Winter Haven KAL 2024 – Week 4
And just like that, we’re at the end of January! Well, not quite as it’s the 26th today and February doesn’t start until next week, but this is the last “official” Winter Haven KAL post and next week’s will be the round-up to make sure I have shared as many photos as I can.
I do hope that January has passed as well for you as it could do, and that you are refreshed and ready to welcome February next week!
Because I create the Winter Haven KAL as much for myself as I do for you, there are always some things that started during the Knitalong that I’ll be choosing to continue, and this year is no exception – but more of that as we go along. I am always looking for ways to help my time pass more slowly and look after myself better, and I think I have done really well with the self-care this year so I’ll definitely be trying to make sure that stays with me!
🕯 My space
I can’t tell you how much I love our open fires and I will be lighting them for as long as I can (honestly, there are days when it’s not that cold and I’m wondering “should I?” 🙂 ) but with yet another storm blowing around our house – Storm Isha has been battering the UK this week – then I will definitely be found warming myself next to the flames!
I hope that you will be able to keep your Haven spaces going after the KAL has finished; having somewhere to retreat to so that you can have a few minutes to yourself is something that I have realised is very important, but over the years of the Winter Haven KAL, it’s been interesting to see how many Haven Spaces have been portable (no photos this year but I bet there were one or two!) so you can take yourself off for a few quiet minutes anywhere.
Vanessa has a fabulous view of the birds as she sits and knits – although she said they flew away as soon as she picked up her camera!
Leslie is in a great spot there for natural light, and that looks like a very comfy sofa too, doesn’t it?!
Sarah is very well set up here with beautiful flowers and her candle. I am very impressed that her Terry’s chocolate orange seems to be in one piece as I just can’t leave that chocolate alone once the wrapper is opened! 🙂
This is Tarmac. He wants his Mum’s entire attention so he’s not best pleased that she’s planned to spend the evening knitting in her cosy space 🙂
Jan also has herself all set up here … the lovely thing about the Winter Haven KAL is that once you’ve got yourself set up and surrounded by lovely things and smells, it’s much easier to tell yourself that it’s OK to sit and knit for a few minutes – or a bit longer!
I’m not sure why Maria’s photo wanted to be so small but it did, and trying to enlarge it would have affected the quality. I’m very glad to see the snow again during this year’s KAL, and you’ll be seeing Maria’s socks again in a minute! That looks like a wonderfully big window to be looking out of whilst you’re knitting, doesn’t it?
My pair of Treasure Socks is finished – hooray! I am very excited to be able to wear these – and I have decided that I will keep the Spring Green pair as well … although as you’ll see from the photos, there are some pairs on the needles in Wildflower and now I want to knit those too!
I’m still working on the plain pair I cast on too. I found the contrast yarn that I had lost, then found, then lost again (it was in a box of receipts from my day job – of course, the obvious place for me to put it! 🙄) so I can get back on with that again as I’m up to the heel and I was stuck until I worked out what I’d done with the yarn. I like to have a plain pair on the go with patterned pairs as it’s easy to pick up at times when I might not be able to concentrate on a pattern.
You don’t need to be much of a mathematician to work out that I’ve finished one Winter Haven KAL project but have got two more on the go … don’t worry if you’re in the same situation or if you didn’t finish the one project you set out to do – there is no deadline for finishing anything at the end of this KAL and I think we’re going to be glad of our projects, both new and ongoing, and our cosy spaces for a while longer yet!
Ready to see some of your projects?
There are still lots of socks in progress, and if you’ve not started your pair of Treasure Socks (or any other pattern) just yet as I know that lots of people are still finishing off projects they started earlier, it’s never too late. The patterns are always on the blog and there’s no obligation to just knit them in January!
Anne-Mette has finished her first pair of Treasure Socks and these are going to be gifted to a (treasured) friend, but still has enough yarn left to make herself a pair of shorties. She decided to alternate the colours across the heel flap and the heel turn on her shortie pair – I love the close-up, those sole stripes are so delicious!
Heather has made a great start on her socks – and I love that she’s keeping notes in her Project Super Socks book as well! It makes such a difference to be able to write things down and know where you’ve written them; I am very much appreciating my own book already! 🤣
Source: @heatherreid1200Helen has chosen to knit with grey and Rum Paradise yarn, and the rainbows work really well with the muted colour, don’t they? It’s the same for Jo who’s chosen a different contrast yarn, but it works so well with the grey.
Lesley and Sally are both tackling their first colourwork project – and what a good job they are making of it! Both are using Wildflower yarn, but doesn’t it look different when you change the main colour? I love it!
