CH 89: With Elizabeth Doherty from Blue Bee Studio

Helen —  August 28, 2015 — 60 Comments

Curious Handmade Podcast 89

As we near the end of August – there is a definite end of summer feeling with more than a hint of autumn around the corner here in the UK. I always feel a bit stirred up around this time as I love hot weather and lazy summers BUT on the other hand…..knitting season right?!!

My guest on the show today is wonderful knitwear designer Elizabeth Doherty of Blue Bee Studio. We chatted back at Squam in June and I’m excited to be sharing it with you today.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their wonderfully soft and gorgeous Acadia yarn. If you want to see how wonderfully this knits up, take a look at the two tone sample of my pattern Whispering Island!

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 get your hands on some Acadia of your own 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.

What’s in the WIP?

Summertide MKAL

Hold on to summer with 8 weeks of knitting, camaraderie and mystery!

Summertide MKAL


Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge 

Interview with Elizabeth Doherty from Blue Bee Studio

Blue Bee Studio

Top Down: Reimagining Set-In Sleeve Design

Quince & Co

Squam Art Workshops

Elizabeth’s designs on Ravelry

Lina – the pattern that Elizabeth referred to that came out while we were at Squam

Elizabeth’s latest design Helvetica


There’s just A FEW DAYS left to vote for Curious Handmade in the finals of the UK Podcasting Awards! It only takes a few seconds to vote, and every vote counts! and I’d be really grateful if you’d take a moment to vote for us here: all you need to do is scroll down to my photo and click!

September 5th is the Great London Yarn Crawl! There will be a special pop up marketplace, and there’s going to be an Indie Designer Spotlight stand. Several up and coming designers will be rotating through, and I’m lucky enough to be among them.

I’ll be there from 4pm to 5pm at the Chelsea Town Hall.

Stop by! It’s going to be a really fun event.

Thanks again for listening! Happy knitting ….until next week.

 * * * * * 

I am a Craftsy affiliate so if you would like to support Curious Handmade when you are buying supplies or a class, click through the Craftsy banner below: it means I’ll get a small commission. Thank you so much.


60 responses to CH 89: With Elizabeth Doherty from Blue Bee Studio

  1. Thank you again for an inspiring podcast, It’s great being able to get up early on a Saturday morning with a cuppa and settle in to knit and listen.I love Elizabeth’s patterns, choosing a favourite is so hard.I think Meris is making it’s way to the top of my list. The lace details just make it so pretty!

  2. I’d so love a copy if “Top Down!” I appreciate how Elizabeth talked about learning to knit in a more organic way, making her knitting how she wanted it to look. I’m so curious about her construction of a set in sleeve. I believe I’d start with the Sans Serif pattern first. Helen, love your podcast and thanks for this opportunity!

  3. The more I look at the patterns in Elizabeth’s book, the more I want to knit all of them! I have yet to knit a sweater I feel really comfortable in, and I think that’s because I’ve never quite gotten the fit right on any of them. I would love to win a copy of Elizabeth’s book because it might hold the answer to my fit issues. I would start with Copperplate or perhaps Sans Serif.

  4. I love the classic look of the Sans Serif cardigan. I prefer knitting top down sweaters and the option to have better fitting set in sleeves is certainly a bonus. I enjoy your podcast and all that I learn from you and your guests. Hope to win this book…if not I may add it to my cart when I shop for quince yarn!

  5. When Elizabeth said that the top-down set-in sleeve was the best fit for her broad shoulders, I knew this was the book for me! I love the Meris design – so delicate but classic.

  6. Thanks for another great interview, Helen. The top-down book sounds so interesting and well-thought-out. I’d love to win a copy and would start by knitting Copperplate.

  7. Caroline Wallbank August 29, 2015 at 11:56 am

    I really enjoyed the podcast, thank you! I came across Elizabeth on Instagram and I just love her classic, no fuss patterns. I just want to make all of them! I much prefer Top Down sweaters ever since I discovered this way of knitting. I love the way Elizabeth puts the sleeves together to strengthen the construction. I would like to make Meris, I think it is beautiful and love the lace panels!

  8. Loved your podcast, Helen, and interview with Elizabeth Doherty. Like you, I love all of her sweater designs, but Copperplate seems to be calling to me. The simplicity of design with the column detail of traveling stitches on either side of cardigan opening is beautiful and I believe would look really good on me. Thank you for this opportunity to win Elizabeth’s new book!

  9. Loved this episode. All the patterns in this book are timeless and classic. I love the look of set in sleeves in knitted garments and an intrigued by Elizabeth’s new method of top town set in sleeves knitting.
    My favorite piece is San Serif. It looks like it would be a go to piece in my wardrobe. Thanks again Helen! 🙂

  10. What a wonderful interview. It sounded like you two were having a great time at Squam.

    Love the sweaters in the book! My favorite is Sans Serif, although it was a tough toss up with the pullover.

