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Yarn Along the Rockies 2016 Part 3

The third and final day of my Yarn Along the Rockies Crawl started early. Strategy was planned around the breakfast table, water bottles were filled and my Yarn Along the Rockies canvas bag was empty awaiting new yarn finds. We are off to Colorado Springs. We figured we would start south and work our way homeward.

Woolly Works

Woolly Works

Our first Stop was in Downtown Colorado Springs. Woolly Works is quite a find in the heart of the city. They have a wonderful selection of yarns of every description including some home grown Angora! I spotted some more Brisbane by Queensland here. This one is blue with a red twist to it. I was also invited to participate in their drawing. I won a prize! It included a crochet hook, a set of circular needles, a crochet pattern book and some lovely tan yarn.

Art was off successfully hunting geocaches. We met up at the Starbucks on the corner before continuing on to our second stop in the city.

Ewe and Me

Ewe and Me

Ewe and Me is tucked into the corner of a strip shopping center on Garden of the Gods Road. What a great find. They have a great selection of yarns particularly sock weight ones. They also had a special edition of The Lemonade Stand hand dyed yarn, I passed as the blue and orange Broncos colors were not to my taste. I changed my mind several times as to what to purchase. They had several sets of coordinating yarns in quarter skeins that were beautiful. I decided to go with more Malabrigo this time in worsted in the color Nostalgia.

Next Stop Castle Rock. Google Maps was invaluable heading North as I-25 often has a lot of slow spots, the service road kept us moving.

Everything Alpaca

Everything Alpaca

In Castle Rock we visited Everything Alpaca. Along with a great selection of local Alpaca they also have garments, socks, hats and blankets of Alpaca. It would be a great place for Christmas shopping. I have a lot of Alpaca in my collection from purchases at farmer’s markets so I was checking out the Malabrigo again this time in Rios. I found the color Ilusion. The Malabrigo line is fairly new to the shop and they are looking to expand the selections.

Colorful Yarns

Colorful Yarns

 

 

After lunch we headed north back to the Denver Metro area. The next stop was Colorful Yarns, where I could have spent a week. The folks were great there. The amount of yarn and the number of line of it they had was mind boggling. This is definitely the place to come to if you cannot decide what you want to make your next project with. You still may not know but at least you will leave with the feeling of have seen a lot of choices. The shop is on the ground floor of an office building, so there was great parking. I chose some Berroco in Boboli Lace, color 4396, a pinkish red with twists of orange and purple. The other yarn that said ‘Take me home’ was Queensland’s Rustic Tweed in color 676 a beautiful aqua.

Time waits for no one and we need to get moving we have a little over an hour to get to the last two yarn shops today. Luckily they are only a few blocks from one another.

Blazing Star Ranch

Blazing Star Ranch

First up on S. Broadway is Blazing Star Ranch. It is inside Anderson’s Vacuums, the guys in the front shop gave me wide berth when they saw the Yarn Crawl bag! The designer of their lovely shawl pattern was visiting in the shop when I arrived. A very talented lady created a wonderful pattern for the shop. I spied a beautiful chunky red-orange yarn in the color Fabulous Fall by Pagewood Farm, U-Knitted Nations Pebbles on the sale shelf. It will make a cozy scarf and is next on my list.

Wooden Spools

Wooden Spools

It was now time to get to the last shop on the Yarn Along the Rockies Crawl for 2016, Wooden Spools. A few blocks north on Broadway brought another treasure. As it was about 30 minutes to closing the ladies here were definitely tired but still eager to help. I received my last stamp here and turned my passport in for the grand prize drawing. They were very excited for me to have finished. They awarded me my final stitch marker and of course gave me an entry to their prize basket too. They were having a sale on their entire Queensland line of yarn so I picked up more Rustic this time in a greenish tweed. My husband came in after a quick geocaching find and decided that the chair in the back of the shop was for him. That is when I noticed that he was sitting next to the orphan sale bin. I found two skeins of Mayloly by Eurobaby it is a slightly chunky yarn in shades from tan and blue through purple. Oh so soft as well.

Things I have not told you much about from the crawl. First, everyone was wonderful and helpful. Many told us of free sit and knit times they have in the shop, yes, crochet is welcome too. Most stops had snacks and nice clean bathrooms available. All were eager to recommend a great place for a snack or lunch along the way. Second, the Yarn Crawl also sponsored Stitch Markers for every so many shops you visited. Third, each shop had a pattern or two available for free. There are also PDF versions available on the Yarn Along the Rockies page.

