Through the years, our Knit Stars have survived some pretty intense filming conditions. But so far, I think Martha Wissing takes the cake!
We filmed Martha’s Knit Stars workshop at 15,000 feet, at the Pacomarca sustainable alpaca network HQ. If you own Season 4 of our Masterclass series, watch Martha’s segment closely. You’ll hear the wind whipping all around us as we hung off the side of the mountain, trying to capture Martha’s words along with the majestic landscape and thousands of alpacas all around us!
In this clip from Martha’s workshop, we’ve (mercifully) moved inside a small, simple building where the company works to educate local ranchers and help them steadily improve the quality of their alpaca fiber so they can increase their earnings.
Maybe you’ve already discovered the magic of adding tassels to your work. They can elevate even the most simple shawl into an instant standout.
But have you tried the traditional Peruvian cupped tassels? This simple twist on the single tassel can add even more fun and interest to any hat, shawl, scarf, or even the hem of a sweater!
Watch the clip here and get to tasselin’!
Peru was also the birthplace of our first Bespoke yarn.
When we were filming Season 4, we worked with our partners there to bring my personal dream yarn to life. I wanted to combine the highest quality of alpaca - Royal Alpaca, the softest, squishiest alpaca in the world - with a healthy dose of 30% silk.
I wanted a pretty twist that would minimize shedding and provide that ideal combination of definition with an ever-so-slight halo. And a versatile gauge that could work for aran-weight sweaters as well as chunky, quick-to-make accessories.
And lo and behold…Loops Luxe Chunky was born!
We’ve since developed 7 colorways in this luscious yarn, and a slew of simple, “Knitflix” style patterns to go with it.
This week, you can get any of these 5 patterns FREE with purchase of 2 or more skeins of Loops Luxe Chunky yarn.
🦙 Free Pattern #1: Effin Scarf with Tassels 🦙
In keeping with this week’s tassel theme, make our super-simple, one-row-repeat Effin Scarf, and add some chunky tassels. You’ll need 3 skeins of Loops Luxe Chunky, shown here in Charcoal. Click here to get your kit.
🦙 Free Pattern #2: Snooty Cape 🦙
A few years back, Burberry came out with a cabled cowl that was some insane price point. Trooper gina created the Snooty Snood to get the look at a fraction of the price (and with better yarn!). We followed up with this Snooty Cape, and have re-worked it in Loops Luxe Chunky. It can be worn as a cape or a cowl, and is a great first cable project. Easy and fast! Click here for the kit.
This pattern is part of our Starter Series, and a great next-step for people who have just learned to knit. You get really comfortable with going back and forth from knit stitches to purl stitches, and learn to visually identify the difference. Also, the finished project is super cute! Click here for the 3-color kit in Loops Luxe Chunky.
🦙 Free Pattern #4: Pippi Cowl 🦙“Pippi” was the third design ever offered in LoopsClub (now Knit Stars Club),more than 7 years ago! This one works up the fastest of them all, in lightning-fast drop stitch. It’s called Pippi because it reminds me of a long stocking (see what I did there?) but when you wear it, it scrunches down on your neck in a really appealing way. It’s especially cute in a combination of 3 colorways. Click here for the Pippi Cowl kit.
🦙 Free Pattern #5: Starry Starry Scarf 🦙
“Starry Starry Scarf” is also a redux of a Club pattern. Well really, it’s two patterns in one - a crochet star stitch version, and a knit star stitch version, both in the same pdf download! Each is addictive to work and so pretty to wear. Click here for your Starry Starry Scarf kit.
And even though it’s not a free pattern, we had to include this “So Ramentic Beanie” by Sandra Kwan, available on Ravelry. Club member Cathy made it for her sister, who lost a lot of her hair due to her battle with COVID. To be safe, you probably need 2 skeins of Loops Luxe Chunky for this hat. And we have the world’s best pompoms here.
If you want to make any of the patterns above in a different color, you can also shop our open stock of Loops Luxe Chunky here and just request your free pattern in the comments section at checkout.
We’d love to see what you make with Loops Luxe Chunky! Please post your finished projects on your own Facebook or Instagram and tag us @knitstars using hashtag #loopsluxe
Need something to listen to while you stitch this weekend?
My favorite (and honestly most intimate and revealing) guest turn I’ve ever done on a podcast just went live - @unleashyourinnercreative with @laurenlograsso! From our conversation you’ll learn the difference between saying you can’t and you WON’T, how to tackle the stigma of changing your career, how to give yourself grace instead of regret, how to reinvent and double down on your idea, how being a mother can empower you in other areas of your life and how to make a living from your quirky/beautiful hobby. That and more! It's Action-Packed!
To listen on @ApplePodcasts or @Spotify go to this link: https://link.chtbl.com/ShelleyBrander
You can also hear it by searching "Unleash Your Inner Creative" wherever you get your podcasts. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Kale Caesar Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Crispy Chickpeas
The first time I made this main-course salad from Half-Baked Harvest, I was worried my hubs and son wouldn’t think it was substantial enough, so I added a shredded rotisserie chicken. Totally unnecessary! Since then, I’ve made this a bunch more times exactly as-is, and they’ve never noticed that it’s missing the meat. Pick up pre-shredded brussels and kale from the market, and this comes together super fast for a great weeknight meal.
- 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch circles
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder, use to your taste
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
- 1 large head kale, shredded
- 4 cups shredded brussels sprouts, or 1 additional head of kale
- 1-2 avocados, sliced
Parmesan Tahini Dressing
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- On a large rimmed baking sheet, combine the sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, chili powder, paprika, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss well to evenly coat. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the chickpeas and remaining oil. Toss with the sweet potatoes and return to the oven for another 20 minutes, until the chickpeas are crisp and the sweet potatoes tender.
- Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, combine the kale and brussels sprouts.
- To make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
- Toss the roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas in with the salad. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Top the salad with avocado and additional parmesan. Serve and enjoy! The salad keeps well for 3-4 days in the fridge, add the avocados just before serving.