Jelly Rolls and Margin

Tonight I head off to DFW Fiber Fest to hear Franklin Habit speak and take a class from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee!

Next week’s post will be full of stash enhancements and new tips from the experts, but this is a robust week as well. I finished a shawl and started another pair of socks. We tested out one of last week’s freezer meals. I swatched for a sweater- this is the #yearofthegarment after all. Enjoy!

Finished Objects

“Sugarplum Shawl” by Rachel Roden

I’ve finally finished my 2017 advent knitting- the Sugarplum Shawl by Rachel Roden. It was not my favorite knit… although I did enjoy working on it while avoiding my Christmas gift knitting. I think it was the border that tripped me up. No matter how many repeats of that border I did, I could not get it memorized.

Now it is done. There’s someone on my 2018 Christmas list that will really love the colors in this shawl. So one more gift knit can be crossed off the list!

WIP’s- Focus Projects

Modified “Jelly Rolls” by Mara Catherine Bryner

I’m in love with my April Socks. I’ll make at least two pairs of these shorties- one for myself and one as a Christmas gift. There’s a good chance that I’ll still have enough of the main color {Lolodidit’s Every Day Socks in the Honeydukes colorway) to make one more pair of Jelly Rolls. I’ve got to finish up all the yarn since it’s my April #slaythestash2018 declaration.

I’ve only changed the heel so far. The pattern calls for a super cute two-color slip-stitch heel flap. I did the first two rows and thought, “nah!” So I subbed in my go-to “Fish Lips Kiss Heel” instead.

Something New


I got a new Sucre Sucre Miniatures progress keeper in the mail this week- Harry Potter’s birthday cake from the first book and movie. Poor Hagrid just can’t spell a thing can he?

Circular gauge swatch for “So Faded” by Andrea Mowry

One of my favorite new-to-me techniques is for swatching in the round. I used to knit all my stockinette stitch gauge swatches flat. This doesn’t give you an accurate measurement for a sweater that will then be knit in the round. But, like heck I was going to double the size of my swatch to knit it as a tube.

I think I owe it to the Grocery Girls for introducing me to this technique. Instead of casting on twice as many stitches to swatch in the round, just cast on your normal amount {for me, between 20-30} onto circular needles and SLIDE your stitches back to the right side after every knit row. You just carry your yarn loosely across the back! And when it’s time to block it you soak it and snip the threads you carried so your swatch can lay flat. Brilliant!

Here’s a quick video from Webs on this technique.

What God’s Teaching Me

I continued my daily devotional on margin this week. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was Day 6’s video sermon on scheduling margin- times of rest and time for God. Schedule? Well, “schedule” is my middle name!

I’m in a period of my life where my time is still my time. We don’t have any kids, I have a job where work is finished at work, and I have fewer weeknight commitments since we’ve moved away from the city. So why do I feel busier than ever? I think my problem is over-scheduling the “stuff” to do on my list and leaving no space for the valuable things in my daily life. I feel quite accomplished when it comes to meeting knitting, cleaning, and health goals… but what about spending quality moments with my husband or time spent in God’s word?

I know there is already margin in my day for the things I want to do. Every morning I get to work just a little bit early so I can eat my breakfast, knit, and watch Instagram stories or knitting podcasts. Why not exchange this time for my daily devotional? This wasn’t a hard switch for me this week as I already had that time blocked out. Now my 15 minutes each morning is spent framing my day for God. This is a habit I want to continue.

I thought I was doing a good job scheduling times of rest… really I was just making rigid goals for my day that allowed no wiggle room for new fun plans or to stop in the middle of a chore/row and talk with my husband. See, I am good at scheduling rest for myself, but with no consideration for how my husband seeks rest. My idea of rest is an evening at home with no responsibilities except to knit and watch Netflix. But Kent is filled up by spending time out of the house with friends doing something. We have a conflict of rest.

Hmm… how to combat this tendency? I think for me that this is a mental space issue not a physical time problem. How do I literally learn to “let it go” and be flexible with my times of rest?

