CH 85: Simplify and Home and Away

Helen —  July 30, 2015 — 44 Comments

Curious Handmade Podcast 85

Welcome to the very last post in July’s Summer Series! Today I’m looking back at the year so far: how I’ve done on the goals I set for myself in January. The word I chose for the year was “simplify” and it’s been pretty influential, though there’s always room for improvement! I also had the opportunity to review a wonderful pattern book by Hannah Fettig, Home and Away.

Show Sponsors:

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their lovely lovely Acadia yarn.


TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

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, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links:

I mention that I went back to listen to episode 56 of the podcast, “Hello 2015” and I that I’ve finished the Amy Herzog Custom Fit Pullover that I began back then!

I discussed the design work I’ve accomplished so far this year:

Whispering Island was a break from the plan, just a moment of inspiration I had to seize. Hole and Yarns, and two more samples with Blacker Shetland DK and one with The Fibre co Arcadia

Re-releasing Pebble Beach with two new sizes and samples in yarn from The Uncommon Thread

Re-releasing Afternoon Tea with a new size and the checklist pattern format, with another two samples in Anzula Squishy


I mention a book that I’ve found really helpful in my quest for simplicity:

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

it has a lot in common with another book I loved:

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Book Review

Home and Away: Knits for Everyday Adventures Hannah Fetig

Includes an interview with Pam Allan from Quince and Co. Yarns

While every garment in the collection is gorgeous and wearable, my favourite patterns from the book are

Calligraphy, a long button-up cardigan.


Lesley, a pullover with a gorgeous neckline

I love the book so much that I’m keeping it, but I have an electronic copy to give away! To win, just leave a comment by Thursday the 6th of August, telling me your favourite pattern from the collection, or whether you prefer top down knitting or knitting in pieces and seaming.


In August and September, the podcast theme will be “A Handmade Wardrobe.” Several people have sparked that idea for me, including:

Libby from Truly Myrtle

Felicia from Craft Sessions and her inspiring review post of her Me-Made May

Karen from Fringe Supply Co.

Kate from A Playful Day who talked to Ysolde Teauge about making your own clothes

I’ve mention in previous weeks how much I’m looking forward to September 5th, when I’ll be involved with the Great London Yarn Crawl. I’m sharing a stand with some other (very talented!) designers as part of their pop up marketplace Indie Designer Spotlight. Please come and say hi!

Plans for the first Curious Handmade Workshop with Emily Quinton from Makelight Studios and my friend Vicki Hillman, fashion stylist are starting to take shape! It will happen on Friday the 9th of October, so save the date!

That wraps up the show notes and the Summer Season! See you next week, and until then, happy knitting!

44 responses to CH 85: Simplify and Home and Away

  1. I love Boothbay, a comfy cardigan that can be used all year around.
    asteride on Ravelry

  2. Lesley is definitely the sweater I would knit first, and then Hancock!
    patmom on Ravelry

  3. Loved your review of Hannah Fetig’s book Home and Away. It is unique that she gives each pattern both top down seamless and in pieces. I am an “in the round” kind of knitter, but have knit a simple tank in two pieces this summer. Knitting each piece on straight needles went rather quickly, but has remained in my WIP for most of the summer because I’ve found stitching the two pieces, well, not knitting. The ladder stitch is magic, but tedious. I understand the importance of seams in a garment for structure. But give me a seamless any day!

  4. My favorite thing pattern from the book is Georgetown. I prefer to knit sweaters mostly seamless. I recently tried a top down set in sleeves and I really like it.

  5. Kristina (Wanderlustknits on Rav) August 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Great episode! I love everything in Home and Away, but the Moto Jacket is especially unique (and has been in my faves for a bit!).

  6. Jamie Brinkerhoff August 3, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I would make Hanna’s Calligraphy Cardigan. I love cardigans and big buttons. That collar is wonderful. I have made seamed and seamless sweaters and of the two I prefer seamless. I really enjoyed your podcast and sharing my morning with you thinking about simplification…thank you. Your episodes are wonderful!

  7. I would knit the Georgetown Cardigan first and I would probably knit it in pieces, as I have never done that before!

  8. Both the Rosemont and Georgetown are on my list!

  9. I prefer knitting in pieces and seaming. Beautiful book.

  10. For me, the moto jacket stands out. It was a hard choice. I would wear everything from the collection. Congratulations to Hannah for a wonderful book and to Helen for a wonderful podcast!

  11. Enjoyed the episode! I’ve been drawn to Calligraphy Cardigan for long time…just spent an hour looking at yarn and project notes! I am wildpony2 on Ravelry!

  12. Loved the reflection on goals in the podcast.
    I would knit the Rosemont, even have enough Lark for that one! I like the top down sweater idea although I have yet to finish a sweater. I am still holding out hope.

  13. I love the texture of the Sycamore Vest and it looks like it would be such a versatile item in a wardrobe.

  14. I would love a snuggly warm Calligraphy Cardigan for next winter! 🙂

  15. I really enjoy your podcasts. In Home and Away, I would knit the Calligraphy Cardigan. I really like Hannah Fettig’s designs, they seem to embrace simplicity…
    I like knitting in pieces and seaming, well, ok I don’t really like seaming, haha, but for me, I think the stability in the fabric is a good thing. Knitting In pieces gives me a sense of accomplishment as each piece is completed.

