summer peas make me feel fine

anne wrote this in the wee hours:

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hello summer! with all of its plenty, the season of warm sun and fresh abundance is here. let’s parade it in with another pattern released from the 2014 BNK club—this time, two light-as-air shawl or scarf designs from the chapter celebrating luxurious cashmere.

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pea trellis is a pretty crescent in three sizes that is knit from the hem up, beginning with a fetching cable and lace pattern that forms natural scallops along its bottom edge.

soft as a cloud in a luxury fingering yarn, it is shown here in cashmere (mini size), but is equally gorgeous in blends containing mink, musk ox (quiviut), yak, bison, mohair, silk, and well, the list goes on.

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petit pois is the rectangular version of the same design, also presented in three sizes from scarf to large stole; the version shown here is a hybrid of the tall stole width and the petite stole length.

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as you can see, this duo makes the perfect mother/daughter or BFF set—not too matchy-matchy, but close enough that they identify you as connected forever. what a beautiful gift for a bride and her mom.

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both pieces are as versatile as they are beautiful—while shown as summer accessories here, do not let their airy weight deceive you into thinking they won’t work hard for you all winter as well—lace can be warmer than solid fabrics in fact—and luxury fibers even more so. part of their luxury is the fact that they are so very functional.

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i think these were quite a favorite with club members last summer and no wonder; the motif is easy to learn and knit, making either project a good traveler for summer vacation, days at the cottage, or quiet afternoon knitting time at home when the kids are away at camp.

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to freshen things up, erica has created a kit for the pea trellis design, subbing in yarn from another BNK chapter—soft, silky chambery mink. the shade is nearly identical and the fabric is slightly different but equally luxurious, with a heavenly halo. a nice change of pace if you’ve already knit up one in the cashmere option and if you haven’t tried a mink yarn yet, you will experience it at its best working with the natural fiber.

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if you’d like the standalone pattern for the pea trellis crescent, please click here to purchase or to view information in our online shop and click here to find the pea trellis pattern in my ravelry pattern shop.

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you can also find the pattern for the petit pois lace stole in our online shop as well as my ravelry pattern shop.

these patterns along with seventeen additional designs for luxury yarns in natural  shades are included in the BNK 2014 eBook—a great value. shop our entire selection of eBooks and club yarns in our online store

you can see various yarn ideas and size options by spending some time browsing our club project pages here for petit pois and here for pea trellis as well!

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it’s the perfect summer project, both to knit and to wear—why not start one now?

rollin’ on the river

anne wrote this at around evening time:

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during my last few days in new york, i began to panic because i thought i wasn’t being productive enough. though i really didn’t fill my schedule with outings and distractions other than running each day, i had spent most of the week on two designs only (granted, one was fairly complex; i couldn’t even have tackled it at home, haha) and was worried that i’d been “wasting” my retreat time.

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when that sort of frantic panic sets in, there is almost nothing that will quell the anxiety and distraction of it like stepping away. reproaching my work after a break is often exactly what’s needed to give it fresh perspective, allowing the brain to stre-e-etch and work out the kinks. i know this, but i often find myself dismissing a break as an indulgence rather than a productivity tool . . .

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last saturday though, cathy offered such a great opportunity for a diversion that i couldn’t resist and the fact that it offered wonderful blog fodder made it all the more appealing—we were going bike riding with a small group from her LBS, NYCe Wheels. with the added bonus that i’d get to try out the folding brompton bike, since NYCe wheels specializes in them—as well as a variety of alternate transportation solutions for city dwellers, from electric bikes to scooters (i love that).

our ride leader for the afternoon was jim, who is very knowledgeable both about the brompton brand and about local rides

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he had completely researched, planned, and done a test run of our ride in advance and was full of helpful and fun information about our destination. he’s also really well-versed in how the bike works and how to get the most out of it. after getting each of us set up and comfortable on a loaner model, he demonstrated how to fold and unfold it handily for stops.

we rode uptown on the east drive of central park, then took adam clayton powell jr drive from the top of the park to st. nicholas avenue and rode through  through harlem, sugar hill, washington heights, and onward to our destination—the high bridge, (NYC’s oldest standing bridge), newly renovated and reopened after a closure of more than forty years.

