The Saturday Update: Weeks 41 and 42

Crazy days continue with no end in sight. Covid-19 cases are escalating here in my state and the county just reinstated restrictions but we aren’t in a full lockdown yet. My neighbors complain about wildlife in their yards: the mountain lion seems to have moved on, but now there has been an outbreak of raccoons. Please, 2020, don’t bring me a raccoon, unless, of course, it is a knitted one! The fires in the mountains west of me exploded into life again this week and another serious fire broke out today just north of Boulder, Colorado, which means there are three fires sending their smoke directly into the Denver Metro area.

This wall of smoke rolled into the Denver Metro area yesterday afternoon. Tonight the smoke plume will be worse as a coming cold front pushes the smoke down over us.

The evacuations and road closures are going on while I write this, and I do hope that people stay safe and that the firefighters are getting all of the support that they need. Needless to say I am holed up inside because of the smoke and neglecting my garden something awful. The knitting has been pretty darn productive, however!! I got two big projects done this week.

I finished both The Secret Handshake MKAL (that’s the cowl on the right that Hannah has been yarn chomping helping me with every evening) and the Age of Gold shawl this week. That’s the way it always seems to work for me and multiple projects: after weeks and weeks of knitting on several projects at once they start to all finished within days of each other. I still have several projects still going, but I’m starting to think that they will be finishing up before the end of the month too.

So, can you see the colors in the shawl? The yarn is Mad Tosh sock yarn dyed in the colorway “Rocky Mountain Colorado” that just pulls together all the colors of our trees changing in the mountains that are now, sadly, smoke shrouded from the wildfires. The colors are just perfect and they just make me happy. Did you pick up on that lace border?

Isn’t that the sweetest lace border ever? It’s the first time I’ve been told to purl 15 strands of yarn together, but after a couple of attempts I had caught on and the final product was so worth the effort. The lace is disappointing until you wet block it with the points pinned; then you understand what was going on with all of the double yarn overs and crazy purling of two stitches together through the back loops… learning new things is good. Warning: this is a project that demands lace point needles!

I need to let you know how much I have enjoyed The Secret Handshake. This cowl was another project designed by Sharon from Security (Casapinka‘s cat and tuna-starved, underpaid employee who also engages in spy activities on the side) that was launched in response to whining protests from popular demand by the groups on Facebook and Ravelry. I belong to the Facebook group (called “The Sharon Show“) and I have never been in such a positive, inclusive, supportive group before. I just love these people!! I also love Sharon (please, Sharon, no citation for me because I was very compliant about weaving in my loose ends…), who has bought a little camper online that will be fixed up to be a total pink kitty wonder that I hope to see someday when it travels to a city (or glamping ground) near me. This second MKAL is now over, but there are people who have just arrived in the group who have just bought the yarn and pattern for the first MKAL and they are all welcomed with open arms and endless encouragement and advice. How cool is that?

Sharon, picture by Casapinka

A you can see I am slowly becoming more comfortable with the new WordPress editor, but I’m still on a big learning curve. I know that most of you are in the same boat: are we having fun yet? I am still searching to find the way to put in tags and categories… I have lots of ideas for blog posts swirling in my head, so I should be posting more frequently in the coming weeks.. Seriously. I want to write about all the things that annoy me since Karen posted a quiz about that this week. I am going crazy planning out a couple of new sweaters. I am on a yarn buying spree right now; why are all the yarns that I am buying blue? Why did I only buy two skeins of each color? What color socks should I cast on next? And while I am thinking about it, why are all the books that I am reading right now blue?

I’m reading Treachery right now, and completed the other two books over the last two weeks. See, blue books. Two of them are murder mysteries, and the other is a science fiction that is hard to stick into one genre. All three of them have held my attention and I find myself reading long into the wee hours of the morning as… I find myself on a train, traveling down a mountain in a snowstorm on the way to diplomacy, treachery, a kidnapping, and the slow evolution of two species/societies as a new ruler grows into his own. (Divergence) On another early morning I find myself traveling through the streets of Paris, learning history, architecture, and lord knows what else (archives, engineering, financial markets and magnets?!) as Chief Inspector Gamache gets to the bottom of a conspiracy, issues within his family, tragedies, professional betrayals, and murder. (All The Devils Are Here) Right now I am roaming the streets of Plymouth, England in the 16th century getting to the bottom of a series of murders and other matters of intrigue that need to be cleared up before Sir Francis Drake can leave on his next voyage to wreak havoc on the Spanish. Also there is a book that can overturn the entire history of the Christian church… (Treachery).

Great reads, every single one of these. I have two more books lined up waiting for me on the Kindle.

They are also blue…

Have a great week, everyone!!

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

Update: Another fire erupted in our foothills today making a total of 5 fires blazing away and sending smoke east while people scramble to evacuate safely, roads are closed, and firefighting measures employed. It is a really tough time in Colorado right now: keep us in your thoughts.

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.

29 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Weeks 41 and 42”

  1. Your shawl and cowl are beautiful, I just hope those fires calm down and the air quality returns so that you can enjoy some outdoor time in your knits. It must be a nightmare for those evacuated or have lost their homes. 2020 really is the nightmare that keeps repeating.

