Blogtober 2021 : Day 26

Do you know what this is?

A large circular needle, a short circular needle, two stitch markers and a small fabric purse with wool needles are on a wooden floor.

This, my friends, is the last of the commission socks for this year off my needles.


I love designing for other people and I also love designing for myself, and it’s been a busy old year with one thing and another so I am very much looking forward to taking my time to decide what goes onto my needles next.  Of course, I have already had the urge to cast on All The Things and I showed you my WIP pile the other day so I am currently resisting – but the siren call of new yarn is very strong!

I do need to finish my knitting belt shawl and I missed that off the WIP pile but I will definitely be finishing that – and I’m going to do my best to be wearing it by the end of this month as I set myself that target way back on 1 October.  In fact, I think that’s going to be tonight’s knitting when we’ve finished dinner (we’re late tonight as big daughter has been running a late yoga class and we wanted to eat together).

I’m thinking that one of the projects that I want to work on next is the sock pattern for next year’s Winter Haven KAL.  I was in two minds about whether to run the KAL again next year – it will be the third year and the format has been the same for the last two years and I haven’t really got any plans to change it – but I don’t want to think that people are bored with it!  Then I decided that I enjoy doing it and it’s good for me to take some time over January to recharge my own batteries so I will do it again, and it will be in the same format and if you’re not bored with it and want to join in, it’ll be lovely to have you along!

If you’ve never heard of the Winter Haven KAL, it’s something that I started in January 2020 as I thought that it might help us all to get through the dark days of the northern hemisphere Winter a little easier.  The theme of the KAL is all about self-care and knitting, but not the kind of self-care that involves taking long baths and painting your nails (and not least because a month of long baths would leave you looking more prune-like than you might feel is good for the world! 🤣 )  It’s more about looking after yourself by taking time to recharge your well-being batteries with a good book, gratitude, music and some tasty treats.  As it turned out, 2020 was not the year we all expected and hopefully those weeks of looking after ourselves helped us to get through what came next!  This is the post I published just before the first Winter Haven KAL started and if you’re new to the idea, you might like to take a look and see if it’s for you.

A partly knitted sock in stripes of blue, green and turquoise on a wooden table. Also on the table is an orange mug of tea and a succulent plant with pointed leaves.

These were my socks from the first Winter Haven KAL and I’m actually wearing them today!  Hand-knit socks are such good value – nearly two years later my socks are still going strong!

One of the things I like to do is to design a new free sock pattern for people to join in with the KAL – to join in you need to use either Winwick Mum yarn or a Winwick Mum pattern (or both!) – and I’ve already got an idea for next year’s design that I’m really excited about.  I think that’s going to be on my needles fairly soon so that I’ve got time to get the pattern written up and sent over to my lovely tech editor who checks for glaring errors and condenses my wordiness (yes, that is a real word!) into something that is less than a ream of paper to print out 🙂

It doesn’t matter if it’s not Winter in your part of the world, you can still join in as the theme of caring for yourself right after the hustle and bustle of Christmas and any other holidays that you might celebrate is just as relevant if the sun is shining as if it’s dark and gloomy.  In fact, in previous years, people have joined in with their air-conditioning on instead of a cosy fire!  I have always believed that it’s the yarn that connects us, and it doesn’t matter where in the world you are to have that in your hands.

Do you think you’d like to join in again next year?  Perhaps you could let me know in the comments so I’ll know that it won’t be just me sitting by the fire with my knitting eating too much shortbread! 🙂


Right, I need to go and finish off dinner (shepherd’s pie tonight) and then I need to get my bag packed as I’m on Yarn Lane TV tomorrow with Anna Nikipirowicz talking about the West Yorkshire Spinners Vintage Tinsel yarn and the two sock patterns that we have created – Twinkle Toes (the knitted version) and Tinsel Toes (the crochet version).  The show goes out at 12pm and will be on YouTube later on so you can always catch up later if you want to.  You can find the channel online at, on YouTube here, Freeview channel 72 and Sky channel 670.

Have a lovely evening and I’ll see you tomorrow! xx


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50 Responses

  1. Charlotte says:

    Yes, I would like to join the KAL in January.

  2. Chris G says:

    I only properly discovered you when I bought the Christmas Socks Collection book and yarn to knit my eldest son a pair for his birthday in January! My first ever attempt and it took me about a month to knit on a teeny 2.5mm circuit needle & teach myself the heel flap, the gusset & a Kitchener toe, how did I miss your YouTube videos 🙄)! A bit addicted to socks (alongside crochet blankets) and I’d totally love to join a KAL in the New Year 👏🏻

  3. Irune says:

    Of course, I’ll join the KAL again!!! I really enjoyed the last one!!! 🙂

  4. Michele says:

    Yes, I’m so pleased to read today’s blog post as I was wondering whether you were going to do a KAl. I’m just on the leg of my first sock following your beginners pattern. I’ve managed to change the colours from the cuff after watching your YouTube on that. Something to look forward to.
    Can’t wait that and a Lucy blanket.

    • winwickmum says:

      Ooh fab, you’ll be very busy in January with socks and a Lucy blanket to be working on – but you’ll be very cosy wrapped up in them both when you’ve finished! 🙂 xx

  5. Alison Lambert says:

    Joining in is a highlight of my January now 🙂

  6. Gill Barnett says:

    Will definitely be joining you Christine your KALs certainly helped me through the last two January’s thank you xx

  7. Lynne Wilcox says:

    I’m never not knitting socks so I will definitely join in January even if it’s my usual toe up sock design.

