Archives For August 2020

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is meadow-yarn.jpg

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AYS.jpg

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 lovely yarn La Bien Aimee for my Hermione Jean Granger Shawl

After a week of small disasters and a lot of decluttering, some comfort knitting is called for. Today on the podcast I’m revisiting my queue of personal knitting. There are a few particular WIPs I am enjoying very much, and a few more very long term projects that are finding their way to the front of my queue. And of course there are always a few very special designs tempting me to just cast on one more thing…

Show Links:

The 30 Day Minimalism Game

#minsgame

Hermione Jean Granger Shawl by Tyne Swedish

@clevereststitch

Píosa by Renée Callahan

Sweet Fiber Yarns

Georgie Baby Blanket

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino

Sky Map by Emily Foden

Viola Yarns

Elton Cardigan by Joji Locatelli

La Bien Aimée

Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti

Blue Sky Alpaca Silk

Droplet Capelet by Denise Bayron

Everyday Lined Hat by Denise Bayron

The Wave of Change Jacket by Denise Bayron

Moving Forward Wrap by Denise Bayron

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 307. 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 Hell’s Bells and on social media, as Curious Handmade. You can also find full show notes and transcript on my website at curious handmade.com.

Hello, welcome to the show. I hope you’re having a good week. I am having a pretty good week. I have been very, very busy. I feel a little bit like it’s been one step forward, two steps backwards. I announced last week that I was undertaking a challenge, a personal challenge, of decluttering a thousand items from my home. This is based on a minimalist 30-day challenge that I’d seen on YouTube. It’s a challenge where by you declutter items each day over 30 days and end up parting ways with 465 items.

And I watched a video that described how a couple did it, both did it, and then made it for 31 days and then added a few items and it added up to a thousand items. So, I just decided that that a thousand number sounded pretty good and that I would go for it. And I won’t go into it this week, the process that I’ve been going through the last week or so, but I am up to 860 items after a week. So, that’s pretty good and it’s been very interesting. I’ll tell you the story, maybe in the next episode, and share some, I don’t know, lessons learned or tips about what’s happened. I’m sure by then I will be up to my a thousand item goal, maybe even more. So, it’s been an interesting week, having gone through that process. And a few things happened, came up along the way, which weren’t related to the challenge, but were more sort of every day life.

I was doing a little task that had been on the list since about April. I wanted to get a shelf removed from Sophie’s built in wardrobe because she didn’t have a long hanging space in her cupboard. Anyway, the built in wardrobe isn’t very flexible, so it needed a handyman to come and take out the shelf. And so I walked into her bedroom, and walked around a bit, and then came downstairs again after showing the guy what I needed done. And he came down about 10 minutes later going, “Uh.” And he had knelt in a little deposit that Cindy had left on a rug and I hadn’t seen, so I had walked through it and walked all through the house by this point. Yeah, so that was fun and quite embarrassing. He was really great about it, thank goodness. It was very embarrassing, actually. Anyway, he just said, “Oh, I’m going to have to go and change my clothes now.” And that led to a carpet cleaning episode, which was good, in the sense that it helped with decluttering, because, I don’t know, I tend to get everything up off the floor, as much as possible.

And so that led to just everything getting up off the floor and out into a sorting staging area. So, I guess it maybe speeded up some decluttering, made it more thorough. Anyway, now we have lovely clean carpets and Cindy is no longer allowed in carpeted areas in the house. We’ve been trying to keep her out of them, but had gotten a little bit slack about it because she’s so cute and we like having her with us at all times. That is no longer happening.

And then Saturday afternoon, we were having a lovely barbecue, and the kids were jumping on the trampoline and Lexi twisted her ankle. And we hoped, or thought, it was a sprain, but then a couple of days later I decided that we’d better get it x-rayed just in case. It turned out that she had broken her ankle, bottom of her leg, in two places. So, she spent a day basically getting x-rays and cast on, and was in hospital most of the day yesterday. Yeah, it’s such a shame for her. She is not a kid that will enjoy being immobilized, but I guess it could be worse. So, we’re going to have to deal with the crutches and things for a little while. But as Steve pointed out, at least it’s not swimming season just yet because she loves being in the pool and is in the pool as much as possible when the weather is warm. So, thankfully, small mercies, it’s not quite warm enough for that yet. Although, it won’t be very long before it is. It’s already quite warm weather up here in Queensland.

