Getting It Done

I had one of those weeks; car trouble, kid off school sick one day, lack of focus, lack of money, wasted trip to University and then on Friday a total fail at managing to record the focus group that I was doing for my research, nothing, nada on the recorder… I did throw a wobbly briefly, but then realised with what had come before during the week I really should have expected it. I emailed the school where I did the group to ask if I could go back (I can thank goodness) and wrote down everything I could remember and then tried to let it go and stop stressing (it sort of worked, I feel ok now but I’m still annoyed about it every now and again).

Something that has been bugging me is the unfinished things that I’m making and I am finding it adds to my stress, so for the last few weeks I’ve been trying to make a dent. Anyone who has read my blog for a little while will recognise the pattern, I start everything and then I get fed up with it all laying around and try to finish everything. I have sewing projects that I want done so I can work on a quilt though. Getting out fabric for a quilt and working on it takes most of the sewing room space and I didn’t want to bury other things. First order of business was to throw out the shirt that I brought with me when I moved in the summer and have never finished, if it’s sat there that long just needing sleeves it’s not something I am dying to wear. I then hemmed one leg of a pair of school trousers that have been waiting for goodness knows how long.

I still have the fabric for my bedroom curtains sitting there. I moved about 9 months ago and bought the fabric about 7 months ago and I’ve not managed to make two rectangles…. I need to buy some curtain tape and then just get them done. I also have a pair of jeans with a rip in the inner leg that I’m contemplating how to repair, or if they’re worth repairing, and as I only put them in there last week they’re not bugging me too much.

I had some Do Good Stitches blocks to get done, I’ve made these before and found them really annoying, but this time the paper piecing went incredibly easily and they were done in about an hour, using up more bits from the scrap basket.

Do Good Stitches Blocks
As I was all set up for paper piecing I began working on a cover for my cafetiere that I’ve had the idea in my head for years for. I bought the coffee cup paper pieced pattern from Don’t Call Me Betsy as soon as she released it and then had it sitting there forever. At the end of my sewing time on the first day I had this.

Don't Call Me Betsy Coffee Cup
At the time I walked away happy, chuckling that I had a ‘Kaffe Cup’, but after a few hours the fact that the handle was the ‘wrong’ way around began to really bug me. I tried to live with it, but in the end I took it apart and put it on the ‘proper’ side. I wonder if Elizabeth is left handed, or maybe she doesn’t worry about which way her cup sits, but my brain just couldn’t take it!

Coffee CoverI used the special batting that holds heat in and kind of guessed at the size of it which is why it doesn’t quite fit properly. I’m still happy with it though, it’ll do it’s job and that’s what matters. I may go back and fix the bit of binding that I sewed through, it’s annoying me a little but not enough to re-thread the machine for it.
Coffee CoverThe green pansy print is also one of my all time favourite prints so it’s lovely to have it used for something that’s on show all the time in the kitchen. The linen and solid Kona cotton were all from scraps too so this didn’t cost a thing.

Fabric Sale

A little bit of stash enhancement from the second local fabric sale. The fabric is mainly vintage and in about 2y lengths, I don’t know what it was being stashed for. All the proceeds go to charity and they prices had been knocked right down this time as they wanted to get rid of it so I got 19m/y for £20. I have prewashed it but it still has that ‘old lady’s house’ smell which I’m hoping will fade with time and not spread to the rest of my fabric!

Another knitting project has moved from my desk to the living room to await sleeves. This is Caramel, another blanket type cardigan but with added stripes!

Caramel Cardigan

I am seriously bogged down with sleeves in my knitting right now. I have done one and a bit for a lovely blue cardigan I want to work on more but never seem to find time for, I am working on the first sleeve for a jumper my Mum bought to make herself and can’t due to the stroke, it’s got a lace and cable pattern so I’ve started with the sleeves first to get used to it. Then these two from Caramel and the final sleeve for my Austin Hoodie which is literally the only bit of the cardigan left to do, it’s been sitting there for about six months waiting for a single sleeve. My excuse is that it’s one where you pick up the stitches and knit down using short rows, as I don’t like picking up stitches or short rows it has put me off working on it, but earlier today on a mission I got going on it so hopefully that will be done soon and I can get on with some of the other sleeves!

