Five Handmade Items For Keeping Warm


Ermagerd. The Beast From The East is giving us a right good kicking. It is glacial out there! Ella still refuses to wear her quilted coat on dog walks, but I have fallen back heavily on my handmades.

The great thing about this blog post is that I’m recommending makes that have seen months or even years of wear – so these handmade items really work when it comes to the cold.

Handknitted Socks

red stripey socks ii

Three years ago I made two pairs of these socks. This winter they have been worn and machine washed on weekly rotation and they’re still going unbelievably strong. No pilling, no worn patches, they just keep warming my feet. This sock wool is off the scale – you can buy it here.

Flannel Pyjamas

gingham pyjamas

Flannel makes for some of the cosiest bedwear; I even have flannel sheets. These PJs were made two years ago. Flannel does pill with age but they’re still totally warm and snuggly. It’s worth making a full set of pyjamas every now and then, rather than relying on cast off T-shirts to wear in bed. It’s the gift (to yourself) that keeps on giving.

Woollen Culottes & Bomber Jacket

bomber jacket

From the moment, I finished sewing these woollen culottes I have pulled them on every time it gets parky. Paired with thick tights, a Uniqlo HeatTech long-sleeved T-shirt and a jumper, I’m wrapped up as warm as a person could hope to be. It’s the quality of the wool that does it.

Obviously, they’re paired with my homemade woollen longline bomber jacket, which I have worn non stop since the last stitch was sewn. Choosing a quilted lining fabric was the deal maker on this make.

Boxy T Shirt

makers atelier skirt detail copy

Yes, the pattern is great for layering but it’s the fabric that really turned my head. I have finally learnt the power of a high quality jersey. I can’t see this specific fabric in stock any more but it was purchased at Guthrie and Ghani and this fleece back jersey looks equally snug.

Okay, I hope you’re all staying warm and safe. Now, if someone can tell me how you go to the bathroom wearing all these layers, I’d be ever so grateful!

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15 Responses to Five Handmade Items For Keeping Warm

  1. Jan says:

    8 inches of snow in Norfolk this morning, so my very thick ponte toaster sweater is coming into its own. Interesting to hear about the hand knitted socks, I might just try some!

  2. Colleen says:

    Thank you so much for the link to magic loop. I’ve been thinking of it for a while but you’ve inspired me me to knit socks again. I was put off rather when a self-instructed and lovingly knit pair I gave to my husband were worn with a pair of boots that were wearing through. Hole in brand new socks first time worn. Sad face. Or was it angry face? I may be in denial.

  3. It’s a pity all socks’ yearn has some nylon or poly in it! I prefer natural fibers… but I guess they’d be too fragile for socks…

    • jocolumbine says:

      The nylon is there to improve their strength and durability – and to stop them getting too baggy after wear. We all love natural fibres but sometimes it’s better to have lovely practical hand-knitted socks (with a tiny compromise) than to have ‘principles’, machine made socks and cold toes!

      • didyoumakethat says:

        Jo – thank you, you conveyed that excellently.

      • I’d agree with you.

        Of course, back in the day, sock yarn was pure wool (I made several pairs for myself). My mum made many socks during her long knitting life, including a pair for my younger sister. As carefully as they’d been made and as well as they fitted for a while, they soon shrank and weren’t comfy at all.

        The fit was never as close as you can get it with today’s yarns and that “tiny compromise”, as you so wonderfully describe it, which makes for a longer-wearing finished product.

  4. Sheila says:

    In Central Scotland at the moment and very little is moving this morning….. some poor souls were stuck on the M80 and 2 people I know hurt themselves getting home after abandoning their cars yesterday. Handmade socks are great and wearing a pair myself at the moment.

  5. indigorchid says:

    It’s a cold spell alright! Out travelling today I have raglan sweater in a really nice frotté wool, which is keeping me warm. I have made wool jersey tank tops and shorts that see high rotation – the shorts are especially great under skirts and dresses! And I have to say – the heat tech tops from Uniqlo you mentioned? My secret winter weapon. For years I have been stocking up every time I can, and they really last. Stay warm!

  6. Artistry says:

    I am still learning how to stay warm here. I think the answer is layers. I might just try those socks knitted in the round but I’ve been dubious about knitting socks with wool fibre. All my socks are cotton but I suppose that’s why my feet are cold.

  7. Krystyna says:

    I recently discovered another item to keep you warm – a silk tank top. It works like lining for all your jumpers; smoothing the horizontal lines around the bra strap is a bonus. It stops the drafts, but still breathes without adding bulk to your figure.
    I made two from habotai silk and wear them constantly. Sewing is simple as no precision is required. An important construction detail: staystitch the necline straight after cutting; guess how I know.

  8. LinB says:

    Is this too personal a question? Feel free to slap my hand away if so … Don’t you have trouble turning over in bed, when you wear flannel pajamas and use flannel sheets?

    When we lived in Wisconsin, a gift of flannel sheets seemed like a God-send until we tried to sleep with them. It was as if we were gluing ourselves to the bed, getting more and more tangled up with each attempt to extricate ourselves. First time of use was the last time of use. The sheets got cut up and re-made into receiving blankets for infants.

    • didyoumakethat says:

      Not too personal at all! No, I haven’t come across the ‘glued to the bed sheets’ issue – but then, from the moment I fall asleep I barely move. Wake up in the same position I fell asleep. Well, I used to – until sharing the bed with Ella who makes it a point to wake me up each night at 2am on the dot so that I roll over and she can grab the warm spot on the mattress. I wish I was making this all up!!!!

  9. Cindy B says:

    To LinB, we had the same issue with flannel sheets and flannel pjs until we switched to higher quality, LL Bean flannel sheets. There’s no ‘sticking’ anymore! Hope this helps…flannel sheets are the best, even in Connecticut we use them October through April!

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