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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.

As the schools close here in Australia and we all strive to cope with our anxiety, I’ve been turning to projects that feel like comforting old friends. I also have the Ambient Socks to introduce for you, and details about some KALs I will be hosting to help keep our spirits up.

Show Links:

Meadow Yarn on Instagram

Meadow Yarn

Curious Handmade Ravelry Group Community Thread

Ambient Socks

The Walk Collection Yarn

Hedgerow Yarns

Apple Blossom Socks

The Knitting Expat

Tilda Fabric

Elton Cardigan

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:

Helen:
Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 289. This podcast is all about crafting your life with 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 the transcript on my website at curioushandmade.com.


I’d like to say a very big thank you to my sponsor Meadow Yarn. Alongside an interesting and eclectic young range, which includes Hazel Knits, Icelandic lopi and CoopKnits. We stock a carefully chosen selection of needles and notions. We’ve also recently launched hand dyed by Meadow Yarn, 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 color producing complex tonal kettle dyed shades across a range of whites and bases. With regular updates our collections of all of them grow inspired by the landscape and people around us.


You can find them at meadoywarn.co.uk. Or you can click on the ad on my blog. If you follow Meadow Yarn on Instagram, you will have seen that Anj has been dying up some absolutely stunning colorways, especially recently. I’ve just been very drawn to them. And she is still able to post yarn at the moment. So yeah, I’m sure she would appreciate any support and the colorways are just stunning. So very tempting.


Hello and welcome. Well, what another week it’s been. Obviously it’s been a very intense time for everyone and despite me thinking I would sort of reset a little bit this month, March is not the new January after all, that’s for sure. Schools have finally been closed here in Australia and I think most of the schools have been trying to put together online learning, distance learning facilities for the kids when they go back from holidays after Easter.


We have one week before the holidays officially start and so our school is just spending the week having pupil free days preparing and testing some distance learning facilities that they’ve been putting in place. Then we’ll have two weeks Easter holidays and see what happens after that. I’m assuming that we will be homeschooling and yeah. So if you hear any background noise, I’m sorry but I have to record when people are around now. And I’m trying to minimize any background noise but it may be happening despite my best efforts.


So I hope you’re all physically well and also keeping calm and the anxiety isn’t too high. I’m sure that it is quite high, but I think for me I’m trying to be very conscious of that and try to keep it under control. I don’t think that being at home with my family and being super stressed out will do any of us any favors. So I’m trying to just focus on my … Basically my top priority is to just keep calm and keep the kids calm as well.


I think it’s going to help a lot now that they’re not going to school, because that was causing me a lot of anxiety and also them because everyone’s talking about it and they can see a lot of kids in their class starting to drop off and drop out as parents were keeping them at home more and more. And so I think once we can get into a little bit of a routine here that’s going to help in a way. Although it does seem a bit daunting at this point to think that I’ll be trying to do a little bit of work hopefully and as well as looking after them.


But I have had more experience than normal with that over the past year, because due to moving we had a long summer holiday for the Northern hemisphere and then we had another long summer holiday for the Southern hemisphere. So I’m kind of used to having them around more than normal at the moment, which I think might hopefully stand me in a little bit of good stead and will hopefully let us get into a good routine fairly quickly.


My husband did PE class with them this morning and so they practiced their netball. And I think that’s going to be good, because having moved from the UK to Australia, they’re a bit behind in their netball skills from the other kids their age I’d have to say. Netball is such a big sport here and all the kids, pretty much all the kids play it pretty well. Obviously there’s different levels but it’s a much, much bigger sport here than it was in the UK. They did learn how to play netball and there was a netball club in the UK so it’s not like they’re completely unfamiliar with it, but it’s huge here.


So yes, we have a net set up and a netball. So luckily netball doesn’t rely on bouncing the ball too much, so you could do most of the skills without a sort of a too much of a flat concrete area, if that makes sense. So thanks to everybody who’s chatting on all the Ravelry threads and I did set up a thread for people to chat if they wanted to share about how they’re coping at the moment and we’ve had some conversation happening there, which has been nice.


I think it really helps to feel connected to the knitting community during this time. And I certainly very much appreciate it. I already felt very connected to people around the world, knitters around the world. It’s just really nice at the moment to have friends everywhere and be chatting with them.


