Thursday, June 01, 2017

Last day of preschool

At the end of May, Eloise had her last day of preschool with teachers Shannon and Mariana. She only went for half a year, but really thrived at school and I'm happy we decided to enroll her. Without the help of my mom (and sometimes my dad) we wouldn't have been able to make it work and we appreciated their help picking her up. She will return in the fall and go three days a week, half days again.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Faribault Woolen Mill tour

This spring, Harriet and I spent a day with my aunt Sylvia and we went to the Faribault Woolen Mill. I have wanted to visit for a long time and since we went on a Friday afternoon, we basically had a private tour. The mill was founded in 1865 and has been running almost continuously since then and has always been family owned.

It takes 11 days to make the wool blankets and 22 processes (hence the reason why the blankets are not cheap. Here is a baler to begin the wool processing. They buy wool from southern states in 800lb orders.

After this it goes upstairs for dying (a step we didn't see) and then the wool is carded.

Next it is spun onto these giant spools.



Then put onto smaller spools.



So much yarn.

Then they string the yarn through the looms, which can take days, and the fabric is made.

Military grey. I was surprised to learn that they make all the Army blankets and all the blankets that are given to West Point Cadets.


Matchy matchy.
 Samples. There are some other steps in there that I didn't document because they weren't very visually interesting, but there is a lot of washing, inspecting and sewing the edges. We learned that they now are making summer cotton blankets too, but they import the cotton yarn.

Made in America. I was fascinated by the whole tour, although I think it got a bit long for Harriet.

After the tour we went out for some cupcakes in town and then headed over to the River Bend Nature Center.

We looked for the early native flowers and walked along the trails by the river.

Harriet was thoroughly entertained by this stick the whole time.


Teepee hideout. 

We really enjoyed the day we spent with Sylvia. There is still more we want to go back to explore, like a few of the state parks in the area. So we'll be back for another visit soon.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Eloise Bulter in spring

While Harriet was at a birthday party at Eloise Bulter, I went and took pictures of spring plants so I could try out my new camera. A nature walk with guides was a great choice for a kids birthday, by the way.





 Ramps! My favorite foraged food. Too bad we can't pick anything in there.




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Butterfly & cocoon knit toys

I haven't posted much about knitting lately, so these are my new favorite baby presents to make for people. For Christmas, Steve got me this this really cool book/magazine called Making and it had the pattern in there as well as a lot of fun textile projects and recipes. Now the pattern is on Ravelry.

These are fun and easy to make and are the cutest little giftss.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Denver

This trip now seems so far away that its not even worth a post, but basically here are some pictures. We walked around the city a lot and happened upon a lot of street art.







Pencil!



I liked how even a parking ramp is artistically designed. 

The capital in the mile high city.

Sunset from the hotel room.

16th Street Mall at night. Much like Nicollet Mall except much more vibrant.


We went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which we all enjoyed.

They had a great view of the city.

Zonked, a rare moment of silence in the car. 

It was our first time in Colorado for all four of us and I'm glad we went, but it was very taxing the majority of the time with the girls. I'd like to go back when they are a little older and better travelers. Or maybe ditch them and Steve and I can go back and really enjoy all Colorado has to offer.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Trip to Colorado. First stop: Boulder


Earlier this winter we took a long weekend and visited Colorado, a state that none of have been to before (I've laid over there a few times, but that doesn't count). We first went to Boulder and stayed with friends Joel and Erin who have a daughter Aven, who is Eloise's age.

We first headed to Pearl Street, walked around and had lunch at a local brewery called The Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery.

Later we met up with Joel, Erin and Aven at their home and consumed the world's largest slices of pizza. 

The next day we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park, but first we stopped in Estes Park and visited the hotel from The Shining, the Stanley Hotel. Very beautiful and old.


Joel lent us all of their snowshoes and kid-carrying pack so we got to the park and tried to get ready to go. Eloise threw her first of many, many fits and cried for 30 mins plus while sitting in the trunk of the car. Eventually she was only happy when I was the one who was carrying the pack, which was very uncomfortable since it had been sized for Steve, but we just had to roll or else we were never going to do anything.
Harriet really liked snowshoeing, we did a loop around a frozen lake.

Eloise in happier times.

Views from the road.

While Eloise (thankfully) napped in the car, Steve and Harriet went to the extremely windy and snowy Bear Lake to check it out.


As we were heading out, we came across these elk who were blocking the road.

On the way home we stopped and ate at Oskar blues, which is a microbrewery that lead the craft brewery crazy 20 years ago. After this, we stopped at Left Hand brewery on the way home.

The next morning the dads took the girls to swim at the community center pool, Erin had to working and I spent an hour going on a hike alone. After a really long day with the girls the day before and a terrible night of sleeping for Eloise, I really enjoyed the peace and quiet and the beautiful scenery.

After some lunch, we went for a hike up in the mountains.


Right by the hike, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), had an interpretive center and they had a lot of interactive exhibits about weather. It was a bizarre building designed by I.M. Pei.

Tornado creator. 

The girls just loved Aven so much. So much so that it was almost annoying because every place we went without Aven (Rocky Mountain), all they did was complain about missing her and wanting her there. She'll be in MN in April so we will reunite with her then.