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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.

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!



Yesterday, I sent out an email to my mailing list that gave a peek into part of my design process. The response was so lovely that I decided to share it with the whole community as a blog post here. I hope you enjoy it!

The launch of TSS 4 is just a few days away and I am bursting to begin. I’m just tying up the last loose ends before this mystery collection is available to buy on Ravelry on May 4th. In the meantime, I wanted to share a bit about how I approached the design for this season.

One of the most beautiful things about knitting is that the design process from pattern to finished object is actually a collaboration. As a designer, I bring together concepts, shapes, stitches, and textures, and I am almost always deeply inspired by colour and the character of a specific yarn. After all the scheming and experimenting in solitude, the real magic happens when the pattern leaves my hands and goes out into the world. New hands, new minds, and new imaginations interpret what I have begun, and it is always a thrill to see the flow and swell of new ideas from the knitters who create from my designs. 

We talk a lot about choosing colours for our projects, because it’s such an exciting process, and I think because it can be a bit daunting as well. I often see knitters fretting that they might not choose the “right” yarn or that the colours they are drawn to might not go together well. To begin with, I don’t believe that there is such a thing as a right or a wrong yarn, only yarns that you love or don’t love. If you choose colours that spark inspiration and happiness for you, you’re already halfway there. With that said, I get so many questions about how I choose my colours and where I get my inspiration that I wanted to offer a bit of help to anyone who is having trouble getting started. 

Because The Shawl Society is all about building that collaborative community and deepening our creative confidence, I thought I would let you in behind the scenes to see how I gathered inspiration for this collection. I hope it gives you some inspiration as well, while you begin to gather your yarn choices for the upcoming patterns. 

The Theme

Choosing a theme or story for a pattern or a collection is an amazing jumping-off point for colour and design inspiration. Sometimes that’s a very literal interpretation: a design based on spring flowers might immediately bring to mind the fresh pastels of hyacinths or the sunny yellow of daffodils. Other times it can be more emotional and abstract: for example, last Knitvent had a theme of peace. Peace might not have a specific or defined colour, but we all know which colours and shades feel peaceful for us, personally. Thinking about colour in this way can lead to a very personal and beautiful palette.

For the upcoming season of The Shawl Society, my approach was a little of both. The sea has a million shades of blue, soft sandy neutrals, warm and glowing sunrises and sunsets, and all of those references spoke to me. But there’s also that feeling that I wanted to capture, that sense of being exactly where you want to be, of time slowing down, of pure quiet happiness. I had to search for colours that reminded me of what it feels like to spend a day by the shore. 

One of the most powerful tools I know for exploring these kinds of ideas is a Pinterest board. Here is the board I put together for this collection. I think the best way to build a board like this is to go in with a very loose idea of what you’re looking for. Just create a board and start pinning. Don’t hold back or try to curate anything at first, just add everything that speaks to you. Over time, you will probably start to identify themes and similarities developing: certain colours and textures that appear over and over again. This is an excellent way to start to understand your own tastes in a deeper way. 

True Collaboration: What Inspires You?

I chose an ocean theme for the six secret patterns of The Shawl Society Season 4, but you don’t have to. Maybe you also feel the draw of the waves, but maybe your “happy place” is somewhere completely different, and you’d like to explore that creatively. I’m imagining Shawl Society Members choosing far off cities, fictional locations, or even their own back yards, and building a palette from the inspiration they find there.

Maybe you don’t have a place or a theme in mind and your response to certain colours is instinctive: you just love it because you love it and it is as simple as that. That pure attraction to a yarn is pure and thrilling and I know it well…there doesn’t always need to be a concept! There’s a chance you might visit your local yarn store and a certain skein will sing out from the shelf, even though it’s completely different from what you thought you were looking for. Listen to those promptings and see where they take you! The first and only rule is to knit with what you love.

What About Colour Theory?

