Blogtober 2023 : Day 4

It’s been another rainy day here in Winwick.  Fortunately, there have been no more bank-related incidents, but we think the dog has been stung by a wasp on his nose and it’s swollen up into a big lump.  I’ve Googled it and it looks like it should go down on its own but tomorrow’s post could be all about our trip to the vet … let’s hope not!

Let’s talk about something a bit more cheerful – and sock-related!

This week is Yarnstravaganza, a week-long celebration of UK yarn shops organised by UK Hand Knitting, a not-for-profit organisation which promotes hand-knitting and associated crafts, and also supports independent yarn retailers.  This is the second annual Yarnstravaganza week and during the week, the yarn shops taking part offer discounts, goody bags, events – lots of things that are fabulous for people like you and me who visit the shops!

Last year, I was asked if I would design a sock pattern especially for Yarnstravaganza and after it was over, Juliet and Bronagh from the organisation and I agreed that it would stay on their charity knitting pattern pages for anyone to use whenever they wanted.

The pattern is called Branch Line and this pair have been knitted in Stylecraft Head over Heels in shade Amazon.

A pair of patterned socks in stripes of shades of green and red on sock blockers lying on a brown shiny tile

It’s based on the Basic 4ply Socks pattern (as always with my designs 🙂 ) and has a converging rib pattern down the side – it’s very easy to do but makes a nice addition to an otherwise plain sock design.  This yarn has a lot to say for itself so I didn’t want to try to compete with the pattern, and I was happy with how it turned out.

I thought I’d remind you about it whilst it’s still Yarnstravaganza week (it runs from 30 September to 7 October this year) and if you’re heading to your yarn shop to pick up some yarn, you might want an extra ball of sock yarn to make yourself another pair of socks! 🙂  There’s a map on the UK Hand Knitting website showing all of the yarn shops taking part so you can see if there’s anywhere local to you.

You can read the original blog post about the socks here, and you can download the Branch Line socks pattern here.


There’s not been a lot else going on today.  I’ve been to the supermarket to buy some food – oh, and I’ve also been to the feed store to buy duck food.

Shelves in a feed store full of bags of food for various livestock

I like going to the feed store.  I like the smell of it.  It smells of horses and tack, and it reminds me of when I was younger and used to ride horses quite regularly; I’ve always loved the smell of stables.  There are so many things that you can buy here for horses and ponies, and I always have to go straight to the poultry section, pick up the sack of food and then head straight to the till so that I’m not tempted to buy myself hoof picks or grooming brushes that I absolutely don’t need.  I’ve got the knack of carrying the sack on my shoulder now so that I look like I know what I’m doing when I’m carrying it around (as opposed to staggering under the weight of it when we first started buying it 🙂 ).

Outside, in a covered area, are bales of hay, straw and shavings.  The bales of straw aren’t quite so easy to carry around, I don’t think – baler twine is thin and cuts into your hands (if you know a trick to carrying it more easily, please do tell me!) and my car is always full of straw for weeks afterwards.  Never big daughter’s car, mind you, and they’re her ducks.  How does that work? 🙂


I hadn’t intended to write today’s post quite so late today, I don’t know where the time has gone!  I hope you’ve had a lovely day and I’ll chat to you again tomorrow! xx



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8 Responses

  1. Lindsay says:

    For years we had horses, chickens and a dairy herd and I loved going to the corn merchants. Your blog brings back memories and those smells unique to the store.
    As for carrying bales, I well remember blisters from bale hauling, I don’t think there’s an easy way!

    • winwickmum says:

      I’m just going to have to start wearing gloves! There is a particular smell to the places, isn’t there? There’s a cat that sits on the counter too, completely ignoring anybody who might need to put anything down there – it’s a store quite different to any other shop! 🙂 xx

  2. Annette says:

    I do love the look of those socks, especially in the amazon colourway. And since I had that yarn in my stash, have spent the afternoon casting them on.

  3. Steffi says:

    Thank you for your daily posts. I enjoy them so much!
    Hope the dog feels better again after the wasp accident!
    Such beautiful socks, I love the yarn colour.
    In Germany, there ist a thing called “Paket Träger”, maybe this would make it easier to carry the bales of straw. Its a short wooden stick with wires at the end. You kann fix the baler twine to the wire and carry the whole thing with the wooden part. Not sure if this would work but maybe it would be worth a try.

    • winwickmum says:

      I’ve had to look up a Paket Träger but what a good idea that is! That would work really well so I might investigate whether I could get one here, or perhaps make myself one. We don’t buy straw that often so it’s not like I’d need one very often – perhaps even a piece of wood slipped underneath the twine so that I could hold the wood would work … oh, you’ve got me thinking now, thank you! 🙂 xx

  4. Jacqui says:

    Yes, I remember the Paketträger from my time in Germany. Very handy for carrying anything tied up with twine or string. I bet there’s still one hiding here somewhere.
    I know that feed shop. I know exactly what you mean about the smell and not getting distracted into buying something other than what I went in for. I will have a look in the garage because when my daughter had a horse, I used to go and buy bales of hay which, like you, ended up all over the boot of the car. I’m sure I bought some kind of zipped cover that I could slip the bale in and that stopped most of the loose hay in the boot. I’ll have a look over the weekend and let you know. You’re welcome to it if I can lay my hands on it.
    I’ve also downloaded the sock pattern. So tempting to go and buy another ball of sock wool….

  5. Helen says:

    I had some plastic ‘handles’ that you slipped carrier bag handles into so that they didn’t dig into your fingers. Maybe something like that would help.They looked a bit like a brandy snap with the top missing…

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