Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from *elletrain knits*! I hope you all have a lovely holiday season filled with joy and...knitting!! And hopefully some snow in there, too :)

What a wonderful year this has been! I got a new name and a new wonderful husband to go along with it. We got to do some traveling: we got engaged in Mexico and got to honeymoon in Scotland, Ireland, and London. We were fortunate to see our families more often this year because of the wedding. Pinky started his own new business and things are booming. I started to put together a new wedding business, Lace*Paper*Flowers, with my friend Jessica. (more to come on that in the new year!). Our home has become more of a home through not only decorating, but filling the house with 'us' and what's important to us. We lost some dear friends this year that we will truly truly miss (JP and Kodi), but both gained amazingly wonderful families. We are truly blessed.

Happy Happy Holidays to you and yours. I love you all!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snowflakes That Fall

Hi all! Happy Almost Christmas. Here is yet another new pattern from Elletrain Knits. It's called Snowflakes That Fall. It's a simple hat pattern and the snowflakes are created through duplicate stitching. I think it's really enjoyable and is like combining knitting with embroidery or cross-stitch. Plus, unlike stranded colorwork, you don't have to worry about your hat not fitting because your colorwork was knitted too tightly. I hope you enjoy the pattern!

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Knitting and Crochet Portfolio

Good morning! I thought I'd share a link to the knitting and crochet portfolio slideshow I just put together on Flickr. I think it will help when advertising my knitting and crochet lessons, like tomorrow at a friend's benefit for Cystic Fibrosis. Check out the photos and maybe they will inspire you to knit or crochet today!

Happy Crafting!


P.S. This is a new pattern I made last week, Cloudscape Capelet. Here is a link to buy on Ravelry and here's one for Etsy. It's a super quick knit and can also be worn as a scarf/cowl.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Waiting on Snowfall

*Here is my latest hat design! It's called "Waiting on Snowfall." I LOVE the snow, probably because I live in the South and we don't get much of it each winter. Waiting for snow to fall is exciting and hopefully putting on this hat will act as somewhat of a 'snow dance' and will bring on the snowflakes!! *

Click here to purchase the pattern on Ravelry

Click here to purchase the pattern on Etsy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

secret kitten

I've already shared this on Facebook today, but I had to post this to the blog. Oh my dear, I can't stop watching it!!! You're welcome.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hello Mrs. Jansen

Hi hi!! Well, I'm married off now and all official and loving getting used to a new name. I had an amazing wedding and an amazing honeymoon. That is why I have been so absent from my blog! Here are a few photos from the wedding. All photos by the amazing Souders of Souder Photography:

My honey and I honeymooned in Ireland and Scotland for 2 weeks. We could not have had a more amazing time. Scotland is literally a magical place, I think. And Ireland could not have been more fun, beautiful, and filled with friendly people and laughter...and of course lots of Guinness. Our wedding proved to be an amazing event where both of our families really came together and had a blast. I think our friends and other guests also had fun, especially according to the Crazy Booth photos :)

If I were to ever give any advice to a bride, it would simply be this. Make your wedding about your loved ones having fun together and you can't go wrong!!! We had a picnic on the Saturday after the wedding to hang out further with our families. I'm so glad we did this! We could all unwind after the big event and share a bit more time together.

I hope everyone is having a great fall. Mine, I couldn't ask for more during this, my favorite season of the year.

Mrs. Jansen

Monday, September 20, 2010

New French knitting project & honeymoon sweater done

I cannot wait to make this! The kit is coming in the mail, from France (ooh, la la!). It should be here any day. I finished my honeymoon sweater recently and am excited to start on something a little bit more involved. Yay!!!

Here are some honeymoon sweater pictures for you :) It should keep me toasty in Ireland and Scotland!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Our Wedding Invitations

So, I have finally sent the invitations out. I didn't want to spoil the fun by posting photos of them before our guests received them in the mail, but now I can show them to you all! I have to say I'm very happy with how they turned out.

Being a web designer, most of the time, I rarely get to have my work printed on actual paper. The paper I chose was a super duper soft, beautiful paper (Somerset Soft White 300 gm Velvet for you other paper nerds out there!). It feels like soft cotton sheets. Yum!! I wanted to keep our design classic and simple. I really am happy with it and it was the first design I came up with! I love when that happens :)

Cool zipper bracelets

I just got these adorable zipper bracelets from "The Hippy Chick Sews" shop on They are so cute worn in groupings. I ordered two brown zippers and one navy. I love brown and navy together, but she offers a lot of colors. They came in the mail to me super quickly, too! Such a fun thing for a Friday afternoon :) Now I will look quite hip for the busy weekend we have planned.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Better-for-you hummus

Better-for-you hummus
Originally uploaded by elletrain
I'm not THAT much of a cook. My mom will probably hate hearing that. I do love to cook, but because I hate grocery shopping so much, I rarely do it. Today I was at Trader Joe's though and had just seen an old Rachel Ray episode where she made a version of hummus that seemed really easy. I picked up some ingredients at TJ's and got to work as soon as I got home. I was amazed at how easy to make and how yummy this 'hummus' was! It's a bit less fattening than regular hummus because it doesn't have the tahini in it (sesame paste that contains quite a bit of fat).

