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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.

Today on the podcast I’m thinking about what it might mean to design our summer (even with an international move in the middle!) and announcing a little birthday sale on my patterns! The TSS 3 shawls are now available as single patterns. And there’s a brand new TSS 4 shawl to celebrate!

Show Links:

The Shawl Society Season 3

Maytham Shawl

Ivy Over The Door Shawl

Wick Shawl

Planting Seeds Shawl

Learning to Cry Shawl

The Whole World is a Garden Shawl

The Shawl Society Season 4

Sea Gleam Shawl 

Floating Shawl

Sky Map Wrap

The Happier Podcast

Design Your Summer Happier Podcast Episode from 2016

Design Your Summer Happier Podcast Episode from 2017

Design Your Summer Happier Podcast Episode from 2018

Design Your Summer Happier Podcast Episode 2019

Podcast Transcript

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 267. This podcast is all about crafting a life of happiness and creativity. I’m your host, Helen, and you can find me on Ravelry as Hells Bells and on social media as Curious Handmade. You can also find full show notes and transcript on my website at curioushandmade.com.

Welcome to the show. I hope you have lots of weekend things planned and a little bit of knitting hopefully. We are planning to go to the school fair this weekend, and we have some birthday parties for kids to attend and, hopefully, a bit of knitting for me too, so I’m looking forward to the weekend. And in this episode, we are chatting about the release of the second Shawl Society shawl, a little bit of a happiness project update, and some ideas for some activities.

Before I get into all of that, I wanted to announce a birthday sale. It’s my birthday next week, and so I thought I would have a pattern sale in my Ravelry store. We are also celebrating the release of the Shawl Society season three patterns as single patterns. We are going to have a buy one, get one free offer starting today and running through until Sunday, the 30th of June, and so it will be just over a week, this week and next weekend. All you have to do is put two or more patterns from my Ravelry store into your basket and use the code happybirthday, all one word, and you will get the second least expensive pattern for free. If you’ve been waiting for one of the Shawl Society patterns, a particular pattern from last year’s season, then now is the time to snap that up.

Speaking of the Shawl Society, season four is happening at the moment, and the second shawl has just been released yesterday. I am super excited to introduce you to Floating shawl. We’ve had a really magical start to season four, including the giveaway where people posted about their happy places, and it was so inspiring. I think that people who are knitting away on the Sea Gleam shawl at the moment or have knitted that one are enjoying the season so far and I hope you enjoy Floating just as much. I’ll just read out the pattern description for the Floating shawl for you.

From the moment your feet hit the surf, the first swim of the day feels like freedom. Although swimming may be too strong a word, movement is effortless and this is more about relaxation, about surrendering yourself to the joys of the sea. Finally, you can let go and just float, buoyant and supported by the salt water. Bobbing up and down amongst the waves, you’re almost weightless. Somehow, a dip in the ocean can be both exhilarating and deeply calming. Any stress or fretting that manage to follow you here dissolves and drifts away. When you’ve had enough, there’s a happy striving back to the shore as you are lifted and set back on your feet by the movement of the water, heading for the crisp welcome of a sun-warmed towel. A little sun, a little rest, a cool drink, and then you’ll be ready to venture out into the swing of the sea once more.

Our second shawl of the season is called Floating after the simple pleasure of an ocean swim. It’s a generous half pi or semi-circular shape with beautiful drape around the shoulders. The base of the shawl is mostly garter stitch, the most relaxing stitch I know, perfect for holiday knitting. There’s also a gorgeous panel of simple lace finished with the delicate ripple of a picot bind-off. The Floating shawl is a joyful and rewarding knit and a lovely addition to any outfit.

The sample pictured in the pattern is knit in Sweet Fiber Sweet Merino Lite, which is 100% superwash merino single ply yarn, and the yardage on that is 434 meters per 115 grams. The sample took two 115-gram skeins and I used a significant amount of that. The sample used 215 grams overall. If you are using a regular 100-gram single skein, you will probably need three or, if you’re using the Sweet Fiber, you just need two skeins, or another yarn that has slightly more yardage in the skein. If you’re using a light fingering that has a bit more yardage, you’ll be okay, but just be aware that it uses 112 meters or 888 yards in total, and that was what I actually used, so you want to give yourself a little bit of a buffer so you’re not playing yarn chicken.

It’s quite a nice, generous sized shawl. It’s in one size, and I think it looks good knit in one colour. You could potentially use two different colours. The lace section would probably be a good place to start a new colour and that’s at the 60% mark, so if you’re using three skeins, you could use two colours for the body and change to a different colour for the lace or the lace panel, something like that. It’ll be fun to have a play and think about how you want to do that. Sweet Fiber is a gorgeous yarn. I actually discovered Sweet Fiber through Joji, I think. She was knitting something with Melissa’s yarn and then I met her when I went to Knit City in Vancouver last year, so that was really lovely, and I might’ve purchased a sweater quantity in one of her colorways, so really enjoy knitting with the Sweet Fiber yarn and I hope you do too.

Around this time of the year with my birthday looming, at the almost halfway point of the year, I’ve never really thought about it that much before, but it really is right smack bang in the middle of the year, it’s a good time to do a little bit of a review of what I was thinking about at the beginning of the year in terms of my word for the year and things like that. My word for the year is intentional, and I wanted to be more intentional about how I spend my time this year. And when I decided on that, I hadn’t announced it on the podcast just quite yet, but I knew that we would be moving countries and that I would need to be fairly organised and on top of things this year in particular.

I’ve been focusing on streaks for trying to get into good habits with things like walking, healthy eating, and music practice, and sprints for probably more work-related things like designing patterns and getting other projects up and running. At the moment, behind the scenes, I’m working on creating a new website because my website is pretty old now and needs some love and attention paid to it. I’m working on various streaks and sprints in the background and also intentionally saying no to things and taking things off my plate so that I can de-overwhelm myself a little bit. I’m not sure how realistic that is in a year like this where we’re having a major move, but I’m trying to keep things as calm and minimal schedule as possible in the circumstances.

Because of that, I chose not to have a Make Nine this year because I thought I just don’t have time for that. I would love to have a Make Nine and choose nine projects to work on, but that’s just not on the cards this year, maybe next year. I decided for my personal, fun knitting goals at the beginning of the year to just focus on one project at a time, work away on something, try and finish it, and then do something else and just not have any time pressure around that. I started off working on my Star Map wrap by Emily Foden, and I was working on that for a while, which is lovely, relaxing stockinette in the round, so super good. I’ll probably turn to that again in the summer, but then I picked up my Clio pullover in March and have been just really getting into that and enjoying that, so I’m working on the body of that at the moment and making pretty good progress, so I’m enjoying that as well.

I also decided that I would have a happiness project this year, and I talked about that in January, I think, and I just went through my list. When I set my list, I only had 17 things on it, so the happiness project is something I heard about on the Happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin and her sister, Elizabeth Craft. Last year, they did 18 in 2018 and, this year, they are doing 19 in 2019. I just ended up with 17, intending to add a couple more things, but I think I’m happy with 17. It seems doable. I’ve actually achieved quite a few of the things. I have started learning the flute again. I did my grade four exam back in, I think, March and did really well. I don’t know that I ever came back and told you about that, but I ended up getting a distinction for that exam. That gave me a huge boost and I decided to go for grade five, which is next week. I’ve been practicing quite a bit for that and really, really loving it. That’s been absolutely brilliant.

KonMari to the max was one of my happiness projects, and I am getting there and that was, obviously, put on the list ahead of the move and we’re getting there. I wouldn’t say I’m finished, but we’ve made really good progress on that. I was planning to go to June Squam Arts Workshop and that is ticked off. That was last, not last month, earlier this month. Other things that have happened, our holiday to India, which I talked about on the podcast, as well as Edinburgh in March, which has obviously been and gone. And, yeah, walking streak, a little bit patchy lately, but generally happening. I wanted to walk every day and, yeah, it’s been, to be honest, in the last few weeks, things have been a bit overwhelming on the personal front, so I probably needed to walk even more than usual, but that’s gone by the wayside a little bit. I bet I can pick that up again.

And so some things that are still coming up, making a quilt, I might hopefully be able to do that when we settle in Australia. Reviewing the list has reminded me that I need to book in a date because I have dinner with an old friend of mine, Catherine, on the list, and we haven’t done that yet and I need to do that before we leave in August. And I have to get a really nice pair of black jeans, which is a very frivolous one, and I haven’t done that yet. I’m putting that off a little bit. I’d like to lose a pound or two before I do that, so it’s even more frivolous than it initially sounds, but anyway, we all have our little things. And then there’s also a skive off day with my husband that we do in December, so that will happen later in the year as well.

Yeah, lots of things achieved and quite a few things still to look forward to. I feel pretty good about that. Yeah, I feel good about what I’ve achieved so far in the year. I can’t quite remember if I deliberately spaced things out so that things would automatically get ticked off. I think I was a little bit strategic about it like that. Anyway, that’s all worked out really well.

Speaking of the Happier podcast, I do enjoy listening to that podcast. I tend to listen to it in fits and spurts, probably more when I’m on my walking streak than when I’m not. I listen to podcasts quite a lot when I’m walking, which is really nice to get out and walk around the park and listen to my friends, in inverted commas. Some of them are friends. Some of them have no idea who I am, but I feel like they’re friends. I was listening to Happier podcast recently and Gretchen was talking about her Design Your Summer project. I think this is at least the second year, if not the third year. She got the idea from a quote she read to really intentionally make a nice project for your summer.

Obviously, for Southern Hemisphere people, it’s not quite the same, but you can just consider this as getting ahead and think about it for the end of the year, but summer holidays are either underway for a lot of people in the U.S. or coming up very quickly, I think, for Canadians and, over here, we’re not on summer holidays for kids yet for a couple of weeks, but we’re getting there. The weather definitely isn’t summery here yet. It’s been raining and cold and I’m still wearing sweaters, so it doesn’t feel very summery just yet, but I’m hoping that, when the summer solstice rolls around, we’ll be feeling a bit more summery.

I have been thinking about a summer project and I was talking to my sister, because we both listen to the Happier podcast and sometimes chat about it, and she laughed at me and said, “Your summer project is moving countries,” so there is that, but I would like to hope that I can make it about a little bit more than that, not just about logistics and admin and packing and things like that. I’m going to have a little bit of a think about how I can make the summer holidays more fun, especially for the kids. They have been really patient with all the organizing and KonMari-ing and keeping the house super tidy while we have it on the market to sell and things like that, and so I think that what I’d like to do is have them write a little bucket list. I was looking on Pinterest, and probably because of my searches that I’ve been doing all right the summer project, images for summer bucket lists started popping up, so I think it’s a bit of a thing.

