posts / 🧶Now he’s dancing with his fingers

Greg

🧶Now he’s dancing with his fingers

We talk a lot around here about how yarn can change lives.

We’ve seen it in action a million times over, in small ways and bigger ways.

But this week’s story…well, this one hits differently.

Yarn didn’t just change Thomas Gregory’s life. It saved it.

Thomas Gregory (@gregorystitch) came to my awareness last year by way of Adella Colvin’s Instagram (@lolabeanyarnco). I found my way to his feed and my jaw actually dropped.

This was crochet unlike any crochet I’d ever seen. It was runway crochet… avant-garde…yet wearable…from a guy with a sweet smile and some serious dance moves, calling himself “the prince of crochet couture.”

I knew right away that Thomas Gregory was a Star. A Knit Star, a Crochet Star, a straight-up Star Star.

This past weekend, we filmed Thomas Gregory’s masterclass for our upcoming premiere of Knit Stars Season 9: Permission to Shine.

Normally, I don’t give away too much of a Star’s story, preferring to wait until the actual masterclass drops. But like I said, this story is different. And just too powerful to wait.

As they say…if it helps just one person to hear this…if it gives you or someone you know hope in this moment, then it’s worth breaking “the rules” and telling you now.

“I grew up in Atlanta, born and raised. I’m a Georgia peach,” Thomas Gregory began.

“Before I found knitting and crocheting I was a professional dancer for almost 30 years. Trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, tap, ballroom. I’ve done lots of major things. I’ve opened up for Chris Brown.”

“It wasn’t until my mom passed away in 2011 that I needed another form of therapy. I remember I tried to learn to crochet in high school and failed miserably. But after my mom passed away I remembered it, and how even though I failed, I had really enjoyed trying to learn. I love working with my hands – I also paint and sketch. So I was like, let me just try this again, give it a shot. So that’s what I did. I went to a store, got some yarn and a hook, went to YouTube, and taught myself to crochet.”

“And now I’m no longer dancing with my feet, but I’m dancing with my hands!”

“Then in 2013 I moved to Dallas, Texas, and that’s when things got rough,” he continued. “A job that was promised to me fell through and I was stuck there. Then some ‘friends’ from the church I attended stole all my money and kicked me out onto the street. I was living on the streets for four months.”

“I was dancing with a company in Dallas at the time, but the people at the dance company didn’t know that I was going to rehearsals during the day, going to coffee shops to use the wifi to look for jobs, then sleeping in the streets at night. Until I finally told one of my friends at the dance company, and they invited me to come live with them. Then I finally was able to get a job, and eventually saved enough to move back home to Atlanta.”

“During that time I also used crochet as a means to make extra money to move home to Atlanta. And I started posting my work online.”

“As soon as I got home to Atlanta in 2015, I was asked to do my very first fashion show. A friend of mine was having a fashion show geared toward individuals with disabilities. My older brother and I were both born crack babies, and my brother has a learning disability because of it. So this show was really close to me, and I jumped on it.”

“I put together 12 looks. I was the only crochet designer in the show. The last piece I presented was my peacock dress, and I got the first standing ovation of the night. In fact, people started to leave, thinking it was the end. The producer had to come out and say stay, there’s more!”

“That’s when I knew this was the direction I was meant to go. That’s when everything really took off.”

“And I knew in that moment, all that happened to me in Dallas was meant to propel me in the direction I needed to go.”

In Thomas Gregory’s Knit Stars course, he teaches a number of special stitches he uses in his designs, including the Suzette stitch, the double crochet herringbone stitch, his favorite vine stitch, and crochet cables. He shows you how to make his new, exclusive Knit Stars design (a cowl), then walks you through how he deconstructs a garment, and reconstructs it as a crochet design.

If you haven’t yet saved your virtual seat for Knit Stars Season 9, you can join the waitlist here. (This is Thomas’ affiliate link, so if you enroll in Season 9 when we have a flash sale later this month, he will earn an affiliate commission – which is a great way to support him. ❤️)

And be sure you’re following Thomas Gregory on Instagram @gregorystitch – I promise your feed will become a lot more inspiring and joyful!

xoxo,

 

 

“Calad Shirt” by Jessica Tung

“I found my next project,” wrote Sunnie from the Knit Stars team. I’m very excited and VERY scared! In general, I still have…a “time”… reading crochet patterns, and it will be my first lace/fingering crochet top with a tiny hook.”

We think it’s worth the effort, Sunnie. Go for it!

 

And for the knitters… “Leela Top” by Caidree has one of my favorite silhouettes right now- a flattering square neckling. plus it’s top-down so you can adjust the length to your preference. I’m thinking of making it in my favorite linene. “Sparrow” from Quince & Co.

If you wind yarn or cast on for either project, please be sure to post and tag us @knitstars- we love to see your makes!

A few weeks back, I shared about some of our Yarniverse members and their Big “Y” around their love of making. It’s always inspiring to hear the stories of each individual that makes up the Yarniverse.

We’ve made some really juicy updates and added a bunch more benefits to the Yarniverse in the past month…

:tada:Just added 8 full masterclasses plus a new Dyer Techniques Track!
:tada: Just added more Star-designed and Loops-tested patterns (400+ in fact)!
:tada: Just debuted a whole new portal that makes it easy and fun to find what’s new and what’s next!
:tada: Starting in July, we’ll be featuring our Season 9 Stars in the Yarniverse with special bonus content!

Enrollment to the Yarniverse is now open at the best annual rate: $397 a year which is a savings of $167! Plus there are quarterly and monthly options, and you can cancel anytime. This only happens a few times a year so if you are interested in becoming a Yarniverse member, now is the time!

To check out the special savings and read more about why the Yarniverse is the fastest-growing membership in the yarn universe, click here.

Gregory Stitch’s Chicken Curry

Thomas Gregory loves to cook! He says he almost never eats out. His favorite two recipes to make are Julia Child’s classic Beef Bourguignon and his own famous Chicken Curry. Thomas didn’t provide a photo “because it always get eaten too quickly” but we found one with the same ingredients to give you a visual. If you make it please post and tag us @knitstars and Thomas @gregorystitch !

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • Cooked rice or naan bread (for serving)

Instructions:
1. Prepare the Chicken:
– Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

2. Cook the Aromatics:
– Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
– Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.
– Add the minced garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.

3. Add Spices:
– Stir in the curry powder, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using).
– Cook the spices with the onions, garlic, and ginger for about 2 minutes to release their flavors.

4. Cook the Chicken:
– Add the seasoned chicken pieces to the pot.
– Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until it’s browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.

5. Add Liquids:
– Pour in the coconut milk and chicken broth (and diced tomatoes if using).
– Stir to combine everything well.

6. Simmer:
– Bring the mixture to a simmer.
– Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened.
– Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.

7. Adjust Seasoning:
– Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, or spices as needed.

8. Serve:
– Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
– Serve hot over cooked rice or with naan bread.

Enjoy your homemade curry chicken!

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