Pints & Purls Edition 31: Belgian-Style Apricot Ale

This is the thirty-first in a series of installments that will highlight one of my favorite brews and which knits to go with it!  None of the breweries or yarn companies are compensating me – these are just my opinions on my personal experiences!

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Brew: Belgian-Style Apricot Ale

Brewer: Lakefront Brewery

Malts:

Hops: Saaz

IBU:

ABV: 6%IMG_3176

Flavors: Fruity and malty with a leeetle bit of hoppy bitter to keep the finish crisp.  A warming spice with a sweet beginning keep this beer interesting.

Knit Pairings:  this beer is a good staple with a bit of pizazz and would pair well with a project that’s similar.  The crispy, spicy notes make me think of that really interesting yarns from Habu with bits of metal in it, wouldn’t that be fabulous?  Something fun and funky but in earthy, neutral colors.

Notes: It’s not an IPA!  Woo!  I’m going to be better about non-IPAs getting featured….promise….sorta.

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Let me know what you think!  Suggestions for future beers, more/different information to include, this is a work in progress so I won’t be offended by constructive advice!

WIP Wednesday: More Purple

Yea, yea yea, I’m *still* working on the purple sweater.  Slowest sweater I’ve ever knit?  Maybe.  Or at least it feels like it to me! IMG_2599

I’m getting close to the finish line though, guys. Seriously. I’m almost done with the first sleeve!IMG_3168

Hopefully by next week I’ll be able to show this to you on a Friday instead of a Wednesday!IMG_2999

What are you working on this week?  Something new and exciting I hope?

Life and Inspiration

Reading my buddy (and coworker) Hannah’s post the other day got me thinking about inspiration in my own life and how I handle my crafty endeavors.

As you all well know by now, I’m a knitter through and through, always have been, always will be.  It’s my therapy, it’s my energy, it’s part of my life like my dog and my family.IMG_9407

Knitting is not, however, the only crafty thing I wish to do.  There are *tons* of other creative things I’d love to try someday (and hopefully someday soon) but there are a myriad of reasons why I haven’t tried them yet and they’re not already waiting in my queue.

  1. Crafty things cost money. I don’t have a lot of funds right now.  I do have a budget for edible food and shouldn’t I have a budget for soul-food? Well, what’s the Ramen of soul-food?
  2. I’m afraid. Of what? I’m not entirely sure – probably failure.  I always tell other knitters not to be afraid of their knitting when they are nervous to try a new technique, what’s the worst that could happen? It doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to and you can (usually) reuse the yarn for another project or the same project if you’re inclined to try again. So why does trying other crafts scare me?
  3. I could be judged. If I try something new and someone else sees it, they are completely free to judge that thing I did and that makes me feel like I’m the one being judged because I created that thing. Why this doesn’t bother me with knitting, I don’t know, because it’s already a part of my soul?

I’ve always wanted to try painting.  It’s this magical, mysterious world that I love to watch happen and I love the finished results but I have no idea how it actually works.  I mean, I get the basics – you put paint on a surface – but the intricacies of the thing are just so cool to watch.  My uncle is a great painter and he recently shared his process for creating a painting and it is by far one of the coolest things I’ve seen. And have you seen Heather’s mandalas?  They’re so pretty and interesting to look at, they make me calmer and more contemplative.

I also wear copious amounts of jewelry and think that’d be a fun thing to take up and try.

Pottery throwing is another something magical that I’d like to try someday and I know there are pottery studios around.

And, of course, photography.  I’ve been trying and learning and trying and learning and experimenting and learning for years and although I’ve gotten better, I know I’m not there yet.  Luckily, this is something that is pretty much required as a knitting blogger, I like to show you what I’m working on and to do that, I have to take pictures! Also, it’s inexpensive since I already have the tools.

What are some things you’ve always wanted to try? How do you get past your inner roadblocks to actually do them?

Beer-stay-cation

It’s been a busy week around here and as a result, I took the week off from blogging – both because I didn’t really have the time and because when I did have the time, I didn’t have the energy. Initially I felt bad about it but then I allowed myself to step back and try to recuperate, decompress and chill the eff out.IMG_20140215_163006_504

I had a friend in town for the President’s Day weekend and we went brewery hopping, which was a total blast! We visited about a dozen breweries all over Northern Colorado in 5 days and did so much driving and surprisingly very little knitting.IMG_3118

I found an appreciation for sour beer and tried so many different samples of all styles that I feel like my palette is more sensitive and knowledgeable about the slight differences that they all have.ResizedImage_1392944705068

What adventures have you been on lately?

