Archives For creativity

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Ch110

Welcome to February! After a fab but fast start to the year in January, I decided to choose a relaxing topic for this month. We’re exploring creativity again, in a laid back, gentle way. What do we mean when we talk about creativity and how can foster more of it in our daily lives? To start us off, I interviewed my very good friend Mette, who is one of the most naturally creative people I know. We’ve been planning the Curious Handmade Country House Retreat together, and recently spent the morning sewing bags for the event. Afterwards, we sat down to chat about the many ways she finds creativity in her days, and what “hygge” really means.

Show Sponsor

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

After so many links last week, this episode I only have a couple:

At the Unravel Festival at Maltings in London, Feb, 19th to 21st, the girls from Yarn in the City will be debuting their London Craft Guide. Be sure to drop by their stall to see what it’s all about!

I wanted to share a few photos of Mette’s beautiful house, and some of the hygge touches she so lovingly creates:

 

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It’s a tremendously inviting space.  I’d love to hear about the hygge details in your home: what does cosy really mean to you? I hope you enjoyed this episode: that’s all I have for this week. Happy knitting!

Ch 82: Wandering

Helen —  July 9, 2015 — 2 Comments
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Curious Handmade Podcast 82

Welcome to the second in my Summer Series. I talk about the magical trip I had to New York and on to Squam back at the beginning of June, indulging my global nomad tendencies. I spent my time there doing a bit of “knitting crosstraining”, stretching my creative horizons, and, as always, falling in love with lots of gorgeous yarn, only some of which came home with me.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their magnificently soft and beautiful 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.

My two-colour Whispering Island Shawl sample was knit in Acadia, and it’s gotten so many compliments. 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.

What’s in the WIP

I mentioned Paula Emons-Fussle’s new Cave Point Shawl on last week’s show, coming from the Shawls 2015 collection from Quince and Co. I’ve cast it on using that lovely Chickadee Yarn in Audouin and it’s a ridiculously addictive knit.

I’m also working on the Coopey Oleum Socks and I’m up to the lace now!

Show Links

I talk about my road trip to Squam Art Workshops with my friend Stewart. We visited:

Brooklyn General, where I splurged on a sale of Madeline Tosh yarn.

Mood Fabrics in Manhattan, of Project Runway fame, where I managed to control my urges and didn’t buy anything!

and in New Hampshire, we stopped in Harrisville, where they are famous for spinning wool. Notably Brooklyn Tweed (I bought some) but also their own Harrisville Yarn (I bought some of that, too.)

Once I got to Squam I took two classes:

An embroidery class:”Thread and Memory” with Joetta Maue

A writing class: “Writing Your Own Myth” with Elizabeth Duvivier, the founder and director of Squam

We also got to hear a talk from Clara Parkes who talked about her journey and her projects, especially her lovely Clara Yarn.

The art fair at Squam had so many wonderful vendors, including:

My friend Stewart’s Leather Wool Linen, selling beautiful bags

Yarn on The House with their brilliantly coloured hand-dyed yarn

Hannah Fettig was selling her pattern book Home and Away, which I will review in a future episode.

If you didn’t make it to Squam and you’d like to make your own little retreat at home, online classes are a great way to introduce yourself to something new, stirring your creativity. I looked up some Creativebug embroidery classes to recommend. Rebecca Ringquist is a hugely gifted thread artist and teacher who has some really great classes available.

Creating an Embroidery Sampler

Advanced Sampler Class

Kids Embroidered Pillow Class

And a heads up about an amazing event coming up.

Great London Yarn Crawl on Saturday the 5th of September, which is huge fun, and I’ll have a stand at the pop-up marketplace at the end!

That about does it for the show notes this week! I hope you enjoyed this laid-back summer episode. Join me in the Instagram game while I’m away. Just tag me or comment away to get in touch. Happy knitting!

 

CH 80: with Norah Gaughan

Helen —  June 24, 2015 — 32 Comments
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Episode 8o with Norah Gaughan

Photo © Norah Gaughan

This conversation with Norah Gaughan is a really special one. Norah is an incredibly accomplished knitwear designer who has been sharing her patterns with the world since the age of 17. After a long time on staff at Berroco she has recently gone independent, but her workload has not slowed down even a little bit! She is constantly partnering with some of the biggest names in the yarn world to bring out a steady supply of amazing designs which play with shape, colour, and construction. Having her on the show was such an honour. She talks about developing her new collection with The Fibre Company and shares so many insights into how she conceives, designs, and creates her ground-breaking patterns. If you’re anything like me, I think you’ll find this conversation incredibly inspiring.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their very wonderful 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.

One of my Whispering Island Shawl samples was knit in Acadia, and it’s just a wonderful yarn to work with, on every level. 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.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL

Just a little while left in this one, but people are still adding beautiful FOs every day! If you’ve somehow missed this one, but have ever knit one of my patterns, you can still enter until the 5th of July. Just post a photo in the FO thread, and you’re in!

Muse 2 KAL

The KAL is about to wrap up – be sure to get your entries in by 30 June.  I’m still working on my Rachel Coopey Oleum socks. I don’t know if I’ll make that deadline, but I should have them finished for the Summer of Socks KAL in the Coop Knits group! Double dipping in KALs is the best.

Show links

The patterns we discussed in detail from the Norah Gaughan for The Fibre Company collections were:

Times Square

Skyscraper

Oporto

Atonium

Metropolis

District

You can find the entire gorgeous collection on Ravelry here.

