#mmmay17

Me-Made-May’17, the aim is to encourage and wear one handmade garment each day for the month of May. Everything from knickers to gloves with all the other weary things in-between. Whilst I’ve not knit any knickers, nor would attempt to, I have knit lots of socks and I’ve been generous to a T and gifted them all. It’s all about the socks here at Suffolk Socks . I did publicly admit defeat with the Box of Socks KAL but I think I’d like to give it another bash and see how I get on. Hopefully I’ll hang onto my future FOs and see if that box can be filled.

For my next lot of socks, I’m planning on using of Rowan fine Art, 4 ply sock yarn. It is lovely and squishy to knit with, great to wash, hard wearing (in my experience) a good price and has a fabulous range of shades to choose from. Finding the perfect design has been made so easy, I will be using a pattern from ‘A Sock Society’ by Rachel Coopey. This book has 10 designs, perfect to knit using Rowan Fine art.

 

Another one of my favourite sock books is called ‘Lazy Sundays’, 5 simply indulgent beaded (optional) socks to knit by Jane burns. The designs are simply beautiful and can be knit using Fine Art. Whats not to love. This book is light weight and its the perfect size for popping in your project bag.

Happy May Day.

Month 5 here already! I thought on Monday that spring has sprung and the sunshine has arrived but Ive had to do a mad rush to get the washing in and it hail stone. Yuk. Im hiding in my shop room as Jon is entertaining the gas man, who will inform us that yes we need a new heating system and then extract lots of money, I best get that yarn ordered before any financial curfew is imposed on the bank account.

Here at SSHQ ( Suffolk Socks Headquarters) weve just celebrated our 2nd birthday, to celebrate we had a knit group with lots of cake, coffee and chat. Each attendee  went home with a skien of hand dyed  yarn that I chose especially for them as a huge thank you for the support theyve given me over the last 2 years.

Whats off the pins

Ive been a busy bee, Ive cast off 6 pairs of socks over the last few weeks and they’ve all been gifted to the kids. Ive failed miserably in the box of socks KAL Ive now just got 2 pair in and they have been claimed. Im either going to have to get knitting and try and catch up or admit failure. Heres a selection of some of the socks that Ive gifted.

Spring Term                      Autumn Term                                                      Regia Blue and White stripes.

          

Hot Socks Diamond                                                     Sport Weight Merino.

                           

Whats on the pins

LOTS is all I can say. Because my lovely box is bare I filled it with all the yarn I wanted to knit with so here goes. Im using all my own hand dyed yarn ‘Suffolk Socks Yarn’ These 3 beauties are SW Merino 4 ply. Shades Heavenly Stocks, Bramble Rose and Daffodil.

Merino Sock Blank, Northern Lights. Shade Nebulous.

Tweed. My Favourite People. Left to right.

Veronica, Isobel, Matilda, Glady, Lancelot, Bernard, Lizzie,Wilfred,Edmund and Ned.

Finally another sock blank from our Northern Lights Range Nebulous

That should be enough to keep me out of mischief for a while. Some of the cast on are new designs and other are good all faithful vanilla. I dont think you can beat a vanilla sock.

Im now off to rescue the gas man from my husband.

Happy knitting.

Happy Bank holiday

Julie x

 

Dye Pot

I’ve been busy at the dye pots these last few weeks producing some beautiful shades and already a few have made their way into my personal stash which I can admit to being on the right side of healthy. I’ve been trying out some different bases and it would be hard to say which I preferred. Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to.

Northern Lights our new range of Sock Blanks. I love how the dye process and colour palette is exactly the same with each sock blank but they all appear different and unique. I dyed one for myself using a caramel base and its turned out great so I think there’ll be a few of these in the future.

     

Flowers (below) a Superwash Merino and Nylon. These are so pretty, lovely and soft:

My favourite People (below). A Superwash merino with coloured donegal neps running throughout giving a tweed effect. Beautiful:

Under the Sea (below). A Superwash Merino, nylon mix sport weight. I couldn’t resist casting on this yarn and wasn’t disappointed:

Even though I have been busy making the new collections of Suffolk Socks yarns, the dye pots haven’t had all my attention. I’ve been merrily casting on lots of socks and I’m now the proud owner of 6 WIPs, ‘works in progress ‘ and not an ounce of guilt has reared its head so I’m happy as Larry.

