All posts by kpenn

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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First Vlog

A New Year and a new medium. I have started Vlogging. My first video went up on You Tube this morning. I hope that you will check it out. It speaks of some of my favorite things.

First up is a favorite Christmas mug. This Snowman tea mug was purchased at Macy’s for Christmas 2013. It is a Susan Wingert design by Certified International. I like the mug for its size and the little extras. It has a lid that helps keep my tea warm.  It also has a tea ball for steeping loose tea with an attached snowman.

Tea Time

Inside the cup for most of this season has been Bigelow Tea in the flavor Orange & Spice. I like this tea because it is herbal and has no caffeine. It is a nice morning flavor, sometimes I add a bit of locally sourced honey to it.

I have Celiac Spruce disease which means that I am allergic to Gluten. Finding great baked goods is difficult. Last summer I discovered Cookies and Brownies from the WOW Baking Company. This season has been full of White Chocolate Cranberry as well as Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brownies. They also have Oatmeal Raisin and a Sugar cookie. They are soft cookies that freeze well. I have found them at Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. They are about $7-8 a box. They can be ordered on line at WOWBaking .com.

Hooks by Clover

I love to crochet, but long spans of time crocheting can make my hand ache. I found that Clover has a great set of crochet hooks. These standard sized hooks have a comfortable rubber-like grip on them. The set is available on Amazon. Recently I found that they are available at my local Joann Fabric store in both the standard aluminium sizes and in the steel hook sizes. They run about $8 each there. I figure that I will acquire them a few at a time with my 40% off coupons. The nice thing about them is that they are standardized by color, for instance the brown hook will always be a J size.

This season’s favorite new cookbook is Mark Bittman’s, How To Cook Everything Fast. I picked it up at Costco for about $22. It is a large tome of wonderful recipes and great illustrations. The recipes are augmented by suggested variations. It has been a lot of fun to cook from it.

I love to read but do not always have the time I would like to enjoy it. Over the past decade I have found that Audible Books has been a great addition to my life. I have just finished Dan Brown’s Inferno. It is a 17+ hour book that captured me from the first chapter. It is one of those books that has been on my to read list for too long. I enjoy Dan Brown’s books. If you check out Audible through this link I’ll get a free book to read!

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Preserving the Harvest – English Peas

Peas on the Vine
Peas on the Vine

Along the Front Range of Colorado English Peas are getting ready to come off the vine. Those little bites of sunshine are something I want to savor all year long.

I find that the best way to preserve English Peas is to freeze them. First you get to spend a leisurely few hours shelling the peas. You want to do this fairly promptly after harvesting or purchasing them as extra moisture in the pile of unshelled peas can quickly make the whole batch go bad fast. A bushel of peas in the pods will yield a couple of good sized bows of peas to freeze.

I rinse them a few cupsful at a time to get any extra leave or other things off.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. I also set my tea kettle to boil too as you will likely need to replace some water during the process of par boiling the peas. I have a sieve that hooks on to the top of my pan. A cup or two at a time is about all you want to par boil because you want the peas to have room to move around. After adding the peas wait for the water to come back to a rolling boil and in 90 seconds they are parboiled. Then drop them into a colander submerged in ice water to stop the cooking process. This method helps keep the bright green color.

Add water as needed to keep plenty there for the peas to boil in. The ice water bath will need additional ice cubes as you work.

These beauties will provide a bit of summer all winter when froxen
These beauties will provide a bit of summer all winter when frozen.

I dry them on a tea towel or paper towels to get the excess moisture off. At this point some people like to lay them out on a cookie sheet and flash freeze them before bagging them for the freezer. I find that just bagging them works well for me. I like to get as much air out as possible without squashing the peas. When using them I may need to whack the bag on the counter a few times to loosen the peas before cooking.

Be sure to label your bags with the contents and the date. It is amazing how peas and chopped green pepper can look very similar when you are in a hurry!

 

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View from the Fence Post – Beauty Box 5 Bonus

Bonus Box yields full sized products
Bonus Box yields full sized products

I received my first subscription box from Beauty Box 5. I signed up for a full year and was offered a special box in addition for an additional $35 that promised value of over $100. It is the $35 box that arrived today. I am very pleased.

It included five full sized products four of which are upscale. The first is a Bobby Brown lipstick in a beautiful Red called ‘Old Hollywood’. It is a $25 value.

The second is a drugstore product. It is the Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara in Blackened Brown. It is valued at $7.99.

The third item is Elizabeth Arden’s Color Intrigue Eyeshadow Quad. It is a power shadow quad that includes a brush. The colors are pale lilac, warm yellow, golden brown and charcoal. They are lovely. The retail value is $30.

The Lancome Le Stylo waterproof eyeliner is number four in the box. The color is Café Noir a nice brownish black. It is a fine line felt tip with a blending tip included. This Retails at $27.

The final item is Lancome’s Le Crayon Lip Contour in Cherry. It is a nice match for the Bobby Brown Lipstick in this cache. It retails for $25.

I am very pleased with the selection in this box. If you choose to purchase a subscription to Beauty Box 5 do consider the add-on offer if you have the opportunity. The total retail value of the products in this box is $114.99.

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View from the Fence Post – The Dollar Shave Club – July 2014

Membership is important
Membership is important

We are ordering in. Well sort of, we are getting several subscription boxes in our home now.

The latest addition is the Dollar Shave Club. My Husband subscribed after deciding that the refills for his Gillette razor were getting to pricey. He chose the Executive version at $9 a month including shipping. Included with the first shipment is the handle and 4 six blade cartridges. It has a lubricating strip with Aloe, Vitamin E and Lavender. Art notes that the handle is a bit slippery when wet, something to remember if you shave in the shower.

Also included was a sample of Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter. A large enough sample for several shaves. A full sized 6 oz. tube runs $8 and can be added to your order. He likes it enough that it will likely be a purchase in a future order.

Shave Butter for a better Shave
Shave Butter for a better Shave.

Also included is a collection of trivia called The Bathroom Minutes. I know issue 6 has added to our household.

The Dollar Shave Club bills monthly based on when you signed up. The first shipment came very quickly, in less than a week.

If this sounds like something you want to try tell them over at The Dollar Shave Club that Art sent you.

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From Pinterest with Love Introduction

I feel the need to start doing something about the Pins I have on my Pinterest Pages. Who am I? I’m Karen Pennington part of the Mrs Beasley Omnimedia Family.

This blog is designed to do two things. The first is to get the hundreds of items from my Pinterest Pages collection to reality. The second is to share the inspirations that will lead to newly generated pins from me.

My Pinterest Pages span a variety of subjects. Crochet, Sewing, Quilting, Embroidery, Jewelry Making, Paper Craft, Drawing, Pen Work and Cooking/Food. I have a lot of fun with all of these interests. I tend to get into one subject at a time. So you might see me making a bunch of cards or a whole group of Crochet projects and think well where are the quilts and embroideries? They will come.

Food will be sprinkled throughout since cooking seems to be a daily thing in my life. Not all will be blog-worthy attempts. You will see a lot of Gluten Free happening and healthier stuff. Treats need to be just that a TREAT, and occasional item, not a blog full.

So follow me on Pinterest. Feel free to make suggestions along the way. This should be a lot of fun.

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