Archives For Amanda

 

 

In celebration of today’s book launch, I thought it would be lovely to take a peek inside at all six beautiful shawls. I know we’ll be welcoming some new members in the days and weeks to come, who might never have had a chance to see the whole collection together. So, without further ado, here are the six shawls of The Shawl Society Season 1:

Talisman

Magical, safe, and full of good fortune, Talisman is a carefree crescent shawl, inscribed with a simple star stitch.

Traditional lore advises that a talisman should always be made by the hands of the one who intends to use it. By my reckoning that makes this shawl perfect for some selfish knitting. These cherished objects were often made to protect pilgrims on their journey, and it just so happens that Talisman makes wonderful travel knitting.

The pattern has been designed to showcase beautiful hand dyed yarn: subtly tonal, boldly variegated or a tranquil gradient, and it includes three versatile sizes. The small is a one skein project, ideal for crafting a special yarn into something charmed. The large size is just right for two skeins of fingering yarn or a beautiful lace weight.

 

 

 


Amulet

Amulet was inspired by the mystical beauty of an ancient Egyptian carving of a powerful scarab beetle with wings outstretched to provide shelter and protection from harm. The elongated triangle shape of this shawl recalls the scarab’s wings, which are also echoed in the graphically striking rib section. The most important characteristic of any amulet is the power ascribed to it by its owner, and I have tried to infuse this design with some of that energy and intention. The sacred significance of handmade objects is something that every knitter knows. Made for yourself, it is an eloquent act of self-care. When knit for a loved one, it is a compelling symbol of comfort and love.

Featuring lace, eyelets, and optional beading (for a little extra magic), the Amulet shawl pattern offers two sizes, medium and large. With plenty of intriguing details to keep you interested, this is an exciting knit that is also well within the reach of courageous new shawl knitters. It can be knit in one, two, or even more colours, making it an excellent project for stash busting.

 


Asana

A gentle crescent shawl with flowing lace and garter sections, Asana is a lovely special occasion shawl, whether you’re preparing for one magical day or making an ordinary day magical through a bit of mindfulness. Optional beads add a flicker of light to its soft textures and quiet curves. Designed for lace or fingering weight yarn, it is delicate and light enough to wear even in the warmer months.

In yoga, Asana means “a position that is firm, but relaxed.” This attitude should be familiar to anyone who has ever learned to knit, or tried a new technique just outside of your comfort zone. Gritting your teeth and clenching your hands around your needles never helps. This shawl is a higher level of difficulty than the previous Shawl Society patterns: the lace is a bit more challenging and there are four rows where you are knitting lace rows on the wrong side. The actual stitches aren’t difficult, but you need to be in meditation mode (not multitasking mode!).

Concentration, relaxation and focus will get you through to the graceful result you want.

 


Aurorae

Aurorae are the spellbinding flames of light that gather in the sky at both ends of the earth. In the far north, in Finland, it’s said that the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, occur when a great arctic fox brushes sparks from the mountain tops with his huge fluffy tail. On the other side of planet, the Aboriginal Australians believed that the Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights, were fires from the spirit world: the raging bushfires of sky spirits or the glow of their ancestors’ campfires.

I love the idea that people from different places can look at one phenomenon and interpret it so differently and creatively. In a much smaller way we can see this same magic happening in something as simple as a knitting pattern, when the gifted imaginations and hands of knitters from every corner of the world create their own versions of a beautiful object.

The Aurorae Shawl gathers up the strands of that sense of wonder, with rippling shifts of colour and flickering eyelet lace. Aurorae Shawl was designed using a six colour gradient set, with both sport weight and fingering weight versions. If you’re knitting from stash, this is a wonderful way to use up leftovers from other projects: just pick six colours that blend or play well together. This asymmetrical shawl features garter, eyelet and slip stitches: it looks intricate and complicated, but in fact it’s a gentle, easy knit. An i-cord edge gives Aurorae a lovely, polished finish.

 


Quill

The design for Quill draws from older, more patient ways of making and doing. This elongated, triangular shawl features stripes like the lines of a letter on a parchment page and a lace border inspired by feathers. Dream dictionaries say that to dream of writing with a quill pen “symbolizes the way you view your creative process — slow, methodical, beautiful, and not very technological.” For me, that lines up beautifully with the way I approach my knitting, and the way I imagine the Quill shawl in the world.

Quill is a generously sized shawl with an engaging mix of colour and texture. It makes for relaxing knitting, and the yarn selected adds another layer of old-fashioned comfort. Tamar DK yarn from Blacker Yarns is a soft, squishy DK weight with rustic charm and a sophisticated colour palette. It is made from historic Wensleydale, Teeswater, Cotswold and Black Leicester Longwool, all British heritage breeds chosen for their long, wavy, lustre fleece. A generous helping of local Cornish mule lambs’ fleece gives this yarn extra bounce and give.

Even though the knitting community today is largely bound together with the modern magic of the Internet, the objects we make with our hands are a throwback to a graceful past. Knitting Quill is a beautiful way to slow down at the end of a busy day, giving yourself over to an uncomplicated creative practice and a quieter way of being in the world.


