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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Yarndale Sock Line 2019

It's that time of year again ... Yarndale Sock Line time!  

If you've never heard of the Yarndale Sock Line, let me tell you a little bit about it.  Back in 2015, the year that the Sockalong started, people who had started to knit their own socks asked if it would be possible for sock bunting to be hung up at Yarndale - it would fit beautifully with Yarndale's mission to celebrate craft and creativity, and would also be an opportunity for people to show what they had learnt in the few short months since the Sockalong had started.  If you've ever been to Yarndale, you'll have seen the miles and miles of bunting that decorate the entrance hall; what could be better than socks to go with it?

My lovely friend Lucy from Attic24, a sock knitter herself nowadays, was all in favour and the Yarndale Sock Line was born!  The idea was that anyone who wanted to could send in socks to hang up in the Auction Mart - but then it struck me that it would be such a shame to put them away in storage after a weekend of being on display, not to mention where they would be stored (I could just imagine my husband's face when I told him that our house was to be insulated by sock bunting!).  I decided that instead of single socks, I would ask for pairs which could be given away after Yarndale; it was a big ask in both time and money as yarn isn't cheap and socks can be quite time-consuming to knit, but but I had reckoned without the kindness of the crafting community and before long, pairs of socks were flooding in.  The rest, as the saying goes, is history!

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Half way through

How on earth can we be half way through the year already?  It was the Summer Solstice last Friday (nearly a week ago!) and it always makes me a little melancholy to think that the long light nights will be getting a little shorter every day.

After a busy day on Monday, I took myself outside to sit on the grass and listen to the birdsong for a short while.  It's not something I often do in the early evening; I usually feel that I need to clear off all my jobs for the day before sitting down, but small daughter was chatting to a friend on her phone and everybody else was out so I decided to break with convention for once!

Accompanying me was a bottle of Fentiman's Dandelion and Burdock (I "forgot" that nobody else liked it when I bought it for a picnic over the weekend 😀) and a bowl of oven chips and hash browns (because we'd run out of chips) as I just fancied them.  "A bit of what you fancy does you good every now and again," my Nan used to say.  I don't drink much pop these days but D&B was always my favourite when I was younger, along with the bright green American cream soda (why was it green?!) and Creamola Foam (which I seem to remember we could only buy in Scotland) - I shudder now to think of what was in those!



I shared this picture on Instagram and along with lots of comments about how D&B was a firm favourite for other people too, I discovered that you can get an alcoholic version made by Hoopers, and there are lots of other drinks that I "need" to try out too!  That's my summer beverages sorted!

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Monthly Musing - June 2019 - Good intentions

I’ve been going to a new yoga class with big daughter.  It’s run by one of the teachers whom big daughter has got to know through her university yoga society, and having been to a few classes now, I can see why she is keen for us to keep attending.  “I want you to feel better when you leave than you did when you arrived,” she says, and we do.

One of the things that I like best about the class is that right at the beginning, the teacher asks everyone to set an intention for themselves.  Not a “when I get home I’m going to do all the ironing, cut the grass, write 15 blog posts and knit all the pairs of socks hiding in project bags” kind of intention, but more to do with balance and flow in our lives.  She encourages us to think about what might be out of balance (you’ve only got to look at that earlier sentence to see that my to-do list compared to my sit-and-rest list might be a bit out of kilter!) or what might not be flowing quite right.  It’s a moment for reflection and it’s probably just as well that we’re all sitting there with our eyes shut as it always makes me rather emotional!  The idea is that you carry the intention with you for the rest of the day; something calm to help you deal with the to-do list that you go back to.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Don't You Want Me Socks - free pattern

Have you ever heard of the online magazine called Knitty?  It's the longest-running free knitting magazine on the internet (it's been around since 2002) and each issue has some fantastic patterns by some fantastic designers, articles, knitting technique help and lots of other stuff too.  It's well worth a look!  It's funded through Patreon and I've been a supporter for several years now (you can see my Patron badges at the bottom of the right hand side bar) - I think it's amazing that we have free access to this information, and free patterns from designers that I've always admired too, and I am glad that my contribution will help it continue.

It's long been an ambition of mine to be able to write a pattern that I thought was good enough to submit to Knitty, and for Knitty to think that it was just the right sort of thing for them to publish.  I'm super-proud to tell you that a brand new free Winwick Mum pattern is available in the latest edition of Knitty - the link is here.  Called "Don't You Want Me", they are inspired by the bright colours of the 1980s (and yes, that is a song title as the sock name - you're going to be singing it for weeks as I have been!) and are intarsia socks similar to the Patchwork Socks and Flow Through Socks.



Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Seven days

How has it been a week already?

Diolch yn fawr (thank you very much) for all of your comments on my last post, and on my beginnings of learning Welsh.  I've found the course quite hard going this week, but apparently that's all part of the process and I just need to keep going syth umlaen (straight on).  What I have discovered is that I'm very good at remembering random words but not always so great at putting them together in a sentence, but I'm hoping that's because it's all still quite new and I have to think a lot about what I'm trying to say.  Anyway, you can look forward to random Welsh words in blog posts now! 😀

If you remember in my last post, I told you about Something that was eating my beans and a cat with aspirations to be a vegetable gardener re-arranging the plants.  There has been a Development, with a capital D.




Wednesday, 12 June 2019

A Wet Wednesday in Winwick

Well hello to you!  It's a wet and miserable Wednesday here in Winwick (how's that for at attempt at some midweek alliteration?!) and I'm very glad that I took the dog for a walk earlier on.  Thank you so much for all your comments on my last post - I'm delighted you enjoyed coming to Chester with us, and thank you for all the suggestions and recipes for big daughter too - we're both very grateful to you for taking the time to write!  Today, I'm sitting here with my photos from the weekend and remembering that it didn't rain all the time ...

It did rain quite a lot on Saturday, though.  Saturday was World Wide Knit in Public Day and also West Yorkshire Spinners day at Black Sheep Wools, my lovely local yarn shop.  There were lots of samples of garments and accessories for people to see and yarn to squish. Richard, the Sales and Marketing Director from WYS, gave talks on the company and the breeds of sheep fleece they use in their yarns, with more fleece to squish (it was a very squishy kind of day!).  I was there to talk socks and so was my talented crochet toy designer friend Emma Varnam, who designed the Bo Peep Great Adventures toys (these are so lovely with their matching clothes for children).  

Yes, Emma is knitting a sock - she's using WYS Winwick Mum Wildflower!

We had a lovely time chatting to customers and to each other, eating the cake from the Black Sheep Wools cafe (mmm ... lemon and blueberry, my new favourite!) and generally having a very nice time.  

Thursday, 6 June 2019

After the holidays ...

Small daughter went back to school after a week off on holiday last week and oh boy, there's so much to catch up on!  I was looking through photos and realised that there are so many - the time goes so fast!  I've not uploaded everything that I photographed, but do be warned there are a LOT of pictures in this post!

Over the holidays, we managed a rare family day out in Chester with a walk along the walls with the dog and Sunday lunch in a lovely dog-friendly pub.

I love walking the Chester walls; it's such a fascinating timeline - the original walls are Roman, overlooking what was once a port ...


Chester walls

Monday, 3 June 2019

WYS Winwick Mum yarn giveaway update

I'm still looking for the last winner of the Winwick Mum yarn giveaway prize - this is the last call for Bevk!


If Bevk hasn't been in touch by Friday 7 June, then I'll re-draw from the entries to the original giveaway so that the yarn and pattern book can find a home! 😀