My Experience At The Women’s March in Denver

So this past week/weekend were big ones with shifting administrations and the country’s (and world’s) reactions to it. I decided to attend the Women’s March here in Denver and wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences. I was hoping to get a little video collage up but that hasn’t happened yet, hopefully I’ll get it in my next vlog! 

One of the biggest things I noticed being in a crowd of 150,000+ people – easily the biggest collection of folks I’ve ever been in the middle of – was that there was no tension. Usually in crowds – concerts, markets, festivals, etc – it can be frustrating and tense to be so close to other people, being bumped into, unable to see well and having your bubble being taken over by others. People can be impatient and short-tempered. Saturday’s crowd was completely different! 

No one expressed any frustration or annoyance at the other marchers even when there were too many bodies in the city to actually do any marching – we mostly just stood around, reading all the great signs and talking with each other. It was so peaceful and the air was full of acceptance and loving vibes. If you got separated from your group, it was easily the safest place to get lost.

There was chanting and smiles and music and costumes and dogs and singing and laughing and pussyhats everywhere. There were men and women and children of all different beliefs, backgrounds and futures. I think this is what makes this city, state, country and planet great – diversity and being able to disagree peacefully, compassionately and respectfully. Let’s do more of that, yes?

Too Busy, Too Tired, Too Lazy

I guess now’s a good time to tell ya’ll about my new-ish job, since it certainly HAS taken over my knitting time the past few weeks.

I’m working for a new start-up based in Denver called Utivity – it’s a sharing economy type site (think AirBnB and Uber) where you can list and book any service under the sun. Everything from yoga to dog walking, personal training, crossfit, wakeboarding, fly fishing, soccer lessons, drum lessons, knitting lessons, tutoring – all activities, all services.

big mark with logo + tagline side

Anyone can become a User to book on the site and anyone can register to be a Provider to list your own services too! If you wanna go join, you should use my Promo Code: knit (surprise, surprise, right?). But seriously, if you’re registering, put that code (knit) in the Promo Code box, NOT the referral code box. Registering with this code will get you a special deal on listing your services – 3 months commision free and then for the rest of that first year just 5% commission.  Utivity handles the credit card processing, the scheduling and booking and we’re doing a TON of marketing to get Users to come find our Providers. Speaking of which…IMG_1435 (1)

I’m the Marketing and Events Coordinator! While it’s a ton of fun and I find it very rewarding, it’s also been a bit time-consuming and energy-exhausting which means that knitting hasn’t been happening.

So please please share with me what you’ve all been working on so that I can knit vicariously through you! If you’ve got any Utivity questions, let me know those too, it’s a lot of fun working for a start-up!

Learn How to Knit in Denver, Colorado

Some of you know this already but I teach classes locally that allow me to share my love for knitting with new-comers, intermediate knitters and advanced knitters looking to learn something new.IMG_0553

I recently taught a Beginning Knitting class at my favorite brewery – Grandma’s House – and had such a fun time with these ladies!IMG_0555

Everyone (every single person, no knitter left behind!) learned how to cast on, knit and bind off during the first week’s class in which we knitted a little scarf perfectly sized for your favorite beer bottle. IMG_0556

The second class the following week the students were able to refresh their cast on and knitting skills while also learning how to purl and work a simple decrease.  At the end of this lesson everyone had made a matching hat to fit the beer bottle that was now scarf-adorned!IMG_0557

I’ll be teaching this beginning knitting class again March 4th and 11th starting at 6pm both nights at the Grandma’s House brewery.  Feel free to sign up via Facebook or Dabble!IMG_0563

I’ll also be teaching an intermediate class later in March that will produce a hat so that students can learn to knit in the round and work various stitch patterns – and still walk away with a finished project!  That’s the best part of any class, in my opinion – something to show for your efforts.IMG_0570

I hope to see you at some of them! And if you have any ideas for future classes you’d like to see from me, please do share them 🙂IMG_0572

Looking Ahead to Spring – Some of My Faves (Part 1)

Even though it’s snowing outside today and we’re in the depths of January, the magazines are previewing their spring issues and I can’t help but look ahead!  Today we’ll just talk about one of them and why I find it especially appealing.