So this week I released the second pattern for The Handmade Sock Society and they are the Ambient Socks. So I’ll just read the description for those. It’s the sort of sound that’s carried on the wind, the type of music that subtly invokes a specific emotion, the kind of lighting that can make a room feel cozy, intimate, inviting. Ambient is an interesting word. It comes from the Latin for surrounding and circling. Used in turn by great scientists and inspired poets. It has a gentle reputation but holds a secret power. The things it described are so all encompassing and so much a part of our environment that we barely notice them consciously. And yet our environment has immense influence on every part of our lives, our moods and our creativity. When you change your environment, you change your world.


The Ambient Socks offer an absorbing knit with eyelet lace on the front of each sock, continuing down the foot and a textured pattern on the back of the leg. The stitch patterns have been chosen to make the most of even highly variegated yarns, spreading and diffusing the different colors. An eye of partridge heel flap and gusset and a round toe in contrast color finish things off. I love to use up scrap sock yarn or minis this way. There are three sizes to choose from and as always the pattern is easy to adapt if you prefer a different heel or toe so you can find a great fit.


The yarn I used for these socks is by The Walk Collection Tough Sock and the main color is Cosmic Chaos, which seems quite appropriate. And the contrast color is Propolis. So a few weeks ago when I was talking about where I came up for the inspiration for this collection, for the theme, which is atmosphere, I was actually at Edinburgh Yarn Festival. And I didn’t mention it at the time, but it was when I was talking to Katrin at her Walk Collection store that that word popped into my head and became the theme for the collection. So it’s actually this yarn that has kind of sort of inspired the whole theme.


I think their Cosmic Chaos colorway is really gorgeous and I have really fond memories of standing, talking with Katrin about choosing contrast colors for the heel and toe. And she is so generous. She gifted me the yarn and I’m very happy to have been able to use it to the collection and how it’s turned out in the design. I think it’s really lovely. So thank you so much Katrin and for your generosity and gorgeous yarn. Thank you to Amanda for writing the gorgeous description I just read out and huge thank you to Deb who is Tinkhickman on Ravelry and Instagram for knitting the sample for me and her gorgeous photography. Also a big thank you to Tracey, who is TraceyRR on Ravelry and Comfy Red Couch on Instagram for her wonderful test knitting, Emma and Anna for their tech editing.


And just thank you, I appreciate my gorgeous knitting team so much and I hope you enjoy knitting these socks if you’re participating in the Handmade Sock Society. So as I was sitting here this week, just watching the news way too much still and just thinking about what I can do in this situation to try and help people which sort of feel a bit powerless. Being on one hand being called to stay at home and not do anything or go anywhere. And then on the other hand, just seeing so many people in need and needing help.


I thought I’d just try and inject a little bit of joy into life for my knitters and formalize some of the knit-alongs that we have happening anyway. I wanted to get a bit organized with the knit-alongs for the Handmade Sock Society. And so I have set dates for the knit-alongs and so I thought I’d give people just under two months for each sock. So they’re just ending just a little bit before another sock comes out. So that the knit-along for the first socks, which is the Luminary Socks, which is happening at the moment will end on Tuesday the 14th of April. There is a finished object thread in Ravelry at the moment and there are already 83 stunning projects in that thread, posted in that thread. So I’ve just formalized the end date for that, which is the 14th of April.


So that still gives you a little bit of time. That will be just over two weeks away. And then I’ll announce the winners on that Friday after, that’s a Tuesday, so on the Friday after that. And I have just had a little hunt around in my stash just now for that first knit-along prize and I found a really, really cheerful, beautiful skein of Hedgerow Yarns, sock yarn, which is called Tickety Boo and Jane dies gorgeous, gorgeous sock yarn. And I actually used her yarn for my very early sock pattern, Apple Blossom Socks, if you remember those ones.


So yes. So I’ve had this yarn for a little while. I was sort of collecting her yarn and I have also found a really, really cute little project bag which is perfect for sock size by MinaMakes, the knitting expat Mina. And this is a project bag that has a print of a map of London, kind of quirky print on it. So just a fun little prize for that knit-along just to make cheer things up a little bit and I’ll try to take it a photo of that and post it soon. And then I’ll find another prize for the socks just publish, the Ambient Socks and post that soon as well. So until the end there’ll be two knit-alongs happening at the same time and they’ll sort of leapfrog each other as we go along.


