Autumn equinox

It’s the Autumn equinox today, the day when the astrological Autumn begins and the sun crosses the celestial equator.  It might feel as if it’s a bit late as meterological Autumn began on 1 September and if you are in the northern hemisphere, you might have noticed that the temperatures are already a little cooler, there’s that Autumn scent in the air and the leaves are starting to change colour.  The equinox refers to the day of the year (two days, actually, as there is a Spring equinox too) when the sun is directly overhead at noon and there are roughly equal hours of day and night before the days start to get shorter and the nights longer as we head into Winter so there is a significance in marking the equinox as from today, there will be a definite sign that Winter is on the way.

I posted photos last week of conkers and acorns that were underfoot when I was out with the dog, and I was wondering if it was all a bit earlier this year.  In the comments for last week’s post, Lucy told me that she had heard on the radio that an early Autumn had begun thanks to the Summer heatwave and we might get a “false Spring” as Nature corrects herself, and that makes perfect sense to me.

Last week, I also showed you not so small daughter’s socks which were progressing very well – they are knitted in DK yarn and it grows so quickly compared to 4ply!  I sat and finished them through The Queen’s funeral on Monday (there may be a few tears knitted in there too) and in no time at all, they were ready to be worn.

Here are the very same socks on their way to college yesterday morning …

A pair of pale pastel striped socks modelled on feet. The model is sitting on a low wooden table, the floor is tiled in brown tiles and there is a pair of black boots in the top right hand corner of the photo

Oh, she was very pleased with them!  “I had very toasty toes all day ,” was the declaration when she returned home and that’s exactly what I wanted 🙂  It was quite chilly here yesterday so it was a good opportunity to try the socks out and I’m happy that they’re going to get plenty of wear over the coming months.

In case you missed last week’s post with the yarn and pattern details, the yarn is Aire Valley DK from West Yorkshire Spinners in the colourway Sherbet Fizz, and both the colourway and the yarn are now discontinued although you may be able to still find some through an internet search if you’re lucky.  The pattern is my Basic 8ply (DK) Boot Socks pattern which is free here on the blog and you can use the Winwick Mum Sockalong tutorials if you are new to socks and need help.

I’ve got more sock news to tell you, but let me squeeze in a few more Autumn equinox photos first.  I took these early this morning as the sun was coming up.  (There are two photos of spider webs in these next photos so a heads up for those who aren’t keen on spiders – the spiders themselves were nowhere to be seen but in case the webs give you the shivers as well, I thought I’d mention it!)

I think this is my favourite view of the garden with the sun coming through the trees.  It was slightly misty this morning and you can just see it still behind the trees in the sunshine.

The sun is shining through trees and shrubs onto the grass in a garden

Look at that blue sky!  Oh, it was such a beautiful morning!

A view of blue sky and sunshine through the trees on an Autumn morning

I took these whilst I was out with the dog.  It rained heavily yesterday and everywhere was still wet this morning.  Spider webs look so beautiful when they are holding droplets of water that look like jewels.

A large spider's web on a fenceA smaller spider's web in the corner of a fence post and rail

There were more jewels in the grass further along our walk.  I love that this photo is out of focus – you can see how many little tiny beads of dew there were sparkling in the sunshine.

Water droplets sparkle on grass in this out of focus photo

The fields are looking bare now that everything has been harvested.  This is what this field looks like now and not long ago it was full of golden waving barley …

A field of brown stalks where the barley has been harvested. The sky is bright blue and mostly cloudless apart from some on the horizon

It’s just stalks now after the barley has been cut down …

Golden stalks left in the ground after harvesting

or is it?

Actually, no, it’s not.  If you look closely, there are narrow furrows or drills in the ground and that’s where Winter wheat has been sown …

Narrow furrows where wheat has been sown

I noticed a tractor out in the fields the other day and this is what they were doing.  I’ve taken much more notice of the tractors being around this year, or perhaps we’ve been in the same fields at the same time so I’ve seen them around more – I think that farming seems like a stealth move sometimes; we never notice anything happening until suddenly – ta dah – there’s a field full of crops! 🙂

Further over in the blue flax field, the last of the crop has been harvested.  I was wondering why only part of the field had been harvested and it turned out to be because the field had been sown at different times and so the crop was ready to be harvested at different times too.

