Yarn Along the Rockies Part 1

Yay! It’s time for Yarn Along the Rockies here in Colorado. Yarn Along the Rockies is a yarn crawl that takes place all over the front range here from Boulder down to Colorado Springs. There are a total of 23 shops on the map and at each shop there is a special pattern to celebrate! At each stop you also get a ‘passport’ stamped which shows where you have been. At every 6 shops (and the final 23rd shop) you receive a really cool stitch marker. It’s a great way to see some shops you normally would not go to, as well as connect with lots of knitters from all over the front range.

the map.

Lois, my Aunt Lori, and I hit the road on opening day and hit 13 out the 23 shops on the yarn crawl. The highlights for me were a wonderful shop in Boulder called Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins and also LambShoppe and Fabric Bliss (which had some embroidery thangs as well as a lot of fabric).

Here we are in the HUGE Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins. I really loved that shop because they had such a variety of yarns – every price range Patons to local artisan blah blah blah. Plus, the women working there were just so nice and took the time to chat with us and help us even though it was extremely busy.

Here is a silly little cat face from Mew Mew’s Yarn Shop in Lafayette. That shop has some really interesting yarn art.

Here we are outside of Tea for Ewe in the Tennyson neighborhood (which used to be total dump so I’m still shocked it’s like hipsters in paradise up there now).

It was a fun day! We bought some awesome yarns. I have to say I was really stunned at how much the yarn and knitting/croche/fiber arts scene has grown in Colorado. It makes me happy to see so many people joining such a fun community. However, I’m also pretty much over the whole ‘custom/hand dyed/hand held/kissed/bathed with’ whatever the hell people are doing to justify $30-$50 for a skein of yarn. Here’s my point of view… So you spend let’s say ~$100+ on any kind of garment – worse is when you spend ~$50 on a goddamn cowl! Then okay so if you keep your knitted item you live in fear of wearing it, washing it, or even looking at it because 1. you just spent a month making this damn thing, 2. it’s made of $100+ yarn that could be ruined with any daring coffee sip, and 3. let’s face it you can really only wear most of these things for a select time of the year. Wow! that sounded like a major hater here, but I’m over it. I know buying big brands like Lion Brand, Red Heart, Patons and even the queen of gameshows Vanna White’s brands might not be the ‘snob-tastic’ way to knit/crochet – but goddamnit it’s the only way you can actually partake in this expensive ass hobby/lifestyle and not have credit card debt or eat the cat food you buy for your cats to save money.

I don’t know I’m just over spending ~$80 on average for supplies for usually an accessory when most often the person you are making this gift for does not even know how to take care of the item. (I will reference when someone machine washes something totally ignoring the tag – or when the hand made item is wadded up in the bottom of the closet – GEE I’M SO GLAD I SPENT 40 HOURS MAKING THAT FOR YOU!!)

Okay rant over, here is my perspective. I am very happy that so many people are interested in my same hobbies – it makes for a much more rich and interesting community to try things out it, look at other people’s successes, and generally have a wonderful selection to begin in terms of yarns, patterns, and tools. HOWEVER, I do not support the knitting snobs – not at all. I was so lucky in Chicago to find a group of crafters that were in love with crafting and not the labels. Those women inspired me more than any posh knitting store yarn circle would. And I guess I’m just at a point where I LOVE the hobby and I don’t need to quantify my skill, my love, or my productivity with how much money I spent on fiber.

Also, I think we can all agree that we knit/crochet/sew because we enjoy it. I hope that as this community hopefully grows even larger we can all share that love of the hobby itself instead of trying to one up each other in terms of labels.

We will finish our crawl on Friday and I am very excited to see the remaining 10 shops as well as have a chance to enter into the grand prize drawing (hey, I didn’t say I am opposed to specialty yarns – I’m just over the yarn snob stigma).

Anyways, I hope this comes across as me being an advocate for everyone who enjoys fiber hobbies – I realize a huge part of this is also hand making the supplies that is wonderful also, but I am really tired of the stigma and the ‘prejudice’ that revolves around ‘artisan fiber’.

