The Saturday Update: Week 16

The pandemic goes on. My country continues to act in alarming and perplexing ways; not only is there zero chance that I’m ever going to be able to leave self-isolation, but I despair of getting a new kitten. My joints are very ill-behaved and I don’t think that I will be getting that injection of steroids into my hip anytime soon. I used Instacart to buy my groceries for myself this week and the shopper, who wasn’t wearing a mask, substituted my order for fried rice with steaks (?!).  I MISS MACKENZIE SOMETHING AWFUL!!! (sniff) Okay. Enough of that. On a scale of 1-10 I’m somewhere around a 2. I have food, yarn, books, and my garden. I have steak!

Knitting

I’ve been knitting like crazy all week, but I’ve been bouncing around between three projects. Check it out.

I finished the first Sweet & Tartan sock! The designer created 3 different sizes of this sock; each size has a slightly different pattern for the tartan mosaic knit. This sock is the Medium version, and you can find my Ravelry notes here. I added an I-cord topper in the bright pink to the top of the sock after I finished. What do you think: too much or the perfect balance?
This pile of knitted mess is my new V-Neck Boxy sweater. I am now below the arms and the V-neck and am knitting the body in the round. Next stop, many inches from now, will be the bottom ribbing and the bind off. This is the mindless (and boring) part of the sweater, but it is perfect knitting while listening to a book or binge watching Netflix.
As a little break I started knitting the Maya cat. The black mohair yarns will continue to cover up the purple as the halo develops. Right now I’m pretty happy with how it looks.
Garden

Are you tired of my Monster Orchid yet? It just keeps going and going; it has become the centerpiece of my living room and I feel a rush of happiness every time I glimpse it. Much smaller, and no where as showy, is this miniature orchid that I have stationed on the china hutch.

This plant also is really healthy looking and is churning out new air roots while it blooms.
Do you see the new growth emerging on the stem that holds the blooms of this orchid? Yay! I think that we are looking at the beginning of new stew offshoots that will produce more blooms. This plant is an overachiever!! Yay orchid!

There is lots of sunlight coming into my downstairs rooms now and I have moved miniature roses to collect that light. They are really putting out the new growth and are champing at the bit to be let outside. Not yet, roses, as it is still below freezing some nights, but your day is coming soon!

Books

I have to admit that I am in a mood right now. We are living in extreme times and I yearn for clear leadership and well articulated goals. Is it too much to expect long-range planning to deal with the current situation and the next several stages to come with the Covid-19 pandemic and associated economic impacts? I’ve had a somewhat less than rosy outlook about what is actually happening because…

I read this book a few years ago and it totally freaked me out!

You are looking at the reason why I bulk buy everything. This book was just gripping in its presentation of the event of the 1918 Influenza pandemic and presented many lessons. Medicine needs to be science based. The suppression of information during a disease outbreak leads to deadly outcomes, and quarantining works. Community actions and public health measures can make enormous differences in outcomes. Pandemics come in waves. Viral mutations are evolutionary events; we can take actions to lower our risks, but biology is relentless, mutations do happen, and assigning blame is pointless. Pandemic planning is all. The identification of the infected and their isolation is an absolute necessity. Some politicians in the US are calling for the country to reopen right now; their logic is that some people need to die in order to maintain our way of life. I wish I could zap this book at them right over the airways to be directly transferred into their brains…

So what am I reading while the news is filled with conflicting and overwhelming news reports?

I’m reading about another time of extreme threat and supreme leadership.
and this novel about extreme political machinations in an environment of unhinged leadership.

Both books are well written, very compelling, and validate my sense of how things should be right now in our time.

Well, that’s all for the week.

Please, please, everyone, be safe!

Remember to 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 cats.

52 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 16”

  1. 1. LOVE the i-cord !
    2. Can’t handle top-down. Maybe when I grow up.
    3. The cat knitting blows my mind ..
    4. Is that a phalaenopsis ? – it’s a RIPPER ! 🙂
    5. Interesting taste in reading ! I can’t read the final Cromwell book, because I know (clever me !) how it ends. Mantel has an ability to make her reader love an anti-hero ..
    6. You post a good post, you do !