The other thing I came up with just to inject a bit of fun and community into things is to make a bit more of a formal knit-along for the knit20for2020 Challenge. Earlier in the year I published a list of prompts of things that we can work on and knit and that’s available as a PDF and also as images in Instagram. And it’s just sort of being quite casual and people just working on their own challenges. But I thought what I could do is have a knit-along as well with some prizes and I also wanted to try and support some of our small yarn businesses that are struggling at the moment. And so I thought that the plan is that we’ll have a thread each month in Rivalry for knit20for2020, sort of a monthly thread. You can post a project that you’ve ticked off from one of the knit20for2020 challenges in that thread. And also in the same post if you nominate and independent yarn business, an Indie Dyer or a local yarn shop that you’d like to receive a gift certificate for if you’re the winner.


So you can give a shout-out to one of your favorite Indie Dyers or yarn shops. And similarly on Instagram, if you post a photo of something you’ve completed as part of the challenge and include the hashtag of course, which is knit20for2020, and also in your caption nominate and tag an Indie Yarn Dyer or a local yarn shop that you’d like to receive a gift certificate for.


And then at the end of each calendar month I am going to draw one entry from Ravelry, one entry from Instagram, you can enter on both. And the prize is going to be a $50, 50 U.S. dollars, not Australian dollars. That would be a bit sad. So 50 U.S. dollars and or the equivalent currency to that, depending on the country. And I will arrange a gift certificate or way of purchasing a prize for you to that value if you win from a random draw.


So I hope that all makes sense and is clear, I’ll put it in the show notes, all the details in the show notes, as well as in the Ravelry thread and I’ll post about it on Instagram as well. So I just thought it would be a nice way of spreading the love a little bit and a chance for you to share some of your favorite Indie businesses and to support them a little bit at this time.


So that will continue for the rest of the year. Hopefully we won’t be in this lockdown situation for the rest of the year, but the knit-along will happen throughout the year and I think it’s going to be really lovely and really fun. So I’m looking forward to seeing your projects as well as discovering some new yarn dyers and Indie businesses.


With that being such a mixed up week, I haven’t really done a lot of knitting and in fact I have pulled out a non-knitting project which was on my list of happiness projects a couple of years ago, which is a patchwork quilt that I made. It’s such a pretty happy quilt. I used Tilda fabrics, so it’s really just really lovely, pretty colors. And it was almost finished, I had it professionally quilted and the binding was sewn on. So all I need to do now is sew down the binding and so I’ve pulled that project out and it has been really the perfect project for this week.


I’ve just been doing some very gentle stitching on the binding of my quilt and I’m, I don’t know, about three quarters of the way around. I think I’ve done about three sides now, so I will continue with that and look forward to finishing that. And then I need to choose my next fun personal knitting project for my knit20for2020 challenge. I’m thinking about doing the Elton Cardigan. I have the yarn for that Aimée from La Bien Aimée gifted me some gorgeous, gorgeous Yellow Brick Road that inspired the name of the cardi.


Aimée gave that to me at a country house retreat a couple of years ago and so it reminds me of lovely times and it’s such a bright, sunny yellow color. And it makes me think of friends and so I think that might be the one. I just have to decide if I’m up to knitting mohair at the moment or not. That’s the only slight reservation in my mind. But I think it could be okay. I think it’s a fairly straightforward design. And yeah, I think that will be a nice one to do at the moment.


So, I’ll keep you posted if that’s what I end up settling on. I still have several whips that I probably should be finishing off, but I’m kind of itching to start something new as well. And just before I sign off, I’d like to thank my sponsor A Yarn Story and just to note that A Yarn Story has to close its doors for people coming into the shop, but they are still doing mail order services, online ordering. And they are offering a sort of personal shopping appointment so that you can call them and Carmen will sort of show you different colors of yarn if you can do a FaceTime call or I think that’s how they’re doing it. They will take photos of different color combinations and things like that.