So, here's the 'recipe.' You can kinda memorize it like I did. I watched the Rachel Ray episode while getting a mani and pedi at the nail salon...ha!

Lemon & Thyme Chick Pea Dip
2 15oz. cans of chick peas (garbanzo beans)
zest AND juice of one lemon
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt to taste
cayenne to taste
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

Combine the chick peas, lemon zest and juice, 1/8 tsp salt, a dash of cayenne, and thyme leaves (just pull them backwards off of the stem, no need to chop) in the food processor.

Blend a bit until most of the peas are processed.

Then, add the olive oil to the mixture as you continue to process it. Watch for the consistency to be much like store-bought hummus. I'm guessing I used around 1/4 cup of olive oil, but you just have to watch the texture.

Taste the mix. Add more salt and/or cayenne to your liking. Yummy, huh??

Serve with crackers, pita chips, sliced veggies or use in your favorite wrap recipe. Enjoy a less expensive, less fattening chick pea dip! I love love the lemony-thyme-y taste. I hope you do, too!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crochet Summer Fashion Trends

Since most of us reading this are probably into knitting and crochet or at least have an appreciation for it, I thought I'd show you some beautiful fashion trends this summer that include crochet elements. I love the bracelet above and crocheted clutches are always lovely and summery. I've often thought of making a crocheted tank like the one below and the open-work shoes are so cute. Check out Refinery 29 for more crocheted fashion!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Elijah the Elephant

Elijah the Elephant
Originally uploaded by elletrain
Here is my latest finished project...Elijah the Elephant. He was knit for Clancy Dabbs, my cousin's new little boy. This was a really cute end-product, but a little tedious to make for my taste. It's not difficult though and is such a cute gift. The pattern is by Ysolda Teague, She has a lot of adorable patterns. Because I did the stripes with left over yarn from the crocheted baby blanket it only took one skein of the green/grey Debbie Bliss Cashsoft DK. He was my first toy to knit and I'm so glad he turned out well. It was a big effort to pick up all those stitches for the ears and limbs. I hope little Clancy enjoys him for a long time :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Apparently I've been busy

I just realized how long it's been since I made a post! As you can see, I've been more involved with tweaking the design of the blog than with blogging itself. Here is a recap of what I've been up to:Pinky and I with my dad, Christy, Jon, Elliot and Cassie at our Engagement Brunch hosted by Dad and C. It was such a lovely brunch! Here is a picture of Pinky and I at one of the lovely tables decorated with Christy's beautiful hydrangeas.

This week on Tuesday I decided to paint an accent wall in our living room. I love Color Splash with David Bromstad on HGTV and he definitely inspired me to do this. At first I chose a muted blue/teal to go on the wall, but it wasn't quite right. Then I tried out "Painted Turtle" by Behr and it was perfect. It almost looks like the color the shadows are on the lighter green of the living room. I couldn't be happier with the result. Sorry for the blurry-ish iPhone photo, but at least you can see the color contrast.

Today we're getting the house picked up and ready for my brother to visit on his way helping a friend move back to Arkansas. We're so excited to have company!! I'm off to get ready and buy some fresh flowers to have in the house. I've been buying them weekly now, but I especially need some when we have guests coming! Happy weekend everyone! If you're around East Nashville, there's a small craft show going on tomorrow near 5 points. Check it out!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mattie gets a haircut and I get new fun things

So, it gets super super hot in Nashville in the summer and I have a very poofy border collie. I usually get her Summer Smoothie haircut at the groomer's, because I have attempted to perform this act myself before and I know the outcome. But this year Pinky insisted we do it on our own. He ordered some clippers and was intent on 'saving' us the money. After 3 hours, a mishap with the shop vac (it blew Mattie's clippings all over the hall upstairs), an aching back for me, and a scene where it looked like Mattie literally exploded all over the backyard, we ended up with this...

It's a little rough around the edges and I would definitely not show you a close-up, but I found there's a tiny adorable dog under all that fur!!! I mean, I think she's adorable to start with, but how cute is she with a tiny body and a giant head! Here she is quite skeptical of me and is letting me know she was not happy having to sit still for 3 hours. Her reward was getting to play in the sprinkler for 1/2 an hour though, so I know she thinks it was worth it :)

In other fun news, I recently got my first hoola hoop! I'm taking a class at my neighbor's hooping studio, Hooprama, where I've been taking Zumba for almost a year now. I have to tell is SO fun!! And a great workout for the abs. Here is my lovely hoop she made for me!

