Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fireworks, Food and Fun

I had a lovely time celebrating the Fourth of July with my family. Hope all you Americans out there had a great time as well. We had a barbecue the evening of July 3, with hamburgers and hot dogs, and veggie burgers and veggie dogs for the vegetarians. Also potato salad, French fries, fruit salad, and of course mud cake and ice cream. Yum! Put the grandkids down for a brief nap while the grownups watched a movie. Then we got them up for fireworks at 11:30 p.m. (Yeah, it's kinda late, but it's the tradition here.) We live in a great spot where we can just sit on the porch swing and watch the fireworks. Perfect!

After the lovely fireworks show, we walked down to Main Street for the Pots 'N Pans Parade at midnight, another tradition. First, all the church bells in town ring for about ten minutes. Then, everyone starts beating on pots and pans as the parade begin. A few floats and lots of antique cars rumble by. Then the real noise: probably twenty fire engines and rescue units from this and surrounding towns, all with their sirens going at full blast. What a cacophony of sound! No way could you sleep through it.

On the Fourth, after everyone was up, we had a nice breakfast and then drove down to Concord, Massachusetts, to see the Old North Bridge, where the first shot of the American Revolution was fired, "the shot heard round the world." Seemed appropriate for the day. Got to hear an enthusiastic park ranger give a talk about how that battle came about, toured the museum, then home for a nice dinner.

How was YOUR holiday?

Naturally, those fireworks in all their glory got me thinking about not only liberty, but also yarn. ;-) Hey, the colors inspire me! A good friend of mine, Jen, brought me a homemade drop-spindle made with an old CD, a dowel rod and a hook. She also brought me some gorgeous apricot-colored roving, and taught me how to spin. Well, got me started, anyway. I can't claim the lumpy product I'm turning out qualifies me as an expert! But it's fun and something I've always wanted to learn. Thanks, Jen!

I'm also working on a pair of socks I've put off starting for a long time. Let's see if I can post a picture of what they'll look like when finished:

Here's the link to buy the pattern, if you like them as much as I do, from Knitpicks. Hey, for $1.29 for the downloaded pattern, you can't beat 'em. I had to start them twice as the first time I was occupied with other things and somehow ended up with the wrong number of stitches in mid-cuff, and I'll be darned if I could find out what I'd done wrong. So I frogged and started over.

Interesting thing about the pattern: you knit the lacy cuff, then turn the work inside out and knit in stockinette until the stockinette extends about an inch beyond the cuff, then do the heel. IOW, you'll fold down that lacy cuff when you wear it, so the fabric is doubled there. But I'm thinking the next time I make these socks, I might want to make the cuff and just keep knitting for another inch *without* turning inside out, then go for the heel. That way I'll have a single layer around my ankle rather than a double. Good experiment, anyway.

So, how was your Fourth (if you celebrate it), and what colorful projects are you working on?