Winter Haven KAL Week 3

Hello!  It’s lovely to see you – it’s Week 3 of the Winter Haven KAL!

I’m getting quite used to this Winter Haven way of living now!  I find that sitting down on a regular basis, being more thoughtful about how I’m spending my time and what makes me feel happy is having a positive effect on everything that I’m doing.  I actually like January as a month and am usually a little sad when February arrives, but I’m not a fan of the cold, dank, foggy days we’ve been having recently and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having an extra excuse to light the fire early and take a few moments out!

It’s been wonderful to see your posts on social media again this week, and I’m really grateful to you for taking the time to share your photos so that I can see them.  If you want to have a look through other people’s photos yourself, you can find them using the hashtag #WinterHavenKAL.

If you’re brand new to the blog or the idea of the Winter Haven KAL and you’re wondering what it’s all about, it’s very simple:  it’s a very flexible KAL where you pick your own pattern, pick your own yarn (and another big thank you to everyone who’s been using Winwick Mum yarn!), and join in by taking a few moments for yourself.  It started two Fridays ago and the last post will be on Friday 31 January so there’s still time to find yourself a cosy space, pick up a WIP or start a new project, and join in.  The first post which tells you all about the KAL and how it works is here.

This week, I’ll show you what I’ve been up to, and I’ve got more photos from other people’s Winter Havens to show you as well.  Are you ready?


🕯 My space

My space hasn’t changed this week, but the size of my hat has … it’s grown considerably!

You might also spot another mug – my yoga friend bought this one for me as it does sum me up quite nicely after our yoga class …

I’m all in favour of power naps; those quick 20-minute snoozes that have you feeling full of beans and raring to go afterwards.  I never used to see the point of them – after all, if you sleep properly at night you shouldn’t need to sleep during the day, right? – and then I had toddlers.  If someone can have 10 minutes’s sleep in the back of the car at 5pm and still be awake at midnight, there’s got to be something in the power nap, hasn’t there?  (And before you ask, yes, that chair is the perfect spot for a snooze!)

Big daughter is also a fan of the power nap (she’s a university student, I think it’s part of the curriculum) and she’s also just qualified as a yoga teacher.  She’s claimed my mug.  So that’s two new mugs appreciated by me and swiped by my girls.  Ah well.  It’s a good job that tea tastes best in my Herdy mug!

Do you want to see some more Haven spaces?  It’s been brilliant to see them, and also that so many of you are able to create a Haven space on a train or a bus.  What a wonderful way to travel! 🙂

Pip’s cosy Shetland space comes complete with a cosy cat!

Source: @eclectic_knitter_novelist on Instagram

Tammy’s Winter Haven chair is already a family heirloom!

Source: @tammymarshmallow on Instagram

Cherry looks like she has the perfect spot lined up there with all those lovely bright cushions!

Source: Cherry via Facebook

Quite a few of you have been using your Winter Haven time to catch up on your watching list.  It’s a good idea – you’re certainly going to sit and rest for longer if you’re engrossed in a film!

Source: Janice via Facebook

🕯 Project

I’ve been getting on with my projects pretty well this week – hardly surprising considering that I’ve been consciously spending more time on them!

I’m up to the decreases on my Sockhead Hat so I should easily have that finished for next week.  It’s been very easy to knit, and it’s been fun to see how the stripes of the Winwick Mum yarn knit up so differently to how they do in a sock.

More than a few of you have told me that your Haven spaces aren’t in the house at all, or that you’ve found that if you leave the house, the peace of your space follows you, so I tried that for myself when I went to catch up with my friends Lucy and Emma up in Skipton.  The knit n natter group at Coopers Cafe Bar is a lively, busy group but I found that because I was approaching my knitting more thoughtfully anyway, I could still feel peaceful even when surrounded by lots of conversations.

I’m not quite sure why there is just a ball of yarn and no sock – it must have been on my lap!  I’m up to the toes on that sock now – here it is a few hours later in another version of a Haven space!  (This one was a hotel bar 😀)

I’m still seeing plenty of Sanctuary Socks on the needles which is just wonderful!  If you want to knit your own pair, you’ll find the pattern and tutorial here.