Yeah, there were lots of lists of fun things to do over the summer, with kids or for grownups. There’s lots of different lists on there, things like make s’mores and have picnics and just lovely things like that. I think maybe this weekend or maybe when they are on holidays, we’ll write some lists of just really fun things that they want to do and that I’d like to do as well. I just thought I’d put that out there. If you haven’t been thinking about that, and maybe if you don’t have kids, you might have been thinking about it a bit less because, when you’re just in a work environment, sometimes you think about booking a summer holiday perhaps, but not necessarily about the whole summer as something to particularly enjoy.

I would be interested to know if any of you are planning summer projects and what they are. You can leave a comment on Instagram. I’ll post about it on Instagram or on the show notes thread, post, on the website. I’d love to know what you’re planning. And, of course, if you’re planning any winter projects Down Under, you can talk about them as well. I don’t want to exclude Southern Hemisphere people.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you have a fantastic week. Don’t forget about the two for one, buy one, get one free sale with the coupon code happybirthday. That will be on my Ravelry pattern store and, yeah, I hope you’re enjoying the Shawl Society, and I hope you have some nice daydreaming about the summer holidays. Happy knitting. Talk to you soon.

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Show Sponsors:

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.

I’m back from a truly magical week at Squam, and this week on the podcast I have tales of the workshops I experienced, the projects I worked on, and details of some of the treasures I brought home. This week also brings us a new pattern from The Handmade Sock Society, so I have the Cliff Walk Socks to introduce, as well as a bit of help for Society Members who may be confused about how to get onto the secret mailing list.

Show Links:


Abigail Haplin on Instagram

Purplebean Bindery

Hollie Chastain on Instagram

If You Can Cut You Can Collage book by Hollie Chastain

Linen and Spoon

Amy T Won

Wing and a Prayer Farm

Clio Pullover by Elizabeth Doherty

Our third pattern of The Handmade Sock Society Season 2 was released this week!

The Cliff Walk Socks

The Yarn Tart at Suffolk Socks

House of A La Mode

House of A La Mode at A Yarn Story

Join the Handmade Sock Society Season 2

Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to Episode 266. This podcast is all about crafting a life of happiness and creativity. I’m your host, Helen, and you can find me on Ravelry as Hell’s Bells, and on social media as Curious Handmade. You can also find full show notes on my website at curioushandmade.com

Hello, and I hope you’re well. Welcome to the show. I hope you’ve been having a good week, and I will catch you up on my week and also last week when I was at Squam. I got back to London Monday morning this week, and have basically been catching up for most of the week, I think. It’s been a little bit of a blur, slightly jet lagged, and just sort of catching up on lots of admin and doing a little bit of planning because now the countdown is on before we move countries and head off down under to Australia. So yes, I’m looking at a matter of weeks now and thinking I need to use my time wisely. So spreadsheets have been created and lots of lists are being made.

I’m trying to not spend too much time obsessing about all the details, and just also try and crack on with some of the actual work. But I have to admit that it’s been a little bit slow this week. I have been enjoying the inspiration that I drew on at Squam, and it was a really lovely week. I flew over last Tuesday just in time for the start. Sometimes I go a little bit earlier and spend some time in New York with my friends, but time was at a bit of a premium this time. So I just went over just before it started, and it started off not very auspiciously because the plane that I boarded, we sat there for nearly three hours and they decided that they couldn’t fix the fault in the plane, so we all had to hop off, and shortly after getting off the plane, I got a text saying that the flight was canceled because they could not fix it.

So luckily, I was able to get on another flight about three hours later, so I spent the day at Heathrow and arrived into New York quite late in the evening, but it was okay. I was just really happy to get there that evening, and then the next morning I met my lovely friends Bowen and Stewart, and they came and picked me up from the airport hotel I crashed in that night, and we drove all the way up to New Hampshire and Squam. I think it’s about a five hour drive. We made a little stop on the way for some food and stocking up on snacks and beverages, and we also stopped at a little antiquey secondhand shop, which was really cute, quite close to Squam, in a town near there. So that was the first evening, and we did the usual chicken procedure and found our cabin.

We were staying in a cabin we’d stayed in before and it was just lovely. The cabins there are fairly rustic. They’re not rustic in the sense that there’s electricity, and there are decent showers, decent water pressure. They’re nothing fancy, but there they’re fine and the beds are really comfy, and it’s all quite cozy, and there’s always a fantastic fireplace, and there’s always a great porch, which is part of the routine to sit on the porch, and they have rocking chairs and a lot of time is spent sitting, and knitting, and eating the snacks, and drinking the beverages.

This time the highlight for me, well one of the highlights, was the weather. The first evening we arrived, and there was a big thunderstorm, and so it was raining and it was just really kind of romantic with the rain falling, and falling asleep to heavy rain was really nice. And then the whole rest of the time we spent there was just glorious. It was blue skies, sunny and not too hot, not too hot or sticky, just perfect. It was so nice, and the only downside to that was the bugs. There was a ton of mosquitoes, there were just swarms and swarms of mosquitoes, and there were also lots of ticks, so that was slightly off-putting, but it was okay. We managed to stop up most of the holes on the porch from all the bugs and lit fires, and created enough smoke to keep them away in the cabins.

But whenever you ventured outside you would get bitten for sure. It was a minor thing compared to the beautiful scenery and weather we had. I did two classes, which is the sort of standard thing to do. The first class I did was creating a sketchbook practice, and the teacher was Abigail Halpin, and she is an illustrator, mostly of children’s books. She’s just illustrated a version, a shortened version of Anne of Green Gables, and she’s on Instagram as Abigail Halpin, which is H-A-L-P-I-N. She has a really beautiful Instagram feed of her illustrations mainly, and just also other interesting bits and bobs that she’s thinking about or being inspired by, some posts about her travels and where she lives in Maine. So have a look at her feed. She taught us mostly how to use watercolors for a sketchbook practice.

It was really interesting and enjoyable. I haven’t been much of a sketchbook person. I have never thought of myself as much of an artist, but yeah, I would, I would consider it. I actually purchased three little sketchbooks from the Squam Arts Marketplace on Saturday night with the intention of perhaps using that to have a little sketchbook diary, and I bought one for each of the girls as well because they were really cute. While I’m talking about it, the vendor I bought the sketchbooks from is Purplebean Bindery. So that’s Purplebean Bindery at Etsy, and all the books she makes are unique and they’re just really beautiful.

They’re just handmade, handmade sketchbooks. That was quite inspiring, and then on the second day, which was the Friday, I took a class called Heart of Collage with Hollie Chastain, and that’s H-O-L-L-I-E C-H-A-S-T-A-I-N, and that’s also her Instagram name, and she also has a very inspiring Instagram feed. So as it says on the tin, it was a collage class, and a Hollie was a really wonderful teacher and she was one of these teachers that just lets everybody kind of do their own thing, and then helps and supports them to try and execute their vision. I went in kind of quite stuck.

I didn’t have any plan and I hadn’t brought any materials. Some people have brought paper and old letters and things that were meaningful to them and I hadn’t prepared anything, and so I kind of sat there feeling quite blank for a while, and Hollie suggested I just paint the background of my board in a color just to get started, and it worked. So I kind of had the idea of doing a quote, an inspirational quote. I have, I don’t know if you call it a board, a tab in my Instagram. You can save posts on Instagram, you can create boards with sort of names, a bit like you can on Pinterest, and I find it a really, really good feature for saving things to come back to later.

If you don’t know about that, it’s really, really handy, and you can save them by, when you’re looking at a post, just underneath the picture there’s icons on the left where you like and comment, and then on the right there’s a little sort of banner and then it says, it’s a collection, so it says, “Save to Collection,” and then when you click on “Save to Collection,” you can choose a collection and create a collection. So I decided to go through my quotes collection on Instagram, and while I was looking at that, I saw a picture of Frida Kahlo, which someone had posted with a quote attached to it.

The picture itself was a self portrait of Frieda. I don’t know the name of the particular painting, I’m sorry, but it had sort of lots of lush tropical foliage in the background, and she has a cat sitting on one shoulder, and a monkey on the other shoulder, I think, and so I decided to use that as my inspiration. I basically spent the whole morning making the leaves for the background, and some of her face, and then in the afternoon I finished off her head and her face, and I did some embroidery as part of it and was really, really pleased with the end result.

I have a little Frieda keeping me company on my desk at the moment because I haven’t figured out where to put her just now. That was what was really, really good, and I think that might be something that I would do as an activity with the girls. Holly has a book, it’s called, If You Can Cut, You Can Collage, From Paper Scraps to Works of Art, and so I’ve ordered that book because I saw it when she had a copy there with her at the class, and it’s just got lots of information about techniques, and inspiration, and ideas. So I’ve ordered that thinking that it might be a summer holiday project that I do either for myself or with the girls on our summer holiday camp, which will be transcontinental probably.

Then, Saturday was a completely free day. There were some extra classes offered, but I did not partake in any of those, even though I sort of wanted to, but I wanted to relax and knit even more so that’s what I did, and in the evening was a wonderful art fair, and as I mentioned, I purchased the sketchbooks. I purchased some lovely things from Linen and Spoon. That’s linenandspoon.com and they’re two makers, husband and wife team. He carves beautiful objects including spoons from wood, and she makes beautiful items from linen. I bought a small wooden tray or platter as well as a gorgeous drawstring linen bag. She labels it as a bread bag, but I think it’s going to be a project bag. So that’s so tactile and gorgeous.

I had bought a spoon from them before and it just reminded me that I need to find that. I think it’s in my photo props box. I also bought A Deck For Wonder-Walking, and this is by Amy T. Won, who was one of the teachers at Squam, and she had this deck of cards and I asked if it was a Tarot deck. I don’t really know how to use a Tarot deck, but she explained it’s a walking-deck and I’m not sure if this is a concept she’s developed herself or whether it’s a thing, but she has this absolutely gorgeous deck of cards with different prompts on them, and then a little booklet to explain what the prompts mean.

The idea is that you draw a card to get an idea and then go for a walk and then look for that thing. For example, I drew The Woods, “Enigmatic, mysterious, and full of life. The woods is for exploring the unknown within and without.” So when you’re walking you can just think about that prompt and maybe put a little journal or a little notebook in your pocket and make some notes about that or just sort of meditate on it while you’re walking.

I thought with my walking streak, that would be a way to make it a lot more interesting, and they’re just beautiful works of art in their own right. While I was determined not to buy any yarn, I did buy some yarn because I couldn’t resist some yarn from Wing and a Prayer Farm, who does breed-specific yarn from Beloved Flocks in Vermont. I met Tammy at the arts fair last time I was at Squam two years ago, and I kind of regretted not buying some of her yarn then, and so when I saw her there again, I had to get some.

