Archives For holiday knitting

The Joys of Knitvents Past

Helen —  October 30, 2017 — 1 Comment

Since we’ve been doing so much talking about gift knitting lately and the holidays are a time for getting nostalgic, I’ve just had a wander through Knitvents past. It’s kind of amazing to see how much we’ve made together through the years. If you’re new to Curious Handmade, you might have missed these. They are all still available as full collections, but you can “Pick Your Own Knitvent” too by selecting individual patterns that sing out to you. Remember, until Oct 31st when you buy two of my patterns or collections you’ll get the least expensive one for free–automatically!

For all my Knitvent Veterans, maybe this journey down memory lane will remind you of a pattern you missed or one that would be perfect to knit again this year. Let’s start at the very beginning…

Knitvent 2013

This was the one that started it all! With eight patterns (!!!) in this first season it was a little frantic, but so much fun! Some of these patterns are still among my favourites.

Knitvent 2014

2014 was another lovely year, where I experimented with some new textures and some twinkly beaded details mixed in with some cushy, cosy quick knits.

Large image: Adorn Gift Bags
Small images, clockwise from top right: Candlelit Beaded Shawl, Ice Skating Scarf and Wrap, Lind Cowl, Crisp and Even Cowl

Buy the Knitvent 2014 Collection

Knitvent 2015

The theme for Knitvent 2015 was “Light and Bright.” I had a strong colour story for the designs, and there’s a lovely symmetry to the whole collection that makes me smile: two perfectly matched sets and two warm, pretty shawls.

Large image: Winter Wander Shawl
Small images, clockwise from top: Ice River Hat, Ice River Snood, Cabin Path Shawl, Kindling Mitts, Kindling Hat

Buy the Knitvent 2015 Collection

 Knitvent 2016

Finally we come to last year’s Knitvent, which honestly feels like yesterday! 2016 was a special collection inspired by the Alpine forest and vintage holiday postcards. I was so honoured to have Renée Callahan of East London Knit as Knitvent’s first guest designer, creating the gorgeous Boreal Forest set.

Large photo: Alpine Sunset Shawl
Small photos, clockwise from top: Fresh Tracks Headband, Boreal Forest Hat, Boreal Forest Cowl, Juniper Socks, Juniper Mitts

Buy the Knitvent 2016 Collection

I am absolutely tingling with excitement to show you what I have in store for you this year. It’s been such an honour to grow and evolve as a designer alongside the Curious Handmade community. Traditions like Knitvent are really special. They really bond us all together, even though in real life we’re scattered around the globe. To anyone who has ever taken part in a Knitvent, thank you so much for coming along this holiday journey with me. If you’re thinking about signing up to Knitvent 2017 and want to learn more, make sure you’re signed up to the Curious Handmade Newsletter. I’ll be sending out lots of info in the next little while, including a heads up on our early bird special and maybe even a fun contest or two…


A few weeks back I put together a Knitted Gift Guide for all the knit-worthy people in your life. Today I’m turning that around and offering up a list of delicious gifts that knitters themselves would love to receive! You deserve a little spoiling, especially with all that gift-knitting you’re surely in the middle of right now, so this is a handy link to forward on to anyone wondering what you’d like to find wrapped up with your name on it this holiday season! (And if you don’t want to wait and hope, you can treat yourself to one or more little presents as a reward for knitting well done!)

Something you want…

Technically we know that all that’s necessary for knitting are two sticks and some string, but why stop there when the word is full of beautiful knitting tools, notions, and accessories? From the practical to the beautiful to the just-because, any of these items can help to make precious knitting time extra special. Even for the knitter who has everything, there’s always one more gadget or little luxury that can make life just that bit better.

 Gift Guide Accessory Collage

Top, left to right: Gin Stitch Markers from The Little Grey Girl, Christmas Spice Candle from Wild Planet.

 Bottom, left to right: Grellow and Grey Sirka Counter, Bento Box Case for Sirka

Something you need…

It seems as though devoted knitters always have a heap of projects on the go, and keeping them all sorted and ready to pick up at a moment’s notice is key to switching effortlessly between each piece. Beautiful project bags are wonderful presents for a knitter, because you can really never have too many of them, and there are so many gorgeous designs to choose from.