So, yeah. That’s been my week. Luckily I was already on strike from work, procrastinating with my decluttering and various things. So, I don’t know maybe it didn’t impact my week as much as it would have if I’d actually had some tough deadlines. But I was hoping to get myself motivated to get back into some design work this week, but it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe later the week. I’m recording this on Wednesday. So, a couple of days ahead of publishing. Anyway, so after that personal introduction about what’s happening around here, I thought I’d talk a little bit about knitting this week, considering that it is a knitting podcast. And I thought as I’ve gone through almost all my yarn, not all my yarn, but almost all my yarn and works in progress and things. I thought I’d just go through some inspiration I’ve had about projects that I’d like to work on, going forward, inspired by yarn and patterns in my stash.

So, of course I would like to finish some WIPs and most of them are fairly… Well, no, that’s not true. I was going to say most of them are fairly recent. Two of them are fairly recent, sort of cast ons. So, I’m working on the Hermione Jean Granger Shawl by Tyne Swedish, who is the cleverest stitch and really enjoying this knit. Actually, I’m working on it in the evenings when I’m watching TV a little bit, at the moment, and so that’s kind of happening, slowly, bit by bit. It’s super relaxing. It’s garter stitch and stripes and a crescent shaped shawl with gorgeous tassels. I’ve mentioned it before on the show, but yeah, just really enjoying that as a relaxing evening knit. There’s not too much to think about. All you have to do is check which side you’re knitting on to make sure that you’re getting the right number of increases, and that’s about all the thinking that is involved with this one.

And I also have another relatively recent cast on, which is the Piosa Cardigan by Renee Callahan. I’ve knit the body and really just need to knit the sleeves now. I don’t know why I’ve stalled out on that. I think I just went on to design work and put it aside for a little while, and the fact that I need to pick up stitches and do a little bit of a slightly harder, more thinking, task to get onto the next step has made me just put it down for a little while.

But I’m super keen to finish that, it’s going to be a lovely cardi, and I’m slightly nervous that I picked the size too small. I kind of did that knowing that it might be the was too small, which is a bit stupid really, but I was a bit concerned about the amount of yarn I have. I think if it is too small for me, I’ll just give it to Sophie and she’ll probably love it, and it will really suit her because I’m knitting it in Rose Gold by Sweet Fiber. And it’s a beautiful, beautiful color. We’ll see if it stretches out a little bit when it gets blocked, otherwise it will probably be for Sophie. But she’s very knit-worthy, so that’s fine.

I have two older works in progress. One of them is a deep WIP, and it is a Georgie blanket, that was a design of mine from quite a few years ago now. And I think my mom knit the main part of it for me, and it might’ve been for Lexi. So, I’m not sure if it was when she was born even, which would make it a very old WIP. But anyway, it just needs the border knitted onto it. It’s not a huge task, and I would really like to get that finished. So, that’s kind of coming further up to the top of my list of works in progress. I’ve finished a few things this year and that’s one that I really would like to finish. Because it is a really sweet little blanket and I think she would still use it. And it’s knit in Debbie Bliss, Cashmerino, which is a lovely yarn. So, that would be nice to finish up.

And I also have the Star Map Wrap, which is pattern and yarn by Emily Foden in Viola Yarns, based in Canada. I think that one is a more of a longterm project. I’m not really planning on trying to finish that too soon. It’s just a lot of stockinette knitting in the round in mohair and it will be absolutely gorgeous when it’s finished. I did contemplate whether I would just cast it off and make a cowl at some point, but I think I will keep going with it and try and finish it at some point. But I don’t feel a huge sense of urgency to do that. I think it’s going to take me quite a lot of knitting time to do, and so that might just become a project that sits beside the sofa and I pick up when I’m watching TV.