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the city has a really great web of bike lanes and bike-friendly corridors to many outlying destinations. the ride up took about 30 minutes at an easy pace; anyone could do this, but it’s nice to go with a group so you can travel in a pack.

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this bridge joins washington heights to the high bridge neighborhood in the bronx on the other side.  everyone was out enjoying the day and this new city destination.

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we rode over to the bronx, made a small loop, then took another small walkover bridge back to the manhattan side, landing near jackie robinson park, and used this as our turning point to head back downtown along the cliffside. david and i used to do a lot of weekend rides, sometimes with a group, when we lived in the city; i miss that! we still go, but mostly in the countryside here.

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the view from the other side, a slightly different take on the river. the day was stellar for taking in the views. here on the bronx side, we are looking across the river at washington heights, with the hamilton bridge first (far left) and then the fort washington bridge beyond that. washington heights is one of my old neighborhoods, where i lived in the 1980s (when it was far less attractive, haha) for about six years before moving to brooklyn.

BTW, the brompton test drive was a treat—i thought this bike rode and handled very well; it felt a lot like a normally sized hybrid type bike, even when standing up to ride. if i still lived in the city or if david and i travelled more, i would totally save up to get one for commuting, because they are super light and handy. cathy rides hers to work each day and takes it wherever we meet up, coat-checking it as needed. it folds up small enough to go into the overhead bin on a plane or packed into a suitcase. i once went on a bike trip with someone who rode it exclusively for travel, and witnessed him climb some tough mountains in italy on it.

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once small glitch is that it’s not very easy to change the back tire if you get a flat, like our ride mate did (which is easy to do on the street). david thought that a quick-release could easily be added to the back hub, though to make quick changes more convenient.

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soon we were on our way again, having crossed back over to find access to our return street, edgecombe avenue.

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at the end, happy and a little grimy, we took one last picture to prove we survived and were still smiling about it. i turned in my bike and headed back to brooklyn for the evening. i have to admit, i did not get back to work that night as planned—i was especially beat afterward, probably from the sun.

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that day and the one before had been very hot—you can see that those pretty purple alliums had already cycled though their color phase by the time i returned that evening (wow, i’m glad i caught them at their peak!).

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for the next few days i hunkered down to work and make the most of my remaining retreat time. i did take one more social break to meet cathy and agnes for lunch one day—a girl has to eat, after all. and i’m always glad for a chance to spend time with them; they are the best!

on wednesday i packed up all of my books, yarns, needles, and running gear for the trip home that evening; i was sad to go, but looking forward to seeing david, too

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for my travel knitting, i chose to work on my lightweight shell in our new summer lace yarn; mindless enough that i can listen to announcements and pay attention to what’s going on around me, but knitting up quickly enough that i’m motivated to keep going. i was a little bit above the waist when i left brooklyn; i worked all the way through the body shaping in the airport (i was there a while), and then worked the armscye  and some shaping on the plane. i’m about one-third of the way up the left shoulder. so far i have used just 1.3 ounces of yarn, can you believe that? i wonder if i’ll be able to finish this whole project with one skein?

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hey, i’ve been having so much fun reading your guesses about what this yarn is spun from; do you want me to tell you more about it now? first of all, no one has come even close to guessing the right combination of fibers, much less the right percentages.

almost everyone thinks this yarn has linen in it and that would be . . . wrong.

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we thought about working with linen and our mill even ran a few sample skeins for us. the linen just didn’t play as nicely with the other fibers as everyone would have liked. i personally don’t mind the slubbing, but combined with the other troublemaking that was happening and the fact that we found something else that was softer, the linen had too many marks against it.

instead, we turned to another favorite fiber—hemp. now hemp is sometimes thought of as a rough fiber (and some of it is), but look here

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you can see when we put it next to the linen that it’s actually finer, silkier, shinier, and more evenly constructed, without the hairy hooks that can cause other fibers to snag and slub in blends using linen.

