Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumnal Ghost Town

Vicksburg is a mining ghost town located northwest of Buena Vista in the shadow of the Holy Cross Mountain. In the fall the colors are spectacular. It is worth the eight miles of rough road to walk through the old main street that still serves as a community throughway in the summer when some of the descendants stay there and offer insight to the history to summer visitors. Come with me on a pictorial stroll:

Further up the road is the other ghost town, Winfield. Both places have museums that are open during the summer. It is a fun side trip if you are in the area. I hope everyone is finding fun places to visit while the colors are in season~!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Morning Muddle

What a wild weekend. I started with Farmer's Market in Woodland Park to pick up produce for the folks since they are entertaining some of the East Coast Tribe this weekend. This was the last weekend for this hidden treasure of a market. Next year I plan to do more shopping there because they have the best produce and the funnest vendors.
Then it was on to other things:
1. Taught class for the rest of the morning. We are making progress on the Infinity Scarf which I will be blogging about in the future.

2. Then it was on to the folded fiber project that I am learning, hope to make some of these for gift items that mom wants to give this year.

3. Played chauffeur for the visiting family and folks for an autumnal, leaf-peeping trek over to the Independence Pass, Vicksburg and Buena Vista. The colors were exceptional and the fresh coat of snow on the peaks made the pictures even more special. I will be posting more pictures in a post about Vicksburg, which is a really neat ghost town.

4. Spent Sunday finishing my decluttering project with the seasonal clothing change out, got four bags of Goodwill donation and more room in my storage closet for what is really important: YARN.

All in all, it was a great time to spend with family and to be productive. I hope everyone can say the same~!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Socks: Some That I Did Not Have To Knit

I have discovered Solmates by the Vermont Sock Lady. And I am in LOVE.

One of my students came in for class wearing these fabulous socks that not only are super colorful but are purposely mismatched. I fell in love instantly and had to have some. Fortunately they can be ordered online, however I really like to see something in person first before I go to those lengths.

I found a shop in Woodland Park that are selling them and I now am sporting two pairs and mom has a pair also. These are really warm and comfy.

The best part is I did not have too knit them and they cost less than some of the skeins of sock yarn I already own. Fast and fabulous.

I still love knitting socks, no fear, I have many more skeins to knit up and plan to start my own sock club from my stash. I read about this idea at the Yarn Harlot's blog. She pre-packages the pattern and yarn from her stash, one bag for each month, puts them away and each month goes in and pulls one out to knit. What a great idea and I plan to do that for my year of socks, beginning 2011.

I hope everyone is finding fun ways to celebrate Fall~!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Infinity Scarf

These seem to be the newest favorite thing in the cold weather fashion world.

I am currently working on one that is knit flat with a seed stitch pattern, finished dimensions to be 14-15 inches wide by 60 inches long, seam it together and wear it doubled or not around your neck. It can also be used as a head covering if necessary.

There are several versions at, just type in Infinity Scarf to find them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Folded Fabric: A New Obsession

I have discovered a new craft that is similar to quilting without the sewing machine or the need for a much larger space to work. I am calling it Folded Fabric and a lovely lady, Ruth from Iowa, was demonstrating it at the Above the Clouds Quilters annual show in Woodland Park a week ago. I got to practice the techique which really helps me retain what I learn.

It requires the basic supplies that you use in sewing: scissors, pins, and iron and some cardboard and paper to make the circular pattern. I used a pot lid for the one size I am using now.

These can be done with an insulated fiberfill to make them heat resistant for hotpads, or they can be done plain for a dresser top. You can add buttons to the centers, or sequins and beads, or iron on a piece of contrasting fabric. They can be hand sewn together in either a circle or oval.

There are so many possibilities with this technique. I am playing with one for a Thanksgiving gift and will be exploring other ideas in the coming months.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Arrives With Termination Dust

This is what some of the high country looked like this past weekend.

Today marked the first day of Fall and brought some murky gray and soaking drizzle by afternoon.

When it cleared there was a visible dusting of snow aka Termination Dust on Pikes Peak. (sorry, it was too dark to take the picture)

I hope this means cooler weather is on the way to stay for a while. I have knitwear that I want to start sporting.

I hope everyone is enjoying the autumnal changes~!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday Morning Muddle

Wow, this is the last official day of Summer, and it feels like it. Yesterday we broke the record for heat for this time of year. I am looking forward to fall temps and I hope they happen SOON. It has been too hot to be this busy.

1. I had family visiting on Friday, so spent the afternoon at the folks' house doing BBQ and visiting. I also got my first Spooky sock finished. I will show pics of him in my melodrama blog with fall colors.

2. Finished a pair of felted clogs on Saturday with a student. We were both pleased with the outcome of our projects.

3. I stopped by the Quilter's in Clouds annual show at the library. I watched a folded fabric demonstration that really got me excited. So I bought some fabric to get me started. More about this in another post this week.

