The Saturday Update: Week 31

August. The eighth month of an unbelievably historic year. This has been the longest year imaginable, hasn’t it?! I have now reached the point where I check the phone before I get out of bed to see what happened overnight; I mean, what else is there? Alien invasion? An explosion of hurricanes? Horrific solar flare? I’m not sure that surreal is enough to describe current events anymore… I saw a tee shirt on Facebook that had a review of the year 2020 with only one star and the words: Very bad. Would not recommend.

Yeah. 2020, we still have 5 months to go. Behave yourself!!

Thank heavens I have Hannah to keep me anchored. You know how kittens are: feed me, play with me, pet me, party time!!

For me in my little world, however, things were pretty good. I’m still out of the flare and I’m getting lots done. The weather has remained cooler and there have been rain showers, so the garden continues to recover. Hannah is growing like a weed and is the best little companion. I’m pretty hopeful about this month. Please, August, be good!

Quilting

I’m cranking away on the new quilt and got another block done this week. May I present to you, bears!

This was a faster block to do then the one with the fisherman. This coming week I’m going to tackle a block with a moose walking through a forest.

This is an art quilt designed to hang on a wall. The name is Calling Me Home and the design (and kit) is from Pine Needles.

Knitting

All of a sudden I am getting projects done. Last week I finished my Breathe and Hope shawl by Casapinka, and this week I blocked it and did the finishing work.

It is blocked!

As it turns out this shawl is long and not deep at the point so it is challenging to photograph if the colors are subtle and the day is overcast. Please accept this indoor picture that kind of shows off the textures. I’m looking forward to using this as a serious layering piece in the fall and winter.

I also finished the Willow Cowl this week. You can see in this photo the picot hemmed edges and the alternating lace and stockinette sections; cleverly it also decreases as you knit up towards the neck.
The changing textures makes the cowl fall into nice layers when you put it on. My notes on Ravelry are here.

Are you loving my pandemic hair? I don’t know when I will ever get a nice hair cut again. 2020, you can start behaving yourself any time now.

Garden

The garden is recovering in the cooler weather and plants are growing like crazy (well, I did give everyone fertilizer…), but there is very little blooming going on. I can see buds on the plants, but there are some tiny beetles so I dosed the plants with soapy insecticide to protect the growing flower buds.  Maybe next week I’ll have something nice to show off…

Let me instead offer a picture of Hannah trolling for trouble among the orchids. Now that I’ve taken the ribbons off she isn’t using them for toys anymore, but she’s not above batting the roots and stems.
Books
The book picked by my book club this month.

I did finish off Mexican Gothic this week. I’m kind of conflicted about this book. There wasn’t too much about Mexico, but there sure was a lot of gothic in this book. You know, a plot where a young woman  travels to a strange, old and creepy house with silent servants and a graveyard for the backyard. That’s pretty gothic, wouldn’t you agree? The hosts are less than welcoming and the rules of the house are stifling. There is mold everywhere, the food is icky, and the cousin that our heroine has been sent to check on is strangely dysfunctional and hard to access. Along with the house there is also an old silver mine that has been the scene of numerous tragedies; many of the dead are in the convenient backyard graveyard. Did I mention that the family has a history of violent deaths? The sense of menace keeps building in the book until, unexpectedly, the book transforms into a full blown horror novel! Seriously, this was not what I expected, but the plot did hold together and I did finish the book. Not sure I’m recommending it unless you are a fan of the gross horror genre.

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 cats.

27 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 31”

  1. A pretty damned joyful post, Marilyn ! – goodonyermate. 😀
    I want to understand that quilt. Am I looking at a photo of what you’ve made ? – I can’t tell. WHINGE !!!
    Hannah is utterly adorable, and you deserve each other. I know from experience that there’s nothing in the world as satisfying in one’s .. ahhh .. un-young days as having a beautiful and healthy cat. Moggies are simply heaven.
    Your knitting is bloody impressive, and you put me to shame. I’m currently finishing an entrelac knitted scarf (prior to which I had always made entrelac by crochet) for my eldest sister who lives in Paris. It was meant to be for her birthday last month, but ..
    Nothing wrong with yer hair.

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback! It always takes longer to write these posts than I think it will. I realize that the picture of the quilt block is confusing. You are looking at all the fused applique pieces of fabric fused onto the background fabric to make one block of this larger quilt. Here’s the info https://www.pineneedles.com/Calling-Me-Home-s/1840.htm Once I get the blocks sewn together and get the batting and backing added to it I will be able to start quilting around each appliqued piece and then it will look more like a quilt. Okay, I have to be honest, the finished product almost looks like a picture! I have a set of three cats on my dining room wall from the same designer and they are really nice.
      I have never knitter entrelac… I’ve managed to avoid it. 🙂 I’m sure your sister will love it when it comes, and besides, it is probably too warm for it at the moment and she will be so happy to get it when the package arrives!!
      My poor hair. I lot of it fell out last year, and since going onto oxygen it is growing back in!! Now I have long hair and a bunch of hair that is about 2 inches long. I’m happy to have hair coming back in, but right now it is a challenge. 🙂

      1. The trick is to use the right tools! My sister gave me some very nice embroidery scissors with wickedly sharp points to do the cutting so it goes pretty fast. The other big help is the Teflon sheet to help with the fusing. Hannah isn’t that big a help, however…

  2. Your shawl looks lovely and I like the subtlety of the 2 colours, it will go with everything I imagine as it’s the muted natural tones. The cowl of course is right up my street…love the colour and style and it looks lovely on. Your hair looks fine to me. It is a weird feeling when we move into a new month this year…there’s definitely a sense of trepidation and foreboding about what it may bring. Oh Hannah makes me want another cat, but I think Ylva would not like it and I don’t think my husband isn’t a cat person. He was with me for 12 of the 16 years I had them and they were definitely considered mine. He has a parrot that thankfully lives with his mum. At least we both agree on dogs. Your link to your cowl Ravelry notes is another link to the quilting page so I nearly fell down that black hole but remembered I’ve sworn to not start quilting ….yet.

