Tag Archives: Weekend (Knitting) Update

First Weekend off in a Month, Woo-hoo!

And a beautiful one it was!

Even though it started with opening the door to the aftermath of the intense little storm (and there was another one Friday night, another Saturday night, a tiny one this afternoon):

(look at the leaf stuck to our front door; and we don’t have a tree like that anywhere close!)

it was a lovely Saturday morning Sky!

Lots of the weekend was spent ferrying kids (Nutcracker auditions, birthday parties, shopping, so what’s new?), and there were rehearsals for me and my husband for today’s choral church services, Cantate Sunday. So not as much knitting time as I’d like (when is there ever? Except at Sock Camp! And even then, we were knitting ‘to order’ much of the time — classes etc.).

Here’s a picture of our church choir today. We were dressed in a loose interpretation of 19th century American clothing, as our music was all early American, mostly a cappella, very cool.

(Click to embiggen if you wish; I’m on the far right, just being an alto.)

But despite the busy-ness, I made excellent progress nonetheless on my mother’s second Casbah sock; no pictures, but I’m close to the toe, so should be done very soon.

And the Gothlet and I did a little yarn dyeing yesterday!

She has an extremely cool art teacher who is, sadly for the Gothlet, retiring. I told her teacher about Kool-Aid yarn dyeing once and she was very intrigued. I knew she would really appreciate something hand-dyed and hand-made. And brightly colored, she loves color! Now, if we waited for the Gothlet to knit it, we would be waiting a LONG time; I think she’s finished one out of 20 projects she’s started. (Not that I can point any fingers of blame.) But she can sure dye! So I suggested she dye yarn and I would knit it into fingerless mitts for her teacher. I had bought some Louet Gems sport weight superwash merino in white when I was in Neenah a month ago. I also prepped some other yarn for practicing on; we mixed up some bottles of dye

(there had just been a sale on powdered drink packets a few weeks ago, hooray!), and yesterday, she and I did some dyeing!

Here’s her finished result, all her own work:

And here it is skeined up, and wound up, ready for me to cast on tonight.

She said she wanted blips of bright color with separation, no blending, so I think this will be just the thing.

I did ‘jazz’ up the yellow (lemonade flavor) with food coloring, as well as the blue a bit, based on past experience. But look at the difference between this skein, and a wool-silk natural colored (non-superwash) skein:

See the difference in color saturation? Same dyes, same dyer, same technique. I’m sure it’s the superwash wool: the treatment makes it more permeable to the dye, as I found out to my surprise not long ago (of course, when I was dyeing something for someone else, and it came out much darker than planned; I had to dye a second skein that time).

While she was doing her dyeing, I did a couple small skeins I didn’t photograph yet, and also kettle-dyed the lace yarn below with Jacquard acid dye. (I’d had it partially dyed earlier with the leftover dye from something else, and overdyed it with teal; it’s subtly variegated, and I like it very much. I’m a teal kind of person!)

And I wound up more yarn for Wendy‘s Diamonds and Purls lace shawl. And I wound the second skein for my fingering weight Forest Canopy shawl, also. I am jonesing for knitting lace! And in four days, I am happy to say that I will be getting all sorts of knitting time. I am taking the train to a meeting in Chicago — over 5 hours of knitting time each way, excellent for lace! no need to read maps, carry on conversation since I’ll be by myself, no demands from the children….I can even listen to knitting podcasts on the train trip if I want.

During the meeting itself, I can’t knit lace, but I can knit something simple on my lap in the dark, perhaps the Baby Tomten jacket I started, or some basic socks. (It’s the kind of meeting where there are a lot of Powerpoint presentations.) And, though I’ll just be there a couple days, Friday night there is open knitting at Loopy Yarns in Chicago, my favorite of the three yarn stores I visited while I was there last year, and a short subway ride from where the meeting is, so I have something to do that night. The other two nights, I’ll be happy to stay in and have the bathtub/bathroom to myself, eat when I want, read and knit! Maybe even watch a movie I want to see!

SHHH — they all think I’m just going to a meeting. And I AM going to a meeting — they don’t need to know it’s also a mini-vacation with bonus knitting! Promise not to tell?

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.


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!