Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Deadline missed

I really did intend to do a blog during February but somehow life, and events in general, just got in the way and so I didn't.

So now we have the most dreadful situation. We were just starting to get used to living with Covid, although I know it's going to be with us even though all the restrictions have been lifted, and then Putin decided to invade the Ukraine. 

What, really? 

The images we see in the News are so harrowing and unbearably sad. Those poor people. The scenes are unbelievable. Women and children fleeing across the borders, some carrying terrrified animals, whilst their men folk head off to defend their country with no training. Ukrainian women and children tying fabric to netting as camouflage to send to soldiers on the frontline.

Children asking what it's all about. They should not have to worry about where they will sleep at night or when they will get some food. 

So many sad stories.

I've borrowed this story from Facebook:

My heart goes out to everyone affected by this and my thoughts and prayers are with those affected.

A photographer took this beautiful photo of clouds over Kviv that look as if they've formed into the shape of a Guardian Angel for the people:

I have a folder full of photos of craft, running, Nature etc to upload onto here but I really don't have the stomach for it right now.

God bless everyone affected by this and please know that the thoughts and prayers of the whole civilised world are with you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

January halfway!

Oh dear, how did I reach the halfway point without a post? Shameful! I'm not going to running events at the moment as Mike is unwell, poor love, and I daren't risk bringing back Omicron. Thankfully not Covid related but we have had countless telephone conversations with the doctor and are off to hospital next week and hoping to get some useful help. I've actually cancelled all my events up until March, including my weekly yoga session, so we'll have to see how things develop. 

In the meantime I'm continuing to run every day, completing virtual marathons when possible and doing JOGLE, the reverse journey I did from Lands End to John o'Groats, so plenty to occupy me. Plus I've just started another wave of the Six Pack Revolution to keep up my aerobic fitness.
On the knitting front I've been swatching for a cardigan for Mike using Rowan Felted Tweed aran. From the comments on Ravelry there have been many mistakes/issues with the written details and the sizing so I've trawled through all the threads and made notes of things to watch out for! 

For myself, there's Ponderosa from Wool & Pine and I've chosen the most gorgeous shade of deep aqua (see the swatch below).
I may regret those choices when I've been cabling for several weeks!!!

Shelley the Superstar

Shelley, our little media babe, is at it again. I had an email from Supakit a few weeks ago asking if they could feature Shelley in their press release about the Supakit Academy. Of course we agreed because they've been so helpful in getting her used to training on a leash.

I helped write the press release with regard to Shelley and how the leash training has enriched her life - you may remember that she was destined to be an indoor cat when we adopted her. Whilst she has a happy life indoors, with plenty of space to run around/climb/play, I do like to take a 15 minute walk outside with her on the leash each day because I think the experience gives her a chance to explore new places. I've tried taking her out for longer periods but she really isn't comfortable and if she hears a car along the lane she'll dash back inside dragging me behind her!

We also had to take some photos of her on the leash so here are a few of the shots (showing off my Skog sweater too):

I'm still busy experimenting with Macrame and find it relaxing and frustrating in equal measure - the frustration is because I don't always get it right! When it goes to plan it's great fun:


Friday, December 31, 2021

New Year, new goals

I'm still rather uncertain about committing to any running/fund-raising goals until I see what happens in the New Year - will there be another lockdown or perhaps more restrictions? We'll soon find out! I've been staying away from large running events for the past few weeks, just in case, but am itching to get back out there. In the meantime I've signed up for another virtual challenge namely John o'Groats to Land End which is the reverse of the one I did during the very first lockdown. It will encourage me to get my act together and get out there for a run even if I don't feel like it. It's a case of use it or lose it, especially as my arthritis has taken on a more determined attack in the last few weeks which is rather tedious. That reminded me of some great service I had in the week before Christmas: I was searching for bargains in running shoes and came across Footway (www.footway.com) which is based in Sweden. I found exactly the shoes I'd been looking for and even with a £14 postage cost they were at least £40 cheaper than anywhere in the UK! Sounds too good to be true doesn't it and I kept everything crossed in the hope that they'd arrive in one piece/not get lost/be the wrong size. But the most exciting thing was that I ordered them at 2:30pm on day one and they arrived via DPD at 11.30am the next day! Now that is fantastic service when you think about the trouble we have in the UK with Hermes deliveries!!!
Mike spotted this and it made me chuckle, although the shortage of drivers is a cause for concern!
The Shift cowl is complete and blocking then ready for joining the neck. I love the jewel colours of the yarn mix. Next up will be a new cardigan for Mike.
Macrame Time I've finally made a start on my journey into Macrame after many years of dithering and it's actually good fun. Of course I expected to be an expert straight away and it turned out I wasn't! I spent ages trying to get the hang of the simplest of knots, put it to one side and then went back the next day and grasped it immediately, thank goodness. This was my first attempt at a Square knot which formed the Basis of a heart coaster I'd chosen to make.
It seemed to take ages for my brain to get the rhythm of the knots as when I followed the instructions in my book the instructions weren't making much sense. However, when I went back to it the next day I formed my own words and commands and all of a sudden it sank it (thank goodness!!!). Of course, Shelley helped enormously! So here we have my heart coaster and a little hanging ornament.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Skies and birds