  8. Mary says:

    Oh yes count me in!! Have really enjoyed the previous KAL’s because somehow your focus changes and you become aware that you are connected to so many others doing the same thing at the same time. And it’s always good to have chocolates etc on the go in your own little haven you have created. Can’t wait! Xxx

    • winwickmum says:

      Brilliant! I agree, I am much more likely to think about doing things more mindfully through the KAL month than usual which is always a good thing – and so is the chocolate! 🙂 xx

  9. Pam G says:

    I’m enjoying your daily blog and would love to join in the Winter Kal. Sock knitting is getting very difficult as my eyesight is failing. Do you have any tips or suggestions to help, please?

    • winwickmum says:

      I’ve got a really good reading lamp which helps as I mostly knit in the evenings when the light isn’t so good so you could have a look around and see if there’s one that would work for you. I think Hobbycraft sell them, they’re on sale in Aldi from time to time, you’ll certainly find one on Amazon or you could do a search online for a specialist company – there’s certainly going to be something to suit your budget! You could also try knitting with thicker yarn and needles – DK socks, perhaps, on 3.5mm needles? Snufflebean Yarn has a really good range of Novita DK sock yarns which have the nylon content in them to help with the wear. You can get 10% off with the code WINWICKMUM too (I must tell you this is an affiliate link but it doesn’t cost anything to look!) 🙂 xx

  10. Mary says:

    Just noticed Lynne’s picture, of the Tor in Glastonbury? If so we are probably near neighbours hahah! You see what I mean? Connected through our love of sock knitting!!!

  11. Anne-Mette Nordahl says:

    Hello. I will join the KAL. Look forward to “see you” all. Greetings from Norway🤩🧶

  12. Beverly Vinson says:

    Yes I’d like to finally join the KAL since I wasn’t able to the last couple years. Can’t wait!!

  13. Karen says:

    A new Winter Haven Kal sounds perfect!

  14. Sue says:

    Hi Christine
    I’ve been reading your blog for years but never knitted a pair of socks yet!
    This is the year I will begin and the KAL seems the ideal time.
    Living fairly close to Culcheth I know the exact shop to go to for the wool and needles, after checking out the on line tutorial of course.
    Wish me luck!
    Best wishes

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh fabulous … and yes, I think there’s a shop close by that would be right up your street! 🤣 The new sock pattern will have a pattern in it so you might choose to go for that one or perhaps start with a Basic 4ply sock but because you can use self-striping yarn (I’d definitely recommend that rather than a plain colour for a first pair), you’ll still look like a knitting superstar! xx

  15. Marie McKee says:

    I’d love to join everyone in the KAL. Sounds like a fun way to begin a new year!

  16. Gillian Edwards says:

    I would like to join your KAL. Don’t know if I will keep up with everyone but hey ho. It’s the taking part that counts. LOVE your blogs. Knitting your little short socks at the moment. May still be knitting them in January !

    • winwickmum says:

      It will be brilliant to have you along! There’s no real timeframe around the KAL – we knit during the month of January and if you can finish your project then, that’s fantastic and the posts will finish at the end of January, but other than that you can keep going as long as you need to! Short socks are great for a quick knit, aren’t they? 🙂 xx

  17. Elaine Allerton says:

    Love the winter KAL,,,,Always enjoy,,,,

  18. Jacqui says:

    I’d love to join your KAL. I’ve never tried one before so it will be a new experience. I noticed you said the socks will have a pattern so that might be just the nudge I need to step up from your basic sock pattern. Mind you, it’s such a good pattern that I’m happy knitting it and letting the wool do the work of creating magic. I never thought I’d be so enthusiastic about knitting socks but I just can’t resist an interesting sock wool. That local wool shop has a lot to answer for 😉

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, it’s a slippery slope once you discover self-striping yarn! It’ll be great to have you join in with the KAL – mine’s a really relaxed one, it’s all about taking some time out for yourself and sitting with your knitting! 🙂 xx

  19. Maggie says:

    I’d love to join the KAL

  20. Debra Cole says:

    Reading about the winter haven, I went all warm and fuzzy, my daughter has just made her first sock, your pattern I think, she wouldn’t let me look in case I pinched it. She doesn’t realise I already use your basic pattern.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh that’s funny – but well done to your daughter! I hope she finishes her second quickly and then she’ll be able to see what all the fuss is about when she wears her new pair! 🙂 xx

  21. Sandra Strefford says:

    yes please this will be my first KAL. I tried a few times to knit socks but could never follow the pattern, then I bought your book and I was AWAY.
    Knitted a few pairs since then and will continue to knit more.

  22. Lyanne says:

    I’ve got my yarn stashed away ready for the KAL, so I’m glad to hear you are planning to do it again this year! I’m gong to make your knee high socks in Hidden Gem with a contrast cuff etc in a purple. Every time I open the yarn box, they look at me, saying “Knit us, knit us!” but I’m saving them 😁

  23. Lisa Earnesty says:

    I’m always up for a KAL. This will be my first with socks as I’m still learning to knit them. I’ve completed one pair so far.

  24. Annemarie says:

    I would definitely like to join in the sock KAL as I knitted many pairs of socks but have lost my way a little and would love to rekindle my enthusiasm.

  25. Jennifer says:

    I very much hope to join in

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