Wednesday, 30 November 2011

You Win Some You Lose Some!

Life is full of successes and failures, in this case it's your success and my failure (more on that later).

But first, success!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Ropery Pattern giveaway, both here and on Twitter, the winner was commenter number one, Kaz! Well done Kaz! I've found you on Ravelry and sent you the pattern as a gift already (consistent usernames & pics is really useful!) Thanks so much for entering! The winning answer was of course Buckingham Palace, who could resist the joys of St. James' Park on a gorgeous November day!

For those of you who didn't win you can still knit Ropery - the pattern is available via my Ravelry store: pattern page here.

Or read below for another chance to win ;)



Now onto the failure. A few weeks ago I blogged, all full of enthusiasm and promise, about my desire to design, knit and publish new sweater pattern, Clematis.  At this point (12.44pm on the 30th of November) I can safely say that this will not be happening before the month is out. The pattern is languishing in armhole hell, waiting for me to grade the armholes and check the maths before continuing. It has been in this position for about 3 weeks now, what with computer viruses and other knitting work taking priority over my time. Not that I'm complaining too much about having too much work to do! :)



So yeah, I suck.


However, if you do not suck and have completed your NaKniSweMo sweater, don't forget to post about it in the NaKniSweMo Ravelry group. There's some fantastic prizes available for completers, from books from Cooperative Press, to a multitude of pattern downloads, to yarn and fibre from Ms. Gusset and Indigodragonfly. I will be giving away 2 sets of my complete Ravelry downloads - two lucky winners will win Hampstead, Koho, Tumbledown Wristies & Scarf, Roots AND Ropery! Enough to keep any knitter going throughout the winter! As an added kindness (because I'm wonderful like that), the winners will also be allowed to have their patterns gifted to their friends instead of keeping them for themselves if they prefer - a great way to give out knitterly Christmas cheer!

Monday, 21 November 2011

New Pattern: Ropery and a giveaway!

Today I am proud to finally be able to publish Ropery, a new pullover design.


Knit using Easyknits.co.uk's Cherish yarn, a luscious Merino Cashmere Nylon blend, in a modern, on trend colour (Gun Metal), this knit is truly wearable, suitable for anything from work to stylish evenings out.

Featuring a deep soft cowl generated by knitting this sock yarn at a loose gauge, this pattern is great for ladies of all shapes as it disguises rounder tummies and accommodates even the most rubenesque of busts. Sized for 28-46in/71-117cm busts, the key point of fit is the hip, which accommodates a range of 30-48in/76-122cm. This allows busty girls like me with smaller bottoms to knit a size down (always a nice thing!)

The back uses slightly exaggerated waist shaping to accommodate the lack of shaping in the front, and this generates a smooth and feminine curve about the waist that, when coupled with the bias fabric of the front, adds a clever point of interest to the design.

The hems of the front and back are scooped using Shadow Wrap short rows, which are almost completely invisible as they contrast against the reverse stockinette border.


The shoulders are set in, and form smooth lines with the straight knit back and the bias knit front for a really unusual aspect.
The cowl itself is generated, as I've said, by knitting on the bias. The piece begins by knitting straight, however the sides A-line outwards shortly after the hem. As the sides are tipped into the upright position, the cowl is formed. The neck is shaped by further short rows, as are the shoulders.

Being knit in stockinette, the floating of the fabric is enhanced, and also makes this a quicker knit than you may imagine. Perfect for the winter party season, or for anyone needing a light extra layer of warmth, this soft and practical pullover is for you. Currently available for £4.50 via Ravelry you can buy now or enter the giveaway! (Or both, I'm not going to complain!) Every correct answer to the following question in the comments (or tweet me @MichaelaKnits) will be entered into the draw for a free PDF copy of Ropery. Ready?

What is the name of the building featured in this picture?


One entry per person, pattern will be emailed to winner or sent as a Ravelry gift to them or a person of their choosing, pattern for personal use only. Contest will end at 9am Wednesday morning (23rd Nov) UK time.

Friday, 18 November 2011

New Pattern: Aeon

I know, I know, two new patterns in a week - I feel so productive!

Aeon is my second pattern for new UK magazine Knit Now. Having now seen two issues of this magazine I feel I can say with some security that this is shaping up to be a really nice contender in the UK magazines market, and not just because they keep accepting my patterns! The key point of difference with Knit Now is the complete focus on smaller projects, accessories and home knits designed for the modern knitter, with her appreciable stash of odd balls of gorgeous yarns.

