Winter projects

January is usually one of my favorite months. I love Christmas, but it’s a relief to have it over and the decorations packed away–to eat simple food again and look forward to the year ahead with all that holiday pressure off.

I knitted these nubbly-chevron socks out of KnitPicks Hawthorne Bare, which I may or may not have blogged about. I bought a bale of twenty skeins of it in late 2016. It’s a nice yarn to knit with, texturally similar to Koigu KPM.

And these broken seed stitch socks were knitted from Knitpicks Hawthorne Speckle in a colorway I don’t remember–one with primary colors–and Cascade Heritage Sock in red. That’s another lovely sock yarn.


Here’s the new sock. Hawthorne Bare toe, then on to Regia 4-ply in embossed stitch for the foot. Historically I haven’t liked to knit with Regia sock yarns; they have a crackly, kinky feel that put me off. I recently discovered that they come in a rainbow of neutral heathers, though, and this one (romantically named 2143) is my favorite. Warm, creamy gray.

I’ve also been turning leftover Christmas clementines into pomanders. Don’t ask me why; I’m not entirely sure myself. As my collection of them has grown, so has their orangey, spicey scent, and I’ve begun to hope the whole thing hasn’t been a total waste. I got the curing mixture recipe from The Scented Room by Barbara Milo Ohrbach. It’s also inspired me to grow some sweet herbs for potpourri making, this summer.

Doesn’t that throw you right back? Potpourri? Dried-flower wreaths? Making sachets with your mom in 1984, out of leftover dark-green calico from your mother-daughter Christmas dresses?

No? Just me, I guess.

Since the pomanders gave me a taste for long-haul kitchen projects, I started the Deep-Sea Purple Kraut from Recipes from the Herbalist’s Kitchen by Brittany Wood Nickerson. This book held me in thrall all through the holidays, when I was too busy cooking family recipes to make anything from it, but no more. I procured some dulse, and the kraut is now quietly fermenting (and running over…) in a corner of the pantry.


Garden time is sneaking up on us. Here in the Puget Sound area there’s no hard freeze, so perennial beds need weeding all winter. I’m working on cutting back perennials and shoveling out the previous owners’ muck-mound into the rest of my veg patch. I’ve also sowed some columbine seeds–Barlow mix–to eventually plant out in the Secret Garden. If they grow. I’m doing it now because they need stratification. They’re resting in cell packs beside the barn, soaking up the chilly rain.


One more winter project, though it’s more of a yearning. I have this collection of tiny glass bottles. All shapes, some amber and some clear. What the hell do I do with them? A teeny apothecary seems called for; one for my Sylvanian Families mice to maintain. There are a lot of sensible things to occupy me, though, so for now I only get the bottles out to admire them.

Hope you’re having a quiet winter, too, and yearning for spring.


4 thoughts on “Winter projects

  1. Love your socks Kat. They are on my ‘to learn’ list for this year. I’m just pracising using scraps of yarn at the moment. It’s the first time I’ve knitted on circular needles! Do you knit sock for all the family? Do you use one pattern or several?
    Pomanders are a good idea too. Had forgotten how we used to make them. I was planning not to buy room scenters(?) this year so that might be a great alternative.
    Amazing photos and blog!

    • I *have* knit socks for my husband and daughter, but they tend not to wear them regularly, so most of what I knit is for me. All my socks follow the same pattern–toe-up, Turkish cast on, short row heel.

  2. Really cute socks and they look warm, too! You are so talented. We are having a true winter this year with cold temperatures and some snow. It’s nice and I’m enjoying it.

  3. Love your socks, like you I knit them mostly for myself, grand kids grow out of them too fast. Mainly though I love your choice of yarns – Knit picks Hawthorn yarn is one of my favorites, the other is Cascade Heritage. The third is Opal six ply – my go to winter sock yarn, knits up fast on #3’s, and keeps my feet warm is chilly Michigan.

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