Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Stitch Markers

I’ve never been a stitch-marker gal. Being the lazy/cheap knitter I am, I’ve tended to use things like rings, rubberbands, and safety pins to mark my stitches. But a few months ago, I got third in an online contest through Ravelry for my cupcakes. My lovely prize was a set of stitchmarkers from Amanda’s Jewellry.

You can find her here at: Your Jewellry. Yes that’s spelled right. She’s an Aussie, folks.

Amanda was incredibly sweet and offered me several stitch markers as the prize, and shipped them all the way from Australia for free! I promised her I would blog about them, in the hopes that someone from my small little blog would see them and send some business her way.

Her stitchmarkers are beautiful:

Unfortunately I haven’t had much of a chance to use them since I’ve been battling cubital tunnel syndrome after typing some 500+ pages this year. But when I start back knitting again, I’m going to pick something out that requires multiple stitch markers, just because I love these.

So check out Amanda’s work at http://www.yourjewellry.com. There is plenty of non-knitting stuff too (for those of you who haven’t discovered the joys of it yet!)


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The Hogsmeade

So, I like to knit. And there is this website that every good knitter knows – Ravelry. It’s this pretty amazing compendium of patterns, needles, books, yarns, everything you could ever need. I can take a book I have, look it up on Ravelry, see people who have knit the same projects in the book, and judge what colors or yarn I want to use and if I want to make any modifications.

A few weeks ago, I entered a cupcake contest on Ravelry (okay technically in the group “Hogwarts at Ravelry” – I’m a dork, I know).  I’ve yet to jump on the whole cupcake bandwagon; personally I would take a slice of cake any day, but I figured I would give it a go. And guess what? I won 3rd place. I think I win a free pattern or stitch markers or something like that.

So here you go, a wonderful fall, Harry Potter inspired, IC friendly cupcake invented by yours truly.

The Hogsmeade

Where do you go for a nice cold pint of butterbeer? Hogsmeade of course! These are pumpkin butterbeer inspired cupcakes. Personally I love how they look like a mini pint of butterbeer, with the butterscotch colored bottoms and the white, foamy tops!



(pretend this is an artsy DSLR photo with the cupcake off to one side, only three quarters in the frame, with a blurry background, and not just a photo taken with my webcam).

Here’s the recipe (makes 24 regular sized cupcakes):

Cupcake batter:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed cooked or canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup butterscotch chips

Beat sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla well. Sift together dry ingredients and add in slowly, alternating with milk. Mix in butterscotch chips. Fill lined (essential!) muffin cup tins three quarters full and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375.


1 stick butter, melted
2 cups confectionary sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk (or less or more!)

Melt butter and add in sugar. Add in vanilla, Slowly add in milk. Remember – you can always add in more milk, but if you add in too much, you have to put in more sugar which can quickly run into a problem when you run out of sugar. 🙂

Butterscotch topping:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

In a heavy bottom pan, melt butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add in brown sugar and heavy cream and salt. Raise the temp until it the mixture boils for about 5-10 minutes. Take off heat and stir in vanilla. When it cools a bit, taste and adjust as necessary (add in a little more sugar or butter or vanilla!)

When cupcakes cool, frost and drizzle butterscotch topping on top. Enjoy!

  • I’m allergic to pumpkin pie spices like cloves and nutmeg, so I didn’t try using the traditional pumpkin pie spice. If you want a more pumpkin pie flavor, try adding in a tsp of a pumpkin pie spice mix! Personally, I like it this way – it lets the pumpkin and butterscotch come through

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My dad is in Haiti this week, taking a group of Virginia Tech students to visit their twin parish, inspiring the Creole numbers for this post. Please keep them in your prayers!

Port-Au-Prince 2008


I’ve been in a lot of pain this week. It is what it is. I’m still waiting on that divine revelation about why God wanted me to have a broken bladder. So far nada. I’ll tell y’all when I figure it out.


This is what I saw outside of the window the other day:

Really we see deer all the time on the hill behind our house. And all sorts of other things – birds, people walking their dogs, foxes, college kids smoking pot. But the point is, that’s a lot snow for March!


Your kind compliments inspired me to finish the project that’s been waiting in my knitting bag for months.

I am never knitting stripes again. So many ends to sew in! Also, these mittens are made of camel hair. While darling, they shed like crazy. Seriously. I think there will eventually be no yarn left. A full grown dog can’t shed this much hair.


I don’t know what I’m giving up for Lent yet.Or if I will give up something. My diet is already so restricted it wouldn’t be healthy for me to give anything else up. And I’ve already given up all the good stuff. I usually like to add one thing and give one thing up. Any ideas? What are you doing this year?


We need to do dishes like woah. And have no plans to. ‘Cause we still have a few clean forks left.


I’m doing my first real deal anthropological interview tomorrow.
I hope to look as good as Emily Deschanel while doing it.

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So yesterday I finished my Dad’s Christmas present.

A little late. I ran out of yarn when I was back home so I couldn’t give it to him then. Then I could find anymore of the same yarn in Virginia. By the time I got back here, I was just unmotivated.

I finally finished it, and I think it is fairly pretty manly. It’s a reversible cable (aka ribbed) with seed stitching on either side, knit with 2.5 skeins of Lion Brand yarn. I wish it was a bit longer, but I ran out of yarn (the last half a skein was bummed off someone. I could never find anymore of it).

It’s not really winter at all back in Virginia where my parents live. And he’s going to Haiti in a week, so I doubt he’ll get any use out of it this winter. He could definitely use it here, since we got a fresh layer of snow today.

In my knitting bag, two mittens await their finish, and probably won’t see any use this winter either. I realized why I’ve been so unmotivated with my knitting this year. ‘Cause this year I’m cuddling on the couch with my husband, making it more difficult to knit. Maybe next year we’ll be sick of each other and I can start to get stuff done!

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>Life as a JV…in pictures


These things comprise the basic essentials of my Jesuit Volunteer lifestyle:

And also, hiking in Montana:

That’s the Clark Fork river that flows through Missoula.
Those are the mountains that surround Missoula on a cold, windy, cloudy fall day yesterday. You can see there is already snow in the mountains in the distance!
Underbrush on the hike. I like this picture because it shows new growth after fires, but at the same time, those leaves are fire red.
Hiking in Helena, this is John at the top of Mt. Helena.

That’s a forest fire we passed driving to Helena. You could see the helicopters dumping water on the fire.

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