Archives For November 2014

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast ep 52

Show Sponsor – Meadow Yarn

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, Hazel Knits and many more.

What’s in the WIP?

Still working on secret design knitting.

Paper snowflakes – fab tutorial that kids can do – How to make paper snowflakes tutorial

#GiftingZen

Week 3 Knitvent pattern – Crisp and Even Cowl

Leave a comment on the pattern page above and let me know who you would make this for to go in the draw for a ball of Rowan Creative Focus Worsted (by Sunday 30 Nov)

Milla Mia

Knitting cables WITH a cable needle (front cross)

Knitting Cables WITHOUT a cable needle

Join in the Knitvent KAL over here on Curious Handmade board on Ravelry.

There is going to be an Eden Cottage Yarn shop update this weekend which will include some BFL sock.

And Eden Cottage Yarn is going to sponsor the Knitvent Jingle Bells Grand Prize!!

Non-Guilty Pleasures

Did you see that A Playful Day SSSalong has been renamed #MEalong?

It made me think about the book I’m reading at the moment The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
by Brene Brown and how being a little bit selfish isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, gratitude, #MEalong and #zengifting I chat about some little things that I’m planning on “indulging” in.

  1. Drink more water – its really nice with a squeeze of fresh lemon
  2. Do 5 minutes of breathing in a quiet space (or in a queue at the post office)
  3. Declutter a space in your house – even just one space or surface
  4. Delete those sale emails and don’t even click on them!
  5. Do one little annoying job that you’ve been putting off.
  6. Pee when you need to
  7. Call a friend – remember how we used to pick up the phone and talk to people? Reclaim the phone!
  8. Take some things off your plate and say “no” to more things.
  9. Maybe start or revive a a gratitude practice such as a journal or a visual one e.g. 100 happy days
  10. AND enjoy and savour your knitting regardless of whether you are knitting gifts or something for yourself.

I’m curious about what are your non-guilty pleasures and tips?

Leave a comment below on the blog by Wednesday 3 December and let me know and I will give away a gorgeous skein of yarn to a commenter.

The Knitvent Podcast Tour

Helen —  November 27, 2014 — Leave a comment

Some of you might have noticed Knitvent has been cropping up in various places in the podcast community. I’ve been very lucky to be featured by some of my favourite podcasters so here is a little summary of each for those of you looking for something new to watch or listen to. I highly recommend them all – have a listen to their latest episodes for their exclusive coupon codes to get 25% off Knitvent 2014 and 2013 and for giveaways of the collection.

knitgirllls banner

The KnitGirllls

This is a US based videocast hosted by Leslie and Laura. These two best friends are really committed to independent dyers, designers and producers and have been really supportive of my designing from very early on. I love their cheerful banter and the way they include so much detail about their knitting or spinning process. There’s very often a review or competition and other hobbies creep in such as books they’re enjoying, sewing and what events they’ve been to lately. They also hosted the Super Summer knitalong that I’d love to attend- it looks so fun!

knitting pipeline

The Knitting Pipeline

This is a US based audio podcast, hosted by Paula. Paula has a soothing voice and includes so much interesting content that I always enjoy her show. Regular features include nature notes, needle notes, products notes and the blethering room. It’s a great mix of wildlife spotting, knitting chatter, poetry and more. I always find out about something new in the knitty world that  inspires my creativity. Paula is also a wonderful designer and hosts the Pipeline Retreat each year- another event I’d love to attend.

download (1)

A Playful Day

This is a UK based audio podcast, hosted by Kate and is one of the first knitting podcasts I started listening to many years ago. Kate talks about all sorts of topics including cooking, gardening, outings with her cute tot in London and of course lots of interesting details about the yarn and projects she is knitting. I love that she is based in London so I often pick up tips about what is happening in the local knitting scene and as it turns out she lives very close to me! So to get into the Christmas spirit I popped around to hers for a cup of tea and a natter about holiday knitting recently. You can our chat on A Playful Day episode 70.

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated so far!! You have been keeping me company while I work away on my holiday knitting!

Watch out for an upcoming post when I announce more stops on the Knitvent podcast tour!

 

A quick walk around my neighbourhood confirmed that winter is well and truly here with everyone bundled in winter coats, boots and cosy accessories. The shops are filling up with Christmas decorations and there’s fairy lights decorating the streets of London. It’s all very festive and reminded me that the holidays are well and truly arriving so this week’s pattern seems perfectly timed.