I got some of the hundred percent Como wool, and I got two skeins of natural, and two skeins of, I think it’s avocado. It’s a pink, pinky skein and it’s so squishy, and it smells really good. I keep sniffing that because it’s sitting on my desk. It’s so nice, and then before we knew it, the whole experience was wrapping up. Sunday morning we said goodbye, and my lovely friend, Elizabeth, gave me a lift back to Boston and I made my way home. It was a lovely, lovely time. I saw lots of friends there and it was a joy to spend time with my cabin mates. Every time I go, since the first time, I have stayed with Stewart, and Bowen, and Elizabeth Doherty, who is Blue Bee Studio, and this time we also had the lovely Natalie, Susan, and Ann staying with us.

We spent most of our time when we weren’t in classes, or eating, which is another big thing at Squam. We just chatted and sat on our porch knitting, and I got a lot of knitting done. So that was really, really good. I got a lot of work done a design, which was very good, and I also worked on the neckband for my Clio with Elizabeth’s guidance, and bound that off. So I got that done. Now, I have made a little bit of progress on that, and am going to finish the body and then start working on the sleeves. I am up to the ribbing on the body. We decided that it was long enough in the pattern, and I could start the ribbing. So I’m pretty excited about that, and we’ll continue that rather epic project. But it’s definitely on track to finish before the end of the year, which was one of my goals.

So thank you to Meg, and Elizabeth, and the Squam team for putting on such an amazing event, and just very, very grateful to be able to go to that and to have had such a relaxing and restorative week away. I’ve come back with more energy and just feeling a lot more relaxed, so that was exactly what I was hoping for and I’m very grateful to have had that time.

Coming back into reality, this week at Curious Handmade HQ, we have the release of The Third Socks in the Handmade Sock Society yesterday. The Cliff Walk Socks. I knit two samples of these. The first sample is knit in The Yarn Tart’s sock yarn, and the colorway that she developed, especially for these socks is Just You and Me by The Deep Blue Sea. It’s a gorgeous deep blue. I also knit a pair in House of A La Mode sock yarn. I’d just like to read you the description for the pattern as written by my lovely copywriter, Amanda.

Breathe deeply. The air is salty and clean. The light is soft and magical. Seabirds wheel and cry here at the edge of the cliffs, they are as likely to be below you as overhead. There are almost three hundred miles of breathtaking Cornish coastline. You could walk your legs right off if you wanted to. There’s so much to see, so many places to explore, and centuries of history and romance to ponder. Hidden coves and mysterious sea caves, legends of smugglers and tales of ghosts.

Evocative names like The Devil’s Frying Pan, Mousehole, and Tintagel. Climbing up the winding footpath, you may find yourself completely alone, looking out over the water, keeping company with your own thoughts. There’s a peculiar kind of privacy at the top of a cliff. You can see for miles, but who can see you? You’re just a little dot on the horizon, hidden in plain sight. If it’s lonely up here, it’s the very best kind of lonesome there is.

Time spent in this landscape holds a constant reminder of what is possible. It’s a place to get perspective. The scale and wildness of the ocean find a counterpoint in the very small and very fragile. These ancient limestone cliffs may look sheer and forbidding, but they are home and shelter to a huge community of little lives. Rugged wildflowers and grasses set their seeds in the rocky crevices and cling, blossoming courageously just out of the salty spray.

The birds who make their nests and lay their precious eggs on narrow ledges are braver still, or maybe just silly. Their name, Fulmar, comes from the Dutch for foolish gull. But this is life, and the creative life most of all: dizzying heights and humble, hard-fought corners, and a knowing that beauty can spring up even in the most unexpected and inauspicious places when you’re willing to take a risk.

The Cliff Walk Socks are the third pattern in this season of the Handmade Sock Society. All-over lace makes them seem a little fancy, but look closer and you’ll see that the cushy stitch pattern makes these socks perfect for pulling on with a pair of boots and heading out over the dunes. The wavy lace brings to mind the ocean swell crashing into the cliffs. A simple twisted rib cuff, my trusty heel flap and gusset, and a comfortable wedge toe round out the details. Like all the Handmade Sock Society patterns, the Cliff Walk Socks is easy to customize and includes three sizes, so you can find your perfect fit every time.

So I hope you like this third pattern in the Handmade Sock Society, and you can still join in any time as a member. I just wanted to make a little note about both societies, the Shawl Society and the Handmade Sock Society, that if you are a member and you wish to get any secret emails that I might send out about yarn coming up and the next design, and any notifications about patterns coming out, then you need to join the email list for that specific season and that specific society.

You can find where to sign up in your information sheet. That is the first document, not pattern but document in the collection in Ravelry. For each of the societies there’s an information sheet in Ravelry where you find your patterns, and in that is a URL to sign up to the email. It’s a little bit complicated. We used to just sign people up, but now with the GDPR laws in the EU, we’re not allowed to do that anymore. You have to sign up yourself, and so I just wanted to make that clear if there’s any confusion.

I think people get quite confused about the emails. I have my main email list that is just newsletters and news about everything happening, but if you want to find out specific news for the society for the current season, you have to sign up to that particular list. So thank you to everybody that has, and I hope you’re enjoying it, and if your are a member of either society and you haven’t, and that’s the way to do it if you’d like to. There’s no obligation of course, but it’s mostly just information about upcoming yarn, and yarn hints for the next pattern coming out.

That’s all the news I have for you this week. Thanks for tuning in. I hope you have a wonderful week. Happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you again soon.

Play

Show Sponsors:

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.

Today I have a chatty little catch-up episode, which I recorded just before heading off to the Squam Art Workshops. As ever, there’s the question of travel knitting. It’s also the time of year where I like to take stock of my goals and plans so far, as we head into the second half of 2019. With the big move to Australia just around the corner, there’s a lot to plan for!

Show Links:


Squam

Clio Pullover by Elizabeth Doherty

Pebbles and Pathways Socks

Hay Pullover by Clare Mountain

Like a Cloud by Joji Locatelli

Seren Yarns

The Yarn Tart at Suffolk Socks

House of A La Mode

House of A La Mode at A Yarn Story

Join the Handmade Sock Society Season 2

The Minimal Mom

The Mount Juliet Shawl

————————————————————

Show Transcript:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 265. this podcast is all about crafting a life of 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 the full show notes and transcript on my website at curioushandemade.com.

Hello and welcome to the show and welcome to June. How on earth did that happen? Oh my goodness. Nearly halfway through the year and I guess it’s a really good time for thinking about planning for the second half of the year. I’ve been thinking about planning all year because I have such a big deadline hanging over me, which is moving to Australia in August. So I’ve been very, very conscious of deadlines all year. But I always think that around June, just before halfway through the year, is a really good time to reassess goals and look at what you’ve achieved for the year so far and what you might like to achieve for the second half of the year.

I am even more conscious of time frames because as I sat down to record this, I’ve just been doing a little bit of catching up on my planning, reorganizing myself a little bit. And realized that it’s 10 weeks until we move, until we leave. 10 weeks today in fact. So yeah, there’s a handful of weeks that the kids still have at school or just over a handful, but under two handfuls, and then we’ll have a few weeks in which we will be going to a wedding and having movers come in and pack everything up.

So even though it’s 10 weeks, it’s not really, because I’m off to Squam this week as well. So I am really looking forward to visiting Squam Lake in New Hampshire for the Squam Arts Workshops. And as you will probably gather, if you follow me on Instagram, I am away as this is being released. So I’m prerecording it just a few days in advance this time. But by the time the episode comes out I’ll be over in the US.

So just now I am in the process of packing for that trip and I am not working this trip. Sometimes I have a stall at the art fair that they have at the end of Squam, and it’s always a really beautiful art fair, beautiful vendors. In the past I’ve had a stand there but I’m just pure holiday this time, and I feel like I could do with a break cause I’ve been working really, really hard to try and meet lots of deadlines recently.

So I’m really looking forward to relaxing. And the venue is the most relaxing place I think I’ve ever been to, it’s so beautiful. The lake is gorgeous. Being near water is really nice and being in the woods is beautiful as well. It’s just really low key and relaxed. I just can’t wait for a little break.

I’m thinking about knitting projects I’m taking, so I am taking one design project. But the design work is done, so it’s basically just knitting, which I’m really enjoying. So that’s not too taxing. And I will also be taking Clio, which is a pullover I’ve been working on for some time. At one point I did think maybe, maybe possibly I could finish it for the trip, but no, not even close. I still have part of the neckband, part of the body and the sleeves to go. So although I have done most of the body, which is a substantial part of the knitting, I am still a fair way to go. I would be interested to know what percentage it is, but I haven’t had time to calculate the percentage checklist for it. I sometimes do do that when I’m knitting other people’s patterns, put it into a percentage checklist so I know where I’m at but I haven’t this time.

And I’m looking forward to making some good progress on that as well as I am taking Pebbles and Pathways, which is a pair of socks I’ve been knitting on for awhile. It’s a pattern by Marceline Smith and I met Marc at Squam a few years ago now, probably four years ago because I didn’t attend last year. So yeah, I think it would have been four years ago. Yeah, so I don’t think Marc is going this session, but I will be taking my socks along and thinking of all the good times we’ve had at Squam together and we were cabin mates when I first met her. So I’ll be enjoying working on her design while I’m there as well. Knitting, a few rows on my socks. They are in a really summary yarn. The yarn is dyed by my friend Emma who is Seren Yarns and really loving the yarn that I’m using for that project as well. So that’s always very nice.

I’ll be packing a capsule wardrobe. And over the last few years I’ve really been working on making my wardrobe more and more capsule, which means in a way it’s a little bit boring because it’s fairly black and navy. I have my jeans and T-shirts. It’s fairly simple. I would love to have more hand sewn items in there, but I’m pleased to have two hand-knitted sweaters to take with me for once. I have my Like a Cloud by Joji Locatelli and my Hay Pullover by Clare Mountain. So I am really pleased to have two hand-knit sweaters to wear, which is not always the case for me.

Yeah. So I am enjoying how fast it is to pack with my capsule wardrobe because everything goes even though it’s a bit boring, black T-shirts go quite well with black jeans, et cetera, et cetera. So it means that I can just grab a few trousers, pants, jeans and a few tops and it just all goes fairly easily. I don’t have to worry about making outfits. I will be just taking carry-on luggage and usually when I’m traveling I have a problem with space, more because of all the knitting projects I want to take than with clothes. So I’ll probably just take the one pair of shoes to have as much room for knitting as possible and any little pieces I might pick up at the market. Although with my intensive decluttering efforts lately I am less and less inclined to make purchases, although I probably will be tempted by some of the beautiful handmade things.

