Tuesday, 18 February 2014


Few things on the go at the moment

1. Never ending socks.  These purple socks have been lurking in my handbag for ages. They were intended to be a birthday pressie for a work pal but that has long gone by and so the sense of urgency has gone too.... naughty knitter. I need to pull my socks up (did you see what I did there?)
Never ending socks

2. Sweater for Big Girl. Now this is progressing nicely. I'm using a new yarn by King Cole called popsicle which is slubby and bumpy looking. 
Sweater WiP
I really liked the look of it and even went with the colour way on the pattern.  It's for Big Girl but I think Little Girl has her eyes on it too on account of the pinkness.

2. Baby Blanket. Another impulse project. Saw this knitted up at Sheila's Woolshop and thought it was gorgeous. As it happens a work colleague is expecting and the baby flavour is unknown so I thought this pattern in a stylish silver would be great whatever gender the baby turns out to be. It's instructions only, no chart, so there is a heck of a lot of counting which makes this a bit trickier than I thought. I have to take my time and pay attention to avoid mistakes. Really must learn how to count!
Baby Blanket in progress
Close up of pattern

Half term hanging out in the shadows

Blessed with another break in the incessant rain the girls and I headed out into Padiham on foot for a change. A lovely sunny day again.  Best not get too used to this because it probably won't last too long. Lots of shadows today. 
Massive puddles beginning to disappear hopefully 
Blue skies at last
A rare traffic-free moment
Fallen trees by the river
Shadows on the railway bridge
House shadows on the houses
Our shadows
Lovely. Let's hope we have some decent weather in the spring.

Grizedale Forest

My biggest race so far is coming up. A trail half marathon on the 23rd Feb in Grizedale Forest.

So far I have only run in a couple of 10k races. Rivington in November and then the East Lancashire Hospice 10k race in Great Harwood. Both went ok but it's time to move up a notch.10k is 6.2 miles and the half marathon is a little over double the distance at 13.1 miles. I have been upping my long runs and even managed 21 miles a couple of weeks ago so I am confident that I can get around the course.

The forecast for Sunday was excellent - a promised jewel of a day amid the rainiest winter on record - definitely not to be wasted. A picnic was packed and we headed up to Grizedale forest for a walk and a chance to check out the race route as well. Plus we had just got the girls all kitted out for winter walks so it was about time we road tested it all!
Fully kitted out for winter walking
It was glorious. Sunny and dry with fabulous views of snow topped lakeland peaks.
Fabulous view in Grizedale Forest
Just heavenly
Came across one or two random signs. Amusing but incomprehensible....
There was nothing to look down at - we were on the flat!
Unless it means keep looking at that spectacular view!
Err... your guess is as good as mine
We managed to cut a corner and only did 10 miles instead of the full 13 but I don't think the girls were too upset about that. This was the first long walk in quite a while so there was a fair amount of moaning and complaining going on!

A brilliant day out with awesome views, brilliant weather and a respite from the gloom of January.  Just hope we get similar weather on Sunday for the race. Fingers crossed.

January, sick and tired, you've been hanging on me

Oh it was just a big old washout.  It just seemed like a constant barrage of rain and storms.  At least I am fortunate enough to live at the top of a hill so no flooding around these parts unlike the poor folk down in Somerset and the South West.

On the plus side, I did make a few bits and pieces;

Ripple crochet scarf - present for a work colleague
Slouchy socks for my mum
Groovy Girlfriend Earwarmer  also for my mum
Birthday socks for Big Girl's Friend "E"
Myboshi hats for the girls with MASSIVE pompoms!
It was that rainy and miserable.  We didn't get out anywhere in January.

Did go along to the Lakeland 50 recce/night run though.

Total miles running: 71.4
Total Hiking: 14.89

Thursday, 6 February 2014

A new sensation

It’s time to ‘fess up and face the facts. It’s no secret that knitting and I have been growing apart over the last year, the lack of posting on here is evidence of that, so it’s time to own up. There is a new pastime in my life. An exciting and adventurous one that is hogging all my spare time and keeping me away from the needles and the hooks. Don’t get me wrong, I still love knitting and crochet but I just can’t stay away from this new passion. It’s not the knitting and crochet….. it’s me.

