We had a rare moment this morning ... the sun shone! Not for long, and by the time I had got my camera out to photograph this miraculous event, it had gone. Ah well. I've reached that point now where if it's not going to snow, then Spring might as well hurry up and get here - I'm bored with dismal damp days now!
Our walk this morning took us past the place where I'd seen herons in a tree and to my surprise, there were even more of them in the same tree. According to this page, herons do nest in trees and live in heronries of up to six herons all together. Well, now I know that this is true and because you know that I like to share such things with you, so do you! Here's the heronry ...
and there were six herons up there, all busy making their peculiar heron noises and shuffling about on their nests. I've circled five of them so that you might just be able to work out that there are large grey birds up there - the sixth one was way over to the left doing some kind of complicated heron dance on the branches so I didn't try to get it in the shot. Well! The things you learn when you're out with the dog! (Once again, the dog was totally uninterested in what was going on high above his head and instead took the opportunity whilst I wasn't watching him to leap into a nearby muddy lake. It was not pleasant driving home with him in the back of the car - eau de stinky hound is never going to take any sales from Chanel!)
What else have I learnt this week?
I have learnt that there are a fair few Easy Cable Socks on needles and feet out in the big wide world. How lovely is that? It does make me very happy to see that my pattern has helped people to tackle cables, and I thought you might like to see a few pictures. Lots of different colours, lots of different yarns, but they all look beautiful. Cables work so well with so many different yarns - the only time that I've found it doesn't work so well is with a complicated cable pattern and a very vibrant yarn; the cables get lost in the colours which is always a shame after the effort involved. I'm sure you'll agree that these yarns are just right, though!
These are Christine's socks (not me, another Christine J) and I really like the way her cables look in this stripy yarn. She's used Drops Fabel and has managed to match her socks beautifully, which isn't always easy with this yarn.
Ellen has also knitted a stripy pair, using Sirdar Heart & Sole shade 0055. The cables don't break up striped yarns but they add a nice texture to them. These colours aren't so bright that the cables have got lost, either, which is great.
Kate is the owner of Northern Yarn, where I bought my sock yarn from for the Easy Cable Socks, and I was really pleased that she liked the pattern enough to have a go herself. She's also used the Poll Dorset Lambswool 4ply, but hers is in a fabulous shade of hot pink from her hand-dyed range (I expect her sock was pretty hot too in front of that stove! J)
Katherine decided to use two colours of yarn for her socks, choosing a Serenity yarn in a merino/bamboo blend that I am sure is going to feel fabulous on her feet. I think her sock looks great with two colours; it's a good way to use up leftover yarns and also to make sure that you don't run out of yarn as well. (I'm hoping that Katherine remembered to take the DPNs out of her sock before she attempted to put her shoe on as they do affect the fit J)
This is my lovely friend Lucy's sock. Do you know, I never thought that the Blanket Guru would ever find herself knitting socks, and I'm very flattered that she chose my Sockalong pattern to use when she decided to pick up the pointy sticks. More than that, Lucy's turned into quite a prolific sock knitter and now she's onto cables too ... is there no end to her talents? By the way, this yarn is Stylecraft Head Over Heels in shade Eiger. These stripes are much softer than the Heart & Sole and the colours are just gorgeous.
What do you think about this rainbow sock? The yarn is Opal Surprise, and I think Margaret's made a great choice. The stripes are much less formal in this yarn and I really like the way the colours blend into each other down the cables.
Another stripy yarn - this one in shades of blue. The cables still stand out really well, and I think the crossed rib stitch heel looks great! Susan has made such a good job of these, and they look fabulous on the blockers. This yarn is Regia Blitz Color shade Lagune 2526, although sadly it's been discontinued.
In more sock-related excitement, these needles arrived in the post today. They're KnitPro 25cm sock needles, but (and here's the exciting bit) they have metal tips. I never knew they existed! I already use KnitPro 25cm needles for socks with a smaller number of cast on stitches than 60 (it gets too tight to be comfortable on a 30cm needle) but up until a couple of days ago I thought they were only available in the wooden Symphonie range. They're very pretty with their coloured wooden tips, but I prefer the weight of metal needles so I was delighted to spot these on a post on Instagram (I love Instagram, but it's costing me a fortune when I keep spotting things!). I'm going to knit some smaller pairs of socks this year (small daughter's feet aren't quite as big as mine yet although she's growing like a weed so it won't be long), so I'll be able to use these instead of the wooden ones and see how they compare.
I was going to show you some pictures of the garden - there are signs of Spring appearing now - but I'll save those for another day. My final bit of news to tell you is that I'm going to the British Craft Awards presentation on Sunday - if you remember from this post in December I've been shortlisted in the Knitting and Crochet Blog of the Year category along with some real stars of the knitting and crochet world - Kat Goldin, Louise Scollay of KnitBritish, Susan Crawford, Ella Gordon, Tom of Holland, Rachel Atkinson (Daughter of a Shepherd), Lucy Attic24, Phil Saul of The Twisted Yarn and Kate Davies - and I'm not going to miss the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of these people! Thank you so much if you voted for me in the awards - quite honestly, I consider that just being able to go is winning enough so I'm very happy to be invited, and I'll be sure to tell you all about it next week.
Have a lovely weekend!