They’re really trying to help serve their customers at this time and I really appreciate them and their beautiful, beautiful yarns they have there. A Yarn Story is the city of Bath’s premier knitting boutique with a beautifully curated selection of luxury yarns in a wide range of fibers, shades and weights. From gorgeous skeins by The Fibre Co. and Walcot Yarns to a fine selection from Shibui knits, La Bien Aimée and Julie Asselin. There is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. Visit the store at Walcot Street, Bath, or shop online at ayarnstory.co.uk.


So thank you so much for being here, being part of the Curious crew and I just can’t tell you how much I appreciate you at this time and I appreciate everybody who’s bought patterns recently. I just wanted to remind you that there is a buy one get one free offer still happening till the end of the month, so the 31st of March. And you do need a coupon code for that and the code at checkout is fresh. And all you need to do is put two patterns in your basket and use the code fresh. I think the way I’ve set it up, you could actually put four in there and get two for free. I think I haven’t put a limitation on how many times you can use the coupon code.


So yes, if you fancy stocking up on some patterns, now’s a good time. And thank you to everybody who has taken advantage of that and bought patterns. I really appreciate it. I hope you’re well. I hope you’re okay. Do reach out. We have a thread in Ravelry if you want to chat and on Instagram as well. Love you, take care. Talk to you again soon.

Snowmelt MKAL tutorials and FAQs!

Helen —  February 1, 2017 — 3 Comments

The first clue for the Snowmelt MKAL arrives tomorrow! Are you ready yet? If not, don’t worry. As I mentioned yesterday, we still have flocks of new knitters signing on, and you have time to get sorted.

Today is the last day of the 20% off early bird special, so snag your copy now!

I’m still getting lots of questions about the MKAL: how it works, what to expect, and how to prepare. To help everyone get ready, I’ve put together a few resources for you.

First, I’ve created a few video tutorials for Snowmelt, including a guide to choosing yarn, and a special video showing you how to do the beautiful icord cast-on for this shawl. I know this is a new technique for some of you, but it’s so simple! I think my little walk through will help you master it easily.

Check out the Snowmelt MKAL videos here!

Next, for anyone who didn’t get onto the email list in time, I’m going to post the FAQs I sent out last week:


Q. This is my first MKAL – what can I expect?

A. Firstly – thank you for your bravery and trust – taking a leap and a chance on a pattern you haven’t seen before. I am honoured!!

A mystery knit along is all about surprises: you buy the pattern without knowing what the finished design will look like and get one clue a week until the whole pattern is released. The community aspect is huge, too: people share their progress each week and speculate on what might be coming next. Knitting a project with a group is lots of fun and supportive  – you will find lots of company in the MKAL chat thread and people to ask questions or if you have any problems.

Q. This is my first Curious Handmade shawl – what can I expect?

A. Enjoyment, on the whole! Relaxing, satisfying knitting. And of course, a beautiful accessory at the end…

On the more technical side of things, you can expect clarity. My patterns are clearly written in the unique Curious Handmade Percentage Checklist™  style with stitch count for every row and percentages of stitches knit to help you pace yourself and estimate yarn needed. Directions are written in full and also charted instructions for any lace sections.

Q. I’ve knit loads of Curious Handmade shawls before – what can I expect?

A. Well, you’ll recognise the checklist format, and if you’re a fan of my patterns (thank you!) I think you’ll find that this project is quite “typical” of my designs: lacy, feminine, easy-to-wear, and just a little romantic. I also think it will keep you guessing until the last clue is finally revealed!

Q. What is the level of difficulty?

A. It is beginner to adventurous beginner throughout.
It is a slight step up from beginner in places due to some easy lace and the amount of knitting involved but it definitely isn’t difficult in any sense. There might be a handful of rows you really have to concentrate on where you are setting up a new pattern – but it is very achievable for an adventurous lace beginner. And lifelines are always helpful if you are worried!

Q. Do I need a special code for the Early Bird price?

A. No, the Early Bird price is already applied in Ravelry, no code required. The 20% Early Bird discount will apply until Wednesday February 1st.

Q. I think the amount of the price is wrong, maybe I didn’t get the discount?

A. The price of the pattern does not include VAT. Ravelry automatically adds VAT to all purchases of patterns in the EU when you check out. The amount varies by country. I’m sorry about any inconvenience, but it is out of my control.

Q. I bought the pattern but I don’t see any knitting instructions!

A. This is a presale period for the MKAL. When you buy the pattern you’ll get an info sheet with yarn specifics and some general hints to help you prepare. The pattern will be released piece by piece, with a new clue to knit each week.

