Not knitting, but walking

I’ve had a hand breakthrough – no, I’ve been good, I’m not knitting whole shawls in an evening or spinning an entire fleece in three hours. In fact, I’ve knitted two lines and looked at my wheel in passing. Next week.

But my triumph is a knitter’s triumph rather than a knitting one. I can do up my walking boots properly! I’ve spent 22 months unable to tie a knot strongly enough for a boot to stay on most of the time, so I just had to set off for a walk in celebration. And in the drizzle, but who cares? Walking in woods is why we have drizzle.

And yes, they were damp. But that’s good for the wildflowers, and in a couple of weeks these woods will be full of bluebells. Some are already out, together with the white sparkles of wood sorrel:

and as usual I couldn’t resist collecting colours (turquoise, ho, ho, leapt out – the influence of my last post, perhaps):

I haven’t been in the woods for a while. Mud can suck an insecure walking boot off very quickly, and idyllic though these woods can appear, they are used by quad bikers from time to time (squelch, or rather squelch times ten). Horses too, and that can really make for an interesting out-of-boot experience. And of course they are naturally damp, hence all the wonderful mosses and lichens.

I met one other person, a local dog walker – and that’s on a Bank Holiday weekend, when the local small towns are heaving and the beaches are busy despite the drizzle. And despite the lack of people the woods were, quite frankly, rowdy. It’s nesting time, which means lots of birdsong (best translated as ‘come over here if you think you’re hard enough’ or ‘mine! mine!’), and then they are next to farmland:

Well, it is early April, and you can’t get more springlike than the lambs even if they are some of the noisiest creatures around, especially if you allow for their size.

(This one is fine, it’s just practising looking pathetic. Those cute knock-kneed legs can kick and one bit right through the fingernail of a friend of mine.)

Apparently there have been complaints from people on one of the campsites nearby about the din. I like to think of it as a sort of operatic chorus, with the alto of the mums going ‘laaammbb, laaambbbb’, and the sharp soprano lambs responding ‘muuuuum, muuuum’.

Hm. Maybe I’ve been away from my knitting long enough.

Sometimes you’ve just got to scratch. Me and this lamb both.

Oh – they’re mostly Welsh Mountains on this farm, though there are some interesting crosses. I’ve had various WM cross fleeces, and they can be really lovely. In fact I have one waiting; I was going to card it with some alpaca. Hm – bet I can use the drum carder…

Have a lovely what’s left of the holiday!


14 thoughts on “Not knitting, but walking

  1. islandthreads

    glad you are continuing to improve Kate and being a good girl, your wood looks a nice place though with quad bikes it doesn’t sound so nice, isn’t there a separate bridleway for the horses, birds here can be noisy too haven’t heard many lambs yet, can’t get over campers complaining ~ where do they think their lamb chops come from??
    I enjoyed your turquiose post too, happy easter, Frances

    1. kate Post author

      Hiya Frances – I am being good (though I did have a teeny tiny spin yesterday, ahem – but after nearly two years of pain I’m not going to jeopardise anything)!

      The quad bikes are a pain in the bum but like all trends amongst the kids it will disappear soon, I hope. Maybe the horses too, as they’re a recent addition. We shall see…

      (Lambs can be quite rowdy, but this isn’t Birmingham… I sort of sympathise if you’re not used to it, but some people who bought a cottage near me as a second home – you know the type, here about six times a year for the weekend, arrive with SUV bulging with Sainsbury’s carrier bags instead of using local shops, etc etc – have complained about 1) a cockerel, and it’s not a bad one believe you me, 2) lambs, 3) a dog that barked near their gate, 4) the oil tanker making a delivery and – wait for this one – 5) a sparrowhawk that sat on their fence. They don’t speak to us locals, but they talk to each other VERY LOUDLY when they know we can hear. It’s a hoot.)

      1. islandthreads

        I would love, love, love to see a sparrowhawk on my fence!!!!!!

        they sound dreadful people and yes I know the type, one thing about being this far from the mainland you don’t get people buying for weekend retreat, most of the homes owned by people living on the mainland are locals and the house has usually been inherited, most incomers here are (thankfully) people who visit fall in love with the scenery then decide to move here and not all oldies, young families too,
        bulging with stuff from the mainland are the campervan holidaymakers which we don’t get too many of probably due to ferry costs,

        we’ve had a wet Easter too though by the sound of your comment to Lydia you’ve had it wetter than us, don’t make yourself dizzy with the spins 😉 Frances

        1. kate Post author

          We get quite a lot of sparrowhawks – you probably have something more spectacular, like sea eagles, instead! We’re also getting a lot more red kites than we used to, but I haven’t seen a peregrine for a bit. Buzzards, of course, are pretty universal. And we do have – shhhhhh – ospreys. No need to shhhh, really, there’s an RSPB centre for watching them.