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plus the hemp has that great golden color, similar to the unbleached tussah silk that we like to use in our blends (that’s the second fiber, BTW). i usually prefer the wild silks for their color, but it was interesting that when we ran these test samples, we found other good reasons to stick to the more earthy tussah, rather than the cultivated white mulberry (or bombyx) silk.

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the tussah actually behaves a little more like wool; it has a bit of crimp and is less slick, so it blends more easily with the other fibers. our millers told us that the bombyx was too slick to use with the other fibers in more than a twenty percent proportion, constantly wanting to gum up and clump in the blend.

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it does lend a little extra softness, though i’m not sure that’s actually benefit with this yarn; i don’t want the fabric to be completely without body. the color is quite cool compared to the tussah blend as well; i like it ok (and we might even choose to do a shade using it), but i love the tussah.

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as you can see now, we’ve also got some merino in the mix—that’s where our gray marbling is coming from (and we will likely manipulate that coloring by changing the merino shades used). back to the photos of the test skeins, i think you can see the other reason we didn’t like the linen as much—it’s kind of hairy and not always in a good way; the hemp was much smoother while still adding some airy body to the blend.

so that’s what we’ve got: 40 merino/30 hemp/30 unbleached tussah silk—you like?

unfortunately, no one guessed the correct fiber mix or proportions and most of you didn’t even come close. karen c. came the closest, guessing a linen/silk/wool blend in nearly the right proportions, so i’m going to email her a hamsa scarf pattern. thank you all for participating though; i love having these games, don’t you?

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can you believe the color green in this photo? this is right out of the camera, friends—no photoshopping going on here. the property around the ranch is GREEN. (which reminds me—signups for the ENVY club will close soon; don’t dawdle if you want a spot!).

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while i was away, our area was subjected to a LOT of rain and it has continued since i got home. i’ve been squeezing in morning runs between the raindrops to keep up the fitness i earned back during my trip, but the yard is very soggy indeed. i know it’s been all david could do to try and keep up with the weeds, but they are just terrible this year.

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nevertheless, there is much to celebrate in the garden—like these first fresh hydrangea mops; what could be more beautiful, eh? not a mark on them and still holding their early greenish tinge; just lovely with hose huge droplets pouring out of each blossom . . .

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i have literally never seen our thyme bloom like this—it loves all the water it’s getting.

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day lilies are preparing to pop as well; if you look very closely at the green photo up top, you can see hints of yellow breaking through on those stella door blossoms.

the thing i was most anxious to see though was around back—the vegetable beds. because the timing was all wrong for us, this was the first year that i was not able to do the planting and i really feel like i missed out. by the time our soil assessment was done and david was able to get the beds ready, it was mid-may and i was beginning a heavy round of shows, classes, and my NYC trip.

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when i left he had just gotten most of the plants and seeds in, but was still setting the onions and seeding in the greens.

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ten days later, just look at these onions! and everything is so tall; the eggplant look phenomenal (of course, they re the kind of plant that could drink water all day long).

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all of our basil plants seem very happy for once, growing tall, with full leaves. this basil gigantic, which i got as a novelty has the biggest leaves i’ve ever seen, haha. they would be lovely for lining an antipasto or cheese plate to perfume it from underneath. or maybe rolled up with some kind of filling? i’ll have to ponder that one . . .

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and there are tomatoes, yay!! again, all looking very good, climbing their ropes on the scaffold frame david rigged for them.

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my very favorite thing to look at though is the showy flowering plants, like this dark eggplant with the intense bloom. this one has a long eggplant growing down below as well—one of those type that are great for stir frying. i saw some peppers forming as well, so we shall be soon eating such a dish from our own plantings.

