Archives For Snowmelt MKAL

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Exploring this month’s theme in a new way: sometimes growth can mean looking forwards as well as backwards! I confront a long-neglected WIP (with exciting results) and also have the chance to review Hannah Fettig’s gorgeous new book.

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.

Curious Handmade KAL News:

The Snowmelt MKAL is going strong!

We are in week two of Snowmelt, and it’s very exciting. The spoiler thread is full of inspiring photos of shawls in progress, and new knitters are joining us every day. It’s honestly not too late to jump on board.

Just buy the pattern here and come meet us in the Curious Handmade Ravelry Group! You’re in plenty of time to catch up, as the KAL is running until March.

The Not Seen Before MKAL

Quite a few of the Curious Crew are doing both MKALs, which is very exciting. I can’t wait to see everyone’s WIPs as they develop.

What’s in the WIP:

Hermione’s Everyday Socks in hand dyed yarn by Cast on Cast Off

Vintage Fairy Light Socks in Circus Tonic Handmade

Vanilla socks in hand dyed yarn by Suffolk Socks in the Ted base

Times Square in Knightsbridge by the Fibre Company

This is one of the “unmentionable WIPs” that has haunted me for a year, but after facing my fears I’m making amazing progress.

Show Links:

Texture: Exploring Stitch Patterns in Knitwear by Hannah Fettig

Hannah’s lovely introduction video for the book.

Wharf Street in Owl by Quince and Co

Eventide Cardigan in Finch by Quince and Co

West End Cardigan in Owl by Quince and Co

Giveaway:

I’m so delighted that Hanna has generously offered us a copy of Texture to give away! If you’d like to learn how to be in with a chance to win, be sure to listen to the episode! You’ll have two weeks to enter this one.

That’s all for this week. Thank you for listening, and happy knitting!

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Today I’m chatting about the WIPs, KALs, and challenges I’m tackling in February, and introducing my theme for this new month!

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.

Show Links:

Stitching the High Notes

Instagram Yarn Love Challenge from the Ravelry team #yarnlovechallenge

Curious Handmade KAL News:

I drew winners for our two recently finished Curious Handmade KALs. Here are their Ravelry names:

For the Vintage Fairy Lights KAL:

meghan2 has won a precious skein of the much-coveted limited edition Hedgerow Yarns colourway created for the Christmas Eve Cast-On Kits!

For the Knitvent 2016 FO KAL:

nextdoorknitter and muddancer have each won a special surprise skein from my stash!

The Snowmelt MKAL has begun!

The first clue was released yesterday, and speedy knitters are already zooming through. There are spoiler threads set up in our Curious Handmade Ravelry Group, so if you’re still on the fence and want to take a peek, you’re very welcome!

I also put together some helpful videos for anyone getting started. You can watch them here.

If you aren’t a part of the MKAL but have FOMO, it’s not too late! You can buy the pattern here and join in! There will be lots of time to catch up, since we’re running until March.

The Not Seen Before MKAL is running now:

This MKAL is to benefit the Sight is Life project, which raises money for sight-saving operations in Congo. I spoke to Kristina Vilimaite about the project on the podcast not long ago. The MKAL features clues from 7 designers, including me!

You can buy the pattern on its own but you can also get it by purchasing the Sight is Life eBook. Learn more in the Sight is Life Ravelry Group

What’s in the WIP:

I’m still obsessed with socks and sock KALs.

Vanilla socks in hand dyed yarn by Suffolk Socks in the Ted base

I’ve just finished my January socks for the Box O’ Sox KAL, hosted by the Yarngasm Podcast and the Sock Bash KAL hosted by the Grocery Girls Podcast.

Hermione’s Everyday Socks in hand dyed yarn by Cast on Cast Off

These will be my February socks! You can see the gorgeous skein on my instagram post, here.

I was inspired to maybe double dip in the Harry Potter KAL hosted by Inside Number 23

Vintage Fairy Light Socks in Circus Tonic Handmade

These are from the Christmas Eve Cast On! I’ve just finished the first sock but I had to put them down to make my January KAL deadline.

Through The Loop Mystery Sock MKAL

Just beginning this and it’s very interesting to be on the other side of an MKAL!

Super Secret New Design

I’ve been working on a new design for the next Curious Handmade. I can’t give much away, but thanks to The Fibre Company, who is sponsoring the retreat again this year I can mention that it’s being made from the amazing new yarn they just launched this week. Have a look at the gorgeous Luma DK yarn.