A bare brown field now that the crop has been harvested

Ah, but even in this field, there’s something new growing …

Curved drill lines in soil for wheat sowing

There are the drill lines for the wheat again, and here are the tractor and combine in action, simultaneously harvesting and sowing whilst the weather is still good …

A tractor and a combine harvester in a field

Source: @coop.janice on Instagram

A view across a field to where a combine harvester is cutting a linseed crop and a tractor is sowing wheat. There is a lot of dust being created by the combining

Source: @coop.janice on Instagram

You can see how dusty the combining is – clouds of it!

Back home from our walk, I did some harvesting of my own and picked some raspberries from the garden to go into my morning smoothie.  Not just any old smoothie, this is the one recommended to me by the herbalist/nutritionist that I have been seeing since earlier this year and I’ve been drinking the combination of almond milk, tofu (you can’t taste it, honestly!), fruit and milled linseed (also known as flaxseed – who knows, a future smoothie may contain linseed from the fields of Winwick!) pretty much every day.

Christine is holding some ripe raspberries in her palm

The fruit in my smoothie is usually frozen fruit – blueberries are my favourite – but today I threw in a few blackcurrants that also came from the garden earlier in the year which I put in the freezer (not many, as they aren’t very sweet) …

Christine is holding frozen blackcurrants in the palm of her hand

There’s also a banana in there, and along with the linseed I’ve started adding some green barley grass powder and my vitamins (I figured I might as well get everything in the one drink!) and it all gets together blitzed in the blender, there are no “bits” for me to get twitchy about and I’ve had one of my five a day plus all my vits!  I feel very healthy and virtuous drinking it 🙂

A banana, ground linseed and green barley grass powder in a blender cup

It’s not any hardship, to be honest, because it tastes really nice!

A pink smoothie in a cup

If you think this all sounds a bit too healthy, there is a reason why my herbalist recommended it, and it’s because both tofu and linseed are what’s known was phytoestrogens and having them in our diet can help those of us with fluctuating oestrogen levels and those not particularly fun perimenopausal symptoms that are the result.  Phytoestrogens occur naturally in certain foods and they act in a similar way to the hormone oestrogen with the cells in our body, but at a much lower and more consistent level than our out-of-control hormonal oestrogen, and that helps to calm everything down.  Now, I am neither a herbalist nor a nutritionist or I would not need to be seeing one myself, so if this sounds like something that would help you, then please do talk to a professional.

I mentioned in my earlier post about seeing the herbalist that I am not against conventional medical help for perimenopausal symptoms and there are choices for everyone.  My herbal remedy is really working for me, and being at the point where I feel so much better than I did at the beginning of the year (and probably quite a bit longer ago than that), I would urge anybody not to put up with those “time of life” changes but definitely seek help of some sort if they start to get unbearable.  It’s not easy to define that moment when you move from being reasonably OK to not being OK at all, but I think that the more we talk about it all, the easier it will be for us to be able to ask for help before things get to crisis point.

And public information announcement over, I’m going to talk about more socks! 🙂

This pair has been on the needles for a while and it’s good to have them finished and on my feet now.

Christine is wearing a pair of blue jeans and pair of blue and rainbow socks. She is sitting on a mustard-coloured sofa

They do make me feel a little bit guilty in that these were started after and finished before my Emergency socks, but it is how it is!  I might have to bring the Emergency Socks indoors from the car and get a few more rounds in … anyway these socks are knitted in the Twilight Rainbow colourway dyed by the talented Caroline at Yarn Unique.  I did find that the yarn was going to pool around the gusset (interestingly, Susan told me in the comments that she hadn’t had that problem when she knitted socks in the same yarn so perhaps the cast on number makes a difference) so I used the helical knitting technique that I talk about in this tutorial on avoiding colour pooling and flashing on sock gussets and I am very happy with the results.

Ooh, and the pattern is my Basic 4ply Socks pattern which you can find for free here.

I’ve got something else to ask you about sock patterns before I sign off for today and I know you’ll let me know what you think!

I mentioned a short while ago that not so small daughter is going to Japan with the Guides next year.  She has to pay for her trip herself through fundraising and I thought I might be able to help her out a little bit by designing a paid for sock pattern, the proceeds of which could go towards her total.

A partly-knitted socks sits on a ball of turquoise stripy yarn

I’ve started the socks already and they are making me smile with every stitch.  The base is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Seascape (no surprise that it’s a Winwick Mum yarn!) with a small amount of colourwork thrown in … they’re a bit of fun and based on my Basic 4ply Socks pattern as usual.  There is a slight twist to the pattern if you choose to use the Seascape yarn like I have … but all will be revealed later!  Not so small daughter has already claimed the socks and I will be releasing the pattern as soon as it’s written and it’s been checked.

