Archives For The Handmade Sock Society Season 2

Play

Show Sponsors

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.

Find all your favourite luxury yarns and discover plenty more at A Yarn Story, Bath’s premier yarn store based in Walcot Street, Bath, UK. From gorgeous skeins by The Fibre Co and Walcot Yarns to a fine selection from Shibui Knits, La Bien Aimée, House of a la Mode, and Julie Asselin, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. With friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you browse, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. Visit the store at Walcot Street, Bath or shop online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk.

Today on the last podcast of the year, I introduce the last secret pattern of 2019, the Dorsal Socks, #6 in The Handmade Sock Society 2. I have news about the closing date for all of our current Curious Handmade KALs, and some plans for the brand new year ahead.

Show Links

The Dorsal Socks

The Handmade Sock Society Season 2

The Shawl Society Season 4

Fragment Socks

The Four Pillar Plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee

SHOW TRANSCRIPT:


Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast, you’re listening to episode 278. This podcast is all about crafting a life of happiness and creativity. I’m your host Helen and you can find me on Ravelry as Hell’s Bells and on social media as Curious Handmade. You can also find the full show notes and transcript on my website at curioushandmade.com.

Hello and welcome to the show. I hope you’re having a good week. It really is that pointy end of the year where things can start getting a little bit stressful. Everybody wants to meet deadlines before the holidays and before the new year. Things just seem to start getting a bit packed in at this time of year. So, I hope you are able to find a little bit of space, a little bit of peace, a little bit of time with your knitting. Hope things aren’t too crazy. Have a look at your to do list and see what you can take off your plate and put on to next year if it’s not urgent. Just try and reduce the stress levels a little bit. That’s what I just did yesterday. Put about 10 things that I was trying to do before Christmas into January and I’m going to deal with them then. That’s okay. It’s important to keep your sanity and your sense of peace at this time of year.

In today’s episode we have a new pattern that was released yesterday to have a chat about. And a few upcoming things, just some knitalongs and things that we have happening at the moment. Perhaps a couple of upcoming patterns. Just do a little bit of a wrap up for the year and it’s going to be just a fairly short episode. I just wanted to say hello for the last time this year and this decade. This will be the last episode for 2019. And I usually try to wrap up the podcast around the time that the kids finish school, which is a little bit earlier here in Australia than it was in the UK or then it is in the UK. Because this is our big summer holiday for the year starting over Christmas holidays rather than over August, July, August, September, as it is in Europe.

So yeah, we’re about to be off for six to eight weeks, depending on your school, and looking forward to it. Although it hasn’t been very long since we had a really long break. But that was because we had a crazy year moving, so I feel like I’m ready for another holiday. It has been a big year, we’ve had three collections with Curious Handmade, The Shawl Society, The Handmade Sock Society, as well as Knitvent and several other individual designs that were released with various events and things happening throughout the year. So that was very fun, but very busy. And yesterday was the release of the last pattern from the surprise collections, which was The Handmade Sock Society and Dorsal socks. I actually designed these socks quite early in the year. I had the idea for them and they were actually meant to be released earlier in the year, but we did a little bit of a reshuffle because I messed up the schedule a little bit. But I think these socks are really nice to wrap up the season and.

I’ll just read out the description. Gazing out over the surface of the ocean, it’s difficult to fathom just how much life teams beneath. It’s a whole other world down there in the depths, one we usually only ever see when there’s a nature documentary on the television or if we’re one of the few brave and fortunate souls who are able to strap on a scuba tank and descend beneath the waves. Otherwise, catching a glimpse of the incredible creatures who make the sea their home, requires a bit of luck and a whole lot of patience. Perhaps today will be the day, armed with your trusty binoculars and flask of hot tea to keep away the chill of the wind, you scan the waves. Suddenly, almost an hour and a stiff neck later, there it is rising out of the water, a triangular dorsal fin. That first sighting brings the thrill of uncertainty. It’s an exciting vision but also faintly menacing. Is that a dolphin or shark you see? Or maybe something else that you’ve never expected.

Cornwall is home to one of the most diverse populations of marine life in all of Britain, so that tell-tale fin could belong to almost anyone. England’s only pod of bottle nose dolphins lives here and large whale sightings happen all year round. Then there are the sharks who patrol the deeper waters with fearsome reputations. All of these fascinating creatures have a role to play in the ecosystem and their presence is only possible because of strict marine conservation zones in the estuaries around the coast. These carefully protected areas give them the room they need to breathe and live and flourish. There are lessons for us here about our own creative life. Waiting for that creative spark to surface can feel a lot like watching for that tell tale dorsal fin. You have to look keenly and wait faithfully. You have to be open to uncertainty. When it does arise at last, it can be frightening, but most of all your time and space must be carefully protected and guarded so that your creative power can grow.