Crisp and Even Cowl

The Crisp and Even Cowl is the perfect neck warmer for those cozy nights by the fire or a cold, relaxing walk before scurrying home to tuck excited children to bed. The blocks of colour make this an easily customisable cowl for all the family and cables mean a little extra warmth and a little more interest in the knitting. Worked up in aran (worsted) weight yarn, this is a quick cowl too — perfect for those last minute gifts you forgot about or a sudden falling of fresh snow.

The Crisp and Even Cowl pattern contains 3 size options:

Crisp and Even Cowl

Small- 16″ circumference, 6.5″ width. (Shown here in Milla Mia Naturally Soft Aran [100% Wool, 80m/87yds per 50g ball], Colour A is Pink Glaze, Colour B is Teal).

Crisp and Even Cowl

Medium- 24″ Circumference, 10″ width. (Shown here in Malabrigo Worsted [100% Merino Wool, 198m/210 yds per 100g skein], colour A is Bergamotta and Colour B is Geranio).

Crisp and Even Cowl

Large- 48″ Circumference, 10″ width. (Shown here in Rowan Creative Focus Worsted [75% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 200m/220yds per 100g ball], colour A is Magenta and Colour B is Charcoal Heather).

This week’s special treat comes in the form of a giveaway and an extended special offer. To win a ball of Rowan Creative Focus Worsted, please leave a comment on the pattern page for the Crisp and Even Cowl tell me who you’d love to knit this squishy cowl for. I will draw for the winner on Sunday 30 November so be sure to leave your comment by then.

Rowan Creative Focus Worsted

Also, due to the overwhelming responses and continued requests I’ve received, I’ll be offering Knitvent 2013 for free once again when you purchase Knitvent 2014. That’s a total of 13 gorgeous patterns including my incredibly popular Red Robin Shawl for £9.80. This offer will end Sunday 30th November 2014. (Just put both collections in your Ravelry shopping cart and the offer will be automatically applied).

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 51

Today I’m talking about knitting in the round because the second Knitvent pattern, the Lind Cowl is knit in the round.

Show Sponsor – Meadow Yarn

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, Hazel Knits and many more.

What’s in the WIP?

I’m doing some secret knitting and listening to some wonderful podcasts:

Skein Studio by Kristen

Knit FM 

#giftingzen

The second pattern in the Knitvent 2014 collection was released this week.

Lind Cowl

I talk about knititng in the round.

Here are two good YouTube tutorials with slightly different methods.

Nancy Wynn

iknitwithcatfur

Knitvent Podcast Tour

Kicked off this week with The Knit Girllls

Knitting Pipeline

This weekend you can listen to GreenTriangleGirl and I chatting about our approach to holiday knitting on A Playful Day.

More dates to be announced!

All the podcasts on the tour will have discount codes and giveaways so make sure you check them out.

I received an email in the week that made me smile, 12 Warm Wishes Hottie Covers laid out, getting their embellishments added by Mlleigh on Ravelry. This is one very organised gift knitter!

She has been working on a collaboration with her mother-in-law with her MIL in charge of the applique motifs and she did the knitting. The theme was “under the weather”.

Warm Wishes Hotties examples

What I enjoyed the most about this picture is all the individual ways in which the hotties have been embellished with different motifs and materials to make them really personal- the planet is particularly cute! When I designed the pattern I included three templates for motifs to cut out and sew on to the cover. Looking through Ravelry, I found some other personalised hotties that were really thoughtfully embellished. Knowing how best to finish your gifts can be a stumbling block for a few people so sharing some inspiration while we’re all crafting away for the holidays seemed like a good idea.

Hottie with a heart motif

KnittinCari’s stylish version is simple and effective. Plain, bold colours worked from the template included in the pattern. For maximum impact, remember to check your colour options are contrasting enough. Colour theory was my topic of choice for a recent podcast that you might find useful when selecting those little details that can make a big impact.

Hottie with crochet motif

For some crafty crossover, there’s plenty of crochet inspiration to embellish too. Redjeep‘s snowflake is so seasonal and festive! What’s particularly charming about this version is the contrasting thread and simple stitching used to add the crochet snowflake; it really adds to the overall charm.