4. Visited the Wolf Preserve outside of Divide late afternoon on Saturday. Pictures and blog about this great place later in the week.

5. Spent Sunday doing all the necessary housework to get ready for another busy week, shopped for necessities, built some product for my Etsy shop and knit a few rows during my short breaks.

All and all, this was a fun weekend. I hope everyone had one of the same~!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spooky Sock Update or Spooky Sock's Fall Photo Shoot

The second Halloween sock, currently named Spooky, had the opportunity to pose for photos during his recent trip to my folks place. The fall leaves were swirling around and certainly a lovely golden color, providing a wonderful backdrop.

This sock pattern has been a very fun knit. I like the way that the hourglass rib and the modified eye of partridge all went together. The yarn pooled in interesting ways that made the choice even more interesting. I am planning to wear them the first weekend of October, guess I better get knitting. Happy Day~!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wolf Preserve

I had the opportunity to visit the area's wolf preserve this weekend. It is fabulous.

The fox habitat is a wonderful thing with their very own skywalk to the fountain area. We arrived just in time for their feeding. It was fun to see what each one did with their portion.

There are timberwolves, artic wolves, the Mexican wolves from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, plains coyotes, the foxes, a resident cat and dog and a ferret named Charlie on the property.

It was a very fun place to visit.

Friday, September 17, 2010

WIPs Update: Felting is Fun

The first pair of giftable clogs are complete as far as the knitting is concerned. I will get the rest done and then do the felting all at once.

These get more fun to knit every pair that I do.

Next project for me is to make up the cheat sheets for the children sizes. That pattern is available from Fiber Trends as well.

My student wants to make some for her grandbaby so I will be working on that this next week to get those off to her.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spooky Socks: Progress Report

I am zipping along, albeit slower than the other socks I have previously done. on my spooky Witches Brew socks.

Methinks the speed on these is related to the pattern I chose to use.

I created a pattern from several sources; I started with a top down construction over 60 stitiches. The leg is done with the Hourglass Rib done over 4 stitches and 4 repeats - one row is harder than the others because you knit in the back of two stitches then in the front of same two to get the twist effect, not so easy with size 1 (2.25 mm) and skinny string. The heel is the garter stitch edge, modified eye of partridge which I love the look of, the heel turn is basic, and the foot will be done with the rib pattern on the instep and stockinette done on the bottom, then a regular toe.

I am using the Witches Brew colorway from CraftsMeow that I got at Sock Summit. I like the way the color is pooling, it gives it a spooky effect.

The goal for these socks is to be able to wear them during the month of October this year. As of this morning I was starting the gusset decreases on the first sock.

I hope everyone is gearing up for their fall in fun ways~!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WIPs Update: Beads Add Glitter

I have beaded for the second half of the scalloped edge scarf, shown on the left. This is a relatively fast knit once you get the beads on the yarn and get through the cast on.

I like this knit because I can watch TV  and still stay on track. Moving all those beads down the yarn as you go is what slows you down.

The other scarf shown on the right is the Sea Lettuce Scarf. This is the sample that is at the shop currently, You can see that I beaded a section of this sample to show what it would look like if you wanted beads. I just beaded the yarn to knit one of these for me. It is out of the same colorway and has green iridescent beads that will be used throughout. I think it will be really fun when it is done.

This pattern is not as TV-watching friendly but it goes fast because you are only knitting over a total of 20 stitches.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Morning Muddle

The weekend went flying by and what do I have to show for it?

1. I completed the tops and extra soles for one pair of felted clogs. No pics here yet because they are for a gift.

2. I beaded the yarn for the Sea Lettuce Scarf that I have been using for a class sample and now plan to finish for me. As I was demonstrating the first four wedges of it on Saturday I realized that this is a really fun knit and I want to actually finish this one. I had the perfect bead colors and enought to do the scarf so I figure now is the time.

3. I watched The Brothers O'Toole with my folks after doing some chores on Friday. This was filmed entirely in Buckskin Joe and it was fun to see what it looked like back in 1973 when this was filmed.

4. I saw a very interesting demonstration of folding fabric to make a table runner. The lady will be demonstrating it further this coming Saturday at the Quilt Show in Woodland Park so I think I will stop by and see if it is something I can do for some gift items.

5. And I ordered new makings for my double point holders that I sell at my Etsy shop. These are going to be so fun. Watch for them around the first of October.

All in all it was a fun and productive weekend. I hope everyone had the same~!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stop the Train! We Need a Giggle

And so I give you the newest video by Simon's Cat, entitled "Cat in Box" I swear there is a nanny cam in my house. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

R. I. P.: Tribute to Buckskin Joe's

For over 50 years there has been a real-live, facsimile of an Old West frontier town in my backyard. Now, you have to understand that since I started living full time in Colorado back in the early 90s I have considered the whole state, 104,100 square miles of it, my backyard. For the majority of that time I have lived less than 50 miles from Buckskin Joe's and the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway, but until last weekend had not been there.