So I think it’s a particularly apt thought for this time of year to protect a little bit of your creative space. And yeah, the last pattern, each season always seems to sneak up on me. No matter how long plans have been in place. This year has especially flown by and it’s been so nice to see so many first time sock knitters joining in The Handmade Sock Society. And lots of experienced sock knitters enjoying the designs as well. So it always makes me so happy to have you join in and also take a chance on a surprise collection that you don’t know what you’re getting into beforehand. I appreciate you taking a punt and having the trust in my design skills, it’s super humbling. And I’ve just been thinking about the knit-alongs. I wasn’t able to keep up with monthly prizes this year because of moving and just having too much on. But I thought what I’ll do is we’ll do a grand prize draw for all the collections, so Knitvent, The Shawl Society and The Handmade Sock Society. 31st of January or after the 31st of January.

So if you post your finished objects in the respective finished object threads by 31st of January and then in early February I’ll do a drawing and a grand prize giving. And just give everybody a little bit of time to finish any partially completed projects, just may as well ease into the new year. I’ll be on holidays with the kids for most of January. School won’t return until late January here. So let’s just take our time and if you’re joining in on any of those collections or knit alongs, you will have an extra month. And I will endeavor to have some nice prizes. I’ll choose some lovely things from my stash. I have extensive various bags and yarn to choose from. So I will put together some gorgeous packages for you and I will try to take photos and post them as soon as I can. I’m not making any promises about when that will be but before the end of the knit-along.

And then also before the end of the year, even though the podcast is of finishing up this week, we will still have a few things happening so I will release the Knitvent patterns from this year’s Knitvent as single patterns on December the 13th. So they’ll be available to purchase individually if you’ve had your eye on just one of them rather than the whole collection. And we’ll also do probably a two for one sale around that time. I think that’s fairly traditional for Curious Handmade to have a little pre-Christmas thank you for a wonderful year sale. And in case people were holding out to buy individual patterns for Knitvent. And as I mentioned last week, I’m also working on the pattern for fragment socks. Now all the other designs are released, I can finally focus on this one. I did say last week that I was going to release it with three sizes, but since having a closer look at it, it was only written in the one size originally.

And I think what I’ll probably do in the interest of just publishing it as a single, I’m going to publish it with the one size and aim to add two more sizes at a later date if I can. It would depend on the calculations for the stitch pattern. I think it will be possible, but I will need a little bit more time to look at that. So I thought rather than delay and put it off even longer, I’m just going to… What is it? Progress is better than perfection. And publish it with the one size that it has at the moment for people who’ve been waiting for that for a really long time and yeah, so still working on that. I don’t have a exact release date for it yet, but just as soon as I can get that pattern produced, I will publish it hopefully before Christmas. I’d like to make it available for Christmas Eve costs on if I can. So that’s what I’m aiming for. So thanks for bearing with me. It’s been a long time and I’m sure a couple more weeks will be at this point.

At the moment I’m enjoying spending some time dreaming about plans for next year and thinking about what might happen next year. I’m, yeah, just enjoying spending a little bit of time working away on that. Thinking about how I want my daily routines to be like and then what collections I might do next year. And also plans for podcast topics and all sorts of things I’m playing with. And yeah, it’s just nice to have a little bit of time at this time of year to be able to do a bit of daydreaming. As usual, I’ve been reading some productivity books and enjoying that. And I always enjoy getting a bit of motivation for, I don’t know, just achieving goals and thinking about life I suppose. And I have just listened to a really great audio book, I would recommend it if you’re into that kind of thing. Not everybody is, but I really am.

I came across this book because I’m thinking quite a lot about my health at the moment. So this particular book is called The 4 Pillar Plan, How to Eat, Sleep, Relax, and Move Your Way to a Longer, Healthier Life. That’s by a British doctor, Dr Rangan Chatterjee. And yeah, apparently he’s been on TV shows in the UK. I haven’t seen his TV shows, but he’s written a couple of books. This is his first one, I think the 4 Pillar Plan. I really like it because I’ve always struggled to balance various things like exercise, sleep, diet, stress. And so I really like his framework that he says in the introduction he’s got these four pillars. And about five top tips in each pillar, or five things to focus on. And what he says is to focus on, even if you just do one or two things in each of the pillars, that’s better too than doing everything right in one pillar and then ignoring the rest. So the idea of having a balanced foundation.

