Archives For Patterns

Every Knitvent til now…

Helen —  October 15, 2018 — 2 Comments

Cue holiday nostalgia in 3…2…1! As I’m tidying away the last details for our Knitvent 2018 theme reveal these year, I’ve taken a few moments to wander down memory lane. This will be our 6th Knitvent together, and it’s absolutely incredible to think of all the gifts we’ve knit together in that time. So many memories, so many surprises, and what must be approaching millions of yards of yarn by now. It’s also really fun to see how Knitvent has changed and grown with the community over time, and to revisit the themes that we explored together year after year.

If you happen to be new to Curious Handmade, you might not have been around for these Knitvents, but that doesn’t mean you’ve missed out. All of our Knitvent collections are still available to purchase as full collections or as individual patterns. And until midnight tonight, Monday October 15th, 2018, my buy-one-get-one free sale is still running, so you can stock up if you like!

Two-for-one sale on all Curious Handmade Patterns and Collections (Including past Knitvents!)

To everyone who has ever been a part of Knitvent before: thank you! You are an indispensable part of the magic. I hope that peeking back at everything we’ve enjoyed together might remind you of an older pattern you’ve been meaning to make, or maybe nudge you to knit a favourite again this year. So without further ado, here’s every Knitvent so far…

 

Knitvent 2017

Our Nutcracker Knitvent last year was so joyous and lively! I heard from so many of you about your own Nutcracker memories and was swept away by the excitement and enthusiasm of the community for these patterns. The dreamy ballet theme, the fairytale atmosphere, the re-captured childhood magic…it was all very, very special.

Patterns:

Large photo: Land of Sweets Cowl

Small photos, clockwise from top: Marzipan Legwarmers, Clara’s Cape, Tchaikovsky Mitts, Tchaikovsky Hat, Tulle Shawl

Buy the whole Knitvent 2017 Collection


Knitvent 2016

This was also a special year. I love the colour story for this collection, and the theme of a cosy winter holiday in an picture-postcard-perfect alpine forest is still a magical place to visit in my imagination. In 2016 we also had Renée Callahan of East London Knit join us as a guest designer. She created the gorgeous Boreal Forest set with its graphical colourwork.

Patterns:

Large photo: Alpine Sunset Shawl
Small photos, clockwise from top: Fresh Tracks HeadbandBoreal Forest HatBoreal Forest CowlJuniper SocksJuniper Mitts

Buy the Knitvent 2016 Collection


Knitvent 2015

In 2015 we explored the theme of “light and bright” with a collection that was all about beautiful textures, comforting, cosy yarns, and all the heartwarming glitter of the season: fairylights, crisp unspoiled snowdrifts, icicles and stars.

Patterns:

Large image: Winter Wander Shawl
Small images, clockwise from top: Ice River HatIce River SnoodCabin Path ShawlKindling MittsKindling Hat

Knitvent 2014

Looking back at the patterns of 2014, what stands out are the little details: beads and ribbons,sequins and tassels, a strand of mohair, a pretty cable. I’ve seen knitters use some of these patterns again and again over the years for gifts, which is incredibly heartwarming.

Large image: Adorn Gift Bags
Small images, clockwise from top right: Candlelit Beaded ShawlIce Skating Scarf and WrapLind CowlCrisp and Even Cowl

Buy the Knitvent 2014 Collection


Knitvent 2014

Knitvent 2014 will always be close to my heart. It was the first time we gathered together for this holiday tradition, and some of the patterns are still among my favourites. Eight designs was quite a lot to manage, but we had so much fun!

Patterns:

Top row, right to left: Red Robin ShawlCheckerboard MittsFresh Powder CowlWarm Wishes Hottie.
Bottom row, right to left: Stardust Infinity ScarfRella MittsQuicksilver CowlNaughty or Nice Hat.

Buy the Knitvent 2013 Collection


Now I’m more excited than ever to introduce you to this year’s Knitvent and begin this wonderful tradition all over again. If you want to be sure not to miss any tidbits in the lead up to our new Knitvent season, be sure to sign up for the Curious Handmade Newsletter. That way you’ll be among the first to hear about the theme for this year, our early bird special, our upcoming contests, and all the other wonderful things that are part of our Knitvent celebrations!

It’s that time of year again! Knitvent is waiting in the wings, ready to sprinkle some holiday excitement and anticipation over your gift-knitting plans. As the buzz builds and planning begins in earnest, I’ve put together our annual gift guide. This curated selection of patterns from the Curious Handmade archives just might inspire you to get started on a precious handmade present or two while we wait for the first new Knitvent patterns to arrive.