  11. This was a wonderful episode as always, you where encroaching me to cykel faster to get home and start knitting.
    Ninnilina on ravelry

  12. I’m fascinated by Elizabeth’s approach to top down design. I’ve never knit a top down sweater as a set in sleeve looks better on me. She’s opened a whole new world for me.

    I thought I’d cast on Serif but Elizabeth’s new Helvetica is so tempting!

  13. Again for the beautiful Podcast. I would love to win a copy of this book because I am a new sweater matter. The one I would choose to make first is Serif. Can’t wait to check it out.

  14. I listened to your podcast #89 – the first podcast I have ever attempted. I so enjoyed – the information and interview with Elizabeth Doherty ( I already bought her book). And especially the importance of planning -which I intend to be more effective in doing. Thank you!!

  15. I really enjoy your pod casts Helen and the interesting people you talk to. It opens up so many avenues to go down. Elizabeth’s top down set in would be a new challenge and her comparisons to dressmaking is something I hadn’t thought of before. My first choice would be Sans Serif but they are all so wearable.

  16. I’m growing more convinced that I need a green sweater. I would knit the Underwood in the Snap Pea colorway. Elizabeth Dorherty’s book seems like a great resource for knitting beautiful sweaters and a great reason to try Quince & Co. yarns for the first time. I think I would order some of the lemongrass wool wash too. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of the book!

  17. Thank you for another interesting interview Helen! Enjoyed listening to Elizabeth explain some of her ideas and methods…..I will attempt to knit Sans Serif before too long..perhaps
    a prize book will make that happen sooner than later!
    I’m wildpony2 on Ravelry

  18. I enjoyed your interview with Elizabeth. I’d love to win this E-book and learn Elizabeth’s method. I love being able to try on my top-down Raglans and set-in sleeves would be even better. I’d try the Sans Serif sweater first.

  19. Hello- I am somewhat new to your podcast and am loving it!
    I would love to win this book and think Helvetica would be my first item to be knit from it.

  20. I loved this interview! I learned to knit sweaters by making the pieces and sewing them up, and eventually tried top-down raglan style sweaters when they really gained popularity in the mid-2000s. I find set-in sleeves to be more flattering and have better structure over the long-term, though I do enjoy the ease of top-down sweater knitting. However, I have yet to try top-down set-in sleeves, mostly because I tend to shy away from short rows; I think this interview has convinced me to give it a go. My favorite pattern from Elizabeth Doherty’s book – so hard to choose! – is sans serif because of its clean lines, neutral color, wearability and charming little pockets….that said, Serif is a close second.
    -Susan (madtownmama on Rav)

  21. Interesting podcast. Elizabeth has some beautiful designs in her Revelry store. My favorite from her new book is Meris – a lovely, feminine cardigan. I’d love to win the ebook and knit this sweater.

  22. I love the copperplate cardigan, the cabling detail is so clean and crisp looking!

  23. I loved the interview. It’s the construction I prefer too.
    Sans Serif and Clarendon have the simple lines that make a perfect garment.

  24. I enjoyed listening to the podcast while knitting. Elizabeth’s designs are beautiful! I would like to make Copperplate first and then Meris and then pick another!

  25. Very interesting interview. My favorite from the collection is Serif. Love the two colors! Thank you for a wonderful podcast!

  26. Hi Helen! I just started listening to your podcast and I really enjoy it. Your handmade wardrobe challenge is very inspiring. I’d love to win a copy of Elizabeth’s book. It’s been on my wish list since I heard about it! I’d love to knit Sans Serif because I love the look of a classic cardigan! Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway!

  27. Great, informative interview! I love Underwood. Though I tend to wear cardigans, I’d like to incorporate more pullovers and this seems like the right book to get started with.

  28. Enjoyed the podcast. All of the patterns have such great design details. I would probably start with Underwood or Clarendon and then Meris.
    Tlobner on Rav

  29. Thank you so much Helen for yet another fantastic programme!
    I loved to hear your interview with Elizabeth. Recently the discussion about sweaters have been that they should be knit in pieces to fit better.
    Personally I think that knitting in pieces make me lose the control over the making of the sweater and I’m afraid that the sweater won’t fit med when it’s finished.

    To hear Elizabeths talking about that you can have a good fit using top-down method made me very glad and this book is definitely on my wish-list 🙂

    I could easily knit all the sweaters in the book but if I must choose one it would be Underwood. 🙂

  30. Thanks so much for the great interview, Helen! I love Elizabeth’s beautiful designs. Her attention to detail is outstanding and her patterns are a pleasure to knit. I made Meris and I love it. I would like to make Copperplate and Underwood, and am looking forward to reading more about top down set-in sleeves, as I love the result. Thanks for the chance to win Elizabeth’s book!

  31. Great podcast once again, I love the look of all the designs in Elizabeth’s book and would love to try one or two out.

