Archives For January 2020

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Show Sponsors

Alongside an eclectic yarn range, which includes Hazel Knits, Icelandic Lopi & CoopKnits, we stock a carefully chosen selection of needles and notions. We’ve also recently launched ‘hand dyed by meadowyarn’, our very own in-house, hand-dyed yarn range. Working in our tiny dye studio, nestled in the Suffolk countryside, we are able to indulge our love of colour, producing complex tonal, kettle-dyed shades across a range of weights and bases. With regular updates our collections evolve and grow, inspired by the landscape and people around us.

Find all your favourite luxury yarns and discover plenty more at A Yarn Story, Bath’s premier yarn store based in Walcot Street, Bath, UK. From gorgeous skeins by The Fibre Co and Walcot Yarns to a fine selection from Shibui Knits, La Bien Aimée, House of a la Mode, and Julie Asselin, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. With friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you browse, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. Visit the store at Walcot Street, Bath or shop online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk.

The kids have made it back to school, our charity auction for those affected by the Australian bush fires is underway, and I’m starting to pick out my dream projects for our #knit20for2020 challenge. It’s pretty exciting to consider all the possibilities, and I’m feeling very inspired. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things we’ll knit together this year!

Show Links

KAL News

All the 2019 Curious Handmade KALs are ending this Friday the 31st, so add your FO photos to the Ravelry thread for a chance to win a lovely yarny prize.

A couple of housekeeping notes to keep things tidy:

  • Make sure you create a Ravelry project page for any design you’ll be entering!
  • For the individual shawl and sock threads, you can post one photo per completed project. So for example, if you knit two Sea Gleam Shawls or two pairs of Sailing School Socks, you can post each one separately for a chance to win.
  • For the Grand KAL Threads, please make one post per collection. You can use a collage type photo or photos of each finished object, but put them all into one post.
  • For the Knitvent 2019 FO Thread, you can make one post per finished item, however many you knitted from the collection. So one post for the Homebody Socks, another for the Habitation Throw, etc. 
  • Remember that these are no-chat threads (to make drawing winners easier) so you should also post the same photo over in the chat threads so we can admire it out loud!

The Shawl Society Season 4:

The Handmade Sock Society Season 2:

Knitvent 2019:

I will use a random number generator to draw a winner from each of the following threads on January 31st, 2020

Destash Auction to Benefit Bushfire Relief

I am currently holding my destash auction on Instagram. There is a separate post for each lot, and people can enter their bids in the comments. We’re working across a lot of time zones, so I’ve done my best to choose a time that will work for most people.

LA: 2pm Saturday 1st Feb
New York: 5pm Saturday 1st Feb
London: 10pm Saturday 1st Feb
Brisbane: 8am Sunday 2nd Feb
Sydney: 9am Sunday 2nd Feb
NZ: 11am Sunday 2nd Feb

I will cover shipping internationally as part of my contribution and will divide all sums raised between these three charity efforts:

Go Fund Me for First Nations Communities of Australia Affected by Bushfires

The Australian Red Cross

The Nature Foundation in South Australia

Other things I talked about:

Sama Wrap by Renée Callahan

Exploration Station by Stephen West

Clio Pullover by Elizabeth Doherty

Terracotta Socks

Show transcript:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 281. This podcast is all about crafting a life of happiness and creativity. I’m your host Helen and you can find me on Ravelry as HellsBells and on social media as Curious Handmade. You can also find full show notes on my website at curioushandmade.com.

Hello, and welcome to the show. I hope you’ve been having a good week. I’ve been having a pretty crazy week, just for something different. Managed to get the kids back to school. It’s a shorter week than normal with the bank holiday or public holiday we had on Monday here, in Australia. So, it’s been a short and sharp week. I am still setting up my office/studio and I’ve made quite a bit of progress on that this week. Although it’s still puzzle stuff everywhere that I need to sort through, I did manage to get my Ikea shelves together, so some things could be put away.

So, that was good. Slightly less stuff on the floor, but still quite a lot of things to sort through. The pile is not really going down, because now my mom has realized I have the space. She keeps bringing boxes over, that are just appearing and she’s hiding them amongst the other boxes that are there. No, she’s not really, but I’m not really getting to the bottom of things just yet.

So, I will have lots of yarn going out of the stash in the next week, because I have chosen 15 skeins for prizes, for all the knit-alongs. Basically, all the knit-alongs we had for all of last year, we will be drawing prizes for on Monday. So, you still have this weekend to post. I won’t close off the Finished Object threads in Ravelry until the end of the weekend or Monday. Yeah, so we have individual threads for each sock for the Handmade Sock Society as well as threads for each shawl for the Shawl Society from last year.