I think the main reason that I’m not enjoying that as much as I could, is that I am alternating skeins. And so with it being mohair and alternating skeins, I don’t know, it’s just slowing me down that bit more than it would otherwise. So, I’ll have to think about that. I did the workshop with Emily in London, was that last year or the year before? I don’t know, maybe last year. I can’t remember. In the last couple of years anyway. And she very, very strongly suggested to alternate skeins. So, I did what I was told and tried to be good. But I’m just not sure. It’s just taking the joy out of knitting it for me. So, we’ll see. Anyway, that can just wait for a little while to make these kind of heavy decisions.

And then I have three other projects that I haven’t really started yet. One is the Elton cardigan by Joji Locatelli. I was very generously gifted the yarn for this by Amy, from La Bien Aimee. And so I have the gorgeous, gorgeous yellow yarn, and I think it’s going to suit my gray hair really well. It could be a nice grellow outfit. Yeah. So, I’m keen to do that and that’s another mohair cardigan, so it might be a bit slower. I don’t know if that’s what’s putting me off tackling that one, but I don’t think so. I think it’s just the fact that I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it. But definitely want to prioritize that one. And then as I was sorting through yarn, it reminded me of another very, very deep stash, deep, deep, yarn pattern cardigan that I’ve been wanting to knit for so many years, which is the Dahlia cardigan by Heather Zoppetti. And this was published in Interweave in fall 2011.

I don’t know if I’ve been wanting to make it since then, but I know that I’ve had the yarn, which is Blue Sky Alpaca Silk in the gorgeous amethyst colorway for a really long time. And I actually had in my head that that was the called for yarn for this pattern, but it’s not at all now I look at it. So, I don’t know why I thought that. And I couldn’t even see it in Yarn Ideas on Ravelry. So, I don’t know why I thought that was the yarn, but maybe I just thought it would be a really good yarn for it, which I still do. So, yeah. There’s that one. I went to see if the pattern was still available, before I talked about it on the podcast, and it is still available on the Interweave website. And I went to look at Heather’s blog and it doesn’t seem like she’s designing anymore. So, she’s said that in a blog post, sort of early last year, that she was going back to her a full time corporate job.

Anyway, it doesn’t mean that I want to knit the pattern any less. It’s a beautiful, gorgeous waterfall front cardigan with a beautiful lace panel on the back. It’s just always appeal to my romantic side. So, I still wanted it that one. I’ve mentioned this on the podcast in the past, but I still do want to knit that one. And then a much more recent, slight obsession is the Droplet Capelet by Denise Bayron, Bayron Handmade. I am a little bit obsessed with Denise’s designs and I’ve been talking about knitting various different designs of hers. She has a bulky cardigan that I was initially thinking I would knit, but will never wear, definitely never wear here in Queensland. And that’s the Wave Of Change jacket, which has been a really, really popular design. But just probably not for me.

And then the Everyday Lined Hat really appealed. I thought it’s super cute. I love the simplicity. But again, I’ve just gone through winter here and haven’t worn a hat, and I didn’t even wear hats that much in London, in winter. So, yes. Then I thought, “Oh, okay.” I had to look at her other designs because I just love her aesthetic, and so now I think the Droplet Capelet will be the design that I’d like to knit of hers. She’s got a gorgeous wrap as well, which is the Moving Forward Wrap. But again, I think that the capelet will be more wearable, and I think it would look really cute on Sophie or Lexi. It sort of like can either be a cowl or go down over your shoulders. Really, really cute design. So, yeah. I’m looking forward to seeing Denise’s book that’s going to be published with Laine, I imagine next year. But they’ve announced that they’re publishing a book of her patterns. So, I’ll be very excited to see that.

In the meantime, I’m putting the Droplet Capelet onto my queue. The extra small size takes one skein of fingering weight yarn, but probably I’d want a larger size than that. So, I’ll probably have to find some fingering weight yarn in my stash that I have two skeins of, which shouldn’t be a problem because I have a lot of yarn. So, that’s been my ponderings about knitting this week. It is a little bit of a fantasy queue at this point, but I’ve been getting better and better about being able to do some personal knitting, and separate that from my design and work knitting. It’s been so good for my creativity and calmness and enjoyment of knitting. So, I definitely want to keep that up and try to keep up my plan of keeping at least one of the weekend days work free and just for pursuing hobbies, which I don’t tend to do very often. But when I do, I really enjoy it.