Colour theory can be a helpful tool in design. It shouldn’t be an intimidating subject or a set of hard-and-fast rules that dictate what’s “wrong” or “right” and it shouldn’t cramp your creative freedom. If you haven’t explored it before, there’s a wealth of inspiration online. We’ve visited it a few times on the podcast and blog, if you need something to get you started. 

I did an early podcast on the subject: Episode 46 has some handy definitions and links. 

A few years ago during a Curious Handmade MKAL, we were fortunate enough to have two guest bloggers share their wealth of knowledge about colour, colour theory, and shawls. These posts both have some really lovely inspiration photos with a wide range of colour combinations that might spark some ideas:

Kristen from Skein

Anj from Meadow Yarn
Watching what creative and talented knitters add to my design with their own colour and yarn choices is one of the most rewarding and heartwarming parts of this job. I absolutely cannot wait to watch that miracle unfold again for the 4th season of The Shawl Society. As you start to experiment and play, I’d love to see the choices you are considering: please share them on Instagram with the hashtag #TheShawlSociety so we can all begin to get inspired together!!

Happy Knitting!

Helen x


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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. 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!

Play

On today’s podcast episode, I have a quick overview of the travel knitting I am planning to take to India on our family holiday, with (finally!) some progress updates on a personal knitting project! I’m also really looking forward to the Sip, Stich, Shop event coming up in Bath next month, with a preview of some of the lovely special guest vendors who will be attending.

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.

AYS is a wool boutique specialising in hand dyed yarns and luxury fibres from around the world. You’ll always find a well curated collection of yarns and colors on the shelves and a friendly knowledgeable staff on hand. Some of our favourite brands include Hedgehog Fibres, SweetGeorgia Yarn, Julie Asselin, Shibui Knits and The Fibre Co. You can find A Yarn Story on Walcot Street in Bath or online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk

Show Links:

Clio Pullover

Pebbles and Pathways Socks

Hey Brown Berry Podcast

Hey Brown Berry Ravelry Group KAL

#pebblesandpathwayskal

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

The blossoms are back here in London and it is wonderful to be surrounded by so much colour. Grab yourself a tasty beverage of your choice and settle in, because today I have a long, chatty episode for you, full of stories from the adventures of the last little while: our retreat and then EYF. I had such a wonderful time meeting up with so many friends old and new, and seeing all the glories of the festival. I also have a bit of a haul to share (although I do think I was fairly intentional with my shopping.) I have plenty of photos in this post, too, just some glimpses of lovely moments over the last week or so.

Cumbria Fingering from The Fibre Co.

I have released the final shawl design of the “March Trilogy”!

Buy the Eden Valley Shawl pattern on Ravelry for 30% Until Friday, April 12th!

Gilly Makes Project Bags

Lay Family Yarn

Elizabeth Doherty

Westerly Pullover

Shibui Reed

Clio Pullover

Suffolk Socks

Opel Sock Yarns

Impressionists Shawl

Gather Yarn

Eva Faith 

Big Blue Moma Baskets

The Snail Garden Instagram

Hide and Hammer

Woollen Flower

Eden Cottage Yarns

The Little Grey Sheep

Sticka Pattern Book

A Yarn Story

Magpie Fibers

Amirisu

Amirisu Parade Yarn entry on Ravelry

Ginger Twist Studio 

The Little Grey Girl Project Bags

Walk Collection Yarn

La Bien Aimée Yarn

Inkling Shawl

Edinburgh Lanes Shawl

Garthenor

Olann

Comfy Red Couch Podcast

Seren Yarns

Creative Ceci Instagram

Sophia Cai on Instagram

Jeanette Sloan on Instagram

Hey Brown Berry on Instagram

Pebbles and Pathways Socks

Play

Today on the Curious Handmade Podcast I can finally reveal the two secret designs I’ve created as collaborations for Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I’m on my way to EYF right now, and I’m so excited to see everyone: there are two designated meetup points, but I also hope for lots of serendipitous meetings out and about at the Festival. I also have a review of the absolutely stunning new collection from Joji Locatelli and Veera Välimäki: Interpretations Vol. 6.

