Monday, January 28, 2008

The knitting part is finished....... it's time to weave in all those pesky ends! When I started the 'Modern Quilt Wrap' I diligently wove in the ends as I did each square. Sadly this good habit didn't last very long and I soon resorted to leaving them dangling free. Never mind, with a bit of good light and determination I'll soon have them darned in. Proper photos will appear when that is finished.

On the running front, I did a very pleasant 20 miler along the lanes yesterday. It was a glorious day. I left home at 7am with the moon still in the sky, watched the sun rise, ran a few miles then returned home at 11am to finish off wallpapering my office. I was rather tired so it took some determination to do the papering, but all the climbing up and down ladders seems to have stretched my legs out and they feel really fresh today.

After my run today, it was so lovely that I dragged Mike out for a walk as soon as I got back. Sometimes you simply have to enjoy the beautiful weather when it's with you. I just had to take a photo of these little beauties who were gamboling around without a care in the world. There is something really uplifting seeing the first lambs of the year. I expect some people will be thinking about mint sauce (not me though as I'm a vegetarian!) but I think of all the lovely wool they'll produce for us knitters.

Part of our walk lead us through the pine woods and Mike took this rather moody photo. I love the darkness that envelops you in a pine wood and the pinky/amber glow of the pine needles on the ground against the blackness of the tree trunks. I've seen many modern paintings that look just like this view. Very arty!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It never rains but it pours!

What dreadful weather we've been having for the last week - torrential rain and gale-force winds. Horrid! The fields are totally waterlogged and yesterday was so bad that the horses just stayed in their field shelters all day, poor things. I even had to do my run on the treadmill, which I don't usually enjoy but there was no way I could have run outside.

Today, however, there was some respite. The wind died away and the sun shone all day. It was glorious and I treated myself to a 9 mile loop through the village and round Northiam. This is a view of Bodiam Castle from the village. You can just see a bit of water on the right of the photo and in the next one you can see more of it. This is where the River Rother has overflowed and not a photo of the Lake District! Thankfully, the sheep have been moved from these fields or they'd have been swimming!

I just had to take a photo of these 2 little beauties asleep in the hay manger whilst mum caught 40 winks herself. Aren't they adorable? They were born just after Christmas so were earlier than expected.

On the knitting front, I have only got another 6 squares to do then my Modern Quilt Wrap will be finished (well, apart from darning in hundreds of ends!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Great Outdoors

Today I was scheduled to run 15 miles and I chose to run it as a cross country route as my first marathon of the year is the Steyning Stinger in March. I ran it last year and the weather was vile for the whole 26.2 miles. Today was an appropriate training session as the ground was sodden, with flood water lying on many of the fields. The arable fields were as claggy as can be with mud that sucked one of my shoes off at one point. One footpath was totally impassable with a torrent of water cascading down it with no way of passing along the side so I had to do a 2 mile detour.

There were many stiles on the route, all of which were very slippy and it's a miracle I didn't fall over. The other problem was the wind - it was very strong but thankfully not as bad as it has been over the last week. This meant there were branches strewn all over the place and I frequently had to move them out of the way to continue along the path. On the plus side, at least it wasn't raining!

I headed out at 7:30am thinking I'd just be out for 3 hours but I didn't get home until 11:15am so was absolutely cream-crackered and spent the afternoon just sitting knitting.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Start of an Adventure

Something exciting arrived in the post this morning - my shade card from Jamieson and Smith. Just look at those colours; aren't they scrummy?!

Tinker has been helping move all the stuff out of my office as we are about to decorate so he's having a well-earned rest. Behind him you can just make out make out part of my yarn stash in a plastic box. You won't be surprised to hear that there is more!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Glorious Weekend

The weather has been lovely for most of the weekend and I extended yesterday's run to 11.5 miles instead of the 8 miles I was supposed to do. I added a cross-country loop into the middle just so I could go across the fields and soak in the views. Today I ran 12 miles in the morning and it was very slippy underfoot so I had to be extra careful. It's raining now so I'm settling down to some knitting before I have to go and feed the horses.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sold out!