We also have a grand prize for Knitvent and a grand prize if you’ve knit all six socks from the Handmade Sock Society as well as a thread if you knit at least five or six shawls from the Shawl Society. It’s going to be a Prize-a-Palooza and I will find a cute project bag for the grand prizes as well to send the winners. They are going to be drawn at random from the Finished Object threads. So, post your projects in there before the end of this weekend.

We also have the destash auction happening right now for three charities I’ve chosen, for the bushfire relief effort happening here in Australia. And, of course the rehabilitation of people’s lives, people houses and the native Bush where lots of animals have lost their homes, will be continuing for many years to come. But, I have chosen three charities that I will split the proceeds between. One is the Australian Red Cross, one is the GoFundMe for First Nations Communities of Australia, and the third one is the Nature Foundation in South Australia.

I chose the Red Cross, because they’re doing amazing work for people across Australia and I just feel like they’re well-organized, and they are posting lots of updates on how they’re distributing the funds and what they’re doing with the money. So, I really like that. The First Nations Communities GoFundMe, I think is a wonderful initiative for Indigenous Australians, just to make sure that their needs are met through this particular fund. I chose the Nature Foundation in South Australia, because I think some of the New South Wales and Victorian charities are probably getting more publicity and more donations.

So, I just basically went online and found a charity that was in a different area and I really liked the sound of what they’re aiming to do. They said the objective is to help the wildlife recover from the devastating Bush fires in South Australia. While many community groups have mobilized to provide an immediate response to caring for injured wildlife, the Wildlife Recovery Fund will be used to re-establish habitat, particularly for threatened and vulnerable species.

The donations will go to local landowners, farmers and community groups in fire affected regions to urgently assist natural regeneration through activities, and just to give the threatened animal and plant life the best chance of recovery. Also, some funds towards fire-devastated national parks, particularly on Kangaroo Island, which is a really special area for nature.

So yeah, that’s what I’ve chosen and we have the auction happening at the moment. I posted, I think 13 lots on Instagram last night and already people have bid very generously. I’m so happy that people are getting into the spirit of it. If I have time today, I might try and add a couple of lots. I still have more yarn that I can add into it. I just ran out of time last night to do it. Yeah, so I’ll see if I can add a little bit more, and because I’m just really enjoying the fact that we can raise some money for these amazing charities, and I can contribute in a small way with your help and support. So, that’s really wonderful.

I am going to pay for postage internationally. And then, at the end of the auction which ends 10:00 p.m. UK time on Saturday, i.e., tomorrow, then I will contact the highest bidders for each lot and request payment, and then post out the parcels next week. So, hopefully that can all go smoothly. In the meantime, thank you so much for your support with that.

I’m also excited that I now have my printable and posts ready for Instagram, for the Curious Handmade Knit 20 for 2020. This is a fun knitting challenge that I’m going to be participating in this year, and hopefully other people will join in with me. I have a list of 20 prompts. Some of them are particular techniques, some of them are particular items such as cardigan or socks. And then, other prompts to do with the type of yarn like using deep stash or non-superwash yarn, and just some other fun random things that occurred to me like doing a scrappy project or an epic or bucket list project.

Yeah, so I’ll post that on my website as well as on Instagram. So, if anybody wants to use the template and use the same prompts that I’ve suggested or perhaps substitute in ones of your own that you’d like to do this year, that’s fine too. I’ve left space on the printable for people to write in either what they’re thinking about doing for that prompt, or what they end up doing for the prompt. I’m hoping that at the end of the year we can post these lists with quite full lines. It’s designed so that you can either knit 20 items using one item per prompt or you could knit less items and cover different prompts with one item.

So for example, I’m thinking about knitting a shawl with brioche and possibly color work. I was looking at, Renée Callahan has a gorgeous new shawl she’s just published called Sama and that is actually available right now for a discounted price if you’re a subscriber to her newsletter. So, if you go to the Sama pattern page on Ravelry, it does have the details of that and a link to her newsletter. That’s good from 16th of January to the 3rd of February. So, there’s still a couple of days for that discount if you like this pattern and it’s a gorgeous Brioche rectangular wrap. She said it’s named for a lost but never forgotten friend. Sama is a brioche and garter stitch, rectangular wrap that is big enough to keep you warm all winter and elegant enough to be draped over your shoulders on a glamorous evening out. She’s knit her sample in La Bien Aimée Merino Singles, in Winterfell, which is one of my favorite La Bien Aimée colors, and Dusk.

