Happy Sunday Mandy,
This past Monday wasn’t so much a Monday as a MONDDDAYYYYY. Ever had one of those?
So by Tuesday I was really in need of a mood booster.
Then voila, I opened up our Facebook Masterclass group and there was this cool new feature called Mood Booster Chat.
I started up the chat with this WIP photo of my Balloon Cardigan (helloooo sleeve island!) and asked everyone else to share their own work in progress shots.
The photos immediately started flooding in and boom, my mood was indeeed instantly boosted!
So this week I thought I’d do the same for you, with some mood-boosting photos from some of our community members and Knit Star alumni from Seasons past.
If it boosts your mood, I’d love for you to hit reply and send me a photo of your latest project. Let’s keep the happy vibes flowing!
P.S. Speaking of alumni Stars from past Knit Stars Masterclass Seasons…this week we’re having a sale on previous Seasons, including Season 1 which has been in “the vault” for years! Season 1 is a must for every Yarnie’s learning library and includes:
- Hannah Fettig – Wearable Knits
- Stephen West – Brioche, Shortcut Rows, Party Tricks
- Julie Weisenberger/Cocoknits – English Tailoring
- Meghan Fernandes/Pompom Quarterly – Finishing Strong
- Romi Hill – Lace, Beading, Shawl construction
- Amy Small/Knit Collage – Chunky Art Yarns
- Taiu Landra/Koigu – Koigu Color Theory
- Julie & Jean-Francois Asselin – Yarn Construction
Rose, of our All Star / Star Guides, won FIVE blue ribbons and a special award at the Maryland State Fair!
“These two are thanks to Knit Stars,” Rose said. “One is the “Think Like An Artist Cowl” by Felicity Ford (Knit Stars Season 6). The judges loved the colors (all credit going to Felix for that) and loved the fair isle knitting. The other is a Shetland Lace Ring Shawl which was inspired by Season 2 Alum Tammy White.”
“Thanks to Season 2 I discovered her and her amazing and beloved flocks in Vermont. Her sheep inspired me to want to learn how to spin. Watching Romi Hill (Season 1) and Laura Nelkin (Season 3) demystify lace knitting gave me confidence!”
“Honestly if you had asked me before I joined Knit Stars that I would be capable of knitting colorwork or embracing spinning I would have said you are kidding me. Thank you Knit Stars for encouraging me to push my limits and think…I can do this!”
Another of Rose’s blue ribbon winners was this test knit for Alicia Plummer called “Tomorrow Sweater.” I love this textural design for fall…maybe if I can finish up my Balloon Cardi, this can be my Rhinebeck Sweater! (Super excited, it will be my first Rhinebeck ever! 🐑)
If I cast on a Tomorrow Sweater it’ll be in LolaBean Sport in the “Last Straw” colorway. And if you care to join me, the yarn is 20% off this week, here – in all color ways!
As I was scrolling around social media, my heart leapt at this new hat modeled by Season 6 Star Felicity “Felix” Ford. So I reached out to her and got the 411…
“Myself & Jeanette Sloan both had the opportunity to teach in Season 6 of Knit Stars. The theme was LIVE COLORFULLY that we approached in different ways – my class explored stranded colourwork as a creative medium, while Jeanette’s class explored beaded colourwork.”
“We helped each other to develop our classes, cheerleading one another and sharing ideas as we went. Struck by similarities of approach (SWATCHING! COLOURS! PLAYING!) we yearned to work together again.”
“This year’s Make Do & Mend theme for Shetland Wool Week inspired us to explore what kinds of colourwork we might make from the oddments of yarn and assortments of beads languishing in knitters’ stashes. This two-part class (with two same-but-different hat patterns) is the result of our collaboration.”
Topping this week’s “Hot Right Now” list on Ravelry.com is Season 2 Star Andrea Mowry’s latest, “The Weekender Crew.”
Andrea wrote, “The Weekender Crew is born of the wonderful requests I receive from amazing knitters to my inbox! Topping the list has always been an alternate neckline for those who aren’t comfortable in a boat neck, followed closely by a DK weight option, and something made in a warm-weather friendly yarn! But I didn’t stop there, I also decided to bring the drop shoulder down the sleeves for an extra polished finish, and of course – pockets! I hope this new Weekender Crew fills another gap in your wardrobe!”
We recommend LolaBean DK for your Weekender Crew. For finished bust sizes 34 (38.5, 41.5, 46) [50.5, 54, 58] (61, 66, 70.5) inches, you will need 4 (5, 5, 6)[6, 7, 7](8, 8, 9) skeins of Cool Beans DK. Pattern is on Ravelry. Yarn is on sale 20% off this week, here.
Marly Bird, a Knit Star from Knit Stars Season 4, just released this gorgeous “Color Kaledioscope Poncho.” The pattern is free on Ravelry and there’s a knitalong to go with it! We love Berroco Ultra Wool or Malabrigo Rios for a washable version of this project. For sizes Small to XL, you will need 2 skeins of MC and 1 skein each of 8 CCs. For sizes 2XL to 5XL, you’ll need 3 skeins of MC and 1 skein each of 8 CCs. The project is knit on size US 9 (5.5mm) needles.
And rounding out our ribbon-winners, Loni, a Knit Stars All Star and Star Guide, shared this photo of the “Adventure Cables Hat” she created with the LolaBean Yarn Co kit for Fatimah Hinds’ workshop in Season 7.
“Guess who just learned she won a Red Ribbon (2nd place) at the State Fair of Texas for a project created as a result of Knit Stars Season 7?!” Loni posted.
Congratulations Loni – we love the creative spin you put on your hat
Photo courtesy of HalfBakedHarvest.com
Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting
Now that your mood is hopefully lifted by all the yarny eye candy…how about some comfort food? This Caramel Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting from Half-Baked Harvest is just the sweet treat to make up on a Sunday and enjoy with a relaxed, indulgent stitching session. No deadlines, no guilt…just good food and good mood. Enjoy!
For the Cake
- 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- 2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, beating until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stream in the buttermilk, beating until just combined. Pour the batter among the 2 cake pans.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the center is just set. Let cool 5-10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert the cake onto a plate, flip it back over onto a serving plate. Let cool.
- To make the chocolate frosting. Microwave the chocolate chips and a pinch of salt, stirring every 45 seconds, until melted. Stir in the sour cream and espresso, a dollop at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Swirl the frosting onto the top of the cake. Place the second cake layer on top. Run a knife around the side of the cake to clean up any frosting. Chill while you make the brown sugar frosting.
- To make the brown sugar frosting. Melt together the butter, brown sugar, and cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Add a pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sift in the powdered sugar, then add the vanilla. Beat until well combined. The frosting should be glossy and pourable. If it feels too runny, add powdered sugar to thicken it.
- Pour the frosting over the cake, spreading around the sides of the cake too. The frosting will set quickly on the cake. If desired top with chocolate curls and sea salt. Slice, eat, and enjoy!!
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