The Saturday Update: Weeks 49 and 50, 2021

December. I can hardly believe that we are at the tail end of the year already. The weather has been engaging in sneaky trickery for the last two weeks; crisp blue days with wind, wind, wind and almost no moisture. This week was so crazy that the weather warnings for the state were for hurricane force winds, fire, snow, avalanches, and good lord, who is in charge here? We have had serious weather fronts passing through leaving damage in their wake and very little moisture on my side of the mountains.

We finally got some measurable snow which brought an end to the long streak without snow in our part of the country.

The snow that arrived a week ago was only a flash in the pan: by noon it was gone and there hasn’t been anything since. Looks like we are in for a brownish holiday season. I am grateful, however, that we have been spared the horrible tornados, heartbreaking damage and loss of life brought by these systems in other parts of the nation.

Inside the house, however, it is starting to look like Christmas!!

Last year I put up very few decorations at Christmas time because… kitten. This year I have decided to surrender to foolishness and put up most of the decorations in a careful, kitten-proofed manner. I only put plastic ornaments on the tree. The tree, usually on a little table to give it height, is on the floor. Banners and wreaths that go on the walls are far from kitten claws. The usual poinsettia and paperwhite narcissus are nowhere in sight. Wrapped presents? Don’t make me laugh… kittens love paper.

They are having a great time with the stuff that is out!

Knitting

There has been some holiday knitting going on, so it has to remain secret until after gifts are opened on the big day. I have been making a few more hats for the patients at Kaiser infusion centers in my area, but who wants to look at those guys again? Let me please show off all of the progress that has been going on with my Kevat sweater (designed by Caitlin Hunter) over the last two weeks.

Ta-daa! Isn’t it looking good?!

They are hard to see, but there are bands of lace between and below the Fair Isle colorwork on the yoke of the sweater. That’s what’s going on between the ridges of garter stitch on the yoke… it is kind of cool and I like it. Once the stitches for the arms were separated the entire body of the sweater was designed to be knit in lace. I decided that I wanted a little sturdier and warmer sweater and knit a purl dot pattern that I like from previously knit Caitlin Hunter design (Misurina) and I’m pretty happy with the slight texture it brings to the body of the sweater and how it helps break up the color in the variegated yarn. Win, total win!!

Okay, now for the ugly parts of this sweater story. I made a mistake following the charts for the lace and colorwork parts of the yoke and ended up with almost 50 TOO MANY STITCHES on the needle. This is what happens when you are too stubborn to move the stitches onto a longer needle when things get kind of cramped (it was only a few rounds before the sleeves were separated from the body of the sweater) and you are struggling with a small chart (which I could have easily enlarged…) and it is late at night. I had to put the sweater into time out for the entire weekend and then moved stitches to a longer needle to facilitate tinking back almost 6 rounds of work. I also had to recover some dropped stitches… did I mention that I had already separated the sleeves from the body when the ugly reality of my stitch count hit me…

Doesn’t it all look great now?!

This sweater is supposed to be cropped. I need to put the stitches onto a holder soon so I can try it on for fit and to decide how much longer to knit the body. Did I mention that I never do a swatch? Reckless is my middle name… Anyway, that moment when I try on the sweater is a huge milestone for me. πŸ™‚

Should I add a bit of lace to the bottom of the sweater after the ribbing? I’m thinking of doing the ribbing, binding off in I-cord, and then picking up the stitches to knit the lace bottom to mirror the lace in the yoke.

Garden

It is a boring time in the garden. I hate to even talk about it. The snapdragons and some of the other bedding plants are still hanging on in the front gardens where they are peeking out in the gaps between the dried leaves that I heaped on them to bed them down for winter. This is kind of crazy. I don’t know if I should water them or encourage them to go to sleep by heaping on more leaves and mulch.

Inside the house the indoor garden is also a little boring. My jade plants are… huge, green and boring. They are still caged in with chicken wire to protect them from the kittens (and vice versa) and so far the kittens are leaving them alone. The orchids are also green and kind of boring. The plants are all sporting new roots and three of my 5 plants from last year are putting out shoots to bloom. That’s pretty good, but still a little boring as I am weeks and months away from blooms.

In the kitchen my hanging bougainvillea is blooming again and covered in new growth.

I wasn’t sure if the bougainvillea would survive over the winter in the house but it is doing much better than I expected. Yay!

Books

Yep. I’m reading another science fiction book that matches my knitting. Space opera is just what a frustrated knitter needs while recovering from a knitting disaster.

That’s it. Have a great week everyone!

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

May you all have a wonderful holiday season.

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: Weeks 49 and 50, 2021”

    1. I grew up in southern California along the Mexican border where bougainvillea grew huge in hedges and over the roof of our house. Here is cold Colorado it is a nice little hanging plant in the summertime. I brought my plant indoors and hung it into a western facing window where it catches the sun in the hopes that it would survive to next summer. Looks like it is working! I love the blooms as they remind me of my happy high school days in a beach town in California.

  1. So good to see your babies playing with the decorations. You got some wonderful pictures of the :)! Your sweater is just gorgeous! Having to tink back is no fun, but it is looking great now. Hope your holidays are wonderful!

    1. I hope that your holidays are wonderful, too! I decided to let the kitties have the tree because it is such a great cat toy, right?! It is working out well as I just put the boxes that arrive in the mail under the tree without opening them and the cats like that too.

  2. Your good wishes reciprocated. You have even photographed that sweater on the perfect background. We have a granddaughter and her husband in Kentucky. The hurricane passed Jamestown, their nearest, sending them to shelter in the cellar – but they survived unscathed

  3. Cats and decorations. πŸ˜… I don’t have any window clings this year. She jumps to get them. She is so funny when she gets one. She prances around the house.

    How are you feeling?

    Congratulations on getting back on track with the sweater. Ugh! So discouraging.

  4. When I was a kid our cats Gatsby and Daisy would attack the Christmas tree and most of Christmas seemed to be spent rescuing Christmas baubles they’d shredded all the shiny fibres off, or glass ones they’d managed to knock off the tree. We had 3 wooden pig ornaments that managed to make it through unscathed year after year. When my mum switched to having fancier matching decorations, they were headed for the bin and I adopted them. They also survived my 2 cats attacks on the tree and still when I hang them each year I think how tough these 3 little pig ornaments have been and think of their battles with the cats that they managed to get through. Your post just brought them to mind again, I hope you have some decorations as robust as my πŸ– 🐽 🐷 πŸ˜„

    1. I love the story of the wooden pigs. I have 4 little wooden birds that have feathers made from pinecone bits that are just so cute and irresistible to kitties of any age. They have been dragged off the tree and trashed by at least 6 different cats and they are still going. I don’t get really nice ornaments – I tend to make or buy sturdy ones and now I have plastic bulbs. Merry Christmas to you!!

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