Friday, December 29, 2006

Nordic Winter

I wouldn't normally be one to brag about my Christmas loot, but i must share a few things.

These boots (this blog is now all about boots and socks) i've had for a few weeks-- and thank goodness i have plenty of snow to wear them in. They are wool boots, with wonderful rubber soles (perfect for packed and icy snow). They are hand made in Norway... i ordered them from Alaska.

I also got my VERY FIRST pair of skis-- in my entire life. As a colorado native, i've never once been on skis, gone skiing, or been to a ski resort with snow-- it's a long story, but it never peaked my interest. But i was recently thinking about trying cross-country skiing-- warming up the idea of renting a pair and trying. Then the snow fell-- lots of snow fell. And while out one snowy day Tom cleverly drove me by the North Boulder Park-- groomed for cross country and skate skiing. I was down right giddy with excitement sitting in the truck, mesmerized by the activity. And then everything fell into place (sale prices, discounts and friendly tech information) and i found myself (and Tom too) set up ready for skiing--anytime there is snow. I'm pretty darn excited-- better go treat my new ski boots (also part of the christmas haul along with new wool socks, gaiters, wool base layer, snowshoes, nordic "Norway" hat, and a Johnny Cash cd) with water proofer.


With the school-closing blizzard last week i found myself with much desired time home. I got all the elfie holiday tasks done: made peppermint bark, wrapped packages, make pecan treats, and knit, knit, knit ( i forgot to take a picture of the lace alpaca scarf i made for my mother). I started yet another organic cotton baby blanket ( have i mentioned i know 6 pregnant women right now).
I swatched (I only do when i absolutely have to) my thoughts for a new Nordic (of course) sweater based on a kindred childhood character (which also inspired the Saint Lucia Christmas)-- who i have in ornament form. Turns out it will be a bit of a modified fana sweater-- and i'll create/write the pattern.

The swatch was especially helpful as it was my first steek experience. It was a little spooky, but went well. Next up, washing, blocking and measuring. Then the math piece and yarn purchasing and i'll be casting on.

The snow has been falling again and quiet inspiring-- not to mention I got another snow day at home (i.e 3 day weekend became 4 1/2 day weekend).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Want to Know about my Christmas past?

borrowed from Anne.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I enjoy both equally, although my nog has to be soy and i like my hot chocolate made from scratch with peppermint in it.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? wraps the presents unless they are too big (like the bean bag chair i got one year).

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White lights on the tree-- it's the closest thing to burning candles. (and while i mentioning my lights-preference: i can not stand lights that blink un-synchronize in more than one strand. )

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Only if i can find the real stuff (which is toxic to eat i might add)

5. When do you put your decorations up? Some time between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve-- it's different every year.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? I like 'em all!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? One year my brother and i found a soot covered bag in our fire place ... we were pretty sure Santa left it. Another year i was pretty sure i saw Santa and his big toy bag work around our Christmas tree. As an adult i realize it was probably my father (work boots and all) "delivering" those bean bag chairs my brother and i wanted so much. but i still like to think i saw Santa. Oh, and one more: my mother made me a swiss -dot St. Lucia gown and my father rigged up a candle wreath that lit up with a battery pack. And in the tradition of St. Lucia, i made sweet buns in the morning and carried them out to my family sitting in the dark room waiting to open up presents.

8 . When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? When my younger brother opened up his package clearly marked From Santa and said, "thanks mom and dad for the _____ (insert really cool toy of the year)". I didn't really ever want to believe there wasn't a Santa-- i still don't -- but i "know".

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? A s a child we could open one small package on Christmas Eve (after church) and all the rest on Christmas morning. As an adult with out children, we don't really have a "system" yet.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Very carefully. Just kidding, with white lights, ornaments that have been given to me since birth and a few candy canes for fun.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it! Especially when it makes for a White Christmas.

12. Can you ice skate? A little-- for fun , if we make it to the mountains that have a rink set up.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No t really, which makes me a little sad because i know my parents (and Santa) worked hard to get me the things i desired each year.

14. What's your favorite thing about the holidays? The lights, the decorations, the traditions and the special foods that are only available this time of year.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? This year: Peppermint Bark.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? i'm not sure. I know we have traditions, but they don't seem very traditional to me.

17. What tops your tree? a homemade cardboard star wrapped in foil.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I've been pretty good about buying myself presents this year-- but i like making presents the best. I like to have Elf-ie moments all season long.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I can not pick just one-- but this year i can not stop listening to Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan.

