Month’s End Report: January 2022

January is gone and we are 1/12th of the way through the new year. Outside it is very cold and snowing: perfect flat snowflake crystals are drifting down and creating a sparkling landscape.

Can you see the sparkles on the bear?

It will continue to snow all night and most of the day tomorrow, and when it clears we will have subzero temperature over the next night. That’s subzero Fahrenheit temperatures. It is eerily silent outside and there isn’t an animal track or footprint in the snow anywhere. I have a big pot of green chili started and lots of knitting plans for the coming couple of days.

I set myself a lot of goals for the year and I thought that I would check in at the end of every month with an update about how I’m doing.

Knitting:

I had this idea that I would reduce the stash by at least 50 skeins of yarn this year. (For the purpose of computing skeins 100g of yarn equals one skein.) I’m knitting hats and PICC line covers for the Kaiser infusion centers in the Denver metro area through a group of community knitters (Kaiser employees, all) that I serendipitously encountered last year. It is still early days but this seems to be a good strategy to use up lots of unloved skeins and left over yarn.

This month I produced 9 hats and 9 Picc line covers. The hats are all Barley and Barley Light by Tin Can Knits, and the PICC line pattern is here.

I have a loose goal of producing 50 hats and 50 PICC line covers this year, so I am definitely on pace.

I also started a new sweater this month. This yarn is Lush Worsted by The Uncommon Thread in the colorway Chrome. The sweater is Cushman by Isabel Kraemer.

All together I used up almost 950 grams of yarn this month, which translates to almost 10 skeins of yarn if I use 100 g/skein to calculate how much I’m reducing from the stash. So far it has been a great start to the destash!

Garden

It’s winter. Three of my orchids are going to bloom and they have been slowly, slowly growing out the stems and now the buds are really starting to look good.

I think that this plant will be giving me purple blooms.

All of the orchids are putting out new roots and I am gratified that they are looking so healthy. Hmm… did I mention that I threw away two plants last fall that were whimpy and failing to thrive? Yep. It’s not that I’m such a great gardener, but that I know when to banish a sickly-looking plant to the garage. All the plants that are under the lights are really looking good and I’m glad that I heartlessly removed the ones that looked sick.

Books:

Okay, the reason there was so much knitting going on last month has to do with me struggling with the weather and annoying symptoms associated with my pulmonary hypertension. I also pulled out The Murderbot Diaries and read/listened to all of the books in the series again.

There are actually 6 books and a short story in this series, and I just can’t seem to get enough of Murderbot. I’ve spent some time thinking about what draws me to the character and the series so much. The books are well written, interesting, extremely well balanced, and the audible books are excellent. Let me unpack the story a little for you.

Murderbot is an intelligent construct created from organic and robotic parts. It is a security unit (SecUnit) designed to handle all security/protection for human clients that contract with the owning company. SecUnits are horrifically dangerous due to their features (energy weapons in its arms, for example) and their ability to manipulate digital networks. To control them they have a governor module that punishes/kills them if they fail to follow directions or screw up in any way. The popular media presents rogue SecUnits as the ultimate threat to humans; “very dangerous, kill on sight” type stuff.

Okay, let’s be clear here. Murderbot is a slave to the corporation that created/owns it. Rogue SecUnits are the equivalent of escaped, extremely dangerous slaves.

Murderbot figured out how to hack its governor module and is now a rogue unit. It doesn’t really know what to do with itself so it conceals its rogue status, continues to work its job, and watches digital media as much as it can. Through luck it works for clients who appreciate how very special it is; they buy its contract and free it. Murderbot isn’t sure what it wants, but it is sure that it doesn’t want to be a “pet”, so it leaves. Slowly, through interactions with others and lots of episodes of The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon, Murderbot comes into its own. It makes its own security contracts with clients and begins to control its own situation. Always in danger of being captured and destroyed, he learns how to “pass” for human. He makes friends, learns how to handle emotions, faces down his demons, and slowly finds his purpose in life.

On bad days I crawl under the covers again and listen to Murderbot. Murderbot binge watches serials with his friend ART (which stands for Asshole Research Transport) and I binge watch Netflix. Murderbot faces down his fears and learns to move around in unfamiliar situations; I face down Covid and take myself into a crowded grocery store to get my booster shot. I definitely channel Murderbot when I shoot someone side eye for not wearing their mask! Murderbot finds its voice and learns to speak for itself, and I learn to ask the hard questions of my medical team.

Murderbot as a role model. I can do worse.

These books are short so I polished off 10 books this month. Wow. My goal is 50 books for the year so I am in good shape.

Hannah: Have a great February, everyone!

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.

20 thoughts on “Month’s End Report: January 2022”

    1. I think that the grow lights and the fact that they are all grouped together helps my orchids. I have them in a tray that lets me add water underneath the pots so the humidity stays up a little. Still, I have some that just don’t do well and when that happens I chuck them too. My problem with plants is finding ones that Mateo won’t eat…

  1. What a super shot of Hannah to end your post ! – added to your totally excellent header, of course. 😀
    Your phallies are doing so well that you make me grind my teeth in memory of those I’ve tried to bring up proper but failed miserably.
    You do knit beautifully, Marilyn: it takes a top knitter to be able to produce so lovely a stocking stitch (which is what I grew up knowing it as) jumper. Sweater. Whatever.
    You’re a mad science fiction fan, while I’m a mad crime detective fan. In both genres can be found some really good writing, because both offer wide opportunities for writers to create interesting characters.

    1. Well, I think I got lucky with the orchids. It’s a combination of the right light, room, and Colorado weather that makes them bloom. They need big swings in temperature in the fall and we certainly have that!
      Thank you. I think that I have developed some good knitting skills. 🙂 I also have good needles! I love a good crime detective book. What are you reading? I just started a Michael Connelly last night having completely exhausted my stock of Murderbot again. I do love a great character; I just got BritBox so I could watch the British shows and suddenly I can’t get enough of Vera. Talk about a complicated character!

      1. Britbox is brilliant. I watched all the DI Banks again and wondered why they made him such a useless pillock when it came to Annie. A woman as feisty as she could never be partnered with him; but somehow they managed to make you see that when she married that lawyer she and Banks couldn’t’ve stayed apart so she had to die .. But I’ve seen everything I want to now, and am waiting for them to put up some new old series .. 😀

      2. I haven’t made it to DI Banks yet. I’m currently going down the Vera rabbit hole, wondering why her partner (underling) hasn’t poisoned her coffee yet. I have already consumed all of the Shetland episodes. I can’t get over the 1. green countryside 2. stone houses 3. sheep 4. crazy colored cop cars.

    1. I wanted a simple, classic sweater to match the, well, kind of classic and boring grey yarn. I haven’t decided if I will put on the pockets as I want to knit it a little longer if I can. I think that it will be a workhorse for me as I can use all of my scarfs, arm warmers, etc with it and it will go with everything else in the closet. Next up, a charcoal grey sweater.
      I usually don’t love the audible version of books, but this actor/reader does a great job! I have both the books and the audible versions at this point so I can just switch back and forth. Makes life easy for the knitter.

  2. You had a great January of progress toward your goals! You are doing great with your hats and PICC line covers, and the new sweater is beautiful so far 🙂 The Murderbot books really sound interesting – I will have to check them out.

    1. I makes me so happy to use up as much of the yarn stash as I can in a good cause that helps others. It certainly gives me purpose these days! Today I donated 9 more hats and 14 PICC line covers,
      I took a class on media design once… it’s paying off now as I try to capture the photos.

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