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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Knitting the Magic Loop Tutorial

Knitting circular projects can be easy & fun with the Magic Loop Method... 
You can knit hats, socks and more without using double-pointed needles and your projects will be seamless.
This method does take a little bit of practice, but once you learn it you will never go back! 

I love to knit hats with the magic loop. You can knit any size hat (infant to adult) on the same circular needles. 
My next goal is to make socks with magic loop.

Before getting started... 
You will need circular knitting needles with long, flexible cables, 40-47 inches in length is good.  
(Note: I use an interchangeable needles from Knit Picks. They are good quality needles that
make changing needle sizes easy. I got them for Christmas a couple of years ago and I love them. 
They are a great investment for an knitter.)

Follow the picture-guided tutorial below to get started...

Cast on the amount of stitches needed for your circular project.

Divide stitches in half and bend the cable in order to gently pull it through the
of the stitches, making a big loop. Half of the stitches will be on one needle
and the 
other half on the other needle.

Hold the needles so that the needle with the first cast on stitch is closest to you and 
the needle with the working yarn is to the back. Make sure that the stitches are 
all pointing down and not twisted.

Pull the back needle out so that the stitches are on the cable and the needles is free 
to knit with. At this point you will begin knitting and you will knit to the end of 
the first side of the round. The cable will be looped on either side of the stitches. 

Note: If you begin with a knit stitch make sure that the working yarn is in  front of the 
back needle before knitting. If you begin with a purl stitch, make sure the yarn is 
behind the back needle.

Once you have finished the first side of the round, push the now empty needle 
through, so that it will now hold the unworked stitches. Turn your work to the 
other side. Hold the needles so that the unworked stitches are on the needle that 
faces you and the needle with the working yarn is to the back. Then, once again, 
pull the back needle out so that the back stitches are on the cable and there is a 
loop on either side of the work. Begin knitting for the other side of the round.

Once you finish the second side, you will be done with the first round. 
Continue in this way through your project, even as you decrease!

For additional assistance, YouTube video tutorials are very helpful.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Recipe: Lemon Coconut Cookies

Lemon Coconut Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 lemon, zest & juice
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. 
Mix in lemon juice, zest, egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine flour, 
coconut, baking soda, and salt. Add in the flour mixture gradually, 
until all is combined. 

Chill the dough for a few hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Using a food processor, pulse together 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup coconut. 
Pour into a small, shallow bowl. Form the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and 
coat with the sugar/coconut. Space the cookies out on the cookie sheet 
and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool and enjoy! 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

recipe ... pumpkin zucchini bread

  • Pumpkin Zucchini Bread
    1 egg
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, finely grated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice

    Crumb Topping
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg, pumpkin and sugar. Then use a food processor to finely grate up the zucchini. Be sure to use a thin cloth or fine strainer to get as much water as possible out of the grated zucchini, and mix it in. Then add in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Mixing until everything is combined. 

  • To make the crumb topping... In a small bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter using a pastry cutter or fork, until the butter is mixed in well and it is a crumbly consistency.

  • Pour the bread batter into a greased/floured loaf pan and cover it well with the crumb topping.

  • Bake for 1 hour. Enjoy!

Friday, April 29, 2016

photos + video ... lilacs in bloom

Oh, beautiful lilacs... my favorite flower ever!!!

I am so excited that I even took a video of the lilacs!!! 
The sun made magical light and birds were singing... yay!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

recipe ... homemade bread

It is spring in Colorado, which means the weather is bipolar! Well, Saturday was cold, windy and
 rainy/snowy, so it was a perfect day to stay cozy inside. I watched an episode of The Pioneer Woman,
where Ree made homemade bread and I decided to try out the recipe, to go along with homemade
chicken noodle soup. So, even if the weather is not very spring-y, I can make the best of it with the
 yummiest comfort food! 

Making bread can be tiresome and time consuming but it is always worth the work! I just love the feel of kneading the smooth dough, seeing it rise, smelling it bake and the taste of it right out of the oven. 

