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Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Monthly Musing - October 2019 - Only the lonely

A recent train journey to London coincided with World Mental Health Day, which I knew nothing about until the train manager announced that every drink bought at the buffet car would be matched by a second free drink to give to someone sitting nearby so that you could start a conversation.

“How would you know that someone would want to speak to you?” asked a friend, when I told them about it later.  

“How would you know they didn’t,” I countered, “unless you made the effort to speak to them in the first place?”

I don’t usually need much excuse to talk to someone and even without the assistance of a free drink, I was soon interrogating chatting to the young lady next to me who reminded me very much of big daughter; a university student of a similar age studying the same subject, and on her way home to spend the weekend with her family.  Students really have got it together these days, I thought as, confident and articulate, she told me about her course and her plans for the weekend.  Soon after our conversation, we were both plugged into our headphones (I love to spend train journeys catching up with episodes of Radio 4's In Our Time) but would catch each other’s eye and smile from time to time.  

Saturday, 26 October 2019

No-nylon sock yarn review: Freehold Yarn Co Autumn 4ply

It's been such a long time since my last no-nylon sock yarn review that you might have forgotten that I write these at all! πŸ˜€

These socks - which feature in my Easy Colourwork Socks tutorial and also in More Super Socks - are knitted in Freehold Yarn Co Autumn 4ply and an update on how they have worn is long overdue!



Before I start the review, there are a couple of things that you need to know:
  • I used to be really tough on my no-nylon socks because I felt that they should be able to stand up to the rigours of being worn as well as socks containing nylon.  My view on this has changed - my belief now is that no-nylon yarns have their own qualities which make them different from commercially-produced yarns and to try to compare them as the same thing doesn't work.  I have learnt that no-nylon socks just don't last as long as ones with nylon in (on my feet anyway - I have pokey toes, see below) but the pleasure of knitting and wearing them is different to other yarns and they should be appreciated for that.  
  • I still expect no-nylon sock yarns to be good value for money - after all, it's no good saying a yarn is suitable for socks if it wears through after one outing! 
  • Being tough with my socks means that they'll get worn for a few days at a time; there's less need to wash natural fibre socks anyway even though we're in the habit of wearing our socks once and then washing them - you don't see sheep showering all the time, do you? πŸ˜€It also means they'll be worn in boots on long dog walks whatever the weather and will probably go into the washing machine because that's how most people choose to wash their socks - although painful experience has taught me that the dial goes no higher than a 30 degree hand wash!  (No point in experimenting unless you learn something, eh? πŸ˜€ )
  • I've got pokey toes so unless I reinforce the toes of my socks, there's a good chance that I'm going to go through them faster than many other people - this isn't always helpful in a yarn trial but on the plus side, I can test that aspect out more quickly! πŸ˜€ 

Sunday, 20 October 2019

A-B-C Cowl - free pattern

Imagine that you've got a ball of rather lovely sock yarn that you want to knit up into something to wear around your neck rather than your feet.  You've not got much time to spend on it so a new shawl is out of the question, and anyway, you could do with something that's easier to wear than a shawl as you might be doing a lot of moving about and it can get annoying to keep flipping the ends back over your shoulders (or is that just when I wear them?!).

What you really need is something that you can pull over your head, that arranges itself without the need for faffing in front of mirrors and trying to position a shawl pin using your reflection, and also knits up really quickly.  Oh, and something that you can adapt for any type of yarn that you might have in your stash, and something that's not complicated to knit - as easy as A-B-C, in fact ...  

What you need is the ...

A-B-C Cowl!



Well, would you look at that!  Quick to knit and faff-free to wear.  Perfect!

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Awards and more

Hello hello, how are you doing?  It's another weekend and I'm finally starting to get myself straight again after Yarndale ... all the excitement, the preparation beforehand and then afterwards I'm in a disorganised heap for a few weeks.  You'd think by now I'd be better at this, wouldn't you? πŸ˜€

Right then, it's time to do some catching up on what's been going on around here, and I've got plenty to tell you - and something rather exciting to share too!

First up ... this!




Woohoo!  I am beyond thrilled to tell you that More Super Socks was highly commended in the British Knitting and Crochet Awards so a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for me - and also for everyone else who was nominated.   Whether you're a blogger or designer working (mostly alone) at home, a yarn shop owner or a company that strives to provide the best in yarn and accessories, knowing that what you do is appreciated is a wonderful thing!  

Monday, 14 October 2019

Yarndale 2019

It was a wild and blustery Friday morning at the end of September that I set off from Winwick to drive to Skipton for the seventh annual Yarndale festival.  Seven years of Yarndale, can you believe that?  And I've been involved for five of those years with the Yarndale Sock Line - it's been fabulous!

The last six years have been beautiful Autumn weekends, the leaves just turning from green to shades of brown, orange and red, but this year the leaves were blowing off the trees before they could even change colour and the rain was coming in sideways ... we were all keeping our fingers crossed for some last-minute sunshine!

There's a certain irony about the sign above these sheep but we won't mention that :)

It's become a tradition now for me to meet Lucy at Coopers Cafe Bar where she's been at the Friday morning knit n natter session (always a busy session with so many visitors able to drop in to knit and chat) and then we head on up to the Auction Mart, where the preparations for Yarndale have been in full swing for a couple of days.  Here's the bunting in the Hub going up ...

Source: Attic24

and if you look at the photo above, you'll see there's a blank yellow wall on the left.  Not long after this photo was taken, there was something else there ...