Archives For Knitvent 2015





We’re in the second week of Stash Appreciation Month, and I’ve made great progress on reviewing, organising, and documenting my stash, which has been a really lovely process. On today’s episode I talk about how that’s going, what it’s like to be plunging into the new year, and my Word of The Year for 2016.

You can join in chatting about Stash Appreciation in the Ravelry thread here.

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

We spent our holidays together here: Lake Taupo in New Zealand

I spent some more time thinking about my word for the year and finally arrived at Ease. These podcasts helped me as I weighed the possibilities:

Elise Gets Crafty Podcast


Other podcasts that I’ve found helpful as I think about my goals for 2016:

The Slow Home Podcast

Knitting Expat Episode 42

What’s in the WIP

So close to finishing the first piece of my Times Square by Norah Gaughan

I picked up my Cave Point Shawl by Paula Emons-Fuessle after not touching it for a while.

And some exciting top secret new design projects!

The Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge is back, and I’m participating again. Join us in the new thread for this quarter.

Knitvent 2015 Winners!

I’m delighted to announce our three winners! I drew three posts randomly, and all of the projects that one are actually gorgeous:

Meadow Yarn Voucher: #9 The Ice River Snood by KayJay1809

Blacker Yarn Voucher: #96 Winter Wonder Shawl by LaurieBo

Fringe Supply Co. Voucher: #31 Kindling Hat by Izziebeff


That’s everything for this week! Happy knitting!

See you in 2016!

Helen —  December 16, 2015 — Leave a comment


As you might expect, we’re deep into the holiday prep over here at Curious Handmade HQ. The main activities right now are wrapping presents and eating sweet mince pies (lots of mince pies!) I’m admiring the twinkle lights we’ve strung up around the place and thinking back over the past 12 months. It’s been a wonderful year. Thank you all so much for listening to the podcast, knitting the patterns, joining me on so many projects and being such a vibrant part of Curious Handmade. I’m taking a little break from the podcast and the blog for the holidays, so that I can devote myself to holiday baking, knitting, storytelling and merriment (and more mince pies!) with my family.

Before I surrender completely to the call of Christmas, I just wanted to remind you of a few things going on between now and the new year.

I’m running a special Holiday Sale until the 24th of December. I’m offering all my individual patterns and collections at 15% off. Just enter the code Merry15 when you check out on Ravelry.

The Knitvent 2015 KAL is still on, and will continue until the 31st of December. Don’t forget to put your pictures in the FO thread, because we have some really lovely prizes up for grabs, and I really want to see all of your beautiful knits.

I’ll be back with the podcast in early January. We’re going to spend the month thinking about every knitter’s guiltiest pleasure: stash. It’s going to be action-packed and a lot of fun! Until then, I hope your days are filled with joy and love and cosy knitting time. Happy holidays!

Ch 103: The 5th Week of Knitvent!

Helen —  December 4, 2015 — 38 Comments

Ch 103

Show Sponsors

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

You can find 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.

Show Links

Knitvent Update:

Window #5 opened this week, and behind it was the Kindling Hat! This is a unisex design that’s really quick to knit and looks fabulous in rugged yarns for the chaps and luxurious yarn for the ladies.


Sample 1: Westcountry Tweed in Natural

Sample 2: Bluefaced Leicester DK in Natural  with an Alpaca Fur Pom Pom

I’m adding a finished object thread to the Ravelry board, and I have some great prizes to announce for the Knitvent 2015 KAL, so don’t forget to share your FOs!

What’s in the WIP:

Times Square by Norah Gaughan I really really want to finish this one, because I’m in love with the yarn (Fibre company’s Knightsbridge) and really want to wear it.

Reyka Pullover by Cirila Rose I’m up to the colourwork and I’d also love to wear it this winter.

Cave Point Shawl by Paula from the Knitting Pipeline. So nearly done on this one and it will go with everything, so it’s another one I’m desperate to finish.

Collection Review

The Authentic Collection by Joji Locatelli

I interviewed this brilliant Argentine designer a while back, and I’m such a big fan. The patterns are all available individually, but the full collection is amazing value. There’s a lovely preview video on her website. It’s great to see the patterns being worn and moving! This is a huge collection, and would love to knit just about any of these designs.


Puntilla is probably first on my list

She’s given us a copy of the ebook to give away this week, so if you’d like to be in with a chance to win, just leave a comment telling us which design is your favourite! I’ll draw a winner at random next week.

Other Show Links:

Being Boss Podcast Episode with Jay Prior

Paula’s charming first video podcast

The Pom Pom Quarterly Christmas Party is on Dec 11th. I’ll be attending (for my third year in a row! Time flies!) and I’m really looking forward to it. More holiday catch-ups with friends. I hope to see you there, if you’re local! Advance tickets are sold out but there will be some available on the door.