I’m not quite sure why Sarah’s photo is quite so fuzzy (apologies, Sarah!) but I’m sure it’s my fault! She’s getting on well with her Treasure Sock in Milk Bottle and Summer Sunset. Andie’s pair are still not quite on the needles (although they may be now!) – it does make me laugh to see yarn when it’s flat-packed like that!
Nikki’s socks are knitted in Vintage Tinsel with (I think) Marshmallow so they are very sparkly Treasure Socks, and @hunnibunnihats has chosen a speckled rainbow yarn which looks great against the white background!
Becky’s Treasure sock is a solid yarn one and the diamonds do stand out well, don’t they? Barbara has just started hers but it looks like she’s chosen a lovely combination of pinks!
There are plenty of finished Treasure Socks this week too!
The Spring Green socks that you saw in progress last week are finished now (here’s one of them) and Kristi’s sock uses WYS Blue Lagoon as a contrast – don’t the two socks look good together?
Midge has finished her pair of socks with her own hand-dyed ladybird-coloured yarn. They look fab! Sam has chosen a contrast yarn with a long gradient and I love the way the yarn turns from red to purple.
Angie has chosen to use the Milk Bottle and Seascape colourway that I used for my first pair of Treasure Socks, and I do love those colours together! Mary Jane’s pair is knitted in 6ply and those double strands of yarn will make for a very cosy pair of socks indeed!
Amanda is a first-time colourwork knitter as well, and what a lovely pair of socks she’s produced! Julie has finished her first Treasure Sock too, and it looks lovely with the contrast against the navy.
Laura has finished her sparkly pair in Vintage Tinsel, and Lisa has finished her first one of her pair – affectionately known as the “B-sock”, but I’m sure she’ll speak more kindly of the second one! 🙂
Jenni has used Wildflower with Signature 4ply in Amethyst as the main colour, and I absolutely LOVE this combination! The dark purple really helps the pastel Wildflower rainbow stand out.
And of course, we can’t forget about the other projects!
Dawn has knitted her socks in textured stripes of Milk Bottle and Rum Paradise, and Gill has chosen to knit the Easy Mosaic Socks pattern. Don’t they both look fabulous?
Helen has used her own handspun yarn to make a pair of Split Mittens. I think that spinning looks like such a relaxing thing to do and one day, when I don’t have a to-do list as big as the one I have got, I might give it a go! Jean is knitting the Green Woodpecker pattern from the Along the Riverbank book which came out to accompany the new shades of WYS Country Birds yarns. She’s not using Green Woodpecker though (do not adjust your screen! 🙂 ), she’s using Jay which is why there is no gree in sight!
Maria got in touch through Ravelry to show me her lovely green socks. I know of lots of people who choose to knit their socks two at a time on two needles instead of on one big circular needle. You still don’t finish your socks any faster (always my problem with TAAT socks – I think I should have two socks finished in the same time it takes me to knit one!) but it can be much less fiddly to keep your socks separate. Michelle has knitted a pair of cosy Basic 8ply (DK) Boot Socks in the WYS ColourLab Future Dreams yarn, and they’ll be perfect for the cold days that remain of winter.
Kay is knitting a pair of Sizzling Rays socks from the Winwick Mum Seasons collection in Winter Icicle – and why not? There’s no rule that says you can’t mix your season colours up! 🙂 Ruth has chosen to knit a pair of Sanctuary Socks, and that was the free pattern from the very first Winter Haven KAL in January 2020. I am delighted that you’ve wanted to join me in this cosy space every January since!
So many projects, it’s been wonderful to see them all, thank you! I’m going to write a round up post next week and I’ll cram as many photos into that as I can so do keep posting your photos, I love to see them!
🕯 Something green
All of my flowers have finished blooming so my green for this week is one of the houseplants. I re-potted this succulent in the summer as it was getting overcrowded and I managed to split it into a few new plants. It certainly seems to be glad of the space! It’s been really interesting to see that some of our houseplants seem to be much happier in the relative gloom next to the fireplace than they have been in better light. I know that lots of houseplants don’t like direct light, but the windowsill they were on is north-facing so I would have thought they’d have been OK with that. Well, if they want to stay by the fire instead of going back to the windowsill, that’s fine by me!
🕯 Light it up!
The days are definitely getting longer – already, not so small daughter is going to college and returning home in the light whereas at the beginning of the month, it was dark. I’m not ready to give up my candles, though! These are my favourite tea light holders. I can’t remember where the little star ones came from, but we bought the one with moose family in Stockholm a few years ago when we went for a holiday, and I think this one is my favourite favourite 🙂
🕯 Listen up!
