Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm a bad girl.

I have not posted in over a month, sad.....

The problem is that I went home to the Deep South for 10 days to visit my family or an early Christmas, and forgot my camera :( It makes me sad to post without pictures, so I just haven't posted. But it's driving me crazy, so here is a creatively done update:

(1) Went home for cousin's wedding, YAY! Here's me and the hubbie all dolled up and ready to party:

(2) It snowed in the South! Yep, you heard that right, my parent's in South Louisiana (not too far from New Orleans!) got 6 inches!! Here's my cutie nephew and his best friend, the snowman:

(3) We celebrated our 1st anniversary, YAY!!!!!
And of course, we had Christmas!! And during all the while I have been knitting. I am very close to finishing my cavern cardi, and I made the Isabella hat as a test-knitter for fellow crafter and Twilight fan, Rilana. I hope to get my grubby hands on a camera and post pictures soon!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oh happy day, Twilight!

Saturday was a great day for several reasons!! First I got to spend a day with the girls. I headed over to my friend Mel's house for a 'nestie' get-together. These are wonderful ladies I met on the December 2007 board on the knot while I was planning my wedding. After I moved to Boston for my new job, we were able to all meet and have been having fun since then. There we are today at our November get-together!

We are teaching Marilyn how to crochet, so look for some crochet scarves in the coming months!

After the get-together Mel and I had lunch and then went to see the Twilight movie!!

I LOVE the Twilight series of books and couldn't wait for the movie. I was not happy with the casting, but wanted to see it anyway and WOW, the actors did their homework. They may not have looked like I pictured the characters, but the personalities were definitely right. I know there are a lot of critics out there that are hating on the movie for various reasons. All I can say is, I didn't expect to like it, I am very pleased and I think I will definitely own and love this movie, although not for the same reasons as the book. That being said, there really was not a lot of time for character development, so for non-readers a lot of the little things may not have made as much sense.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My first potholders!

So, I've heard from a lot of people that once you try hand-knitted/crocheted potholders and dishcloths, you'll never go back to the storebought ones. Only one way to find out, right?

So here they are, made in 100% cotton yarn so they are super washer friendly and can handle the heat! First is a doubled over square potholder.


Second is what I have dubbed, "Mr. Turtle" His tail makes the loop so you can hang him. I think his feet are a little tiny, but hey, my feet are a little big, so who am I to complain. I think he's a cutie! I'm tempted to sew on googly eyes!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My name is Kellie.....

and I'm a YARNOHOLIC!!!!

It's official. I decided to spent a significant part of my Sunday organizing the 'craft area' of my closet. Oh my gosh....I didn't realize how much yarn I had collected since I started knitting!!! There's the leftovers from finished projects, the stash of yarn for the inevitable baby gifts, the bought specifically for a project that I haven't started yet yarn, and the what can I make with this it's the coolest ever yarn group!
What prompted all this? I ran to the craft store to buy thread to sew a button. It sounds so harmless!! But I can't go to the store and NOT go to the knitting section. So there I was, perusing the usual suspects, when BAM!! Glaring at me & calling my name was a sign for a sale. Only $1.49 a ball for 100% squishy wool in the coolest happiest colors ever!! I had to get some!! (I bought nearly all they had out, 8's usually $5.99 each!)
So, I organized the closet. I pulled everything out, sorted, packed, know, cleaned it the 'right way.' Here's my handiwork. Don't judge me by my yarn gluttony. I am officially now on a yarn "diet" until I clear out some of this stash!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Warm & Woolie Hat!!

It is getting cold pretty quickly in Mass!! So, I had to knit a new warm cap. I especially needed one that would cover my ears because....well, BRR!

So, this is the hat I decided on. It was a SUPER easy cable pattern, 18 seconds to sunrise. I used Moda Dea's Tweedle Dee yarn, which is a 'shaded' yarn. I modified the pattern as follows:

I purled one row on each earflap before the “row 1:knit” I used the Patons wool in complementing colors together (1 strand of each) and did one round of half double crochet with size J hook. Finally I braided the ties instead of i-cord.
I love it!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Can the girl cook?

We got a big surprise in the mail this week.....a belated wedding gift!! WOW, I am so excited!! First because it's a great gift. Second because I was looking at the Better Home and Gardens New cookbook pink edition in the bookstore the night before the package arrived. No joke!!! And Third, a taste of home sweet home Louisiana! Hopefully this will lead to more future cooking posts!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

YeeHaw, ride 'em cowgirl!!

Here it is, my latest and greatest of the baby presents!! These are for my cousin's baby girl who is scheduled to make her debut in December. I think these came out pretty good for my first attempt at them!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ah, autumn!

Well I have fallen sorely behind with blogging, but for good reason! Last weekend my husband and I went hiking in New Hampshire!! I must say it is SO NICE to both be out of school and have real jobs and plan weekend getaways like this. We left on Saturday morning and drove up, which was not bad at all, about 2-2.5hr drive. We got off the interstate and went through Bristol, NH. It's a small town, but so cute and we stopped at a local diner for lunch, but they serve breakfast all day! Oh my YUM! It was so good and I got a cup of locally brewed White Mountain coffee to boot!