Q. When will the clues be released?

A. The clue reslease schedule is:

Thursday Feb 2nd: First clue is released!
Thursday Feb 9th: Second clue released
Thursday Feb 16th: Third clue released
Thursday Feb 23rd: Fourth clue released
Thursday March 2nd: Fifth clue released

The KAL will run until the end of March.

At the end of the MKAL I’ll compile all the clues into one pattern document so that you have everything in once place if you’d like to knit it again!

Q. I don’t have time for an MKAL right now, can I still participate somehow?

A. Life sometimes gets in the way of knitting, and not everyone can keep up with the weekly clue releases. That is perfectly okay! You can jump in and out at any point, or even wait until all the clues are out before you begin. The KAL will run for about a month after the last clue is released, so you can still join in and post your finished shawls on your own schedule. Pop into the chat thread now and then, and don’t forget to check in on Instagram with the hashtag #SnowmeltMKAL


There you go! I’m so excited for the kickoff tomorrow. I can’t wait to see all your gorgeous creations.

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

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

Skein yarn for snowmelt mkal

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

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


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

OR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snowmelt Mystery Knit Along

Helen —  January 30, 2017 — 1 Comment

snowmelt-short-banner

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

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

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

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

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

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

PURCHASE THE SNOWMELT SHAWL MKAL HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today we welcome the very talented Anj from Meadow Yarn. She spends her days surrounded by some of the most amazing yarns on the planet, and all that beauty has given her a wonderful eye for colour. As you know, Tosh Merino Light is one of the recommended yarns for the Summertide Shawl MKAL. Meadow Yarns stocks this wonderful stuff, and Anj agreed to give us her favourite ideas of colour combinations for your lovely mystery shawl. Thank you so much Anj!
* * * * *
I love seeing new colour combinations and choosing for the pure love of the colours rather than choosing to knit something for myself and having to consider boring issues like whether they actually suit me (or match my coat) is incredibly liberating! I’ve tried to find a range of combinations from subtle neutrals through sophisticated tonal variations to downright zingy contrasts…
Vermillion & Courbet’s Green Vermillion is an outrageously saturated cherry/raspberry red that just sings alongside the subtly tonal Courbet’s Green… I think this might be my favourite and it might even match my coat!
curious_vermillion_courbet
Aura & Thyme – Gentle, perfectly complimentary pastel shades of blue & green… what could be more lovely…
curious_thyme_aura
Robin Red Breast & Astrid Grey – Astrid Grey is a soft warm grey that works beautifully with Autumnal shades and Robin Redbreast is a great tonal russet red.
curious_redbreast_astrid
Oceana & Chamomile – This is a fabulous combination and one day I might be brave enough to wear it! Oceana is a vivid azure, an idyllic Meditteranean sky and Chamomile is the sunflowers growing beneath it…
curious_oceana_chamomile
Manor & Button Jar Blue – Both tonally complimentary, yet with fabulous contrast. Manor is a complex melange of forest greens and teal tones and Button Jar is the ever-popular bright turquoise that is much loved by Madtosh fans, it’s a winning combination…
curious_manor_buttonjar
Kitten and Paper are a perfectly subtle pairing. Kitten is a complex neutral ranging from steel through greige to the pale parchment highlights that are picked out perfectly by the flat off-white alabaster of Paper.
curious_kitten_paper
There, something for every knitter… now I just have to decide which colour combination to use for my own Summertide!
* * * * *
Another big thanks to Meadow Yarn! Has one of these stolen your heart? We’ll be discussing colour choices and more on the Ravelry thread, so come join us. I’m going to be giving away 10 free copies of the Summertide Shawl Pattern, and everyone who posts in the thread will be automatically entered in the draw!

I’m so happy to be able to share this post with you. Kristen (the yarn genius behind Skein’s hand-dyed loveliness) is visiting the blog today to give us some inspiration in the days leading up to the start of the Summertide MKAL. This lady knows a lot about colour! Her beautiful yarn will be available for pre-order on Friday at Skein, perfectly timed for the beginning of the MKAL! Thanks so much, Kristen

****

Hello everyone!  It’s Kristen from Skein here to help give you a few tips on selecting colour combinations for the Summertide Shawl MKAL.  As you know, the mystery shawl is going to be knit from two colours.  Here are a couple of points to help you choose a winning colour combination

1. Choose What You Love

Go to your stash, your LYS or online and find ONE skein of yarn in a colour that makes your heart sing.  Don’t think about anything else; just let your eyes wander over the colours until you find ‘the one’.