This week, I have been back to the 1980s with not so small daughter, who has discovered a brand new band called a-ha … you may remember this band and they are not new! 🙂 Anyway, she very much likes the song “Take on Me”, and it’s encouraged me to find the band on Spotify and re-discover their music. I had their first two albums, “Hunting High and Low” and “Scoundrel Days” on cassette (nobody uses cassettes these days!) but I had lost track of them after that so it was quite a surprise to discover how much music they have made over the years!
Have you rediscovered a band you used to like? It’s lovely to remember!
This time last year, one of my self-care acts was to start using the Do Not Disturb function on my phone. I’m still doing it, and it’s fab! I’ve got it set up so that it rings if it’s someone on my emergency that I would drop anything for, but everything else can wait. I’ve stopped the notification number on all the apps – you know, where you get a little number over the icon telling you you’ve got 15 emails or 20 notifications on Instagram – except WhatsApp as we use that for family messages, and that’s been great too as I’m not looking at my phone and thinking “Ooh, I wonder what all those emails are?”. Instead, I check my emails every now and again and it’s much calmer.
If this is something that you think would be worth setting up for yourself, you can have a look at Week 4 of last year’s Winter Haven KAL as I took photos of the settings on my phone in case they would help anyone else 🙂
This year, my self-care is taking me down the direction of food and what we’re eating. I often spend January re-evaluating our meals, re-starting our monthly meal plan and generally looking at what is on our plates. I was chatting to friends about it last weekend and this week I’ve set up a fortnightly fruit and veg delivery – after doing the sums, I don’t think it’s going to be any more expensive than the supermarket but the farm it comes from is quite local, the veg is dug up on the day of the order and it’s grown in a pesticide-free environment so it feels like the right thing to do for our family now. I’m also doing a bit of research to find a local butcher to buy our meat from instead of the supermarket – we don’t have a butcher’s in Winwick and it’s only not so small daughter and I who eat meat in our house now so I’m looking at options for that too.
I’ve also started baking bread again … I found a fab recipe for overnight no-knead bread for a general loaf and baking the smallest size of this loaf every few days is working very well for us. As soon as one loaf comes out of the mixing bowl, I start the next one and the dough will sit in the fridge until I need it. The dark mark on top of the loaf comes from the lid of the casserole dish I was using as a Dutch oven. It’s only just the right size but it’s given me a taller loaf as there’s no room for the bread to spread out whilst it’s cooking as it does in the bigger casserole dish that I use, so as long as I remember to take the lid off towards the end of the baking time, I think this is the better option.
I went back to basics with my sourdough baking as well this week because I felt that the loaves I was making could just be better. I use the online sourdough bread course from Gartur Stitch Farm and I followed all the videos very carefully to make sure that my loaf looked exactly like the one in the demo – the loaf only came out of the oven a short while ago so I’ve not cut into it yet, but I’m hoping it’s a good one! 🙂
Finally, back in Week 1, I mentioned that I had got to grips with my finances last year through a course run by the Wealth Chef, and the link appeared in my email inbox today for this year’s webinar about the course that I did. It’s absolutely free to join in so I thought I would share it with you in case it’s something that you’d like to know more about. You can sign up for the webinar here (not an affiliate link).
🕯 Thank you
Thank YOU for still being here with me at the end of the month!
It’s been so good to share these January weeks with you again this year, and I hope that whether you’ve been hot or cold in your Haven spaces, you’ve been able to take some time out to do things that make you feel calm and rested.
I’ve been very grateful this week for the opportunity to be able to stay safe indoors as the storm has raged outside. We seem to have so many more storms these days, and I am always very thankful to be able to see the rain battering on the windows and hear the wind howling around the chimney and know that I don’t have to be out in it.
Thank you for taking the time to send me your emails and photos, and for tagging me into your social media posts. It’s been great to see so many Winter Haven KAL posts out and about, and I’ve loved seeing all of your projects too.
Thank you too, to everyone who has bought me a brew through my Ko-fi button or a copy of my books – your support means a great deal to me and for those who are knitting socks for the first time, whether it’s your first colourwork with the Treasure Socks or your first socks full stop, thank you for trusting me to help you through it. I am delighted and honoured to have been able to do so xx
I’m going to write a round-up post again as I have done for the last couple of years and I’ll post that next week. I’d love you to be part of the post with me, so if there’s anything you’d like to show – finished projects, part-finished projects – or you’d like to share, please get in touch so that I can include you!
Don’t forget that the social media hashtag is #WinterHavenKAL, so you’ll still be able to see posts on Instagram and Facebook if you’re a social media user, and you can get hold of me through email as well.
I hope you have a wonderful week in your Winter Haven – see you next Friday for the round up! xx