Nearly Winter

I don’t know what it’s been like where you are, but our weather has been boomeranging between temperatures this week.  We started off at sub-zero temperatures at the beginning of the week, and now it’s as warm as an early Spring day.  I have a feeling this is just how it is now that climate change is an unstoppable force, but I’m still going to hope for snow 🙂

I just love the way everywhere looks when it’s been frosty, how each blade of grass and vein of a leaf is outlined in hoar, sharply defined in a way that makes you stop and notice just how beautiful it all is.  I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of crisp, wintery mornings.

My Split Mittens have been unearthed from the hats and gloves basket this week.  They’re looking distinctly battered now, but they are three years old and they have had a LOT of wear!  If you fancy making a pair for yourself (and seeing how they looked when they were new!), you can find the pattern here.

Now’s the time of year for writing Christmas cards, for making festive preparations, for getting ready for the end of the year and the start of a new one – a blank page to write a whole new set of adventures on.  It’s always at times like these that the urge to cast on something new grips me – what is it about a big to-do list that urges you away from doing what you should be doing to doing what you’d rather do instead? 🙂  There is some rationale behind this, though – I have lots of plans for next year and I’m revisiting my Continental knitting technique in an effort to take the pressure off my right arm and shoulder.  So far, it’s slow but steady; I’ve been watching YouTube videos and asking knitting friends both on and offline how they hold their hands, their yarn and even their knitting to see if I can find a way that feels comfortable and is at least a similar speed to my current style.

So, in an effort to do something productive whilst I’m practising, I’ve cast on a DK (8ply) sock (you can find the pattern here) in West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK (shade Rum Paradise).  Being a DK sock, it’s growing quickly and I’m doing my best to knit as much of it as I can in my Continental (actually Norwegian) style.  The Aire Valley yarn is discontinued now and was replaced earlier this year by Colour Lab, a no-nylon yarn which knitted up into a good pair of socks – I’m about due to write the review for it, I think – I’ll try to get that done before the end of the year.

Here’s tonight’s job.  I’ve got more socks that need darning than are in my sock drawer now, so drastic action is called for!  I don’t mind doing it, but I’d rather be knitting which is why I’ve put it off.

Finally – and I’m sorry about the short notice – I’m at Yarn Etc in Harrogate tomorrow (Saturday 7 December 2019) from 10am – 4pm if you’re local and can come in to say hello.  I’ll have my books with me and am always thrilled to see people’s socks, either on feet or on the needles!  The shop address is 17 Knaresborough Road, Harrogate, HG2 7SR.

Right – those holey socks are calling!  Have a lovely weekend, whatever you’re doing – and I’ll hope to see some of you tomorrow! xx

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9 Responses

  1. Jane says:

    Hi Christine that rainbow sock yarn is gorgeous – what is it please?

    • Winwick Mum says:

      It's West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK in the shade Rum Paradise, but Aire Valley has been discontinued now. You might still find a few balls around if you do an internet search xx

  2. happy hooker says:

    Lovely photos of frosty leaves. I love the bright, frosty days of winter, but do miss the warmth and light of spring/summer. I sometimes use continental knitting to ease the stiffness in my right hand, but after 60-odd years of English knitting, it's not as quick and automatic. Enjoy the darning. Do you keep some of the yarn to darn with, or just use what you have to hand? xx

    • Winwick Mum says:

      It's not easy to switch to a new technique after you've been using one for such a long time, is it? I know I need to be more patient with myself but it's very hard! I've usually got yarn left over from my socks and I don't tend to throw any of it away so there's always some on hand for darning 🙂 xx

  3. Barbara says:

    I switched over to Continental style about 5 or 6 years ago and haven't looked back. I crochet so I simply tensioned the yarn the same way and all it took was one baby sweater to get used to it. It's wonderful to be able to do both when you're doing stranded knitting.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      It's the tension that's causing me the problems, I think – I'm a bit looser with Continental and I'm not finding the right hold in my left hand to fix that. More practice needed! 🙂 xx

  4. Jools41 says:

    I know what you mean about the weather – I'm a bit further south and we have only had a couple of crisp mornings, so far.
    My new year's resolution is to try out the Portuguese style of knitting, in the hope that my elbow will approve!
    Best wishes, J.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Portuguese knitting has been mentioned to me as another method to try, but I'm not sure about having to have the yarn around my neck to tension it – I like to be able to do surreptitious knitting from time to time! 🙂 xx

  5. Morag says:

    Hi Christine, I wonder if you've used this method for patching holes socks? I came across it and thought of you.


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