This week I have a bit of a different story for you.
Back when I was dating in my 20s, my friend Kristy and I made a pact: to never knit for our partners.
Why? Somewhere along the way, we’d heard it was back luck.
Superstitions like this abound in knitting. There’s even a book titled “Never knit a man a sweater before you get the ring.” 🙄
Well, now it's 27 years later...
And I’m with an amazing guy who has a scarf collection and loves to watch me knit…
So I said “curse schmurse” and made him a hat.
Then the Knit Stars team and I decided to go a step further.
We curated an entire wall of masculine and gender-neutral projects from some of our favorite designers in the tradition of our famous Hot Loops Wall.
Now here’s where it gets really fun.
My boyfriend works in a very high-stress industry, and years ago his colleague nicknamed him Luke after Cool Hand Luke from the 1967 film starring Paul Newman.
So naturally…we had to call this new project wall the Hot Luke’s Wall.
(And yes, in my humble opinion my BF is movie-star hot - but too camera shy to let me take a face-forward photo in his new hat, LOL).
I’m hoping the timing of this Wall debut is helpful to you as we round the corner to “last minute gift” week.
Consider this your permission to order a project for your hard-to-gift spouse, significant other or friend…
And simply wrap a note with a photo and a promise to make it for them, on your own time, in the New Year.
I’m sure it will take you less than 27 years. And if they are knitworthy, they’ll be willing to wait.
Top to bottom and left to right, here are the 12 designs we curated for the new Hot Luke’s Wall.
STRATA by Tif Neilan
A worsted weight hat with moderate slouch and colorwork speckles created with stranded (and a touch of slip-stitch) colorwork. Fun and beginner-friendly!
Hayes by Julie Hoover
Bold graphic stripes are delivered here with two alluring stripe combinations. Worked in a reversible Fisherman’s Rib stitch pattern, you can easily knit it up in a weekend.
Hip N’ Slip Hat by Ross Taylor, DK version and
Hip N’ Slip Hat by Ross Taylor, marled fingering version
Quick to knit with a fun, modern slip stitch pattern.
Illumination Cowl by Season 6 Knit Star Vincent Williams
A crochet colorwork cowl inspired by the strong contrast of light and dark, intricately carved calabash lampshades, and graphic African beadwork.
Montana Mountain Cowl by Andrea Mowry
Mosaic moebius Montana Mountain cowl…say that 3 times fast!
NI Mitts by Beatrice Mace
Knit with just the right amount of textured detail.
Stillwater Socks by Season 7 Knit Star Summer Lee
These subtle little cuff-down socks are an excellent way to bring texture and interest, while still highlighting the beauty of the yarn.
Slippy V Triangle by Season 1 Knit Star Stephen West
The slip stitch pattern is very easy to knit and it stretches out the beautifully marled Spincycle yarn, so you get to see all the beautiful color changes.
Color Craze Cowl by Tamy Gore
A super fun knit with color play, brioche and slipped stitches!
Liquid Silver by Season 1 Knit Star Romi Hill
Lacy ribbons zigzag across the body of this rectangular stole, while (optional) knit-in beads add a touch of sparkle and enhance the drape.
Whisky Neat by Maxim Cyr
Cozy, DK-weight socks that are fun and quick to make!
Shop the whole Hot Luke’s Wall collection here.
Did you know Knit Stars has e-gift cards?
That’s right…instant yarny happiness for anyone on your list, including yourself!
Order Knit Stars e-gift cards in denominations of $25, $50, $100 or $250 here.
Recipe as show on Half-Baked Harvest
Crockpot Braised Red Wine Short Ribs with Cheddar Potato Perogies
“Luke” and I have been having so much fun testing out these weekly recipes in our tiny kitchen. (We’ve even been sharing video snippets over on Instagram @knitstars) and thus far, we haven’t really had a “fail” - until this past week. The short rib part was a home run, but this was my first time with perogies, and I tried to get fancy and par-boil then pan-fry them. They came out so crunchy that I nearly broke a tooth! So I recommend simply boiling them and topping with cheese like Teghan from HalfBakedHarvest.com instructs. Lesson learned!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 pounds bone in beef short ribs
- salt + pepper
- 1 sweet onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic skin removed and crushed
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 cups button mushrooms sliced
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 cup beef or chicken broth
- 2 leaves bay
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley + more for serving
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 18-20 frozen perogies
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- The night before, or the morning of, heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high-heat and add the olive oil. Add the ribs to the skillet and sprinkle with salt + pepper. Sear the ribs on all sides for about 1 minute per side. Remove the ribs and place them in the crockpot bowl. If you are short on time, you can omit this step and just add the ribs straight into the crockpot.
- To the crockpot, add the onion, garlic, carrots, tomato paste, mushrooms, red wine, broth, bay leaves, thyme and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.
- Once the short ribs are done cooking and easily far apart, skim off any fat from the top of the crockpot. Lightly shred the ribs and remove the bones, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Discard. Keep the ribs in the sauce, covered on low heat until ready to eat.
- Just before you are ready to eat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the perogies according to package directions, drain.
- Divide the perogies among plates and top with cheddar cheese. Add the short ribs. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, oregano and parmesan. EAT.