posts / 🧶An ode to Brad

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🧶An ode to Brad

You know the old Irish blessing, right?

“May the road rise up to meet you…”

Well when you’re traveling and filming for Knit Stars, sometimes the road does rise up to meet you.

Other times, it roars up and rears back like a giant hissing snake and bites you in the butt.

And that, my friends, is when you’re glad to have a Brad.

Brad is our amazing, award-winning Knit Stars cinematographer and an all-around awesome human. I’ve known him for decades, but this past week he managed to achieve a new level of awesomeness in my eyes, so I just had to share it with you.

Last weekend we filmed the first masterclass for Knit Stars Season 9: Permission to Shine, with Carol Feller in Cork, Ireland. Her class is all about reversible Celtic cables, and as always, I learned so much just by sitting and absorbing her brilliance as she spoke to the camera.

The last time we were in Cork was back in Season 2, with Beata Jezek of Hedgehog Fibres, and it rained so much we weren’t able to capture any of the amazing landscape. Not this time!

Brad’s commitment to CrossFit paid off as he hiked all over the place with heavy cameras in tow and scaled the side of the cliffs to capture Carol’s adventurous Irish spirit.

Brad captured Carol and me having a spontaneous Sound of Music moment.

After two days of filming, we headed to Dublin, where we caught a plane to Aberdeen, Scotland. And that’s where things started to go sideways.

First, they lost Brad’s luggage coming into Aberdeen. Meaning, we lost all the camera equipment.

It miraculously re-appeared about an hour later (still not really sure what happened to it…) but then we learned a heavy fog had rolled into Shetland, and we might not be able to fly there.

The flight was canceled and we checked into an airport hotel.

The next morning we were up at 4 am, schlepped all the luggage back to the airport, and through security…

And the next flight was canceled.

And the flight after that. And the flight after that. And then all flights were canceled FOR THE NEXT 2 DAYS.

Only one option remained: A 12-hour overnight ferry across the North Sea to Shetland, where Season 9 Stars Gudrun Johnston and Hazel Tindall were both awaiting our arrival. Gudrun had even flown over from the States (where she lives now) to film her lifestyle segment in Shetland (where her dad lives, and where her + Hazel’s yarn maker, Jamieson’s of Shetland is located).

Only this ferry was not an option for me. I just got over a long bout of vertigo, and by all accounts, the ferry can be quite rocky – as evidenced by the little white bags placed (rather elegantly) everywhere on board.

I was heartbroken, crushed, defeated…

But this was Brad’s moment.

“We’ve come this far,” he said. “I have to go!”

And go he did.

Brad made the crossing, spent two whirlwind days filming with Gudrun and Hazel, then made the return crossing back to Aberdeen. He’s currently on a flight to meet me in Torino, Italy, where I went on to meet up with Season 9 Star Emma Fassio.

And of course, this isn’t Brad’s first rodeo. He’s been along for the ride since Season 2, dealing with travel headaches like a champ and bringing his spectacular storytelling chops to capture each Star’s essential SHINE.

And of course, along the way he has become a knitter!

I often talk about our “small but mighty” team here at Knit Stars, and it’s important to acknowledge the enormous contribution of rock stars like Brad – and editors Sarah and Doug, and Michael my coach and mentor, and Adrianne our data specialist in Italy, and Cameron, Simone and Grant our tech contractors, and all of the minds and hearts it takes to put a Knit Stars Season together. ❤️

And it wouldn’t all be possible without you, either. So thank you, one and all.

Now off to film with Emma!

xoxo,

 

 

P.S. To get on the list for when we re-open Season 9 signups, click here. The first workshop will early-release in July.

P.P.S. Follow along with Brad’s filming adventures on Instagram @brad.knull

Your Hat, Your Way!

We’ve just released our next standalone, single Knit Stars Masterclass. In this super-popular workshop from Season 6, Louis Boria of Brooklyn Boy Knits teaches you to design and create the perfect hat for YOU!

Louis walks you through each step with the charm of your favorite knitting buddy. You’ll learn how to smoothly switch from flat to in-the-round stitches, nail those seamless color joins, and crack the code to colorwork success.

With roughly 1.5 hours of content split into bite-sized modules, this course is chock full of invaluable tips and tricks. We’ve heard from loads of Knit Stars fans that Louis’ formula for stretchy brim that FITS is worth the price of the course alone!

So, grab your needles, settle into your comfiest chair, and let’s knit up some hat magic together! Add Louis’ class to your library for the introductory price of just $47, here.

Recipe and image from The Noshery.

Cheese Flan (Flan de Queso)

We asked Louis to share a recipe this week and this one looks so good. He did not disappoint, sharing what he claims as “one of my all-time favorite recipes… cheese flan”

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 9 in round cake pan

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Have cake pan out and ready. Heat sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Let sugar sit for about 2 minutes until sugar begins to melt. Be sure to keep an eye on the sugar. Once the sugar begins to melt, stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until sugar melts smooth, careful not to over brown the sugar. Immediately pour caramel into round cake pan, evenly coating the bottom of the pan. You will have to move quickly before the caramel sets. Set pan aside until ready to use.
  3. Add cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk to the bowl of a stand mixer. With a whisk attachment, whisk the cream cheese and milk until smooth.
  4. Changing to a paddle attachment, beat in eggs one at a time. You want to change to a paddle attachment so not to incorporate air into the batter. Mix in evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Strain flan batter into another bowl to strain out any leftover cheese lumps.
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake round. Place flan into a large roasting pan in the oven and pour water into the roasting pan outside of the cake pan until the water covers the flan half way. Bake for 1 hour or until set.
  6. Let flan cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the pan and carefully invert onto a large rimmed platter. Place in refrigerator to cool completely

Notes

  • Be sure that all your ingredients are room temperature. If you mix cold eggs in with the cream cheese it will lump.
  • Taking the steps to beat the cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of milk and straining the finished custard will ensure a smooth creamy texture.
  • Be sure not to use a whisk when adding the eggs. If you do you will end up incorporating air into the custard and that will create air pockets in the cooked flan.

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