Sweet Pleat

Sweet Pleat

Sweet Pleat

Sweet Pleat

Sweet Pleat

Sweet Pleat

Sweet Pleat

 

A little Friday handknit treat for my Junebug! I have wanted to try knitting with linen for a long time as I have many pieces of linen clothing in my own wardrobe. I’ve started a couple knit dishcloths a few times with Louet Euroflax but never finished either project–the Euroflax was just too stiff & bothered my hands after awhile. When Knitbot came out with the pattern Sweet Pleat during Kids Week this month, the beautiful photographs of the finished piece hooked me {& the adorable model!}. I used the yarn specified in the pattern, Quince & Co’s Kestrel in the colorway Sand. The yarn is luxurious. The sheen is dreamy. I have found a new yarn pleasure. Sweet Pleat itself is such a simple, but elegant knit and the linen makes it a definite easy care item–perfect for a three-year-old’s lifestyle. I made June the 2yo size, but knit the 4yo size’s dress length as she is very giraffe-like for a newly-minted three-year-old. She wore the top all day today from music class to shopping to the library & received several compliments–always makes a knitter smile! She spilled milk all over the front at lunch and the linen looks no worse for the wear. Love when the week ends on a happy note! Cheers to a great weekend!

A trip to Northeast Iowa; forcing spring

 

June in the children's garden at Seed Savers.

June in the children’s garden at Seed Savers.

We met an Ancient White Park calf at Seed Savers.  White Park cattle are an extremely rare, horned breed, originally from the British Isles.  Seed Savers is working to preserve these almost mythical animals.

We met an Ancient White Park calf at Seed Savers. White Park cattle are an extremely rare, horned breed, originally from the British Isles. Seed Savers is working to preserve these almost mythical animals.

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Trout at the Decorah Fish Hatchery.

Rainbow trout at the Decorah Fish Hatchery.

Grannis Creek.

Grannis Creek.

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Natural spring.

Natural spring.

 

This past Saturday we took our spring trip to Seed Savers Exchange in Northeast Iowa’s karst terrain, referred to as the Driftless Area, for the annual Rare Plant Sale.  We picked up far less plants than last year (I went overboard) & more heirloom seeds this year.  I love Northeast Iowa & Seed Savers.  Being from central Northwest Wisconsin (lots of pines & rolling hills) I always thought my move to Iowa was temporary, even after I married a Native Iowan (there are bumper stickers for this).  A decade on & three kids later, I find myself finally coming ’round to this state.  I used to imagine Brian & I retiring in Northern WI….I am beginning to replace those mind wanderings with Northeast Iowa.  It is truly an enchanting place.  If more people outside Iowa could experience this part of Iowa, I know their general opinion of the state would change.  As much as I’m warming to Iowa, I do still firmly lament the fence-row to fence-row, year-after-year plantings of corn here (& the ethanol subsidy), along with the absence of great swaths of moving, native grasses that once blanketed it…

Later on Saturday we went trout fishing at Coldwater Creek & caught one Rainbow which we ate last night.  It was delicious using this recipe.  The kids & Brian (even June!) worked hard to catch more, but luck just wasn’t on our side this time.  We saw a large number of Yellow-rumped Warblers while fishing & several other migrating warblers I still haven’t identified.  I need a better bird guide.  I need a Sibley.  We visited the fish hatchery in Decorah just after a wedding finished at the stream nearby & then headed home late in the afternoon.  We stopped off at Grannis Creek near Fayette to fish about an hour before dusk.  The stream seemed too shallow in most parts to support fish (in my uneducated opinion).  We hiked the entire stream through the Wildlife Management Area, stopping off when its winding path reached private land.  There is a natural spring tumbling down a short section of the valley wall into the creek.  A salient encounter.  The photo of all three kids, the spring & creek are from Grannis.  It was almost dark by the time we got back to the car.  The kids were on the look-out for ghosts.

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Think spring...

Think spring…

I finished a knitted bird nest & four eggs over the weekend.  The multiple false springs, rain, cold, & continued raw wind we’ve been experiencing called for it.  If spring is late, force it into your being.