Winter Haven KAL 2023 – Week 3

Friday again … and we’re past the half way mark in January already.  If January is not usually your favourite month, I hope you can see the other side now, and I hope that spending time in your cosy space has helped the days pass more gently for you.

Thank you for all of your photos and emails again this week.  There have been so many that it’s been quite difficult for me to keep up at times so I hope I haven’t forgotten to reply to anybody!  It’s been lovely to hear from you and to see all of your projects – wow, there are so many of them!

It’s turned cold here again the last few days and we’ve even had a little bit of snow.  I’ve been lighting the fire at every opportunity – partly to keep the house warm, but also to remind myself that it’s fine to sit by it for a few minutes too!

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 hasn’t changed much over the KAL weeks – I’m right here by the fire!

An open notebook and a partly knitted sock lie on a stone hearth in front of an open fire

I’ve been sent lots of photos of your Haven spaces this week and I’m sure you’d like to see them as much as I did!  I’m conscious of this being a photo-heavy post so I’ve put some of 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!

A collage of three photos showing cosy spaces to sit and knit

Left: @debbieanne2018 has such a cosy-looking chair!; right top: Sam (Facebook) – snuggled under a blanket is the perfect place to be for a Haven Space! ; bottom: Christine (Facebook) – a lovely space by the window to watch her favourite birds


A collage of three photos showing cosy spaces to sit and knit

Left: Gemma (Facebook) – another cosy corner with a blanket at the ready!; Right top: JoAnn (Facebook) has found herself a spot where she can enjoy the winter sunshine; bottom: Liz (Facebook) is also super-cosy whilst she works on her Basic 4ply Socks – and I love her purple Herdy mug!


Karen emailed me her photo of her Haven space complete with her dog who is also very cosy in front of the fire!

A black dog lying on a rug in front of a wood burner by a pale-coloured sofa in a cosy living room. There is a TV in the corner and knitting on the sofa

Source: Karen via email


Sarah’s cosy space will be very warm indeed, next to her Esse stove, and she’s got everything she needs to hand so there’s no need to go anywhere else for a while!

A wooden arm chair with a cushion on the seat and a crochet blanket over the back. Next to the chair is a small table with a knitting, a cup of tea and a copy of the knitting tutorial book, Super Socks, on it. Behind is a cream Esse cooker

Source: @sarah_sockknitting


I think that anywhere with a cat on your knee becomes a cosy space (although I am a cat person – you might feel differently if you’re not!) and this week we welcome two cats to our Winter Haven KAL … this cosy cat here …

A black cat sits on their owner's knee next to a partly knitted sock

Source: @celiajg123


and Tarmac (what a fabulous name for a black cat! 🙂 ).  You can decide for yourself if he’s helping or hindering here …

A black cat sits on their owner's lap on a blanket. The cat has his paw on a knitting needle, stopping the owner from continuing

It’s been wonderful having a peep into your cosy worlds – please do keep your photos coming and I’ll share more next week!


🕯 Project

After a speedy start, the Ginormous Sock seemed to take a little longer to get to the toes but I’m there now and will hopefully be able to cast on the second sock this weekend.  It’s been really good to have the KAL to keep me motivated and accountable – I’ve got to have something to show you every week!  It’s not been a chore to knit these socks, though; I didn’t get to knit nearly as much as I had hoped to over Christmas and it’s been so lovely to sit and these simple rounds.

A purple striped sock with pink cuffs, heel and toes lies on a leather foot stool in front of an open fire

Yes – more Herdy there in the shape of my tape measure … you can never have too much Herdy, I don’t think! 🙂

I’ve needed to keep measuring, too.  These socks will be for UK 14-sized feet which is actually an imperial foot (30cm) long so that’s a BIG foot!  I’ve used less than 50g of yarn so far, though, so I’m confident that I’ll have enough for the second sock and should get a match too.

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


Basic 4ply Socks up first.

A collage of four photos of Basic 4ply Socks

Top left: Kathryn (Facebook) couldn’t wait to see how the yarn turned out for her next sock; right: Helen (Facebook) also couldn’t wait to start her lovely sock either! Bottom left: Angela (Facebook) is so close to finishing her sock; right: Anne @webbpots took her sock out whilst making deliveries – Emergency Socks in cars and vans are such a good idea!


