Sunday, September 26, 2010

Adventures! Or Can We Say Congested!

It was time for that journey into the mountains to go 'leaf peeping'! yes, the aspens are in their full glory and who knows for how much longer they will hold out. It was said that this weekend was the best to view those golden shimmering trees. So, pack up the car and off we go! But, wait, first we must get that cup of coffee to start the day so it was a stop at Caribou. And how great is this, a buy one-get one day too! Only, there was a small problem--we couldn't get there from here! Most of the major streets in the town center were blocked due to a 5K race/walk--it was necessary to maneuver very carefully around all the orange cones and security detail before finally reaching our coffee destination! And it never tasted better.
We are on the road now and traveling at the speed limit, up to US 285, past Morrison, going towards Bailey, but wait, what is this------one big major traffic jam!
We are bumper to bumper--did all these people decide it was time to go 'leaf-peeping' too?? We creeped, we crawled around the corner only to find more traffic--you can always think, "it's going to break up soon" and it did. Only, we come to a electronic sign that reads, "highway closed 14 miles ahead". No, that can not be right! We travel on--the sign must be wrong! But, alas it is not! The road was definitely closed at Jefferson and all traffic was being detoured up the dusty road to the north. We follow for awhile but turn off to Jefferson Lake--mostly, looking for that port-a-potty! And campgrounds do have such. The drive up to the lake was lined with golden aspens and once we arrive (and find that pit stop), we have a goregous view of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Here are some of the aspens that lined the roadway.
And one huge beaver dam--they sure have been busy on this stream.
Golden, red, orange, green--all the colors of fall.
Sun was breaking through and lining the ground with fallen aspen leaves.
View of small lake down from the stream of the beaver dam.

More wonders of nature!

and the bright blue sky above...................

Coming back into Denver, we had less traffic into town. Before we reached Bailey again we ran into another road problem--one lane traffic through construction zone, but that wasn't the trouble; again, we creeped, we crawled to find it had been a motorcycle accident in the construction area--not good! The traffic going west was lined up for 5 miles--they are going to have a long wait to get through the construction handicap. Okay, we can make this a much better day and stop at Coney Island for late lunch. OOPS! Many others had the same idea--it was packed and the line was out the door, down the steps, and around the hot dog shaped diner. Plan B--home!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finishing--Slowly!

If you set goals in your life, do you follow them to the letter? Do you write them down? Keep them in your head? Knitter friend Judy P was discussing this topic with me last week on our girls day out. Yes, she has goals and she writes them down and finishes by quarter. This is a good way to work. My list of goals is in my head, so it is easy to reshuffle and resort and sometimes, blank them out. But, Judy P says she actually marks them off the list and knows she is progressing along the right path. My list is also the pile on the table......and now, we are whittling down the pile..........slowly to finish UFO's before we leave the summer home.
At first, when this pattern appeared on the monthly Halloween strip of Fat Cat, there was a thought--'maybe we'll skip this one'. But once, these little critters were completed, it was a winner. Look how cute they are--but, just on fabric!
And the other two blocks made are house rows--colorful. Now, all we need are spooks and trick or treaters to complete the street!
That yarn purchased last week is very "slowly" turning into socks. Pick it up, put it down and
work on the Cascade 220 gaiters made for a military unit to be deployed in November. These are slowly being turned out--not fun to knit, but anything for the soldiers.
Goals are always good and whether they are written down and set in stone or just roaming around in the brain, it gives us the opportunity to progress and learn. Of course, creating new goals before you finish the old ones can be a hazard!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Girls Day Out

Early this week, knitter friend Judy P took us to visit Ft. Collins and Windsor, CO for fantastic knit and wool shops. We met at park and ride but you know it isn't easy to find a place to park in the lot during the week--luckily, there was one spot open just as we arrived. So off we go, driving north! Our first visit in Fort Collins was My Sister Knits.
The shop is located on a residential street. And you know it's the right location when you see this tree hugged in the front yard. Walk through the gate of the white picket fence to arrive in the lovely backyard and find the little shop in the back. What a location! So peaceful! A great place to sit and knit on a wonderful day......The shop is decorated with a fall theme
and the yarns, oh, my! and the welcome--warm and friendly. Upstairs in the loft area, several gals were visiting as they continue with their knitting. Purchasing Cascade 220 yarn that will be knitted into gaiters for soldiers being deployed in November, some double pointed #1 needles and a wonderful sock yarn from Pagewood Farms, we proceeded back into the garden.

Look!! off to the side is a chicken coop, which wasn't noticed when we first arrived.
It seems that city chicken coops are 'the thing' now. Denver Botanic Gardens is even sponsoring a chicken coop tour in October. Chicken coop owners will open their backyards to show off their critters and to share with visitors their love for what they do and their experiences. As efforts for sustainable living have risen, chickens and other urban livestock keeping have also become more popular among residents of many cities in the US.