Giveaway:

Renée Callahan of East London Knit (you’ll remember her from the wonderful patterns she contributed to Knitvent 2016) has offered us a special giveaway! She’s teaching a new class on Machine Knitting Sweater Basics and one lucky listener will win a free copy of the class!

In Machine Knitting; Sweater Basics, you will learn everything you need to know to knit a sweater on the machine: from basic machine maintenance, how to cast on, making fabric you love, to seaming, blocking and everything in between. The class includes my Sweater Blank
— a worksheet that will lead you through making your sweater in any gauge or fabric you want and making it easy to customize.

If you don’t win but would like to take the class for half price (or any other Craftsy class for 25% off) you can find Renée’s special link here. (You can also see an introductory clip there!)

That’s the notes for this week. Thank you for listening and happy knitting!

Snowmelt MKAL tutorials and FAQs!

Helen —  February 1, 2017 — 3 Comments

The first clue for the Snowmelt MKAL arrives tomorrow! Are you ready yet? If not, don’t worry. As I mentioned yesterday, we still have flocks of new knitters signing on, and you have time to get sorted.

Today is the last day of the 20% off early bird special, so snag your copy now!

I’m still getting lots of questions about the MKAL: how it works, what to expect, and how to prepare. To help everyone get ready, I’ve put together a few resources for you.

First, I’ve created a few video tutorials for Snowmelt, including a guide to choosing yarn, and a special video showing you how to do the beautiful icord cast-on for this shawl. I know this is a new technique for some of you, but it’s so simple! I think my little walk through will help you master it easily.

Check out the Snowmelt MKAL videos here!

Next, for anyone who didn’t get onto the email list in time, I’m going to post the FAQs I sent out last week:


Q. This is my first MKAL – what can I expect?

A. Firstly – thank you for your bravery and trust – taking a leap and a chance on a pattern you haven’t seen before. I am honoured!!

A mystery knit along is all about surprises: you buy the pattern without knowing what the finished design will look like and get one clue a week until the whole pattern is released. The community aspect is huge, too: people share their progress each week and speculate on what might be coming next. Knitting a project with a group is lots of fun and supportive  – you will find lots of company in the MKAL chat thread and people to ask questions or if you have any problems.

Q. This is my first Curious Handmade shawl – what can I expect?

A. Enjoyment, on the whole! Relaxing, satisfying knitting. And of course, a beautiful accessory at the end…

On the more technical side of things, you can expect clarity. My patterns are clearly written in the unique Curious Handmade Percentage Checklist™  style with stitch count for every row and percentages of stitches knit to help you pace yourself and estimate yarn needed. Directions are written in full and also charted instructions for any lace sections.

Q. I’ve knit loads of Curious Handmade shawls before – what can I expect?

A. Well, you’ll recognise the checklist format, and if you’re a fan of my patterns (thank you!) I think you’ll find that this project is quite “typical” of my designs: lacy, feminine, easy-to-wear, and just a little romantic. I also think it will keep you guessing until the last clue is finally revealed!

Q. What is the level of difficulty?

A. It is beginner to adventurous beginner throughout.
It is a slight step up from beginner in places due to some easy lace and the amount of knitting involved but it definitely isn’t difficult in any sense. There might be a handful of rows you really have to concentrate on where you are setting up a new pattern – but it is very achievable for an adventurous lace beginner. And lifelines are always helpful if you are worried!

Q. Do I need a special code for the Early Bird price?

A. No, the Early Bird price is already applied in Ravelry, no code required. The 20% Early Bird discount will apply until Wednesday February 1st.

Q. I think the amount of the price is wrong, maybe I didn’t get the discount?

A. The price of the pattern does not include VAT. Ravelry automatically adds VAT to all purchases of patterns in the EU when you check out. The amount varies by country. I’m sorry about any inconvenience, but it is out of my control.

Q. I bought the pattern but I don’t see any knitting instructions!

A. This is a presale period for the MKAL. When you buy the pattern you’ll get an info sheet with yarn specifics and some general hints to help you prepare. The pattern will be released piece by piece, with a new clue to knit each week.

Q. When will the clues be released?

A. The clue reslease schedule is:

Thursday Feb 2nd: First clue is released!
Thursday Feb 9th: Second clue released
Thursday Feb 16th: Third clue released
Thursday Feb 23rd: Fourth clue released
Thursday March 2nd: Fifth clue released

The KAL will run until the end of March.

