Archives For Curious Handmade Country House Retreat


On today’s show I fill you in on all the fun details of the Curious Handmade Country House Retreat, introduce the new retreat shawl design, and share a few beautiful new patterns I’ve been stalking, with information on how you can enter a giveaway to win a copy of one for yourself!

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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.

AYS is a wool boutique specializing 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 favorite 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

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Arranmore Light by The Fibre Company

Today I’m releasing the shawl pattern I created for the retreat, Wildflower Hill

The Wildflower Hill Shawl celebrates the beautiful flora of Cumbria’s countryside. Created for the fourth Curious Handmade Country House Retreat, Wildflower Hill was designed to showcase Arranmore Light, a gorgeous DK weight yarn from our retreat sponsor, The Fibre Co. From early spring into the last days of autumn, blossoming wildflowers and herbs are woven into the tapestry of Cumbrian hills. The tiny flecks of colour in this lovely yarn make me think of the scattering of flowers that adorn every corner of the country. Marsh orchids inhabit the peaty lowlands while delicate alpine species cling to the rocky outcrops at the peaks of the fells. Many of these flowers have ancient medical and magical uses, but mostly they are a feast for bees and butterflies, and a glorious sight for anyone with the time to slow down on a stroll and look.

This two-colour asymmetrical triangle shawl features bold colour-blocked stripes and a simple lace stitch pattern that recalls the rolling, flower-strewn hills of Cumbria. Warm and cosy but lightweight with a beautiful drape, it is a perfect companion for a windy hill walk at almost any time of year.

Norah George

Suffolk Socks

A Yarn Story

Bunkhouse Belle Socks by Julie Waters

Sew Sweet Violet

So Faded by Andrea Mowery

Confetti Pullover by Veera Välimäki

Starting Point Shawl by Joji Locatelli

Clark Socks by Jaclyn Salem

Brooklyn Knitfolk Podcast

Malabrigo Sock

Oracle Shawl by Kristin Lehrer of Voolenvine

Yarngasm Podcast

Find out how to enter for a chance to win a gorgeous knitting pattern by listening to the Podcast!

That is everything for this episode…I’ll talk to you next week, and until then, happy knitting!



Ch 164

On today’s podcast I fill you in on all the details of the wonderful three days we spent together in Cumbria. I’m saving all my Edinburgh Yarn Festival chat for next week! I also talk about the MKALs that are wrapping up, the new patterns I have out, and what’s in my WIP at the moment!

Show Sponsors:

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 Northbound Knitting, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

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My clue for The Not Seen Before MKAL from the Sight is Life eBook is now out: this MKAL has been an incredible experience and it’s wonderful to see some completed shawls starting to show up in the Sight is Life Ravelry group

Snowmelt MKAL is also winding up, and the FO spoiler thread is filling up with some breathtaking shawls. If you’re not the MKAL type (I know lots of people don’t want to commit to a shawl they’ve never seen!) now is a great time to pick up a copy of the complete pattern!

Show Links:

Skeindeer Podcast

La Bien Aimee Magellan Speckle Fade Kit

The Tobermory shawl

The Kelso shawl

The Fibre Co. Waves Collection

The Fibre Co. Road to China Light

The Knitting Pipeline Podcast

Little Bobbins Podcast

Suffolk Socks Podcast

Bumble Stitches Podcast

Threaded with Fibre Podcast

The Fibre Co. Luma Yarn

The Laveer Kerchief

So Just Shop

A Yarn Story yarn shop

Blue Bee Studio

Quince and Co. Sparrow yarn

Suffolk Socks

School Socks Rock

Hedgerow Yarns

Pebble Beach Shawl

Blacker Yarn St. Kilda Mini Skein Set

Turtlepurl Yarn

Life in the Long Grass


The Snail Garden Blog with an amazing retreat recap post!


That’s all for today’s episode! Thank you so much for listening. Have a great week and happy knitting!

It has become a Curious Handmade tradition that I design a special pattern for each retreat. We’ve been so lucky to have The Fibre Company as a retreat sponsor since we began running these events: each time I’ve had the privilege to create a pattern inspired by one of their luxury yarns.  The very first retreat pattern was the Hilltop Shawl, which used the perfectly-named Cumbria yarn. Next came the Bracile Hat and Cowl for the last autumn retreat. They used the amazing woolen-spun Arranmore yarn.

Today I’m excited to release the third CHCH pattern, the Laveer Kerchief, made from The Fibre Company’s luxurious new yarn, Luma.


Laveer is an evocative old nautical term for sailing against the wind. I love the sense of striving, adventure, and exhilaration in that word, and I think this snug little accessory captures that same sense of exploration. Perfect for windy days on land or sea, Laveer is a jaunty sailor-striped kerchief which exists somewhere in the space between a cowl and a shawl. Knit in the round and featuring easy lace and eyelets, it’s versatile and cosy, but light enough to wear even on warmer days.

