Quiet days

Well, hello to you!  I hope you are keeping well, warm (or cool), safe and dry and that if you celebrated Christmas, you had a lovely one.  Thank you very much for all your Christmas messages, it was so good to hear from you, and for those who asked, the yarn in the photo on my Christmas Eve post is Marine Rainbow by The Yarn Badger with blue contrast yarn from my stash.  They were a gift for my husband and he was delighted with them!

Years ago, I always used to think that the days between Christmas and New Year felt like days when you could stop the world and get off for a bit; not much happened as people were busy with their own lives and even if you went into work, the offices were quieter because as many people as possible had booked the time off.  Nowadays, it’s much harder to switch off on those few days as we’re so much more connected, although I must admit that I have deliberately ignored my phone and social media as much as I can (I’m still around in my Facebook groups every day, though – they can’t get rid of me that easily! 🙂 ) and I have thoroughly enjoyed it!

What have I been doing with myself?  Not a great deal, to be honest!  I realised just before Christmas that I was very tired, as I suspect many of us were – we keep pushing ourselves on and on, don’t we? – and I know it’s not good to get into that kind of state so I have been dipping in and out of the new books I got for Christmas, eating far too much chocolate and not very much else!

I do love Terry’s Chocolate Orange and the rest of the family are the same.  We got a few between us this year … 🙂

Five Terry's Chocolate Oranges lined up together on a wooden table in front of a vase of Winter flowers. The boxes are different colours to indicate the contents - white, dark and milk chocolate

and Toblerone – oh, I don’t think Christmas is Christmas without Toblerone (although if you’re offering, I’m very happy to eat it at other times of the year as well!) and I was beside myself with excitement when I saw this giant Toblerone parcel had been delivered …

A very large triangular cardboard box on a wooden table next to a smaller Toblerone triangular box


I could imagine my dentist rolling her eyes at the state of my teeth after eating that!

And then I picked up the parcel and with crashing disappointment, realised that it was far too light for Toblerone – but my disappointment was short-lived when I opened it …

A 2022 year planner held down by a Toblerone on the left and still rolled in yellow tissue paper on the right

It’s a year planner designed by Julie from Tilly Flop Designs and is really useful if you’re a yarn festival exhibitor or visitor as it has all of the festival dates marked on there as well.  It’s great to see them all back on there again – there are virtual ones marked too – and I very much hope that they will all be able to go ahead.  This is the second year I’ve bought the planner and I like it because it’s a good size to go on the wall.  It’s just for Winwick Mum – I use it to work out my project deadlines rather than trying to write them in a planner or on a calendar and because my deadline dates often change, I have Post-It notes that I move about and it’s a good system for me.

A close up of dates on the planner showing yarn festivals marked in

This photo is a bit fuzzy because my camera didn’t know where to focus and I didn’t notice until afterwards!

There’s something about a new year’s calendar or planner, isn’t there?  All those empty spaces, all that potential waiting to be filled up with something marvellous.  I feel that there always needs to be something marvellous about a year, and whilst it might have been hard to have spotted that over the last couple of years, there were still moments in all of our lives, I’m sure, and with a whole new year ahead of us, who knows what marvels are to come?!

The calendar isn’t up yet because I was always told it’s bad luck to put a calendar up before the start of the New Year, and I’m also not thinking about next year yet – I’m doing my best to live in a chocolate-induced haze the moment for a few more days!

And that’s pretty much it.  Oh, I’ve been very lazy and it’s been wonderful!

Actually, that’s not entirely true … I’ve been doing some knitting as well …

A partly-knitted sock in Autumn shades of brown, green and red with a cream contrast yarn is on a sock blocker with the words Winwick Mum lasered into the wood

It’s just a sneak peek but this is the sock pattern for the Winter Haven KAL for 2022.  What do you think?  Does this tiny taster speak to you? 🙂

I’ll tell you more about it next week – it seems crazy that it’s 2022 in a few short days, doesn’t it? – but for now, let me just say that it’s easier to knit than you think, there’s no colourwork involved (well, one round but don’t let that put you off!) and it’s perfect for Winwick Mum yarn!

What’s the Winter Haven KAL, you ask?  Well, if you’re new to the blog then you may have missed the last ones so let me tell you!  (You can also have a look at previous years’ posts here.)  It’s a KnitALong that runs throughout January, those days after Christmas, New Year and all the other start/end of the year celebrations that can leave us feeling a bit flat and fed up once all the excitement is over, and next year’s will start on 7 January 2022.  The KAL invites you to find a cosy space (or a cool space if you’re not in the dark northern hemisphere) where you can rest and recharge your batteries.  That’s our Winter Haven, a place where we know that we can sit and take a minute, even if it literally is just a minute, because we are entitled to do that!  The weekly blog posts talk about self-care but not in the painted-toe-nails sense; more about how we can all look after ourselves better in a variety of ways (mostly because I am always trying to do that myself and I like to share what I’ve found!), and of course there’s a yarny project involved.

I’ll post the KAL Q&A in a couple of days where I try to answer the most common questions, but in terms of a yarny project, all you need to do to join in is to create something either using a Winwick Mum pattern or Winwick Mum yarn (or both! 🙂 ).  That gives you plenty of scope to find something – even the Basic 4ply Socks if you’ve never knitted socks before, and you can find all my patterns here (and don’t forget the Seasons patterns which haven’t made it onto the patterns page yet) – and of course there will be the new free pattern that I’ve designed just for the KAL.  And as always, if you don’t want to join in with the KAL but you’d like to knit the new socks anyway, you are more than welcome to do that.

The pattern has got a tutorial to go with it as it’s a new technique to the blog so do come over and take a look when it’s published next week.  There’ll be a reminder through the mailing list so if you’re not on the list (you get a free Kitchener Stitch guide when you sign up!) and you’d like to be, you can click here to join.  You don’t need to sign up anywhere to join the KAL, it’s all very relaxed as it’s all about rest and recovery, though of course if you’d like to share your photos or progress on social media or through your own blogs so that others can admire your work and join in too, that would be lovely!

Right then, that chocolate won’t eat itself so I’ll love you and leave you for now, and hope that you are having a relaxing time too! xx









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