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and of course, king of the showy vegetable flowers, the squash is blooming like crazy, in all shapes and forms. this one is an intense orangey yellow with spiky, tightly curled petals.

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on another plant, a more traditional looking flower with a wider opening and shorter petals. home to many ants, apparently . . .

ah, it’s nice to be back. i’ve got a busy few days ahead to get some things caught up, but all in all, the fort was held down very well and i’m not too awfully behind. i should be able to indulge in some garden work over the weekend; looking forward to that.

i’ll be back with a pattern and kit release on sunday—see you then.

 

get a little lost

anne wrote this just before lunchtime:

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i know you come here for the knitting first and foremost, so i’ll start off today with some yarny chat. i haven’t meant to be  tease, keeping you in suspense about the new yarn we are testing out—just wanted to see if you could guess.

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a couple of you did well, in fact—sharon came the closest, guessing a blend of cotton, alpaca, and merino for this deliciously next-to-the-skin soft fabric.

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the actual content of our sample skein is 50 alpaca/25 cotton/20 merino/5 nylon.

i know you can’t feel it, but if you could, you would never have guessed such a high content of the wooly fiber (again, dehairing that alpaca provides the magic touch). i would sleep in this, it’s so soft . . . and i would hesitate an instant putting it next to the tenderest baby skin.

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despite such a high percentage of alpaca, you would not believe how cool and cottony it feels and how springy and stretchy a fabric it makes. i am itching to cast on a sweater in it, maybe even a little sprössling for myself. i keep saying i’m going to knit another for summer, but up til now, haven’t quite found the yarn i’m dreaming of. i think this might be it—it certainly has the stretchy yumminess i’ve been seeking.

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its ability for recovery is phenomenal; i find myself pulling on it it over and over, just to check it again.

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yup; it’s still there. it’s a sport weight but the gauge is very close and i’m between two sizes for this sweater, so if i knit the smaller size it should work out perfectly. soon after i get home we will receive some skeins for garment testing and i can cast on.

sigh. sorry for running on; yarn adventures just get my blood racing! we have ordered some batches for retail release with next month’s shipment from the mill; we believe we’ll have that in around the third week of july.

speaking of which, are you ready for another surprise?

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we have a second new yarn on our summer menu—this one is just what you’ll want to knit (and wear) when those intolerably sticky days arrive.

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the fiber blend produces a stable fabric with a bit of irregular quirkiness to the texture—one of my favorite things about it, because i can knit a very simple fabric that is fascinating.

it can be knit sheer as voile or a little more firmly and it’s soft as a breeze, right off the needles.

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we received two sample skeins in the laceweight (one washed and one unwashed) and i couldn’t resist casting on immediately for a simple shell top with the unwashed skein (swatches above have been washed).

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the fabric is just out of this world light and airy—with ethereal luminosity. it’s worth knitting just to be able to stare at the fabric, i mean it.

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i love how the blend produces these cloud-like areas of subtle, shifting shades (we can manipulate this to a certain degree be varying shades of one contributing fiber).

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it would be gorgeous in lace of course—frillibet, squallempreinte, twig and leaf (or twinings), campanula, hamsaalhambra—the list goes on and on.

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this piece, along with the hat, has been my mindless knitting while i’m away; they also serve as decoy knitting to distract prying eyes from my secret projects.

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and they are doing a good job! can you guess what the blend is? the person to guess the closest by friday—including percentages—gets a free pattern for hamsa, one of my favorites (i should knit another of those . . .).

i can’t wait to get this top done and it won’t be long; it’s knitting up fast. it’s very simple—sleeveless (or tipped a tiny bit over the shoulder to make mine look wider, haha) with a loose fit and some very slight shaping to guide the drape. possible short rows at the back hem for some extra length and shape.

i’m planning a v-neck but i have still to finalize the neck finish.

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i started with an idea of a scarfy sort of finish that gave it a vintage sailor look (ish). but now i’m thinking about keeping it simpler, along the lines of the mister’s pullover, though a little softer and more feminine.

