Saturday, December 17, 2011

Xmas Pudding Dash & skies 116 - 122

Well, once again I have blithely wrapped and delivered/sent some knitted gifts without taking photos of them.

Hey ho, suffice to say that knitted handwarmers, aka fingerless mitts or gloves, are always well received especially when the recipient suffers from arthritis and the gloves are knit in light-as-air mohair which is warm but not too heavy for sore hands.

Saturday was the annual Christmas Pudding Dash in the beautiful grounds of Ashburnham Place. This was the 6th running of the event and I've done it 4 times now and each time in fancy dress to get into the festive spirit.

Here's the before picture (notice the slippers!). Sorry but I can't get it to flip the right way up for some reason.

Here's the after photo, taken back at home.

I don't know what my time was as I didn't bother with my Garmin - sometimes races are just for fun!

The medal is in the shape of a Christmas tree and I love it. Last year it was a snowflake.

Now for some more skies:

12th December

13th December

14th December

15th December

16th December

17th December

18th December

Monday, December 12, 2011

Skies 110 -115 and cake

Why cake?

Well, I received an eagerly awaited email from that nice Lord Coe about the Olympics.

Unfortunately it didn't tell me that I would be carrying the Olympic flame which was rather disappointing. Sadly, Dione didn't get through either so neither of us will be carrying the flame for dementia which is a shame because we could have gained a lot of publicity from it for the charity.

So the only thing to do was to bake a cake (well, I did actually consider the wine option as well). Chocolate and orange with cream cheese and chocolate icing and filling. Jolly nice it was too!

Now I've really got to finalise my fund-raising events for 2012 in a slightly different way. Hmmmmmmmmm.

6th December

7th December

8th December

9th December

10th December

11th December

Monday, December 5, 2011

Running rejection - but there's always knitting and crafting!

Well I didn't make it into the select crew of the Runner's World competition. No surprise there! I still felt a bit crestfallen though.

My running is going remarkably well at the moment and all the speedwork I did for the Liverpool marathon seems to have made a difference to my general ploddiness (I know it isn't a real word but it should be as it describes my running perfectly).

Knitting wise it's mostly secret stuff for Christmas although I have finally picked up my poor neglected Oregon cardigan at last and am about 4 inches down the second sleeve. About time too - actually it's almost exactly 2 years since I abandoned it because it reminded me of Mike being rushed into hospital. Now I'm back into it I'm really enjoying it as I'd forgotten how much I enjoy Fair Isle

There is one thing to show though - this little scarf made in Artesano alpaca which is a lovely snuggly yarn.

I had a competition for those people who have supported my fund-raising each year since I ran my first marathon in 2004. As I was trying to beat my marathon best time this year I asked them to guess my best time for 2011 and the person who guessed closest to my best time would get a scarf of their choice knitted by me.

My best time was a dismal 5:03 and the person who won was a lovely lady I've never met but who sends a cheque for ARUK each year and she chose a scarf like one I knitted several years ago. She really liked the yarn I'd used and asked for the same colourway. Thankfully I found it on the internet.

Now for something I've wanted to have a go at for ages - felting.

Mike and I went to a local art show recently and I saw Angela Dewar's work and liked it a lot. I saw she was doing day courses in felting for beginners and so I just had to try it. The original course was for a maximum of 10 people and was to be held in a hall in Sevenoaks which is quite a long way from home so I was more than happy when Angela had to cancel that and opt for groups of 2 people in her studio at home.

When we were greeted by Angela and treated to lovely mince pies and coffee upon arrival it was obviously going to be a good day.

First Angela showed us some examples of felting and I love the way she incorporates embroidery into her work. Then it was our turn to play - what fun!

First we created a piece of 'pre-felt'. I chose just 2 colours and had the idea that I would applique a heart on it.

This turned out to be an excellent idea as Angela then showed us how to cut out and insert felt into the flat piece. The heart is made by combining red and orange strands to give a subtle shaded effect.

Then I needle-felted another heart into the middle of the red heart.

I can see that this is a very addictive craft and I can't wait to experiment with it.

These photos show both side of the finished felt and I'm having difficulty deciding which side should be the front as I love both of them in different ways.

Now they are fully dry I'm going to experiment with some surface embroidery.

This quick project involves layering wool and metallic ribbon and is designed to be made into a cuff.

I love the way the ribbon creates a crinkly effect but I won't make it into a cuff for myself as my arms are too short and chubby.

Perhaps it could be a wall-hanging?

In this final piece Angela encouraged us to incorporate other items into the felt and I really love this idea.

I've used a strand of novelty yarn, just wiggled around and a snippet of coarse string mesh secured in place with a few strands of a lighter wool.

I cant wait to embroider this piece using bold colours.

We had such a lovely day and Angela treated us to a gorgeous lunch of homemade soup and bread. It must have been good as I told Mike that Angela's bread was a good as, if not maybe even better than my own and that doesn't happen very often!

Last but not least we have sky 109.

What a lovely apricot glow.