Winter Haven KAL 2022 – Week 3

And here we are – three Fridays into January 2022 so if this is usually a difficult month for you, we’re past halfway now and I hope that spending time in your cosy space has helped the days pass more gently for you.

Thank you again for all of your photos and emails, it’s been lovely to hear from you and to see all of your projects – wow, so many of them!

It’s been cold here again this week, we’ve had several frosty mornings and the temperatures are definitely more Wintery than they have been, so it’s been nice to light the fire and sit warming my feet whilst I knit!

If you’re new to the Winter Haven KAL, you can catch up on the previous posts – Week 1 is here (and tells you about what you need to join in), and Week 2 is here.

 

🕯 My space

Well, my space is pretty much the same as it was last week but someone else has found himself a favourite Haven space …

A black dog is lying on a dog bed covered with fleece blankets in front of a blue AGA cooker

He’s remembered how much he likes to lie in front of the warm Aga during the Winter months and now, if I’m working at the dining table, I am accompanied by gentle doggy snoring as he toasts himself on his bed 🙂

Here are some more of your Haven spaces – I’m conscious of this being a photo-heavy post so I’ve put them into collages, but it’s so lovely to see where you’re sitting to knit, read, and while away a few moments for yourself!

Left – Elizabeth (by email from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia) has plenty of snow!; top right – @sarahsscrappysocks (Instagram) – love the colour co-ordination going on here!, bottom right – Rosemary (Facebook), who looks very comfy in her corner there!

Top left – @knit23hop (Instagram) has started on the cider … cheers! Bottom left – @maggieboazman (Instagram) looks super-cosy in her Haven space; Right – Claire (Facebook) has made the most of the sunshine and taken her Haven space outside!

Left – @nsevio22 (Instagram) looks very cosy in front of the woodburner! Top right – @black_cat_crochet (Instagram) also made the most of the sunshine; bottom right – Bridget’s chair looks very comfy! (Facebook)

 

Chris emailed from a very cold part of the world and said, “When the outdoor temperature is -21 (with a wind chill factor of -31) what could be nicer than a hot cuppa and a Winwick Mum sock pattern …”

I couldn’t agree more, thank you! 🙂

That’s the Easy Lace Socks pattern on Chris’s needles, just in case you were wondering!

 

🕯 Project

This week, I’ve been getting on with my Falling Hues socks.  I’m past the heel and gusset now so it’s just a question of working down to the toes and I am enjoying revisiting this pattern.  I’ve been trying not to overdo the knitting this week as my elbow still hurts (I mentioned it here – I think I might have done myself some damage holding the needles in a peculiar way when I was learning to use my knitting belt ) and my lovely osteopath thinks it’s tennis elbow.  Oh no!  This is not what a knitter wants to hear, but she has told me that it’s fixable as long as I don’t overdo it, so I am doing what I’ve been told (for once!), along with some exercises and massage and hopefully it won’t get any worse.

This is partly the reason why I haven’t started the baby cardigan that I said I was itching to cast on last week, and thank you for your pattern suggestions – and also that I don’t have the yarn I want to use in my stash and my local yarn shop had sold out.  I’m taking that as a sign not to start it just yet! 🙂

Meanwhile, you all seem to have been getting on really well with your projects!  Shall we take a look?

Here are a selection of Easy Mosaic Socks in Winwick Mum yarns

Firstly, Autumn Leaves ..

Clockwise from top left: Catherine (Facebook); Mandy (Facebook); Sue (Facebook) and Vanessa (Facebook)

 

In Spring Green, Brightside and Seascape …

L-R: Natasha, Donna and Jo (Facebook)

 

Summer Sunset …

Clockwise from top left: @littleloopsknitandcrochet (Instagram), @the_woolnest (Instagram), Louise (Facebook), Nicky (Facebook)

 

There are plenty of Easy Mosaic Socks in other colours too … you have obviously been having a wonderful time diving into your stash!

Top row L-R: @leighlovesyarn (Instagram); Sarah (Facebook); Joanne Facebook Middle row L-R: Bev (Facebook); @knitternurse (Instagram); Caroline (Facebook) Bottom row L-R: Karen (Facebook); Ruth (Facebook); Margaret (Facebook)

 

Top row L-R: Marie (Facebook); @lollyball91 (Instagram); Anne (Facebook) Middle row L-R: Janet (Facebook); Gina (Facebook); Cubbie (Facebook Bottom row L-R: @judihurst (Instagram); Nadia (Facebook); Sarah (Facebook)

Don’t they all look fabulous?  I am so thrilled that you have wanted to knit the pattern – and that your socks have turned out so well!