2. Time to Decide

colourwheels

Now it’s time to choose a second colour, and here’s where you need to stop and ask yourself a few questions:

1. Do you want there to be a lot of contrast, which will turn the shawl into a bold statement?   or

2. Do you want a more subtle effect?

If you want to knit a shawl with high contrast, then you might want to look for a complementary colour (the colour that sits opposite on the colour wheel).  For example, if you have chosen purple, you might want to look for a complementary yellow.  However, if you’re after something more subtle, then choose colours that have a similar hue, known as analogous colours (colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel).

Another way of brightening or toning down a colour combination is by playing around with tone.  Basically, tone is the lightness or darkness of a colour.  For example, a very pale lilac will have less contrast than a vivid violet.  If you have chosen a pale colour and you want to give your combination a lift, choose a bright second colour. Or, if you want to keep your colour combination subtle, select a colour that has a similar tone.  If in doubt, choose a grey or neutral.  Greys and neutrals paired with any colour is a fail safe choice.

3. Test Your Colour Combo

So, now you have chosen your yarns, let’s see if you will like them together.  There’s a very simple way to do this: take both of your yarns and twist them together – are you happy with how they look?  Twisting the yarns together will give you a good indication as to how these two colours will knit up.

We have pre-orders available for this KAL, so I thought it would be fun to share with you a few selected colour combinations.

1. Boho – This combo will add a little zing to your shawl, a bright pop of variegated colour mixed with a subtle semi-solid.

TDS6

 

2. Bright and Bold – These are all very strong colours that will contrast nicely together

TDS8

3. Chic – The fail safe grey paired with a pop of colour, which is great for those wanting a little contrast but not too much!

TDS10

4. Chilled Out – Pale shades together are always very soothing; they are perfect for those who are after something subtle.

 

misty sea

 

5.  Minimal – Again we see grey mixed with light colours, or you can opt for a monochromatic colour combination using a dark and pale grey.

graphite

6. Natural – A nice mix of neutrals, or add a hint of green for a natural look.

fallow

7. Romantic – Use shades of pink to create an ultra-feminine combination.

cherish

8. Touch of Whimsy – Use a strong semi-solid and pair it with a variegated to get a whimsical feel, OR, pair light and dark colours together for contrast.  And, if you’re undecided, don’t forget neutrals!  They will work well with all colours.

tiptoes

Have a wonderful time selecting your colours. If you need help with a colour combination, I’m always happy to give advice!  Finally, I just want to say a big thank you to Helen for asking me to be a part of the Summertide Shawl MKAL.

Happy knitting!

Thanks again to Kristen and Skein for being such a big part of the Summertide MKAL. If you haven’t joined us on the Ravelry thread yet, come on over! I’ll be giving away 10 free copies of the pattern before it officially goes on sale, so set up your project page and jump in with a post if you’d like to be entered in the draw. It’s a great way to get to know the other knitters and really share the excitement and surprise. 

Summertide MKAL

I’ve been hinting about this for a few weeks now, and I’m so excited to finally give you all the first taste of this Mystery Knit Along!

Hold on to summer with 8 weeks of knitting, camaraderie and mystery!

We will kick off on Tuesday 1 September when the pattern will be available to pre-purchase on Ravelry. The first clue will be released on Thursday 10 September, with weekly clues released until 1 October.

The Pattern

There’s always a certain wistfulness as the summer drifts towards its end. Our thoughts turn to things like school and schedule, and the freedom and joy of long summer days begins to fade. But there’s another side to the end of summertime: as we return from summer vacations and kids head back to school, pockets of time may begin to open up, where you can indulge yourself with projects of your own. It’s a time to set off on some adventures just for you.

That’s where the Summertide Shawl Mystery Knit-Along will work its magic.

