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.