posts / 🧶The ultimate eye candy edition

Joji

🧶The ultimate eye candy edition

What’s almost as exciting as learning who your Stars will be for an upcoming Knit Stars Season Premiere?

(Well okay, maybe even more exciting?)

It’s finding out which amazing makers our Stars have chosen to partner with, and the exclusive yarns, kits, and bags (yes I said bags, PLURAL 👜👜💃🏽🎉) that our Earlybird enrollees get first dibs on ordering.

I know you want to get to the eye candy 👀so I’ll keep the preamble short. But in case you missed it – and in case you’re wondering how we’ll be delivering all these thousands of goodies all over the globe, now that we’re 100% focused on our Masterclasses and Membership…

It’s all in partnership with these two fabulous ladies and their mighty, tiny team.

You know Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner of Modern Daily Knitting (MDK) from Knit Stars Season 3. Just like us, they’re into telling great stories, curating great projects, and just generally having a ball with yarn! When I went looking for a partner with shipping and customer service as caring and efficient as ours, the bar was high – and they pole-vaulted right over it.

I’m so, so happy to have found a way to keep the awesome Star Maker program growing because it really is a great way to discover and support longtime favorites, independent dyers, and rising stars in our shared space.

OK so without further ado…meet your Star Makers for 2024!

(Oh wait just a little more ado…if you signed up for the Season 9 Earlybird Experience you’ll be getting your secret email to shop at 7 am pacific, tomorrow, Monday, May 6. If you missed signing up in our Earlybird window and you’d like a chance to shop, shoot us an email at hello@knitstars.com and we’ll see what we can do. 😉)

Season 9 Star Emma Fassio started her own yarn brand to support her high-fashion knitting designs using luxury yarns in a discerning palette, all made in a mill local to her home in Torino, Italy.

For Emma’s workshop project – a drapey, lightweight cardigan – you’ll use two threads of “Fin” and one thread of “Stil” held together. The brighter effect of the silk mohair combines with the matt shade of the merino, creating a chic Italian allure with a modern touch.

The color, “Optical White,” was developed especially by Emma for Knit Stars, and is elegant and luminous. The kit will be offered in two inclusive size ranges. (xs – xxxxl)

For her Design 101 sweater, Chantal Miyagishima partnered with Lily & Pine Fiber Arts. Chantal is known for her beautiful pastel pinks and purples, and Lily & Pine is known for their “screaming neons.” So they collaborated to create a pastel pink base, highlighted with neon glow speckled – a lovely collaboration of their two styles.

The yarn base, Aspen Worsted, is a sturdy yet soft 4-ply yarn. It has great stitch definition, an incredibly soft hand, and wears very well. Perfect for your sweater masterpiece!

Season 9 Star Carol Feller who lives in Cork, Ireland, works with a local mill to create a yarn made with Irish wool that supports both her brand and her community.

“Blasta yarn” was created by Stolen Stitches with Donegal Yarns to try and improve the availability of Irish wool. By working on a good selection from the various breeds in Ireland with improved sorting and grading, they’ve established an excellent yarn that is comfortable to knit with and wear. The blend contains 60% Fine Irish with 40% New Zealand Lambswool.

Blasta yarn is woollen spun which means that when it’s blocked it blooms wonderfully and creates a whole new fabric! (And yes, in Ireland woollen has an extra ‘l’!)

In Carol’s Knit Stars workshop, you’ll learn to make reversible Celtic cables, choosing between a scarf and a lap/baby blanket size. Your kit will include your choice of “Breac” (Blue) or “Ros” – a new, deep pink colorway created just for Knit Stars.

For his couture crochet workshop, Thomas Gregory Hamilton has partnered with Stephanie Jones of Asylum Fibers. She created two colors inspired by Thomas Gregory’s upcoming couture collection. The yarn base, Luxe Worsted, is new for Asylum Fibers, and they’re excited to share it with Knit Stars!

In Thomas Gregory’s class, you’ll be learning to apply advanced crochet techniques to uplevel any design. His exclusive Knit Stars pattern will be a cowl with a bonus optional jacket.

Fun fact about Stephanie: She’s in not one, but TWO girl bands – Girlz In Treble and Floydian Trip.

For both Gudrun Johnston and Hazel Tindall, there could only be one choice for their yarn partner…

Jamieson’s of Shetland (also distributed as Simply Shetland) is a 5th generation run mill, and the only yarn to be fully produced on Shetland from 100% native Shetland sheep.  The only yarn to be fully produced on Shetland from 100% native Shetland sheep. Made in a 5th generation run mill.

For Gudrun’s workshop, you’ll be virtually visiting the Jamieson’s mill, then making a Shetland lace and fair isle cowl using 4 colors of Simply Shetland, including a new, limited-edition color developed just for Knit Stars.


For Hazel’s workshop, your kit will include 5 skeins of Jamieson’s Shetland DK in Black, Moorit, Shaela, Mogit, Eesit, and Mooskit, to make her new and exclusive cushion, employing traditional fair isle and Shetland lace techniques!

Season 9 Star Willie Smith partnered with Tyler Burges of Arcane Fibre to bring you…drum roll…

“Blueberry Bliss!”

Tyler says, “I started my fiber journey running marketing campaigns for another established indie dyer and well…a few short months later, the inevitable happened. I was struck by the fiber gods!”

Your kit for Willie’s new hat pattern will include Arcane Fibre’s “incredibly soft, extra squishy, 19.5 micron 80/20 merino nylon superwash 4ply DK” dyed in Blueberry Bliss. In addition to the new hat pattern, Willie will be deep-diving with you to really understand fiber types and freeing you to substitute yarns with abandon.

