One of the loveliest sights at Yarndale is the crocheted bunting that is strung up in the entrance hall. There are quite literally miles of it hanging from the ceiling to welcome visitors to the auction mart and remind people that Yarndale is a festival of creativity. The Yarndale Sock Line came about after it was suggested that a different type of bunting might be displayed at Yarndale - sock bunting! Who wouldn't want to see socks hung up at a yarn festival? (OK, I am biased but I still think that socks on a line are a sight to make you smile!)
However, there was still the problem of what was going to happen to all the bunting once Yarndale was over, and I had the idea of asking people to make pairs of socks to hang up that could then the passed on to people who needed a bit of hand-knitted love in their lives. The original blog post is here if you'd like to read it, and the list of those who contributed and where their socks went is here.
I've been asked if we're going to have the Yarndale Sock Line again this year - and the answer is a resounding "YES"!
Last year's socks went to The Rucksack Project for homeless people, Blue Apple Heroes working with ex-servicemen with PTSD, Claire House children's hospice, The Hope Centre and St Helens Women's Refuge working with homeless and vulnerable adults, the Women Centre in Kirklees who improve the lives of women, St Oswald's care home in Winwick, Leeds Women's Aid who help victims of domestic violence and Wakefield Community Awareness Programme who work with disadvantaged people in Wakefield. There is a list of the projects and links to their websites here. These centres were suggested by people through the blog and the Facebooks and they were all delighted to receive pairs of socks. More suggestions are welcome this year!
Would you like to get involved? It would be lovely if you did! It's very easy. This is what we asked for last year and it worked so well, I don't see any reason to change it.
1 Knit a pair of socks. Any size, any pattern, any yarn (although proper sock yarn would be best for anything other than bed socks, please, so that they don't wear out too quickly) - just a pair of socks that someone will be able to wear. From plain socks to patterned, those of us who are sock knitters know that a kind of magic happens when someone puts on a pair of hand knits and they will be delighted with their socks of any style. Top down, toe up, two at a time, even crocheted if that's your thing - whatever your preference!
To give you an idea of the range of sizes we got last year, they went from tiny baby socks to size 12 men's socks, with the majority of them being around women's size 5.
These were the socks I knitted last year (I haven't started this year's pair yet!) and I got two pairs of children's socks from this ball of Superba Circus yarn.
3 Attach the socks securely together - I don't want any socks going AWOL at the Auction Mart! You can either do this by using a safety pin or by threading the string or yarn from your gift tag onto a wool needle and taking it through both socks (I've had to use another pair here to demonstrate as mine aren't ready) ...
bringing the yarn back through to the front of the socks and tying with a secure knot.
4 Post your socks. Lucy has very kindly allowed me to use her PO Box address so your socks will be heading up to Skipton for me to collect during the summer. To be sure that I have time to photograph them and get them up on the Pinterest board before Yarndale, I will need them to arrive by 12 September 2016 please! Here's the address:
Yarndale Sock Line
PO Box 97
Alternatively, if you're coming to Yarndale and would like to bring your socks with you, then please do so - I'll make sure I have plenty of spare pegs and hope that the Sock Line won't be too high for me to reach during the weekend! I'll still make sure that they appear on the Pinterest board, so don't worry that you'll be left out if you bring them on the day.
What to do if you live abroad. I am well aware that Yarndale is a UK-based festival and that to take part might involve a hefty expense with postage. So, I thought that instead of sending me your socks from around the world - although you are very welcome to do so if you'd like to - you might prefer to gift your socks locally. So that you can still join in with the Yarndale Sock Line, follow the steps above and take a picture of your finished socks, complete with the tag so we know who you are, and email it to me at email@example.com. I'll print out the picture and hang that on the Line along with the pairs of knitted socks so if you can also let me know whereabouts in the world you are and where you will be gifting your socks, I can add that information so we can see socks being gifted all over the world!
So that's it. There's really not much to it, but I know that the socks we received last year were very much welcomed into their new homes so the effort that is involved in making the socks is more than appreciated.
Do ask if you've got any questions - and thank you if you are getting involved this year. Your bit of knitted love goes a long way!