So, funny story.
A few months back, I was scrolling the ‘gram when a photo of yarn stopped me in my tracks. It was a colorway inspired by the movie “Coco.” And I’m not sure if it was my memories from the movie or the absolutely breathtaking depth and balance of that color…
But I actually teared up. Yes, a color made me cry.
Then I saw the post was by my friend Adella of @lolabeanyarnco and I immediately started a text to her:
“My friend, I just have to stop right now and tell you, you are absolutely crushing it. Your artistry knows no bounds and your colors somehow just keep getting better and better…”
All of which (as I’m sure you know if you’ve seen Adella’s work) is 1,000,000% true (OK I know there’s no such thing as a million percent, but you get my drift).
Then before I hit “send” on the text I happened to look back at Adella’s post, and realized this one wasn’t actually her work. She was sharing (as she so often, generously does) the work of another indie dyer, Treehouse Knits.
See, lots of people in this biz like to talk “collab.” Adella puts her money (and her posts, and her heart) where her mouth is.
So my next step was to reach out to Lauren of Treehouse Knits and see if we could work together. Happily for us - and now, for you - she said yes!
So let me introduce you (if you don’t already know) to Lauren of Treehouse Knits.
“Before I got into hand dyed yarn, I worked in personal insurance sales,” Lauren shared with us. “When I had my son in 2017 though, my husband and I made the decision for me to stay at home with Luke. Fast forward a couple years, and I attended a hand-dyed yarn class. From this point on I was hooked. I opened Treehouse Knits in the summer of 2020 after honing in on my craft for about a year prior.”
Lauren has dyed up 8 knockout colorways on "Silky Sock," her brand-new, fingering-weight, merino-silk base. Together we curated 4 perfect pairings to make designer Tamy Gore’s meditative shawl, “The Drifter” - modeled by the stunning Francoise Danoy of Knit Stars Season 5, above.
“I love Tamy's simple and very wearable design approach,” Lauren says. “I think this project was made for colorway mates - a variegated and a solid. I put together a family of colors that is both earthy and romantic (my favorite combination). Everything is magnified on this base, with its silky sheen.”
If you haven’t “discovered” Tamy Gore yet, now is the time! She’s got 90 amazing designs available in her Ravelry store under the name Narrow Path Designs.
“I got my start in knitwear design the unconventional way - my husband was on a work trip in 2016 and decided to visit a LYS where he bought me my very first skein of Indie-dyed yarn,” Tamy shared with us.
“It was so beautiful, that I decided to try designing a shawl with it. It was my first foray into designing and I've been doing it since. I focused mainly on shawls and other accessories until 2020 when I was encouraged by a friend to design my first sweater.”
“The Drifter” can be knitted with your choice of 2 or 3 colors (so you could pick up a Treehouse pairing, and (optionally) adding a skein from your stash if you like. It uses easy slip stitches to create beautiful texture and color play.
Would you rather try out one of Tamy’s sweater designs? Check out “Graphic Elements,” a loose-fitting pullover-type swancho with a cozy, everyday fit. This would be great to have around the office on air-conditioned summer days, or to cast on now, work on leisurely, and have ready to wear come fall!
This would be perfection in LolaBean DK weight. You’ll need 4 (5, 7) skeins of your main color plus 1 skein each of 2 contrast colors for sizes XS-M (L-2X, 3X-5X). Finished bust circumference is 45.5” (54.5, 66.5”).
Pick up your LolaBean DK here.
And be sure to follow Tamy @tamygore on Instagram - she’s got an MKAL planned for later this spring, and a new colowork spring top coming at the end of March!
When you’re playing with deep, saturated colors like the new Treehouse Knits skeins, you might get a wee bit nervous about wet-blocking. But blocking can make such a big difference to your finished knits!
Watch this 3-minute video with Andrea Mowry from Knit Stars Masterclass Season 2 for some key tips that will help you feel more confident about your blocking.
