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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We Need a Little Christmas

After being in Denver for over six months, I am starting to feel settled into our little apartment. It's technically a duplex and we have wonderful neighbors. The house was built mid-1940s and has been very well kept. Here are some photos of our place with a bit of holiday cheer added in:

Living Room:
Reproduction boomerang table
The Tiki Bar has been decked for the holidays!
The palm tree makes me so happy.

A fabulous buffet that we picked up at one of the many midcentury modern furniture stores here.

Note the adorable poodle figurine! The nutcracker and bowl set are a recent purchase from a vintage store in Denver.

Corner nook filled with goodies

Another shot of the boomerang table and trusty leopard print futon. Apparently, this thing will be in my possession for all times.

The pups enjoying the living room.
Close-up of the curtains in this room... a fun atomic print.
Christmas Tree!!

Dining Room:
Another fabulous find from the same furniture store as the buffet. This is actually a three-section piece, all are stacked together here.

Close up of the top - all items are wedding related. That gorgeous juicer was a wedding gift (thanks Stacey!), the hat box was part of the centerpiece at my table during the wedding, and the cow creamer was a shower gift.

Collection of some of my favorite dishes: vintage Jadeite, pink crystal candy dish from my grandmother, and vintage atomic  dessert set.

Formica table circa 1950s, and repro diner chairs.

Ticket to Ride: European addition has been our game of choice - give it a try! Note the holiday colors :)
C.B. has fallen asleep despite all of the game excitement.
Signed original sheet music from my fabulous in-laws.
This is such a fun little detail - it's a nook for the phone! Since we don't have an actual phone, I put out my beautiful pink and gold boomerang candy dish and some peppermint salt and pepper shakers.

A bit of holiday fun.
I love the brightness of this room, the photo doesn't do it justice but it's very cheery.
Gas stove and a curious C. B.
I just love the original black and white tiling in this room! The tropical curtain and pink and green towels from our last place seem to fit in just fine.
A shot of the sink and pretty detailing on the mirror of the medicine cabinet.
Spare Room: This is generally left pretty barren as we like to use it for a guest bedroom. Here are a few of my favorite details:
I keep most of my crafty things in here. I really love the glass circle cutout in this dresser.
Close up: some vintage knitting/crochet magazines along with a box full of paints and other knick knacks.

Close-up of the curtains in this room. Orange atomic starbursts on a purple/greyish background. I used a bit of leftover fabric from these to make mini-curtains for our dining room.

A very old dresser - I believe it was my grandmothers! A vintage singer, a hatbox used at our wedding as the card box, and a Disneyland souvenir book from the early 60s.

Friday, November 1, 2013


I hope everyone had a fun Halloween! At work, we celebrated the recent Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits issue by dressing up as the gang:

It was a really fun time and we won the "Best Group" costume award! Did you notice the flustered Mary in her nightgown, complete with Mr. Pamuk in a sheet?! Genius. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Greetings from Denver!  We had a Fall-tastic time last weekend, some photos:
To celebrate the season, I picked up bottle of Apothic Dark, a red blend.  Like it's famous cousin, Apothic Red, the dark variety is on the sweet side but I love it despite my normal distaste for sweet wines.  The Hubby and I sipped this and snacked on fresh popcorn while we watched Rosemary's Baby.

The next day we drove out to a pumpkin patch in search of both pie pumpkins and good carving pumpkins.
The poodles just love pumpkins by the way!  Always trying to eat them!

Pumpkin Patch Poodles

Later that evening I made my first pumpkin pie of the season - complete with cats and bats!

And, of course, we did some carving while finishing off the red wine.  Hubby's pumpkin.

My pumpkin :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

What's been casting on?

I've been having a blast blogging about my crochet adventures over on CrochetMe, but I've also been knitting up a storm and wanted to share some of my other projects.

