Holiday Weekend Knitting Update

Good weekend for knitting, off and on.

Before the knitting, though, comes the holiday part!

The Preteen marched for the first time in our local Memorial Day Parade. Her middle school band director explicitly wants the kids to see that music can serve the community and honor our veterans (there is no regular funding for middle school marching band, so this is due to his initiative, a small grant, and some hand-me-down drums that they march at all). French horns do not march; horn players often play instead the mellophone (what the Preteen calls a ‘frumpet’), which fills the role of the horn in the marching band. So, in nine classes, she’s had to learn to march (including turning right and left) and play simultaneously, as well as play and finger a new instrument. They looked and sounded great

(other than I guess, whoops, someone’s out of step. Well, leaving out the one trombonist who is marching to his own drummer, 4 of 6 are on the same foot, so I guess the Preteen’s at least with the majority; which would seem to be what counts in a marching band).

When the band has to stop and mark time right in front of you, it’s an excellent time to embarrass your child by running up to her row and taking more pictures.

It was gorgeous weather, as you can see (too bad I had to work before & after, but at least I snuck out and got to see the parade!), and I hope some of the meaning of the day got through to my adolescent.

One of our friends was in the Vietnam veterans color guard:

and there were Vietnam war veterans whom I don’t remember marching before (perhaps they did); I thought this was very cool (click to embiggen for detail):

Many of you likely know the history, but for those who may not, the Hmong are an Asian ethnic group who were recruited by the CIA to fight in Vietnam; upon the fall of Saigon and US withdrawal from Vietnam, the Hmong became targets, and refugees. Immigration eventually was permitted on a limited basis by the United States government, and in the mid-1970s to early 1980s, my home town along with many others in the Midwest and California, most prominently, assimilated a number of refugees. These Hmong veterans truly are Vietnam veterans, but I had not thought to see them marching today; it was very striking to do so, especially as they’re carrying a POW-MIA flag among their flags.

There is currently another wave of immigration occurring, and my daughter told me later that her middle school flag squad (here they are in synchronized action at school last week):

is made up entirely of ‘Newcomers’, Hmong refugee children who have just arrived. Her school is one of the official welcome schools for these kids, who attend a school within a school as they learn English etc. They sang at the winter choir concert too; it was very moving.

One last parade picture, because it made me think of Dale-Harriet even though no one is wearing toques:

Now, onto the knitting! (and of course I was knitting while watching the parade, though slowed by standing up every time the flag came by)

First, the Frozen Waterfall Scarf, all blocked, now wrapped up, and off to its ISE 6 recipient!

I blocked it pretty hard, as the recipient is tall, and also I wanted a lacy look suitable for summer wear; interestingly, it came out looking almost woven after blocking. I probably could have been a little less aggressive, as I think it was plenty big (6 x 60 inches before blocking). But once I get those blocking wires in, the lace instincts take over! Plus I wanted to try to get the ‘wave’ out of the dropped stitches to make it more symmetric.

Specifications:

Pattern: Waterfall Scarf, designed by Linda O’Leary, from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders (note, pattern is written for heavy worsted weight yarn rather than the fingering weight yarn I did it in; Laurie assures me it goes much faster in the heavier weight yarn!)

Yarn: Yarn Pirate merino/tencel fingering weight yarn from the “Booty Club”, Icicle colorway

Modifications: Fingering weight yarn as above; also, I modified the bind off, at first due to inability to understand the bind off instructions; but when I ‘got’ them, I decided I liked mine better.

Here’s the pattern’s bind off on the left, over one dropped stitch, and mine on the right (over two dropped stitches):

It doesn’t look like mine’s stretchy, but I assure you, it is. And more aesthetic, I think.

Anyway, I’m pleased with the scarf and would gladly have kept and worn it, a good sign of a good scarf. I’ll probably knit this pattern again; but in a heavier yarn next time! A slippery-ish yarn that’s not splitty makes the stitch dropping part much easier, also. The merino/tencel was pretty good, but I can tell you just how many times I picked up a few extra fibers with the stitch (many more than I would have thought) and how much more difficult and tedious that made dropping the (2300) stitches!