Although, to call this magazine a collection of "stashbuster" projects is to do it a disservice, there are some really interesting and unusual ideas, and it's to editor Kate's credit that she has so far found such an array of interesting ideas. For example, from the current issue, we have Christmas Decorations from Julie Ferguson, Notebook Covers from Erika Knight (I am SO making some of these!), Hats knit both flat and in the round, cowls, cushions, gloves, socks, and these wonderful baby booties by Amy Gunderson perfect for mini Christmas elves.


My contribution this issue is the Aeon Cowl. Designed in response to this issue's designer challenge, to knit a small project using one skein of Artsano Aran and a cable needle, this cowl, knit flat, features a blend of dropped stitches twisted about one another (using the cable needle) and layers of garter stitch.

Photograph Copyright Knit Now Magazine
The magazine *even* comes with 3 free cable needles this issue - so no excuses!

On the Ravelry page for this pattern someone posted a question about international subscriptions for Knit Now Magazine. At present it is possible to order subs internationally via this page, and they will be posted to you. Online subscriptions are still being worked out, but if you are interested, please let the team know by posting on this Ravelry thread. Of course, UK subscriptions can be bought from Practical Publishing's website.

Monday, 14 November 2011

New FREE Pattern: Poppins

Way back earlier in the summer, I was surprised and delighted to find an email in my inbox:

"Hi Michaela,

Thanks again for your submission to Tangled! We would like to accept your design for the Mary Poppins scarf for publication in our Fall issue."

This was my very first pattern acceptance to a third party publication - I was so excited! It seems like so long ago now that things have moved on so much, and it's so lovely to see this pattern published!

The magazine is Tangled, an online mag whose message is clear - "Proud to be Bicraftual". The magazine contains patterns for both knitters and crocheters, and often has patterns including both! I was inspired by this strength of conviction in the magazine, and their Movie Knits theme to design the Poppins Scarf, my knitted take on Mary Poppins classic orange crocheted scarf:

Photo slurped from disney.wikia.com
Photo from Tangled
Knit using Rowan Kidsilk Haze, this scarf is both incredibly warm and incredibly light. The "stickiness" of the mohair allows a really rather delicate openwork stitch pattern to grow with the security of knowing it is not likely to snag and pull at every opportunity.

Photo from Tangled
The pattern features a simple 4 row repeat, using double yarn overs and purlwise twisted stitches (don't worry, it's much easier than it sounds). It knits up very quickly, and adding tassels is always good fun.

Photo from Tangled
I really appreciate the effort  Team Tangled went to in photographing and styling the scarf. The vintage hat, carpet bag and purple coat all fulfil the old British look I was aiming for, and the colours work so well with the blues of the scarf. I'd been fortunate enough to preview these a little while ago, however this one was a treat for me this morning:

Photo from Tangled
That's right, Mary Poppins flying across London on her umbrella! Genius!

You can check out Tangled at www.tangledness.com and see their fab collection of Movie Knits patterns. The Poppins scarf is available for free on their website (and will remain free indefinitely) and you can download it here: Poppins Scarf. If you do knit this pattern (and please do!) why not share your knitting on Ravelry, and link your project to the pattern page?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Socks, viruses and dinosaurs

This last week has been primarily dominated by a super nasty computer virus that has mostly kept me offline (all my emails have come from my phone, so sorry for any typos) and completely prevented me from accessing any of my pattern files! Eeep!

So I'd just like to thank all of my wonderful pattern testers who have been so patient - even completing a whole test with a dodgy chart - geniuses!

In the interim, whilst waiting for the million and one anti-spyware scans to complete, I've managed to knit to the armholes on my Clematis. I wasn't able to go any further without access to the pattern which is a bit of a pain as it does put me WAY behind schedule for publishing by the end of November. However, I really like how it's coming out so far, the bust darts are fitting better than expected, and the drape is lovely.

I've also been able to finish Andrew's second pair of Christmas socks from last year, hooray! Don't worry, Andrew doesn't mind them coming this late in the year, I'm still waiting on a pair of trousers from my last birthday 14 months ago! I made him a pair of Father's New Socks from Vintage Gifts to Knit by Susan Crawford and Jame Waller in 2 shades of Wollmeise (Zenzi and Eberholtz). I made a lot of mods as the pattern was a bit fussy for my tastes, knitting the top and bottom of the foot separately, and I just wanted these knit. I'm very rarely knitting "to order" like this, and I'm glad of that, as these were more of a slog than anything else. But Andrew and I like the end result, which I guess is what really counts!