FO Friday: New Wall Art

I’ve had this idea in my head for a few months now and finally this weekend I took the plunge into making it a reality.IMG_2874

I used up some leftover Malabrigo Lace in the Frank Ochre colorway that I’ve had in my stash for, oh, 3 years? Most of the yarn went to making this shawl but the last little bits I couldn’t bear to part with because they are so so soft and the color is perfectly “me”.  IMG_2877

The pattern is the first little bit of the Heliotaxis Pi Shawl.IMG_2881

I’ll definitely be making more of these in various colors and stitch patterns, it was very satisfying and a good way to use up leftovers!IMG_2879

What have you finished lately?

PS Happy Friday the 14th 😉

Pints & Purls Edition 30: Hop Ranch

This is the thirtieth in a series of installments that will highlight one of my favorite brews and which knits to go with it!  None of the breweries or yarn companies are compensating me – these are just my opinions on my personal experiences!

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Brew: Hop Ranch

Brewer: Victory

Malts: Pilsner

Hops: Mosaic, Azacca

IBU:

ABV: 9%IMG_3005

Flavors: Full-flavored with lots of sweet, citrus-y notes and plenty of floral character, this beer has bitter on the undertone but the aftertaste is smooth and fruity.

Knit Pairings: This beer would be best paired with a knit that is indulgent but not out-of-reach.  Something that you treat yourself to every couple of projects, something rich and full of character but if you had too much of this project/technique/yarn you might lose interest, a little at a time is best.

Notes:

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Let me know what you think!  Suggestions for future beers, more/different information to include, this is a work in progress so I won’t be offended by constructive advice!

WIP Wednesday: Still Growing

I’ve made a lot of progress on the body of the Bailiwick pullover and I should be starting the bottom ribbing soon!  Then I just have to knit the sleeves and wearability will be imminent. IMG_2996

I haven’t worked on the Atalanta at all really this week and don’t have new pretty pictures to show you of that project.  I did, however, start and finish a new project this past weekend which I’ll share on Friday! IMG_2868

What are you working on this week?  Long-term projects? Short-term?

Fort Collins/Northern Colorado Knitting Brew Crew

My friend Hannah and I decided that we wanted to start our own version of the Pints & Purls group I started when I lived in Albuquerque (that links the the thread on Rav that keeps the group up to date, if you happen to live there and are looking to join up!).  The group started because I didn’t know anyone and I wanted to make friends.  I figured that if I could find people who like to do the same things I like to do, we’d have a greater chance of being buddies – knitting and beer-drinking is a perfect combo.IMG_0543

We’re calling our new group The Knitting Brew Crew and we’ve started a Ravelry group to keep everyone updated on the whens and wheres (please come join us!).IMG_2846

This Sunday, February 9th, will be our first meet-up.  We’re going to go to Equinox Brewing around 2pm.  Bring your crafty things and join us for a crafty beer!

Pints & Purls Edition 29:

This is the twenty-ninth in a series of installments that will highlight one of my favorite brews and which knits to go with it!  None of the breweries or yarn companies are compensating me – these are just my opinions on my personal experiences!

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Brew: Day Time Ale

Brewer: Lagunitas

Malts:

Hops: The latest, cutting-edge experimental yet-to-be-named varieties

IBU: 54.2

ABV: 4.65%IMG_2844

Flavors:  Clean, slightly juicy, crisp with a light bitter finish that doesn’t last very long.  Have you ever eaten pansies?  Yes, the flower. It tastes like you think a flower would taste but so light that if you aren’t paying attention to the fact that you are eating foliage, you may not even notice.  That’s what this beer is like, but it’s not for pansies, it’s for adults who still need to do work after they finish having a midday brew.

Knit Pairings: Because this beer is so easy to drink while you keep on gettin’ shit done, it’s easy to pair with a highly complex, attention-needing project. Maybe a beaded lace shawl? (Totally shameless, I know, I need help deciding on a project though!)

Notes:

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Let me know what you think!  Suggestions for future beers, more/different information to include, this is a work in progress so I won’t be offended by constructive advice!

WIP Wednesday: Progress

I got a lot of knitting time in this week and I’m happy with the progress I’m making on both of my sweaters!IMG_2833

The Bailiwick pullover saw another hiccup last week when I finished the back and was about to join when I realized I hadn’t done the proper number of repeats for the first bit of texture (note to self: read the pattern more than once, don’t think you’re “smarter” than the pattern) and so I had to rip back and redo most of the back but now the body is joined and it’s been smooth sailing!IMG_2835

The Atalanta is seeing some progress too although not quite as measurable an amount, it’s still beautiful and I am still excited to wear it!IMG_2838

What are you working on this week?

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