Tyler (and Family) of Arcane Fibres

Star Carolyn Bloom tapped Michelle du Plessis of Kokon Yarns for her kit!

Michelle worked as a commercial surface pattern designer in the clothing business, a fashion stylist, a fashion designer, and a product developer before starting Kokon Yarns.

Kokon yarn is made of 100% South Africa merino wool. This plied merino yarn is soft to the touch with a great stitch definition. The yarn is mulesing-free and complies with the Responsible Wool Standard RWS.

“Kokon yarn is dyed by hand by a small team of women dyers, and supports economic growth through job creation in one of the poorest regions of the country,” Michelle shared. ❤️

For Carolyn’s workshop, you’ll be embroidering on a crocheted scarfette, which makes a perfect palette for embroidery! Carolyn’s methods for embroidering on both crochet and knit fabrics are a true game-changer!

“Our gorgeous kits will make all makers SHINE!” she said. “Can you feel the party vibes from these color names? Palm, Breeze, Tonic, Party, Dolly…OMG!!”

Michelle du Plessis of Kokon Yarns

For her workshop on yarn freedom, ChiWei Ranck chose to partner with Kristin Oldach of KraeO Yarns. She’ll be freeing you from the constraints and confines of your own mind, with the use of her new, Amigurumi Axoloti pattern!

Kristin earned a master’s in painting from The School of the Art Institute Chicago. She considers herself an artist first and approaches her work with fiber and color through that lens.

Your kit will include KraeO’s Bramble (worsted) and Baby Suri (Lace) in the colorway “Drunk Barbie!”

Kristin Oldach of KraeO Yarns

While Gary Boston’s masterclass will focus primarily on “making for good” – how to use your superpowers to develop your own way to give back – he’s also including a bonus dive into self-patterning yarns. We all love them…but sometimes we’re not sure what to do with them!

Gary’s new Self-Striping Hat and Fingerless Mitts patterns will be exclusive to Knit Stars, and will feature Biscotte Yarns!

Patrick Bélanger and Louise Robert of Biscotte have opened local yarn shops all over Canada in St-Bruno, Quebec City, and St-Eustache, and most recently one in the US in Northvale, New Jersey.

Their hand-dyed self-striping sock yarn is made of 85% merino wool and 15% nylon.
Each skein is hand-dyed with care and contains 400 meters (434 yards) of soft and washable yarn to knit socks, shawls or any other project to be worn next to the skin.

The “Rising Scarf” pattern by me (Shelley) has become an enduring favorite among Knit Stars fans. For the Earlybird yarn offering, we’re super excited to partner with Lindsay of Five Boroughs Yarns for a brand-new Rising Scarf kit!

We first connected with Lindsay when Louis Boria chose Five Boroughs as his partner for his Season 6 kit, and we were instantly drawn to her unique New York City-inspired vibe. Her yarns always sell out instantly, pretty much right out of the box when they arrive at New York area yarn shops. So this will be an extra-special kit for our lucky Earlybirds who snag one!

And last but hardly least…once again we’ve partnered with Joji + Co to create not one, but TWO new exclusive bags to celebrate the Knit Stars Season 9 Premiere!

There’s bag option #1, a brand-new phone case design that doubles as a notions bag and snaps securely inside bag option #2 – the ultra roomy and pocket-y Santa Cruz Tote. Both are being developed in a very special Platinum colorway to go with our Season 9 theme: Permission to Shine. ✨

So what do you think? Pretty awesome, right? Remember if you’re enrolled as an Earlybird to keep your eye on your inbox tomorrow! And if you’re not enrolled but want to enroll and shop, shoot us an email here.

Mitzi just cast on “Flores” by Eri Shimizu and we’re loving the shape and ethereal vibes!

Flores is a deep raglan pullover worked from the top down. The yoke is worked in the round in one piece until the sleeves and body are separated at the underarm. You can choose sleeve lengths from short and ¾. The pattern is available on Ravelry.

Recipe from From HalfBakedHarvest.com

Sheet Pan Crispy Jalapeño Chicken Tacos

OK, one more fun fact about Gary Boston – he loves to cook! He posted that he threw this menu plan together on Valentine’s Day at the last minute – “all from New York Times Cooking, all keepers!” Pair this easy weeknight pork chop recipe with lemon-roasted potatoes and a “lovely Falanghina” – goat label for the win! 🐐

IMHO, Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest is the queen of the amped-up weeknight taco! One of her best secrets is her method for easy hard shells: Warm 8-12 corn tortillas for 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave, until pliable. On a baking sheet, rub the tortillas with olive oil. Lay each flat and then layer evenly with cheese and meat. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling, gently pushing to adhere (see above photo). Transfer to the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, then flip and cook another 5 minutes more, or until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are crisp.

What you need:

  • 2 pounds skinless chicken, breast or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 ½ chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ cup tamari/soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 10 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • avocado, cilantro, and limes for serving

Toasted Sesame Jalapeño Verde

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 jalapeño
  • ½ cup salsa verde
  • 1 tablespoon tamari/soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss the chicken with olive oil, onions, chipotle, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Pour over the tamari and honey. Toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer. Add the garlic cloves, jalapeño, and green onions (for the salsa). Roast everything for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  3. Remove the garlic cloves, jalapeño, and green onions from the sheet pan and add to a food processor. Let cool. Shred the chicken and toss with the sauce on the sheet pan.
  4. Line the taco shells up in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake for 5 minutes. Stuff the chicken into each taco shell and top with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
  5. To make the sauce. Add the salsa verde and tamari to the food processor with the jalapeño. Blend until smooth. Stir in the sesame seeds.
  6. Serve each taco with the sesame verde sauce. Enjoy!

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