Crocheted Cat Potholders

Now don't get all jealous. Of course you ant chenille cat potholders of your very own. Meow!

These were designed by the one and only Garlic Queen. She is the creatrix behind many crocheted wonders including these confections. Want a set of kitty hot pads for yourself? Email me and I'll hook you up with the GQ herself. I'm pretty sure she can be bribed.

Knit for Brains

Brains have been much on our minds, given the tumble-down state of aging cerebra in the Nake-id gene pool, a concern that inspires yours truly to lard her morning porridge with coconut oil and stalk Dr. Grain Brain's blog. (Do y'all think gluten's the zombie apocalypse in grain form?) Are avocados the new kale? Should we load up our java with pasture-raised butter? Are carbs the new fats?

It's enough to make a girl make a diet of Tootsie Pops and red wine.

Joking aside, there are things about the way we live and eat, which are clearly amiss. Too much sitting. Too many digital screens. Too little face time with peeps. Too much fake food. And while it's easy to figure out that exercise is a good thing, the question of what to eat to benefit our grey matter seems to be more a matter of opinion than science. But do we have the time for science?

Meanwhile, the Clover Wonder Knitter aided and abetted in the creation of lobes pictured above--a fabulous pattern by med student Alana Noritake. Hard to believe, you can purchase fully realized versions on Etsy for about $30. Lined even. I wouldn't tack down all that I-cord again for $1,000. Like sewing spaghetti to the wall.

Anyhoo, it's done and fun! Hope your brains are having a glorious day.

 

Knitting pattern for lung cancer research: Kim's Earnin' Turban in Pink

Why look, another iteration of Kim's Earnin' Turban. This one in the sadly discontinued Debbie Bliss Cotton Silk Aran and modeled by the lovely Melissa. 

I designed the turban for our friend Kim, in honor of her battle with lung cancer. The pattern is for sale with all proceeds going to benefit the University of Colorado's Lung Cancer Fund, which supports the groundbreaking research at CU keeping Kim and many others alive.

Lung cancer is a weird beast, not the least of which because it's the number one cancer killer of men and women in America, but also because it carries the stigma of smoking. It may be that the white ribbon lung cancer campaigns haven't caught on because the disease doesn't seem as random; it's something smokers get. But this simply isn't true. Every year, 16,000 to 24,000 people die of lung cancer who never smoked. Kim never smoked.

While I should have probably knit this turban in white for the awareness factor, I couldn't resist this gorgeous orchid, so very Pantone-color-of-the-year-2014.

In this season of giving, pass the word, make a donation or knit a turban in whatever color tickles your fancy.

 

Knitting gifts

I had the opportunity to write about this wonderful artist in the Holiday issue of Vogue Knitting. Sally Gilchrist is a painter, who in recent years has branched out into doing linocut prints. She's also a passionate knitter.

I've been hoping for many moons that Sally would create a line of "yarn art" and couldn't be happier that she's finally done it.

There are prints suitable for framing as well as notecards, postcards, gift tags and even a handmade book of linocut prints.

Just in time for the holidays. Isn't this a stylish body of work?

Rebecca Danger: Does knitting get any cuter?

Inspired by editrix Erin, who wrought this incredibly cuteness, I went and did likewise. Seriously. When a man child is expected, who really wants to knit another wee navy-blue cardi?

Rebecca Danger's patterns are a caution, are they not? There really is a monster for every occasion. I chose Ursula the Understanding Monster because of the long arms, which to me was like sending Baby a big hug (in spite of the fact  I couldn't be bothered to source the necessary felt for teeth.

Knitting pattern for lung cancer research: Kim's Earnin' Turban

This is the beautiful Dr. Kimberly Ringen, friend, neighbor, fashionista, veterinary oncologist, rabid Bronco fan, mama to fur babies Madison, Jill, Petey the pug and kitty Bernard, wife to Davin, sister, auntie, daughter, fisherperson and all-around good egg.

In June of 2013 at the age of 36, she was diagnosed with Stage IV ALK positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer. She ran half marathons. Was a competitive cyclist. And never smoked. Un. Freaking. Believable.

There is nothing good to be said about it except that Denver is the center for some of the world's most advanced research on Kim's rare cancer. Kim is enrolled in a clincal trial at the University of Colorado directed by the brilliant Dr. Ross Camidge. And she's doing well-ish.

Kim isn't our only loved one who has battled or is battling lung cancer. Dr. Camidge is also treating the lovely Polly, who not-so-affectionately calls her tumor, "that little f*cker." And Mr. Nake-id's dad has had his own lung cancer journey (caught incredibly early and treated successfully).

Given all of this serious guano we felt compelled to do a little something and hope you will join in. Though Kim's drug didn't devastate her hair, it's caused her red curls to thin a bit, hence the adorable pixie cut. And hair accessories can't hurt, especially now that the weather is turning. Ergo Kim's Earnin' Turban.

The pattern is a quick, fun knit and all proceeds will be donated to the University of Colorado's Lung Cancer Fund. The fund not only helps support the research that's keeping Kim and Polly alive, it also provides financial assistance to patients. 

