Archives For Patterns

Knitvent Window #1: Red Robin Shawl

Helen —  November 24, 2013 — 5 Comments

Presenting the first pattern in the Curious Knitvent 2013 Collection.

Its a sprightly little shawl called Red Robin.

This cheery, light shawl will brighten up the bleakest months of the year, like the warbling notes of its namesake. The main body of the shawl is worked in a super speedy stockinette stitch and the textured border is so straightforward it won’t slow you down much. The elongated triangular shape is emphasised with bouncy tassels at the points. It can be made with one skein of sock yarn and all sections of the shawl can easily be adjusted to the amount of yarn you have.

You can buy the whole Knitvent Collection here (a sparkling bargain)

Or you can buy just the Red Robin Pattern here.

Red Robin Shawl

Red Robin Shawl

With the first pattern out now we will be knitting away together on the Curious Handmade board on Ravelry so if you want to join in, do pop over, join the group and join in the nattering.

knitting pattern shawl

The big reveal is here! The final pattern for the Curious Collective Shawl has been released in full.

This shawl is the result of the decisions of over 2000 knitters from 55 countries around the world. Participants joined in this “create your own adventure” shawl design project through a series of votes on the Curious Handmade blog.

The crescent shape, chosen by voters, is created by several increase rows and designed to sit beautifully on your shoulders. It also shows off the textured stitch patterns which are inspired by a spring meadow. The shawl is knit using two colours of sock weight yarn, the winning purple hues in the original complement the wildflower theme beautifully.

To everyone who took part – honestly I can’t thank you enough!! This design was truly a collective effort as many of the choices that you all made weren’t always what I would have naturally gone to first and so this has really inspired and challenged me to come up with something really different from my usual designs. It has been an amazing creative boost and I’ve loved every minute of it. All the interesting and supportive comments have meant so much to me too!

knitting pattern shawl

The Official Knit Along starts tomorrow, 26 July 2013. Or today if you’re super keen and all prepared.

If not then you have today to have a scan of the pattern, print it out or download to your tablet device, and get your yarn and needles organised.

Like many of my shawl patterns this is written in my totally non-patented Percentage Checklist format and I have provided some charts too for the more detailed sections of the design.
The percentages make it a breeze to organise a KAL! I’m planning a five week KAL starting tomorrow which will bring us to 31 August as an end date.
Breaking it up in to five weeks gives us a goal of completing 20% of the shawl each week.
Anyone can join in the KAL – it isn’t just for people who participated in the voting process – just jump in at any time. Its going to be fun!!
I haven’t quite ironed out all the details of the KAL just yet so stay posted for that! I have set up a KAL board on the Curious Handmade group on Ravelry so feel free to pop over there and post about the yarn you are using and “register” your participation in the KAL. At this stage I will aim to keep a list of all the participants but if there are too many this might be too ambitious!
The Curious Collective Shawl pattern is available to buy on Ravelry for US $6.

knitting pattern shawl

What do you think of the final result? Leave a comment and let me know if its anything like what you expected or imagined!

knitting pattern shawl wrap

knitting pattern shawl wrap

These photos were taken in our garden and around our neighbourhood in South East London.

knitting pattern shawl wrap

Credits: A huge thank you to my tech editor Emma, photographer Kirsty Barton, graphic designer Noa Nesher and wonderful test knitters martiniiis, michelle166, gringaquilmes and arianwenmcb.

That was my favourite week so far! It was a pretty close result between narrow stripes and colour block and there were so many fantastic comments! Thank you everyone who took the time to vote and especially comment. I read all the comments with great interest. Colour block was the winner with 51% of the votes.

A few people considered that for textured stitches to really shine the colour block option would be better, and I think this is true. I do love narrow stripes but it would be a lot going on at the same time.

Now that there have been quite a few decisions made about the shawl I can really start to focus on the design. My shawl designs usually start with a spark of inspiration which can be from a variety of things. Sometimes it is a particular skien of beautiful yarn (Radiance was like that) or a stitch pattern (e.g. for Câlin I really wanted to incorporate chevrons).