Brenda started her pair of Sanctuary Socks … 

Source: Brenda via Facebook

and then finished them in what seemed like no time!  (This is a good example of how the light can alter the colours of yarn – it really is the same pair!)

Source: Brenda via Facebook

Antonia is making her pair in yarn that she dyed herself …

Source: @bumpycrafts on Instagram

Jennifer has chosen Seascape for her Sanctuary Socks …

Source: Jennifer via Facebook

Lisa is using Hidden Gem …

Source: Lisa via Facebook

and Mary Beth has chosen to adapt the pattern so that the cables are just on the leg.  Not everyone likes the feel of cables in their shoes or boots so it’s easy to do that when you knit your own socks!

Source: Mary Beth via Facebook

And it’s not just socks!

Pip is creating something wonderful in colourwork … (you’d expect nothing less from someone living in Shetland, would you? 🙂 )

Source: @eclectic_knitter_novelist

Lisa is making a pair of Split Mittens to match her crocheted Elven Tassel Hat – look at that fade from grey to green, I love it!

Source: @Lisapinenotes on Instagram

Helen has not one but two projects on the go.  First, this fantastic Mandala Madness crochet mandala – those colours are stunning!

Source: @stitchydragon on Instagram

and also these Northern Sky socks.  That’s such a lovely pattern, I am always drawn to Scandi-style knitting!

Source: Helen via Facebook

Theresa is working on a colourwork jumper (sweater) for her husband – it’s looking fabulous!

Source: Theresa via Facebook

There are still socks on the needles, though!  Avie More has been knitting scarves and socks …

Source: Avie More via Facebook

Vanessa is knitting a pair of toe up socks in Brightside …

Source: Vanessa on Facebook

Lissie is knitting Vanilla Latte socks with an Eye of Partridge heel in the Mind The Gap colourway …

Source: Lissie via Facebook

and A is also knitting toe up socks but in the Christmas Robin colourway from West Yorkshire Spinners.

Source: @acp6062 on Instagram

I’ve also seen a lot of WIPs that have become finished off projects which is fantastic – it seems that this KAL has been the push that some people have needed to get their languishing projects off their needles!  It means that we can go into the rest of the year guilt-free as the number of projects sitting idly in bags is reducing – and also means that you can legitimately spend some of your KAL time researching new patterns … 🙂


🕯 This week’s recipe

I’ve been making sweet treats for the last couple of weeks but today I thought I’d try something different.  These are sausage rolls made from tortilla wraps from the Pinch of Nom website.  They’re really good!

I’ve had to defend them from both the cats and the dog which wasn’t a particularly relaxing way to eat my Winter Haven snack, but at least tells you that they thought they smelt good too!


🕯 Something green

I bought myself a treat this week – a pot of these gorgeous blue grape hyacinth bulbs.  They were just coming into flower when I bought them and they’ve opened up as the week has gone on.  They’ve got such a delicate scent to them, nothing like the can’t-miss-it smell of the bigger hyacinths.

Such pretty flowers.  We’ve got some in the garden (assuming the local wildlife hasn’t eaten them) but there’s no sign of them yet.  Something to look forward to!

🕯 Light it up!

I’ve been appreciating the light of my moon lamp this week!  I never would have imagined that I would love a lamp as much as I love this one, or that it would feel so calm – I wonder if that’s something to do with the moon shape or the strength of the light?  Whatever, I am making sure that my moon is shining whenever I’m sitting close by!

🕯 Listen up!

What have you been listening to this week?

I’ve been back digging through our CD collection and have found some old favourites: the soundtrack to Local Hero by Mark Knopfler (lead singer and guitarist of Dire Straits).  I absolutely love this film, I’ve watched it so many times and I love the music as well.  The film’s pretty dated now – it was made in 1983 – but I think that just adds to it’s charm.  Marc Cohn; this album is a favourite of mine and my husband’s and we played it endlessly in the year or so before we got married so it always brings back particular memories.  Martyn Joseph – another favourite album from around the same time (we’ve got quite a few Martyn Joseph CDs, but I particularly like this compilation) – I’ve clearly been in a nostalgic mood when I’ve been rootling through the CD rack!

