posts / 🧶Steady through the storm

🧶Steady through the storm

I’m writing this week’s newsletter by candlelight, looking out onto the south Florida sea as Hurricane Ian huffs and puffs out my window.


When I moved a few months ago, I thought I was trading a lifetime of Oklahoma tornadoes for a hurricane or two here and there. Silly me! Last night Ian served up three tornado warnings, with one blowing right over our little place by the sea – thankfully, not touching down. 

It’s times like these when I’m extra grateful for my knitting.

When my nerves get jangly as I stare out the window, watching the confused sea birds swoop and scatter, I love knowing I can pour a cuppa and grab my needles.

In the midst of the storm, I remembered this little sign hung on my grandparent’s boat dock when I was growing up: “When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles scream and shout.” When I feel that anxiety knocking at the door, I try to remember to pick up my project instead.

With so many friends across the Southeast U.S. dealing with Ian, we decided this week to put together 4 extra-simple, relaxing project ideas in special yarns that soothe our souls.  Wherever you are reading this from, I hope you are safe and well, and that this newsletter brings some color and joy to your Sunday morning

xoxo,

Thanks to everyone who let us know how much you enjoyed the new audio version of last week’s newsletter. Here’s this week’s audio version.

Raise your hand if you’ve found yourself in this dreaded pickle…

You cast on hundreds of stitches, join and knit a round, only to discover – horror of horrors – you’ve got a twist in your join.

It’s hopeless, right? I thought so too! But in the upcoming Knit Stars Season 7: Texture + Wonder, Patty Lyons shows us there’s a simple fix for this. And it BLEW. OUR. MINDS.

Watch this sneak-preview clip and share the awe along with us!

P.S Are you registered yet for THE biggest online knitting event of the year? Click here to get notified as soon as Season 7 signups open!

In stressful times, I always find myself craving a simple project. One I can knit while enjoying a glass – or two – of my favorite vino. (Lately I’m enjoying Campo Viejo, an excellent and affordable Spanish Rioja). 

This “Second Glass Scarf” pattern by retired team member Janet Gillett is as simple as it gets. The entire pattern is about 8 words long! But the finished project is a really cute one you’ll find yourself styling with lots of different outfits – and making on repeat.

Just for fun, we’ve put together a Second Glass Scarf kit with 2 skeins of our own LolaBean Cool Beans Worsted (shown above in “Smoke Show”), a silicone, stemless Knit Stars wine glass, and a FREE pdf download. For even more fun, we’ll throw in 3 buttons from our collection (the buttons will vary from those shown – a fun surprise!). 

Also available in “Teal Me In,” “Birthday Suit,” “Jolene” or “Silver Streak” – while they last. Get your limited edition kit here.

I’m dreaming ahead to holiday time and planning to treat myself to one of these new Koigu Festive Packs. Currently obsessing over this Rose Gold combo of 25 mini skeins…

And thinking I’ll join in Season 6 Star Ambah O’Brien’s wildly popular Festive KAL this year. She has 13 patterns to choose from, with 3 new ones reportedly on the way!

I’m leaning toward making her Lamina Wrap, but may call an audible and go for the Radvent Throw.

We’ve curated 4 Koigu kit choices for you, each containing 25 x 25g mini skeins of KPPPM (2,175 yards total – more than enough for the patterns!). You could also work in some fingering weight from your stash, or use a full skein from your stash as a main color. You don’t need it though! I plan to get creative with my minis like  Ambah did! 😍

Ambah has generously offered a Ravelry coupon code for 20% off any of her Festive KAL patterns (find them on Ravelry here or Etsy here), good through next Sunday, October 9. Use code FESTIVE at checkout. Thank you Ambah!

I was scrolling Instagram yesterday when this post by designer Jen Geigley grabbed my attention and caused an immediate case of cast-on-itis!

“I am so happy with this simple little scarf,” she wrote. “Everyone seems to be making one…the day it arrived in the mail, I started knitting and it was finished by the next morning. You’ve gotta love it when a WIP turns into a FO within 24 hours.” ⚡️⚡️⚡️

“Sophie Scarf” by PetiteKnits takes just one skein of DK weight yarn. It’s worked back and forth in one piece, from tip to tip in garter stitch with built-in i-cord edges.

We’ve curated a couple of great DK options for you. Hand-dyed Silky Linen DK from Essence of Autumn makes a great wool-free, year-round version for all climates, and I especially love this “Flaxen” golden colorway.

Or go with Malabrigo Caprino cashmere blend – classic in “Natural,” “Plomo” or “Sabiduria.” Better yet, make all 3 and you’ll have a scarf for every conceivable winter outfit!

(recipe as shown on Half-Baked Harvest) 

One-Pot Autumn Herb Roasted Chicken with Butter Toasted Wild Rice
With Hurrican Ian brewing outside last night, I wanted a warm, comforting supper – and this one-pot dish from Half-Baked Harvest was absolutely perfect. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it’s very minimal effort, and you get a whole hour to let it simmer in the oven while you make progress on your current project! Definitely do NOT skip the last step of the cider “syrup” – it makes the dish!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds bone-in chicken parts (breast thighs + legs), pat dry
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons + 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice
  • 3/4 cup orzo pasta (I skipped this and didn’t miss it!)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup of your favorite beer 
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups button mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh
  • 4 whole sage chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 head garlic halved
  • 1 sweet onion – peel + cut into fourths

Cider Drizzle (optional)

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large 3-5 quart brasier or dutch oven over high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place the chicken in a ziplock bag and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, rosemary, brown sugar, and a good pinch of both salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot brasier and sear on both sides until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons butter. Add the orzo and cook about 1-2 minutes or until lightly toasted and golden, stirring often (watch this closely as it burns fast). Add the wild rice and toast another 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Toss in the carrots and mushrooms, cook 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, beer and another pinch of salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the parsley and sage. Remove from the heat.
  4. Place the chicken right on top of the rice. Drizzle with lemon juice, season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the onion quarters and garlic (you can leave the skin on the garlic). Throw in a few sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary. Divide the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over the chicken pieces. Cover the pan tightly with a lid (or tin foil if you have to, but a tight fitting lid works best).
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. During the last 5 minutes of cooking remove the lid and allow the chicken to brown a little more, if needed, add in 1/2 cup more chicken broth to keep the rice from getting dry.
  6. To serve, plate the rice and chicken, if desired, drizzle with cider (recipe below).
  7. If desired, make the cider drizzle while the chicken roasts. Add the cider to a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until the cider is reduced and thick + syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.

(Recipe as made and photographed by Shelley) 

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