Archives For global nomad

Ch 82: Wandering

Helen —  July 9, 2015 — 2 Comments

Curious Handmade Podcast 82

Welcome to the second in my Summer Series. I talk about the magical trip I had to New York and on to Squam back at the beginning of June, indulging my global nomad tendencies. I spent my time there doing a bit of “knitting crosstraining”, stretching my creative horizons, and, as always, falling in love with lots of gorgeous yarn, only some of which came home with me.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their magnificently soft and beautiful Acadia yarn.


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.

My two-colour Whispering Island Shawl sample was knit in Acadia, and it’s gotten so many compliments. You can buy Acadia 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.

What’s in the WIP

I mentioned Paula Emons-Fussle’s new Cave Point Shawl on last week’s show, coming from the Shawls 2015 collection from Quince and Co. I’ve cast it on using that lovely Chickadee Yarn in Audouin and it’s a ridiculously addictive knit.

I’m also working on the Coopey Oleum Socks and I’m up to the lace now!

Show Links

I talk about my road trip to Squam Art Workshops with my friend Stewart. We visited:

Brooklyn General, where I splurged on a sale of Madeline Tosh yarn.

Mood Fabrics in Manhattan, of Project Runway fame, where I managed to control my urges and didn’t buy anything!

and in New Hampshire, we stopped in Harrisville, where they are famous for spinning wool. Notably Brooklyn Tweed (I bought some) but also their own Harrisville Yarn (I bought some of that, too.)

Once I got to Squam I took two classes:

An embroidery class:”Thread and Memory” with Joetta Maue

A writing class: “Writing Your Own Myth” with Elizabeth Duvivier, the founder and director of Squam

We also got to hear a talk from Clara Parkes who talked about her journey and her projects, especially her lovely Clara Yarn.

The art fair at Squam had so many wonderful vendors, including:

My friend Stewart’s Leather Wool Linen, selling beautiful bags

Yarn on The House with their brilliantly coloured hand-dyed yarn

Hannah Fettig was selling her pattern book Home and Away, which I will review in a future episode.

If you didn’t make it to Squam and you’d like to make your own little retreat at home, online classes are a great way to introduce yourself to something new, stirring your creativity. I looked up some Creativebug embroidery classes to recommend. Rebecca Ringquist is a hugely gifted thread artist and teacher who has some really great classes available.

Creating an Embroidery Sampler

Advanced Sampler Class

Kids Embroidered Pillow Class

And a heads up about an amazing event coming up.

Great London Yarn Crawl on Saturday the 5th of September, which is huge fun, and I’ll have a stand at the pop-up marketplace at the end!

That about does it for the show notes this week! I hope you enjoyed this laid-back summer episode. Join me in the Instagram game while I’m away. Just tag me or comment away to get in touch. Happy knitting!


Lovely words from Maria of Subway Knits for the final postcard in the series put together by A Playful Day #postcardbloggers2015


empire state building and the freedom tower

Dear Helen,
As we come to the final round of postcards, I thought it would be appropriate to come full circle, to say the least and talk about home, and how where someone lives serves as a daily and constant inspiration.
Where you live definitely plays a big role in who you are and what inspires you – I would say that while I love going abroad and exploring new places, there is something about where you are from, or where you plant your roots that has an equal appeal.
New York is something of a city to be reckoned with – people come here to make it, and people do their best to stay for as long as they can. New York definitely is a source of inspiration for me: it keeps me on my toes and on the go and has taught me to think fast, on my feet and to be adaptable to almost any kind of surrounding, be it the concrete and glass megaliths of downtown Manhattan, or the tree-lined streets of Astoria, where I grew up and still live.
There is always something happening here and always a new place to go and new things to see, which only add onto the ways one can be inspired. Nevertheless, this isn’t just limited to New York: wherever one makes their home, there is always that sense of discovery which never ends.
rockefeller center
There is a Japanese proverb which for my 30th birthday I had inscribed on a necklace: “sumeba miyako.” Translated, it means, “Wherever you live, it is your capital.” So far, New York City has been one of my major capitals and source of inspiration, and is my top capital, because this is where I come from.
I wonder what my next capital would be. As you can definitely understand, I still have that sense of perpetual wanderlust.

nyc christmas


I’m was so excited to receive this postcard from blogger – Clare Devine of Yarn and Pointy Sticks.  Clare has written about a place that is very dear to my heart! I’m sure you’ll all agree that scenery is breathtaking!

