Archives For January 2017

It’s almost time for the Snowmelt MKAL! I’ve been watching the amazing yarn-choosing process of hundreds of excited knitters over in our Curious Handmade Ravelry Group and on Instagram (check out the growing #snowmeltmkal hashtag for some mouthwatering yarn photos!) and the energy is just electric. We’re just two days away from the release of the first clue, but we still have new knitters joining us every day. The MKAL will be running until the end of March, so even if you don’t have yarn yet, you’ll have plenty of time to grab something gorgeous and play along.

For the last Curious Handmade MKAL, Summertide, the wonderful Kristen from Skein Yarn wrote a brilliant guest post on colour combinations that I wanted to share again with you. You can find it here. There’s a lot of inspiration and wisdom in that post! Kristen also put together a few lovely combos just for Snowmelt:

Skein yarn for snowmelt mkal

You can read all about these delicious colourways over on the Skein Blog.

I designed this shawl in part to encourage stashdiving. This is the last official day of Stash Appreciation month here at Curious Handmade, after all, and while I know many of us are enjoying the excuse to buy new yarn for this project, I also know that many more have some wonderful single skeins lying around, waiting for the perfect project. Chances are there are a few hiding in your stash that could surprise you when you put them together. This MKAL is a chance to explore your stash and experiment with combinations you might not have considered. If you’re on the mailing list, you will have gotten an email with all the yarn info and tips you need to start choosing, but I’ve seen people asking for advice since then, so in case you missed it, I thought I’d repost it here.


The yarn I used for the sample is the breathtaking Magellan Speckle Fade Kit from La Bien Aimée. This is a gorgeous hand-dyed single ply superwash merino.
Sample Yarn:
La Bien Aimée; Magellan Speckle Fade Kit [100% superwash merino; 366m/400yds per 100g skein], 3 x 100g skeins,
Colourways:
Le Petit Nuage
Le Grand Nuage
The Magellanic Cloud

OR

Actual yarn used for sample in a fingering weight single ply yarn:
Light – Le Petit Nuage 80g / 293m / 320 yards
Medium – Le Grand Nuage  80g/ 293m / 320 yards
Dark – The Magellanic Cloud 75g/ 275m / 300 yards

To give you a few ideas of other ideal yarns you could use:

Curious Handmade favourite Skein does a luxurious base called “Classy” – 70% Superwash Merino, 30% Silk * 430 yards / 393 metres in 100g

The wonderful Tosh Merino Light from madelinetosh would be another excellent choice – 420 yards / 384 metres in 100g

Over at The Wool Barn, Maya’s Silky Singles base would make a perfect Snowmelt – 70% Superwash Merino 30% Silk * 400m / 436 yards / 400 metres in 100g

Lots of you want to use stash yarn, and you’re in luck! I specifically designed Snowmelt to work with three different skeins of fingering weight yarn, since I know most of us have at least a few gorgeous “orphan” skeins kicking around. Here are the hints you’ll need to choose your own yarn:

  • I used a gradient set – but that is not necessary. Aim for some contrast in colour or tone between the three yarns. The contrast in some sections is quite subtle with the yarns I used.
  • In general the shawl is simple enough that you can be more adventurous with using speckles and variegated colourways – depending on your taste of course.
  • The most significant lace section mainly uses Colour A so if you don’t like your lace in wild yarn this is the colour to have as a tonal or solid or semisolid.
  • I used a single ply but any sock yarn/fingering yarn would work just as well. You can even combine single ply and sock yarn, as long as you like the interplay of slighly different textures. If you have doubt, try knitting a little test swatch.
  •   I used 4mm circular needles.

I hope those tips give you some confidence to choose your own yarn for this project. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, let me enable you: if you grab the pattern by the end of Feb, 1st, you’ll get a special early bird price of 20% off! Happy knitting!

Snowmelt Mystery Knit Along

Helen —  January 30, 2017 — 1 Comment

snowmelt-short-banner

Melt into spring with 8 weeks of knitting, camaraderie and mystery!

It’s that moment between the last slow weeks of winter and the first sweet days of spring. There’s a gentle tension in the air as the thaw begins: the cosy joys of hibernation give way to a pleasant restlessness. Your heart stirs and the sap starts to run. This is a season of growth and change, but it begins quietly, deep in the frozen ground, before the last of the ice has even disappeared.