It’s a really striking wrap and I was thinking I might attempt this for my brioche prompt in my knitting challenge. But, I contacted Renée and said, “Would it be a good brioche beginner project? She said, “Maybe you don’t want to do this for your first brioche project.” Although she said, “If you really want to, you can.” Obviously, if we are determined enough we can do anything, but I am thinking I might look for an easier first brioche pattern just so that I don’t get discouraged and give up on it.

I have been eyeing off Exploration Station by Stephen West for the longest time and this would cover short rows, brioche, and a shawl. It could probably even be a scrappy project as well. Yeah, so I’m thinking about that one. It is a lot of knitting in that though, so I’m wondering if I might do a smaller project like a cowl for my brioche project. So, if anyone has any suggestions for something simple brioche, a cowl or slightly smaller project, perhaps a hat, I don’t know. I haven’t done brioche before, so I just want to get into the rhythm of doing fairly straightforward to color brioche, without too much in the way of increasing and decreasing and patterns. Basically, don’t want to have to think too much about it. I just want to practice the stitch.

So yes, that’s what I’m thinking about. Although, I am not allowed to start that until I’ve finished my WIP, i.e., my Clio pullover by Elizabeth Doherty. I have not found time this week to even pick up the sleeve stitches, which is I think my next step for that project. I have been way too crazy this week with getting kids back to school to do that, but it hasn’t stopped me from fantasizing about future projects.

So yeah, that’s where I’m at with my knitting. I’ve been doing a few stitches on my terracotta socks by Woolfield Studio. So, that’s at least been something I can work on without having to think and just easy to pick up and put down, which is good because swimming’s started again. So, I am having to go and sit by the pool for periods of time and things like that. So yes, a nice little sock project is perfect for those situations.

That’s about all I have for you this week. Thank you to everybody supporting my destash auction on Instagram. If you have participated in the Handmade Sock Society, the Shawl Society, or Knitvent last year, please don’t forget to post your finished objects in the threads this weekend, to be in draw for some lovely yarn prizes.

I have had quite a few questions asking me if the Handmade Sock Society is happening again this year. Yes, it is. It’ll be starting soon. I have been pushing the date back a little bit the last couple of weeks as I have been a bit overwhelmed by life and things, but it is coming and it is coming very soon. I am working towards getting it up and running in February, so very soon. Well that’s all from me. Have a fantastic week. Happy knitting and I’ll talk to you soon.

Play

Show Sponsors

Alongside an eclectic yarn range, which includes Hazel Knits, Icelandic Lopi & CoopKnits, we stock a carefully chosen selection of needles and notions. We’ve also recently launched ‘hand dyed by meadowyarn’, our very own in-house, hand-dyed yarn range. Working in our tiny dye studio, nestled in the Suffolk countryside, we are able to indulge our love of colour, producing complex tonal, kettle-dyed shades across a range of weights and bases. With regular updates our collections evolve and grow, inspired by the landscape and people around us.

Find all your favourite luxury yarns and discover plenty more at A Yarn Story, Bath’s premier yarn store based in Walcot Street, Bath, UK. From gorgeous skeins by The Fibre Co and Walcot Yarns to a fine selection from Shibui Knits, La Bien Aimée, House of a la Mode, and Julie Asselin, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. With friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you browse, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. Visit the store at Walcot Street, Bath or shop online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk.

A haberdashery cupboard filled with yarn

It’s another slightly tardy podcast as we prepare for the start of a new school year here in Australia! But I have news about the prizes for our Curious Handmade KALs from last year (The Handmade Sock Society 2, The Shawl Society 4, and Knitvent 2019) as well as some specifics about how my destash charity auctions for Australian Bushfire relief will work. And last but not least, my new word for the year.

Show Links

KAL News

All the 2019 Curious Handmade KALs are ending this Friday the 31st, so add your FO photos to the Ravelry thread for a chance to win a lovely yarny prize.

A couple of housekeeping notes to keep things tidy:

  • Make sure you create a Ravelry project page for any design you’ll be entering!
  • For the individual shawl and sock threads, you can post one photo per completed project. So for example, if you knit two Sea Gleam Shawls or two pairs of Sailing School Socks, you can post each one separately for a chance to win.
  • For the Grand KAL Threads, please make one post per collection. You can use a collage type photo or photos of each finished object, but put them all into one post.
  • For the Knitvent 2019 FO Thread, you can make one post per finished item, however many you knitted from the collection. So one post for the Homebody Socks, another for the Habitation Throw, etc. 
  • Remember that these are no-chat threads (to make drawing winners easier) so you should also post the same photo over in the chat threads so we can admire it out loud!

