Last week, I spent four days at the beach.
When my mother heard this was happening, she freaked out.
“Oh no! What’s wrong?!” she asked my son when he mentioned it. “In her whole life, I’ve never known Shelley to want to be alone.”
At first, I laughed. Of course I like some quiet time - who doesn’t? Especially what the world has been through with the pandemic. I know for many - especially parents of young children and those caring for elderly family members - the walls of home have never felt so closed in.
But as I reflected, I realized my mom was right. Working jobs, raising a family, growing a team and a movement, traveling with film crews…in my whole life, I’ve never really been alone for more than 24 hours.
And then as that airplane rounded the tip of Florida, the beach came into view, and it settled over me that I’d finally be alone, out of nowhere the tears came.
The relief, the release, the pure, unadulterated joy of caring for nothing and no one else for 4 full days. Eating when I was hungry. Knitting when I felt like it. Walking on the beach all day long if that’s what I needed. Listening to my body and tuning in - really tuning in - to my soul.
My “alone” project is Sipila by Caitlin Hunter, using our new Loops Luxe Royal Light (Royal Alpaca / Silk).
I recognize so many are not in a position to take 4 days away - or even 4 hours - and I’m tremendously grateful for the opportunity.
And I crave more.
It doesn’t have to be at a beach. Or even all at once. But I’m committed to creating those moments of aloneness, building them into my every week, my every day.
It took 53 years for me to get to this moment, and I never thought I needed it.
But we all need it - time alone, to tune in, to just be.
So often I hear from my fellow yarn lovers that they feel too guilty to take time for their craft. “There’s just not enough time in the day” … “I shouldn’t buy that yarn, I’ll never get through my stash” … “I’m too busy at work, there’s no time to watch my Knit Stars workshops”
What would happen if you gave yourself permission, to make more time to be alone?
Something to consider as we approach the busy - and for us knitters, often demanding - holiday season.
It's that time of year. As a crafter, we can easily get overwhelmed heading into the holidays. Why not cast on a little something for you?
Sport weight projects work up at a nice pace, so even 20 minutes of alone time with your “you” project will bring visible progress.
“Cool Beans Sport,” a new yarn collab between Adella of LolaBean Yarn Co. and Knit Stars, is one you’ll want to reach for over and over. It comes in both curated solid colors and stunning hand-painted colorways.
One of the designs Adella chose to showcase Cool Beans Sport yarn is "Kiora" by Tamy Gore. Tamy told us, “Kiora is a play on texture, colors and short rows. I really wanted to create a design that would be engaging, while at the same time showcasing the beauty of the colors.”
For an even quicker project, how about casting on “Along Those Lines” by designer Lauren McElroy? “I made the cowl as a gift for a friend, they wear a wool pea coat that doesn’t have chest coverage,” Lauren told us. This particular friend also would only accept the softest of the softest fibers touching their skin, so out of practicality “Along Those Lines” came into being.
To make your own version in supersoft, superwash “Cool Beans,” click here.
"Stay Soft Shawl" by Veera Välimäki is that relaxed "Netflix knitting" we all crave. Spend your alone time with some satisfying garter stitch in luscious LolaBean sport weight. Click here to shop our curated kits for the Stay Soft Shawl.
Adella doesn’t officially play favorites, but this next design *might* be her favorite colorway/pattern combo of the whole collection! “Ursina" is a classic sweater with options for a full or cropped length. Brioche details add to the modern design and there are several ways to customize this piece, shown here in colorway “Eccentric." Click to shop the yarn for your Ursina!
Lavender hot chocolate is the perfect drink to whip up and sip during your quiet time alone. With dark and milk chocolate, and easy homemade whipped cream, it's a lovely companion to your cozy chair and knitting!
2 cups whole milk
3 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao)
1 ounce milk chocolate
1/4 teaspoon lavender buds
1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon granulated white sugar
For whipped cream, place cold cream, vanilla, and sugar into a cold mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with a whisk or mixer until stiff peaks form. keep refrigerated until ready for use.
For hot chocolate, heat milk and lavender over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the milk begins to simmer. Remove from heat and let lavender steep for 5 minutes. Strain lavender and return milk to
saucepan. Over medium heat, add chocolate and mix until chocolate is melted and incorporated. Whisk milk mixture for 10-20 seconds until frothy. Pour into mugs or bowls and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.