The Saturday Update: Week 6

Six weeks? How can that be? The weeks are just flying by. I am definitely over my flu now and actually, I am feeling pretty darn good. I’ve been really busy this week and I have so much to share and talk about I’m wondering how much I should put into this update post and how much should be blown out into a post of its own. Hmm… I don’t want to write a Saturday post that pretty much talks your ear off, but I have really been busy this week and I have a lot that I’ve been thinking about. Let’s see how this shakes out while I write.


Let’s start out with the best part of the week: Knitted MacKenzie is done!!!

Look at this face!!

This is my second attempt to knit Cat by Claire Garland, and this time I knitted lots of swatches combining different combinations of mohair with the base yarns before I started the knitted cat. Once I had the swatches done I had a better idea of how to create more contrast and interest in the final product, and I am much happier with this cat.

This time I knitted in the stripes while working the cat, and then added some embroidered detail afterwards to the face and head.
MacKenzie is now hanging out with his doppelganger buddy. What should I name him?

I started the Ravelry project page with the idea that I would record all of the yarn combinations while making this little guy, but the truth is I just kept making up things as I went along by pulling yarn out of my project bin, looking at my swatches, checking MacKenzie’s coat, and then making some leaps of faith. See, this could be a whole post if I explained all the strategies and decisions. In the meantime, feel free to check out my Ravelry page if you’d like.


The orchids are really cranking up now. The buds are getting fat and some major bloom outbreaks are right around the corner.

Those buds are growing at an exciting pace now. I think that the plants liked their fertilizer last week!

Do you see the new rose-gold bloom? My most favorite color in the orchid world! I’m so excited to have those other buds open up. The purple orchid put out some more blooms and the white one is just outdoing itself in the kitchen. Meanwhile, I have pulled the monster orchid out from under the grow lights and have put a new grow floodlight on it.

See, this orchid is just a monster!

This orchid is still in the original pot; I don’t want to mess with it while it is growing at such a clip! It is now over 2 feet tall and has been churning out new leaves and air roots steadily since I brought it home. I keep it suspended on pebbles above water in this large saucer and I suspect that helps it too. It has two stems growing with flower buds… please, please be rose gold blooms!!! I wonder how to get these plants to make seeds? Hmmm… do I just use a paintbrush to transfer pollen? What if I cross pollinate? Internet, here I come!!

Oh, yeah. I killed the poor innocent cyclamen by overwatering it, but the lantana is just covered in blooms. My sewing room is downright cheerful these days.

I raced through a print book over the weekend and then listened to an audiobook while finishing up the knitted cat. Okay, it took me 2 days to do all the finishing work on the cat, but it was so worth the time and this audiobook made the hours fly by.

I did a little sock knitting this week while listening to The Giver of Stars. Such good books!!

I read Dear Edward for my book club this month; I belong to a wonderful group at Barnes & Noble and I treaure our discussions each month. I would never have chosen this book on my own as I am avoiding books about people trapped in situations that they can’t escape from, (hello, scleroderma patient here…), but I sucked it up and read the book to be a good book club member. Wow! Just wow!! We talked for the entire hour about the book: everyone really liked it! We were compelled to finish the book as soon as we started it, thought and thought about the people in this story, and even as I write this I am still considering the events and futures for our main characters. This book, and book clubs in general, could also be a post on its own. I rarely give books 5 stars when I review them at Goodreads, but this one was totally 5 stars!

So, what is Dear Edward about? A plane crash that leaves a single survivor. Exactly the type of book that I would normally avoid, but I am so glad I read it. The aftermath of this horrific event for the single survivor, a 12 year old boy, is the meat of the book; his unwanted celebrity status, the consequences of the pressure this puts on him and other people around him in his life, the compulsion that other people affected by the crash have to connect to him, and the eventual emergence from loss and grief to a place of peace, transformation, and purpose in everyone’s lives.

Then there was The Giver of Stars. Librarians on horseback serving the communities in Appalachian Kentucky: moonshiners, coal miners, poverty, economic inequlity, and struggling families cut off from society in their far flung mountain cabins. We are introduced to women struggling for equality in a society that has firm expectations for their demeanor/place, coal miners struggling to organize for better work conditions, corrupt and powerful men who manipulate situations to their advantage, and a murder trial. It was a good read and great knitting entertainment.