We went to the scultured rocks geologic site to 'play' for a couple of hours. It's a gorgeus are, literally steps off the road and we climbed down some of the rocks for close to the cold water!

Then we drove to the AMC Mount Cardigan Lodge to check in. It is near lots of trail heads and has rooms you can rent. During the full operating season they serve family style meals, which was fun because we got to meet a lot of people there. I was happy to meet some other knitters and we spent a few hours sitting around the den area knitting and chatting.

Sunday we hiked up Mount Cardigan via Firescrew. It was a graded as a moderate hike but was pretty vigorous for a while there! Turned out to be perfect for us. It was a 5.7 mile loop that hit both the Firescrew and Cardigan peaks. Here is DH resting on top of Mount Cardigan where we stopped for lunch.
It was a great weekend getaway!! On our way back to the interstate we stopped at a local apple farm for some hot cider, which was the perfect end to our day!!
In knitting news, I am finished with baby gifts for the moment, YAY! I finished the Cowgirl boots this week but still need to upload pictures. I'm hoping to make a few super warm hats now because New England is having cold mornings now!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fire and Ice Pillow

This week I finished the Fire and Ice Pillow test-crochet for the TKB group on Ravelry. I was testing the pattern, which was great! It was very simple and I ended up with a very huggable pillow!

The pattern is inspired by Bella's two "loves" in the Twilight series.
Jacob, who is a werewolf, so here's a fuzzy brown side:
And Edward, who is a sparkly vampire, so his side has a diamond pattern and, though you can't tell, it's made with a sparkly white yarn:

Side View:

Apple butter, YUM YUM!

If you saw my last post, you know that we went apple picking last week. Well I'm finally getting around to doing something with all of those apples. Fortunately a few we picked were a little under-ripe, so now they are PERFECT!!
My first apple dish is apple butter! First you have to make apple sauce and then basically sweeten and spice it up then concentrate it down. So I took some pictures along the way so that next time I'll know just what it's supposed to look like!
1-boil apple slices in apple juice and sugar! Notice that I left the skins on. I read that leaving the skins on give the apple butter a better color. Also notice I have a combination of different type of apples...this is supposed to give a better flavor.

After boiling and mashing with a potato masher:

After blending:

I choose to use a blender to grind up the skins since I don't have a food mill. This worked great!! There are a few little chunks but tastes and looks really nice!

Final Product!!!

I started with a dozen apples and ended up with about 9 and a half, half-pint jars. They are cooling now. It is a little runnier than I wanted, more like thick sauce. I'm hoping it thickens up more as it cools. I think it will taste great on hot biscuits; my husband is hoping it stays a little runny so he can use it as ice cream topping!!
Peeking out of the back there is a jar of the raspberry jam!!!
EDIT: Kim wants to try this and needed to know how much sugar, so I'm just posting the entire recipe!! This is from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book
4.5lbs tart cooking apples, cored and quartered (about 14 medium)
4 cups apple cider or apple juice
2 cups sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
.5 tsp ground cloves (I didn't use this)
.5 tsp ground allspice
1-in 8 or 10 qt pot combine apples and cider or juice. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 min, stirring occasionally. Press through food mill or sieve (I used a blender). Return to pot. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Bring back to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered over very low heat 1.5 hours or until very thick, stirring often.
2-Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims; adjust lids. Process in boiling water canner 5 minutes (start timing when water boils). Remove jars and cool on racks. Makes 8 half pints.
Note: I don't have a "canner", just use a big pot and make sure your jars are completely submerged!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

And....another baby present!

This one was a quick crochet project. Thank goodness since this was last minute! I made it this weekend and put it in the mail today, whew!!

Also, the highlight of my weekend was apple and raspberry picking at Connors Farm. apples!!
My hubby picking raspberries....
Our bountiful harvest....
They are now residing in jars of jam, YUM!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Whoa BABY!!!

Wow, there is something in the water in LA this year!! I have so many cousins having babies that I'm becoming a baby present making factory here!! Fortunately I've finished the first 2 (YAY!!!), which leaves me with..........well 4 or 5 I can think of off the top of my head (just added another one yesterday, LOL!! hmmm, maybe I'll have to look for some LSU patterns...).

Here is a granny square blanket and matching bunny (my first stuffed animal/toy!!) I made for my cousin Natalie's baby girl, due to arrive on Halloween!!

The set:

Close-up of the scallop edge:

The bunny!! My husband has named him Frank:

And second is this super cute pair of booties, my first baby booties!! These are for Mr. Luke Slay Hammond, who made a very early arrival but is doing great and is cute as a button!! I'm very happy with these. They were super easy so I'm definitely keeping this pattern for reference!!! Can't find the link at the moment (it's on my other computer) so check out my Ravelry profile for the pattern or send me a message and I'll post it!!

Now I'm working on a pair of baby cowboy booties in funky hot pink and white, Woo-Hoo!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

In Memory

My sweet friend Jill passed away yesterday morning, after a nearly year-long fight with cancer. Jill was a graduate of Miami University and earned her Masters Degree from the University of Cincinnati. Jill was a special education teacher who loved her work. She was diagnosed just 2 months before her wedding to her brave and wonderful husband, J.T. For her friends, Jill was always a ray of sunshine, she loved life and had cheerful words for everyone each and every day. We all certainly miss her.