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(sorry, i didn’t draw that very well, but the neck is scrunched slightly into a crossed button closure so that it riffles just a little at the edge, much neater than it appears here, haha).

this option will allow me to repeat the garter stitch pattern at the top. still deciding, but i have a little time . . .

often i mull over these questions—and a lot of my design work or business challenges—while i run. it’s a good use of my time for one thing, but the rhythm really helps me organize my thoughts and inspires many a light bulb to go off. just about anything will suddenly make me see how to solve a problem.

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we had some hot days over the weekend, so i decided to end my longish friday run with some walking and headed for a shadier path parallel to the park road.

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when it veered away into the woods, i went along, thinking it was just a little detour. soon enough i realized it led into a larger part of the park i had never explored and seemingly not as well travelled by others either. hmm.

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it didn’t feel creepy or anything—just a little less used. but i kept going and soon found some old buildings that intrigued me.

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then i saw signs for the “children’s corner” and i really had to check that out, because to me it was feeling less sesame street and much more grimm’s fairytales—which would be a refreshing take on a children’s environment of today.

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around a bend things opened up not the lefferts historic compound, comprised of the old lefferts home, garden, and house yard (another thing i love about wandering new york is discovering the roots for some of the avenue and neighborhood names, in this case lefferts blvd, the end of the subway line).

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you can wander around, play with the various tools, and visit exhibits describing life at the dutch-style farm in the 1800s, in flatbush village.

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among other things in the yard, i discovered a bed of flax (linen) just beginning to bloom—a little bit of joyful green in the middle of the woods planted by the kids in the spring as i understand it. i’m going to miss it, but this weekend they are holding a flax event, where you and your family can learn about this fiber plant and try some processing tools for turning the fiber into yarn and fabric. (there was also a flax harvest scheduled for the last weekend in june, but the plants won’t be ready so it has been cancelled).

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a thatched structure in the yard captured my curiosity and i’m trying to find out more about it, but i can’t seem to put my finger on it just yet. it looks like it could have been a sheepfold or a place to keep wood dry.

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further on the path took me to the zoo entrance; i can’t believe i never knew any of this was here and such beautiful old buildings, too.

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of course i didn’t live near prospect park during my years in brooklyn; david and i would ride to park to cycle laps on week night when the weather permitted, but go offroad much. if i had lived nearby, i might have explored more inside.

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near the zoo another building was just opening up—the carousel! well i had to get a closer look . .

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and so glad i did; it’s magnificent, with all manner of individually crafted creatures you can ride.

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the ceiling is a fantastic swirl of lights as well

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with a frieze of painted depictions of brooklyn past, many of them telling of its history, seafaring and pastoral scenes alike.

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the shadowy depths of its center column are brightened figures of mermaids and seascapes; i love it.

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and just as i was turning to go, a class of children arrived, probably as and end of school treat.

i thought i’d be back to the park entrance after walking through this area but it turned out i had not progressed far at all along the roadway. that put me in an area i had often noticed from the road while running—at the bottom of a meadow, a series of primitive, sculptural forms had been erected that i wondered about.

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well, there’s no time like the present so off i went to investigate. i had noticed there were often children and parents over here, climbing on the structures and playing in the dirt.

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another example of recycling precipitated by hurricane sandy. children can play all over the blocky pieces to their hearts content, tiring themselves toward a good afternoon sleep.

it’s a real contrast to the older building thought the park and yet speaks back to some of the items in the lefferts compound that made use of felled trees and grasses as well.

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a great environment for the imagination, whether you are a toddler or a gray haired runner, haha.

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time to head home—i took the nearest path up and up, hoping to finally be led to the place where i came in.

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while the paths are not as well kept here yet, they do allow for some undisturbed growth on the old wood alongside. and there are no stars so getting a stroller down to the natural exploration isn’t difficult.