The pattern is available on Ravelry. If you aren't a knitter, please consider the University of Colorado's Lung Cancer Fund in your planning for end-of-year charitable gifts. They are doing remarkable work.

Thank you,

The Nake-ids

Will wonders never cease: A new finished object!

When we last left our heroine, she was blathering on about skincare. And why not? When there hasn't been anything knit-worthy to report in low these many months.

But there's been knitting. Slow, desultory knitting that even a 2,900-mile road trip couldn't nudge to completion. Sweaters. There's a reason folks don't knit them. Gah! I wanted it done!

Well here it is. Martin Storey's Boulevard (cropped by moi) from the Rowan City Retreat book.Knit up in that all-domestic wonder-worsted Peace Fleece in Porterfield Plum.

I adored this yarn which combined Native American wool with wool from Ohio all leavened with a bit of Texas mohair. If you don't like the whiff of the barn about your yarn, steer clear. But if you appreciate a little vegetable matter and that gorgeous, sheepy lanolin scent, this string is heavenly. Like my mother says, "real yarn."

Thinking about pairing this number with black culottes. Like these. Or these--perfection! (But where in the world did that word come from? Culottes?) Cuter than they sound. Really. With ankle boots.

Though the journey seemed epic, the finish couldn't have come at a better time. Here's the the advent of sweater weather!

Hemp oil. It's not just for salads.

Since our state has become the butt of jokes in the other 49 for legalizing recreational cannabis, I thought I'd weigh in with some Nake-id perspective:

First, we're not all getting royally stoned. Would there was the time. But with a bustling economy and lots of work to be done, most citizens are going about their day-to-day with nary a thought to pot.

Second, there are growing pains. Serious ones that need to be addressed, and, yes, regulated, namely the dosing issues and packaging of edibles.

Third, some of us have never taken to the stuff, salad days in the '70s, regardless. Seriously, munchies, at our age? Good on you if you can afford the calories.

But hemp. Ah, hemp is something entirely different. Hemp, the non-psychoactive cousin of cannibis, is so multipurpose and useful, why it's good for everything from knitting to helping vegans get their protein on.

Happily, our controversial statute allows for the cultivation of this wonderful cultivar, so Colorado will prove to be a bellwether not only for the recreational stuff but also for its more serious, hard-working relative.

While all the cool, green beauty bloggers are still agog over coconut oil (who likes digging it out of the jar?), I've found hemp oil to be more emollient and easy to use. Rich in fatty acids, Omega 3s and vitamin E, it's antioxidant, anti-wrinkle, anti-all-things-bad. And it smells like, um, fresh grass.

I don't use it on my face, but rather slather it on damp limbs apres bath. And, since I keep it in the fridge, it's also delightfully refreshing, especially in these temps.

Oils are all the rage these days in skincare and it's easy to see why. A single oil like hemp runs less than $20 for a bottle that will last months. Another to try: avocado oil, especially in the drying winter months.

Have fun. Pretend your a salad and lube up before you get dressed.

Free cowl pattern: The Uber Cowl

This hardly qualifies as a pattern. But given that I needed a two-class project for beginners-of-discriminating-taste, I went big. Big needles. Big yarn. Big impact. Big challenges wrangling big needles for the newbies. But they did smashingly well. And are well on their way to knitting what I hope will be their first neckwarmer of many. Pattern below.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

To fit head 21 in circumference.

YARN AND SUPPLIES

1 skein Cascade Magnum, 100% wool, 123 yds (112m)/8.8 oz. (250g)

Tapestry needle

NEEDLES

Circular or straight needles size 19 US (15mm)

GAUGE

1.75 stitches to the inch in stockinette stitch

COWL

Cast on 17 stitches.

Rows 1: Purl across to end of row.

Row 2: Knit across to end of row.

Repeat rows 1-2 until piece measures 19 inches. (Knit extra inches for a drapey look.)

Bind off loosely.

FINISHING

Using tapestry needle seam cast on edge to bind off edge using mattress stitch. Weave in ends.

Adventures in pickling

Not long ago, Mr. Nake-id IM'd me with this tidbit, "I want to ferment."

A lot could be read into that phrase, but I knew exactly what he meant. The poor man wants more saurkraut/gherkins/pickled onions/probiotics on his plate.

Of course he does. Who doesn't? 

But all this trafficking in bacteria can be intimidating. Enter the FARMcurious Fermentation Set. (See above.) Developed by an intrepid urban homesteading evangelist, the fermentation set is essentially a screw-top lid that allows carbon dioxide to release without permitting outside air in. Twist it onto any wide-mouthed mason jar (the wide-mouth requirement sent me scurrying for new jars; the ones on hand were standard-mouthed) of any size, add salt water and produce and three to six weeks later, voila, gut-healthy taste treats. 

Why not start with the classic? Our neighbors' dill and the farmer's market provided the bounty pictured above. I loosely followed this recipe and packed my brand-new jars.

I don't come from a patient people. So six weeks seems like a stretch. But isn't our little science experiment pretty?