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We've been blogging since January 2010.

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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

I’ve been featured by

A yarn and a giveaway

A little while ago, I was sent a copy of “Knitting Socks from Around the World” to review. After seeing the press release, with photos of all the socks, how could I resist. I could quite happily make any one of these socks. There is not a dud among them.

The patterns are split into five groups: Scandinavia, British Isles, Europe, West and East. I think they have got the mix just right. Each pattern is created by a different designer and gives their own brief intro to the pattern. The photos are truly stunning and I think this book would happily grace our coffee table. I think even my non-sock-knitting friends would enjoy it, but that would never be enough for me. Oh no. There is no way I could review a book on looks alone. I had to try one of the patterns.

It was tricky. I limited the choice to the British Isles, for want of a better decision mechanism, and could not resist the fancy stitches of the Gansey socks. I found the perfect wool from Wingham Wools. I toyed with the idea of dying it, but once it arrived, I preferred the natural look. I’ve posted a couple of photos of these in progress (here and here).

The pattern was so easy to follow, although it took concentration. First of all the notes made it easy to substitute wool, which I’ve found more restricting in other books. There is a named yarn, but throughout the book it also gives the yarn weight, making substitution straightforward. At the back of the book there is a list of yarn sources, which include British ones. A definite bonus that I appreciate.

Secondly the stitch pattern, for the Gansey, is written in abbreviations (P1, K2, P1,etc) and also as a chart. I found the chart made it easier to work the pattern over the feet, while the abbreviations were easier for the leg pattern. I had one moment of uncertainty when the sock split for the heel. There was one typo in the stitch pattern, but it’s so obvious that it’s not a problem. I didn’t do the recommended Channel Island method of cast on, as I was a little distracted at the time. Not conducive to trying a new method, but loved the look of it in the photos. Maybe next time.

I’m convinced. This book is not just a coffee table book. It’s not a one trick pony, as any sock knitter should find more than one pattern to inspire them. I should imagine that the book will be on a lot of Christmas lists this year.

The socks are now complete. I knitted the odd purl stitch when there should be a knit (and vice versa), but they are 100% handknitted! (It doesn’t effect the shape.) They are washed and blocked and finished. If this pattern is representative of the other sock patterns in the book, then I would happily tackle any one of them.

I love the way the Gansey socks turned out, but I never intended to keep them. Always best to decide that at the beginning. No, I decided to knit them as a giveaway. They roughly fit a size 6 UK  (7-8 USA, 40 European) {edited: give or take a size ot two}. The yarn is 100% wool.  If they are not your size, then how about putting them aside as a Christmas present for someone else who’d appreciate a handmade gift?

If you would like a chance to win these socks, then:

– leave a comment here, telling me who would be wearing these socks if you win them.

– For a second chance then just mention this giveaway on your blog/facebook/twitter, and then leave another comment to tell me you have done it.

– This is open to anyone internationally, wherever you call home, so long as you have a postal address. Don’t forget to leave some way for me to contact you if you win.

– I’ll select a winner on Saturday 15th October.

In case you are wondering how I can bear to let these go, well I ordered too much of the wool. I have enough for another two pairs at least. Although, there are a few more pairs of socks from the book that I’d like to make first. Like the one on the front cover for a start.

{The book was sent to me free of charge, with no more of an obligation than the hope that I would blog about it. All the opinions are my own and 100% genuine.)

The Giveaway is now closed.

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Sharing. Good idea.

31 Responses to A yarn and a giveaway

  • These look cosy and warm. Unfortunately not my size, but would be great as a present for my Mother-in-Law under the Christmas tree.

  • MelodyJ says:

    I f this is international I would love them for myself. It’s starting to get cool here.

    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Star says:

    I have just finished my first pair of socks and I know how much work goes into them. Its a endurance run for me. So if I won, then I would appreciate them to no end. O and they would be for meeeee.

  • lily says:

    Ahhh……lovely warm snuggly handknit socks, although not my size, in desperation of owing such loveliness I’m tempted to try some sort of foot shrinkage plan here, they would make a beautiful present for my eldest daughter who is so struggling with the sock knitting concept at the moment and has frogged back her first attempt no less than five times………..she’ll get there! x

  • Dawn says:

    Ooh how beautiful they have knitted up, and just my size too ;-).
    Thanks for the review of the book, I shall have to see if the library can get this one in – I’ve a re-found interest in knitting socks again now.

    Thank you for the opportunity for the giveaway, I’m sure these will be loved wherever they travel xxx

  • Dawn says:

    Had to pop back just to say I googled the channel island cast on as I was curious – it leaves a really nice edge finish, I shall have to try this when I next cast on a project.