This time of year feels nearly miraculous. It offers a chance to renew the dreams that have slept for so long beneath a blanket of snow. The earth is preparing to surprise itself again with a wild swell of springtime creativity. It’s a call to adventure and an invitation to stretch our own creative powers. It’s time to uncover what this fresh new season has in store.

The Snowmelt Shawl Mystery Knit-Along is all about setting aside some time to nourish our creativity together. The design unfolds at a gentle pace, week by week, as each clue is released, ending with a stunning new accessory to treasure through many seasons. This shawl is a tribute to the slow process and deep satisfaction of creating something beautiful.

Snowmelt captures the romantic style with a contemporary edge that knitters have come to expect from Curious Handmade designs. Stretches of satisfying texture and simple, effective lace make this a deeply engaging pattern that will surprise you and keep you guessing as you move through the clues. It’s approachable for adventurous beginners but interesting enough to delight veteran shawl knitters. No matter where you’re starting from, this MKAL is the perfect way to celebrate the unfolding of a new season and the fresh energy of growth and discovery.

The pattern
When you purchase this pattern you will receive a download that is an introduction to the pattern until the first clue is released.

PURCHASE THE SNOWMELT SHAWL MKAL HERE

The Snowmelt Shawl is written in the Curious Handmade Percentage Checklist Pattern™ style so you can keep track of stitch counts, yardage requirements and pace yourself throughout the KAL. The lace sections are charted.

MKAL Schedule
Mark 2 February in your diary for the first clue.
Until then, sign up to my Curious Handmade newsletter for lots of tips for getting prepared and selecting the perfect yarn.

Clue #1: Thursday 2 February
Clue #2: Thursday 9 February
Clue #3: Thursday 16 February
Clue #4: Thursday 23 February
Clue #5: Thursday 2 March

and the KAL will run until the end of March so that you’ll have plenty of time to finish!

Yarn choice and needles
Choose 3 skeins of 100g skeins of fingering/ sock yarn, approximately 366m/400yds each.

Sample used:
La Bien Aimee; Magellan Speckle Fade Kit 100% superwash merino; 366m/400yds per 100g skein, 3 x 100g skeins,
Colourways:
Le Petit Nuage
Le Grand Nuage
The Magellanic Cloud

OR
Actual yarn amounts used for sample in a fingering weight single ply yarn:
Colour A: Light – Le Petit Nuage 80g / 293m/320 yards
Colour B: Medium – Le Grand Nuage 80g/ 293m/320 yards
Colour C: Dark – The Magellanic Cloud Dark 75g/ 275m/300 yards

4mm (US 6), 100 cm long circular needles or needles to get gauge

Gauge
20 sts/32 rows = 10cm (4”) in stockinette stitch after blocking

While exact gauge is not critical, be aware you may use more yarn if you knit at a looser gauge than the pattern and allow for extra yarn.

Join the Adventure
Join in here if you want to join in the chatter in Curious Handmade community to share progress, chat and ask questions.

The joy of a mystery KAL is the surprise!
Please post only the Snowmelt MKAL picture as the first one on your project page, or if you prefer – a picture of your yarn. This helps keep the pattern a mystery until others have knit it.
There will be spoiler threads set up in the group and clearly marked for each clue. Please only post progress pictures there and keep the chatter thread image free for those who love a good surprise.

Play

Curious Handmade Knitting Podcast Episode 157

Today I’m looking back on the way my stash has grown and changed as my skills and tastes as a knitter have evolved, as well as keeping you up to date on all my KAL news.

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 Northbound Knitting, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Curious Handmade KAL News:

We have two active Curious Handmade KALs going at the moment. The deadline for both is the 31st of January, so get those posts in!

Vintage Fairy Light KAL

WIPs, FOs and even chat will qualify you for this draw! Modifications to the pattern are welcome. The prize is very special: a skein of the limited edition Hedgerow Yarns colourway created for the Christmas Eve Cast-On Kits!

Knitvent KAL

A photo of an FO from any pattern from any year’s Knitvent collection will qualify you for the draw, as long as you began knitting it in November or later. There are two prizes, TBD!

The Snowmelt MKAL is now on sale at an Early Bird Price!

Melt into spring with 8 weeks of knitting, camaraderie and mystery!

It’s that moment between the last slow weeks of winter and the first sweet days of spring. There’s a gentle tension in the air as the thaw begins: the cosy joys of hibernation give way to a pleasant restlessness. Your heart stirs and the sap starts to run. This is a season of growth and change, but it begins quietly, deep in the frozen ground, before the last of the ice has even disappeared.