I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas. Ours was quiet as usual but as a change we did a Zoom call with Mike's sister and her family rather than the usual phone call. It took a bit of fiddling around before it got set up OK, thanks to Mike, and it was so nice to actually see them all in the flesh. I'm still taking photos of the skies and was very excited when 2 winter visitors arrived on the patio - a Pied Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail most likely taking a Winter visit down South to our slightly warmer clime than Scotland where most of them live in large flocks. Such sweet little birds!
Now for some more skies:

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Nearly Christmas!

I still love Christmas and always get excited when we decorate the tree even though there's the threat of Omicron looming large and threatening to spoil things.
Unfortunately one set of lights packed in, an illuminated decoration died and Shelley pulled a few off for good meaure - hence the gap! Thankfully we found an old string of white lights and added them to cover the bottom section. I finished the Skog jumper, with help from Shelley of course, and I'm really pleased with how it's turned out:
The collar was knitted twice the desired height and then folded over and stitched on the inside:
My long-stemmed pins were perfect for this. I didn't block the whole sweater again and just steamed the seams to slacken them:
My Christmas project is the Shift cowl by Andrea Mowry https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-shift
I rummaged through my stash and found 4 skeins of yarn I'd bought at Ally Pally a few years ago to make a small neck shawl but never actually made it! I'm enjoying working on this as a nice change from stocking stitch in 4ply! I've also been getting my craft room in order and in my rummagings found this piece of a mohair sweater I'd started but decided I didn't like so I've unwound the yarn and sorted it into balls ready to be repurposed.
I've also decided that I'm going to have a go at Macrame at long last. Mum used to do it in the 1970s but I never tried it for some reason so it's about time I had a go.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Bits and Bobs

I'm trying desperately not to sulk but not succeeding - I'm on the injury bench with a shin splint (a swelling in the lower part of the leg near to the ankle) and it's jolly painful just walking for more than a couple of miles let alone trying any running which is out of the question until the swelling goes down. This means I may have to miss a marathon at the weekend where 1 of my running chums will be completing her 200th marathon. I've iced, stretched, compressed and rested but it's still giving me jip after 10 days so it's really not looking hopeful for the weekend. To make matters worse, we've just done some video clips for Alzheimer's Research UK for their 'Gifts in Wills' campaign. I've been involved in this many times before but this is the first time we've done it at home with Mike filming me and OMG the giggling that ensued - I could not string a sentence together without jumbling up my words!!! We completed it eventually but it was not my finest hour. On the knitting front, I'm just finishing off the collar of my Skog sweater and it's really lovely. Here are a few snippets: Joining the pieces together was much easier than I thought as I used the extra long pins to match up the selvedges of the sleeves:
Then stitched along the line:
It formed a neat seam on the inside with no hint of it on the outside:
I tried it on and it's just how I hoped it would look so very pleased. I'll style it and show it on here when it's finished blocking. Next up is the gorgeous Ponderosa sweater from Wool and Pine. I knew I'd have to make it as soon as I saw it but couldn't find any appropriate yarn in my stash (yes, I know that's a load of nonsense but I really wanted a blue similar to the Pigment and Ply yarn shown in the photo). Thankfully I spotted this gorgeous Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply on Lovecrafts and that was it, straight into the basket without a care!!!
Oh my goodness it's soooo pretty. Then I finally bit the bullet and treated myself to a yarn swift and a ball winder. What fun - gone are the days of Mike holding a hank in his hands and me winding it into a ball. It's so quick and easy!
I apologise for the strange formatting but Blogger doesn't seem to pay any attention ot paragraph breaks any more and so everything gets bundled together! Stay safe everyone.