The Shawl Society Season 4:

The Handmade Sock Society Season 2:

Knitvent 2019:

I will use a random number generator to draw a winner from each of the following threads on January 31st, 2020

Destash Auction to Benefit Bushfire Relief

I am going to be holding my destash auction on Instagram. There will be a post for each lot, and people can enter their bids in the comments. We’re working across a lot of time zones, so I’ve done my best to choose a time that will work for most people. In UK time: the listings will go up on Thursday and bidding will be open until Saturday February 1st at 10pm

I will cover shipping internationally as part of my contribution.

Other things I talked about:

Woolfield Studio on Instagram

Join the Sockvent KAL in the Woolfield Studio Ravelry Group

Terracotta Socks

Birch Hollow Fibers on Instagram

Show transcript:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade Podcast. You’re listening to episode 280. This podcast is all about crafting a life of happiness and creativity. I’m your host, Helen, and you can find me on Ravelry as Hells Bells and on social media as Curious Handmade. You can also find full show notes and transcript on my website at curioushandmade.com.

Hello and welcome to the show. I hope you’re having a good week. As you can probably tell, this podcast is late again this week. Kids are still not back at school, but we are in the last week of holidays and I am just working on getting things ready, finding school bags, making sure that there are enough socks, and exciting things like that.

So apologies again for a late publishing of the podcast and also as a result, this will probably be a pretty short and sweet episode. But I have a few announcements and reminders, so I wanted to record and not skip the whole week.

This week I’ve been really trying hard to set up my office and studio. I wanted everything ready for when the kids went back to school so that I could hit the ground running, finally, and get back into work in designing and podcasting on time and things like that. But yeah, I just struggled a little bit.

I had ordered a KALLAX, which is the Ikea cube shelves for my office because after I’d got lots of stuff out of boxes and was starting to organize things, I had piles and piles of stuff on the floor. I just realized that I needed more storage, even if it’s temporary while I’m de-stashing. I’ve just got tons of books and lots of things that I can’t get rid of straight away, even though eventually I would like to pare things down a lot.

But I just find that these things take time and I’m not there yet. So I decided to be realistic. I ordered some shelves. They were meant to arrive on Monday and Ikea delivered two number one boxes instead of a number one and a number two, because it came in two boxes, and so we got halfway through constructing it and realized that I didn’t have the right pieces.

Rang Ikea, they said they would deliver it on Wednesday. Wednesday came and went, so I rang them again and they said the picker didn’t pick it off the shelf. So they rescheduled for Friday.

Friday came and went and I rang them again. They said that the picker had picked it but it hadn’t managed to make its way onto a truck for delivery. So it was rescheduled for Saturday, a whole week after I started the process. Meanwhile just had a half built shelves in the office, which just did not do very much for my mental state and it was very distracting all week. That was a real pain.

Anyway, finally got it delivered and shelves put together and with it very quickly I could get myself fairly organized. Unpacked a few more boxes and things like that. But yeah, that was really, really distracting for the week. I know it’s first world problems, but still.

Eventually I was able to go through some stash and I have chosen prizes for the knit alongs that we have had going from last year. The cut off date for the knit alongs is the end of January, so 31st of January. We have a knit along for The Shawl Society and that is I’m going to do a prize draw from each individual shawl thread as well as the overall thread. And for The Shawl Society, if you post five or six shawls, if you’ve knit five or six shawls from the last year’s shawl society, you can go in the grand prize draw.

And similarly for The Handmade Sock Society, I will do a prize draw from each individual sock, finished object thread in Reverie as well as the overall thread where people can put a compilation. For the socks I’ve made it you have to have knit all six. I figured with the shawls they’re a bit more of a commitment, so I am letting people enter if they’ve knit five shawls. But for the socks you have to have knit all six for the grand prize.

And then for Knitvent we just have one thread for Knitvent. So anyone who’s knit anything from Knitvent 2019, can post in the finished objects thread and there will be a prize for that as well, a grand prize.

So overall that makes six shawls finish object threads, six socks, and three grand prizes for Knitvent, shawl society, and handmade sock society, which has 15 prizes.

So just be sure if you finish something to post a project page and link to it in the finished object thread to be in the running for a prize draw.

All the prizes are a skein of fingering weight yarn and for the grand prizes I will also add in a project bag and probably some stitch markers as well. These are all things from my stash as part of my de-stashing efforts, or just really lovely, beautiful skeins and bags that I’ve collected over the years. Whenever I go to a yarn festival I’m always very tempted by the beautiful things on offer and so usually purchase way too many things than I can actually use or need. So I’m very happy to offer them as prizes for the knit alongs.