Happy Knitting

Julie x

Hot Socks

We’ve gone self-striping mad here at Suffolk Socks HQ! This month we said hello to 3 new ranges of Hot Socks and they rock.  The most difficult decision of all was deciding what range and shade to choose. I couldn’t knit fast enough and had severe “cast-on-itis” so I chose to knit up one from each range.

Hot Socks Rubin available in 100gm balls, 7 shades and it’s Bamboo, Superwash wool content it’s a joy to knit. Hot Socks Diamond comes in 50gm skeins 75% Merino, 25% polyamide mix. And for those of us who like to wear sock all year round but sometimes find the wool content just a little too warm we have Hot socks Palma, this 41% Cotton, 39% wool, 13% Polyamide and 7%polyester make this an ideal yarn choice. You’ll be wearing your Hot Socks with your crocs all summer.

Enjoy the cheerful stripy and sensational shades.

Hot Socks Diamond

 

Hot Socks Rubin

 

     Heres  a sock WIP Im knitting using Hot Socks Palma My standard vanilla sock pattern with my signature cast on that can be found on ravelry and in Suffolk Socks. The heel is the Fish Lips kiss Heel, a paid for pattern also available on ravelry. My new School Socks Rock  design thats just been published will look great knit in these yarns. theres 3 designs in the pattern Autumn, Spring and Summer Term inspired by my love of wearing a new pair of white lacy school socks on the first day of term.

Hot Socks Palma

It’s a HAP

Goodness I’m having a difficult time grasping how quickly 2017 is going. February already and I along with others no doubt are thinking that our New Years resolution is either most definitely on shaky ground or a long lost memory. 11pm last night saw me jumping out of bed to reassure myself that the yarn I’d chosen to knit my new design ‘The Mabel Shawl’ was going to be as lovely as I remembered. It was, I’m pleased to say, just as gorgeous as it was at 10.30 pm when I chose it. However, 10am and the colours have already changed a few times. I’m using  Cumbria fingering weight yarn from The Fibre Co that I stock here at SuffolkSocks. I won’t jinx my colour choices by naming them but they are delicious.

The Mabel Shawl.

My inspiration for this design comes from Mabel, our much loved resident of our towns local park 

A large cresent shaped shawl using 2, 100gm skeins.  An ideal knit for beginners to the more experianced knitter. Using garter stitch throughout with an applied border it can be made as large as you like. You can wrap yourself up in it on the coldest of days to snuggle in.  I love garter stitch, it has great stitch definition and once this yarn has been soaked it plumps up. with every 2 skein purchase youll receive a paper pattern for ‘The Mabel shawl’ and whilsts stock lasts a small mystery gift.

 

Where did January go

 

The 3 Skien Knit

 

Since beginning I can without a hesitation declare that Ive failed most miserably with this self imposed monogamus malarky and yarn diet. Who was I trying to kid. I dont feel bad at all, I feel empowered that I can say another WIP, not too loudly, perhaps a mere mutter  to myself in the craft room. As for the yarn/skein diet thats going not so badly. My diet doesnt mean I can’t or wont buy any yarn its an attempt to go down to 3/4 skeins to knit a jumper not the usual 4/5 skeins it takes.

My theory behind this is

  1. It will take less time to knit.
  2. It will cost less
  3. when I get down to 3 skeins once Ive knit 3 jumpers I get one jumper  free. I usually use 4 skeins.

This may not make any sense to anyone other than me  and perhaps Emma my retreat friend. Together we came up with this idea, well actually she was very lovely and nodded and said all the right  things at the right time. There wont be any jaw dropping entrance for me at our next meetup looking slim, toned and wearing a 3 skein jumper. Ill be the same as usual, happy as larry in my 4/5 skein jumper.

 Its all about whats in the sock sack.

 

Socks are my most favourite thing to knit, they are my constant companion, my confidiant, if my favourite little tweed sock bag could talk it would give you an immediate journey to the inner me, my worries, insecurties, upsets, trials and trivulations of my life, all the cheery things, plans, dreams.  It would also  reveal my love of Galaxy chocolate, coffee and  NCIS. I tell you and hour with Gibbs and thats me sorted for the day ahead. Who doesnt love Jethro ? I watched it on Friday night and there was McGee sporting some handknit socks knit by Abby, well even  Jonathan was impressed.

CHECK OUT MCGEES SOCKS WHOOP WHOOP!

 

#boxofsoxKAL

        

Im joining in with #boxofsox KAL and Im onto pair number 4.  Ive 3 pairs in the box but my Sassy Socks have been disqualified as I realised I cast them on in December.They look so pretty in the box they can stay there for a wee while. Im hoping eventually to get a lovely pretty little box to keep them in . Procastination is the thief of time is it not, well Jonathan tells me it is.