Norah is also designing some really special pieces for Brooklyn Tweed these days, and we specifically mention her pattern

Chainlink

She’s always busy with yarn shop appearances and teaching engagements, which you can find on her events page. If you’re lucky enough to be nearby any of these opportunities, I highly recommend you check them out!

We’re also giving you a chance to win pattern of your choice from Norah’s new collection with The Fibre Company. Be sure to listen to the end of the episode to find out how!

As I mentioned, tomorrow I’ll be doing a little trunk show for Pebble Beach  in Brighton  at YAK with The Uncommon Thread. June 27th from 2 to 5.

That’s all our notes for this episode! Thank you so much for joining us, and happy knitting!

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Curious Handmade Podcast Ch 79

 

This is a bit of a packed episode! I open the show with some thoughts from the wonderful Blogtacular conference I attended last weekend, talk a bit about upcoming events, chat about the joys and challenges of my Muse 2 KAL project, and share a bit about my special edition re-release of Afternoon Tea. Then I launch into a conversation with Cathryn Bothe from Signature Needle Arts. It’s fitting after yesterday’s post from Blacker Yarns (where I talked about the importance of beautiful materials) that this interview is so focused on the importance of good tools. Cathryn is a keen knitter, and she plays a role in every part of Signature Needle’s daily operations, especially when it comes to building relationships with customers and nurturing their creativity.

Show Sponsors

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

I’ve had so many compliments on the Whispering Island sample I knit with Acadia, and it was an absolute dream to work with. 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, Hazel Knits and many more.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL

It’s so amazing how many FOs are piling up in this KAL. I’ve been featuring some of the projects on Twitter, and it seems like everytime I search the #pebblebeachKAL hashtag there or on Instagram there’s something new and wonderful to see. Remember, the KAL is open until July 5th and you can submit any Curious Handmade pattern, no matter when you made it!

Muse 2 KAL

Our other KAL is rolling along well in the last week as we count down to the main event! I’m still working away on my entry, a pair of Rachel Coopey Oleum socks in John Arbon Textiles yarn, so if you haven’t cast on yet you’re not that far behind me!

Show Links

Signature Needle Arts

My new edition of the Afternoon Tea Shawl

Instagram post about my socks, with other people’s clever advice on avoiding the dreaded in-the-round twist!

My yarn crush of the moment: Anzula Yarns

I mention the amazing Afternoon Tea modified with a hood, by the talented Lindsay Koehler!

Muse Connection is coming up next week! So exciting!

I’m going to be at YAK in Brighton doing a little trunk show with The Uncommon Thread for Pebble Beach on June 27th from 2 to 5.

 

That about wraps up the notes for this week! I hope you enjoyed the show, and happy knitting!

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Curious Handmade Ep 78 Hole & Sons

Photo credit: Benjamin Hole

This is a really fun episode. Ben Hole of Hole & Sons Farm speaks to me about life on the farm on the Isle of Purbeck in beautiful Dorset. We talk about the process of creating their unique, wonderful, and much-coveted yarn, what it’s like to work in a place with so much heritage, and how he has brought the business into the online world with his wildly popular Instagram account. This interview would have been a great fit with April’s yarn theme, but Ben has so many eloquent things to say about creativity and living a life around your passions that it’s perfect for Ben’s love for his animals, the farming life, and photography is infectious and inspiring. It was such a pleasure to bring all that story and to my newest shawl pattern, Whispering Island. I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation as much as I enjoyed having it.

Show Sponsors

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

I’ve just finished knitting a shawl sample with Acadia and it more than lives up to its description. This is very special yarn. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarns:

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.

KAL News:

Still a few weeks left in both of our KALs. It really isn’t too late to hop into either! The Pebble Beach KAL can include FOs that you started or finished before the start date, and the Muse Connection KAL is full of lots of lovely little projects like hats and socks that you can finish up in a week or two – I’m still working on mine!

Show links:

Hole & Sons (lots of in-depth info about the farm and the yarn here which makes for great reading!)

Ben’s Instagram

Ben Hol of Hole and Sons

The artisan mill where Hole & Sons yarn is spun: The Natural Fibre Company

My newest shawl pattern, Whispering Island (which was inspired by Hole & Sons wool) is now available on Ravelry!

The two alternate yarns I used for the samples are:

Blacker Shetland in Fawn

Fibre Co Acadia in Driftwood and Summersweet

The Isle of Purbeck, home to the Hole & Sons farm. It inspired Enid Blyton’s Whispering Island, which inspired the name of my shawl!

Events

I also mention the wonderful Do What You Love course by last week’s guest Beth Kempton. There’s still a week left to register. As I said last week, this course was really powerful for me and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to invest in their creative life.

If you want to hear more from Ben, he’s speaking this weekend at the Blogtacular conference on June 13th in London. I’ll be there, and it should be a lot of fun!

On Saturday 27 June I will be at YAK in Brighton for a trunk show for Pebble Beach shawl. Hope to see some of you there.

Happy Knitting!

the Muse Connection

 

Sometimes you just need to find time for your creativity.

Sometimes, you need an afternoon where you can talk about your latest yarn obsession, day dream aloud about the colour you’d use for your latest project and be in the company of those that just understand.

The Muse Connection is a series of gatherings where we celebrate creativity, share our inspiration and come together as crafters. A Playful Day and Curious Handmade have collaborated in order to create sessions of creative fun, pulling together our two loves- maintaining a playfulness in the everyday and exploring our curiosity about new and creative things to make. For a few indulgent hours, enjoy inspirational company, at specially chosen venues for some knitting, a little chatter and share some musings on your favourite creative topics.

 

 

Coming soon……. The Muse Connection: Volume 1!

#TheMuseConnection #Musevolume1