 

In other projects, this week we have a selection of Basic 4ply Socks

Source: left – @red_robin_yarns (Instagram); top right – Victoria (Facebook); bottom right – Kathy (Facebook)

 

Another Basic Sock but this time in 6ply – perfect for these colder days!

Source: @rebelcrochet via Instagram

 

A Simple Twisted Cowl

Source: @ekcoyarning via Instagram

 

There’s an Impressive Sock on the go here – and looking fantastic!

Source: @lyndacollett via Instagram

 

and Geraldine has combined two patterns to make this fabulous cowl – I love it!  She’s used the A-B-C Cowl pattern and the Easy Mosaic Socks pattern to use up leftovers and I think it looks amazing!

Source: Geraldine via Facebook

 

🕯 This week’s recipe

I thought this week that I would make something that would be useful for lunch boxes and general family treats as well as for my Haven space, and during a general conversation about cake with Lucy (yes, we really do have conversations about cake!), she mentioned that she had made cranberry and pecan tiffin years ago and that it was easy to make and wonderful to eat.  That’ll do for me!

Bowls of baking ingredients on a worktop with a computer showing the recipe in the background

The recipe is here on Lucy’s blog, and it really was very easy to make.  So easy, in fact, that I was able to whizz the mixture up before not so small daughter and I had to leave for school and then I left it in the fridge until it was time for elevenses – and a good excuse to sit in my comfy chair!  I never need an excuse to light the fire … and then it’s a waste of a good fire to get up too soon … 🙂

Mine isn’t as smooth as Lucy’s looks in her photos – I deliberately left the biscuits more chunky as there’s a limit to how much biscuit-bashing you can do before 8.00am – but it tastes really good!  I am not sure that there’s going to be much left for lunch boxes …


🕯 Something green

Oh, my lilies are still flowering!  They smell absolutely amazing and I have moved the pot right next to my chair so that the scent wafts over me as I’m sitting there.  That’s definitely something to be grateful for, right there!

Pink stargazer lilies in a pot next to a wooden table with a candle on it.

 

🕯 Light it up!

This week, I’ve put the wax melts to one side as the lilies smell so lovely, so this week I’ve been burning a beeswax candle that I was given for Christmas.

I’ve also been so taken by the full moon earlier this week (it was called a Wolf Moon; that’s the name given to the first full moon of the year) that I have charged up my moon lamp (paid link) that big daughter gave me a few years ago and that’s been brightening up the mantelpiece.  I’m not quite ready to let the full moon go!

 

🕯 Listen up!

One of my favourite piano composers, Ludovico Einaudi, has a new solo album out this week (released today, 21 January 2022, in fact!) and I found a couple of the pieces from the forthcoming album on his website.   I think they’re lovely and I’ve played them many times whilst I’ve been sitting down.  Not so small daughter is playing an Einaudi piece for her GCSE music exam, and another of his pieces is my piano “party piece” so it’s a real treat for us to have some new solo music to listen to!

I’ve also had times this week when I haven’t really wanted to listen to anything at all.  Not so small daughter likes to connect her phone to my car audio system so we have whatever playlist is the flavour of the week on the way to and from school – this week it’s a self-compiled “hits of 2010” – and sometimes, by the time I get home, I just want to be quiet.  There is a danger in this if that voice in your mind is likely to start trying to fill the silence, because very often it doesn’t say, “Oh how lovely, you’re sitting taking time for yourself and all those other jobs you think you need to do today will wait till later” but instead will remind you that you should be doing something else, that those jobs won’t do themselves, that sitting and knitting is not a valuable use of your time … this is why, just in case that voice in your head is very loud, I have given you permission to sit in your Haven space because I know that voice is wrong!

My family often roll their eyes at me because I chat to myself out loud quite a lot when I’m on my own (they’ve noticed this since they’ve been working at home as I haven’t quite mastered the knack of keeping my chat to myself!), but my explanation is that firstly, I don’t tend to argue with myself, and secondly, it’s good to hear an external voice of encouragement when I’ve done something well, even if that voice is my own!