  32. Really enjoyed listening to this interview. I like Elizabeth’s philosophy of design. All the patterns in the book are beautiful.

    I would start with either Clarendon or Sans Serif. Those seem the best to follow Elizabeth’s advice to find simple patterns to use for developing templates that fit just right.

  33. I loved listening to your interview with Elizabeth. Sleeves can be so tricky and it sounds as if she has really nailed the sleeve construction in her new book. I would love to win it, and If I did/do I would/will knit both Copperplate and Serif (even though my father’s business sold Underwoods…someone will understand this!). I love how the pockets are placed in Serif.
    Thanks for another great podcast!


  34. Thanks for the wonderful podcast, Helen, and for this contest! Looks like a great book, and I think I would begin with Serif – I love the use of the two different yarn weights!

  35. Thank you for another wonderful episode of the podcast. I would love to win Elizabeth’s book. 🙂 I like all the designs, but would probably try Copperplate or Clarendon first.

  36. Love the patterns in this book. The more I look I think San Serif would be the first one but there are several more after that!

  37. Gosh Elizabeth’s book is beautiful. I really enjoyed your interview with her and her thoughts on the importance of fit and making a garment work for your own shape. I think I’d probably start with Sans Serif – it looks like such a versatile cardigan that would be worn and worn.

  38. Great episode, I loved the interview with Elizabeth. I’d love to have a copy of her book, I think it would be a staple in my library. I think I’d start with underwood, I love its simple elegance and texture details.

  39. i would love to win a copy of this book!

  40. Great episode; I’m still mulling my handmade wardrobe undertakings, and loving the Ravelry thread discussion. My favourite pattern from Elizabeth’s book is the Sans Serif, but it’s a tough choice; they all look very knittable and wearable.

  41. Great episode as usual, Helen! Elizabeth sounds like such a dear! I am a fan of her work for sure. Her book intrigues me and would love a copy for my library. It’s hard to pick a favorite pattern from her book, but Serif really catches my eye. I love the garter stitch accents in the contrasting color. So unique!

  42. I love all the patterns in this book and I think my favorite is Serif.

  43. Enjoyed the podcast as always. I’ve been wanting to get this book since I first saw it on Quince’s blog because I really love every single sweater in it! I think my favorite is Underwood.

  44. I really enjoyed your interview with Elizabeth and this book is on my upcoming birthday wish list! I would knit Underwood first…several others after that! I too am looking to add more handmade items to my everyday wardrobe. Underwood seems as wearable as the many t-shirts that make up my uniform now.

  45. Thank you for a terrific interview. I enjoyed hearing Elizabeth talk about the concept behind the book. It would be a great addition to my library. My favorite pattern in the book is Serif, with Copperplate being a close second.

  46. Serif would be such a modern take on a classic garment. I Can see it being a staple in my wardrobe! It would be one of those process/product debates for me, as I’d enjoy the construction, I think, as much as the product.

    Rav Name: knittinghawk

  47. A friend bought this book at Stitches Midwest… I would love to knit the cover top, Meris.

  48. After hearing Elizabeth’s interview I want to knit all the sweaters. I have a few projects to finish first then I’m diving in. I was a sweater knitter growing up and nothing makes me happier than well fitting knits. Copperplate is gorgeous !

  49. I am so interested in Elizabeth’s book, and the interview was both informative and enjoyable. I would like to knit several of the designs, but think that Serif would be my first choice. The lovely Quince color palette would make choosing yarn a delight.

  50. As always, another great interview! I like all of the patterns, but probably sans serif caught my eye first! Thank you!

  51. Loved this interview, and would love to win a copy of Top Down. I want to knit everything in this collection, but I think I would knit Copperplate first.

  52. My fav is the Sans Serif cardigan.

  53. What a lovely talk, I always love to listen to your podcast while I am knitting! (A Pi shawl at the moment 🙂 my favourite knit would be Underwood, but all the patterns look lovely.

  54. I had already been admiring Elizabeth’s latest patterns, so was really interested to hear the interview on the podcast.
    There are several in the collection that I love so it’s hard to pick a favourite, but I think if I had to choose it would have to be Sans Serif. I like the simplicity of it.

  55. I’m enjoying listening to your podcast, while feeling a bit bad that I have lost the sewing bug right now! There was a mention that there is no sewing equivalent to Ravelry, so I must put a word in for sewing.patternreview,com
    When I do sew I find it great – it hasn’t got quite the ease of use but has been going for years,

  56. Copperplate is such a beauty and would be the first I’d knit from this book. I’ve always wanted to try a knitted-in set-in sleeve and would welcome Elizabeth’s expert guidance.

  57. Thanks so much for the interview with Elizabeth. I’m enjoying hearing about all the interest in sewing. And I loved her designs-hard to choose, but I guess I’d say San Serif.

    Ravname: Vermiliongirl

  58. Really enjoying your podcast! I would love to try my hand at knitting the Underwood.

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