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.
Our first Curious Handmade MKAL in quite a while is coming up quickly! I’ve finally got some details to share with you, including our theme (which I hope you’re going to love) and the yarn requirements. I’ve also got a little chat about life with the kids heading back to school, my own personal crafting projects, and the garden.
This time of year naturally invites a bit of nostalgia. Our brains make much stronger memories any time there is a strong emotion involved, which is why we remember how we’ve spent most of the holidays in our lives but not what we were doing on most random Tuesdays in June, for example. Making and giving handmade gifts is another good way of creating a lasting memory. All the love and care and all the hours that go into each project have a way of working them deep into our hearts.
This will be the 7th Knitvent, a number that’s a little boggling when I look at it typed out there. Just like the holidays, each year is a mix of the comfortingly familiar and the unexpectedly new. It is astonishing to think about how many memories and gifts we’ve made together over the years, and I am so looking forward to doing it all again very soon.
I know we have many knitters, readers, and listeners with us who remember all the way back to the very first Knitvent, but we’re also lucky enough to have new friends joining the Curious Crew who have never taken part before. I love taking a moment before the season kicks off to look back. If you’re a long-time Knitventer I hope this retrospective shakes loose some happy memories and maybe inspires you to double back and knit something you always meant to make from a previous season (or to knit another version of an old favourite.) And if you’re a new knitter who is not quite sure what to expect, I think seeing all the past collections lined up together like this will give you some idea of what you’re in for if you join in!
We have a buy-one-get-one free sale happening right now, and all of our Knitvent collections are still available to purchase as full collections or as individual patterns, so if you’d like to revisit Knitvents past, now’s your chance to spoil yourself a little while you wait for this year’s fun to start!
Last year’s Knitvent explored the theme of Peace, drawing inspiration from some of the most beautiful poetry on the subject. Finding peace in a busy, conflicted world at a particularly hectic time of year isn’t always a simple task. I find that using knitting and stolen quiet moments of reflection as a kind of meditation, as a way to find my centre, helps me show up in the world in a more peaceful way. This was an introspective Knitvent, and I was very moved by the thoughtful response (and of course, gorgeous knitting!) from the community.
This was the year of our Nutcracker Knitvent, and it was one of my favourite collections to date. The community response was spectacular, with floods of happy memories sparked and shared by the Nutcracker theme. Favourite childhood moments, pure holiday magic, the real-life-fairytale of ballerinas and sweeping orchestral music: it was all incredibly inspiring and it was an absolute joy to see how much fun everyone had with these patterns.
This year’s collection had a fun colour story with lots of pops of teal, one of my favourites. I was inspired by old fashioned travel posters and postcards, and by the idea of a ski holiday in an alpine forest. In 2016 we had a guest designer, which was exciting and brought a new perspective to the collection: Renée Callahan of East London Knit designed the very stylish Boreal Forest hat and cowl, featuring retro-styled graphical colourwork.
The theme for 2015 was “light and bright” and captured the glitter and sparkle of wintertime and the cosy warmth of comforting, texture-rich yarns. From twinkling fairylights to far-off stars, from crisp unbroken snow and frosty icicles to the crackling glow of the fireplace, we reveled in everything that makes the season bright.
The second year of Knitvent played with texture and detail. The shine of sequins, beads, and ribbons contrasted with the tactile softness of mohair, cables, and tassels. I love seeing these patterns pop up again and again through the years, bringing more happiness to new people every season. Every time I come across a new project someone has made from the Knitvent archive my heart just glows.
Our very first Knitvent together was ambitious and exciting and so, so much fun. I didn’t know how I was going to pull off releasing eight designs so quickly, but we managed it and I think it really gave me a burst of confidence as a newish knitting designer at the time. It’s been a remarkable journey since then, and I still see people knitting these designs all the time: the Red Robin Shawl and the Warm Wishes Hottie Cover in particular have really gone on to lead rich lives of their own since then!
I want to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has ever been a part of Knitvent and to everyone who is considering joining us in 2019. Your joy, enthusiasm, and generosity make this event so special, and I’m so grateful that I get to do this again with you this year! If you would like to make sure that you don’t miss any information about Knitvent 2019, make sure that you are signed up for the Curious Handmade Newsletter. That’s where you can hear all the news about our theme this year, the early bird special, upcoming giveaways and pop-up sales, and every bit of the Knivent magic. Happy knitting!
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!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.