9hrs and two very sore legs

After several months of walking up and down the East Sussex coast in preparation, the Moonwalk finally came around on Saturday night. It was a slightly weird feeling travelling up to London on the train with my Rio Barbie bra   carefully covered for the big reveal in Hyde Park. I say carefully as the last thing I wanted was to take off my T-shirt and find that one of my nipple tassels had got damaged and was beyond repair before the  big off. BUT everything survived intact and having carefully packed my bum bag with space blanket, folded rain mac, lip balm, tissues, fingerless gloves and jelly babies for emergencies we eventually got walking just after midnight.

In the main tent waiting for the big off. NOT the place to be if you don’t like pink
Highlight of the main tent ~ Roy doing his warm ups

I’d love to say that we proudly tramped the streets with the bling from our bras beaming in the moonlight but the truth of the matter is it was cold….. FREEZING cold! Thankfully I listened to  my inner voice that told me to hold on to my hooded top and fleece bodywarmer. Not very glam I’ll admit but this toasty combination kept out the chill whilst I spent the first 12 miles thinking ‘are we halfway there yet’ and ‘why didn’t I sign up for the half moon’ ( the 13 mile option). To be honest I felt that I’d done enough training before I started but at the 12 mile mark  I couldn’t see myself getting to the finish line. I was tired, nausea had set in and my head was beginning to hurt ~ it was also dark. But I wasn’t alone and we were all walking to raise money for an important cause so I kept putting one foot in front of another, I didn’t need to get there fast, I just had to get there.

The next few miles seemed to go by effortlessly as the sun came up over London and just a glint of daylight helped to pick up the pace.

04.55 Sunrise from Albert Bridge

But at around 18 miles I had to resort to painkillers (courtesy of Fiona) as my hips began to scream. Given that I have the flattest feet known to man I’d expected my feet to be more painful but both hips were agony at this point and with 8.2 miles still to go, drugs were the only way to cope.  By the time we hit the 20 mile marker the sun shining bright and I knew 2 things for sure;

1.  I was going to see the finish line and

2. There was a hot bath full of bubbles and a cold glass of cava waiting for me back in Brighton.

I’m proud (and slightly amazed) to say that we eventually crossed the line at 9.12 am. 9 hrs and two very sore legs later although I probably wouldn’t do it again I definitely think it was worth it.


The Moonwalk has landed

Well after months of training the day of the Moonwalk has finally landed! Thankfully after weeks of raining the sun is out! I was beginning to think that I might have to swim my way round London and if you’ve ever seen my attempts at swimming you’ll know my technique looks a lot more like drowning than anything vaguely Rebecca Addlingtonesque. My bra has been bedecked with bling by a group of lovely 3rd year students from Kingston Uni who took time out from working on their final collections (only 1 week left) to create ‘Rio Barbie’ – their name not mine.

Having worked there as a technician for just a few months they’ve really nailed my love of intense colour and bling giving the blank Wonderbra canvas a totally new look with sequins, fringing, rhinestones and a pair of outrageous nipple tassels courtesy of Hannah the pattern cutter .

They’ve even rhinestoned my initials on one of the cups. Hopefully they won’t mind that I’ve added a wee beaded crochet trim on top of each cup ~ well I had to do something.

Huge thanks to Hen, crystal specialist Dominic, Jess, Caitlin and Rocky Road addict Claire. I’ll be tweeting my way through the walk but right now I’m off to carb up for the big event.  Enjoy the sun and if you want to donate to my fundraising page you can do so here 

J x

British Wool Week

October’s a busy old month,  not only is it Breast Cancer Awareness month – take a few moments to check yours please, to see how click here – this week is British Wool Week and there have been lots of events to celebrate including flocks of sheep in Savile Row – ooer who’d have thought – and even Selfridges getting in on the act with it’s first graffiti knitting event alongside its very own knitted house. It’s not too late to do your bit, Innocent (the smoothie makers)  are still looking for wee hats for their Big Knit campaign and if you’re quick you can get a couple done before the deadline hits this Friday 15th October.For more info and patterns including Shaun the Sheep, pea pods and pineapples click here then click on!


