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”.