20. Candy canes yuck or yum? Yum, Yum, Yum-- peppermint bark.

21. What's number one on your Christmas list this year? I'm having a self-desribed Wool Christmas; head to toe! (version A).

Sunday, November 26, 2006

We interrupt this boring blog to give you a knitting news update:

Lacy socks.
Now, i know how many (wink wink) faithful readers i have, so just in case you were thinking to yourself, "Haven't i seen those socks on this blog before?" you are almost correct-- you saw them here. But that pair traveled to Montana, and this pair is staying here on the front range. I think i need more hand knit socks. These are kool-aid dyed, the result of Grand Plans/Strategies colliding with Heaps of Impatience. But the muted tone is satisfactory and i've got myself a smashing pair of socks.

The kool-aid dye (i.e low color saturation or shocking fruity colors) just wasn't enough thrill for me. So i switched to fast wash acid dyes. I present to you this:
Sure, the color card said "Boysenberry", but i'll call this skein "Muscles". Again, a fit of impatience struck this innocent skein as it sat in the pot. i just through some dye on top of the wool. it's an interesting effect, and will make another pair of socks just dandy.

Let's see what else? The Wild Stripes baby blanket reached 100% completion (polyester fleece sewn to the back, yellow running stitch added, late night with repetitious blanket stitch...) and was given to it's new keeper. They love it!

Some of my knitting time has been redirected to hand quilting. And more with be further spent on Holiday Hand-Mades (which is still in R&D stage). Thank goodness i can stash a sock in my bag for all the dull times in between.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It isn't road cycling and it isn't mountain biking... it's Cyclocross:
(or, "Hey have you seen my lycra")
*this post does not contain knitting

Tom started his day attending the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Boulder Cup. It's so local it's stupid not to go.. and beautiful too!
One of his co-workers Val, won her race:
And enjoyed her morning coffee in her winning cup.
This is the field when the professionals (Elite Men) took to the course (i showed up to watch this part of the racing):
they do a little down hill, a little up hill (with logs obstructing the way = hike-a-bike), a little sand, and a little grass and little pavement.

This is the winner Barry Wicks about to cross the finish line:
And this is Ryan Trebon, the guy who kicked ass-- changed bicycles 4 times during the 10 lap race and made up wicked amounts of time. i apologize for not being able to give your more information like teams and all the technical stuff-- but if you're that curious check out Velo News (where you can also see pictures of Lance Armstong looking quite awkward in an upright running position during the New York Marathon) or Cycling News for all the latest information:
And to top it all off: Miss Colorado filled the role of "podium girl". (she was so close, how could i not take her picture... and it was entertaining to me-- haha!):

in other news: i made four curtains for my classroom windows and kool-aid dyed a skein of yarn (i have issues with kool aid and color saturation so i don't know if i love the dye job, but that's for another post). cheers.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Solution: the Shirt Dress
my face doesn't show the excitement, but my shopping trip was a success (and i'm so darn excited and through them all on and took pictures without washing or ironing, so pardon the creases). I found three dress, all in a similar style, but with different details-- giving me the "look" i was going for: vintage, pretty, not too trendy and a bit of western flar. This top one is navy, with a wide belt and small side pockets.
a detail shot of the the front.
a brown one (with out making me look like a brownie, a nun, or a 1st grader): faux wrap dress with long ties, a full-ish skirt and smart sleeves.
this is the fancy one-- black and white polka-dots with a bright red satin tie. it has all the flare i wanted.
this one is not like the others, but i saw it while walking out the store and knew it had to come with me too. I actually really love this dress-over-jeans look (it has that perfect preschool teacher look to it)-- it's a little crunchy, but so am i at times. i bought new jeans too. You didn't think i owned a pair did ya? well i do, check these out.

they have been patched several time (love that fabric) and just keep ripping. it's like every time i move in them they fall apart a little more. i may wear them clean off! so i got some new ones.

knitting content in the next post: baby blankets galore!
Strike Two!
(or why i should stick to knitting)
i'm not sure i like this dress either. the dark blue calico fabric gives it a denim look, and the layered skirt adds a ready-for-square-dancin' look as well. it's still not the "look" i'm going for. (i'm beginning to wonder if i can ever give up cotton calicos.) unfortunately, it took up way more time than i had wanted. the jury is still out if it will make it into the regular rotation.