  • Suzie says:

    Beautiful! They look so warm and soft! My feet would love these. 🙂

  • Denise says:

    my goodness, lovely looking book and those socks are just delicious,as for whos feet they would grace, my lovely daughter, just back from a french exchange, how I missed her
    xx

  • Britt T. says:

    I, myself, would most definitely wear these! Count me in please.

    brittanyrtucker(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Ashley Farmer says:

    I love these socks! They aren’t my size… :/ But I’d probably give them to someone in my husband’s family for Christmas. I’m not sure who wears what size, but I know someone will appreciate them.

  • Mousy Brown says:

    A pair of handknit socks already done would take the pressure off the two pairs I have on the go at the moment! (and that would be for me to wear! :D) Plus they are so much more beautiful than any I am ever likely to finish!!

  • Rain says:

    Drool! Me! Me! I would wear those gorgeous socks…if the giveaway is open to people living outside the UK. Thank you for the awesome giveaway. I would treasure a gift from your needles.

  • sheryl says:

    I would love them, but I would have to give them to my daughter. She loves socks. I mean she is crazy for socks.It would make a wonderful Christmas gift. She has never had hand made socks.

  • Well these beauties would fit me perfectly! And it gets COLD ’round these parts!

    I appreciated your book review. It can be hard making book buying decisions online, so the reviews are great!

  • Jodi says:

    Cheryl, I think handmade socks are the bomb. And I would wear them – oh yes I would. I hope someday to learn to knit stockings because at work, we are required to wear authentic clothing, and handmade garments are best. Beautiful work,

  • You didn’t say that your U.S. friends couldn’t play… I would love a chance to win! I personally am amazed at your generosity. Giving away hand knit (by you) socks puts you on the Saints list! I only just started knitting with dp needles and am eager to knit my first pair. Being visual, a sock book that constitutes ‘eye candy’ is right up my alley!

    Blessings, Debbie

  • angie says:

    Oh wow that wool looks so yummy! I think those socks would be a bit small on my feet, but what a wonderful treat for my mom while she’s knitting next to the fire this winter.

  • thepricklypinecone says:

    Oh how wonderful, I can only imagine how soft these are! I would be cheeky and keep these for myself.

  • Michele F. says:

    These are beautiful! I’ve never had a pair of hand knit socks before, but these may be too small for me. Either way, I would share them with my daughter. We are both beginning knitters although she is ahead of me. 🙂 Thanks for the chance!

  • Anne says:

    The socks are beautiful, the wool and the pattern. I’ve tried to knit socks…fail! 🙂 I remember my granny knitting socks when I was about four and was facinated to see how she knitted with all those needles. Anyway, your socks are just my size, so should I be lucky enough to win your generous giveaway, they would be keeping my feet toasty warm.
    Anne xx

  • ang says:

    hey cheryl,, i would love to try the scandanavian print.
    how did you luck up with the book review?
    i ‘d love to know how to put my name in a reviewers pot.
    xoxox

  • Amy says:

    I would love and care for those socks as if I had made them myself.

  • Lisa G. says:

    I would love a chance to win the socks – and I would be wearing them, of course! I’ve never made socks, and the only thing I’ve used dpn for was an i-cord! (Soon, I hope!) These are beautiful, and you are *very* generous to give them away!

  • Wehaf says:

    Those are gorgeous! We have a family friend who is like an aunt to me, and I know she would love them.

  • lori says:

    i do remember when you had these on the needles and i was blown away by your skill and the beauty of these. and now i am doubly amazed that these will so generously be given away. please put my name in as they are my size and i LOVE them, but i can’t guarentee that i would be able to wear these outside covered by boots. (i would have to walk around the house showing them off and admiring them myself) they are just so lovely.

    and thank you for the book review, it is much appreciated.

  • Emily T. says:

    My mom would love that book! I would love those socks, but I would definitely gift them to my Mom.

  • Rattling On says:

    I would be wearing them! I can’t (won’t) knit on dpns and since my Grandma died there’s no-one to make me socks. She made the most wonderful pairs and I still have some of them.
    What a great job you did, and I love the natural colour.

  • Judith Painter says:

    How beautiful!!! You inspire me to work on socks again. If I won, the lucky wearer would be my mom who has been wanting a pair of handknit socks.

  • Judith Painter says:

    So excited – just left your information on my Facebook page for my knitting friends. Was able to show a nice HTML tag with your sock photo – oh how the internet has evolved!

  • Sarah Jane says:

    I’d hopefully be wearing the socks if I won them. (Crossing my fingers!!)

  • Sarah Jane says:
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