Fluffy hottie

The other way to make this project a little more interesting and snuggly is to think about the yarn you use instead. Knit in aran weight, this is a fast project so something textured would be easy to add as a variation and keep things fun. This version by Maukelien is perfectly seasonal and simple- a little extra fluff is very fitting this time of year!

Hottie with sausage dog motif

Now these hottie covers by Hark are really stylishly embellished. The little sausage dog motif is included in the Warm Wishes Hottie pattern (along with the heart and star shapes) and was designed to go the whole way around the bottle and has been stitched to add little details.

All these unique projects got me thinking about how to recreate templates and here’s a few good tutorials and links to help you make those finishing touches extra special.

Tutorials:

Felted Heart tutorial via HonestlyWTF

Iron on Patch tutorial via WhimsyLove (don’t forget to test before you had heat to your knitting!)

Beautiful patches from sketches of Moths via Ninimakes

Inspiring Pinterest Boards:

Sewing, Stitching and Embroidery by Mollie Makes. Don’t forget to look at Christmas boards like this one too as there’s often felt ornament templates that would work really well for this kind of project.

Embroidery by Curious Handmade

Embroidery and Applique by Craft Candy

Home by Folksy– sometimes a little eye candy inspiration for what to aspire to can be very useful!

Quilts and Patches by Curious Handmade

Cute and Crafty by Curious Handmade

I’m curious to know what your favourite way of embellishing your projects? Leave a comment!

Knitvent 2014 has had a terrific response so far and it’s been lovely to watch all the projects and commitment already.

This week’s pattern is the perfect cowl for a snowy day – ethereal and delicate with the warmth of mohair that can be worn layered around chilly necks or shoulders.

Lind Cowl

Lind Cowl

The Lind Cowl takes its name from the frosty opera singer who stole Hans Christian Anderson’s heart and was the inspiration behind his Snow Queen. I’m pretty sure that there’s a lot of families out there with the Snow Queen story featuring very prominently right now- Frozen is certainly a favourite in this house!

Lind Cowl Knitvent

Knit on large needles, the Lind Cowl works up fast to take full advantage of the yarn’s lofty character and emulates the flurry of flakes in the air. Both version of this cowl (small and large) take 1 ball each of a contrasting colourway of Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse.

To celebrate the launch of the Lind Cowl, there’s a Knitvent treat- 50% OFF the Knitvent 2014 collection for a very short time only!

The Lind Cowl is only available as part of the Knitvent 2014 ebook and will be available to purchase individually from 19th December 2014. If you’re looking to get you #giftingzen going, why not join us in the Curious Handmade knitalong? There is already lots of fun and prizes to help keep you in good spirits as I reveal each week’s special surprise and encourage you to take up this seasonal challenge.

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Ep 50

Show Sponsor – Meadow Yarn

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, Hazel Knits and many more.

What’s in the WIP?

Eden Fells Hat in madelinetosh Vintage Mineral colour from Meadow Yarn.

Pattern available for 25% off in Indie Gift-A-Long with coupon code giftalong2014

This is the small (women’s) size with extra slouch:

Eden Fells Hat

 

Gifting Zen

Knitvent 2014 launched on Tuesday with the Candlelit shawl

It can be knit in two sizes and with or without beads

My tutorial for adding beads with a crochet hook is here.

Ravelry Gift-A-Long

Is off and running.

See my earlier blog post for more details.

My ‘bundle’ of patterns available for 25% off is here.

This is the second year the Ravelry Indie Designer Gift-A-Long has helped kick off the holiday knitting season and provided camaraderie, moral support and an awful lot of enabling!

Ravelry Gift-A-Long

It is the knit along of all knit alongs – with nearly 300 designers participating, including me for the first time this year!

The first thing you need to know is that all the participating designers are offering between 4 to 20 of their patterns on sale for 25% off with coupon code GIFTALONG2014 in the big GAL sale! From Thursday November 13th (8pm EST) through Friday November 21 (11:59pm EST).

You can find out who the participating designers are here on the Ravelry board. (I’m on the very last page!)

The second thing you need to know is that there is a knit along with loads of prizes, games and fun on the Ravelry GAL board here.

I have included 20 of my patterns in the sale and you can get an overview of them on the GAL Pinterest Board I’ve created for the event.