 Project bag collage

Top, left to right: Macaroon notions bag and zippered XL project bag by Maria Elena Bliss

Bottom, Small zippered project bag from The Little Grey Girl

Something to stash…

No knitter’s holiday can be complete without something new and wonderful to play with. There is strictly no such thing as too much yarn, and no matter the size of the stash, a luxurious skein or two of a special yarn is always welcome. I fell in love with so many magical yarns this year that it was almost impossible to narrow it down, but here are a few I’d love to find in my stocking.

yarn gift guide collage 2

Top, left to right: The Fibre Company’s Canopy Fingering in Red Ginger, Anzula Squishy in Grace, Skein Yarn‘s Top Draw Sock in Ice on the Windowpane

Bottom, left to right: CoopKnits Socks Yeah! in Malachite, Blacker Yarns Doulton Flock Border Leicester 4-ply in white, baa ram ewe’s Titus in limited edition Wesley Bob

And something to read…

Books and magazines full of photos, patterns, information are indispensable to a devoted knitter. We go to them for instruction and inspiration, for hints about technique, and a hit of pure beauty. They make amazing gifts. It’s wonderful to look up at a row of knitting books and issues of magazines on your shelf, knowing that you can dive in and explore at any time.

reading gift guide collage

Top, left to right: London Stitch and Knit: A Craft Lover’s Guide to London’s Fabric, Knitting and Haberdashery Shops; Top Down: Reimagining Set-In Sleeve Design; Field Guide to Fleece, The

Bottom, left to right: PomPom Quarterly ; Amirisu Magazine ; Maker Spaces – Creative interiors from the homes and studios of inspiring makers and designers

Don’t make them guess this year! Email this guide to the chief present-givers in your life and let them know what will make you smile. If you’d like to be a little more subtle, I recommend strategically leaving your browser window open now and then…no matter what, I hope you receive all the lovely gifts your crafty heart desires this holiday season.


Curious Handmade Podcast 53

This week I’m talking about the 4th Knitvent pattern – the Adorn Gift Bags, some tips for knitting them and ideas for things to put in them from the Curious Handmade community.

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, Hazel Knits and many more.


Knitvent 2014 window 4 opened to reveal the Adorn Gift Bags

It comes in two styles A and B.

Some techniques used in these bags:

Magic Loop

Kitchener stitch (grafting) – I’ve always used this Knitty Tutorial for kitchener but I also saw this TECHknitting one that also looks good.

or 3 needle bind off – Written instructions or Video tutorial

How to knit an  i-cord

Adding Beads to your knitting with a Crochet Hook

Libby of Truly Myrtle blog – her thoughts on 9″ circular needles.

Thank you to YAK for including the Lind Cowl in your Pattern Round up on the YAK blog and for the alternative yarn suggestion of Bessie May Grace.

I can’t wait to share my Betty Etiquette printable gift tags with you! They will be gifted to everyone on my newsletter list or anyone who has purchased Knitvent 2014 next week!!

You can buy her gorgeous unique Christmas and other gift cards here. She uses the most beautiful card and printing for her designs.

Meadow Yarn have gorgeous stitch markers and other lovely notions (not to mention the yarn) and this weekend they are having a 20% off sale! Just use code celebratesmall

Knitvent 2014 KAL

Don’t forget to post your finished object in the thread and join in the chat on the Curious Handmade board on Ravelry to be in with a chance to win fab prizes.

Join in the Knitvent Podcast tour with:


Knittng Pipeline

A Playful Day


Skein Studio

2 Knit Lit Chicks


I went to a talk by Wool and the Gang at the Apple Store.

A Playful Day – #MEalong

Pom Pom Quarterly Christmas Party

This week I’m curious to know what knit alongs you are participating or know about happening at the moment?

And don’t forget to play the Curious Handmade Instagram game!!


A quick walk around my neighbourhood confirmed that winter is well and truly here with everyone bundled in winter coats, boots and cosy accessories. The shops are filling up with Christmas decorations and there’s fairy lights decorating the streets of London. It’s all very festive and reminded me that the holidays are well and truly arriving so this week’s pattern seems perfectly timed.