And finally, I sorted out the two Linden Sweatshirt disasters so that they’re wearable. This is the first one made from Sherpa and a wide rib knit.

Linden SweatshirtAnd the second one made from a thermal knit that I love and have saved for ages and black cotton ribbing I bought specifically to use for this project, that combination is why I didn’t just chuck it in the bin along with the pattern when it went horribly wrong but instead spent my time unpicking the overlocking so I could fix it.

Linden SweatshirtSo, I left the bottom ribbing alone, it’s actually a little too tight but it will be fine. The cuffs I took three inches off of, yes THREE INCHES, and they’re still not tight around my wrists but they’re not clown like as they were before. The collar I cut a size 2 for (the body of the sweatshirt is a size 16) and then doubled the depth of the ribbing so that it has some stretch left to pull the neckline back in. I really don’t understand why pattern makers think that larger women need wider necklines, even if we have wider shoulders that’s the outside of the garment not beside the neck, and if we’re larger chested we usually have wider bra straps that need covering, so wide necklines just suck (as does the amount of times I used the word wider in that sentence…). I don’t know whether I’ll use this pattern again, maybe if I lose a considerable amount of weight and can use the smaller sizes that seem to be fine, but the way it’s drafted, for the 16 at least, is terrible and disappointing, hopefully now they’ll be wearable though, at least around the house.

I do have a few garment projects in my head that I want to work on, but nothing is further along than a pattern sitting with a piece of fabric so they’re not causing me stress and if I need a break from the quilt I will drag one out and make it quickly. Cue tiny bit of fabric flying everywhere (and maybe some curtains over the Easter Holiday)!

More Than I Thought

It seems that I’ve finished off more projects than I thought I had. I feel at the moment that I’ve very little time for making things and I grab whatever time I can find, but it’s never enough. I do miss the days when I had all the time I wanted to make things, but I love what I’m doing now too and hopefully one day it’ll all balance out again!

First up I made a Sock Sack from an online tutorial to hold a plain sock for me to work on when I’m away from home. It was really easy and fast and I’m very happy with the way it came out, I love the fabric and it’s great to carry it around with me all the time.

052054The second picture if of the current sock in progress, I think it’s bright enough! The only change I made to the pattern was to add a simple lining. I cut a piece of fabric the same size as the bag and folded over the top then just sewed it to the bag as I was sewing the casings. The front pocket holds my heel turning notes and a tape measure.

I always have a simple knit/purl project on my desk to work on while I’m reading. I find that I stay in the chair longer if I have something to do with my hands when I don’t need to take notes. This is the most recent completed one (I don’t work the sleeves at the desk as using dpns requires more attention than I want to give). This is the Effortless Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I used Sirdar Baby Speckle from Kemps.

Effortless Cardigan
Effortless Cardigan
Effortless CaridganI’m not sure why those pictures are so wonky… It was indeed effortless to knit. I’m not sure why I knit such a big size though, I sort of wish I’d either gone down a size or knit the size I did with slightly smaller needles as the gauge is a little loose for this yarn. Anyway, it’s comfortable to wear and nice and warm when you cross the fronts before zipping your coat. It’s also nice to have something a little lighter colour in my collection of cardigans, I seem to knit dark or very bright colours so this is new territory for me!

Next up was the second of my Knitters Curiosity Cabinet challenge, the Conferva villosa Hat. I used a ball of Sirdar Calico left over from another project and the furry bobble that I bought from the Knitting and Stitching Show a few years back.