Anyway. I say that’s what’s coming up for me this week. I just can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to lots and lots of knitting time. I am doing two classes and I can’t remember what they are off the top of my head. So I’ll look forward to telling you all about my adventures and classes when I get back next week. We also have the third Handmade Sock Society socks coming out very soon, next week in fact. And I’ve already updated members with what yarn I used for these socks.

And the first yarn we used is by The Yarn Tart and The Yarn Tart is the hand-dyed yarn range by Julie at Suffolk Socks. Julie’s a great friend of mine and so she very generously has dyed up a gorgeous colorway, called You and me by the Deep Blue Sea, for these socks. A gorgeous, gorgeous tonal blue. Just really my perfect blue, one of my perfect blues. I love all blues. This is a really, really nice one. She still has some available on her website. I’m not sure if they’re pre-orders now or she has some ready to send, but when I checked just now, she still has some of the special colorway for the third socks.

And I also knit a second sample in House of a la Mode in their Fingering Sock weight yarn. And that is available for UK listeners at A Yarn Story, my lovely show sponsor. She has a wonderful range of House of a la Mode and she is one of my new favorite indie dyers. Just really love the jewel tones and beautiful tonals. She’s doing just gorgeous, gorgeous color. She has a a range called something like Simply Smokey or Nearly Smoky, sorry, I can’t quite remember. But a little bit smoky, and smoky colors, and I love this range. In fact, when Carmen posted a picture of a collection of colors, I just went online and bought the exact collection that she had put together. That was some time ago. I’m still wondering what I want to design with that because it was just really, really inspiring.

Anyway, so that is one of the yarns that I’ve used for the socks coming out soon. Of course you can use pretty much any sock yarn for these ones. You might want something not too multicolored or not too variegated for these ones. Let’s just say you’ll want something that will show up a bit of pattern. But that’s all the clue I’m giving you at this stage and they will be out very soon. It’s not too late to join in the Handmade Sock Society, season two. There’s still four socks in the season to come including these next ones, number three. And they will be released every other month through till December. So we still have half a year of the Sock Society still to come.

So when I get back I think I’m going to be in full-on move preparation mode. I’ve been working on getting organized for at least six months now, probably since last, I don’t know, September or October. I started thinking it would be good to start getting organized and I did have a renewed burst of decluttering at that point, which you will have heard about if you been listening to the podcast for a while. And I found myself getting a bit frustrated with the whole thing because I’ve been trying for many years now to follow the Marie Kondo method of decluttering, which is all in one hit, category by category, going through the house and really just doing a great job once. And I’ve been actually trying to do that for years and it hasn’t ever worked. I haven’t ever been able to go through and get it all decluttered in one hit.

So I was feeling a bit frustrated by this because I love the idea of being able to do it. And then I recently discovered a podcast called the Minimal Mom. I’ve mentioned her before and she’s really been very, very helpful because she’s very practical. She’s got four kids. So I know that it’s real, if you know what I mean, for a situation like mine where I have kids. So I can know that if she can do it with four kids then I should be able to do it with two. Whereas sometimes I look at people who have beautifully minimalist times and they don’t have kids and I’m making excuses because I think, “Well, I can’t do that because I have children.”

So on a recent episode she did a, my decluttering journey. And she said that she used the onion method. So obviously it’s like peeling the onion layer by layer and she talked about how she would just go into the kids room, clear a little bit out, get rid of that, then go in again the next week, do a bit more and go around the house like that. Just little bit by little bit. And so I had a little bit of a revelation because I was like, “I’m doing the onion method. Yay. I have a method.” It’s not just slightly hopeless hoarding, unable to let go of things method. It’s just the onion method. It’s bit by bit, layer by layer and that’s okay. So yeah. So I really enjoyed that episode and I’m still working on my layers.

But I think once I get back from Squam, I don’t have a huge amount of time to be too precious about too thin layers. I think I’m going to have to just be now, “Okay, you need to get down to what it is that you’re going to take with you because you don’t really have that much time to faff around anymore.” So I think that’s going to give me a really good boost for a final round. It’s going to help me be really clear about what I am going to pack and what I am not going to pack.

So that’s coming up for me when I get back from Squam and also working on the Knitvent designs. So it’s my goal to try and get those all ready for you for later on in the year so that I can have that all ready and lined up and I don’t have to worry about it or think about it too much while we’re going through the actual move, and settling in and getting kids started at new schools and things like that. So I will be trying to make sure that I have a really good rest while I’m away and hopefully coming back with lots of energy and looking forward to catching up with you again then.

So have a wonderful week everyone. Thank you so, so much for your kind words about the Mount Juliet shawl that I published last week. Lots of people have signed up to start knitting that, purchase the pattern and said lots of lovely things, so I really appreciate that. This design was very dear to my heart and was for a special group of people that we went away together on the retreat, and I’m so pleased that so many of you like it as well and are joining in with us knitting on that.

I am looking forward to seeing … I’m hoping that somebody knits it in one color. I designed it for two colors. And so it’s basically stripes of lace with some ribbing and garter texture in between. And I would quite like to see it in one color. So if you do end up knitting it in one color, do Pin me and tag me in so that I can see what it looks like. Because I think it would look quite, I don’t know, just quite sophisticated in one color as well.

So anyway, I hope you have a fantastic week and thanks for joining me for this rather chatty, somewhat not very knitting related episode. And hopefully when I catch up I’ll have lots of knitting updates to share with you. So have a fantastic week and I’ll talk to you again soon. Bye.

Play

Show Sponsors:

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.

On today’s podcast I have brought back stories from Ireland and the lovely Knitting Pipeline retreat, including a visit to an incredible woollen mill and rare-breed sheep farm. There’s a brand new shawl pattern to introduce, and I am really beginning to look forward to my trip to Squam, which is only around the corner.

Show Links:


The New Forest National Park

Cushendale Woollen Mills

Zwartbles Ireland

Zwartbles Ireland Instagram

Clio Pullover by Elizabeth Doherty

Piper’s Journey Shawl

This week I released the shawl pattern I designed for the Knitting Pipeline Ireland retreat, the Mount Juliet Shawl:

Hidden amid peaceful woodlands and velvety green fields in Kilkenny Ireland sits a glorious old manor house called Mount Juliet. It was completed in 1760 and named for the bride of the Viscount of Ikerrin. Juliet Boyle, daughter of the Earl of Shannon, brought with her a generous fortune and an exquisite eye for beauty. The estate was built with her money and named in her honour. It was a tribute to young love and remains a masterclass in elegance and harmony. At this time of year, the woodland walks are carpeted with bluebells, the hedgerows are dappled with hawthorn blossom, and the walled garden is bursting into colour. It is a stunning setting for the Knitting Pipeline Ireland Retreat, and I was honoured to be asked to design a pattern for the attendees.


The Mount Juliet Shawl is inspired by the compelling history and lovely Georgian architecture of its namesake, and dedicated to the vision and courage of women who make things happen, particularly our dear Paula Emons-Fuessle, who planned this wonderful gathering for all of us. This asymmetrical triangle shawl features bands of simple but lovely lace in two colours, to recall the graceful lines and beautiful windows of the great house. Fittingly, the sample was knit with yarn from Olann, a brilliant Irish indie yarn company. This is a relaxing but engaging knit with enough gentle repetition that it is easy to memorise for long chatty evening with friends, but the final result is striking.

The shawl pattern is now available to buy on Ravelry. There is a 20% off Launch sale on this pattern until the end of the weekend!

Get your copy of the Mount Juliet Shawl pattern now!

Episode transcript:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade Podcast, you’re listening to episode 264. This podcast is all about crafting a life of happiness and creativity. I’m your host Helen and you can find me on Ravelry as Hells Bells and on social media as Curious Handmade. You can also find the full show notes and transcript on my website at CuriousHandmade.com

Hello and welcome to the show.

As always, I hope you’re having a wonderful week. I’m having, as always, a busy week. It’s half term here in the UK, so the kids are home from school and we are having a fairly relaxed at home holiday this break. We did go camping on the weekend because it was a bank holiday weekend last weekend, which means that everybody had Monday off work, and so we went camping to the New Forest. There’s quite a few campgrounds down there. They’re really good. We take bikes for the kids and they ride around and enjoy a little bit of independence of being able to go off out of sight for a little while, which we can’t really do very much in London, and yeah, it was really good. The weather was pretty good. I ended up getting quite sick though, so I came home a night early, I caught the train home and I’m glad I did because I ended up having a bit of a temperature and yeah, just with another cold.

It’s a different variation from what I had a couple of weeks ago. But yeah, hopefully I can shake it off pretty quickly, but you might hear it in my voice, okay, in this week, but happily this time my throat’s not too sore so it’s not feeling too bad.

We had gone camping straight after I got back from Ireland last week. So as you might have seen on Instagram or heard on the podcast last week, I spent the week in Ireland near Kilkenny with the Knitting Pipeline Island Retreaters or tourers and joined up with the ladies there after they had been touring around Ireland for about a week by the time I met up with them. And then we got to spend the last few days of their tour together at a wonderful country manor hotel called Mount Juliet. Paula had invited me to be part of the tour well over a year ago now and unfortunately couldn’t be there herself because she is undergoing cancer treatment at the moment.

But she was able to invite a wonderful person called Jan Hamby who is twinsetjan to help guide and host the tour in her absence. And so it was wonderful to meet Jan and many more knitters that I hadn’t met before. Quite a few that I’d heard about quite a lot from the ladies at the Georgia retreat. I think there are about six women that I had met previously at the Knitting Pipeline Georgia retreat. So it was so wonderful to hang out with them, see them again, as well as meet new people. So I had such a wonderful time. The first day we had a knitting day together and I shared the Mount Juliet shawl that I designed especially for the attendees at the retreat and I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a minute. Yeah. So we cast that on, wound the yarn and spent the day knitting together on Tuesday.

And then on Wednesday we had a day sort of out and about touring around the local area. So part of that was a visit to the Cushendale Woollen Mills, which was such a wonderful tour. We were given a tour of the mills by Philip Cushen, who is the sixth generation of his family to own and run the woolen mill there. So we heard all about the history of the site and it, the mill is on a waterway which powered the mill originally and also provided beautiful clear water for the dyeing of the wool and the yarn. So the family have been on this same site, manufacturing Irish wool since the late 1700’s. So it was really wonderful to have that sense of history. The mill has really old machinery in it. I’m not quite sure how old the spinning machine is that we saw, but it’s just a beautiful historical mill and Phil the current owner who gave us the talk was just so enthusiastic about his work and the work that they do there.