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed a little bit more knitting content this week. I will probably be talking about the decluttering process on the next episode. And next week I am going to take the week off because of various things happening. I would have had to record two episodes this week to make it happen next week, and I’ve just decided after a day with Lexi, sorting out her leg and all the time I’m spending decluttering, I just can’t manage to record two episodes this week. So, I am going to have a week off and give myself a little bit of ease and I will be back with you in two weeks time.

Have a fantastic week, everyone. I hope you’re well and staying healthy and able to enjoy a little bit of knitting or crafting time. I’ll talk to you again soon. Bye for now.

Play

Show Sponsors

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is meadow-yarn.jpg

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AYS.jpg

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

As I get closer and closer to finishing the Knitvent 2020 collection designs, I’ve hit a procrastination snag. I know by now that it’s just part of the creative process, and a sign that I probably need to let things simmer a little longer. But these days I’m trying to choose more productive ways of procrastinating, and my favourite procrastination method is decluttering. So a warning: there’s not a whole lot of crafty content in today’s show, but there is a fun decluttering game that I’m going to do to hopefully clear a little brain space for more design work. Care to join me?

Show Links:

The 30 Day Minimalism Game

#minsgame

The Minimal Mom

The Strawberry Thief

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 306. 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 and transcript on my website at CuriousHandmade.com.

Hello, and welcome to the show. Welcome to another week in this strange new world that we find ourselves in. I’ve been having a pretty good week. Kids are back at school this week, so that’s been good, after a whole week off last week, and we’re still recovering energy levels a little bit but feeling pretty good and much better. I’ve been attempting a sprint on my Knitvent designs for this year, and that is going a bit up and down. It was going really well I think maybe up until about halfway through last week when I finished one design and then started another one, and then by about this Monday I hit a bit of a wall and it wasn’t really going as well as I wanted and it slowed right down.

Then I got really frustrated and I started feeling that feeling of really intense procrastination that I used to feel when I had big university exams coming up where you would clean the whole house, binge watch TV, read. Just find absolutely anything to do except study, and that’s a little bit what I’ve been like this week. I just haven’t been able to make myself get back into it, so that’s resulted in me watching a lot of decluttering videos. I think it’s a weird thing that I tend to do when I’m stressed is watch like KonMari videos, people decluttering 90% of their wardrobe, or clean the whole house and this kind of thing, and then that makes me want to do it myself even more.

So I thought, okay, I am going to run with this feeling of doing an epic declutter, because one of my happiness projects for the year, I had written down KonMari sort of like, and I don’t really know exactly what I meant, but I think I meant like, get to the point where it really clicks and I feel like I have completed the KonMari of everything in my house bringing joy.

So I have been talking about decluttering and KonMari-ing for years on the podcast now. Never managed to attain that mystical state of being fully KonMari-ed, and I think I sort of made pretty good progress before we moved. I had quite a good filter of, do I want to carry this item around the world? We got rid of, donated, sold a lot, a lot of stuff. Big items of furniture and everything down to pens and you know, all the whole range across the whole house.

But I did hold on to quite a bit of just-in-case stuff because I was sort of thinking, well, it’s going to be a different environment and a different lifestyle, and I’m just not quite sure what things I’ll want to hang on to and what things I won’t need, so I brought a little bit of extra stuff and also things that sentimentally I couldn’t quite let go of, but probably should have or could have if I’d been a little bit less sentimental about it.

But so now, I feel like we’ve been here nearly a year, which is quite unbelievable. I think we arrived late August and moved into the house in about October. So I feel like, well, I think that’s a good amount of time to kind of know what I need now here in this new place. We’ve gone through all the seasons, which is really just various levels of hot, so I feel like I know what activities we mostly do, what sports the kids are mostly doing, and while we’re still settling into that I have a pretty good idea of some of the things that I thought we might need that we don’t. So some of the YouTube videos I’ve been watching have been people doing the minimalist’s 30-day challenge, which is decluttering or throwing out the number of items that is the number, the day of the challenge, if that makes any sense. So day one, you throw out one item, day two, two items and so on. Or donate, or sell, or whatever.

