Three things on Tuesday

Hello to you, I hope your Tuesday is going well!  I’m popping in with three things to tell you about, and I hope you’ll think they’re as exciting as I do! 🙂


❤️ It’s this boy’s birthday today, he’s a big 13 and we are so pleased that he is with us and he’s well.  As you can see, the celebrations are well underway and he said he’s intending to celebrate like this until dinner time when he might consider getting up to have a bite to eat.

A black dog is sleeping on a grey carpet in a corner next to a wooden wall and a brick wall. He is wearing a red super-imposed party hat

We’re not always very good at remembering our pets’ birthdays, but it’s St George’s Day today so we do usually remember when the dog has done another lap around the sun.  He’s more interested in what’s in the biscuit tin or where the next muddy puddle is, but we like to give our thanks for him being here with us.


❤️  Ohh, remember last week I said I’d been knitting and knitting but I couldn’t show you because the yarn hadn’t been launched yet?  Well today’s the day – and you can find this brand new Yarnsmiths Merino Sock yarn on the Wool Warehouse website right now!

Wool Warehouse have a wide selection of yarn weights, varieties and colours in their Yarnsmiths range now, and I was just wondering when they’d be adding sock yarn to their stable when I got a phone call out of the blue to tell me all about it – and now I can tell you too!

Five balls of coloured sock yarn balanced on each other on a white table.

I was delighted to be asked if I wanted a sneak peek at the yarn and you can bet I was very excited when the postie arrived with not one but FIVE balls of yarn for me to squish.  Ooh, there was plenty of squeaking going on when I opened the parcel, I can tell you!

Five balls of coloured sock yarn lined up next to each other on a white background Five balls of sock yarn piled on top of each other with a tabby cat rolling on the floor behind them

Yarnsmiths Merino Sock is a superwash merino/nylon blend 4ply yarn and as I’m writing this, I can’t think of another commercial sock yarn where the whole range is a merino blend and it’s not either a hand-dyed yarn or an imported overseas brand, which makes it a really good addition to the choice of sock yarns that are available in the UK.  We sock knitters know that hand knitted socks are the best type of socks you can put on your feet, so the more choice we have in terms of yarns and colours the better!

There are … wait for it … 50 – yes, 50! – solid shades and 15 prints in the range.  That’s an awful lot of colours for a brand new yarn and so I was quite glad that the lovely peeps at Wool Warehouse chose for me because I would still be here choosing the colours if I had to do it myself!  Having said that, they do know that I like purple and I did put in a request for that rainbow-coloured yarn on the right so I was very pleased to see both printed colourways when they turned up in the parcel 🙂

I thought you might like to see the shade cards so here they are – and of course, sock yarn isn’t just for socks so there’s a whole world of projects right here!

A shade card for Yarnsmiths Merino Sock prints with 15 shades A shade card for Yarnsmiths Merino Sock solids with 50 shades

Now, you know very well what I think of WYS Signature 4ply, so what do I think of this new yarn?

A pair of socks in pastel stripes of pink, yellow, blue and green modelled on feet. The background is a brick wall and the model is standing on a dark grey tiled floor

This colourway is Fruit Salad

I think it’s lovely! 🙂

What I did I like about so much?  As much as I love Signature 4ply, I think that it’s good to have different yarns for different patterns and purposes, and I do love having a new yarn to try out!  I really enjoyed knitting with the Yarnsmiths Merino Sock, and I really appreciated how it knitted up given that I was on a knitting mission to try to shut out the worry about the dog.  Speedy stitches were the order of the day, and this yarn did not let me down.

It reminded me of hand-dyed yarn to knit with; it’s soft, it’s smooth, it slides beautifully around your needles and those socks that you can see in the photo above took me just over a weekend to finish.  I’d pretty much finished one sock in a day during the weekend when the dog was poorly and all I wanted to do was sit and knit.

It’s different to WYS as you might expect, being a merino blend as opposed to wool/Blue-faced Leicester which is used in WYS yarn, and the superwash process gives it a different feel as well (it makes it feel smoother in your hands if you like to knit with a yarn like that).  I’ve written about the superwash process for yarn here; it’s basically a chemical process that makes woolly yarn safe to go in a washing machine and it’s made a real difference to how we are able to wear hand knits.  Some people have an issue with it; I say that it has its purpose and we have enough choice for people to avoid it if they want to, but it has meant that some people who can’t wear wool through a wool or lanolin allergy, or have sensory issues can now wear hand knits – and in the case of socks, I think that’s a wonderful thing as life is always better when you can wear hand knitted socks!