Conferva villosa HatI really like this and the bobble always makes me smile. I think I will need to sew through some elastic though as the yarn doesn’t have much recovery so it’s stretching out. I cast on for the next project, a pair of socks, this week just to keep it going! I am looking forward to getting to a shawl as I’ve not made one in a while so hopefully that will motivate me to get on with the socks, we’ll see…

I made a Clapotis right when the pattern came out many years ago. I was pretty new to knitting at the time and used a very thick yarn and it came out more like a blanket and was basically un-wearable. I’ve had a gap in my shawl collection for a while and have thought many many times that I’d love a plain red shawl or scarf, so I pulled out some Rowan Bamboo Soft that had been intended for a project that I have since gone off and made myself a red scarf!

ClapotisAs with most reds the colour is off in these pictures, it’s a darker much less orange-red than this. I’ve worn this a few times already and I love it, the yarn is indeed very very soft (although a real bitch to knit with as the balls tangle and fall apart left right and centre). I love that it can be a simple scarf or widen out into a shawl or lap blanket as needed!

And finally, I seem to be all about the practical makes at the moment. I needed a bag to use for University days that was big enough to hold my work, my knitting, my lunch, my notebooks and anything else that I needed to take along. I kept finding myself with several bags or one very stuffed and uncomfortable bag or leaving things at home that I might need because I didn’t want to overstuff my bag. Cue Elizabeth Hartman’s Perfect Quilted Tote, some duck cloth from Ebay, some fabric I bought for another bag I never got around to even buying the pattern for and a good dig through my scrap basket and here we are.

Perfect Quilted Tote
Perfect Quilted Tote
Quilted Tote InsideThe green stripe is the top of a slip pocket. I used up scraps of some of my very favourite fabrics on this so I get to see them all the time. I did make the bag bigger than the pattern. I actually went OTT and had to cut about 2 inches off the width as it was a little comical so it ended up about 2-3″ longer than the pattern and half an inch taller. I also used the longer handles from the other sized bag as I wanted to be able to push the bag around to my back while I walk rather than having it under my arm the whole time. I didn’t put a magnetic snap on it as I worry about those and electronic devices (I’m sure it’d be fine, but I worry enough without adding things to my list!).

The bag is a great success and I adore it, the size is perfect, maybe actually a little too big, but that means that I can put shopping in it too! I really enjoyed this pattern and I will make myself another one at some point I’m sure, the quilt as you go is both challenging and brainless.

Right, I have some machine paper piecing calling my name and also some hovering which I’ve been ignoring for far too long! Happy making to you all!

February is the Longest Month

I remember why I put off blogging every single time I come here and try to upload photos, I don’t understand why WordPress doesn’t seem to be able to do it without giving me error message after error message but it makes the whole process very tedious. I am going to try using photos from Flickr from now on and see if that makes it any easier as I will only be arguing with one upload…

So, my nephew’s Birthday was in January and I made him a few things for it. First up a library bag like my sons have. This time I used some Essex denim linen for the body of the bag and I really love they way it turned out.

019Library BagI also made him some dungarees as I do love these 1970s patterns. This one is Simplicity 5050 from 1972 and I used some very thick cord that I actually bought to use for Jim when he was about 4 but never got around to!

Simplicity 5050 1972Sorry for the blurry winter pictures….

The boys went through the knees of almost all their summer pjs the second year they wore them so I couldn’t donate them to the charity shop like I usually do. It seems like a lot of fabric to just throw away though so I have it in a bag and am using it for facings and hidden bits as and when. Robots on the inside!

016I made a second pair using Simplicity 4417 from 1953. The pattern envelope was rather ratty so I was surprised when I opened it up to find that the pattern was uncut!

IMG_20150110_143718Simplicity 4417 1953Again with the pj fabric as facing, I also used a bit of bird and hedgehog ribbon to hold the strap in place.

061This pattern had an interesting way to enclose the side opening that I’d never done before. I’m not sure if I got it exactly right but it’s not too bad. The cord for these was dyed for Piggle and never used, the benefits of having a young nephew, I can use up all the fabric bits that mine are too big for!

