Archives For November 2013

CH 6 : Knitvent 2013 Windows 1 and 2

Helen —  November 29, 2013 — 2 Comments

Curious Handmade PodcastHappy Thanksgiving to my American listeners. I am feeling very thankful today.

Last week I launched Curious Knitvent 2013, a mystery collection of accessories being released over the next couple of weeks.

The pattern behind window #1 on the Knitvent Calendar was Red Robin Shawl and #2 was the Checkerboard Mitts.

We have over 30 people knitting along on the Curious Handmade board for Knitvent so please pop along and join in.

Curious Community

I mention the Hands Across the Water Charity for orphaned children in Thailand.

Events in London:

Crafty Fox Market

Selvedge Winter Fair


Knitvent 2013 Calendar

Helen —  November 25, 2013 — Leave a comment

The first window open on the Curious Knitvent 2013 Calendar! Take a peek at the Red Robin Shawl.

Curious Knitvent 2013 :

PS: This gorgeous image was created for me by Claudette Tinsley of Ink Bandit Designs. She has a delightful shop on Etsy if you are looking for sweet and funny gifts.

Knitvent Window #1: Red Robin Shawl

Helen —  November 24, 2013 — 5 Comments

Presenting the first pattern in the Curious Knitvent 2013 Collection.

Its a sprightly little shawl called Red Robin.

This cheery, light shawl will brighten up the bleakest months of the year, like the warbling notes of its namesake. The main body of the shawl is worked in a super speedy stockinette stitch and the textured border is so straightforward it won’t slow you down much. The elongated triangular shape is emphasised with bouncy tassels at the points. It can be made with one skein of sock yarn and all sections of the shawl can easily be adjusted to the amount of yarn you have.

You can buy the whole Knitvent Collection here (a sparkling bargain)

Or you can buy just the Red Robin Pattern here.

Red Robin Shawl

Red Robin Shawl

With the first pattern out now we will be knitting away together on the Curious Handmade board on Ravelry so if you want to join in, do pop over, join the group and join in the nattering.


Curious Handmade Podcast 150Hello and welcome to episode 5 of the Curious Handmade Podcast.

At the end of the show I have a special announcement about the Knitvent mystery knit along that I’ve been working on for ages and a special little something for my podcast listeners so its worth making it to the end of the show for that.

This week I have a special guest on the show, a good friend from my Wednesday night knitting group. Her name is Tina Chiang, but you will hear me call her Ting throughout our conversation as that is how I know her. Ting came over to my house last Friday and we knitted, chatted and ate some amazing cakes from the Blackbird bakery around the corner.

We talk about knitting, careers and life. We get a bit deep and then we get really shallow! We giggle. A lot. I hope you enjoy knitting along with us as we have a good old natter.

Chatting with Ting

Ting is Knitterroony on Ravelry  is knitting a Cupido Cowl by Hiroko Fukatsu

I am knitting a secret item for my Curious Knitvent 2013 Collection

Yarn stores Ting mentioned that she visited on her play tour:

The Fibre Works in Chipping Norton

Purl City Yarns in Manchester

The Yarn Cake in Glasgow

and the …..famous Yarngina

The play Ting was in recently – Chimerica. The play is no longer running in London.


Lucy Kirkwood won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play! Woot Woot.

Curious Knitvent 2013

I finally announce the launch of my mystery Knitvent 2013 Collection. If you listen to the podcast in the next couple of days, I announce a coupon code for a great discount on the collection. This special podcast code is only valid until midnight on Sunday 24 November so join in quick for a bargain.

Do you love a mystery? Who doesn’t?

Over the next 4 weeks we’ll open the doors on the Knitvent calendar, revealing another gorgeous accessory.

Each pattern will be available to purchase individually for $6, and if you want to grab yourself an amazing bargain, you can buy the whole ebook of all 8 patterns.

The normal price of the ebook will be $12 but for the period of the Knitvent mystery knit along from now until mid December – it will be just $9.