The crawl was great fun. I’m looking forward to crocheting up all my purchases and filling 2017’s Yarn Along the Rockies bag too.

YATR Stitch Markers

YATR Stitch Markers

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Yarn Along the Rockies 2016 Pt 2

This is the weekday edition of Yarn Along the Rockies. I decided to tackle the northern most stores on the crawl myself. This put 4 stores in Louisville, Superior and Boulder on my list. I set Google maps up with the addresses and it was go time. I had only visited one of these shops in the past.

Fingerplay

Fingerplay

Google maps showed me a different way to get to Louisville, much faster than my usual route. I found on street parking just around the corner from Fingerplay. What a cool name for a yarn shop. The shop was just that cool too. The walls were lined with hooks full of skeins of yarn, much of it hand dyed. Decisions, decisions! I chose some gold Linen yarn from Baltic Linen Designs and some Egyptian cotton from Golden. These were both in the bargain bin and will be added to the jewelry yarn collection. The last one was a hand dyed skein by Hue Loco, it is a sock weight yarn in the color Mile High Sky. I decided to do a bit of Geocaching while I was in town, there were a lot of choices. I scored one!

Mew Mew's Yarn Shop

Mew Mew’s Yarn Shop

I then headed to Mew Mew’s Yarn Shop in Lafayette, just a few miles up the road. It is in a busy little shopping center but the shop itself is a yarn lover’s oasis. They have a great selection of books and buttons as well as yarn. Yes, I was drawn to the sale basket where one of the sales ladies and I poked through the selections. I found 2 skeins of Rowan Siena, one in pink and one in off white. There was also a worsted by Dream in Color Yarn in the color Spring Tickle! I spotted a big selection of Marble Chunky by James C. Brett. I snagged a beautiful dark blue. The 200 gram ball makes a beautiful cowl, I made several a few years ago.

 

 

 

 

Yarn Gypsy

Yarn Gypsy

Now it is time to get to Boulder. Gypsy Wools is next on the list. There are several aisles of yarns in this shop and a surprise in the back, a complete Needlework shop. After I completed my pin and entry business, including an entry to their daily prize (which I did not win), I received a tour of the shop. Another hard decision on what to purchase here. There were lots of lines on sale but the Queensland collection spoke to me. This is 100% superwashed wool, which means it is very soft. I chose color 2 a beautiful blue yarn with pink and purple in it. I think it may be mittens. I also left with the book More Crochet Socks, I loved the first book so I’m excited for this one.

 

 

Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins

Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins

Now the only shop on this Tuesday list that I have been to before, many times is my final for the day, Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins. I have long since learned to park around the side of the building to avoid a flight of stairs here. This is a large store with a large classroom too. They teach a lot of spinning and weaving classes and the atmosphere is heavy on the knitting side rather than crochet. But since we all use the same yarn I have a lot of fun here. This is where I first discovered Marble Chunky and was pleased to find that it was in stock. I chose a Denim shading this time. I also found Adriafil a 100% cotton 4 ply dk yarn. The shade is 016 it feels very happy and beachy to me. I may need to go back and get more since I think a tote would be fun in this yarn. This shop is a great place to find back issues of magazines. I picked up a Pieceworks back issue because it had an interesting knitted mitten pattern.

Time for sustenance! I have seen Snarf’s sandwich shops around town but never been in one. As I pressed my nose against the window I noticed a gluten free menu on the board. The door opened next to me and the scents drew me in. I had a warn toasty Chicken salad sandwich. They even changed gloves for me. This is important if you are gluten intolerant, thank you so much.

That finished the weekday portion of the crawl. Saturday Colorado Springs and 6 more shops to finish the crawl.

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Yarn Along the Rockies 2016 Pt1

One of the coolest things I did this summer was participate in Yarn Along the Rockies. Over 9 days, 17 stores participated in this Yarn Crawl. I visited every one of them from Boulder to Colorado Springs. I beefed up my yarn collection a little bit at a time in each shop. IMG_02049

This was a ‘Need to Do’ event for me for several reasons. I have been promising myself that I would participate for the last several years, since I have gotten back into crochet again. Two of my very local and terrific yarn shops have closed down in the past six months. And finally there are shops that I had heard about but never went to explore.  My husband was a great sport, being driver and seeker of places to stop for a meal or snack. He also had his Garmin Oregon 650 fully loaded with over 22,000 Geocaches to discover. (He made a tiny nick in the that number.)