Ive been busy

Ive had a lovely time putting my sock designs in print. Ive a lovely tech editor thats kept me right and some very lovely ladies that have test knit it for me. The pattern page includes 3 designs , Ive had some yarn dyed that will be exclusive shades to suffolk Socks and Im hoping to release it this month.

On my needles

In my bag this week is a pair of plain vanilla socks using yarn from Yan Tan Tetherer  Sea dream and oh boy it is oh so so sooooo soft and gorgeous. I won this at a knitting retreat I was at. My plan was to knit a lacy design but once Id started I realised that the design and the gorgeousness of the yarn werent doing each other any favours so I  frogged what Id knit and cast on some good old vanilla socks and they are lovely and for me. Another cast on are these gorgeous stripey socks from Regia. Im using chiaogoo circulars magic loop and Ive decided to use  toe up  method  this time  and so far so good.

 

My next cast on is going to be these zany yarnilicious socks again from Regia, the 3rd design range from the ever so popular Arne & Carlos range. This range has be really popular in the shop so Ill be ordering some more jsut so I can knit some. the hardest part is choosing a colour.

 

AREN’T THEY DELICIOUS !!!!!!

My Needles.

 

Ive been consciously making a mental note of all the different type and styles of needles I use and also of the way I knit. I first started knitting socks using metal DPNs then progressed to wooden ones. Then I discovered magic loop and now Ive thrown in some 9″ circular needles. Each method serves its purpose, Im much quicker using dpns, magic loop is great for car knitting and the 9″ make my WIP so compact that I can pop them in my handbag if Im at the hairdresser etc. *Please note Im hardly ever at the hairdressers* I used this example because I was there this week.  Ive decide that I like them all but I love dpns. I say this with absolout clarity because the 9″ hiya hiyas whilst lovely they are so sharp the end of my finger is so sore from being impaled on it. As for my style of knitting, Im taking part in #yarnlovechaallenge and I posted a small short video of me knitting. I got a message asking if Id always been a lever knitter. Id never heard this term before  so I think I’m a lever throwing dpn sock loving knitter.

Why Aye Lets Knit

                             

 

Translated means “Oh yes lets knit” my new video podcast. Its now public knowledge that Im indecisive, a waffler,  a tad on the ditsy side,a northerner and the simplest pleasures in life float my boat. Thank You very much to all the lovely viewers who took the time to watch and leave me comments and DM me. Ive been thrilled to bits with the response.

My husband plays the music so I didnt have to worry too much about copyright. To be honest it didn’t enter my head, without the family being here to keep me on the right side of technology Id still be using a chalk board. my son teaches IT and Ill say to him, just pretend im one of the kids you teach, he says he doesnt have a pupil that is as illiterate as I am when it come to technology.

Diversing here but years ago my lovely SIL and I did our Nursery Nurse training together, in those days Lol we had to do a subject EAW, I think it was electronics for women, I know what a load of tosh. Anyway in the exam it asked name an instruction on a washing machine. how hard was that. Afterwards we all got together and some people put thermostat and other more intelligent answers, we waited till later to tell each other our answers. I put hot and cold, she put on and off. This explains why 35 years later she still my bestest freind .

We did pass though.

 

We had a knit group

Crikey what a laugh we had. It was a great knitting seesion with lovely people, lovely knitting and lovely conversation, I don’t  feel the need to mention how fabulous the cakes were. There were 15  of us. Id been out the day before and bought new stools as but I had to deploy the furniture I use only when all the family are around the table ,yes my nest of tables made great stools  for us all.

Thankfully I had enough mugs. Thoroughly enjoyed  the day so thank you to everyone who came.

Miss Matilda

What a joy this girl is too our family, shes got her first tooth, shes started swimming lessons, shes rolling over. Its a wonderful feeling faced with this bundle of joy. I wonder when she smiles does she know that everyone of her family has a heart that bursts with unconditional love for her. I think she must because shes always being told. She also knows that unlady like noises coming from either end of her body makes us laugh and has her Grandad and Aunties running from the room incase theres a nappy to be changed. Me I think Thankgoodness it takes me ages to change a nappy lol and she loves my hand knits. Here she is  with her loevly Mummy wearing Grandmas hat that took ages to knit but if she wanted it Id  let her keep it.

I hope youve enjoyed my chatter, thank you for taking the time to read it.

Enjoy your day

love

Julie x

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE ?