There’s an Easy Colourwork Sock on Helen’s needles here …

A green and pale coloured colourwork sock on a grey background

Source: @helen.bailey13


and Yola is working on the Seascape pattern which comes from the first WYS/Winwick Mum Collection pattern book.  She’s extended the leg a little and it works very well!

A blue knitted sock on a red background

Source: Yola (Facebook)


Petrina is working on a pair of Blitzen Socks

A pair of cabled socks in striped yarn on a white background

Source: Petrina (Facebook)


and Anne-Mette has finished her Aardvarkish Shawl

A yellow lace shawl pinned out on a grey background

Source: Anne-Mette (Facebook)


Elizabeth has had a productive week but perhaps not in the way she imagined … she’s now an expert at untangling yarn!

A tangled mess of yarn lies next to two half-knitted socks on a wooden table.

Source: Elizabeth via email


Isn’t Julie’s yarn lovely?  That’s going to be a fantastic pair of socks!

A brightly coloured knitted sock cuff on double pointed needles

Source: @stuffthatjuliemakes


Just a few more …

A collage of three photos showing two partly-knitted socks and a full pair

Left to right: @knitting_boo’s socks for her granddaughter; @kironieke’s finished shortie socks and @letsjustcrochet is out of the bath and onto her second sock (see last week’s post!)


and finally for this week, Caroline has finished the Impressive Socks that she started at the beginning of the Winter Haven KAL.  They look great!

A pair of twisted stitch socks in shades of pink and yellow (colours altered by camera)

Source: @craftyliney


🕯 This week’s recipe

Not such much a recipe this week as one of my favourite lunches of the moment – a BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) sandwich!

A bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on toasted bread

I don’t always have bacon in the house as we tend to go through phases of eating it, but I bought not so small daughter a toastie maker called a Crimpit for Christmas – I thought it might be something she could use for an after-college snack, but she’s actually been taking a toastie with her in the mornings and eating it when she gets to college as wrapping it in tin foil keeps it hot.

Have you seen these before?  It popped up on an Instagram ad and I went to take a look …

A square yellow and black toastie maker next to a ready-made toastie on a yellow plate

You use those square sandwich thins that you can buy at the supermarket, put it into the black square block, load up your filling, put the top on, squish it down and then toast it.  It’s very easy and very quick, you don’t have to butter both sides of the bread like you do with some toastie makers, and it’s just the right size for a quick snack.  Oh, and the company donates money from the sales to the Trussell Trust as well, and having done that myself recently with my Sofa Snuggle Socks pattern, it ticked all the boxes!

A collage of a toastie being made in three photos

And that’s why we have lots of bacon in the house as the breakfast toastie of choice is cheese and bacon (that’s Red Leicester cheese, not my camera having a meltdown 🙂 ).

They actually taste really good and there are lots of recipes on the website so if it’s something that you think you would use, I’d definitely recommend going to have a look.  I found that it was cheaper to buy them direct from the website than another site, and I think they may have offers on from time to time too.


🕯 Something green

Something different for this week – I couldn’t resist these pretty carnations at the supermarket

A square glass vase containing pink and white carnations is standing on a wooden coffee table next to a brown leather chair

I love carnations, and since I took this photo, they’ve opened up even more.

I don’t often buy cut flowers for the house but because this month I am more focussed on making the space where I am sitting somewhere that isn’t just “the nearest chair”, it’s nice to have flowers next to me on the table.  (Remember I said in Week 1 that my husband had taken to sitting in “my” KAL chair to read?  Well, he’s still doing it and sometimes I have to sit in the other one!)


🕯 Light it up!

I’ve been using my wax burner again this week – I like mixing it up with the scents in the house!  I love seeing the light shadows that are formed behind the burner too.

A tea light holder with flower-shaped cutouts, throwing shadows onto the wooden wall behind


🕯 Listen up!