 

 

 

 

IMG_0220If you do a yarn crawl you must have a plan of some sort. We decided that for the first weekend we would visit The Knit Knook in Conifer, where I purchased some Vintage Berroco, after breakfast. Breakfast was at our favorite place The Cozy Cottage on Tennyson in Denver. Just a few blocks down is Tea for Ewe a wonderful Tea and Yarn shop and that is where I purchased my Yarn Crawl Bag and two skeins of Magenta Cotton Supreme.IMG_0223

The bag is important. It is a sturdy canvas bag with places to attach all of the cool shop pins. It is a great way to announce that you are out shopping on the yarn crawl. At each shop you are invited to fill out a slip for a drawing for their prize basket with upwards of $500 of yarn, books and tools. You also pick up a pin for your bag and have your official Yarn Along the Rockies Passport stamped!

IMG_0210Sunday we had a big day of Crawling planned. We decided that we would attack all of the remaining Denver area shops. We started with Bags by CAB, a good one to do on Sunday since they are located in Downtown Denver.  There is very limited free parking downtown. I tell my husband to drive around the block a few times while I pop in, as the owner of Bags by CAB is walking by. Cassandra, the owner, tells him to park right there, in a loading zone, and ushers me inside. What a wonderful shop. I purchased Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in dark red tweed. It is going to make great mittens. A bonus was a bottle of cold water gifted to my husband to give him stamina for the crawl.IMG_0213

It was off to Fancy Tiger. I love that store on Broadway. Any excuse and I’m more than happy to be there. The shop was busy as usual on a weekend. I found a huge mound of yarn on a table that screamed Sale! There was more on benches around the table, what a find. Many shops had sale yarns some cases it was their orphan skeins other times whole lines of yarn were included. I found two skeins of Malabrigo Finito in Aguas, a heather blue. I’ve been working on some crochet jewelry so I picked up a skein of Sparrow Sans by Quince and CO, it’s a linen.

IMG_0212Off to Lambshoppe on East 12th. It had been around a while but new to me. It is a large shop crowded with both yarn and people. Be sure to check out the sale corner in the back. That is where I discovered Jojoland Rhythm in the color Apple Tree. The owner’s young granddaughters were a great help to me. Art discovers a coffee shop next door where we sat in the cool for a few minutes and snacked on lemonade and a Gluten Free Cookie.IMG_0216

Then it was off to Fabric Bliss on Santa Fe. I spotted a wonderful sock yarn by The Lemonade Stand. It is a limited edition yarn just for Yarn Along the Rockies. They also had a sale bin of Lion Brand Heartland. There was a really pretty green I couldn’t resist. I learned a new term ‘work horse yarn’. And you know that is what yarns like Heartland are all about. Try a pattern in it, if you don’t like it, it holds up well to being frogged. If you find it in a very similar gauge to a more expensive yarn you want to use you can get the idea of the pattern gauge. It is very useful.

IMG_0211Finally, we were off to I Love Knitting on South Holly. This store is a real gem. Lots of yarn and a big work table. To get your crawl activities done at.  But I was much more fascinated by the two tables of sale yarn piled high. There was enough in some yarns to complete a sweater. I know that my selection was influenced by the lateness of the day and the heat outside. I found this orange cotton yarn by Blue Ridge. No idea what I am going to do with it, but it definitely said, ‘Take me home.’

 

It was a great weekend with visits to 7 shops and a whole tote full of new possibilities.

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Thoughts on Denver RTD MyRide Program

myride-card

 

 

 

The start of 2016 marks many changes for the mode of transportation I use for work for over the last 20 years. Four new rail lines will go-live later this year, which may allow me to leave my car at home for commuting to work.  But eh first change for me happened the first of the year with the introduction of the Flatiron Flyer.  This route replace many of the express and regional routes between Boulder and Denver. Also for me, the change in fare structure has reduced my cost of commuting by about one third.

Late last year, I signed up for and was accepted to a pilot program called “The My Ride Stored Value Card”. This is basically a prepaid ride card where the fare is deducted from the card when it is tapped on a card reader. Using the card gives me a $.25 per ride discount on the regular fare.  The card also allows for a three hour window to use a transfer onto another bus route. Outside of a rough start, I think this program will be a keeper.

