posts / 🧶Simpler, and simpler still

🧶Simpler, and simpler still

How complicated is your life right now?

…and how about your knitting?

Personally, I’ve found that when my life gets more complex, my knitting has to get simpler. It’s like a seesaw. When one end is up, the other has to go down.

Over the past few months, I’ve traveled to film in 5 countries, gotten divorced, debuted a project 17 years in the making (Knit Start), moved cross-country, fulfilled a lifelong dream of living on the water, fallen in love.

Through it all, my knitting has gotten simpler. And simpler still.

I’ve put one project after another into time out, my mind racing too quickly to focus on the pattern.

Some days, all I do is hand-wind a fresh new ball of yarn, appreciating the craftsmanship of the hand-dyeing as the fiber slips through my fingers.

This week, I’d like to give you permission to do the same.

Pick up a fresh skein. Cast on something simple and beautiful that gives you joy.

Then set aside time each day to knit. No deadline. No guilt. No pressure.

Your knitting is one thing that’s just for you.

(And, as a gentle reminder, so is your life. ❤️)

xoxo

Just in time for simple knitting week, we received a fresh batch of LolaBean Dream Bean yarn.

This merino/cashmere/silk is the fingering-weight blend that Adella had always dreamed of but never found. Together with our friends in Peru, we made it a reality!

Last year, Adella made her own move to simplify by focusing on dyeing for her own online store (and her updates always sell out right away), so we feel extra-extra-lucky that she still finds time to dye for us!

Why not treat yourself to one of these special skeins, and cast on Stormy Sky Shawl by Ksenia Naidyon. The pattern is free on Ravelry, full of fun, easy to memorize textural stitches, and believe it or not, only takes one skein of Dream Bean on size US #9 needles!

And crocheters, there’s a version of Stormy Sky for you, too! Also free on Ravelry. Also only one skein.

Shop our Dream Bean yarn update here.

Or…if your life circumstances allow for a little bigger project right now, how about casting on a Rock It Tee by Tanis Lavalee?

This super-versatile v-neck tee is worked top-down, flat until the neck shaping is complete, then in the round after that.

Make yours with LolaBean Dream Bean and you’ll have a supercute wardrobe staple you’ll reach for all year-round!

You’ll need 1 (1, 1, 1, 2, 2) (2, 2, 2, 2, 2) skeins of EACH of 2 colors to make this tee, with finished measurements of 32 (35, 38, 41, 44, 48) (52, 56, 60, 64, 68)” at bust. It’s shown on the model with about 6” of positive ease.

Pick up Dream Bean yarn for your tee right here.

If you follow Adella @lolabeanyarnco you know her favorite colors: Green, green and more green!

So I immediately thought of Adella when Clinton Hill Cashmere came out with these two new, gorgeous muted greens in our favorite “Bespoke” worsted weight.

We asked Rebecca of Clinton Hill, why green? “The new shades of green were inspired by the Spring and Fall fashion runways,” she said. “We chose ‘Rosemary’ and ‘Juniper’ for a fashion forward take on green. Both shades are a bit marled, making for a cashmere yarn with immense depth.”

If you haven’t yet worked with “Bespoke,” you’re in for the ultimate cashmere indulgence. Clinton Hill uses a special, light “fulling” process that gives this 100% cashmere an extra level of fluffiness, but without the pilling.

We’ve got a couple great pattern ideas for you – and they’re both free with purchase of “Bespoke” yarn in any color/s! Just drop us a note in the comments of your order and we’ll send you the pattern pdf.

“Berkshire Beanie” is a two-tone colorblocked hat with a folded brim. This luxurious cap will keep you warm and chic all winter long. The extra fold provides a super thick double layered effect. You just need 1 skein each of 2 colors. Choose complimentary colors or bold contrasts. You can’t go wrong with your color choice!

And the brand-new “Ridgelines Blanket” pattern was inspired by the love of the home and creating family heirlooms. It’s available in both a baby size (6 balls) and an afghan size (14 balls).

“Having recently moved into our new home, I have had a strong desire to create pieces that are unique, high quality, and long lasting,” Rebecca said. “The classic simplicity of the Ridgelines pattern, designed and knit by my mom, Laurie Kimmelstiel, is the perfect piece to cozy up on the couch for years to come, or grow with a special baby through all their life milestones.”

Shop Clinton Hill “Bespoke” 100% cashmere in 21 colors right here.

Sheet Pan Chicken with Jammy Tomatoes and Pancetta

This easy sheet-pan dinner from New York Times Cooking turns tomatoes into a jammy, melt-in-your-mouth delight. I’ve made this several times, and have found that marinating the chicken thighs in the olive oil and spices for even 15 minutes  (to overnight) really ups the flavor ante of this dish. I also tossed some tiny new potatoes in olive oil and kosher salt and added them to the sheet pan, then served it all with a simple arugula salad tossed in lemon juice and olive oil. A sure winner, every time!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 9 whole unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (preferably different colors), halved
  • 2 ounces diced pancetta or bacon
  • ¼ cup torn fresh dill, parsley or other herbs, for serving
  •  Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Season chicken all over with salt, and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Smash all the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and peel them. Finely grate one garlic clove and put it in a small bowl. Stir in the 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, paprika, oregano, brown sugar (if using) and cumin. Pour over chicken, tossing to coat. (Hint: If time allows, marinate 15 minutes up to overnight).
  3. Add tomatoes and remaining smashed, peeled garlic cloves to baking sheet, spreading them out around the chicken. Season tomatoes lightly with salt and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Scatter pancetta on top.
  4. Roast until chicken is golden and cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. After 15 minutes, stir the tomatoes and pancetta, but don’t disturb the chicken.
  5. Transfer chicken to plates. Stir the tomatoes and pancetta around in the pan, scraping up all the delicious browned bits from the bottom and sides, and stir in the herbs and black pepper to taste. Taste and add salt, if needed, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if you like. Spoon tomatoes, garlic and pancetta over the chicken to serve.

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