These next couple of weeks I’ve just decided to start saying “yes” to things that build up my relationship and “let it go” to {some} things that are self-serving. When Kent asked to go rent a movie from the video store and wanted me to ride in the car too INSTEAD OF STAYING HOME TO COMPLETE CHORES??! Okay, yes! This builds my relationship. When he wanted my attention for a few minutes even thought I just settled down with my brand new sweater cast-on… yes, I can make time to find rest in my relationship.

I feel confident I’m not the only one who struggles to find rest. Whether it’s demands on your time or just differences in how you rest with your spouse, God tells us that it’s important to schedule rest in our lives. Without margin, we will have no space to appreciate the beautiful people and circumstances God gives us. I don’t want to be so busy that I neglect what is truly valuable. Thank you, Lord, for being the best example of margin.

What We’re Cooking

Mmmm! I made a family recipe of chocolate pies to celebrate my husband’s birthday. This is not a measured and true recipe- therefore I was so happy when they turned out perfect! I’ve had so many failed attempts at these. You know, trying to get them to taste just like your mother-in-law’s, it hardly ever happens.


We had our first of the big freezer prep from last Sunday- Mushroom and Spinach Crockpot Stroganoff from New Leaf Wellness It was delicious and so easy! I defrosted it in hot water for about 45 minutes {because I forgot to place it in the fridge the night before} and then let it cook for about 7 hours. We had some steamable veggies and frozen meatballs on the side.

It did look a little gritty, but it didn’t taste gritty at all. Kent loved it too! This recipe was easy from freezer prep all the way to cooking it in the crockpot, so we will definitely enjoy it again. We cooked a 16 oz bag of egg noodles so we were able to eat it for two nights!

My lunches this week were on the hearty/healthful side- meet the Green Goddess Glow Bowl from The Glowing Fridge. I’m not so sure how I feel about Tahini… but now I have a whole lot of it to use up! You might see more recipes with Tahini in the future.


Now how about something tried, true, and comforting- Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Casserole. I just love casseroles because you can clean up your kitchen while they cook AND they typically feed us for 3 nights. Something I really liked about this recipe was using raw chicken- this saves me a whole 35-ish minutes to cook and chop chicken before the casserole-making even begins! I would suggest adding some salt and pepper to the mix. Other than that, it was tasty!

What I’m Reading

Can I say that I’m sort of ready to be finished with “A Wrinkle in Time”? I just need to put in one good afternoon of reading and knock it out. Perhaps paired with some knitting and Plum Deluxe tea?

My reading time is currently the five minutes between crawling in bed and falling asleep with the light on. This is not conducive to much reading. I used to read so much more when I walked on the treadmill several times a week. Now I walk outside so that my dog can get some exercise too, so I can’t prop up a Kindle anymore. It might be time to make use of my local library’s audio-loan function. {Just placed a hold on “A Wrinkle in Time”/ #520 on 36 audio copies / *sigh*)

HP Socks
“The Boy Who Lived” colorway by Must Stash Yarns follows the Harry Potter series book jackets!

Next up for me, a re-read of the Harry Potter series. I’ve been saying that I’ll do this every summer for the past five years, so it’s time! I already have the audiobooks downloaded on Audible and my husband and I together have many physical copies. This way I can read the physical copy at night and continue with the audio copy on a walk or while I’m knitting. I can’t wait to reread my favorite books. Maybe I’ll knit another pair of Harry Potter socks while I’m at it!

Check back next week for more going-ons in the Knitty Natty home!

Love in stitches,

Knitty Natty


Freezer Meals and FO’s Galore!

Happy Good Friday! Hopefully you have the day off as well!

This week I spent most of Sunday in the kitchen prepping freezer meals. I’ve been busting it trying to complete my 2017 WIP’s before the end of the month. My sister came to visit and even came along for knit night {she crochets}! I might swatch for a sweater this weekend 🙂

Finished Objects

At the beginning of March I declared four WIP’s {works in progress} that I’d started in 2017 to become FO’s {finished objects} by the end of the month. I finished one last week and two more this week. I still have one more day of the month though!

Clark Socks
“Clark Socks” by Jaclyn Salem

I finally finished my Clark Socks that I started back in October of 2017. These will hibernate in my Box of Socks until Christmas-time. I think my mom will love them!

“Gina’s Brioche Hat and Cowl” by Purl Soho

I also completed Gina’s Brioche Hat and Cowl {just the cowl though} that I started way back in January of 2017. Feels so good to get this off the needles!

