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Monday, 4 January 2016

And we're off!

The first new week of the New Year and it's all systems go ... as if the systems ever shut down over Christmas anyway!  It always used to be that the days between Christmas and New Year felt like something of a chance to get off the world and recover, but these days it feels as if nothing really stops.  Not to say that it's not fun - we've had a lovely Christmas and New Year catching up with friends and relatives, eating and drinking far too much and not getting up particularly early either. It's been a bit of a shock to be back at work and school this week!

The decorations are down and although everywhere looks very bare now, it's actually quite a relief to be able to get in and clean all the surfaces properly without playing domino run with Christmas cards!


So, what's new in Winwick?

Not much, weather-wise - we've still got endless rain and grey skies, although we're very fortunate that we've missed the floods and they have mostly stopped being the main news item now too. However, for the people affected they will be at the forefront of their lives for some time to come, and it makes me think of them every time I see another dismal weather forecast.

The rain has provided a good excuse to stay in by the fire - even the dog has been reluctant to head out of doors.  Small daughter's socks are finished at last.  These turned out to be quite a project as her feet seemed to have grown every time I tried the socks on her so getting to the toes seemed like an endless task!  She's very pleased with them, though!


I was very pleased with this nifty gadget which eventually helped me to get the socks the right size (they're a bit big now, actually, after having been too small previously).  It's a Socker's Rule from Rosie's Moments, a lovely wooden ruler marked in both inches and centimetres with a handy foot size gauge on both sides and can be used for both cuff down and toe up socks.  You can get a plastic version called a Sock Ruler from here which works in exactly the same way but I was tempted most by the wooden one.



There was also a treat in the very speedily-delivered package (considering that I ordered it just before Christmas, I was both amazed and delighted!) - two new stitch markers!  It's very handy to have two different ones for sock knitting as they mark the different gusset decreases and show very easily where your round starts.  I particularly love the little sheep ...


complete with tiny tail!


I also treated myself to one of these ... can you guess what it is?


It's a digital scale!  It is rather futuristic-looking, isn't it, but I like it. 


I have an old-fashioned pan-and-weights set of scales which suits me just fine when I'm cooking, but isn't great for weighing yarn (which sometimes you need to do if a pattern calls for it, or if you want to split your sock yarn into two balls).  This one by Joseph Joseph folds up into a very small size which is great for space-saving in your kitchen.


I've been using it recently for a few yarny ideas that I've had, and just last night to split a ball of yarn that I bought from Yarndale to start these socks ...


They're going to be a plain'n'easy pair knitted for me in Lang Super Soxx yarn which has cashmere in it - it's gorgeously soft and is lovely shades of brown and purple (which actually looks far nicer than it sounds) and is going to be a bit of light relief between knitting these ones ...


These socks are going to be a new pattern later this year (if I write it here, it has to happen, right?!) and they're in Eden Cottage Yarns 4ply sock yarn which is very lovely and a wonderful shade of turquoise - our grey weather isn't doing much for the photo colours at all today!

Making sure that I have plenty on my needles is all part of my Year of Taking Care.  Knitting keeps me calm and sane, and the world is a happier place when I can manage to get a few rounds in, even if it is only a few rounds in a day.  I'm also busy de-cluttering - I know, I know, I write about this every year and don't seem to be making much headway, but even I can understand that the less mess there is to clear up, the more time I have for doing things that I want to do!

I've also started a new Future Learn course today - Future Learn is a collaboration of universities from around the world offering free courses on a huge variety of subjects.  They're run online over a few weeks, very easy to follow and all very interesting.  I did one last year on Hadrian's Wall and this one is on the Orion constellation.  There's no deadline, no timescale, you can jump in and out ... it's definitely worth a look!

It looks like the rain might actually have stopped so I'm going to take the opportunity to scoot out with the dog - if you're back at work and study yourself today, I hope it wasn't too bad!


26 comments:

  1. The sock ruler looks a great gadget, perhaps I need to invest in one for my son's shoe size 13 socks! I adore the sheep stitch marker - so cute. xx

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    1. I didn't think I needed to bother with one previously as I've always got on fine with a tape measure but it is much easier to measure sock length with one, so I'm glad I took the plunge and got one xx

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  2. LOVE those scales!!! Very futuristic - they look like they may go spinning off across the kitchen! Really like your sock yarn too. (And that gorgeous little sheep). xxx

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  3. I do like the look of that sock ruler and the tiny scale is so cute. I have a smallish scale which I use all the time but yours is so small could be portable too. :) x

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    1. It's really small, Linda, it's only about 6 inches long when it's all folded up! xx

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  4. I rather love the minimalist look you get in early January once the decorations are down ... it's calming. And I LOVE decluttering-good luck!

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    1. Feel free to come and do mine - it all feels rather over-whelming at the moment! :-) xx

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  5. That sheep wouldn't look out of place on a charm bracelet!!

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  6. Normal service was resumed surprisingly quickly today; up, into school and on with the slog!

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  7. It sounds like a great start to your year. I just needed that future learn reminder/link today, so it was great that you posted it. Thank you! xx

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    1. I must have known, Amy! They have some fab courses, if only there was time to do them all! xx

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  8. Hello so nice to hear your Year is off to a great start. I love the yarn scale and little knit markers! And the socks are so cute. Stay warm and dry. We're expecting a week of rain here. Pat xx

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    1. I know that rain is a good thing where you are, but I'm fed up of it now! Hope you stay warm and dry too xx

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  9. I love so many of things you have shared in this post. That sock ruler and weighing scales are just genius, I have some money that I was given at Christmas.......

    We were spared the flooding, just, but I am thoroughly fed up with the weather now and going anywhere is still a nightmare as so many bridges are still closed awaiting repair. :(

    Thanks for the heads up on Future Learn I am off to take a look.......

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    1. Glad to hear that you avoided the floods, and hope that the bridges are soon repaired. Hope you find a course you like too! xx

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  10. Great post to start the New Year. Motivation is very difficult at this time of year and I am struggling to get back on track! I love your daughter's colourful socks and those scales are just so quirky and useful too. Thanks so much for the link to Future Learn. I've just been over to explore and have signed up to one of the courses - The Science of Nutrition. Motivation gone up a notch!! Thank you for that :)

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    1. You're very welcome, I think the Future Learn courses are just great and there's always something new to learn. The course you've picked sounds really interesting, I might have to think about doing that one next! xx

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  11. Hi! Just found your blog on Instagram. You were highly recommended and so far I'm really enjoying reading your posts. I love knitting socks but I've never done a KAL yet.

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    1. Thank you! It's never too late to join in with the Sockalong although you might find it a bit basic if you already knit socks. You might like our knit n natter group on Facebook though, if you're a Facebook user - it's called Winwick Mum Sockalong Society xx

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  12. Those scales are really cool looking.

    Love those socks :)

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    1. Thank you! The socks have been through the wash a couple of times already so I think they're definitely a hit! xx

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  13. I love that scale! Just what I need. I have been trying to weigh how much yarn I have left at the end of a pair of socks and this would be perfect. Your course sounds really interesting too. Beware of decluttering! Last year I got rid of my entire Agatha Christie book collection as we were moving house and I miss them sorely :(

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    1. That's what worries me - I've let things go in the past that I later wished I hadn't. Careful decluttering is going to be the order of the day! xx

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