Opening the Yarndale Sock Line socks 2019

Well, here we are again, just a few days until this year’s Yarndale festival and I have so many socks to show you!

I say this every year but it’s quite true – I always worry that this year, people might be too busy or too charity-d out or have too many other demands on their budgets to knit socks for the Yarndale Sock Line – and every year you show me that your generosity really knows no bounds.

We ask for the socks to be sent to Lucy in Skipton so that if anyone wants to join in with the Yarndale creative project as well, it saves on the postage to post only one parcel.  That means that I need to go and see Lucy to pick the socks up (oh, such hardship to spend the day with your friend!) and they tend to arrive like this …

Lucy’s postie has to deliver them all in a van and this year, with the teddies as the creative project, he’s been staggering up to her door with a fair few sacks like these!

Small daughter doesn’t need much persuasion to help me unpack the socks.  It’s such a lovely job.  She opens the parcels and gives me the details of who has made them, the size and the colour for me to log onto my spreadsheet which makes it easier for me to pass the socks on and, of course, to tell you where they have gone later.

We’ve been doing this for a few years now (did you know this is the 5th year of the Yarndale Sock Line?) so we’ve got quite a good system going.  There’s always the same mess of packaging all over the floor, though!  We try to recycle as much of the packaging as we can; the tissue paper ends up being re-gifted through the year as birthdays come along, zip-lock bags are always useful and the cardboard goes into the recycling bin.  We even cut off the stamps …

You don’t tend to get stamps too often these days as most mail is sent with a printed label, but for years I’ve just put used stamps to one side (my parents always saved stamps for the Guide Dogs fundraising and it’s a hard habit to break!) and when I’ve got enough, I send them to the RNIB stamp appeal (the Guide Dogs don’t want the stamps these days 🙂 ) to help with their fundraising.  It might take me a year or so to get as many as they want in their envelope, but I don’t think that matters.  They’re still stamps that they can use that might otherwise have been thrown away.

You might be able to see below (in amongst the mess!) that a couple of teddies have sneaked through into the sock pile, but I’ve photographed them for Lucy to add to the Yarndale Pinterest board and they’ll be coming with my Yarndale at the weekend so don’t worry if you think you can spot yours there!

The socks are piled on the sofa ready for photographing to go up on the Yarndale Sock Line 2019 Pinterest board – it might not look like such a big pile there as you look down on it from above but I can tell you that it really is!

There’s this many – over 120 pairs!

What do I love most about seeing all the socks?  There are so many things!

💖  I love seeing the colours and textures of the yarns.

💖  I love the plain socks and the patterned socks – some patterns I recognise and others are new to me and I may have a few new patterns to search for on Ravelry – like these little foxy socks!  Do you think I could make some in my size? 🙂

💖  I love that some are first ever socks and some are umpteenth-pair socks – and I recognise the effort that has gone into every stitch and I am grateful.

💖  I love that this year, some of the yarns were Winwick Mum yarns and some of the patterns were Winwick Mum patterns.  That felt very special, I can tell you!

💖  I love the feel of each pair of socks as small daughter hands it to me.  I think that yarn changes as it’s pulled from the ball and knitted into something – no doubt something technical to do with the heat of your hands and the characteristics of a natural product – but I can also feel that the socks were knitted with a purpose, and they contain love and strength and hope and being surrounded by all of those socks is a very powerful thing.  I hope that it’s something that you can feel too, if you get a minute to sit by the Sock Line in the Knit n Natter lounge at Yarndale.

💖  I love that even before the socks get hung up on the Sock Line, sometimes I know exactly where they’re going to go afterwards and I am thrilled that we – you and me – are able to pass on just a little bit of woolly love.

💖  I love reading the notes on the labels, and knowing that those words will bring something to someone.

💖  I love seeing familiar knitters’ names and new names ; it’s like greeting old friends and making new ones at the same time, and it’s wonderful!

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your time and your skills in making the socks and sending them to me, and I will be very proud to hang up each and every pair on the Yarndale Sock Line this year.

Don’t worry if you’ve not managed to get a pair to me in time but you are coming to Yarndale as I will have spare pegs.  The reason I like to have as many socks in as possible beforehand is so that I can get them all logged and photographed, and also so that I know how much space they’ll take up, but there’s usually room for another few pairs over the weekend!

I must also say a big thank you for all the notes, the treats, the money towards onward postage and to those who have travelled to drop socks and treats off with Lucy.  They are all very much appreciated!

This will probably be my last post before the Yarndale weekend so if you’re coming up to Skipton, do come and say hello to me in the Knit n Natter lounge in the centre of the Auction Mart.  I’ll be where I was last year –  in the same space as Lucy Attic but up some steps (or a ramp) so that I get a good view of everything that’s going on 🙂   I’ll have my books and pin badges with me, my needle samples for you to try out if you’re new to socks, and WYS have let me borrow the sample socks for the new Winwick Mum yarns (and there may be a few balls of those for you to see too!) so you can have a good look at those “in the yarn”.  The annual Sockalongers’ meet up will be at 1pm on both days in the Knit n Natter lounge – it’s nothing formal but just a chance for you to meet up with others who are in the Winwick Mum Facebook groups and say hello in real life.  If you want to make yourself a Teeny Tiny Sock to identify yourself as a Sockalonger (as well or instead of the Winwick Mum pin badges) then you can find the pattern here.

I’ll be back next week so whatever you’re doing, have a lovely week! xx

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3 Responses

  1. sustainablemum says:

    I have had a break from blogging so haven't been aware of your amazing sock line. You have inspired me to get back in to sock knitting and I bought a ball of yarn to make some this morning! I will definitely be looking out for your posts about adding to the sock line for 2020 if you do it again. Hope you have a wonderful weekend at Yarndale.

  2. Laura Taylor says:

    So pleased you are still accepting socks. I am coming to Yarndale for first time this year so will bring with me.

  3. Onceuponathimble says:

    Have a good weekend and the socks look amazing and I saw mine in the pile!!

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