“Huntley Gift Bag” by Rebecca Langford

My final FO is a cute bag that will be my after-school crochet club’s April project. I just made one adjustment for the pattern to be more beginner friendly- instead of holding the yarn double we will use a chunky weight yarn. It will be a challenge for these fourth and fifth graders, but I think they will love it!

WIP’s- Focus Projects

My final WIP-it-or-rip-it declaration for March is the “Sugarplum Shawl” by Rachel Roden. This pattern came as part of Jimmy Bean’s Craftvent calendar {which I highly recommend for 2018}, but is now available on Ravelry as a single pattern. The kit included 24 days worth of notions and yarn- all needed to complete the pattern.

Sugarplum Shawl
“Sugarplum Shawl” by Rachel Roden

It’s intended to be knit over the 24 days before Christmas… but I was bogged down by Christmas gift knitting and never finished it. I’ve got one more day of the month to meet my goal! This shawl will also be a Christmas present for 2018. Perhaps then I will have the time to knit 2018’s Craftvent calendar during Advent.

Something New

I approached a new obstacle this week: weaving in the ends of two-color brioche.

I looked at several videos and tutorials. All of them had you weave your end under the knit columns, like this. I just wasn’t satisfied with that approach. So I decided to try my own way! I will try to record a video soon.

What God’s Teaching Me

This week God is whispering in my ear to breathe and to be flexible. To say “YES” more often than I say “NO”. We’ve had a busy week with Young Life, Stars games, and my sister in town visiting. Where I usually have two week nights to go to the gym and then relax at home after… I got zero this week. That is super hard for a regimented girl like me.

I tried typing these key words “breathe” and “flexible” into my Bible App’s plan search engine. I found a 15-day plan titled “Margin”. Hmm… maybe I need to create margin in my life instead of scheduling every minute with a specific goal.

“… most of us are living at an unsustainable and unbiblical pace. The key is creating margin.” – Margin, created by Craig Groeschel and Life.Church

Is it “unbiblical” for me to book my day up with chores, cooking, and knitting goals so that when my husband asks if we can go see a last-minute movie, I panic? Perhaps. I can confidently say that I’m addicted to schedules. I live for the thrill of crossing all the items off my to-do list. I thrive on making goals for myself and meeting them. {Many people close to me would agree.} This can be a good thing, but am I missing some of the opportunities God’s giving me?

I’m not quite sure how to slow down, but I’m going to try to reap as much as possible from this Bible reading plan over the next two weeks. My sister is visiting us for the next few days, so this will be a good time to put the practice of “margin” in place- then we can enjoy the time together fully.

What We’re Cooking

Beef Empanadas


The Pillsbury beef empanadas from last week were such a quick weekend night meal. And, come on, anything wrapped in a pie crust is going to be delicious! I will change two things the next time we enjoy this recipe- 1) MORE CHEESE! I will layer the cheese within the empanada and put quadruple the cheese. 2) MORE SPICE! Perhaps I expected these to taste like tacos, so I was a little disappointed with the flavor. Next time I’ll try some taco seasoning {we like Ortega} to spice things up. Overall, we were very pleased with the empanadas. My husband devoured his, which made my heart very happy!

New Leaf Freezer Meals


After making some freezer-to-crockpot meals with some success, I decided to do some meal prep on a larger scale. I ordered my Ziploc bag stands from Amazon {sanity-savers!}, picked four recipes, made my list, and went off to the grocery store on Friday night. I walked out about an hour later with under $100 worth of groceries to make eight meals– oh yeah!

I got my recipes and grocery lists straight from New Leaf Wellness. They had a FREE downloadable in January for a year’s worth of crockpot meals! I picked four recipes from April’s menu to double- Shredded Chicken Quesadillas, Chinese Pepper Steak, Chicken Teriyaki, and Mushroom Spinach Stroganoff. I had most of the spices and sauces in my pantry/fridge. I had to purchase the produce, meat, and dairy items. Like I said, under $100 for eight meals… that’s less than $15 a meal. Half of the whole budget was beef top sirloin, so I know I can do it for even less with different recipes.

