Sweet Home Ohio

We’re finally back in the States! Not caught up, though… There are still four or five posts before that happens. That’s what I get for being a procrastinating procrastinator. Alternatively, that’s what I get for having entirely too much fun to bother with blogging. Take your pick.

After Europe and a few days spent at home, we turned right around and headed to visit relatives in Ohio.

Part 1

We had a lot of family time, but also a lot of exploring time. We were all too young to go off on our own adventures when we lived there, but we took advantage this time.

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The Geodesic dome at ASM International! (AKA Materials Park)- it’s open to the public, although it’s also offices so some of the indoors bits are off limits. It was built in the 50’s and you can tell, which I love.

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Under the dome is a garden, which also includes rocks and minerals from around the world. Have I mentioned that I love rock gardens? It’s true.

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It’s just really cool, okay? And so hard to take a bad picture of this place.

We spent a bit of time here because it was such a nice day, and because the last time we visited I was still very very little. I only have very vague memories of it- but it continues to be excellent! It’s a very interesting feeling to be a tourist in the town you grew up in, but when you’ve been away for so long, I think it’s probably allowed.

 

We spent a day at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame which is right in the middle of Cleveland. It overlooks lake Erie, which is also awesome. I can’t believe I’d never visited before, but on the other hand- aforementioned age bracket for adventures had not been reached. Notice that Sheep has a wristband, because while I was taking photos of him in the lobby, a very nice lady called me over and asked “If your lambie would like a wristband as well” and I said YES OF COURSE, and I don’t think that lady knows how happy she made me….

Sheep visits the Rock Hall and is loved by everyone there, as usual.

Sheep visits the Rock Hall and is loved by everyone there, as usual.

A wristband. Seriously. There are the people that think I’m a weirdo, and there are the people that smile and ask questions and start conversations. I never want to stop being able to have conversations with those types of people.

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It’s a really cool place! The first thing you do is watch a 15 minute video on the history of Rock n’ Roll- and then they set you loose on the place.

There are a bunch of examples of advertising from the early stages when the older generations were contesting the new directions that music was taking. One in particular was a headline proclaiming scientific evidence had concluded that Rock n’ Roll leads to Satan worship. So there’s that.

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Of course, there’s the obligatory Elvis exhibit

It was really dark so photos were difficult, but let’s just take a moment to admire David Bowie’s butt in this outfit- (suspend belief for a moment and pretend it’s his and not the mannequin’s)

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See? Appreciate the glory of the butt. It’s like the designer was just asking you to look with that lightning bolt pointing right to it. Might as well be an arrow- “Look at me! Look at this butt!”

This place was massive- we had all day and we planned to visit the Science Center as well, but spent so long in the Rock Hall that there was no time left! I’d love to go back, too- I’m sure we missed bits. There was a whole upstairs exhibit on music festivals, and while I don’t know too much about Woodstock- I would really like to learn more about it. It seems like kind of a pivotal moment in American music culture.

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Also let’s not pretend to deny my particular affinity for screen printed T shirts…

This is the Rock Hall from the outside: It’s a very oddly designed building, but in the very best of ways. It takes advantages of its unusual shapes in really excellent ways, plus there’s a basement area to capitalize on that kind of space. I like it. It welcomes visitors from the bay as the first part of the Cleveland cityscape that they see.

 

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Big, imposing, modern, and full of Really Cool Stuff

We spent some time on the William G Mather (a boat) -which was a cargo vessel used for supplying Cleveland with all sorts of things (Coal. lots of that, and timber and similar stuff). It’s permanently docked right next to the Rock Hall and Science Center and we had a good time exploring and taking photos from the deck.

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[Obligatory Titanic Pose on any and all boats]

Sheep also had some cool Captainy adventures in assorted areas of the boat, and took many photos.

Captain Sheep of the USS William G Mather- Full speed ahead, skipper!
Captain Sheep of the USS William G Mather- Full speed ahead, skipper!

Part 2

D’you remember how I said a lot of our relatives live in Ohio? Cool. It’s time for a lesson in ancestry and knitting!

See the lovely ladies in this photo? The one standing up is Granny (my Great Great Grandmother on Dad’s side), with her mother and her daughter. Granny was a pretty cool lady- I don’t know a lot, but I know she was clever and pretty crafty. I also know she had excellent taste in hats.

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Ask me. Ask me how I know she had excellent taste in hats.

Of course, you’re wondering how I know she was clever and crafty- and I shall tell you!

One yellow baby blanket, good for snuggles and keeping babies warm, of course.

One yellow baby blanket, good for snuggles and keeping babies warm, of course.

Granny made this blanket- I talked about it in a previous post when mom first brought it home on a previous trip to Ohio. She made it for my Dad when he was younger, and it has been passed around in the family since then. To give you a bit of perspective, it was made from acrylic yarn, two years after acrylic yarn was invented. When mom brought it home, I saw it in person for the first time since I was a baby, and I realized that I could totally make it! I figured I’d just copy the pattern, but then some time later when I was looking at other patterns on the internet, I stumbled across an oddly familiar blanket…

Sorry for the random baby picture… (link to website)

That photo links to the website I found that has the pattern….in Dutch. Instead of copying Granny’s blanket, I decided to use Google Translate to get it from Dutch to English, and use that. Except Google Translate doesn’t handle knitting patterns very well… (“place 3 loop on stick 1, pin stick out. Repeat for second and third stick” anyone?)- So I sort of had to translate the Google Translate. But, translated pattern and a few months later, I had myself a brand new old baby blanket! This pattern was loads of fun- I love old patterns. It’s just exciting enough to keep you entertained, while at the same time repetitive enough that you don’t have to be constantly looking at the pattern.

Mom gets to keep this one since she brought the yarn (and, by bringing back the original blanket she is basically responsible for the existence of this one…) but I’m going to make myself another one so that’s fine. Also, maybe I’ll make one out of acrylic for some future very lucky baby. Machine wash-ability is important for babies.

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Madelinetosh Sock weight in “Antique Lace”- 4 skeins, 100% wool.

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Look at that detail! This thing was so much fun. It has a pretty obvious Shetland influence (you can tell by the scallop lace inner border) and that’s apparently where the pattern originated, but the geometric outer border is something I’ve seen in a lot of Russian and eastern-type knits as well.

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Here’s a spectacularly grainy selfie I took when I first finished it- now you can see why I’m totally making myself another one in a more wearable color. I’m going to wear it as a shawl!

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Val was kind enough to do some Vouge-ing for me- even though it’s much too cold to take knitwear photos outside.

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It’s so big! I love this thing. It turned out exactly how I wanted it to, and if you know me at all, you know that doesn’t happen.

We’re sort of a family that has heirlooms- there are a few, but none of them are knitted, and very few of them extend back that far. I’m so very excited that I was able to learn about the history of that blanket, and the really cool woman who made it- and that I was even able to follow in her footsteps and make a version of my own. I know knitting is all the rage these days and many people are starting to pick it up again after a sort of period of dormancy that it had in the 70’s through the 90’s- but its important to not only think of it as a newly re-modernized hobby but also as a piece of social history that goes back for centuries. So here’s the first of hopefully many attempts at making sure the awesome crafty ladies of the world- like Granny, past and present, aren’t trivialized or forgotten.

 

 

 

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