Writing this newsletter at the ATL airport enroute from the beach to TUL.
Right now, if it can’t be knit at 32,000 feet, it’s not going on my needles.
I’ve always loved “airplane knitting” - the portable, meditative projects that don’t require a lot of concentration…
(read: can be worked while sipping a Delta bloody mary and munching a tiny pack of almonds)
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good yarny challenge and usually have a more complex colorwork project in the works. But these days, I spend so much time up in the air, it really makes no sense to cast on anything that takes up that much space - either in my luggage or in my mind.
So I’m dedicating this issue to my latest airplane knit queue, just in case you’ve got a trip coming up or your brain is currently too busy to be occupied by charts, brioche or stitch counts.
But first, you may be wondering…why am I traveling so much? OK sure, I travel a bunch to film Knit Stars workshops around the world, but do I actually LIVE somewhere?
In fact, lots of readers have written in to ask these very questions, so it seems the right time to spill the beans.
Earlier this year, I fell for a wonderful man I met in my very favorite place, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. We divide our time between where he works right now, near West Palm Beach, Florida, on the intracoastal waterway, and a place on the beach in Santa Rosa. We fly back to Tulsa on the regular to be at the Flagship Store and so that I can visit my oldest, Sam, who still lives in Tulsa, as well as check in on my parents and Tulsa friends.
Some close Tulsa friends have asked, “How in the world did you leave your whole life behind?”
I never had the faintest clue how much life could lie ahead.
So how about you? Is there an adventure you’ve been putting off? A dream you’ve been waiting for “someday” to pursue?
Maybe, just maybe, today is the day.
I’m rooting for you.
P.S. Here’s a hint for those trying to get to Delta Diamond status. The trick isn’t taking that trip to Peru. It’s falling in love with someone who lives two flights away! 🤣
My current airplane knit is Knit Collage napkin rings for the 21 (yes 21!) people we’re hosting for a beachy Thanksgiving.
Since most of the 21 people will be people from my new love’s family that I’ll be meeting for the first time (gulp), I wanted to bring a little of my own personality to the table.
So I took a skein of our exclusive Star Spun yarn by Knit Collage in colorway “Space Nomad” and designed a napkin ring on the fly (literally ✈️ LOL!)
In case you’d like to bring a similar touch to your Thanksgiving table, here’s the recipe for what I did…
🌟Star Spun Napkin Rings 🌟
1 skein Knit Collage Star Spun (exclusive to Knit Stars, makes approx 11 rings)
US #15 double-pointed needles (DPNs) or circular needle
Using #15 DPNs, cast on 4 stitches, leaving an 8” tail.
Knit one row. Do NOT turn.
Next, slide stitches from left end of needle to right, and knit all 4 stitches again. (You are making a 4-stitch i-cord).
Repeat for 13 more rows.
Bind off loosely.
Cut, leaving another 8” tail.
Using the tails, tie the two ends of your napkin ring together with the “right” side facing out.
Thread one tail into your tapestry needle and stitch the two ends of your ring closed, ending with the two tails close together. This yar is very forgiving so don’t worry too much about this step, just close the gap.
At this point, you can choose to weave in the ends, or use them to attach a place card.
Once I got going, it took me about 5 minutes to make each ring. So fun!
Buy Star Spun (available in 3 exclusive colors) here.
P.S. If you decide to make these, please post a picture of your tablescape on Instagram and tag me @knitstars !
This “Knitspiration” piece is as simple as it gets.
But sometimes, simple is best…especially when working with an extra-special art yarn like “Spun Cloud” from Knit Collage.
Let’s face it, they’ll never know all you did was knit one, purl one for the whole scarf … and I truly believe this is the kind of project that gets worn the most! Modern, textural, goes with any outfit or overcoat…and most importantly, it’s supersoft next to the skin.
Plus you have options. Sew the ends to make a cowl, or leave long as a scarf.
Make it 2-tone as shown, or make it solid (one skein of Spun Cloud will make the whole piece). Even better…why not buy 2 skeins and make two 2-tone cowls, one for you and one as a gift??
Choose from our 12 Spun Cloud colors (including 2 Knit Stars exclusives!) here.
🌟Knitspiration Cowl (or Scarf) 🌟
1 skein Knit Collage Star Spun (for solid version) or 2 skeins for 2-tone version
(NOTE: 1 skein makes 1 scarf; 2 skeins is enough to make 2 scarves!)
US #15 straight or circular needles
(HINT: Circular needles will work for both this project and the napkin rings above)
Tapestry needle (optional)
Cast on 14 stitches.
*knit 1, purl 1* repeat across row.
Repeat for entire length of scarf, approx 53”
If making the 2-tone version, switch to second color at approx 26.5”
Bind off loosely. Sew ends together with tapestry needle if desired. Weave in ends. Hooray, you’re done!
Special thanks to Amy from Knit Collage for allowing us to share this pattern ❤️.
You get to play with 4 different colors of Spun Cloud and all 3 colors of Star Spun.
The pattern is simple enough for the beginner knitter, but fun and interesting enough to easily hold an advance knitter’s interest.
It makes a dramatic entrance into any room - and also makes a show-stopping lap blanket! Imagine this draped over your shoulders or your sofa…
And this just in... Amy of Knit Collage has generously allowed us to include the pattern pdf for free with purchase of this kit!
(Once again…your #15 circular needles will work for this project too! How’s that for simple?
With 21 people to feed at Thanksgiving - and having ONLY made the pies for the past 30 years (thanks Mom for carrying the brunt all these years!), I’ve already begun testing out recipes. These mashed potatoes from Half-Baked Harvest knocked out socks off. We were literally licking the plate, folks! That little extra step of the sage butter added on top is a total game-changer. And the leftovers were just as good 3 days later. Try and see for yourself!
Brown Butter Sage Mashed Potatoes
- 4 large Idaho potatoes peeled and quartered (I used Idaho, but you may sub Russet)
- 2-4 cloves garlic peeled (I used 4)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter browned
- 8 leaves fresh sage chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- In a large pot of cold water, bring the potatoes and garlic to a boil. Salt the water and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot and mash over low heat, or mash in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, adding the cream and 2 teaspoons salt.
- In a skillet or small sauce pot melt the butter and chopped sage over medium heat until just browned. The butter will melt, foam and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom. Whisk browned bits off of the bottom of the pan. Pour the browned sage butter into the warm mashed potatoes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
If you make the projects, the recipe or both,, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how they turned out!
P.S. Have you been listening to our new audio version of the newsletter? I always add a bit of extra color and spice. Listen to this week’s version here.