Winter Haven KAL 2022 – it’s nearly here!

We’re counting down to this year’s Winter Haven KAL!

The KAL starts on 7 January 2022 (this Friday), so I thought that with just four days to go (and three before the new pattern is released!), it would be a good time to tell you a bit more about it, what’s involved and what you’ll need to gather together to join in and get cosy.  (Don’t worry, it’s not any kind of complicated scavenger hunt, you may well find everything you need around your house!)

A pair of feet in green, blue, yellow and red striped socks are resting, ankles crossed, in front of a roaring open fire. To the right is a bucket of coal and to the left is an ornamental house decoration, lit up from the inside so that the windows are illuminated, next to a tangle of coloured fairy lights

You may remember the socks in the photo from last year’s KAL – they’re the ribbed version of the Basic 4ply Knee High Socks knitted in the Brightside colourway.  I like to design a new pattern for the KAL every year and I’m really looking forward to sharing this year’s pattern with you in a couple of days!

 

🕯 So what’s it all about then, this Winter Haven KAL?  

Well, it’s about resting and recharging our batteries during January after all of the busy-ness of the holiday celebrations and the events of the last year.  It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone, some more than others, and even if we were able to celebrate with loved ones and friends this year, it was always with health concerns at the back of our minds.  Living in this prolonged state of heightened stress is not good for anyone and the Winter Haven KAL is a reminder that we need to take some time for ourselves, even just a few minutes in the day, to make sure that we are ready to face the coming year.

 

🕯 You’ve posted a cosy-looking fireplace photo … can you only join in if you live somewhere where the Winter is cold? 

No, not at all!  My experience of Winter is that it’s generally cold, usually wet and often a bit miserable after the Christmas holidays so this is what Winter looks like to me.  Personally, I love the month of January with these cosy fireplace moments and with still a chance that it might snow (I live in eternal hope), days where the whole year stretches out in front of you with possibilities and an opportunity to think about what you want to do with your time.  Oh, and to finish off all that Christmas chocolate that’s still around! – but I do know that it’s not the same for everyone.

Your Winter might look completely different, and that doesn’t matter at all as what’s important in this KAL is the “haven” part and you can have that anywhere in the world.  The dictionary definition of a haven is somewhere that offers refuge, rest and even sanctuary and that’s something that we can all be glad of, whatever the weather!

 

🕯 Will I like the project that you have to make to take part?

I hope so, because you’re going to choose it!

Because it’s a Winwick Mum KAL, I’d like you to use a Winwick Mum pattern and/or Winwick Mum yarn to join in.  This means that you can use stash yarn or leftovers as long as you use one of my patterns, so don’t worry if you can’t get hold of any Winwick Mum yarn, you can still be part of the KAL.  Alternatively, you can use any other pattern with Winwick Mum yarn and that would be lovely too!

The Winwick Mum pattern choices are all here and that includes hats, shawls, cowls and mittens, not just socks – the point of the KAL is that we create some time for ourselves so you need a project on your needles (or even your crochet hook if that’s more your thing) that’s going to give you some pleasure.

If you’re brand new to socks, feel free to join in by using the Sockalong tutorials and Basic 4ply Socks pattern, and if you’ve always knitted that pattern, why not try another pattern this time?  There are in-depth photo and video tutorials for my Easy Cable, Easy Lace, Patchwork and Easy Colourwork socks, and tutorials to go with some of my other patterns too.

Don’t forget the Winwick Mum Collection pattern books to go with the Winwick Mum yarn – the first Winwick Mum collection and the second Seasons collection – you might not have tried one of those yet but the book is sitting on your shelf … maybe this is the time to dust it off!

There’s also a brand new pattern coming out on Thursday (6 January) which I’m going to share on the blog especially for the KAL.  I gave you a sneak peek the other day and here’s a proper look at what the pattern looks like …

A pair of socks in shades of red, brown, green and yellow with a white pattern working its way down the socks are lying on a white wooden floor. To the left is a vintage book with a green cover entitled "Everybody's Fortune Teller" and there are four Rune stones lying next to it. The words on the photo read "I've seen my future and it's full of socks!"