The part of town we live in, East Nashville, is a superb community with really interesting people. The listserve is well-used by our area and I recently found someone through it that was asking for new sewers. I've sewn a few napkins and the odd straight line here and there, so I emailed her. Look what she sent! A beautiful sewing kit with ALL THE PIECES ALREADY CUT OUT! Wow. Now this is the sewing I can get into. I loathe cutting out fabric. But I really do enjoy sewing. She needed people to test out her kits and give her feedback. I happily agreed and got this great package in the mail last week. I'm hoping to put my skirt together today. I'll let you know the result and eventually where to get these awesome kits!

Finally, yesterday I received beautiful yarn in the mail to make a new project. The sweater is called "Thulstone" and is from Louisa Harding's book Little Cake. I've had this book for a while and am excited to start a project out of it now.

It's a gorgeous striped cardigan with pretty edging. I'm making it out of Knit One, Crochet, Too's "Second Time Cotton." It is a nice weight, slightly textured cotton yarn made from recycled mill-ends. The lighter color I bought is actually more grey than the photo shows, and the edging will be in the muted teal color. I'm very excited to start it this afternoon!

Well, I'm off to trim Mattie's cut up a bit and then take the fur to my hair salon. They are sending their hair clippings from their cuts to help clean up the oil spill and have agreed to send Mattie's bag o' hair clippings along with their next shipment. I'm excited that all that work not only created an adorable summer version of my dog, but that it is also going to be put to good use. Check with your local salon and get them to send in their clippings as well. Go get a trim and help out the clean up! ♥

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Calligraphy Kit

Look at what I got in the mail yesterday!! It's a beautiful calligraphy kit from Emilie Friday. It's so lovely!! I'm going to attempt to hand-address all of our envelopes using a newly learned more formal handwriting. We'll see how it goes, but kudos to Emilie for such a gorgeous package of goodies!!

Happy weekend everyone! We are about to give my Mattie-girl her summer the groomer's they call it a Summer Smoothie. Here is a picture of us from last summer when she had her cut. She looks so cute in it!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Glass sculptures and baby birds

We've had a great weekend with my mom and stepdad in town. Some amazing dinners out at our favorite restaurants and a very productive weekend as far as wedding planning is concerned. Here is a list of the restaurants we visited, if you're ever in Nashville looking for somewhere excellent to dine:

-City House (amazing food using many local ingredients - a twist on classic and Southern food)
-1808 Grille (a new restaurant in the Hutton Hotel where our wedding guests will be staying)
-Marche Artisan Foods - (great brunch and the location of our rehearsal dinner)
-Rumours East (our very favorite wine bar and neighborhood restaurant - try the mussels!)
-Shalimar (best Indian food in Nashville! - now open on Sundays...yay!)

In addition to eating, we also stretched our legs a bit yesterday and visited Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. They have an amazing exhibit going on right now with artwork by glass artist Chihuly. He designed the sculptures for the space and they're brilliantly hidden among the beautiful landscape at the gardens and in the mansion. The exhibit runs through October 31st of this year, so we're excited to suggest this to our wedding guests as something to do during their visit. Visit for more information. Here are some of the beautiful pieces:

Lastly, we've been watching our little birdie friends this weekend. They are in a tree right outside our kitchen window and are at eye-level in their nest. It's been so fun to see them grow so quickly!! This little birdie left the nest yesterday. He was protecting his brothers and sisters from the crazy lady with the camera, before he ventured out into the world on his own. He's so adorable!!

Here he is peering out from the leaves after he attempted to fly. Good luck little guy!

Happy Memorial Day everyone. We have a relaxing, uneventful day planned. Lunch with a good friend who is visiting in town. And that's about it! We will probably grill something for dinner and just enjoy the day. Enjoy yours, too!! xoxo

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Apparently I haven't blogged about my finished crocheted baby blanket yet! I thought I had. Again, I've already posted pictures on flickr and Facebook, but I would love to have them here on my blog as well. Sally already received the blanket and I think she was very excited and happy :) I'm so pleased with the finished product and it really was so much fun to work on. Thanks again to Lucy of Attic24 for creating the original, the inspiration for this one. Her blog is SO lovely...please check it out if you haven't already. Currently, she has me really really wanting a caravan of my own to decorate and take on weekend camping trips. I'm a bit obsessed. I think Pinky is tired of hearing about it. Think I can add a caravan to our wedding registry?? ;)

You've Got Mail project and finished shawl

I ran across a very interesting project today on's called You've Got Mail. A guy named Carl, in Austin, TX, has started a project promoting the art of correspondence. He's encouraging people to send him real snail mail, hand-written notes, cards or letters or even random objects. He once received a coconut in the mail! He's compiling this into a project and I believe will present it as an art piece at the end. I wanted to send him something that spoke to my interests and as I was looking through my knitting stuff I realized I had one sock that I knit a while ago on vacation. I didn't love the yarn color and I probably will never get around to making it's mate.

