There's been a small baby boom in our extended circle recently, resulting in a scramble for something fun to knit. Went over the moon for the Garter Ear Flap Hat published in the Purl Bee and immediately cast on. They did it up in these tasteful alpaca neutrals, which is lovely and baby friendly but not so much for mom. How many times is that frantic mamacita going to handwash that exotic fiber hat?

Also, given that subtlty and nuance aren't a strong suit at Nake-id Knits, we're of the opinion that bold colors and big tassels are, if not more tasteful, more amusing on les infants.

The yarns are Lily Sugar 'N Cream in black and Classic Elite Pebbles in Schapp pink (only they didin't call it that; shoot me, I threw away the ballband).

Anyway, the Garter Ear Flap pattern is a dream and whips up in a trice. Plan to make many more.

Playing with online paper dolls...again

Le Hobble Skirt

The goods: Vintage '80s Levis jacket available at Etsy; Topshop boots; my very own Le Hobble skirt, pattern on Ravelry; Viva Glam lipstick; oxidized hoops from Etsy.

It's true. I've been having a little too much fun with Polyvore. (Oh, look, a pair of hiking socks...let's style 'em!) It's a great way to try looks without having to buy them and completely engaged by inner child who's still obsessed with paper dolls. Also it's fun and silly. Who doesn't need some silly these days?

Here's one of my skirt designs roughed up with a denim jacket and ankle booties. (Go for extra length and less, ahem, negative ease for the office.)

Laissez les bon temps roulez.

Mid-century stuff

Party like it's 1959

(The stuff: Spring Skater Dress originally spied on Marta McCall's Pinterest feed; Marquis by Waterford martini glasses; Cherries in the Snow lipstick by Revlon, an icon from 1953 and a favorite of yours truly circa 1986, ahem; a vintage Better Homes and Garden Cookbook; and Gerbe Paris Classic Backseam Tights.)

The 1950s have been too much with us here at Nake-id Knits, what with cleaning out Mom and Dad's digs. We're awash in the past: Crystal martini glasses, a first edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Revere Ware, elbow-length leather gloves, linen wedding shoes and so, so much more.

For example:

Check out Mama Nake-id. As they would say back in the day, "Hubba, hubba!"

The dress, incidently, llike many of the things mentioned, goes up for sale this week. A bittersweet but good thing.

Our lovely neighbor, Marie, was astonished that I didn't want these treasures. "Oh, honey," I said, "I've taken. China, quilts, linens, cookbooks. I'm set to party like it's 1959. Break out the aspic!"

I can resist anything but textiles, which means making friends with my ironing board again. Hello pretties!

As many of you know, the most challenging aspect of this isn't the dust or the work but the sense of time's passage and the impermanence of those things that seemed immutable.

Pass the relish tray, please. I could use an olive.

Free knitting pattern: Zip-It Clutch

These Clare Vivier Foldover Clutches have been all over the fashion blogs. She must have one munificent publicity budget, is all I can say. That, and, would that yours truly was on the list. (I know, the leopard one, so cute, pass the smelling salts so we can get back to work.)

Back in the day, I carried a handsome leather envelope (no doubt stuffed into a backpack with a Norton anthology or two, a Russian dictionary, and three or four early 20th century American novels), thinking it was the height of chic. Still do, as a matter of fact, which is why I got busy using that good old Nake-id can-do spunk to knit up some cute right here at home.

And, because Polyvore is like playing with paper dolls (but a lot more work), we styled it using items normal ladies can afford. (OK, the bracelet is aspirational. But stunning, no?)

Zip-It Clutch

(Here's the scoop on the stuff: 1969 Destructed Sexy Boyfriend Jeans, Silver Bass Weejuns (similar here), Grey Silk Scarf, Women's Ultimate V Tee (on clearance!), Zoya Nail Polish in Blyss and that fabulous bracelet!)

Zip It Clutch

Transform one long stockinette rectangle into a classic clutch that will carry you from day to night. Play with color or add all-over fringe to amp up the coolness.

Size: One 
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted; 2 skeins of Charcoal Heather
Needles: Size US 13
Notions: Tapestry needle, 12-inch zipper, 2 size 10 Dritz Sew-On Snaps
CO 60, loosely, double-stranded.

Knit straight in stockinette stitch until piece measures 22 inches.



Fold piece lengthwise in two. Sew both side seams.

Weave in all ends.


Insert zipper. (I used this tutorial here.)

Sew in snaps being sure to match “innies” with “outies”.

Valentine's Day 1926

My parents are in the process of moving. To say this is a poignant time would be an understatement. Treasures and memories are everywhere in the house. We've had to be brutal in the culling. Some things, though, are just too special. Like this Valentine from my grandfather to my grandmother in 1926, the first year they were married. Printed in Germany by a company called Loving Greetings.

They were married 59 years.

To one and all, and to my very special longstanding Valentine, much, much love.



The year that was and will be

2013 wasn’t the luckiest of years here at chez Nake-id, but there was certainly a lot of lemonade to be had from the lemons.

The losses have been the hardest: Our grand old man passed on, leaving us with lessons in aging with dignity and grace. He was an Olympic-caliber cuddler and stouthearted soul. He is deeply, deeply missed.

Our neighborhood matriarch, who greeted every new neighbor with muffins and smiles, and until her ninth decade was climbing out on the roof to install Santa, packed St. Dominic’s with mourners on a brilliant December morning. The ‘hood will never be the same.

