You know that feeling when you finally break through a big block?
The custom blocking mats we’ve been working on for more than a year have finally, finally arrived! Whew and woohoo!
And to celebrate, we’re giving them away. 🎉
For a limited time, when you buy our exclusive Needle Keeper for just $49.99, we’ll send you a set of our exclusive new blocking mats, free (a $39.99 value)!
It’s the perfect way to set yourself up for a more organized, more beautiful New Year.
Grab your BOGO (Buy One, Get Organized!) set here while they last!
P.S. New to blocking or looking to improve? Your blocking set comes with a link to a great blocking video from Season 2 Knit Star Andrea Mowry. Her “burrito” tip changed the way I block!
Star Trooper Loretta modeling her latest blocked creation, “Boxy” by Joji Locatelli in our exclusive Dream Bean yarn, a collab with LolaBean Yarn Co. You’ll need 4-5 skeins to make your own.
Lovely Loretta is our go-to expert for blocking around the Knit Stars Flagship Store! Many of our team members (myself included) have been known to beg Loretta to take our finished pieces home to her magical blocking lair and take them from frumpy to fabulous ✨
We asked Loretta for her best blocking secrets, and she shared: “Before I block a sweater or shawl, I take the pre-blocked dimensions and then establish what I want the finished dimensions to be, usually from a sweater in my closet that has the fit I’m looking for. Then I soak, roll in a towel and pin to my desired dimensions. I’m too impatient to wait for my garment to dry on top of my bed, so I usually block it outside on my patio on a sunny day if I can.”
Add blocking to your arsenal, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!
Two more of Loretta’s blocked projects: “Doo Wop Shawl” in Malabrigo Caprino, and “Orange You Glad” in Clinton Hill Bespoke 100% Cashmere.
Did you snag your Knit Stars sticker sheet yet?
While they last, this sticker sheet is yours free with any purchase of $50 or more, online or in-person.
We’ve compiled some great $50+ ideas here on our Loopy Wishlist page, including:
- Our new “Easy Like Sunday Morning” scarf kit with needles ($51.48)
- Marf unisex scarf kit in royal alpaca / silk - 7 color options! ($59.96)
- A Knit Stars Birdie Parker Valet Tray + Knit Stars Clear Accessory Pouch ($59.98)
- LolaBean “Our Toques” kit - makes 2 gorgeous, soft hats! ($74.97)
- Trailhead Naughty or Nice Countdown Calendar with 25 wool-free mini-skein surprises ($140)
- Knit Stars Gift Card ($50 - $200)
In addition to being a blocking superstar, Loretta is also an ace baker. She makes cookies from scratch most every week and they’re all spectacular. But these “Pennies From Heaven” are my absolute fave. It’s not a Knit Stars party without Loretta’s Pennies in the house!
Source: “Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies” (Random House, 1995 ed.)
Fragile and dainty, these are small (about the size of a quarter) cookie sandwiches. They are extremely buttery and almost melt in your mouth. The dough is soft and very easy to work with. You can freeze a portion of the dough to make a batch of them at a later date. The recipe originates from Chris Gargone at Remi, an Italian restaurant in New York City.
For the Dough:
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (to use when shaping the dough)
1 cup plus 1 TBS sifted unbleached flour
1 cup plus 1 TBS strained cornstarch
1 cup plus 1 TBS confectioners sugar
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Filling:
3 oz. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp dark rum
2 tsp heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Make the Dough:
Place the oatmeal in a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade. Pulse several times until the oatmeal is powdery. Set aside.
Place flour, cornstarch and sugar in food processor. Pulse once or twice to mix. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the flour mixture, along with the salt and vanilla. Process only until the ingredients form a ball and hold together.
Cut the dough in half (you can freeze the other half if you'd like to make more cookies later). Spread the oatmeal over a large board.Form the dough into an oblong tube. Use both hands and roll the dough gently back and forth until you have it about 11 inches long and 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Chill dough in refrigerator for one hour (or longer) before baking.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and adjust the rack to the center position. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into 1/8 inch slices. Place the slices on the lined cookie sheets(s). Bake one sheet at a time for 12-16 minutes until the cookies are sandy-colored around the edges (they will be pale in the center). Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
Make the Filling:
Beat the butter until soft. Beat in the vanilla, rum and heavy cream.
Then beat in the confectioners sugar.
Place a small dab of the buttercream on the bottom of one cooled cookie. Do not spread it to the edges, just about 1/4 tsp in the center.
Place another cookie over it and press gently (they are fragile!) together. Place in the refrigerator briefly, only enough to the harden the filling. Leftover filling can be stored in the refrigerator for future use. Store in an airtight container.