Nepal countdown

“I think I’m going to sign up for the trip to Nepal.”

I can’t believe it’s nearly two years since not so small daughter made her announcement and next weekend, we’ll be waving her off at Manchester airport for two weeks.  She’s going with a group of other students from her year at sixth form college, a couple of teachers and a leader from World Challenge, the organisation they’re travelling with, and it’s going to be amazing.  If you’ve been reading the blog for a long time, you might remember that big daughter went to Peru in 2016 with World Challenge and it was an incredible experience for her – so much so that not so small daughter didn’t want to miss out when the chance came for her to do something similar!

Just like when not so small daughter went to Japan with the Guides last year, World Challenge encourages the students to pay for as much of the trip for themselves as they can.  Not so small daughter has been working in a cafe and selling clothes and other items through Vinted and Ebay to contribute towards her trip, and luckily we’ve been able to borrow some of the items of kit that she’ll need from big daughter so we haven’t had to buy them twice.

My contribution towards the adventure is socks.  Well, what else did you expect?!  Two pairs of knitted socks for walking in …

Christine is sitting on a window seat with her feet up on the cushions. Her feet are bare and crossed at the ankle. There is a round leather project bag and partly knitted sock on the seat next to her, and through the window you can see across the lawn to the hills beyond.

I started them later than I intended to, and although I was confident that I would get them finished as not so small daughter had chosen the new West Yorkshire Spinners ColourLab DK yarn and DK socks do knit up nice and quickly, there was still that niggle of doubt!

I took them with me to big daughter’s yoga retreat and managed to get a reasonable amount done there during the small amounts of time I had away from the kitchen, and then I had a couple of days where I told myself that I HAD to sit down and get them done so I did – it sounds quite ridiculous when I consider that knitting socks is my job (my real job, not the day job 🤣), but I really struggle to sit and knit during the day because it’s usually something I do in the evenings.  The only way that I can make myself sit and knit is to watch something on the TV but there are strict criteria:

1  Not too factually interesting (otherwise I’m likely to want to look up more facts on my phone);

2  No subtitles (or I get distracted watching the dialogue);

3  Definitely not scary or tense (which isn’t really my thing anyway, but it’s not good for my knitting tension!);

4  Nothing that needs me to watch the screen all the time so that I can keep up with the story (see No 2 for subtitles);

5  Ideally on Netflix which will go straight to the next episode without giving me an opportunity to get up and wander off and then start doing something else (I actually don’t think that’s a good thing about Netflix in general as you could end up watching TV all day and all night, but it does make me sit and knit!).

Honestly, you’d think asking me to sit down and knit was some kind of terrible punishment, but I do feel as if I’m skiving if I do it during the day – it must be because I like it so much!

In case you’re interested, the TV shows that have met my criteria over the last few years have been White Collar, Virgin River, Chesapeake Shores, Suits, Sweet Magnolias, National Geographic documentaries and Midsomer Murders – not necessarily programmes that I would have watched otherwise (apart from Midsomer Murders, I’ve loved that for years), but I’ve quite enjoyed them as I’ve been knitting!

They’ve done the trick too, and I watched the final episode of Suits as I finished off the toes of the first pair of trekking socks …

A pair blue variegated socks on sock blockers lying on a wooden floor next to a pair of hiking boots

This colourway is Soul (I keep wanting to write Sole! 🤣) and I’ve used my own Reinforcing Heels, Soles and Toes tutorial to make them more cushioned underneath.  Phew – one pair done!

The second colourway that not so small daughter chose was Jazz …

A partly-knitted sock in shades of pink, red and purple on a wooden coffee table next to an orange mug of tea

It’s knitted up completely differently – Sole is gently variegated but Jazz is much more outspoken and definitely wants to be noticed!