A number of friends lost mothers this year and our hearts go out to them as they navigate the world without that constant love in their lives. Our niece showed courage and resilience in the wake of a senseless tragedy and is proving herself to be a remarkable adult. Others are suffering grave illnesses and we hope that we can be as much a source of comfort to them as they have been a source of inspiration to us.

Grandpa Nake-id took sick this fall--bad sick--throwing the family into the miracle and maelstrom of the American health care system. He is with us today because of the wonderful care he received, and he continues to regain his strength. But the handoffs from hospital to rehab to home were dislocating and confusing and pushed us to confront questions of how do we deal with an ailing loved one. The system isn’t so helpful there. And speaking for myself, I have felt helpless and ineffective in the face of it. 

His illness has precipitated a bit of downsizing on the part of Grandma and Grandpa Nake-id and we hope that 2014 finds them more congenially situated and thriving.

2013 had its bright spots; the bees have been a source of endless wonder and delight. Work brought new projects and the opportunity to write for magazines I’ve long admired as well as the chance to explore the data around knitting and mental health. It’s just as I’ve suspected, knitting is the answer.

We traveled to Tahoe and Telluride and took in the sites (and goods) at the Salida Fiber Festival. And we celebrated 20 years of marriage, which brought with it a sense of enormous gratitude and the recognition that no matter how long you love someone, you have to do the work and play of love every day.

Nake-id Knits got short shrift in 2013 and I don’t yet know what 2014 will bring for this old blog. Expect a few changes, but don’t expect me to shut up. There’s still so much more left to say.

Blessings and good health to all in the coming year. May 2014 be one of health, discovery, growth and plenty of good eats and knits.

Wild and Wooly Boots

It's been a wild and wooly time here at Nake-id Knits, what with life surprises, deadlines for new-to-me pubs (requiring best-foot-forward work), birthdays (you wouldn't believe the number of Scorpios in our lot) and the time change. Who else has wanted to curl up on a down cushion and sleep for a week?

These were accomplished, the fabulous Moonkoosa Boots by Tiny Owl Knits. Ours are more "dready" than the originals. Having a congenital predisposition for impatience, I couldn't bear the hand felting. In order to shrink the boots to fit me and not Sasquatch, I let the 21-year-old Maytag do its job.

I'll be teaching a class in making these wild things in January at Wild Yarns. Come play!

Salida Fiber Fest

Quilts by Linda Heltzel. Amazing quilts by Linda Heltzel! (The above photo by Sally Gilchrist.)


Tapetes de Lana and Mora Valley Spinning Mill, a nonprofit that trains rural New Mexicans in weaving and fiber production

Hat from Paxknits

Lassitude, deadlines and wonderful distractions like mountain vacations have allowed this post to languish since...Sept. 8. 

The day was splendid. As you can see, nuno felting was trending at the Salida Fiber Festival. Mr. Nake-id is wearing a wet-felted boa with aplomb. Our Denver neighbor Sandy came home with a gorgeous silk-and-wool wrap (not the one she's displaying above). And Ms. Nake-id. An extravagant hank of Fusion Yarn from Cat Mountain Fiber Arts. The "mallard" colorway. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

Naughty Bohemian Knit Skirt in the Mountains

Naughty Bohemian in the Mountains

The stores in Telluride were full of down-filled minis, to the point that I actually carried one over to an associate and brandishing the thing asked, "What in the world does one do with this?"

Tights and boots. (Alrighty then. So off I go to the Interwebs where the copy describing a North Face product unfortunately monikered, the Thunder Skirt, advises: "Look way cute whether you're at a condo, cabin, yurt, or snowshoeing with a special somebody. You won't just look cute, you'll also stay warm because this skirt has 800-fill goose down insulation keeping you nice and toasty all winter long."

Has this copywriter ever been snowshoeing? You want frostbit lady parts, you wear a skirt in the backcountry. The way the wind blows in the Rockies? For pity's sake!

But it got me thinking, how much better to rock a much-more slimming, more comfortable wool version, at work or curled in front of the fire post snowshoe?

Hence the restyle of my black knit pencil skirt (pattern available here) ala Telluride. Pair it with thick leggings and winter accessories and off you go. It looks so adorable, I might have to dig out my old Lopi and take it for a spin in the wind.

Telluride style


Just back from leaf-peeping in SoCo, including a couple of days in Telluride. Colors were just starting to splay out on the hillsides but that didn't prevent Mother Nature from bestowing a little snow.

Vendors at Telluride's Friday Farmer's Market were shivering, clutching steaming cups of coffee and hoping the hardy souls in attendance would think salad was a good idea on a very cold day.

Every town has its own look. And with the colder temps, Telluriders brought out their boots and knits. We bought very little: A hunk of cabra blanca (makes me feel very fancy to type..."cabra blanca") from Avalanche Cheese, a fabulous, non-barny goat; and a bottle of San Juan Mountain Beer Mustard Steamworks Backside Stout, a tangy-sweet condiment that we loved with eggs and fried potatoes.

And do you see the photo of the booth with the organic clothing? Yoga friendly, comfy, plant-dyed goods from Damselfly Organics, cute-and-righteous-enough to inspire a yoga tog upgrade from hiking shorts and old tees.

Love the relaxed, thrown-together vibe of the locals. So-not-Aspen. Ready to go native?