You can buy the Laveer pattern here now!

A little bit about the yarn: Luma has a tagline which really sums up this wonderful yarn: “threads of sunlight.” 50% Merino wool, 25% Organic cotton, 15% Linen, 10% Silk.

Here’s the Fibre Company’s description…

A classic DK weight yarn, Luma is inspired by the mood and light found in mid-latitude savannas—those grassland ecosystems with open canopies allowing plenty of sunlight. Daily life in mid-latitude climates, whether in the drier Mediterranean or temperate Great Plains of the USA, is best handled with a layered approach to clothing. Plant-based fibres mixed with silk and wool provide a built-in layer of warmth in winter yet lightness when required in warmer temperatures. The Luma palette includes soft neutrals and bright shades of pink, blue and green.

The colour palette is super fresh and pretty: very spring like and light. I absolutely love it. All of the colours go together very well, so I am very excited to see what combinations the retreat attendees choose for their stripey Laveer kerchiefs! (I also love that you can get two kerchiefs out of two skeins just by reversing the colours!)
The combination of plant and animal fibres is really interesting. The wool gives it some elasticity, the plant fibres give it that light summer feeling and the silk makes it lovely and smooth to knit. The feel of the fabric is soft and light with a nice body to it. This would be really very nice for summer cardis and tops. As always with The Fibre Company yarns the blend is very intriguing and different and very enjoyable to work with…it seems to knit up surprisingly fast, as well. I’m not sure if it’s the touch of silk in there which makes my needles fly or some mysterious sort of magic, but I love it.
If you have a bit of retreat FOMO, hopefully this pattern will cheer you up. I decided to release it as the retreat gets underway. I’m hoping it will inspire you to take a little special knitting time for yourself this week, even if carving out space for a whole retreat wasn’t possible this time. I’m wishing you a special cup full of fragrant tea, your favourite chair, and a few hours of uninterrupted creativity, wherever you may be.

CH 138: Fresh Starts

Helen —  September 2, 2016 — Leave a comment

Ch 138

Today’s episode is about the feeling of freshness and excitement that comes with the change of the seasons. I have itchy fingers and a serious case of Cast-on-itis, and  I’m enjoying every minute.

Show Sponsors:

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 Northbound Knitting, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

A Yarn Story

Located on charming Walcot Street in the heart of Bath’s Artisan Quarter is A Yarn Story. Specialising in hand-dyed yarns and luxury fibres from around the world, A Yarn Story is a destination shop, both in-person and online! Major yarn and accessories brands include Hedgehog Fibres, Madelinetosh, Shibui Knits, ChiaoGoo and Cocoknits – and of course many more! Start creating your own yarn story…

What’s in the WIP:

About to cast off an enormously fun and very quick pair of vanilla socks using Regia Pairfect in the Cheesecake colourway

Just cast on another pair of socks using Lollipop sock yarn in the Downton Abbey colourway

Wound my yarn for the Pure Joy shawl by Joji Locatelli using my beloved Juno

Getting ready to swatch for my Madewell Cardigan by Joji Locatelli in Eden Cottage Yarn’s Oakworth 4 Ply in the Pennine Mist colourway.

I need to finish my Times Square Cardigan by Norah Gaughan which I am knitting from the Fibre Company’s gorgeous Knightsbridge yarn.

The Shawl Society Update

Blacker Yarn’s Tamar DK

You can find Tamar in the US from The Wooly Thistle

The three shawls that have been released so far are:




There are three more surprise patterns to come. If you’d like to join in, all you need to do is buy The Shawl Society eBook on Ravelry here.
The mini Asana KAL is incredibly inspiring to watch, and we have some beautiful prizes this time from Eden Cottage Yarn and The Uncommon Thread. There are a couple more days to post your finished shawl to the FO thread to be in the running. The deadline is September 4th. Remember that even if you finish after the deadline, you should still post your FOs, as we’ll be drawing prizes for the overall TSS KAL in November!


Curious Handmade Country House Retreat

Oct 20 – 23 // Cumbria, UK

The Autumn Country House retreat is on the way in just under seven weeks, and we’re all getting very excited. There are still a couple of twin share places available to book, and we’d love to have you along. Cast on your own Madewell Retreat Cardigan and join the fun, The retreat is being sponsored by The Fibre Company, so you know there will be some very special treats for the attendees. It’s a wonderful opportunity to nourish your creative spirit, make some steadfast knitting friends, and just take a break from everyday life. If you are interested in finding out more you can email me –



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:


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!