Hut Trip Near Aspen – Benedict Fabi’s

Continuing my attempt to embrace winter…

Last weekend we went on a hut trip with two other couples. We went to the 10th Mountain Division’s Benedict Fabi Hut, near Aspen. It was a really good time. It was cold and snowy, but not enough to deter us.

We had a six-mile hike up and a six-mile hike back. Going up was brutal. There really wasn’t a break in the climbing. It took us a solid six hours to get to the top – that time includes several pit stops and an extended break for lunch. From the main parking lot (the lower one), we clocked total milage on the way up to be 6.08 miles.

Not having hiked anything significant in a while, this was really tough for me and my ever-shrinking lung capacity. Plus, the weight of my pack, the extra weight of me and my changing body didn’t help matters. My pack doesn’t fit anymore, which I found out as we were putting on gear. The hip strap doesn’t fasten, meaning the weight of the pack isn’t distributed properly. My hip flexers ended up carrying most of the weight and KILLED towards the top. Brady was a trooper and really helped me through. It’s so frustrating not being myself!! Everyone else did great, though.

The hut is uber-cute. It’s one of the newer ones…built in 2004.

If you go, I’d recommend printing out directions from hutski.com. And getting several maps. Those were our resources, and between them all we found our way just fine. However, I will say that no one set of directions out there is comprehensive. Even the directions from hutski can be a bit unclear on their own.

Here are a few pics of the trip.

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Embracing Winter

It’s officially winter. And so far, I’ve been embracing it. There’s extreme coziness to snuggling up indoors and knitting/crocheting/quilting (which I love), but I don’t think anything is more invigorating than bundling up and heading outdoors to enjoy the beauty of winter.

A few weeks ago, I headed up to Glenwood Springs with a few friends for a girls weekend. It was fabulous. We stayed in a hostel, which meant cramming five of us into a space that’s smaller than an average dorm room. But it was fun and felt a lot like camp…late-night ghost stories included.

Here’s a view from my top bunk. That’s as wide as our mini hallway got. If this picture doesn’t make you feel claustrophobic, I’m not sure what would…

We headed out for a hike on both Saturday and Sunday. Both times, we went to the Hanging Lake trail. Snowshoes not necessary, although we did battle some snow/ice on the trail. On Saturday, we got too late of a start to finish, so that’s what we set out to do on Sunday. Here are some pictures from the adventure. It was so nice to get outdoors and break a sweat in the freezing cold. It’s like telling the cold “ha, you can’t get me, you can’t bring me down.” Or something like that.

Beaver!

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My First Knitting Project: Complete

About a month ago (or so), I went with a friend to an Intro to Knitting class at Fabric Bliss. And, thus, my knitting addiction commenced.

Because I already knew how to crochet, I think it helped me pick up knitting quickly. It probably helps that Aurora (owner of Fabric Bliss) is a great instructor. I’d definitely recommend Fabric Bliss’ classes if you’re in Denver!

In class, we were given a pattern to make a scarf. I followed the pattern (mostly), but made a cowl instead. I didn’t really want to take the time to knit a sufficiently long scarf, and I didn’t want to buy more yarn on a project that was just for me. I also made a few minor adjustments to the pattern so I wouldn’t have to do that much purl-ing. My notes below.

It turned out great! Love the color. Love the length. It’s a perfect little cowl. And it’s done in perfect time for me to take advantage of wearing it during this really cold weather we’re having right now (ummm…high of 18 today. That’s Fahrenheit…). I might want to make 20 more in all different colors.

Here are a few pictures of the final result.

Using size 13 needles, I cast on 24 stitches.

I knit regularly for 10 rows.

Then I did four rows of knit, purl, knit, purl.

Back to 10 rows of knitting.

Then, again: knit, purl, knit, purl.

I followed that pattern for eight rotations.

Then I cast off, and sewed the ends together (with yarn).

I’m sure I could have finished it off more elegantly, but I was anxious to get it done so I could work on my other projects. It was really fun to learn to knit, and to finish something relatively quickly.

This cowl took less that one skein of Lion Brand’s Thick and Quick yarn – about $8. I used the citron color.

And, just because I took bump pictures after I took cowl pictures, you get a bonus baby bump photo. Taken right at the week 20 mark. Feeling large.