This week, I’ve been listening to Times Radio, a new-to-me digital radio channel which is the new home of Fi and Jane (previously of the BBC and the Fortunately … podcast).  I was building an IKEA unit to house all the cat food tins and pairs of shoes that had previously been balanced precariously on a filing cabinet in the utility room (the filing cabinet has now moved upstairs, spending 3 days on the bottom step in the process because I tried to move it myself whilst my husband was working away and got it stuck) and I thought that I would listen to a talk radio station instead of music for a change.  Usually in those situations, I’d go straight for Radio 4 but decided to try something new – and I was really glad I did.  It took me so long to build the cabinet (lots of distractions) that I listened to Mariella Frostrup, Fi and Jane and John Pienar, all names that I know from the TV or newspapers, and they were really interesting and informed to listen to on the radio.  You do have to put up with them reminding you to read The Times newspaper on a regular basis, but I started to find that quite funny so it didn’t bother me.


🕯 Self-care

I’m still doing my flexibility stretches every morning; on the days that I don’t quite fancy it, I remind myself that I like having a sore back even less and ten minutes of stretching suddenly doesn’t seem such an effort.

I’ve started wearing my Fitbit again too.  I stopped a while ago as the strap snapped off and I put it down to having to bend the strap too much to fit my twiglet-sized wrists but actually, I think it was just wear and tear.  A bit of Gorilla glue has fixed the problem and I’ve bought a new elasticated strap (Amazon link) which is more suited to those of use with very small wrists.

A multi-coloured elastic fitbit strap on a wrist

Funky, eh?  Fitbits and smart watches are quite chunky just by the nature of them and I always felt like an extra in Star Trek wearing a bit of futurist weaponry (but hopefully not the crew member you’d never seen in an episode before who was encouraged to get out of the space ship first to confront the aliens; it never ended well for them).  It’s still huge but now I feel more like I’m wearing a chunky bangle and that’s much less likely to see me vapourised by anything from outer space.

I’m also now checking my steps and making sure that I’m getting enough decent sleep.  It’s been a long time coming, but I am finally accepting that I need to make more of an effort to make sure that I’m doing the right things to keep myself as healthy as I can for the future.  Or at least, until a being from outer space brings us a way to become immortal by eating chocolate.


🕯 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!

It’s made me laugh to see that this week last year, I was grateful for Gorilla glue then too as I had stood on my specs whilst doing my stretching exercises (I’m sure there was a really good reason for that) and I had to glue them back together until I could get to see an optician.

I’ve finished the Rev Richard Coles book.

A blue-covered hardback book next to a plate with a Belgian bun on it. and an orange mug of tea

No, I hadn’t guessed the murderer – in fact, I had trouble remembering who was who so I’d have been really stuck if I lived in the village where the book is set as I never would have known who anybody was!  I still wasn’t gripped by the end of the book, but having said that, I wanted to finish it.  I decided quite a few years ago that life is too short to struggle through books that you are really not enjoying, but it wasn’t that I wasn’t enjoying this one … even though I wasn’t gripped by the plot, I still enjoyed Rev Richard’s turn of phrase, that theology is part of who he is (not just a job), and that I could hear the voice that I recognise from the radio through the text.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him whenever he used to be on Pause for Thought on Radio 2 in the mornings, and quite often he would have me in tears with his wise words.  Linda in last week’s comments said that his non-fiction work is brilliant and whilst I know that others will have a different view, I wonder if that is where his strength lies.  I felt that his book would have been better in the style of a raconteur like James Herriot or Gervaise Phinn, tales of parish life with a little poetic license, perhaps, rather than an intentional work of fiction.  I don’t know that I would rush to read the forthcoming sequel to this novel, but I am interested in reading his non-fiction so that probably says that reading this book equals a success even though it didn’t always feel like it at the time.

Finally, this year – this week – I am grateful for YOU.  I’ve so enjoyed reading your emails and social media posts and seeing what you’re up to.  You’ve really made me smile so here’s a big smile back to you too …

A woman with blonde curly hair smiles at the camera. She is wearing a purple coat with a blue fleece lining and behind her is a blue sky and brick railway arches

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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16 Responses

  1. Charlotte says:

    Yes, our weather has been all over the place this week, warm, cold, windy, calm and rain. It is great to see what others are doing. I just cast on my 6th mitten. After this I need to do socks. Have had an unexpected development this week. After some minor surgery on my leg, I am required to sit with my leg propped up. Great for knitting and reading.