I’m often asked this about needles and I have to say I haven’t got one. When I first started knitting back in the day all that was available were metal needles but now we’re spoilt for choice and I can admit to following the trend. I was happy as Larry with my Clover bamboo DPNs, then Knitpro appeared before me so I started using them and loved them just as much; I then discovered Chiaogoo, then Hiya Hiya 9″, then Knit Pro brought out the Zing range. During all these trials I even bought, at huge expense, Signature DPNs! I was so worried about losing one of these that I would only use them at home. After all the ranges of needles had been experimented with I came to the conclusion that actually it didn’t matter what brand I used, all my finished socks were equally gorgeous and I’d loved working on each one of them no matter what price bracket my needle choice fell into.

Have a look in any of my project bags and they’ll all have different brands of needles. My HiyaHiya DPNs are usually accompanied by a roll of micro tape as they are so sharp which makes them great for lace knitting.

                                          

Faffing About

   Happy new Year !

I seem to be faffing about lately. This to me means Im doing lots of everything but not enough of anything and thats rolling into my knitty life. Sock Blanks or skeins, socks or mitts, jumpers or cardigans, cowl or hat. Im just faff faff faffing along as if Im one of those balance bikes.

                  

December had my needles on fire knitting those Christmas socks, the language was a tad on the unsavoury side. Why did I even imagine that come December I’d have no problem knitting all those socks that I’d obviously had a problem knitting the past 11 months of the year?  Well I knit what I had/wanted too crossing a fair few off the intended list never to be added again and vowed that Im not knitting anything for anyone else (Except Miss Matilda) in the month of December , neva eva!

2017

      January has had me sorting my stash out, I’m pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t too bad. Yes I have the standard 4 jumpers worth of yarn in there and possibly 3 lace shawls worth and at least 4 pairs of socks worth. The biggest bag was the left overs of sock yarn. When new yarn comes into the shop I always knit one sock to see how it feels, hence the quantity. I pondered how I’d use these up. I thought about the mitred square blanket and even started it, but no thats wasn’t working. In the end I decided to cake the yarn up using 2 strand to make a heavier weight yarn ad knit some Scrappy Dappy Socks . The 2 cakes I made are massive and I’ll probably get least 6 pairs out of them.

        

Whats In my Bag (s)

Not a lot actually. Socks socks and more socks, I reckon in my rosy world having socks in a project bag is like having milk in the fridge, coffee and sugar in the larder. Its a staple that I never run out of or tire of.

  

Celebration Lucy 4ply sock yarn

News Letter

Sign up for our Newsletter. This month were focusing on needles, wether we have a favourite or not.I’m slowly building a heathly needle set obsession.

   

Christmas with Miss Matilda

Christmas with Miss Matilda was lovely. She didnt have a clue what was going on,but as usual smiled away performing all her new party tricks and enjoying the attention almost as much as we enjoyed giving it. We spent Christmas Eve at Lucys feasting on homemade sausage rolls and tasty treats made by her and Phoebe. Matilda was fought over as too which one of us would bath her, she was in her element holding court whilst 3 of us bathed her, poor Lydia didnt stand a chance.It gave her a chance to sit and enjoy a tipple and a sauagae roll or 2.

Happy New Year to all.

Thank you for spending time reading my blog, enjoy your week .

Julie

Head over Heels

We’re ‘Head over Heels’ in love with this new range of yarn!

Oh my word we’re head over heels in love with Head over Heels sock yarn.

Our choice of wool for December is the new 4ply sock yarn from Stylecraft launched in September. The most difficult decision was choosing a colour. The 5 shades available  are simply a delight, available as self striping and  gradient,  named after mountains Fiji, Eiger, Everest, kilimanjaro , Matterhorn and Olympus, its hard to choose one. With its 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon content it makes a great sock yarn combination.

Depending on your gauge recommended needle size is 2mm-3.25. I will say my gauge is pretty standard and I always use a 2.50 but I think this is a slightly thinner 4 ply than some of the other commercial socks yarns Iv’e knit with. I decided to use a 2.25mm and cast on 68sts instead of  66sts to give the finished knit a more dense like feel and I’m thrilled with the pair I’m knitting for Mr SuffolkSocks who has no problem wearing pink stripes at all (I  only wish Id knit them in my size). Included with each purchase whilst stock lasts is a free patterns, hat shawl and socks. Not only is  it great for knitting its great to crochet too.The shade  knit in the image is Matterhorn

Ho Ho Ho!!!!

