Unravelling … such a good word sometimes, and exactly the word for my week.

My internet search defined “unravel” as this:

1  undo (twisted, knitted, or woven threads). 

2  (of twisted, knitted or woven threads) become undone. 

3  (of an intricate process, system, or arrangement) disintegrate or be destroyed. 

4  investigate and solve or explain (something complicated or puzzling);

and I think I can safely say that all of those definitions have applied to me this week!

There’s been a full moon so there’s been some mental unravelling going on (best treated with a bath, a good book and an early night, I find) and I’ve been designing a new sock pattern which always comes with it’s fair share (and sometimes what feels like more than it’s fair share) of unravelling to find the exact pattern that the yarn wants.  It’s always down to the yarn, you know.  I like to imagine that I am in charge of the designing process but I have learnt over the years that I really am not! 🙂

It’s a commission pattern so I can’t tell you anything about it other than that it is for a pair of socks, they’re knitted with yarn and it will be available later this year – so basically, I can’t tell you anything at all!  It’s exciting stuff, but also comes with a deadline which adds an extra frisson to the whole experience – especially when the pattern doesn’t fall into place straight away.

I’d love to tell you that my sock designing always looks like this …

A calico cat sitting on a pair of legs. A hand holding a turquoise partly knitted sock is in the foreground

Me on a comfy sofa with a comfy cat on my knee and with a sock in my hands that is pretty much knitting itself.  And sometimes, that does happen and it’s an amazing feeling!  This sock is another new pattern to come, but it’s one of mine so I can show you.  I’m running late with getting the pattern to my pattern testers and I want to make sure it’s OK before I tell you more about it, but I’m hoping it won’t be too much longer before I’ve caught up and can show you more!

Unfortunately – and as I expect any other designer will agree – knitting design often looks like this …

Curly purple yarn - the result of a project being unravelled

(This is the yarn from my Zoom socks so don’t worry that I’m giving secrets away when I shouldn’t do!)

I have spent a lot of this week unravelling yarn.  Both definitions 1 and 2 have applied to me as I have ripped back knitting, untangled yarn barf and steamed curly yarn with the kettle so that I can re-knit it (and always a good excuse for another brew!):

1  undo (twisted, knitted, or woven threads). 

2  (of twisted, knitted or woven threads) become undone. 

It’s just part of the creative process; sometimes frustrating but always rewarding – although I will be honest and say that I this week, I have run through the whole gamut of “Ah, that one didn’t work” to “Drat, I thought that would look better” to “Oh for heaven’s sake!” to “Right, that’s it, I’m going to bed!” (and maybe not quite so politely!) as I reached definition 3 …

3  (of an intricate process, system, or arrangement) disintegrate or be destroyed. 

and pulled it all apart for what felt like the 350th time.  It wasn’t of course; it took fewer attempts than it felt like at the time, and each only needed a little tweaking to improve and now that it’s done, I feel like Poirot solving a mystery …

4  investigate and solve or explain (something complicated or puzzling);

as all of the pieces of the puzzle slotted together, the stitch charting made sense and the yarn was happy to be knitted into the pattern I had found for it.



Today, my mission is to unravel the knots in my shoulders from a week of concentrated knitting.  I haven’t much planned at all apart from chatting to you and maybe listening to a podcast later – a year or so ago during the Winter Haven KAL, I discovered the Fortunately … with Fi and Jane podcast on BBC Sounds after a recommendation.  They have now moved on from the BBC to Times Radio and have a daily podcast summarising their afternoon show – it’s so good, absolutely up my street and they have such interesting guests.

It snowed yesterday (oh happy day – and typical after last week’s post where I wrote about the arrival of spring) – we’ve not had anything like the snow that other parts of the country have (no surprises there) but we did have a day of big fat flakes which kept me looking out of the window to see what was happening.

The sun is shining now and all traces of the snow have gone.  I’ve been out for a local walk with the dog – just a short walk as he hurt his leg whilst we were out walking with friends the other day and I didn’t want him to overdo it.   I think he may have pulled a muscle from jumping around, or possibly got stiff sitting on the floor of the pub where we had lunch but he seems fine now.  He’s nearly 12, you know, he’s getting to be an old lad and I need to keep an eye on him!

We could see right across to Winter Hill in Lancashire where the transmitter mast is (you know, I’ve just realised that that mast has been a landmark I’ve been familiar with for my whole life – funny how we only notice that we notice things sometimes!) and there was still snow over there.  I have a wonderful memory of sledging there as a child with friends on metal tea trays and bin bags because the snow was too deep for my toboggan!

A view across green fields with snowy hills in the distance

Right, I think it’s time for another brew so I will wish you a happy Friday, hope you have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you soon! xx



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11 Responses

  1. Audrey says:

    your new socks will be worth the wait as they are always beautiful

  2. Susan Rayner says:

    Happy Friday and a happy weekend.
    I hope that the dog will be OK – always worryng when they get older.
    I visited Unravel two weeks ago tomorrow – so your headline grabbed my attention – it was my second visit but a long time after the first and so enjoyable. We don’t have enough knitting shows in the South East and this one is especially welcome – all artisan dyers and spinners, knitters and crocheters (should that be hookers) and lots to be tempted by. And I was duly tempted.
    Our brief day of snow has gone too – but it is bitterly cold now.
    Spring is on hold for now.

  3. Judith Southam says:

    Such a cozy, warm relaxing photo. Thank-you for a pic of your gorgeous PussCat too!❤️❤️????????

  4. Steph Bassett says:

    Lovely email Christine, had to chuckle at your ‘unravelling’ something I suspect many of us do at times. I had a text from my niece Kate earlier in the week, asking please could I knit socks for her little boy Bob, he has chilblains bless him, is often required to wear wellies at school for different activities and his shop bought socks are probably not warm enough. Well, I’ve knitted many pairs of socks over the years, a few pairs for Kate, but I’ve never knitted socks for children. So, I was thinking oh dear how many stitches etc etc. So, I looked online and what did I find?…The Winwick mum basic 4ply sock pattern! and it was free! Happy days. I’d got some lovely suitable sock yarn, and have just finished the heel shaping on the second sock, they are so cute. The sock sizing chart was so useful too and took the guesswork out, Kate lives 150 miles away from me so measuring wasn’t an option but with Bob’s shoe size I think they’ll be just about right. So, Christine, thank you for making this so easy and preventing me from an ‘unraveling’ ???? kind regards, Steph Bassett.

  5. jane says:

    I wonder if the commissioned sock is for Christmas? I’m visiting the UK next month and wondered if the new WYS for Christmas would be available as I missed last years Gingerbread!

  6. Christine says:

    Wonderful will look out for the new socks

  7. Helen says:

    Hope the old chap feels more sprightly soon. The pattern looks interesting. I was in Manchester for birthday fun and there were constant snow blizzards but nothing settled there or back in Stockport; sad. Helen x

  8. Irune Isuskiza says:

    Your unravelling has made me remember my last pair of socks. They have constrasting heels and toes and I don’t know why one of them is bigger than the other. I didn’t notice the difference until both were finished. They are in my drawer now but, after reading your post, I think this week I’ll unravel one of them to make them the same size…

  9. Rachel says:

    Undesigning is a critical part of designing! lol. Looking forward to seeing your new socks!

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