June 14, 2011

Summer Saturdays

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It feels like a strange summer ahead. What’s the difference? This year there is only one wedding and it already happened. I’m not sailing and neither is SB. Cable cabin trips are no more. We are not moving.

These events have been the corner stones for my summer’s past. Looking across the weeks of summer, my calendar is wide open and I’m not sure what to do. How can it still be summer without the packed days of events and happenings? I guess I’ll just have to imagine up some new summer fun.

To get started, I went to my first ever dairy breakfast on the farm. Since I met SB, he has been talking about these awesome dairy breakfasts, where ice cream is served and everyone eats in the yard of a nearby farm. I’d never even heard of this event, much less attended. Saturday we woke up early and headed out to the farm, along with, it turned out, everyone else in Dane county.

The first sign of trouble was the solid line of cars converging on the quite country lane. When we arrived the line for breakfast stretched all the way down the farm’s driveway and then doubled back on itself. The line was not moving, though the people in the food tent were furiously flipping flap jacks.

We tooled around the farm, checked out some cows and watched a packed hay ride roll by. The breakfast line continued to grow. We left without eating, to try again next year.

June 11, 2011

Blanket Challenge – Update

My 2011 blanket challenge: To make nine adult size blankets by the end of July, starting January 1st. After much agonizing, I’ve decided on a slight revision of only making eight blankets in seven months, rather than the original nine. I think 8 will still be a great achievement.

With two months to go, how close am I? Right on target! Yay! I’m about halfway through blanket number seven and know exactly what blanket number eight will look like.

Since I haven’t posted in a while, here’s a recap of blanket 3-6.

Circus Blankets

#3 & #4 were the same pattern with different borders. The bodies are a diagonal stripe knit with garter stitch and the edges are crochet. Both in bulky, superwash merino. These blankets are extra soft and spongy and the bold stripe makes them very vibrant.

Chunky Cable Blanket

#5 was the bulky cable blanket of my dreams. I have been wanting to make a blanket like this for a while now and I finally found the right kid, my eldest nephew. This blanket is knit with a 100% wool, bulky weight yarn. The border is part of the pattern and the cables are super 3-D. I had to pry this out of SB’s hands. I may have to make another one for us.

Pixel Ripple Blanket

#6 was a return to the crochet ripple blanket, this time in a more pixelated design. I was very happy with how the colors of the stripes came together and the improvised crochet border. This pattern had a lot of tension on the sides and didn’t lay flat when finished. If I make it again, I’ll have to revise the pattern a bit.

#7 will be crochet and #8 will be knit and then blanket victory will be mine!

June 10, 2011

Back in the ATL

Reading on the veranda

Driving around Atlanta this past weekend, I felt truly accomplished that I could navigate across the city without a map. I still remember how to get from one favorite spot to another and even alternate routes in case of traffic or scenery. While my navigation skills are high, my fondness for sitting in the car and dealing with crazy drivers has never been lower.

I really felt the contrast to our life in Madison, where the car is only turned on a few times a week and then only driven for minutes at a time. I remember trying to have “car free Sundays” in Atlanta and failing at it almost every week. There was almost always something we needed that was at least a thirty minute drive away.

This trip was not about communing with the car. It was vacation and all about indulging in our favorite bits and bites around the city and of course, seeing all the wonderful people who still call it home. This time we took a couple extra days and checked into a bed and breakfast in mid-town. The house had deep porches and lovely gardens, perfect for lounging in the heat and getting in some good reading.

We have a whole list of favorite eateries around town, but when pressed to list them, they don’t feel fancy, they are more comforting, with great food. Like Duck’s Cosmic Kitchen, home of the famous mini-doughnut and an amazing veggie burger. Their patio will always be one of our favorite spots.

It has been a year since we bought our house in Madison, and while the wounds have mostly healed from our Atlanta house, it was still with some trepidation that we drove by the old homestead. The yard has become a jungle, with six foot tall tree-lings growing in the middle of the front slope. I was happy to see that all our rose bushes are still alive and the butterfly bush is now as tall as the porch railing. Untended growing seems to be just fine for those plants.

I left feeling happy to have visited and to have lived in such an American city but also happy that we made the decision to leave. I look forward to visiting again.

Duck's Minis
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