LESSON LEARNED: Next time I meal prep, it will most definitely be a Saturday morning/early afternoon. Although the time per meal is only about 15 minutes, I don’t want to spend hours of my #scrappysunday trapped in the kitchen! These freezer meals will give me the time in the future for my beloved Granny Stripe Blanket and Cozy Memories Blanket.

My process was as follows:

  1. Label all bags with meal name and today’s date.
  2. Chop all vegetables for all recipes (so meat can stay in fridge). I did all the bell peppers first (40 minutes) and divided them into respective bags. Then all the onions (30 minutes). Then all the garlic (20 minutes).
  3. Get some wine… you deserve it.
  4. Then, two bags at a time I completed each recipe by pulling out all the remaining ingredients, and dumping them into the bags.
  5. Put away ingredients from previous recipe and repeat step three for the next recipe- repeat for all recipes- this was the quickest moving part (1 hour)!
  6. Flatten and zip bags, place on cookie sheet {to freeze them in the flat shape I wanted}, stack in freezer. I’ll take them off the cookie sheets once they are thoroughly frozen.


As you can see, this is quite the process. The most time consuming part is chopping the vegetables. I’m not a quick chopper, but I wouldn’t say I’m slow either. It took me 40 minutes to chop six bell peppers, 30 minutes for six onions, 20 more minutes for twenty cloves of garlic {I love my x-large GarlicZoom}. Everything else was relatively quick. I got all the spices, sauces, and meats in the bag in an additional hour (I trimmed and sliced steak in this hour as well).

Feedback to come on these freezer meals! I plan to use them for our Sunday meals since I’m usually home on Sundays to check in on the meals and stir them occasionally. Sunday is also the day that I don’t want to be in the kitchen so I can spend quality time with my husband and my #scrappysunday projects.

Overnight Oats


A quick and filling breakfast this week. My overnight oats recipe is simple: 2 parts old-fashion oats to 1 part yogurt and 1 part milk. Then I add honey and brown sugar to taste. Lastly, I stir in frozen berries and nuts if I have some in the pantry. I like my overnight oats to be very thick with no liquid at all. You can adjust the amount of oatmeal to satisfy your tastes!

What I’m Reading

Last Friday night I finished reading Ready Player One. I’m psyched to see the movie! We purchased MoviePass last weekend before we saw “Black Panther” so now we can see all the movies we want. We’re planning to see RPO this Sunday- perfect theater knitting time to start my April socks.

A well-loved copy of “A Wrinkle in Time”

One of our generous fifth grade teachers loaned me a paperback copy of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I started it on Saturday with a chilly toe dip into the pool {85 degrees outside and a frigid temp in the water}. I’m about 70 pages into this 232-page book. It’s… odd. Peculiar would be the best way to describe it. Having never read the book or heard anything about it before, I didn’t know what to expect. Is this really a children’s book? 

However, I think it’s really about to get good. I hope so! Even so, I would like to see the movie when it becomes available for renting. We’ve still got an old-fashion Blockbuster-like video store in our town and my husband loves any excuse to go there.

Check back next week for more going-ons in the Knitty Natty home!

Love in stitches,

Knitty Natty

Hot Weather and Hats

It’s 77 degrees here in Texas today!

Naturally I’ve finished a hat and have another one on the go this week. Is it a good time to start a sweater? This week I talk about tricky {for me} crochet stitches and how one student inspired me to start reading my Bible again. I’ve been eating salads to detox from vacation and enjoying my back-at-home routine immensely!

Finished Objects

I just loved this hat pattern when I first saw it on Instagram! I’d just bought a skein of handspun yarn on my Thanksgiving trip to Oregon and I thought it would be perfect for this hat.

Braided Cable Beanie
“Braided Cable Beanie” by Prem Knits

It took some trial and error to get it right. The original pattern calls for worsted weight doubled and the handspun was a heavy worsted on it’s own. I decided to add in a matching color of Kidsilk Haze {dreamy} and go down a few needle sizes. Then I adjusted the size by adding more stitches. All edits can be found on my Ravelry project page.

Fast forward quite a few months, and I’ve finally got it WIP’d before the end of the month. Just in time for our 80 degree weather!

