Archives For December 2014

Merry Christmas

Helen —  December 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

Candlelit Shawl in Skein

Have a very Merry Christmas full of feasting and relaxing.

I hope you’ve finished all your holiday knitting in time and that Santa brings you just what you want!



CH 55: Happy Holidays 2014

Helen —  December 19, 2014 — Leave a comment

Curious Handmade Podcast ep 55

Today I’m talking about what I’m knitting, giftingzen and the simple life.

I also announce the winner of my giveaway of Kate Atherley’s newly released book, Pattern Writing for Knit Designers

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?

Candlelit Shawl in Skein Australia Merino Cashmere

A monster from Rebecca Danger’s fab book The Big Book of Knitted Monsters: Mischievous, Lovable Toys

And a big blanket for my husband for Christmas (…ish)


The the Knitvent designs are all available as single patterns now.

I have a holiday coupon code available until Sunday 28 December – you can get a FREE pattern if you put three of my patterns in your cart (3 for 2 offer) with the code HAPPYHOLS342

I announce winners for the Knitvent Knitalong.

The date for posting your finished objects on the Ravelry thread has been extended until Sunday 28 December.

There are some fabulous prize sponsors for the KAL including

Eden Cottage Yarns

ECY BFL sockFringe Supply Co

Knit and Let Knit Tote

The Simple Life 

My word of the year for 2015 is Simplify


Please visit Meadow Yarn to see the delightful range of yarns and notions they have available.

I am also a Craftsy affiliate so if you are purchasing courses or yarn from Craftsy it will help support the podcast if you click through from this ad:

Knitvent 2014 has been so much fun this year. I’ve heard from so many people enjoying the patterns, telling me about their festive making efforts and the KAL has been full of gorgeous handknits for weeks. It’s almost time to get all of your entries in to win prizes (more on that in a moment) but first I wanted to extend a festive thank you to everyone.

Curious Handmade Holiday Sale

As well as celebrating the release of single patterns for Knitvent 2014, you can also enjoy any single pattern free with purchase of two others (put all three in cart and you will automatically get one FREE) with the code HAPPYHOLS342 entered at checkout on Ravelry. The offer will run through till Sunday 28 December 2014.

So whether you’ve been craving some beading in the Candlelit Shawl, a simple and soothing lace shawl like Pebble Beach Shawlette or something quick and comforting like the Red Robin Shawl, now is the time to treat yourself after all that gift knitting. 

There’s still time to enter to win fab prizes for the knitalong too. The prizes are lining up and looking really tempting for this one. So if you’ve been knitting from Knitvent 2013 or 2014 over the last few weeks, come tell me about it and you could win one of these fab prizes:

Knit and Let Knit Tote

Fringe Supply Co ‘Knit and Let Knit’ Tote Bag

ECY BFL sock

Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock in the Robin Egg colourway (as used in the Candlelit Shawl)

For all the rules of play please take a look at the KAL chatty thread and be sure to post your FO pic in the finished objects thread before 28th December 2014 (for those of you knitting really close to the wire with those gift knits!).

Happy knitting!

CH 54: Ice Skating

Helen —  December 12, 2014 — 20 Comments

Curious Handmade Podcast ep 54

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.


The final Knitvent 2014 pattern was released this week, the Ice Skating Scarf ad Wrap.

iCord edging video tutorial by Very Pink Knits

The Madeline Tosh Vintage yarn for the Wrap Version is available from show sponsor Meadow Yarn.

Book Review

I do a review of Kate Atherley’s new Book Pattern Writing for Knit Designers (everything you didn’t know you needed to know)

The ebook is available from Kate’s blog Wise Hilda for US$25

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is designing and writing knitting patterns for hand knitters.

Kate also has a really great Craftsy class – Blocking Handknits with Kate Atherley – I  talked about the topic of blocking on the podcast in Episode 13.

Craftsy Class Blocking Handknits with Kate Atherly

To win this eBook, leave a comment on this post by Tuesday 16 December and let me know why you would like to have a copy of Kate’s book, Pattern Writing for Knit Designers (everything you didn’t know you needed to know)

(sponsored link)

Shop Craftsy’s Stuff your Stocking Flash Sale now! Enjoy special savings on popular yarn, sewing and quilting products and get it in time for Christmas. But act fast because this limited supply won’t last! Offer expires at midnight on December 12th, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT.

The Knitvent Podcast Tour (Part 2)

Helen —  December 11, 2014 — 2 Comments

Have you heard about Knitvent from one of these fab podcasters? If you’ve found me from one of these episodes, it always great to meet new faces so please say hi in the Ravelry group. If you’re reading this and see a podcast you’ve not tried before, do check these ladies out- they’re great!

yarniacs podcast


This is a US based audio podcast with 2 friends as the hosts. Sharlene and Gayle do a great job of focusing on their knitting from what they’re wearing to what they’re coveting as well as actively working on and just finished. They regularly review new releases too so it’s a great podcast for knitting fans who want plenty of knitting chatter to keep them company and plenty of pattern ideas to keep them knitting!