It’s been interesting that what I have wanted to listen to has changed over the weeks of the KAL.  I am sure that I would have chosen different music to listen to even without the KAL, but because I’m more mindful about what I’m doing, I’ve thought about it more and each choice has been a conscious decision rather than just grabbing something out of the rack.  To be honest, I don’t sit down and listen to CDs much these days at all so doing that as part of the Winter Haven KAL has been a pleasure.


I’m going to start with my book recommendation for the week.  I’ve actually got two this week, partly because I think they go together quite well, but also because I know that one of them won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

This week, I’ve picked out Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck and The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein.

I’m very fortunate in that I am living a life that makes me happy.  I’m doing work that I love, I live with people that I love and I know that isn’t the case for everybody.  Many people live an “expected” life rather than their “natural” life; that is, their path through life is chosen for them by the expectations of others – going to university because your parents want you to, perhaps, or following a career path that’s “tradition” in your family; marrying (or not marrying) according to convention, behaving as society believes you should rather than being able to make choices that would make you happy – a “natural” life.

The basis of Finding Your Own North Star is that if you’re not living the life that you should be, life will make you ill.  It sounds quite dramatic, but as you read, the logic of it makes perfect sense.  There are quizzes, exercises, examples, and it all makes perfect sense, or it did to me, at least.  Has this got anything to do with self-care?  I think so.  This definitely speaks to me of fitting your own oxygen mask before helping others.  It’s not always easy (or possible) to change circumstances, but knowing that there is the potential to do that is sometimes enough.

That’s where the second book comes in, and where I think that some of you will go “pfft!” and move on to the next section.  That’s fine – I don’t expect you to agree with everything I write!  The Universe Has Your Back is a book about faith (not necessarily religious faith, but let’s be honest, we all have faith in one way or another; we all go to bed at night expecting that we will wake up in the morning and if that’s not faith, I don’t know what is) – the faith here is in yourself, and in “something” that’s bigger than you that will support you as you look at aspects of your life and how you can make changes to the life you want to live.

I think the two books work very well together, both looking at different aspects of the same thing and ending with the same result – that happiness comes from within and we have the power inside ourselves to make ourselves happy.  That doesn’t always mean huge life shifts, but often something very simple.  It’s the ultimate in self-care, I think, truly looking out for ourselves.

This week, whilst I’ve been looking at these books again, I’ve been thinking more about this.  I’ve not always been very good at saying “no” to things, not wanting to upset the other person whilst taking on something that I know isn’t really what I want to do, and although I have got better at it over the years, I know that I still need to work on it.  A friend told me recently that her motto is “If it isn’t ‘hell, yeah!’, it’s a ‘no'” and whilst I laughed when she told me (and also knowing that we all have to do things that we don’t like from time to time), if it’s something that I have the choice over, that’s not a bad motto to live by.

My self-care this week has involved looking over the list of things that I think I want to do this year (we all write these lists at New Year, don’t we? 🙂 ) and deciding whether it’s a “hell, yeah!” or whether I’ve put something on the list that would benefit someone else more than myself.  It’s important to note that there’s a difference here between the day to day stuff that you do to take care of yourself and your family and the “extra stuff” that you might be asked to do.   An example might be, say, being offered a ticket to a concert that you don’t really want to go to but the other person had been let down, so you buy the expensive ticket from them so that they aren’t out of pocket and spend an evening watching a band that you don’t really like.  Obviously, you make a decision based on the circumstances at the time, but doing it thoughtfully means that you are choosing for yourself, not choosing to please someone else.


🕯 Thank you

Have you been remembering to write in your notebook this week?  I’ve not remembered every day, but I’ve made a point of trying to write down more than one thing, plus one thing that I’m proud of.  It takes me ten minutes at the most, but it’s making me feel really good!

This week, I’ve been grateful for …

Snow!  It might not look like anything more than a grey day in the moors as I was driving over to Skipton, but I had pulled the car off the road to watch the big fat flakes hitting the windscreen and I was happy.  I might not see any more snow this year, but I have seen some.