    1. 1. Thank you. I’ve become a fan of I-cord!!
      2. I never get the heel to fit well with toe up. I knit on two 16″ cable needles so I can keep trying on the sock while I go. Game changer!! BTW, growing up is sooo overrated!
      3. With every cat I feel like I got away with something when it is done and it actually looks like a cat…
      4. I’m such a dork, I throw away all of the labels on my plants. I think that it is a Phalaenopsis. It was an impulse buy at the grocery store one night.
      5. When I read Wolf Hall I looked up Cromwell because I kind of thought there was a bad outcome to his life. I was heartbroken to get the news. He is such a compelling character I’m reading this book anyway. Maybe he can be a lesson for our time…
      6. Thank you so much!! I was a science major because I would do anything to avoid term papers. I’ve come a long way…

      1. In the days when I was editing PhD theses, the two subjects I liked best to work on were science and engineering: there was nowhere the stewed ants could start rhapsodising or waffling. [grin]

  2. Hang in there! You have the right attitude. I do the same thing and count my blessings. While I have good health I am in Canada for the health care. We lived in the states for 22 years but when my husband was laid off we came back to Canada because health care was scary in NC. We are not yet 65 so better to be in Canada. Then came the virus.. 2 of my children live in the states and the border is closed. My daughter is expecting our first grandchild in 10 days. I was suppose to go down and help but now I may not visit until the little one is almost a year. We live in a condo so no yard to go and stand in. We walk once a day. Things I am thankful for… Roof over my head with lots of windows and cozy furniture. It sounds crazy but I am grateful for 2 bedroom and a den. I can sit in different rooms for a change of scenery. Food on the tables and grocery stores well stocked Health care with no debt Lots of wool , working on Erin’s bunny for new grand baby. Great books to read , try Louise Penny’ books. I have two on my kindle that you listed. Also we have kindles so I can read a new book even in the middle of the night. Zoom meeting with my old knitting friends from NC. Some of us our scattered around and in different countries but for 2 hours it is like there is no distance. We grab a tea and it is like no time has gone by since we last saw each other.

    I agree with your thoughts about sheltering in place, it may be trying but necessary for everyone. Hang in there and keep knitting. Joan PS I am a terrible gardener, I was going to buy some shrubs for my balcony but now all the gardening centers are closed. So I strung Christmas lights up. It makes it feel like we have more space in our condo. When it warms up a glass of wine will be great.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    1. Oh, no! I am so sorry that you can’t get to your daughter to help with the baby. My mom was so much help for me. Just another evil we are dealing with. I have just one grandchild and I haven’t seen him since Christmas. You are right, we have so many things to be grateful for. I love my kindle! The yarn store is happy to mail me yarn any time I need some, and I have more groceries coming today without leaving the house using a grocery shopping service. Kaiser sent me a letter letting me know that they will hand deliver my hydroxychloroquine to me when I need more. I have everything that I need to keep sewing quilts to the end of time. 🙂

      I have read all of Louise Penney’s books. If only we could head off to Three Pines for the pandemic!

      If this keeps up I will order some nice lights to hang in the window from Amazon. I saw some bee lights… I keep trying to figure out how to get plants from the nursery…

  3. I love the tartan socks… I would steal them, seriously!!!!
    These times are trying and slowly the realisation is sinking in that many things will be affected long-term.
    I aim to keep as good spirit as possible, read as little news as possible (they make for a depressing mood), keep busy and productive indoors. It’s not always easy to keep spirits high but a positive mindset can help. If we can’t change some things, perhaps we can consider other things – such as those we have control over, or those that are positive (we have food, we have a safe place to shelter, beautiful plants, knitting, blogs… )
    For instance, I’m taking advantage of the extra spare time to reorganise the flat – that’s a long term thing as I own too many things. Right now I’m reshuffling the kitchen and bought a low dresser for extra storage and tidier appearance, as well as nice storage boxes to place thing in. At least it will be cheerful and tidy 🙂
    The specialist doctor has prescribed me a rage of tests to check for immune-related issues, but who knows when it will be possible to have these done.
    Sending you virtual hugs and good vibes ❤
    All the best

