Today was ABSURDLY INCREDIBLE, that is.
Got up at 7am and was out of the house by 8:30 to make the 10am-1pm class at Loop with Franklin. Franklin brought his Introduction to Lace class to Philadelphia and when I got the Loop newsletter about it, I signed up right away. This was, no joke, the first real knitting class I have ever taken. Franklin, in his calm and witty way, took us through the history of knitted lace and lace knitting (two different things!) which I found particularly fascinating, being somewhat of a history geek. There was talk of technique, a demonstration of Nupps, all while we worked through a pattern that Franklin designed. I got a whole repeat done and even got a decent start on the applied border at one end. There aren’t really words in my exhausted brain right now to express how much I loved this class, but I can tell you that I liked it. I liked it a lot.
After the class was over, I had to book out of Loop and cross all applicable appendages that one can cross while driving and hope that I got home in time to make it to my next item on the agenda. Naturally, Philadelphia traffic failed me as there was bridge construction and then a HUGE OIL SPILL over a bridge I need to take to get home. Naturally, by the time I realized that I should turn around, I was stuck between two walls of Jersey dividers with no way to go anywhere but insane with the stopped-dead traffic. It finally cleared out and managed to get home with five whole minutes to get the dogs out, watered, fed, and back out the door.
Then, it was on to the Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, PA. It had been on the list of places-to-go ever since we moved here and a friend and I finally made the trip. No joke, I could spend a whole day there and just not be tired of the place. The six story concrete castle was built by Henry C. Mercer (and a dozen local farm boys) in 1916. He used tiles from his tile works to decorate nearly every square inch of the inside. On top of the tile, he used scavenged and recycled materials, picking up old dressers and reusing drawers inside concrete dressers. Broken mirrors were scavenged for their frames and hung lovingly with beautiful engravings and prints. He even used scrap metal fences and various other metal material for reinforcing his concrete pillars and walls. He was a true believer in the arts and crafts movement, and I’d even go so far as to call his house a ‘green’ house with all the recycling and reusing that he did. It’s kinda interesting that people now are reclaiming glass for countertops when he was doing similar things back in the early 1900s. It’s a completely overwhelming experience and definitely one I’d enjoy repeating. We even managed to get on the behind-the-scenes tour later in the evening which took us all the way up to the top of the highest tower and to the crypt/basement, all of the places that are not normally seen on the regular tours. Sadly, no photography is allowed inside the museum (it was making me all itchy, not being able to capture all that incredible beauty) but I have a few photos from outside.
As the perfect end to the day, when I got home, there were two wiggly dogs to greet me. They graciously let me give them belly rubs and a big long group hug. Perfect end to a really spectacular day. Now I believe it’s time to haul my tired self into bed and fall into a blissfull sleep and dream of beautiful lace and concrete castles. 🙂