2 knit lit chicks

2 Knit Lit Chicks

This is a mother and daughter combination hosting an audio podcast, also based in the US. Tracie and Barb are prolific knitters who are charming and chatty in equal measure. While there’s plenty of knitting content such as on and off the needles, they also talk about what they’re reading and enjoying in a way that adds plenty to keep you engaged and feels like a catch up with friends over coffee.

stash and burn

Stash and Burn

Two friends who have been audio podcast for an impressive amount of time! Nicole and Jenny are West Coast knitters who love to chat about what they’ve been working on and stashing. I love how there’s always plenty of inspiration about new publications as they’re both big fans of US magazines such as Interweave Knits and often go back to previous issues and knit their favourites too. Its always really interesting the way they bounce ideas and problems between them and it often gives me a lot of ideas and inspiration. They never fail to make me laugh and put me in a good mood.



This videocast is hosted by a favourite dyer of mine- Kristen from Skein. Based in Australia, Kristen knits and dyes such beautiful things that there’s so much inspiration to be found in every single episode. What I like about Kristen is that while she’s talking about a lot of her own gorgeous yarns, she’s not shy about enabling you to find other dyer’s great work. The lighting and sound quality is really good in this videocast too as she films in her studio in Australia. Gorgeous!

I’m Curious…..Leave a comment and let me know if these are favourites of yours too and what other podcasts both audio and video you love to listen to!

The final Knitvent pattern is ready and this week’s window has opened to reveal the Ice Skating Scarf and Wrap!

Ice Skating Scarf

The Ice Skating scarf and wrap are knit in a worsted weight yarn, making either of them perfect for keeping you warm while whether gliding round an ice rink or building a snowman.

There are three different stitch patterns to give an interesting look and they are all based on garter stitch so it is a very easy, relaxing knit – ideal for knitting by the fire with great friends, good conversation and a mug of hot chocolate.

The middle section is created with slipped stitches and gives a dramatic effect without having to deal with more than one colour at a time.

Ice Skating Wrap

The sides are finished with an icord edge which is also deceptively simple and hides the colour changes beautifully. It looks like a lot of knitting but the bigger needles and garter stitch means it flies off the needles – just in time for that walk in the snow!

Ice Skating Scarf 4

The pattern contains two options: a more unisex scarf or the ultra warm wrap version. The Ice Skating Scarf is worked up in 3 contrasting colours of Cascade 220 and measures 132cm (52″) in length and 24cm (9.5″) in width.

The scarf uses just under a skein of each colour so you can embellish with some tassels or leave it plain for a more manly look. The PDF of the pattern includes illustrated instructions of how to make the tassels for those of you who haven’t made these before.

Ice Skating Wrap 2

The Ice Skating wrap measures 127cm (50″) in length and 47cm (18.5″) in width and is worked up using 3 colours of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage. You will need 2 skeins of Colour A (shown here in Antler), 1.5 skeins of Colour B (show here in Dahlia) and just 1 skein of Colour C (shown here in Sand Dune).

Adding buttons is optional as a way of helping you style the wrap should you wish.

Knitvent 2014 is available to buy on Ravelry here:

Week 5 Special Treat!

Download these cute gift tags designed exclusively for Curious Handmade fans by BettyEttiquetteBetty Etiquette is a London based stationery brand and design studio that celebrates the power of putting pen to paper with inviting illustration and typography. Download Knitvent 2014 and you will find the PDF for these cute tags ready to attach to your careful crafted goodies.

Betty Etiquette Gift Tags

Betty Etiquette Gift Tags

Wish you all #giftingzen this Holiday Season!


Curious Handmade Podcast 53

This week I’m talking about the 4th Knitvent pattern – the Adorn Gift Bags, some tips for knitting them and ideas for things to put in them from the Curious Handmade community.

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.


Knitvent 2014 window 4 opened to reveal the Adorn Gift Bags

It comes in two styles A and B.

Some techniques used in these bags:

Magic Loop

Kitchener stitch (grafting) – I’ve always used this Knitty Tutorial for kitchener but I also saw this TECHknitting one that also looks good.

or 3 needle bind off – Written instructions or Video tutorial

How to knit an  i-cord

Adding Beads to your knitting with a Crochet Hook

Libby of Truly Myrtle blog – her thoughts on 9″ circular needles.

Thank you to YAK for including the Lind Cowl in your Pattern Round up on the YAK blog and for the alternative yarn suggestion of Bessie May Grace.

I can’t wait to share my Betty Etiquette printable gift tags with you! They will be gifted to everyone on my newsletter list or anyone who has purchased Knitvent 2014 next week!!

You can buy her gorgeous unique Christmas and other gift cards here. She uses the most beautiful card and printing for her designs.

