This week’s “Moving the Needle” guest writer is Beth, our Knit Stars Relationships Manager. She recently finished a new version of one of my favorite older designs, and agreed to share a story about it. Read on and enjoy! - xoxo, Shelley
I am not a great flyer.
I am the one in the window seat, eyes glued to the sky to assist the pilot in flying the plane from my seat in coach. I have discovered over time that if I can keep my hands busy knitting, I am much more relaxed and can even bring myself to
enjoy ok, tolerate the ride.
Before my last trip to Tulsa, I began a different type of journey. A journey to make my first ever sweater!
I have been a shawl knitter since I began knitting about 10 years ago and knitting a sweater has been a goal of mine for some time.
I had seen an older sample of Shelley’s “50 Shades of Linen” sweater hanging in the Knit Stars Flagship Store, and after poring over all the options, I landed on a perfect purply-pink called “Daylily” in Knit Stars’ exclusive Tanguis cotton-bamboo-hemp blend yarn called Plant-Based Princess.
I spent the first leg of my trip from Michigan to Chicago white-knuckle-knitting on my sweater.
After arriving in Chicago, everyone else on the flight stood up to get their luggage, and I carefully rolled up my work and put it away so it would be ready to go for the next leg of my trip. The woman in front of me turned around and smiled the biggest smile and said “Thank You!”
It turns out she was also a white-knuckle “coach co-pilot” just like me! 😬 She said she generally coped with her nerves by listening to an audiobook. This time though, she put her AirPods away and just listened to me clicking away in the seat behind her.
Her mother, an avid knitter, passed a few years back and she said the sound of my needles gave her such a soothing feeling of comfort and ease. The rhythmic sound of my needles did not make her sad just cared for and calm.
Knitting in public always starts a conversation or two, and I have met some really cool people doing just that. This interaction was special though. My first sweater project brought comfort to someone I didn’t even know. It sparked a renewed interest in the craft and maybe even created a new knitter.
It also helped land that plane safely at O'hare… yep, I just know that was all me! 🤗
P.S. The “50 Shades of Linen” pattern download is yours free with purchase of the yarn. It is 70” in circumference, making it one-size-fits-most, with an abundance of positive ease, and is easily modifiable for larger sizes as well.
Choose your color and purchase 3 skeins of Plant-Based Princess here.
Or make it from 3 skeins of Louet Euroflax 100% linen, here. (Note, the hand-dyed color shown is no longer available, but we have 14 gorgeous solids to choose from!)
If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re in for a treat! The impressive patterns in this “Nova” cowl by Carina Spencer are created using just one yarn at a time, making the finished cowl appear far more complicated than it is!
Chevron stripes fade into a center band of stars in this generously sized, mosaic colorwork cowl. The slipped stitches create a sturdy fabric, finished on both ends with a ribbed casing. A tasseled drawcord gives this practical accessory a playful touch. And there’s a free tassel tutorial video link included!
Mitzi used one each of all four colors of our own, exclusive Plant-Based Princess yarn to make her Nova. Pattern calls for US Size 3 (3.25mm) needles.
Our own “Nova” kit includes one skein of each of the four colors: “Copper Downspout,” “Cottonwood,” “Daylily,” and “Local Honey.”
Grab your kit here!
Coming soon…the realization of a lifelong dream. ✨
Knit Start is almost here!
As a self-taught knitter in my teens, 20s and 30s, I felt so lost. Picking up a few tips here, a pattern and a yarn there…I never really knew what I was doing. Never felt truly supported.
Always felt pretty alone.
And guess what? Turns out a lot of knitters feel the same way. Even Hollywood movie stars…
Knit Start is the how-to-knit program I wish I’d had from day one. It covers all the basics in a fun, approachable way. Delivered by actress Jeanne Tripplehorn, her friend Lisa Borgnes Giramonti, and yours truly.
If you signed up for Knit Stars Masterclass Season 7 during Earlybird signups this past spring, you got a sneak peek at Knit Start in your Masterclass library a couple weeks ago.
And we’re super excited to announce that Knit Start will be available as a standalone workshop purchase, starting in just a couple of weeks.
Do you have friends and family that you wish would learn to knit? Add them (or yourself!) to the waitlist to be notified when Knit Start debuts, right here.
Meanwhile, enjoy some fun outtake “bloopers” from Knit Start here.
Just 15 minutes to prep, and 15 minutes to cook…and you have this spicy, Chinese-inspired noodle dish! For those nights when you want more time to knit, but don’t want to wait for takeout.
Don’t have chopsticks? Knitting needles work in a pinch - just be sure NOT to eat with the pointy ends! 🤪
Better-Than-Takeout Dan Dan Noodles
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or smashed
- 1-2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (make sure to use GF, if needed)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter or tahini
- 8 ounces Chinese style egg noodles, or rice noodles
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/2 pound ground chicken or pork
- 2 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped
- black pepper
- 1 medium shallot, chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
1. To make the chili oil. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 1/3 cup sesame oil, the garlic, and chili flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally until the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and very carefully transfer the oil to a heat proof bowl or glass jar.
2. Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, vinegar, peanut butter/tahini, and 1/3 cup water in a bowl.
3. Cook the egg/rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. To the pot used to cook the noodles, add the broth and 1/2 of the soy sauce mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the spinach. Keep warm.
4. Place the skillet used to make the chili oil, over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and the chicken. Season with black pepper and brown all over, breaking it up as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and shallot, and cook another 2-3 minutes. Slowly pour in 1/2 of the soy sauce mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce coats the chicken and the meat begins to caramelize and get crispy, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2-4 tablespoons chili oil. Remove from the heat.
5. Ladle the broth into bowls. Add the noodles and toss to combine. Spoon the meat over the noodles. Top with green onions and additional chili oil. Enjoy!
Homemade Hoisin: in a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon molasses, 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder, and a pinch of black pepper.