This time of year feels nearly miraculous. It offers a chance to renew the dreams that have slept for so long beneath a blanket of snow. The earth is preparing to surprise itself again with a wild swell of springtime creativity. It’s a call to adventure and an invitation to stretch our own creative powers. It’s time to uncover what this fresh new season has in store.

You can get all my Snowmelt MKAL news and tips in the lead up when you sign up for my newsletter through the Spindrift Shawl workshop (link in sidebar) or at the bottom of this post, if you don’t want the workshop.

The first clue will be released Thursday Feb. 2nd!

The Not Seen Before MKAL is now on sale.

This MKAL is to benefit the Sight is Life project, which raises money for sight-saving operations in Congo. I spoke to Kristina Vilimaite about the project on the podcast not long ago. The MKAL will feature clues from 7 designers, including me!

The pattern has been released for presale, and the first clue will come out on January 31s. You can also get it by purchasing the Sight is Life eBook. Learn more in the Sight is Life Ravelry Group

Show Links:

Loop

Misti Alpaca

Radiance Shawl

Brooklyn Tweed

Knit British

FiberTrek video podcast

Zero Waste book

Handmade and Woolen video podcast

Clara Parkes The Yarn Whisperer book

My interview with Clara Parkes

Hole and Sons Instagram

My interview with Ben Hole from Hole and Sons

Angelus Novus Cardigan

Blacker Yarn St. Kilda Mini Skein Set

Pebble Beach Shawl

Magic Knot (double knot) how-to video

Blacker Yarn is hosting the BlackerPod KAL!

Here are the details direct from Blacker Yarn:

To celebrate the Blacker Yarns Podcast Lounge at Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 we are delighted to announce a C/KAL. If you are making the trip to Edinburgh in March – or even if you can’t, but wish you could – let’s knit together and ramp up that festival excitement.
Details

  • The BlackerPod KAL casts on on the 19th January and casts off on 4th March.
  • You can knit or crochet any design you like, but you must use yarn from Blacker *
  • This C/KAL is open to everyone (whether you can make Edinburgh Yarn Festival or not)
  • Use this thread to chatter about your pattern choices and yarn choices and post pictures of your WIPs
  • There will be a meet up at Edinburgh Yarn Festival. (date and time tba) If you are going to EYF and you wear your FO in 100% Blacker Yarns you will get a discount on the stall as a prize.
  • For those who cannot make it to EYF we will have a FOMO FO thread (fear of missing out finished objects) and there will be a random prize draw after EYF

Also use hashtag #blackerpodkal when you chat online and use blackerpodkal to tag your rav projects

Here are some designs I’ve created in Blacker yarns that you might like to use for the KAL:

Quill Shawl (knit in Blacker Tamar DK weight)

Whispering Island Shawl (knit in Blacker Shetland DK)

Juniper Socks (knit in Blacker Tamar DK weight)

Kindling Hat (knit in Blacker Blue Faced Leister or Blacker West Country Tweed)

Kindling Mitts (knit in Blacker Blue Faced Leister or Blacker West Country Tweed)

You can also get your hands on some Blacker yarn from these stockists:

Meadow Yarn stocks Blacker Tamar in the fingering weight

Suffolk Socks stocks Blacker Tamar in the fingering weight

And in the US The Woolly Thistle stocks Blacker.
The Yarn in The City Podcast is fielding a team for the KAL. I have too much on at the moment to head up a team myself, but I’ll be playing along with my rainbow Pebble Beach!

That’s all for this week! Thanks so much for listening. Happy knitting until next time.

Subscribe to the Curious Handmade mailing list

If you don’t wish to sign up for the Spindrift Shawl pattern and workshop (link in the sidebar) and just want my regular updates sign up here:



Play

ch-156
This week I’m talking about appreciating my stash by using it!

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 Northbound Knitting, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links:

Suffolk Socks Sassy Sock

KAL news:

We have a bunch of KALs going on or about to begin in the Curious Handmade world

We have two active KALs going on just now. The deadline for both is the 31st of January!

Vintage Fairy Light KAL

WIPs, FOs and even chat will qualify you for this draw! Modifications to the pattern are welcome! The prize is very special: a skein of the limited edition Hedgerow Yarns colourway created for the Christmas Eve Cast-On Kits!