In other weekend news:
i carved myself a pumpkin-- bought from a local farm. i had forgotten the smell of pumpkin guts... and the feel (oh, how i love the feel. after words while washing the seeds in a bowl of water i had an "amelie" moment, running my hands through the slippery seeds). we also bought a baking pie pumpkin destined for the oven this afternoon.

but for a now i'm goin' shoppining!

Monday, October 23, 2006

i'm having a fashion crisis!! my new boots have inspired me to put the "prairie" clothing away and go for a more funky-western-vintage look. i want something with a bit of flair, feminism, and ease-- and i want to wear DRESSES (which don't seem to be in fashion this season, as there are slim pickin' at the stores-- or cost $100+). So i thought i would make something. In this picture here we have chocolate 100% wool gabardine. i modified the pattern but i DO NOT like the results. This look says, "country nun" or "grown up Brownie, gone western"-- or i look like a first grader.

i know it's the choice of fabric...and pattern but, i'm reaching my frustration level. i don't want to spend a lot of timing sewing a new pattern, but i also don't have a large bill fold to support commerical made dresses. what is a girl to do?? anyone want to recommend a good thrift store?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Observations on the road:

1. while sitting in traffic gazing into my review mirror i spy a woman wearing a gas mask. She is driving a Prius.

2. while cruising down the highway i look out my window to see a minivan filled with children ranging from adolescent to infant. All the windows are closed. The driver, the mother (?) is puffing away on her cigarette.

3. while waiting for the light to change from red to green i read the bummer stickers of the car beside (and slightly in front) of me. "Go Vegan", "Fur Kills", "The Greatful Dead", "Green Peace".
The driver appears to be enjoying her cigarette mightily.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Read On!

People! there are finally new posts uploaded, but you'll have to scroll through a little bit.

And in other non-knitterly news:

i've got new kicks! i'm totally in love with them. I completely wore out my previous pair of lace-up style dansko boots, so now ya'll with be seeing me walkin' around in these here boots. Giddy-Up!

p.s. this new foot wear may lead to a style/wardrobe change in the near future. stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

the horror!

Bunny has been rescued.

did you know Bunny was missing?

first let me introduce you to Bunny:

sure he's a little dirty-- and was once white. but he has a very valuable job. see:

to my discovery and horror, Bunny was not found in the knitting basket-- when i needed some stitch markers-- the project came to a screeching halt! I remained calm. I took everything out of the basket. i unfolded, untangled and neatly sorted through. No Bunny. Next i looked in my purse-- again with the emptying out. Not there either. I looked on the end table, underneath the couch (oh, there were bunnies, but not the kind i was searching), underneath all the projects accumulated on the "craft couch", in other random baskets dutifully tending yarn. Again, i looked through my basket. No Bunny.

Then it struck me-- a glimmer of hope amoung all the despair of loss: Bunny was not in the house. I went over my steps. No, I didn't drop my basket in the parking lot lately (sending balls of yarn though an obstacle course of grease stains, debris and sand). No, i hadn't taken my knitting out during work and scattered it about in the break room. The last place i was knitting and making use of Bunny was.... AMANTE!!! (suspense music ends here--- dun-dun-daun.)

That was Wednesday night and here we are, lost and seperated on FRIDAY night! Calmly, I found their phone number: "ring.ring.ring"
"Amante. how may i help you?"
"hi. do you guys have a lost-and-found?"
"sorta. why"
"well, i lost- i mean i think i lost it in your store. I was wondering if you had a white, white-ish, bunny coin purse thingie?"
"oh yah. we have that here" (now, i have to describe how he said that. his tone and speed, a remarkable quick reply, that also said "can't miss that odd thing?!?! what kind of person looses a bunny coin purse. what kind of person has a bunny coin purse? Sure, lady, we have that thing here.")

The fine adventure, and reunion concludes with an immediate drive to Amante (in which tom orders, "a small Latte and one white bunny.) and the recovery of Bunny. On the ride home i could only think of the adventures Bunny had while spending a few nights at Amante. It's a little bit like the story of Corduroy. Perhaps Bunny now needs a "if lost, call...." tag.
package recieved: check. package sent: not yet

there's a mitten swap in progress. i've been knitting along-- there was some rippin', changin' of patterns, chanin' of needles, and changin' of yarns, but it's all worked out now.

And what's more, i've already recieved my package!