To make it even easier to get your gift knitting plan up and running, I’ve organized a little pre-Knitvent treat:

All of my patterns and collections are buy-one-get-one-free until the 15th of October, 2018!

 

You don’t have to use a code or do anything special to get your free pattern. Just put any two of my patterns or collections into your cart and the least expensive item is magically free: a gift from me to you and your loved ones!

I’ve included a little something for everyone! You might recognize some recent favourites and some Curious Handmade classics which have been knit over and over again as treasured gifts.

Warm Hands, Warm Heart

A cosy new pair of hand-made mitts makes a perfect gift for just about anyone on your list. They don’t take much yarn, they’re relatively quick to knit. I love making mitts from squishy, rustic yarn, but they are also a wonderful opportunity to use up those luxurious single skeins in pretty colours that you’ve been saving for a special project.

Hand Knitted Mitt Patterns By Curious Handmade

Patterns, clockwise from top left: Kindling Mitts, Tchaikovsky Mitts, Checkerboard Mitts, Juniper Mitts

 

Special Occasion Shawls

When you want to give a truly unforgettable gift. These stunning shawls are a wonderful way to spoil someone dear. With lovely lace, sparkling beads, and refined details, a special occasion shawl adds a bit of magic to any outfit: perfect for all those glittering holiday parties!

Special Occasion Knitted Shawl Patterns by Curious Handmade

Patterns, clockwise from top left: Snowmelt Shawl, Fairyhill Shawl, Candlelit Shawl, Amulet Shawl

 

Toasty Toes

Is there anything as nurturing and wholesome hand-knit socks? Let them know how much you care and keep their feet warm and snug by knitting up a pair from soft but sturdy yarn. If you’re mailing your packages far away, a compact single-skein gift like this is ideal.

Handknit sock patterns by Curious Handmade

Patterns, clockwise from top: Juniper Socks, Vintage Fairy Lights Socks, Apple Blossom Socks

 

Secretly Speedy Knits

So much time and love goes into creating handknitted gifts. We have unlimited supplies of the love, but sometimes the time gets a little tight. These lovely patterns all use heavier weight yarn, a gift-knitter’s secret weapon. Squish aran and bulky weight yarns not only make the finished objects extra cuddly: they also knit up super-fast, which means you can have an impressive handmade present ready at the last minute.

Speedy Knitting Patterns from Curious Handmade

Patterns, clockwise from left: Familiar Shawl, Sonder Shawl, Bracile Hat and Cowl.

 

Hopefully this guide has got your fingers twitching and your creativity bubbling. Very soon I’ll be releasing more details about Knitvent 2018…until then, happy knitting!

Even before Knitvent begins, I know many of you well-prepared knitters are getting your gift list together. To fill in the space before the first secret pattern comes through, I’ve put together some suggestions to get you started with your holiday knitting: shawls and accessories to keep your nearest and dearest feeling cosy and loved throughout the holiday season.

As a little pre-Knitvent treat and to help you get your planning off to a running start, I’m running a special two-for-one sale until the 31st of October! You don’t have to do anything special to get the free pattern: just put any two of my patterns or collections into your cart and the least expensive item will be magically free!

I’ve chosen some special designs from the whole spectrum of Curious Handmade patterns. Some might be familiar, while others are old friends from the past which still have the power to surprise and delight.

Sweet Little Somethings

The best things come in small packages. These compact, lovely designs will spoil the most knit-worthy friends on your list this year: particularly perfect if you have to mail your parcel far away.

Clockwise from top right: Apple Blossom Socks, Global Nomad Handwarmers, Vintage Fairy Lights Socks, Jewel Cowl

Single Skein Shawls

The smallest size of each of these lovely shawls uses just one skein: it’s a lovely way to whip up a quick gift while using up some special one-skein stash.

Clockwise from top right: Pebble Beach Shawl, Fireflies Rising Shawl, Talisman Shawl, Alpine Sunset Shawl

Hats and Sets

Everyone loves a hand-knitted hat, and if you have time, it’s extra-special to make something to match. There’s an odd one out here but it was too pretty not to include!

Clockwise from right: Bracile Hat and Cowl Set, Cataleya Hat, Eden Fells Scarf, Eden Fells Hat

 

Surprisingly Simple

Looking for something unique that won’t take weeks of concentration to create? These deceptively easy designs will fly off your needles!

