Archives For May 2015

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Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 76

Join me today as I chat with with Vicki Hillman, Fashion Stylist. We talk about original and classic ways to style all those beautiful handmade shawls that we spend so many hours creating. Vicki talks about novel ways to wrap and wear a shawl, knitting patterns that reflect current trends, and how to pair shawls with fashion items for a timeless and unmistakable style.

Show Sponsors

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.

This episode is also sponsored by The Fibre Company and their lovely yarn, Arcadia.

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Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL, hosted by the wonderful Paula from Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group, is cranking out amazing FOs. We’re even starting to see some of the new sizes rolling in, which is so exciting. With the deadline off on the horizon (July 5th) there’s lots of time left, and new people are constantly joining. If you’d like to be one of them, there are a couple of easy rules and pointers:

  • Any Curious Handmade pattern qualifies

  • Did you begin or even finish the object before the start date? No problem!

  • Don’t forget that there’s a Ravelry coupon code: use KPKAL30 for 30% off until May 31st

  • The hashtag for WIPs and FOs is #pebblebeachKAL. It’s so great to see all the projects on the go!

Muse2 KAL Just a way for everyone to join in on the Muse Connection buzz, from anywhere in world. I’m participating and having a ball, and there’s another month to go (it runs until the 30th of June) so jump in with us! FOs just need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

Hashtag #muse2KAL for WIPs and FOs!

What’s in the WIP?

Rachel Coopey’s Oleum socks for the Muse 2 KAL are still on the go! And as I mention on the show, there’s a new shawl pattern on the way…

Show links:

Fashion-friendly patterns that Vicki and I discussed:

Greco by Courtney Spainhower

Emma Boatneck Jumper from the Country Escape book by MillaMia

Farmhouse Shawl by cabinfour

Pomelo knit bag by Clare Lakewood

Pure shawl by cabinfour

If you’re in the neighbourhood, drop in to YAK Yarn and Knitting Brighton 27th of June, when I’ll be visiting for a little Pebble Beach trunk show!

I talked about the new shawl pattern that’s on the way very soon! It was inspired by the magnificent Hole and Sons wool which sold out in minutes when it was released this year, but I’m making up samples in some wonderful and easier-to-source yarns as well:

Blacker Yarns Shetland DK

Acadia by the Fibre Company

That wraps up the notes for this week’s show! Thanks for listening, and happy knitting.

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 75In this episode I talk about some of the factors that make for an enjoyable shawl project. As always, choosing yarn, pattern, and needles that all play nicely together are really important. I also chat a bit about all the shawls I’m daydreaming about knitting these days.

Show Sponsors

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.

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This episode is sponsored by The Fibre Company and their newest yarn, Cumbria.

Inspired by England’s stunning northwest region with its deep blue lakes and sheep-grazed fells and valleys, Cumbria is a lustrous blend of brown wool from the rare breed masham sheep, fine South American wool and mohair from South Africa. The resulting light brown-grey shade is then over-dyed creating lovely deep saturated colours. Cumbria is a staple yarn, perfect for garments and accessories alike.

KAL News

Meet My Yarn KAL We have a winner!! Number 25, skibum, aka Anita in real life, has won that special skein of yet-to-be-released Cumbria yarn. Her yarn was Rustic Fingering by The Neighborhood Fiber Co. and she was swatching for Monomania by Ann Weaver. Thank you so much to everyone who took part in this KAL. It was fascinating and a lot of fun!

Pebble Beach KAL, hosted by my friend Paula from Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group, is still going strong. The deadline isn’t until July 5th, so there’s still loads of time if you’d like to get involved. The rules are simple and chilled out:

  • You can use any Curious Handmade pattern

  • It’s okay if you began or finished the object before the start date

  • Don’t forget that there’s a Ravelry coupon code: use KPKAL30 for 30% off until May 31st

  • The hashtag for WIPs and FOs is #pebblebeachKAL. There are already some great projects showing up on Instagram and twitter!

Muse2 KAL We’ve put this together so everyone can join in the fun, no matter where you are on the world. It’s going until June 30th. Nice loose rules on this one, too. Just submit a FO that meets one or more of the following criteria:

Hashtag #muse2KAL for WIPs and FOs!

What’s in the WIP?

I mentioned last week that I’m planning to knit Rachel Coopey’s Oleum socks for the Muse 2 KAL. So far I’ve printed out the pattern and wound the yarn: it’s progress, and I’ll take it!

Show Links

I talked about the two Craftsy classes I’m enjoying right now

Shawlscapes by Stephen West

Laura Nalkin’s Mastering Lace Shawls

I mentioned that specialist lace needles, like Addi Lace, can be handy for the delicate lace yarns.

Three shawl patterns mentioned in this episode:

Aisling by last week’s guest Justina Lorkowska

Swallowtail by Evelyn A. Clark

Echo Flower by Jenny Johnson Johnen

That should just about wrap it up for this episode! I hope you enjoyed the show. Happy knitting in the week ahead!