Tune in next week for Maria of Subway Knits and remember you can find all the blog hop participants by following the hashtag #postcardbloggers2015


Dear Helen,

This week I wanted to share a special journey and some beautiful souvenir yarn with you. Just as a scent or a piece of music can evoke a feeling and sense of place, returning you to that moment in time, yarn and colour can do the same for me. There are many skeins in my stash and projects I have made that are entwined with the memories of a time or place gone by. I know A Playful Day talked about this recently on a podcast and I wanted to share my fibre memories with you this week. Colour is such an important part of memory and I thought this would be a lovely contribution to your colour theme this month.

Last year we visited Canada for a family holiday and to attend an important family wedding. It is a magical country and we spent two weeks exploring the Rocky Mountains. The spectacular landscape was awe-inspiring and the trip is filled with fantastic memories.

Image 1_Canada

Driving from Jasper to Banff along the Icefields Parkway was an experience I will never forget. Mountains and lakes galore.

Image 2_Canada

Image 3_Canada

The colour of the water was almost impossible to capture but it really was magnificent. Up close the water is crystal clear but from afar it has this vivid turquoise green colour.

Image 4_Canada

Image 5_Canada

After this magical road trip, I could not believe my luck when I returned to the yarn shop in Calgary, The Loop – Kensington and found this skein of Sweet Georgia yarn in the Tough Love sock base.

Image 6_Skein of Tourmaline

It was the perfect match! Tourmaline captures everything I remember about those vivid lakes in a single skein of sock yarn. It really was the perfect holiday souvenir. I really should liberate it from my stash and make some gorgeous Canadian inspired socks soon.

Have a wonderful week,


Did you see the announcement about the postcard bloggers last week? Here is the first postcard thanks to Kate of the A Playful Day blog and podcast. I love how she thought about finding colour even in the most urban of environments.

Next week is Clare Devine of Yarn and Pointy Sticks.

Hi Helen,

I know you’ve been thinking about colour this month and I wanted to share one of my favourite games when exploring my home town- ‘find the colour.’

You see, I’ve been a city girl most of my life and London’s hustle and bustle, grey cityscape and urban vibe has always been my colour palette. I ALWAYS choose grey when I buy new yarn. It can get a little dreary though if I’m honest Helen.


So I find myself actively seeking those surprising peeks of colour that you get in modern cities. That unexpected gorgeousness from the produce of the greengrocers on the corner….

produce at greengrocers

The Banksy you gaze at every time you walk by….


Even the rug in your favourite grungy pub can feel like a welcome reminder that colour is everywhere on a grey day.


There’s always something surprising waiting to be found and I like to think of my stash in the same way- a jumble of colours tucked in amongst all that grey!

grey & colourful yarn

Can’t wait to hear you colour and travel stories too!

Kate x

As someone who loves to travel and considers themselves a global nomad, I was really intrigued when I was invited to be part of a blog hop organised by Kate at A Playful Day.

As part of her year of inspiration, called ‘An Inspired 2015‘, she’s been choosing different themes each month to help focus her creativity. This month her theme is ‘Location & Journey’ and she’s asked me to swap a postcard with other fellow global nomads to help share the inspiration around.

So for the next 3 Mondays you will hear from Clare of Yarn and Pointy Sticks, Maria of Subway Knits or Kate. In return, I’ll be sharing my latest inspiration for the theme on their blogs. If you want to share your inspirations or reactions, follow along and contribute with the hashtag #aninspired2015. We’ll be keeping you up to date with the tag #postcardbloggers2015.

Blogger postcards

When I left Australia for a “gap year”, I never would have imagined it would become closer to a  gap quarter-century! Having worked and lived in many different places I have called London home for many years now. Somehow, living in a different place from where I grew up always feels a little bit like being on holiday.

Since having kids, we still travel a lot and while its very different, we still love travelling and now get to see the world through a different (much shorter and slower) perspective.

Sunshine Coast Australia


Next week, expect to hear from Kate who I’ve told needs to think about her colour inspiration as that’s our topic of the month here at Curious Handmade. I wonder what she’ll come up with?