Sunday catch up

I’m getting really fed up of the rain now, it’s hardly stopped all week.  The dog and I have got wet a few times, Hattie the cat has got wet a few times and I think that even the ducks are past the point of excitement at the downpours.  There’s nothing for it but to stay home and knit! 🙂

Talking about staying home and knitting, I’m really glad that you found my post about the new Yarnsmiths Merino Sock yarn from Wool Warehouse useful – it’s always good to know that I’ve been able to help, although I have been told that maybe I’ve been TOO helpful for those people who hadn’t intended to buy any yarn but suddenly have a delivery on the way.  I’m just helping you to make an informed decision, that’s all! 🤣


I have been back to order some more Yarnsmiths sock yarn myself because I’ve got something coming up that’s brand new to me and I needed to buy some yarn especially for it – I’m taking part in an MKAL!  Now, you’ll have heard of a KAL (Knit-A-Long) because that’s what I do in January with the Winter Haven KAL, but you may not have heard of one with an extra M in front … this one is a Mystery knitalong and it’s a mystery because you don’t know what the pattern will look like, and you only get a section of the pattern at the time.  I have to say that I’ve never been tempted to do one of these before because I am one of those people who wants to see the pattern to see if I’ll like it first, but I was reading the newsletter email from my friend Lynne Rowe from KnitCrochetCreate and she happened to mention that she was taking part in a Mystery KAL organised by the designer Kate Davies and my interest was piqued!

Kate Davies is a fabulous designer based in Scotland and I’ve often admired her designs but have never knitted any.  Lynne had told me a few times about KALs that Kate organises which run over a few months and involve a variety of designs and essays written around the theme (Kate was an academic historian before becoming a designer).  This KAL is called the Summer of Mystery KAL and the theme is the novels of Margery Allingham, and it sounded great – a book club and a knitalong too!  I don’t often have the time to knit things that aren’t on my must-do project list, but I think that it’s easy to continually add to your must-do list without sometimes taking the time out to do something completely different, and I am trying to remember that it’s important to do things just for fun!

The club sign ups are closed (I hadn’t realised they were on a deadline) but you can see what’s involved here if you think you might like to join in with a future one, and I will share my progress with you as I go along so you can see – and maybe you’ve read some of Margery Allingham’s novels as well so you’ll recognise the theme!  You might even be joining in with the MKAL yourself and that would be lovely if you are!

The pattern calls for solid colours but most of what’s in my stash is multi-coloured yarn hence the need to go shopping (oh what a shame! 🙂 ).  I decided not to go for one of the ready-made colourways that you can buy – it’s a shawl and the pattern is themed on the book Hide My Eyes – but instead took inspiration from members of the Ravelry MKAL group and their thoughts on choosing yarn based on the art and general colour palettes of the time.  I’ve chosen my colours based on this piece of pottery by Clarice Cliff …

A pottery bowl and mug decorated in distinctive Clarice Cliff style in blue, orange, green brown and cream


The Kate Davies yarn packs are made up of her Milarrochy Tweed 4ply yarn and whilst it all looks beautiful, I got a bit stuck on choosing the colours as it’s not cheap and I didn’t want to make an expensive mistake.  If I spend a lot of money on yarn and the shawl sits in a drawer, I’ll feel that it’s a waste no matter how much pleasure I’ve had from knitting it.  Instead, I decided that I would go with Yarnsmiths Merino Sock as know that I liked knitting with Yarnsmiths yarn, I can match the colours with the pottery – there was no hesitation for me with choosing those colours! – and it’s on offer (it’s got a launch discount until Tuesday 30 April 2024) so I won’t feel as bad if I never wear the shawl – and if I love it, I can always re-knit the pattern in different yarn another time if I want to.  (Yes, I could have used West Yorkshire Spinners and would have enjoyed that too, but you can’t ignore a discount sometimes, can you?!)

I was sent this photo of the yarn by Wool Warehouse – ooh, all those colours!  Doesn’t it look fabulous?  I think you can probably spot the colours that I’ve chosen! 🙂

Shelves of coloured yarn balanced on wooden stands


Wool Warehouse orders usually arrive very quickly and my yarn is here already!  Here are my colours for the shawl …

Five balls of sock yarn in blue, cinnamon, pumpkin, green and yellow colours lined up on a white background

and if I bought two more balls then I’d get free postage …  Oh, you always need some extra sock yarn in your stash! 🙂

Two balls of sock yarn in dark purple and a lighter purple together on a white background

The MKAL starts on 6 May so it’s not too far away.  I’d better get on with some of those must-do pairs of socks I’ve got on the go!


I realised when I came to look at my camera roll that I haven’t taken many out and about photos recently.  It’s been too flipping wet and I’ve just wanted to walk the dog and get home!  I did manage to snap a few shots though – this one of blackthorn flowers and they are so pretty and delicate …

A close up of tiny white blackthorn flowers on a branch

raindrops in the woodland pool that the dog likes to swim in.  I like that you can see the leaves appearing on the trees in the reflection …

Reflections of trees in a woodland pool. It's raining and you can see the circles in the pool as the raindrops hit the water

Those new leaves are so green!  I’ve not edited this photo in any way, it’s a wonderful time of year to be out and soak up all of that new life!

