Winter Haven KAL 2024 – Week 3
Happy Friday to you! It’s the third Friday in January which means that we’re past the half way mark of this year’s Winter Haven KAL (Knitalong), and if you’re one of those who can’t wait for January to be over, there’s not to much longer to go, and I hope that spending time in your cosy space has helped the days pass more gently for you.
I love January and never wish it away, although I would love it more if the weather lived up to how I think January should be in my imagination – and there’s definitely plenty of snow in my imagination! No, I know that’s not everyone’s ideal but it wouldn’t do for us all to be the same, would it? 🙂 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!
Thank you for all your photos and emails again this week. It’s been lovely to hear from you and to see all of your projects and it’s been brilliant to see so many pairs of Treasure Socks on needles – and so many colourways, too! Don’t forget that it’s not too late to join in with the Winter Haven KAL – pick a Winwick Mum pattern and/or Winwick Mum yarn; this year’s free pattern is the Treasure Socks but you don’t have to knit this one to join in 🙂
It’s turned cold here again the last few days and we’ve even had a little bit of snow – not loads of it, a couple of inches (actually that IS loads for Winwick!) but enough to get that lovely creaky, crunchy sound when you walk in it, and there was that stillness that you get with snow too. It felt perfect for this Winter Haven time of year in the northern hemisphere!
I’ve been lighting the fire at every opportunity – partly to help to keep the house warm, but also to remind myself that it’s fine to sit by it for a few minutes too! There’s an ongoing conversation about whether it’s better to leave your heating on low all the time or to put it on for set times in the day, and with energy prices still increasing, it’s an important conversation too! Although I work from home and I like to be warm, we could actually do either as if I got cold, I could light the fire or shuffle the dog up on his bed in front of the Aga and sit with him. However, experimenting with the heating a couple of years ago, we found that leaving the heating on low all day (we keep our thermostat set to 18°C) “warmed the bones” of our house as we have a lot of internal brick walls which are colder than plasterboard and we didn’t use any more energy to do that, so that’s what we do now, and I’m nice and toasty whilst I’m writing to you 🙂
My space hasn’t changed much over the KAL weeks – I’m right here by the fire!
I’ve got some more photos of your Haven Spaces again this week and this week, snow is featured! I do love to see snow at every opportunity so thank you for showing me yours! 🙂
Elizabeth is in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and got more snow than they were expecting. She sent me this photo especially so that I could appreciate her snow as well – and I do! Elizabeth is using the Basic 4ply Socks pattern for her Winter Haven KAL project.
Helen has a lovely cosy space by her new radiator – definitely the time of year to be trying it out! She’s also trying out colourwork for the first time with the Treasure Socks and it looks like it’s going very well! Helen’s greenery is a fiddle leaf fig in case you feel that you need one for your house!
Kathryn is all set up there with her footstool and blanket – I’m such a fan of having blankets that you can just pull over yourself if you feel like it – you don’t even have to be cold! I didn’t grow up with extra blankets over the chairs or sofas, it always seemed to be something that older people did (my first big crochet project was a blanket for my Nan), but now I think it’s more unusual not to see a blanket, especially if you’re able to make them yourself, and that’s definitely an improvement!
Soh is definitely in the cosy place by the look of the snow outside! Her sock is coming on well too!
Before the Winter Haven KAL started, I had every intention of making my project the mammoth darning pile that I have, but as you can see, I have abandoned the darning for new socks. What? Don’t look at me like that, I’m sure you’d do the same!
My own pair of Treasure Socks is coming on very nicely. First sock done, I’ve rattled through the second sock and I’m onto the gusset now. I’m so looking forward to wearing these!
I’ve also not quite ruled out the idea of making a pair in Spring Green as well. I loved the way the colours knitted up for the sample, and now that I know the pattern very well, it could even be a future Emergency Sock. Astrid just thinks it’s a comfy sock …
That yarn isn’t in quite such a muddled tangle as it looks in the photo, and I checked very carefully that Astrid was just snoozing and not having a sneaky yarn snack!
Here are your photos for this week … the in-progress ones first …
Helen’s pink sock is looking lovely! She chose a Stylecraft Head over Heels yarn for her contrast colour and it’s a very pretty combination! Last week, the Spring Green sock made by Penberth Yarns was just cakes of yarn – that’s a lot of progress!