It was just, it was lovely, I ended up buying some of their yarn that they spin there at the mill, some yarn they bring in some of the super wash yarn and some Mohair they bring in to make blends and dye on site. And some of it they spin from local wool. So I bought some laceweight wool from them in a beautiful sort of seagreen color and I also couldn’t resist a woven blanket. Because I have a bit of a thing for woolen blankets and have quite a collection. I’m not sure that I’m going to get much use out of them in Australia, but in winter we don’t have a lot of central heating, so I might end up pulling them out more than I think I might. Anyway, it was very beautiful. Perfect for a beach house.

After the visit to the woolen mill, we went to Zwartbles farm and had lunch there and it’s a small farm that the owner, Suzanne has basically created. She has inherited the property from her family. Her mom still owns the farm, but she’s now managing it. And when she first sort of started taking it over, she was trying to figure out what she could do with this land that had been in her family for many, many generations. And it’s not big enough to run a lot of sheep, but she was really interested in keeping sheep and so she decided to go for a rare breed. And so she has a flock of Zwartbles, is how she said it’s pronounced because it’s based on a Dutch word. So it’s zwart is black and bles is blaze because they have a white blaze on the front of their face and they’re basically a very dark brown all over.

And I think their front feet also have a blaze. Really, really pretty sheep. And so we had lunch in the garden. It was a beautiful sunny day and we sat in this beautiful green garden with amazing flowers and trees growing. And Suzanne gave us a talk all about how she’s raising the farm to be super sustainable and all about the ecology on the farm and the variety she’s introducing in terms of grasses and plants and they have apples and apple orchards and it’s just magical, really magical. I think you’re just sitting in the garden and thinking it’s just so beautiful. And then she started talking about everything that she’s doing there and it just makes you feel a bit tired, how hard she is working to make this farm work and pay its way. She’s doing everything from raising the sheep, creating yarn, writing books, taking photography.

I think she’s originally a photographer by trade, so all the social media and photography of the places is really gorgeous as well. So she’s just doing an unbelievable amount of work and it was just very, very charming. So that was a wonderful experience. And then after that we went back to the hotel for some more knitting and on Thursday some of the group went in to Kilkenny just to have a look around there. And I just stayed at the hotel and knit with a group of people who, who didn’t go into town, so I did quite a bit of knitting. I think I was doing probably more chatting than knitting though, so I didn’t do a huge amount of knitting, but I did make some progress on a couple of projects. I’ll talk about that in a minute as well.

The other thing that we did, a small group of us did during our stay at Mount Juliet was go on a a little tour organized by the hotel, of the hotel sort of grounds itself and one of the members of staff gave an amazing talk about the history of the hotel, which went back hundreds of years and it was really, really interesting to hear about how it had come to be and just, yeah, just some of the history and through to current times where it is a fancy golf resort. There’s a very, sort of relatively famous golf course there, a beautiful, beautiful golf course and amazing kitchen gardens, beautiful grounds. It sort of backs onto a sort of a river down the back of the property and then on the other side of the property are horse stables and used to be part of the estate and is now separate.

But yeah, just fascinating place and perfect place to sit and chat and knit. So I took my Clio pullover that I’m still working on and I think last update I was procrastinating on casting on the neck band. So one afternoon when I had quite a bit of time to sit and do that, I picked up all the stitches around the neck band and tackled the braid that goes around the neck band and then started working on that. I haven’t finished the neck band yet, but I realized when I went back to the instructions that I was meant to use a smaller needle picking up the stitches and doing the braid than I did. I had just used the needle for the main body and forgotten to change needle size. So now I’m currently wondering whether I need to pull it out or keep going.

I think what I’m going to do is keep going, finish the neckband and then see if it needs pulling out because it’s just, I don’t know, it’s just, I don’t know, maybe six rows of neck band to go. So I think I’ll just try it, see how it looks and then make a call rather than pulling it out now and starting again at this point. I probably should pull it out at this point, but I’m just kind of hoping that it’s going to be okay. I’m not a loose knitter. I was knitting it reasonably firmly, so hopefully it’s not too loose. Anyway, I might be back with a different version of events next week, but that’s my plan for the time being. I also knit quite a bit on my Piper’s Journey shawl, which was the retreat shawl. All the other attendees had knit a Piper’s Journey for the trip.

Of course I was a bit behind, but really enjoying working on that pattern. It’s a pattern by Paula Emons-Fuessle and I think it was maybe her first shawl design, I think. And it’s a lovely, simple, just really beautiful shawl. So I’m still working on the garter stitch body at the moment, but don’t think that should take me too long. So yeah. So enjoying working on those two projects very much. So as I mentioned before, I designed a shawl for the retreat and named it Mount Juliet after the place we were all staying. So I’ll just read you the description of the shawl that my lovely copywriter Amanda has written for it.

Hidden amid peaceful woodlands and velvety green fields in Kilkenny island sits a glorious old manor house called Mount Juliet. It was completed in 1760 and named for the bride of the Viscount of Ikerrin. Juliet Boyle, daughter of the Earl of Shannon, brought with her a generous fortune and an exquisite eye for beauty.

The estate was built with her money and named in her honour. It was a tribute to young love and remains a masterclass in elegance and harmony. At this time of year the woodland walks are carpeted with bluebells, the hedgerows are dappled with Hawthorn blossom, and the walled garden is bursting into color. It is a stunning setting for the Knitting Pipeline Ireland Retreat and I was honored to be asked to design a pattern for the attendees.

The Mount Juliet shawl is inspired by the compelling history and lovely Georgian architecture of its namesake and dedicated to the vision and courage of women who make things happen. Particularly our dear Paula who planned this wonderful gathering. The asymmetrical triangle shawl features bands of simple, lovely lace in two colors to recall the graceful lines and beautiful windows of the Great House. The sample was knit with yarn from Ireland, a brilliant Irish indie yarn company. This is a relaxing and engaging knit with enough general repetition that it’s easy to memorize for long chatty evenings with friends, but the final result is striking.

So I have just released the shawl on Ravelry and it will be 20% off until the end of the weekend. You don’t need a coupon code, the discount will be automatically applied when you check out. And as the description says, it’s designed to be a fairly simple shawl. It was designed with retreat knitting in mind and it’s a great shawl to use two contrasting colors from your stash or I think it would look really good in one color as well because the lace and the texture would just give it enough interest to make one color look really beautiful. So yeah, I’m really pleased with how it came out. It took me a while to come up with the design because I was really, sometimes when I want something to be just absolutely perfect, it makes it so much harder to come up with a design, but eventually it revealed itself to me and yeah, I’m really pleased. I hope you like it and yeah, it’s now out on Ravelry for everybody.

So I am off to Squam next week in New Hampshire. So I’m back into preparation for travel mode again already and I think I’ll probably just take Cleo pullover to knit on and aim to make some really good progress on that with some monogamous project knitting, I will be seeing the designer Elizabeth Doherty at Squam. So that’s always quite nice when you’re knitting something with the designer there. And yeah, really looking forward to that, catching up with friends there and I will try and record an episode for next week. It’s a little bit chaotic here at the moment with the kids home from school. I’m currently hiding in my bedroom while they make pretend YouTube videos asking people to subscribe to their channel. I don’t let them publish them, but they have a lot of fun making them. So yeah, so whether I get a chance in the next few days to record again, but I’m going to try to, so I’ll just leave it at that. Hopefully I’ll be back with you next week. In the meantime, have a great week or two. Happy knitting. Bye for now.

Play

Show Sponsors:

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.

Today on the podcast I’m getting ready to head to Ireland for the Knitting Pipeline retreat, so of course I need to consider which projects will come along for the trip. And I also have all the winners from our wonderful Shawl Society 4 giveaway, where members shared their happiest places with us…resulting in lots of warm fuzzies.

Show Links:

Ocean by the Sea

Laine Magazine

Gilly Makes

(Closed) Giveaway Competition Thread

Winners!

Free pattern or collection:

1. Post 136: by SueCQ

2. Post 13: by LizSolomonWright

3. Post 8: by oakbayknits

4. Post 290: by wishfulthkn

5. Post 78: by mebakes

6. Post 16 by teabird

7. Post 276 by Valeknit

8. Post 180 by cathleen55

9. Post 303 by knitterlyobsessed

10. Post 9 by HelenMc

Grand prize winner:

KnittingCounts with post #24

TSS4 General Chat Thread

Sea Gleam Shawl

Sea Gleam Shawl Chat Thread

Sea Gleam Shawl FO Thread

Clio Pullover by Elizabeth Doherty

Pebbles and Pathways Socks

Piper’s Journey Shawl

Quince and Co. Tern

Rev Transcripts

Episode 263 Transcript

_______________________________

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 263. This podcast is all about crafting a life of 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 on my website at curioushandmade.com.
 
Hello, and welcome to the show. Thanks for joining me today. I am recording this episode about a week in advance, because next week, i.e., this week, I will be at the Knitting Pipeline retreat in Ireland, joining some long lost friends and new friends, and I’m so excited. At this point, I’m obviously before the trip. I’m just doing as much as I can to get ready for a week away, and … yeah. But I’m so excited to be meeting people and of course, by the time you’re listening to this, the week of the retreat will almost be over. It’s always a bit confusing when I’m recording a show in advance and trying to chat to you as if time has already passed that hasn’t happened yet. But anyway, I’m sure you’ll forgive me. And I just wanted to not miss a week.
 
So something I promised on last week’s show was that I would announce the winners of the Shawl Society season four launch giveaway. The prizes are 10 patterns. So the winners can choose the pattern or collection of their choice from my designs on Ravelry. There are a couple of patterns that are not actually published on Ravelry that are published in magazines, so I can’t give you those ones, but most of them are available for prizes. So the winners of the 10 patterns or collections are:

Free pattern or collection:

1. Post 136: by SueCQ

2. Post 13: by LizSolomonWright

3. Post 8: by oakbayknits

4. Post 290: by wishfulthkn

5. Post 78: by mebakes

6. Post 16 by teabird

7. Post 276 by Valeknit

8. Post 180 by cathleen55

9. Post 303 by knitterlyobsessed

10. Post 9 by HelenMc

So, congratulations to the winners of the prizes and what you can do to claim your prize is to message me on Ravelry at HellsBells and just let me know what pattern or collection you would like to receive and we’ll get that sent over to you. The grand prize is a little collection I curated from some things I had to hand, sort of stash, sort of just some nice things I had. And so I have a gorgeous skein of botanically dyed yarn from Ocean by the Sea. And when I was looking in my stash for a prize for this giveaway, I couldn’t go past yarn by Ocean by the Sea, because that is basically the theme of the whole collection. There is also a knitting journal from Laine Magazine, My Knitting Notes; a gorgeous project bag which is by gillymakes, and it’s in a lovely Liberty print. It’s a really sweet bag. This bag was one extra I had after the recent Country House retreat, so I thought I’d like to include it in this giveaway. And, of course, a Shawl Society enamel pin.
 
