Slow Sunday

Hello to you, how is your week going?  It’s an odd one this week, isn’t it?  “A mixture of the usual and the extraordinary,” I heard it called on the radio and it is, as we wait for The Queen’s funeral on Monday and watch the incredible footage of a queue in London that can been seen from space.  I’ve got to say, I hugely admire anybody who is prepared to stand for 24 hours in that queue to pay their last respects to Her Majesty, and if that was you, I take my hat off to you.  I hope you went well-prepared with snacks and a waterproof!

My Sunday is all about the socks.  This was last Sunday’s view of them …

A half-knitted sock in pale pastel stripes lies on a wooden table next to the ball of yarn, a pair of gold scissors in a brown leather case and a small square jute bag with an image of the comic book character, "Oor Wullie" on it

after not so small daughter had seen the yarn in my stash box when I was doing some tidying up and fell in love with it.  I have been inspired by my friend Lynne Rowe from Knit Crochet Create who has been on a mission to use up her stash (and has some amazing patterns to use it up with on her website) so I decided that there was no need to keep the yarn “for best” and cast on.

This was my Instagram photo of the socks just after I’d started so it’s very carefully laid out 🙂  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.  It’s a bit of a shame as Aire Valley had nylon in with the wool which made it good for boot socks, but the Colour Lab yarns which replaced it are lovely and if you use “normal” sock yarn held double for contrast heels and toes, the 100% wool shouldn’t wear through any more quickly than any other yarn.  These are boot socks and yes, of course there’s a pattern and yes, it’s free here on the blog and yes, you can use the Winwick Mum Sockalong tutorials if you are new to socks and need help 🙂

Also in my carefully curated Instagram photo are my scissors in their Muud Espoo case – you know, I always used to be terrible at using scissors when I was working; I’d bite the yarn and neaten it up later which is not good for your teeth but now, I love taking my little gold scissors out of the case and cutting the yarn properly.  I have no idea what difference having a little case makes, but it does mean that my dentist is happier with my yarn-cutting technique!

Finally in this photo is a small jute bag that my husband bought for me recently when we went up to Dundee to see relatives.  He knows how much I love Oor Wullie and The Broons and also knew that I would want to fill this little bag with yarn (he knows me so well!) and it’s been just right for this pair of socks.  I have far too many project bags hanging around and have been doing some tidying up and finishing off, but I couldn’t resist seeing this one out!

There’s been a lot of progress on the socks this week in not an awful lot of time (oh, the joy of thick yarn and needles!).  One sock is finished and I should have the other one finished today.

A knitted sock in pale pastel stripes lies next to the half-knitted second sock and the ball of yarn on a pink checked duvet cover

This has been me this morning, working “just another round” whilst sitting in bed with my cup of tea.  It’s raining outside, I’ve nothing to rush out of bed for and I’ve got company …

A tortie and white cat sprawls comfortably on a pink and white checked duvet cover. She is partly lying on a multi-coloured crochet blanket

I’ve had my Neat Ripple Blanket on the bed for a couple of nights now as it’s definitely felt cooler and I’ve had cold feet.  I’m not quite at the point where I need to wear socks in bed or pull the blanket up any higher, but it’s been nice to feel the weight of it on my feet.

I’m not feeling in the least bit guilty about still sitting in Duvet HQ mid-morning.  It’s been a long and busy week – it feels like not so small daughter has been at college for ages but this was her first full week and she was feeling it by Friday.  It’s hardly surprising as she has spent the last 10 weeks not doing much at all after her GCSEs and it takes a while to get back into feeling match-fit again.

Thank you for all your well wishes after me coming down with the Back to School lurgy last week.  I took it very easy over last weekend and it wasn’t long before I was feeling on top form again so I’ve been in the garden a lot this week.  We had some branches of a tree cut down and whilst that was a job that needed doing, the branches still needed sorting out afterwards – I did toy with the idea of leaving them on the grass as a “feature” but you and I can both see that that wouldn’t have worked …

A large pile of branches on a grass lawn

In theory, it wasn’t a long or difficult job to sort them out as my shredder made short work of the brush, but I decided that it would be better to put the shreddings straight onto the borders rather than pile them up and have to do the job later so I was clearing the borders at the same time.  That took me longer than I had planned (of course) but it’s a job done and my future self will be very pleased with my current self when the weather isn’t good later in the year and the garden is already tidied!

And being outside in the sunshine meant that I got to see these beauties …

Bright yellow Rudbeckia flowers against green leavesA close up of golden yellow Rubeckia flowers with brown centres, against a background of green leaves

I love Rudbeckia flowers.  These are Rudbeckia goldsturm and it’s the first year they’ve flowered so I am delighted to see so many of them.  I thought that a visiting rabbit had munched the plants beyond recovery in the Spring but it looks like they have recovered very well!

Elsewhere, whilst out and about with the dog, it’s clear that the Summer is coming to an end.  There’s a definite change in the air – it always smells different in September – and it’s been cool enough some mornings for there to be steam rising from the ground as the sun warms the damp grass.

A black dog looks out across a brook. He's standing on a grass bank next to a footpath, the ground beyond him is brown where it has been cleared of brush and the sun is low in a cloudy sky

The dog was fascinated by the movement of the steam – he can see it even if it’s not so clear in this photo!

I’ve also noticed that the leaves are starting to turn shades of red, gold and brown and there are conkers and acorns on the ground.  I have been looking back through last year’s posts and the first time that I posted a photo of conkers was in October which I know doesn’t mean that they weren’t on the ground before that, but the beginning of September feels a bit early.  I think it may be something to do with our very hot Summer, and I’m looking forward to seeing the leaves, but I had thought Summer might last a bit longer!

