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.


To fit head 21 in circumference.


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

Tapestry needle


Circular or straight needles size 19 US (15mm)


1.75 stitches to the inch in stockinette stitch


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.


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?

The cutest, vegan flip flops ever

Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 Flip Flop

Mr. Nake-id gave the Mrs. an early birthday gift. Living in Colorado, we have a bit of a sport sandal disorder. How could you not when the state shoe looks like this? (Trust me, they didn't used to come in silver.)

Birkenstock Arizona Silver Birko-Flor

From the original Tevas and fancy ones (oh, how I loved you!) and my coveted Naots (oh, God, these are cute!) to the Chacos cousin Stephanie inspired (that toe-loop slayed me) and the multiple pairs of Keens, I think I still have every pair.

I am over-the-moon about these newest cuties. Made from recycled yoga mats, the Yoga Sling 2 stays on your foot, offers cush for the push and has gone a long way toward getting me to the nail salon. They come in an array of colors and prints and go for under $40.

For those of you living in more uptight burgs, go ahead and wear your stilettos. Us Colorado gals will be happily wiggling our toes at you.

Happy summer footwear season, everyone!

Colorado skincare

Colorado Skincare Products


I am known in our set as a go-to resource for skincare advice. Not that I know that much, but I obsess that much.

It's a calling, really: From the time I was two years old and ransacking Mom's lotions, bath salts and perfumes to make pink fairies or slathering Noxema on my face, believing it held magic properties to, I don't know, make me look like Mary Poppins?

Having acneic skin as a teenager only fueled it--Ten-O-Six (that smell!), Clearasil, Sea Breeze and enough tetracycline to nuke the microbiome of a small city. None, of which, were terribly effective.

What worked were natural--and expensive--products. So, back in the day, when I could hardly put tires on my car, I was shelling out for French skincare. Priorities, right?

The obsession persists. As Mr. Nake-id says, "If you took as good of care of your checkbook as you did your skin..."

Your point being?

Anyhoo, it's come to my attention that Colorado has become something of an natural skincare mecca. There are some big players, Pangea Organics (Boulder), MyChelle Dermaceuticals in Louisville and Lily Organic Skincare (she's rebranded recently!) in Brighton. As well as a smattering of spa lines, including Sanitas and GloProfessional (I've had the pleasure to try some of the products in Glo's CytoLuxe range and have found them to be very high quality but very highly fragranced).

More interesting, perhaps, are the tiny players that are making waves in both the blogosphere and traditional press. The Denver-based R.L. Linden & Company has become a darling of beauty writers. Susannah from No More Dirty Looks gushed about the company's Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist to the point that I was forced to purchase the Sample Pack. They're hometown girls, how could I not?

More surfing revealed Osmia Organics, founded by an ER doc in Carbondale who went all mid-life crisis after learning to make soap. She has parlayed her passion into a line that gets raves for helping folks manage perioral dermatitis. I've been eyeing the Facial Restoration Serum.

OM Pur was a vacation discovery. Located in Ridgway, the company offers incredibly affordable goodies that are wildcrafted and organic. Have been dying to try the Honey-Cacao Moisturizing Mask for years!

All this new and veteran entrepreneurialism has me vibrating. That the Centennial state is getting some exposure for being on the leading edge of the natural beauty market adds to Colorado's image as a hip and healthy place, sweet potato fries be damned.

So go play. And, if you're a Colorado girl, no guilt. You're buying local!

The trouble with textiles

Any fans of Portlandia, out there? I'm thinking of the episodes where they deploy a trope to comic effect, such as, "Put a bird on it!" or "I could pickle that!" For the last three months I've been starring in the adult-child-of-Silent-Generation-parents-helps-them-downsize episode, where the catch phrase is, "Get rid of it!"

Mom: What should I do about fill in the blank (bank statements from the 1940s, refrigerator art by my then toddler brother, 400 mismatched black socks, fraternity paddles from the 1950s, a case of olives, the house full of pre-Industrial Revolution antiques)?

Me: Get rid of it.

On a recent trip to visit my in-laws it's amazing my MIL didn't consign me to sleeping in the garage next to the hot water heater; anytime she asked me a question about anything, I'd say, "Get rid of it!" Or give her the don't-you-understand-we're-just-going-to-have-to-move-that look.

Us, Babyboomers, we're charming, eh?

Some things managed to weasel their way through my expedience. Mom knew my weaknesses. All she had to do was dangle a quilt, tablecloth or coverlet and I'd be drooling and packing my car.

The above quilt was from my grandmother's collection. There are plenty of qullts tucked safely away in museums, all cozy in their archival conditions. So, yes, I'm using it. The coverlet is a family piece; sheep raised, shorn, fleece processed, dyed, carded, spun and woven by my great great grandmother.  It's already become a favorite of the Big Orange Thing.

So teasing and tropes aside, I'm delighted to have these women-made goods in rotation. I won't be getting rid of these anytime soon.