The Saturday Update: Week 9

The local news station posted on Facebook this morning that there are only 300 days until Christmas. Why do they do this? Already, I am feeling the pressure and thinking about what I need to craft/knit/weave for this year’s Christmas.  I did take out the spinning wheel this week and got organized to do some quilting. So much pressure if you are a fiber artist/crazy person…


I had a busy knitting week. It was so busy, in fact, that I already did a little posting about what I was up to as I worked out the swatches to knit another cat to match my son’s kitten Jonesy and ended up dyeing some mohair yarn in a crockpot. If you missed it, here is that post.

Last night I took the swatches up to my son’s place to match them to the real thing: Jonesy.

They were a big hit; Jonesy thinks they are a new kick toy. They are also a good match, especially the color that I dyed to create his stripes.

I got back to work on my Pebble Tunic later on in the week. It doesn’t look like I made a lot of progress, but I have connected the front and back and am knitting down the body of the sweater making some increases as I go. It is all mindless knitting until I hit the pockets in another 10 inches of knitting or so.

This yarn is just wonderful to work with. My project notes on Ravelry are here.
I also went back to simple knitting because… well, this is embarrassing… I snipped into my thumb with my scissors. My scleroderma hands sometimes misbehave, but this is just ridiculous!! Good thing I had a knitted finger protector on hand to hold the bandage in place and add protection.
I’m also finishing up the second snowshoe sock being created at DK weight by holding a wild multicolored yarn from Western Sky Knits with a single ply inky colored MadTosh yarn. The project notes are here.

This is a bittersweet project to finish up. It is the last one that my sweet boy yarn chomped/supervised earlier this week. I’m so glad now that I let him eat all the cookies that he wanted, tolerated all his knitting help, held and babied him when I wanted to do other things, and switched him back to his favorite food for those last few weeks.

MacKenzie was always a lot of help. If you missed it, my boy left me this week and I blogged about it here.

The best part of orchid ownership has arrived: the orchids left the craft room with its grow lights and moved into the living room to strut their stuff to the general public. Okay, it is just me, but it makes me so happy to have them out on display.

The miniature orchid with its darker magenta blooms joined the rose gold orchid on the china cabinet. Do you like that funky unglazed orchid pot? I get them at my local nursery and the orchids really seem to like them.
The Monster orchid is now on my coffee table where its lovely orange/pink bloom (there are more on the way) displays well with the plum furniture and the gold walls. Happy orchid, happy me!

Well, I have settled into the most amazing book ever this week. I can’t believe how much I love this book. I bought it because Melinda of Knit Potion recommended it on her blog. Oh, my goodness!! I am so glad that she pointed this incredible book out to me.

<Disclaimer: I am a life long science geek and biologist. I didn’t always love plants, but now I drive people walking along with me crazy as I stop to take a good look at vegetation. I was thrilled when a slime mold emerged in the pot of one of my jade plants this summer. I’ve gone on workshops and field trips to forests, burn zones, and learned about the forest management strategies employed to maintain Denver’s watersheds. I think that it is absolutely reasonable to marvel over the mechanics of water movement through plants and the complexity of chloroplasts…>

I’m about a third of the way through the book, and so far it is a collection of stories about the interactions and meaningful relationships of different individuals with… trees! Sounds kind of strange and boring, but no, it is not! It is magical. I am hoping that the people catch up with each other to save the forest soon…

Here it is. I did take a break from the book and watched the movie Tolkien. Would you believe it – trees feature in this movie and Tolkien tells his kids to go talk to the trees. That’s it. Never underestimate the power of communing with trees…

Before you think that this is crazy, let me share with you a little tree story from my family. Starting her life over after tumultuous times and a painful divorce, my mother bought a trailer home and began to garden again. She grew amazing roses and boatloads of blackberries. She planted a tree. A Podocarpus Macrophilia tree, to be exact. She loved the tree, fed it, babied it, and eventually hung a bird feeder in its branches. She treasured this tree and it just thrived under her care. Mowing the lawn under the tree one day she began to realize that there was something wrong: abdominal and back pain. It was cancer. Years later, facing down her coming death she selected her burial plot and made all of her final decisions in a manner that serves as a pathway to me and all others who knew her. She chose a location with a beautiful view of the hills and canyons of San Diego, under a Podocarpus Macrophilia tree. The last time I saw her grave there were wind chimes and a small bird feeder hanging from the tree.

Never discount the importance of a tree.

Have a great week, everyone!! Read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.

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.