Then, apparently I was in both a scarf mood and in the mood for a FO, like, NOW. For I started this Friday and finished yesterday!

The “Garter Stitch Loop-Through Scarf” (descriptive though not so inventive name) from the same book, knit in my fav-o-rite Twisted yarn, this being the Orbit colorway, Duchess yarn base. I modified the pattern slightly only because it called for sport weight and this is DK; so I knit on 28 stitches instead of 32 for the body of the scarf to obtain approximately the same width.

I like the pattern a lot, and I think I’ll really like a scarf like this to tuck inside my winter coat. This doesn’t happen to go with any of my coats, so I might reknit the scarf in another Twisted colorway for me and save this for a Christmas present already done. I have 37g of yarn left, maybe enough for matching wristlets, or if not, I can do the ribbing for fingerless mitts in this weight yarn, and I have Orbit in fingering weight too which I could use for the rest of the mitts. Or a hat, with the brim in the thicker yarn and the rest in the thinner yarn. Or mittens, ditto. All sorts of possibilities!

But wait, there’s more! (Call now, and get the free Ginzu knives….)

I also worked on my mother’s belated birthday socks (belated birthday socks seem to be traditional here, unfortunately). Yummy Casbah yarn, same as the Cast Toe Socks I had made her; in fact, the original companion sock was an indoor sock to accompany the Cast Sock, but when my mother decided she really liked it and wanted a pair, I felt I needed to reknit, as I had knit the first 2/3 of the first sock loosely for bedsock/around the house wear. (I did just reknit the heel and foot, though, and left the leg stretchy, why not?) So I’m almost down to heel #2 now.

Oh, and I’m almost done turning the heel on the second Walking Sock. And I cast on for a baby Tomten Jacket to match the little Saartje’s booties that I’d already made for a coworker who’s due in June.

Phew. Enough for one (long) weekend, with two mornings + of work thrown in, don’t you think?

Here’s a Saturday Sky to remember it by:

Hope your weekend was a good one!

6 responses to “Holiday Weekend Knitting Update

  1. Ginzu knives…. shudder (due to an unfortunate experience with a knife yesterday!)… That looks like a great parade. Sadly we don’t have one here. We do have July 4, but the end of it has lots and lots of fire trucks etc making too much noise. And there are few marching bands, mostly sit-down bands on the backs of flatbeds. You inhale a lot of exhaust at this parade! Yours looks SO MUCH better! Have you read ‘First they Killed my Father: A Cambodian Daughter Remembers’? It called to me off of the new book shelf maybe 8 years ago. I kept putting it down because I didn’t really want to read it, but it kept asking me to pick it up. I sobbed and sobbed. But what a reality check, in 1976 (or whenever, I forget), this girl is in the midst of horror and I am so comfortable in my life. We don’t have much of an Asian community around here, which is unfortunate.

  2. I do love a parade like that. Looks like you had a great weekend. We were kidless and just sort of wandered around looking at each other.

  3. I was in the marching band for, um, 6 or 7 years. (They started us young in those days.) Loved it, although I didn’t realize it at the time. We trombones were ALWAYS in the front row, and the senior-est among us marched at the right-hand end of the row right next to the band director. Talk about intimidating. But I was usually in step…

  4. Oh, what a sock knitter you’ve become! 🙂

    So, what Twisted colorway is your absolute favorite? — Rodney? Ravelry?

  5. Whew. You’ve been busy. I have no fond memories of marching band because the only parade we used to march in was the Christmas City of the North Parade (Duluth, MN) You haven’t lived until you are playing an instrument and marching when it’s 20 below out…

  6. Love the Waterfall Scarf colors. It really does almost look woven.

    More important—I received my Blogiversary consolation prize. It’s perfectly green AND, I recently acquired the kit to do the Aspen Leaf Shawl by Miriam Felton AND the colors are almost perfectly matched!!!! How did you do that? Again, thanks for your generosity. Now, what to make to go with the scarf? It is intended for my Mom who is from Colorado. Oh, by the way, she really loved the mini-Cow Pie. It has all of her favorite sweet flavors and her favorite nuts (aside from me).

    Also, gorgeous lilacs in your Saturday sky pic.

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