The design is inspired by those precious holiday feelings: festive freedom from workaday responsibilities, the wanderlust of global nomads exploring a brand new city, and the glittery joy of dancing the year’s shortest night away at a solstice festival. Summertide reinterprets familiar favourites with a carefree bohemian vibe: you can look forward to beautiful lace and a modern, feminine and romantic sensibility with a twist. It will keep you guessing with every clue, filling your free moments with a delicious sense of discovery at every turn.

I’ve written Summertide in my beloved percentage checklist format so you can keep track of stitch counts, yardage requirements and pace yourself throughout the KAL. I’ve charted the lace sections, too. With all that reassurance it will be easier to surrender yourself to the mystery of making.

The Yarn

As always, the fibre is a huge part of the experience. The pattern requires two 100g skeins of sock yarn, approximately 400m/440yds each.  It’s designed for two different colours, although the shawl will look great in one colour too. Two of my very favourite yarn people are coming on board to help us choose the colours (and to contribute some beautiful skeins for giveaways!). If you’re anything like me, you might already have some sock yarn in your stash patiently waiting for it’s turn, but if you’re even more like me, you may want to indulge in some brand new skeins just for this very special project. Happily, at Curious Handmade we’re always ready to enable your yarn love!

The recommended yarns for Summertide are:

Skein Top Draw Sock

Skein is about to have a shop update on Friday (always a hotly awaited event!) and we  have a guest post from Kristen coming up recommending some absolutely wonderful colour combinations (I’ve had a sneak preview and they are breathtaking!)

Tosh Merino Light

This perennial favourite can be found at one of our long-time sponsors, Meadow Yarn, and we’ll also have a guest post from Anj about her favourite colour combos! I think you’ll be very inspired.

The Camaraderie!

I’ve started a thread on Ravelry for the MKAL, so it’s never too early to join me there! It’s a great way to meet each other and share the surprise with the community!

In fact, I’ll be having a little draw to give away 10 copies of the pattern, and all you have to do to enter is create a project page on Ravelry and post in the thread to let me know you’re joining us!

So hang onto some of that summer time feeling for yourself as we head into autumn, and join us in the Summertide Shawl Mystery Knitalong!

If you haven’t signed up for the Curious Handmade Newsletter yet, this would be a great time to join us: there will be special early bird discounts for all subscribers.

Happy knitting!

The Pebble Beach Shawl KAL just finished over on the Knitting Pipeline group on Ravelry with over 240 entries it was quite an event!

I don’t think a winner has been drawn just yet but luckily for Paula it is a random draw for prizes as it would be absolutely impossible to choose a winner from the incredible entries. I have just been reading through the thread in awe at all that amazing knitting – you are an amazing skilled and artistic bunch! I’ve pulled out some of the projects to admire here – just a few – I would have liked to have shared them all here but there were too many!

You can see all the gorgeous entries in the thread on the Knitting Pipeline Group here.

Pebble Beach Shawls

Pebble Beach Shawl

Davetony || fairycake || suemwitkin

sticksnspokes || envieduatrechose || moonlit

careree || mgladue || malhadeira

More Pebble Beach Shawls!

Pebble Beach Shawl by Curious Handmade

porcupineknitter || gypsythedog || Rohanknitter

MLES || simplyme5252 || Carmenatalie

sismademeknit || nimpin || jackie06

Other Curious Handmade Shawls

Curious Handmade Shawls

knitcrit || sandyknits || bluebirdnest

quiltercaroline || debr57 || lightning

moonlit || Betty4Fiber || patb

Curious Handmade Cowls, Wraps and Blankets

Curious Handmade Cowls and Blankets

suddgummi || JanaNav || cydh

DynamiteTrujillo || skibum || JudyAnn

judso || LauraKnitsPA || hsuv

 

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 77

 

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by the Fibre Co, and the wonderful 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.

I’ve just finished knitting a shawl sample with Acadia and it more than lives up to its description. This is very special yarn. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarns:

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, Hazel Knits and many more.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL, There’s exactly a month left to join this lively KAL which is being hosted by my friendPaula on the Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group. I’ve been marvelling at all the gorgeous FOs people are posting, and it’s been thrilling to see all the different patterns people are choosing. It’s especially fun to watch the larger Pebble Beach shawls show up. If you can’t resist jumping in, here’s what you need to know:

  • Any Curious Handmade pattern qualifies

  • You can have begun or even finished the object before the start date?