Val has chosen Wildflower as her contrast yarn and I love it! It looks fabulous with the shade of pink she’s chosen, and Lisa’s combination of Hidden Gem with (I think) Dusty Miller is fab too. Now I want socks in those colours!
Kathryn re-started her sock from last week and is rocketing along with her new colours of turquoise stripes and cream. Miranda is using hand-dyed rainbow yarn with black and it’s really making those colours pop!
Jane has chosen the sparkly Silent Night yarn as her contrast colour, and Julie is knitting two pairs of socks during this KAL – a plain pair and her Treasure Socks pair! I like the bright colours she’s chosen for hers …
Bridget has chosen the Summer Sunset and Milk Bottle colourway, the same as me, and she’s making good progress! Charity found these yarns in her stash and although she’s not sure what they are, they are a good match!
Midge has dyed this ladybird-coloured contrast yarn herself, and it looks fantastic! Amanda has made a good start on her sock, and if you look closely, you can see her furry supervisor making sure she’s keeping to schedule 🙂
Finally for today in the progress photos are Chris’s Summer Sunset socks and Jo’s pair in lovely wintery blues.
There’s no rush to finish the Treasure Socks as quickly as you can, although lots of people have agreed with me that it is a quick pattern to knit. I think it’s something to do with the way the diamonds appear – and suddenly, you’ve worked another repeat! It doesn’t matter if you don’t even finish by the end of the KAL, although unless you’re really in the habit of spending time in your Haven Space by then, it may be slow going once the days start getting longer and there are other distractions 🙂
There are finished photos this week, though, and here they are!
Helen has chosen a lovely combination of Pistachio (I think) and Rum Paradise, and Carol has chosen Milk Bottle and Autumn Leaves. Gorgeous!
Fleur has finished the socks she was part-way through last week – that was speedy knitting! Jen has chosen a lovely contrast yarn for her socks, I do like the way it blends through the colours. Hopefully she’s nearly finished her second sock now!
Here’s Soh’s finished sock – her second sock is the one by the snowy window in the photo above. I do like her combination of colours, and I love Stella’s too – you can’t go wrong with purple!
And now for the other projects …
Monty the cat is knitting a pair of Basic 4ply Socks for his owner, Liz, or at least I’m sure he would do if he could only hold the needles properly in those furry paws …
Dawn has knitted a sock using the Contrast Cuffs, Heels and Toe socks tutorial and has added some texture by working purl rounds in between the colours. Doesn’t it look good? Julie has finished her sock that she started last week, and her contrast heel works beautifully with the variegated yarn she’s chosen.
Vanessa and Jean are both using the Boxy Rib Socks pattern and their socks look great! Vanessa’s yarn reminds me of the hundreds and thousands sprinkles that you put on fairy cakes 🙂
The last photo for this week is this one. Helen is using WYS Signature 4ply in Blue Tit with contrast cuffs, heels and toes. It’s not going to be long before those socks are finished!
Phew, so many socks – it’s wonderful! I’ve got more to show you next week so if you didn’t see your photo there today, don’t worry, it could be in next week’s selection!
🕯 Something green
I’ve been very spoilt and have new flowers for this week from a lovely friend. There are stocks in this bouquet and they smell amazing! Oh, it’s been wonderful to walk into the living room and smell them in the morning, and I have very much appreciated them.
🕯 Light it up!
The sun is coming up at around 8.20am this week. Not so small daughter has already left for college in the dark and it’s still dark by the time she gets home, but it won’t be long before the days will be long enough for her to not feel like some kind of night-dwelling creature. I’ve noticed that there are plenty of bulbs coming up too, and the first of the snowdrops are out too, so that’s definitely a sign that the days are moving on, although I do worry about the bulbs that seem to be in bud exceptionally early (I’ve seen some daffodils, that can’t be good) in case we do get the icy blast that the weather forecasters are predicting.
🕯 Listen up!
What have you been listening to this week?
I’ve not had the radio on much at all, I’ve been catching up on web presentations that I signed up to listen to – I rarely listen to anything live so I always catch up on the replays. This week I’ve been listening to a talk about Tapping (EFT), which I’ve mentioned in the Self-care section below, and a discussion about the last month in the money markets (part of the Wealth Chef resources which I mentioned last week). I tend to listen in bursts as often these go on for longer than the time I have to sit in my Winter Haven Space, but at least I am getting through them instead of leaving them half-listened-to as I am more likely to do at other times of the year when I don’t necessarily remind myself to sit down!