Crisp and Even Cowl

The Crisp and Even Cowl is the perfect neck warmer for those cozy nights by the fire or a cold, relaxing walk before scurrying home to tuck excited children to bed. The blocks of colour make this an easily customisable cowl for all the family and cables mean a little extra warmth and a little more interest in the knitting. Worked up in aran (worsted) weight yarn, this is a quick cowl too — perfect for those last minute gifts you forgot about or a sudden falling of fresh snow.

The Crisp and Even Cowl pattern contains 3 size options:

Crisp and Even Cowl

Small- 16″ circumference, 6.5″ width. (Shown here in Milla Mia Naturally Soft Aran [100% Wool, 80m/87yds per 50g ball], Colour A is Pink Glaze, Colour B is Teal).

Crisp and Even Cowl

Medium- 24″ Circumference, 10″ width. (Shown here in Malabrigo Worsted [100% Merino Wool, 198m/210 yds per 100g skein], colour A is Bergamotta and Colour B is Geranio).

Crisp and Even Cowl

Large- 48″ Circumference, 10″ width. (Shown here in Rowan Creative Focus Worsted [75% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 200m/220yds per 100g ball], colour A is Magenta and Colour B is Charcoal Heather).

This week’s special treat comes in the form of a giveaway and an extended special offer. To win a ball of Rowan Creative Focus Worsted, please leave a comment on the pattern page for the Crisp and Even Cowl tell me who you’d love to knit this squishy cowl for. I will draw for the winner on Sunday 30 November so be sure to leave your comment by then.

Rowan Creative Focus Worsted

Also, due to the overwhelming responses and continued requests I’ve received, I’ll be offering Knitvent 2013 for free once again when you purchase Knitvent 2014. That’s a total of 13 gorgeous patterns including my incredibly popular Red Robin Shawl for £9.80. This offer will end Sunday 30th November 2014. (Just put both collections in your Ravelry shopping cart and the offer will be automatically applied).


Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 51

Today I’m talking about knitting in the round because the second Knitvent pattern, the Lind Cowl is knit in the round.

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, Hazel Knits and many more.

What’s in the WIP?

I’m doing some secret knitting and listening to some wonderful podcasts:

Skein Studio by Kristen

Knit FM 


The second pattern in the Knitvent 2014 collection was released this week.

Lind Cowl

I talk about knititng in the round.

Here are two good YouTube tutorials with slightly different methods.

Nancy Wynn


Knitvent Podcast Tour

Kicked off this week with The Knit Girllls

Knitting Pipeline

This weekend you can listen to GreenTriangleGirl and I chatting about our approach to holiday knitting on A Playful Day.

More dates to be announced!

All the podcasts on the tour will have discount codes and giveaways so make sure you check them out.

This is the second year the Ravelry Indie Designer Gift-A-Long has helped kick off the holiday knitting season and provided camaraderie, moral support and an awful lot of enabling!

Ravelry Gift-A-Long

It is the knit along of all knit alongs – with nearly 300 designers participating, including me for the first time this year!

The first thing you need to know is that all the participating designers are offering between 4 to 20 of their patterns on sale for 25% off with coupon code GIFTALONG2014 in the big GAL sale! From Thursday November 13th (8pm EST) through Friday November 21 (11:59pm EST).

You can find out who the participating designers are here on the Ravelry board. (I’m on the very last page!)

The second thing you need to know is that there is a knit along with loads of prizes, games and fun on the Ravelry GAL board here.

I have included 20 of my patterns in the sale and you can get an overview of them on the GAL Pinterest Board I’ve created for the event.

The whole event is incredibly well organised and there are Pinterest boards created to give you an overview of everyone’s designs by category (can you imagine the work that went into that?!!)

And the third thing you need to know is that any of my paid patterns can be included as part of the GAL KAL (not just the ones on sale) and that will include all the new Knitvent 2014 designs (did I hear you say “double dippig”? Oh yes!).

I hope to see you there!


Curious Handmade Giftalong