Orange you glad it’s almost Hot Loops time?! 🔥
Join us Saturday, April 9, 7pm when we reveal our 2022 Spring Hot Loops Wall, featuring a custom curated wall of orange in celebration of the iconic Queen of orange herself, Gaye “GG” Glasspie.
Heads-up: The Pantone folks say orange is extra-hot for spring! The wall will include orange (of course) but also neutrals, brights, jewel-tones, speckles and hand-dyes to make these special projects your very own.
The projects we'll be showcasing for these fabulous yarns will take your breath away! Each one is curated to the yarn, on trend and knit or crocheted by a Star from our shared constellation.
Your $25 reservation gets you:
- First look at the new Spring Hot Loops Wall yarn and projects during our live Zoom party on Saturday evening.
- Access to exclusive custom hand-dyed luxury fibers.
- A party favor in your shipped package.
- $25 credit toward your purchases through Sunday, April 17th, midnight, Central (so yes, it makes the event practically free - but you’ve gotta reserve your spot!)
During our Hot Loops Spring 2022 virtual party, we will give you the special, secret code to access your $25 credit to be used towards your Hot Loops yarns for that weekend only.
Click here to reserve your spot now!
Can you stand one more chili recipe? I personally can never get enough of these. I’m all about squeezing in “one more easy chili night” before the weather turns too warm! And this one has a couple unusual but genius ingredients.
It comes from pressurecookerrecipes-dot-com by way of Star Trooper Sherri, who says, “I am an avid Instant Pot user and Google is usually my recipe book. I made the following chili recently and my husband said, "Whatever you did there, do that from now on, forever!"
- 1 - 1 ½ pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 cans (540ml/19oz) red kidney beans , drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons (49g) tomato paste
- 1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 - 2 tablespoons (8g - 16g) chili powder (depends on your chili powder’s spiciness and preference)
- 1 tablespoon (6g) cumin seed, ground
- 1 teaspoon (1g) dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) apple cider vinegar (optional)
- Brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper to taste
Umami Chicken Stock Mixture:
- 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) fish sauce (can substitute with regular soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) regular soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon (2.5g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- Sour cream
- Jalapeno pepper , diced and seeded
- Green onions
- Cheddar cheese
- Brown Ground Beef: Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function. Wait until indicator says HOT.
- Season ground beef generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil in Instant Pot. Ensure to coat the oil over whole bottom of the pot.
- Add ground beef in Instant Pot. The ground beef will start to release moisture. At the 5-minute mark, remove the ground beef juice and reserve it in a small mixing bowl. Allow the ground beef to brown. Stir occasionally until they are slightly crisped and browned (~5 – 7 minutes). Taste and adjust the seasoning with more kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Mix Chicken Stock Mixture: While the ground beef is browning, mix 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock, 2 tbsp (30ml) fish sauce, 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, and 1 tsp (2.5g) unsweetened cocoa powder in a 500ml measuring cup.
- Sauté Onion, Garlic and Spices: Add diced onions, minced garlic, 1 tbsp ground cumin seed, 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp dried oregano. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the spices start to release their fragrance. Stir frequently.
- Deglaze: Pour in ½ cup (125ml) of the Umami Chicken Stock Mixture, fully deglaze the bottom of the pot by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits with a wooden spoon. Mix the brown bits with the stock mixture.
- Pressure Cook Chili: Add in the reserved beef juice (from Step 1). Pour in the remaining Umami Chicken Stock Mixture. Add 2 cans of drained red kidney beans. Mix well. Add 3 tbsp (49g) tomato paste and 1 can of crushed tomatoes with all the juice on top. Do not mix.
- With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes + Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.
- Reduce and Season: If the chili is too runny, give it a quick stir and cook for another few minutes using the Sauté mode.
- Taste and season with brown sugar (we used 1 tbsp), kosher salt and black pepper.
- Optional: Add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Note that the vinegar will significantly change the flavor profile.
- Serve: Garnish chili with optional ingredients. Serve over your favorite side dishes.