We will draw those after the 31st. On the 1st or 2nd of February and announce winners in the newsletter and podcast that follows that, which is probably next week’s podcast. I think. I have a vague idea of what day it is because I have to be conscious of what day to get the kids back to school. But I’ve been pretty hazy on which day of the week and what date it is for a while.

The other project that is happening is I am planning a big de-stash and the proceeds of that are going to go to fire relief charities to help out people and animals affected by the major Bush fires that have been happening here in Australia for several months now. And so again, I went through my stash and have pulled out a small fraction of it to donate to the de-stash. I am going to do this on Instagram and it’s going to be an auction style event.

I’ll have, I think, about 12 bundles of yarn. Some will be single skeins, some will be twos, some will be sets of three or four skeins. I’m going to have individual posts for each of those. People can bid in the comments. It’s going to happen this week and it’s going to happen Australia time, Friday morning to Sunday morning, but the rest of the world is going to be Thursday to Saturday. Well, Australia and New Zealand is going to be Friday to Sunday. I’ve worked at dates. I spent some time playing around with different times because I figure that if it’s going to be an auction style event, we want a clear finishing time so that people can get in any last bids that they want to and they know when it’s going to be cut off.

I worked out that if I make it say UK time, 10:00 PM, finishing on 10:00 PM Saturday night, which is 8:00 PM Queensland time, and I think, I can’t remember New South Wales. Queensland is on a different time zone to New South Wales., IE Sydney and Victoria. We’re a bit out of sync up here in Queensland.

Anyway, but I figured it’s going to be Sunday morning in Australia, basically, Sunday morning in New Zealand, Saturday night in the UK and Saturday during the day in the US, and Saturday night in Europe as well, but slightly later than the UK. I think that’s the best I can do so that people in both Australia, Europe, and the UK are awake. It might be a little bit late for people in Europe and a little bit early for Australians on a Sunday morning, but I think that’s a pretty good time for everything to finish up.

It will kick off on Thursday, or Friday morning if you’re in Australia, and finish Saturday afternoon, Saturday night, or Sunday morning, depending on where you.

Anyway, I’m going to publish all this on an explanation post on Instagram as well as on my website just to try and make it all clear. But basically while the auctions running you can just make a bid. You just find the last bit in the comments and if you want a bid, make a higher bid. I can’t think of any other roles at the moment.

I am going to pay for the postage as my contribution as well as contributing the yarn. I’ll pay the postage. I think I’ll make the prices in US dollars just to have something that most people are familiar with rather than have it in Australian dollars. It might be a bit confusing as most people either operate in pounds or US dollars, I suppose. I’ve just decided on US dollars as something probably hopefully the most familiar. It’s going to be international and all the proceeds are going to go to various charities for fire relief for the bushfires here in Australia.

With all of my organizing and planning and unpacking, I haven’t done a lot of knitting, but I have done some. I’ve been knitting some socks. I’m not sure if you saw it on Instagram in December, but I participated in Sockvent, which was a really fun lead up to Christmas and organized by Warfield Studio. She has organized this for the second year in a row now. This year was much bigger than the year before.

I contributed a pattern for the Sockvent and there was, I think, 18 of us and we each put a pattern up in the days leading up to December the 24th, with 40% discount off that pattern for the day.

Now there is a knit along with all the patterns from the Sockvent that all the designers contributed and that’s being hosted on Nicole Warfield Studios Reverie group.

I cast on the terracotta socks by Woolfield Studio, Nicole, for my Christmas Eve cast on and I haven’t even had time to take a photo of them or post it on Instagram, whether it really happened or not.

Anyway, I’ve been knitting away on those. Really enjoying them. It’s a super simple design but really cute. I’ve been using some gorgeous yarn that I had in my stash from Birch Hollow Fibers and it’s a really gorgeous, yellowy, creamy base with some beautiful pinky speckles through it. Very subtle, very beautiful. Birch Hollow Fibers sock yarn.

I finished the first sock quite quickly. I think I finished that before, in the between Christmas and New Year’s week and I’ve just gradually been working away on the second sock. So there’s been some lovely knitting and I do have on my list to take a nice photo of it and post it in the knit along and on Instagram. Haven’t quite got there. But that’s about the extent of my knitting, but I have been doing some. It has been quite comforting to just knit a very simple pair of socks.