Clockwise from top right: Sonder Shawl, Botan Shawl, Laveer Kerchief, Cadence Shawl

 

I hope this little guide has sparked some knitting inspiration for you today! Stay tuned to hear more about  Knitvent 2017 and other holiday delights from Curious Handmade. Happy knitting!.

Play

Today’s episode is packed, as I share all my stories from Squam, talk about a wonderful collaboration I’m a part of this weekend, and catch you up on the many exciting WIPs I have going on at the moment.

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 Northbound Knitting, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links:

Squam

To help the Yarn in the City Girls celebrate five years of the GLYC, I’m launching an expanded version of my Fireflies Rising Shawl. The revised pattern will feature a new size and is launching tomorrow, Saturday, June 17th.

The two yarns that The Wool Kitchen and The Travel Knitter have created for this collaboration are breathtaking. They will be doing special updates tomorrow, Saturday, June 17th at 9am BST.

This is the delicious Dancing Fireflies in a Merino/Silk Blend

And here is the incredible Midnight Fireflies from The Travel Knitter, in crazy-soft baby camel and silk:

Here are Larissa and Helen in their Fireflies Rising Shawlettes!

And here’s the new larger version using both yarns:

There will be a Fireflies Rising KAL starting on the 1st of July!

Yarn in the City Ep: 61 with details about the upcoming GLYC Fireflies Rising KAL and an interview with me

Refuge

There will be a KAL starting on the 1st of July.

HeyBrownBerry Instagram

Dyenamixx Yarn Instagram

Handmade and Woolen Podcast

Rib Magazine

Woolen Boon Yarn

Linen & Spoon

Elisabeth on Earth Art

LeatherWoolLinen

Making Magazine

Swoon Maine Book

curious.and.coe

Union Square Socks by Mina Phillips

Voolenvine Yarn

Confetti Pullover by by Veera Välimäki

Fringe Supply Co.

Fringe Association Blog

Summer of Basics-Along

#summerofbasics

Pure Joy Shawl by Joji Locatelli

Giveaway Winners:

For Pom Pom Magazine and Pomfest Tickets:

The magazine:

I love the Bon Bon mitts. Unfortunately, I can’t come to London for the festival but would love an issue of this magazine. Thank you.

The tickets:

Hi! Thanks for this podcast episode–it was great and fun listening. So, I’ve thought through the question about my fave design in the newest Pom Pom Quarterly, issue 21. I am very keen to get my hands on this bday issue. I really want to knit nearly all the patterns, so it’s difficult to decide on my favourite. My way of solving this, is that, since we are hopefully into warmer weather, I would knit either Boum or Jambouree first, as they’re the best knits for warmer weather. I would love to attend the Pom Pom 5 year bday party, so please enter me into this competition, as well. Thanks so much for this giveaway!!

For the Fairyhill Shawl Mini KAL

Winner of the Eden Cottage Yarn prize:
Winner for the Wool Barn prize:
That’s all I have for this episode’s notes! I hope you enjoyed the show, and until next week, happy knitting!

Apple Blossom Socks!

Helen —  March 21, 2017 — 3 Comments

March has been a tremendously busy month, especially in regards to new pattern releases! I think this one will make a lot of you quite happy. Ever since my first sock pattern, the Vintage Fairy Light Socks, I’ve been getting requests to do another sock design. Well, today’s the day! If you follow me on instagram you will have seen this teaser photo of some gorgeous yarn dyed by my friend Jane at Hedgerow Yarns.

Apple Blossom yarn

She created this limited-edition colourway, Apple Blossom, for me to create the sweet, springy Apple Blossom socks. The yarn and the pattern had a sneak preview as kits for the last Curious Handmade Country House Retreat.

Today I’m releasing the pattern on Ravelry so everyone can enjoy them!

thumb_IMG_3419_1024

The Apple Blossom socks celebrate that moment of year where everything seems to burst into bloom at once. The magic is strongest in the middle of an orchard, surrounded by thousands of tiny flowers and the lively scent of spring. Apple Blossom features an easy ribbed pattern along the leg and foot features rows of little eyelets like blossoms along a branch. The socks are knit from the cuff down and are finished with a traditional heel flap and gusset.

thumb_IMG_3347_1024

Spring is booming right now in my part of the world, and the Apple Blossom socks are directly inspired by the fresh joy of the season.

The Apple Blossom Socks pattern is now available to buy on Ravelry!

If you’ve fallen in love with this yarn, I don’t blame you. I just love it. Since people were asking on Instagram, we have put together a limited edition of kits, including the Apple Blossom Socks pattern and a skein of the Apple Blossom yearn. Jane is making up a special update for the release day, so keep a close eye on her Etsy shop today at 7pm GMT. You might be able to snag yourself a kit!