The prompt to enter the giveaway was for people to talk about their happy place. So of course it was lovely to read people’s entries and also lots of people posted photos, which was so nice. And I’ve spent a good few hours reading through the thread and I really enjoy these giveaways because it allows me to get to know you a little bit better as well. Get to know my knitters a bit better. And it’s just so interesting, what people say. I think there are a lot of people whose happy place is the beach, which is nice. And I guess I have quite a few happy places, but the beach is definitely one of the main ones. It always takes me back to childhood and fun, happy times growing up.
 
A lot of people also were forest, woods, mountain people. So they’re more inland. And a lot of you are homebodies. A lot of people’s happy place is their craft room or their couch or sofa, and I can totally relate to that. I’m such a homebody. Being at home is totally my happy place and since I’ve been working from home, I couldn’t be happier. So I totally relate from that, and that was really nice. And then there was quite a contingent of people whose happy place was wherever friends, family, grandchildren and their knitting is. So that was very fun as well. And yes, of course, we can relate to that too.
 
So without further ado, the winner of the grand prize is Terri. Her Ravelry name is KnittingCounts, and her happy place is her home. She has posted a photo of her lovely house, and she said, “My happy place is my home. If I’m not here, you can be sure I am yearning to be here. I love my house so much I want to hug it.” And it is a very sweet looking house. So, congratulations Terri, and if you could message me on Ravelry at HellsBells and let me know your postal address, I will pop this prize in the mail to you. So, congratulations to all our winners and thank you so, so much to everybody for sharing who entered. And I really, really enjoyed reading through, and I know that you all enjoyed reading each other’s posts.
 
I can see in the thread that lots of people have posted and wanted to respond to other people, and then realized it’s a competition thread so they’ve deleted their post, and I think that’s a bit of the frustrating thing about these posts, is that you want to just chat and talk in the post and respond to people. It makes it a bit difficult to draw the prizes if we do that. So I kind of wish that Casey would come up with a way in Ravelry that we could have entry posts and just non-entry chatting posts. But anyway, it’s a lovely thread to read through, and if you’re looking for something to cheer you up on Ravelry at some point, these giveaway posts are really lovely to just scroll through and see people’s beautiful places that they like to go all around the world.
 
I must say that we have some very speedy knitters in the Shawl Society Season Four. A lot of you are well underway with your shawls, if not finished. Probably several of you are finished by now, by the time you’re listening to this. At the time of recording, people are well underway. Really, really loving seeing your yarn choices, and there is a general chat thread in the Curious Handmade group on Ravelry, as well as a finished object thread. I haven’t really thought out prizes for the knit-a-longs for each month, but I think I’ll just try and do prizes as per normal. I will be moving halfway through the Shawl Society, to Australia, so the prizes at some point might get a bit delayed in terms of sending, but I’m trying to be really organized and get things prepared ahead of time. So I will endeavor to do that. But for the time being, for this shawl, it’s all fine. So enter your finished shawls for the Sea Gleam shawl into the thread and we’ll have a little prize for each of the giveaways each month, and a grand prize at the end, which I’ll put together at some point.
 
At the moment, I am, of course, contemplating my travel knitting for the Knitting Pipeline Ireland retreat. And I think we’re going to have a decent amount of knitting time. There’s quite a lot of knitting sessions earmarked, as well as free time during the week. So I am really, really looking forward to that. I have been working really hard and I am looking forward to a bit of a break, even though it’s a work trip for me. I feel like it’s not real work. The real work has already happened, because I have designed a special shawl for the retreat. The name of the shawl is called Mount Juliet, which is named after the hotel we will be staying at in Ireland. So we’re going to be knitting on that next week, and I’ll share more about that shawl when I get back, in next week’s episode. But I’m looking forward to casting on with retreat attendees.
 
And I am also going to take my Clio pullover, which is a pullover design by Elizabeth Doherty, and I am yet to cast on, or to start working on the neck band, and I’ve been talking about that for a while. I went to start doing it, but definitely needs some concentration. There’s different rates of picking up stitches around the neckline depending on the stitch pattern in the body, and there’s also one of Elizabeth’s signature braids that goes round, and I haven’t done that before. So I will need to have a, I don’t know, an hour or two or three, concentration to do that. I thought it might be a simple picking up stitches and doing a rib neckband, but no. No, no no no no. But it will look gorgeous, so I want to make sure it’s perfect, because that will be a real feature of the pullover.
 
So, as a result, I’m still working on the body and hoping it’s not getting too long. I’m sure it will be fine. I’m not really too fussy about the length of my pullovers, although hopefully Elizabeth’s not listening to me saying that, because she’s very particular about where it should fall for best effect. Which is true, obviously. If it falls in the right place it looks better, but I’m just hoping that it will work out. There’s a reason I have a sweatshirt with “winging it” across the front.
 
What else? So I will be taking my Pebbles and Pathways socks. I’m still working on those socks, which is a design by Marceline Smith, and I have missed the window for the knit-a-long now, but am very much enjoying knitting those socks. I’m on the leg of the second sock. So I’ve finished one of the socks and am a good way through the second. So that might be a finished object fairly soon. I’m not really in a rush to finish those, I’m just really enjoying them, and they’re just really nice easy yet interesting project to pick up from time to time.
 
The other project I’ll be taking with me is a Piper’s Journey shawl, which is a pattern by Paula Emons-Fuessle. And I’m knitting that in some Quince and Co Tern yarn, which we were very generously given at one of Paula’s Knitting Pipeline Georgia retreats. And the color is mist, and Tern is fingering weight, and it is 75% American wool, 25% silk. So I think that’s perfect for a shawl, and I have three skeins of it, which was a very generous gift from Paula. And the pattern calls for Chickadee, which is sport weight, but I think it will be absolutely fine in a fingering weight as well, I think. I looked on the patterns and I couldn’t see anybody who had used Tern, which kind of surprised me, but a lot of people have used Chickadee, which the pattern calls for. But I think it’s going to be okay.
 
And I also think that it could be made slightly bigger if you wanted to. I need to look through some of the patterns on Ravelry again, but it’s got a garter stitch body and an applied lace border. So I don’t really see why you couldn’t just knit as much of the body as you wanted and then put the border on at the end and just sort of go to the end of the shawl with the border. So I think that will work. I haven’t had quite a close enough look at the pattern to be able to tell that, but I’m kind of assuming that would work. And if not, I’ll just knit it to the pattern. I kind of fancy a slightly bigger shawl, but I’m not sure if I’d have enough yarn for that anyways.
 
So I’m looking forward to using this lovely yarn. I haven’t knit with Quince and Co yarn much. I think I went to their Knitting Pipeline Georgia retreat three times, I think. So I have three lots of Quince and Co yarn, and I haven’t used it yet. So I’m really looking forward to using one of the batches. And I’m also using one of the other yarns for a special project as well, which is a secret at the moment.
 
So that’s my travel knitting. I’m sure a couple more projects will sneak in there. Maybe another pair of socks. I don’t know. That’s plenty, isn’t it? I don’t need to take more than that. I’m planning on just taking carry-on luggage, so maybe it should just be those three projects, that’s plenty. So hopefully I can remain relatively restrained when I’m packing. I’m sure when I am faced with a small carry-on bag I will be able to do that.
 
The other thing I mentioned on last week’s show was that I’m planning to have transcripts of the podcast, and I’m super excited to say that that is going ahead, and just soon after I recorded, finished recording last week’s episode, I actually received the transcript back from the company. And it was really good, and just a couple of teeny tiny edits were needed in terms of some of the names, which is to be expected. But yeah, really, really high quality, really good value. And so I am going to be providing transcripts for the podcast on curioushandmade.com in the show notes going forward. And if any other podcasters are listening and are interested, I was recommended the company by my podcast editor. And she said she hadn’t used them, but she had heard good things about rev.com. It’s R-E-V.com.
 
So I tried them out. So they charge one dollar per minute, so it’s really straight forward pricing and the longer I ramble on, the more expensive it is. But that’s okay. Most of my episodes are less than half an hour, so it’s not too bad. I think it’s really good value, and the quality’s really good. And so I’m really pleased to be able to provide that for anyone who needs it. I’m not really sure how to get the word out about that, but hopefully people will discover it, and I will share about it in the newsletter and online a little bit. But if you know anybody who can’t currently listen to the podcast and would like to be able to, please do let them know that that’s going to be available.
 
I don’t know if I’ll go back and do them. I might try and see if I can see from statistics my top x number, most popular episodes or something and do those. But at the moment, I’m just going to start here and go forward. 
 
I hope you’ve enjoyed the show this week. I look forward to catching up with you again next week. Have a fantastic week. Happy knitting. Talk to you soon.
Play

Show Sponsors:

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.

On today’s episode I have stories to share from our wonderful weekend in Bath, and I am excited to introduce the very first pattern of The Shawl Society Season 4. I’m also getting ready to head to Ireland for the Knitting Pipeline retreat, which is exciting. As part of my ongoing quest to make Curious Handmade as accessible and welcoming as possible, I’m also trying out something new with podcast transcripts.

Show Links:

Meadow Yarn Hand Dyed Yarn

Eucalan

Meadow Yarn Stitch Reminders

Cocoknits

Moel View Yarn

The Wool Kitchen

So Just Shop

Big Blue Moma

la Bien Aimée

Land of Sweets Cowl

Learning to Cry Shawl

Snowmelt Shawl

Impressionist Shawl

Walcot Yarns

The Fibre Co.

The Wool Kitchen

The Talisman Shawl

KnitAid

The Sea Gleam Shawl


Join The Shawl Society Season 4 now!

Ocean By The Sea

Laine Magazine

Gilly Makes

The Comfy Red Couch Podcast

Episode 262 Transcript:

——————————-
Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 262. This podcast is all about crafting a life of 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 on my web site at CuriousHandmade.com.

Hello hello and welcome to this week’s episode. I hope you’re all well and having a really good week. I have been having a great week. The sun has been shining here in London and it’s getting warmer, and everybody in London is so happy about that. It makes so much of a difference. Everything’s very green and lovely, and, well, blossom season is pretty much over. The roses have started blooming now, so that is another gorgeous sight that you see a lot around London at this time of year.

I’ve been working really hard the last few weeks. I mentioned last week that I was working hard and just really focusing on my to do list, and I feel like this week finally I’m back in control I think, and I feel like maybe I reached a tipping point in my to do list where things are getting ticked off slightly faster than they’re getting added. So, that’s a good feeling. I feel slightly more on top of things and it’s just making the stress levels go right down. And sometimes I think you don’t realize how stressed you are until it starts reducing and then you realize that you just feel so much better. So that’s all good!

