Archives For January 2014


I’m HellsBells on Ravelry, and CuriousHandmade on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Today I talk about what’s in the WIP, introduce a segment for the first time – 10,000 Hours and give a little update about some knitting events.

It’s been such a nice week because I’ve been having so many conversation with lovely interesting people both online and offline. One of the things I was worried about when I stopped working in an office was lack of interaction with other human beings but that hasn’t been the case at all!

I’m actually doing two courses at the moment. I’ve gone back to school!

I mention:

School for Creative Startups

Brand Amplifier

Emma-Victoria Houlton of WeProduce – edits my podcast beautifully each week.

What’s In the WIP?

I finally cast on for Ysolda’s Follow Your Arrow MKAL and started with clue A.

I’m using Fyberspates Nef Sock yarn in Sunshine colourway.

Fyberspates Nef

I’m getting a little bit addicted to Instagram! SHHHH! (follow me! I’ll follow you back)

10,000 Hours

Introducing a new segment. If you have any feedback I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment on the blog or on the discussion thread for this show. And if you have any requests for future segments let me know!

I talk about blocking your knitting.

I talk about blocking wires – I bought mine at Loop, Islington. you can see some of the tools I mention here.

I plan to put together a tutorial for you soon….in the meantime, you’ll have to listen to the episode.

The pictures give you a sneak preview of the Frangipani Shawl from the Dream Big Collection.

Frangipani Shawl by Helen Stewart Curious Handmade Frangipani Shawl by Helen Stewart Curious Handmade


I sadly won’t make to to Unravel …but don’t let that stop you! Its going to be fab.

But I’ve booked three classes at Unwind in Brighton in July. I can’t wait!

This episode includes What’s in the WIP, continuing the conversation from last week about planning and getting motivated to take on a new year and some great events coming up this year in the UK. The theme this week is so close and yet so far.
WHATS in the WIP
Follow your Arrow – I’m planning on doing clue 1A and 2A.
I’m planning to use my Fyberspates Nef Sock in the Sunshine colourway.
Self Indulgent Sweater for Squam – I have a Pinterest Board for ideas!
Thank you so much for all the great suggestions on the Curious Handmade Board on Rav
 MadelineTosh Tosh Merino DK
 Baby Cables and Big Ones Too by Suvi Simona 
Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos
Fifikins – A Down Under Yarn Podcast – Videocast
Poolside by Isabel Kramer
Aislinn by Amy Herzog
Frangipani Shawl from the Dream Big Collection – progress is being made!
I’m using Juno Alice 4ply by Juno Fibre Arts
Simple Life

Sum: Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman

“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt.
Another book currently giving me great inspiration is Gypsy: A World of Colour and Interiors by Sibella Court


21 – 23 February 2014
12th & 13th July 2014 in Brighton, UK


A Playful Day

Old Maiden Aunt 

Zen Cleaning

Helen —  January 18, 2014 — 2 Comments

Today I started on decluttering and streamlining around the house.

I wrote a list of all the spaces in the house I want to tackle, mostly so I can have the satisfaction of crossing them off when I’m done.

In the kitchen, the top of the range hood was a small yet very glaring area, so I picked that place to start.

This area is home to a set of copper pans from France I was given for my birthday a couple of years ago, and they were looking a little unloved.

I googled how to clean them and was very happy to find the solution was both natural, and items I had at home.

A simple mixture of lemon juice and granular salt, plus a little bit of elbow grease.

I found this tip on the Martha Stewart site and people also said white vinegar and salt works well.


copper pan

copper pan


copper pan

copper pan

This project took some energy to carefully rub all the pots clean but the result is hugely satisfying. I became engrossed with rubbing and scrubbing and let myself relax and enjoy the results instead of resenting the task.

I highly recommend starting a decluttering project in an area that is both really annoying and in your face every day, as well as not being too big or daunting.

I’m now motivated to tackle the next job, sorting out the girls clothes. Wow do those kids grow fast!


This week the theme is indulgence. Giving myself time to recover from the travel back to London from Aus, thinking about indulgent knitting projects and indulging in planning and dreaming big for 2014.

Whats in the WIP?

I finished the Naughty or Nice Pom Pom Hat from the Knitvent collection for Sophie to wear to school. I’m yet to set up a project page for it and take pics.

I’m still working on my Red Robin Shawl, also from Knitvent which was my easy travel knitting on holiday.

I’m considering the options for Ysolda’s Follow Your Arrow Shawl Mystery Knit Along.

I’m trying to decide what sweater design to knit for the Yarniac’s indulgent KAL and to wear to Squam in June.

I have sweater quantities of Tosh Merino DK (100% merino)  and Posh Yarn Miranda (80% Alpaca, 20% silk)

Options include:

Poolside by Isabell Kraemer

Planters Punch by Thea Colman

I’d love to knit Fuse by Veronique Avery but not right now because I want to knit it in BT Shelter but I’m knitting this one from stash.

I’ve created a Pinterest Board called Self Indulgent Knitting for Squam to track my ideas and see all the options in one place.

Let me know if you have any ideas!

The Simple Life

I talk about setting Goals, Inspiring Words and Resolutions.

For setting goals the 2014 Create Your Amazing Year in Life & Business Workbook is a great resource and Rachel from video cast talks about it in more detail.

I like setting an inspirational word and Vintage Amanda wrote an inspiring post about it – her word is “Spacious” (

Finally for resolutions and changing habits I love Leo Babaota’s blog Zen Habits.



This episode I’m talking to you from holidays in Queensland, Australia.

It has been hot but I’ve still been doing a bit of knitting in between the beach and catching up with friends and family.

Queensland Mango

What’s in the WIP?

A Red Robin Shawl in Juno Alice sock yarn, colourway Goldmine

A Naughty or Nice Hat in Rowan Wool, Navy

I’m working on designing the Frangipani Shawl for the January pattern for the Dream Big 2014 Collection.

Listen in for a great discount on the collection for a short time only!

The not in Londontown Segment

The Sunshine Coast of Australia is a gorgeous part of the world and I rave on about it a wee bit.

Buderim vegan, organic cafe – Ground Organic

Green Juice at Ground Buderim

Kunara Organic Marketplace

I also announce the winners of the Knitvent KAL.

Thunderstorm sky