I’ve designed another sock pattern that I would also like to release as a paid for pattern, and I’d like to use these to make a donation to the Trussell Trust, the organisation behind food banks.

Two pairs of socks - one pink and one green - lie on a cream background. The pink socks are draped over of a decorative metal bucket and the green socks are on wooden sock blockers

I think it’s heartbreaking that so many people – people who work hard, often at more than one job, who have families, people like you and me and often through no fault of their own – have to go to food banks to make sure that they have enough to eat.  It’s only going to get worse as the Winter goes on and the fuel bills rise and I would like to do more than drop off my bag of food and sanitary donations at the supermarket.

This pattern is designed as a snuggle pair to wear indoors – the yarn shown is West Yorkshire Spinners Elements DK and although I think they might work very well as a no-nylon pair of socks, I like the idea of having a special pair of socks to snuggle up in.  We’ve all got those yarns that we know won’t last the day as “regular” socks but don’t want the yarn to spend eternity as house insulation – and this could be the perfect way to use it!

Now, here’s my question … two paid for patterns before Christmas?  Do you think that’s too many?  Obviously, no one is obliged to buy either but I am not used to releasing my own patterns so close together!

I will thank you in advance for your thoughts, and I will leave you now as I go and get on with a few more rounds of my socks – see you again soon! xx



You may also like...

62 Responses

  1. Cath Evans says:

    Hi Christine and thank you so much for doing something to support food banks. I run a community centre and food bank (it’s an independent venture for the charity that employs me so not affiliated to the Trussel Trust). Today alone I have received 23 calls from people who just don’t know where to turn – hearing someone in tears because they cannot feed their family is heartbreaking and nobody should be in this position. I consider myself very fortunate, I have a job and a warm cosy home with plenty of food and I am able to help my family who sometimes find the cost of living a struggle but it is not like this for everyone. Please please please let me know if there is anything I can do to promote your paid for pattern – I would be more than happy to help. On another note, I love reading your blogs – started after meeting you a few years ago in Yarndale with your infamous Sock Line. It was the sight of that line that started me on my sock knitting journey x

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh Cath, thank you, reading your comment is enough to confirm to me that I do need to publish my pattern – and thank you for everything that you do to help those people who are having to live like this. I’m also very fortunate that I am not having to make that phone call, and I am sure that for some people it’s one of the hardest phone call they have ever made. I’ll get the pattern written up over the weekend ready to be checked and then it can go out as soon as I can manage, and thank you for offering to help me promote it – any shout outs will be gratefully appreciated! xx

  2. Pat Williams says:

    Love the idea of the Snuggle Socks. Would happily pay for the pattern.

  3. Mary P says:

    Personally, I think you could publish 2 paid patterns – it is up to us readers/customers whether or not we purchase either or both.

    I have recently completed a pair of socks using the vegan yarn – lovely finish and cool to wear, especially in recent days.

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, that’s what I was thinking – there will certainly be no arm-twisting from my end! I’m really glad you liked the vegan yarn, I really must finish my pair off 🙂 xx

  4. Karen says:

    I would love to support the food bank charity, I’ve knitted so many free patterns from you and feel this is the perfect opportunity to give a little back. Thank you

  5. Ambermoggie says:

    Yes please to 2 patterns even if I can no longer knit socks sadly 😢. I will gift them to those who do. I am in the fortunate position for now to be able to manage my expenses and always try to give something back. I donate food and charity shop gets what we have that’s saleable. I was always taught we have to share and give back. Happy Equinox and thank you for your blog. It’s lovely to read.

  6. Lindsay says:

    What a lovely post, I love the autumnal photos. It’s my favourite time of the year, mellow sunshine, heavy dew on my early morning dog walks and the wonderful changing hues all around you.
    I would be very happy to pay for a new pattern or two; I love the colours of the first one!

  7. Jacqui says:

    I’d be more than happy to buy both patterns to support your daughter and the foodbanks. I like the idea of snuggle socks and anything with WYS yarn also gets my vote. Scouting and guiding give young people lots of excellent opportunities so more than happy to help your daughter get to Japan. Every little helps.

    • winwickmum says:

      Thank you, that’s very kind of you! I know more about Scouts than Guides so I’ve been really delighted to see how Guiding has been able to offer not so small daughter some incredible opportunities – and besides the trips and the camps, just time every week to be herself with friends at the meetings who aren’t her usual at-college crew. I think the change of scenery is a good thing! 🙂 xx

  8. Caro says:

    Hey! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you’ve got the time, publish both. The socks in the picture look gorgeous. It’s easier to justify splurging on a pattern if you know the money is going to charity. (No disrespect to the designers, it just salves my conscience).

