Archives For Shawls

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In today’s episode I’m back to my fantasy knitting queue, with a subject that’s very close to my heart. Shawls! They are such great travel projects, which makes them a great fit for the Summer Series. Any excuse to talk about shawls! We’re right in the middle of The Shawl Society, so at the moment my mind is even more full of shawls than usual. When I’m so busy designing shawls I don’t often get a chance to knit someone else’s patterns, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to let my inner shawl fangirl out to play. I’m chatting about some of my favourite shawl designers and some of the patterns I love most.

Show Sponsors:

Meadow Yarn

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

A Yarn Story

Located on charming Walcot Street in the heart of Bath’s Artisan Quarter is A Yarn Story. Specialising in hand-dyed yarns and luxury fibres from around the world, A Yarn Story is a destination shop, both in-person and online! Major yarn and accessories brands include Hedgehog Fibres, Madelinetosh, Shibui Knits, ChiaoGoo and Cocoknits – and of course many more! Start creating your own yarn story…

Show Links:

Making Magazine

Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl by Paula Emons-Feussel

Cave Point Shawl by Paula Emons-Feussel

Quince and Co yarn

Pure Joy by Joji Locatelli

Interpretations 3 Pom Pom Magazine

Expressive by Jojo Locatelli

Be Kind by Veera Välimäki

Lakelet by Renée Callahan

Rockhopper by Anna Maltz

The Book of Haps

Events:

Curious Handmade Country House Retreat

Oct 20 – 23 // Cumbria, UK

There are still a couple of twin share places available for the Autumn Country House retreat. If you are interested in finding out more you can email me – helen@curioushandmade.com

That’s all for this week! Happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you again soon!

I’m a Creative Bug affiliate!

Introducing Botan!

Helen —  April 15, 2016 — 1 Comment

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

botan2

“Botan = Peony in Japanese

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

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

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

 

Afternoon Tea in Anzula Squishy: Candy Apple

Back in 2012, I released a little shawlette on Knitty. Afternoon Tea, which was inspired by vintage frocks and pastel-frosted cupcakes, played on the concept of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s beloved Pi shawl. Since then the pattern has had quite a life. It has racked up almost 1000 projects on Ravelry, has been made in every colour under the rainbow, and made an appearance at countless special events (including starring roles in at least a dozen weddings!)

I designed Afternoon Tea as a fun little fancy. It had only one job, to be ornamental. That’s a role it has played perfectly, but recently I wanted to revisit the pattern to see what more it had to offer. When I re-released Pebble Beach in larger sizes, the response was wonderful, and I knew that Afternoon Tea also deserved its own “growing up” moment. Over the last few months I have carefully redesigned and rewritten the pattern as a full-sized shawl. The new, larger Afternoon Tea retains all the delicacy, refinement, and playfulness of the original shawlette, but now it’s ready to do double duty as both a decorative and a more functional piece.

The yarn I chose for the new samples has quickly become one of my favourites. If there was such a thing as a yarn soulmate, Anzula Yarn’s Squishy might just be mine. It’s a fingering weight MCN blend: 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon. It’s so, so soft and the colours are completely lush. I knit the small sample in Teal (possibly my perfect colour) and used up one skein, pretty much exactly.

Afternoon Tea Shawlette in Teal

Small Afternoon Tea in Anzula Luxury Fibers Squishy [80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon, 352m /385yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Teal

My wonderful mother knit the medium sample for me in Candied Apple: I was so grateful to her but it was hard to hand those two skeins over. I wanted to keep knitting with that yarn! The lovely drape is especially evident in this larger size.

Afternoon Tea Shawl in Anzula Candied Apple

The new, larger size of Afternoon Tea in Anzula Luxury Fibers Squishy [80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 352m/385yd per skein], 2 x 100g skeins, Colour: Candied Apple

The original samples were knit in three other yarns which are still very close to my heart. The sheen and stich definition in Quince & Co’s Tern wool and silk blend is to die for.

Afternoon Tea in Columbine

The original small Afternoon Tea in Quince & Co Tern [75% wool, 25% silk, 202m /221yd per skein], 2 x 50g skeins, Colour: Columbine

Madelinetosh’s Tosh Sock really needs no introduction. This yarn is a perennial favourite, and the Baltic colourway is deep, moody, and elegant. Best of all, the small version of the shawl uses up exactly one skein.

Afternoon Tea in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock Baltic

Original small Afternoon Tea in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock [100% superwash merino wool, 361m /395yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Baltic

I’m still such a fan of Viola’s Merino fingering, in this rich violet colour.

Original small Afternoon Tea in Viola Merino Fingering [100% superwash merino wool; 365m/400yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Violet

Original small Afternoon Tea in Viola Merino Fingering [100% superwash merino wool; 365m/400yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Violet

As of today, the revamped pattern is available to buy now on Ravelry: as part of this rebirth, along with the new size, I have also converted both sizes into my easy-to-follow percentage checklist format that is so popular with Curious Handmade knitters! And of course, the original pattern will still be available for free on Knitty. I hope you enjoy it.