    1. No he didn’t – not unless he’s a damned bad-tempered kind of doctor .. [grin]
      Oh, how I love teasing people about typos !! 😀

    2. These tartan socks are just the happy event for the week that I needed. I have been steadily cleaning out the house and garage, and you are right: it is a big mood lifter. I have discovered that it is best to not watch the daily Covid briefings as they are more upsetting than they should be. I also am avoiding all my testing because it is just too darn risky right now. I hope that you are doing okay, because of course there must be issues that triggered the testing, right? Eventually things will start to settle down and we will begin to get some of these things back, but until there is a vaccine I don’t think that there will ever be a return to normal.
      Thanks for the hugs!
      Be safe.

      1. Those socks are definitely a happy-mood trigger 🙂 One just has to love them! And I’m s sucker for all things tartan…
        The gratification of accomplishing something and getting things “tidy” is a positive, empowering feeling and can help to refocus the mind from less good thoughts.
        The news and briefings being one of the bad-mood triggers, and causing unnecessary worries (what can I do about it anyway?), are best taken in very small doses 😉
        Is the issue with kitten adoption due to the quarantine that the animal would need? Or is it because of human contact? I was hoping that doorstep “delivery” of the kitten could be an option.
        I’m doing the testing to clarify whether a host of minor issues/symptoms might be caused/related to some auto-immune disease. Likely not, but having some history in the family, I want to rule this out (hopefully). I found an auto-immune specialist who had good reviews and offered e-appointments, so I just went for it. I pointed out that I wanted to take a scientific approach rather than doing guess-work and he seemed to agree – so there’s some hope 🙂 Next is to find a way to do the tests.
        All the best and keep safe

      2. The socks are so cheerful I am thinking of how to create armwarmers from the same pattern. There are three sizes of socks in the pattern. I could just start in the largest size and then decrease sizes as I go down the arm. It would be fun, right?

        Those briefings are just awful! I am avoiding them, not only for the news, but also for the disconnect with reality, the attacks on governors and the press, and all the self-congratulating that is happening while our death rate keeps climbing. Ugh!
        The problem with the kitten is that all of the shelters and adoption agencies are now closed because of Covid-19. I could try to make arrangements with a breeder, but that is really expensive and I would have to get a kitten based on appearance instead of personality. I think that I should just keep waiting.
        Auto-immune diseases are just hard to diagnose, so your approach is probably a good one. I had tons of symptoms, but they were all so seemingly minor and disconnected that I never put it together until I was really, really sick and testing was ordered. I mean, why would anyone think trouble swallowing, red spots on my face, and swollen fingers were part of a life-threatening condition?
        Eventually things should get good enough for you to get the testing done. Hugs!

      3. Now I see what you mean about the adoption – it makes perfectly sense! Personality is the most important thing 🙂
        Yes, with minor symptoms it’s hard to figure out what the cause would be, and many doctors won’t even prescribe tests – it took me ages to convince my GP to refer me to an eye specialist, then waited over a year to be seen at a specialist renowned clinic, just to be totally dismissed and treated with contempt by the specialist in a visit that lasted at most ten minutes. It made me really angry.
        So I’m now doing privately, trying different avenues in time, hoping that something will make sense at some point 🙂
        Your blog posts were very helpful in that respect and also informative about a theme I knew very little (and still do). A huge thank you for sharing your experiences and wisdom!!

      4. You know, I went to the doctor for help with eye issues at least a half dozen times before I was diagnosed. They always thought that I was overreacting to allergies even though I twice had to go onto steroid drops to heal up little ulcers on my cornea. No one ever thought of Sjogren’s even though it is not that uncommon. It is that problem of always looking for the most common reasons for symptoms, and then just rejecting the symptoms when they don’t get that common diagnosis. Like I said very hard to diagnose until the symptoms are just overwhelming. Good luck, and I hope that you eventually get some good answers.

        Hey, I just thought of this. My ophthalmologist had me start taking fish oil as a supplement… I take krill oil as there is no fishy aftertaste. Wow. Just wow. It made a huge improvement with my eyes. I almost never use eye drops anymore.

      5. Here’s the other crazy thing that happened with my eyes. I have clouded, distorted vision in the evenings and often experience double vision. It’s partly to do with having too many red blood cells. Now that I am on oxygen I am getting much better. Who knew?

      6. That’s interesting, who would have guessed the connection? Thanks for letting me know !
        My eyesight has been deteriorating in the last years – I used to have a very good one – and it’s blurry, difficult to read in less then clear light, soreness, and more recently swollen eyes at intervals. I’ve been told that the worsening it’s due to ageing and normal… perhaps it is, or maybe not, but it was quite sudden and there are other symptoms. I look forward to have some tests done to shed some light on the thing.

  4. You have to keep yourself busy. I do miss hearing MacKenzie’s news but I am sure there will be a new kitten once all of this is over. Fried rice and steak interesting ❤

    1. I’ve been hanging out with the knitted version of MacKenzie looking at kittens online. There is a kitten broker who lives in my town, but that sounds really stinking expensive. It may come down to that, however! I placed a new shopping order last night and I hope to get that fried rice delivered today.

  5. I love the pink i cord. I can’t believe steaks were a substitution for fried rice. I agree with your thoughts on leadership in the pandemic. We don’t even have a stay at home order in our state.

    1. I’m starting to think that I-cord is the answer to most of my knitting problems. The hem on the new pink sweater wants to flip up for some reason (probably the decrease in needle size for the garter stitch): I may add I-cord to see if that weights it down enough to behave. I’m learning how to use Instacart. You have to check all of the possible substitutions listed to see what was suggested… sure enough, steak was the substitution listed for the rice. Just nuts! I made a more appropriate selection and sent to shopper back out for me today. Hopefully I will get my rice!
      These stay at home orders are tricky. Looking out my window I see people wearing masks while just walking outside. Yay! If the order isn’t put in place early enough the cases can just skyrocket in very little time. I have been watching the death rate climb. What people don’t understand is that if the health system is overwhelmed the death rate will climb to double digits and then the supply chain and essential services will struggle. Public health measures hurt, but they are better than the alternative.

  6. I’m sorry you’re struggling. I think you’ve got a huge pile of crap all at once. I’m glad you’re staying busy. I wish I was a couple thousand miles closer so I could help you out:)
    Does Instacart have a spot to leave a note? Maybe a message saying you’re immunocompromised and would appreciate it if your shopper would wear a mask and gloves. Seems like a minor request to me:)
    I love the knits. The I-cord looks great! The orchids are amazing!

    1. I think that all the snow of the week just got me down. Now that the sun is shining again I’m back to quilting and feeling much more proactive. Instacart does have a spot to leave directions for the shopper. I didn’t tell him that I was immunocompromised, but I did ask that the groceries just be left on the porch. We have a “wear a mask” directive in this state, and he was defying it because he is “immune from the disease” because of Psalm 91. He actually texted me that when I asked if he would like a hand sewn mask.! I thought of just going out shopping to get the stuff myself, but decided it was better to be exposed to just one possible contact instead of a whole store of them. The times we now live in… Next time I will place the note about the mask and gloves into my directions! Thanks for the good advice.

      1. Immune because of Psalm 91? Wow. I think I’ve heard it all now:)
        I stood outside the expensive grocery store in line 6 feet away from all the masked people. We were allowed in as people came out. Inside there was little distancing. The aisles just are wide enough. You’re better off having your groceries delivered. I was easily within 6 feet of 30 people while shopping.

  7. I love your orchid. It’s too cold in Michigan to plant, too–but everyone wants to test their herd immunity theory on gardens suddenly. Poor gardens. I know it’s about crowds, they don’t. Alas, this is supposed to be love and support. Please keep showing us that monster orchid. Also, I love the color of the sweater yarn. I may need to start planning to knit a sweater. I’m working through the find your fade shawl, now. I’m loving it, and I didn’t think I would. Maya is going to be a beautiful cat. Even without the mohair, I can see it working well. I can’t wait to see how she comes along. The books are going on my good reads list. Now to find them in audio book form…and to start doing more bulk shopping. Have a great week. And I hope they can put you up for that hip implant with some creative planning soon.

    1. You are right about the gardens. It just isn’t safe to plant flowers outside until after Mother’s Day here, and even then it is risky. Then a hail storm comes… it is just brutal for these poor bedding plants. I bought another skein of the sweater yarn along with a variegated skein to make either a cowl, shawl, or arm warmers to go with the sweater. Because of the V-neck I should do the cowl, but I love the idea of arm warmers. Maybe I will be able to manage both somehow. Lots of knitting ahead. Don’t you love the fade shawl? Mine of just to die for, but they are so big I never blocked them! I looked at the audiobook versions of those books I mentioned… the comments weren’t very encouraging so I bought the books and I have the kindle reading the books to me with text-to-voice. It is working pretty well with the Churchill book, but was too confusing for the book about Cromwell. I am putting my anti-inflammatory gel onto the hip and it is doing better this weekend. I am so looking forward to when it will be safe to go get the injection.

      1. I love audiobooks. I try to keep some of them lighthearted right now. But once in a while, we need a good thinking book. I do love the face shawl. It’s already big on color three. I will try to share photos as I knit.

      2. Audiobooks are the best knitting friends. I keep diverting to some space opera for breaks, but I’m enjoying the thinking books this week. They actually calm me down. 🙂

  8. Your sock looks great with the icord edge, I may steal that idea when I get around to making my pair. I have some undyed sock yarn that I’m going to dye for the ones I make…that’s the plan. Keep your spirits up, keep self isolating and take what you’ve learned from reading that book as your guide, ignore the politicians. I was surprised to see my friend’s wife had her hip replacement surgery happen and she lives in Loveland, CO. Here they’ve stopped operations except life threatening emergencies. I’ve been reading another Mark Edwards book, his latest called ‘Here to Stay’. His books are so gripping I was pleased to find one I’d not read. It makes all the difference having something take all your attention and stop your mine wandering.

    1. I am happy with the I-cord topper, which I added after the sock was done, but it is a tiny bit snug. It is working at the length of sock that I have, but next time I may try a slightly larger needle.
      Oh, I am so going to keep self-isolating. I think that I got down because I realized that if the number of cases surge again because the stay-at-home order is released too soon I will never be able to get out of the house again.
      I am a little surprised that the hip replacement surgery happened, too. Some hospitals really have good isolation procedures to separate the normal patients from the Covid, but I don’t think that I would risk it. My hip specialist already considers me high risk because I’m immunosuppressed, and with Covid on the loose the surgery is kind of ludicrous risk for me! I will definitely be checking out the Mark Edwards book! Thanks for the recommendation.
      Stay safe!!

  9. Your sock and sweater are looking wonderful, as is your start on knitted Maya 🙂 I’m sorry you are having such a tough time – you have so many things hit you at once. Hopefully your next shopper will be a little more careful! I know you must miss MacKenzie – it is always so heartbreaking to lose our loved pets. But there will be another kitten in your future, hopefully sooner rather than later. Hang in there – hugs!

    1. It is hard. Eventually I will be able to get the kitten and flowers for my garden again. 🙂 I decided it would be better to try the shopping service again instead of risking a trip out, so I ordered my missing items again Saturday night. This shopper was freaking awesome! I got everything that I wanted, he wore a mask and I doubled his tip. Maybe I should hire a shopper to get the kitten…

    1. I really love the socks… I’m wearing them right now. I’ve become a big fan of I-cord trim. It is an easy way to add color, you can do it after you normal BO, and it makes an edge behave itself!!

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