You may have seen this photo on Instagram already but I think you can see the socks much more clearly here and I hope you like them!  The pattern is something a bit different and I’ve created a photo tutorial to go with the pattern as well … I’m going to keep you in suspense about it for just a little longer but I will tell you that it’s suitable for adventurous beginners (so that means that you might have knitted at least one pair of socks before so that you’re confident with how a sock is put together, but not necessarily if you love the pattern and you want to jump straight in with this one!) and that it’s not colourwork, so don’t be put off before you start …

If you’re looking at stash yarns to knit these socks, I can tell you that this pair is a 60 st cast on, the leg is 6 inches (15.25 cm) long and they’re sized for my UK size 5 feet so that means the foot is about 9.25 inches (23.5 cm) long.  I used 45g of West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Autumn Leaves as the main colour and 25g of West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Milk Bottle as the contrast.  Obviously, the amounts will change if you change the size of the sock but that at least gives you a guide!  Also, I think this pattern will work beautifully with any of the Winwick Mum stripes because of the way they blend into each other, so don’t feel that you have to use Autumn Leaves if you prefer one of the other colourways 🙂

It doesn’t matter if it takes you more or less than four weeks to finish it – you can always start something else if you finish early, or continue after the KAL has finished if you’ve got a bigger project.

 

🕯 What yarn can I use?

Well, I’d really love you to use Winwick Mum yarn, so if you’ve got some in your stash then you’ve got time to dig it out (this is a great opportunity to use up some of your stash!) or a good excuse for a shopping trip to your local yarn shop or online WYS stockist!  As you’ve seen, there are quite a few patterns using the Winwick Mum yarns now so you can see how they knit up and there might be one (or two) that you’d fancy trying out.

Eight balls of yarn in Winwick Mum colourways of purples, greens, blues, reds, browns and pinks are set out in a circle

Winwick Mum yarn is part of the West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply range – if you haven’t heard of it before you can read the story of how it came about here; it’s available from many local yarn shops including City Knits*, Northern Yarn*, online retailers such as Black Sheep Wools and Wool Warehouse, and if you’re overseas there’s a stockist list here on the WYS website.

However, I also know that not everyone has any, or can get any for various reasons, or it might not suit the pattern you want to make – or you might just not like it (that’s fine, I love it enough for both of us 😀 ) so rather than feel that you can’t join in, use another yarn instead but do please use one of my patterns to join in with the KAL.

 

🕯 Do I need anything else?

Yes!  You’ll need a space that’s going to be your Winter Haven.  A favourite armchair?  Your spot on the sofa?  A chair outside on a porch or in the garden, perhaps, if you live somewhere warm enough to sit outside?  It’s up to you, but choose somewhere that can be your space for a short while, a place where you can sit and take a few moments to yourself.

Here’s mine, a rocking chair by the fireplace …

A photo showing an open fire burning in a chrome fireplace to the left of the photo, and a brown leather rocking chair with a red and gold striped cushion on it to the right. In the background is a panelled wooden wall with a mirror in a curved wooden frame resting against it. In the foreground is a small table with an orange mug of tea and a plant on it.

It’s been this same spot every year and I love it!  I’ve got some extra fairy lights to add a cosy feel to the corner, and I will be very comfortable just there with my knitting and the fire crackling away!

You’ll also need a notebook and pen.  It doesn’t have to be a fancy notebook – this is an old one that I found in a cupboard which I think was a gift at one point – but it does need to be something that you can write in and keep safe, rather than Post-It notes or little scraps of paper.  This is the one I used for the last KAL and despite my best intentions, I didn’t fill it so I’m going to use it again this time.

A photo of a pale oak wooden table with an orange mug, a fountain pen and notebook with an ornate design on it

Have you got a spare project bag?  Put your KAL work in there, along with the accessories that you know you will need so that you’re not hunting around for them when you want to use them.  You might only choose to work on your project during spare moments, or it might be your go-to for the month, but I think there’s always something lovely about putting a new project in it’s own bag.  You don’t have to have expensive designed-for-purpose bags – the one that I usually take on holiday with me once contained pillow cases (for some reason they came in a small bag that’s just the right size for a ball of sock yarn!), and when I first started knitting socks, I used a fancy wash bag that had zip pockets for storing my needles (I was more pleased with that than the smellies that came with the bag as a Christmas gift! 😀 ) –  you can be creative with what you have already.  Of course, it’s always an opportunity to buy or make yourself a lovely new project bag (using stash fabric, perhaps?!) so choose to do whatever will make you feel happy when you’re sitting in your Haven space.

