Archives For knitting pattern

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.

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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 114: Playful Knitting

Helen —  March 4, 2016 — 3 Comments
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Curious Handmade Podcast 114

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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’m working away on my Mind The Gap Nimbus self-striping sock yarn from Trailing Clouds following Mina’s Two at a time socks free pattern and am working up to learning and using the Fish Lips Kiss Hill.

I’m going to be hosting a giveaway of the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern. I want to support the designer, Patty Joy (SoxTherapist on Ravelry) who is undergoing cancer treatment and fundraising for a family reunion. I also thought it would be a nice way to participate in Yarn in The City’s #3thingsforyarnlove challenge. So if you don’t have this pattern and would like a chance to win it, pop over to my Ravelry Group. I’ll be posting a thread where you can comment with your Ravelry name to enter

Show Links

Absolutely loving Gretchen Rubin’s book Better than Before and her podcast with her sister Happier

I’m curious – I’d love to know if you listen or have read the book and what you think?!

 

Afternoon Tea in Anzula Squishy: Candy Apple

Back in 2012, I released a little shawlette on Knitty. Afternoon Tea, which was inspired by vintage frocks and pastel-frosted cupcakes, played on the concept of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s beloved Pi shawl. Since then the pattern has had quite a life. It has racked up almost 1000 projects on Ravelry, has been made in every colour under the rainbow, and made an appearance at countless special events (including starring roles in at least a dozen weddings!)

I designed Afternoon Tea as a fun little fancy. It had only one job, to be ornamental. That’s a role it has played perfectly, but recently I wanted to revisit the pattern to see what more it had to offer. When I re-released Pebble Beach in larger sizes, the response was wonderful, and I knew that Afternoon Tea also deserved its own “growing up” moment. Over the last few months I have carefully redesigned and rewritten the pattern as a full-sized shawl. The new, larger Afternoon Tea retains all the delicacy, refinement, and playfulness of the original shawlette, but now it’s ready to do double duty as both a decorative and a more functional piece.

The yarn I chose for the new samples has quickly become one of my favourites. If there was such a thing as a yarn soulmate, Anzula Yarn’s Squishy might just be mine. It’s a fingering weight MCN blend: 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon. It’s so, so soft and the colours are completely lush. I knit the small sample in Teal (possibly my perfect colour) and used up one skein, pretty much exactly.

Afternoon Tea Shawlette in Teal

Small Afternoon Tea in Anzula Luxury Fibers Squishy [80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon, 352m /385yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Teal

My wonderful mother knit the medium sample for me in Candied Apple: I was so grateful to her but it was hard to hand those two skeins over. I wanted to keep knitting with that yarn! The lovely drape is especially evident in this larger size.

Afternoon Tea Shawl in Anzula Candied Apple

The new, larger size of Afternoon Tea in Anzula Luxury Fibers Squishy [80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 352m/385yd per skein], 2 x 100g skeins, Colour: Candied Apple

The original samples were knit in three other yarns which are still very close to my heart. The sheen and stich definition in Quince & Co’s Tern wool and silk blend is to die for.

Afternoon Tea in Columbine

The original small Afternoon Tea in Quince & Co Tern [75% wool, 25% silk, 202m /221yd per skein], 2 x 50g skeins, Colour: Columbine

Madelinetosh’s Tosh Sock really needs no introduction. This yarn is a perennial favourite, and the Baltic colourway is deep, moody, and elegant. Best of all, the small version of the shawl uses up exactly one skein.

Afternoon Tea in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock Baltic

Original small Afternoon Tea in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock [100% superwash merino wool, 361m /395yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Baltic

I’m still such a fan of Viola’s Merino fingering, in this rich violet colour.

Original small Afternoon Tea in Viola Merino Fingering [100% superwash merino wool; 365m/400yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Violet

Original small Afternoon Tea in Viola Merino Fingering [100% superwash merino wool; 365m/400yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Violet

As of today, the revamped pattern is available to buy now on Ravelry: as part of this rebirth, along with the new size, I have also converted both sizes into my easy-to-follow percentage checklist format that is so popular with Curious Handmade knitters! And of course, the original pattern will still be available for free on Knitty. I hope you enjoy it.

Whispering Island Shawl

I’ve been hinting all week about my newest pattern, and I’m so excited to share it with you all that I’ve decided to release it a day earlier than planned.

The pattern is available on Ravelry to buy now.

“My readers will want to know if Whispering Island is real, set in the great blue harbour in the story – and if the little cottage on the hills is there still…Yes, the island is real, and lies in the great harbour, still full of whispering trees. The little cottage on the hills is still there, with its magnificent view and its old well… I have taken them all and put them into this book for you.”