We had a fantastic event in Bath on the weekend. It was so lovely. The event was Sip, Stitch Shop, and that was hosted by A Yarn Story and myself. It was held at a lovely hotel in Bath and we had such wonderful vendors, and lovely knitters coming along. It was such a nice day, so thank you to everybody who came along to that. I hope you had a lovely time. It was so nice to meet my friend and long time podcast sponsor Meadow Yarn in person for the first time. Got to meet Anj. And, yeah. It was just so lovely, Anj brought an amazing array of beautiful hand-dyed yarn. I don’t know how long now but maybe two years they’ve been dyeing their own Meadow Yarn label, and she had some lovely goodies. I stocked up on my favorite Eucalan wool wash and also picked up a magazine as well. So, that was really fun, and Anj also had these really cute stitch markers made up.

I also bought a few bits and bobs by Coco Knits from the A Yarn Story stand, some cable needles, and some more stitch markers. I could never have too many stitch markers, I use so many all the time. And, I bought a couple of skeins from Moel View. I can never resist all those beautiful naturally dyed yarn. And I also couldn’t resist a gorgeous set of minis from the Wool Barn, and Mya gave me a skein and Anj also gave me a skein from Meadow. One of her beautiful oranges. So, that was really fun. We also had ‘so just shop’ with the amazing Big Blue Moma baskets. They were very very popular, I think she sold most of those, although they still have some online for UK or European peeps who find it difficult to get things from the US.

We had some amazing kits that Aimee at La Bien Aimee had made up, for some of my patterns. There was kits of mini skeins for Land of Sweets cowl, as well as some singles and mohair kits for Learning to Cry shawl. She’d also put together some kits for some of my three skein shawls like Snowmelt and Impressionist’s shawl. So that was lost of fun!

We had Walcot Yarn, which is Carmen form A Yarn Story’s yarn brand, and I had designed the Vila shawl for the Shawl Society. Previous year’s Shawl Society shawl. So, it was really really lovely. The Fibre Company was sponsor of the event and Daphne was able to attend which was amazing. It was just a really really lovely day. My good friend Helen from The Wool Kitchen was a vendor as well, and Helen’s yarn was the yarn that inspired the very first Shawl Society shawl: The Talisman Shawl. So, it was lovely to see her and all her gorgeous yarn which was popular on the day.

We also had a sample sale of some of my shawl samples, and that was for Knit-Aid, so we were able to donate £325 to Knit-Aid from the sample sale which I was really pleased about because they are currently funding for warehouse space for the Charity because they have a lot of donations of knitted goods. So, I didn’t sell all the samples there. I think the knitters were more interested in buying yarn to make their own samples, but I will do a online sample sale for the ones that I still have and am happy to donate to such an amazing cause. I’ll probably do that in a couple of weeks when I’ve done my next travels, which I’ll talk a little about.

So thank you so much to Carmen and her amazing team who were all there on the day supporting us, and yeah. It was just incredible. She’s got such a great team at A Yarn Story, and we all went out for burgers in the evening after the event and it was just a lovely time.
I’m recording this on May the 16th, which is the day before the show’s being released, and that means that I have just released the first shawl in this season’s The Shawl Society season four. That shawl is called the Sea Gleam shawl, and I’ll just read you the description:

“At first, you almost can’t be sure of what you’re seeing. It’s likely that the road has been long. That you’ve been traveling since the early hours, and it might just be wishful thinking, but as you continue on, and the landscape rises and falls, and rises again… there it is. A glint. That telltale shimmer in the distance. Your first glimpse of the sea. It is a moment of pure magic. The internal chorus of ‘are we there yet?’ that never really goes away, no matter how grown up you’ve got, falls quiet. It’s just around the bend. Just around the next hill. Just beyond the dunes. Whatever scheming and planning it took to get you hear, the journey has been worth the wait. You’ve arrived, and the day has only just begun.”

The Sea Gleam shawl is the very first pattern of the shawl society season four. It celebrates the feeling of arriving at your favorite place, and the anticipation of all the joy yet to come. This two-skein shawl is a gentle crescent shape. It is big on texture with broad garter and stockinette sections, dappled with eyelets and finished with a simple by highly effective lace border. This is a lighthearted, relaxing, and meditative knit: an ideal beginning to our Shawl Society adventure.”

The Yarn I used for this sample is Suburban Stitcher single sock, and Diane has dyed up a special colorway for the shawl called ‘sea smoke’. As I mentioned in an episode a couple of weeks ago, Diane helped me come up with the theme for this season which is ‘A perfect day by the sea’, and we were in Vancouver and looking at a beautiful hand-painted ceramic whale, and I started thinking about the ocean, the sea, and the beach, and decided to make that the theme of this year’s Shawl Society.

Thank you so much to everybody who has entered into the giveaway for the Shawl Society. People were posting in the thread about their perfect day of relaxing, or where that would be, and I as always have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experiences. The prize for the giveaway is a gorgeous skein of hand-dyed yarn by Ocean by the Sea, and when I saw that skein in my stash I knew it was just perfect for this giveaway, as well as a liner knitting notes notebook, a beautiful bag by Gilly Makes, and of course a Shawl Society enamel pin.

I will announce the winner next week, I haven’t drawn the winner just yet. Although the competition is closed now, I’ll let you know who the winner is in next week’s episode. I want to say a special thank you to my sample knitter, Deb, who is TinkHickman on Ravelry, as well as my test knitter Tracy, who is TracyRR on Ravelry (and also the host of the Comfy Red Couch podcast.).

I’d also like to thank Amanda, who wrote the gorgeous description for the shawl, and my tech editor Emma who helps keeps my instructions on the straight and narrow. You might have seen on my Instagram stories or Instagram posts that I’m in the process of revamping my website. So, I’ve been working on a new logo which you might have noticed if you’re subscribed to my newsletters, and I haven’t really rolled that out yet but I’m on the process of working on that now. And, just getting the website up to scratch. It’s a bit clunky and things aren’t working on there very well at the moment, so that needs to be all sorted out which will hopefully happen in the next few months. And, getting some nice photography done for the website and just for general use, which I often seem to need for photos for all sort of things. For social media to when I get asked for photos and head shots for various things.

So, I’ve been working behind the scenes on all of that, and one of the things that I have been thinking about probably since I very first started podcasting when I was setting up how I would podcast, is doing transcripts of the audio. I’ve just been quite psyched about it, and it’s sort of another step that I need to do and bit more of a cost, but I was finally prompted to do something about it because with the diversity conversation that’s happening I thought that was something really practical that I can do to help make my business more inclusive. I asked a couple of people and got a recommendation of a website, so I’m currently doing a test basically to try and find someone or a company that can do the transcripts. I’m not sure how they’re going to go with some of the knitting vocabulary, so that might have to be something that we build up … I’m just not really sure how that’s going to work out. But, yeah, so I’m excited about that, I’m excited to be working on offering that.

I’m not sure about how soon I’ll be able to start adding transcripts to the show notes, but hopefully fairly soon. Especially if this company I’m doing the test with works out to be accurate enough. Yeah, so I’m excited to be working on those projects behind the scenes. It’s a bit frustrating when you’re putting so much work into something and you can’t quite share it yet, but that’s in the pipeline.

And speaking of the pipeline, next week I’m going to Ireland to join the Knitting Pipeline tour. Sadly Paula isn’t attending the tour because she’s having treatment for cancer, but I’m really really looking forward to seeing some friends that I’ve made at the Knitting Pipeline Georgia retreat over the years, as well as some new friends from Paula’s crew. So I can’t wait for that. I’ve designed a special shawl for the event that I’ll reveal after the people on the retreat get to see that next week. I’m just really looking forward to that event. Ireland is so beautiful, and it’s going to be mostly knitting and hanging out with friends.

So I think that’s all my news for this week.
Have a lovely week, happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you again soon!

Play

Show Sponsors:

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.

In today’s episode I have some personal knitting to share, including a new sweater pattern I have been stalking as my Clio gets closer to completion. I’m delighted that the 4th season of The Shawl Society has launched and we’re just a week away from the first pattern! I’m also gearing up for the Sip. Stitch. Shop. event in Bath this weekend, and we’re having a sample sale to raise funds for KnitAid (have you seen the KnitAid Tedx talk?)

Show Links:

Clio Pullover by Elizabeth Doherty

Ysolda Blend no.1

Hay Pullover by Clare Mountain

Squam

Midding Cardigan by Renée Callahan

Baskerville DK by Kettle Yarn

Triskelion Yarn

This week The Shawl Society Season 4 opened for membership!

It will be available at an early bird price until the first pattern of the season is released on Thursday the 16th of May, 2019.

Join The Shawl Society Season 4 now!

Suburban Stitcher Website

Suburban Stitcher Instagram

KnitAid

KnitAid Ted Talk

Ch. 261 Transcript

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Welcome to the Curious Handmade Podcast. You’re listening to Episode 261. This podcast is all about crafting a life of 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 the full show notes on my website at curioushandmade.com.

Hello and welcome to the show. I hope you had a fantastic week. Pull up a chair, grab your knitting, grab a beverage, and let’s us have a chat. Thank you to everyone who commented on social media, and via emails, and messages that you were interested in my conversation about my hair last week. I was talking about how I am embracing my natural color, which I think is going to be quite gray. It’s still in the growing out process, and even sort of four and a half, five months into it, it’s surprising to me, at least, how long it takes to grow. In some ways, when I was dying it to hide the gray, it seemed like it was every five minutes that I was having to dye it, and now that I’m desperately trying to grow it all out, it’s taking forever. So thank you for all your

messages of support and interest. It’s kind of a funny thing to talk about, but I feel like, for me, it’s about embracing happiness and creativity, which is the motto of the show, so I thought it was fair enough to talk about with you.

I have been extremely busy the last couple of weeks. I think after having basically three weeks holiday, I didn’t do much work while the kids were off school, which has always been my goal since having my business. A big part of my goal is to have a more flexible schedule around the kids, and that’s kind of worked and kind of hasn’t worked in some ways. I do have the flexibility with the kids, but that means that my work tends to get pushed into evenings and holidays, and weekends more. So I’m very, very lucky to be able to go to concerts or other events in the middle of the day. I’m lucky to be able to pick them up from school, but I’m basically working at least full-time, so that just means that that work has to happen somewhere else. And it’s taking me a really long time to get to grips with how that works, because I’m always very optimistic about how much I will get done, and then it either takes a lot longer, or I procrastinate, or get sucked into something else. And so I am working hard at the moment on trying to get to grips with that. I feel quite frustrated to be still grappling with this, I don’t know, four or five years since I stopped working full-time in a corporate job. But there you go. We’re always learning and improving, so I’m going to try not to beat myself up about it too much. I’m just trying to prioritize tackling that now.