WIP’s- Focus Projects

I started these socks all the way back in October 2017. The yarn was a seasonal Halloween colorway from Knit Style Yarns called “Monster Mash” and it came with a coordinating bag that I just had to have! {Sharon ships quickly and her yarn is beautiful!}

I’ve declared these socks a “WIP-it” for March, so I knit on them at many different restaurants and bars on my trip last week in Charleston.

Around the same time, the Grocery Girls Podcast talked about a new pattern called “Clark Socks” by Jaclyn Salem. Tracie started a pair, so I did too!

The pattern is really fun and clever. The diagonal purl stitches help you keep track of which cable row you are on- making it totally memorizable!

I’ve changed only one thing- the heel. I believe the pattern calls for a short row heel anyway, but I did the “Fish Lips Kiss Heel” as I have it memorized.

These are my March socks, so I hope to have them done by the end of the month. I’ve just got the feet left. Then they will go into my Box O’ Sox until Christmas time when they will be gifted.

Something New

Infinity whirl hat
“Infinity Crochet Whirl Slouchy” by Briana K Designs

There have been so many times in this hat pattern that I’ve reached a place where I’m completely lost. I know at that point that I need to set the hat down until tomorrow… or maybe a couple days. When I go back to the pattern the next time, it usually makes more sense! I don’t know what it is about giving my brain a chance to rest and process. This week I needed a little more help with the “Linked Double Crochet.”

When the written instructions still sound like a foreign language, I used this video from Moogly’s Tamara Kelly. It’s actually really easy! As soon as I saw her do one stitch, I went back to my written pattern. Suddenly I understood- the translating power of YouTube!

I’m so close to the end of this beautiful hat! It has been quite the challenge. Can’t wait to wear it in 10 months 😉

What God’s Teaching Me

This week, I was walking down the hallway of the public elementary school where I work, when I saw something that surprised me- a 5th grader reading the Bible.

He wasn’t using his phone or an illustrated children’s copy, this was a legit, hard-copy of the Bible.

I think I would be shocked to see anyone in public these days reading a physical copy of the Bible, really a physical copy of any book. {Aside, isn’t this another way that technology is stripping down our social connectivity? I used to see the cover of someone’s novel and have the desire to start a conversation with them. Now we have no way of knowing if someone is reading or browsing Twitter.}

When I saw this young kid reading his Bible in such an open, casual way, I felt a pang of guilt. When was the last time I cracked open my Bible? I think it’s been three weeks since I was last in town for a Sunday church service… but I probably just used the Bible app on my phone for that. I felt a God whisper, “Natalie, this boy is reading his Bible AT SCHOOL, because HE WANTS TO. You used to have that desire. I want to give that passion back to you, but you have to give me the time.”

Yes, Lord.

I know myself pretty well, and I’ll have to structure the time and space for reading the Bible. When I used to go to a weekly Bible study, I desired to read my Bible and complete the workbook each day. I enjoyed getting to discuss God’s Word with others. About eight months ago, we moved out of the city and to a new church that doesn’t run these studies. I’ve long since fell out of the habit.

I’m going to start small, by using the Bible app on my phone. I know it isn’t a physical Bible, but I will get there. Each morning while I’m getting ready for work, there is a period of time where I’m waking up and playing on my phone. Usually I’m on Instagram {shocking}, but now I’m going to be disciplined enough to open my Bible before I can get on any other media.

Bible App
Bible App

I use YouVersion, which is available for both Android and Apple. They have versions on versions of the Bible, but the best thing they have is reading plans. These plans include a devotional reading and related Bible verses. Some plans even have videos or audio to listen as the devotional. You can search for plans on any topic. I’m starting with a 7-day plan called “Never Say No: Raising Big Picture Kids.” Although I don’t have my own, I’m interacting with students every day; I want to love the like God loves me.

Even reading the super-short devotional in the morning has been a challenge for me. It doesn’t feel enjoyable; although it’s an interesting read, it feels more like a check mark on my morning to-do list. So, the most important step in learning to be like that boy, devouring his Bible at school, is inviting God in to change my heart into that of a student.

“Lord, feed me the desire to learn more about your Word. Give me a heart like your son, the little boy at my school who loves to read his Bible. Teach me how to study the Bible with a passionate heart. I love you, Father. Amen.”