The first Knitvent pattern window will open on Sunday 24 November!


Curious Knitvent 2013 is here!

Helen —  November 22, 2013 — Leave a comment

The Christmas Gift Dilemma

As Anna busies herself hunting out the Christmas decorations, the smell of wood smoke and cinnamon fill the house. She groans out loud at the thought of braving the shops looking for gifts. This year she wants to do something different; something with a more personal touch.

Purl, Anna’s cat, jumps up on her lap, rubbing her head against Anna’s cheek, a piece of wool caught in her fur.

Anna retrieves the soft length of wool and thoughtfully twirls it between her fingers, as Purl purrs deeply.

Of course, that’s it!

Purl meows indignantly as Anna pushes her from her lap. She flings open the door of the cupboard beside the armchair, rifling through bits and pieces in search of her knitting stash.

Gifts knitted with love

Join Curious Knitvent 2013 and create gifts to treasure this year.

The Knitvent Collection is a carefully thought out selection of quick and stress-free patterns offering something for every special person in your life.

And if you don’t fancy knitting gifts for others, you can be assured that over half the patterns will be items you’re going to love to knit for yourself!

Sign me up! 

(Hint hint: I mention a coupon code on Podcast Episode 5 for a wee discount!!)

A festive mystery knit-along

Do you love a mystery? Who doesn’t?

Over the next 4 weeks we’ll open the doors on the Knitvent calendar, revealing another gorgeous accessory.

Each pattern will be available to purchase individually for $6, and if you want to grab yourself an amazing bargain, you can buy the whole ebook of all 8 patterns.

The normal price of the ebook will be $12 but for the period of the Knitvent mystery knitalong from now until mid December – it will be just $9.

I’m in!

If you’re still wondering if this is for you, the patterns will include a shawl, mitts, hat, cowls and other treats. They are all small things that will knit up fast yet will have the wow factor. There is something for everyone from men, kids, your sister to your mother in law. Well something for everyone who loves cosy, lovingly hand knitted things that is!

Added to that, I’ll be hosting a knitalong on Curious Handmade group with festive competitions and camaraderie to help make sure you get all those gifts finished on time.

You don’t even have to be knitting one of the knitvent patterns to join in the knitalong. As long as you’re knitting one of my designs – even if its one of my two free Knitty shawls you can join in and post your finished objects to enter the prize draws. The only condition is that is a new project you cast on from now to make it fair.

The first pattern will be released on Sunday 24 November.

Knitvent Calendar House


Hello and welcome to Episode 4 of the Curious Handmade Podcast.

Today I’m talking about a charity knitting project, my knitting design process, making soap and some other bits and bobs.

Charity knitting project

I was knitting for this campaign at work yesterday:

The Big Issue are running a campaign called the big-knitathon to benefit homeless people in the UK.

Whats in the WIP

I share how I design my knitting patterns for you.

A new pattern I’m stalking (and have since purchased) is The Great Oddments Knitdown by Romi Hill

The Simple Things

Lena Corwin’s Made By Hand book (hint: would be a lovely gift for a crafty person)

UK Amazon link:
Made By Hand: Classes from Lena Corwin’s Studio: A Collection of Projects to Print, Sew, Weave, Dye, Knit, or Otherwise Create

US Amazon link:
Lena Corwin’s Made By Hand: A Collection of Projects to Print, Sew, Weave, Dye, Knit, or Otherwise Create

Down to Earth blog by Rhonda Hetzel

Soap Making Tutorial


Pom Pom Christmas Party – London 

6:30-10:00 on Friday 6 December

The Crypt, Christ Church, Spitalfields

Includes an indie yarn market (uh oh) and live music

Pom Pom Quarterly knitting magazine

Last week’s episode

Fairy lights (Fairly lights?!) –  the Curious Handmade Fairy Lights Board


Curious Handmade Podcast 150

Hello and a very warm welcome to Episode 3 of the Curious Handmade Podcast.