Anyway, that was a bit of a ramble. Sorry about that. I’m tackling my to-do list with gusto at themoment, and I’m prioritizing by trying to look at what’s most urgent, and also what’s stressing me out the most, which isn’t always the same thing. Usually it is the same thing, because the most urgent thing is stressing me out, because it’s coming up. But sometimes strange, little things really stress me out, and so I’m trying to just get things that are playing a disproportionate, or being disproportionately stressful, out of the way, as well.

So despite being so busy, I have still been doing some personal knitting, and I think that’s actually been helping with stress levels. I have been knitting on my Clio, which is a gorgeous pullover by Elizabeth Doherty. I’m knitting that in Ysolda’s blend number one that I purchased at Edinburgh Yarn Festival, a couple of years ago. And I’m really enjoying knitting with that yarn. It’s just beautiful. It’s a very calming pale gray color, so that’s really nice as well. And the stitch pattern, now I’m onto the body, is interesting and really fun to knit. So I’m really into that at the moment, and it’s at the stage where it’s quite an easy go-to project to pick up. I can read the stitch pattern where I’m up to. It’s just a four row repeat at this stage. So, yeah, that’s quite a relaxing knit. I talked about, I don’t know, a couple of weeks ago, that I was thinking I should do the neckband. And I think what I might do is wind another skein of yarn into a ball, and have a look at the neckband after I finish recording, because I still haven’t done that, and I need to measure the body actually. It’s meant to be the cropped version, so I’m currently at risk of having an 80s tunic length version at the rate I’m going on the body. So I need to measure how much I’ve done on the body, see where I’m at with that. And also put the neckband in so that I can try it on, and measure and see how it’s going. Maybe I’ve been procrastinating on doing the neckband a little bit. It’s a little bit of a mental block, because I want the picked up stitches to be perfect, perfectly neat, and match the rest of the sweater, because often that’s where I fall down on a sweater project is not having quite perfectly picked up stitches around the neckband. I made a mistake in my Hay Pullover when I picked up the neckband stitches, and it’s not massively noticeable, but I can notice sort of a glitch in the smooth line of the neckline. And so maybe I’ve been procrastinating on that a bit as well. I did set a goal for finishing it by the end of the year, which I thought was nice, realistic goal. And then I started getting excited about the progress I was making and thinking maybe I could finish this before Squam, which I’m going to this year. But then, I looked at the calendar, and that’s only three weeks away, just over three weeks away. So, that made me feel slightly panicky, because I have a lot to do before then. And also think possibly not realistic to get Clio finished by then, sadly. So maybe it could be a finish it while I’m at Squam kind of goal. That might be more realistic. I don’t know. We’ll see. I need to assess where I’m at, especially in regards to how much more of the body I have to go.

So, enjoying that project a lot, and also starting to think about what’s coming next in the sweater queue. I have been stalking a brand new pattern released this month. It’s called Midding, M-I-D-D-I-N-G, by Renee Callahan. It’s been popping up on Instagram and in Ravelry, and I’m in love with this cardigan. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s quite a similar color to what I’m knitting with at the moment. And Renee’s used Baskerville DK, by Kettle Yarn Co, which is a DK for this. And Baskerville has some Gotland in it, and silk, so that’s probably partly why I love it so much. I just adore Gotland. So, it’s a cardigan with cable panels down the front, down the sleeves, and across the back. It’s a really, really nice, modern cable, and I really love the neckline. It looks like just a very, very delicate simple i-cord around the neck, and so there’s no band as such. It just goes straight from this, I think it’s an i-cord.

I’m not sure if it’s cast on from the top down. No, work from the bottom up. I’ll read the description. All questions will be answered.

Midding is feeling the tranquil pleasure near a gathering, but not quite in it, hovering on the perimeter of a camp fire, chatting outside a party while others dance inside, resting your head in the backseat of a car listening to your friends chatting up front, feeling blissfully invisible yet still fully included, safe in the knowledge that everyone is together and everyone is okay, with all the thrill of being there without the burden of having to be. Some projects suggest a kind of sweet nostalgia. Midding is a project like that. A classic cardigan shape, with long, fitted sleeves, a straight body, and panels of open cables. This cardigan is worked from the bottom up, with raglan shaping in the yoke, and i-cord finishing at the neck and button bands.

It’s in DK weight yarn, and she has some very, very gorgeous testers, who’ve knit this up, beautiful, sample projects that are making me fall even more in love with it. So, I think this is going to be in my queue. I do have some DK weight yarn, in sweater quantities of yarn in my stash, including some Triskelion, and I think that’s in a nice, can’t remember the blend, but I think

it’s called Arthur, but I could be making that up completely. So that might be good for this one actually. So, so beautiful. I can’t stop looking at it. She’s done a settled shoulder, so the cable goes right up to the neckline. Really love it. Good one, Renee. It’s beautiful. I have to get cracking, cracking on my Clio, so that I can get on to this one.

So apart from knitting sweaters, and stalking sweaters, this week has also seen the opening of the Shawl Society, Season 4, and the theme is Perfect Day At The Beach. I announced the theme, and talked a little bit about it last week. So you can now purchase the collection at a presale, early bird price of 12 pounds. And once the first pattern is released next week on Thursday the 16th of May, the price will go up to 15 pounds. So it’s a nice discount at the moment, and it’s basically two pounds per pattern. That price is for all six designs, that will be released from May through to October, one pattern per month. There’s going to be a range of sizes, shapes, yarn weights. So the yarn weights will range from a heavy lace weight/light fingering weight, through fingering, and through to a DK weight yarn. A little bit of a range there. I’m including a bulky one this year like I have in previous years. In terms of the sizes, a lot of

people have been asking about what size they’re going to be. Last year I kind of got ambitious and flamboyant with the sizes. A lot of them were quite big, and this year they’re going to be probably a little bit more constrained than last year overall, but possibly not going down to small sizes. I don’t think there’s any that are small, shawlette size this time again. But I can offer suggestions for adapting them to smaller or bigger in most cases, I think. So I will try and do that wherever possible.

If you have anymore questions just email me or put them on the Ravelry group, and I’m preparing a frequently asked questions email for people, so I’ll be sending that out next week. If you have any questions about the Shawl Society, you can let me know. It’s going to follow a fairly similar format to previous years, in terms of how it rolls out. So, as I mentioned, you have just under a week to sign up at the early bird price. The first pattern is coming out next Thursday, and the yarn I’ve used for the first pattern is by Suburban Stitcher in a special colorway called sea smoke. Diane is having some updates for this colorway, including one on the 16th of May, and so if you’re interested in that colorway, you can check out her website and Instagram for any updates about that.

We also have an In Real Life event happening this weekend, which is Sip, Stitch, Knit, with me in Bath, with A Yarn Story. And I’m really looking forward to seeing everybody who’s coming along to that. We’re going to have a lovely day. There’s going to be amazing vendors. We’re going to have a sample sale of about 20 of my samples, and the proceeds of that are going to go to a UK based charity called Knit Aid, who send knitted items to refugees. I’ve been a big supporter and fan of their work for, I don’t know, a couple of years now, I think. And Shahnaz, who is the founder of Knit Aid, has actually done a TED Talk, which was recently published. So, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. It’s a lovely talk. It just makes you feel happy and proud to be a knitter, when she tells her story.

So, I can’t wait to see you there, if you’re coming along. So, if I don’t see you in Bath, have a fantastic week, happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you again soon.

Play

Show Sponsors:

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.

This week I revealed the theme for our 4th season of The Shawl Society and I’m getting so, so, excited to begin another adventure with so many brilliant knitters. I also have a bit of a story about how I got inspired for this collection. Finally, I have recently decided to try something a bit different with my hair and I’ve got some resources to share!

Show Links:

Suburban Stitcher

Olann Yarn

Ann Friedman

Aminatou Sow

Call Your Girlfriend Podcast

Shine Theory

#grombre

Erica Henry Johnston

Nikol Johnson

Annika Von Holdt

Don’t forget, there are still tickets available for the upcoming Sip, Stitch, Shop event in Bath on May 11th, and I’d love to see lots of the Curious Crew there!

Play


Show Sponsors:

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. Here you’ll find a gorgeous selection to choose from including sumptuous skeins from House of a la Mode, La Bien Aimée and Julie Asselin. With friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you browse, treat your projects to the luxury they deserve! You can also shop online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk.

Over the Easter Long weekend we took the train to Paris as a family to do a little exploring, museum-visiting and flea market-shopping! I also managed to sneak in a visit to a favourite yarn shop and do just a little knitting. Back at home now, I’m looking forward to some upcoming events, including the 4th season of The Shawl Society, which is coming up quickly!

Show Links:

 

La Bien Aimée

Visiting a Paris Flea Market

Clio Pullover

Pebbles and Pathways Socks

Olann Yarn

The Wool Barn

The Fibre Co. 

Meadow Yarn

Moel View Yarn

The Wool Kitchen

la Bien Aimée

Julie Asselin

Walcot Yarns 

The Wool Barn

So Just Shop

Our friends at A Yarn Story are hosting a special event at the Apex Hotel in Bath from 10am to 4pm, 11th May 2019. It is partly a goodbye party: a chance to spend a bit of time together before I move to Australia.

Come join us for a day of tea, cake and knitting. We will have a lovely sociable day and there will be the chance to meet and knit with other yarn lovers. There will be a marketplace with some of my very favourite indie dyers and crafty businesses full of delights.

An advance ticket of £10 will give you access to the marketplace and knit group, plus beverages and cake. Tickets will also be available on the door for £12. All are welcome!

Tickets are now available to purchase here.

There will also be a more intimate dinner event later that same evening: dinner tickets will be offered for sale later, to those who have already bought a ticket to the daytime event.

I hope to have a chance to see and chat with many of you in person!

Play

Show Sponsors:

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. Here you’ll find a gorgeous selection to choose from including sumptuous skeins from House of a la Mode, La Bien Aimée and Julie Asselin. With friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you browse, treat your projects to the luxury they deserve! You can also shop online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk.

On today’s podcast I have lots of stories from our family trip to India…we saw a grand and stunningly beautiful palace, some incredible wildlife (mongoose and tigers and crocodiles!) and ate some unforgettable food. I also have the latest pattern from The Handmade Sock society to introduce!

Show Links:

Pebbles and Pathways Socks

Clio Pullover

Olann Yarn

Last week I released the 2nd pattern from The Handmade Sock Society Season 2. I hope you love the Samphire Socks as much as I do!