Long live crafting!

Baby Bobble Blanket

I’m sure it is obvious that I took a mini-break (cough eight months cough) from crafting during the move, job change, additional move and beginning of summer.  Well, I have ended that break and I am very happy and exciting to be diving back into the craft-scene.

I crocheted an adorable baby afghan from Bernat and thought I would share:

had to test it out make sure it was soft enough for real babies.

Here is the pattern – or visit Bernat’s site for more info and more free patterns!

SUPPLIES & TOOLS:

Bernat® Baby Blanket™ Yarn: 4 skeins (MC) Peachy, 1 skein White (A)
Crochet hook size M/13 [9 mm] or size for gauge
Scissors
Tape measure

SIZE:

36″x40″ [91.5 x 101.5 cm]

GAUGE:

7 sc & 8 rows = 4″ [10 cm].

DIRECTIONS:

With MC, ch 89.
Row 1: (RS). Cluster in 6th ch from hook. *Ch 1. Skip next ch. 1 dc in next ch. Ch 1. Skip next ch. Cluster in next ch. Rep from * to last 2 ch. Skip next ch. 1 dc in last ch. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as dc. Ch 1). *1 dc in top of next cluster. Ch 1. Cluster in next dc. Ch 1. Rep from * to last Cluster. 1 dc in last Cluster. Ch 1. 1 dc in last dc. Turn.
Row 3: Ch 4 (counts as dc. Ch 1). *Cluster in next dc. Ch 1. 1 dc in top of next Cluster. Ch 1. Rep from * to last 2 dc. Cluster in next dc. Ch 1. 1 dc in last dc. Turn.
Rep Rows 2 & 3 until blanket measures 38″ [96.5 cm]. Fasten off.

BORDER: With RS facing, join A with sl st to top right corner. Ch 3 (counts as dc). Work 1 rnd of dc evenly around all side edges, having 3 dc in each corner. Join with sl st to top of ch 3. Fasten off.

ABBREVIATIONS:

Beg = Beginning
Ch = Chain(s)
Dc = Double crochet
Rep = Repeat(ing)
Rnd = Round(s)
Sc = Single crochet
Sl st = Slip stitch
Yoh = Yarn over hook
Cluster = (Yoh & draw up a loop in next st. Yoh & draw through 2 loops on hook) 5 times. Yoh & draw through all loops on hook. Ch 1.

Turkey Crochet Hat

I saw a turkey crochet hat on Instagram yesterday so last night I decided to make my own version. I think I’ll go ahead and just start making all these outfits/hats for the tribe for all holidays. Plus I’m already thinking about Boris as a Swedish opera singer with the hat and braids……

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Plus fall pug!

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get it in gear

wow. Well I guess with labor day this weekend, the summer is officially over. I, for one, had the best summer of my life. I learned so much about myself, conquered some really big personal mind-blocks, and did a bunch of cool shit. Plus I let go entirely of the control I felt I had on my life and in doing so was surprised to find what I’d hoped and dreamed for all along.

I’m a fan of lists so I guess I’ll just do a little list of the things I experienced this wonderful wonderful summer.

1. Rode 1000 + miles on my bike – yep from memorial day to labor day. I hit the 1k. SO RAD.

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2. Learned to brew my own Kombucha, make my own Kale chips, and can my own shelf stable foods.

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3. Celebrated 1 year sober.

4. Joined Title Boxing.

5. Ran the majority of days during lunch – with awe inspiring views.

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6. Let go of bad self-esteem and closed the door on relationships that make me feel badly.

7. Opened an Etsy Store! Weeeee!

custom cake

8. Got tattooed.

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9. Did the Whole30 Challenge with Lois.

10. Embarked on a new adventure with lots of motorcycles, antiques, and laughs.

It was a damn good summer. Now that it's over I need to focus and get it in gear for a productive and great Fall. That means, tightening up the budget, dedicating myself to 3 days of boxing a week, focusing at work and hustling for a promotion hopefully, and giving GFK + the etsy store my undivided attention.

lesssss dooooo this.

xxx
GFK