On the show today, I’m talking about fairy light installations, advent calendars and a slightly subversive English tradition

Its been sparkling and crackling here this week with Guy Fawkes night or Bonfire night as its also called happening this past Tuesday.

What’s in the WIP?

Making festive fairy light installations. Check out my Fairy Light Pinterest board for some inspiration.

fairly lights curiouslights

If you would like me to add your own fairy light creation to the board take a photo and pin it or tweet it to me at @curioushandmade with #curiouslights.

(Just as a tip – if you are outside the US and dont have the “#” symbol on your keyboard its ALT + 3. This is because Apple decided that the local currency symbol such as the £ should go on the 3 instread…knowing that helps me to remember it!)

I’m knitting with Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse but its still a secret project!


Advent Bunting/Christmas Stockings by Ruth Chester

Advent Treats by Emma King

Advent Stockings by Paula Gaumer Tooke – crochet

Wee Tiny Elf Sock by Meg Bakewell – super cute and free!

DIY Advent Wreath by Isabell Kraemer

Advent activity card ideas from the All Things Simple blog

Stonehaven by Laura Aylor – Sweater pattern

Indie Gift Along (Ravelry link) – 25% patterns from 177 indie designers!! Until 15 November.

The Simple Things

Ways to stay chilled out during the hectic holiday season:

1. Meditation – I’m aiming to do 5-10 minutes each morning

2. Breathe! Simple to do, easy to forget

3. Stay present – try not to be distracted by social media and work while hanging out with my kids

4. Go for walks

5. Knit! Fantastic for relaxation.


Renegade Craft Fair on 9-10 November at The Old Truman Brewery in London

Wrap up and Thank yous

Thank you to my lovely listeners for your comments on the Ravelry Curious Handmade group:

Peachcrisp, RachelNZ, yvhiha, DianeB, ParrotGreen, candigirl429, dani89, knittylucia, theyarngoeson
Don’t forget to send me your photo or tag it #curiouslights if you make a fairy lights installation.
You can also find me on Ravelry as HellsBells or Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook as CuriousHandmade if you want to get in touch.



Hello and welcome to Episode 2 of the Curious Handmade Podcast. It’s Friday first of November!

That means starting the countdown to the end of the year and trying to squeeze in as much as possible into the last couple of months!

Today I’m looking forward to having a good natter with you today about knitting, an unplanned yarn shopping trip and my plans for regular podcast segments.

Recap from Episode 1:

Some favourite Knitty patterns of some lovely listeners:

SpinnyGonzales Aeolian Shawl and Laminaria by Elizabeth Freeman

Brbrcat – Date Night – Nikol Lohr

Aorlavfan – Leaflet – by Cecily Glowik MacDonald

Theyarngoeson – Blossoms by the Brook by Ilga Leja

Londontown Stories

Erika Knight Yarn Collection

Rowan Angora Haze

Rowan Angora Haze and Kidsilk Haze Eclipse

Rowan Angora Haze and Kidsilk Haze Eclipse

Rowan Tweed Aran

Rowan Tweed Aran

Rowan Tweed Aran

Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse

British Sheep Breeds Bouclé

Rowan British Sheep Breeds Boucle

Rowan British Sheep Breeds Boucle

Rowan Felted Tweed

I rave about dinner at Polpo


Gift Knitting and an upcoming collection

The needles have been running hot at chez curious the last few months and the creative juices flowing.

I can’t tell you the details just yet but I’m planning a holiday season surprise for my knitters. one of the fabulous things about being a little indie designer is that I can totally make up the rules. I haven’t worked out all the details yet but can say so far that I’m putting together a collection of sassy little patterns perfect for little gifts and it will be released as some kind of mystery game.

I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings about gift knitting in the comments below or on the Ravelry Curious Handmade discussion board.

Rowan Felted Tweed

Rowan Felted Tweed

To listen to the episode click on the play arrow button at the top or download and subscribe in iTunes.