  9. Elaine Enstone says:

    Will happily pay for the patterns. Two very good causes.

  10. Betsy Grizzard says:

    I’ll commit to purchase both patterns! This is an easy way to support worthwhile causes.

  11. Rosie says:

    I will willingly pay for both patterns. Thank you for raising awareness and giving your readers a choice to support these causes. Xx

  12. Jan Nutbourne says:

    Hi, I would love to buy both patterns, it’s hard for young people to raise money to go on such an educational and fun trip. It’s a win ,win we get a pattern your daughter hets her trip money and I also feel bad for people struggling with bills. I’m lucky to have the money to cope but like to do my bit so I would definitely buy the patterns. X

  13. Kerry says:

    Hi Christine, 2 paid for patterns please! You give so freely of your time, blog, how to’s etc as well as your many patterns. These are for such good causes! I’m looking forward to them. Thank you x

  14. Loraine McLean says:

    I will definitely buy two patterns, always happy to help.

  15. Jo says:

    Happy to support two good causes, receiving 2 fab patterns in return as well, it’s a no brainer xxxx

  16. Mary says:

    More than happy to pay for patterns, especially knowing where the money is going!! Lovely that you can use your talent for good. Well done you!

  17. Heather Douglas says:

    Great post, love the pics and would definitely support you with the paid patterns. You so generously share your patterns and knitting info, videos etc for free so it’d be a privilege to be able to support you with the fund raiser. It breaks my heart that so many people are living in such desperate circumstances.

  18. Mary Wilson says:

    Hi Christine. Yes I like the idea of you having 2 paid patterns before Christmas and especially as it will be helping the Food Bank, as I think it will need all the help they can get through the Winter months. It is a lovely idea. Also still not finished a pair of socks so embarrassing as you and others can knock a pair out as fast as I can eat a handful of biscuits, 🤭😄 so any inspiration is good for me. It is mainly due to Arthritis I haven’t knitted for about 7 or 8 months, but managed to do a small crochet baby blanket, which I passed on to a lady at our local Coffee morning. I do basic items for Charity when I can. Started another blanket recently. Get the thermals ready for next week 🙊🙈 Thank you Christine. 😊 xx

    • winwickmum says:

      Don’t be embarrassed about not finishing socks – sometimes they take a while and they are always happy to wait, especially if you have pain your hands. I think he or she will be a very lucky baby to have your blanket 🙂 xx

  19. Sarah Murray says:

    Lovely blog post in every way. Like everyone else has said I too would gladly buy 2 sock patterns. xxx

  20. Lissie says:

    I’ll happily buy both patterns Christine, you started my sock journey in May 2015 with the original sockalong, and my family and friends are very grateful for their annual Christmas and Birthday socks… I’ve made hundreds since that first pair ! They are still going strong but have one knitted patch on them to heal a hole!

    • winwickmum says:

      Hundreds! That’s amazing – and I was only thinking about you the other day as I’ve been updating code on old blog posts and I was reading one about Yarndale and your socks donated to a retirement home in France. Hope you’re keeping well xx

  21. Alison says:

    Thank you for you lovely blog posts. I would be more than happy to pay for both sock patterns.

  22. jane tomkins says:

    Gladly pay for the sock patterns, a win win situation ,helping the food banks and our own mental health .love the calming effect of a few rows of knitting ( and crochet).

  23. Lisa Earnesty says:

    I love your blog and take advantage of the free pattern all the time. Your generosity has always been on the forefront of your knitting journey. I would be more than happy to purchase both patterns to show my appreciation to you. Happy knitting

  24. Jeanette Kettlewell says:

    I yhink it’s perfectly reasonable to release the patterns together as they are different from one another. potential buyers may favor one more than the other, and as you say, thereis no obligation to buy.

    I love the spider web photos! They are what I think of as a “traditional” spider web. i wonder what spider spun them. The webs around my house are either gauzy ones at the sides of the windows outdoors and in the shrubbery, or two from writing spiders.

    Thank you for the smoothie tip. I am in the change of life club, and although my symptoms aren’t terribly troublesome, they’re a bit of a nuisance. I believe my tender finger joints have something to do with the changing hormones. Something to discuss with my doctor!