Hattie didn’t mind me sitting and knitting all day – it took me a long time to get out of bed on that Saturday morning because we were both very comfy! 🤣

A partly-knitted sock held against the back of a sleeping cat A partly knitted sock photographed next to a cat which has turned to look at the camera

And of course, having tried out one of the prints, I couldn’t leave the other one in the ball to just guess what it looked like …

A striped sock in shades of purple, blue and grey with pink cuff, heel and toes modelled on a foot next to a partly-knitted sock and the ball of yarn.

This is shade Moorland with Dusky Mauve contrast

You’ll probably have noticed that the ball of yarn isn’t the usual ball shape.  I always pull my yarn from the centre of the ball and it worked as well with this yarn as with any other, although what I did find is that as the yarn got used up, the ball seemed to stretch longer and longer – it was very funny!  I know some people like to knit from the outside and there’s no reason why you can’t do that.  It’s still a ball of yarn, after all! 🙂

What I’ve also done is cast on for a patterned sock, just to see what the stitch definition is like if you wanted to knit something other than a plain sock …

A close up of the stitch definition of a partly-knitted teal coloured sock

I was very pleased with how it turned out; you can see the stitches very clearly and I think it’s going to look really lovely – but I need to find the time to get on with it now!

The pattern is Popped by Hunter Hammersen (Ravelry link) – I just fancied knitting someone else’s pattern for a change, although now that the dog is back to his old self and I’ve been able to tear myself away from the comfort of round-and-round knitting, I need to get on and finish the socks I started for not so small daughter’s Nepal fundraising, plus the two pairs of walking socks I’ve promised her for her Himalayan trek and another pair I want to knit for my cousin … these may take a while!

A pair of patterned socks modelled on feet. The feet are resting on a large rock.

Source: Hunter Hammersen via Ravelry

Anyway, back to those another day!

Today is New Socks Day and they’re very comfortable 🙂

Christine is wearing a new pair of socks in stripes of pink, yellow, green and blue. She's wearing her jeans and standing on a grey carpet

I think this yarn is a lovely alternative to WYS Signature 4ply and I think it’s going to be really popular.  I like that it’s different so you don’t have to choose between two yarns that are very similar if, like me, you’re already a fan of WYS.  For those that want a yarn that is very soft right out of the ball, Yarnsmiths Merino Sock is a good choice, and I think it will suit those who don’t like the feel of anything woolly on their feet and have so far had to miss out on wearing hand knitted socks.  Being blended with nylon, it should wear well despite being soft, but you can see in the photo above that I’ve used heel stitch on the toes of my socks – I’ve got pokey toes so I never trust that any yarn is going to stand up to my toes finding their way through 🙂 – if you’re the same, you can use my Reinforcing heels, soles and toes tutorial to help.

The pattern I’ve used is my Basic 4ply Socks pattern, which you can use with the Sockalong tutorials if you’re new to socks, and if you need help with adding a contrast colour to your socks, you can find that in my Contrast cuff, heel and toe socks tutorial.

Would I use it again for my own socks?  Yes, definitely!  By the time I’ve finished the patterned pair, I’ll have three pairs of Yarnsmiths Merino Sock socks in my drawer and they fit in there very well 🙂

Would I recommend this yarn to a beginner?  Yes, I think it would be a good choice, although I’d always suggest going for a stripe or printed colour rather than a solid colour for a first pair as they knit up more quickly (don’t ask me how that is, it just is!).  There is a bit of a halo to the yarn (it’s got a fuzz to it) so there is the risk of it becoming matted if you unravel it too many times, but to be honest, if you’ve unravelled any yarn more than 10 times, you should probably think about cutting the yarn and casting on again at a new point so I don’t see that it should cause any problems, even if you’re new to socks.

And there you have it – I do hope you enjoy knitting the yarn as much as I have if you can’t resist the siren call of all those colours – and do let me know what you think!


❤️  Three things for Tuesday I said, and here’s the third … 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!


Enjoy the rest of your week, I’ll catch up with you again soon! xx



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47 Responses

  1. Susie Denning says:

    Super happy to hear all the good news, especially the doggy news – being a mom of a 13.5 year old little rescue dog, I know what it all means.
    And that new yarn: what a dream! (hope it’s available online for shipping within UK?)

    • winwickmum says:

      Ooh, you’ve got a dog at a good age too! I hope yours doesn’t play the cantankerous pensioner card as much as ours does some days! 🙂 Wool Warehouse have an excellent shipping policy so I’m sure you’ll be able to get some delivered to wherever you need it 🙂 xx

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you Christine for another great post . Love the look of the yarn. So I will have to get some to give it a try .
    Happy birthday to your dog . And can’t wait till next Friday for you Sockalong birthday party .xx

  3. Audrey says:

    Happy Birthday to your dog .A teen today. You can see he’s loving it. lol .
    love the yarns and the sock pattern

  4. Bridget says:

    Thank You Christine That is a very interesting blog I will be for sure looking up Yarnsmiths new wool. I have mostly used WYS but a change would be nice and such a fantastic range of colours. I am of my later years and only been knitting socks since I came across you during lockdown. And now I am a sock addict. Have a good week. x