Our next stop is Lambspun Yarn Shop, which also combines a small luncheon spot--perfect timing for us as noon has come and gone. After finishing lunch, we walked swiftly through the shop--nothing here of interest for us. Onward we journey, south to the small town of Windsor, three miles off to the east of I-25, . We had visited here last summer and found The Wool Shoppe--a great place for wool fabric and quilting supplies. Their selection is outstanding and their walls are covered with completed projects. As we sat in the House of Windsor, across Main Street from the Wool Shoppe, with a cool drink, Judy pulled out this pair of socks that she knitted on her sock knitting machine. She said "these are for you!" Oh my goodness! She had one toe to close in and showed me how it was done. What a great gift--thank you Judy P!! It was a good day spent with a friend.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Uptown Sampler

Every fall, there is an uptown sampler walk about-along 17th Avenue in Denver. We decided to attend again this year. First, we ordered our tickets online via Uptown Sampler and received them via snail mail (still have to use USPS sometimes!).
There is entry form on the back to win one night free lodging at Castle Marne, local bed and breakfast. We are never that lucky to win!
Our first stop is Uptown Tavern where we pick up the walking route and participating stops.
We place the button on our lapel so every location can recognize us as an uptown sampler person.
As we sit on the back patio to eat our chicken sliders and chips, we plan our destination route. If you get tired of walking the long blocks, there are shuttles that will pick up at various locations. We are off to our next sampler, directly across on 17th Avenue--watching closely for traffic we make it to Steuben's truck, a new addition. It seems more and more of these trucks on going on the road. And what did Steubens serve? Pulled Pork slider....my, my, how popular are these sliders?
Back across the 17th Avenue drag to visit Avenue Grill . Here we enjoy hot mac and cheese. And yes, it was hot! We used the small plastic cups that were provided and as we sat, the cup shriveled up--too funny! But the mac & cheese was delcious (bacon, lobster with little spice added)
Then to visit the famous or is it infamous (?) Hamburger Mary's. What was served? Well, hamburgers, of course, but as sliders--three different kinds of sliders.
Then, why not a stop in Tastes Wine Bar for a little liquid refreshment? There were also some interesting tidbits of their specialities in the food department. No walk about on 17th Avenue would be complete without a stop into a Mexican restaurant and the perfect place is Las Margaritas where we chowed down on spinach enchiladas and pork tacos with spicy hot salsas. Yummy good!
And one of our favorite restaurants in town--Strings where we got a bottle of Voss Water (can we say smooooooooth water!)and shrimp cevriche and what else but sliders! There is an interesting story about our past visit to Strings; if you ever want to the 'low down' just let me know!
And then we can not forget the pizza parlor--Pasquinis. Everyone votes this as their favorite pizza! Several varieties were placed on the table to sample--one of each please!
and then we rounded out our evening with dessert at the right place..d bar We planned perfectly to end our stroll along 17th Avenue here.
Now, we head back to our car; find the shuttle and round the block we go. We got a chatty driver, who told us all sorts of facts about Denver. Someday, we might write a blog just about that. The weather was super, the company excellent and the food--all A-okay--all this for a mere $20 a ticket--what a bargain.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cherish the Old!

On a recent visit to the DAM (Denver Art Museum) to view the works of Charles Deas' western art paintings, we went to the 6th floor in the north building to also see the textile art pieces on display. It is a rotating exhibit and any textile piece that is displayed is interesting and unique. This time around it was quilts from the 1800's. What a lovely applique quilt--all hand pieced and hand quilted.
This was certainly unique and interesting--petit point on a quilt with tapunto work in sections.

This quilt featured unusual applique blocks with large dividing borders.
And this one with the wonderful crochet fringe.
Broderie Perse or cutout-chintz appliqué technique. Check out this website for further info on this interesting technique that was used prior 1850--Clues in the Calico Club
Others on display included a scrap pieced quilt using the pineapple block--most likely paper pieced--sorry, didn't get photo of that one or others on display. We had quite the incident when the security guard came around to say 'I'm getting a signal that someone is touching the quilts'. Not us--we were just leaning too close to investigate some of the stitching detail--guess it was one of those silent alerts. This happen one other time we visited the Navajo rug exhibit, but there you got a loud buzzer effect when you leaned too close--what's better--loud or silent? Doesn't matter, we just wanted to see up close and personal!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Scraps!

Do you save scraps? Little tiny bits of fabric or yarn? In the studio, there are bins of scraps--all those small pieces that are cut from a large section of fabric. You just never know when you'll need that little piece for a project--it will be just the right color or pattern to add. Do you have at least one bin that looks like this?
and of course, when you try to find that perfect color match, you must empty the bin to find it and you never know what you'll find in your search......................
Wonderful fabrics you had forgotten all about...or interesting fabrics you wonder why in the world did I ever purchase this??
Like this pile--these are large enough to cut 6" blocks--just right for a Binky quilt.
Or these small slivers, which can just be perfect
for that grandmother's fan block. And then there are those little bits of leftover yarns.
8/2 cotton yarns that will fit nicely into a dishcloth warp--color added to a white surface.
and then there are those small bits of handspun--well, you just never know when these will come in handy. Oh, well, time to sort through that other bin in the corner. Might we find something unique there?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tying Up Loose Ends

The time is growing short for the summer house stay, so tying up loose ends is very much on the agenda for the coming weeks. Always, always, there are UFO's brought from the main house with thoughts that those little projects can be completed in the summer--NOT! But, Finally this past week, there was the push to tidy up and get those things out of the UFO pile. There were the two caps half knitted--yes, half finished! So, it didn't take much time to whip them off the needles. The top one is all hand spun.
This hat was from all those loose sock yarns.
These are charity hats for Knits for Needs . Since it was hot weather, there was no desire to knit on wool hats, but sure feels good to add them to finished projects. And this project has been ongoing since early in the year. It's from Fat Cat Patterns. It was easy to manage one or two blocks a month on this project. Sindy is repeating the BOM for this Christmas quilt so hop over to her website and catch up. She has also begun one for Halloween that will complete next spring. This quilt is going to the hands of long arm quilter--she'll have fun designing for this! Okay, off to finish up at least one more UFO from the summer stockpile.