Winter Haven KAL 2021 – Week 3

How are you doing?  It’s Week 3 of the Winter Haven KAL … I hope you’ve been able to keep safe and well, and you’ve been able to spend plenty of cosy moments in your Havens!

Once again, thank you to everyone who took the time to get in touch through the blog comments, on social media or by email – it’s been great to hear from you and I’m so pleased that you’re joining in with the KAL!

Apart from Wednesday night’s snow – which had all melted by yesterday morning, so it’s a good job that small daughter and I went out when we did – it’s been a pretty wet and miserable January so far which definitely makes it easier to want to spend time keeping warm and cosy by the fire!  January is actually my favourite month of the year and I’m always a little sad when February arrives, but I’m not that fond of the constant rain so having a good excuse to squeeze in an extra few rounds when I can rather than go out has been very welcome!

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 KnitAlong using either a Winwick Mum pattern and/or Winwick Mum yarn so there are infinite possibilities there, and you can join in simply by taking a few moments for yourself.  January is a good month to recharge your batteries ready for the year ahead, and I’m hoping to encourage you to do that!  The KAL started two Fridays ago and the last post will be on Friday 29 January so there’s still time to find yourself a cosy space, pick up your needles and join in.  The first post which tells you all about the KAL and how it works is here.

This week, I’m going to talk a bit about what I’ve been doing, but I’m also going to show you what others have been doing as well – I love that we are all being part of this KAL together!

🕯 My space

There’s no change to my cosy space in front of the fire!  The chimney sweep was here on Wednesday (he’s classed as an essential service as having your chimney swept is a safety consideration) and even though he’s been coming here for years, it did feel very strange to have someone other than the family in the house.  It’s always good to know that he’s been, though, and the fire is safe to light again.


Here are some more cosy spaces …

Kerry is in Dubai so it’s definitely not a wet and snowy Winter space for her!  And that might be another book to add to my must-read list – Kerry, you must let me know if it’s any good!

Source: Kerry via Facebook

Treva is well set up here!  I’m not sure that you’d need to move anywhere!  Your socks are coming along really nicely too!

Source: Treva via Facebook

Cath, who was looking very cosy in her garden knitting den last week, appears to have moved in …

I love that you’ve been able to find a space to call your own for a short while – and hopefully for quite a while longer after the KAL finishes!

🕯 Project
How have you been getting on with your projects?
I’m up the heel of my second knee high sock.

I really did think that I’d be a bit further on than that, but this yarn doesn’t seem to knit up very quickly.  Have you noticed that with yarn?  Some yarns seem to zip round the needles at warp speed and other ones prefer to take their time.  This is one of those.  Someone who knows more about the technicalities of yarn production than me can probably tell me why that is, but all I know is that I’m only up to the heel and I thought I’d be past that by now!

You all seem to have been getting on brilliantly though – have a look at these!

Jenny is making Knee High scrappy socks from her leftovers – it looks like she’s about as far down the sock as I am!

Source: @jennyfibrecraft

This is a lovely version of the Easy Colorwork Socks by Leah.  I’m looking forward to seeing how these turn out!

Source: @leahbarnes14

Lisa is making a pair of Basic Socks using yarns called Robin and Squirrel – and she has her own robin cheerleader too!

Source: @lisapinenotes

Mary has started a pair of Easy Cable Socks and has chosen a gorgeous colour to work them in – those cables are going to look fabulous!

Source: @maryashton189

Nikki and her Mum are both making a pair of Knee High Socks and they seem to be keeping pace with each other too!  They’ve chosen WYS Blue Lagoon and Wildflower for their main colours, and the Blackcurrant Bomb contrast looks great with both of them!

Source: @nsevio22

Here’s another pair of Knee High socks on the go in Brightside …  Mary has chosen to knit everything in one colour so far and it’s looking fab!

Source: @sweateredmary

Ooh, I like this very much! Catherine has chosen to use a colourwork pattern but to use my yarn – that’s Seascape as the main body of the sock and it looks great with the great patterned contrast.  This is the first time I’ve seen Winwick Mum yarn used for colourwork and already the possibilities are buzzing around in my head!

Source: Catherine via Facebook

Hope has finished her pair of Knee High socks already!  She’s used WYS Wood Pigeon and it looks lovely!