Does that sound odd?  I don’t mean that I walk around telling myself how wonderful I am at every opportunity, but say, for example, that I’ve baked a cake and it looks fantastic as I take it out of the oven, I’ll say, “Oh well done!” to myself as I put it on the cooling rack.  Why not?  It’s good for us to hear, even if we say it ourselves!  And it’s a good way to start turning down the volume on that inner voice if it is less than kind.  This TED talk is a good one if critical self-talk is something that you struggle with – and so many of us do!

I realised quite a long time ago that it’s very easy to say things to myself that are far more horrible than anything I would ever dream of saying to someone else, and once I had seen what I was doing, it was time to stop.  That’s not as simple as it sounds because it’s a habit like any other, but saying, “Oh well done!” or “I like that, that looks great!” or “I think my hair looks fabulous today” is a way of starting to change the habit without hearing that unpleasant voice in your mind say, “You must be joking!”.  You get your nice words to yourself in under the radar, so to speak, and the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

 

🕯 Self-care

Listening and self-care have blended into each other this week, I think! 🙂

I’m still getting up early every morning to do my flexibility stretches (hip openers today – I have discovered that I am not quite as flexible there as I thought I was!) and although I am nowhere near self-supported furniture acrobatics (you need to read last week’s post if you don’t know what I’m on about! 🙂 ), I am finding that some of the moves are getting easier and I have made significant progress even in a few days.

My other big self-care activity this week was going to the optician’s for an eye test.  I’ve known that I’ve needed to go for a while but like many things that don’t feel urgent until they are, I’ve put it off … and put it off … and sometimes text is a bit blurry through my reading glasses and my eyes get tired at night but my specs are fine …  The Universe clearly thought differently and that I needed a firm push in the right direction after all my procrastination, and in a totally avoidable accident, I stood on my specs.  Snap!  They were on the floor (I was doing my stretches, they fell off my head) and when I got up, I crunched them with my foot.  Both lenses fell out and the frame snapped, and I took that as a sign to get my backside into gear and get an eye test.  And yes, I need new specs!

I managed to patch my specs up well enough to see through them this week (although I’ve got to say that lenses with glue on them are not the best to see out of 🤣 ) and I have been using the Winter Haven KAL as my incentive to sit down with my sandwich and my book at lunch time.  I’m really not very good at doing that – that’s one habit that I really do need to work on! – but I have thoroughly enjoyed taking time out of my day to do something completely different for a short while, and then when I go back to my jobs later, I feel like I’ve had a proper break.

A flatlay of a book, sandwich, three shortbread biscuits, a mug of tea and a candle on a wooden coffee table next to a pot of stargazer liliesA close up of the sandwich (ham and tomato on pitta bread) next to the book, tea and candleA close up of three small shortbread biscuits on a table. One is shaped like a tree, one like a house and one like a gift-wrapped box

I think I may have mentioned before that I am a bit of a sucker for shaped shortbread and these came in a bag inside the light-up house that you can see in my photos.  I didn’t realise they were shapes until I opened the bag – and then that was it.  There aren’t many left!

 

🕯 Thank you

Have you been remembering to think about what you are grateful for?  It’s good to write it down but it doesn’t really matter if you don’t – the important part is that you think about it as being grateful for what we have opens the door for more in our lives to be grateful for!

This week, I have not only been grateful for an optician who had a free appointment to see me on Monday morning, but also for Gorilla glue (paid link) so that I could stick my reading specs back together!  Oh my life, you don’t realise how much you rely on your specs until you can’t use them, do you?  I always think that I can probably see well enough without them to get by – but I’m very glad that I didn’t have to as I really don’t think I could!

I am also grateful for our internet connection which has allowed me to not only write this blog post, edit photos, read your emails and see your photos on Facebook and Instagram, but this week has allowed me to speak to not so small daughter’s teachers online as the parent’s evening face-to-face sessions were cancelled again.  What I like best – and I am sure that this is a bonus for the teachers as well 🙂 – is that you get an allotted 5 minutes to get everything said and then you’re pinged out of the conversation and into the next one.  No hanging about in school halls waiting for teachers who’ve got behind with their appointments, and no rushing from one side of the school to find the right classrooms either … hooray!