The other thing I’ve been thinking about is my word for the year. I have been choosing a word for the year for a while. Last year my word was intentional and it was pretty good word. I did use it as a touchstone for making decisions and just keeping myself calm through lots of upheaval and packing and change and making lots and lots of decisions about random things. So, intentional was my word last year.

This year my word is healing and it applies to both physical, mental, and emotional. I was quite stressed by the end of last year, so I need to calm down and work out ways to de-stress and really heal my nervous system, my cortisol levels, and things like that. Also physically I could do with some stretching, some fitness work, dealing with aches and pains, like my RSI, instead of just ignoring it and pretending I don’t have a painful wrist. Just concentrate on my health in a really deep way. So that’s my word for the year is healing.

Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll be a little bit healthier, feeling more energetic, and feeling really good. That’s the goal with that word of the year.

I think if I’ve had a particularly good word the year before, I also keep that one in mind as well. So I had a good word with intentional and also a couple of years ago I had the word ease. I might bring back ease as well because I think that will go nicely with healing and being intentional about things.

As always, I love to hear if you’ve chosen a word for the year and what that is. I’m always looking for ideas and very interested and curious about what other people have chosen for their theme or word for the year.

That’s all I have for you this week. Don’t forget to post any finished projects you have for last yeah’s sock society, last year’s shawl society, or Knitvent in the finished object threads in Ravelry to be in the draw for some lovely prizes and look out for them being announced in the next show.

As well as I’d really appreciate it if you either participate or share about the de-stash I’m doing this week for the bushfire relief. Thanks so much for tuning in and sharing this time with me. I hope you have a fantastic week and I’ll talk to you again soon. Happy knitting.

Play

Show Sponsors

Alongside an eclectic yarn range, which includes Hazel Knits, Icelandic Lopi & CoopKnits, we stock a carefully chosen selection of needles and notions. We’ve also recently launched ‘hand dyed by meadowyarn’, our very own in-house, hand-dyed yarn range. Working in our tiny dye studio, nestled in the Suffolk countryside, we are able to indulge our love of colour, producing complex tonal, kettle-dyed shades across a range of weights and bases. With regular updates our collections evolve and grow, inspired by the landscape and people around us.

Find all your favourite luxury yarns and discover plenty more at A Yarn Story, Bath’s premier yarn store based in Walcot Street, Bath, UK. From gorgeous skeins by The Fibre Co and Walcot Yarns to a fine selection from Shibui Knits, La Bien Aimée, House of a la Mode, and Julie Asselin, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. With friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you browse, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. Visit the store at Walcot Street, Bath or shop online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk.

Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade sits in an armchair by a window, knitting a sweater.

It’s the first podcast of 2020! Today I’m talking about embarking on a big destash to aid Australian bushfire fundraising. I also have news about my design plans for the upcoming year, and a fun little challenge we can all do together to nourish our creativity and stretch our knitting skills in 2020.

Show Links

Go Fund Me for First Nations Communities of Australia Affected by Bushfires

The Happier Podcast

The Literary Life Podcast

#20for2020reads

Use the hashtag #Knit20for2020 to join the challenge

Clio Pullover by Elizabeth Doherty

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade Podcast. You’re listening to Episode 279. This podcast is all about crafting a life of happiness and creativity. I’m Your host, Helen, and you can find me on Ravelry as HellsBells and on social media as Curious Handmade. You can also find full show notes on my website at curioushandmade.com.

Hello and happy new year. This is the first Curious Handmade show for 2020 and I’m happy to be back chatting with you. It’s pretty busy here still because school doesn’t go back from our long summer holiday here in Australia until the end of January, so we’re having our summer holiday and it’s pretty busy with the kids trying to keep them entertained, bit of a challenge to get any work done. I’m happy to have a short window to record. They’ve gone out to jump on trampolines at the Big Boing, so I’m snatching a few minutes to record an episode. It was meant to be published on Friday a few days ago, but I’m just doing my best at the moment.

I have a new office and studio so I’ve been spending a bit of time trying to set that up and get organized. I’m unpacking yarn and trying to organize that into some kind of order and yeah, that’s a bit of a challenge. I have way too much. I’ve talked about this quite a bit in the past about how I want to do a destash of my yarn. Last year was crazy busy. It was really hectic with moving countries and still keeping up a design and podcasting schedule as well as quite a few trips. So I didn’t manage to destash at all. Last year I did kind of declutter most of the house before we moved so I was pretty happy about that but the yarn was the one thing that I either couldn’t or didn’t do before we left. But now I’m thinking maybe there’s a nice opportunity here.