Drat and double drat. I finally ordered the Oregon Cardigan kit from Virtual Yarns and received an email telling me that several key colours had sold out due to high demand (presumably following its appearance in Vogue Knitting) so they had cancelled my order. The yarns are expected back in stock in April so it looks as if I may have to wait to start my big FairIsle project.

There is another option that I had considered - Autumn Rose by Eunny Yang. Maybe this is a sign and I should go for that instead. I've just ordered a shade card from Jamieson & Smith and I already have the pattern for it in Simply Shetland 4 at Tomales Bay and I love the colours and style, although I would make the neckline less plunging (excess cleavage on show is not a good look for a lady, such as me, of a 'certain age'!!!).

No running today as it's a scheduled rest day. Tinker went out briefly earlier on and came back with a vole in his mouth which he proceeded to eat. Nature in the raw! Now he's settled in my collection of coloured carrier bags under my table.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Slogging through the snow

It wasn't that bad actually but I did my 7 miles across the fields in driving snow which I really enjoyed. There's something very satisfying about battling against the elements. Of course I can say that now I'm home, all warm and dry! The route I took lead me to Salehurst a charming hamlet nearby. At one point you pass the remains of Robertsbridge Abbey (just the refectory wall with an archway in it remains!) which is situated in the garden of a farmhouse.

My scarf has now officially been restarted and I did a couple of squares last night.

This is the cross stitch project I'm about to start. It's a cushion cover for in my office and I just love the bright, jewel-like colours. Now I've got to find my tapestry frame which is lurking in a cupboard somewhere........

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Windy Wednesday

Well, the weather today was bright but rather cold and windy so I planned an 8 mile run that took me across country and through woodland for some of the time so I was sheltered. It was lovely and bracing but rather slippy in the woods as there was lots of mud and many puddles to negotiate. Amazingly I managed not to fall over and returned home in one piece!

I totted up my mileage for 2007 and I ran 2115 miles which is nearly 400 more than 2006. I doubt that I'll run as many this year as I don't intend to do any ultras (well not so far any way...............)

This is a book I stumbled upon in a secondhand book store a few weeks ago - The Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting, published in 1961. The front cover is of no interest but what made me smile was the name of the publishers - Mills & Boon. Now you wouldn't associate them with this sort of book nowadays!

Here is a centrepiece I've just completed but haven't blocked yet and the photo below is called 'Daffodils' and I rather fancy that as a Spring project.

My patchwork scarf has come out of hiding and when I look at it I can see some of Barney's hairs woven into it from when he sat on my knee whilst I knit. It made me sad but happy too as I shall always remember him when I wear it. Now I want to get it finished so I shall be concentrating on that for the rest of this week.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year to everyone!

Here we are at the start of 2008 and it's traditional to make lots of 'resolutions' to which one struggles to adhere so I'm not going to! Instead I'm giving myself some more flexible goals and one of those is to blog more frequently and include more general stuff about what I get up to (I have so many hobbies and interests that it seems a shame to miss them out). This morning when I looked out of the bedroom window I noticed a little visitor in the horses' field - a sheep had found a way through the hedge from the adjoining field and was grazing quite happily with Esther looking on! I haven't bothered to get him back as he's in no danger and the ponies don't seem to mind him being there.

I did a pleasant 6 mile run this morning along the lanes and wished I'd taken the camera with me as I saw 2 newborn lambs. Awwwwh! I shall try to remember to take it with me in future as there's always something of interest.

I'm feeling the urge to knit again, thank goodness, but I've also got some crochet and cross stitch projects on the go so my time will be spread out as usual.

I also need to plan out my fund-raising and racing for the year. I will definitely be raising money for the Alzheimer's Research Trust again as my main charity plus there will be other individual events for different charities. I'm running the London marathon again and will most probably be doing my knitting too as the publicity was fantastic (even though actually doing it was jolly hard - the knitting that is, not the running!!!!!!!).