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These are a few of my favorite things

I’m relatively new to blogging. It’s been about five months since I started this blog. My original goal wasn’t really to achieve anything. I just wanted a place to play a bit online.

Then, I realized it’d be a great tool for sharing updates with family and friends, since we are all scattered throughout the country. So, that’s been my main audience.

I don’t really have any revised goals for my blog, but I will say that I LOVE blogs that share opinions, give advice and also go through detailed diy projects. These are the blogs I follow most regularly, and I think they have a real value-add.

Someday, it’d be great if my blog did that for others. Until then, I’d like to share who I follow:

Lay Baby Lay – http://laybabylay.com/For creative nursery ideas and other baby advice.

Modg Blog – www.modgblog.com – For funny (really funny), pregnancy/baby advice. Product reviews. And other insights.

Little Green Notebook – http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/ – For great design ideas and really thorough, step-by-step (w/ pictures!) diy projects.

A Pretty Cool Lifewww.aprettycoollife.comFor fun craft projects, ideas and other inspiration.

Our Mid Centurywww.ourmidcentury.comFor creative mid century modern design ideas. 

The Purl Beewww.purlbee.comFor sewing and knitting/crocheting ideas and inspiration.

Well, those are the favorites, the sites that I visit most often. Please visit and enjoy! If you find any others that are similar, please let me know!

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Add it to the list…

I found another project I want to tackle! Now that I know how to knit, I’d love to take the Lamb Shoppe’s top-down baby jacket class. I could make this:

Now, I need to find out when they’ll have this class next!

I stumbled upon this inspiration when looking at Laura’s blog…in case you want another Denver crafter to follow…

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Mamas and Babies

Today is my moms’ birthday (happy birthday, mom!). I just came across this picture of her and my dad (and me…in the belly).

I’m not sure how far along she was in this picture. Looks like she’s a bit larger than I am right now, but it’s kinda cool thinking about what she and my dad were thinking about before I arrived. Were they super excited to meet this new little person (probably…that’s a dumb questions…duh, it’s me!)? Were they crazy stressed about money like Brady and I? Point being, it’s kinda neat to think about your parents being in the same spot you are in right now.

Although I’m glad I won’t be laying on an avocado green rug anytime soon.

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DIY Chevron Rug

I’ve been all about diy projects recently. I LOVE this Ikea hack that I found through Little Green Notebook’s blog, and I’ve been wanting to do it ever since. Well, the nursery finally gives me that opportunity (as does the newly opened Ikea that’s finally in town!).

Inspiration was a $250 5×8 rug from West Elm:

I started with a $40 Ikea Erslev rug. Size: 5×7.

I then cut out my zig zag template from a piece of cardboard. I ripped apart a box so I could get one long strip that covered the width of the rug. I did a 3″ zig zag stripe.

Laying the template on my rug, I taped the chevron pattern with 1″ blue painter’s tape. I wanted even stripes, so I measured every time I put the template down again for a new row so that it was evenly spaced.

Note: the pictures are kinda yellowed since I didn’t use a flash. (A little something about me: I don’t like flashes on cameras…they tend to bleach things out. Brady hates that I don’t use flashes.)

Once taped, I started to paint the rug using a dry brush technique (aka barely any paint on the brush). This gives the rug just enough paint to absorb into the fabric so that it’s tinted with the new color. Too much paint would mean a thick, somewhat sticky surface once it dried. Who wants to walk on that?

Let the paint dry for a few hours and you’re done!

Here’s a look at my rug, halfway through removing the tape:

And the final product, in the nursery with its newly painted walls. =)

And, one with Lola for good measure. She loves getting into my pictures. (Side note: it was not easy getting this done in our living room with a dog and two cats. All three creatures were super curious. I had to guard the rug with my life, basically, and we had to set the rug in the nursery and close the door so it could dry in peace.)

I’m super happy with the outcome of the rug! I like the textured look that the dry brushing gives it. And I love the price! All told, I probably spent $60 on the rug, for the same look of one that would have cost $250. PS – I probably spent more than I needed because I got a gallon of paint (I’ll use it elsewhere), which was way too much. And two rolls of tape, when I only needed one.

Please note that if you want to do your own rug and paint different colors, you’d have to either be more deliberate with your taping process, or you’d have to wait until color #1 dries and then tape again before applying color #2. I knew I was going to have the original rug come through for my alternating stripe, so I taped and painted accordingly.

Yay for nursery progress!

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