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast With Justyna

Today I have the pleasure of speaking to the lovely, funny, and incredibly talented Justyna Lorkowska of Lete’s Knits. She talks about her signature knitting style, the journey from her hilarious and humbling teenage projects to her current sophisticated designs, and how to choose a shawl shape for every occasion.

She’ll be launching a brand new hap shawl this weekend at the Berlin Knits Yarn Festival with Walkcollection, so we’ll all be looking forward to seeing the new pattern once it hits Ravelry.

Show Sponsors

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.

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This episode is sponsored by The Fibre Company and their newest yarn, Cumbria.

Inspired by England’s stunning northwest region with its deep blue lakes and sheep-grazed fells and valleys, Cumbria is a lustrous blend of brown wool from the rare breed masham sheep, fine South American wool and mohair from South Africa. The resulting light brown-grey shade is then over-dyed creating lovely deep saturated colours. Cumbria is a staple yarn, perfect for garments and accessories alike.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL, which Paula is hosting on the Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group, is running until July 5th, and we already have loads of chatter and more than 50 FOs, all competing for that scrumptious skein of Uncommon Thread Merino Lace in the Mermaid colourway. You’ve still got lots of time to join in, and the rules are loose on this one! Remember:

  • You can use any of my patterns

  • It doesn’t matter if you began or finished the object before the start date

  • If you want to purchase a pattern or collection, use Ravelry coupon code KPKAL30 for 30% off until May 31st

  • The hashtag is #pebblebeachKAL so we can find all your WIPs on Twitter and Instagram!

Meet My Yarn KAL has just wrapped up and I absolutely loved everyone’s swatches and stories. I’ll be announcing the winner next week: they’re going to get their hands on a skein of the wonderful Cumbria yarn from The Fibre Company. As I’ve mentioned before, this yarn won’t even be available to the public until late summer.

Muse2 KAL is running from May 1st until June 30th, so that everyone can be a part of the fun. Enter with any FO that meets one or more of the following criteria:

I’ve just decided on my project for the KAL: Rachel Coopey’s gorgeous Oleum socks. It’s the perfect pattern for the great John Arbon Exmoor Sock Yarn I was talking about a few weeks ago.

Show Links

Visit Justyna’s busy, happy Ravelry Group and take a look at the Shawlicious KAL, ending June 30th

You can find all of Justyna’s amazing patterns on website and her Ravelry profile, but here are the ones we discussed specifically:

Fickle Heart hoodie

Shifting sweater

Aisling shawl

Masgot shawl

Hermit shawl

If you’re free over the weekend, pay a visit to the I Knit Fandango, happening the 15th and 16th of May at Royal Horticultural Halls, Lindley Hall, Westminster, London, and say a special hello to three friends of the podcast: Kettle Yarn Co, Pom Pom Quarterly, and Rachel Coopey.

That’s everything for this week! Thanks so much for listening, and happy knitting!

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 73

Today I introduce the theme for May: shawls. I talk about how I got started knitting the not-so-granny garment that I now love so much, and how exciting and magical shawl design can be.

Show Sponsors

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.

Contest winner

Last week on the show with Clara, she offered a skein of her lovely Clara Yarn Cormo 1.0 as a giveaway. The winner is Barbara with this comment:

“One of my favorite yarns to work with is Anzula Cloud. It is soft and squooshy and the perfect weight for shawls and lightweight sweaters. I’ve made Eiregal and Red Rock Canyon shawls by Romi, Annis by Susanna Ic, as well as Featherweight by Hannah Fettig. Lately, I’ve been buying more “rustic” yarns, including the new Shetland from Clara and some lambswool from an upstate NY farm. I am so excited to be learning about different breeds of sheep and the differing properties their fleeces/wool possess. Thank you Helen for your marvelous podcasts. I really enjoy listening to you and learning from you as you explore new things.”

Knit Along News

Pebble Beach KAL To celebrate the relaunch of Pebble Beach with two new sizes, Paula is running a knit along of all my designs on the Knitting Pipeline group, which is running until July 5th. You can enter a finished object from any of my designs, even if it was cast on or finished before the KAL began! Join the group, and remember to use #pebblebeachKAL for our WIP pictures on Instagram and Twitter!

There will be prizes including this gorgeous skein of Uncommon Thread Merino Lace in Mermaid (it’s what we used for the medium Pebble Beach Sample!)

Pebble Beach Shawl Medium Detail

Alongside the KAL I’m also offering a 30% discount off any Curious Handmade pattern or collection until May 31st. Just use Ravelry coupon code KPKAL30 when you check out.

Meet My Yarn KAL has been extended another week until May 14th! This KAL is sponsored by Cumbria yarn by The Fibre Company, and they’re offering a skein as a prize.

