posts / 🧶 Shelley’s nine notables

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🧶 Shelley’s nine notables

This last week I celebrated my 56th trip around the sun.

Part of my gift was that my cake had the wrong year…so I’m officially aging backwards!

In celebration of the occasion and our upcoming 9th Premiere Season of Knit Stars, I thought it would be fun to share 9 notables with you…nine things I’m making, reading, cooking, and otherwise just really into right now.

Notable #1: THE CAKE

Luke surprised me with this phenomenal cake made by our friend Kristen. By night, she and her S.O. bartend at the legendary Local Catch Bar + Grill here in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. By day she’s also a busy mom. But somehow she squeezes in time to nurture her real passion – cake making. And as you can see, she is a genius.

Even though she doesn’t (yet) knit, she’s already better at stockinette and cabling than me! 🤩And while most cakes this gorgeous don’t really taste as good as they look…this chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and fondant was to die for!

If you live in the area, or know someone getting married on the beach in the near future, or just love looking at creative cakes, give Kristen a follow on Instagram @eatcake30A – and we can spread some love to this growing, woman-owned biz 💗

Notable #2: Cider House Socks by Summer Lee

I’ve pushed past the pitfalls of Second Sock Syndrome and am close to finishing my first-ever pair of socks! 🎉 This pattern by Season 7 Knit Star Summer Lee is so fun to make and, well, summery that I’m motivated to finish and make my next Summer design!

If you’re looking for great step-by-step videos to help you complete your first pair or reignite your sock mojo with color and FUN, check out Summer’s Knit Stars workshop, “Fun Fast Socks,” recently re-released as a standalone workshop here.

Notable #3: Up next on my needles

A little confession about how I get that extra “oomph” to finish a project…I start planning my next one!

Do you do this too?

After I finish my second sock, I’m casting on “Vitamin D” by Heidi Kirrmaier. This is an oldie but goodie, published to Ravelry back in 2011. But I recently came across a modified version I especially love, knit by Ambah O’Brien using one of my all-time favorite yarns, “Sparrow” from Quince + Co.

Photo taken and project made by @ambahobrien on Ravelry

Ambah followed the mods of @flickafish on Ravelry to create a flat-front version of Heidi’s popular sweater.

Pro tip: If you have a favorite handmade in your wardrobe that you always reach for, consider making an updated version in a different neutral. My “go-to” is this “Lizzie” I made with Sparrow yarn a decade ago. So I’ll be making a darker, shorter “Vitamin D” and I know it will become an instant staple!

Lizzie” by Georgie Nicolson

Notable #4: Mining the closet

This past Sunday, we had what turned out to be a really emotional, powerful Yarniverse LIVE (more about that in a moment). I went digging in my closet for something handmade to wear, and pulled out this “Clayoquot” by Tin Can Knits that I made for Mallory about 5 years ago.

I also made a matching hat for her boyfriend-at-the-time, so when he became a no-longer-boyfriend she gifted the sweater back to me.

At the time, cropped styles were just coming in among the younger trendsetting set but I wasn’t going near them. Now that cropped has gone more mainstream (and I have high-waisted jeans that fit!), finding this Clayoquot was like getting free new me-made clothes. WIN!

Notable #5: Mattie’s Meals

Like I said, Sunday’s Yarniverse LIVE was pretty epic. This past month’s featured Star, Casapinka, chose “Mattie’s Meals” as her give-back. And she secretly invited Adella from LolaBean Yarn Co to come and share about Mattie’s Meals, and why it means so much to her.

Adella shared how, even as she was undergoing her own chemo treatments, her mother Matilde (an Air Force veteran) would prepare a home-cooked hot meal to bring with her and feed her fellow patients and the staff of the Oncology Department at the James J. Peters Veterans Administration Medical Center in the Bronx (Bronx VA).

As part of providing better quality of life for patients at the Bronx Veterans Administration, and to honor Mattie’s life of service, a new program is being implemented called Mattie’s Meals. This program will provide hot meals for those undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the Bronx VA. Adella shared during the LIVE that the VA is considering how to take this program nationwide.

We decided on the spot that Mattie’s Meals will be the give-back for Knit Stars Season 9.

You can read more about this very worthy cause here.

Notable #6: “The Women”

I just finished “The Women” by Kristen Hannah, author of “The Nightingale” – one of my all-time favorite novels. “The Women” is about a woman who becomes a combat nurse in Vietnam. I listened to the audio version while doing my daily beach walks. Really powerful story and an unforgettable heroine. Highly recommend!

Notable #7: Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Balm

I occasionally get emails of a more personal nature (“who does your hair?” … “what’s your skincare routine?” etc.) and I’ve always felt a little self-conscious about it, wanting to keep the focus on the yarn. But as I head further into my mid-fifties I realize how much I appreciate my good friends who transparently share what’s working for them.