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.

 

AYS is a wool boutique specialising in hand dyed yarns and luxury fibres from around the world. You’ll always find a well curated collection of yarns and colors on the shelves and a friendly knowledgeable staff on hand. Some of our favourite brands include Hedgehog Fibres, SweetGeorgia Yarn, Julie Asselin, Shibui Knits and The Fibre Co. You can find A Yarn Story on Walcot Street in Bath or online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk

Show Links:

While there’s not an official podcaster Lounge at this year’s EYF, there will be a few chances for me to meet up with listeners. Come find me:

Friday at 12:15 at the Podcaster table in the Marquee.

Friday from 1pm to 3pm I will be at the A Yarn Story stand.

Get your copy of the Edinburgh Lane Shawl pattern on Ravelry!

Magpie Fibers

The Inkling Shawl pattern is also available to buy on Ravelry now!

La Bien Aimée Yarn

Maytham Shawl

Pom Pom Quarterly 

Interpretations Vol. 6

Moonlight Socks

The Wintergate Hat

Moonquake Cowl

Resolute Wrap

Evolve Shawl

Frozen Fields

Smoke and Amber Shawl

Madeline Tosh

Saltwater Cardigan

 Julie Asselin Yarn

Hidden Pullover

Understated Pullover

Ravishing Vest

Nature’s Luxury Yarn

Community Tunic

The Knitting Pipeline

Paula on Instagram

Piper’s Journey Shawl

All of Paula’s Patterns

 

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

Today I have a big chatty episode to share with you. I’ve had a lovely visit here in London with two good friends: we went to visit the incredible Dior exhibit at the V&A museum and filled ourselves up with beauty and inspiration. I’m also finding that there’s a lot of feelings coming up for me in the last few weeks! And of course, there’s more planning and yarn-obsessing to do ahead of EYF. I also have news about a little goodbye event I’m holding in Bath.

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.

 

AYS is a wool boutique specialising in hand dyed yarns and luxury fibres from around the world. You’ll always find a well curated collection of yarns and colors on the shelves and a friendly knowledgeable staff on hand. Some of our favourite brands include Hedgehog Fibres, SweetGeorgia Yarn, Julie Asselin, Shibui Knits and The Fibre Co. You can find A Yarn Story on Walcot Street in Bath or online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk

Show Links:

Cumbria Fingering from The Fibre Co.

La Bien Aimée Yarn

Magpie Fibers

A Yarn Story

Katie Green Bean Podcast

Vila Wrap

Walcot Yarns Opus

Travelknitter

The Wool Kitchen

The Shawl Society

Garthenor

Biches & Bûches

Moel View Yarn

Daughter of a Shepherd

Play

I am counting down the days to EYF! I know a lot of my listeners are too, and other are counting on podcasts and social media to help them live vicariously, so today I’m doing a bit of daydreaming about some of the vendors I am particularly looking forward to visiting this year. I also have some more details about the two Curious Handmade shawl patterns that will debut at this year’s festival, and the lovely lovely yarn that inspired them.

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.

 

AYS is a wool boutique specialising in hand dyed yarns and luxury fibres from around the world. You’ll always find a well curated collection of yarns and colors on the shelves and a friendly knowledgeable staff on hand. Some of our favourite brands include Hedgehog Fibres, SweetGeorgia Yarn, Julie Asselin, Shibui Knits and The Fibre Co. You can find A Yarn Story on Walcot Street in Bath or online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk

Show Links:

Edinburgh Yarn Festival

La Bien Aimée Yarn

Magpie Fibers

A Yarn Story

(I’ll be at the A Yarn Story booth at EYF from 1 – 3 pm on the Friday: please stop by and say hello!)

An Caitin Beag

Stitchmarker bracelets

Beyond Measure

WoollenFlower

Tilly Flop Designs

Katie Green Bean Podcast