My project plan for this KAL is to finish off some of the WIPs that I have – Winwick Mum patterns, of course! – so you’ll probably see a couple of different project bags as I go along.  I wrote about the WIPs that I’ve got in this blog post which might even give you a couple of ideas for patterns to use if you’re still undecided!

Two wicker baskets on a pale wooden table. Each contains brightly coloured project bags. There are more project bags between the baskets.

As the purpose of our Winter Haven will be to bring some light to the dark January days, you’ll need some light – not just a reading or craft light which may well be necessary depending on where your Haven space is, but something that evokes the feeling of cosy, of being safe in your own little halo of brightness.  How about a candle and maybe some fairy lights if you have them (perhaps keep some out from the Christmas decorations box just a little bit longer?).

A photo of a mirror in curved wooden frame decorated with multi coloured fairy lights and with candles glowing next to it

A scented candle would be lovely if you’ve got one – but any candles will be fine; tea lights on a saucer or a household in-case-of-power-cuts candle in a jam jar would be perfect too.  There’s something about the glow from a candle flame that is very calming, I think, and is just the right thing for our Haven.  Battery-operated candles also have a warm glow and are safer if you’ve got children or pets around.

I love using my wax burner and soy wax melts, so that’s definitely coming into my Haven with me – I love the patterns from the burner too!

You might also like to find a book that you’ve been planning to read.  I was given some new ones at Christmas that I’m looking forward to getting stuck into, although I’ve already started the James Nestor one, “Breath”, and it’s fascinating and “Everything is Figureoutable” is actually big daughter’s but I’m a big fan of Marie Forleo and I’m sure big daughter will let me read it 🙂   This time of the year is always a good time to dig out some of the self-help/self-care books on my book shelf too.  It’s easy to think that once you read a book like that, you’ll remember everything that’s written on the pages but I often find some new nugget of information that is just what I need at the moment.

A stack of four books on a light wood coffee table next to an orange mug of tea and five chocolate coins on the table

Some treats!  Oh, I know we’ve just had Christmas and everybody is thinking about losing weight and getting healthier, but what’s a cosy sanctuary without a bit of chocolate to munch?!  Well, there’s going to be some in mine, anyway – I know not everybody eats chocolate so bring along whatever is a treat for you, and you’re going to want something to drink too, so have a think about what might be a treat in that department too.  I’ll have some suggestions as we go through the KAL, but you may want to stick to your own ideas!  And just in case you’re thinking that I’m going to look like a piece of chocolate if I keep going, I’m not eating that much of it since reaching Chocolate Saturation Point the other day and it wasn’t good (I get very grumpy and twitchy).  There was going to be a satsuma in that photo too, for a token healthy snack, but I ate it because I wanted to drink my tea and tea tastes terrible with satsuma 🙂

A bar of Toblerone, a chocolate orange, a bar of Tony's Chocolonely chocolate, five chocolate coins and an orange mug of tea on a light wood table.

Finally, a bit of greenery – something to remind you that the winter doesn’t last forever and that the plants and flowers will come back to life again.  Bring something in from your garden – some evergreen stems, or some berries, maybe even some winter flowers if you’ve got any – or see what is in store in your local greengrocer’s or supermarket.  Buy cut flowers or buy yourself a winter flowering plant; choose whatever makes your heart sing!

At this time of year, I move all my house plants into our living room as it’s warmer for them and although this is the last year’s photo, the hearth still looks the same!   Big daughter is still looking after a friend’s Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) so we’ve still got two of them threatening to take over.  They’ve grown considerably since last year and one of them seems to be making a bid for freedom across the living room floor!

