I went back to Blair-Caldwell Public Library to another of their Harmony Street Concert Series. This time on April 8th Mary Louise Lee sang accompanied by her keyboard player. Most people know her through her mayor/husband, but her voice is noteable enough for her to stand on her own. Both the current governor and ex-governor Lamm attended. Mary Louise sang standards and I found the slower tunes accentuated her vocals more. She was going to do a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald for Ella’s birthday in late April, but I wasn’t able to make that.
I found a fun book at the library that, if you crochet or knit, you just might enjoy. It is called The Yarn Whisperer, My Unexpected Life in Knitting by Clara Parkes. In it she talks about knitting and uses the craft to explain life’s happenings. I found myself relating to quite a bit of it, even though I am a crocheter. It is an easy read and something yarn lovers will enjoy.
I went to a spring craft show in Mid-April. There I bought a couple of luggage identifiers–a great way to help distinguish your luggage amongst others. Not only are these handle holders colorful, but they pad the handle for an easier grip. There are a lot of travelers, who use red ribbons, but I like how secure and unique these baggage markers were during our mini-vacation to Las Vegas. I also bought a little travel holder for teabags and a pair of earrings designed by Kelly Anne Munro. They were like the old-fashioned cloth-covered buttons and very pretty.
Hairpin Lace Project & Marty Miller Shrug: A visit to Thompson’s Hobbies & Crafts, where I picked up a hairpin lace loom, inspired me to try my hand at a vest. I had seen a loom at a MeetUp group a couple of years ago and thought it was worth $5 to give it a try. Here is the result. The loom is easy to figure out; it’s the loops, once they are removed from the loom, that can create a bit of a mess. It may explain why there aren’t a great many videos and patterns available in hairpin lace. I think the key is to have narrow strips and more stitches in the middle of each, so that the loops are easier to control. I single crocheted the end of each loop together in the white yarn and then slip stitched the sections together in black. I used #4 cotton yarn. The tails or ends that one usually hides, looked decorative, so I decided to trim them evenly and keep them as a light tassel. It was a good first effort, but I’m not 100% satisfied.
My other project turned out nicely. It is a shrug pattern that uses the simple afghan square. You make one for the back and two more for the arms. You then do a front and back post around the outside of the garment as a ribbing to tie it all together. Don’t forget to do the same kind of ribbing on the end of each sleeve, which I did afterward to add more length to the sleeve. I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely it turned out. I’m in the process of doing a variation on the idea, by making a vest in spring-colored variegated cotton. No sleeves this time. I intend to make 4 smaller squares for the front vest panels and see how it works out. The pattern came from a design by Marty Miller, which you can find on Ravelry under Shrug it on! Make sure you mark the right side at the beginning. It will help when putting on the sleeves, so that the seams are hidden. I had to try it on to figure out how the sleeves connected.
Devil’s Head via Highlands Ranch
Last weekend was packed with creative ideas and a little suburban exploration at the sewing festival and trails near Highlands Ranch. Saturday there were two shows in town that I wanted to see. A couple of friends from my crochet group accompanied me to the Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival at the Denver Mart. I managed to buy a few trinkets, mostly decorative attachments for hats (see “Strash” blog). Styria Bakery was there, so I picked up a couple of loaves for my husband. We also saw the folks from Craft Scraps, where Leah bought some fabric. It was after one, and we were famished and a bit tired. So, we headed back toward Suzanne’s home to eat at True Food in Cherry Creek. Suzanne is a tough sell when it comes to restaurants. She spots the prep and servers doing things, like wiping a nose on the back of a latex-enclosed hand, and we all cringe. The meal was yummy. My only complaint was tepid water served after the initial cup of tea was steeped in very hot water. Lukewarm tea is about as tasty as lukewarm coffee and it won’t steep unless the water is boiling hot. We all decided we had enough yarn and had spent enough money not to regret too much about missing the Interweave Yarn Fest up in Loveland. (Nothing to report, Jane.)
The suburban exploration on Sunday was necessary because of the recent wet weather. Many of the trails in the foothills were too wet or still snow covered. So we went south to Highlands Ranch to check out the trails along the Douglas County East-West Trail aka the Highlands Point Trail System. Even there the trails were muddy, and we had to back track to higher ground. When you are in the city you don’t get the same perspective as you can from higher points to the east. Along the well-marked trails you could see Devil’s Head, Mt. Evans, Long’s Peak, downtown Denver and DTC. The distance to Long’s Peak from where we stood was 61 miles. Yucca plants and prickly pear cactus were abundant and a trigger to how unpleasantly hot the trails are in the heat of summer. For my husband the trails appeared like a fun grouping to be explored on his mountain bike at some later time in the season. In spite of the mud we still got in about 3.5 to 4 miles of walking.