    • winwickmum says:

      I think this new yarn will make a good change from WYS – I liked that it was different so you don’t have to “pick a team”, and I think that having another brand of yarn to choose will be good for encouraging more sock knitters too. It’s lovely that you’ve found socks, it was obviously the right time for you to do that – but there is no way back from the addiction (I may have forgotten to mention that!) 🙂 xx


    3 wonderful thing! Happy birthday to your lovely dog and so pleased to hear he is well. So many great sock yarns and socks. How is one supposed to decide? 🙂 Thank you xxx

    • winwickmum says:

      Well, that would have been my problem too so I was more than happy to let Wool Warehouse choose for me. They should have a lucky dip option! 🤣 xx

  6. Sue Taylor says:

    Hello Christine! Thank you for your latest blog and so pleased that your furry boy is on the mend. Lovely to see the other furry family members getting in on the act.
    Well, I’m usually in my work routine on a Tuesday but have been grounded by an unwelcome visitor. 🤧 Usually I wouldn’t have time to read during the day and, anyway, we don’t usually see your musings until the weekend 😄 However, I’m delighted you did post early as I’m knitting sock two of a pair with WYS sock yarn. (It would be a truly bad thing if I couldn’t knit whilst unwell.) So as soon as I read your blog I clicked on the link for Wool Warehouse and was excited to see that the new yarn in all its beautiful array of colours is actually on offer for the next 7 days with over 40% off! So, a big thank you!
    I also have a question: any tips when using multicoloured yarn about how to match up for the second sock, please? (I use a toe up pattern.) I’ve managed with my current project but only after a seemingly obscene waste of yarn! If that’s usual I’ll live with it 😀
    Again, thank you for your inspiration and have a great day!
    Very best wishes,

    • winwickmum says:

      I hope you feel better soon, Sue – and I hope that your yarn purchase helps with the recovery! 🙂 I do have a tutorial on matching yarn which is in the Sockalong tutorials here and there’s one specifically for the Winwick Mum colourways in WYS Signature 4ply here. I often pull lots of yarn out of the ball to get a match if there’s been a long repeat but I tend to think that there’s going to be leftovers anyway and it doesn’t really bother me if they’re from the middle of the ball – sometimes I can still use the leftovers to get a match with another sock and sometimes I’ll use them for something else. It can be frustrating, though, if you’d hoped to get more than one pair from your ball and you’ve got a chunk cut from the middle! xx

  7. Sue Lione says:

    Lovely new wool, just ordered some after reading your post, I only started knitting socks in September last year and am on my 14th pair even my grandchildren like them. It is very addictive. So glad your dog is well, we lost our old boy last week at 15 years old, missing him so much. Thanks for your posts always enjoy reading them

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your dog, 15 years is a long time to have had him around – I’m sending you all my love xx I’m really glad that your socks are finding good homes and I hope you enjoy knitting the new yarn! xx

  8. Carol Williamson says:

    Oh dear Christine,
    I have enough WYS Signature to keep me happy for years, including about a dozen balls I bought when I was in Edinburgh a few weeks ago that I haven’t even opened yet. Then you post this. 🤦‍♀️
    What glorious colours! Now, if I buy that lovely Yarnsmith lemon yellow, will it mix in nicely with the WYS spruce and amethyst?
    Different weights, or textures?
    You forgot to mention that it’s currently half-price.
    Happy knitting…

  9. Eileen MacDonald says:

    I will check this out for sure. Where do I post my socks to get in on the give away 😊

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, that’ll be in the Sockalong birthday post on Friday 3 May. I just ask for the number so you don’t need to try to upload photos or anything like that, and the giveaway is open for a week so there’s always time to join in if you don’t see the email or forget about the blog on that day 🙂 xx

  10. Gail says:

    Thank you for the lovely review and all the helpful information you’ve included. I know I can always rely on your reviews and I am looking forward to trying some of this pretty yarn for some socks too.

  11. Anne says:

    please can you let me know what 5 colours you received. They are on offer at the moment, and those colours look great together.

  12. Helen says:

    those yarns do look lovely, new squish is always a good thing. Happy Birthday Winwick Dog 🐶

  13. Barbara says:

    I’ve just popped over and treated myself to four balls of patterned wool. It looks great and a real bargain at the moment. Thanks for the recommendation. B x
    PS. Happy birthday 13 year old. A very good age.