Then at the end of the 30 days you end up with 465 items, and I watched one video where a husband and wife were doing it and they both did it and then she said, “I calculated that if we added on 31 days, day 31, and then added on a few more, it would take them up to 1,000 items,” and that number just stuck in my head. I was like, “Ooh, that sounds like a good number of items to declutter,” and I really have no idea what that would look like. I can’t really imagine. I mean, I can imagine to a point because I’ve been watching so many of these videos where they show you what 465 items looks like, and in some ways it’s a lot and in other ways, it’s not that much.

So I think I am going to go for it and I am going to set myself the challenge of decluttering 1,000 items, and I will be in this by myself pretty much because my husband is more of a consumer and purchaser than a declutterer, and Lexi cannot bear to throw away anything, even like rubbish, and Sophie is my shining light and example of a natural minimalist and she is already so minimalist that I don’t think I can ask her to declutter anything else. Although she did bring out a box of stuff, old clothes that she’s grown out of and things she doesn’t want anymore, and I’m going to count those things. I’m going to include those things in that box as part of my thousand items.

So she’s actually to be fair got me off to quite a good start, but yeah, she’s amazing. She’s so inspirational. She’s always been like that since she was born. She’s never wanted stuff. Whenever I’ve asked her what she’d like for her birthday, she’s just been like, “Nothing. I don’t want anything particularly,” and she wrote a letter to Santa saying, “I don’t really want anything, but thanks very much for visiting.” She just liked the idea of the surprise, but she couldn’t think of anything she actually wanted. And yeah, every now and then she’ll just go through her room and come up with just old things that she doesn’t want anymore.

It’s quite incredible, and yeah, I wish I was like that, but I’m not. I’m very much a sentimental and I really, really don’t like throwing things out for the waste, but I’ve been watching a lot of videos about decluttering and my favorite is The Minimal Mom, and she’s a busy mom and she just has the best sort of tips and tricks to do this kind of decluttering work, simplification work, really quickly and quite easily and she just has lots of different tricks of helping yourself mentally deal with it.

For example, when she was looking at a kitchen, she said, “Okay, pretend your kitchen is a holiday house, and just have enough stuff for a holiday house kind of situation.” And I just thought, I love that. Because it then makes you simplify what you cook, and simplify what you buy, and so it has this trickle down effect to your lifestyle that if you don’t have a lot of sporting equipment, then you just do simple things like walking or jogging. And I know that doesn’t work across all areas or for everybody because some people might have a passion for golf or cycling, or things like that. I’m looking at my husband there, whereas I have a passion for craft and so I have a lot, a lot of craft stuff, and that is really going to be my challenging area to work on I think.

So, I think I am going to come up with some rules for me to deal with my craft stuff because while I have collected, have a beautiful yarn collection and fabric collection, it’s not necessarily bringing me joy because it’s too overwhelming, so I’m going to get that all out and do a proper KonMari process of having a cold, hard look at that, and I don’t know how I’m quite going to handle it in terms of tricks or rules because I’ve been through my stash many, many times, and I still have just an overwhelming amount too much. For me with my yarn, and also with things generally, I just want it to not be wasted, and yeah, and just not throw things out. Like I want it to be able to be used, but what I’m coming to realize very, very slowly is that it’s a sunk cost. It’s already wasted as such if I’m not using it, or yeah, especially if it’s stressing me out. It’s a negative. It’s becoming a negative, so I have to try to get myself to look at things differently than what I have done in the past.

One thing that’s been really good is that it has really, really, really slowed down my consumption since I started seriously trying to KonMari or declutter and become a minimalist, and I guess it’s been, I don’t know, maybe, I really don’t know. Four or five years I’d say. It was after Lexi was born, which was nine years ago, and a few years of not really being able to deal with things, and I think I got to a point at some stage maybe when she was going to school around age four that I started thinking I needed to get my life back and under control again.

