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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Easter weekend

Hello!  I hope you're having a lovely weekend.  We're taking the opportunity of the four-day Easter holiday to get a few jobs done but also to try to take time to have a rest and reflect on the whole idea of new beginnings which Easter celebrates.

Our grass definitely needs a new beginning.  Look at the state of this!  It was pretty mossy because it's not been draining very well and is surrounded by trees, and my plan was to kill off the moss and then rake it up before re-seeding with a white clover mixture to try to improve the grass.  The birds have been helping, ripping up the moss to get to the insects underneath, which should make life a bit easier but what a mess!  Definitely a number one job this weekend to make a start on getting this sorted out!


My Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis) is flowering right on time.  These lovely white flowers are just outside our front door and it's always a joy to see them.  They seem to flower long after the other hellebores in the garden have faded too.


This is another Easter favourite in the garden - this is the blossom of our snowy mespilus (Amelanchier lamarckii) which is just beautiful at this time of year.  You can often spot these trees as landscaping features; their leaves are a bronze colour which stands out against the white, and they are also fabulous in the autumn when they turn a lovely red colour. 


The seedlings on the windowsill are doing well - they are getting taller by the day and are actually already considerably bigger than when I took this picture a couple of days ago.  I'll need to think about moving them off the windowsill into the greenhouse during the day as it's not been particularly cold just recently.  I'm looking forward to showing you how they're doing - a post for next week, I think - and I also need to get on and sow a few more seeds too now that the weather's warmed up.


On Thursday, small daughter and I stopped off at the farm shop to pick up some eggs and we were fascinated to see two blue ones in the tray.  We've never seen blue eggs before (although we have heard of green eggs and hamJ) and apparently these are laid by a white chicken.  I posted a picture of these eggs on Facebook and Instagram and have been told the chicken is possibly a Cotswold Legbar or an Araucana - perhaps I should have asked!  


You can see the two blue eggs in the picture above, but just in case you think it's the light or my camera that's making them that colour, look at this one ...



It really was a blue egg!  Small daughter had laid claim to it as soon as she saw it and wanted scrambled egg for her breakfast.  She said it tasted fabulous, although I think she was a bit disappointed that it was yellow inside!


I've finished the cat nip socks.  I'm always quite sorry to finish a pair of socks but this was two pairs in the same yarn and I wasn't fed up of it at all by the time I grafted the last set of toes.  These socks aren't for me (sadly), I'm going to be sending them on to their new owner this week and once I know they've arrived safely I'll tell you more about them.  In case you missed them in previous posts, the yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners in Candy Floss (that's the plain pink) and Pink Flamingo (that's the stripy one) and the pattern is one of mine, but I'll tell you more about that another day too.


I think they look really lovely with the contrast heels and toes - WYS have been very clever in that they have chosen to create solid colour yarns that tone with so many of their multi-coloured ones and pick out the matching colour to make the colourways look unique.


I felt quite bereft once I'd finished them, so I've cast on a pair for myself.  I've used Candy Floss for the cuff again and the main sock will be in Sherbet Fizz which has lovely pastel stripes that are very Spring-like and look just right for Easter.  


They remind me of Cadburys Mini Eggs which are definitely an Easter - or any time - favourite in our house!

Source: www.maverickbaking.com

So that's my weekend happily sorted.  Gardening, knitting, chocolate ... plenty of time to reflect on Easter new beginnings and then - oh joy of joys - another week next week without any school runs. I am one happy (Easter) bunny!

I hope you have a wonderful Easter too!


26 comments:

  1. I hope you don't mind, I've read your blog for a while but haven't commented; I love the catnip socks! Will look forward to seeing the pattern, I might just have some WYS in my stash........all best, Sarah

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    1. Hello Sarah, it's lovely to see you! WYS is really lovely to knit so it's worth hunting round in your stash for it! xx

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  2. Hi, I already have your book which is fabulous but I really fancy attempting the cat nip socks pattern. Will it available on your blog? Thank you

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    1. No, it won't be available on my blog as the pattern is going to a new home along with the socks, but I should be able to tell you where you will be able to get it once I have the information! xx

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  3. I read an article recently about chickens and the Araucana is the only one to lay blue eggs like that and if other chickens lay them it is because they have Araucana genes! Beautiful chickens and eggs!

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    1. I'm starting to think that I need to ask if I can see this chicken next time I go to buy some eggs! I don't know anything about the variety of chickens that lay the eggs we buy, I just know they're really nice eggs :-) xx

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    2. Hi there....I live in France but when I was visiting family in England I bought some of these blue eggs in Morrison's Supermarket.....they were lovely but they said they were Cotswold Legbar on the box!

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  4. I have never seen a blue chicken egg, how fascinating! I understand your daughter's disappointment, plain normal on the inside just doesn't cut it. Wishing you a happy Easter weekend x

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    1. It was a first for us too! I'm not sure how keen any of us would have been to eat blue scrambled egg, though, no matter how appropriate it would seem given the shell :-) Happy Easter to you too! xx

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  5. Happy easter to you and your family. Your weekend sounds very similar to mine. I'm making my 7 year old daughter a pair of socks at the moment and also enjoying the garden. Aren't we blessed? X

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  6. Loved the photo of your lawn. It looks a bit like mine but remember birds like the moss for their nests. Your knitting is so perfect, I am ashamed of what mine looks like.