A view across a woodland path to a small pool. The new leaves on the trees are bright green

Back home and out of the rain, I’ve been revisiting the STEP programme from LearnDoBecome that I started last year.  The premise behind the programme is to help you to “stop drowning in piles” and on the whole, I’ve been doing pretty well at keeping the work that I started going, but I do need to do some more decluttering so I returned to the programme for some thoughts on doing that and fitting it in with my current organisational system.

Isn’t it easy for stuff to get out of hand when you’re not looking?  I decided that I would start with something easy and go through the bank statements that we keep as there’s no emotion attached to any of those so it would be simple for me to throw them away without getting caught up in whether I should keep them or not.  The general rule of thumb is that you don’t need to keep personal bank statements for any more than about 2 years …

Four white bin bags on a grey tiled kitchen floor filled with shredded paper

I had bank statements from 2015!!  I have no idea how I’ve managed that as I had thought I’d cleared them out before, but obviously not!  Anyway, I can tell you that it was very satisfying to let all that paper go, and the ducks have found it just the thing for trampling into the ground and laying their eggs in 🙂

I’ve also discovered the joys of Vinted for selling, not buying, and I’ve got to say that it’s far easier to add things to sell than using Ebay (for me, anyway), so if you’re decluttering and have stalled with a pile of things to start listing (that was me!) then Vinted may be an option.  I do still take plenty of things to the charity shop but some things I want to sell myself instead.


I think that’s us caught up for now so just one more thing to remind you of in case you missed Tuesday’s post … next Friday (3 May 2024) is the Winwick Mum Sockalong’s 9th birthday and I would love for you to be involved!

Every year, I host a giveaway on the blog and there’s a fun count up of pairs of the Basic 4ply Socks knitted since the previous year.  So far, we’re up to 18,288 pairs since the Sockalong began – it’s a fun count up because I’ll never really know the number of pairs and I’m OK with that; I just like to keep counting up because I hope that if someone is teetering on the edge of their first pair of socks, they’ll see that number and think that if all of those people could knit a pair then maybe they could to.  Yes, of course I know that it’s not one pair per person, but there’s still a fair number of people with their needles out in that total! 🙂

If you’d like to join in, the Sockalong birthday post will be out next Friday with all the info that you need, and you can leave your comment on the blog post and be entered into the giveaway if you’d like to.  Don’t worry if you’re only on your first pair, first pairs count too, and this is your heads up to dive into your sock drawer or count up your projects in your Project Super Socks notebook so that you’re ready!


Have a lovely week and I’ll be back on Friday with my party socks on! 🙂 xx



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7 Responses

  1. Angie says:

    I too try to keep up with decluttering but my mum passed away two years ago so sorting out her house and paperwork was so stressful that I sort of got bogged down with life that mine was put on hold, anyway, last year I finally got back on track, my bank statements went back more than 15 years! Wow ! Anyway, I’m getting better at not keeping every last bit of paper I find at bottom of my bag, just in case lol 😁

  2. Jane Rogan says:

    I have now knit 4 pairs of your basic socks and am truly addicted. My daughter bought me a lovely sock book for Christmas called 52 Weeks of socks so I did a tricky lace pair which I am super proud of there was lots of counting involved so it was nice to go back to a basic sock after that. I am now knitting your Twisted Rib socks. I would love to join the KAL for the birthday so will keep my eye out on Friday.

  3. Susan Rayner says:

    I have also signed up for Kate Davies MKAL – I have all the books (bought secondhand from WOB) but have not yet chosen my wool – better get a move on. Having had a delivery of six balls of the Yarnsmiths Merino sock wool this week – I might have to do what you have done and choose some of theirs. Gorgeous stuff.
    The rain has finally stopped here in Surrey – our river is over it’s banks yet again – but no more rain forecast for three days!
    We moved my mother into a care home two years ago and Steve and I emptied her house to sell it – we found 43 years worth of bank statements and cheque book stubs in the bottom of one wardrobe (the length of time she had lived in that house in Cornwall). We had to buy a new shredder to cope. She is still in the care home and will be 99 in July all being well – sadly she has dementia and doesn’t really know us any longer. But it does make me declutter religiously.
    Have a lovely week and hope the rain stops in Winwick too.

  4. Audrey says:

    Oh I know what you mean with the rain. thats all we’ve had this year .with the odd bit sunshine .Most of the fields are waterlogged .Plus our village feels like the Dome at the moment .Our train line is closed for a week while they work on the new train lines so we can only travel so far .But it needs to be done .

  5. Rosy Griffith says:

    I took up sock knitting during lockdown for a new challenge and am from West Yorkshire so glad to find their yarn. The sockalong tutorials got me going and I have now knitted four pairs for the cold feet of my yoga teacher. Your latest blog tempted me to try the merino and my choices were two of yours. Love the blogs and the knitting though my stash is bursting out of the cupboard!

  6. Julie says:

    I too have signed up for the Kate Davies club. I’ve never done anything like this before and am super excited. Not sure I’ll do the shawl. I’m going to see what the other projects are like first.
    Look forward to seeing yours, I love your colourd

  7. Barbara says:

    I’ve made some paper pots for sowing beans from old bank statements… I can only knit simple socks at the moment, not sure why but it’s soothing to stick with tried and tested (and I’ve got a LOT of sockwool in my stash). I appreciate your posts, a breath of fresh air in a troubled world

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