In the case of Elemental Things which is a new pattern I’ll be releasing very soon, it was my desire to capture a mood that led to the design. I was at a cafe in London on a really gloomy February day so it ended up being quite dark and gritty. It was also photographed on a freezing day in November last year which adds to this mood (this one has been in the pipeline for a loooong time!).  It ended up being my go to neck warmer throughout last winter and I wore it to work nearly every day.

For the Curious Collective shawl, now that I have some constraints to work with (positive ones) I will be flipping through stitch dictionaries and magazines, letting ideas float in and out, turning them over and upside down and see what takes shape.

I’m not sure what the final poll is going to be yet! I know that is cutting it fine but as it’s the last one I want it to be a goodie. Stay tuned and I will have it up by Monday at the latest.

Elemental Things Shawl

Elemental Things is a semicircular, lace weight shawl. This sample is knit in MadeleineTosh Prairie.

It is very exciting that after months of keeping a secret I can finally share Glitz at the Ritz just out in Knitty, First Fall issue.

It is a great issue with a fantastic pattern by Amy Hertzog called Jackaroo that I really want to make.

I also love the Solidago socks by Mary Jane Mucklestone and the Sugar Stick Scarf by Kristine Byrnes. And Sinnesfrid by Madeleine Nilsson. Lots more goodies, go check it out.


The location for the photos is the Horniman Museum in South East London. Its claim to fame is an absolutely enormous stuffed walrus. There is also a cool aquarium. As you can see from the pics the gardens are stunning too.





Its a little bit “Gatsby” don’t you think? I think it’s enough of a nod to wear to a Great Gatsby themed party this weekend anyway!

Glitz at the Ritz Knitty

Now, normally on a nice day this area would be packed full with families. The fact that not a single other person is there on a Saturday morning gives you a clue how cold it was. I tried not to include the shots where the goosebumps were too obvious.

As you can see from this last pic, it was actually snowing. I really love this shot, but it does look a bit grim doesn’t it?!


I’m knitting another one in variegated Posh Yarn to see how it looks and have started a knit along going on the Curious Handmade board on Rav if you’d like to join me.

Week Two has flown by! There was no doubt about the winner this week – Semicircular shape was by far the most popular with just under 60% of votes. Rectangular narrowly won out over triangular although second place was pretty close.

Interestingly there were a lot of comments that while people voted for semicircle, actually they wanted a crescent option. I was thinking a general rounded edge category was ok but now I want to know whether people really prefer semicircular or crescent. So I’ve decided to add a second poll with this question this week.

I was absolutely blown away by one statistic this week. There were knitters voting from 53 countries around the world!!! Fifty-three!!!!

So hello Taiwan, Brazil and Peurto Rico. A bit shout out to Mongolia, Mexico and Malaysia! G’day to the Aussies and Kiwis. Good evening Brits on this lovely summer evening (in London at least). And welcome all of Scandinavia, Central Europe and North America. I’m just so excited to have everyone along for the fun, even if there are too many countries to mention.


Look at those delicious toes!! i could just gobble them up.

We started the Twinkle Twinkle Blanket knitalong (KAL) over at the Curious Handmade Ravelry group in February, on Valentines Day. This must have set the KAL off to a loved-up start because we had such a great time. I learnt a lot about the pattern myself with some fantastic ideas for different cast-ons and cast-offs. I even made my first YouTube video to demonstrate the star stitch – so funny!

I want to give a shout out to all the participants and give a special mention to the prize winners – have a look at their beautiful blankets.

I love this colour. RachelNZ – obviously she lives in New Zealand – made this one in an amazing green.

Twinkle Twinkle Blanket RachelNZ2

What is even more amazing was that she had a little bub during the KAL ….and still finished her (knitting) project! (Actually at least one other participant had a baby during the KAL too – so cool!). Ahhhh.

Twinkle Twinkle Blanket RachelNZ

JCEllison make this lovely blanket and then gave it away as part of a baby shower basket of goodies for a charity raffle. Whoever won that was very lucky!

Twinkle Twinkle Blanket JCEllison

This one by lizandrsn made me smile – look at all those pins! That is dedication to blocking! And Liz made two blankets during the KAL so she was a deserved winner.

Twinkle Twinkle Blanket Liz

I finally finished mine just today (although its still not blocked) ….and look how much yarn I had left over!! Phew!