  14. Glenda says:

    Oh my goodness! Christine what have you started with this post? I hadn’t even read to the end before I was logged onto Woolwarehouse and ordered 8 balls.
    Did I require anymore sock yarn? No. Did I need this new fabulous squishyness? Yes.
    I can’t wait till it comes and I can start casting on Christmas socks for the family I think.
    Mentioning to my husband I had just ordered more sock yarn his reply was “Oh Lovely.” My secret to getting away with buying more yarn when I have a cupboard full is I once compared it to him buying wine. No contest as mine doesn’t end down the toilet.
    Love your blogs, love knitting your simple socks.

  15. Carol Williamson says:

    Thanks for this! but I really don’t need any more sock yarn, have so much WYS Signature already. Isn’t Signature also superwash?
    Will the Yarnsmith merino blend in well with the WYS wool? That yellow is lovely, would go so nicely with the amethyst I’ve already got. What’s your opinion? (drooling here)
    Happy birthday, Winwick Dog.

    • winwickmum says:

      Winwick Dog! I will tell him that and hope he is suitably impressed 🙂 WYS yarn is machine washable but it’s not superwash, they use a different process. I don’t know exactly what that is as it’s a closely guarded secret, but I do know that it’s not the same. The two yarns do feel different – Yarnsmiths is smooth like a hand-dyed yarn whereas Signature 4ply is more woolly so you might notice a difference where they joined, but you could give it a try 🙂 xx

  16. Lesley Bain says:

    Thanks very much for the comprehensive and helpful review with pics – ordered myself a couple of balls right away and recommended to some sock knitter friends too!

    • winwickmum says:

      I hope you enjoy knitting with it! I think it’s lovely and it’s always good to have a nice quality sock yarn that’s a bit different to knit with! 🙂 xx

  17. Susan Rayner says:

    Happy Birthday to your gorgeous dog! Is he called George I wonder.
    One of my sister’s Labradors is 8 tomorrow and she always says she never remembers her birthday until my birthday card for the dogs arrive – I have a lack of nieces and nephews so our dogs are our family.
    I love that new wool and will be online to WW immediately.
    How lovely to have a blog midweek.

  18. Ilene says:

    Happy Birthday to your dog. He is beautiful! I have a cavalier who is 13 today as well!
    Looking forward to trying the new sock yarn as I love merino. Thanks for the detailed review.

  19. Carryl says:

    That yarn looks dreamy – I’ve used a couple of the other Yarnsmith yarns and loved them, I can see I may have to try this too 🙂 So far I’ve not tried knitting socks, although I have crocheted plenty. I have your lovely SuperSocks book but still lacking in courage to take the plunge…

    • winwickmum says:

      I think that if you’ve crocheted socks then you already understand the sock anatomy and that’s what people very often get stuck on in the beginning – especially the way the heel turns that 90 degree angle! I also think you’ll knit socks when you’re ready to and there’s no rush. Thanks for buying the book! 🙂 xx

  20. Liz says:

    Lovely doggo pic, he looks very content and not at all bothered about his birthday. and a nice pic of your puss cat too, I had a long haired tortie and white who was a real character, used to sit on pattern pieces when I was sewing and on my knee if knitting to ‘help’. So, more sock ideas, I was resisting looking at wool warehouse until one comment mentions a discount for a few days…….. now I might have to have a look. Your enthusiasm for yarn is wonderful, I too prefer wool as in proper wool grown by sheep and get irritated when people call any yarn ‘wool’ !

  21. louise jackson says:

    Hi Christine, I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog!
    The sock journey started 6 years ago in a woolshop in Denmark and after 5.75 years of frustration and failed sock-knitting attempts (not to mention the episode involving confiscation from my hand-luggage of by Bodrum airport security) I am the proud owner of a COMPLETED pair, having stumbled upon your blog!
    THANK YOU so much for generously sharing your expertise and insights. I’m sock addict now and furiously finishing my second pair so I have an excuse to purchase the recommended YMS – yay!
    Hoping doggo (small human in a fur coat) gets back on his paws.
    Thanks again!

    • winwickmum says:

      Hello Louise, I’m so glad I could help you finish your pair of socks! You were obviously just waiting for the right time and that must be now 🙂 Thanks for your good wishes for the dog – and here’s to many more pairs of socks for you! xx

  22. Carol says:

    Have just ordered from WW, though I was only planning on buying two or three of these new sock yarns. In order to get the free UK shipping, asked if any friends would like to add a few, and I ended up with six altogether. Two are definitely hers.
    What is the turquoise you were sent? Is it the teal?

    • winwickmum says:

      No, I’ve looked again and it’s called Fjord Blue, the shade number is SK252. I’d have said it was teal in colour, but there are two other shades actually called “teal” and this one is different. I hope you like the yarn! 🙂 xx

  23. Happy birthday to your gorgeous boy. I love his glossy coat… he looks so handsome, you wouldn’t think he’d dive into muddy puddles. It was interesting reading your thoughts on the new yarns.

  24. Paula m Middleton says:

    so glad your doggy is doing better, I enjoy hearing about your walks

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