So here is my current beauty obsession… Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Balm. I just counted and have 8 of them because, like my reading glasses, I could never find one when I needed it. So now they are everywhere. This glossy balm has just the right amount of color that doesn’t drift into my lip lines and a juicy coconut flavor. You can get them online at Ulta or Sephora, and recently I noticed Target is starting to add little Ulta pop-ups in some of their stores, so you can maybe just pick one up when grocery shopping.

Notable #8: Face, lashes, hair

There’s a great line from my favorite Martina McBride song:

This is for all the girls about forty-two…
Tossing pennies into the fountain of youth.
Every laugh, laugh line on your face
Made you who you are today.

I love this so much. It’s so true, I find myself tossing pennies over and over again, falling for that “magic” cure to fix this line and that.

But despite the occasional foray into the latest magical cure, there’s one thing I’ve kept coming back to since my early ‘40s. I use Rodan + Fields “Redefine” Age Defy Set, Lash Boost, and their new Volume + Hair Regimen. I’ll admit, some nights I’m just too tired and will skip the Amp MD roller, but if I can make myself be consistent, I really do notice a difference. My skin looks more rested and glow-y, my lines look less noticeable, and I feel less urge to filter my photos. 🤣

Last year, Luke started “borrowing” my products and now he’s more consistent than me, LOL!

You probably have a friend that’s an R+F consultant but if not and you need a resource, hit reply on this email or reach out at hello@knitstars.com [LINK] with “for Shelley” in the subject line and I’ll respond personally.

Notable #9: Going, going, 75% off… 

Now that our e-commerce store is winding down, I’m having so much fun focusing these weekly newsletters on the Stars, stories, and projects that are changing the yarn world for the better right now. Storytelling, curation, and community is my jam, y’all.

Meanwhile, it’s the final days of our e-commerce clearance, and we’ve marked most everything down 75% off. Still a good selection of…

Needles
Loops Luxe Chunky
Loops Luxe Superloops
Loops Luxe Plant-Based Princess
Blocking Mats

Last week, we featured Knit Star Åsa Söderman and the release of her standalone workshop on her Seamless Ziggurat Sweater System. The response to this one has been so huge – thank you everyone for your awesome feedback!

Being the overachiever she is, Åsa shared not just one, but 5 amazing recipes! Here are two super-simple ones that will add easy pizazz to your weeknight routine.

Recipe from Ottolenghi.co.uk

“I find that nice side dishes or ’things’ help to lift what may be a rather ordinary or simple meal,” Åsa says. “Therefore I take time to make preserved lemons. Finely chop or thinly slice the preserved lemon skins, then use them to jazz up plain steamed or oven-roasted broccoli or cauliflower, as a bread topper with chèvre, or sprinkle them over pizzas.”

Preserved Lemons

Ingredients:

  • 6 unwaxed lemons
  • 6 tbsp flaky sea salt
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 large red chilli
  • juice of 6 lemons
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Before starting, get a jar just large enough to accommodate all the lemons tightly. To sterilize it, fill it up with boiling water, leave for a minute and then empty it. Allow it to dry out naturally without wiping it so it remains sterilized.
  2. Wash the lemons and cut a deep cross all the way from the top to 2cm from the base, so you are left with 4 quarters attached. Stuff each lemon with a spoonful of salt and place in the jar. Push the lemons in tightly so they are all squeezed together well. Seal the jar and leave for at least a week.
  3. After this initial period, remove the lid and press the lemons as hard as you can to squeeze as much of the juice out of them as possible. Add the rosemary, chilli and lemon juice and cover with a thin layer of olive oil. Seal the jar and leave in a cool place for at least 4 weeks. The longer you leave them, the better the flavour.

Recipe and photo from alphafoodie.com

“And super-simple: These oven-roasted onions – they turn sweet and caramelized and just yummy,” Åsa wrote.

Simple Roasted Onions

Ingredients:

  • 6 onions medium; yellow, white, or red.
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin; or other neutral cooking oil
  • 0.2 oz fresh thyme few sprigs; or lemon thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt and black pepper, if wanted; adjust to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
  2. Slice the onions in half. There’s no need to peel them, unless you prefer to, at this point.
  3. Place the fresh thyme into a large oven-safe dish or rimmed baking sheet (by placing it UNDER the onions, it won’t burn in the process). Then drizzle olive oil over it.
  4. Spread the onion halves, cut-side down, and sprinkle the entire dish with a bit of salt.
  5. Then roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until the onions are tender and wonderfully caramelized/ golden brown.

 

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