Winter Haven KAL – Week 4

And here we are, just like that – it’s Week 4 of the Winter Haven KAL which means that it’s the very last day of January.

I definitely feel that January has passed differently for me this year.  I’ve been more thoughtful about what I’m making, what I’m eating and how I’m spending my time during the day.  I’ve made more time to sit in my chair by the fire, to light the candle whenever I’m going to be in the room for a while, and I’ve loved having the fairy lights around the mirror!

Thank you for sharing your photos with me again this week – I’ve really felt that being able to see your photos has made me feel very connected to you in your Winter Havens, and it’s been lovely to know that we’re all crafting and making time for ourselves together!  Even though this is week 4, if you’re on social media you can still post photos and find other people’s 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, you’ve come in just at the end as the KAL is finishing now, but the ideas that I’ve suggested through the KAL are valid all year round, so do feel free to take a look at the other posts: Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.

As with other weeks, it’s time to have a look at what we’ve all been doing, so for the last time this month, are you ready?


🕯 My space

I have so enjoyed spending time in this cosy space!

I’ve been having proper lunch breaks this month (occupational hazard of working at home – I forget to stop for lunch!) and sitting down away from the computer to eat instead of shovelling a sandwich with one hand and typing with the other.  It’s been very good for me, and has actually made me more productive.

You probably know this already if you’re good at taking regular breaks, and when I worked in offices I would take a break over lunch whereas now I work at home, I just keep going with my list of jobs.  Why do I do this?  It’s not rocket science to know that taking a break is a good idea!  Anyway, the call of my Winter Haven has been very loud and it’s not taken much persuading for me to sit in my chair and get a few rounds of knitting done – and I am much more productive for it!

Here’s a look at a few more Winter Havens (I’m going to miss this nosey into your cosy spaces!) …

Sarah has got everything going on here – and doesn’t that cake in a mug look delicious?  I love that her Seascape socks tone so well with her crochet blanket too!

Source: @saraht1420 on Instagram

Fiona lives in the back of beyond on a cattle ranch in Australia where, she tells me, it is HOT, so her Winter Haven is an air-conditioned space.  She’s also got Seascape socks on the go, and has a special cup just for drinking her tea.  That’s one of this things this KAL has been all about, you know; things that make you appreciate your moments of down-time and drinking tea from a special cup is an important part of that.  (You have probably spotted that my Herdy mug is back in the photos so I know what I’m talking about here! 😀)

And this photo just made me laugh – it was tagged as a Winter Haven KAL photo on Facebook and I like the idea of a knitting kangaroo very much!

Source: Rescue Collective

I don’t think I really appreciated until I started to see your photos and read your comments and emails just how much we have all been connected during this KAL, and for those who don’t have knitting friends close by, the internet is an amazing resource that keeps us in touch.  It’s been an absolute joy for me to know how much the Winter Haven KAL has brought us all together.


🕯 Project

Well, would you look at that – my Sockhead Slouch hat is finished!  Ta dah!

It’s knitted in WYS Signature Winwick Mum Brightside yarn – it looks so different to how it works out on socks with those longer rounds!  Not only that, it has a pompom on too – I can’t remember the last time I made one of those!  Yes, the pompom is huge.  I took some advice from my friend, the crochet toy expert Emma Varnam, who Knows About These Things and subscribes to the “go ginormous or go home” school of pompom thought, and I pretty much used up the rest of the ball on this beauty.  Emma also advised me to take a carding brush to it – luckily we had an old dog brush that was just the thing (it’s called a slicker but we use a Furminator on our dog now and I don’t think it would have done my pompom much good!) and I rather gingerly at first started to brush out the strands.  It was quite good fun, actually, and I do like the fluffy effect.

Finally, after managing to get it attached to my hat securely (it looked a bit like the bell on Noddy’s hat for a while and that really wasn’t the look I was going for!), here it is.  I modelled it for my girls.  Small daughter sniggered and big daughter carefully suggested that I might not want to wear it on a night out, but it’s just fine for being in the garden which was the plan all along.  Or possibly walking the dog as that pompom will make an excellent anchor so that I don’t blow away in a strong wind.

The socks … ooh, I’m down to the wire on these ones – and not just with running out of time!  I started these socks a long time ago and now I’m discovering that I must have used the remains of a ball that I knitted the WYS samples socks from when the Winwick Mum yarn was first developed.  And that there isn’t quite enough left in the ball for a matching pair of socks … yes, that is all that’s left of this ball and yes, that is me not quite up to the toes.  I’ve been digging around for leftovers, trying not to crack open a new ball for what is really only going to be a few rounds.  Read on to see if I manage it!

