Noblin activity of the knitting variety.

Including Noblin Designs, How to identify Noblins,
Advice on how to catch a Noblin, and How to keep your Noblin happy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wow - I ran really far today!

Training Run #19
Pre run munch:pb&h sandwich
Post run munch: turkey, sweet potato, spinach and leeky cheese
Time of run: 6pm
Distance: 6.57km!!!!!
Time: 54.5 mins!!!!
Category: 1x1 run then walk 7 times, then 1x2 10 times then another 2 mins run!!!!!!!!!
Feeling: hooray for me!!!!!!

With only 10 days to go, there's not much more time for training.  I thought I'd just go out for 20 minutes but got a bit carried away.  I had planned a long run for Saturday but the weather got in the way so this made up for it. I'm really chuffed with how far I went and feel really happy with my progress.

I'm also feeling great about the blanket.  I've finished 9 squares and am part way through the 10th out of 12.  It feels like it's doable now, I can see myself joining up the strips and knitting the border. 

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Monday, August 29, 2011

How to use henna hair colour from Lush

Here's a before picture.  Really, my hair is a bit more mousy than that at the roots.

First of all, collect your ingredients.  You'll need the caca (I used caca brun), a bowl, a wooden spoon, a barrier cream like ultrabland or vaseline, hairclips, newspaper and lots of pairs of gloves. Optional - clingfilm, another bowl/saucepan.

Boil the kettle. 
Put on your gloves and break up the caca.  I do this by snapping it over the handle of the spoon.
Put the squares in your bowl.  I have very thick long hair so use a whole caca.  If you have short hair you could probably manage with half of one.
Add boiling water and let it soak for a bit.  If you want a redder colour, keep the bowl in another bowl of hot water to keep it as hot as possible.
Apply the barrier cream to the hairline, all over your ears and anywhere else you don't want to colour.  I also put it on the arms of my glasses.
Mush up the caca adding extra hot water as needed.  The instructions say aim for double cream consistency.  The picture below shows it too thick still.  You need to be able to rub it in to the hair but not have it drip off. try to get all the lumps out.  Take some extra hot water with you to the bathroom in case you find it's still too thick.
The preparation took me about 30 minutes.  If I wasn't blogging it would take about 20 minutes.

Put newspaper in the bottom of your bath. Put the bowl in the bath.  Lean over the bath and apply the henna mix.  Make sure it's rubbed into all of your hair otherwise you'll end up with stripes.  Don't rub it in to your scalp or you'll end up with an actual red head.  The newspaper will catch the drips.  Try to wipe off any drips from your skin straight away.

I spent about half an hour applying the henna. I then clipped up my hair and wrapped it in clingfilm.  This is supposed to give a redder colour but I like it to stop any henna flaking off onto the floor. I added another layer of clingfilm across the front after I took this photo.
Here's how messy the bowl was afterwards.
And, how clean it became.
Take off your gloves and bin the newspaper.  Rinse any drips away from the bath.  Wash the bowl etc.  I used about 6 pairs of gloves in preparing and applying the henna but really three would have been enough. I left the henna on for two hours and then put a new pair of gloves on and spent half an hour washing it off.  I just rinsed with water until the water ran clear.  Then I shampooed until there were no more (alarmingly green) bubbles. It only took two shampoos as I'd rinsed for so long before. 
Here's the result.  In normal light it looks darker and shinier.  It brightened overnight slightly and my hair feels thicker and smoother. At a recent hair cut, I was told my hair was in good condition and I think that's partly due to using this henna as it acts as a varnish.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Here's what I'm running for this time

I really enjoyed the 10k run I took part in in May. It was the first race I've run since I was at primary school and it was far more fun. So, when I saw there was another race at the same venue, I signed up with a friend. This time, it's in aid of Maric Curie Cancer Care. I don't remember the last time I asked for sponsorship for something, again it was probably in primary school, but it's so easy now. If you're interested, you can click on the link, and if you're not, it doesn't matter.

SInce last posting, I've had two more training runs and finished two more squares.  I've also just coloured my hair and am disappointed by the results but will have to wait until tomorrow to see the final colour.

Training Run #17
Pre run munch: rice pudding
Post run munch: dinner
Time of run: 6pm
Distance: approx 5km
Time: 42 mins
Category: 1x1 run then walk 6 times, 1x2 10times
Feeling: damn app didn't work so I don't know how far I managed

Training Run #18
Pre run munch: cereal
Post run munch: lunch
Time of run: 11.30am
Distance: 3.4km
Time: 28 mins
Category: 1x1 run then walk 6 times, then run for 3 mins in the pouring rain then maybe another 1 min
Feeling: should have left earlier and missed the rain


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The race is getting nearer

I now have my race number, parking permit and information pack. Also, my friend, who I registered, also has hers, which is great as she hadn't heard anything from them yet.  And thought it was on the Sunday rather than the Saturday.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Another run (#16): another square (#7)

Pre run munch: cereal
Post run munch: milk and a mini pain au chocolat
Time of run: 11am
Distance: 4.6km
Time: 39 mins
Category: 1x1 run then walk 7 times, 1x2 7times
Feeling: too hot but I stuck with it