By the time I was returning home, the sun was out and the grey sky was blue.  There are sheep loose on the moors at this particular point so you have to drive very carefully in case they are in the road.

Not in the road, but close enough.  That big sheep in centre was looking straight at me for long enough (not quite long enough for me to get a photo!) without being bothered by the car at all.  I always feel privileged when an animal chooses to stay close enough for me to see them – I’m used to seeing rabbits and squirrels scarpering for the nearest shelter when I’m out with the dog!

I’m grateful for friends that let you put your feet on their furniture 🙂

If you read a certain crochet blog, you might recognise the studio that I’m sitting in.  You won’t recognise the socks as they’re my first finished pair (apart from the Sanctuary Socks) of this year – a pair of 100% Bluefaced Leicester no-nylon socks in Countess Ablaze Bluefaced Baron 4ply in the colourway Dragon Island.  (At the moment, this base is out of stock but there is another no-nylon yarn called Auntie Plastique which is a Corriedale and Mohair blend if you’re tempted.)

I’ll wear these socks for a bit and then put a review up on the blog.  So far, so good – lovely to work with, I enjoyed the colours and the fact that they’re matching without taking too much thought on my part, so we’ll just have to see how long it takes before I put my toes through them!  (If you think you’ve spotted heel stitch on the toes you’re absolutely right – gotta do all I can to make them last!)

I’ve been grateful for more Winter walks.  Mostly, they’ve been a bit gloomy and foggy but every now and again, the sun shines and it’s wonderful.  I was entranced by the shadows – it seems so long since I’ve seen any!

And just before I finish, I thought I would leave you with this – I saw it on the newsletter from The Make and Do Studio this week and I loved the sentiment.


Thank you for being part of the Winter Haven KAL with me again this week, it’s been wonderful to know that you’re there!  Don’t forget to keep tagging me into your posts so that I can have a nosey into your cosy spaces and see your projects – the hashtag is #WinterHavenKAL.

I hope you have a wonderful week in your Winter Haven – see you next Friday! xx


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7 Responses

  1. cornishgomer says:

    Lovely blog and so much to see we are a hive of crafters!
    Thank you Christine. Xx

  2. sustainablemum says:

    I managed to finish my first pair of socks for this year too. I had a go at creating a slightly different toe box to match the shape of my feet, they are not perfect but for a first go they are ok. I have shared them in the latest post on my blog. Loving the Winter Haven KAL, thank you for hosting.

  3. Susan Rayner says:

    Lovely blog and so many good thoughts! I hope 2020 gets better as the year goes on – sadly my KAL has been disrupted by serious illness and a sudden death in the family! But I am loving every minute of reading your blog and feeling the love of all the knitters out there!

  4. happy hooker says:

    Lovely to snuggle down with my crochet when it's cold, damp and dreary outside. And it's lovely to imagine all the other Winter Haven crafters snuggled down with their knitting, crocheting, sewing or reading. xx

  5. Anne J says:

    I’ve been making some time most days to do some knitting this year.
    I’ve just turned the heel of my first Sanctuary sock – I liked the different heel stitch.
    I’m also trying to finish off a cardigan for myself (I bought the yarn at a show last February and haven’t knitted a large garment for ages as I’ve been mostly knitting for grandchildren).
    I was delighted to see snowdrops flowering in a local nature reserve last week – a sign that spring is just around the corner.

  6. selina says:

    have thoroughly enjoyed reading the KAL & seeing all the lovely projects, such beautiful knitters!
    i'm just plodding along with the socks i started in the 'new year' Hermione in one of Stylecraft 4plys, totally enjoying having my knitting chair back to knit on;
    are you going to keep doing KALs of this kind throughout the year? sounds like everybody has totally embraced it.
    i don't worry too much about treats, don't eat much of those anyway plus am a bit of a messy eater so tend to keep that at the kitchen table not where i'm knitting.
    have also enjoyed seeing where everyone likes to have their haven, some are very cozy & others a bit more creative but all are lovely spots.
    totally enjoyed this KAL reading
    thanx for sharing

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