posts / 🧶Meet the fearless Corinne

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🧶Meet the fearless Corinne

Corinne: “Hello?”

Me: “Hi Corinne! Am I pronouncing your name right?”

Corinne: “Yes. Wait…who is this. It sounds like…Shelley?”

Me: (laughing) “It IS Shelley! How did you know?”

Corinne: (laughing now too) “I was watching Ginnifer Goodwin’s workshop yesterday, and you talk a lot in it…so I recognized your voice! But why are you calling me?”

Me: “Well, it’s a funny story…”

***

The story I went on to tell Corinne was that, this week I was on social media, answering questions in the wake of our announcement of the Super Earlybird Sale for next year’s premiere of Knit Stars Season 9

And I ran across a post by Corinne that stopped me in my tracks.

My favorite part was about seeing the Stars blossom into their true potential and the way Corinne declared, I deserve to shine, too!

I thought to myself, I want to know more about this person. So I Facebook stalked her and found somewhere along the way, Corinne had moved from Wisconsin to Maine to live by the water (sounded familiar!). She had a farm where she and her partner raised sheep, and she hand-dyed yarn using natural dyes. She loved to travel and took amazing photos. She designed her own patterns. She seemed fearless.

I needed to meet this person…

So I called her up. And more surprisingly, she picked up!

“Caller ID said Tulsa, Oklahoma and I thought, could it be? So I figured, why not answer?”, she said.

Corrine’s fiber story begins around 4th grade, when her mom taught her to knit. And then…“Rug yarn purses were really in,” she said. “We didn’t have a lot of money, but I could learn to make my own, and have a different color purse for every day!”

I asked Corinne what prompted her move from Wisconsin to Maine.

“I moved with my late husband from Milwaukee to the northeast for his job, but then he passed away. I pretty much raised my son on my own, and it was around that time that I really got into knitting, believe it or not! It was a great way to relax.”

“Then one day I met somebody who had a farm. I went there to take photos, in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. I thought, I’d love to live here but I don’t want to do it alone. So I started looking around a bit. When I found a guy who could write and didn’t ride motorcycles, I knew I’d found the one, haha.”

“But neither of us knew anything about sheep. So we took permaculture classes together, learned about breeds, and decided on Icelandics to start. They were smaller, more manageable size, plus they are a ‘triple use breed’ – good for milk, meat and fiber. Though we only planned to do the fiber thing.”

At their height, Corinne and her partner, Jeff, had more than 50 sheep (Icelandic, Cormo and Gotland) plus 5 llamas and 6 alpacas (!!!). But managing all of the different breeding cycles and other demands of the farm got to be a bit much. So they sold the farm. But Corinne is still dyeing her small-batch yarns, while working for a non-profit that works to preserve local habitats, plus pursuing her other passions, including photography and travel.

“When we go on vacation we look to make a national park loop somewhere,” she said. “To me, it’s really eye-opening to drive instead of fly. As you transition from the woods and waters of Michigan into Wisconsin, into the grain belt with nothing but flatland and hayfields…it’s really helped me develop my eye as a photographer.”

Reflecting back on Corinne’s “shine” post, I asked if she felt like she had blossomed yet into her true self?

“I’m always striving. And I hope I never achieve it! Last year I designed and knit six different Christmas stockings, each personalized to the individual getting it. It felt like a turning point in my knitting. I have an attitude of never give up. When choosing my next knitting project, I look for an element of learning something new in each one.”

Lopi sweater knit by Corinne using wool from her Icelandic sheep.

Corinne made these “Tool Box Mitts,” a pattern on Ravelry from Adventure Du Jour designs, using yarn from Lana Plantae Farmed Yarns spun for her by Green Mountain Spinnery. They would look great made with 2 skeins of Spincycle Dyed in the Wool fingering weight.

Corinne made this “Color Explosion Blanket” by Season 3 Knit Star Cecelia Campochiaro using Rowan Felted Tweed.

“When it comes to designers I don’t have a longstanding relationship. I just try out a lot, kind of like the way you need to try out men!”

(Now we both can’t stop laughing!)

Thank you Corinne, for picking up the phone. I have a new fiber friend for life!

You can follow Corinne on Facebook @pleasantriveryarns – private message her there to inquire about her small-batch hand-dyed yarns.

xoxo,

 

 

P.S. Today is the last day to join the Season 9 Super Earlybird experience for the lowest price it will be offered. In Season 9 we’ll be headed to Shetland, Ireland, Italy, and points across North America, learning everything from traditional techniques to embroidery! Plus this year we are doing something new, giving our Earlybirds scheduled sneak peeks, hints and insider views into the planning and production process. Sign up at the Super Earlybird price here.

Thank you to everyone who has already signed on for Season 9! I so appreciate your trust in our team and our Stars. Kudos for investing in yourself and your craft. ❤️

 


Photo courtesy of Gimme Some Oven

One of Corinne’s favorite recipes is Chicken Enchiladas from Gimmesomeoven.com. “It goes best with a homemade margarita (no corn syrup green stuff in mine!”) she says. I’m going to try making these this week, subbing keto cheese “tortillas” for the corn. YUM!

Corinne’s Favorite Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • 3 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese
  • 1 batch red enchilada sauce
  • optional toppings: fresh cilantro, chopped red onions, diced avocado, sour cream, and/or crumbled cotija cheese

Instructions

  1. Prep oven and enchilada sauce. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare your enchilada sauce.
  2. Sauté the filling mixture. In large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add diced chicken and green chiles, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Sauté the mixture for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Add in the beans and stir until evenly combined.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  3. Assemble the enchiladas. To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, enchilada sauce, chicken mixture, and cheese. Lay out a tortilla, and spread two tablespoons of sauce over the surface of the tortilla.  Add a generous spoonful of the chicken mixture in a line down the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Roll up tortilla and place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Assemble the remaining enchiladas.  Then spread any remaining sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas, followed by any extra cheese.
  4. Bake. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the enchiladas are cooked through and the tortillas are slightly crispy on the outside.  Transfer the baking dish to a wire baking rack.
  5. Serve. Serve the enchiladas immediately while they’re nice and hot and melty, garnished with lots of fresh toppings. Enjoy!

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