Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Stockings Were Hung....

Christmas is almost here, the house is as decorated as it's going to be, the presents have all been purchased, and the knitting is finished for gifting. All I have to do is make 3 more batches of caramel corn and wrap gifts, and we are completely ready for Christmas. This year the basement isn't finished (did I call that or what?) but I'm okay with it. We can ramp up again after the holidays. In the meantime, I decided to hang our stockings from a curtain rod in the middle of our living room. (Next year we will have a real mantel!) It's almost surreal to me to look at these stockings, to know that all 6 of them are up and there won't be any more for a long, long time. Our family is complete. We are now forever out of the pregnancy and newborn stage, and moving on to a different stage of our lives. I know I know, Charlie isn't 6 months old yet, but there is something to be said for when you walk down the aisles in the store and see all the adorable tiny clothes and think to yourself, "I'm never going to buy that stuff for our house again." Some people I know get a pang of sadness when they know they are done having children, but we both feel a strong sense of peace. 

Sorry, just had a moment of reflective thoughts :)

I wish you all the happiness and joy during this holiday season. May you and your family be blessed beyond measure! 


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Caramel Corn Recipe

Ho ho ho! This recipe is sure to please any Christmas party-goers or neighbors :) (Photo courtesy of my neighbor Katie, I didn't get a chance to snap a good one before we delivered all of our caramel corn!)

  • 2 bags of unbuttered popped popcorn (12 cups)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 stick of margarine (not butter!)
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Chocolate melts or almond bark (I use white and dark chocolate)
Bring brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup, and salt to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add vanilla and baking soda and mix up. Pour over popcorn and stir thoroughly. Put popcorn on a cookie sheet on parchment paper and bake at 250 for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Melt chocolates and drizzle over the top. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Episode 4 - Of Handspun and Scissors

Thank you for listening to my podcast! I love doing this, it's something just for me late at night when everyone else is sleeping and I have so much fun with my listeners! There is another giveaway this week, so be sure to listen for it and leave your entry!

Thank Yous and Administrative:
My blog -
Ravelry - Emily Straw
Ravelry Group - Knitting Butterflies
Instagram - butterflyem4

Thank you to Sarah Stevens - sarahstevens on Ravelry for gifting me the Corvinus Family Mitts pattern. Check out her pattern shop and Etsy shop for beautiful hand-dyed yarns!

Thank you to Mimers66, Terab707, and Trinawinna for reviews on iTunes!

Clicking Away:

  • Sprig Sweater by Alana Dakos from Never Not Knitting. Yoke and raglans are finished, as is stockinette for the bust. All of the ease is currently in the back because of my current larger bust size, debating on how to start the decreases so it will look correct, even wondering if I should frog it and start over on a different size.

    • Spinning Stories:

    • Finished my first 100g, have begun spinning my second 100g of Woolen Mill St. Yarns Corriedale roving.

    • Used my first 100g to knit a hat, had an incident with the 2 year old and scissors.

    • Finished hat has 2x2 rib and stockinette body. I love it so much that I entered it in to the Legend-Prairie contest from the Prairie Girls Knit and Spin Podcast.

    • Reviews:
    • Winners from the Green Gables Knits giveaway:

        • Orange-Maid from Ravelry (Scotland) - digital copy
        • Outofthisworld (Marybeth) from Ravelry (AZ) - paper copy

      • Sleepy Eyes Knits Wonderlace by Gina House, she also sent me Dreamscape. Check out her Etsy shop if you are interested in these books, as well as her website!

      Photos Courtesy of
      • To Enter the Giveaway - Leave your first name, your state and/or country, your email or Ravelry name, and your favorite Christmas or holiday tradition from when you were a kid that you keep alive today on this post.

      Remember and Reminisce

      Basement Tales
      • Hubby took the week off to work on basement. Sanding and mudding, craft room is done and playroom is almost done.
      • Built some built in shelving for under the television, and popup bench for storing blankets.

      Countdown to 30 - My family tradition is to see the latest Disney or kids movie at the theater on Christmas Eve. We started with the Little Mermaid 26 years ago and have only missed one year since. This year we will go see Frozen. As I become more of a grownup, I am wondering if I need to give up my chance to go see the movie each year and stay home to get stuff done.