 Thirdly, and most entertainingly, I knit this dinosaur for our friend Gareth's birthday - Reggie the Veggie Stegosaurus!:


The pattern is from Knit & Purl Pets, a book full of wonderfully cute toys, excellent photography and a lovely, rustic feel. The patterns have some flaws to say the least, and I wouldn't recommend this book to inexperienced toy knitters, but it would be a lovely gift for most knitters this Christmas! In addition to his adventures on the TV, this fellow also explored the top of the wardrobe (beloved of the Elmo cat);


And braved the dark and scary streets of Mile End on the bookshelf (beloved of the Joe cat);






Andrew did the embroidery on his face and feet, and also crocheted Gareth a wonderful aardvark of his own design, which was unfortunately gifted before I could get any photos. His crochet skills are getting better and better at a rapid pace, to think I only taught him this time last year is frustrating - damn him for being so gifted!

Good luck to all those knitters prepping gifts for Christmas this year, may your yarn not run out and your pattern not have errata.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

NaKniSweMo!

It's NaKniSweMo again! Hooray!

In English that mean's it's National Knit A Sweater In A Month (Month), whereby knitter's the world over try their darndest to knit 50,000 stitches in just 30 days. The "National" refers to the parent concept, NaWriNoMo (National Write a Novel in a Month (Month)) - an American "pastime" where every November people write 50,000 word novels in just 30 days. See the theme?!

Last year I successfully knit this sweater, a super simple in the round yoke neck jumper with a stripe of Sidar Crofter DK - a "fair isle effect" yarn.

Photo by Alex Wakeman, Model Holly
Photo by Alex Wakeman, Model Holly
I love this sweater, it's big and fun and I wear it a lot (it's also machine washable) but there were a number of problems with it that prevented me from writing up the pattern, I didn't like the way the armholes worked, and I don't think knitters really need another stockinette yoke neck jumper pattern!

This year I'm branching out. Knitting 50,000 stitches in a month isn't so much of a stretch for me, I probably do that on an average month. Instead of pushing myself to knit 100,000 (or whatever) I decided that a greater challenge would be to design, knit, write, edit, photograph and publish a new pattern within the time frame.  Eeep!

So I'm using some Rowan Cashsoft Baby DK (bought in last year's Christmas John Lewis Sale) to make Clematis, a soft, wearable pullover with pleated shoulders and scalloped hems.

Please excuse my crappy photo of my crappy sketch!

I cast on last night and have knit the first 4in/10cm of the body so far:


Yes, I know it's curling, and yes, I do have plans!

Pattern writing is going well, schematic is done too. Clematis will be available in 6 sizes, from (if I remember correctly) 28-46in/71-117cm.

If you're interested in joining in, you can sign up over at the NaKniSweMo group on Ravelry. Moderated by Shannon Okey of KnitGrrl and Cooperative Press fame there's a fantastic list of prizes donated for completers. Two lucky knitters will win the complete MichaelaKnits PDF download collection, including all patterns released prior to November 30th this year (and there's some wonders coming out this month!) So what are you waiting for, get knitting!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

New Pattern: Brick by Brick

Today is the official launch date for Issue One of Knit Now, a brand new UK print magazine specialising in those quick and useful knits we all love for showing off our favourite yarns. And I'm in it!

Photograph Copyright Knit Now Magazine

Found on page 39 of this new magazine is the pattern for my Brick by Brick socks, a simple unisex sock pattern that's perfect for fussy men and yet far more fun to knit that a boring stockinette or plain ribbed sock! I absolutely love this pattern, so much so I've now knit 4 pairs!

Brick by Brick features an optional twisted rib cuff, a stretchy leg pattern that continues down the foot, a simple heel flap and turn, gusset, and a wedge toe finished with just a touch of grafting - making this the perfect knit for a first time sock knitter. It works in a wide variety of sock yarns, and due to the nature of the Brick by Brick pattern, is forgiving to those knitters who struggle to achieve gauge, or, gasp, don't swatch at all! Being knit top down also allows knitters to easily and accurately check for length, which can be difficult in toe up knits (almost all of my toe up socks are too long in the foot, you'd think I'd learn, but no!)

