The Saturday Update: Week 8, 2021

Wow, the week just flew by again. We had lots of snow in the middle of the week, I had a great appointment with my new rheumatologist, and Hannah got the new toy of her dreams: an electronic flapping fish!

Almost a foot of snow arrived overnight in the middle of the week.

The medical center where I went for the appointment was in the heart of Denver and I had to drive fairly near my favorite yarn store on the way back home. Did I stop to look at the yarn? Duh… yarn addict here! I found the perfect yarn to replace the yarn I swiped from a sweater kit to make a new wrap, some fabulous blue speckled yarn for a fade, and more grey yarn because… I need grey in my life! Having scored more yarn again I buckled down and focused on the knitting to get at least one project done during the week.

I finished up Julie’s Wrap (Joji Locatelli) during the snow storm and it was really nice to throw on to wear around the house the rest of the week (and the weekend!) I used a dusty black cashmere blend yarn that doesn’t photo all the well, but it is extremely versatile and cushy to wear. The ribbed edging is slow to knit but very nice with the garter stitch body of the wrap. Can you make out the additional points built into the edging to give it some more interest and a little flutter detail? That would be the extra points at the top and bottom of the wrap in the right-most picture, but those little added-on points are also on the long edges towards each end. The points and bobbles make the wrap even more fun to curl up in to read a good book on a cold, snowy night. If a kitten joins in it is even better!

The other knitting that was going on this week was my pair of February socks. Okay, they didn’t quite make it, but they should get done in the next couple of days and my feet are totally waiting for them to enter service.

This is my own tried and true 64 stitch sock pattern using Hue Loco’s Phyllis Sock in the color #Trending from their 2020 Fall color lineup. I’m just loving how this colorway looks on these socks.

I polished off a couple of science fiction books that I liked but don’t feel up to discussing until I read another book in the series. I started a book last night, however, that I feel compelled to talk about right away…

Oh, my goodness! I’m three chapters (stories) into this book and it is so compelling and engaging that I am pretty sure that this is going to be the best book of the year for me.

A nice young couple lives across the street from me. Two summer ago they planted a little tree in the front yard of their house and babied it with deep soaks of water using a 5 gallon bucket with a tube to slowly siphon the water from the bucket to the roots of their baby tree. I have to be honest, this tree was kind of pitiful to look at: about 6 feet high, it had only a few bare branches on it. I would look out my kitchen window in the mornings all last winter hoping that this pathetic stick of a sapling would leaf out in the spring okay…

Spring came and the tree produced some hopeful leaves. I have to admit that I was a somewhat amazed. Then we had heavy spring snow that almost did the tree in, but a few leaves hung in there after the melt down, and a couple of weeks after that the tree produced immense white clusters of blooms. Look at that, I thought! This little tree, not too promising at the start of its life across the street, was a little rock star for sure. Those blooms on the stick of a start-up tree totally made my mornings!! One evening I went across the street while they were working in the yard to ask what the tree was: a catalpa tree.

World of Wonders has a beautiful drawing a biological organism to start each chapter/story. This is the drawing for the first chapter.

Unbelievably, the World of Wonders starts with catalpa trees; the author’s memory of sheltering from the heat under these trees, her mother’s place of work, the racism that her physician mother faced in her professional life, how social norms have changed over the last few decades, the immense catalpa tree on the university campus where she now teaches that she passes each day on her way to class, and the strong commitment and joy that she finds today in her work.

Just like that I was sucked into this book. The next chapter features fireflies, and after that peacocks. All of these have strong emotional connections to me and events in my life, and like magic as the author relates her sense of wonder and joy of nature interconnected with her family and life I am propelled into something of the same. This book is amazing, and I highly recommend it based on what I’ve read so far.

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 an exceptionally spoiled kitten. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

18 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 8, 2021”

  1. That sounds like a really interesting book! Your wrap is gorgeous, and looks so cushy 🙂 Glad you had a good visit with your doctor and a good yarn shop visit as a bonus!

