The Saturday Update: Week 43

Oh, boy. What a week it has been. Election related news is heating up as we come into the homestretch for our presidential election. Covid-19 case numbers are climbing steeply in the state. The fires in our mountains continue and towards the end of the week a couple of new fires erupted and, in high wind conditions that kept aerial firefighting operations on the ground, literally exploded into a monster within hours. People scrambled to get to safety as the newest fire, the East Troublesome fire (really, that is the name…), grew 100,000 acres in one day, crossed the Continental Divide, and now threatens to merge with another fire, the Cameron Peak fire, which is currently the largest wildfire in Colorado’s history. The smoke plume from these fires is amazing as it fills the sky to our north. Both fires are burning in Rocky Mountain National Park and threatening the surrounding communities. It seems like just yesterday that I took this picture in RMNP…

Rocky Mountain National Park
This is the view south from the Visitor’s Center. I don’t know if this forest is still there. If you look closely you can see areas with dead trees in the pictures. One of the problems that we are having here is beetle kill in the forests caused by climate change.

Because of the extreme drought right now the forest is really dry and vulnerable to fire. This is the worst fire season in my memory; the wind has been blowing so strongly the burning embers are starting new fires downwind from the main conflagrations. As I said, it is a mess. Today, however, things took a turn for the better.

It’s really cold outside and snowing! We expect almost a foot down here by my house, and more in the mountains. This won’t be enough to stop the fires, but it certainly is a welcome break for the firefighters as this will certainly slow down the fire activity for them. Yay!!

Still inside avoiding the smoke I have been consumed with crafting and cleaning. I shredded piles of old financial records, sewed more face masks, washed all of the linens and cleaned out cupboards, and… well… I played with yarn and did a little online yarn shopping. Just a little. I needed a little more yarn. Blue yarn.

Seriously, there is a post growing in my mind about all of the blue in my life at the moment. Yarn. Books. Curtains. Toys for the kitten. Oh, yeah. There is also a post incubating about all the convoluted yarn decisions I’ve been making and the angst about color matches. I’ve decided to ignore these growing posts and all my little yarn issues for the moment and jump right into sock yarn.

I have been visiting Hue Loco online and checking out all of the new colors for the fall. I had already bought that blue speckled yarn on the left at my LYS, and it really, really needed some new friends. I ended up buying a skein of each of the new colors at Hue Loco with the thought that I would make socks from each skein and then, once I had a feel for the colors in the skeins, go on to combine them in a larger project like a sweater. Okay, I just wanted to have the yarn.
I started the first pair of socks this week. This color is called Elixir, which is the second skein from the left in the picture above. This is not how I thought this yarn would look, but I am loving it!

If you don’t know Hue Loco already, it is a local Colorado dye studio and I really like the colors. (It is also located right in the smoke plume of those wildfires right now, so I am really happy to support the studio.) New colors appear each two weeks which is a little bit of a problem for me as I discover with each new issue of yarn that it would be absolutely perfect for project that I’m working on. As I make project decisions I also discover that I need a couple more skeins of some yarn (usually blue) to make everything work. Okay, I have a lot of knitting that is getting lined up. So much yarn, so little time…

I need to clear away some projects to open up the slots for my new sweaters-in-waiting. I have a sweater, a shawl, some gloves, and a whole slew of socks that are WIPs, so I’m motivated to knit at the moment. I’ve been working on my new Far Away Dreams (Joji Locatelli) shawl steadily this week, but it isn’t all that nice to show off at the moment as it is basically a big blog of squishy blueness slowly getting some lace added on the edges. See what I mean?

Yep. One big blue blog of squishy yarn. I’ve just gotten started on the lace portion of the edging so there isn’t all that much to show off. Maybe by next week there will be lace worth showing off. I’m making kind of slow progress because…
I’m getting so much help from Hannah!

Since I don’t have really nice knitting photos to show off I thought I should throw in one of the finished Secret Handshake cowl.

Isn’t that the cutest cowl ever? I’m wearing it tonight to stay warm as it is about 5 degrees outside and that is definitely cowl weather!!

I’ve written about the Secret Handshake MKAL in the last couple of posts, so I won’t go over all the fun shenanigans online as a member of this knitting group, but I have to mention that the cutest, most perfect retro camping trailer has arrived in Casapinka’s backyard and Sharon is freaking out today as she finally has to come clean about secretly buying it online using the boss’ PayPal account. Did I mention that the next MKAL designed by Sharon is a glamping blanket to use in the camper?

Hannah: Way to go, Sharon!! Could you please send me a PM about how that PayPal thing works?

So that kind of takes care of the knitting of the week. I’ve also been reading away at a new science fiction series and a couple of murder mysteries, but haven’t finished any of them. Think of them as book WIPs. ๐Ÿ™‚ My poor garden is buried under the snow at the moment except for three miniature roses that I dragged inside (to Hannah’s joy), but they are a not worth showing off at the moment as they were beat up in a sleet storm a couple of nights ago. I’m debating building them a shelf along the south facing sliding glass door instead of putting them under grow lights this year because…

Hannah has decided that torturing playing with plants is one of the best things ever and I’m a little concerned about having more electricity and glass lights near the plants that she is drawn to.

Have a great week, everyone!!

Read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart canโ€™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.