Enid Blyton “Five Have a Mystery to Solve”

Cliffs and caves, coastlines and caravans: Whispering Island is inspired by the landscapes of beautiful Dorset and the fun to be had there by the young at heart. This generously-sized shawl wants to be slung across your shoulders as you wander through fields, explore forgotten ruins, scramble up hillsides, and toast marshmallows over a campfire.

An elongated triangle shawl with a rounded border, Whispering Island is all about texture. Knit in a rustic, rugged DK weight yarn, it features rippling ridges and just a hint of feminine lace in the eyelets along the edge. Although packed with lovely details, this pattern is amazingly easy and fast to knit: the perfect project for a knitter setting off on their first shawl adventure, or for the experienced knitter who wants something simple to finish by the fireside in the long summer evenings of a camping holiday.

This particular project has been such a joy. It was one of those patterns that seems to know exactly what it wants to be from the beginning, and I had a wonderful time bringing it to life. I also had the immense pleasure of working with three marvellous yarns, which each brought their own magic to the design. As any knitter knows, it all begins with the feeling of fibre in your hands.

Whispering Island in Hole & Sons Yarn

The first inspiration for Whispering Island came from my precious stash of Hole & Sons wool. I was lucky to get my hands on some (the last release sold out online in a matter of minutes.) I knew I needed a very special project to make the most of its wonderful qualities, and I felt it was worthy of its own new pattern. I enthuse at length about what makes this yarn so miraculous in tomorrow’s podcast, where I interview Benjamin Hole about his farm, process, and philosophy.

For the original Whispering Island, I used Hole & Sons Pure Wool in the “Fog” colour. [100% Dorset Poll Pure Wool, 110m/119yds per ball], 6 x 50g balls.

Because there will be a bit of a wait before more Hole & Sons yarn is available for purchase, I also wanted to knit this shawl in some other lovely yarns which allow for more instant gratification.

Whispering Island in Blacker Shetland Yarn

Blacker Yarns Shetland DK shares a lot of qualities with the Hole & Sons wool. Soft, springy, and heathered, it is actually spun in the same mill in Cornwall. It manages to be both rugged and incredibly cuddly, all at the same time, and it’s very smooth on the needles. The colour of the wool, Fawn, is completely natural. It’s an undyed light brown in a creamy caramel shade: it reminds me of Werther’s Originals! [100% Wool, 110m/119yds per ball], 6 x 50g balls]

Whispering Island in Acadia

You’ve probably heard me mention the Fibre Company’s gorgeous Acadia yarn. I was planning to knit a two-colour version of Whispering Island, and I wanted a yarn that would still capture the outdoorsy feeling of my original vision. When I looked at some other shawls knit in Acadia I suddenly knew that this was the perfect yarn for the job. I can’t say enough about what a pleasure this yarn is to work with. The blend of merino, alpaca and silk is wonderfully soft and luxurious with loads of rustic character. [60% Merino wool, 20% Baby alpaca, 20% Silk, 133m/145yds per skein], 4 x 50g skeins, Colour: 2 x Driftwood, 2 x Summersweet]

The result, in all three yarns, is a big, welcoming shawl with lots of heart, an all-season shawl that will be equally at home sheltering you from the soft breezes of a summer evening as it will be cuddling around your neck once the winter winds begin to blow. It’s a surprisingly quick knit, and lots of fun: I’ve made it three times now, and it has never lost its charm.

I really love Whispering Island, and I hope you will too.

Knitvent 2014 has been so much fun this year. I’ve heard from so many people enjoying the patterns, telling me about their festive making efforts and the KAL has been full of gorgeous handknits for weeks. It’s almost time to get all of your entries in to win prizes (more on that in a moment) but first I wanted to extend a festive thank you to everyone.

Curious Handmade Holiday Sale

As well as celebrating the release of single patterns for Knitvent 2014, you can also enjoy any single pattern free with purchase of two others (put all three in cart and you will automatically get one FREE) with the code HAPPYHOLS342 entered at checkout on Ravelry. The offer will run through till Sunday 28 December 2014.

So whether you’ve been craving some beading in the Candlelit Shawl, a simple and soothing lace shawl like Pebble Beach Shawlette or something quick and comforting like the Red Robin Shawl, now is the time to treat yourself after all that gift knitting. 

