posts / 🧶 Seamless and fearless

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🧶 Seamless and fearless

Every one of Åsa Söderman’s personal emails have the same closing…

Knit with abandon.

If you’ve been lucky enough to take an in-person class with Åsa, you know she exudes this philosophy. Fearlessness. Adventure. Abandon.

“When I do workshops I find so many people don’t trust themselves. They often follow the pattern too closely. I tell them, it’s your knitting. Throw the rules over your shoulder!” she laughs.

This week I caught up with Åsa and found out what she’s been up to lately. The timing was perfect since her game-changing Knit Stars Workshop from Season 5 – the Seamless Ziggurat Sweater System – was just released as our latest standalone Masterclass.

I’m super happy for the workshop to be released as a single,” Åsa enthused. “Because people often write to me and ask me to demonstrate the way I pick up the stitches, which is a crucial part of my Ziggurat method. It gives a beautiful sleeve cap that looks like a set-in seam. It’s not difficult to do but it’s very difficult to explain on a page. And in my workshop, you can see exactly how. I love that they can stop it, slow it down, and really understand it.”

“I do love to teach but of course there are only so many knitters who can fit into a classroom and only so many classrooms one can manage,” she said. “This is one reason I am so pleased with my Knit Stars Masterclass, an in-person, one-on-one learning space where the knitter is in control and can decide what to repeat, what to skip over, what to go back to later, and so on.”

“I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed communicating with an imagined audience of knitters out there. It was just so much fun.”

To learn to create any Ziggurat sweater, and eventually even create your own without a pattern, get Asa’s standalone workshop (from Season 5) at the special introductory price of just $47 here.

Sneak peeks of “Tree,” from Åsa’s forthcoming pair of pattern books. Photo © sigiwu on Ravelry

“Since filming with Knit Stars, I’ve moved twice, first from Germany to Copenhagen, and then, realizing my husband and I weren’t city people after all, we moved to leafier environs with birds and, not least important, rhubarb in the garden,” Åsa said.

“Other than the moves, I have poured all my focus into what I call BTN – BookPreview (opens in a new tab) The Next, of which there are now two in the making. What can I say? I kept adding new designs.

“Every day is spent writing and editing the patterns with my tech editor, and looking aghast at my almost finished sweaters. I knit like crazy. Like every designer, I never keep enough notes. I’m always finding notes in odd places. So I’ve started a new system where, when I jot things down I take a photo too, tagged with the name of my design, so it will always be in my photo cloud.

Sneak peeks of “Girlang,” from Åsa’s next books. Photo © CecilyNeville

“Also I have this thing called the Helpful Table that I include in my books and explain in my Knit Stars workshop. Because every Ziggurat sweater is basically constructed the same, I can check my gauge and then go to the Helpful Table for a framework based on the gauge, and then decide do I want it longer, more relaxed, with a lower neckline, etc. It saves so much time.”

“But since producing books is a bit stressful, I do what I call ‘productive procrastination,’ which is when you don’t want to do what you’re supposed to, so you pick up what you’ve set aside,” she laughed.

“I stayed up really late last night, finishing a shawl I started four or five years ago called ‘Sun Sun Sun’ (Here It Comes). It’s blocking on the floor and it’s enormous. I remember why I cast it on – it was a long, dark, dismal, grey, rainy winter and I made this version in a bright warm, sunshine gold color as an invocation and invitation to the sun to please, please come back!”

“Yes, it’s a Beatles song, but in my head it’s Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel who invoke the sun in their edgier version.”

Åsa’s new “Sun Sun Sun” shawl just debuted on Ravelry this week, here.

Caption: “Cykeltur” photo © Gabriele Dietrich

“I also couldn’t resist making two plain saddle shoulder sweaters with local and Danish yarns, Cykeltur (bicycle ride) and Vandretur (walkabout),” she added.

For knitters looking for a smaller commitment, Åsa suggests casting on her popular “Chirrup” cowl, made in soothing garter stitch for an allover plush and comforting finished piece. The finished cowl looks more intricate than the making of it would lead you to believe.

Mitchell’s Creations “Bayou” is 50% off and is ideal for this project. You’ll need 1-2 skeins each of 2 colors.

Also, we found a treasure trove of kits for this Abraxini Cowl that Åsa designed for one of our clubs…and they’re on sale 50%  while they last here!

Lastly, a tip: Knitters who follow the Look What I Made (am Making) thread in the Åsa Tricosa Group on Ravelry may well spot a design or two from the upcoming books along with other Ziggurats, and non-Ziggurats, too!

xoxo,

 

 

“I like food. A lot” Åsa says.

“I have the luxury of working from home, so I can cook things that require time and dart up and down stairs to check on things when needed. That said, cooking has taken second or even third place for a long while as BTN(s) means I work long days, and often long into the evening. Still, a woman (and her man) has got to eat!”

Åsa shared not just one, but FIVE favorite recipes with us! We’re sharing one with you this week. Watch for the others in upcoming issues of Shelley’s Sunday Yarns.

Cauliflower soup

Ingredients:

  •  2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp whole coriander seeds (or 1–1.5 tsp ground)
  • 2 leeks, sliced thinly
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 small heads or 1 large cauliflower, broken into smallish florets
  • 3 C broth (vegetable or chicken) – or to cover
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2–3 tbs sherry (or white wine)
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Toast the coriander seeds (I don’t grind them but you can).
  2. Add oil to the pot.
  3. Sauté leeks and shallots in oil until soft and without browning
  4. Add garlic and sauté for another 1/2–1 minute
  5. Deglaze with sherry
  6. Add broth, and bay leaf
  7. Bring to the boil
  8. Season with salt & pepper
  9. Simmer for 30–40 minutes or until cauliflower is entirely soft
  10. Purée with a hand blender.
  11. Serve. Options: Add a bit of heavy cream before serving, and/or garnish with sautéed pancetta and fresh chives.

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