So that’s everything we’re going to need to get started.  There’s no official sign up to do and I’ll try to get the first KAL blog post will be up on the blog quite early on Friday to give you chance to read it (perhaps in your cosy space!) and officially think about how you are going to spend January recharging your batteries.  Before that though, take some time this week to think about what project will make you happy in your Haven – the colours, the weight of yarn, the pattern that you’ve chosen – to gather your other items together (remember, there’s no need to buy anything new if you’ve got things around the house you can use) and then we’ll be all ready to start on Friday.

I can’t wait!

 

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29 Responses

  1. Kathy Kelly says:

    I’m so looking forward to this! Thanks for doing another one!

  2. Anna says:

    I love the pattern! And I have a ball of Seascape that I was going to make into basic socks, but this is so much better. Can’t wait to start on them!

    It will be a yarny month, with Lucy’s CAL starting this Friday as well 🙂

    • winwickmum says:

      Ooh yes, you’ll be very busy if you’re going to do the Harbour CAL as well. Seascape will be lovely for the new socks – I hope you enjoy both the KAL and the CAL! 🙂 xx

    • Julie A says:

      I read your comment on a gloomy Thursday afternoon and thought about Lucy blankets in all their yarny colourfulness and, yes you guessed it, today the Royal Mail has delivered the Harbour blanket pack (yay for Wool Warehouse), so I’ll have two ALs to join in on – one knitting and one crochet. Thanks. x

  3. Lyanne says:

    Last year was the first time I joined the winter KAL and it really helped through the dark days of January 2021! I’ve planned then what I’d do this year, so I have Hidden Gem ready for my knee length socks, and am doing my tension swatch today so I can check how many stitches I’ll need.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh wow, you are very organised! I’m really glad the KAL helped last year – it felt like a long Winter with all the restrictions, didn’t it? I think that knee length socks in Hidden Gem will look amazing and I hope you enjoy knitting them! 🙂 xx

  4. Sam D says:

    Hi Christine, I’m looking forward to joining my first winter KAL. The pattern looks great although a quick question: will it work if the main colour is plain and the stripey yarn is used for the other? I’ve got about 35g of six of your yarns!

    • winwickmum says:

      Hello! Yes, someone else asked me if you could reverse the colours and I don’t see why not – I actually think it would look really good so do let me see if you give it a go! 🙂 xx

      • Sam D says:

        Will do. Just bought a bunch of the most cheerful flowers on offer so can’t wait to start this new adventure

  5. Julie Axtell says:

    Hi Christine,
    So glad I decided to check your blog today; for some reason, I am only getting an email for every other blog post you put up – not sure why – so I’d missed this one. Do you think that unsubscribing and then resubscribing would cure it?
    Anyway, I’m off to trawl through the stash ready for tomorrow (I’ve been threatening to have a sort out, so here is my opportunity!). J

    • winwickmum says:

      Hi Julie, you hadn’t missed this one – I didn’t send an email out for it as there’ll be one today (Thursday) for the new pattern and then another one tomorrow as it’s Friday and that’s the day I tend to send them … I thought that three in one week might be a bit much! 🙂 xx

      • Julie A says:

        Thank you for your consideration. It says something about the modern world (or me) that I assumed it was a technical glitch rather than a courtesy! I have just read through the pattern and I think I’ve got the hang of it – I’m sure it will make even more sense once I start knitting. See you tomorrow. J

  6. Brenda says:

    It’s Friday. I can’t find the information on the KAL starting today.

    • winwickmum says:

      No, it’s still Thursday in the UK, you’re a day early for me! The new pattern is out today so you’ll see that on the blog now and the Winter Haven KAL post will be out tomorrow 🙂 xx

  7. Bridget Jarvis says:

    I am so looking forward to this never knitted socks with two colours. Pattern now printed, finger crossed wool will be here in the morning. Been knitting for over 40 years but never socks till the lockdown, Thanks to you Christine I am now a sock addicted. Thank You for everything you do. xx

  8. Deborah says:

    This post is magical, Christine! I took down the Christmas tree and all the shiny happy things are packed away. The skies are gray. Working the tension swatch using WYS yarn and gathering the items you suggested along with picking an area has lifted my spirits already. Thank you for your lovely ideas and for being so organized. This (the basic 4-ply sock) will be my first sock in almost 2 decades. The mosaic sock pattern is spectacular. Hopefully, I can make that one next!!!