What We’re Cooking

After a ful-filling (literally) vacation diet last week, I’ve been trying my best to detoxify. Salads are such an easy meal to put together. I make mine really simple by buying mostly pre-washed and cut ingredients- spinach, carrot chips, cherry tomatoes, and sliced mushrooms. I make them up two at a time and fold a paper towel in the one I’m going to have two days later- it absorbs the moisture from rinsing veggies! I can eat the same thing all week without getting bored, so veggies and fruit have filled my lunchbox.

Tonight I am trying out this Pillsbury recipe for beef empanadas. They look super simple. I think they will make an easy weekend dinner! I will share more next week.

What I’m Reading

I’m in the last chapters of “Ready Player One” and on the hunt for my next book.

I would love to read “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’engle, but as it’s going to be a movie, the wait lists at the library are a mile long. I’m #266 on 36 {digital} copies! Luckily our 5th graders read the book this year so I think I can manage to borrow a copy. I’ve never read this book before and I can’t wait to see what it’s all about!

Check back next week for more going-ons in the Knitty Natty home!

Love in stitches,

Knitty Natty

Wedding Dishcloths and Halting Negative Thoughts

Welcome back!

This week has been full of spring break travel and sleeping in. Plus, I’ve got a good friend’s wedding on the horizon! Enjoy!

Finished Objects

I finished this set of dishcloths and potholders for my good friend Stephanie’s wedding present. I almost always knit the initial dishcloths, and I decided to include some other favorites as well.

Stephanie's Wedding Dishcloths
Dishcloths and potholders for a wedding gift.
Yarn: Hobby Lobby “I Love This Cotton” in Sage 040 and Dove 310
Crochet Patterns: “Bev’s Turn on Itself Potholder” and “Diagonal Dishcloth” – both free!
Knit Pattern: “Monogrammed Alphabet for Knitters” by Heather Kate- available for purchase on Ravelry, and well worth it!

I also crocheted some quick coasters as a gift for my mom. Look at my project page on Ravelry to see how to make these in three easy rounds!


I also bought a bajillion candles from my friend who works at Paddywax. They smell amazing! Don’t ask me how I’m flying these back to Texas {I brought an extra suitcase.}

Yarn: Hobby Lobby “I Love This Cotton” in Limedot 280 and Purple 252
Crochet Patterns: Just a simple granny square. Details on my Ravelry page.

Works in Progress

Brioche Cowl
“Gina’s Brioche Hat and Cowl” by Purl Soho
I’ve been working on this Purl Soho brioche cowl on and off since January 2017.

I picked up the yarn on a trip to North Carolina at one of my all-time favorite yarn stores: Black Mountain Yarn Shop. If you’re ever traveling from Tennessee to North Carolina on I-40, Black Mountain, NC is well worth the stop. They have the sweetest little shops and restaurants set right into the cutest mountain town; and of course a fab LYS!

I learned how to brioche in December of 2016 and was eager to cast on a two-color projects with my Stephen West-esque yarn. Once you’re set up, brioche is a breeze. This cowl has been great for travel this week. It’s one of my March Rip-it-or-WIP-it declarations.

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in “Edison Bulb” and “Holi Festival”
Pattern: Purl Soho “Gina’s Brioche Hat and Cowl”- FREE!

Something New

This week I’ve been learning two new crochet stitches for a new hat: infinity crochet and linen stitch. Briana K is the creator of this new technique {infinity crochet} and it is really cool! It was a big challenge for me as well. I made sure to make a practice swatch before starting my hat.

I was so lucky to go home for a few days and spend time in my all-time favorite yarn store: Bliss Yarns in Brentwood, TN. Of course I had to buy some new things!

Stash enhancement from Bliss Yarns
With the light gray Miss Babs on the left, I plan to make the “Citadel” by Joji Locatelli. The darker grey Miss Babs “Katahdin” will grow up to be a “Longline Cardigan” by Joji Locatelli. The two Hooker’s Corner on the right might become “All About that Brioche” by Lisa Hannes. The mauve-ish Hooker’s Corner on the left is TBD!