064I decided that I’d like a new t-shirt to go with my Tinder cardigan so I pulled out a brown stripey knit and quickly whipped up a Union Street T-shirt. I found that this pattern was really long in the body and sleeves and I had to take some length off both which is unusual for me, usually I have to add to the body length.

IMG_20150131_153255I seriously did not try to match the sleeves to the body, if I had tried they would have been nowhere near. I just made sure that the sleeves matched and when I put it on the dressform I saw that they matched the body almost perfectly, very happy accident! I did match the side stripes though and I’m happy with the way it came out. It’s very comfortable and I’ll be using this again no doubt.

My next projects weren’t so successful. Everyone has been posting Linden sweatshirts left right and centre so I pulled out some fabric and had a go. There seems to be something off about the larger sizes (I made the 16) if you use ribbing. The neckline ends up all Flashdance and horrid as so.

IMG_20150201_161248The ribbing just isn’t wide enough to pull it back in, this is after I took 4 inches off the neckband and tried for a second time. I have a wider neckband cut out with the extra length taken off but I haven’t had the patience to rip this one off for the second time, the first time I was so angry I managed to rip the back piece right down the middle and had to re-cut so I don’t want to repeat that.

The other issue with it is the cuff, this doesn’t look right to me….

IMG_20150201_170439I sewed the cuffs on the first version and they are as floppy and horrible as you would expect from them being this big (I made the first one start to finish without adjusting anything as no one else had mentioned issues). I am going to have to cut this cuff down to about a size 2 to get it to fit properly.

I did ask the designer via Twitter if anyone else had had problems or if the pattern perhaps isn’t quite right for ribbing in the larger sizes. She responded asking me if I was using the right seam allowance (yes, I was) and then never replied again which has put me off buying the two other patterns of hers that I fancied, guess that’s good for saving money… I will work on these two sweatshirts when I find some enthusiasm to make them right, but I think I need to re-draft the neckline if I make any further versions as it’s just too wide in that size for anyone who might want to keep their bra straps to themselves…

There is more to be shown, but I have run out of time and patience with WordPress and Flickr for one day.

As for the title of the post, we’ve had a bit of this this month

IMG_20150129_081111Which, although, beautiful, also causes winter rage in me. I find February one month too far for winter and I get very grumpy and fed up with it. I also find that February is when the Christmas spending bites me in the ass, so although it’s a short month it feels incredibly long in terms of being cold and broke. Roll on Spring!

Rounding Up 2014

So, here we are again, another year gone and time to see how the crafting went. I had some grand plans, and a lot of that never even got started. I’m finding that when I do have time over a weekend or in the evening that I’d much rather sit and knit than go upstairs and sew, and that sometimes I just need to sit and not do anything more strenuous than reading a book. But, I still managed to get quite a bit done and I’m not giving up on the list of things I want to do, I just need to realise that they’re going to take longer than anticipated.

The last sewing project of the year was a dog cushion for my nephew. He liked mine when they visited, so I made him a sort of i-spy version with lots of pictures on it.

002001Sadly my sister was really ill over Christmas so she, her husband and the nephew didn’t get to come as planned (my Aunt was also ill so I cooked for 6 rather than 10) so he’s not seen it yet, but I hope he likes it.

I took the boys to their Dad for a week and came home thinking that I would try to finish off Jim’s jumper. 4 days and 2.5 series of Glee later I think the sofa has the permanent shape of my bum and I got 3 projects off the needles!

First, Jim’s jumper which was a Rico Design pattern using King Cole Big Value Aran. Jim picked both the pattern and the yarn for this on his own so I’m hoping he likes the finished thing! I added a little length to the body for him as I want it to last longer than the last jumper I made him.