I had other things to say but I've just looked at my running app and I've found out it does more than I realised.  It makes me a little map to show where I went and tells me my km splits. Now, io know where I went, but I wasn't convinced it knew when I was running in a circle in the park.   I think it's more accurate than I gave it credit for.  I went out yesterday morning about an hour later than I planned as I was reading Dead Reckoning.  I love the Sookie Stackhouse books.  When I finally did leave the house, the clouds parted and the sun threatened to burn my shoulders.  I almost gave up after 15mins but found a shady path by the allotments and went up and down there several times.  I'm pleased to see that I've already done more training for this race than previously and am staying out for consistently longet (around 40minutes compared to 25-30). 

 I didn't use my computer at all over the weekend, which was great. Well, i had a lovely weekend but that was probably more due to what I was doing, rather than what I was avoiding.  On Saturday, I went to a family barbeque which ended in a singsong - you know, like singstar but without a computer ;)  There were renegade piglets from two doors down,  three types of cake and crumble with ice cream and three of my dad's siblings in one place at once.  My younger sister brought her boyfriend to meet the rents for the first time and got a mild shock to have so many aunties and uncles there too!

On Sunday, I ran and shopped and then went to my bro's so couldn't take the secret surprise knitting with me.  I did confirm the love-hearts-as-wedding-favours theory though. I helped separate fabric petals for decorations and watched Source Code.

Square #7 was probably finished on Friday and here it is for your admiration.

There's the deadline!
 I also took a better picture of the purple square (hint: in the dark, use the flash) so you can see it really does say lucky day.

I finished work in a major grump but I've chilled out a bit now.  I was going to go to the running shop and buy some new trainers and even made it as far as my car but I left it too late in the evening and the shop would have been practically shut when I arrived.  I want to try the motion analysis and the website recommends allowing 30mins for them to watch me fall off a treadmill in stretchy pants that are too small. Shouldn't rush that!

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Friday, August 19, 2011

I love my 3ds

I really do.  I didn't expect to love it this much and it's interfering with my knitting slightly.  I always intended to buy one when the price improved and then bam, it was half the original price on Tuesday.  Plus there was a bundle offer so I bought Zelda, ocarina of time and Rayman and a (not great) case.  I planned to buy the console to future-proof myself against new pokemon games being released but I wasn't that interested in the new toy itself.  I couldn't stop grinning on Tuesday when I ordered it and was so excited I even confessed to a colleague I'd been internet shopping at work.  I didn't expect to be so excited.  I didn't expect to be wowed by the crisp graphics or the free games and then to be wowed again by how easy it was to connect to the internet, no fiddling with WAP or WEP keys or access rights or being told the internet is there but it refusing to work. Then a little system update later and I've got me a 3d pokedex.  I'm not very good at computer games so I've already had to consult a Rayman walkthrough but overall, two days in, I'm very pleased with my purchase.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Training for September #15

Pre run munch: smoothie and two oreos
Post run munch: beef dinner
Time of run: 6.30pm
Distance: 4.7km
Time: 39 mins
Category: 1x1 run then walk 6 times, 1x2 7 times plus 1 extra at the end
Feeling: getting fitter

I was a bit worried that I'd messed up my fueling strategy and felt a bit sick/hungry before I went out but all was fine.  It was probably good to run on a slightly emptier stomach. I'm beginning to feel like I'm making progress now and pleased to see I've already trained much more than for the race in May.  I've decided about 40 minutes is long enough to be outside but I do still want to do a longer run before the race.  I'll have to plan that a bit more though as I don't like doing circuits round the village after last time. 


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Square six finished, seven started

Without stating the obvious, there's no way round this blanket, I just have to push on through.  I'm going to knit as much as I can as quickly as I can and then celebrate when it is finished.  I think it will look amazing when it's all put together but getting there is tough!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Square five is done

It's the last one in purple so, again, it's quite hard to see the hidden message (lucky day) but it is slightly easier in real life. I think I'm getting a bit quicker at each square.  I'm going to try to finish square 6 this weekend and then I'll feel like I'm really getting somewhere.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Training for September #14

Pre run munch: pb&h on toast (oh the yumminess)
Post run munch: chocolate, oops
Time of run: 6.30pm
Distance: 4.7km
Time: 40 mins
Category: 1x1 run then walk 5 times, 1x2 7 times plus 1 extra at the end

It surprises me how much my enthusiasm for running can vary. On Tuesday, I rushed home, put on my running gear and whizzed out the door, and really enjoyed it.  Today, it took me a long time to get out.  I suppose I was in a miserable mood all day until a Big Bang theory marathon cheered me up somewhat. I still felt lousy though and I had to really focus on not thinking bad thoughts.  Walking for one minute doesn't give me much time to start internally grumbling but two minutes does.  I guess that's partly why I went fast for the first five reps.  I did start to feel better and had a long walk home which reminded me that I really enjoy walking.  I was worrying that I'll have to walk so much of the 10k that I won't enjoy it.  I think I will enjoy it and I'll try to stop putting pressure on myself but I can't help thinking that I do have a goal of being able to run continuously for 20 minutes, not just walk the majority of the way. I don't know if I'm achieving much with the "training" I'm indulging in at the moment.

achievement: improved my mood


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Strip one is done

I finished square four which is the end of the first strip.  There are going to be three strips so I'm nearly a third of the way through, as there will be finishing and an edging to add.  The strip is far bigger than I expected so it's going to be a decent sized blanket for snuggling under in front of the tv.