The whole event is incredibly well organised and there are Pinterest boards created to give you an overview of everyone’s designs by category (can you imagine the work that went into that?!!)

And the third thing you need to know is that any of my paid patterns can be included as part of the GAL KAL (not just the ones on sale) and that will include all the new Knitvent 2014 designs (did I hear you say “double dippig”? Oh yes!).

I hope to see you there!

#giftalong2014

Curious Handmade Giftalong

When placing beads in knitwear, there are lots of different ways to get the beads into position.

I find the crochet hook method the easiest and most accurate and it means I can take a little pause to admire my handiwork too.

Having just released the Candlelit Shawl, I thought it would be helpful to upload a tutorial showing you how to place beads into your knitwear.

Watch this video on Youtube

For those of you who like things a little slower or print friendly, here’s a photo tutorial too.

Placing Beads

IMG_0011

  1. Slip the bead onto the end of your crochet hook (over the hook).

Insert hook into stitch on LH needle

2. Insert the hook into the stitch loop on the LH needle, with the hook facing you.

Move bead onto stitch

3. Gently move the bead down over the hook onto the stitch.

Stitch on LH needle

4. Place the stitch back on the LH needle.

knit stitch with bead

5. Knit the stitch with the bead on it.

I hope you find that helpful and please do feel free to pin it and share it with your crafty friends! If you’ve now got the urge to bead, here’s some other shawls I’ve designed that use beading:

Beaded Shawl pattern

Glitz at the Ritz (free on Knitty!)

Sunburst Shawl Curious Handmade

The Sunburst Shawl (from the Dream Big Collection)

 

Knitvent Week 1- The Candlelit Shawl

Helen —  November 11, 2014 — 2 Comments
Helen2copy (1)

Candlelit Shawl

The Festive Mystery Knit Along is finally here and the first pattern is LIVE!

The Candlelit Shawl is a lightweight shawl that brings a little festive light into your knitting. Work up the fully beaded version for seasonal sparkle or let the simple lace stitches allow your yarn to shine for a quicker but just as satisfying knit. A fingering weight shawl to make use of that lovely one or two skeins in your stash for a special someone who is very deserving – whether that’s you or a loved one!

Candlelit shawl

Candlelit shawl in BFL Sock

Working these shawls up was a joy as the simple lace stitches catch the subtle shifts and tonal changes in handdyed yarns beautifully. The small shawl sample is knit up in Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock [100% Wool,399m/436yds per 100g skein], in the ‘Robin Egg’ colourway. You will need just one skein of either this yarn or a 100g skein of fingering or sock weight yarn totalling approximately 399m/436yds to make the small version.

Candlelit Shawl in Tosh Sock

Candlelit Shawl in Tosh Sock

For the medium, I used Madelinetosh Tosh Sock [100% Superwash Merino, 361m/395yds per 100g skein], in the ‘Sand Dune’ colourway. For this larger version you will need 1 and a 1⁄2 100g skeins or 1 and a 1⁄2 100g skeins of fingering or sock weight yarn totaling approximately 542m/592yds.

The Candlelit Shawl is now available as part of the Knitvent 2014 ebook and will be available to purchase individually from 19 December 2014. Join in each week as we take the stress out of holiday knitting and cheer each other on with Knitvent 2014. Each week another pattern is revealed which is perfect for either a gift or your own selfish desires. The Collection will feature 5 accessory patterns with each pattern offering a choice of at least two sizes or tips on how to modify them, all for an introductory price of £9.50 (just under US$15).

 

To celebrate the launch of Knitvent 2014 put both Knitvent 2014 AND Curious Knitvent 2013 ebooks in your basket and the 2013 collection will be FREE! This offer will end Sunday 16th November. 

That’s a total of 13 gorgeous patterns including my incredibly popular Red Robin Shawl for £9.50. After this week, the price of the Collection will go up making this a particularly good bargain!

 

Knitvent 2014

Knitvent 2014

Still undecided? Join in the KnitVent 2014 chatter and fun with our Ravelry group, inspirational blog posts and a newsletter packed full of discounts and goodies, thanks to the Curious Handmade seasonal challenge. You can sign up here for the free Holiday Knitting Planner and Knitvent updates

Let the Curious Handmade community help you get your knitting #giftingzen on this holiday season.