The Saturday Update: Week 13

Wow. Week thirteen already. That is a quarter of the year. Things are going by quickly, or incredibly slowly, depending on how you look at it. I do hope that everyone is doing well.

Knitting

I showed off the Pebble Tunic a few days ago in my last post, so I won’t subject you to another picture now. Truthfully, it only has had a couple of pocket linings added to it at this point. It will be much more interesting to show off once there is some sleeve action, right? Stay tuned for further updates on the pink tunic wonderfulness…

The tunic got so little action because I finished up the cat I was knitting.

Do you remember my son’s kitten Jonesy? I’ve been knitting a doppelganger of Jonesy for a few weeks now. It was a real challenge to get yarn combinations that would mimic his coloration realistically, and I even had to dye some yarn to get the stripes right. 

Today I finished sewing the knitted cat together and began to excitedly take pictures of him to send to my son who is staying-in-place in a city north of me.

What do you think?
Those stripes are exactly the way that I wanted them to turn out!! I couldn’t be happier with how this cat looks.
Now MacKnitzie has a friend to hang out with until I can get the cat to my son.

This pattern is Cat by Claire Garland. My project notes on the Jonesy version of the pattern are here.

Garden

Are you sick of looking at my monster orchid yet? Sorry. That is all that I’ve got right now. The big boy had two more blooms open this week and I finally had to stake one of the bloom stems up to keep the plant upright. This plant makes me happy every time I see it, and it certainly is making the living room a cheerful place to read in under my weighted blanket.

There, doesn’t he look really nice with that stake in place?
Remember when I was over-the-moon excited about the rose gold orchid blooming? I have a miniature orchid in the pot with it right now. I know that you don’t get the whole scale of the monster orchid which is now over 2 feet tall with its blooms in a single shot, so I took a photo of the orchids together. See. He’s a monster!!!

Off to the far left in the group orchid shot above is the weeping fig tree. I keep looking at it as I consider what chunks to cut off when I prune it next week. Poor tree. It doesn’t know what’s coming…

Books

Staying home alone, day after day, my mind skitters around jumping from association to association. Right now one of the drugs that I am on is in the news as it might have some efficacy in treating Covid-19 patients. The drug is a derivative of quinine, the malaria drug, and is called hydroxychloroquine.  Hearing about this, my brain immediately took off: How does this drug hydroxychloroquine actually work? How are the protists that cause malaria like the mobile white blood cells that are invading my lungs? Suddenly I was back in the lab I once worked in counting activated white blood cells in my microscope view field. Then I associated that scene with one in the book Lab Girl that I am listening to while knitting (and sewing a cat) in the evenings. The scientist in Lab Girl does a lot of outdoor work with soils… I spent a year teaching about soils and weather to students when I first transferred to teaching in the high school. Weather. I took a summer course at NOAA to learn about weather where we graphed tons of data on maps. Weather is crazy hard to study and teach. So much chaos, so much data, so hard to find the patterns in the data that streams in from a multitude of sources…

I just finished the book Weather: A Novel (by Jenny Offill) before I started Lab Girl. What an amazing experience. I am utterly in awe of how the author captures the brain skitterings and inner voice of our heroine Lizzie as she moves through her life and offers elusive connections that create images and patterns out of the chaos. Just like weather itself, there is a lot of data occurring as single events that create larger patterns and trends through time. The story is created in small text snippets of amazing imagery and tongue in cheek humor that carry us along. Lizzie is a failed psychologist and a librarian; she uses her observations of people around her and her endless access to knowledge in the library to navigate through her world. We follow Lizzie along as her life evolves over a few years while she grapples with her life, her connections and responsibilities to others, and the answers to really big questions that she needs to answer as part of a part-time job. The questions are exhausting and take a tole on her: what is important in a world rolling in possible extreme outcomes? Scary outcomes. Outcomes like climate change, war, and pandemics… What is one little life when all the rest of this is on the horizon?

Maybe this isn’t the best book to read at this moment, but I think that I will remember it for a long time.

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 cats.