Experiences over the first two weeks:

January 4 – Today was the first day of the new Flatiron Flyer route.  These are buses that run between downtown Denver and Boulder on 15 minute intervals.  The rides on this route were free today!!  I brought my voucher to the customer service desk to obtain my new MyRide card.

This is where the fun begins.

Clerk #1 (as I hand her the voucher) – What is this?

Me – a voucher to participate in your new My Ride program.

Clerk # 2 talks to Clerk #1 and points to boxes on the back table. Clerk #1 grabs items from boxes and returns to station.  She starts typing.

Clerk #1 – What is your name.

Clerk #2 -everything you need is written on the voucher.

Me – rolls eyes

After another 10 minutes, I had a card with an initial deposit of $100. Ready to go for Tuesday.

January 5 – I boarded the bus to go downtown.  The card reader read “Regional”. I asked the driver to downgrade the fare to local.

<sound of crickets> The driver stares at his console, not sure of what to do. As the line to board grows impatient in front of me, the driver waves me in. Card balance $100. I wrote an email to RTD and was told not all the drivers had been trained on the My Ride card program.

Evening ride – card reader is broken. Card balance $100

January 6 – morning ride – card reader broken $100 balance. Evening ride – card reader broken $100 balance.

I’m starting to think I may never pay for a bus ride again.

January 7 – Finally. a working card reader, withe the correct local fare showing. Card Balance $97.65

Evening ride – no issues. Card balance $95.30

January 8 – no issues on either trip Card Balance at end of week $90.60

January 11 –  no issues. Balance $85.90

January 12 – no issues. Balance $81.20

January 13 – no issues inbound. Balance $78.85 Outbound – driver did not know how to downgrade fare (still?) Balance $78.85

January 14 – inbound – no issues Balance $76.50 Outbound  -card reader broken

January 15 – no issues either trip. Card balance $71.80

Thoughts: The kinks of the first two weeks will work themselves out.   The ‘pay as I use’ will actually cost me less then the monthly passes ($99 for a local pass).  I would like to see enhancements such as self-service through the website, as the only time I know my remaining balance is after I scan the card. Also a way for the bus to calculate the fare based on route and location would be helpful and could reduce boarding delays as the program goes wide.

 

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Falling Skies Podcast S5E10 – Reborn

The EndWe reached the finish line, and the writers chose to play it safe.  No Mason’s were killed in the making of this series, even though the producers promised us ‘significant deaths’.  Should Ben have died as he was part Esphani? Did Pope get a proper sent off?  Was Jeff Fahey properly used as a guest star?  Once again, Cochise fails to mention something important. The whole ending appears to have been rushed.  We blame less then antiquate writing. News on Sara Carter (Maggie).  What is up with the pins everyone was wearing at the end.  Should the queen have had better protection.  This week we borrow from Aliens, Starship Troopers, and Independence Day. We announce our next podcast to succeed this one.  Stay tuned. Thank you to all the loyal listeners of our podcast over the last five years.

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Falling Skies Podcast S5E9 – Reunion

doriaInterview with Carl the Skitter (Now we know where the effects budget went)

Nazca Lines from Wikipedia (Will this be another plot device, or will we get a real answer?)

Two different reunions this week with different outcomes.  Is Pope really dead.  The odds are NO!!  Who dies in the next episode? Twitter has Tom getting it at the end. We discuss how this season has dragged on a bit too long, leaving us with a lot of story to resolve in 44 minutes.  What is the Doria prime motivation? Can the world be saved with a suppository? We learn that Marty really does have a purpose.

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Falling Skies Podcast S5E8 – Stalag 14th Virginia

FallingSkiesAlien QueenTwo episode left, and we spend the last two on filler.  We did get music back on the podcast. Art calls it that Marshall was an alien. Noah Wyle direct this episode.  His first in a directors chair. Another new alien (see picture). Is this alien and the Rebecca alien the same? Cochise needs to stop holding out on the 2nd Mass. We discuss who will hookup with who.  We also discuss who dies.  POPE RETURNS!!!  Will episode nine be his last?

 

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Falling Skies Podcast S5E7 – Everybody Has Their Reasons

beefaroniWhat?? No  mourning for the loss of Col. Weaver’s pony tail?? Just when you though you could march straight into Washington, an overlord throws a wrench in the works. Did Tom avoid a possession by swatting a bug from his neck in the first episode? It looks like we will not have a Hal/Maggie/Isabella triangle. Why has Weaver not pulled rank and taken over leadership at the base?  Tom should learn about his right to remain silent. At last… History lessons. Who will be the person that will be able to work the communicator? Our bet is Tom. Excellent listener feedback this week.  We discuss why it is possible that you could stay isolated from the war. The job of continuity director must be tough for scenes involving food.  Mmmmmmm…. Beefaroni.