  2. Laura Miller says:

    Hi Christine – lovely post as always. We are so grateful to you too because without you our feet would be extremely cold! xxx p.s. I’ve just ordered the exercise book. I’ll post a pic when I’m able to hang off furniture like he does 🙂

    • ChrisG Guest says:

      Lovely way to start my weekend with a cup of tea in bed! Even though I’ve been frustrated at not knitting all week (I overdid things last Saturday and my wrist was too sore) it’s lovely to see everyone’s spaces and WiPs and I will be back to my 2nd shortie Easy Lace sock today – with sensible breaks so as not to aggravate it again! I’ve bought tulips and hyacinths so my Haven space is refreshed and ready for some gentle rows later in the winter sunshine. That ginormous sock is lovely, I am very lucky all 3 of my sons have 7-9 feet so making socks for them is never too onerous although I need to get into the groove of the kiddie socks for my grandsons – they want yellow ones!! Thanks for that lovely smile Christine and letting us allow the space and downtime. I’ve read Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat book which has been gently amusing and now I need to get up and stretch!

    • winwickmum says:

      I really hope you do! 🤣 It took me a week or two to be disciplined enough to do 10 minutes at least five days a week but I am definitely feeling the benefit now xx

  3. Lindsay says:

    Hi Christine! I too have decided that struggling through books is pointless, life’s too short 😊
    I really enjoy reading your posts, a side effect is an ever growing sock yarn stash! There’s so much choice and range of colours that I’m hopelessly addicted.
    It’s very cold and foggy here on my hill in Wiltshire, roll on Spring!

    • winwickmum says:

      It really is – I’ve also got better at passing on books that I really haven’t enjoyed instead of keeping them on the bookcase just in case I’ll feel differently about them one day. There is no shortage of books available and it’s surely better to read one that you enjoy from the start! 🙂 xx

  4. Helen says:

    We’ve had all the weather in the Heatons this week! Luckily the log burner has kept me warm and cats help warm the bed! Knitting my Frosted Ice sock feels so appropriate 😊

    • winwickmum says:

      Some weeks are whole seasons in seven days, aren’t they? Cats are particularly good at warming up spaces, including legs, and the purr is an added bonus! 🙂 xx

  5. Christie says:

    Hello, enjoyed reading your update and seeing the photos! I am working on socks and just knitted my first Afterthought heel. It was easier than I thought and looks great too. I’m in the USA in Georgia. Decent weather until tomorrow as rain is scheduled 😤 for the day! It’s great for knitting and watching some playoff football games though.
    Hope you and your family are well. We are well here. God is good all the time. 🙏💕

    • winwickmum says:

      Afterthought heels are really good for adding contrast colours, and they look a bit more like bought socks too, don’t they? I hope it fits you well! 🙂 xx

  6. Jennifer Goodman says:

    wonderful smile 😁 the cloud behind you looks like the huge plant eating Brachiosaurus dinosaur lol. happy knitting & stay warm. getting ready for a snow storm next week here in Oklahoma

    • winwickmum says:

      I hope you’ve managed to stay warm and safe this week if the snow storm has arrived. I love seeing shapes in clouds – and I can see the dinosaur now I’ve been back to look, too! 🙂 xx

  7. Susan Brandwood says:

    Thanks Christine for the Crimpet recommendation I’ve ordered one as being a postie will be able to eat it when I get to work. Unfortunately though my sock has been at the same stage for months as other knitting gets in the way especially with having three young grandchildren to knit for. I’ve bought more sock wool as an incentive to get more sock knitting done this year!
    Finger crossed as can’t wait to wear homemade socks. Love your fire. My happy knitting place is my sofa more often than not with my two furry canine companions and my trusty standard lamp.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh yes, the Crimpit should work brilliantly for you. I think it’s fab – plus a good way to make sure not so small daughter has something to eat in the mornings too as she’s very good at scooting out without eating anything! 🙂 xx

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