Let’s take a look at your projects too!

Jamie has finished her Wildflower socks with this striking green contrast …

Source: @dotandrocket on Instagram

Carol has finished of a WIP sock and started the next one …

Source: Carol via Facebook

Here’s another look at Fiona’s Seascape sock – you saw her Winter Haven just before and now here’s her project!

Source: Fiona via email

Gail has two projects on the go – her Sanctuary Socks (they’re going to look great in that colour!) and crochet blanket.  Perfect for switching between the two projects as the mood takes her!

(The Sanctuary Socks pattern was designed for the Winter Haven KAL and is free on the blog – you can find the pattern here.)

Source: Gail via Facebook

Hannah is tackling her Sanctuary Socks with copious notes!  It’s always a good idea to write things down if you think you’re going to forget them!

Source: Hannah via Facebook

I showed you Jo’s Wildflower Sanctuary Socks in progress in a previous Winter Haven post – and here they are finished!  Her very beautiful cat, Teddy, is keeping a close eye on them (cats are good at doing that)!

Source: Jo via Facebook

Lisa has chosen to use stash yarn to make her Sanctuary Socks and they’re coming along very nicely!

Source: Lisa via Facebook

Liz knitted her first Sanctuary Sock on holiday  the yarn is Mothy and the Squid Polar Lights … luckily it wasn’t artic weather where she was staying!) and cast on the second on the plane home …

Source: Liz via Facebook

Margaret also chose to use Wildflower yarn for her Sanctuary Socks.  They look lovely!

Source: Margaret via Facebook

Hannah’s sock is also coming along beautifully; I do like those rusty tones in the yarn!

Source: @knitting.hannah on Instagram

And finally (that’s a lot of Sanctuary Socks on the needles – I’m chuffed to bits!), Missus Columbo has finished one of her Sanctuary socks with modifications to the heel as she likes to knit short rows.  I never mind at all if someone wants to adapt my pattern to suit their own knitting or wearing preferences; I think of them as a road map and you can either follow the directions to your destination without any detour, or you can take the scenic route.  That is the joy of hand knits, isn’t it?  You can make them to how they fit you best! 🙂

Source: @missuscolumbo on Instagram

🕯 This week’s recipe

This week, I thought I’d try another savoury snack – these are cheese sticks from the Kidspot Kitchen website.

Small daughter was more impressed with these than with me in my Sockhead hat, and they were incredibly easy to make so I think I’ll be making them again another day.

Oh, and something else.  A glass of something sparkly because this week we’re celebrating – we’ve made it through January, the days are getting longer, we’ve done lots of knitting (and hopefully lots of finishing off) and I hope we have all had a lovely time!  Cheers!

🕯 Something green

My greenery this week is a couple of the succulent plants that live on the window in my study space.  I mostly walk past them, usually forget to water them, and occasionally remember that they’re there so I thought I would treat them with more care this week!

🕯 Light it up!

This week, I have been lighting ALL the candles!  Not just in my Winter Haven space, I’ve got them in other rooms too and I’ve made a particular point of lighting them all.  I think I should buy shares in a tealight company!

I’ve realised that I tend to light candles more in the Winter, but actually, there’s no reason why I can’t burn them all year round – especially the scented variety.  I’ve found that there’s something very calming about sitting with a candle nearby and that’s something that I want to continue.  I’ve found lots of calm moments during this KAL and I want to keep them all if I can!

🕯 Listen up!

This week has been a week of playing vinyl records rather than CDs – I’ve had to keep getting up to change sides of the record which has been a bit annoying if I’ve got comfortable, but actually it’s good to move about rather than sit in one position for a long time so I’ve tried not to be too grumpy about it.

This week’s choices have been Love Over Gold by Dire Straits, my favourite Year of The Cat album by Al Stewart and Further by Richard Hawley.  I first fell in love with the Al Stewart album when I was at sixth form college doing my A Levels so I’ve been listening to these songs for a long time!  You don’t forget music, do you?  Or what you were doing when you listened to it.  I’ve had a lovely time reminiscing this week!