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Inspired by England’s stunning northwest region with its deep blue lakes and sheep-grazed fells and valleys, Cumbria is a lustrous blend of brown wool from the masham sheep, fine South American wool and mohair from South Africa. The resulting light brown-grey shade is then over-dyed creating lovely deep saturated colours. Cumbria is a staple yarn, perfect for garments and accessories alike.

Muse2 KAL We wanted to let people all over the world be part of our Muse 2 Event in June, so we’ve put together a knit along honouring our sponsors. You can enter any finished object that meets one or more of the following criteria:

The KAL is running from May 1st until June 30th, so you have plenty of time to get knitting!

KnitBritish Hap-along that I mention later in the episode is going strong, running until July 12th!

Shawls I mention

I talk about some of the earliest shawl patterns I tackled, first knitting others’ patterns, then learning to design my own, and some examples of shawl shapes.

Shetland Triangle Lace by Evelyn A. Clark

Citron by Hilary Smith Calis

Lucky Clover Shawl by Helen Stewart (my first shawl design!)

Pi Shawl by Elizabeth Zimmerman

Girasole by Jared Flood

Pendulum by Amy Miller

I also discuss some influential designers who push the boundaries in shawl shaping

Stephen West

Veera Välimäki

Joji Locatelli

Susanna IC

Are you on Instagram yet? Join in the fun and the amazing yarny knitting community there! Play the instagram game and tag me with a pic of where you’re listening to the podcast. Have a fantastic weekend everyone! Happy knitting and bye for now!

 

Pebble Beach Shawls

It’s here! The Pebble Beach Shawlette has grown up into a Shawl!

Remember this?

Pebble Beach Shawlette at Unwind Brighton

After winning the Unwind Brighton design competition last year, I released my Pebble Beach Shawlette Pattern on Ravelry. From there, it took on a life of its own. When a group of us cast on in the beautiful Pavilion Gardens under the shady trees, I had no idea that this little shawl would be such a hit.

I’ve really been looking forward to this re-release. It’s been wonderful to watch so many people enjoying this pattern, and with the one year anniversary of the original release approaching, I wanted to do something special. Many people wanted to knit larger sizes using lace weight yarn, or with two skeins of fingering weight, so the path was clear: I decided to design some more sizes for you.

The Pebble Beach pattern now has three sizes to choose from: the original Shawlette, a medium, and a large. The medium is designed for 600m/660yds of heavy lace weight yarn and the large is designed for 800m/880yds of lace weight yarn.

All three sizes have been set out in my much loved percentage checklist style so that you can keep on track from the first stitch right to the cast off.

Three sizes of the Curious Handmade Pebble Beach Shawl

Small – gold – Kettle Yarn Co – Westminster yarn – colour Gold Rush
Medium – green – The Uncommon Thread – Merino lace – colour Mermaid
Large – grey – The Uncommon Thread – Heavenly lace – colour Attic Room

If you already have the pattern in your Ravelry library, go look! You’ll automatically receive the updated version. It should be there now. If this will be your first time knitting Pebble Beach, your timing couldn’t be better!

You can join in the Pebble Beach Knit Along on the Knitting Pipeline Ravelry group, hosted by Paula Emons-Fuessle, which will run until July 5th. You can enter to win prizes with any of my designs even if you started or finished them before the start of the KAL!

As part of this KAL I am offering a Ravelry coupon code for a discount of 30% off one of my patterns or collections, valid until May 31. Just the code KPKAL30 at checkout on Ravelry.

You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry here:

I hope you’ll join us for the KAL. Don’t forget to use #pebblebeachKAL for your social media posts. I love to see photos of your WIPs on Instagram!

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast with Clara Parkes

Today I have a special guest on the show to wrap up yarn month in a perfect fiber-y package. Clara Parkes is joining me to talk about …yarn! What else?!

Show Sponsors

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.

 

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

This episode is sponsored by The Fibre Company and their newest yarn, Cumbria.

Inspired by England’s stunning northwest region with its deep blue lakes and sheep-grazed fells and valleys, Cumbria is a lustrous blend of brown wool from the masham sheep, fine South American wool and mohair from South Africa. The resulting light brown-grey shade is then over-dyed creating lovely deep saturated colours. Cumbria is a staple yarn, perfect for garments and accessories alike.

Knit Along News

Knitting Pipeline Pebble Beach KAL

Paula at Knitting Pipeline is hosting a KAL of my designs to celebrate the relaunch of Pebble Beach.

Muse Connection 2 KAL – Beginnings

A Playful Day Kate and I are hosting a KAL starting today – join in on the Muse Connection Ravelry Group

Meet My Yarn KAL

Where I challenge you to introduce your favourite yarn to the group here by creating a swatch in by 14 May – the deadline was extended by two weeks.

This KAL is sponsored by Cumbria yarn by The Fibre Company

Clara Parkes, Yarn Whisperer interview

Knitter’s Review

Clara Yarn


Benjamin Hole – Hole and Sons Yarn

Make sure you listen to the episode to hear how to win a precious skein of Clara Yarn Cormo 1.0