best layer of the month # November

Time to tot up egg count for this chilly month of November.  All gals have been laying well, I’m pleased to say.  A total of 76 eggs for November with Mauricette (photo centre) laying 24 very large eggs . . . Florence (left in photo) laying 25, and Ruby, our red hen laying 27 eggs this month!

Not only have we had a bumper harvest with eggs, but we also harvested our kiwi the other day. I didn’t bother weighing, but this is what we harvested.

 

 

keeping my mind on other things

With Christmas now officially less than 1 month away, but with Christmas itself still an uncertain event (ie, not knowing yet what lockdown restrictions will be – French government taking things 2 weeks at a time now) . . . I’ve already finished my xmas shopping (all done on-line) and am just waiting for the last few parcels to arrive so I can wrap.  In the meantime, I’m trying to keep my mind and hands busy with other things.  A bit of sewing

This is just one of several doll dresses I’ve made recently. Am currently working on some doll dungarees.

It’s crochet weather (cold outside and best place is indoors by the radiator).

This green chap is Gary Gecko.  He’s the first pattern in the book “Bookies – bookmarks to crochet” by Jonas Matthies.  I treated myself to the book, which contains 17 of Jonas’ patterns, after crocheting the book rat which was available for free on Jonas’ site: Supergurumi.    Patterns all look fairly simple to make, assuming you’ve got all the basic crochet knowledge but sadly (as feedback on the book suggested) there are a few blatant mistakes in patterns.  If you’re competent and on your toes, nothing that can’t be corrected, but still something of a disappointment when you pay out good money for a book.

Anyway, I still had lots of fun crocheting Gary the Geko (just be extra careful of the s2tog when doing the tail!) . . . and I already have plans to try more patterns from the book. In case you missed it, here is a photo of my book rat, which I called Splat (crocheted in May this year).  In the book, this is the second pattern and called Lisa the book rat.

There’s also been some knitting, but I haven’t got around to taking photos, so that’ll save for another day.  And a fair amount of reading . . . but with local Library shut, due to lockdown, one of my neighbours has lent me a few books and they’re all by French authors so I won’t bore you giving titles & names you won’t want to read.

 

ScrapHappy # November

(If you came looking for my SAL update, it’s in a post published a few hours earlier today).

I missed out on a ScrapHappy post last month, and almost missed this month too, until . . .

Doing some tidying up, I had brought some paper/cardboard scraps downstairs, all ready to throw in the recycle bin, when I had another look at one of the pieces I was about to throw away.

The card casing from a set of notecards.  I suddenly decided this print was too pretty to throw away, and that I must reuse/recycle it in some way.  So I did.

And voilà!  Twenty pretty little gift tags!

I’m linking up with Kate, Gun and a whole group of other crafters who post on 15th of each month, with their projects using scraps.

KateGun , TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

SAL “Tiny Treasures” #5

There will be two different posts today because ScrapHappy and the SAL both fall on 15th this month.  So, anyone coming to admire scraps – you’ll need to check out the later post today.

I’m posting now to show off progress on “Tiny Treasures”, a blackwork design by Elizabeth Almond.  Last time I was here

Since then, things have grown to this

Another 4 green squares, plus the outlines of the next four and lots of linking flowers & border.

Please visit other SAL members, who have been busily working on their individual projects.

And we’ll be back on 6th December!

keeping busy

I realise I haven’t been posting as often as I usually do, which doesn’t mean to say I’ve been sitting around doing nothing.  I have been working on a few secret crafting projects, which I won’t be able to reveal until the end of the year, but I got the camera out and took a few pics of what I can show you.

Knitting has been high on the agenda over recent weeks.  I showed you my first attempt at knitting a doll sweater, writing my own pattern, last month.  Since then, I knitted a second sweater, just in stocking stitch and garter, which meant tweaking the pattern.

This one knitted in Stylecraft Special DK “Cream” turned out slightly bigger than the previous one, in broken rib, but still a fairly good fit.

Anyway, I learned from that that stitch pattern used affects the number of stitches & rows needed . . . so I’ve cast on again, to do some more tweaking.

While knitting, I like to follow something on TV but there never seems to be much of any interest these days. You’d think, with lockdown, that those in charge of the numerous channels would make an effort and schedule something worth watching. But no . . . it’s the same old repeats of repeats.  If I’m going to watch repeats, I prefer to choose what I watch, and my current viewing is the above:  “Call the Midwife”.  I absolutely love this series (as you can see from the fact that I own all seasons so far, 1 – 9) and I could watch it all day.  I don’t!  because the husband can only take it in small doses but I have taken to knitting in the spare bedroom, where we have a DVD player & large screen.

When not knitting, I’ve been crocheting

A couple of very pink YipYip underway!

And when it’s time for bed . . . my routine is always to make a mug of hot chocolate and read a few chapters of a good book before lights out.  Just after the first lockdown, March – May, once bookshops were allowed to reopen, I ordered a couple of books from our local bookshop.  A series of 4, I had read reviews about (only in French, I’m afraid) and a fifth in English.

The series “U4” (aimed at teens) sparked my interest.  4 novels, written by 4 different authors but with one story-line and close collaboration between authors.  Written in 2015, the story:  a virus, called U4 because it originates in Utrecht, Holland, and is a 4th generation mutation, decimates Europe, killing 90% of the population. For some unknown reason, the only survivors are teenagers, aged approx 13 – 18.  The 4 main protagonists are all members of “WOT” (Warriors of Time) an on-line MMORPG and, just before the internet crashes, they receive a message from the “Game Master”, inciting them to make their way to Paris to meet on 24th December to “go back in time and defeat the virus”.

Anyone would think I’d had enough of reading about viruses with what’s going on this year, but I was intrigued, and curious to see if this story, written in 2015, would come close to what we’re all experiencing in 2020.  The four novels are:  “U4 – Jules” by Carole Trébor;  “U4 – Koridwen” by Yves Grevet; “U4 – Yannis” by Florence Hinckel and “U4 – Stéphane” by Vincent Villeminot.  They can be read in any order or simulatenously.  My personal favourite was Jules . . . but all four books were well-written.

Other novel, in English, is “The Wicked Deep” by Shea Ernshaw.  Another novel aimed at teenagers and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  Didn’t see the end coming.  Here’s what’s printed on the back cover:

“Two centuries ago, in small, isolated Sparrow, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery and drowned in the waters surrounding the town. Now, each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three girls and seeking revenge by dragging boys to their watery deaths.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the town’s fate. Then, on the eve of the sisters’ return, Bo Carter arrives: unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into or the fact that his arrival will change everything . . .

Mistrust and lies spread quickly throught the salty, rain-soaked Streets. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannont. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself”.

 

best layer of the month # October

Using an old photo today, because I’m feeling somewhat demoralised with the continuing C word, and can’t get up the energy to take a new photo.

Hens are all well and, after a very long rest from laying, Mauricette has started laying again since 19th October . . . so total egg count this month was 64.  10 eggs from Mauricette, 24 from Florence, and it’s Ruby, our red hen who is this month’s best layer with 30 eggs.