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11th October 2019

Winwick Mum...the interview

When you get the chance to ask Winwick Mum, Christine, a few questions, you really aren’t going to say no!christine winwick mum

Well I had that opportunity a few weeks ago, and what can I say a lovely lady. My problem was I didn’t know where to start.  So many questions with so little time!  Of course, I didn’t want to bombard her with silly things.  Trying to limit my questions to only ten was hard!

We all know she is famous for her sock patterns and working with West Yorkshire Spinners. Christine’s patterns and West Yorkshire Spinners yarn is the perfect combination!

I will confess, I am not a knitter of socks, not for the want of trying.  I just can’t seem to get to grips with it. Being a leftie doesn’t help!

Stop me waffling, let’s get down to the questions with Winwck Mum, Christine…

The Interview

Tell me a little about yourself

“I’m Christine and I knit socks! I live in a small village in Cheshire, with my husband, two daughters, two cats and a dog. I also write a blog called Winwick Mum.  It started out as a monthly column written as a contribution for our village church newsletter.  It has now evolved into regular posts about ‘looking for the extraordinary in the everyday’ and of course socks!”

When did your love of all things yarn/wool start?

“It all started when I was very young. My Nan was a knitter and would always have something on her needles. She taught me to knit and crochet at about the age of 5 or 6 and I’ve been making something or other pretty much ever since!”

What got you into making socks?handmade socks winwick mum

“My lovely Uncle Harry, who lived in Scotland and whose wife, my aunt, had always knitted his socks. When she died, he asked if I would make him some, as he didn’t want to go without his hand-knits and he knew that I was a knitter. I was around sixteen at the time.  It was the mid 1980s and hand knitted socks were not the height of fashion! I managed to track down a pattern, some 4ply yarn at a local yarn shop, wrestled with the DPNs and eventually sent him a pair of socks. I have no idea if he ever wore them.  I swore I would never use socks or 4ply yarn ever again – if only I has known how life would turn out!”

Do you teach people to make socks?

“I have taught a few workshops.  Mostly I teach people to knit socks through the free sockalong tutorials on my blog, which are reproduced in paperback and ebook form as Super Socks. I think that sock knitting is a massively important skill, that as many people as possible should be able to benefit from. So many people are discovering the well-being benefits of knitting these days.  Socks are a wonderfully portable project, that can be taken out and about pretty much anywhere! I want to be able to share the skills, with as wide an audience as I can and the internet makes this very easy.”

https://www.winwickmum.co.uk/p/sockalong.html

sockalong winwick mumDo you have a favourite sock pattern?

“That’s a tough question! Every new design is my favourite sock pattern, but I would always go back to my basic 4ply sockalong sock which looks fabulous with any sock yarn, from solids; to self-striping; to hand-dyed. There are so many gorgeous yarns around these days that sometimes you don’t need anything more than a basic sock design as the yarn will speak for itself!”

West Yorkshire Spinners

Tell us a little about your work with West Yorkshire Spinners and your favourite wool from them?

“I’ve been working with West Yorkshire Spinners for quite some time now; their Signature 4ply yarn is perfect for beginner sock knitters, as its very forgiving of mistakes and being ripped back. Its hard-wearing and gets better with washing and wearing, it also supports our British farming industry by using British fibres. They’re a lovely company to work with too and their values fits very well with mine, so I am always delighted when they ask me to design new socks! My first design for them was in 2017 and I have been thrilled to be asked to work with them for the last three pairs of Christmas socks, as well as the Winwick Mum collection of yarns and patterns.”

“The Winwick Mum Yarn collection was a natural next step in our relationship, and I have loved being able to choose the colours and see it brought to woolly life by the talents of the dye house manager. Its been incredible to see how it all works!”

What was it like to get a pattern book published?

“Its been amazing to see tWinwick mum sock pattern bookhe pattern book published to go with the West Yorkshire Spinners Winwick Mum yarns. I had an idea of what I wanted each pattern to look like and so although it was a lot of work to design and knit all the socks for the deadline (their were 8 pairs!), it was such a lovely thing to be able t do, and not something that I had ever imagined that I would get a chance to do. I felt very lucky! I also got to go to the photo shoot, it’s a real treat to see your socks being professionally photographed! I am so proud of the patterns and the book; the graphics team at West Yorkshire Spinners really pulled out all the stops, to create a beautiful book and I hope that people enjoy it as much as I do!”

Take a look at the Winwick Mum pattern books here 

Christmas Socks

Tell us about the new sock pattern with the West winwick robin yarn socksYorkshire Spinners, Robin Yarn?

“I had great fun with the new Christmas Robin sock pattern! The Robin colours are quite different this year to Candy Cane and Fairy Lights from previous years and I think that it will be popular all year round, much like the robins in our gardens! I wanted to create a pattern that would bewest yorkshire spinners robin 4ply suitable for any time of year and for anybody who wanted to wear it.  I have chosen a cable pattern that actually looks like a paperchain – a nod to Christmas all year round without being too Christmassy!” 

Future plans?

“More Socks! I have a couple of commission in the pipeline which, sadly, I can’t tell you anything bout it at the moment, but I am planning more patterns for the blog next year.  I was at Yarndale in September with the Yaledale Sock Line socks on display, which are given away after Yarndale festival to people who need some extra love – people who rely on homeless shelters, hospices, refuges… this was the 5th year of the Sock Line and I am very proud to be involved with it.”

Finally, Christmas, do you have anything exciting planned? Do you make handmade socks for all your friend and family?

“I haven’t even though about Christmas yet! No, I don’t make socks for Christmas gifts any more.  I did for a couple of years, it was lovely to see all the family together in their hand-knits.  I just don’t have the time these days, unfortunately!”

Thank you so much Christine, for giving her time to answer my questions.

I hope you have enjoyed reading all about Christine’s knitting life and what the future holds. The fact that Christine learn to knit at the age of 5, is amazing.  Lets ensure that future generations learn the skill of knitting and crocheting so this craft never dies out.

Christine mentioned about the well-being of being a knitter or crocheter, it is so true, it really does help, it’s a calming and relaxing pass time. If anyone does fancy learning, I would recommend searching out your local workshops, you will not regret it (your purse may, with all your new yarn purchases though!!)

Check out the Winwick mum Sock Pattern Collection, stunning socks for all ages. The new Robin Yarn, by West Yorkshire Spinners also comes with a free pattern in a form of a Christmas card, by Winwick Mum, so a great reason to put a ball in your basket.  To see all the colours available in the West York Spinners Signature range, please click here.

I am a little jealous of the sock world.  I would love to be able to knit all my own socks, but I am not sure this will ever happen. If you are a sock maker, I would love to see your work.  I am sure others would too. Have you made a pair of socks with Winwick Mums patterns?

www.winwickmum.co.uk 

Love

Toni x

 

 

 

 

 

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