A bit of background. Knitting/crochet and I have been rubbing along nicely together for the last  decade.  At the beginning it was all so fresh and new, and, I might add, a little exciting as well. I couldn’t get enough. Yarn, needles, hooks, more yarn, new skills, Ravelry, more yarn, hours reading about it on the internet, more yarn… well, you get the picture.  But like most things in life, gradually the thrill died down until it was barely a flicker.  It had become a comfy, non-thinking trundle.
I gave up smoking 3 years ago and my sedentary lifestyle and middle age combined to develop the dreaded spare tyre. Oh yes middle age spread and maybe a mid-life crisis as well. Who knows… What I do know, is that I was invited to my local surgery for a health check-up (as I am now officially middle-aged)  where all my vitals were checked. All was good. Blood pressure fine, cholesterol low, blood sugar normal, even had bone density checked and that was good too. I was feeling rather pleased with myself until the doctor weighed me and the “O” word was uttered. You know the one, the one that grabs all the headlines, the one that is an impending health disaster for the western world. Yep, she told me that I was OBESE!

I was horrified. Something needed to be done. I moaned and groaned and whined about it. I got upset and I got a little bit downhearted about it. Then my plain-talking, no-nonsense husband got fed-up with my constant harping and suggested that I put on my big-girl pants and do something about it. So I had a bit of a think and the 100 mile challenge began.  January 2013 – walk 100 miles in a month. I walked a little bit most days and threw in a few longer walks when I could.120 miles in the bag! I was so pleased with myself and as an added bonus my spare tyre was beginning to shrink. My waistbands were slightly looser.  I was feeling better.
Walking is quite time consuming and so himself suggested running as an alternative. Running! Me? Seriously? It wasn’t something I’d ever really considered. I was full of excuses. My knees are bad, my boobs are too big, I’ll look silly, I am too old…etc. It was a lot like the excuses you come up with when you are thinking about giving up smoking ( I LIKE/ENJOY smoking, it calms me down, I am bad-tempered if I can’t smoke, I won’t be told what to do….etc). Hmmm… if I can overcome those feeble excuses then surely I could overcome my running excuses. So I did some research and discovered C25k.

C25k or, couch to 5 kilometres, is an introductory running program. It takes around 8 weeks to complete.  You begin with a mix of walking and running and progress until you can run for half an hour by the end of the program. Feb 2013 and I began the program. It’s a nice easy start.  I think most folk could do it. I stuck with it for the full program. 3 times a week following the plan – I repeated some weeks if I needed to -  and then before I knew it I could actually run for half an hour.  Without stopping. Blimey…. I was an actual, bona fide runner. Me! Yes, me! Oh and by this time I was over a stone lighter as well.
I was growing rather fond of this running malarkey. It was beginning to fill my mind with possibilities and I found myself looking forward to our sessions. I was beginning to spend internet time pouring over running gear, blogs and maps instead of Ravelry and Knitty. It made me feel a bit guilty… forlorn half knitted socks made me feel ashamed of myself. Even dark nights/mornings and rain didn’t deter me….it was another excuse to indulge my running habit by researching and buying a headtorch and waterproofs. It was all lumens and battery life and hydrostatic heads and taped seams…. What happened to merino and sock yarn and Kitchener stitch!  Argghhhh

And now, it’s getting a little out of hand. Races. But not just any races, oh no! Parkruns and 10ks just weren’t enough for me…. I have my eyes on ultra distances. A 50 miler is coming up in the summer and I have entered. I will be taking part in the UTLD The Lakeland 50. A 50 mile race through the Lake District. I am ridiculously excited by this and looking forward to it immensely. Training is underway and I will be doing a half marathon race in Grizedale Forest at the end of the month. Got a full trail marathon planned for May and will try and fit in a few runs around the Yorkshire 3 Peaks as well before the big day in July.
Grinning like a madwoman even after 21 miles!
So there you find me…I am still knitting/crocheting but at a much lesser rate. Something I fit in when I’m not out running.