005006This wasn’t a hard knit at all, lots of cables but pretty easy to keep track of and in aran it knit up fast. I am still a little annoyed by the fact that the cables aren’t mirrored and if I use this pattern for Piggle in the future I will change that about it. The back is cabled as well in cast you’re wondering, no easy pieces to this!

Next up was Spacegirl which has been sitting around waiting for sleeves for far too long. I knit the body whilst doing my research reading but the sleeves were too fiddly on dpns and keeping track of rows to do without a little attention so it’s got chucked to one side! I used SMC cotton time for this from Kemps which is a lovely yarn to knit with, although I think it’s going to pill quite a bit which is annoying.

004003I don’t know what happened at the bottom of the V, but I’m going to put a stitch in there to hold it together better because it’s annoying me to look at it. I’m happy with the way this came out and I’m looking forward to wearing it. It’s plain but not too plain and the cotton has nice weight to it.

Finally, I got the Conferva Villosa socks done. There were some errata with this pattern, the website does list one for the heel which I didn’t know before I’d finished both socks, but I had a few other annoying problems along the way. I’m still puzzled as well as to why there was a left and a right sock as it’s not a pattern that needs to be mirrored in any way and I sort of wish I’d knit the left one twice as I prefer the way the toe looks on it, but you live and learn (looking at that photo I’m wearing the left sock on my right foot, but as I don’t know my left from right without thinking about it that’s not a surprise really).

007Next up in the Curiosity Cabinet Challenge is a hat which I’m looking forward to as I haven’t done one in years!

You’d think my list of things on the needles would have shrunk after these finishes, but actually they have just been quickly replaced with projects that were waiting to be cast on, which is fine as I don’t have what feels like too much going on with my knitting at the moment and I’m happy to start the things that have been waiting. I have one more ‘old’ project to finish that just needs one sleeve and a zip so I will hopefully get that done soon too, only the start of it requires much attention so I might try to get that at least started tomorrow.

So, stats for the year.

I bought 75 y/m of fabric this year which isn’t too bad. I had that huge 19 y/m haul from the local sale and also bought some quilt backs, but I had three months where I bought nothing. I sewed 67.5 y/m, not a huge amount for me but not too shabby. It breaks down to:

3 Bags

2 Christmas Stockings

2 Dresses

1 Coat

8 T-shirts (for me and Piggle)

5 Cushions

7 Pairs of kids’ pjs

1 Curtain

1 Shirt

3 Quilts

Goals for next year are to buy less as I really don’t need it and to finish the quilts that are in progress as well as a couple of the ones I have all the fabric for, that should keep me busy! I have a list of clothing sewing and some cool new 70s patterns I bought recently so I hope to get more of the fabric off the shelves an into my wardrobe next year.

I don’t keep track of the amount of yarn I buy or use, I still have the goal of eliminating the yarn drawers and having it all in one cabinet, I will get there if I try not to buy too much in Kemps sale area and keep finishing off things! This year I knit:

4 Shawls

3 Pairs of socks

4 Jumpers

3 Cardigans

3 Dishcloths

Not bad, not great, but not bad. I’ve actually run out of places to store my hand knits despite giving a big bag of ones I never wore or didn’t like to charity so a slight slowing down isn’t a tragedy (I have 2 drawers just for hand knit socks!).

Running – in my first year of tracking I ran 233.55 miles this year. I was hoping to do 250 when I saw that I’d gone over 200 but the weather and lack of motivation put an end to those plans. My running goals for next year are to get up to 10k and take part in a few races. I will need to work on my strength and general fitness to manage it, as well as finding some running shoes that don’t put my right foot to sleep after 1.5 miles. I am planning how to manage this and hoping that I can stay motivated and injury free (and fall over less than I did this year).

Looking at how many books I read this year it’s not really a surprise that my knitting and sewing were down. I think I set a new record finishing 126 books! I read a fair amount of urban fantasy rubbish and YA series, but also some heavier and more interesting things. I wasn’t all that certain about buying a Kindle but I have to say that I’m a total convert now and don’t go anywhere without it.