  • The hashtag for WIPs and FOs is #pebblebeachKAL. I’m stalking the hashtag on social media and it’s so fun to watch people’s progress!

Muse2 KAL The event is just around the corner and the KAL is great fun. I’m participating in this one with a pair of socks by Rachel Coopey! Just a way for everyone to join in on the Muse Connection buzz, from anywhere in world. I’m participating and having a ball, and there’s another month to go (it runs until the 30th of June) so jump in with us! FOs just need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

Hashtag #muse2KAL for WIPs and FOs!

Show links:

I mention that I’m off at the magical Squam art retreat. Just like last year I’m planning to come home with some wonderful interviews with creative people, so we can all look forward to that!

Beth talked about the book which started it all for her: Flying Lessons by mixed media artist and teacher Kelly Rae Roberts.

We discussed some of the free resources available to anyone on the Do What You Love course website, including the Making Time email program.

I personally recommend investing in yourself with the Do What You Love course. I took it last year and I’m still feeling the positive effects rippling through my life today. Beth is generously offering a discount to Curious Handmade listeners who register on the next course, which starts on June 15th.

With the exclusive code DWYLHandmade, you can purchase the course for £115 instead of £129. This offer will expire on the 7th of June, but of course you can register for the course right up until it starts.

Just a note to say that if you purchase the course after clicking through a link on my site, I receive a small affiliate commission. It’s a lovely way to support the show, so if you do decide to sign up, thank you so much!

I also announce the name of my newest design, which will be released on June 12th, so make sure to listen to the episode to hear more hints about this project! Have a wonderful week. Happy knitting to you all.

 

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 75In this episode I talk about some of the factors that make for an enjoyable shawl project. As always, choosing yarn, pattern, and needles that all play nicely together are really important. I also chat a bit about all the shawls I’m daydreaming about knitting these days.

Show Sponsors

Meadow Yarn 

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

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

This episode is sponsored by The Fibre Company and their newest yarn, Cumbria.

Inspired by England’s stunning northwest region with its deep blue lakes and sheep-grazed fells and valleys, Cumbria is a lustrous blend of brown wool from the rare breed masham sheep, fine South American wool and mohair from South Africa. The resulting light brown-grey shade is then over-dyed creating lovely deep saturated colours. Cumbria is a staple yarn, perfect for garments and accessories alike.

KAL News

Meet My Yarn KAL We have a winner!! Number 25, skibum, aka Anita in real life, has won that special skein of yet-to-be-released Cumbria yarn. Her yarn was Rustic Fingering by The Neighborhood Fiber Co. and she was swatching for Monomania by Ann Weaver. Thank you so much to everyone who took part in this KAL. It was fascinating and a lot of fun!

Pebble Beach KAL, hosted by my friend Paula from Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group, is still going strong. The deadline isn’t until July 5th, so there’s still loads of time if you’d like to get involved. The rules are simple and chilled out:

  • You can use any Curious Handmade pattern

  • It’s okay if you began or finished the object before the start date

  • Don’t forget that there’s a Ravelry coupon code: use KPKAL30 for 30% off until May 31st

  • The hashtag for WIPs and FOs is #pebblebeachKAL. There are already some great projects showing up on Instagram and twitter!

Muse2 KAL We’ve put this together so everyone can join in the fun, no matter where you are on the world. It’s going until June 30th. Nice loose rules on this one, too. Just submit a FO that meets one or more of the following criteria:

Hashtag #muse2KAL for WIPs and FOs!

What’s in the WIP?

I mentioned last week that I’m planning to knit Rachel Coopey’s Oleum socks for the Muse 2 KAL. So far I’ve printed out the pattern and wound the yarn: it’s progress, and I’ll take it!

Show Links

I talked about the two Craftsy classes I’m enjoying right now

Shawlscapes by Stephen West

Laura Nalkin’s Mastering Lace Shawls

I mentioned that specialist lace needles, like Addi Lace, can be handy for the delicate lace yarns.

Three shawl patterns mentioned in this episode:

Aisling by last week’s guest Justina Lorkowska

Swallowtail by Evelyn A. Clark

Echo Flower by Jenny Johnson Johnen

That should just about wrap it up for this episode! I hope you enjoyed the show. Happy knitting in the week ahead!