Knitvent KAL

A photo of an FO from any pattern from any year’s Knitvent collection will qualify you for the draw, as long as you began knitting it in November or later. There are two prizes, TBD!

Snowmelt MKAL

There is a Mystery Knitalong on the way from Curious Handmade.

Snowmelt MKAL goes on sale Monday January 23rd!

Melt into spring with 8 weeks of knitting, camaraderie and mystery!

It’s that moment between the last slow weeks of winter and the first sweet days of spring. There’s a gentle tension in the air as the thaw begins: the cosy joys of hibernation give way to a pleasant restlessness. Your heart stirs and the sap starts to run. This is a season of growth and change, but it begins quietly, deep in the frozen ground, before the last of the ice has even disappeared.

This time of year feels nearly miraculous. It offers a chance to renew the dreams that have slept for so long beneath a blanket of snow. The earth is preparing to surprise itself again with a wild swell of springtime creativity. It’s a call to adventure and an invitation to stretch our own creative powers. It’s time to uncover what this fresh new season has in store.

Sign up for my newsletter here to get all my Snowmelt MKAL news and tips in the lead up!

The Not Seen Before MKAL has just gone on sale.

This MKAL is to benefit the Sight is Life project, which raises money for sight-saving operations in Congo. I spoke to Kristina Vilimaite about the project on the podcast not long ago. The MKAL will feature clues from 7 designers, including me!

The pattern has just been released for presale, and the first clue will come out on January 31s. You can also get it by purchasing the Sight is Life eBook. Learn more in the Sight is Life Ravelry Group

This time of year brings so many tempting KALs, and right now sock KALs are stealing my attention. There are two I want to take part in:

Box O’ Sox KAL, hosted by the Yarngasm Podcast This is a year-long KAL. Check out the lively hashtag #boxosoxkal2017 on Instagram!

Sock Bash KAL hosted by The Grocery Girls Podcast. This is also a year-long KAL but goes month by month as well, so you can dip in and out as you like. #sockbash2017

That will do us for this week! Thanks so much, and I’ll see you soon. Happy knitting!

Play

ch-155

On this episode I talk about the importance of keeping your stash safe from Evil Moth Invaders, with some helpful tips and advice for dealing with this dreaded pest. I also round up some KALs going on right now and some that are just around the corner!

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 Northbound Knitting, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links:

Michelle Wang’s Video Podcast

Holmes Wrap

mYak Yarn

UC IPM Clothes Moth Management Guide

Zen of Making Clothes Moths: How To Save Your Yarn Stash, Fabric, Wardrobe and Sanity During and Infestation

KAL News:

I’m excited to start the Box O’ Sox KAL, hosted by the Yarngasm Podcast

We have two active Curious Handmade KALs going at the moment. The deadline for both is the 31st of January!

Vintage Fairy Light KAL

WIPs, FOs and even chat will qualify you for this draw! Modifications to the pattern are welcome! The prize is very special: a skein of the limited edition Hedgerow Yarns colourway created for the Christmas Eve Cast-On Kits!

Knitvent KAL

A photo of an FO from any pattern from any year’s Knitvent collection will qualify you for the draw, as long as you began knitting it in November or later. There are two prizes, TBD!

Mystery KAL coming soon!

There is a Mystery Knitalong on the way from Curious Handmade…for more details make sure that you’re signed up to our mailing list.(You’ll even get a free shawl pattern as a bonus when you sign up!) In the meantime, have a peek at the Summertide Shawl MKAL we did together in 2015. It will give you a good idea of what to expect

The Not Seen Before MKAL is starting soon.

This MKAL is to benefit the Sight is Life project, which raises money for sight-saving operations in Congo. I spoke to Kristina Vilimaite about the project on the podcast not long ago. The MKAL will feature clues from 7 designers, including me! The pattern hasn’t been released yet, but you can get it by purchasing the Sight is Life eBook. The pattern will also be released individually. Learn more in the Sight is Life Ravelry Group

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

Subscribe to the Curious Handmade mailing list

If you don’t wish to sign up for the Spindrift Shawl pattern and workshop (link in the sidebar) and just want my regular updates sign up here:



Play

Happy New Year! Chatting about my word for the year, stash appreciation and a review of last year’s projects.

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 Northbound Knitting, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links:

 

Vintage Fairy Lights Socks Pattern

Little Bobbins Knits Podcast

Hedgerow Yarns

Knitaid