Often in this space, I talk about “effortless” projects. I’m a big believer.
We can can pick them up easily, while juggling all the other balls of life. They widen the circle, allowing stitchers of all levels to play along together. Easy projects show off the yarn. And they’re wearable – simple is often the underpinning of chic.
But these last couple months have reminded me of the joy of the more complex project.
The kind that you can really sink your teeth into.
The kind that engages the farthest reaches of my complicated mind, transports me, soothes me in a way that only a few other things can. Like a deep conversation. A riveting movie. A highly competitive tennis match.
“Festival of Stitches” by Lisa Hannes came along at just the right time for me.
It was my companion on a 16-hour drive to and from a beach with my husband. As he drove us across Alabama and I dove into the cabled section, I reached that meditative state that only a knitter really knows.
It was a reset, a release that let me sink into the time away and really connect and celebrate the week of our 26th wedding anniversary.
The “raindrop lace” section carried me through three tense hours in the car on the way back, ironically through a rainstorm, where the road was never really visible in front of us. The lace was easy but interesting enough to keep my fingers – and my mind – occupied.
And the final twisted rib section was simple and slow – exactly what I needed as the country twisted and turned its way through election week.
I made my Festival of Stitches with 3 colors of Tosh Tweed from our own palette named for distinctively Oklahoma things: Cherry Valance (my heroine from the movie The Outsiders that was based on characters from my own high school); Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (a color to celebrate 2020 ;-); and Loopsmobile (for the knitted 2008 Mini Cooper that I zip around in).
The Tosh Tweed yielded a deliciously rustic-looking (yet supersoft) piece. The yarn is beautifully tonal, and the tweed flecks have an effect similar to speckles – softening the lines of the design so that they melt into one another, yet all of the beautiful stitchwork remains defined.
And really, there’s nothing that difficult here. Stripes, bobbles, a bit of lace and cabling. An adventurous beginner can totally handle it. And wear it with pride, forever. It's a keeper for sure.
If you’d like to branch out into your own colors, here are a couple other pairing ideas:
Nothing Gold Can Stay + Will Rogers + Tulsa Spelled Backward
Loops Blue + Ponyboy + Loopsmobile
…or make up your own from our palette of 11 exclusive colorways.
You’ll find “Festival of Stitches” by Lisa Hannes on Ravelry.
Buy the 3 skeins you need here.
P.S. Aggie was not at all helpful with this photo shoot 😂
“Queen’s Gambit” is the new Netflix series that got me through the final hours of my “Festival of Stitches” shawl.
Weaving in ends has never been so exciting ;-)
The characters. The cinematography. The mood. The fashion. Those eyes.
Queue it up for the weekend, cancel any plans, and prepare to make great progress on your projects.
You’ll thank me later.😇
Loops Trooper Rachel has a best friend that has been asking for *years* for one of those "big chunky knit blankets."
We'll bet you have one of those friends too...
And we finally found a supersoft yarn that fits the bill without breaking the bank!
Spend an afternoon working with this trendy *jumbo* chenille yarn that can be crocheted or knit without any tools except your arms! The Hygge-esque yarn is perfect for an arm-knit lapghan to snuggle under (4 balls for a 40" x 33" lapghan blanket).
Or make a bigger version like the one Debbie T. made (below). She purchased 6 balls of our yarn, cast on 22 stitches and finger-knit her blanket in only three hours!
Breakfast for dinner? 😃
There's nothing like a fresh stack of pancakes and these may just be our new favorite. The scent of cinnamon-scented apple compote will make you close your eyes with joy and you won't even need maple syrup! This recipe from delish-dot-com is quick and comforting. 🍏 🥞
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. butter, divided, plus more for cooking
1 large egg, separated
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. milk
4 large apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (about 5 to 6 cups)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1. Mix flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. In a large bowl, whisk to combine egg yolk, vanilla, milk, and melted butter. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined, then fold in 1½ cups of chopped apple.
2. In another medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat egg white until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white into batter gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.
3. Make apple topping: in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add remaining apples, brown sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and a 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples have softened and mixture is jammy, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Pour about 1/4 cup pancake batter into pan. When little bubbles appear, about 1 to 2 minutes, flip and continue cooking until both sides are lightly golden. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more butter to pan as needed. Serve pancakes topped with apple mixture.