What God’s Teaching Me

Have you ever found out some information about your past that your reacted to in an unexpected emotional way? Maybe it was anger, hurt, or sadness. Did you feel like as hard as you tried not to think about that event or person, you just couldn’t shake it? I felt this way for a brief period this week, but because of what God taught me a few years ago, I was able to fight my thoughts with His strength and defeat them pretty quickly.

When I became a Christian, I’d just suffered a huge loss: a four-year-long relationship. It devastated me. Every day my brain felt like it was hit with rolling storm after storm of hurtful thoughts. My church mentor said that I was damaging myself by thinking these thoughts- excuse me? What control did I have over my thoughts?

She said that these negative thoughts were the Enemy, the Devil, and that I was giving in to exactly what Satan had planned- to use my hurt to destroy me, and any future relationship on the horizon. Well, I couldn’t let that happen.

Being a practical person, I asked how could I change my thoughts? My mentor said to pray… well, duh; but she told me exactly how to structure this prayer. She said to designate a limited time to think about this loss {sadness, event, stressor} each day. I set 15 minutes. For 15 minutes I was allowed to wallow, pray, grieve, and process my lost relationship. Then at the end of that time I was to pray that God would protect me from the Enemy’s attack on my thoughts and help me to stop thinking destructive thoughts.

It didn’t work perfectly at first. It was really hard to keep my thoughts just inside the 15 minute window. Each time I started to think negatively, I would pray right on the spot, “Lord, protect me from these thoughts. Help me to let them go. I don’t want them anymore!” Also, “Devil you have no chance against my God!” I told you that God and I chat constantly.

This process made me feel in control of my thoughts, and in turn, my life decisions. I use this prayer template any time I feel the Devil trying to sneak in and spread negativity into my life.

God has the power to use what the Enemy meant for evil and turn it for our good. (Genesis 50:20) He loves us SO much, even when He allows us to go through times of sadness. We just have to allow the Lord to come into our thoughts and fight the Devil. He’s already won the war. Will you allow Him to fight your battles?

What We’re Cooking

I’ve been traveling all week, so a pre-cooked and frozen meal is what’s on the menu! A few weeks ago I made my favorite comfort food- Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole. My mother’s take on the classic Poppyseed Chicken Casserole includes rice and no poppy seeds. This is pretty close to my recipe.

I doubled the recipe so that I had one for the night I made it and another to freeze. Just mix the base, put it in a 9×13 dish, then cover and freeze. Add the cracker/butter topping the night of cooking.

So now the night that we get home late from the airport, all I’ll have to do is take the casserole from the freezer and put it in the fridge. It will be all ready to bake the next day!

I love having meals ready to go after a whole week of being away. It makes the transition back to real life much, much easier.

What I’m Reading

I am obsessively reading “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline for the second time. I’m getting pumped for the movie release at the end of the month.

This is a futuristic/dystopian novel set in a time where most people interact through a virtual world. As a non-video-game player, I thought the book explained all the gaming references in a way that anyone can understand. I think there are tons subtle references that long-time gamers will get a kick out of. I would highly recommend it!

Check back next week for more going-ons in the Knitty Natty home!

Love in stitches,

Knitty Natty


The Journey Begins

Hi everyone! Welcome to my first blog post. I’m so excited to start sharing bits of my life with you!

I’m currently an Instagram addict, but it just doesn’t give me enough space to share all the words and pictures I have about the things I love most- namely yarny goodness. Today I’m going to lay out what you can expect from week to week. I hope you enjoy!

Finished Objects

Don’t expect to see a lot here! As I finish things I’ll post them. Here are a few of my most recent FO’s for you to enjoy.

WIP’s- Focus Projects

Here I will log progress of my WIP’s (works in progress) that I’ve dedicated the most time to that week. Never will I post all my WIP’s- there are way too many! However, you’ll find more detailed notes on my Ravelry project page- knatalia.

Cozy Memories Jar
Scraps for “The Coziest Memory” by Kemper Wray

Something New

In this part of the blog I’ll share new techniques that I’m learning in my knitting and crochet projects. I think fiber arts are so good for the brain because they are crafts with rich history, yet constantly expanding with new skills. I try to learn something new with every project!

From time to time, I’ll also have some stash enhancements to share. My goal this year is to knit through a little of my stash each month with the help of Boston Jen from the Down Cellar Studio Podcast {give it a listen!}. She hosts the “Slay the Stash” competition in her Ravelry group. All that to say that I’ll still have some stashquisitions on occasion!

