Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hats Off!

Bransen and Bryce looking warm and sharp!

     Last week must have been Hat Week at The Quilted Purl.  It was cold and windy in Georgetown for most of the week - perfect weather for knitting and selling hats.  The two handsome young boys above certainly look happy with the hat selections they made while visiting the shop with their mother and their grandmother, my good friend, Pati Palumbo.  Though Pati is brushing up her knitting skills and doing a great job of it, the boys wanted her to "knit quick," so buying seemed the best option!

     Over the course of about ten days, I knitted the hats shown below.  First I started with a pretty teal wool, but by using a set of needles 3 sizes too large ended up with a "Fat Albert" hat.  Even felting wasn't enough to bring it down to a normal size, though it does make a very nice bowl for some skeins of wool.  Then I moved on to the green petal tam (using the right size needles is apparently important), and with an eye to St. Patrick's Day around the corner, I made another green hat, a ruched beret out of Lonesome Stone's Woolie Wonder.  A couple more hats brought me to Friday and a trip down the hill to Denver to have coffee with two friends from graduate school and our professor of 19th Intellectual History.  It was to be a celebration coffee, as the last of us had recently completed a master's degree in history.  Our professor surprised the three of us with the ball cap shown, having them specially made for "The Republic of Letters."  This was definitely the best hat of the week, and one I will treasure always!  Wondering what The Republic of Letters is?  Click here!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stitched with Love

     My mother, brother Austin, great-grandmother, and grandmother with me in her arms (Beverly, Massachusetts 1949)

      This is my mother's birthday and were she still alive, it would be her 90th.  After 17 years without her, she is still in my heart and mind every day.  My brothers and I were blessed to have been raised by such a fine woman and the wonderful man she married, our father.
      At about ten years old, my best friend's mother taught us to knit and then I taught my mother.  She quickly out-distanced me in skill and talent.  When I was a freshman in high school, Mom knitted me a sweater with three white snowflakes on a heather blue background.  It was her first attempt at something like this, and not until she began the second snowflake did she realize that a row of knitting in the first flake was off by one stitch.  I remember sitting with her and discussing whether or not she should unravel it back to the mistake.  We decided against it with the rationalization that there probably would be a natural fold there anyway when I wore it.  I've often thought that had Mom unravelled the knitting, that conversation would be long forgotten.  But, I have the sweater and the precious memory and they will both keep me warm today.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Snowy Day in Georgetown

What a beautiful treat today - a whole day of softly falling snow.  I'm not the shoveler, so that may color my opinion just a tad, but the day was perfect.  The local kids had a snow day and I remember those both as a student and as a teacher as nothing less than a gift.  However, my young student Nancy made it into the shop to complete a scarf that is just right for a snowy day.  Last week Nancy learned to cast on and to knit, while this week she learned to bind off, purl, and read a simple pattern.  We have plans for a gaiter next.  Spring does not come very early in the Rockies!  Time to head home and make a nice pot of soup.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Places to Go and Things to Do

Last week almost everyone who came into The Quilted Purl had an event or place to tell me about, so  I thought I would pass along a few.

Interested in some music, theater, and quilts?  Check out "Quilters," a play with music centered around a pioneer woman, Sarah, and her six daughters and set in the American west.  "Quilters" was nominated for six Tony awards in 1985 when it played on Broadway.  The current production is presented by the Evergreen Chorale at The Mike Weiker Theater Center/Stage, in Evergreen, February 17-March 4 on the weekends.  For more information, check out the Evergreen Chorale website.  I heard this group perform in Georgetown at a community presentation at the Presbyterian church and they were excellent.

Heading west in Colorado?  Two women stopped by the shop earlier in the week after visiting Mountain Valley Weavers in Glenwood Springs.  They were both very impressed with what they found there and after showing me their purchases, so was I.  This organization provides an outlet for developmentally challenged adults to develop and explore their skills and artistic talents through weaving and the results are quite impressive.  It's a place I plan to visit soon and I hope you will, too.

From the Mountain Valley Weavers

The 2012 Colorado Garden & Home Show is now in progress and if you go, be sure to stop by booth # 1809 and say hello to Jeannette Peterson, owner of the Saint James Tea Room and Mercantile.  Jeannette will be exhibiting her miniature gardens at the show and I hear you can also sample her various teas.  The tea room is right next door to The Quilted Purl and we must complement each other as we certainly share many clientele.  My suggestion is the Bridger Mountain Tea.  How can you not love a tea that includes chocolate, caramel, and pecans? Delicious!

