The Saturday Update: Week 30

Are you ready for this? I’M OUT OF THE FLARE!!! Whew. I was starting to get a little depressed with the whole flare experience when suddenly I turned the corner and I was finally on the mend. I’m crediting the improvement to the change in weather here in Colorado: the monsoon started and we have had days of cooler weather with rain and absolutely no smoke. I’m up getting things done again, I’m eating real food, and life is good. Just in time, too, because this week has totally been the Hannah show.

You’re talking about me?

Suddenly Hannah is brave and exploring; getting into trouble everywhere. She climbed into the refrigerator. She attacked the orchids. She pulled my knitting out of a bag and ran through the house with it. She rushes through the door into the backyard each time I open it. She ambushes me from hidden locations as I walk by… and she helps me with all of my projects, of course. She’s pretty sure that I just exist to play with her, which is kind of accurate.

Quilting

Hannah and I have returned to the craft room where I’m working on a quilt and listening to audiobooks while Hannah bats at everything that she can and tortures the orchids.

I’m almost done with the first block of the Calling Me Home quilt by Pine Needles. This is the detail work on the left side of the block.

This is an art quilt that is created by fusing little pieces of fabric down and then stitching around each little piece when you do the final quilting. I still have to build a little log cabin and an eagle on this block, and then it is on to one with bear cubs climbing up a tree. This is so much fun! Hannah is having the time of her life and I have developed new levels of materials management.

Knitting

I am just rolling in knitting projects at the moment with 4 different WIPs going at once: two shawls, a cowl and a pair of tipless gloves. I buckled down and focused on one project this week; I finished the Breathe and Hope shawl today. It’s not blocked yet, but it is done!

Here it is, an unblocked heap. Still, you can get an idea of the colors and different textures that make up this shawl.

I was first drawn to the shawl by the corrugated sections which are actually mosaic knitting as you knit only one color at a time and slip the other colored stitches as you knit along. Between the mosaic sections there are blocks of knitting that are built on variations of garter and stockinette that feature knit below stitches. I kind of knew about “knit below” but this is the first time I’ve actually created something using them. They kind of mimic brioche, and I’m now a fan!

Sections of garter separated by K1, K1B sequences which build the lacy look of the variegated yarn.
Now that I’m done with the shawl I have to say that my absolute favorite part is this bind off with the knots inserted into the purl stitches of the K2, P2 ribbing. So cute!!

I still have those three other knitting projects to work on in the coming week, but I have to admit that I am champing at the bit to cast on another Breathe and Hope. Maybe one with brighter colors?

Garden

After weeks of hot dryness the garden had been struggling, but this week the cooler days and rain really turned things around. Plants are growing again and I think that there are some buds appearing on plants. I’m very hopeful of blooms to come! In the meanwhile, let me show off the bunny that has brazenly taken over the back yard and teases Hannah at the back window.

As you can see, this bunny is being pretty brave and has been cruising the back yard eating all of the plants that I have been nurturing for Miss Pitty-Pat’s snacks. Hannah is a fan of these visits, however, so it’s all good. Sorry the window is dirty… as you can see, it is at ground level and the rain splashes up dirt. On the other hand, if it wasn’t at ground level the bunny wouldn’t be looking in at Hannah!
Books

I’m still working my way through the science fiction series from last week, but last night I switched over to a new book for my book club. I’m not too far into it, but it is starting out strong.

I’m back in Mexico!

I lived for years in a city located right at the border with Mexico along the edge of the Pacific Ocean; reading this book makes me long for good Mexican food and the colors, smells, and sounds of the city I came to age in. I want a good taco!! Is it too much to ask for fresh fruit and ocean spray? Maybe a little barbacoa? Anyway, starting this book makes me remember the abandoned American Dirt sitting on my shelf. Guess I’m going to be in Mexico instead of outer space for the next week.

Have a great week, everyone!!

Read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.

Footnote:

Where is this city that I’m waxing nostalgic about? It would be Imperial Beach, California. Here’s a shot I stole off Facebook of the street I used to live on…

Doesn’t this make you long for tacos, salty air, and the call of seagulls? Of course, classmates who had gone to Mexico City told me that our version of tacos was pathetic compared to the authentic, street cart versions they discovered there.

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 an exceptionally spoiled kitten.

30 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 30”

  1. Glad you’re feeling better. I think little Hannah has the spirit of dear old MacKenzie lurking in her little soul. No show without Punch as they say. A truly gorgeous shawl! My garden is fairly neat at present but is pretty grim and flower 🌺 less. We’re deep in the throes of winter here. However sun’s out today and a few cheeky daffs are cheering me up. What a sweetie is that bunny. I have two itinerant ducks who visit for snacks and then move on to the next port of call. I am reading ‘the wild rover’ a book about footpaths and rights of way in England. I know it sounds uninteresting but is actually a riveting and fascinating non fiction book. Keep safe and well as possible

    1. Naw, it looks a lot more complicated than it is. It’s a lot of tracing, fusing, cutting and then assembly. It can be tedious if your head isn’t in the right place. The final product looks good, and this one will be a gift so I’m glad to hear it looks impressive. 🙂

  2. It sounds like Hannah has found Mackenzie’s diary and read a chapter or two 😉. My cats used to catch and eat rabbits and just leave the ears and innards 🤮. It’s lovely when you find a pattern you love so much you instantly want to make another. The close ups look great, I hope we get to see a modelled version once it is blocked. I’m really glad to hear your flare has passed. Your old street looks lovely, but I suspect for me I’d prefer the mountains of Colorado, but still with Mexican food.