These socks are not matching.  They started off matching on the leg but by the time I got to the foot, they were close but not exact.  I’ll be honest, I did start twitching a bit about it and if they had been for me, I would have spent time trying to make sure they were exact, but these socks are for not so small daughter who delights in wearing odd socks and is thrilled that these aren’t quite the same.  Both pairs are knitted using the Soundwaves pattern (free through the QR code on the ball band or you can click here for a PDF download) so they are all the same shape … I wouldn’t be at all surprised if not so small daughter ends up wearing completely mismatched colours and as long as they are comfortable and not on my feet, I don’t mind at all!

A pair of pink and purple crazily striped socks on sock blockers lying on a wooden floor next to a pair of hiking boots

I finished the second pair last night so I’m going to give them a soak to get all the dust and cat hairs off them (these have been well-travelled socks!) and then they’re ready to be packed.

My final sock contribution to the Nepal trip is a brand new pattern!  I’ll launch it tomorrow so you’ll be able to find it in the blog shop, on Ravelry and on Payhip, and if you would like to buy a copy we would be very grateful as I’ll be putting all the profits into the Nepal fund to go towards everything we’ve spent so far.

I have realised that I am terrible at sales build-up.  According to sales “law”, I should really have been doing teaser posts and photos for weeks but I haven’t.  I’ve told you they’re coming and I’ve not been organised enough to be dropping hints, so I’ll have to tell you (nearly) everything now and I hope you’ll forgive the non-existent build up!

They’re called Monkey Puzzle Socks, they’re a mosaic pattern and there’s a surprise in the pattern that I hope you’ll like … it certainly made me smile when I first saw it because it took me by surprise too!  Sounds interesting?  I hope you think so – and I’ll see you tomorrow with the pattern post!

A close up of the toes of a green and yellow patterned socks modelled on a foot. The wearer is sitting with her legs over the edge of a wooden wall so that she is suspended above the ground.



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32 Responses

  1. Helen says:

    Ooh those have knitted up beautifully. I really enjoyed wearing DK socks last Winter too. I’ll need to do some of these.

  2. You are very clever indeed with your knitting! Well done Winwick Mum.

  3. Susan Rayner says:

    Those Nepal DK socks are beautiful and are sure to keep not so small daughter’s feet cosy.
    We watch reruns of Midsomer Murders all the time – perfect knitting TV – but now I am having to look at the other programmes on your list. I am always happy to discover new TV programmes I can knit to.
    Happy Weekend.

    • winwickmum says:

      Ooh, you might like Murdoch Mysteries too (it’s on Alibi) and we’ve just started watching Alaska Daily – both good TV knitting programmes! 🙂 xx

  4. ann morgan says:

    My grandson is off to Vietnam in two weeks with World challenge . Hope she enjoys herself . Children have so many challenges open to them which we never had .

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh fantastic, I hope your grandson has the best time! World Challenge provided such a great experience for my eldest and I hope it’s the same for your grandson (and not so small daughter!) too! 🙂 xx

  5. Clare says:

    Wonderful to have daughter going to Nepal. She’ll have a great experience. I went to visit my younger son in Nepal a few years ago. He was working for a volunteering charity. And now he’s off to work at Kew , his dream has come true, and I’m knitting him socks to work in. I hope you get a chance to go to Nepal, it’s beautiful. Cx

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, congratulations to your son for getting his dream job! Was he working with plants in Nepal? I think an awful lot were brought over here from that area by the Victorians, weren’t they? I think Nepal might be going on my bucket list! 🙂 xx

  6. Ruthie says:

    these look lovely! good luck to your daughter x

  7. Audrey says:

    I’m like you .like to put programmes on that I don’t have to keep looking up .Midsummer Murders or any murder mystery are my favourite

    • winwickmum says:

      There are lots of murder mystery-type programmes on now, aren’t there? I can’t cope with anything too gruesome but fortunately there’s still quite a bit of choice. Have you found Murdoch Mysteries? My husband and I are big fans of that one too! 🙂 xx

  8. Margaret says:

    Love the socks! My niece ( or rather great-niece) is also going to Nepal next weekend!