    1. I just fixed that link – thanks for letting me know!! I do like the subtle colors of the shawl and it will look great with a lot of the stuff in my closet so it can be a workhorse for me this coming cold weather season. I was amazed at how soft the yarn got after the blocking.
      Hannah is so much fun, and wanting to play so much that I did consider getting her another kitten as a playmate. Then I thought it over and decided that one was all I could handle. Right now she is kind of getting into a pickle all the time! If I had to watch two it would be a lot harder to keep them safe. This evening she climbed into the dryer while I was doing the laundry…
      I am so nervous about the rest of the year. There is just so much going on it can be frightening if you dwell on it too much. We had a big demonstration here in Aurora last weekend that causes a lot of damage to the court house and I’ve been concerned that federal troops might be sent here too. I have gone to several demonstrations over the last couple of years, but if troops are sent it will be a whole new ball game. Scary times.

  3. I admire you tremendously. You’re talented and adorable. If you want a break from gothic (less scary for Hannah) stories can I suggest Ellis Peters’ stories about 12th Century monk, Cadfael who solves mysteries or Mary Stewart’s books, My Brother Michael is a favourite but I like all her books ( her Arthurian saga is wonderful.)
    Love to Hannah x

    1. Thanks! I have read all the May Stewart books that I can get my hands on, and I think that I’ve read a Cadfael book but I will check that out again. I like S. J. Parris’ books too.

  4. Your shawl and cowl are gorgeous! The colors are so cheerful:) I’ve got to step out of my gray/black/navy comfort zone.
    Hannah is just adorable! She looks so innocent. I find it hard to believe that she is mischievous;)
    Oh 2020 needs a long stand in the corner until it learns to play nice with others. My daughter had a classmate in elementary school who was a bit of a brat. He was always being sent to the thinking chair for things he’d done wrong. The teachers aid asked him once in passing where do you come up with these things. He innocently said in the thinking chair.

    1. I really have descended into the gray/black clothing line, but I love mauve and wine colors too with the occasional blue thrown in. Lately I’ve been a little drawn to autumn colors so that is an extension of my comfort zone. Truthfully, it is whatever goes nicely with black leggings and the other comfy clothes that I wear.
      Hannah spent the night dragging all the fabric scraps from the quilt into my bedroom. When I woke up the floor was littered with them. I’m going to have to do a much better job keeping things secured that I don’t want her to kitten-mangle.
      2020 absolutely needs to spend some time sitting in the corner!!

  5. Your quilt squares are going so well – the bear one is cute and really detailed as well. Your shawl and cowl are both lovely! Hannah is so adorable 🙂 I’m so glad you two have each other!

    1. It was a good week for crafts! I’m working on a shawl now that is endless garter stitch and I’m rediscovering how calming that kind of knitting is, but the project grows slowly. Hannah is being really good and ignoring the knitting which is fantastic!

      1. You must be my displaced twin! I don’t go out much because the sun makes me sicker, and my doctors doubled down on my immunosuppressive drugs last summer so I started self-isolating then. Then flu season started! By the time the the pandemic hit I was an old hand at staying home.
        You make me think that I should get the loom warped up!

      2. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through the same thing. My immune system is also compromised and I’m a huge infection risk. Especially sepsis and pneumonia. I’m sure my meds factor in, but I also have heart failure, CKD and myopathy. The myopathy affects mobility and respiratory muscles. So it’s the whole package. Weaving definitely helps. I also love classic TV shows. ❤️

      3. Oh, no! We are displaced twins! I also am a huge infection risk; I need a surgery to take care of a torn tendon and a bad hip joint but I’m so high risk for infection they don’t want to do it… and that was before Covid. Sigh. It sounds like we share some other things… I also have CKD and I’m on oxygen now because of… who knows! They haven’t worked out the problem yet (because… Covid), but I was so low overnight on my last sleep study they started me in March which was the 2nd best day of 2020. You have to maintain a certain sense of humor about all of it, huh! Weave on, my friend, and hugs to you!!

  6. Both the shawl and the cowl are beautiful. I bought some yarn for a Breathe and Hope, for me, and one for my sister. Your neutral colors will get you a lit of wear out of the shawl. The yarn choice for the cowl is perfect. The color variation is just right so you can still appreciate the stitch pattern.

    1. Thank you. I was concerned that there was so much going on in the skein when I cast on for the cowl, but it really did work out. I think that the alternating sections of lace and stockinette help break up the color pooling and the lace breaks up the colors some. It’s a really nice simple pattern.

      I love the Breathe and Hope that I made for it’s subtle colors. I should get lots of wear out of it!

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