A box filled with wonderfully wooly yellow mittens, hand-made glass buttons-- fish, how did she know i was a pisces?!, a wee-little note book and a funny little connection: (1)my package came from Virginia, (2)the person i send to is in D.C-- who wrote on her blog about visiting a fiber farm outside of Warrenton, VA., and the final connection: (3)my husband grew up in Warrenton, VA. It's interesting how connected to strangers you can be?(anyone wanna play 6-degrees of seperation?)

Thanks to my wonderful knitter for such a lovely pair of warm mitts!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Project Update:

#1. Baby-boy blanket:
using brown sheep cotton fleece, size 5 needles and the stripe-ing pattern from the wild stripes blanket... um scratch that,
i'm doing log cabin.

#2. my hope-chest baby blanket:

nothing fancy except for luxurious organic cotton-- the blanket feels like chenille.

#3. the silky-wool stripey sweater-y:

cardigan on size 2 needles, my own pattern.

#4. Mitten swap:

manos del uruguay in color 110, size 6 needles.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

i know this will be making the rounds in the knitting world, but i feel i need to share it with you as well! truely, you must link yourself over there, you will not be disappointed!

~what's that you say? where the hell have i been? no where. but i'll be back later with more: mitten swap, baby blankets (yes, plural), and a sweater. ~

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Letter *
To The Knitters (you know who you are),
I really love knitting with you in the evening. After taking care of little children who want to bite each other, pull hair and dump their lunch on the floor, you are the light at the end of my tunnel. I love the conversations we have. I like when the topics connect from tangent to tangent, theme to theme and then turn around 180 degrees. I like when we relate to eachother and when we agree to disagree. But, please, do not let me order fancy drinks like soy mocha latte's-- even if they are only 8 oz at 6:30 pm. What were you thinking? Did you know i go home and sit on the couch watching syndication after syndication of sitcoms. Sure i didn't see the episode of Will and Grace with Kristen Davis when it was regularly one, but i did't need to watch it the other night either; with those testing- sometimes troublesome toddlers to contend with at 8:30 in the morning. And what's more, it makes me sleep really oddly (i won't go into the detail, but it was weird and dreamless).

Okay, Thanks for you help-- see you at the next knit-night

The Surprise

Imagine me surprise, the flop of excitment i felt in my stomach, when driving around on Boulder streets i saw one of the these, a la bumper! "My god! another knitter who wants the tailgater to know it!" I thought nothing of it, my "aw" and excitement still running away with it's self, when i saw it on a Subaru-- they're practically the offical state car. And then it hit me. That's Anne's car. I just knit with Anne. Anne and I left the same parking lot at the same time. Anne said she was driving this direction. That sticker belongs to Anne. Of course (!) Anne has a "KNIT" sticker. But I'm still thrilled to see one around town!

The Project

I took this picture several weeks ago when i was just begining this--

thought it would make a lovely and timely post, but it didn't. now all the wonderful (simply wonderful, i want to do as make as many projects as i can with this yarn) has been knit up into the final product:

* at the time this was a timely and current event, but sadly it is now weeks old-- but i still find it entertaining!

**and i changed the border of the blanket-- added a garter stripe do-da, and i'm going to sew navy blue 100wt. poly fleece to the back.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Nothing like wool socks in the the summer! Fresh off the needles are the Hedera Socks. Made from 100% merino wool (well except for that bit of reinforcing wooly nylon you see there at the toe and it's at the heel too) in a green color that sometimes strikes me as perfect ivy or camo-green, depending on the light. The yarn is Koigu, the needles are US 1 and i did a star toe instead of a kitchner'd one.

With this project complete, i'm in a bit of knitting project limbo-- i'm relativly caught up on projects and ready to start a new one, but don't know what to do, or what to make it with. i don't like this feeling-- but hopefully it will pass soon (i'm this close to making a KnitPicks order to make this as a gift.)
Dear One Skein Secret Pal, er, I mean Alyson,

Thank You Berry-Much for the thoughtful August package-- and what quick postal service as well!
First I must start with the hand-made: the beautiful and aromatic eye pillow-- the color is wonderful for the organic lavender scent (and organic flax) that creates its stuffings. It arrived during a week when i wasn't falling asleep easily, and so it went direct to my bed with me the very night it arrived at it's new home. I slept wonderfully! I want to take it every where with me. Not so i can sleep every where but, rather so that i can relax every where. Thank you. It's wonderful. The tea will be great to sample (when it isn't 90+ degrees outside)-- they sell this tea at one of my local yarn stores-- funny yarn connection, eh? The braclet is perfect! i can wear it to work where it can get wet, chewed on, played with and not break-- i love it! The note cards are also wonderful-- how did you know i was pondering those at the book store. I have thought to myself before, "if i had one of those embroidery machines i could make those." But then that thought is immediatly followed with, "I don't believe (as in value it's crafty-ness) in embroidery machines." And last but certainly not least, thank you for the hemp yarn (and the handy tip of soaking it first before using it-- i will do just that!). I can't wait to make something with it, my first thought is a market bag, but then again, i'm not sure. It will have to wait for my creative juices to capture it.