Homemade Bread / Dinner Rolls 

(Personal Note: This original recipe is "White Sandwich Bread", however I made it into dinner rolls this time. It makes 2 loafs of bread or 24 dinner rolls.)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the board

Combine the yeast and 2 cups warm water in a mixing bowl and stir to dissolve. Add the butter, sugar and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir in one-third of the flour until smooth. Add another third of the flour and stir, then turn it out onto a floured board to knead. Knead it over 15 minutes, adding the rest of the flour as you knead. Don't let it get dry too fast; it should stay sticky. Put the dough in a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1 hour.

Knead the dough another 5 minutes, place it back in the bowl and let it rise another hour.

Butter 2 loaf pans. Shape the dough into 2 loaves and transfer them to the prepared pans. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

(Personal Note: I made "clover rolls" in muffin tins, by putting 3 small balls of dough into each muffin and allowing them to raise for another 30-45 minutes.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake the loaves until golden brown on top and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. 
(The dinner rolls took 25-30 minutes to bake.)

This is my kind of lunch!! So yummy! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Resurrection Sunday!

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is love
Whoever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless Righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
With Christ my Savior and my God

And here is something special I put together for Ren for Easter! 
I bought bunny ears from the Target dollar section, but they needed something more... 
So I added one of my own knit bows, for a touch of something pink and girly! 
I thought they turned out perfect!!!

And here is the cutest little bunny (with fairy wings and a very silly face!!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

photography ... orange ranunculus

I was so happy to see these bright orange ranunculus at the grocery store the other day.
I bought them in a heartbeat! This is the first time I've bought 
ranunculus... they are
such a pretty flower! Nothing says spring-time like fresh, bright flowers in the house!

Monday, March 14, 2016

lensbaby photography ... early spring

It is always fun to get outside and shoot photos, especially when it's almost spring and little bits
of life are starting to show up. The other day, my sister and I went for a walk downtown in search
of early blooms. I have been wanting to shoot with my lensbaby lately, so this was a perfect time. 
The weather was lovely and I saw lots of pretty things... 

Spring is coming!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

recipe ... cream cheese mints

My cousin is about to have a baby girl!! Yay!!! So, I made these mints for her baby shower.
These are everyone's favorite, no matter the event! You can make them without a mold or you 
can find molds online for any holiday/occasion. They are easy to make and sooo yummy! 

Cream Cheese Mints

1 eight-ounce package cream cheese (room temperature)
1 two-pound bag of powdered sugar
Peppermint Extract, as desired
Food coloring, as desired
Granulated sugar, for coating mints

Using a standing or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl, with a couple of drops of peppermint extract and desired food coloring. Start adding powdered sugar, a heaping cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky (a playdough-like consistency). You may not use the whole bag of powdered sugar. Add more peppermint extract, if needed. Add more food coloring for a richer color.
If the dough is too sticky, add more powdered sugar.

(Note: I made two colors, so I divided the dough in half and colored separately.)

To make the mints… pinch off a marble-sized amount of the dough, roll it in a ball, coat with granulated sugar, press into a special rubber candy mold. (Candy molds can be purchased on Amazon or you can simply press the mints flat with a fork, cup, etc.) Allow the mints to dry a bit in open air, then store them in the freezer until ready to serve.

These mints freeze well and thaw out quickly, so you can make them for any special event ahead of time and pull them out of the freezer about an hour before serving.

These mints are sure to be the hit of your next party!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

coloring creativity...

For Christmas, my mom got me an adult coloring book with beautiful Scripture art called, 
"Beauty in the Bible". I love all the designs with Bible verses and it's so fun to add color to them! 
So, here are a few of the pages that I have colored so far this year...

I also was getting creative doing a hand-lettering exercise on Instagram, with @lissletters. 
I didn't get very far, but here are some of my creations, with colored pencils...

I love spending time being creative with colored pencils!