21 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 43”

  1. I have quite a few friends in Colorado and one of them posted on Facebook about all the different fires and itโ€™s so worrying. I hope more snow comes and puts them out for good. Iโ€™ve known about Nicole at Hue Loco for a long time as I watched her early dyeing videos on YouTube years ago. I had to stop following her on Instagram as I was getting too tempted by her yarn and the cost plus shipping and then i would likely be stung with tax again here makes it too expensive. The Grocery Girls are always previewing her ranges and I never miss their episodes and so I still see it. If I get back to the US at some point I will make sure my suitcase is full of goodies on the way home.

    1. I’ve watched those videos, too. She makes it look so dang simple, doesn’t she! My other huge fave in Indie Dyeing is Western Sky Knits… I’ve been haunting her website too. I see wonderful yarns that I want from Europe that create the same shipping/expense problem for me, but I am thinking about buying some nice yarn from Canada. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you get your suitcase full of yarn when this all calms down. The fires today are much better, but our Covid numbers just skyrocketed. 2020.

    1. It is nice yarn, and the online service is pretty good. You get an email when they receive the order and then another one when it ships that gives you the tracking number (USPS) I signed up for updates and I get an alert when it is delivered. Loopy Ewe (also Colorado) is pretty darn fast too.

  2. I hope the snow (a foot in October!) makes battling the fires easier. Your fires have been on our news. Itโ€™s just terrible.
    That is gorgeous yarn! I love your cowl. I can completely understand why youโ€™re wearing it.

    1. There were only a few inches here when the storm was over (which I appreciated because I had to shovel), but there was quite a bit in the mountains and it did stall the fires. I understand that they need more to really stop them, but it is still a huge improvement!

      The yarn is nice, and she dyes in a variety of bases so I’ve been buying yarn for socks and MCN for the sweaters. I can’t wait for the next shipment to arrive!

  3. I hope that the snow continues and it puts out the fires. It is crazy to see how much has burned! Who would have thought that the warming temperatures would help proliferate the bark beetles, in addition to extending the drought? It like a perfect storm. At least, they are seeing regrowth, in the higher elevations. Now, we just need the deer and elk to stop munching on the tops of the new trees.

    I love the colors of the Hue Loco skeins you bought. The colors are pooling, in such a pretty way, on the socks you started. Your cowl turned out great! The colors you picked really work well with the pattern. I can’t wait to see what Sharon does to her new camper. She’s going to need a lot of pink paint. ๐Ÿ™ƒ The colder temps mean we can start wearing all the knitted things! All I want to do is knit sweaters now, too. Like you, I have some WIPs that need to get off my needles first. Happy knitting and reading!

    1. The beetle problem is pretty bad, which kind of goes to show that everything is connected and climate change can trigger unforeseen consequences. The other problem that I know about here is that plants and animals are being forced up the mountains as lower zones warm up and they are starting to run out of altitude. Poor guys!

      I really didn’t think that the colors would pool as much as they did, but it looks really nice! There is more green going on than I expected which is why I’m glad that I am test knitting these skeins. Also, it is fun!

      Did you see the post from Sharon on Facebook showing off the interior of the camper. There is going to be tons of sanding and painting going on. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Today I pulled out sweaters and put one on because at long last it is cold. Yay! Sweater weather. I am so ready to knit sweaters!!

      1. I read that there are 2 kind of bark beetles: Spruce and Western Balsam. Spruce beetles are killing all the Engelmann Spruce (90%) and the balsam beetle is destroying subalpine for trees. All up high. The article was written by University of Columbia Boulder. It really shows how everything is connected to everything. The article interested me because they studied the eastern San Juan range. I spent 10 years traveling to Ames, usually twice a year, so a lot of time in the western San Juans. Colorado is so beautiful and I love visiting. It makes me sad to think the beautiful stands of pines are being devasted. Plus, as you said, all of the plants and animals are being affected by the warming.

        I am thinking that socks, a cowl or a hat are the perfect use for the yarn, given the pooling.

        I saw the pictures. It will be a lot of work but Sharon is stickler for every being just so. I can’t wait to see how she decks it out!

        Bring on the sweaters!

      2. So I had to research these little beetles a little to answer you comment. Here we are having a problem with another species of bark beetle that is targeting pine trees specifically. Evidently they are called the Mountain Pine Beetle and are native to Colorado. I didn’t know that there were other beetles that are going after spruce and balsam trees, but it makes sense.

        I’m thinking that you are right about the yarn. I don’t know if I would be happy with it in a sweater, but it is totally rocking as socks and there will be some mitts and maybe a cowl or two. Luckily I found MORE YARN at Hue Loco for the sweaters…

  4. So sorry to hear the fires are getting worse, but really hoping the snow helps calm things down! All your knitting is looking amazing, and Hannah continues to be more adorable every week ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, that is beautiful yarn!

    1. The snow has really helped with the fires. The word that they are using is that it caused a pause, but they will be coming back. Let’s hope that there will be more snow soon!
      Thanks for the knitting compliment and Hannah just wrote a post!

  5. Oooh the Elixir looks GORGEOUS knitted up! You’d never guess it would look like that from the skein.
    It’s a good job Hannah is so cute with all the ‘help’ she’s been giving you ๐Ÿ˜‰

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