Thank you for all the wonderful packages this summer. It was a fun exchange, and i'm thrilled to know who you are-- i'll definately be reading your blog during my blog-reading-times.

Here's to Knitting,
Good Little Granola Girl

Saturday, August 05, 2006

i know it seems like i don't even update anymore. but i do. i guess i'm not one to share every dust bunny i find, but i do like to share the big stuff. the done stuff.

For example, a lovely little arrowhead lace shawlette in 100% alpaca (bought at the Estes wool market a few years ago, and beyond that i have no more information).

loverly isn't it? it's recipiant is my One Skein Secret Pal (who i am almost postive doesn't even know this here journal is in existance).

In addition to knitting, i have found myself at the sewing machine lately... and the fabric store, but of course! (i do not like the fabric store i go to, but still manage to find something. it's all rather depressing at times. My favorite fabric store did away with it's cotton/calico/quilting fabrics, which leaves me, the "cotton girl" with out one of my fabric fibers.)
This is my new favorite dress. i want to live in it all times. and so i have made several in the same style. And what a great style it is! my kindred spirit (who i want to spend all sorts of time with-- i may have a little crush on her) was the owner of this circa 1970's pattern. And after i saw hers, much like in knitting, i had to have one for myself. i am forever greatful for her generousity, and may even like the hot weather better for it.

Also occupying my attention lately was my kindred cousin's wedding.

I was a reader at the ceremony which was a perfect honor for me. It was a beautiful outdoor mountian wedding. I'm so very happy for her and look forward to our relationship growing-- we grew up pretty close but have lost touch with eachother a bit more than each of us would prefer. And isn't it cute how similar we look to eachother?

Oh, and before I end this post, I must THANK my one skein secret pal for yet another wonderful package.
For July she sent me 100% Royal Platinum Alpaca. 1600 yards of it no less. It's 2ply, with a recommended needle size of U 1-3. It's beautiful and fine and soft. and i have no idea what to make with it yet. but what i really like is the colors of autumn and nature she selected for me.

Friday, July 14, 2006


It's done. It's done. It's DONE!! off the needles, ribbons threaded and tied, and hung to photograph. I'm in love with it and i'm going to give it away. It's a bridal gift for my cousin, next week. I used 3/2 Perle Cotton, US 3 and 2 needles and only a minor change to the straps at the top.

*thanks to Maggie's heater (and dress form too) for giving it that old fashioned feel it deserves.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

on the road again.

dallas divide 2
Originally uploaded by good little granola girl.
we've been on the road a lot lately (see some pictures here) and i haven't been in a "take time to post" mood.

and i've done a bit of knitting these days too.

i'll be back with more soon.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I've been having grand times with The Knitters.

There was one good bye party.

Kate is moving to Philly, via Boston and Copenhagen, to earn herself a masters in knitting. i think she will be quite successful! And you can get yourself a part of the history by purchasing her yarn.

Then we had a very happy (almost zealous) gathering. Us with 50 bazillion other knitters at the Estes Park Wool Market. I got this: 50% merino and 50% alpaca-- and i have A LOT of yardage here! Any suggestions on what to make?
I also got this:Bee-u-tea-ful Organic Cotton! and for a great price too! I think i am going to make this into a small to medium size blanket!

Then there was lunch at Cilantro Mary in Lyons-- (The Knitters and i are enjoying lots of meals together these days) after the wool-spree at Estes. And for the record, i am stating the Market was much more crowded this year then years past. I'm not sure if it's the craze of knit-blogs and word spreading via the web, the continual increase of new knitters into the craft, or the increase in yarn stores around the metro area. Needless, to say it was PACKED! Packed in the sense of waiting on line to get into the small vendor areas and have a decent look-see before getting crowded out by the next eager yarn-addict with her bag full of booty.

All that said, i was one of the big-bag ladies myself. And i am quite pleased with my take-home. (although i think i want more Organic cotton. who'd of thunk it?) But more than all the yarn, and the event, I had a really grand road trip with some increasingly special pals.