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to a lot of people, these parts of a city park might look dangerous to be exploring alone, but honestly, it’s just not. the new york parks are much safer than ever depicted on TV and i can’t think of once that i felt even a little threatened while walking in one (though i don’t treat this privilege recklessly by going there alone late at night or anything).

i always feel bad that this reputation lingers around city environments; cities are so rich with simple offerings such as walks in the park or through unfamiliar neighborhoods . . .

ok, i know this post has gotten long, but i just wanted to share that even though i’m by myself for a week, i have been cooking and not relying on eating out.

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last thursday after my botanic garden excursion, i made a delicious soup—moraccan spiced chick pea and tomato. i’d had some from a neighborhood take out that was yummy and wanted to replicate it if possible. i figure if i made a pot, i could eat from it several times this week.

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i used this recipe mainly, but incorporated components from this one as well PLUS i added a few waxy yukon gold potatoes to more closely imitate the one i had eaten.

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herbs from nancy’s terrace garden to finish it off and then i let it sit overnight to allow the flavors to meld. it’s a completely vegan dish, in case you were wondering—just veggies and herbs.

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omg, it is SO good. it is so good, that it’s delicious cold as well, which i discovered when the temperatures soared into he 90s over the weekend. you know how that is—salad is fine for a couple of nights (my own go-to hot weather food), but eventually you want something more substantial, though you can’t even bear to think about heating up the stove.

a dish like this is one answer; you can make it early in the morning and have it any time you want. super yummy and it makes plenty; i’m leaving a couple of containers in nancy’s freezer to share the love, haha (i hope i haven’t oversold it).

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i also made a nice stir fry one night; i didn’t even cook rice for it, just ate the veggies and tofu. mmm, too bad david isn’t here . . . he would love this.

(i did ask him to come, but he wanted to stay home  . . . oh well).

ok, i’ve had your ear long enough (sorry!); time for me to get out for a run and then back to work. i’ll fill you in the last of my trip next time (hopefully one more before i go home).

in out of the rain

anne wrote this just before lunchtime:

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and out again. for tuesday there were predictions of thunderstorms and rain all day, so i took a rest from running and worked instead. when no bad weather had materialized and it looked like the sun was out for good, i headed out for a late afternoon exploratory walk.

naturally it poured.
maybe i was ten or fifteen minutes away—just far enough not to see a familiar haven—and the skies opened up. luckily i was up on eastern parkway, where there are walking lanes with deep tree cover; i was able to stay mostly dry as i scampered back toward home.

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i was almost there when the storm passed and the sky began to brighten. i found myself at the gate of the brooklyn botanic garden and noticed that the ticket windows were closed—it was the free day. so i turned in, determined to make something of my walk after all.

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the botanic garden runs alongside and then far behind the brooklyn museum, kind of wrapping it with a luxurious swathes of woods, gardens, and quiet space, much the way central park surrounds the metropolitan museum in manhattan.

in fact, without saying that “brooklyn has everything that manhattan has”, well, it kinda does—and MORE. i mean that in the very best way; brooklyn has standout cultural centers, parks, museums, and libraries, as well as neighborhoods of incomparable variety—but in its own vitally unique and separate way. to make use of another possibly tired phrase about brooklyn—it’s for the people.

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all the while manhattan is doing its thing, brooklyn is across the river doing its thing; only brighter, more inclusive, and very creatively. for instance, as soon as i pass through the osborne garden—the most formal space on the property—i get much more a feeling that the whole garden environment is mine to explore as close and deep as i want.

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i walked through a gate into the woods and suddenly, i was in the thick of it—paths so narrow in some places that two people can’t pass. the density of the woods is like something you’d experience near a lake upstate and the quiet . . . totally refreshing.

back out on the main walkway again, the sun was out in full, the day was suddenly bright and sparkling with a  rain wash. i stroll by flower beds and a water garden and notice that a lot of people are heading to the rose garden. then i remember that it’s june and you know what blooms in june . . .

