The days are definitely getting longer.  Spring will soon be here.  My evidence?  Well, our daffodils are starting to push through the cold earth, and today I was able to take the dogs out for a quick run at 4.30pm and it was still light.  Those extra few, precious minutes of light each day really do make a difference.   The sky was quite spectacular this evening.  This view is looking towards Lewis and the Minch.



The number of different shades of blue is remarkable, and I know I could never capture all the subtle differences in hue in my yarn, but I may just have to have a go!

The light has been magical the last couple of days.  We've had moody views as in the top photo, but yesterday the sunlight was just stunning, and I couldn't resist photographing the old church ruin in Stoer which was bathed in sunlight:



When you live in the north light becomes so important.   Many of the festivals during winter include lots of light in some form or another.  At Hogmanay in Stonehaven they have the Fireballs procession, and the last Tuesday in February each year sees the Shetland festival of Up-helly-aa.  This festival is on our list of "must do's", but sadly not this year.  But the blazing torchlight procession and the final highlight of the festival must be spectacular, although I can't help feeling a little sad at the thought of seeing a boat burn.  You can see some great photographs from a past up-helly-aa here.  Even in our own small community lights are significant.  The view from our kitchen window is towards the small village of Stoer, and we often comment on how imporant it is to see the lights on in houses of folk that we know.  We fret when we see a particular house in darkness - we wonder if all is as it should be, or if the owner is simply away.  And we have often been told by villagers that it is lovely to look towards our home and see our lights.   It shows a presence of life, and in communities such as ours that is vital.

Now, I know I've been saying that work has been continuing on my February Lady Sweater, and here, at last, is the proof.



She's not had much wear yet, as I still need some buttons for the front, but I do like her.  She needs a bit of softening up in the wash, and I will do that soon.

Err, what's that?  You want to see the front?  Oh well, okay:



Sorry, not a great photo.  The wind was a freezing cold and I wasn't really willing to pose for more than one picture!  Although it is meant to have a 3/4 length sleeve, I think if I were to make this again I would extend the sleeves to make them a little longer.  I really enjoyed making this, and it was a great introduction to "top down" knitting.  And the best bit?  No sewing up!  I can highly recommend this aspect of knitting top down.  Or alternatively, knitting in the round.  A pattern that is on my list for the future is one that has been written by Kate over at Needled.  Unfortunately I don't think the shape is quite for me, but I do know someone who is rather fond of owls ....