First of all, I finished up the Palm Island Cockle Shawl!  You might remember me prepping for the shawl and gushing about lace here. I then started the project on a trip to Florida, and continued to knit away during our road trip to Colorado.  After finally completing the piece, I can safely say that it is my favorite project that I have ever done... both in process and in the finished look.
After a bath in wool wash, I used lace blocking wires to pin into place.
I have worked lace patterns before but the shawl was definitely the most challenging.  Some tips I learned along the way:
  • Don't be stingy with stitch markers! I marked every single lace repeat... those rows get looonnggg and I would much rather keep track of 12 stitches versus 500.
  • It's worth your time to back track in order to fix mistakes.  The point of lace is to create an intricate and aesthetic piece.  If you fudge your way through a few rows, it will show.
  • It's NOT worth your time to take out 1000's of stitches to fix a mistake!  Learn to perform "surgery" on your projects, taking out only a small section, row by row, until you reach the mistake.  You will end up with several "loops" of yarn and you can knit back as normal, you are just working with a loop instead of an end of the yarn.  Keep track by working from the bottom loop up.
  • Although I keep saying it, I still have never used a life-line when lace knitting.  Life lines are like insurance against the inevitable mistake.  The line is weaved in, usually during a resting row and you can easily rip back to that spot if needed.  In my opinion, "surgery" fixes are easier and quicker.
  • Beads are pretty but time consuming!  Also, I made the rookie mistake of getting cheap beads that were too small.  For future beading projects, I will use the hook method instead of stringing as I feel that it damaged my yarn and was also a huge annoyance. As a side note, I had the "brilliant" idea of hammering an extra bead out of the shawl... in my mind, the bead would break in two and that would be that.  Well... the bead did break but so did my yarn!! Ughh.
I made size medium and it turned out delightfully gigantic!!  With each size increase, there is another row of beautiful shells added so the size large is very dramatic. Using roughly 2.25 skeins of lace weight yarn, this project provided hours and HOURS of entertainment for under $20. The light weight yarn also made it ideal for traveling (though I had to lug around the chart).

In other knitting news, I've been mostly working on holiday presents but I did just start a sweater that will hopefully be done before the Winter weather hits.  The Henrietta Maria Cardigan is just adorable! I love the tight and short fit, perfect to pair with high waisted pants or skirts.  The embroidery is optional and you don't have to decide until the end.  I'm using Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light which is nice but seems to shed a lot.  I have already finished the back and right front panel, the King Charles brocade pattern keeps the knitting interesting while not too complicated so you can chat away or catch up on your Netflix queue.

The Henrietta Maria Cardigan by Elizabeth Wolden.  Pattern can be found on Ravelry.

Next on my sweater list are these beauties, both by Susan Crawford:
The Perfect Christmas Jumper from Vintage Gifts to Knit.  I already have the fabulous book and this particular project has been on my list for years now!  I really want to get started on it.
Trimmed with Roses Jumper from A Stitch in Time Volume 2.  Volume 1 is already on my bookshelf and it is just so gorgeous and well done.  Now I just need to get my hands on the latest addition!  Did I mention this jumper is part of a twin set and has the sweetest matching cardigan??

More knitting updates! I was pleased to see that my sample mittens are now up on KnitPicks!
The Woodland Winter Mitts are available in several different colorways.  You can buy kits or just the pattern.  For those of you who know me, you might recall a 6-week period in time where I was constantly knitting away... these mitts are what I was up to!  They turned out lovely but it was hard to ship them away... like giving away my babies.  Something to note about these amazing patterns is that each scene is different but each pair matches up to make a scene from right to left, left to right, and the back designs too!  Another neat thing is that the 6 pairs show the progression of Winter, starting with falling leaves and ending with the beginning of Spring shown by budding plants (not shown in order in photo above).