There’s still time to enter to win fab prizes for the knitalong too. The prizes are lining up and looking really tempting for this one. So if you’ve been knitting from Knitvent 2013 or 2014 over the last few weeks, come tell me about it and you could win one of these fab prizes:

Knit and Let Knit Tote

Fringe Supply Co ‘Knit and Let Knit’ Tote Bag

ECY BFL sock

Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock in the Robin Egg colourway (as used in the Candlelit Shawl)

For all the rules of play please take a look at the KAL chatty thread and be sure to post your FO pic in the finished objects thread before 28th December 2014 (for those of you knitting really close to the wire with those gift knits!).

Happy knitting!

The final Knitvent pattern is ready and this week’s window has opened to reveal the Ice Skating Scarf and Wrap!

Ice Skating Scarf

The Ice Skating scarf and wrap are knit in a worsted weight yarn, making either of them perfect for keeping you warm while whether gliding round an ice rink or building a snowman.

There are three different stitch patterns to give an interesting look and they are all based on garter stitch so it is a very easy, relaxing knit – ideal for knitting by the fire with great friends, good conversation and a mug of hot chocolate.

The middle section is created with slipped stitches and gives a dramatic effect without having to deal with more than one colour at a time.

Ice Skating Wrap

The sides are finished with an icord edge which is also deceptively simple and hides the colour changes beautifully. It looks like a lot of knitting but the bigger needles and garter stitch means it flies off the needles – just in time for that walk in the snow!

Ice Skating Scarf 4

The pattern contains two options: a more unisex scarf or the ultra warm wrap version. The Ice Skating Scarf is worked up in 3 contrasting colours of Cascade 220 and measures 132cm (52″) in length and 24cm (9.5″) in width.

The scarf uses just under a skein of each colour so you can embellish with some tassels or leave it plain for a more manly look. The PDF of the pattern includes illustrated instructions of how to make the tassels for those of you who haven’t made these before.

Ice Skating Wrap 2

The Ice Skating wrap measures 127cm (50″) in length and 47cm (18.5″) in width and is worked up using 3 colours of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage. You will need 2 skeins of Colour A (shown here in Antler), 1.5 skeins of Colour B (show here in Dahlia) and just 1 skein of Colour C (shown here in Sand Dune).

Adding buttons is optional as a way of helping you style the wrap should you wish.

Knitvent 2014 is available to buy on Ravelry here:

Week 5 Special Treat!

Download these cute gift tags designed exclusively for Curious Handmade fans by BettyEttiquetteBetty Etiquette is a London based stationery brand and design studio that celebrates the power of putting pen to paper with inviting illustration and typography. Download Knitvent 2014 and you will find the PDF for these cute tags ready to attach to your careful crafted goodies.

Betty Etiquette Gift Tags

Betty Etiquette Gift Tags

Wish you all #giftingzen this Holiday Season!

Knitvent Week 4: Adorn

Helen —  December 2, 2014 — 4 Comments

Week 4 of Knitvent contains something a little different: a little sparkle, a little indulgence and a lot of eco power!

This window opened today to reveal the Adorn Gift Bags.

Wrapping gifts so that they are appealing under the Christmas tree and inviting to open is one of the joys to be found this time of year. Christmas trees and displays adorned with pretty parcels is a joy to behold but what happens to all that paper afterwards? Also, is it just me or are those little treats you bought like hand cream and jewellery especially difficult to wrap so they end up looking bulky and awkward by the time you’ve finished?

3 Adorn Gift Bags

This is where Adorn Gift Bags come in. These three little bags can be made quickly from your prettiest leftover yarn. Perfect for slipping under the tree with a small gift in to make the present all the more special. These little pouches are a treat in themselves to make and share- think of all those little haberdashery bits and pieces you’ve been collecting for years for ‘just the right project’!

Adorn Gift Bag 2

There are two versions to this pattern that are both easy to modify. The first has a simple ribbed lace top and is written in two sizes and the other has an eyelet detail around the top with a beaded star for some added sparkle under the fairy lights. They are knit in the round and can easily be adapted to the size you need for your particular gift. Save trees, use your scraps and let the wrapping be a gift in itself that will treasured for years to come!

Adorn Gift Bag 3

You might recognise some of these colours- they’re some of the remnants from other Knitvent 2014 patterns- so those special skeins you bought or dived into stash for earlier get great usage and won’t cost you any more to make. Above is the Tosh Sock I used for the larger version of the Candlelit Shawl and the beaded version comes from remnants of Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock for the original sample. Remember?

candlelit Collage

It’s also competition time!

To win one of the little care packages pictured below, all you have to do is leave a comment on the pattern page for the Adorn Gift Bags telling me what little treats you’d pop inside for a special someone.