Interweave Knits Spring Issue looks like it’s going to be a good one.  Part of the fun for me, personally, looking through any of Interweave’s products (Interweave Knits, Knitscene, Knit.Purl, etc) is looking at the photos and trying to pick out where they were shot!  Living in the same state and having lived all over it (Denver, Lakewood, Golden, Loveland, Fort Collins, etc) means that I’ve been fortunate to visit a lot of different places.

(C) Interweave Knits

The story including the Timetable Pullover by Andrea Sanchez was shot in the newly-renovated Union Station in downtown Denver – a quick drive or lightrail ride from my house.  The setting and this sweater itself are beautiful.

© Interweave Knits

The story including Joan Forgione‘s Beech Leaf Shawl was shot in a pottery studio in Fort Collins called Smokestack Pottery.  This little space is so cute and fun to visit – I even have a few bowls made by the artists who work there in my collection!

© Interweave Knits

Seeing these gorgeous knits in settings that I myself have been in multiple times makes me smile.  They bring to mind happy memories with great folks.

That bowl in the background is from Smokestack, I find it makes a perfect yarn bowl!
That bowl in the background is from Smokestack, I find it makes a perfect yarn bowl!

Are you looking at spring patterns yet or do you prefer to remain in the current season?

January Class Schedule

Did you miss the first set of classes I taught at Grandma’s House the past few months?  Don’t worry, I’ll be teaching again at the beginning of 2015!  More classes, topics and projects will be coming in the next year as well, so keep your ear to the ground (or to my Facebook page) for details on those.january class flier with deets

January 7th and 14th will be more Beginning (Level 1) Knitting Classes and we’ll be working on similar projects – a mini scarf and hat perfectly sized for your favorite beer bottle!IMG_5863

And instead of following it up with the Intermediate Class where we learned how to knit small sweaters the first time around, this time we’re going to learn how to knit washcloths!  I still consider this a beginner class – it builds on the basic knitting skills but also teaches students how to work different stitches including increases and decreases.  These Beginner (Level 2) Classes will be held on January 21st and 28th, same time (6pm-8pm) and same place (Grandma’s House Brewery).IMG_8074

Classes are $50 for the two sessions and I will bring all the materials with me, you don’t need to bring a thing! Except a friend, you can certainly bring those.  And if you *do* bring a friend, you can each get a discount and pay only $40 each for the two sessions and all materials!  That leaves plenty to get yourself a delicious brew from Grandma.

Upcoming Classes!

I’m excited to share with you all that I’ll finally be teaching again!

Not only will I be teaching, I’ll be doing so at one of the cutest new breweries in Denver – Grandma’s House.  This place combines some of my favorite things and if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time at all, you know that I truly appreciate my beer and knitting time.  I’m so thrilled to be sharing things I’m so passionate about.

I’ll be offering a class on Beginning Knitting on November 12th and 19th – this will be a 2-part class in which we’ll learn basic knitting techniques and students will walk away with a small scarf and hat perfectly sized for a beer bottle.  More details can be found here.

The second class will be Intermediate Knitting in which we’ll learn how to knit a sweater using a common construction – top down with raglan sleeves.  Again, this project will fit your beer bottle!  More details can be found here.

What sorts of classes would you be interested in taking?  I’m hoping to continue to offer unique and fun classes and I’d love to hear from you which topics you want to learn!

RAWartists Denver CURRENT Showcase

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If you follow my Facebook page you may have noticed my post the other day about the showcase I’ll be participating in next month.