The yarn is Fyberspates Faery Wings in the Stormy Sky colour way. I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn.

Twinkle Twinkle Blanket

As many of you know, I have been a huge fan of the Stash and Burn podcast for a few years now. I can’t remember when I started listening to Nicole and Jenny, but they were the first podcast I listened to and are still my favourite.

So I am really happy to be sponsoring one of their events this month. It’s called “Use it or Lose It” and the link (to the Ravelry group) explains more about it. Basically the goal is to look at your stash and think about the things that have been there for awhile and either use it in a project or lose it in some way, by selling, giving or donating it. You could always throw it out in extreme circumstances I guess – but who in their right mind could throw out yarn?! Unsurprisingly most people are opting to “use it”. The project is going for the whole year so you can jump in any time.

Last month, one of the knitters suggested my Radiance Shawl pattern as a possible project (which I was super flattered by) so I’ve set up a knit-a-long on my Curious Handmade Group for anyone who wants to join in (its not just for people doing UILI of course). I haven’t quite worked out the details yet but stay posted.

If you are visiting from Stash and Burn, “Helloooooooo”!!

Radiance Shawl


The pattern is available on Ravelry here Radiance Shawl

and now on Craftsy here Radiance Shawl


Note: I want to disclose that I am partnering with Craftsy. This means that if you click on the link to Craftsy from my site and buy something from them I will benefit from that financially. So if you do, then thank you! I appreciate it as it helps me keep my designs and site going.

Twinkle Twinkle Knit-A-Long

Helen —  February 24, 2013 — 5 Comments

If you’ve bought the Twinkle Twinkle Blanket pattern and are starting to knit it now I have started a knit-a-long (KAL) over on the Curious Handmade forum on Ravelry.

We have just completed the first week of four so there is still plenty of time to join in. There are tips and encouragement, and as an extra incentive I’ve raided my stash today for some fabulous prizes. When you have finished your Twinkle you post a photo of your project in the prize thread by 15 March. I will then draw three winners using a random number generator. Be in it to win:

A gorgeous skein of much coveted Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash in colourway Himbeere. It is much much pinker than my dodgy photo suggests. Its a very beautiful hot pink colour.


A skein of stunning hand dyed Posh Yarn Gretchen 4ply, 55% superwash BFL, 45% silk in the colourway Dieppe. Again my picture doesn’t really do it justice – this colour is really a bit lighter than the photo.


And finally a fun little package of ribbons and buttons with a bit of a UK theme, including a gorgeous handmade button in a heart shape with a Union Jack motif on it from Gill Oakley’s Stone Hens Ceramics from Wales, some cute ribbon with a collection of London icons printed on it and other lovely little goodies.


Twinkle Twinkle Blanket

Helen —  January 15, 2013 — 2 Comments

Introducing the Twinkle Twinkle Blanket pattern. This design has been brewing for awhile and I have to admit it has become a bit of a favourite of mine.

To celebrate both the new pattern and the new site I am offering a special, crazy launch price of 99c until the end of January. After that date it will revert to the usual $6.00 price.

Twinkle Twinkle is a charmingly simple baby blanket or shawl. It is constructed of four triangles knit “in the round” from the centre out to form a square blanket with a starry centre and an understated lace border. It was designed to be plain enough to be unisex but special enough to celebrate any new arrival. It can be knit in either fingering or DK weight yarn depending on the desired effect.

 Here it is in the original sock weight, Malabrigo sock in the Azules colourway.



And in DK weight, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino DK in the romantically named colourway #18024.


To buy the pattern and take advantage of the super discount click this button before 31 January.

Freezing in the name of art

Helen —  January 4, 2013 — Leave a comment

Just before Christmas I did a photo shoot of some of my new designs. We had a lot of fun shooting in the local curiosity shop. Maybe this influenced my choice of new business name!

I was a lovely clear day but the coldest we have had all winter. Brrrrr.

helen79 copy helen83 copy helen48 copy helen59 copy helen111 copy helen18 copy

Thank you so much to my lovely photographer Kirsty Barton and friend and stylist Vicki Hillman for helping to make some really original images. I’m now very excited to get these patterns written up for you!