Now that I’m home from all my adventures, I wanted to share a little about the launch of The Waves Collection for The Fibre Co. When I spent some time at The Fibre Co. stand over the course of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, I was struck again by what a wonderful experience it was to be in a collection with two incredible designers, working with a company that makes such an amazing product. It was fascinating to see how we all had such unique interpretations of the theme of water: waves, waterfalls, rivers, bays, and quiet pools. Texture was a really huge part of the collection, which makes sense with a yarn as tactile as Road to China. Watching people react to the shawls in person was so meaningful. No one could resist touching them, and people were so generous with their appreciation of all the designs. Hiroko’s gorgeous lacy yellow Lingholm shawl really stood out as a perfect pop of colour, and everyone wanted to try it on!

I absolutely loved seeing all of the shawls together, so I thought I’d share a little of that experience with all of you who couldn’t make it to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival:

Melanie2 Collage

Hiroko Collage

Helen Collage

Top to bottom, left to right: Melanie Berg’s Armadale and Falls of Foyers; Hiroko Payne’s Lingholm and Portinscale; my Kelso and Tobermory.

It was a really big deal for me to be a part of this project, and I want to give a big thank you to The Fibre Co, to my two fellow designers, and to everyone who has commented, sent me messages, and bought the patterns already. It means so much to me to be a part of such a supportive, creative community.

All photos ©The Fibre Co. and Tommy Martin Photography.

I’m really thrilled to finally be able to share not one but two brand new shawl patterns with you today. Tobermory and Kelso were designed as part of the Waves Collection for The Fibre Co. Three designers each contributed two shawl designs: myself, Melanie Berg, and Hiroko Payne. The Waves collection was created to showcase the incredible Road to China Light yarn from The Fibre Company. Being part of this collection has been a wonderful experience. I’m delighted to be in the company of such wonderful shawl designers, and working with the Road to China Light yarn was a dream.

 

The Tobermory Shawl, designed by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade

Photo ©The Fibre Co. and Tommy Martin Photography.

The Tobermory shawl is named after an impossibly beautiful seaside town on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, where brightly painted buildings sparkle against the dark blue bay. Legend has it that a Spanish galleon laden with gold lies at the bottom of that bay, lost in the 16th Century and never recovered.

Back of the Tobermory Shawl designed by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade

Photo ©The Fibre Co. and Tommy Martin Photography.

The stripes of the crescent shaped Tobermory shawl hint at the promise of riches beneath the waves. Its easy lace and eyelets were planned to thoughtfully showcase two colours of the gorgeous Road to China Light yarn: lustrous, subtly tonal, and always treasured.

Buy Tobermory on Ravelry!

Kelso Shawl, designed by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade

Photo ©The Fibre Co. and Tommy Martin Photography.

The Kelso shawl takes its name from a charming Scottish border town which lies nestled in the confluence of the Tweed and Teviot rivers. Known for the romance of its ruined abbey, graceful bridges, and cobblestone streets, it is a place to lose yourself in time as you wander along the riverbanks.

Kelso Shawl designed by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade

Photo ©The Fibre Co. and Tommy Martin Photography.

An elongated triangle shawl, Kelso captures the different textures of river and town, with wonderful three-coloured stripes, flickering eyelets and simple lace. The pattern was designed to feature the distinct beauty of the Road to China Light yarn, bringing its complex saturated tones and gentle lustre centrestage.

Buy Kelso on Ravelry!

 

Like so many knitters, my work is deeply influenced by fibre. So many of my designs can trace their beginnings back to a skein of yarn that captured my heart and set my mind working. I always like to share a little about how the fibres I work with spark my creativity, so here’s a little bit more about the fantastic yarn which inspired the Waves Collection. I spent ages pouring over the Road to China shade cards to choose colours…they are all so jewel like and luscious. I spent ages pouring over the shade cards to choose colours. I decided on something a bit more dramatic for Tobermory, and was really influenced by the water theme for Kelso with the blues…I imagine a misty morning on the water with the lavender.

Here’s the description from The Fibre Co.