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oh boy, it was like fireworks in the daytime; i don’t think i’ve ever seen so many roses (and no wonder my allergies have been kicking up all week, haha).

the pictures don’t at all do it justice, but let’s just say that more IS more in this case. it’s almost too much of a good thing . . . i wonder how many jillion roses there are in there?

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this was my favorite spot in the rose garden—just crazy wild color and form.

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by contrast, the cherry esplanade around the corner is the essence of order and calm; just the perfect counterpoint and a sight for sore eyes. long allays to walk between the trees with benches each side. i was surprised to see how many visitors had stretched out to doze on a bench, succumbing to the heady mix of sun, steamy air, and pollen overload. i thought it was really cool that they felt so comfortable sleeping in a public garden.

next i walked for a while without taking any detours from the path, although there were plentiful opportunities to get into the rock garden, the japanese garden, and multiple wooded areas (see gardens within the garden).

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suddenly my eye was captured by this handsome piece and the first thought that flashed into my mind was, wow—they have a louise nevelson that they can keep outside? well of course it wasn’t; who the heck would keep one of those outside??

but can you guess what it is?

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i just love it! maybe one day when david finishes the house, he’ll make one for our yard. this would actually be a great thing to have in our community garden . . .

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and just a little further on, my favorite part of the garden began—the herb garden and food-bearing plant display. this is a small demonstration space that has just about everything from scallions to sweet corn. it’s bigger than our garden at home, but similar—a little bit of space devoted to almost everything we like to eat.

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further on, i came to the much bigger children’s garden, where kids from ages 2 to 17 can plant their own crops and care for them through harvest under the guidance of garden instructors.

BBG also offers a gardening apprenticeship for teens that requires an application, interview, and acceptance process, where young adults can learn urban gardening.

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at the very back of the property is a discovery garden, with exploratory stations and plants sized for tiny tots, with easy access for strollers.

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in order to turn myself back toward where is entered the grounds, i took a loop through the woods and came upon this fascinating structure. clearly the two are related, but how?

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like many areas hit hard by hurricane sandy a few years ago, brooklyn was left with detritus to clean up.

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moving the remains of huge trees is both dangerous and expensive in a city environment, so throughout NYC and its boroughs, creative solutions were employed to deal with the fallout. and with so many artists at hand, some really good results came out of that effort.

i took a little tour while i was there to admire the inside as well as the outside—so cool.

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the walk back to the entrance took me past the big glass house and conservatory that runs along the washington avenue side of the property. not as big as the one at the NY botanic garden, but more intimate and easier to digest as a whole structure with the eyes.

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the courtyard in front is also gorgeous, distinguished by its central fountain and long lily ponds; another quiet haven in which to grab a bench for reading, eating lunch, or having a quiet conversation.

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the courtyard leads to the administration and library building. i didn’t go in but one day, i’d like to.

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out front of that is the magnolia plaza, graced at the center with a sun dial/mandala/compass of inlaid stone. it is stunningly beautiful.

ok, i was on overload at this point and just relaying it all is making my head spin again. i’m realizing that botanic gardens are for me, like museums—doing a whole one in a day is a lot to digest. better to take them bit by bit.

i suppose this is my own fault—during all the years i had access to these world-class resources, i trained myself to make short, frequent visits of more intense looking. one of the things i loved about living in the city was the ability to do just that.

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back out on the street i saw my first full hydrangea blooms of the year in a tiny brownstone garden—gorgeous.

on a quest to secure some ice cream (the day had grown awfully warm), i also saw an old favorite of mine and david’s

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we used to stop after long bike rides to take home big slices of their amazing chocolate mousse cake—divine. boy those were the days, when i could downing of those without a second thought, heh.

speaking of the street, i need to get out and grab a few apples form the farmer’s market so i’m going to stop now; will be back in a couple of days with some knitting and more . . .

ps: will tell about the new yarn blend on tuesday. so far, only one person has come close.