          I think it’s the lack of contributing to the community that really pisses me off about second homes – well, besides the effect it has on the housing market, plus we have the language issue as must you. There are a couple of streets in one of the (picturesque) local towns which are almost entirely second homes, and like a desert most of the year – meanwhile there are local families living in caravans because they can’t afford the prices when places do come on the market.

          Mind you, having had a quick rant, there are signs of change. Some of our second homes have been sold recently, admittedly to other s-h owners, but one has gone local…

      2. islandthreads

        I hope you felt better for letting some of your feelings out Kate, I understand and at times I feel people shouldn’t be allowed to buy second homes when other people are homeless but despite the fact that the human race thinks it’s intelligent it’s pretty ignorant most of the time! the first walking holiday I took in Yorkshire I went through villages that were full of empty homes or occudied by retired people I decided then that when I finally move to somewhere rural it had to be to a mixed aged community with schools as that means children, the council wanted to close the school near me but there was sufficent protest that it is thankfully staying open, I hope the signs of change continue for the better for your area,

        no sea eagles near me but golden eagles on the moor at the back of my house though I have only once seen one and that was a young one, I mostly get sea birds and waders, lapwings, redshanks, oystercatchers and the geese, whooper swans pass through twice a year to and from Iceland, I don’t know the names of many of the birds though I look them up and try,
        hope all is still going well with your hand, Frances

        1. kate Post author

          A bit better!

          There are communities like the Yorkshire one you describe round here too – I’m sure there are in anywhere that’s beautiful / coastal. The pity of it is that while the people who buy their pretty second/retirement holiday homes want to be in somewhere that has shops, a pub, etc, their actions [en masse] are killing them off. Something like a pub isn’t sustainable if it only gets decent and reliable trade for about six weeks in the summer. Having said that, I do know of people who started with a second home, then moved full-time, with their kids. Ok, rant ends…

          Your birds sound wonderful – but golden eagles! Wow! Alas, none here, despite the name for Snowdonia in Welsh – Eryri – possibly being derived from eryr (eagle). Well, OK, some scholar proved it wasn’t, but hey. I think oystercatchers are possibly my favourite bird, but all seabirds float my boat…

          Right, now I need a walk on the beach instead of work. Rats!

  2. Lydia

    Terrific news, so glad those fingers are gaining strength and your feet can now take you safely to such beautiful places. Have you had lots of rain, I hear that the south is a bit dry….. I am off to water the pots – 34oC tomorrow…. a long, long summer…

    1. kate Post author

      £$!!!! (That’s me typing 34, but I think it conveys my reaction better than simple ’34’). Sigh….

      As I type, it is pouring down. It has been raining all night and I don’t think it’s going to let up any time soon. It is also cold and I am about to light the wood stove. Spring, HAH.

    1. kate Post author

      Thanks Del! It’s just soooooo lovely being pain free, I’ve been bouncing like the lambs. And scratching, grrrrr, but the itching means everything’s healing… sccccccrrrrrrrrrritch

      I want to take that last lamb home… what a cutie. Still, it will grow up and give me something I spin, so I suppose I will be taking it home eventually!

  3. karibu57

    Gosh, I hope you are feeling better, I mean really better, soon..but boot tying is a def. improvement.
    Have you missed me? Long and very unpleasant story but can I ask you to remove heikeknits from your blog roll as no longer exists. In progress to set up afresh and will let you know when ready.
    Loved your turquoise post…one of my all time fave colours.
    Stay calm…soon you will be knitting again 😉

    1. kate Post author

      I did miss you, and I hope everything’s OK with you – glad you’re back… blogroll sorted; just let me know (pm me on Ravelry if you wish) and I’ll reinstate you when you’re fresh, as it were.

      I’m getting there – did a couple of lines the other day and – shhhhhhh – I’ve even spun a little….

  4. karibu57

    Thanks for quick response. Had to delete myself from Ravelry too and start again, I am daisy2257 now. Can you find me please as I can’t remember everyones ravatar (should have made a note first).

    Don’t overdo spinning and knitting…must be hard though!

    1. kate Post author

      Found you on Rav – what a pain for you. Don’t overdo spinning and knitting? Don’t overdo spinning and knitting???



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