Thursday 13 December 2018

Review of The Loveliest Yarn Company's Sockmas Pattern Book

There's still time to knock out a few small, festive knits and if you're looking for some last-minute decorations then The Loveliest Yarn Company's Sockmas pattern book is a handy place to start.

Image courtesy of The Loveliest Yarn Company
Written by Michelle Gregory, TLYC's founder and Chief Knitter (what a fabulous job title!) the book lists a basic mini-sock pattern and gives lots of Christmassy variations on the cuff, foot and toes, as well as stranded colourwork patterns on the leg. Think Father Christmas, Rudolph, a Christmas tree and lovely lacework.

The idea is that with the help of the book a knitter can produce 24 seasonal sock decorations using just three 4ply yarn colours: red, white and green. When all are complete they can be hung up as a gorgeous festive garland.

Image courtesy of The Loveliest Yarn Company
Time to try it out. The socks in the book are knitted with West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply but I raided my stash and found the some left-over Baa Ram Ewe Titus yarn in the right colours to use up. 

The red was left over from knitting Susan Crawford's Perfect Christmas Jumper back in 2015. I bought the green and white to make a blanket with but after knitting up a couple of lace squares on DPNs I realised I didn't have the enthusiasm to carry on to the bitter end. 

The mini socks can be knitted on 2.25mm DPNs or on a circular needle and I chose the latter. I've knitted socks before but found it harder than I expected knitting something so small and intricate, despite the photography and colour stitch chart being clear and helpful. I got a bit stuck when I got to the gusset and tried to envisage how the DPN instructions transposed to a circular needle, but once Michelle advised me I picked it up straight away. Knitting another sock I think will be much easier now I've got the hang of it.

For my first sock I decided to knit a green sock with a red contrast tow, heel and cuff. It took longer to knit than I'd blithely imagined - this is certainly not a one evening project - but I was very pleased with the finished result (apologies that I haven't blocked it yet!) 

I bought some fun numbered clips in a local branch of Tiger and plan to knit 23 more to hang on a Christmas tree on the run up to the 25th of December. I've now switched to knitting a garter stitch advent blanket with the wool from my Baa Baa Brighouse Advent Yarn Box but plan to then return to Sockmas sock number two - a white and green sock with a Christmas tree pattern - and complete the whole set of 24 in time for Christmas 2019. Watch this space this time next year to see if I've finished the job!

Thank you to Michelle for the review copy. All opinions are my own. Sockmas costs £12 plus P&P directly from The Loveliest Yarn Company.

Stop press: Michelle's and her Christmas jumper design will appear on Kirsty's Handmade Christmas TV programme on Channel 4, Monday 17th December at 5pm.

Festive Mini Jumpers

If socks aren't your thing then how about mini jumpers? Wild and Woolly is selling a Matchbox Sweater Kit for £30 plus P&P.

Image courtesy of Wild and Woolly
The kit includes a patterns for mini sweaters and enough yarn to knit to knit up 12 - decorations for the 12 days of Christmas perhaps? There are four Christmas-themed colour ways to choose from.

Have you knitted any Christmas decorations this year? Do share a photo of them on A Woolly Yarn's Facebook page.

Christmas Competition 

Not long to go now until A Woolly Yarn announces its Christmas competition. Hint - the prizes will be some of the items the blog has reviewed this year!

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