 🕯 Self-care

We’ve talked a lot about self-care over the month (well, I’ve talked and you’ve read or scrolled past! 😀) and some of it has been quite heavy stuff, especially if it’s new to you.  So this week, I thought we’d finish on a lighter note with a book recommendation of one that my husband brought back from America for me when he was there on business once.

It’s called Life is Good: Simple words from Jake and Rocket and I love it.  It’s quite old now so the only copies I could find on Amazon were second hand ones, but I thought I’d show it to you anyway.  The book is really very simple but I love the sentiments on each page and I’ve often flicked through just because the book makes me smile.

So that’s my self-care recommendation for today – the words on the pages and also to find something that makes you smile.  Smiles are hugely powerful, they cost nothing and they can brighten up the darkest day.  It takes a bit of practice sometimes, especially if you don’t find yourself smiling very often, but I can highly recommend it – a smile can make all the difference!  It releases all kinds of happy chemicals in your brain and does the same to the person you smile at, so everybody wins (that’s as technical as that sentence is going to get!).  And you might be the only contact with another human being that the other person has all day, so why would you not gift them a smile?  If you’ve nobody to smile at, find a mirror and smile at yourself – go on, give yourself a great big beam – you are your own best friend, after all, so you deserve all the best smiles!

And here’s one to you from me – have a lovely day!

🕯 Thank you

I wrote my Monthly Musing all about gratitude this month; it’s had quite an effect on me to make more of an effort to remember to write things down.  (I have noticed that my writing is getting worse as the weeks go on … I may not be able to read anything I’ve written by this time next year!)

This week, I’ve been grateful for …

The chimney sweep, cleaning out our chimneys to make sure that they’re safe for another year.  I do love to see his brush coming out of the top of the chimney!

The fun of making a ginormous pompom!  It took me right back to being small and making them with cardboard rings cut out of a chocolate biscuit box but  I’ve got some proper durable plastic rings now (definitely not single use!) so I think there may be more pompoms in my future!

Spring flowers in the garden.  I shared this picture the other day in my January round up post, but it’s so lovely to see the flowers appearing again, and they’re right by the path where I see them every time I go out of the door.  These are Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis).

And … I’m grateful that I managed to finish the socks!  Phew!

Thank you for being part of the Winter Haven KAL with me this month, I’ve had such a lovely time and I hope that you’ve enjoyed having a cosy space too.  It seems a shame to just stop abruptly with this post, so I’m going to write a round up post next week – remember that I said in the beginning we would all be connected by yarn and intention?  I’d love you to be part of the last post with me, so if there’s anything you’d like to show – finished projects, part-finished projects – or you’d like to share, please get in touch so that I can include you!  It’s been amazing to know that we’re all knitting together all over the world, so it would be wonderful to make the last post a global one!

Don’t forget that the social media hashtag is #WinterHavenKAL, so you’ll still be able to see posts on Instagram and Facebook if you’re a social media user, and you can get hold of me through email as well (look for the envelope symbol underneath my profile picture at the top of the page – it’s how I’m attempting to deter spammers! 🙂 ).

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

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6 Responses

  1. happy hooker says:

    I've completed my Moorland blanket (Attic 24), and am now making a Lost in Time shawl (Mijo Crochet) with the leftover yarn. I'm (almost) wishing the cold, dark days weren't slowly coming to an end! So much enjoying my Winter Haven. I love your slouchy hat, and the oversize pompom looks just right. xx

  2. Nese says:

    Loved this Winter KAL month! I hope we can do it again soon! Thank you!

  3. selina says:

    ohhh i love your hat! not so much the pompom but i'm not a fan of pompoms anyway but your hat looked awesome & i don't know why people say you shouldn't wear it out? it suits you.

    i haven't done any photos of my cozy haven or knitting spot, will get around to it eventually but have been enjoying reading or knitting there immensely. yeh, i hope this is done again
    lovely post
    thanx for sharing

  4. Susan Rayner says:

    A wonderful blog and somehow January has not seemed as long or as bleak as it could have done! Lovely photos from you and some wonderful ones from others. Happy February!! The days are now longer and spring is out there somewhere! Thank you for helping me make it through a very tough month!!

  5. Lenore says:

    Hi Christine. Nola is coming to stay after a hip replacement and she wants to knit cable socks. I went to the original post where there is a link to download the Sanctuary Sock pattern but couldn’t get the link to work. Not sure why I can’t, can you please advise where to get it. Love your hat and Pom Pom. Xx

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I've just checked the link and it's working so I'm sure what's going on there. I've sent you an email xx

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