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled kittens. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

28 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 6”

  1. Well your finished cat is an absolute triumph, you have managed to get the subtle stripes without him looking like a zebra/tiger. Now MacKenzie is obviously a Scottish clan name, so my suggestion would be another Scottish clan name for your cat, but you’d want it to be an Allied clan…not a rival. So the allied clans are MacRae, MacLennan, Morrison, Matheson or Mackintosh. The ancient seat of the MacKenzies is Eilean Donan Castle on the west coast, as seen in the movie Highlander (at the start). Their current seat is Castle Leod which is about 4.5 miles from where I live! The flowers on my orchid are starting to drop off and I’m not sure where I’m going wrong, although I admit I’ve still not found the orchid food which I’ll do today. Your orchids are stunning.

    1. I learned from my first knitted effort. This time I use a handpainted grey/black yarn for the base and added black mohair for additional stripes. It’s the base yarn that keeps it broken up enough to avoid the zebra effect. The best part? That yarn was just in my stash!

      What great name ideas! I am grateful for the clan affiliation info because I’m really not very knowledgeable. What a wonderful and historic place to live in. Just the idea of a castle is mind boggling to me as I grew up in earthquake country and there were no old or brick buildings there.

      I did completely kill that poor cyclamon! I’ve had orchids drop there buds before and I have no idea what happened. Too cold or wet maybe? Mine do seem to be doing better under the grow lights.

    1. It does look pretty close to MacKenzie, doesn’t it. All of that angst over colors to build the coat paid off.

      My green thumb sure failed the cyclamon! It is so dry here I have to choose my indoor plants carefully. Also, there is some material selection going on… you don’t see the plants that died! I’ve been really successful with miniature roses, orchids, and jade plants. I totally rock jade plants!!

  2. I loved Dear Edward! I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but the characters still haven’t left me. I’ve been thinking about them still. Your cat looks great, I think you should call it MacKnitzie.

    1. That’s what my experience with Dear Edward had been. I think that the author did such a good job with the parallel stories of the events on the plane and the events afterwards. Just today I remembered how Edward was found after the crash, how he was yelling for help, and I suddenly thought… he’ll be okay.

      MacKnitzie!! OMG, we have a winner! The base yarn is called “My Shadow” and I was thinking that this cat could be called MacKenzie’s Shadow, but yours is better!!

  3. I love knitted MacKensie – how adorable is he. Can’t believe the monster orchid – you do such an amazing job w/your orchids.

    1. He is endearing, isn’t he?! I’m all set up to make another yellow cat and the designer just released a KOALA that is to die for. Who knew I would be making toys with all of my mohair.

      Hey, I just gave that orchid a home. It’s a monster all on own!! I can’t wait to see the blooms. I think it will be orangey-pink.

  4. Your knitty MacKenzie is amazing! 😻 You nailed his coloring and stripes. Your orchids are beautiful. Fingers crossed for rose gold blooms. I think I am going to need to add “Dear Edward” to my reading list. Is this a book that would be better read vs. Audible? Given my profession and work schedule, Audible has been a great way to get my reading in.

    1. Several of the people in my group did listen to the book on Audible and they seemed pleased with it. I think it would be pretty good. I am knitting to audible books a lot more lately and am getting really fond of them. I always read the reviews first though. If people find the performer annoying I don’t buy it.

      I am really happy with the knitted cat. It has been a learning curve… Same with the orchids. It look me a few years to figure out how to make them bloom again.

    1. I hope it comes soon and that you also like it. I order books from my library online too and then I have to wait. They send me an email when they arrive at my branch that says “Your wait is over!” I love that the library understands how I feel. 🙂

  5. I have only just read your latest blog so I am a bit late with names and I see there is a post already re clans. I read that the mackenzie clan resided in Ross shire so maybe Ross for a boy or Geraldine for a girl. Apparently the Mackenzies may be descended from the house of Geraldine. However I am wondering what old Mackenzie thinks it should be called. Your cat is gorgeous and your orchids make me want to try to grow one again (repeated failures I’m afraid).

    1. My excessive photogenic and demanding cat just wants to sleep with the knitted cat and to chomp the yarn for my current project. I like Ross, it would be perfect, but MacKnitzie has also been suggested… Thanks for your input!

      I killed many, many orchids before I started getting successful. I think I’ll write an orchid post when i repot the monster orchid. 🙂 They do make him happy with their winter blooms.

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