    • Julie Kelshaw says:

      I just love both these colourways, and if not so small daughter does a mix ‘n match between the pairs, they’ll still look great. For entertainment while knitting, have you tried Radio 4 Extra on BBC Sounds app – lots of great new and old dramas, comedy and documentaries, and with autoplay, too. I know it sounds old fashioned to “listen to the radio” but it’s great not having to look up from your knitting in case you’ve missed something! xx

      • winwickmum says:

        I’m glad you like them, thank you! I have tried the radio and podcasts too, but they don’t cast the same sort of spell as TV so I tend to save those for when I’m driving or cooking and it has to be the TV for the deadline knitting. Aren’t we funny in the way our minds work?! 🙂 xx

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh wow, I hope she has a fabulous time! I keep hearing what a wonderful country it is and now I’m a bit sorry that I’m not going too! 🙂 xx

  9. Corinne says:

    The socks look great! I can’t wait to see the surprise.
    We’ve been watching a box set of the original series of All Creatures Great and Small.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I can remember watching the original series years ago when it was out on TV! I’ve not been tempted by the re-make version although I’ve heard good things about it 🙂 xx

      • jane says:

        I thought I wouldn’t like it but it is surprising how quickly you forget to compare. The knitwear is a good distraction too. My brother in law took us to Grassington where it is filmed, he had no idea it was Darrowby as neither did I but I recognised it as soon as we got there. Incredibly touristy but we got away for a lovely walk along the river!

  10. Sarah Murray says:

    What a beautiful post and beautiful socks! I look forward to hearing about your daughters adventures in Nepal. I too love Midsomer Murders and look out for it at the weekends. Have you watched Broadchurch with David Tennant and Olivia Coleman? That too is fabulous. Sarah xxx

    • winwickmum says:

      Ah, no, Broadchurch is the wrong side of my “peril” line and I can’t watch it. I’ve got a very definite line for gruesome/thriller/psychological that I can’t go above as I can’t make the pictures in my head go away afterwards – I can’t work out if the line has got lower as I’ve got older or if the general tolerance for programmes involving peril has gone up so there are more of them around, but it’s a nuisance when everyone loves a programme and I can’t watch it! xx

  11. Lenore says:

    How exciting for your daughter, she must be so excited. Socks look perfect. I’m looking forward to knitting up your new sock pattern for my daughter. She has become a sock snob over the years 😆😆. I love Midsummer Murders too. Well I had better check Ravelry to see if the new sock pattern is there yet. Love from downunder.

    • winwickmum says:

      Thank you very much! I love that your daughter has become a sock snob – although it means more work for you! I don’t think you really mind, though … 🙂 xx

  12. Love your blog! And those socks! 🧦 in the autumn I’m definitely going to make some time again for one of your lovely patterns.

  13. Sarah Caldwell says:

    Hi Christine, I knit my adult daughter to your pattern 4ply WYS socks
    She is a size 7 shoe and I find 64 stitches fit are perfectly. I was wondering what amount of stitches to cast on using the WYS Colourlab DK sock wool you have shown over the weekend. I want these to be a surprise so don’t wish to measure her feet.
    Your help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  14. Chris Bailey says:

    Highly recommend Strike as a lovely Private Detective series (on iPlayer i think) although on 2nd thoughts maybe not for knitting as it can be complex, the first time around at least! Shakespeare & Hathaway is a lovely gentle series and set in Stratford so great scenery. Love the Nepal socks, I must try some DK ones for speed of completion ☺️ all the best for a wonderful trip for your daughter, what an experience!

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, we watched the first series of Strike and it was very good – didn’t see the second one for some reason so I’ll have to go and look for it! We watched Shakespeare & Hathaway too, and another one set in Bath that I can’t remember the name of. Now you’ve reminded me, we didn’t finish watching Shetland either! Definitely give the DK socks a go, it’s great to see them fly off your needles! 🙂 xx

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