There have been some ups and downs this year, we said goodbye to my Grandmother at 101 years old and my Uncle far too early. I’ve had some academic ups and downs as well as health ups and downs. But, we moved somewhere we love, we’re happy, pretty much healthy and still here ready to keep on moving forward, at the end of the day that’s still pretty damn good.

So, that was 2014. I hope you had a great Christmas, have a lovely New Year celebration whatever you chose to do (I’m going to carry on with Glee I think and maybe crack open some wine later on). Thank you for reading my blog this year and I look forward to sharing what I do with you in 2015!

Getting These Posted

I haven’t sewn for a bit, kind of lost my mojo again and got caught up doing other things with the time I would have been sewing, as you do now and again. I have finished a few things that I’ve not posted about though and, what with the end of the year coming up and all that jazz, I wanted to get them on the blog and clear the FO decks.

012First up is Tinder which I showed you in pieces a few months back. I finally spent a weekend putting it together and getting the bands knit. This took me over a year start to finish, which is silly really as it’s not a hard knit. I think I put it down in the winter as it was hard to see the dark brown yarn on dark nights.

013The yarn is Rico Creative Cotton in Aran which I got from Kemps. I actually paid full price for it as I wanted to start this cardigan right away rather than waiting for a sale, it’s always those that end up taking forever to knit!

014The buttons were from John Lewis in Edinburgh when we were there on holiday this summer with my parents. I do like buying buttons or fabric on holiday as the memory of the trip is tied into what they’re used for. I also love a wooden button as you will no doubt know if you’ve seen any of my previous knits!

I’ve not actually worn this cardigan yet, I don’t know why as I really like it.  I think I need to find some things to wear it with and pull it out!

I mentioned the Maya pattern the other day and this is the first version I made using some lawn from Boyes. All the seams of this shirt are finished so it’s perfect for a lighter fabric that needs a french seam finish.

I have a feeling that I used this print upside down. It’s the same on the front and the back and doesn’t look horribly noticeable (I don’t think) but I do think I got it wrong…

This is really comfortable to wear and I’m sure I’ll drag it out a lot in the summer.

Under Tinder in the first photo is the dress I made from the same pattern using some baby cord that must have been in my stash for about 9 years or so. I have used it once and I have enough left for another project in the future, which is good as I love it!

015I did size the dress up a little bit, I’m quite large at the moment (going to do something about that in the New Year she says once again) and I wanted to be able to wear a t-shirt under the dress. I just added a half inch to the outside of the front and back when I cut it out and called it done. Again, I’ve not worn this yet for some unknown reason, but I am planning to wear it on Christmas Day as I think it will be comfortable and I’m cooking for 10 so short sleeves when I get hot and bothered will be good!

I have plans for at least two more versions of this pattern, one from a lovely flannel that I bought especially, should probably get on with that before the weather warms up and a flannel tunic will be a bad idea!

I’ll be back for a round-up of the year and to show you, hopefully, two more projects that I am working on.

Freemantle Coat

I just saw on Marilla’s blog that her new pattern for 3 versions of the Freemantle Coat and Jacket is on sale from today. I had the pleasure of testing the pattern for her so I thought I’d do a really quick review whilst procrastinating over some writing I now have very little time to finish for my PhD!

007This is a retro shaped coat, very loose and a sort of tulip shape. I made the basic version, but the pattern includes a shorter version with a zip and a version like mine but with ribbing cuffs which wasn’t on the tester pattern or I would have made it as I do like a cuff to keep the wind out, it can be grim up North on occasion!

012I’d never done a welt pocket before and Marilla’s instructions were very clear and easy to follow, excuse my pencil marks, those will come out at some point! The instructions in general for this coat were very clear. It also has an underarm gusset which I’d never sewn before and I just did as I was told matching up the right bits and markings and it worked great.

