January round up

As we’re fast approaching the end of month, I wanted to write a quick post to document some socks that I finished off last year and at the very beginning of this year.  I often find myself going back over old blog posts and it’s a joy to read the record of what I’ve been doing that I would never have if I’d tried to simply keep a diary.  There’s something about the knowledge that even one person might read what you’ve written in a blog post that keeps you posting – and keeping that online diary!

First up, my Soul Circus socks started at the Soul Circus yoga festival that I went to with big daughter way back in August last year and finished off over Christmas.  The yarn is 4ply sock yarn hand-dyed by Hey Jay Yarn which I bought a couple of years ago.

I'm standing on a stone paving flag wearing a pair of hand knitted socks in purple and pink stripy yarn

It won’t take much to see that they there’s a difference in the way the yarn has pooled across the instep; this happens because of the longer rounds when you work the gusset and not that long ago, I would have messed about with the yarn so that the pooling was exactly the same on both socks (oh yes, it is possible to do this and yes, it does take a bit of faffing!) but I decided that these socks needed to be off the needles and it was close enough.  Close enough!  Does that mean I’m getting over my need for matching socks?  No, it really doesn’t, but I can live with these as they are 🙂

The same pair of socks at a different angle on the flagstone

Next up, these took considerably less time to knit as I started them over Christmas and finished them at the beginning of January.  The yarn is Dragon Island in Countess AblazeBluefaced Baron 4ply – I love the name “Dragon Island”, it sounds like somewhere in the South Pacific where there’s a Thunderbirds-style hideaway! – and these are my first no-nylon socks of the year.

I'm standing on a stone paving flag wearing a pair of hand knitted socks in a green, purple and blue mottled yarn

You might have noticed that both of these pairs of socks have heel stitch across the toes.  I have to do this with my socks as I just wear them through too quickly otherwise, and especially with no-nylon socks as they do wear through a bit faster.

The same pair of socks at a different angle on the flagstones

They’re very comfy.  Bluefaced Baron is 100% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester yarn so it felt very silky to knit with.  The Superwash process does change the texture of the yarn but it also makes it very good for dyeing and these colours are just gorgeous.

I’ve got some garden pictures to show you, too.  I probably take these same pictures every year but it’s interesting for me when I look back to see what was slightly different at the same time every year.

No snow for us this year (so far?) but we have had some heavy hailstone showers which look a bit like snow.  Sort of.  If you squint and use your imagination.  I’m taking that, anyway, as it’s the closest it’s got to snow for us this year!

Outdoor plants covered in a layer of hailstones

The snowdrops are out – not as many at the moment as there have been in other years but it might be a bit early for them, or it’s possible that they’ve got overcrowded as that will affect whether they flower or not too.

A photo showing white snowdrops in a flower border

The hellebores are out, or at least, the pink and white ones are.  I haven’t seen any purple ones yet this year so hopefully they’ll flower over the next couple of weeks.

Helleborus orientalis, pale pink

Helleborus niger, white

This may well be the first year that I’ve got any decent photos of this Viburnum (Viburnum bodnantense “Dawn”).  These scented flowers are just lovely – they remind me of raspberries although of course they’re not edible, they just smell fantastic.

Viburnum bodnantense "Dawn"

Viburnum bodnantense "Dawn"

Another scented treasure is the Witch hazel (Hamamelis).  Look at those flowers, they look like paper streamers!  We’ve got two of these shrubs but only this one is flowering at the moment.  The weather has been so strange recently, alternating really warm days (11℃ which is warm for the winter) with cold (anything from 1-3℃) that I don’t think the plants quite know what to do with themselves.

Hamamelis (Witch hazel)

We’re still having to de-flea the cats (we never used to bother in the Winter as they never went out as it was too cold) and the dog had a contact allergy rash which the vet thought might well have been caused by something that hadn’t died off with the cold.  Interestingly, she said that the majority of cases she was seeing at the moment were contact allergy rashes so it looks like this might be an issue for more people than just us.  I do appreciate that not everyone loves snow and it does make it difficult for people to get around, but it worries me that the Winter hasn’t been as cold as it should be.  Having said that, it seems that our seasons are getting skewed and so it may well be that Winter will arrive in a couple of months’ time instead!

Finally, I left some of the papery heads on the Hydrangea this year – I don’t think it had quite finished flowering when I was cutting it back in the Autumn.  I think they look almost as pretty as the flowers!

Papery flower head of Hydragea

That’s it for my January round up (I told you I’d be quick!) – there’s just one more thing left to tell you and that’s that I will be at Ewe Felty Thing in Llandudno on Saturday 1 February 2020 if you fancy a day out in Wales.  The shop opens at 10.30am and I’ll be there until 4.30pm so do come along and ask your sock questions, or show me your socks or your Winter Haven KAL makes – I’d love to see them!  If you’re really lucky, I might even manage a Welsh sentence or two! 🙂

Ewe Felty Thing, 22 Madoc Street, Llandudno, LL30 2TL

www.ewefeltything.co.uk   Tel: 01492 878510

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3 Responses

  1. Susan Rayner says:

    Beautiful photos – brightening up a gloomy winter's evening – thank you! Although the days are lengthening quite quickly now!

  2. Francesca says:

    Love your socks, and thank you for the beautiful photos! Here in Malta we are also experiencing unseasonably warm weather 17 and 18 as opposed to the usual 12-ish in January. My geranium plants are blooming way too early. Monday it's going up to 20. All the farmers are very worried…

  3. Bright Morning says:

    I am a pelargonium lover. I am learning that folks in the northern hemisphere have been germinating their seeds already. I live on the high desert in Nevada, part of the Great Basin. This time of year it is very cold, so seed sprouting is unimaginable. But I have learned that people in Wales have already germinated their seeds. I have so much to learn. One of my Sanctuary socks is finished and the other needs the toe sown. I loved that pattern. I will send a photo soon.

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