We're having the most gorgeous weather at the moment. The sky is a clear and cloudless blue, with a depth and intensity that you don't seem to get in summer.
Not photoshopped. (I have no clue how to do such a thing, anyway.)
But it is not spring yet, not really. Looking across the river valley, the trees are still bare and there is no green in the landscape.
We've been busy in the garden, though. It is much too soon for most planting out - the temperature was down to minus 4 last night - but we've been preparing the ground, and planning.
Last year was our first attempt at growing vegetables. We tried tomatoes, which were a resounding success, much to our surprise. I've still got several bags in the freezer. So, tomatoes again this year. I've started them from seed again in little propagators on the windowsill of the conservatory.
This year we're going to try growing salad leaves, runner beans, and onions as well. I've started some rocket and mixed lettuces from seed in the conservatory, and I've set out the onions, which is possibly a bit daft, but we'll see what happens.
Garden herbs go without saying - well, almost. The chives, the mint, and the parsley are well established in their pots, and are coming up already. Coriander and basil don't last through the winter, and I planted out some seeds yesterday.
The only problem we are having at the moment is the neighbourhood cats. Now that Lucy is no longer with us, the local cats visit our garden and leave little deposits behind, if you follow me. This is most annoying and unpleasant. What repels cats? Apart from dogs, of course....?
Knitting has consisted almost entirely of the Firestarter sock, which is excellent fun to knit. I can recommend the pattern - Yarnissima knows what she is about. This is a free pattern, as well, which makes it even better. You'll find the free Ravelry download here.
These are worked from the toe up, and I love the little twisted stitch panels at the sides.
And the gusset shaping - you can see the beginning of it above. It grows out of the side cable panels so neatly.
The best thing of all is that they fit my foot with absolutely no messing about, none whatsoever. They seem to be designed with a high instep in mind. So that really is excellent.
When a pattern is as pretty as this, the fact that I don't actually need any more socks at the moment is rather beside the point, I think.