  16. I like the Lesley sweater. I think I would prefer to knit seamlessly, but have never knitted a garment. Maybe winning this giveaway would prompt me to do so!

  17. I think I like Calligraphy best for the same reason you mentioned – the buttons. Though I live in a warm climate I do prefer my cardigans to at least have the option to close from the top to the bottom.

  18. I enjoyed learning about Hannah Fettig’s new book. Thank you! I choose the Lesley because it has a simple elegance. I think the design has the potential to really show off the beauty of an exceptionally lovely tonal yarn. End result would be a very eye-catching sweater.

  19. My favorite is the Georgetown cardigan, but they are all beautiful!

  20. Great podcast as usual! I’ve wanted to knit one of Hannah Fettig’s patterns for ages! I absolutely love the Calligraphy cardigan from this book. I prefer seamless knitting in the round – there’s something in being able to try on a garment as you go!

  21. I definitely prefer top down knitting.
    Very interesting to see both options in the same book, though!

  22. Very nice! I really like the Georgetown sweater. But also like the Sycamore vest it would be a hard decision which was first.

  23. I love all of them really, but the Rosemont cardigan is really lovely. I have always been scared of seaming so I love top down and seamless. I would hate to work hard on a sweater then ruin it with my terrible seeing skills:)

  24. I love the beauty in simplicity of your show. I would love to win a copy of Hannah’s e book. Thank you for the opportunity.

  25. Great podcast, I love Calligraphy I can see me living in that cardigan!

  26. I am really wanting to knit Georgetown or Rosemount. I’ve been thinking it would be nice to try seaming, and I’m certain they would be worn as I already wear that style. Really enjoy your podcast and goal setting was inspiring!

  27. I would like to make the Georgetown sweater and I would knit it bottom up. I love Quince yarn and would love a book of patterns using that beautiful yarn!

  28. I love Georgetown, it looks super cosy. Someone on ravelry had knit it using Shelter and it’s gorgeous. I prefer seamless knitting, but I’m open to trying a seamed sweater.

  29. Another wonderful episode! I love so many of Hannah’s patterns, but from the book I’d say Hancock would be my favorite. I live in Florida so it’s perfect for warmer climates. And since it’s lightweight I would knit it top-down. But I appreciate seamed construction too- I travel for a living and always have a project in my suitcase, so if I’m working on something worsted or heavier it’s much more travel-friendly in pieces.

  30. I’ve been out of the podcast loop lately, but today I listened to yours and truly enjoyed it! I love Hannah Fetting new book! I love to knit top down and bottom up! I think my first garment would be the Sycamore Vest. I’ve always wanted a vest and that one is super cute! Thanks for the opportunity to try to win a copy!

  31. The Rosemont Cardigan looks so cozy; I think that’s my favorite. 🙂 Rav: marywithani

  32. I love Hannah’s patterns and I have been eyeing Lesley particularly closely. At the moment I prefer knitting garments seamlessly, either top down or bottom up. I think I just need to practise with seaming to make it a new love.

  33. Hi! I’ve just discovered your podcast and really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be tuning in again.
    I love seamless knitting. Not having to seam is a joy!

  34. I love all the patterns in this book but I would cast on the Sycamore Vest first. Have been knitting garments in pieces all my life but in the last few years have done some nice baby and children’s garments top down and seamless. Must try something for myselfsoon.

  35. Grammie2maddie August 5, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    I love Calligraphy…I find that if I have to seam pieces, I put if off forever….I like top down ans almost seamless…

    Love your podcast-but you already knew that!


  36. I love the simple and comfortable styling of these pieces, which are also classic. The cut of Lesley is elegant, but I would not be able to wear that easily as its beauty is in its fitted shape. I think my favorite would be Boothbay. I don’t have much experience knitting sweaters, and have only done a top-down. I would like to try bottom up, as well as seaming pieces. Thank you for the generous give-away!
    alaPenelope on Ravelry

  37. I really like the Boothbay. As a newer knitter, I usually choose top-down seamless knits. I would love to try both constructions on a pattern to see the differences! Thanks for the great review.

    brbmom on Ravelry

  38. Another terrific podcast. I love Georgetown and plan on knitting it soon. I’d love to win a copy of the book.

  39. I’d knit Georgetown – it’s been on my list since the book came out, but am leaning toward a heavier weight yarn, since I am in Minnesota

  40. I prefer knitting seamless garments but find that pieced ones fit better!!!
    Would LOVE to win a copy of the ebook!

  41. I love the Rosemont Cardigan. I might try it from the top down.

  42. Love your podcasts! I would knit the Moto Jacket; just by buttoning or unbuttoning changes the look of the outfit. I’d love to win a copy of this book!

  43. It’s so hard to choose what my favorites are. I love knitting both seamless and seamed sweaters. For heavier sweaters I always go for seamed to give added structure to the garment and to help it to not grow down to my knees. Love your podcast! Thanks for continuing to work hard to inform and entertain us.

  44. SallyFromIdaho August 8, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    I really enjoy knitting my sweaters top down.

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