Finally, looking for something to do for Mardi Gras?  Historic Georgetown Inc. is sponsoring Mardi Gras in the Mountains on February 21st, 6:00pm, at the Hamill House here in Georgetown.  Be sure to check out the other interesting events HGI is planning for 2012 in addition to this New Orleans inspired night of fun, food, and jazz.  See you there!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Classes at The Quilted Purl

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Here is the class schedule for February and March:

Beginning Quilting - Table Topper
    This winter I will again offer a class in beginning quilting using pre-cuts.  You will learn piecing, quilt construction (including a short-cut or two), machine quilting, and binding. Class size ~ 2 .
Cost - $50.00 includes  4 hours of class time, Charm pack of your choice, pattern.
Dates - February 2 and 9 from 10:00-12:00 
Knots with Sticks
    Learn to knit - learn how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off.  You will begin work on a scarf as your first project.  
Cost - $15.00 plus supplies, or bring your own yarn and needles. 
Dates - Just come in when you have an hour to spare!
Knitted Hat       
    Do you already know how to knit, but every relative now has a scarf and you are ready to move on to the next step?  Learn how to make a hat, using either circular or straight needles.  
Cost - $15.00 plus supplies (or bring your own).
Dates -February 3, 10, 24 (choose one date) 11:00 - 12:30
Vintage Print Quilt Wallhanging
    Make a wallhanging that incorporates vintage prints as part of the piecing.  Come by the shop to see the prints to choose from, or go online at  to make a selection.  Let me know your choice so I can order the prints.
Cost - $20.00 for the class, plus materials.
Date - February 15th 10:30-12:30
Knitting Cables
    Learn how to knit cables to add interest and design to your hats and scarves. This class is for knitters who already have a working knowledge of the two basic stitches and know how to cast on and bind off.
Cost - $15.00 plus supplies or bring your own.
Date - March 7, 10:30 - 12:00  or March 7, 1:30 - 3:00
Knitting Lace
    Knitting lace is simply a matter of counting, increasing, and decreasing, but looks like so much more!  Learn to knit lace and create a neck-warmer in the process.
Cost - $15.00 plus supplies or bring your own.
Date - February 8 10:30 -12:00 or March 9 1:30 - 3:00
Sampler Quilt Squares
    Learn one, or a variety of traditional quilt blocks, one at a time.  These classes will be held on the Saturdays listed below from 11:00 - 12:30
Cost - $15.00 plus supplies or bring your own.
Dates - Feb.4 (Rail Fence), Feb. 11 (Log Cabin), Feb. 25. (Variable Star), Mar.10 (Swamp Angel), Mar.24 (Bear’s Paw)

Come by The Quilted Purl to see the class samples and to register.


Last week was fairly quiet at The Quilted Purl, but the people who visited delighted me.  A lovely woman from the Denver area made yet another return visit and as always, it was a pleasure to visit with Barb.  Though I knew she was a retired nurse, it was only on this visit that I learned she had studied in my neck of the woods - Massachusetts.  It truly is a small world.

Two of my former colleagues also stopped by, one for a lesson and one just to say hello. What a joy to teach Marilyn the first steps in knitting and to reintroduce her friend Mary to the fun of the craft.  Once again, we all shared stories of the women in our past who created wonders from fiber.  The other colleague, Clint, is a math specialist at the school where I taught and his welcome visit with his family brought to mind two young people who had visited the day before.

Holly Priestly, aka Silly Little Lady, in one of her creations.

Last Saturday was cold and windy and the wind blew into The Quilted Purl, Holly Priestly and Trevor Marrs, two extremely talented young people.  The night before I had been knitting a lace neckwarmer and wondering to myself what kind of mind comes up with these patterns?  I decided it had to be someone with a firm grasp of math (hats off to you and your kind, Clint).  Holly (otherwise known as Silly Little Lady) is one such designer.  She patiently explained her method to me, showed me some of her superb work, and confirmed my suspicions about the math connection.  She has recently signed with Malabrigo Yarn to make their sample work and has some of her patterns available for sale, so check out her website.  Her friend, Trevor, is a woodworker who not only makes cabinets but puts his creative talent to work in sculpture, furniture, and jewelry.  Since he also knows how to knit, I bet he could make some gorgeous knitting needles!

Finally, just this morning I spent a few minutes chatting with a woman from Texas who told me of her 95 year old mother who died last year.  However, in her last year on earth she created 13 quilts and 28 afghans!  Simply amazing!

January - Come and Gone

Christmas Market fun in Georgetown - don't miss out next year!

Time certainly does fly when you're having fun!  It is hard to believe that we celebrated Christmas over a month ago. Of course, the fact that my grandchildren and I go around town looking for Christmas lights that are still lit and finding them, may contribute to this!  The town took down the festive lights about a week ago and I have hung a Valentine flag outside of the shop to announce the arrival of February.  Time marches on.

January was a quiet month at The Quilted Purl, which allowed me time to spend five wonderful days visiting an aunt, while my cousin and her husband went skiing.  For five days we talked almost non-stop catching up on family, both current and long gone from this world.  What a treat to be able to talk with someone able to create a bridge over time to connect me to my ancestors.  I returned to Georgetown with some new family history, fresh insights of family dynamics, and more stories of the fabric of my family (see  My cousin, unfortunately, caught an edge and returned with a damaged knee that has required surgery and now a six week recuperation and therapy period.  Sounds like a great opportunity to knit!