Winwick Mum Sockalong 6th birthday
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Sockalong,
Happy birthday to you!
Well, can you believe it?! It’s six years since the Winwick Mum Sockalong started and I couldn’t be happier to know that the tutorials and the pattern are still so useful to people who are just starting out on their sock knitting adventures.
When you create something like the Sockalong, then of course you hope that it will be more than a short firework fizzle in the endless sky of the internet universe, but I can honestly tell you that apart from wanting to make sure that I tried to make it as easy as possible for someone to knit a pair of socks, there was never any grand plan – certainly never any six year plan! – and it has been wonderful to see how everything has evolved.
If you’re new to the blog, you might wonder what has evolved in those six years … Well, in the same year as the tutorials were written and published on the blog (always with the intention of them being freely available on the blog for anyone who wanted to use them), I turned them into paperback form as Super Socks for those who couldn’t or didn’t want to be online all the time, and also e-book form for those who prefer that format. I started the Winwick Mum Sockalong Facebook group so that people could ask questions in real time and that’s been amazing – there are thousands of people from all over the world in this group and thanks to the magic of time zones and people’s generosity in helping others to learn, this really is a group that works in real time – whatever the time! There’s also the Winwick Mum Knit n Natter group on Facebook which came about as those who were knitting socks also wanted to chat, to share other project pictures and to just connect with other people. Both groups have been quite a lifeline during our recent lockdown situation, and it’s been brilliant to see how many people have decided that now is the right time for them to be learning to knit socks.
What else? Well, a bit later on I wrote More Super Socks for people who had knitted their first basic pairs and wanted to move onto a different pattern, but still felt that other patterns were a step too far. It contains four of my in-depth tutorials (with videos!) and four exclusive patterns which are more wordy than many you will find, but those extra steps have made it easier for people to step out of their comfort zones and to branch out with their knitting.
I’ve also won a few awards now (you can see them down the left hand side bar – I’m very proud of them!), I’ve been delighted to be invited to write articles and design socks for magazines, yarn shops and of course, my favourite yarn company, West Yorkshire Spinners! What I never could have imagined those six years ago and best of all is that I’ve got my very own Winwick Mum yarn designed in collaboration with my lovely friends at West Yorkshire Spinners, and I have loved seeing it being knitted up, knowing that people have enjoyed using it and have been able to support their local yarn shops by buying it. And let’s not forget all the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made along the way too … it truly has been an incredible time!
It still blows me away to think about everything that has happened over the last six years. I have been very blessed, and I never forget that how much of that is down to you – thank you for knitting the socks, for sharing the tutorials with others who want to learn, for giving your time to help others once you have learnt yourself, for buying my books and my yarn … thank you! xx
So what happens now? Well, the Sockalong tutorials are staying on the blog for free – I have always said that if someone has the money to buy the yarn and needles or buy the book then I would much rather than they bought the yarn and got started – so there’s no change there. Super Socks is still available for anybody who wants to buy a paperback or ebook version. More Super Socks, the follow-on book with more techniques and patterns, is also still available in paperback and e-book versions. West Yorkshire Spinners are still producing Winwick Mum yarn which is available from WYS stockists worldwide and now there are two collections, so that’s eight colourways to choose from. There are some more videos on my YouTube channel, but because I move at a snail’s pace where videos are concerned, it’s taking some time to get everything I want to finished 😀
Another thing that hasn’t changed is the Winwick Mum Sockalong birthday giveaway. Every year, I get to do this and every year I think how fortunate I am to be able to even think about it!
As usual there are two prizes …
There’s a signed copy of Super Socks, a ball of Winwick Mum yarn in one of the new Seasons colours, a pack of accessories to help you get your sock knitting started, a knitter’s mug with some drinks to go with it and a Winwick Mum Sockalong badge.
The yarns that you can see pictured with the prizes are Spring Green and Winter Icicle, but don’t worry if they’re not your colours as I have one of each of the Seasons colours and can swap the ball if you win and you don’t want one of those pictured. I am very accommodating! 😀
You can find out more about the yarn colours – pictured above from the left are Spring Green, Summer Sunset, Winter Icicle (at the top) and Autumn Leaves (underneath) – through the posts I wrote about the yarn when it was launched earlier this year. The first post about the collection is here, the colours and inspirations post is here, and the post about the patterns I wrote to go with the yarns is here.