 

Thank you for being part of the KAL with me this week, I have so enjoyed having you here with me again!  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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13 Responses

  1. Christine Knowler says:

    I’m late to the party! I’ve only just started my mosaic socks as I had two wips to finish first. I’m doing a pattern section a day and have changed to a mini circular as I know my tension is looser on that.
    I think it is true we are quick to criticise ourselves and very rarely praise good outcomings. My word for this month was positivity and I am trying very hard to keep that going.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, you’re never late to this party! I hope you’re enjoying knitting the socks – the pattern is a super-quick one, isn’t it? I think that “positivity” is an excellent word for any month! 🙂 xx

  2. Charlotte says:

    What a lovely fire. When we moved house in September we no longer have a fireplace and I miss it. Still working on the grey socks but only 4-6 rounds a day and have switched to Magic Loop. It is much better for my hands. Working on the colorful shawl pattern now. I have a hard time with gratitude but no problem criticizing myself. Working on that. A challenge to keep up with you and Lucy.

    • winwickmum says:

      Ah, I don’t know how I would get on if I had to live without my fire now! I’m not sure that even a woodburner would be quite the same, although I know they are more environmentally friendly and less likely to burn holes in the carpet with sparks! I hope that those grey socks are reaching the end now! It’s really hard to get out of the habit of criticising yourself, but even starting with something like “Good choice!” if you’ve picked something really tasty off a menu or “Oh well done!” if you’ve thought to put your hat or gloves on instead of chancing that it would be warm enough without them and it isn’t, is a really good start. It took me a long time to break the habit too! 🙂 xx

  3. Susan Rayner says:

    I absolutely love everyone’s photos – socks and Knitting spaces! But your gorgeous dog was the biggest hit here in the Rayner household! So like my sister’s gorgeous Bella (who is not well at all). I also got the little Shortbread Biscuit house for Christmas and sadly scoffed the lot quite soon. I have now read Milly Johnson’s book and found bits of it quite hard going – I am that sandwich age I guess – although much older than her heroine – but mother with Dementia rang lots of bells. Thank goodness MJs books end on a note of hope! I hope you and everyone in the KAL has a lovely weekend – cold here in Surrey and perfect for snuggling up!

    • alice says:

      What a beautiful uplifting post!

    • winwickmum says:

      Ah, I’m sorry to hear that Bella isn’t well and I hope that she improves soon. Yes, our dog is firmly rooted to that spot now, not even moving when the oven doors are opened so how he’s not had hot food dropped all over him, I’ll never know! I am not finding the Milly Johnson book as engaging as the Christmas one from last year – I really loved that one and would happily read it again – so it’s on the back burner for now as I’ve been distracted by another one! 🙂 xx

  4. Lenore says:

    Lovely post Christine. No fires keeping us cosy inside at the moment, just the hum of the airconditioner. It has been beautiful weather and I have been able to knit in my favourite spot on the veranda watching the sheep do their antics. I am trying to keep up with Lucy’s CAL (failing here, I decided to do the queen size bed so only half way thru part 2) and I’m doing a SAL in cross stitch plus my socks. The socks are a lovely project as I can easily take them with me. I love seeing the posts of others on Instagram, their sock progress and finish across the world. You are a global superstar 😁😁 xxx ❤️🌺

    • winwickmum says:

      I think the lovely thing about the KAL/CAL/SAL is that there’s no rush so you could still be doing them as your weather turns colder and nothing is spoilt. I love the idea of watching “sheep antics” – I often like to brag that I know someone whose brother is doing amazing things with sheep breeding to help the future of merino sheep and yarn! 🙂 xx

  5. Peter Caine says:

    My week has been really greatly improved by being part of the KAL, by joining in and by receiving so much help and general exchanges about knitting and crafting. There are many things I am grateful for this week but the KAL and the blog are high amogst them. Thanks to you

  6. Bernadette Chandler says:

    Thank you sooo much for your posts Christine. You never fail to cheer me up, make me chuckle and give me a poke to get on with my knitting.
    Currently I am busting to get onto my next pair of socks but I am knitting a cardigan in 4 ply!! Why ever did I decide to do that 🤷‍♀️
    Anyway I have very much to be grateful for. I am sitting in my warm house with my curled up staffie dog and two sleepy cats.
    Thanks again
    Bernadette xx

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