Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Pre-Christmas catch-up

I'm really struggling to get back into blogging at the moment as it's always been my happy place and there really isn't much happiness around just now and even my positivity is feeling rather drained. So to try to inject some joy into things I'll attempt to do an update of allsorts, in no particular order.

Here's a selection of some of the virtual running events I've completed since April. There are several more medals still sitting in our quarantine zone as we have got into the habit of quarantining all letter and parcels, just to be on the safe side. It's a real mish-mash of events from multi-day events lasting for a month, marathons & ultra-marathons run all in one go and ultra marathon events spread over a number of days or weeks.

I've really enjoyed the sense of community in the long-distance ultras. It all started with a Centurion event during the first lockdown when I ran 50 miles over 5 days to earn the wooden medal on the left. The next one I did was the West Highland Way which was 95 miles completed over 7 days but with no bling this time!

I had great fun doing the M25 Vultra (ie 'Virtual' ultra) which was Rik's excellent idea for us to cover the actual length of the M25 motorway in our own respective areas. That was 117 miles which I completed in 23 hours over a couple of weeks but my favourite of his was the 'Lockdown Vultra' which he named 28 days later, after the last lockdown, and I managed to cover my highest monthly mileage ever, 424.86 mile, claiming my place as 2nd lady!

This was a favourite too; LeJog ie completing the infamous journey from Land's End to John o'Groats, which was a  total of 874 miles. You had 12 months in which to complete the distance and I managed to sneak in at 12.5 weeks so was very pleased with that!

Each time you logged your mileage you could see yourself progressing along the map and if you clicked on each section you would see photos of the area you were passing through:

They sent virtual postcards along the way to highlight interesting features we'd be passing in the real world and that made it interesting:

When we'd finished we got a nice tee shirt and a medal:

Shelley doesn't look very impressed though!

It was a fun event with many people, of all abilities, taking on the challenge either walking or running and there was a great community on Facebook.

I then went on to complete another of their events, crossing the distance of the Pennine Way along with the Centurion 100 mile event for which I received a small version of their real-life buckle. I was supposed to running their South Downs Way 100 mile event this year as part of my fund-raising but like so many other events it was cancelled.

In knitting news I've finished and blocked Aubade and it's gorgeous, so light but warm. I'd decided to finish the hem and sleeves with an i-cord edging but after I'd done the first sleeve I found I'd made it too tight so I had to undo it and make it looser. I did this by inserting my needle into the row before the start of the i-cord and just snipped it off and started again. It was surprisingly simple to do and I'm so glad I did as it's perfect now.

Right now I'm swatching for  'Snowy Forest' from Laine magazine 10 using a pairing of Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply, one of my favourite yarns, and Rowan Kidsilk Haze from my stash:

I'm quite excited by this latest rendering from Laine as there are several things I will definitely be making including Skog (using a gorgeous green yarn from Biches et Buches), Breukelen & Dyyni. All of those should keep me occupied during the latest lockdown - we're in Tier 3 here in East Sussex and I suspect we'll be in lockdown for a long time now.

It feels rather strange that I haven't crocheted anything this year, especially as I'm a much more proficient crocheter than knitter! I just didn't feel like it.

Today I've been busy making Pannetone along with some Seville orange marmalade, which is a tradition for the day before Christmas Eve and we will be sampling them tomorrow. The pannetone is in the oven now.

Orange peel ready for marmalade

Chopped, candied peel for the pannetone

A homemade collar to to encourage it to rise well and protect it as it bakes

I still have many photos of Nature and wildlife to upload but I'll save them for next time and leave you with a photo of my beautiful orchid, Dendrobium Nobile, which I haven't managed to kill yet - I don't have a good track record with orchids! Plus the Xmas lights on one of the houses in our village that I took when doing one of my early morning runs.

Stay safe everyone.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Making a start!

I've been feeling a bit meh today, not settling to anything so decided I'd start catching up on the blog at last! 

Here are 2 of the many projects I've completed in recent months:

Saitama by Martn Storey I fell in love with this pretty little lace cardigan as soon as I saw it on Pinterest. In my first post earlier in the year I was already well into the project and it really didn't take too long to finish after I'd memorised the charts. Please excuse the photos as Mike wasn't around when I decided I had to do this!

This is the closest to the actual colour, a pretty pastel pink

I love the heart motif and I found these pretty little buttons with irridescent colours at Tangled Yarn but I think they're out of stock now.

It's a perfect fit and so warm despite being very light in weight.

Next we have this gorgeous 'Ramble' jumper by Irene Lin and had a kit available and I just had to have it!

It's knit using Hudson Worsted which is a gorgeous yarn to work with; so soft and easy on the fingers and very, very warm. It was lovely to work with some thicker yarn for a change and I completed it in less than 2 weeks.

There are some nice details around the v-neck to keep me interested and they were repeated around the hem.

I really love the flared cuffs with their pretty pattern

On the needles at present I've got Aubade from Pompom which I'm knitting to try and use up my huge stash of pink kidsilk haze!

I found it a rather irritating knit to begin with as the start, at the neckline, was fiddlesome with such thin yarn but once the yoke progressed I enjoyed it a bit more. I've just got one more sleeve to go then I'll think about how I'll finish the hem/neckline/sleeve edges where I'm thinking about adding an i-cord edges as they seem to be curling up as it's so lightweight. 

It's very pretty though and looks great when worn - I've been trying it on throughout to get the length right as some versions I've seen have been either too long or too short and not very flattering for a fuller figure!

Shelley inspecting!

Finally for now, a bit of embroidery for Christmas. 

Mum and I always used to make a few new decorations for the Christmas tree each year and I've carried on that tradition. I spotted this sweet little kit from Nancy Nicholson, who lives in a village nearby, and ordered it to help pass  some more hours in lockdown.

They're made of 2 pieces of felt with a rubber insert sandwiched inside and you can decorate them however you like, one side or both, and there are some suggestions included along with some basic stitch techniques.

Wherever you are in the world, at this strange and scary time, I hope that you are safe and well and please take extra care as this virus is still not under control.