J.T. has started a Stand up to cancer team in her memory, with the goal of raising money for cancer research and increasing the awareness of this rare but very serious form of cancer. I have already joined and hope my friends will too. Jill was a fighter til the end and I am proud to take up her fight now!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Prayers for Jill

My sweet friend Lauren wrote this and I thought it said everything I'd want to say.
Thinking of one of my very dear friends....
Over the past year and a half, I’ve gotten to know a great group of girls. We all got married in December and had lots of fun talking throughout wedding planning. Since our weddings, we’ve continued our conversations and now talk about buying houses, getting pets, having babies, etc. We have really all grown very close, even though most of us have never met.
We were all shocked to find out one of our own, Jill, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last October at the young age of 24. She has been so brave and positive throughout this. Always cheerful and looking on the bright side.

Although there has been some progress in the fight on her cancer over the past few months, they were told on Monday that her recent symptoms are indicating the “end of her life cycle.” At this point, the doctors don’t think there’s anything they can do for her.
Our hearts are breaking for Jill and her husband, J.T. right now. Please keep them and their families in your prayers.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

MKL Cowl

I just finished my first test-knit last night for the TKB group on Ravelry. It's all about knits that are inspired by Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series. So I made the Meine Kalte Liebe ("My cold love" in German) Cowl. It was a great knit, quick and easy. I used Paton's Classic Merino wool in black and I just love how the solid color shows off the texture of the knit. Granted I tried this on in September, but I must say, this puppy is warm! I'll definitely need it in the fall with my new short 'do!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hat & Baby Fish!!

YAY! I got my camera back and here's the hat I made last week!!

(The goofy smile is because I was watching Chapelle show reruns!)

I love the hat, I think it will be really cute for the fall.

So, I'm still reading but on the 4th and final book of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn. I'm sure I'll finish it over the weekend. I really have no weekend plans except to go to the grocery and for a haircut.

So, nothing too exciting to report, EXCEPT............babies!!

I came home yesterday to find that my pregnant guppy finally had her babies! I've been watching her for weeks! I was so excited, I really hope a few survive. I counted 10 but they're so tiny, there may be a few more.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Yep, yesterday was my big 3-Oh!! My best friend called and asked how it felt to be 30. My reply: GREAT!! I'm happy and healthy, how could I ask for more?!

So, it was a busy week, highlighted by my work treating me out to lunch for my B-day. I had a personal pizza and cannoli for dessert (YUM!). I got the cutest card ever and a bag of chocolates!! It was fab!!
I am missing my hubby, who is out on an adventure! He is a crewman on the Friendship replica tradeship and sailed to New Hampshire for a tall ships festival this weekend. Then they are sailing to Maine for the week. I know he is having a blast!! He has our digital camera, so I am not able to show you my latest FO, the Crochet Toque. I <3 it!! I made it with the same yarn as my wristwarmers from last week. Now I just need a scarf and I have a whole set!!

That is the only yarn work I really got to do this week. I've been spending a lot of time reading. I'm hooked on the Twilight series. I read the first 3 books last spring, but decided to re-read them before reading the last and final book, which just came out a few weeks ago. I am delighted to say that the books are just as enjoyable (and addictive) the second time around! I'm sure they will continue to distract me from my knitting/crocheting for another week or so.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My first handwarmers!!

First, this is why everyone should come hang out at my place:

Pasta salad and snack tray

Virgin (non-alcoholic) fruit spritzer, YUM

Carrot Cake!!

Why all the yum-yums? My local friends from the knot came over to discuss knitty things!! We didn't actually start any projects at this first group meeting, but we did have a big discussion on knitting vs. crochet and which one is really easier to learn first. I learned to knit first and was totally confused by crochet when I first tried it. But this most recent time around, it was much easier to pick up (thanks to all those master knitter/crocheters who put how-to videos on youtube!). I can definitely see why so many people say that crochetting is easier, but I didn't find knitting to be all that difficult to learn. It just required a little practiced coordination and patience.

So, on the project front. Here is an update on everything currently on the needles/hooks:

1-HP Prisoner of Azkaban scarf - sadly untouched for quite some time, but to be picked up again soon so I can finish it before the next movie comes out

2-Cavern cardi - also untouched since my last post, but oh so close to done. As soon as I finish this dang baby blanket

3-Baby Blanket - Going great!! I do need to finish up quite soon, but it's coming along nicely

4-Bunny rabbit - Decided to make my first toy to match the baby blanket. So far I have the body and head done

And, just started and finished this week.........
my first handwarmers!!

Watching Serendipity:

This was also my first 'public' crafting experience. I crocheted these in two days during my train commute. I think crocheting on the go is much easier to handle than knitting on the go would be. I did get lots of 'looks' but they were mostly from women who looked curious to see what I was making and how. At first it felt weird, but then I decided I didn't mind so much because if I saw someone making something, I would be curious too! Overall, I can see where this could become a habit!!