SO, I tacked a handmade postcard to the sock, put some stamps on, wrote Carl a little note and put the sock in the mailbox to go out tomorrow. I believe our mail carrier will have one of three reactions: 1. not take it (I obviously hope this doesn't happen- I put almost $1 worth of postage on it! and yes, I'm still using Christmas stamps in May); 2. be annoyed that people try to send random stuff through the mail, put the sock in the mail bag, but only after running over it with his/her mail truck; 3. (this is the one I hope for) that it will be hilarious and make his/her day or at least give them a bit of a laugh. We'll see! I think Carl responds to you with a written note when he receives a piece of mail. I'll let you know. I hope to hear from him! Check out his Facebook page here if you're interested in participating. Let me know if you do!

Now, onto other knitting related items. I finished my striped shawl. I have posted photos online, but haven't blogged about it yet, so here it is! I love the color combo and how the overall product turned out. The crocheted edge was fun to do and I am making a point now to do more stripes in my knitting.

I hope everyone has a lovely Memorial Day weekend. My mom and stepdad are coming to visit. Yay! Sorry family, but it's about freaking time someone came to see me! It's been almost 2 years since ANY of my family came to Nashville. Family fail. Let's see if we can make the next two years a little better, shall we?? xoxo

Thursday, May 13, 2010

what I'm working the beach!

So...tomorrow at the CRACK of early morning (I'm talking 4am!) we're driving down with some friends to Gulf Shores, AL. There's a music festival there this weekend called the Hangout Music Fest. We're SO excited to head down for the festival AND for almost a week a the beach! We are very lucky to have friends whose parents have a house on the beach in Gulf Shores. Score! Thanks Sloane and Jess!!

Anyway, since I will have a lot of car time and a lot of beach time in the next few days, I wanted to have a great knitting project to work on. I searched through my Ravelry queue and found this lovely piece of work to make:
Isn't it so beautiful?! I love her color choices. The pattern is "Sedna's Shawl" (Ravelry link) by Mary Lena Lynx. Trying to be a good girl, I went through my yarn stash to find yarn for the project, instead of heading to the yarn shop liked I wanted to. I found 2 colors of one of my favorite yarns, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. I LOVE the brown and cream stripes together! I'm not sure what I'll do for the edging, but I'm thinking maybe a mustard yellow or a teal. We'll see! Here is my progress so far:

I'll try to post some entries from the lovely shores of the Gulf. I hope the oil spill will not hurt the trip, but the good news is that the proceeds from the music festival are going towards helping the clean up of the spill. I will not be emotionally prepared to see any oil covered animals while I'm there. I hope it doesn't come to that...leaving one disaster to possibly head to another is not exactly putting me in 100% vacation mode, but maybe our beer money spent at the festival will help save some wildlife in the gulf. I sure hope so.

In other news, we will be helping Nashville's continuing efforts to conserve water by being out of town! We're still staggering showering and trying not to do lots of dishes or laundry. The second water system is still not up and running in Nashville. Please continue to help out if you can. So many people are still in such need. I helped out at the Disaster Center at East Park Community Center yesterday and many people that came in truly lost everything. We had them fill out questionnaires so we could help them get supplies and some of them were at a loss for what to ask for...they needed everything. Please donate time and/or money if you can. I'm hoping we'll get our Nashville Flood t-shirts in soon. You can order yours here:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our beautiful city is under water

Over the weekend, Nashville got caught under a super storm that dropped 13 inches of rain over the course of a few hours. Much of our downtown, Shelby Park, Opryland, Bellevue, Franklin, and many other areas are completely underwater. So many had to be evacuated from their homes over the past few days and many more had to be evacuated from Opryland area hotels. The Grand Ole Opry has water up to the stage. Many many friends of ours have had 5 ft or more of water in their basements. We are fortunate to have been on a hill on our little street in East Nashville and have not suffered any losses. So many have.

Link to more photos:

Please visit the following websites if you'd like to help send money for groceries, clothing, necessities if you live outside of Nashville. I went to sign up with a local group this morning to help hand out food and all of the shifts had already been filled. Our city will definitely beat this thing...we are a strong, wonderful community of people. But, we sure could use outside help as well.

Thank you so much for any support you can provide.