The CURRENT show is being put on by the Denver RAWartists group and sounds like it’ll be a super fun night of shenanigans, live music, fashion show, aerial dancers, fire dancers, food and drinks and yours truly. It’ll also be a good opportunity for you to start/continue/wrap up your holiday shopping!Holly-Priestley2

The event is going to be held at the City Hall venue in Denver (1144 Broadway), about a block from the art museum on November 21st from 7pm until 11pm.  In order to get into the event, you’ll need a ticket.  These tickets also provide sponsorship for me – it helps cover my fees and also allows me the opportunity to work with professional photographers and videographers to take my business to the next level!  All proceeds from the tickets go to the RAWartists group, not to me personally, so you’re helping out 40+ local artists in the process (we’re all appreciative).  There are a few ways to get tickets for the show:

  • you can buy a ticket for the show from my page on the website right here
  • you can buy a ticket through me and I’ll make sure your name gets put on the list

Discounted tickets will be available until November 13th so be sure to get yours nice and early!  Let me know if you have any questions, I hope to see you there!

Recap: Knit & Sip

Tuesday evening I taught 9 brand new knitters a post-apocalyptic life skill.  Call me an enabler, a pusher, heck, a dealer even, but this is one addiction that’s laden with benefits.

The goal was to tech them how to make a tiny scarf and hat set to adorn their favorite (alcoholic or non) bottle. (Mine happen to be of the alcoholic variety).DSCN1607

I really do love teaching knitters, my nervous excitement is too positive a feeling.  Any negative nerves were induced by driving and parking anxieties (a topic for another time…or not).

The class was held at a coffee and booze shop called Hooked on Colfax in Denver and although I’d never been to this venue before, I totally love it and would hang out there regularly were it not for the aforementioned anxieties because it is so far from where I currently live.  DSCN1619

Around 6, the students started rolling in and once everyone was seated with their beverage of choice, we began.  DSCN1622 DSCN1621 DSCN1620

By the end of the evening, many had half a scarf completed and they all had personal charm from the colors that were chosen, to the creative increases and decreases that are standard amongst first (second, third, fourth, twenty-eighth) timers.  Some even had finished pieces:DSCN1623

I hope the students had as much fun as I did, really really.  Learning to teach is almost as difficult as learning the thing being taught, constructive advice is always welcome!

Knit & Sip – A Class

Frequently I hear folks say that they wish they could knit when they find out what I do.  I’ve taught many a man and woman, and now I’m teaching a class through the brand-new and awesome Tentiko!

Next Tuesday, December 11 between 6 and 8pm, I’ll be teaching a basic knitting class at Hooked on Colfax. 

Students don’t need to have any prior experience and materials are provided.  At the end of the class, students will have a scarf and (possibly) hat fit to decorate a wine bottle!  Spots on the class are limited, and they’re filling up super quickly (yay!) so if this is something you’d like to learn just in time for the holidays, go sign up now and I’ll see you next week!

Holiday Handmade Recap

This weekend was Fancy Tiger’s 5th Annual Holiday Handmade Show and I’m proud to say that I was a part of it.  Getting into the show is pretty competitive and I was shocked and honored to be chosen!  It was my first two-day show and I worked it by myself, no less.

New Pattern Organization Strategy
New Pattern Organization Strategy

Load-in on Friday afternoon went fairly smoothly, thankfully they had helpers to get things out of cars and into spaces quickly.  Set-up was stress-free (I think mostly because I’d done a mock set-up in my living room the day before) and my neighbors were awesome!  With the friendly folk of My July on one side and Colleen H Designs on the other, the two days were a breeze.

Friday's Booth
Friday’s Booth

The shoppers came and they shopped.  They lined up in front of the doors at least an hour before the show even opened!  How dedicated is that?

The Pattern Basket
The Pattern Basket

I met some super cool folks, made some friends, learned a lot, worked out my arms and legs (carrying all of your product, table, chair, displays up three flights of stairs certainly is a work out), and all-in-all had a great time! I hope to do it again next year 😀

Now, I must start preparing for my next show this Saturday.

HaHo Holiday Show
HaHo Holiday Show