Sunday, April 29, 2012

Amsterdam in 12 hours

Christina and I went to Ireland for my older brother Dave's wedding. The flight from Minneapolis to Ireland had one stop in Amsterdam, Holland each way. On the trip to Ireland we decided to select the earliest flight in and latest flight out so we could have a day in the city. We left Minneapolis at 4 p.m. Monday and arrived 8 hours later in Amsterdam; local time 6 a.m. Tuesday. After customs we decided to take a train to the city center. 

Street cars, buses, cars, motorcycles, bikes, and pedestrians sharing the streets. And then they have canals everywhere.

The architecture was great. You get a good feeling for what it looked like a century ago and yet the new modern touches fit in seamlessly.

We walked somewhat aimlessly for a few hours as nothing really opened until after 10 a.m. The lack of sleep combined with walking and cold/rainy weather started to take its toll. But we managed to cover a good amount of the city. We both decided renting bikes may not be the safest idea in our state. Needless to say, I was amazed by the bicycle culture. 

After lunch we took a bus past the airport to Keukenhof; the Netherlands premier tulip park. The rain picked up, but the beautiful colors were everything we had hoped for.

Wooden clog planters.

Tulips, Tulips everywhere We kind of lucked out with the timing of the trip because it was just the beginning of tulip season.

Too big?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Herringbone cowl

A few months ago I took a leap of faith and showed up for a knitting group after seeing a sign for it in the locker room of the Y. Turns out the 'group' was just one sweet woman and I was the only one who responded to the sign and showed up. Since then, we have been knitting together almost every Thursday night. We now are a group of three pretty regularly, so hopefully it will continue to grow as time goes on, but if it doesn't that's fine.

The group has inspired me to challenge myself and do some new knitting projects. This herringbone cowl is one of them. Although I rarely ever make anything for myself, I think I am going to keep this one. I used the yarn recommended in the pattern and the alpaca feels glorious. Also the thing is warm. The pattern was a bit tricky to figure out at first and also slow going, but once you figure it out, it wasn't hard. I ended up enjoying knitting it and love the finished product! It's a beautiful stitch.

Hand added for scale. Although all the yarn said it was from the same dye lot you can tell that it is a bit striped. Oh well, not a dealbreaker.

 A reluctant model showing it in use, although I probably won't wear it over my head. 

Friday, April 13, 2012


This year we went to Northfield to visit my grandma and aunt. The highlight of the day was going for a walk in the 'arb' and looking at native flowers popping up early.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Secure circles

So we have always intended to get a security door in the back door, but could never find one that we liked. At my parents insistence, we decided to finally do it. A late holiday present.

First we got one from home depot and took one look at its poor quality when it arrived and returned it. Steve found a family-owned iron company in Savage called Anchor. So we decided that I should design one. It took me all of about 5 minutes and we are pretty happy with how it turned out. I wanted something that felt open and didn't look like a jail, but was still able to deter miscreants. Also something that looked contemporary, but wouldn't look dated in a year. I guess time will tell if I succeeded.

Here is the sketch I sent to the wrought iron company. I'd say they did a pretty great job!