    1. She definitely reminds me of MacKenzie, but only in the best ways. I once had a cat that killed a dozen rabbits and became known as the bunny murderer on our block among the children… so gross! I need to block the shawl in a Hannah-proof area; still working on the logistics for that. 🙂 Colorado is great, isn’t it, but the Mexican food here just isn’t what I grew up with.

  3. All that very intricate knitting, Marilyn: there must be times when you just can’t do it ..? They would be very, very frustrating times for you. For me they wouldn’t, as I’m not that good ! [grin]
    Hannah is .. A-DO-RA-BLE !!! But exhausting. Not to worry; if you remember your past moggies, she will, one day within the next 20 years, grow out of this play-play-play mode. Or possibly not. [another grin]
    It’s extremely good news that your immediate past flare is done with. You think it might be the cooler weather: that surely doesn’t mean you don’t have an air-cond. of some kind ???! Or maybe it’s just that you need your entire immediate environment to be cool, rather than just a room, or even a house ..?
    THAT QUILTING ! I wish to know a whole shitload more about it, please !
    There: I have spoken
    😀

    1. You are right about the knitting, which is why there is more than one project going. For some reason purling is causing me problems with tendonitis… sigh. I cope by always having something else that I can shift my efforts to. Hannah is the cutest thing ever. It is something to be raising a new kitten, but she may be the easiest one yet. On the days that I’m not feeling well she just sleeps with me, and then on the days when I’m up she is all over the place as she bounces around and plays near me (and with my stuff!) I’m so grateful that she doesn’t cause many knitting disasters.
      Air conditioning is a big problem for me, so I can’t use it. I manage the temperature in the house with thermal window covers and fans, and I have a huge tree out front that keeps the house in the shade on the west side. Usually the house stays in the 70’s and I’m okay if I stay in the house, the heat was so bad there for awhile that it was still hot when I went out to water at night; stepping into the heat would make me start panting almost immediately, so I’m thinking that was it, but sometimes I flare for no reason that I can discern. I really need an environment with almost no temperature gradients, but that would be so boring!
      The quilting is a Pine Needles design. https://www.pineneedles.comhttps://www.pineneedles.com/ I actually bought a kit with all the fabric and the patterns for the quilt years ago, but I think that they still have them for sale. You trace the design elements onto transfer paper that is used to fuse the template to fabric. Then you cut the little fabric pieces out with sharp little scissors (!!) and then use a master template to assemble the fabric into the design and fuse them together. I use a Teflon sheet so I can fuse little things together first (like the fisherman) and then move them onto the quilt block for the final fuse. It’s a little tedious, but the end product is totally worth it.

  4. I’m so glad you’re feeling better and back to doing all the things. Hannah must be feeling more at home and testing the limits:) A bunny out the window must be fun for her.
    I love the quilt and can’t wait to see your shawl blocked:)

  5. I am so glad you are feeling better! Miss Hannah continues to be even more adorable every time we see her ❤ Thanks also for sharing your bunny picture -I would have a hard time grudging that one any plans it wanted 🙂 Your new shawl is looking lovely!

    1. I’m continuing to improve, so I am definitely through the flare. Hannah and I blocked the shawl today (without the bunny!) so I should be able to put up a picture mid week. Hannah was tremendous help, by the way. 🙂

  6. Not sure if my first comment went through. Hope you are still feeling better and keeping safe. I loved your intricate shawl. I still dream of knitting again and admire your perseverance. I’m in love with Hannah and her cuddly bunny friend. Hope the weather improves and your plants. Stay well and safe

    1. I am having a good week! Yay! Hannah and I are looking forward to vacuuming after I finish these comments… well, maybe Hannah not so much. 🙂 I’m really in a project mood now as I’m knitting like crazy and working on quilts again. Hannah is making things challenging but she is much easier to work around than other kittens that I have had. She really is turning out to be the perfect little companion for a chronically ill person trapped at home in a pandemic. 🙂 Stay safe!

  7. I am so happy to hear you are feeling better. That was quite the ordeal. Your shawl is beautiful and I love the different textures that stitches make. I made a small quilt like the one you feature. It was a little wall hanging for the baby’s room. I had so much fun doing different quilt designs around the different shapes.

    1. It really has been a roller coaster with the symptoms in the last flare. I have made one other quilt like the one that I’m working on now, and it really is a wall hanging that features three cats. This is the first big quilt, and I’m not sure if I will make the whole quilt as the top half might be easier to hang on a wall. It is going to be fun to quilt!!
      Stay safe!

    1. She has suddenly become the mistress of mayhem, so it is good that I am more put together. This afternoon she climbed into the clothes dryer (!) and while I was writing my latest post she dragged the teflon sheet that I’m using to make the quilt down the stairs to the family room… it’s a little shredded now! Hannah! That thing is expensive!! Good thing she is so cute!

  8. The picture of IB – there’s a statue that is just visible. It’s at the beach, and the next beach south is in Mexico. That’s the Pacific behind the statue of the surfer with his long board. (Do any other geezers remember long boards?)
    You look pretty good in that cowl. It’s a lovely color, and your color looks pretty good too. So glad you’re feeling better.

    1. I don’t remember the statue, but I think that there is a jetty just north of the picture, isn’t there? My color is better, isn’t it, and I think that there is less swelling in my face. I don’t see blue lips as much as I did and I haven’t ended up on the floor in a couple of months. Yay, oxygen!! I am happy with the color of the cowl, and it will be perfect with the V-Neck Boxy sweater on cold days. I bought the yarn for the cowl at the same time that I got the sweater yarn so that they would match. Usually I’m not that put together, but this time I thought ahead a little. It’s the fault of the LYS as they set up a table every month with coordinating yarns together. Stinkers! That’s how the yarn stash got so big!
      I just sent you a pattern and picture of some slipper socks that look comfy.

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