If you’ve been listening to the news or seen any social media, you will be aware of the terrible bushfires we’ve been experiencing here in Australia. There’s been a huge amount of fundraising happening and I thought what I could do is to destash some yarn and donate the proceeds to some charities to support bushfire charity work that’s happening at the moment.

I was thinking about donating pattern sales and things like that, but I thought it might be nice to send this yarn to people who can use it and also donate the proceeds as well. I’ll probably donate some to the Red Cross who are doing a lot of work for the people that have been affected by the fires. There’s also a fundraiser for indigenous Australians. I will find the page and link to it. It’s a Gofundme page, I think. I have personally donated to that as well, but I’ll send some of the destash proceeds to that also find one or two animal charities that have not had as much exposure as some of the others. Some charities like WIRES in New South Wales have had a huge amount of publicity from various people and there’s a lot of smaller animal charities that are caring for the native wildlife that haven’t had much exposure so I’ll try and find one or two of them to send proceeds to as well.

I will post more details of that soon. I haven’t got that organized yet so I don’t know when I’m going to be posting that. I think I’ll try and do it soon though, obviously. Probably in about a week or so I’ll try and get organized to take photos and post details. I’m going to try and have the attitude of “Done is better than perfect.” I think my perfectionist tendencies have been partly what’s stopping me from destashing in the past and I’m trying to figure out the best way to do it and the best platform and where and how and all that sort of thing. I get a bit caught up in … so yeah, so I’m just going to get on with it this time. Please look out for that and yeah, I’ll figure out if I’ll do some bundles or how I’m going to do it. I’m not sure.

Also, in terms of New Years and planning, I have been working out what designs I’ll be publishing this year. In terms of collections coming up very soon will be the third handmade Sock Society collection starting in February, so presales for that are going to go up quite soon and then the first pattern will come out towards the end of February. I’m doing things a little bit differently this year than the last two years. The last two years, I think I’ve followed a fairly similar format with the Sock Society and the Shawl Society but this year I have decided to not do the Shawl Society, to have a break from that. It might come back again next year, but I am just having a little break because I think I was up to season four with the shawls and I’m kind of having fun doing the socks. So I decided I would do the socks and possibly, I’m not promising, but possibly do a mystery shawl knit-along later on in the year, if I can manage.

So the socks are going to run monthly this time, so instead of being every two months, I’m going to have one pattern per month starting in February. That will run through to July and then see what happens in the second half of the year. I thought I would take a little bit of a step back this year or try to nurture my creativity a little bit. The past year has been crazy, so I need a little bit of time to catch up with some exciting admin and settle into life in Australia and all sorts of things. There’s just so much new admin that I’m discovering every day and finding a new dentist and registering with them and stuff like that so … It’s not terribly exciting, but it’s all part of adulting, I suppose so I’m trying to be realistic.

But I have got a fun plan for my personal knitting. If you’ve been listening for a while, you will know that I listen to the Happier Podcast from time to time. I particularly like listening to it at the beginning of the year because they do a challenge, the happier … happiness challenge? Basically, they started a couple of years ago with I think 18 for 2018 and then obviously 19 for 2019. It’s meant to be projects that make you happy or work towards your goals. It’s just a kind of a fun meme and a fun hashtag to share what you’re working on. The last few years I’ve had happiness projects and it’s been really good because it just focused me on doing, I don’t know, more fun things, more sociable things, less serious things.

I was working away on my list for 2020, my 20 for 2020 happiness projects and I was looking at the hashtag and I came across the Literary Life Podcast had the hashtag 20 for 20 reading. They have a reading list, like read a Shakespeare play, read a children’s novel, like different genres of books to read. I thought, “Ooh, that could be fun, a knitting project list.” I thought I would write a list of things that I wanted to do and I’m going to create a printable if anyone wants to join in.

The 20 things I have on my list are finish a WIP because I have a WIP to finish and Gretchen from the Happier Podcast or says put something on there that you can achieve a quick win so hopefully, hopefully my WIP that I have in mind will be a quick win. Brioche, lace, color work, short rows, cables, and so I had a kind of a selection of techniques, and then a pullover, cardigan, socks, a pattern from a deep pattern library or pattern that I’ve had for ages that I’ve wanted to knit for ages, a hat, a toy, a cowl, knitting something from deep stash yarn, a gift, a shawl, knitting something from non-superwash yarn, a new to me designer, a scrappy or advent calendar project, and for number 20 an intimidating or epic or bucket list project.