The pattern is for intermediate sewers which is the level I’d put myself in. If I could be bothered or wanted to sew harder things I probably could but intermediate suits me just fine, enough of a challenge to keep me interested but easy enough that I’m not throwing fabric across the room and slamming the door in tears!

009Everything inside the coat is finished off with binding. Please excuse my non-matching lining and random bias binding, I was just using what I had on hand to test this! The pattern calls for a Hong Kong finish on the seams, but I bound my seams together instead because I’m lazy like that. The coat version has HUGE pockets which is wonderful, so many coats don’t give you room for your phone and keys let alone tissues, gloves or a hat.

You can buy the pattern in Marilla’s Etsy shop, and I’d advise picking up a copy of the Maya pattern while you’re there too, I’ve made a shirt and a dress from that pattern already and have fabric out for a tunic version, it’s my Scout T-shirt pattern replacement I think.

Thanks Marilla for letting me test, I really enjoyed it!


What the Garmin Stats Aren’t Saying

IMG-20140918-00181IMG-20140718-00169The running around here is beautiful. Oddly, although I’ve moved to an area that’s got forests everywhere, I run more on the roads than I used to in the middle of a village. The forests are lovely, and I would love to run in them more, but every one requires that I drive there and I just don’t have the time to spare during the day to do that.

I was thinking on my run today (3.11 miles / 5 k and it was lovely with 1 short stop) about Garmin watch statistics. I read several running blogs and follow runners on Twitter and there are always the shots of watches showing how far they ran in whatever time. I spent a long time feeling bad about being slow because of these pictures (I still do, but not because of other people, because I want to run further and faster and I’m frustrated!) and then I realised something. The stats don’t actually tell you the full story of their run.

See this chart from my watch for the run I did just before Half Term:

fallThat double dip just before 29 minutes looks like I was moving out of the road for something to pass by like I did just before 25 minutes. What you wouldn’t know by looking at this was that I turned a corner onto the road that goes downhill, relaxed and them promptly tripped and fell down grazing my left knee and calf and ripping a big patch of skin off the palm of my left hand. Yep, I carried on running, that little rise between the big dips are me figuring out if I’d twisted anything (first time I fell I ran home on a twisted ankle thinking it was nothing and was out of action for several weeks) and then deciding I was ok to carry on.

What I’ve noticed on a lot of running blogs, alongside the watch pictures, are lots of photos of what they saw on their runs.

IMG-20140904-00178Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t run and take a photo at the same time. First I have to get my phone out, swap from the music to the camera, take a shot, make sure it’s ok, swap back to music, put my phone away again and then I can run. It hit me that these bloggers are stopping multiple times during their runs, which of course gives you time to catch your breath and recover a little before carrying on. The photo above, by the way, was taken at the end of a run, it’s the bottom of the hill I live on and I walk back up as my cool down if I go this way.

I’m not saying that stopping is bad, I walk when I need to walk (or when I can’t convince myself to keep going) but if I’m able to keep running, I keep running and if things are going well I don’t care how bloody pretty it is, I’m not stopping (there were some views today I’d have loved to show you, Northumberland does great things with mist and there were some very curious calves). Also, to me, and this is a very personal thing, running a distance means running the whole thing. When I say I can run 5k I mean I can do the whole thing without stopping. Today I did run 5k, but what my stats won’t tell you is that at 1.05 miles I stopped for a wee (I’m 41 and it was raining, plus I drink too much coffee…) because I stopped my watch and then started it again when I got back onto the road. That information goes in my training diary and when I’m comparing times and distances to see how I’m doing I take that information into account.

IMG-20140718-00170IMG-20140718-00171I ran down that steep hill in the distance today, it was rather scary as it is a 10% grade and it was wet. So if I do post pictures, like the ones above taken before it rained and rained and rained and rained, you can rest assured that I was having a horrid time, or couldn’t make it up a massive hill and I had to stop running, there are no pictures of the good runs, just nice memories and motivation to go out there again in the pouring rain.