Friday, June 6, 2008

The Getaway & The Return

Whew. Last week was a very short week for me- holiday social commitments, work, last minute pool maintenance, and the multitude of other things necessary to cruelly abandon the cat go away for a few days. (Woats has forgiven us, mainly because we had a housesitter waiting on her hand and foot while we were gone.)

The trip? Was to Delaware. And now (unless you're a Delawarian), you're asking 'why Delaware?'. Well, a bunch of reasons- for one, it's gorgeous.
Brandywine Creek State Park

We went and looked at Wyeths, at the Brandywine River Museum. Easy to see why the landscape inspired them.
More Brandywine Creek State Park

We also visited Longwood Gardens, legacy of Pierre Dupont. We were by turns amazed, impressed and appalled by the magnitude of conspicuous consumption.
greenhouse at Longwood gardens

The only sign of fiber I spotted was in a Weathervane collection at the Hagley Mills Museum- apparently woolen mills once had sheep weathervanes!
sheep in the wind

And we rode the train- the Wilmington and Western steam railway, where they have finally replaced all the bridges that washed out by floods a few years ago. Talk about marketing genius- they rent the cabooses for birthday parties. We saw several groups of kids enjoying the ride.

The first day we went to Philadelphia and walked around the city. We visited the Federal Reserve Bank (there's an interesting exhibit on money), got free samples (no, really*), visited the Franklin Institute, and saw a green fountain.
green fountain in Philly

Apparently this was to promote awareness of 'green' thinking. The fluorescent shade was definitely eye-catching.

And I started socks on my especially-procured-for-plane- travel-but-very-bendy-and-slow bamboo needles.

These are made in Austermann Step. I'd wanted something relatively simple, preferably a pattern I could do from memory, so I chose the garter rib pattern, which I'd used for a pair of socks last fall. I like the colors, but I hadn't anticipated the sharp color transitions in the stripes. I found myself liking it less and less as I continued to knit- I finally quit and read on the plane home, because I was not loving this pattern in this yarn. I think it really wants a pattern that will take advantage of the strong striping. I've got a couple of ideas.

Once home, I was reunited with my unexpectedly charming basket-weave socks. (Unexpected, because the pattern was so simple, and in a solid color.) It was actually a wrench to leave them- they were zipping along so quickly and easily. I quite resented starting something new, not a usual thing for me. (But then usually I wouldn't have started something new if I was loving the project I was on!)
Basket Weave socks

Of course, I'm running out of sock, so I'd better stop dithering over the pattern for the socks formerly known as garter rib socks.

I can highly recommend the Brandywine River Valley as a destination for a short vacation. But it feels good to be home for the first real weekend of summer. The torrential rain of the last two days has stopped, the sun has come out and the air is soft and sticky. There's a constant chatter of birds in the trees, a lawnmower going somewhere a couple blocks away, and I've already cleaned the pool, done a little knitting and am on my second cup of Bavarian chocolate coffee. Yeah, gotta love the weekend.

*The free money samples were shredded. Sigh.


  1. That was my first reaction: I hope you got to go to Longwood Gardens. And you did! Cool! I have fond memories from childhood of the place.

  2. I love the Longwood Gardens! I am hoping to visit them next month when we spend a few days in PA. thanks for the photos.