26 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 13”

  1. Jonsey’s doppelgänger turned out perfect I’d say. Such a great colour match on those stripes, especially. Your orchid certainly does seem giant, I’ve never seen terracotta pots with holes in the side before. Our libraries are shut for the foreseeable which is good because I still haven’t finished Dear Edward, you recommended. Not helped because I’m also reading another book at the same time. Dear Edward has the tiniest writing of any book I’ve ever read, so if I’m too tired I just can’t read it even with my glasses on., which is why I’m reading another book when I’m tired…which is most days at the moment. I will finish it though as I am enjoying it. Perhaps I should slot an hour in the morning to reading, instead of only at bedtime.

    1. My local nursery carries these, and they are so cute! They have the name and the year that they were made stamped into them. Here is the website: http://www.guywolff.com/ My orchids do seem to like them. I love your comment about the book’s print size. Weather is a very little book in size, and it was hard for me to hold the covers open because the binding was so tight. I think that these publishers are messing with us so that we will just buy the e-books. The copy of Dear Edward that I read has normal type size, but it was a special edition for the book club through Barnes and Noble.

      I’m so pleased with the cat’s colors. I’m starting to get better at this. I hate swatching, but for these realistic animals you just have to.

    1. Hey, Jonesy is the third cat, so I have to be getting better, right? With each one I understand the construction of the cat better and come up with better ideas for creating the tabby coat. 🙂
      The best part of the orchids is that they bloom in the winter. Who knew? I love the color in my rooms while I’m trapped inside in the cold. About the time that they are done I have the outside flowers going.

  2. I’m in love with both kitties. You are quite amazing. If the knitted version were mine, I think I would walk into a room and temporarily think it was a real kitty. I can’t imagine taking on such a complex task, as I’m still trying to figure out how to do the magic circle with my crochet hook. I’ve watched a video several times, but I think I’m someone that needs another person at my elbow guiding me. I love your posts.

    1. The lady who makes these patterns is just amazing. I am finally understanding the shaping techniques that she is using, and with each cat I sew it better.
      Now I have to look up magic circle; I’m a dunce who can’t do the magic loop in knitting. I struggle with some other techniques and rely on YouTube every time I use them (tubular and provisional cast ons come to mind), and it is still 50-50. There are some things that are just better in person!
      Thank you for reading my posts!! Stay safe.

      1. The pattern must be quite remarkable. I envy people that can think three-dimensionally like that, taking a concept and make it happen with clay, yarn, glass or the like. One of the things on my list is to sign up for a local crochet class, but alas that is on hold for now.

  3. Jonesy turned out just perfect! Beautiful colors and beautifully made 🙂 Your orchids are so lovely – what a nice burst of color to have during the late, dull part of winter. Keep your pictures coming!

  4. Knitted Jonesy looks terrific! 😻 I am certain your son and Jonesy will love the new addition. Your orchids look so happy and are certainly putting on a show. The timing couldn’t be better! Can’t wait to see your tunic! All of the Covid-19 legislation and IRS notices have been my reading, as of late. There is so much to help guide my clients through from the new relief bill to applying for SBA loans. I am knitting a little, every day, which helps.

    1. Well, Jonesy is sure to bunny kick his doppelganger some… Wow, you really are in the stress hot seat, aren’t you. Your clients must be stressed to the max right now. So glad that you are able to fit in some knitting. Stay safe!!

  5. I can’t understand why I haven’t seen your blog before. Thank you for commenting on my blog which means I got the link to yours.
    I am blown away by that beautiful cat you knitted, and the first one. You are obviously a very talented knitter.
    I am also in awe of your ability to grow beautiful orchids. I am struggling with the orchids I have in the garden here. I really haven’t made any effort to work out what they require to look healthy. That is something I should make a priority.
    I am going to spend some time looking back through your blog as you seem to have lots of interests which I am also interested in.

    1. I forgot to mention the orchids… I picked up a pamphlet on orchids at my local nursery that was produced by a university in my state (Colorado, USA) that was really helpful. Orchids don’t like too much moisture on their roots, but like humidity, so I have their pots suspended on pebbles above big saucers of water. They like big swings of temp in the fall to convince them to bloom, and fertilizer every month. I used to kill all my orchids with too much love; this is the first year I have gotten most of them to bloom. I’m branching out into African violets now. 🙂

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