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    1. I hadn't thought about the birds taking the moss for their nests but of course you're right as I've found moss-lined nests before now. I have had a lot of practice at knitting socks and they've also been blocked which always hides a multitude of sins - I am sure that you're just being too critical of your own knitting! xx

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  7. Hi Happy Easter, I must get back to knitting socks again. I tried first with double pins then moved on to 2 small length circular needles (one for front, one for the back). I've put a pair I'm making on hold to do attic 24 Moorland blanket and other things.
    Does your book have several patterns in please? I must look into how you knit yours, I think I read you started with dpns and then moved to a circular.
    The lawn, all the best with that, we bought a second hand electric scarifier not sure of spelling (possibly Black and Decker). The hopper fills quickly but basically rips out the moss, it's not a quick job but you can use the moss for hanging baskets.
    Happy Easter
    Cathy x

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    1. My book has the pattern for the basic 4ply sock and the 6ply sock, both of which can be used with the Sockalong tutorials. I do start off on DPNs and then transfer to the short circular because I find it easier to do that (and it's especially easier for newbies), although there's no reason why you couldn't join into the round straight away if you wanted to. You can find all the Sockalong tutorials at www.winwickmum.blogspot.com/p/sockalong.html and all the patterns at www.winwickmum.blogspot.com/p/free-patterns.html. Our patch of mossy grass isn't too big and we don't have a scarifier so I'm hoping it won't be too big a job with a rake! xx

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  8. A very Happy Easter to you! I've just discovered your blog as I crochet not knit. However, I've been ruminating about socks ever since you taught Lucy how to knit them… yes a long time ago now! I've bought the DPNs and some sock yarn, and think I need your book too! I have knitted (for my boys YEARS ago) but have NO idea how to go about the socks, I just know I have to do it. I love the Sherbert Fizz colour way but I must use the yarn I bought, or I shall develop a yarn stash the size of my fabric stash! I am full of trepidation re starting these socks - but I just have to do it because I love the stripes sp much! Wish me luck! SO enjoying your blog too, now that I am "almost" a knitter!

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    1. Hello Lynne, it's lovely to see you and I wish you a very Happy Easter as well! You can find all the Sockalong tutorials at www.winwickmum.blogspot.com/p/sockalong.html (or click the yellow "Join the Sockalong" picture in the top right of the page) and there are instructions for DPNs as well as for circular needles. The book has the same information but is set out differently by needle type rather than by sock section. I'm sure you're going to love knitting socks - I know there are an awful lot of crocheters who knit socks now! :-) xx

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  9. Love the socks, pretty and feminine. My book should arrive this week I can't wait. I would like to encourage Lynne in comments above to knit socks. I also found your blog when following Lucy and was inspired to knit socks. I have nearly finished my 4th pair. I think a warning should come with the pattern, 'Beware' Knitting socks is addictive. Cheers and Happy Easter from Australia. Lenore

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  10. Hello Christine,
    I've been drawn into the sock knitting world after seeing Lucy knit them - seems a lot of us have been caught that way! I'm on my second pair and have decided I like self-striping yarn. I use some lovely wooden Knitpro DPNs with metal tips but thought about a wee short circular like yours. Where do you get them from, and do you find the metal cold or hard on your hands? I'm coming up to the UK later in the year and plan on doing some shopping :) I'm also keen to pick up a skein or two of local sock yarn - what would you recommend? I think WYS is on the list after seeing your pink socks.

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  11. Lovely post, hope you've had a happy Easter

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  12. The long Easter weekend with two bank holidays is perfect for getting jobs crossed off the list, we (the royal we here as I'm afraid I left it all to Mick) got some decorating done. How pretty that blue egg is, no need to dye Easter eggs when they're naturally that colour. I've just picked up my very first ball of WYS yarn, I've gone for the Mallard colourway for a pair of socks for Daniel but seeing all those pretty pinks in your post has got me wanting something more girly now, I can feel a shopping spree coming on.

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  13. Hellebore, mini eggs, socks.... you could have been living here Christine this weekend lol.
    Our local Waitrose stocks Cotswold Old Legbar eggs, you get 6 blue ones in a box - delicious!
    Have a lovely week with little daughter off school.
    xxx

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  14. Hi Christine
    I have just finished my first ever pair of socks. Thanks for your fantastic book, your pattern writing and pictures made what I thought would be impossible for me into something quite simple! Unfortunately for my bank manager I am now addicted! I have searched everywhere on the internet to find out how much yarn is needed to make contrasting heels, toes and cuffs but with no luck. I have been given some 5 gram minis but thy look to small. Can you help please?
    Thanks

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    1. Hi Sarah, that's a really good question and one that I don't have an exact answer for, I'm afraid. I didn't weigh my yarn before starting my contrast socks, although I've weighed the sock that I'm working on and a cuff and 25 rounds is 7g which suggests that you'd get one cuff out of one of your 5g minis. Leave it with me and I'll see if I can find something more exact for you - I didn't want you to think that I hadn't see your comment :-) xx

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    2. OK .. I've asked your question in the Winwick Mum Knit n Natter Facebook group and the general consensus there is that you're going to need a total of about 20g for your heels, toes and cuffs so if you've got 4 mini skeins then you're fine. Obviously, it will depend on the size of your sock and your tension but it seems that amount will be about right. Are you on Facebook? If so and you'd like to join the Knit n Natter group, then you'd be very welcome! Just search for Winwick Mum and you'll find us :-) xx

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  15. Many thanks Christine that's a great help x

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