So yeah, so I’ve been doing it for a long time and since I started taking things to charity shops and selling them, it has made me really slow down on buying things because then I’ve realized how difficult it is for me to get rid of it again if I don’t need it. So I think for the past year, I haven’t really, is this true or not? I haven’t really bought any yarn just for the sake of it. I’ve bought some yarn for very specific design projects, and sometimes I end up with a bit extra in that situation where I don’t quite know what color it’s going to be or if I’m definitely going to use it. I’ve bought maybe a few extras to have options, but that’s only been for work purposes I think that I’ve bought yarn.

And if I’m in a situation like a yarn festival or a beautiful yarn shop, I will definitely be triggered to just buy things because they’re beautiful. But that situation hasn’t really arisen much in the last year or so. I’ve been too busy, either moving or being locked down. I think there’s one yarn shop in Brisbane and there’s one a bit north of me here, but I haven’t visited either of them yet. Yeah, so I haven’t really been in a situation where I’ve been super tempted.

I have however been tempted by the hexie-along from The Strawberry Thief online shop, so that’s my craft indulgence, but it’s kind of under control because I’ve been not keeping up with it, but just dipping into that project, and so that’s being used as it comes in, which is really nice. Other than that I don’t think I’ve been too bad, but it’s taken me to getting to a point of overwhelm with the amount of stuff I have to get to that point, which is not really a good thing.

I think I will feel fantastic if I really get to that clicking point of the full KonMari, and I am going to maybe give myself til the end of August. I’m not going to do it as a 30-day challenge. I’m too impatient. I’m just going to do it as a real procrastination activity burst mostly this week. Maybe it might take me a bit longer to tackle some things or if I’m selling some things. I’ll try and document it. I don’t know how I’m going to go with documenting it. I don’t really want anything to slow me down. I mean, while it would be sort of fun to document it and be able to look back on where I was at a particular point in time and share it, because I find other people’s stories and efforts so inspiring, I’m not sure. I’ll have to see how I go with that.

But yes, so my plan is to basically pile everything up on the dining table and places around the house and then count it and get rid of it all at once, but I might have to do phases of doing that depending on how bulky things are and so on. So I already got some things collected on the table. I’ve made a bit of a start, and I counted them and it’s about a hundred things and so I have no idea if I’ll be able to get to a thousand. Because a hundred things is actually quite a lot of stuff. Anyway, it’s going to be interesting and I will give you an update in about two weeks’ time on that project.

So, thanks for bearing with me as I chat about that, if you have. If this is topic doesn’t interest you, I probably should have put a warning at the beginning that I was just going to be rambling about that, but I don’t know. If you’re interested, I’m going to link how to do the 30-day minimalist’s challenge and I’ll put a link to The Minimal Mom podcast because I just think she’s so excellent, and if anyone wants to join in with me, that would be fab. There’s a hashtag for the minimalist challenge, which is Mins, M-I-N-S, Game. MinsGame is the hashtag for the minimalist challenge, and I will try and have more knitting and crafting chat for you next week.

So, I hope you have a fantastic week. I hope you’re all well. Happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you again soon.

Play

Show Sponsors

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is meadow-yarn.jpg

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AYS.jpg

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.

Big Little Meg!

Today we have some more lucky giveaway winners to announce, and I’m chatting a little bit about my current approach to goals and habits and how they are working out for me these days. I’ve also got a special pattern update to share: after many requests and much ado, I’ve just released a second, larger size of the Little Meg Shawl: some very cosy, comforting knitting for these difficult days.

Show Links:

Tiny Habits book

Habitation Throw KAL Winner

AnnaRobyn

Hedgerow Yarns

Knit20for2020 July Ravelry Winner

Qtar – Nuuk Pullover

Nurja Yarn

Instagram Winner

The_Knitting_Gurg

Snowmelt Shawl

Kitch Kreative

O’Rielly’s

The Little Meg Shawl

Curious Handmade on Etsy

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 305. 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 the 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. It’s a stressful time, I think in the world at the moment. There’s a lot of things going on and I guess we’re all just trying to do our best to stay calm and healthy as possible. And I feel like that’s all being done in the face of a lot of uncertainty, a lot of conflicting advice, or a moving feast of advice that’s changing constantly. And I think everybody is trying to do their best to stay well with themselves, their loved ones and society as a whole. But I have to say it’s pretty difficult to know what we’re meant to be doing at any point in time. We have had a spike in cases here in Australia, in the state of Victoria. And also to a lesser extent in New South Wales, we have had some new cases here in Queensland, which is not that high by worldwide standards, but by relative standards to what we’ve had, it’s high. So there’s a certain amount of freaking out happening.