Expressions 2010

2 weeks ago my older sister San spent a walking weekend in the Brecon Beacons with a group of friends, nothing unusual there I’ll admit. The thing that left me gobsmacked was that they spent the evenings knitting, chatting and drinking – ok so I’ve been doing that for years – but my sister hasn’t, in fact she’d be the first to say that she was at the back of the queue when Mum was passing on the crafting gene, but the amazing thing is that she really enjoyed it. I’ve been telling her for ever that she needed to get knitting as it would help her to de-stress etc etc but I suppose she just needed to come to the light in her own time. So I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jacqui Harrison who was responsible for dragging her up the hillside and then shoving needles and yarn into her hands and getting her going.

Jacqui is part of a Knitiffi a collective of knitters which started at Aspects and Milestones Trust, a charity whose work covers a wide spectrum as they provide services for people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and dementia. Based in the down in the South West of England they launched the collective by yarnbombing their head offices in Bristol earlier this year and this week they’re staging Expressions 2010 at Paintworks in Bristol.

The exhibition starts today with a Private View and charity auction and runs throughout the week until Saturday with a number of events, activites and workshops including a fashion show, graffiti art workshop ( Brizzle is the home of Banksy ) and an interactive project where visitors can contribute to a giant piece of French Knitting which will snake it’s way up a light structure throughout the exhibition until it’s finally illuminated and transformed into a chandelier at the end of the week exhibition party. They also plan to cover an Airstream caravan with knitting and top it off with a huge pom pom.

The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow Tuesday 5th october and runs until Saturday, there’s more info on Aspects and Milestones here and info on Paintworks here.

Good luck Jacqui!

New design for Marie Curie Cancer Care

Last year as part of kitglobal I designed a kit for Marie Curie Cancer Care which they sold through their website and catalogue to raise money for the brilliant work they do. Cancer has played a pretty big part in my life unfortunately but I’m still here and this is a lovely way of doing my bit. Well I’m pleased to say they’ve asked me to do another one this year and it’s now available!

This time we decided to offer 2 options in the kit which comes in a very pretty gingham bag which matches the other products in their crafty kit range.

There’s the choice of either a pair of fingerless mitts ( you can never have too many of them, my hands are always cold) or a lacy snood. The kit comes with needles, Baby Alpaca yarn and full pattern instructions ( plus of course the pretty bag ) and costs £24.00 direct from the Marie Curie online shop which you can find here.

Make and Bake for Mencap

Knitting, tea AND cake – surely a match made in heaven, yes?! Well why not combine all 3 for a good cause

The Knitter magazine and Mencap are urging knitters everywhere to grab their knitting needles, bung on the kettle and put on a Make and Bake tea party, to help raise money for the learning disability charity Mencap. Not only that, but if you hold a Make and Bake event you could be in with the chance to win a fabulous prize  – 2 tickets for the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in October.

The tea parties are a simple, enjoyable way for knitters to raise money for a good cause ( as I said you’re off to a pretty good start with the tea and the cake ) so to help people get started, Mencap and The Knitter have put together a fundraising pack which is packed full of handy fundraising tips and recipes for delicious summer treats.

To enter the  competition all you need to do is take a picture from your Make and Bake event and send it into Mencap. The winning shot will be the picture that best captures the spirit of Make and Bake and the winner will be the proud owner of two crisp tickets to the Twisted Thread Knitting and Stitching Show 2010 at Alexandra Palace on 7th – 10th October 2010.

The closing date for the competition is Monday 20th September, so be sure to submit your entries to Mencap by then, you can submit up to five images per person and the sizes  shouldn’t exceed 2MB per image. Either email your pics to ruth.attride@mencap.org.uk or post them to:

Make and Bake competition
Ruth Attride
123 Golden Lane

Make sure you include your name, full address, email address and a contact number.

I’m off to put the kettle on . . ..

Kitglobal kit for Marie Curie Cancer Care

Marie Curie knit kit

Through Kitglobal I’m really really pleased to have been able to create a knitting  kit exclusively for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Available online from www.mariecurie.org.uk the lacy neckwarmer kit uses our signature Baby Alpaca and you get everything you need to complete the project including a particularly funky Marie Curie canvas bag to put the lot in. Having twice been affected by cancer myself I know how devastating the disease can be but every kit sold helps to raise money that will enable them to continue their brilliant work.

I know it’s only September but if you’re one of those people that’s already begun Christmas shopping AND you want a nice warm ‘feel good’ glow when you spend your hard earned cash then this makes a fab gift even if I say so myself!