This week’s self-care was to take my car to the garage for a free winter check. Lots of garages do this and yes, it might be a technique to get your car in so that they can see what’s wrong with it and then present you with a list of jobs, but equally, it’s peace of mind over the brakes, the lights and the other items that they check. I’m out and about in my car quite a bit and even though they’re mostly short journeys, if the weather is going to be unpredictable, it feels like the safe thing to do. And to be honest, it wasn’t a great hardship – I dropped my car off at the garage, went over the road to the hotel which welcomes hot-desk working and has tables with power sockets and a special deal on a brew and a sandwich (mine was a bacon one this morning) for those who want to work away from home or the office. They’re always pleased to see you, it’s warm and they do a good cup of tea!
I’ve also signed myself up for a 5 day online cleanse with Lisa Levitt Gainsley – she wrote The Book of Lymph that I showed you last week. I love a good course and there’s always something new to learn so I put some money aside every month to go towards learning and courses, and then if I see something that I’d like to do, the money is there to pay for it. I’m a big fan of savings pots because it feels like you’re not spending “your” money – and I am always especially grateful for my savings pot when I go to the vet’s! 🤣 Anyway, I know it’s all about timing but it felt like serendipity when I saw the advert for the cleanse just after I’d finished reading the book, and I am trying to be more open to these coincidences 🙂 If you think it might be something you’d be interested in too, the link is here (this is not an affiliate link, I just thought you might be interested).
It’s obviously the time of year for this sort of thing as an email landed in my inbox this week offering a free 7-day Wellness Reset Challenge from The Tapping Solution. I’ve been using tapping, or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), for years now and it is really good way to lower stress and deal with anxieties and health issues (in conjunction with medical treatment if required). You can read more about how it works here, and if the Wellness Reset Challenge sounds like something you’d like to try, you can sign up here. I use the paid version of The Tapping Solution app now and have done for quite some time, but there won’t be any hard sell through this challenge, so don’t worry that you’ll never get rid of them if you sign up! 🙂
🕯 Thank you
This week, I’m grateful for my friend who thought about sending me the wonderful-smelling stocks. Oh, and the snow. It makes my heart happy, that’s just how it is 🙂
I’m also grateful to my friends at the Danish accessory company, Muud, who messaged to ask if I would like to use another one of their bags and share my thoughts on them. Well, I was delighted! They sent me a few of their products a couple of years ago and I have had so much use out of them. I adore my Saturn project bag and can’t imagine ever going back to biting my yarn instead of using scissors (oh dear, I did used to do that!) now that I have proper scissors in a proper Espoo case. I get a fair bit of use out of the Gimo rucksack they sent me too … their products are very well-made and well-designed and they fit into my life very well!
I chose a Hiba bag. I was actually going to buy one of these for myself – I’ve had my eye on it for a while and I’d been saving up for it so I was thrilled when they asked me if I would like to try one out. Muud bags aren’t cheap but I am very firmly in the camp that you get what you pay for and if it’s something that you’re going to get a lot of use out of, it’s better to buy one thing of good quality than half a dozen at a cheap price that may not last. It’s why I knit socks … 😉
Muud called Hiba a mini shopper project bag and it’s a great size to use when I’m out and about, especially if I’m carrying my laptop as it fits in here perfectly. I can fit it in sideways too, if I don’t want it sticking out of the top. It’s got so many pockets, and a separate pocket for a water bottle and best of all, a secure clip for my car keys so that I’m not rooting for them at the bottom of the bag. I’m going to write a proper post about it soon, but I couldn’t wait to show you!
I took it with me when I took my car to the garage for the winter check, and everything I needed for the hour or so that I waited fitted beautifully in the bag. It’s got a shoulder strap too, which I’m really pleased about – I do like a bag that you can carry but sometimes you need your hands free!
The lovely people at Muud also sent me a surprise – a Civ case for interchangeable needles. I don’t use interchangeable needles very often but I do have a plan to resurrect the jumper that defeated me a couple of years ago (it was the yarn knitting into stripes that was the problem) so this will be really useful as I needed different sets of interchangeable tips plus umpteen stitch markers that I kept losing – I’ve got no excuse not to get back on with it now!
And once again, THANK YOU for being here with me! It’s so good to see your projects, and I hope that you are starting to feel your batteries recharging as the days get longer (or shorter!).
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