      Photographing Your Knits
      • This week I talk about White Balance and how finding the settings for it on your camera or phone can make a big difference in the color quality and consistency of your photos
      • If you have some natural light but not enough, use a reflector to double the amount of light on your project


      Monday, December 16, 2013

      The Christmas Spirit

      Christmas is coming, that's for sure! Our tree is up and we have a few decorations up, but I haven't really had the energy to get the rest of them up yet. Considering I didn't get our tree up until the 21st last year, I'm actually doing pretty good.

      My mom works at a greenhouse and she let me bring my kiddos in their beautiful Christmas clothes to take some pictures. You know how they say the roofer's roof always leaks? Well, the photographer's kids apparently never look at the camera. This was an interesting session but we got a few keepers, so I'm happy.

      The next day we came back in regular clothes to meet Santa and see my sister perform her harp. Big Man E asked for about $1,000 worth of Legos, so we have been trying to explain that even Santa has a budget. Sorry, buddy. They had a blast though, I love that they all still believe in Santa so much and Christmas is so magical for them.

      Monday, December 2, 2013

      Knitting Butterflies Podcast - Episode 3 - Parking Meters


      Welcome to Episode 3 of the Knitting Butterflies Podcast! Show notes for this episode:

      Clicking Away

      Spinning Stories

      Remember and Reminisce


      • My first review is for Green Gables Knits by Joanna Johnson. Thank you to Slate Falls Press for gifting this book to me, and two more copies (one paper for US listeners, one digital for international listeners) to give away to my listeners!

      • To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post with your first name, state and/or country, email address or Ravelry name, and answer the following question:
        • What literary character has inspired you to knit or be creative?
      • The giveaway runs from December 2nd - December 17th
      Countdown to 30
      Photographing Your Knits
      • I discuss natural vs. manufactured lighting when photographing your knits, as well as soft light vs. hard light. I'm really excited about this segment, if there are questions you have about photographing your knits please let me know and I will do my best to answer them!
      Shout Outs
      • Orange_maid shared another great tip, the Magic Knot (featured to make the Magic Cake on Knitting Pipeline), which I used in my Falling Water scarf
      • grrlgeek42 has really fun geeky names for her socks and I love them :)
      • In a Sknit - one of my new favorite podcasts! Sarah and Kristi are adorable, keep up the good work, ladies!
      Thanks for listening, have a wonderful week! Blessings!

      I've Been Knitting, But....

      A lot of the projects I have been working on have been presents so I can't post pictures yet. I am going to talk about all of them in my next podcast though, so stay tuned!

      Friday, November 22, 2013

      Knitting Butterflies Podcast - Episode 2 - Facial Hair

      Thank you for listening to my new podcast! This is Episode 2, and I am really enjoying my new podcasting adventures. I was holding a sleeping baby during this recording so I apologize for my voice sounding much more sleepy this week. I hope you enjoy it! Blessings!

      Show Notes:

      -Knitting Butterflies can now be found on iTunes! Please subscribe and leave a review!
      -You can always find me on my blog, Ravelry, and Instagram. I will continue blogging as projects get finished but the podcast will have much more information, hopefully the two will go hand in hand well.
      -Thank you to all the listeners for the amazing support as I started this podcast!

      Clicking Away-
      -Vanilla Toe Up Socks in Patons Kroy 4 Ply are still going, mostly in the car
      -Minion Hats have taken over our house and children. So far 3 of the 4 are finished, I made up the pattern myself.
      -Alana Dakos's pattern Sprig is my new covet, I have some Cascade 220 from the Loopy Ewe. I am swatching and hoping my measurements will still work for after I am nursing. (Thoughts?) I picked out the colorway with help from a pink-haired girl who reminded me of Jasmin from the Knitmore Girls.

      Spinning Stories-
      -Still working on the first 4 oz. of Woolen Mills St. Yarn's corriedale in Juliette Jules. I have plied all my singles so far and have one more ounce to go. Plans for the finished yarn are probably a hat and mittens.