    1. The wrap is cushy and I’m wearing it right now while I answer the comments and look at other posts. It is just perfect when sitting as it isn’t so long that you’d sit on it while there is lots of coverage for the front and lap (with a kitten in it, of course!) I have to go to the clinic again this week for a blood draw and I’ve already started to think about… yarn… as my favorite shop will put out a new display for March. Life is good!

  2. What a beautiful looking and sounding book. Thanks for sharing your story and the book. It’s not a tree I’ve heard of but the illustration is beautiful. Did you see The Grocery Girls podcast this last week. They have Nicol on from Hue Loco for a chat in their makers showcase section.

    1. I realized as I read the first few chapters that the art work is almost certainly by the author and the art on the cover is a collage of the individual drawings. I just love everything about this and it inspires me to record more of my happy memories of nature and the connections that they make for me.

      I don’t listen to podcasts, but it is becoming so obvious that I need to start subscribing and listening to some of these really good ones like The Grocery Girls…

  3. “Read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.” I’d embroider it on a pillow if scoliosis, diminished vision due to a need for new glasses, and shoulder pain gave me permission. LOL.

    I so want a catalpa tree. My grandmother had one. It was one of the most giving trees on the property. I learned so much about it through myth and memories these last several years. Gonna google the book. I’m sure I’ll learn even more if I read it. I do appreciate this post! I may even try my hands at socks again. It’s been a year since I gave up. I will never knit such complex beauty as what you’ve done with that wrap. That doesn’t mean I can’t like it. Ooh, la! And three thumbs up.

    1. Your comment totally made my day!! I* should design a scarf or shawl that has that saying on it! As a motto for life, you could do worse. I hope that your glasses come soon… I’m also needing glasses and am counting the days until I get get that vaccine into my arm as I’m not willing to risk the eye exam without it.

      I want a catalpa tree now, too! I bought the book because it had high reviews and I’m now of the opinion that the reputation was highly deserved. I’m actually thinking about ordering a paper copy of the book so that I will have the pictures in a better format. One of my shoulders is ill behaved and impacting my knitting on bad days; I am putting Voltaren on it which really helps with pain and inflammation. It’s the same drug that my rheumatologist prescribed for me (diclofenac) but now sold over the counter. I don’t know if that would help you, but I thought that I would mention it. Socks take so long I sometimes cheat and knit heavyweight socks by combining two fingering yarns (one with nylon) together and knitting on size 4 needles. Warm, cushy socks at with half the stiches and much less knitting time, Really, I have to tell you again that you completely made my day and I will treasure your comments through the rest of the evening. Have a great week!

      1. Hey again. I just ordered World of Wonders! The samples convinced me to send of it. 🙂

      2. I finally got the book yesterday. Our bookstore had to order it. I read the first few chapters last night. Almost shoved it onto a shelf the moment I read ” . . . as we ambled.” Who ambles? LOL. The illustrations are . . . I’ll give it another try but it’s as different as night from the day of Eating on the Wild Side.

      3. Don’t be sorry. It’s not your fault t that I’m straddling the fence right out of the gate. LOL.

  4. Your shawl looks fantastic. We had a bit more snow, but it was short lived once the sun came out. We have catalpa trees in our area. They get HUGE, but the blooms are sooooo fragrant. If you are down wind, you’ll reap the benefits.

    1. I still have snow on my yard where there is shade. I guess there is more snow coming this week, but right now it is a balmy 60 degrees. Woohoo! You can feel the warmer seasons coming, and with t hg em the blossoms on trees.

  5. I’d never heard of a catalpa tree before but they look lovely. I love when different parts of life converge! Your knitting is beautiful and I’m impressed by your speed!!! 🧶

    1. It is wonderful to connect life and the natural world around us. Hey, I look fast because… I’m disabled, alone in lockdown, and I have a huge yarn stash with lots of free time!!

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