I won't say I'm sick of the blanket as I'm not, it's still interesting and relaxing to knit, but I'm tired of the time pressure involved and not having a finished item any time soon.  I know I finished some socks recently but the stash flash has really made me itch to start (and finish) something else.  Perhaps I can sneak out some baby socks as they only take a few hours.
For my dad's birthday, we went out to my parent's favourite restaurant. The food was yummy, and I ate far too much which is entirely appropriate, and even though the usual waiters weren't there, my dad was given a special carved swan and frozen dessert display for his birthday meal.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Training for September #13

Pre run munch: chocolate apricot bar and a banana
Post run munch: MASSES of thai food
Time of run: 5.15pm
Distance: don't know
Time: 20 mins
Category: 1x1 run then walk ish, maybe 8 mins running
Feeling: speedy

I was in a bit of a rush yesterday as I had to go out for my dad's birthday to eat masses of thai food. I didn't cheat and skip my run completely but I didn't do a full one.  I felt very energised afterwards.  I do wish I'd taken my km measurer with me though as it would have been interesting to see how far I went.  Maybe it was 2.5km.  ;)

I've finished square four and nearly square five so pictures of the meal and knitting to follow tomorrow.


Monday, August 08, 2011



Saturday, August 06, 2011

Training for September #11 and 12

Pre run munch: cereal
Post run munch: half a recovery shake - it minged
Time of run: 10.15am
Distance: 3.75 km
Time: 32 mins
Category: 1x2 run then walk program, 10 reps plus 1 extra minute run and 2 stair reps
Feeling: sweaty

I did go out for a 20 minute run last saturday but it was a very gentle one and I didn't blog it.  Today's run was more structured.  I've decided to up the ante by introducing some hill training in the shape of stairs.  There's a main road near one of the fields I run round and it has a bridge over it.  I ran up it and staggered down it twice.  Boy, my thighs burned after that.  I did this around 12 minutes in and the rest of the run felt difficult so I conclude it did some good.  The route of the race I'll be doing is mostly hills but where I train is totally flat. I really want my training to reflect the race as much as possible, which is why I'm aiming for distance rather than speed at the moment, so I'll need to increase the stair reps as I go too.

I tidied up my sofa and found a rogue dpn on it.  I'm already down to four as these little black ones like to go wandering.  And they're chuffing expensive, although I've actually seen even more expensive ones since.  To stop this happening, I bought dpn ends at KnitNation, from atomic Knitting and now they're in use. Marvellous.

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Friday, August 05, 2011

It's jolly difficult to take a photo of socks

It's still been too warm for socks so I'll put these away for a bit.  I don't know what they'll be like to wear with shoes as they feel quite thick.  They should be good for wearing with my trainers.  I've taken advantage of the warm weather and done lots of washing.  This leads to ironing, which isn't great fun in hot weather but now I have a living foom full of clean, ironed clothes.  I need to figure out where to put them all as I can't use the floordrobe anymore. I've also taken advantage of the weather by eating lots of ice cream.  Yum.

I'm a square and a bit behind on the blanket so I suppose the rest of the evening will be spent watching films and knitting.  I had a mini migraine yesterday and the day before so I'm not sure sitting in front of more screens is good for me but I have to knit. I have been sneaking a few rows on my Vilai sock every so often.  So much for waiting until I'd finished three more squares!

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Very hot

As soon as I finished those trainer socks, we've had a mini heatwave.  Today I finished work at lunchtime after a gruelling day sitting at someone else's desk while we waited for our computers to be fixed.  The walk home to eat was exhausting.  Only mad dogs and englishmen after all.  I've been watching films and knitting on the blanket.  I though I might finish square four but each square is enormous.  I'm on row 80 something so only another 60 to go.  Knitting on a blanket is hot work so I've been warming up until it's unbearable then cooling down in front of my fan that sounds like an aeroplane taking off. when that's unbearable, I turn it off, am briefly deafened by the tv, turn that down, and start the process over.  

TV: smallville, burn notice, the killing

Film: it could happen to you

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Not running

Today was really hot, just walking home from work nearly finished me off.  I've spent the evening watching Harry Potter 2 - these films are really long! I've also been back at work on the love hearts.  Finishing the yellow socks at the weekend definitely cheered me up.  I've always preferred smaller, quicker projects as I like a finished object so the blanket is a challenge that needs to be broken up into smaller chunks.  I'm well into the fourth square now. I think in a few squares time I'll try to finish off another little project.  I don't have anything as near completion as the yellow socks so perhaps I'll make some baby socks for PWW.