Whispering Island Shawl

I’ve been hinting all week about my newest pattern, and I’m so excited to share it with you all that I’ve decided to release it a day earlier than planned.

The pattern is available on Ravelry to buy now.

“My readers will want to know if Whispering Island is real, set in the great blue harbour in the story – and if the little cottage on the hills is there still…Yes, the island is real, and lies in the great harbour, still full of whispering trees. The little cottage on the hills is still there, with its magnificent view and its old well… I have taken them all and put them into this book for you.”

Enid Blyton “Five Have a Mystery to Solve”

Cliffs and caves, coastlines and caravans: Whispering Island is inspired by the landscapes of beautiful Dorset and the fun to be had there by the young at heart. This generously-sized shawl wants to be slung across your shoulders as you wander through fields, explore forgotten ruins, scramble up hillsides, and toast marshmallows over a campfire.

An elongated triangle shawl with a rounded border, Whispering Island is all about texture. Knit in a rustic, rugged DK weight yarn, it features rippling ridges and just a hint of feminine lace in the eyelets along the edge. Although packed with lovely details, this pattern is amazingly easy and fast to knit: the perfect project for a knitter setting off on their first shawl adventure, or for the experienced knitter who wants something simple to finish by the fireside in the long summer evenings of a camping holiday.

This particular project has been such a joy. It was one of those patterns that seems to know exactly what it wants to be from the beginning, and I had a wonderful time bringing it to life. I also had the immense pleasure of working with three marvellous yarns, which each brought their own magic to the design. As any knitter knows, it all begins with the feeling of fibre in your hands.

Whispering Island in Hole & Sons Yarn

The first inspiration for Whispering Island came from my precious stash of Hole & Sons wool. I was lucky to get my hands on some (the last release sold out online in a matter of minutes.) I knew I needed a very special project to make the most of its wonderful qualities, and I felt it was worthy of its own new pattern. I enthuse at length about what makes this yarn so miraculous in tomorrow’s podcast, where I interview Benjamin Hole about his farm, process, and philosophy.

For the original Whispering Island, I used Hole & Sons Pure Wool in the “Fog” colour. [100% Dorset Poll Pure Wool, 110m/119yds per ball], 6 x 50g balls.

Because there will be a bit of a wait before more Hole & Sons yarn is available for purchase, I also wanted to knit this shawl in some other lovely yarns which allow for more instant gratification.

Whispering Island in Blacker Shetland Yarn

Blacker Yarns Shetland DK shares a lot of qualities with the Hole & Sons wool. Soft, springy, and heathered, it is actually spun in the same mill in Cornwall. It manages to be both rugged and incredibly cuddly, all at the same time, and it’s very smooth on the needles. The colour of the wool, Fawn, is completely natural. It’s an undyed light brown in a creamy caramel shade: it reminds me of Werther’s Originals! [100% Wool, 110m/119yds per ball], 6 x 50g balls]

Whispering Island in Acadia

You’ve probably heard me mention the Fibre Company’s gorgeous Acadia yarn. I was planning to knit a two-colour version of Whispering Island, and I wanted a yarn that would still capture the outdoorsy feeling of my original vision. When I looked at some other shawls knit in Acadia I suddenly knew that this was the perfect yarn for the job. I can’t say enough about what a pleasure this yarn is to work with. The blend of merino, alpaca and silk is wonderfully soft and luxurious with loads of rustic character. [60% Merino wool, 20% Baby alpaca, 20% Silk, 133m/145yds per skein], 4 x 50g skeins, Colour: 2 x Driftwood, 2 x Summersweet]

The result, in all three yarns, is a big, welcoming shawl with lots of heart, an all-season shawl that will be equally at home sheltering you from the soft breezes of a summer evening as it will be cuddling around your neck once the winter winds begin to blow. It’s a surprisingly quick knit, and lots of fun: I’ve made it three times now, and it has never lost its charm.

I really love Whispering Island, and I hope you will too.

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

Show Sponsors

Meadow Yarn 

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

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

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

KAL News

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

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

  • You can use any Curious Handmade pattern

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

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

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

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

Hashtag #muse2KAL for WIPs and FOs!

What’s in the WIP?

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

Show Links

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

Shawlscapes by Stephen West

Laura Nalkin’s Mastering Lace Shawls

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

Three shawl patterns mentioned in this episode:

Aisling by last week’s guest Justina Lorkowska

Swallowtail by Evelyn A. Clark

Echo Flower by Jenny Johnson Johnen

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

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Curious Handmade Podcast With Justyna

Today I have the pleasure of speaking to the lovely, funny, and incredibly talented Justyna Lorkowska of Lete’s Knits. She talks about her signature knitting style, the journey from her hilarious and humbling teenage projects to her current sophisticated designs, and how to choose a shawl shape for every occasion.

She’ll be launching a brand new hap shawl this weekend at the Berlin Knits Yarn Festival with Walkcollection, so we’ll all be looking forward to seeing the new pattern once it hits Ravelry.

