and to be working with WYS - it's been amazing! :) xx

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  27. The yarns are lovely, I can't wait to try them! Congratulations, you must be so excited and proud!

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    1. Thank you, yes I really am, it's been a fantastic adventure! :) xx

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  28. I love these socks! I have been knitting socks for yonks but the colors and patterns of your collection look so fresh and inviting! I can't wait to get my hands on the yarn and patterns!!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you like them! I think it's great that the stripes are different to the rest of the Signature 4ply range; it certainly does give the socks a completely different look! xx

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  29. Wow! Congratulations and well done. It's very exciting! x

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