    It had been middle-of-summer hot this week in northern South Carolina until a blessed cold front from the north blew through overnight Thursday into Friday. Friday was a perfect fall day, and this morning it was a crisp 11⁰C when I woke up. My college daughter and I are meeting at an apple orchard in Hendersonville, North Carina, to buy apples and appley treats, as our family has done for years. we may get in a hike at the nearby Carl Sandberg National Historic Site as well. It will be good to see her, as it’s been 5 weeks. I’ll be delivering some clothing and boots for the cooler weather. Enjoy your Autumn, and thank you for your enjoyable blog posts!

  25. Helen says:

    Yes, please to your paid sock patterns as happy to support you and your causes.

  26. Elaine Gardner says:

    Yes Christine, please do release those 2 patterns together. As a knitter I have through the years bought lots of patterns. At least yours are going to be bought with proceeds going to good causes.
    Your daughters education and experience and the food banks.
    At the moment people who never expected to be in such dire straights are at their wits end and are having to contact the banks so that they can feed their families. What a terrible position to be in.
    I am thankful for my own good fortune and will very happily purchase your patterns.
    Best wishes to you and your family.
    Elaine x

  27. Susan Rayner says:

    I am more than happy to buy two patterns whenever they come out for two such good causes! Our local food bank used to feed about 200 people and it is now nearly 3000! And as a previous Girl Guide (no scouts for girls in my day) I support everything they do!
    I had the menopause from Hell – and little support and not something even your doctor helped much with apart from prescribing HRT – so any alternatives are a wonderful thing to read about and especially as it is now a topic that people talk about!
    I do wish smoothies didn’t have bananas as I am allergic to them and cannot abide the ones with avocado in them!
    I have read in today’s paper that we are having another Mast year – acorns and other seeds being produced in huge quantities by all our trees – often follows a dry summer – but this is sooner than usual and the last Mast year was 2020 and they used to be five to ten years apart – now more like three to five! Mast is good for free range pigs – they forage the acorns!
    I love the autumnal photos – my favourite time of year and not only because it is an excuse to up the knitting! Getting my jumpers and jeans and boots out for the winter makes me so happy!
    Have a lovely weekend!

  28. Debra Cole says:

    What great causes for your sock patterns, especially interested in Japan sock pattern as a Guide Leader, amazing lifetime memories and friendships made on Internationals and jamborees. xx

  29. Karan Lavender says:

    I will happily buy two of your sock patterns at any time of the year and most especially when they are for such good causes.
    I always have a pair of your socks on the go….. sometimes more than one 😉. I now have an emergency sock kit in the car too!
    I look forward to watching for them. I just happen to have a ball of Winwick Mum Seascape waiting for just the right pattern. 😊

  30. Sharon Beauclerc says:

    Hi Christine
    I would be happy to buy two patterns.
    Amazing photos. The spider webs are so intricate magical. Spring is here in Auckland NZ. Forecast a very hot summer and could begin in October. Last summer was the hottest. For a hot house flower I wilted. Thinking of a wall heat pump come cool air pump. Fans just weren’t enough anymore. So love your blog. I’m off with family to watch an international football game. The All Whites v the Socceroos. Ist for me.

  31. Julie Gleason says:

    I personally would love to buy both patterns of socks. I have many patterns, but I find your patterns are very solid and good for everyday wear. Even if I don’t use the yarn West Yorkshire Spinners Yarn. Although I have just started some Christmas socks useing their latest Christmas yarn.

  32. Emma says:

    A lovely pattern and well worth paying for. Your generosity is well known so I know no-one will be against paying for such a beautiful pattern. Plus I love you autumnal photos – they are lovely.

  33. Granjinx says:

    Yes please. Make it soon.

  34. Alison says:

    I don’t think that’s too much, such good reasons to sell them too.

  35. Annie L says:

    I have no issue with two paid patterns in a few months. As you say, it’s up to each person. And the causes are good.

  36. Ann Harrison says:

    I would be very happy to pay for 2 patterns especially for such good causes. I’ve above grateful for all your free patterns, advice and support videos and very happy to pay for these. I know they will be brilliant patterns!

  37. Caitlin Smith says:

    I think it’s perfectly fine to release the patterns together – *especially* when the proceeds of both patterns are meant to help others, and you are donating your own time and creative energy in providing these patterns. It’s up to readers whether/when to purchase them.

    Personally, I am eagerly awaiting both patterns and happy to pay for them. It’s a really smart idea to use your talents in this way! I admire and am inspired by your creative philanthropism. 🙂

  38. Marianne Dryburgh says:

    A bit late to the party but yes I would like both patterns please. As a girl guide leader and avid sock knitter I would support your daughters international adventures. And I love the socks for the Trussel Trust. Just for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *