The Saturday Update: Week 20

Twenty weeks into the year I’m now in a place that I never could have imagined a year ago.  Let’s be honest, if you read science fiction books you know all about pandemics, but who thought we’d be living that scenario now? A year ago I was facing down some very scary possible diagnoses and pressing for medical interventions to help me; I was forced to self-isolate as my doctors doubled down on my immunosuppressant drugs to get my systemic sclerosis symptoms under control. I’m tolerating the additional drugs, but my risk of infection remains high. Then I self-isolated when flu season erupted late in the fall; in spite of my best efforts I caught the flu anyway. Sigh. Who could have imagined that there would then be a pandemic, a chaotic and ineffective response by my government, and then social bullying against people who wear facemasks and who comply with public health protocols? Yep, That is happening in my community right now.  There is no place I can go that will be safe for me if other people refuse to wear masks and maintain a safe distance. I’m pretty much in stunned disbelief these days. I have no choice but to continue to self-isolate.

This is my new shirt that I plan to wear while grocery shopping, which I do carefully during the special “at-risk” shopping hour at my grocery store.

Whatever, the joke is on those rude anti-social idiots who have forced me to remain home with my yarn stash, books, and garden! I’m good.


Look at what got done this week!!

My V-Neck Boxy sweater is ready to enter service.

I loved this color yarn so much that I bought an extra skein of yarn to use for socks, or something. I didn’t quite know what I would do with it, but I wanted options. I also bought a skein of contrasting yarn at the same time thinking that I could maybe put together a nice piece to go with the sweater. I was thinking Fair Isle armwarmers at the time, but this week I decided that this yarn wanted to be a cowl.

A Garter Snake cowl, to be specific. The cowl begins with 50 rounds of brioche, and then will move into garter stitch while the brioche forms a peak in the garter stitch background. This is going to be so perfect with my new sweater!!

I also pulled out a pair of simple socks that have been hibernating in a project bag for a few weeks while I focused on the sweater. How cute will these be?

My local yarn store got these intriguing little balls of yarn to make self-striping socks. Hey. I had to try that out!! The yarn is from Lollipop Yarn, and the sock is my own usual 64 stitch vanilla sock recipe.

Finally, I am ready to return to my latest knitted cat project. Poor Maya has been waiting and waiting for her knitted twin to arrive. Now that the sweater is off the needles I am ready to focus on that project and should get it done in the coming week.


Nothing spectacular is going on in the garden… plants are slowly adjusting to the outside, perennials are emerging from the ground, and my frost-damaged rose bushes are slowly putting out new shoots and leaves. Since I can’t go to the local nursery these days I put the seeds from old plants into cleared garden soil. I have a bag of old flowers (with their seed pods) in the garage that was given to me years ago by a cousin… I think that those seeds will end up in the back garden. Some ancient allysium seeds actually sprouted in the front rose garden so I’m hopeful about the other seeds that I just planted from old, dried flower pods. See, lots of work is going on, but not much to show off in pictures.

Except for this… Painted Lady butterflies have descended on my flowering plants. Yay!! Happy times!

I tend to watch news channels during the day while I knit and quilt on my current projects. It is kind of background noise that won’t interfere with my counting of stitches or my focus while sewing a nice, straight seam. I do watch enough to become amused by the backgrounds that people have chosen for their video commentary. You know, some are in the living room and we see furniture and neutral walls with maybe some prints on them. Others choose to speak in front of a shelf with a few carefully arranged plants, pots, pictures, and some token books. Some of the backgrounds are just sadly vacant of evidence of life. Then there are the people who speak in front of a bookshelf stuffed full of books…

Oh my gosh!! I love those people!! Some of them have books that are crammed into the shelves with books on top of other books, scraps of paper marking places poking out, and the chaos of a dedicated bibliophile. Others have nice tidy bookshelves with a few pictures of family and mementos included. I ignore what these people are saying as I search the bookshelves to find books that I have too. Yes! Stacey Abrams has a copy of The Night Tiger on her shelf!! Beto O’Rourke has all of the Aubrey-Maturin books by Patrick O’Brian on his shelf. The mayor of Dallas, Texas (Eric Johnson) has the same copy of Einstein: His Life and Universe on his shelf that is on mine! I can’t help it… I am thrilled to see evidence of my connection and shared interests with these other people. I love it!

My downstairs bookshelf. I used to have 4 bookshelves in my house, and over the last few years I’ve slowly pruned them down to just two. In the era of digital books I’ve really cut back on hardbound book buying.

This bookshelf has all of my sock knitting books and some smaller knitting books. It also has most of my science geeky books, and all of my hardbound historical novels by Sharon Kay Penman, and several science fiction books. My favorite two books in the world, Floating Worlds and Great Maria, both by Cecelia Holland, are also on this shelf. And on the bookshelf upstairs. When a book is your favorite it’s important to have several copies just in case…

My upstairs bookshelf. Do you see all of those books on the shelf above MacKnitzie? That’s my collecion of the Aubrey-Maturin books. Out of sight at the bottom of the shelf are piles of more knitting and weaving books.

So, what am I reading this week? I have settled down and am finally able to read complicated books again. I’m reading the latest historical novel by Sharon Kay Penman about the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century.

King Baldwin IV and the Kingdom of Jeruselum. Hundred of pages. I’m in book heaven.
I’m also deep in the 16th century as I’m reading this book about Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell.

Both of these are huge books with lots of convoluted interactions and political maneuverings. Perfect for long spring days at home in our time.

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.

24 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 20”

  1. Your knits look great! I love that sweater! The cowl will be fantastic with it:)
    Our governor is dragging his feet on opening things. Monday the plan will be unveiled. I plan to stay very close to home to wait and see how it works.
    I went to a small garden center to get plants for the cemetery. I’m not going back. It was worse than the grocery store. I saw so many people who don’t understand the concept of how a mask works. It’s crazy out there. Stay home. You’re better off:)

    1. I also tired to go to the garden center, and it was awful! It’s like people were deliberately getting too close to people wearing masks to make them uncomfortable. They don’t understand that wearing a mask and being careful actually protects the economy and jobs. I need to get gardening stuff, but I can’t go back there now as things have only gotten worse.

      What a mess!

  2. Of course I love your boxy and sock yarn, those colours are so me! I donated most of my books and my bookshelves have minions, ornaments, plants and just the odd few books I couldn’t part with. I don’t know how you can cope with having the news on in the background, I’m lucky if I can stand 10 mins of headlines now. If I need to really concentrate I listen to music or stick something on I have already seen. I can’t seem to get into any books at the moment.

    1. I think that we like the same colors. 🙂 I keep thinking that I’ll prune more books off the shelf, but somehow I never do. It is so hard!

      You know, I live alone, so I think that I like the talk shows on so that I hear voices. I really don’t concentrate that much on what they say. I have stopped watching the nightly news, however. It is all pretty stressful, which is why I couldn’t read for awhile. I hope that things get better soon.

    1. Thanks for your feedback on the sweater That color is just so perfect!

      I just discovered The Tudors on Netflix so I’m binge watching that along with reading the book. I’ll have to hunt for something that is also set in Jerusalem in the time period of my other book

  3. I love your sweater. It is beautiful. I really enjoyed looking at your bookshelf. I gave up my bookshelf space for the kids, and now I have piles of books. I look forward to moving to a new house so I have space to get new bookshelves. I miss looking at my books.

    1. I had my books stuffed in boxes for the longest time after I moved to this house. What a relief it was to get the bookshelves. And storage baskets. I’m a big fan of both!

  4. Your sweater turned out beautiful! And the cowl and socks are looking great as well – can’t wait to see how they turn out 🙂 Hoping for good things for your seeds!

    1. I gave those seeds a talking to as I planted them… I’m sure they will do their very best! 🙂 It’ll be a mystery garden because I’m not completely sure what I planted…

  5. Beautiful sweater! I like the color. Great photo of the butterfly. I’m looking forward to seeing the monarchs in my garden. So far I’ve only had a few small white butterflies.

  6. Everything looks great! I am jealous that you have butterflies already. The boxy is so pretty. I got a real kick out of your t-shirt. I would definitely wear it food shopping. I dislike going out.

    1. It really is kind of stressful going out, isn’t it. This afternoon it was really warm and sunny here and there was a steady stream of butterflies on my flowers. So much fun! This butterflies migrate, so I’m not sure how long they will be here, but it sure is nice while they are.

  7. Oh I need that tshirt! Your boxy sweater looks gorgeous, it’s such a beautiful colour I’m not surprised you got some extra.
    I really wish we had more space for another bookshelf in the flat. I’ve tried to cut down on books so many times, but there are still too many to fit on the shelves I’ve got.

    1. Isn’t it a cute shirt! I bought it at It did take about three weeks to get to me, but the shirt is nice quality and I am happy with what I got.

      Before I cleaned up my bookshelves I had the books stacked on the sides and more shoved in on top of the books on the shelves. I thought about adding some clipped on shelves to fill the open spaces… I jut love my books, but now that I have so many books on my Nook and Kindle I decided to prune out books that I may never read again. It is hard!

  8. I’m so angry at the people who don’t wear masks and don’t distance themselves, that I wish they’d all hurry up and get the virus so it will stop spreading! But seriously, we’ve been able to get everything that we want without going into any business since mid March, and we’re in a rural area. We’ve been able to figure out how to get everything delivered, one way or another, or by curbside pickup. And, like you, we have lots of projects that we enjoy at home. I have hardly touched my yarn stash. So many things that I like to do, and the weather has been great for gardening!

    1. It is annoying, isn’t it! This weekend has been really disappointing as pictures of people in large crowds have been hitting the airways. I keep thinking that they are just lemmings all rushing towards a cliff that is just out of sight. What selfish idiots!! At least I am lucky that options exist and I have so much to keep me busy.
      I just got an email letting me know that I need to go get some bloodwork done, which is stressful as I have to walk into a medical center that also contains an urgent care. At least everyone will be wearing a mask!!

      1. Ugh! We were scheduled for blood work when everything shut down. Ours isn’t essential enough for us to risk going out for it. I’m sorry that yours is. It takes us a couple days to recover from the stress of doing curbside pickup. I wonder what you can do to make your trip easier and as safe as possible.

        I agree: we are very lucky to have the options that we have. Very privileged and fortunate.

      2. I called Kiaser and asked about safest clinic for a blood draw. They sent me to one that is not accepting sick patients and had easy access. Perfect! Everyone there was being really careful.

        I’m supposed to get an injection into my hip joint mid-June. After the crazy behavior over the weekend I’m pretty sure I won’t be going in for that… The clinic where I have to go also operates an urgent care.

  9. Wherever I am, I can’t resist checking out what other people are reading. I’ve even got myself in hot water on public transport. 🤭
    A bit harder when people are using kindles.

    1. I do that too, and I kind of resent the kindles. I’m even worse, I like to check out what people are eating in restaurants and have even asked people what their yummy meal was: they seem to like the validation that they made an excellent choice when they ordered. 🙂

      1. I’ve often been in trouble squinting at people’s books on the bus. Till I explain that it’s the book I’m interested in, then we will occasionally have a chat.

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