The pattern is shown in the magazine in Araucania Ranco, a great sock yarn, packed with 30% nylon and wool that hasn't been superwash treated, so provided you don't machine wash them by mistake they should last for a very long time (at Knit Nation Judith Mackenzie told me she had just retired a pair of 100 year old wool socks - which seems like a challenge to beat!) I knit a pair in the women's size (UK 5-7) using a wonderful tomato red, which the magazine have styled with some thick tights and walking boots - these are tough socks! I really really love this photo of the men's socks (in a lovely semi-solid purple, size UK 8-10) which unfortunately didn't make it into the magazine (in it's place is another great photo of the men's socks, so I'm happy).

Photograph Copyright Knit Now Magazine
Photograph Copyright Knit Now Magazine
 I've also knit these socks in Sweet Clement Smitten, for the show way back in March (in fact, you can see them in the blog banner), and they are my favourite pair of socks to wear, mostly because after treating them pretty unkindly they are holding up wonderfully well. I seem to be cursed to wear holes over heelturns and above toes, and there's not even a hint of wear on these (I think this is the yarn rather than the pattern, but I'm still enthused!)



I also made a pair for Andrew at around the same time (also in the blog banner) - this time in Easyknits Cherish in Gun Metal (yes, the same yarn and colourway as my Ropery Pullover, I just love it!) He's been very gentle and precious with them, and wore them for the first time in months around the flat yesterday as it was so cold! 

Knit Now Magazine is published by Practical Publishing, who previously have been known for craft magazines such as Creative Cardmaking, Papercraft Essentials and Scrapbook Magazine, and this is their first venture into textile crafts. I think they've done a really good job! The yarn and LYS reviews are of the standard we've become accustomed to from the UK magazines, and the point of difference, small, quick knits in a range of difficulty levels, is a great refreshing change. Knit Now is currently available from WHSmith, Tescos, Sainsburys and all good newsagents for £4.99 or you can subscribe here.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Socktopus!

Saturday (I know, ages ago, I've had computer problems this week!) saw the launch of Alice Yu's new book of sock patterns, Socktopus! The launch was held at London knitting shop Loop and featured the lady herself signing books amongst a crowd of knitters and an amazing array of cakes from Bittersweet Bakers (seriously, amongst the best banana bread I have EVER had).

Socktopus is Alice's first book, and features an array of her favourite patterns released through her many popular sock clubs over the last 3 years, reworked and wonderfully reshot to utilise the fabulous Sokkusu yarn she has developed.

As Alice is a good friend of mine, which you've no doubt noticed as she seems to crop up in most of these blog posts, when she asked me to knit a couple of pairs of socks as the samples for the book, I was happy to accept the challenge! For two weeks after the show (way back in March!) I furiously knit two pairs of socks in time for a fast approaching photoshoot.

The first pair were Mince Pie Mayhem, previously a pattern released at Christmas time and featuring literal thousands of 1x1 cables. While I can cable without a cable needle, I find I get much better tension if I use one, and for the book I wanted my knitting to look it's best, so over 1000 fully worked cables it was! As I knit rather loosely, and Alice rather tightly, I ended up working these socks on 2mm DPNs, which is very small for me! All in all these socks should have been a nightmare for my left handed, funny tensioned brain, especially once the 3 day deadline was included, but they weren't. Getting to know this fantastic yarn and the unusual heel and toe construction kept these socks interesting, and trying them on once complete showed me a surprisingly stretchy and wonderfully comfortable pair of socks. The colourway is Tree Frog - how could I not love them!





The second pair was Crowley. These were knit it Sokkusu-X, which meant a comfortable 2.5mm needle and magic loop, plus another new yarn to handle. Lately I've come to realise that I'm not the fibre snob I thought I was, and like a nice pure wool as much as anything. Sokkusu-X has a cashmere content, but rather than screaming about it, this yarn seems to quietly and subtly enjoy it's luxury status, being soft on the hands but not threatening to disintegrate upon contact with the floor/shoes/water due to it's high twist.

The pattern is quick and easy in comparison, featuring a neat undulating cable and rib design. The heel and toe are more traditional also, meaning these were a gentle rest after the Mince Pies. The fit was great, the knit rewarding because of it's speed and the great yarn, and I'm finally knitting a pair for myself!


Because I knit the samples, Alice and the publishers GMC were kind enough to give me a credit in the back of the book too!