Whats not to love about this time a year?

Here at Suffolk Socks HQ we’ve been busy packing and dispatching all your lovely parcels. Lots of ‘Twas The Knit Before christmas’ and ‘Cosy Toots’  kits have gone out. They’ve been really popular and  already we’ve seen some of the socks knit up, they are all looking fabulous.

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Since our last newsletter its been great to see that the discount code has been taken advantage of and several sockblanks are on their journey. A big Thank You to everyone who supports Suffolk Socks we truly appreciate it.

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Have you sent santa a letter yet?

I have. I even gave very clear instructions that should his Elves not have time to make it then he’ll find it at a certain yarn shop in Brighton. Im talking about the Fringe Supply Co project bag. Whilst at the Curious country house retreat   one of the lovely attendees had one of these bags and I loved it.  I never say can I have this for Christmas as we like to surprise each other but this year I actually said ‘Id really really like this and this is where you get it and any  colour  id be happy with” so wait and see. Obviously with this pending gift I think I’ll have to have some extra special yarn on standby to put in it.

Stash attack

This will be  my new years resolution. Ive got to much in my stash and I’m going to wittle it down so wether I knit it or gift it, its got to go. Its not massive but Im not  comfortable with it. The joy of going out to get that special yarn for a pattern has gone as I feel I should knit with yarn I have.  Is it a case of yarn gluttony? I don’t know but its got to stop for me. I am not judging anyone and the size of their stash, Im just judging myself. Lets be realistic though the chances of this resolution lasting past January will be a miracle.

Whats new.

I have some  new designs coming out.  Its been so exciting doing this. I often design my own pattern for socks that Im gifting but after much persuasion from knitter friends Ive decided to release some of them. They’re heading off to test knitters and Im hoping to release them early February. It will have 4 designs on with the same cast on, heel and toe.

      

 

The other design is a shawl  which Im hoping to release early January and I love it. Its a large snuggly  knit using Cumbria fingering from The Fibre Company. It can be knit in one solid shade or 2 contrasting shades.

Whats off the needles, frogged and cast ons.

Ive been really ruthless sorting my wips and stash out. Ive frogged my Madewell cardigan which both the yarn and the design were great I just felt the style of the cardigan would make me look more like Busty Bertha and I wasnt looking forward to working all those k1 x p1. I also frogged a jumper I was knitting for Jonathan using some Arranmore yarn from The Fibre Co. Both purchases of these yarns were fairly expensive and for them to be lying discarded in their project bags not getting any love was a waste of money, so they’ve gone back to live in the stash cupboard.

The Dr says knit a sock a day

Lots of socks have been cast off. Ive found gift knitting a chore this year and Im pleased with what Ive knit but I can genuinely say Ive not enjoyed it at all and next year I wont be doing any gift knitting.

Once all the socks were put away and the jumpers frogged I left it a few days debating what to knit and I chose to cast on a boyfriend type sloppy jumper. I used stash yarn, some lovely Dovestone DK from Baa Ram Ewe. Its  a lovely shade of grey/blue and Ive added a few rows of handspun alpaca on the yoke to break the dark colour up and im loving it.

 

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My other cast on was some socks for Mr Suffolk Socks using a Regia yarn  from one of the Arne & Carlos  design lines and I think this yarn could become a favourite. Im really enjoying having only 2 knits on the needles. I have plenty WIPS  on the needles for SuffolkSocks and I was starting to feel bogged down by it all, hence the sort out. I now only knit for the shop during the day should it be a sample or design and  for  myself  on an evening.

My other cast offs were my Sonder Shawl a design from Helen stewart as part of The shawl Society. I bought the wool Tundra from The fibre Company whilst at The Curious Handmade Country house retreat. This was going to be gifted but I soon changed that when it was finished , it is so gorgeous and soft it would be criminal to not keep it and enjoy it myself. To finish off the outfit my hat finally got finished. I used Titus 4ply from Baa ram Ewe. This was a purchase from Yarndale a few years ago, so Im slowly working through the stash.

 

 

The term selfish knitting is a strange label, the word selfish is a negative word. If I did racing driving as a hobby would I be expected to give everyone a lift. I think not.

No post would be complete without a photo of Miss Matilda who is practically perfect in every way.  Her Mummy is so excited about their first family Christmas  its catching. Her Daddy is too but he’s trying to be manly.

  

Thankyou for taking the time to read my blog.

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas.

Love from

Julie, Jonathan and Lucy the Suffolk Socks team

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