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?

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.

Bebes!

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
  
Directions:
 
CO 60, loosely, double-stranded.

Knit straight in stockinette stitch until piece measures 22 inches.

BO.

Finishing:

Fold piece lengthwise in two. Sew both side seams.

Weave in all ends.

Felt.

Insert zipper. (I used this tutorial here.)

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