The Road to China blend was born from our days of owning a small mill back in Maine in the early days of The Fibre Co. Years of fibre exploration at the carding machine hand blending raw fleeces led to the pursuit of the perfect yarn made from truly luxurious fibres. The resulting Road to China blend creates a knit fabric with a soft halo but enough definition to explore subtle textures and shifting patterns. In keeping with the tone of gentle decadence that Road to China brings, we developed a colour palette that is inspired by nature’s jewels and dyed each hank to work in harmony with the raw fibres that go into the blend. Combining the light fawn of the baby alpaca with the soft tones of camel and cashmere as well as the lustrous sheen of silk gives the perfect base for subtle duotones that peek through our saturated colours. Road to China Light is the hank we reach for when we want to create something truly special.

This is one of, if not the, most luxurious yarns I’ve knit with. It’s so soft and silky — incredible to both knit with and wear. Super cosy. I also really came to love the sport weight. It has a bit more body than fingering but still very light. I’m just such a fan.

It’s so exciting to send these two patterns out into the world after working on the designs in secret for so long. I absolutely love this shawls, and I hope you will too! The samples will be on display at The Fibre Company’s stand at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, so you can visit them in person. (I also recommend taking a moment to pet a few skeins of the Road To China yarn!)

It has become a Curious Handmade tradition that I design a special pattern for each retreat. We’ve been so lucky to have The Fibre Company as a retreat sponsor since we began running these events: each time I’ve had the privilege to create a pattern inspired by one of their luxury yarns.  The very first retreat pattern was the Hilltop Shawl, which used the perfectly-named Cumbria yarn. Next came the Bracile Hat and Cowl for the last autumn retreat. They used the amazing woolen-spun Arranmore yarn.

Today I’m excited to release the third CHCH pattern, the Laveer Kerchief, made from The Fibre Company’s luxurious new yarn, Luma.

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Laveer is an evocative old nautical term for sailing against the wind. I love the sense of striving, adventure, and exhilaration in that word, and I think this snug little accessory captures that same sense of exploration. Perfect for windy days on land or sea, Laveer is a jaunty sailor-striped kerchief which exists somewhere in the space between a cowl and a shawl. Knit in the round and featuring easy lace and eyelets, it’s versatile and cosy, but light enough to wear even on warmer days.

You can buy the Laveer pattern here now!

A little bit about the yarn: Luma has a tagline which really sums up this wonderful yarn: “threads of sunlight.” 50% Merino wool, 25% Organic cotton, 15% Linen, 10% Silk.

Here’s the Fibre Company’s description…

A classic DK weight yarn, Luma is inspired by the mood and light found in mid-latitude savannas—those grassland ecosystems with open canopies allowing plenty of sunlight. Daily life in mid-latitude climates, whether in the drier Mediterranean or temperate Great Plains of the USA, is best handled with a layered approach to clothing. Plant-based fibres mixed with silk and wool provide a built-in layer of warmth in winter yet lightness when required in warmer temperatures. The Luma palette includes soft neutrals and bright shades of pink, blue and green.

The colour palette is super fresh and pretty: very spring like and light. I absolutely love it. All of the colours go together very well, so I am very excited to see what combinations the retreat attendees choose for their stripey Laveer kerchiefs! (I also love that you can get two kerchiefs out of two skeins just by reversing the colours!)
The combination of plant and animal fibres is really interesting. The wool gives it some elasticity, the plant fibres give it that light summer feeling and the silk makes it lovely and smooth to knit. The feel of the fabric is soft and light with a nice body to it. This would be really very nice for summer cardis and tops. As always with The Fibre Company yarns the blend is very intriguing and different and very enjoyable to work with…it seems to knit up surprisingly fast, as well. I’m not sure if it’s the touch of silk in there which makes my needles fly or some mysterious sort of magic, but I love it.
If you have a bit of retreat FOMO, hopefully this pattern will cheer you up. I decided to release it as the retreat gets underway. I’m hoping it will inspire you to take a little special knitting time for yourself this week, even if carving out space for a whole retreat wasn’t possible this time. I’m wishing you a special cup full of fragrant tea, your favourite chair, and a few hours of uninterrupted creativity, wherever you may be.

Introducing Botan!

Helen —  April 15, 2016 — 1 Comment

This is so exciting! Amirisu issue 10 has just been launched, and it includes a new shawl pattern by yours truly! This is Botan.

botan2

“Botan = Peony in Japanese

A shawl adorned with bobbles and picots. It is mostly knit in garter stitch, which makes it great project for beginner knitters. It makes a lovely spring shawl when knit in cheerful colors as the sample, or can be used throughout the year when you choose more chic color combinations.”

You can see the pattern here on Ravelry with more adorable photos, and you can buy the whole issue (with 8 glorious Spring/Summer patterns) here. Single patterns from the issue will be available from June 1st.

I just love this sweet little shawl and I hope you will too!

 

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