Friday, February 6, 2009

road trip and yarn haul

Hi again!

Well, last weekend was rather busy. DG and I went to the Blues game vs. the Philadelphia Flyers, and the guys won, 4-0! w00t! Too bad that last goal was close to the end of the game...the chant of "We Want Blizzards" only got a workout for about 5 minutes. Alas! We had a good time, tho.

Sunday morning, I got up before the crack of dawn, packed the car and the dog and took off for Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Yes, I can hear you scratching your collective heads. The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, which was damaged last June (2008) by flooding from the Cedar River, still has not reopened its permanent exhibits. The two exhibitions that were open, however, were the The Year of the River: Flood Photography from The Gazette, and the one I went to see: Mary GrandPré: Harry Potter and Beyond. This was her first exhibit in years, and as a HP fan, I thought it was very, very cool.

I hadn't realized that she'd provided the models for the humans in Ice Age, and she has quite a few children's books under her belt, as well. I particularly liked the program covers she did for Aida - I cannot remember what orchestra/philharmonic they were commissioned for (ARGH!), but they were very good.

The main draw for me, though, were the Potter sketches.

It was amazing to see the uncolored images - most were done on tracing paper with lead pencil, and it was just cool to be able to see the light reflect from the layers of lead on the paper making up the image. Yes, I am a geek! It was also interesting to see that the original title for the first book was Harry Potter and the School of Magic! I wasn't able to take shots of the art - tsk, tsk to those who have!! - but it was worth the trip. I'd thought that the exhibit went through the month of February, and discovered that it actually closed on February 1, so that sealed the deal.

Oh!! The museum has a video tour! Check it out:

See how neat that was!!??!!

I did detour on the way north - I drove right past Riverside, Iowa. Those of you who are Star Trek fans may recognize the name of the town - yes, this is the 'future birthplace of James T. Kirk'! I had to stop and get a picture of the USS Riverside - this is the 'float' that is used in the TrekFest parade every year in June. See the snow?? They didn't get snow when we did (last week) but they've had no melt weather for a while and so they have big piles everywhere.

I did find an unofficial crest marker - I parked across the street from the museum in a parking garage, and this was painted at the base of the stairwell. The museum lost everything that was in storage in the basement as well as some of the items on the first floor. They are the home of the Grant Wood Collection; you may know this artist as the one who painted "American Gothic".

I spent the night in Cedar Rapids - missed the Super Bowl (slept through it!) and Plu had his own bed. Got up the next morning before the crack of dawn (again) and drove to my all-time favorite dairy to buy cheese. I was too close not to go!

It was a picturesque drive through eastern Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin - rendered even more so because the GPS took me on the 'shortest route' which were barely-paved, unmarked country roads in Wisconsin! Remember I said that there were piles of snow? I was driving down roads that had snowdrifts taller than my car piled down their route. Some of the sights I saw were a monastery between Cedar Rapids and Dubuque, lovely rolling hills, a rather dramatic rock cut just east of Dubuque, and the Sinsinawa Mound in southwestern Wisconsin.

I bought all sorts of mild cheeses from Decatur: Havarti, Muenster, lace Swiss (Stettler Swiss), butter kasse, cheese curds (YUM!!!) and some mozzarella. The first time I visited this dairy, the silly dog tried to eat the curds on the way home while I was fuelling up the car! Bad dog! Decatur has awards for their Havarti and Muenster cheeses. If you're ever in south central Wisconsin, I'd recommend visiting them. It'll be worth your drive.

I then drove down through Rockford, IL to a yarn shop called Unique Yarns. The staff was friendly, and they have a nice, open layout. I bought some souvenir yarn, natch. More on that in a bit. I also picked up Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Back on the road, we headed home. I did stop at Dixie Trucker's Home in McLean, IL for scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy. Yum!

Okay, yarn time! The first four I bought from DBNY, and the last three from Unique Yarns.
  • 10 50g balls Plymouth Yarns "Eros" (100% nylon) in colorway Leaded Glass (silver grey).
  • 6 50g balls Plymouth Yarns "Eros" (100% nylon) in colorway Tapestry (red, gold, blue, lime, black)
  • 1 4oz hank Cherry Tree Hill "Supersock Solids" (100% merino superwash) in colorway Cherry (rich red)
  • 1 100g hank Fire Lizard Yarns "Joy" (80% superwash merino, 20% nylon) in colorway Love (gold, burgundy, purple, yellow-brown). Picture #2
  • 1 100g ball Tofutsies "Limited Edition" (50% superwash wool, 25% SoySilk, 22.5% cotton, 2.5% Chitin*) in colorway #872 August 2008 (cream, sky blue, bronze, grey)
  • 1 100g ball Berroco Yarns "Sox" (75% superwash, 25% nylon) in colorway Geilgud (cream, tan, black)
  • 1 100g hank Misti Alpaca "Hand-Painted Sock Yarn" (50% alpaca, 30% merino wool, 10% silk, 10% nylon) in colorway Seattle (olive, rust, brown, burgundy, gold, teal, orange)

Phew! That's enough. Time for a dog walkies.


1 comment:

sue said...

Sounds like a nice trip. All that cheese talk is making me hungry!