    1. Thank you. The fire situation has gotten worse in the last 24 hours with ANOTHER fire popping up today and growing like gangbusters setting off more evacuations. So sad, as now thousands of homes are in the path of the fires and people are scrambling to get their livestock out. One fire had a 17 mile run last week, so it is serious. I feel selfish complaining about the smoke. 😦 There is a slight chance for snow on Thursday, but to stop this you need a really big storm. 2020 just never stops!!

      1. You would think that the smoke would help generate snow, but it is still pretty darn warm here and awfully dry. They are now saying that the next chance for snow will be next Sunday. We need an enormous dumping of snow to put this fire out, however.

  2. I love the shawl and cowl as I decide on my next knit. I just read Louise Penny’s _How the Light Gets In_ and fell in love with this series. I’m hoping to obtain the first book in the series from my library soon (audio or regular book is fine with me), and work through that series. The others may go on my to be read pile.

    1. I really liked “How the Light Gets In” and recommend the series. The little village, the eccentric characters, the animals, the whole package is endearing while you are pulled into the drama of the murder/crime drama. My sister especially likes Ruth and the duck, but I’m rather fond of the dog with the satellite dish ears… I do hope that you are able to get the books from the library. πŸ™‚

      I’m torn about what to cast on next, too. I mean, I only have three WIPs at the moment…

      1. Same…but two are dishclothes/dish covers…one is a pair of socks I simply do not have the right size needles for…oh, and there’s the leg warmers…both are complicated patterns…so, another shawl that is cheap/free, size four circs, fingering weight yarns and medium simple to knit…hmmmm….or another find your fade shawl in a different color order, now that I have these knit up. I did just borrow the book today. I’m finishing the rest of my current Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries’ series book, then I’ll likely start the Louise Penny Book. Thank you for sharing. I did love Ruth and the duck. I can’t wait to see more of the dog with satellite ears.

    1. I am very happy with the shawl. I have to say, is was easy, peasy knitting for the majority of the project (garter stitch all the way!) and the yarn did al of the work. The lace trim is attention demanding, but it was only 12 rows, I think, and you only have to really focus on what is happening for 3 or 4 of those rows. Prefect knitting to produce something nice in stressful times.

  3. I heard about your fires on the TV and hope you get some rain to knock them back. Mother Nature needs to get her shit together and bring some rain already.
    I love your cowl (I’ve fallen behind. I hope I don’t get a citation!) and shawl. That lace edge is lovely.

    1. There is no rain in sight that will make a difference in the fires right now. There is a chance for showers/snow on Thursday, but it won’t be a major storm which is what we will need to shut this down. It has been very dry and we are heading into extreme drought along with lots of beetle killed trees available to burn. Another fire erupted today and people are scrambling to get evacuated again. 2020 just continues to be a total sh*tshow…

      I need to take a picture of my cowl on’ it is really stunning and I used a cashmere blend for one of the yarns which makes it nice to wear. I was torn about the blocking and finally sprayed it with a water bottle and then hovered a steam iron over it to steam block it as I didn’t want to lose the texture too much but needed to get the lace opened up. I’m thinking of making armwarmers with the rest of the yarn. πŸ™‚

  4. This post was like I imagine sitting down and having coffee with you. Thank you. It was a great way to start the morning. I love your shawl, and the color of that yarn is just perfect. I don’t think I would like knitting that lace, but I love how it looks. It is a blue season, clearly.

    1. I think that this is the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to me. Thank you! I so wish that I could meet up with people for coffee right now, don’t you? I really had trouble deciding on the yarn for the lace border for that shawl as you were advised to pick one color from the yarn to accent. I instead finally went with a different color that perked up the colors in the yarn in the body. I spend way too much energy on these decisions…

      It is so totally a blue season!!

  5. I love that shawl! The colors are just gorgeous, and the lace is amazing! The cowl looks really great too – very cheery! And Hannah gets cuter and cuter πŸ™‚ Stay safe – I hope all the fires die down and your air quality improves. Take care!

    1. I usually don’t block garter stitch shawls because I like them squishy, but I did this one because of the lace. The final product is really nice; good size, excellent drape and then there is that lace! For an easy knit it worked out great. Hannah is really getting cute, and she still talks to me all the time and follows me everywhere. Best kitten ever! They are dealing with high wind up in the fire zones again today… I’m thinking that we will be on the national news again. 😦

  6. Please stay safe and healthy amidst all of these fires. That has to be frightening.
    Your two finished projects are stunning. I absolutely love the tips of the shawl.

    1. Seriously, 202o has been so bad I’m dizzy from rolling with the punches. I’m sad for all the people impacted by this and hope that things turn around soon. Me, I’m okay staying inside. πŸ™‚

  7. My budget demands I don’t buy yarn. However cabin fever required that I go to a yarn yard sale last month. It was the remainders of a yarn shop that closed and just what the doctor ordered. I spent 55 dollars for what would have been about $1027 retail. I knit two cat blankets from that new stash inspired by yours. I hope you keep safe and well

    1. Wow! You really did well to get all of that yarn for so little money, and how great that you got two cat blankets churned out with the yarn as you don’t need to have exact color matches. πŸ™‚ Seriously, I couldn’t function right now if I didn’t have knitting. How great you found a budget friendly way to get your knitting fix!

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