      Remember and Reminisce-
      -In honor of the movie Catching Fire coming out tomorrow, I decided to talk about my Girl on Fire scarf. It's knit with Brown Sheep Company's Wildfoote in Circus, a beautiful project but not the best yarn for this particular type of project. I am also planning on knitting another one in Cascade 220 in Rainier Heather for my friend's birthday in December. 

      Countdown to 30-
      -When I headed into my 20's I hated facial hair. After visiting I changed my ways, and I have been recently caught staring at my husband's awesome beard instead of listening to what he is saying. No Shave November is the best thing ever.

      Basement Tales-
      -We painted all the walls a beautiful filmy green and the ceiling a contractor bone color. Plans to build the built in bookshelves, entertainment center, and window seat will hopefully go underway tomorrow. Do you think we will make it in by Christmas?

      Shout Outs:
      -Orange-Maid shared an amazing Chinese Waitress cast on with our Ravelry group, I am super excited to start a new project with it! Maybe that Falling Water scarf?
      -MaggieVienna from shared the first FO in our group, she has also been incredibly supportive in the start of this podcast and her hat is super cute!
      -Debbie4 made in incredible Glacier Sweep shawl in Dragonfly Fibers Starry Night and Daffodil, it looks just like the Van Gogh painting! I want one for my home decor.
      -Mimers has a great podcast called Hudson Valley Knits, she is hosting a knit along for gifts. The Dragonfly Fibers Starry Night is the prize, so join in and check out her podcast!
      -Windybrook Spinner asked what my favorite species of butterfly is, it's the Blue Morpho butterfly from Latin America.
      -I love The Fat Squirrel Speaks, maybe I might accidentally end up talking like her sometime.

      I will not be podcasting next week (Thanksgiving) but I plan on doing a bi-weekly schedule. The response to this podcast has been great so far, and I have some very exciting events coming up and even giveaways and reviews for the listeners! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday week, and I will talk to you soon!

      Ways to Find Me:


      Wednesday, November 20, 2013

      Spinnin' Like a Villain...

      I have been having so much fun spinning this week! It's been a good in-between for me as I decide where to go with projects to work on. I have done about 3 oz. of one of the 4 oz. bundles I bought and I love it. One of my singles was getting a little squirrel-y on the "bobbin" I had it on (and by "bobbin" I mean pencil.) I decided to ply it last night, so I watched many, many videos on plying on a drop spindle to decide what type of ply to use and how to do it.

      I opted to make an Andean bracelet to create a center-pull ball, and it was definitely interesting. My singles were all pretty over-spun so they kept wrapping back on themselves and getting tangled, but slowly but surely I finished plying. What I was most happy about was how consistent the color changes ended up! I'm thinking that might have been a fluke and I probably won't have that happen again so I will have to alternate mini-skeins when I knit it up to make it look consistent, but for now I'm enjoying just admiring how beautiful it all looks on the spindle. I plan on spinning the last ounce before I ply any more, then ply all that up and then doing the other 4 oz. Eventually (thinking January) this will hopefully become a hat and mittens.

      (Andean Bracelet, taken at night so sorry about the bad light coloring)

      Saturday, November 16, 2013

      Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket, Part 2

      I started this baby blanket almost as soon as I finished with my last one, but a few other project opportunities jumped up and I grabbed them. I cleaned my living room yesterday and sorted out all of my "almost done" projects from my "not gonna finish any time soon" projects, and I have a goal to work on the "almost done" projects for awhile as inspiration sets in for new projects. This blanket was one of the "almost done," and I sat down last night for a couple hours after cleaning all day and went to town. I did almost an entire skein last night in one sitting, and as always I am super pleased with how this blanket turned out. This is definitely my go-to pattern for charity, since I love self-striping yarn and I can keep going for as long as I want or until I run out of yarn. I hope the little baby who receives this blanket loves it!

      Thursday, November 14, 2013

      Knitting Butterflies Podcast - Episode 1 - Introductions

      I love, love, love podcasts. Especially knitting podcasts. I have been toying with the idea of doing my own knitting podcast for awhile now, and late one night I decided to just go for it. What's the worst that can happen? I'm not a really consistent person so it might be pretty sporadic, but I am okay with that. Anyway, here is Episode 1 - Introductions!