Meadow Yarn have gorgeous stitch markers and other lovely notions (not to mention the yarn) and this weekend they are having a 20% off sale! Just use code celebratesmall

Knitvent 2014 KAL

Don’t forget to post your finished object in the thread and join in the chat on the Curious Handmade board on Ravelry to be in with a chance to win fab prizes.

Join in the Knitvent Podcast tour with:


Knittng Pipeline

A Playful Day


Skein Studio

2 Knit Lit Chicks


I went to a talk by Wool and the Gang at the Apple Store.

A Playful Day – #MEalong

Pom Pom Quarterly Christmas Party

This week I’m curious to know what knit alongs you are participating or know about happening at the moment?

And don’t forget to play the Curious Handmade Instagram game!!


Gift Ideas for Crafters

Helen —  December 4, 2014 — 1 Comment

I’ve been really enjoying reading all the gift ideas that people have been leaving on the comments of the Adorn Gift Bags pattern page (have you entered the competition yet?). There’s so many wonderful gift ideas this year and not all of it has to be handmade by you. Here’s some of the goodies I’ve been drooling over recently.

Gift Ideas Collage

1. Fringe Supply Company

This is a gorgeous resource for stylish bags, bowls, notions and knitting inspiration. I love this simplicity of the design and statement logo ‘Knit and Let Knit’ of their large Tote bags. A must on the school run!  Also, their Holiday Catalogue might have been one of my absolutely favs this year- so inspiring!

2. Fancy Tiger Crafts

These screen printed tees are so stylish and give an understated ‘yes I’m a crafter’ nod on your day to day outings. There’s a unisex version to the one picture above that is slightly less shaped if you’re looking for something less structured.

3. Ray Stitch

A beautiful shop located in North London, very close to Loop that is one of my favourite haberdashers. These hand stitch calendars are such a cute idea and would be so simple but effective to make.

4. Amirisu

magazine filled with beautiful styling, inspirational patterns and so many yarns I’d love to work with. A subscription to this bi annual publication would make me very happy.

5. Yellow Bear Wares

Ever since discovering these hand crafted pieces at Unwind, I’ve been completely smitten. Claire hand makes each jewellery and accessory item from vintage knitting supplies she finds and I think this necklace is stunning.

6. Merchant and Mills

This Maker’s journal captures everything I love about this company- stylish, practical and minimal. This would be a fabulous present for those who love journalling as much as making.

7. Purl Soho

More screen printing but this time tea towels that can also be cut out and sewn to create children’s toys. Beautiful to look at and such a sweet idea!

What’s on your wishlist this Christmas?

Knitvent Week 4: Adorn

Helen —  December 2, 2014 — 4 Comments

Week 4 of Knitvent contains something a little different: a little sparkle, a little indulgence and a lot of eco power!

This window opened today to reveal the Adorn Gift Bags.

Wrapping gifts so that they are appealing under the Christmas tree and inviting to open is one of the joys to be found this time of year. Christmas trees and displays adorned with pretty parcels is a joy to behold but what happens to all that paper afterwards? Also, is it just me or are those little treats you bought like hand cream and jewellery especially difficult to wrap so they end up looking bulky and awkward by the time you’ve finished?

3 Adorn Gift Bags

This is where Adorn Gift Bags come in. These three little bags can be made quickly from your prettiest leftover yarn. Perfect for slipping under the tree with a small gift in to make the present all the more special. These little pouches are a treat in themselves to make and share- think of all those little haberdashery bits and pieces you’ve been collecting for years for ‘just the right project’!

Adorn Gift Bag 2

There are two versions to this pattern that are both easy to modify. The first has a simple ribbed lace top and is written in two sizes and the other has an eyelet detail around the top with a beaded star for some added sparkle under the fairy lights. They are knit in the round and can easily be adapted to the size you need for your particular gift. Save trees, use your scraps and let the wrapping be a gift in itself that will treasured for years to come!

Adorn Gift Bag 3

You might recognise some of these colours- they’re some of the remnants from other Knitvent 2014 patterns- so those special skeins you bought or dived into stash for earlier get great usage and won’t cost you any more to make. Above is the Tosh Sock I used for the larger version of the Candlelit Shawl and the beaded version comes from remnants of Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock for the original sample. Remember?

candlelit Collage

It’s also competition time!

To win one of the little care packages pictured below, all you have to do is leave a comment on the pattern page for the Adorn Gift Bags telling me what little treats you’d pop inside for a special someone.

I’ll be choosing one random comment and one comment that makes me laugh or is the most unique posted by Sunday 7 December (midnight GMT) . Good luck!

Care package 1 includes including 25g of Eden Cottage BFL sock yarn used in the beaded sample and Neroli & Bergamot Handcream.

Care package 2 includes 25g of madelinetosh Tosh Sock used in the small sample Style A and Pomegranate lip balm.
Adorn Gift Bags Prizes