If you'd like to purchase Socktopus it is available in a wide range of LYS's and will shortly be published in the United States. Alternatively you can order from Amazon in the UK (here) or US (here).

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Roots: The Process

In this post I'll try and explain the process behind the Roots hat design - which was far more extensive than you may expect!

The original inspiration was to create a ribbed hat with a fractal branching structure, reminiscient of tree root structures. This meant that the shaping had to be placed amongst unusual lines. I toyed with the idea of working bottom up, using left and right leaning decreases to shape the crown, but quickly realised that a top down construction would give me greater control over size and length, and also provide something a bit different to knitters than the literal hundreds of ribbed hat designs already available!

This pattern has been a long time in the making, being prototyped and tweaked to get it just right for knitters. In fact, the first version was knit way back in December, as a Christmas gift for my Uncle Stu!



I then made a second prototype for the Leaf Litter show back in March;


Both of these hats taught me a few important lessons about this design. I was able to modify the pattern to remove the pixie like point you see in the first version, and with the second, which was knit in Debbie Bliss Glen, reaffirm how fantastic a yarn Malabrigo Twist is for working rib in (actually, any multi-plied worsted weight yarn should be a good fit, most of the problems I had with this version were with the single ply of Glen). The first hat is more complex in it's shaping than the final knit, and I was able to see that in fact this was unnecessary, and simple is best for both fit and ease of knitting.

The third and final version (so far, I really want one for myself!) is the sample knit. This version of the pattern contains all of the features I wanted in this pattern from the start - a smooth, round crown, a soft slouchy drape, a firm rib contraction for a secure fit, and a striking branching rib pattern that is unusual but subtle enough for even the most fussy of our male gift recipients!

We had a lot of fun doing the photoshoot in my Mam and Dad's yard. The model is my little brother Dominic, who was perhaps not quite in the mood for having his photo taken less than 24 hours after running the Great North Run!


But he consented eventually, even posing with a book (can you tell Sherlock Holmes isn't exactly his favourite!) I love this version of the hat, it fits great, the colour (Zinc) really shows off the texture pattern, and it suits my brother so well!


The first hat was knit to a length of around 10"/25cm, and the second to 8"/20cm. This is quite a bit shorter than the 13" used for the sample, and this is what really proves to me the benefit of knitting hats from the top down, there's no way my uncle would want a slouchy modern beanie, and similarly Dominic, who was given the sample as a graduation present, would have no use for such a utility garment as the first prototype!

If you would like to knit Roots the pattern is available to purchase through Ravelry.com, or you can buy now

Happy Knitting! 

Monday, 3 October 2011

New Pattern: Roots

I am proud to announce today that new pattern Roots has finally been published!

 



Roots is a top down hat featuring an unusual branching rib structure. It is knit using 100-150 yards of Malabrigo Twist (colour Zinc) and 4mm circular needles or DPNs.

This is a great gift knit pattern (indeed, even the sample has already been gifted to my well deserving little brother), and takes about 6 hours to make. With the holiday season approaching, this simple, unisex pattern with it's customisable length and subtle but unusal patterning will impress many different people.

Roots was inspired by the branching fractal nature of tree roots, working their way down into the soil. As you knit from top to brim you mimic this process, starting from a centre circle.

The use of worsted weight yarn knit at a slightly tighter gauge results in a warm, water resistant fabric, perfect for winter wear, and increases the elasticity of the rib for a snug, warm fit. This hat makes a fantastic gift knit as it can be readily knit over a couple of days, and the soft and luxurious yarn makes for a truly special treat. This hat is a great knit for men, being both well fitting, simple and traditional in style, but the branching rib provides an element of individuality and makes for a fun and interesting knit.

If you would like to knit Roots you can buy now via Ravelry for £2.50.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Birthdays!

Yesterday was my birthday! Hooray!

I woke up to tea and birthday cake (made by Andrew) and received some lovely presents. Andrew was wonderfully thoughtful and had responded to my request for "a nice spiral bound notebook" by getting me these wonderful goodies:

On the left is a notebook featuring Elmo, in the middle a 2012 diary with Joey, and on the right a tote bag with one of my favourite MichaelaKnits photos! I was umming and ahhing writing up this pattern, but I guess I'll have to now!