Show Sponsors

Meadow Yarn 

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

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

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

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL, which Paula is hosting on the Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group, is running until July 5th, and we already have loads of chatter and more than 50 FOs, all competing for that scrumptious skein of Uncommon Thread Merino Lace in the Mermaid colourway. You’ve still got lots of time to join in, and the rules are loose on this one! Remember:

  • You can use any of my patterns

  • It doesn’t matter if you began or finished the object before the start date

  • If you want to purchase a pattern or collection, use Ravelry coupon code KPKAL30 for 30% off until May 31st

  • The hashtag is #pebblebeachKAL so we can find all your WIPs on Twitter and Instagram!

Meet My Yarn KAL has just wrapped up and I absolutely loved everyone’s swatches and stories. I’ll be announcing the winner next week: they’re going to get their hands on a skein of the wonderful Cumbria yarn from The Fibre Company. As I’ve mentioned before, this yarn won’t even be available to the public until late summer.

Muse2 KAL is running from May 1st until June 30th, so that everyone can be a part of the fun. Enter with any FO that meets one or more of the following criteria:

I’ve just decided on my project for the KAL: Rachel Coopey’s gorgeous Oleum socks. It’s the perfect pattern for the great John Arbon Exmoor Sock Yarn I was talking about a few weeks ago.

Show Links

Visit Justyna’s busy, happy Ravelry Group and take a look at the Shawlicious KAL, ending June 30th

You can find all of Justyna’s amazing patterns on website and her Ravelry profile, but here are the ones we discussed specifically:

Fickle Heart hoodie

Shifting sweater

Aisling shawl

Masgot shawl

Hermit shawl

If you’re free over the weekend, pay a visit to the I Knit Fandango, happening the 15th and 16th of May at Royal Horticultural Halls, Lindley Hall, Westminster, London, and say a special hello to three friends of the podcast: Kettle Yarn Co, Pom Pom Quarterly, and Rachel Coopey.

That’s everything for this week! Thanks so much for listening, and happy knitting!

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Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 73

Today I introduce the theme for May: shawls. I talk about how I got started knitting the not-so-granny garment that I now love so much, and how exciting and magical shawl design can be.

Show Sponsors

Meadow Yarn 

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

Contest winner

Last week on the show with Clara, she offered a skein of her lovely Clara Yarn Cormo 1.0 as a giveaway. The winner is Barbara with this comment:

“One of my favorite yarns to work with is Anzula Cloud. It is soft and squooshy and the perfect weight for shawls and lightweight sweaters. I’ve made Eiregal and Red Rock Canyon shawls by Romi, Annis by Susanna Ic, as well as Featherweight by Hannah Fettig. Lately, I’ve been buying more “rustic” yarns, including the new Shetland from Clara and some lambswool from an upstate NY farm. I am so excited to be learning about different breeds of sheep and the differing properties their fleeces/wool possess. Thank you Helen for your marvelous podcasts. I really enjoy listening to you and learning from you as you explore new things.”

Knit Along News

Pebble Beach KAL To celebrate the relaunch of Pebble Beach with two new sizes, Paula is running a knit along of all my designs on the Knitting Pipeline group, which is running until July 5th. You can enter a finished object from any of my designs, even if it was cast on or finished before the KAL began! Join the group, and remember to use #pebblebeachKAL for our WIP pictures on Instagram and Twitter!

There will be prizes including this gorgeous skein of Uncommon Thread Merino Lace in Mermaid (it’s what we used for the medium Pebble Beach Sample!)

Pebble Beach Shawl Medium Detail

Alongside the KAL I’m also offering a 30% discount off any Curious Handmade pattern or collection until May 31st. Just use Ravelry coupon code KPKAL30 when you check out.

Meet My Yarn KAL has been extended another week until May 14th! This KAL is sponsored by Cumbria yarn by The Fibre Company, and they’re offering a skein as a prize.

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

Muse2 KAL We wanted to let people all over the world be part of our Muse 2 Event in June, so we’ve put together a knit along honouring our sponsors. You can enter any finished object that meets one or more of the following criteria:

The KAL is running from May 1st until June 30th, so you have plenty of time to get knitting!

KnitBritish Hap-along that I mention later in the episode is going strong, running until July 12th!

Shawls I mention

I talk about some of the earliest shawl patterns I tackled, first knitting others’ patterns, then learning to design my own, and some examples of shawl shapes.

Shetland Triangle Lace by Evelyn A. Clark

Citron by Hilary Smith Calis

Lucky Clover Shawl by Helen Stewart (my first shawl design!)

Pi Shawl by Elizabeth Zimmerman

Girasole by Jared Flood

Pendulum by Amy Miller

I also discuss some influential designers who push the boundaries in shawl shaping

Stephen West

Veera Välimäki

Joji Locatelli

Susanna IC

Are you on Instagram yet? Join in the fun and the amazing yarny knitting community there! Play the instagram game and tag me with a pic of where you’re listening to the podcast. Have a fantastic weekend everyone! Happy knitting and bye for now!