Happy Superheroes… I mean Mother’s Day!

There are few experiences in life that radically change you immediately and permanently. Becoming a mother is at the top of that list. The transition isn’t unlike that of a comic book superhero. Getting bitten by a radioactive spider, having a baby — both are pretty instantaneously life-changing. Most days moms across the world go about the business of tending their flocks with heroic patience, unconditional dedication, and a love so strong and so deep that it’s almost inconceivable. And one day a year we pause to celebrate our moms and say thank you.

Usually I am just happy to spend the day with my family. Today, though, I was treated to breakfast in bed. This plan was hatched by my son who was started out upset he doesn’t yet know how to make pancakes. According to him, I always make him the best pancakes and he just really wanted to do the same for me. My husband helped him out and brought home some yogurt, berries, & oatmeal that the kids could easily put together. They woke me up with big eyes and faces so full of excited anticipation that they could have handed me a plateful of worms and I’d have eaten it.

After breakfast, as we waited for the rain to pass, I was able to finish up my SilverSpun Paper Moon socks.

IMG_9232The ends are woven in now and they are all set to be photographed, but suffice to say the fit and feel of these socks is absolutely divine. Inspired in part by these very socks and some very wonderful knitters in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group, I’ll have information sometime in the next few days about a knitalong I’ll be hosting featuring the hand-dyed SilverSpun yarns of the Summer Sock Club from Feel Good Yarn Company. Space is very limited in this club, so pop over, reserve your spot, and knit with us this summer! In the mean time, don’t forget to use the discount code SARAHKNITS to get free shipping on orders over $42 from Feel Good Yarn Company (please note the discount code DOES NOT apply to the Summer Sock Club).

With my socks finished and the rain still falling, I cast on the project I received in my PostStitch box…

IMG_9244Mares’ Tails by Kater Tater Knits in Anzula Breeze, a silk linen blend just made for a summery shawl like this.

With the first repeat complete, we had some lunch and then had just enough time for a quick hike before it started raining again.

IMG_9250We went on one of our favorite short trails that is half boardwalk and half forest. We watched terns, shorebirds, and even saw a few warblers. It was one of those spring days when the green is just so green. As soon as we got back to the car, it started to rain again. We drove over to another trail just to check and see if the bobolinks had returned yet, but they were no where to be seen. Soon, though, soon.

As a sort of Mother’s Day side note, I also wanted to share that I got a special something in the mail a couple days ago…

IMG_9236It turns out I won the Ice Age Trail Wrap kit from the Cream City Yarn birthday raffle last week. Since I wasn’t able to get back to the shop, the ladies very graciously dropped it in the mail for me. A couple days later the pattern & three skeins of the lovely Sheepish Yarn Co Super Merino Sport arrived in my mailbox. Thanks to the timing, it definitely felt like am early Mother’s Day surprise! A simple & elegant design, this will undoubtedly be a delight on my needles in the near future.

I’ll admit that it’s nice to be pampered a little on Mother’s Day — with yarn and knitting time and breakfast and time spent together. Mostly, though, I find myself spending the day thankful to be able to wear the title of Mom. While this is coming late to most of you, I wish all my fellow mothers out there a very heartfelt happy mothers day. I may have never met you, but I assure you I’m in awe of everything that you’ve done and continue to do. I hope you spent the day feeling like the superheroes that you are.

Kettles & Moraines & Knitting

As I’m sure you could guess, having sunny & 70 degree conditions meant my little band of adventurers & I were out and about yesterday. The North Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest was selected by our son for the simple reason that we could bring the dog. The other options we gave him were not dog-friendly, so it was a no-brainer for him. It was great for us, too, as we are working on training our son to be in charge of the pup for some of our larger hikes coming up this summer when the adults will have bigger packs. Win-win!

The Kettle Moraine Forest is pretty lovely. It earns it’s name from the loads of glacial features formed during the last ice age. Believe it or not, the state is very rich in geologic history — so much so that the National Park Service is in the process of building the Ice Age National Scenic Trail which is 1,200 winding miles throughout Wisconsin highlighting the glacier’s edge. This trail goes right through Kettle Moraine Forest for good reason. It abounds with moraines –unsorted gravel left by the glaciers that form ridges which can range from 10 to 300ft in height — and kettles — essentially ponds or lakes on today’s landscape, they were formed when large chunks of ice laden with rocks broke off the glacier creating depressions that then filled with the melting ice. The Ice Age Trail Alliance has awesome resources if you want to know more. Suffice to say though, Kettle Moraine Forest was once covered by a mile of ice and the landscape was molded by that. Pretty darn humbling if you ask me!

For Wisconsin, there are a lot of ups and downs in the hiking but it is very beautiful. Early wildflowers were in bloom and while we were a bit disappointed by the scarcity of warblers where we were at, I did get to see my first Gray Catbirds of the year (it was my unspoken goal for the day, so yay!), Eastern Towhees, and a handful of other songbirds as well as a Red Shouldered Hawk & a Broad-Winged Hawk. So, not a bad day birding at all even though it was not what we expected.

Our hike was about 3.5miles which doesn’t sound like much for the average fit adult, but that is about the extent of how far my bum leg & I can go these days, especially considering the hills. It’s also just beyond the reach of my daughter — when you are small, there are a lot more steps involved! In any case, I of course, snapped some photos and wrote a little story to share.

20130505-141106.jpgHitting the trail — my daughter never just runs, she ‘flies’ everywhere.

20130505-141510.jpgIt’s a relatively moist area with moss at the base of almost every tree….

20130505-141438.jpgSometimes there are flowers there, too….

20130505-141518.jpgAnd colorful lichen decorate the trees.

20130505-141449.jpgThese trees bend over the trail, an arched canopy to march beneath.

20130505-141412.jpgAnd on the other side a simple picnic awaited.

20130505-141403.jpgAnd what picnic is complete without ants? I am always in awe of how organized these little hills are.

20130505-141424.jpgThere were pines that littered the ground with their cones…20130505-141527.jpgAnd birch stands…

20130505-141536.jpgAnd just thick woods on all sides, all about to bud out with leaves. Don’t blink, they’ll do so in an instant.

imageThere were marsh marigolds on the riversides….20130505-141547.jpgAnd many more trails than our tired legs could tackle.

20130505-141718.jpgAnd at the end, while the kids enjoyed the Ice Age Center with my husband, I rested my legs with a tuckered pup.

We rounded out our evening with a campfire. And with summer thoughts in my mind, the sun on my face, & a gin and tonic in my hand, I knitted on my Kit Camisole. The linen stitch edge is slow-going, but I am about halfway through it.20130506-092138.jpgI can’t wait to wear this — it will be perfect for summer! I will admit, however, that I am already thinking about another summer top thanks to my friend, Alisa, who posted a photo of her in-progress Cap Sleeve Lattice Top (really, thanks for that, Alisa — LOL!). I suppose we’ll just have to see how quickly I work through Kit… Can you say incentive to click away?!

For any locals interested in the hike we did, you can check out the trail map here. We parked at the Ice Age Center and then hiked the Yellow Trail to Red Trail to Green Trail to Yellow Trail in a big loop. It is really pleasant this time of year, but do be aware it can be buggy (including ticks) later in the season. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!