I went to the supermarket yesterday and the toilet paper shelves were completely bare again. So I think that’s a bit of a indicator of the state of mind of people. I feel like there should be some kind of toilet paper availability index as to how we’re all feeling about things. I have had the kids home from school this week because they have colds and can’t go to school. I don’t think they’d be well enough to go to school anyway, but if they’ve got any sniffles or coughs they can’t go in. Which is completely fair enough. And I just feel a bit frustrated because they seem to be getting a cold every two weeks. And I think it’s maybe because we’ve moved back to Australia and they don’t have immunity to the local bugs. Maybe it’s like when kids start going to school or daycare and they’re just sick all the time for the first year, I feel like that’s what’s happening here.

Anyway, we’re taking lots of vitamin C lots of vitamin D trying to get lots of sleep. I’ve been working on sleep as a particular habit to improve. I mentioned a few episodes ago that I recently listened to the audio book of Tiny Habits, which is by a guy called BJ Fogg, and really, really love this book. I’ve been implementing some of the strategies and would highly recommend it if you’ve tried to change habits and not succeeded. I really like his method, and it makes a lot of sense to me. At first, I thought it was a bit strange, the whole concept of flossing one tooth, I kind of thought was a little bit pointless. But once he explained that it’s all about making habits doable, that you have the ability to action them and that you make them small enough to be able to do and have success and have that feeling of feeling good about yourself and your ability to do the habit and then really gradually build it up.

And so I’ve been doing that with a couple of things and it’s working pretty well. And so I’m now trying to have one night a week where I have eight hours sleep. And I’m not really succeeding yet, but getting closer. So it’s a long, drawn out, painful process to get these habits in place. But I guess hopefully it will be more sustainable. Anyway, that’s just what’s happening here. You’ve had a bit of a random personal update there. But I hope that you’re all finding ways to cope with the uncertainty and disruption that’s happening everywhere at the moment. I’m certainly not complaining because we have it pretty good here in Australia, especially where I’m living. But it’s still causing a lot of disruption to our life. And things like travel and the ability to get together for knitting retreats and everything like that. It just is making me appreciate a lot of things.

So just a little update on knit alongs and things happening in Curious Handmade world at the moment. We have the handmade sock society. The last sock pattern was released and the knit along is continuing until the 8th of September. And that day is for both the altitude socks and the grand prize for people who’ve knit all six socks. We’ve opened up a thread in Ravelry, and the Curious Handmade group for that now. And we had some knit alongs finished. So I have drawn the winners for the habitation throw knit along. We have the winner, AnnaRobyn, who is from California and she knit her habitation throw in a gorgeous, advent, mini set from Hedgerow Yarns, who’s one of my favorite indie dyers in the UK. I just love her beautiful, pretty colors. So congratulations Anna Robin. I have a physical price to send to you.

So if you can get in touch either via Ravelry, HellsBells or email me Helen@curioushandmade.com and I’ll need your address to send that to you. And for the knit 20 for 2020 challenge, the Revelry winner is Qutar Q-U-T-A-R, who knit a gorgeous nuk N-U-U-K pullover designed by Jonna Hietala. And she’s nominated. Nurja, I think you say it N-U-R-J-A which is a Finnish yarn shop. So congratulations and I’ll get in touch with you, or you can get in touch with me to let me know your email address so that I can organize a gift voucher. I might need some help with this one because the website is in Finnish and I can’t see an English version, so I might not be able to purchase a gift voucher. But I’m sure if I email them they will be able to help me.

Our Instagram when it is the knitting gurg And she knit a snow melt shawl as a gift for her daughter in law for her 30th birthday. In lovely, beautiful green Fru Valborg yarn. So again, if you’d like to get in touch or I’ll try and get in touch with you to organize a prize for you for the July knit 20 for 2020 challenge. We have the thread up on Ravelry for the August challenge, and you can also post on Instagram using the hashtag knit20for2020. I’ve been getting quite behind in my knit 20 for 2020 challenge because I’ve been doing a lot of design knitting lately for the past month or so. I don’t know, it’s gone very quickly. I’ve been working on a design for a retreat I am very hopefully attending in October, which is local. So it’s in my state. So hopefully that will still be okay to go ahead.

