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.
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!