I’ll be choosing one random comment and one comment that makes me laugh or is the most unique posted by Sunday 7 December (midnight GMT) . Good luck!

Care package 1 includes including 25g of Eden Cottage BFL sock yarn used in the beaded sample and Neroli & Bergamot Handcream.

Care package 2 includes 25g of madelinetosh Tosh Sock used in the small sample Style A and Pomegranate lip balm.
Adorn Gift Bags Prizes

Knitvent 2014 has had a terrific response so far and it’s been lovely to watch all the projects and commitment already.

This week’s pattern is the perfect cowl for a snowy day – ethereal and delicate with the warmth of mohair that can be worn layered around chilly necks or shoulders.

Lind Cowl

Lind Cowl

The Lind Cowl takes its name from the frosty opera singer who stole Hans Christian Anderson’s heart and was the inspiration behind his Snow Queen. I’m pretty sure that there’s a lot of families out there with the Snow Queen story featuring very prominently right now- Frozen is certainly a favourite in this house!

Lind Cowl Knitvent

Knit on large needles, the Lind Cowl works up fast to take full advantage of the yarn’s lofty character and emulates the flurry of flakes in the air. Both version of this cowl (small and large) take 1 ball each of a contrasting colourway of Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse.

To celebrate the launch of the Lind Cowl, there’s a Knitvent treat- 50% OFF the Knitvent 2014 collection for a very short time only!

The Lind Cowl is only available as part of the Knitvent 2014 ebook and will be available to purchase individually from 19th December 2014. If you’re looking to get you #giftingzen going, why not join us in the Curious Handmade knitalong? There is already lots of fun and prizes to help keep you in good spirits as I reveal each week’s special surprise and encourage you to take up this seasonal challenge.

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!

#giftalong2014

Curious Handmade Giftalong

Knitvent Week 1- The Candlelit Shawl

Helen —  November 11, 2014 — 2 Comments
Helen2copy (1)

Candlelit Shawl

The Festive Mystery Knit Along is finally here and the first pattern is LIVE!

The Candlelit Shawl is a lightweight shawl that brings a little festive light into your knitting. Work up the fully beaded version for seasonal sparkle or let the simple lace stitches allow your yarn to shine for a quicker but just as satisfying knit. A fingering weight shawl to make use of that lovely one or two skeins in your stash for a special someone who is very deserving – whether that’s you or a loved one!

Candlelit shawl

Candlelit shawl in BFL Sock

Working these shawls up was a joy as the simple lace stitches catch the subtle shifts and tonal changes in handdyed yarns beautifully. The small shawl sample is knit up in Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock [100% Wool,399m/436yds per 100g skein], in the ‘Robin Egg’ colourway. You will need just one skein of either this yarn or a 100g skein of fingering or sock weight yarn totalling approximately 399m/436yds to make the small version.

Candlelit Shawl in Tosh Sock

Candlelit Shawl in Tosh Sock

For the medium, I used Madelinetosh Tosh Sock [100% Superwash Merino, 361m/395yds per 100g skein], in the ‘Sand Dune’ colourway. For this larger version you will need 1 and a 1⁄2 100g skeins or 1 and a 1⁄2 100g skeins of fingering or sock weight yarn totaling approximately 542m/592yds.

The Candlelit Shawl is now available as part of the Knitvent 2014 ebook and will be available to purchase individually from 19 December 2014. Join in each week as we take the stress out of holiday knitting and cheer each other on with Knitvent 2014. Each week another pattern is revealed which is perfect for either a gift or your own selfish desires. The Collection will feature 5 accessory patterns with each pattern offering a choice of at least two sizes or tips on how to modify them, all for an introductory price of £9.50 (just under US$15).

 

To celebrate the launch of Knitvent 2014 put both Knitvent 2014 AND Curious Knitvent 2013 ebooks in your basket and the 2013 collection will be FREE! This offer will end Sunday 16th November. 

That’s a total of 13 gorgeous patterns including my incredibly popular Red Robin Shawl for £9.50. After this week, the price of the Collection will go up making this a particularly good bargain!

 

Knitvent 2014

Knitvent 2014

Still undecided? Join in the KnitVent 2014 chatter and fun with our Ravelry group, inspirational blog posts and a newsletter packed full of discounts and goodies, thanks to the Curious Handmade seasonal challenge. You can sign up here for the free Holiday Knitting Planner and Knitvent updates

Let the Curious Handmade community help you get your knitting #giftingzen on this holiday season.