My Mam and Dad had given me a bag of goodies to bring home last weekend, which had some lovely bits in including some animal bookmarks and a book of knitted monster patterns, and had had this posted to me:



Andrew and I had really wanted to go to Antwerp this summer for a whole range of reasons, but didn't end up having the chance. As such, I missed out on this exhibit, but am pleased as punch to have the book. From what I can gather, it goes through each item through history, looking at both the design and construction ideas. I'm so excited to read it!

We were out of the house all day, I'd been planning for weeks to spend the day at Richmond Park. We'd paid a visit last year at the end of October, but really missed the bulk of the mating behaviour (my now abandoned PhD was in sexual selection, mating behaviour is kind of my thing!) This year, we went at peak time, and got to see some real treats.

Richmond Park is one of London's Royal Parks, alongside Regents Park, St. James' Park, Hyde Park, etc. but is further out of town in West London. It's the largest of London's parks, and was secured by King Charles the First in 1637, although it's history as a Royal deer hunting ground dates back at least to Henry VII (thank you wikipedia!) Due to it's age, and in part due to it's size, the woodland is extremely well established, and relatively undisturbed. There are some gravel paths and bridleways, but mostly you are unsure if you're walking a people path or a deer track. The park is full of  lovely fairytale trees:


But mostly we wanted to see the deer. We first spotted a medium sized stag limping heavily through the trees (inevitably he'd been fighting), and later spotted this fellow having a rest.


He's a fairly big stag, but didn't have a single female with him. I can only assume he'd challenged or been challenged by another male soon before, and had come off the loser. He was great though. One of the advantages of seeing the deer in Richmond Park is that they are used to people being around them, and as long as you stay quite far away (photos are zoomed in) and make sure they can hear you coming, they are unlikely to spook and run off, or worse, turn and attack. We came back later and found he'd dug this little hole for his nap!


Later, Andrew managed to spot a group of 6 female Fallow deer hiding in some long grass close to the deer track we were following. These are smaller than the Red deer, and much more skittish, so we felt very lucky to have seen them. Shortly after though we found what we were really looking for:


A huge group of females (probably close to 40) guarded by one large male. This won't be the largest harem in Richmond Park, the male doesn't look nearly as big as he could be, and a lot of the females are probably too young to mate. He spent much of the time we were watching chasing off a relentless invasion of 4 very young males, keen to cash in on his hard work! I read once that a stag can lose up to 20% of his body weight during a busy rut, he is kept so active chasing away and fighting with other males. This seems like a massive amount to lose during the autumn, so I'm not sure it's true, but I can certainly believe it's possible!



After the park we ventured off for dinner and cocktails to celebrate. We enjoyed a lovely Mexican meal and some yummy cocktails (I followed that up with some "Aztec Chocolate Cake" - which was as amazing as it sounds!) and then collapsed into bed, very tired by all the festivities!


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Great North Run!

This Saturday, following a busy week and some Friday Fashion Week excitement (more on that tomorrow), I took the long journey to Newcastle to watch my Dad and brother Dominic compete in the Bupa Great North Run.

This is Britain's biggest half marathon, run this year by 54,000 runners and headed up by some of the biggest names in distance running. My Dad first ran this, alongside my Grandad, in 1982, the second year of the race, at the age of 29. Now, 29 years later (at the age of 58), he ran with my brother (who, for completeness sake, is 21). Dad and Grandad ran the half marathon in 2 hours 20 minutes, and this time round the target, taking into consideration the much larger crowd (54,000 vs. 14,000), my Dad being a bit older than my Grandad was, and my brother's rather unconventional training schedule, the target was around the 2 hours 45 mark.

Mam and Dad now live in Newcastle, so we were fortunate enough to be able to walk to the start line, after some essential stretching of course!


 Making sure we had cameras...
 And the obligatory plastic clothing.
Dad and Dom went off to get ready to start whilst Mam and I waited at the start line;

The start gun went....

Look at the crowd!

We caught up with Dad and Dom at the 4 and 8 mile marks,

And again at the end! We saw them finish, triumphantly crossing the line together, but I was too excited to take a photo, hopefully this one from 30 seconds later will suffice.


Don't they look exhausted!


Dad and Dom finished in 2 hours 48 minutes - almost exactly on schedule when you consider they had to stop and chat to family 3 times!!

Today they're very stiff and very tired, but very very proud. They've got medals and t-shirts and support coming from all over (thanks so much to those who tweeted their support!) Dom has been told that he has to run it again with his son in another 29 years!