And I’ve designed a shawl for that. That retreat is organized by the lovely Kylie from Kitsch Creative, and it’s at a place called O’Reilly’s, which is a beautiful camp and resort in the rainforest in a national park here. So I’m really looking forward to that. I think it’s going to be a beautiful location, and retreat. And just fingers crossed that we can go ahead with it, but I’m sure we will be able to. Thinking very positive and optimistically. And the other design work I’ve been working on is knit vent patterns for this year. I’m really excited about this year’s knit vent. And I feel really pleased that I’m working on the designs relatively early in the year for me, probably not for other designers. But for me, this is quite early and quite on top of things and yeah, they’re coming along really well.

I think it’s definitely helping that it’s not last minute pressure and that I can have a little bit more time and ease to get a bit more creative and just think it out and plan it out a bit more. And have a bit more time to let the muse visit. So that’s going really well, but it’s meant that I’ve been really focusing on that pretty much exclusively. And I haven’t had time for any of my personal projects. So my sewing projects and quilting projects and other knitting projects, are all just waiting for me at the moment. And I think what I might try and do, hopefully is to work really during the week this week, and then do some fun projects on the weekend and take at least one day of the weekend off to do a little bit of personal crafting. But we’ll see, I don’t know. I’m just wanting to really focus on the designing at the moment.

I have released a pattern this week, which is an update to the Little Meg shawl that was originally published in 2018 and was quite a popular little shawl. I designed it for a retreat, the country house retreat in Cumbria. And so I designed it as a shawlette so that people could potentially knit it during the retreat, or knit quite a bit of it during the retreat. And I had a lot of requests for a larger size because it is just a really lovely, simple triangular shawl. And so I’ve had the sample and photographs for ages, maybe a year. And so I finally got it together and updated the pattern. I’ll just read you the description so that you can hear the inspiration behind the design.

“The ancient fields of Cumbria are scattered with fragments of time worn buildings and monuments. Many layers of history have been laid down here. And these remnants hint at the stories of the people who lived here long ago. Some of the most mysterious ruins of all are Cumbria’s prehistoric stone circles. Whether they were once used as ritual sites, way markers or for some other purpose, we can never know. Today, they are places of wonder. Little Meg is named after one of Cumbria’s smallest circles, which has endured since the bronze age and her magic is intact. One of her stones is carved with graceful symbols, spirals and circles within circles. This triangular shawl was created for the Curious Handmade country house retreat in March, 2018, using the magical canopy fingering from the Fibre Company designed to be an ideal retreat knitting. The design is simple. Eyelets dotted across a field of stockinette stitch, just like the standing stones of Cumbria moors. Wrap the shawl around your shoulders and the circle is complete. A crisp, garter border provides an elegant finishing touch.”

The small version can be knit in 100 grams of the Fibre Company, canopy fingering. And that’s two 50 gram hanks. It comes in 50 grams and canopy fingering is a gorgeous blend of 30% Merino, 20% Rayon from bamboo and 50% baby alpaca. And then for the large, it uses five times 50 gram hanks. So for the small, it’s about 400 yards and for the large, it’s about a thousand yards. I have the pattern at 20% off for the month of August. So it’s £4 rather than £5. And I’ve just put it at that price of £4 without any coupon code or anything. It’s just a reduced price. So you don’t have to worry about it. But it will go back to its normal price of £5 at the end of August or beginning of September.

So if you would like that pattern at a discount, it’s available now, it’s available on both Ravelry and Etsy. I have a pattern shop on Etsy now, which is curioushandmadeshop, curious handmade was taken. So I now have curious handmade shop and I have some of my patterns available there, not all of them, but some of them. And I’ll post the newer ones there until I figure out a more permanent solution.

So that’s about all the news I have for you this week. I’ll just keep it to a fairly short episode. Thanks so much for joining me today. I hope you have a good week. Happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you again soon.