    • winwickmum says:

      It’s always a bit sad to see the Christmas decorations go away, isn’t it? As much as I like having my house back in order again, I do miss them! I hope you get on very well with your socks, and yes, I should think that the Easy Mosaic Socks will be well within your reach once you’ve made your first (for many year) pair! 🙂 xx

  9. Pat Taylor says:

    Thank you Christine, I haven’t tried mosaic stitch before and I love the stripes on the sole, so this looks like a winner for me. I’m still working on the Twinkle Toes socks because I had so many presents to knit before Christmas, but I think I’ll start the new ones as well as it’s nice to be part of a knitalong. Thank you for making it a free pattern. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • winwickmum says:

      Twinkle Toes will be fine for the KAL as it’s still one of my patterns so don’t feel that you HAVE to start something new – but it is always nice to have a new sock on the needles! 🙂 xx

  10. Maria Riegert says:

    Hallo Christine,

    That’s a lovely idea. I’m also feeling like I need to start the year with more time for me.

    I’ll make a pair of socks for my sohn using the 6ply boot socks pattern and 6-ply yarn from stash. It’ll be my first pair of socks with heel flap an gusset (just three pair of socks knitted until now and all with short row heels done).
    I live in Germany so I knit continental. I have one question to the week 2 4-ply basic tutorial:

    I make ssk like slip one stitch as if to knit, slip another stitch as if to knit (so I change how they are ,mounted), put both back on the left needle and knit both through the back loop together. Is it also like this for the heel turn in your tutorial?

    I know you cannot maybe believe it, but I’m not in instagram or facebook. But I’m in Ravelry. Will you also create a group for the Winter Haven KAL 2022 in Ravelry?

    Thanks so much.
    I love to read your blogs.
    Maria xx

    • winwickmum says:

      Hello! It will be lovely to have join in with the KAL! Yes, you can do the SSK by slipping both stitches knitwise and the decrease is perfectly fine; it’s personal preference and I was taught to do it slipping purlwise, that’s the only difference 🙂 I hadn’t thought about creating a Ravelry group but perhaps I should! 🙂 xx

  11. Nicki Smith says:

    Happy New Year! I love the new mosaic socks and can’t wait to try them out on my needles. I’m sure they will be fab as I have used your patterns before. It might not be this month as my resolution is to finish all the half projects on the go first!!
    Thank you for all your chatty blogs and lovely sock patterns.

    • winwickmum says:

      Happy New Year to you too! Don’t worry, the pattern will always be here so you can cast on whenever you’re ready. Good luck with finishing your other projects! 🙂 xx

  12. Lorna White says:

    Christine lm just reading this now and lm so excited about learning a new technique. I’m going to hunt out some wool. I have WYS Milk Bottle, that’s easily sorted, but because lve all the WYS Christmas colourways and never had the chance to knit any because l Xmas gift knit every year beginning in January. I only finished the last Aran shorties Rye pattern gift on 23rd December. I’m drawn toward either Tinsel or Silent Night. Which would you choose? I will have to see what they look like. I’m just wondering, have you ever tried toe up socks as that’s another item on my bucket wish list to be ticked off? Anyway Happy New Year to you all and thank you so much for all your hard work and the Haven for our wee community

    • winwickmum says:

      Ooh, Vintage Tinsel or Silent Night would both look fabulous, especially with that sparkle … I would go for the one that shouts loudest to you! 🙂 I have knitted a few of pairs of toe up socks but I didn’t really enjoy them – I am most definitely a cuff down girl! There will be lots of free patterns on Ravelry if you’re able to look on there, and I definitely think it’s something you should try if you’ve not made them before 🙂 xx

  13. Kat says:

    I am nearly done with the 2nd sock of my hubby’s Christmas pair. I have the wool for 3-4 more pair and am excited to take the leap past basic socks to learn a new technique! I am also a bit nervous!

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