🧶To speed up? First, slow down
As I write this to you, I’m looking out over the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway in southern Florida. Watching a mama osprey and her baby, high in a nest above the water.
Every morning, I rise before the sun and walk 4 miles across a bridge and back, pelicans and gulls gliding by lazily overhead.
Six months ago, I would’ve never imagined living here.
(And fun fact: I was deathly afraid of both bridges and birds.)
Everything has moved so quickly and continued to speed up, while at the same time, somehow, life has slowed down
My friend Michael told me recently, life is like passing on the freeway. You have to hit the brakes a bit before you pass. If you don’t take that moment to slow down before speeding up, you’ll be stuck behind that truck forever.
The same has held true for my knitting.
I was stuck on a project that wasn’t bringing me joy, and my knitting ground to a halt. So I reached for a skein that had special meaning and cast on “Ranunculus” by Midori Hirose.
I finished it in record time – while knitting more slowly and thoughtfully than I ever have before.
This project was a sort of meditation for me. Begun with a botanically-dyed skein I picked up a few months back in Mallorca, on a long-delayed trip to meet my dear friend and Knit Star Tatiana Sarosa (more on that, below). I’d admired the myriad Ranunculus models strewn about Tatiana’s studio, and she was so surprised to hear I’d never made one. I resolved to cast on soon!
“Soon” turned into a few months, as I was busy and distracted with Knit Stars, my cross-country move and a little thing called falling in love.
Once I finally cast on, though, my Ranunculus grew lightning-fast on my needles. I transitioned from Tatiana’s skein to a similar colorway dyed especially for me by Rachelle of Moondrake Co. yarns.
If you haven’t yet made a Ranunculus, I highly encourage you to jump in. It works up addictively on US #10 needles and has just enough pattern to be interesting, but not difficult. Midori designed the yoke to look like you’re wearing layers of necklaces. So pretty! And there are options for short or long sleeves, different necklines and different lengths.
It just might be the speedy project that helps you slow down a little bit, too.
P.S. We’ve curated 2 yarns for your Ranunculus, with 2 different price ranges. Check out our own Loops Luxe Fizz, which has enough yardage to make the first 3 sizes with just one skein – a whole sweater for $25!
Season 5 Star Tatiana Sarasa, wearing one of her many “Ranunculus” tops
“Loving is actually giving. And doesn’t knitting give us so much?” – Tatiana Sarasa, Masterclass Season 5
If I were to describe Knit Stars Masterclass Season 5 in just one word, it would be…
We had thousands of knitters signed up, with plans to film in Japan, Mallorca, Copenhagen, and the U.S., when the pandemic struck.
At first, we wondered how in the world we could pull it off.
But our Stars came together and collaborated like never before. We found 3 local, award-winning documentary film crews on 3 continents who jumped in to help. And what resulted was our most collaborative, inclusive, uplifting Season to date.
One of my favorite moments of Season 5 was when Tatiana Sarasa spoke from her studio in Mallorca about the holistic nature of knitting.
You are more than a knitter. You’re a person, to be treated as a whole. And knitting can help nurture that.
When I was finally able to visit Tatiana in person a few months ago, I was reminded of her words. We ate together, we drank together, we laughed and shed some tears of joy at how yarn had brought us together as humans.
Watch this clip from Tatiana’s Masterclass and perhaps reflect on the bigger meaning of knitting in your life.
P.S. Season 5 will go on sale for a few days at the end of this month. You can signup for reminders here.
One-skein pattern alert!
On a whim, and wanting to play with our new, exclusive and ultrasoft “Sweet 16” non-superwash merino from Urth, Mitzi worked up a “Forza Scarf” by Season 2 Star Laura Nelkin.
“Everyone needs one of these – in all the colors!” Mitzi enthused.
The designer calls this pattern “your gateway drug to unexpected but simple lace techniques!” Worked in two halves and grafted in the center, this single sided lace scarf will teach you the intricacies of working shaped lace, integrated i-cord edging and reading a chart.
Find the pattern free on Ravelry.
Choose your yarn color/s here.
Cinnamon Maple Brown Butter Blackberry Peach Crisp
A birthday without cake? I know, it’s hard to imagine. But I recently celebrated a birthday with someone special who’s just not into cake. After some poking around online, I came across this Half-Baked Harvest recipe that makes the most of the fruit in the markets right now, with just the right amount of “crisp” – and a final step of a maple-brown-butter sauce that takes it over the top. Make one this weekend – I promise you won’t regret it! 🎉
- 4-5 peaches, sliced (about 5 cups)
- 3 cups fresh blackberries
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1-2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold salted butter, cubed
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
1.Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. In a large bowl, toss together peaches, blackberries, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (use 2 tsp for a thicker filling) cornstarch, and vanilla. Spread the fruit out into a 10-12 inch baking dish or cast iron skillet.
3. To make the topping, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Add 8 tablespoons butter and cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a fork or pastry cutter. Sprinkle over the fruit. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, add 4 tablespoons butter to a small pot and set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Remove the crisp from the oven, remove the foil, and drizzle the maple butter over the crisp. Bake, uncovered another 25 to 30 minutes.
5. Let cool slightly, then serve with ice cream.
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