10 Ways to Keep Warm in Winter

Now that the festive season is behind us, we tend to notice that it’s still dark in the early morning and early evening and it’s a bit on the cold side… that’s just the time to raid the yarn stash to make some winter warmers!

Typical cosy makes include scarves, hats, mittens or gloves, cowls, shawls and blankets.


Monochrome crochet scarf

1. Scarves

As a first project, whether knitting or crochet, scarves are often a popular choice. This one in the photo is made with granny squares in a chequerboard pattern — so simple, and yet so effective! It’s also possible to pick a simple stitch — like garter stitch — and just keep knitting until you get the length you want!

2.​ Hats

It’s often been said that we lose a lot of heat from our heads, so it makes sense to keep our heads warm when it’s cold outside! The hat in the photo is crocheted from chunky yarn, but of course other yarn weights can be used. I also like to make knitted beanies and crochet bucket hats.

Crochet hat
Knitted gloves
Crochet mittens

3. Mittens & Gloves 

I don’t know about you, but I often find that cold weather affects my hands, making them dry and ready to soak up lashings of hand cream… so I like protect my hands with gloves in the colder weather. Mittens are gloves without fingers, so you can play the piano when wearing them (assuming you could play before, they don’t supply magical musical abilities, I’m afraid!)… also “handy” (pun intended) when using your mobile phone. I once tried to answer my mobile phone while wearing gloves… that didn’t end well, so I had to ring the person back!




4. Cowl

If you find scarves have a tendency to unwrap themselves, why not try a cowl? A cowl will stay put — and it will use less yarn than a scarf and be quicker to make! I’ll let you into a little secret here: cowls and headbands can often do double duty — use one for both functions!



Cabled headband or cowl
Garter stitch pleated headband

5. Headbands

A headband is a good choice for keeping your hair neat and your ears warm — particularly useful in windy days to keep your hair under control! You can co-ordinate a headband with a scarf and gloves as outwear; it’s a project where you can use left over yarn from a jumper to ensure you have an exact match. (Thinks: what is this “left over yarn”…?)



6. Neck warmers

Rather more shaped than a cowl, a neck warmer can slip under another item of clothing and not only keep your neck and chest warm, it can give the illusion of a jumper — but just the top part!


ocean waves set
Grey knitted shawl

7. Shawls and Stoles

Rather bigger than a scarf, a shawl will wrap round you and keep you snug and warm!

What’s the difference between a shawl and a stole? A shawl is shaped, usually as a triangle (although other designs such as curves are also popular). A stole, on the other hand, is like a longer, wider scarf — straight rather than shaped. A neat way to avoid the debate is to call it a wrap!


8. Muffs 

These might seem old-fashioned, but I prefer to think of them as traditional. Hands can be kept warm in a muff, and there’s also room for various odds and ends that wouldn’t fit into gloves! Did you know that “twiddle muffs” are recommended for people with dementia? The addition of buttons, bows and other embellishments can keep fingers busy and soothe an anxious mind. There is a pattern available here, from NHS Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust [source of the image, right].



Twiddle muff NHS
Elizabethan cuff

9. Wrist warmers 

That little gap between the end of the sleeve and the top of the glove is like a magnet for cold weather… one option is to make the cuffs of the gloves longer (or lengthen the sleeves), but a quick and practical solution is to make a pair of wrist warmers! These can be decorative as well as functional, and it’s surprising how much of a difference these can make! These are also useful if you need to keep your hands free.




10. Blankets 

Bigger than a shawl or a stole or a wrap — a blanket! This can be made in any size you like! Hand made blankets are often a welcome gift for a new baby, especially in the winter, but there’s no reason why you can’t make a lap blanket or a larger blanket to wrap around yourself to keep the cold at bay — so useful if you are watching a favourite TV programme!



Rainbow edged blanket

11. Summary

There are so many useful items you can make to help keep you warm in the colder weather, whether you want to make something for yourself or as a gift… or even ask someone to make it for you! Knitting and crochet offer the opportunity to make something truly bespoke — an original design in colours of your own choosing. Whichever technique you’re interested in, I’ll be happy to help you hone your skills in my classes.


Collage of cowls and hats
Simple Leaf - 2078

12. Browse Patterns

If you are looking for some patterns to get you started, why not browse the Crafty Cavy pattern shop?

Why not try the pleated headband? A free design from my pattern shop. Simple to make using on knit and purl stitches.

Another pattern that is easy but effective is the simple leaf; a great design to make in autumn colours to decorate hats and scarves!

You might also be interested in joining the Crafty Cavy community, or pop along to my Crafty Cavy page, both on Facebook!

Comments, please!

What is your “go to” winter warmer? What will your next winter warmer make be? Please share your ideas and feedback in the comments section. I look forward to hearing from you!

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