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Falling Skies Podcast S5E6 – Respite

halladiesmanTom gets a taste of paradise this week as he is taken in by a family who have managed to remain isolated from the war.  The practical side of prepping is shown as the family has ?  But at least they have found the enigma code. power, running water, food, and ICE!!   In five seasons of this show, has the second mass not learned to touch Esphini technology. Do we now have a Hal/Maggie/Isabella love triangle?  We discuss the case of the disappearing/reappearing cornbread.  Will the 2nd Mass win the war with a collection of classic cars?  Will How will Weaver handle the fawning by Marty.  We found an interesting article on Moviepilot.com titled “Seven things we will miss about Falling Skies”.  Four episodes left.

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Centennial State Geocaching #56 – Mingo Happy 15th Birthday to Geocaching

The Podcast returns with a weekend trip to Mingo Kansas for a 15th anniversary celebration (GCQRXE) .  Art violated the number one rule of video recording, always have a fully charged camera. As a backup, we are linking to a YouTube presentation of the event.  In a big announcement at the end of May 2015, Geowoodstock was awarded to Denver.  The next episode will feature a video of the announcement.

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Falling Skies Podcast S5E5 – Non-Essential Personnel

popefleshwoundPope gathers a few flesh wounds in this episode.  Once again, Art incorrectly calls the fate of Pope. Were we introduced to the end of the Ben/Hal/Maggie triangle? (We hope so!!!)  Is a muscle car a good tactical weapon? Will it be sacrificed for the greater good?  Is Tom going to be the Mason that dies at the end?  Will Cochise understand American slang before the series end? How is there still bottled water in this universe? Don’t dead bodies smell after a while and shouldn’t Weaver have noticed? The show has lost something not having a weekly history lesson or movie references. We have not talked about ratings, but the average audience is about one-fifth of the series premiere.

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Falling Skies Podcast S5E4 – Pope Breaks Bad

baldpopePope loses it in this episode.  We focus on grief as the main theme and how it effects several characters this week.  Some have closure and other go off the deep end.   Karen and Art disagree if Pope makes it beyond the next episode?  Is Collin Cunningham glad he doesn’t have to wear that wig.  Who is more mentally imbalanced? Pope or Tom.  Why can the new alien occupy the same space as Tom?  Who else will die next week?

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Falling Skies Podcast S5E3 – Hatchlings

sarawithlegsWe say goodbye to three characters in this episode.  Sara was the surprise, but we were promised that there would be major character deaths this season.  The major setups for the balance of the season will be the conflict between Pope and Tom, the trip to Fayetteville, and the trip to Washington, DC.  Will the final scene be an overlord sitting in the Oval Office.  I guess if Tom failed to slap the insect in the first episode, He would be eaten alive?  Again, we see the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few.  Borrowed a bit from the movie “Aliens” and the nursery. If Pope carried appropriate backpack essentials, He would have had a fire starter, just sayin’.

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Falling Skies Podcast S5E2 – Hunger Pains

skitterchickenIn this episode, Art and Karen learn that skitters do not taste like chicken.  Why is it the person who could go the longest without eating always in the front of the food line? Will the new problem for the 2nd Mass be something small.  Matt has a girlfriend, will he have a better outcome? Why is Anne talking about having a baby when the whole compound may not live another day? Pope knows how to cook a gourmet dinner.   Anthony blows up the food pantry, but suffers no punishment.  NO cats were harmed in the making of this episode.  Tonight’s episode was brought to you by Pringles and Hostess Ding Dongs.

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The Falling Skies Podcast S5E1 – Find Your Warrior

findyourwarriorSeason 5 starts with the rehash of same themes from prior seasons.  Have the new showrunners not looked at prior work?  We have been promised a few things this season. 1) Why was there an invasion?  There will be major character deaths.  Is the Hal, Ben,and Maggie triangle run its course? What is now replacing the eye worms from prior seasons.  Do we have a new alien species?  Is Matt becoming a ‘ladies man’? Will all heck break loose when Tom and Anne have a fight? Stay tuned as we review the final episodes of this series.  Will the ending be up to out standards?

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