Now, I know what I was missing. What a great place to take family and friends for a day of exploring, learning and being entertained by the hard-working seasonal staff that do everything from act in the hourly gunfights, to serve drinks during a magic show, to drive the horse trolley with a team of Belgians, to pose for pictures and sign the autographs for the excited youngsters.

That is why this past week's announcement that the town and adjoining train ride has been sold and will be dismantled and moved came as a shock to most and brought sadness to all that this ends a wonderful, fun-for-the-whole-family destination.

The buyer is being kept deep hush-hush and the accessiblilty to the reassembled town at its new location is unknown at this time. I spent a precious few hours there taking lots of photos, talking to the staff and poking my nose into all the buildings.

The history of the town is that its buildings were all moved in from around the state. The only one to come in from the town of Buckskin Joe, 2 miles west of Alma, is the H.A.W. Tabor Merchantile building. The rest came in from other mining camps in Colorado, gathered and reconstructed on this site by producer Malcolm F. Brown of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer.

The town was built as a movie set, and for a time this area was known as Filming Capitol of Colorado. Some of the great films that were done here are: Conagher, Lightning Jack, the TV version of The Sacketts, True Grit, White Buffalo, The Cowboys, and Cat Ballou, just to name a few.

While I was there I heard that someone may be writing a book on the arrival and departure of this attraction that has stood on 805 acres adjacent to the Royal Gorge. It surprised me that this has not already been done. I am hoping that someone will document what it takes to disassemble and reconstruct the 30 some buildings that stand in this town. A fond farewell to this well-loved tourist attraction and best wishes to it wherever it may go.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Monday Muddle and Labor Day

Besides my impulsive visit to Buckskin Joe's and Soxx' photo shoot, it was a quiet weekend.

1. I taught class on Friday morning and then went to the folks to move a wood pile to a new location (before the snow flies) and helped them get all the software loaded and tested so Dad can add library books to his Nook.

2. Watched to balloons on the mornings that they could launch. I know they did not get to go up this morning because the wind was gusting.

3. I finished sorting and cleaning my knitting bookcase and desk area. Finally my house looks better. Now all I have left is my seasonal clothing changeover that will include a purging and donation bags for Goodwill. Then my closets will be neater.

4. I worked on finishing Soxx' mate, should be done tomorrow with that one. And I am designing and prepping the yarn for a pair of Halloween socks. I will be using the yarn I got from CraftsMeow at Sock Summit - her limited edition of Witch's Brew. (pictured here)

5. The folks came down today and we watched a movie and went for early dinner to Rudy's BBQ place. It was yummy and a fun place to watch all the folks heading home from their long weekend in the mountains.

All and all, it was a great holiday weekend. I hope everyone had a great time~!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Soxx' Old West Adventure

I heard on the 6 am news this morning that Buckskin Joe's has been sold and will be dismantled and moved after September 12th. Egads, I have said for 20 years that I need to stop by there someday and see what it is. Well, today was the day.

I grabbed my touring gear and drove the 47 miles to the Royal Gorge area for a look. I have heard about all the movies that have been filmed here over the years however I did not realize how really cool this place is.

As part of my touring gear, Soxx begged to come and be "filmed" in an old west setting. So, I give you the best still shots starring Soxx:

We were the first ones in the gate so got to see the town before it got full of folks.

Soxx realized that Lee Marvin would never have worn these kind of socks with his longjohns but Soxx was happy to see where he was filmed in Cat Ballou.

Soxx is sure these forms of transportation were very bumpy in the day.

We agreed this is the only way dentistry should be.

A consideration to all that recycle. This one may be pushing the limit.

And Soxx got to ride on the train. Had to hold on tight because he did not want to be a cactus decoration.

Note: Soxx did get lost at the old saloon on the west end of town for about 30 minutes until I felt my vest pocket and realized that he was missing. I retraced my steps and found him laying on the floor waiting to be served. Had to explain that this saloon was "museum" quality only and had no beer on tap.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sock Yarn Inventory

Sorry, no pics for this operation, however I inventoried my sock yarn tub and found, to my surprise, that I have enough yarn for 60 pairs of socks.

I think that I need to get to knitting on what I have.

Guess this means that until I have half of it knit I should not buy any more. Let's see how long that lasts.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WIP Update: Beaded Scarf

I have finished the first half of the scallop-edge beaded scarf and parked that one a needle for joining when the other side is finished. Next step: string all the beads needed onto the other half of the yarn and begin knitting.

Since the beads are loose they take longer to string on the yarn, usually I can have it done in one movie watching. So this evening I strung beads and tomorrow evening I will begin knitting the second half.