Saturday, 22 December 2007

Christmas Update

Once more... apologies for neither updating my own blog nor popping into see what other people have been up to. Work has been chocker, then there's been the Christmas Knitting to finish and I really didn't have a spare moment to do any updating... and then there were technical problems with t'interweb not wanting to play nicely.

Anyway, I haven't done:

1. Stocking for Lois.
2. Puss in Boots for Lois.
3. Socks and gloves for SIL - but the yarn never arrived from the company I ordered from.

The socks for my Step-dad's birthday (28th December) are still in the pipeline.

However, I have finished everything else, including:

"Relish" for Lois.

"Streamer" is now done (with sleeves unlike pictured here) for Thomas. This was a pleasure to knit. I love intarsia and making clothes for munchkins is satisfyingly fast.

As was Thomas's hat. His mum is worried about him getting cold and he won't keep hats on so she requested something we could fasten to his head (without staples). This is knit in "Sirdar Baby Bamboo DK" and is beautifully soft so, with any luck, this will encourage him to keep wearing it too.

And, of course... the biggie... "Saranac" was finished on Thursday night. I've changed the shaping as it seemed that following the pattern would result in something half poncho / half jumper. To be honest, in the last fortnight I wasn't convinced I would finish it. However, I was in London for two days at the end of last week and this with the train journeys and a couple of lunch breaks at work really helped.

Hope the BF likes it. I'll post a modelled picture once he opens it.

Speaking of opening gifts... I opened an early present from my friend, Arpana - it was "Bags Two". I am delighted. It's not something I would have bought for myself but there are some fantastic bags in there - felted, intarsia, fairisle, woven, satchels, messenger bags and totes. I'm going to have to start knitting some of these in the New Year.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Dunking Helicopters and Duff Batteries

On the dunking helicopters front, I thought I'd tell you about some of the previous fundraising and awareness raising activities I've been involved in for World AIDS Day. (I thought it might be good to keep a theme running for this month).

Before I joined the public health training scheme, I was a Health Promotion Specialist for sexual health. So, for several years I've been involved in World AIDS Day events, in one form or another. One year, when I was working in Hull, we decided our sponsored fundraising event would be...being dunked in a helicopter.

There is, or used to be, a maritime rescue training centre in Hull for training coastguard staff to rescue people from the North Sea. This facility had a large pool and a helicopter shell.

Just for fun, several of us agreed to be strapped into the helicopter, submerged in the pool, and then swim out. Sounded straightforward enough. Well, we did it... but as soon as the helicopter started sinking, three of us decided that was it and swam out. Even if this is what you want to do, I think it's hard to override the brain and it's logical response to get the *£$!%" out of there right now!!

Second attempt... we coped with the fully submerged helicopter.

Then... the training crew said for the full experience... they would submerge, then rotate the helicopter so it was up-side-down... Uh-huh...right. I made my excuses and vacated the pool, rapidly.

On the knitting front (duff batteries)... I've actually finished the sleeves for "Matros" (my grumble piece AKA jumper for my nephew) and am sewing up tonight. Don't think I'll get the collar done until tomorrow night, but yippee!! I've attached the sleeves to body of "Saranac" (jumper for the BF), but it may take longer to finish than I thought. Tomorrow, I'll be knitting on the tram (socks for the BF). It's only three weeks until Christmas and I'm starting to panic.


Next World AIDS Day story... if people would like it...will feature Labi Siffre. (For anyone who is not sure who he is: "Something inside so strong").