Janet has also been rocketing along – this is a DK boot sock so it’s hardly taken her any time at all to knit compared to a 4ply sock! 😀

Source: Janet via Facebook

Here’s another Knee High Sock on the go.  It seems like a HUGE number of stitches to cast on in the beginning, but it’s surprising how quickly the cuff grows and once you’re past that, you’re starting to decrease again.  I have to say, I think the knee high socks knit up far faster than I ever expected to if that’s something that puts you off then do reconsider!

Source: Kerri-Lea via Facebook

Mary sent me lots of photos of her socks – she’s made 18 pairs this Winter so far, including a pair of boot socks that only took her a day to knit.  Blimey!  There must have been sparks coming off your needles, Mary!

Source: Mary via email

Natasha has been working on the Hidden Gem pattern from the WYS Winwick Mum Collection pattern book, and it’s lovely to see it!  I like that she’s got her greenery close by too!

Source: Natasha via Facebook

And finally for this week, Sheila is doing really well on her sock which is also in WYS Wood Pigeon.  It’s a popular colourway!  I like your nifty yarn holder too, Sheila!

Source: Sheila via Facebook

Do tag me into your photos, or email if that’s easier as I love to see what you’re working on. More project photos to come next week!

🕯 This week’s recipe

I thought I’d try something savoury this week and mentioned it to my friend Lucy who told me about a recipe for cheesy nibbles (or cheesy scoffs as she renamed them!) on her blog.  They only have three ingredients and it sounded very easy so I thought I’d give them a go.  

It took minutes to make them – in fact, it took almost longer to cook them than it did to make them – and what a great afternoon snack they made!  I took a few in on a plate to my husband who was caught up in online meetings all afternoon and he gave them the thumbs up too!  Here’s the link to Lucy’s recipe if you’d like to try them.  Thanks, Lucy!

Coincidentally, just after I’d had this conversation with Lucy, I got a message from Pip who’s taking part in the KAL suggesting that I make … cheesy nibbles!  The recipe she sent me came from a ferry newsletter but is pretty much the same although a larger quantity.  She said you can eat them hot or cold and they’ll keep for a few days in an airtight container.  Here are Pip’s quantities in case you want to adjust the recipe to make more – thanks, Pip!

170g of self raising flour
110g softened butter
Generous TSP English mustard
170g grated strong cheese (I use vintage cheddar)

You can follow the same instructions as for Lucy’s blog recipe.

🕯 Something green

I didn’t remember to look for cut flowers when I was in the supermarket this week but I did spot this pretty double primula pot instead.  I think the edges of the pink petals are going to be white – it looks like they’ve been painted – so it’ll be interesting to see how the flowers look when they open up properly.

I’ll be able to put the plant out in the garden later in the year which is always a bonus and definitely something you can’t do with cut flowers!

🕯 Light it up!

Oh, I’ve been very glad of the calming candle light this week, and the gorgeous smells from my wax melts.  They do have a very strong scent, you can smell it before you even come into the room!



🕯 Listen up!

What have you been listening to this week?  

We’ve been listening to a lot of Jazz FM.  I wrote about listening to country music with big daughter in the first week of the Winter Haven KAL and this week, I’ve been listening to jazz with my husband.  Just like the country music, this is something that’s surprised me as up until now, I would tell you that I wasn’t that keen on jazz music and I’m still not a huge fan of the freestyle instrumental-type jazz, but some of the programmes on the radio have been right up my street and I’ve fallen in love with this record …

It’s called Sunset in the Blue by Melody Gardot and if you’d told me before listening to this that I’d become a jazz convert then I probably wouldn’t have believed you, but this is just my kind of thing!  

🕯 Self-care

Self-care for me this week has been trying to positively think about what my “future self” would appreciate.  Sometimes it’s been something as simple as remembering to bring a mug downstairs if I’ve got a free hand rather than waiting until I want to make myself another brew and having to run upstairs to get it (I am very good at wandering round the house with my brew and then forgetting where I left my mug!).  Other times, it’s doing an extra bit of cleaning that could easily wait until tomorrow but actually makes me very happy when “tomorrow” comes and I don’t have to do it then!  

My book last week was Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior and I finished it the other day.  It was lovely, and I thought the ending was nicely done – I am always so disappointed when the ending of a book doesn’t live up to the rest of it.  I could see the similarities to Eleanor Oliphant which it has been compared to so if you’ve read that one and enjoyed it, I’d say that you would probably like this one too.  Hazel Prior has written another book so I’ve put that on my reading list for later.