At the end of the MKAL I’ll compile all the clues into one pattern document so that you have everything in once place if you’d like to knit it again!

Q. I don’t have time for an MKAL right now, can I still participate somehow?

A. Life sometimes gets in the way of knitting, and not everyone can keep up with the weekly clue releases. That is perfectly okay! You can jump in and out at any point, or even wait until all the clues are out before you begin. The KAL will run for about a month after the last clue is released, so you can still join in and post your finished shawls on your own schedule. Pop into the chat thread now and then, and don’t forget to check in on Instagram with the hashtag #SnowmeltMKAL


There you go! I’m so excited for the kickoff tomorrow. I can’t wait to see all your gorgeous creations.

It’s almost time for the Snowmelt MKAL! I’ve been watching the amazing yarn-choosing process of hundreds of excited knitters over in our Curious Handmade Ravelry Group and on Instagram (check out the growing #snowmeltmkal hashtag for some mouthwatering yarn photos!) and the energy is just electric. We’re just two days away from the release of the first clue, but we still have new knitters joining us every day. The MKAL will be running until the end of March, so even if you don’t have yarn yet, you’ll have plenty of time to grab something gorgeous and play along.

For the last Curious Handmade MKAL, Summertide, the wonderful Kristen from Skein Yarn wrote a brilliant guest post on colour combinations that I wanted to share again with you. You can find it here. There’s a lot of inspiration and wisdom in that post! Kristen also put together a few lovely combos just for Snowmelt:

Skein yarn for snowmelt mkal

You can read all about these delicious colourways over on the Skein Blog.

I designed this shawl in part to encourage stashdiving. This is the last official day of Stash Appreciation month here at Curious Handmade, after all, and while I know many of us are enjoying the excuse to buy new yarn for this project, I also know that many more have some wonderful single skeins lying around, waiting for the perfect project. Chances are there are a few hiding in your stash that could surprise you when you put them together. This MKAL is a chance to explore your stash and experiment with combinations you might not have considered. If you’re on the mailing list, you will have gotten an email with all the yarn info and tips you need to start choosing, but I’ve seen people asking for advice since then, so in case you missed it, I thought I’d repost it here.


The yarn I used for the sample is the breathtaking Magellan Speckle Fade Kit from La Bien Aimée. This is a gorgeous hand-dyed single ply superwash merino.
Sample Yarn:
La Bien Aimée; Magellan Speckle Fade Kit [100% superwash merino; 366m/400yds per 100g skein], 3 x 100g skeins,
Colourways:
Le Petit Nuage
Le Grand Nuage
The Magellanic Cloud

OR

Actual yarn used for sample in a fingering weight single ply yarn:
Light – Le Petit Nuage 80g / 293m / 320 yards
Medium – Le Grand Nuage  80g/ 293m / 320 yards
Dark – The Magellanic Cloud 75g/ 275m / 300 yards

To give you a few ideas of other ideal yarns you could use:

Curious Handmade favourite Skein does a luxurious base called “Classy” – 70% Superwash Merino, 30% Silk * 430 yards / 393 metres in 100g

The wonderful Tosh Merino Light from madelinetosh would be another excellent choice – 420 yards / 384 metres in 100g

Over at The Wool Barn, Maya’s Silky Singles base would make a perfect Snowmelt – 70% Superwash Merino 30% Silk * 400m / 436 yards / 400 metres in 100g

Lots of you want to use stash yarn, and you’re in luck! I specifically designed Snowmelt to work with three different skeins of fingering weight yarn, since I know most of us have at least a few gorgeous “orphan” skeins kicking around. Here are the hints you’ll need to choose your own yarn:

  • I used a gradient set – but that is not necessary. Aim for some contrast in colour or tone between the three yarns. The contrast in some sections is quite subtle with the yarns I used.
  • In general the shawl is simple enough that you can be more adventurous with using speckles and variegated colourways – depending on your taste of course.
  • The most significant lace section mainly uses Colour A so if you don’t like your lace in wild yarn this is the colour to have as a tonal or solid or semisolid.
  • I used a single ply but any sock yarn/fingering yarn would work just as well. You can even combine single ply and sock yarn, as long as you like the interplay of slighly different textures. If you have doubt, try knitting a little test swatch.
  •   I used 4mm circular needles.

I hope those tips give you some confidence to choose your own yarn for this project. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, let me enable you: if you grab the pattern by the end of Feb, 1st, you’ll get a special early bird price of 20% off! Happy knitting!