16 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 9”

  1. The yarn swatch really does look at great match, I hope you got some cuddles from him. Well I have only 1 flower left on my orchid…the other all fell off so I think we keep our house too cool for them. It’s usually between 16°C-18°C. It was a Christmas present and lasted 2 month. In Sri Lanka we went to a botanical gardens and they had an orchid house. You’d love it, thousands of different varieties and colours and shapes and sizes. My husband and I love trees. He bought me a tree spotters guide and we have a few tree walks we can go to with dozens of varieties. There are giant trees in the woods behind our house and a woodpecker that visits our bird feeder lives in one of the trees.

    1. The kitten just thinks that I am a giant cat toy… he spends all his time attacking my feet and following me around. It’s kind of like he’s Dennis the Menace and I’m Mr. Wilson. Someday he will become more cuddly.

      My local nursery just advertised classes for the spring and one of them is how to grow orchids!! I thought of signing up but things are uncertain right now with my health and I didn’t want to grab a slot from someone else. I think that you are right about the temperature. The grow lights I use are pretty cool put that room of the house must be at least 22 degrees C. I would love to see that orchid house!

      I have several different plant guides and used to do a lab with my students where they learned how to identify trees using a key. Every year I had to go out and find branches of the conifers that grow here in Colorado. At first I drove a route through the Rocky Mountains, but by the end I had memorized the locations of all the trees here in town and could get samples locally. Crazy when you drive around identifying indigenous tree at a glace from your car, but it is now one of my mad skills. The most fun about where I live is that there are several different biomes near me: mountains, foothills, plains, and riparian. So much fun to go looking for the plants and life.

  2. Your projects look fantastic! I love the yarns you’re using for the socks:)
    How lovely that you get to enjoy your orchids all the time now! They’re just stunning.
    I’m pleased to hear that MacKenzie got to do all the things he loved:) When the end is near it is what we all deserve.

    1. Thank you. The multicolored yarn is so wild I wasn’t sure how to knit it up but I’m so happy how it displays against the inky blue.

      I am really relieved that I made the right decision with MacKenzie. When I stopped the meds I was taking a chance, but as it turned out it was cancer and there was nothing I could do to stop it; he has such a good time pigging out on his kitten food and cookies that it was so worth it.

  3. Your orchids and your projects are all so beautiful!
    I don’t know a ton of trees, but the house where I grew up was in a woods, so I know the handful we had there pretty well 🙂

  4. I think Jonesey might steal our hearts like dear old MacKenzie did. How is your other cat going without his long time housemate? You might be interested in a lovely program the actress Judi Dench did, called ‘My passion for trees’. You might be able to source it, not sure. Her property is devoted to trees and their habits. It was fascinating. Your orchids are beautiful as usual. My only recent achievement was a beautiful deep purple double gladioli. I pretended it looked a bit like an orchid! It’s not so hot here now so inspired by your knits I may pull the knitting needles out of the drawer. I live in hope!

    1. Jonesy is a cutie, but he isn’t my kitten and I only see him a couple of times a month. Still, he might be able to get a few charming blog posts out there, or maybe some updates on life with the Jonesy kitten. Today my son and I tore his bed apart to figure out when Jonesy was digging out batting from. In our minds he was building a den in the mattress somehow. He was actually pulling it out of the box springs. Anyway, we put a stop to that!

      MacKenzie’s companion died about 18 months ago. It was just awful as MacKenzie hunted endlessly for Yellow Boy (real name was Morgan) for weeks. I finally bought him a hamster to be his companion and he really settled down after that. Would you believe that the hamster started squeaking last night? I wonder if it missed MacKenzie, who used to check on her several times a night while she ran in her wheel.

      I’ll look online for that Judi Dench program. She is such a talented actress, it would be nice to know something about her as a person. Thanks for the info.

      Go on, knit. You know that you want to do it…

  5. This is such a beautiful post. I love the story of your mom and the tree and marvel at her vision. I’m sorry about the cut finger. It’s so easy to do, though. I’m glad you are working on another knitted cat. Your yarn match is wonderful. You must be missing our kitty something fierce.

    1. I am missing MacKenzie something awful. I keep thinking that I see him everywhere. I know that it will get better eventually, but for right now it is hard.

      Today I thought of my mom’s tree as the tree service that I hire every year came today to treat my ash tree for emerald ash borer. I do love the tree as it gives essential shade for my house in the summer. It is good to care for a tree! 🙂

      1. It’s hard to lose a cat at any age and stage, but since you spend so much time indoors, it must feel like you’ve lost a dear companion. We currently have three kitties, ages 3, 8 and almost 18. They all feel like family members so I understand the loss when they go.

        I’m glad you had your tree serviced today. Holding you in my thoughts. xo

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