What God’s Teaching Me

Welcome to the longest WIP {work in progress} of my life- myself. As a Christian, I believe that God sent Jesus to save me from my sins. And not just the one time when I was saved, but each and every day.

I talk to God all day long- we are buddies. Sometimes his voice is louder, but most of the time I’m blabbing. God likes to listen to us.

Every time I start to grow impatient with a child at school, I hear God, “Remember Natalie, she’s my child. Use your words for kindness. Build her up.” Whenever a driver cuts me off and I say something unkind (“What an idiot!”), God is in my heart: “You don’t know where they’re in a hurry to go. Their child could be in the hospital.”* And of course, there are moments of joy, “Thank you, Lord for giving me this {money/safety/opportunity/second chance}. I didn’t do anything to deserve it!”

In this section you can expect to hear what God is teaching me each week. Sometimes it will be short, but I anticipate there will be lengthy weeks. Whether or not you share my faith, if you believe in hope, redemption, grace, forgiveness, and love, I think you will enjoy this portion. Click here to read more about my testimony.

I think God would make a great knitter. I like to imagine him as Stephen West, putting together wild combinations and flaunting it. After all, he put your personality together, and then you with your family, and then you with your extended family {what was God thinking?!}. You’re only seeing the process now, but it’s going to be a beautiful result.

*Sidenote: I have gotten angry with a driver and moments later witnessed them turning into the hospital. Talk about guilt!

What We’re Cooking

For those of you who know me well, I HATED cooking eight months ago. I’m not sure what it is about cooking {perhaps the process of planning the meals, purchasing the groceries at the store, prepping, and cooking everything and then the fear of it not even being good!??!}, but my blood pressure would start to rise at the mere thought of preparing food.

I could go on a tangent but let get right to it. I was getting married. And I wanted to be the best wife, right?! And we lived across the street from every fast food chain you could ever dream about {if you’re a local Texan- Whataburger and Chicken Express – whoop whoop!}, but I want to be healthier than that, right??? And we wanted to spend our money well… and in the coming years I’d need to feed children (can babies eat Taco Bueno?)… okay I needed to learn to cook.


So, for the past eight months I’ve scoured Pinterest each week trying to find easy and delicious meals to eat. I’ve tried super hard to just put dinner on the table each week night. It was SO difficult at first because everything was a new technique for me. When I say I didn’t cook before, I mean it. {“Hey Siri, what’s the difference between sliced and diced?”} Now I’m doing so much better!

I started out slowly, just trying to cook one dinner each week. That quickly went to two meals each week, which would last us 5-6 nights. Now I’m up to three dinners per week and sometimes I’ll cook a big batch of something for my school lunch and breakfast on Sundays. I no longer feel a huge sense of dread when I think about cooking- this could be because my darling husband braves the grocery store for us. Some meals are becoming familiar and I’m learning what I enjoy cooking. I’m super proud of every meal I cook because it doesn’t come naturally to me; and I think that makes my husband appreciate my cooking even more. Bless him, he always loves what I make.

So, you will get to see some of the things I’m cooking each week and where I get my recipes. If we’re lucky, Kent will cook. I think he’s kind of a wizard in the kitchen- above my level! When he cooks it’s a total fanfare. Bon apetite!

What I’m Reading

For the last year or so, I’ve been obsessed with the “Pretty Little Liar” series by Sara Shepard. I just started the 16th and final book, and I am devastated- what will I read next?! I’m a big fan of reading book series or several books from one author rather than one-off books because of the ease of going from one book to the next. Reading should be fun and easy- an escape. You will rarely find me reading something complex or non-fiction {unless it’s self-help or comedy}.

I’m a long-time fan of the Harry Potter series. I like trilogies+ of the likes of “Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” “Uglies,” etc. Reading Sarah Dessen or Nicholas Sparks are like little vacations for me. I steer clear of vampires.

Check here each week to see what I’m reading. I’m a slow reader, usually stealing 10 or so minutes each night before I fall asleep. Feel free to suggest books for me!

Check back next week for more going-ons in the Knitty Natty home!

Love in stitches,

Knitty Natty