Leaves on the ground next to a tarmac path. The leaves are shades of green, yellow and brown. Christine's boots are in the photo for contextA fat brown conker lies on the ground next to fallen acorns and a green oak leaf

Also on the ground, both indoors and out, are feathers.

Black and white feathers lie on a stone flag outside a brown door.

Hattie, our kit-cat from the earlier photo, appears to be on a mission to collect every feather in the neighbourhood and returns triumphant from her walks several times a day with a very particular “meow” and a feather in her mouth.  We know where she gets them from and no birds are harmed in the process of this collection (she gathers them from under a nearby tree where there are wood pigeons nesting) but I am surprised that the birds aren’t bald if they shed this many feathers!  There are feathers on the door step, they’re in the house, we’re finding them everywhere and she is very proud of them.  If I take them off her and put them in the bin, she goes to get me another one.  I’m seriously thinking about renaming her “Icarus”! 🙂

I’m nearly done for today’s post.  I have got more sock news to tell you about – I’ve been on a mission of my own to finish off some of the pairs that I’ve had decorating the house in project bags for far too long and I’ve finished another two pairs this week – but I haven’t taken any photos of them yet so they’ll have to wait for another day.  If I can get not so small daughter’s boot socks finished today, that will be three pairs this week and that feels like quite an achievement (even if it’s cheating a bit if it was only toes that needed finish on the other two pairs 🙂 )!

I will tell you, though, that the pattern I showed you last time called Branch Line is now available for free from yarn shops that are taking part in Yarnstravaganza.  I haven’t got any more information on that other than what is available on the UK Handknitting website at the moment, but I can tell you that there are over 200 yarn shops taking part and they all have events on over this week (17-24 September) so it’s worth having a look at the yarn shop map to see if there’s anywhere near you that is involved.  If you use social media, it’s also worth having a look there using the hashtag #yarnstravaganza as stores are posting details of their own events during the week.  If I find out anything else, I’ll let you know!

Yarnstravaganza update!  You can find which shops are taking part through the map link above and there is also information on the UK Handknitting website about what events and promotions are happening at the shops taking part too.  You might have to ask for the two free patterns – there’s Branch Line, my sock pattern, and a crochet bag designed by Emkat Crochet – some shops are giving them away with purchases but I think the shops might have to print the patterns out themselves so if you don’t seen them on the counter, you’ll need to ask.

My local yarn shop, Black Sheep Wools, has definitely got the pattern available, as has Yarn Etc in Harrogate and the other stores on the map list will have it, they just might not have it out on show.  It’s all ended up being a bit complicated!

This is the photo from the pattern – the socks were knitted up in Cygnet, King Cole, Rico and Stylecraft to show how they looked in the colours from the UK Handknitting partner yarn manufacturers.

Do let me know if you manage to track down a copy of the pattern – and do let me know if you knit the socks!

I’ll let you get back to your day now, and I hope it’s a good one.  See you soon! xx

A tabby and white cat lies on a pink and white checked duvet next to a half-knitted sock.




You may also like...

12 Responses

  1. Karen says:

    your socks are always so pretty and I’m amazed that your weather is so chilled right now. I watch some on the queen every day here in the states and see people standing in line with coats and hats and wonder how cold is it there! it is only the end of September after all – here we are still in the heat and so dry we need your rain. I am amazed at all those standing for hours in that weather to say goodbye to the queen – I don’t know how they do it.

    • winwickmum says:

      It’s been incredible to watch The Queue as people have lined up to pay their respects. The Queue has even had its own weather forecast on the TV which has been funny to watch. It’s not that warm here where you’re standing out of the sunshine and it will have been cold overnight for people queuing xx

  2. Helen says:

    It has home chilly this last week. I’m in sleeves. We dropped to 16c the last few days. I have a feather collector too, they’re funny.

    • winwickmum says:

      I’ve been wearing my jeans and boots this week, even though I wanted to hang on to the last of Summer – it was just a bit cold to be sitting about in shorts and bare feet! 🙂 xx

  3. Lucy, Netley Abbey, Hampshire (England) says:

    I heard on the radio that the heatwave has started an early Autumn and that we might get a “false spring” while nature tries to reset itself.
    Love the kitty photos, they’re growing into gorgeous cats.

    • winwickmum says:

      That sounds like a reasonable explanation for what’s going on and I like the idea that nature will reset itself! Thank you, they are growing into lovely cats but they are still completely kitten-daft sometimes! 🙂 xx

  4. Glenys Riggs. says:

    Sherbet Fizz is so pretty, pity to hide in boots!! My O.D. saw a picture of it somewhere and has managed to get some even though discontinued. However while visiting me overnight she was knitting socks with some Platinum Jubilee wool, with sparkly red tops and heels but black toes!!

  5. Barbara says:

    I’m sitting in duvet HQ reading this lovely post. What a great expression! Must get some thicker sock wool for the winter as they make great slipper socks for my men. Your kitties are gorgeous and the feather collecting made me smile. My sons cat is just the same although the feathers never look that pristine once he’s finished chewing them. Happy knitting today. B x

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, thick yarn is brilliant for slipper socks, I think we’re all suddenly going to get much better at layering up this Winter! I usually try to remove the feathers before the chewing starts as I’m not convinced that’s a healthy addition to their diets! 🙂 xx

  6. Carol says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your world with us. With the passing of the Queen it has been wonderful to have your perspective. I don’t remember the world before her!

    Will Branch Line be available for those of us who could not attend Yarnstravagsnza?

Leave a Reply

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