Sonder

The Sonder Shawl is a big, soft, cosy shawl to wrap up the Shawl Society journey. “Sonder” is a new word, originally defined as “the realization that each random passer by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.“ That sudden flash of recognition occurs at random moments. Sometimes it’s brought on by the novelty of a new place: taking a crowded train through a foreign country and watching the evidence of thousands of unknown lives flash by in seconds. Other times, a mundane moment spent standing in a coffee shop queue becomes suddenly mysterious as you wonder about the inner lives of the strangers who surround you.

The moment we meet a new friend, we gain entrance into the rich story of their lives. It is the best way we have of tapping into that abundance of experience, and for the final Shawl Society project I wanted a design that reflected the connection and warmth we share as a community of knitters. The Sonder Shawl is an elongated triangle shape, veering towards a scarf. It has an open, easy to memorise stitch pattern and is finished with playful tassels. In the spirit of sharing, it is wonderful gift knitting: the bulky yarn knits up super fast and the contemporary design will appeal even to shawl sceptics.


Publishing this collection as a real-life book is a realisation of a life-long dream. I’m so excited to finally share it with the world. If you’d like to grab your own copy, it is available right now on Amazon.

Buy The Shawl Society Season 1 book on Amazon.co.uk

Buy The Shawl Society Season 1 book on Amazon.com

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On a cold, wet, grey day after a week of hard work, I’m treating myself a little bit. I hop you’ll join me! I’m also getting very excited about this new book project. In fact, I could use your help deciding on a final book cover for my first print book! We also have two new Knitvent patterns this week that I can’t wait to share.

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.

AYS is a wool boutique specializing in hand dyed yarns and luxury fibres from around the world. You’ll always find a well curated collection of yarns and colors on the shelves and a friendly knowledgeable staff on hand. Some of our favorite brands include Hedgehog Fibres, SweetGeorgia Yarn, Julie Asselin, Shibui Knits and The Fibre Co. You can find A Yarn Story on Walcot Street in Bath or online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk

Show Links:

I am preparing to publish the first ever Curious Handmade print book, The Shawl Society Season I. I need your help to choose the right cover. Which of these two book covers do you prefer?

Create your own user feedback survey
Thanks in advance for voting: I can’t wait to see what you think. I’ll update you on the results next week!

La Bien Aimee

Wax & Wool Etc Instagram

Wax & Wool Etc Etsy

Our 3rd and 4th Knitvent Patterns were published! The How Quiet Hat and the How Quiet Mitts

Knitvent 2018

Julie Asselin

Julie Asselin Leizu DK at A Yarn Story

The Shawl Society Season I

Hay Pullover by Clare Mountain

Mrs. Browns Bags Etsy

Voolenvine

Viola and the Moon

Knits About Winter Preorder

The Handmade Sock Society

Red Robin Sock Set Preorder at The Wool Barn

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Today’s podcast contains a heartfelt ode to one of my favourite subjects…decluttering. It’s a bit of a pet cause for me because of how dramatically it improves my day to day life. Knowing where everything is and having room to breathe is one of the best things I can do for my creativity, and I don’t think I’m alone in that! I also have a peek at some patterns that are on my radar as perfect minimalist/capsule wardrobe pieces.

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.

AYS is a wool boutique specializing in hand dyed yarns and luxury fibres from around the world. You’ll always find a well curated collection of yarns and colors on the shelves and a friendly knowledgeable staff on hand. Some of our favorite brands include Hedgehog Fibres, SweetGeorgia Yarn, Julie Asselin, Shibui Knits and The Fibre Co. You can find A Yarn Story on Walcot Street in Bath or online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk

Show Links:

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Book

Curious Handmade Podcasts Ch 59: Talking Tidying with Paula of The Knitting Pipeline

Use Less YouTube Channel

Spark Joy Book

Hollows by Melody Hoffmann

Manderines Video Podcast

Blacker Yarns Swan Falkland Islands 4 Ply

Cave Point Shawl by Paula Emons-Fuessle

Quince and Co. Chickadee

Pappus Pullover by Midori Hirose

Witching Hour Pullover by Renée Callahan

The second shawl of TSS III is coming up in a few weeks, so I thought I’d share some hints and yarn details for anyone who wants to shop or stash dive.

Secret shawl hints:

  • This pattern has one size, and is knit in a fingering weight yarn.
  • I chose a plied yarn this time around, but singles are also appropriate and lovely.
  • There is some lace in this design but it’s simple enough to stand up to some variagation.
  • This is a colourblocked two colour shawl, with one main and one accent colour.
  • I don’t always reveal the shape ahead of time but…this will be a rather epic rectangular wrap!

Yarn

For the sample I used:

Meadowyarn Hain [100% Superwash Polwarth Wool; 400m/438yds per 100g skein], 4 x 100g skeins,

Colour A: Honeycombed x 1 skein

Colour B: Beekeeper x 3 skeins

Actual yarn amounts used for sample in a fingering weight 4 ply yarn:

Colour A: 70g, 280m/307yds

Colour B: 230g, 920m/1007yd


Needles

4mm (US 6), 80cm (32″) long circular needles (or size to obtain gauge)

Notions

Tapestry needle

Gauge

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

Exact gauge is not critical but may affect the amount of yarn needed if different.