      Show notes:

      Thanks for listening to my new podcast! I spend a little time introducing myself and why butterflies mean a lot to me.

      Clicking Away -

      Remember and Reminisce
      • I talk about how I started yarn work, beginning with basic crocheted baby blankets for my cousins and a scarf I used in a gift exchange. I was delighted to find out I had invented Continental Knitting.
      Spinning Stories
      • I mention the Knitmore Girls podcast and how much I love their spinning stories. You will probably hear a lot more about this podcast, it's my favorite!
      • I just started spinning on a drop spindle for the first time two weeks ago. I picked up my spindle at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe and used all the roving that came with it.
      • I picked up some Woolen Park St. Yarns corriedale roving from The Loopy Ewe, and currently have spun about 2 oz. of the 8 I bought. I mentioned the Foliolium Pattern by Joanna Johnson.
      Countdown to 30
      • Currently 20 weeks (140 days), 23 hours, and some change from my 30th birthday. 
      • I talk about how much my life changed from age 20 to 30, from getting married to having 4 kids to buying a house. I am very picket fence-y.
      Basement Tales
      • We finally finished sanding and mudding in the living room, this week I got to pick out fabric for pillows, curtains, and cushions. I used those fabrics to pick out paint colors, and we plan on painting the living room this weekend.

      Shout Out
      Ways to Find Me:

      Tuesday, November 12, 2013

      Spinnin' All My Troubles Away....

      I have really been enjoying using the drop spindle I picked up last week at one of my local yarn stores. $10 for a spindle and some sample roving? You bet! I finished that roving up in a couple of days, plied and all, and went to my favorite LYS to pick up some Corriedale roving. I got 8 oz, which now seems like an awful lot, but I figure it will make enough for me to knit a hat and mittens or something nice and useable. This roving is by the Woolen Mill St. Yarns Spinning Fiber in the colorway Juliette Jules. I love it, it's so pretty with it's constantly changing blues and pinks and greys. I have finished about an ounce so far, and I'm still learning a lot. I like to spin tight and fine, mostly because I also like to knit with fine yarns. My yarn still definitely has some bumps and inconsistent pieces but it's getting much better than even when I started just last week. I am going to try some chain plying to make the colors a bit more consistent when they knit up, we'll see how it all goes though!

      Wednesday, November 6, 2013

      Hitchhiker Scarf - Finished!

      The first of many things to share with my two readers is my finished Hitchhiker Scarf! I did this one for the Behm-along with the Knitmore Girls Podcast. I never thought I would enjoy a garter stitch scarf, I thought I would be bored out of my flipping mind but this was some serious potato-chip knitting, meaning I could never do just one row. I had to do a whole repeat. And then I would only be halfway through a show, so then I would start another repeat. Then the show would finish, and I would have to start another one. And the cycle continued over, and over, and over again. I finished at 3:30am this past Saturday night, I literally did over 3,000 stitches in one sitting to finish this thing! The repeats got longer and longer, eventually with rows over 180 stitches (at least, that's when I lost count). I have to say though, I love, love, LOVE this scarf! It goes with so much of my wardrobe, it drapes beautifully, and it's so soft and squishy! I had planned on eventually blocking the snot out of it, stretching it until you could really see the garter ribs. But, it looks so lovely as it is and it's plenty big, I think I will keep it the way it is.

      Here are the knitty-gritty details for you:

      Hitchhiker Pattern by Martina Behm
      Yarn: Madeline Tosh Prairie in Grey Garden, the yarn I picked up in Portland
      Size 6 needles
      I used about 85g of the 100g ball, still trying to think of a use for 15g of lace weight yarn. We'll see!

      I love how the yarn has a story of my trip, and now whenever I wear this scarf it makes me happy to remember it. I plan on picking up something like this every time I travel now, a little memento of my adventures. More updates are coming later this week including LOTS of photo shoots, since I have been one busy lady!

      Tuesday, November 5, 2013

      Lots to Share....

      ...but it will have to wait.In the meantime, enjoy this photo of a gem I picked up today at my LYS.