That’s everything for this week! Happy knitting!


I love gift knitting. Love, love, love it. At its best, it is a perfect distillation of everything I love about the holiday season. At its worst, though, it can leave you stressed, strung out, and exhausted. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

– Hiding in the bedroom knitting like a maniac while friends and family party downstairs.

– Wondering if your aching wrists are actually going to survive knitting 25 pairs of socks.

– Staying up until 3 am on Christmas morning to finish one…more…hat.

– Wrapping up a photo of the unfinished pattern you’re knitting with a sheepish IOU to put under the tree.

As a designer, I’m no stranger to knitting under a deadline. I’ve had my moments of panic, but over the years I’ve learned a few things that really make a difference.

  • Plan, plan, plan. The number of knit-worthy people in your life and the number of hours you have available for knitting might not match up. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and don’t push yourself too hard. (You’re already on top of this one if you’re filling out your Curious Handmade Gift Knitting Planner. Hooray!)
  • Find a supportive community. Knitting, especially gift knitting, can be a solitary pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be. It really helps to have some kind of outlet where you can share your victories, ask for advice, or just blow off a little steam. I’m a little biased, but I love the knitters in the Curious Handmade Ravelry Group so much. They always rise to the occasion and are so welcoming, generous and helpful.
  • Schedule knitting time. While much of our knitting happens in stolen moments here and there, I always find that I get so much more done in the hours I set aside for knitting and nothing else. When you’re working on something secret, this is even more important. Put knitting dates in your diary and keep them.
  • Pamper yourself a little. Knitting for other people is an incredibly generous use of your time, but it’s not just a selfless sacrifice. Remember why you love to knit. Treat yourself to some nice new tools. Choose fibre that you love to handle. Pick patterns they’ll love, but make sure they’re interesting (and/or easy!) for you. When you sit down to those scheduled knitting sessions, make yourself a big cup of your favourite warm beverage, put on some music, and light a candle or two.
  • Take RSI seriously. Nothing puts a crimp in your plans like a knitting injury. Gift knitting is the big leagues, and it’s so important to take care of yourself. There are plenty of resources to help keep your precious hands (and neck, and arms, and wrists, and back) safe and healthy. Here are a few great ones:

8 Warning Signs Your Knitting Could Give You RSI

Exercises for Knitters from The Fit Knit Chick

6 Ways to Make Knitting More Comfortable by Elizabeth Bagwell


It’s never too early for elves, especially knitting elves. It’s no secret that I love the holiday season, and for many knitters it begins right about now. This year I’ve been working on starting earlier, building in a margin, and giving myself the gift of extra time for all kinds of projects.

At this time of year, that extra time becomes even more important. I’m determined that this time there will be no last-minute holiday knitting marathons! That’s why I’ve released the Knitvent 2015 Holiday Knitting Planner a bit earlier to help us all get the season started off right. I’m already scribbling madly in mine!

Planning is half the fun. I love thumbing through holiday magazine shopping guides, dreaming of all the possibilities. With all the thinking I’ve been doing lately about cutting down consumption, I decided to make a different sort of gift guide. This is for all of us who love to give handmade presents instead of going crazy in the shops. With Knitvent 2015 just around the corner, it’s also a little sampler of the kinds of designs you can expect if you join in this year!


Your mum, your bestie, your child’s favourite teacher: all the brilliant women in your life deserve spoiling, and a handmade gift is an incredible way to show them how much they mean to you. Patterns, clockwise from top: Warm Wishes Hottie Cover, Red Robin Shawl, Fresh Powder Cowl.


Knitting for men can be a challenge, which makes it even more important to pick the right pattern. Make him something he’ll be proud to wear with these man-approved designs. Patterns, clockwise from top: Eden Fells Hat, Checkerboard Mitts, Eden Fells Scarf.


There’s no sweeter feeling than making something cozy for a favourite little person. Create an instant heirloom with some adorable, cuddly designs for children. Patterns, clockwise from top: Georgie Baby Blanket, Twinkle Twinkle Baby Blanket, Naughty or Nice Pompom Hat.


This year, maybe it’s your turn. It’s easy to get so caught up in knitting things to give away that you never have a chance to wear your own creations. Be kind to yourself with something sparkly to wear to a holiday party or something snuggly to wear everywhere. Patterns, clockwise from top: Stardust Infinity Scarf, Lind Cowl, Candlelit Shawl.

Choosing the perfect patterns is the first step towards having a successful holiday knitting season, and it’s such an exciting stage of the process. I hope this little guide has sparked your imagination. I can’t wait to show you what I’ve got in store this year!