Ever since Meadow Yarn launched their own magnificent line of small batch hand-dyed yarns I have been enchanted by the skeins appearing from their kettles week after week. Every one has such depth and complexity of tone, some with magical speckling and variegation to add interest and surprise with every stitch. They are just so fun to knit! Meadow Yarn’s commitment to ethical and environmentally kind production is just another reason to love them, and something that seems especially appropriate with our Secret Garden theme.  

Hain is a particularly special yarn made from the wool of a New Zealand breed of sheep called the Polewarth: the genetics are 75% Merino and 25% Lincoln, which gives you the best of both worlds. All the mellow softness of a Merino yarn but with a sturdy longer staple length in the fibre which means it wears beautifully without pilling or bobbling. Hain is a superwash, which also makes it easy to care for.

For this shawl, I’ve used two brand new colourways inspired by the natural world. A soft warm golden brown and a rich variegated green. If you’re one of our brilliant and intrepid stash-divers, looking for yarns with a similar contrast in tone is one possible direction to explore with your colours.

Meadow Yarn has preorders of TSS Kits on her website now for everyone who would like to use this wonderful yarn for our second shawl of the season.

Buy Meadow Yarn kits for the second shawl of TSS III here!

They will post out all the ordered yarn by the 22nd of June. There are also a number of gorgeous colours in Hain on the website right now, if something catches your eye!

The pattern will be published Thursday, 28 June.

If you’re shopping your stash or popping down to your local yarn shop for your yarn, I hope all these hints have given you a bit of inspiration or a clue or two to help you explore the possibilities. As always, I cannot wait to see what you choose and how you will make this next shawl your own.

I hope you’re having a wonderful time this season: I’m loving your posts on Instagram and in the Ravelry Group. Thank you for making The Shawl Society such a wonderful community and for helping us bring The Secret Garden to life!

Happy knitting!

 

#theshawlsociety #theshawlsocietyIII

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ch119

April is flying by. I hadn’t declared a theme for the month, but one has emerged all by itself: this is a month of Travel! I’ve been so spoiled recently with all of these amazing journeys, so I’ve tried to bring back a little of the magic to share with all of you.This week’s episode is another recap of a wonderful knitting trip, this time to Georgia to spend time with old and new friends at Paula’s amazing Knitting Pipeline Retreat.

Show Sponsor:

Meadow Yarn

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links:

Last year’s Georgia Pipeline Retreat episode.

The gorgeous brown and green Curious Collective shawl with the better bobbles, knit by Irene, who is bluebirdnest on Ravelry.

The amazing yarn shop we visited: East Sleep Knit

The wonderful vendors at the retreat market, in case you’d like to snag some goodies for yourself:

Prairie Bag Works

MariaElenaBliss Bags

Jan B Smiley Bags

Seven Sisters Arts

Snarky Llama Creations

RainStorm Studios

Gilding Lillies

Our Hill Top Shawl KAL is going wonderfully! Thank you to everyone who has bought the pattern: it’s incredible to see all the beautiful shawls popping up in the FO thread! The KAL will run until May 5th, so there’s still time if you want to join us!

Events:

Tonight, the 15th of April I will be attending the launch party for my friend Baraba’s book Stitching Up Paris

We’ll be having a knit night from 6pm to 9pm at L’ Oisivethé, 8 bis rue de la Butte aux Cailles, 75013, Paris, France. If you’re in the area, please stop by and say hello!

That’s everything for this episode. I hope you’ve enjoyed coming along with me on all my travels! Until next week, happy knitting!

CH 91: Knitting All The Things!

Amanda —  September 11, 2015 — Leave a comment
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Ch 91

It’s a very fun filled week here at Curious Handmade, with the launch of the Summertide MKAL, the continuing Handmade Wardrobe Challenge, getting ready for the UK Podcast Awards, along with all the regular bustle of everyday life. Because of all that, this is a slightly short episode, where I mostly catch up with the many many things in my WIP queue.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their wonderfully sweet and soft Acadia yarn. If you want to see how beautifully this knits up, take a look at the two tone sample of my pattern Whispering Island!

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

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

You can get your hands on some Acadia of your own at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

Meadow Yarn 

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links

Project Paddington Facebook Page

Yarn and Pointy Sticks and the Knit Share Love KAL

What’s in the WIP

Cave Point by Paula I’m loving this and I’m thinking I’ll extend the border, because I have extra yarn and also because I’d love to keep this addictive knit going a bit longer.

Times Square by Norah Gaughan This is part of my Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge. I’m using The Fibre Co’s Knighstbridge in the Beaverdon colourway.

Earl Grey Hat by Clare Devine. This is adorable and I need a new hat!

The Summertide MKAL, of course!

That should just about do it for this “minisode.” If you haven’t come on board for the MKAL or the Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge yet, just come visit us in the Curious Handmade Ravelry Group. We’re a very friendly and supportive bunch and I find inspiration there every day. We’d love to have you join us!