Also included in the prize is an accessories pack. There are LOADS of useful accessories in this pack – sadly not in a more imaginative colour – but they’re great for someone who is just starting out on their sock adventure, or perhaps needs a few more things to add to their own toolkit.
There’s a needle gauge with a ruler (perfect for those tension swatches! 😉 ), a tape measure, locking stitch markers, yarn spools (ideal for colourwork), wool needles, a cable needle, stitch holders, row counters and two different sizes of needle protectors (just the thing if you’re using one of those really tiny short circulars!). That’s a lot of kit in one bag, isn’t it? I think we can forgive it for being grey!
To keep you going whilst you’re knitting your socks, there’s a mug with a sachet of hot chocolate, a coffee bag (I have it on good authority from the coffee drinkers in the house that these ones are really good!) and because I drink loose leaf tea these days and didn’t think you’d thank me for tea leaves in your parcel, I’ve included my other favourite tea which is Turmeric Gold. If it sounds a bit healthy, trust me that it tastes better than it sounds – at least give it a go!
The mugs are a generous gift from Peter at Express Mugs who got in touch to ask if I’d like to some mugs from their huuuuuge range to add to my giveaway. I think that a brew is pretty much compulsory when you’re knitting, so I was delighted to choose two knitting mugs to be able to give to you. Thank you very much, Peter! Please do go and take a look at their range if you know someone who knits (there are more than these two!), crochets, bakes, golfs, does yoga, is a relative … oh, there are LOADS of them!
There is, as always, a signed copy of Super Socks. If you’re new to the blog and to the Sockalong, then Super Socks is the paperback version of the Sockalong tutorials that you can find if you click the purple picture in the top right hand corner of the blog.
The book contains the same information as the online tutorials but is set out by needle type rather than across sock sections as the online tutorials are. It’s a good big size to prop open with your brew (and I’m giving you a mug to do just that – handy, eh?!) and there are pages at the back to make notes.
There is just one sock pattern in there – the Basic Sockspattern – given in both 4ply and 6ply versions, and this is because this is a book for beginners. The point of the book is that it’s a tutorial, the best way I could think of for you and I to sit together and knit a pair of socks without confusing everything by trying to cram lots of other patterns in there as well. You can go and find other patterns at any time, but my intention with Super Socks and the Sockalong tutorials is to help you knit your first pair so that you understand what you are doing and you feel like a sock knitting superstar when you put them on your feet!
If you want to see inside the book, take a look at this post here as it shows you what’s in there and how the book was put together. If you want to see the online tutorials as well so that you can compare, and check out my writing style if you’re a Winwick Mum newbie, you can find those here.
The last item is the Winwick Mum Sockalong badge which goes with both prizes – ideal for project bags and also for wearing to festivals (when we can go to them again) so that you can spot other Sockalongers.
What do you think? Does that look like something you’d like to have winging it’s way into your letterbox? Here’s how to enter the giveaway!
For the last five years, I’ve been asking you to tell me how many pairs of Sockalong socks you knitted since the last Sockalong birthday. I’ll never know for sure how many pairs of socks have actually been knitted using the Basic Socks pattern and tutorials, but it’s nice to get at least some idea so this year will be continuing the tradition of the Annual Sock Count. So far, our running total through the blog stands at 13,385 pairs – how many more have been knitted this year?! It’s not a competition with previous years, it’s just a bit of fun (and might also tell me how close we are to really taking over the world with hand-knit socks 😉)
To enter the giveaway, please comment how many pairs of basic Sockalong socks (not other patterns, please) you have knitted since May 2020. Don’t worry if you’re still making you first pair or are about to cast on, just write that information and your comment will count too. Because there’s a choice of yarn, don’t forget to tell me which one you would like too!
Entries to the giveaway will close at 8pm BST on Friday 7 May 2021 and I will let you know the winners as soon as possible after that time (it may get to Saturday or even Sunday but I won’t have forgotten! 😀). I am happy to post the prizes anywhere in the world so don’t feel that you can’t be part of this because you don’t live in the UK. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Google or blog account to leave a comment, you can leave it as “anonymous” but don’t forget to put your name in the comment so that when I post the winners I’ll be able to identify you so that you can get in touch for your prize (and please do come back to check if you’re a winner)! Oh, and also don’t worry that your comment doesn’t show straight away – the comments are set for me to check them before they upload to the blog to make sure that no spam gets through so they are all safely stored in my blog messages until I’ve seen them. I’ll make sure they’re all uploaded on time!
Happy birthday Sockalong, here’s to many more years of socking all over the world!