Last year I read more self-help type books during the Winter Haven weeks than fiction but it’s been the other way round this year.  I did pick up this book again by Jessica Ortner, though.  It’s called The Tapping Solution to Create Lasting Change and I first read it a year or so ago but I’ve come back to it again now.  “Tapping” or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) involves tapping on meridian or energy points in your body whilst focussing on something negative to replace it with something positive.  This might sound more than a little strange to some people, but as someone who grew up with alternative and complementary therapies, I find the whole idea quite interesting.  Certainly, if you research further, there are scientific studies to back up the theories and that fascinates me too.  

Does this kind of thing actually work?  My view with any of these therapies (and to an extent “traditional” medicine too) is that they will work for some people but not everybody, and it probably depends on what you are trying to achieve.  Sometimes we wish for miracles and I don’t know that any therapy can actually guarantee those, but in terms of quieting those lockdown anxieties and remembering that many of our worries are created in our heads, this has worked really well for me. 

I downloaded the free app so that I could use the tapping meditations in the mornings when I usually do my few minutes of quiet breathing.  It’s actually been really nice to use, so I thought I would mention it in case it was of any use to you too!

🕯 Thank you

Have you been remembering to write in your notebook?  I must confess that I don’t remember to write every day but I do make a point of catching up with myself so that I think about what was good in the week.  It’s so easy at the moment for the days to blur into one and for us think that we’ve not done anything except stay at home or perhaps go food shopping.  There are still things to be grateful for (the fact that we can stay home or go food shopping!) and I enjoyed sitting in my chair with my candle lit and my cup of tea this morning to update my little book.

This week, amongst other things, I’ve been particularly grateful for … the snow!

Ah, the snow makes me so happy!  I had a lovely time out with small daughter on Wednesday night, and the fact that we’ve now had snow twice this year already has made me happier still!  

Thank you for being part of the KAL again with me this week, I have so enjoyed having you be here with me!  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.

Stay well and warm this week in your Winter Haven – see you next Friday! xx

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8 Responses

  1. Chris Knowler says:

    We are in the middle of a kitchen renovation but I have managed to finish a pair of Comet socks. We've been sitting in hubby's studio where we had heating and electricity. But it was nice to see the Robin, feral pigeons and squirrel come down to eat the seeds and nuts we'd put out after sorting the larder. We've also heard the tawny owl hooting too. I've started a pair of socks for hubby so they will be my next Winterhaven knit.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Oh, I hope your renovation works are finished soon! It's a strange thing to have outside people in your house at the moment, isn't it? I'm impressed you've managed to get socks finished in the middle of all of that! xx

  2. Susan Rayner says:

    I really enjoyed the Richard Osman book – and I think you might too! Sadly I have passed my copy to my sister so it is gone – but worth getting hold of!! Catherine's socks with the colourwork have inspired me too! As do all the lovely knitting havens – so many talented people in this group!!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Ooh, thank you, I've added it to my reading list! I discovered this morning that it's available through our local library's ebook lending service (as are some of the others I've added to my list) so I might try that instead of buying copies … I've never been that keen on reading fiction as an ebook but it does mean I can knit at the same time! 🙂 xx

  3. tink says:

    I was going to knit knee high socks then my youngest moaned that she wanted sparkly socks, another pair like she had for Christmas for her birthday, course then i had to search for your sparkly Christmas yarns, finally managed to order some so waiting arrival, kids who'd have em hehe

  4. Mandy says:

    Hello Christine. Finally able to join your KAL. My Wildflower yarn arrived yesterday and I have already finished a sock! The colour changes certainly motivate you to knit another round. I am not on Facebook or Instagram so no photo. Doing The Squricle Sock pattern by General Hogbuffer as something different. I usually sit and knit in the conservatory but it is not would I call cosy.

  5. MelindaJ says:

    I made some cheesy nibbles (or scoffs, as Lucy said) yesterday, and can confirm that they are very quick to make, and you have to be careful that they don't get eaten in the same amount of time! I made about two dozen and there are now hardly any left. A spoonful of mustard is an excellent addition. Love your blog, though I'm not in the Haven this year – too many other projects on the go.

  6. selina says:

    i started a pair of ripple socks but have been too sweaty to knit much the last few days, it's nearly 40`c here with high humidity
    gosh there are some lovely corners there again & beautiful socks on the go!
    thanx for sharing

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