Saturday, November 24, 2012

Denver Addendum: Littleton CO

A perfect Mile High afternoon...

Life was kind enough to afford me a second trip to Denver recently, as I traveled to the Mile High City to speak to a pair of writer's groups.  This schedule left me just enough time to visit one of the yarn stores that had eluded my previous visit.  Lucky for me, that made for an afternoon of fibrous adventures in Littleton that I can pass on to you.

Let's start with our lunch stop:
Delizios Cafe and Wine Bar
2299 West Main Street
Littleton, CO 80120

Timing bade me to begin my visit with a tasty lunch, which was to be had at Delizios.  The building’s history dates back to the late 1800’s, including lives as a depot, filling station, and a saloon.  While the spot hosts an impressive wine selection, it also offers excellent morning coffee and some of the prettiest cookies on the block.  I appreciated my awesome java while my lunch-mate oohed and aahed over the selection of fine hand-blended teas from TLC in Montana.  My lunch of strawberry walnut salad and Italian wedding soup hit the spot perfectly.  The set up, with large doors open to the outdoor patio, makes for the perfect fall or spring day--you feel outdoors but don’t have to be exposed to the elements if they’re just a bit warm or cold for your taste.

Next stop is our fiber find:

A Knitted Peace
5654 C St. Prince Street
Littleton, CO 80120

You feel the atmosphere of this store from the moment you walk in.  Co-owners Jane Dickinson and Marsha Asheim have been on great terms with the spot for years, having worked here before they bought the store from the owner six years ago.  

Yes, it’s a self-described “hardcore knitters store,” but even a first-timer would feel welcome here.  The quality of the stock is thoughtful and impressive, boasting artisan fibers as well as lace and sock yarn.  This strikes me as a “thinking knitter’s store,” and I always like that vibe.  The staff is highly skilled and yet super friendly--and that’s a tough balance to achieve with A Knitted Peace’s degree of success.

Some projects you should check out:

The Spiral Pouch
by Karen Gress

This elegant stash-buster serves as our Knit-Along from the store.  Who wouldn’t like a little sack that not only makes for a clever accessory, but could dress up a dull gift (like cash or a gift card) with panache?  All you need is 100 yards of any worsted weight yarn (they gave me Araucania handpainted Liwen from Chile) and any embellishments that strike your fancy.

Should you need something more practical, look to the
Simple Earflap Hat

Choose a skein of bulky yarn, and the friendly folks at A Knitted Peace will provide you with this pattern free of charge.  Top-down construction makes it easy to customize to whichever dear ears you wish to warm.  Bulky yarn makes for fast knitting, so if you’re in a bind for a last minute gift, this might be your salvation.

In the mood for a larger scale project? I was drawn to the:
Easy Folded Poncho
from ChurchMouse Yarns & Teas

I’ve long admired ChurchMouse patterns, and this is no exception.  Elegant in its simplicity, Rowan Felted Tween makes this the perfect Colorado accessory.  Sure, it’s a lot of stockinette, but when it comes out looking like this, it’s worth the marathon.

Need a gadget to fill a stocking? Follow A Knitted Peace’s lead and opt for the Sock Monkey tape measure.  Nothing cheers up a knitter’s day like a fun but functional tool like this.

Once you’ve filled up on fiber finds, it’s time to spend the rest of your afternoon wandering up and down Littleton’s aptly named Main Street.  The folks at will give you lots of info, but here were my favorites:

First stop on any Littleton adventure has to be:

Reinke Brothers Costume and Haunted Mansion
5663 S. Prince Street
Littleton, CO 80120

Even if it’s ten months to Halloween, this store is worth a visit for its sheer fun value.  Where else can you see life-size Star Wars characters, Gollum, or the beast from “Alien”?  My personal favorite was the deli case of body parts...gross but funny.

What’s a DestiKNITions adventure without coffee and chocolate?  Get both here at:
The Chocolate Therapist
2560 W. Main Street
Littleton CO 80120

From cocoa nibs to a gazillion kinds of dark and light chocolate, this store can set you up in chocoholic heaven.  If you’re looking for someone to affirm your belief that chocolate is good for you, here’s the spot.

Just in case that’s not enough sugar, you’re bound to hit your max at:
Lola’s Sugar Rush
2490 W. Main Street
Littleton CO 80120

Candies you love, candies you’ve forgotten, sweets you begged for in childhood, it is all here at “the ultimate sweet shoppe.”  If you’re looking to give you dentist lots of business, and your waistline lots of encouragement, look no further.

After all those goodies, its time for a some non-edible acquisitions.

Willow - An Artisan’s Market
2400 W. Main Street
Littleton CO 80120

I’m a big fan of clever gift stores, and this one had lots to tempt me.  

Colorado Frame & Savvy Stuff
2396 W Main St
Littleton, CO 80120

Yes, they do framing in here, but it’s hardly the only reason to cross the threshold of this jam-packed store.  Gifts, Trollbeads, and my favorite: a sign that said “I drink coffee for your protection.”  If only my suitcase weren’t jam-packed already...

The Festive Plum
2336 W. Main Street
Littleton, CO  80120
If you’re the type of person who gets into collectibles, this store is packed with all kinds of intriguing figurines and nifty gift items, too.

When you’re ready for dinner, head to a little bit of France right off of Main Street:

JaJa Bistro
5641 South Nevada Street 
Littleton, CO 80120

We didn’t time our visit to get in for lunch or dinner (the place is closed from 2-5pm in between meals) to personally confirm the glowing recommendation from A Knitted Peace.  That left us to longingly peering in the windows and smiling at the Eifel Tower replica on the sidewalk.  All inquiries, however, lauded their spectacular brunch and all around authentic French cuisine.

One more food option should you need it:
Breaking Bread Cafe and Bakery
5656 S. Sycamore Street
Littleton CO  80120

How can you not love a bakery that was closing up shop early to celebrate an employee’s birthday but let you in to score some yummy goat cheese and spinach scones?  The owner recommended “The Porker Sandwich: pulled pork topped with Jalapeno Mac & Cheese and Homemade Honey Bourbon BBQ sauce.”  Yum!

I found Littleton to be a charming, perfectly sized edition to my previous Denver adventures.  An afternoon of sunny, delicious adventures through unique and friendly businesses--primo DestiKNITions fare.

Up next, we begin The Spiral Bag from A Knitted Peace.

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