My best advice on these is to use the magic loop method.  DPN's always left a jog in the middle of the beautiful scene. Also, using a chart keeper to hold my place was essential. They may look intimidating but you are only working with 2 colors at a time. There is a transitional row between colors which means you will have 3 active colors, but that's not so bad! I have also seen many versions of these mittens done in only two colors and it looks great.  Check out Ravelry for some ideas.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1950's Voodoo Tiki Ball

This past weekend was the 2nd Annual Voodoo Island 1950's Tiki Ball, held in Boulder:

All packed and ready to go... yay tropical prints!

The poodles came along too, here we are in the car.  Pierre looks pretty pathetic with his little nose sticking out but don't be fooled, he is quite spoiled.  One thing that I love about the Denver/Boulder area is the abundance of dog-friendly hotels.

We stayed at the Millenium, the hotel where the event took place.  Our room had a large balcony with table and chairs which was wonderful.  Here is our view of the Flat Irons.
If you looked down, you could see the courtyard and gardens where people were entering the party.  It was really fun to just sit and people watch for a while.  The event started at 4 but people were already streaming in by 3! We also had a view of the Vintage Salon where gals could get their hair and makeup done for the evening.
We strolled down and, of course, I hit up the vendors right away.  Here is a photo of Sarah, a lovely gal and co-owner of The Castaway Trading Co. Brent picked up one of their grenade flasks.

I was also excited to chat with several members of the Denver chapter of the Fraternal Order of Moai.I was fortunate enough to attend some events by the Cincinnati/Dayton chapter and those fellas are always so incredibly welcoming, nice, friendly, and fun!  They had a really wonderful raffle at the end of the night, the winners received all sorts of rums and tiki goodness.  Sadly, I didn't have a winning ticket but the proceeds went to a good cause (animal shelter!!).

There were a number of scheduled events throughout the day.  Around 5:30, Brent and I went to a talk about the history of the Tiki Drink.  Fun and informative: yes, free drink samples: YES!

Later we strolled down to the pool - so sunny, almost like the real tropics!!

Vintage cars were on display throughout the evening.  Brent is especially fond of these old Woodies.

Brent's favorite quote of the evening (about the woodies) "We need one of these when we move to Hawaii"... I like the way he is thinking:)

ELVIS SIGHTING!! By the pool.

As the evening approached, there was a pig roast, hula dancers, fire dancers, lots of live bands, contests, and, of course, tropical drinks.

Grainy photo of the dancers

Even worse photo...
The party went on very late into the evening but I called it quits around midnight.  What fun!  I got up early and enjoyed coffee and some crochet on the balcony.  The photos below were actually taken for my CrochetMe blog, you can learn more about the shawl here.

The hotel had a little restaurant where we both indulged in delicious breakfast then made our way out to the pool:
Poolside crocheting
Brent enjoying the morning

Yay pool!  It was so incredibly relaxing! I'm wearing my favorite Esther Williams bathing suit, it makes me feel just like the Million Dollar Mermaid. I had been itching to swim for ages!

Now that I'm home, I can still be reminded of our fun mini-vacation with a few of the items that I brought home (two of these were actually picked up at the Modernism show last weekend).

The Barbara Willis pink candy dish is probably my favorite find, it's just so fun with the gold trim and the little feet at the bottom.  Very atomic with the boomerang shape.  I picked it up from Vintage Treasures.


Next up is this amazing Pirate Grenade Flask from Castaway Trading Co.  This was Brent's purchase of the evening!  Check out their shop for lots more pirate themed goodies!

Modernism Find: I just fell in love with this Bobbie Brooks peach sweater at the Modernism expo.  It's in perfect condition and will be great this fall paired with cigarette pants and flats!

My other Modernism find was this absolutely STUNNING Nomotta knitting and crochet pattern booklet.  Every single one of the designs are just fabulous and I want to make them all!  I would love to do a separate post on this to share these looks, but for now feast your eyes on the cover and one of my favorite sweaters.

It's been a dream of a Labor Day weekend!  I feel so refreshed and ready to get back to work - I'm hoping everyone else is feeling the same.