“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
This quote by Lady Bird Johnson was the inspiration behind the yarn collaboration between West Yorkshire Spinners and the breast cancer charity Future Dreams, and the result was a yarn in the colours of flowers and a desire to raise funds from the sales of the yarn to support the work of the charity – and a baby socks pattern called Hope Socks.
It wasn’t the word “flowers” in the quotation that caught my attention, but the word “hope”. We all need hope in our lives – something to live for, something to aim for, whether we are living with a diagnosis of an illness or not – and where can you find a brighter symbol of hope than with a baby? Holding them in our arms, we wish for a better world for them and we can work for a future where they can live their lives with joy, passion, and when their time comes, try to make the world a better place for the next generation themselves.
I wrote about this yarn earlier this month when it was launched, and that was when I discovered more about Future Dreams and what the charity does – and it’s amazing! I’m really not surprised that my favourite yarn company wants to support them, and I am very proud to be associated with a company that wants to do something so positive for others.
The Future Dreams yarn is a DK (8ply) yarn in the West Yorkshire Spinners Colour Lab range. This is a 100% wool range of yarn that is surprisingly soft (not at all like the itchy wool garments you may have grown up with if you’re a similar age to me 🙂 ) and although 100% wool isn’t always the immediate choice for socks, you have to agree that it looks fabulous, whatever size the socks are!
For adult socks that are going to be worn around the house or as bed socks, knitting the socks entirely in Future Dreams is perfect, but I’d recommend a contrast colour for heels and toes in sock yarn (4ply leftovers held double will work very well) to make them more hardwearing if you want to wear them out and about. You can find the free adult-sized Basic 8ply (DK) Boot Socks pattern here, and you can find a tutorial on creating contrast cuffs, heels and toes here.
For baby socks, however, this thick, squishy double knit yarn is perfect – especially for those babies who are carried in slings and baby carriers or pushed in buggies where their feet might be more exposed to the colder weather coming up. These can literally be boot socks for babies, pulled on over tights, leggings and thinner socks, and knitted in a bigger size to accommodate extra layers and growing feet.
Colour Lab Future Dreams yarn comes in 100g balls which is plenty to make a pair of baby socks – in fact, you’d get a few pairs from the same ball which makes it great value, and the socks are quick to knit up too so you could have a unique hand-knitted gift within a few hours!
You might have noticed that the cuff has something a little extra …
The picot cuff creates eyelets which give a really pretty, lacy edge – a perfect match to this flowery yarn. Not everybody wants a lacy cuff, though, so I’ve given instructions in the pattern to create a plain cuff too, and then this pattern will be just right for every baby! The rolled ribbed cuff continues all the way down to the heel to give a secure fit – any new parent knows that losing socks is an occupational hazard 🙂
The pattern is based on my Basic 4ply Socks pattern. All of my patterns are based on this same basic pattern, whatever the weight of the yarn, and this is the pattern that’s used in my beginner Winwick Mum Sockalong tutorials. Even if you’ve never knitted any kind of sock before, as long as you can confidently knit, purl and cast on, you’ll be knitting socks in no time – and there’s advice on knitting them in any size too, so that you can adapt the original pattern to suit anybody you want to knit for, whatever shape or size their feet are!
You don’t have to worry about working out different sizes with this pattern, though – the Hope Socks pattern has been written in three sizes from 0-6 months, 6 months and 12 months so there’s plenty of growth room in these little socks 🙂 I’ve used the same heel flap and gusset as for my children’s and adult socks patterns and the same slip stitch heel flap which I think gives a bit of extra cushioning for those kicking feet – I don’t know about the babies in your life, but my girls were always moving their feet when they were tiny and extra cushioning never goes amiss!
I hadn’t planned to create a sock pattern to go with this yarn at all, but when the people at Future Dreams asked if I’d knit socks for them to use in a photo shoot for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I knew that this was my opportunity to do something a bit different with the baby socks they wanted so that I could contribute to the fundraising as well.
I’m going to donate £1 from the sale of each pattern to Future Dreams, and I’ll be making this donation for the foreseeable future as there’s no cure for breast cancer just yet and Future Dreams are doing such wonderful work in making life better for those who are living with a diagnosis. They are giving them hope.
You can find the Hope Socks pattern here on Ravelry and if you’re not a Ravelry member, you can use this button (it doesn’t take you to the website):
You can also find the button on Payhip here.
Thank you so much if you choose to buy the pattern, and I hope you enjoy knitting the socks!