inside the natural cave entrance
Spring break was a whirlwind trip to what is becoming our favorite family destination, Chattanooga, Tennessee. We hit the Tennessee Aquarium, saw Rock City, and this time made it to the fantastic children's museum. Instead of heading east through Smoky Mountain National Park like we did last year, we headed north to Nashville. And from there we were able to visit a new-to-me national park, Mammoth Cave National Park. I honestly didn't expect that much--we had signed up for the most family friendly tour offered of the underground cave, which was neat, but what really blew me away was the natural entrances to the cave. This cave really is a "mammoth" ... 400 miles of it have been mapped so far, and they still haven't found the end of it. You can buy tickets to go on Ranger-led tours of portions of the cave, and you can walk up to the natural entrance (not man-made) seen in these pictures. We also discovered tons of short trails you can take quick hikes on to see older cave entrances that are now closed off.
heading into the natural entrance
We also made it to Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I have to admit, given how much I despise war and conflict I find myself a little startled by how much I enjoy visiting old battlefields. I always feel a sense of reverence and peace at them, and somber respect. I am so glad we preserve them, since they really do force us to slow down and remember how awful war is and the sacrifices so many people made.
As you can see, my garter squish blanket got finished during this period and it is pure L.O.V.E. The entire family loves this thing! I was worried when I cast on that the size wouldn't be ample enough, but I was certainly proved wrong. As you can see, it easily covers the length of our full-size couch (it's folded in half length-wise in these photos) and also covers the top of my king-size bed. I really wasn't expecting a blanket this size when I started, but I am so happy! What I love most about this project is that the magic of carrying two strands of yarn together created yarn combinations that I fell in love with--and this is with previously unloved, ignored, cast off, ancient acrylic yarns! The stuff I looked at and went "bleh" before! Magical I tell you, magical.
Pattern: Garter Squish (a freebie by Stephen West)
Yarns: 4,361 yards of unloved acrylic (9 skeins of Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn, in "jazz stripe" throughout, held double with miscellaneous blues/navy yarns), see my Ravelry project page for specifics
Needle: size 15 Addi's, 40 inch circular
Mods: Pattern calls for a 140 stitch cast on, I went with closer to 150 stitches
Finally, I finished my first chains sock on the trip and am about half-way done with the leg portion of sock number two!