Friday, April 11, 2008

White Hot at the Atlanta Zoo

I'm hot, coated in pollen, and sipping a Coke Zero as I post. It's been a busy day and it's not even 4:00!

The morning started early with the weekly Friday morning breakfast at Olde Hickory House with T, then a trip to the Atlanta Zoo with AG and her BFF D. We hit the gates right at opening time and wandered the park as it just started filling. By the time we finished, at noon, the park was packed and groups were arriving by the bus-load. Perfect timing, all around.

The animals were very active, munching on their morning meals and ignoring the bombardment of squeals and parent directives: "Olivia, look at that meerkat! Harrison, see the otters! That's an elephant, Amy!" by the parents. Why do we DO that? I could hear echoes of myself in the parents' relentless directions to their children. "Look at that! Read this! You're missing it!" We're so desperate to have our children fully appreciate each experience that we direct their attention rather than let them discover and explore for themselves. My daughter would have been happy to stare at the tigers for an hour if I'd let her. I wish I had! Now, I appreciate the value of lingering and am happy to sit on a bench while she studies a particular animal.

It helps if I have knitting in hand - that always makes me much more patient.

Today, I toted White Hot, a cardigan pattern I've had for awhile but just recently found the perfect yarn to knit it. It first appeared in Family Circle's Easy Knitting in 2000, then again in Family Circle Easy Sweaters: 50 Knit and Crochet Projects by Trisha Malcolm.

Instead of the Berroco Cotton Twist the pattern recommends, I'm using some vintage Columbia-Minerva Cancun Cotton, which I paid $1 a skein for during my recent visit to the Most Excellent Stash Sale in Atlanta. (She's in Craig's List!) I had to switch to size 5 needles and use the directions for the smallest size to create the large I really need. (Funny how gauges can work.) I'm not adding the beads because they tend to stain white yarn, even during hand washing. Instead, I'm thinking about a Nicky Epstein edge for the bottom and sleeves.

I dropped off the girls at D's house so they could explore Wildcat Creek, which runs through the neighborhood. They'll get wet and grimy and be absolutely delighted. (Note to Dunwoody townies - did you know DHS' team name comes from the creek? And not vice versa?) Then I hit Publix for weekend essentials. I ran into Bobbi and Pat, two of the Nature Center's dedicated volunteers. One is all about worms and the other keeps us in crickets. Our compost demonstration area and Dottie the Newt thank them very much.

Just two more days of Spring Break left. Sigh.

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