So I’m really chuffed with that list actually. I can see it’s going to be lots of fun choosing patterns to match those categories. I already have lists of things in my queue for some of them, not for all of them. I thought on my printable I’m going to have a space beside the category for where you can write either ideas or you could do a sort of a finished version of writing what unit for that category, what you ended up doing to meet that category. I thought also you could either choose to knit 20 things and just tick one thing, one category off at a time, or you could tick one or more categories off at a time. So you could knit something from deep stash, in non-super wash yarn that’s a pullover or something like that, or a gift, or all four of those things, in fact. So yeah, so you could knit, I don’t know, less than 10 things and still tick off all the categories. It just depends on what rules you want to set for yourself.

I thought possibly people might set other boundaries for themselves, like knitting from stash only or maybe knitting things for charity or, I don’t know, there’s all sorts of fun ways you could do this project. Of course, you could adapt it to what you want to do so you don’t have to use my categories. You could substitute any or all of them if you don’t fancy a particular technique or a particular type of item or whatever. Yeah, you might have some completely different categories that would be interesting to share as well.

I hope that people join in on this. So I’m going to use the hashtag #knit20for2020 and if you want to play along, you can use that hashtag too. I haven’t made the printable yet, but I will do and I’ll publish that as soon as I have and start sharing some of my ideas for the things that I’m going to knit for the different categories. I’m thinking that this is going to be for my personal non-work knitting. So this is going to be a really fun project and non-work. It’s probably unrealistic that I’ll manage 20 items so I think I’ll be double dipping. For example, knitting a brioche shawl and ticking off two categories with one item, that kind of thing. That’s fine, I’m happy with that and everybody can decide how they want to do it.

For the first category, finish a work in progress. If you’ve been listening to this show last year, you’ll probably be able to guess what that is and that is the Clio pullover by Elizabeth Doherty. I’ve been working on that for probably three years now, I want to say. I hope it’s not four. It’s at least three. I had set the end of last year as my hard, hard deadline that I could definitely achieve. I didn’t achieve that, but I did finish the body so I’m pretty happy. I made a huge amount of progress with it. I think when I started at the beginning of the year, I really had not done much more than the shoulders and they’re like the very beginning. Yeah, so I knit most of the body throughout the year and I’m pretty happy with that. I had thought I’d finish the body well before Christmas and had cast it off. But then I tried it on and I was just not happy with the length and I wasn’t happy with the bind off so I unpicked the bind off and added probably another inch and a half to two inches of the ribbing.

Then I experimented with different bind offs trying to find one that wasn’t too tight or wasn’t too flarey. I think I eventually settled on Judy’s magic bind off, which is I’ve used before and I don’t know why I didn’t try that one to start with, but I was just Googling random things and trying random things. But Judy’s magic bind off was quite good. I think I took someone’s advice and went down a needle size. I can’t remember. I was in the pre-Christmas haze at this point.

But I’ve finished the body and now I’m just kind of a bit stalled again because I have to pick up for the sleeves and do some more short rows and me and short rows just take quite a bit of concentration and of bit of psyching up to do them just to, because I have to read the instructions so carefully. I think it just slows me down and so I don’t want to do it. But yeah, so I’m going to pick up the stitches for the sleeves and get going on the sleeves and that’s going to definitely be one of my #knit20for2020. I am not going to finish this year without finishing that pullover. There’s no way. If I knit nothing else, if I have to just make myself knit that. But you know, that’s all I’m going to knit until it’s done, apart from work.

That’ll make good motivator because there’s so many other things I want to knit. This list is just really inspiring me to try lots of things that I’ve wanted to do for ages or, you know, there’s so many lovely patterns in my queue that I wanted to do. So yes, so finishing Clio is going to be quite motivating.

It’s a pretty short and sweet episode this week. Thanks for listening and joining me today. I wanted to say one more thing before I say goodbye. Thinking about the bushfires and doing the destash project, I have been so overwhelmed and grateful for knitters all over the world donating their time and money and proceeds, from knitting patterns and supporting the charities that are doing amazing work here. Yeah, just, I can’t believe how many people from the UK, from the US, from Germany, all over, all over the world have posted that they’ve supported various charities. I just always think what a wonderful community we have and how generous knitters are and how wonderful. We just so grateful that we weren’t affected here where we live in Queensland, but we’re so heartbroken by the devastation to people’s lives and to the wildlife and to the environment and, you know. It’s so scary what happened and what is happening. I think every donation and every thought and every person sending love is, makes a big impact so I’m just overwhelmed by that generosity.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful start to your new year’s, and I hope to see some people joining in for #knit20for2020. Have a wonderful week. Happy knitting, I’ll talk to you soon.