So I thought that was quite nice and his suggestions seem fairly doable. So I’m going to be looking at his suggestions and figuring out which ones… Some of them I already do okay with. And then some of them will be quite a challenge. And so working out a little bit of a plan to try and achieve balance across these various pillars. Anyway, I would really recommend that book. I’ll put the link in the show notes as always. And he has a second one, which it’s about reducing stress. I believe there’s a similar four pillar framework to think about it. So I’m having a listen of that one at the moment, but I’ve finished the first one. And yeah, so just try to incorporate healthy things into my routine and as well as work for next year.

And so I’m just taking the opportunity of having moved to a new country, a new lifestyle, new area. So I’m really trying to take the opportunity to set myself up with routines in a intentional way, which is my word for this year, to be intentional. And so that’s what I’m trying to do is just really grasp this opportunity of having a clean slate to start things off in a good way.

So that was a bit of a segue from knitting, but I guess my point is that I’m thinking about an awful lot of things when I’m thinking about my knitting and designing plans for next year as well. I guess that’s the thread that is running through that thought process there. So I’ll be back in January, probably mid January, I’m not sure which week I’ll start back yet actually. Yet to be planned out in detail, but it will be around mid January I think. And I will share more plans and goals then, as well as my word for 2020. I love having a word for the year. This year was intentional and I remembered it all year, unlike last year. And it’s been really helpful. It’s been a really good word. So I recommend intentional. It’s worked for me really well this year and I’m hoping to find a really good one for next year as well.

In the mean time. I would like to thank my amazing team that’s helped me run Curious Handmade this year. My copywriter, Amanda. My tech editors, Emma and Anna. My graphic designers Jacqueline and Vicky. My incredible group moderator as well as test and sample knitter, Deb Tinkhickman. And my podcast editor, Emma and Alex. And last but not least, I wanted to say a huge special thank you to my main test knitter, Tracy. Tracy has been the biggest support and amazing test knitter, great friend. And yeah, just couldn’t produce the patterns at the level I do without my amazing team of colleagues and really good friends.

And of course all my knitters and podcast listeners. I love you all so much. You’ve made my second or third or fourth or whatever it is career, my favorite career so far. So meaningful and happy. You’re just such wonderful, supportive people and so much fun getting to do a job where I can work with beautiful yarn, beautiful textiles and beautiful people. So thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who’s been in the Curious Crew this year and always. I don’t really monitor who buys my patterns closely, but every now and then I’ll glance at the page and see names from, I don’t know, seven or eight years ago now, from the very beginning still popping up. And that makes me feel so honored and blessed that I have this community of people that has been around for so long and continues to be so great.


So on a bit of a gushy note, thank you. And I hope you have a wonderful holiday. I hope you just get to spend some lovely, peaceful time. I’ve been seeing amazing photos of snow storms and snow and just gorgeous scenes from the Northern hemisphere. So I hope you’re all cozy and well and safe.So happy holidays, happy new year. And I will look forward to chatting with you all again in 2020. Bye for now.

Play

Show Sponsors

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.

Find all your favourite luxury yarns and discover plenty more at A Yarn Story, Bath’s premier yarn store based in Walcot Street, Bath, UK. From gorgeous skeins by The Fibre Co and Walcot Yarns to a fine selection from Shibui Knits, La Bien Aimée, House of a la Mode, and Julie Asselin, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. With friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you browse, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. Visit the store at Walcot Street, Bath or shop online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk.

On this week’s episode we have TWO new patterns to celebrate! It’s the end of the Knitvent mysteries for this year but it’s not the end of the Knitvent fun and community! I also have news about a couple more upcoming patterns before the end of this year.

Show Links

The Sunshine Coast Collective Markets

Brynn & Co

Knitvent 2019

The Homebody Hat

The Homebody Mitts

Wren and Ollie

Happy Hank

Seren Yarns

Fragment Socks

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade Podcast. You’re listening to episode 277. This podcast is all about crafting a life of happiness and creativity. I’m your host Helen and you can find me on Ravelry as HellsBells and on social media as Curious Handmade. You can also find full show notes on my website at curioushandmade.com.

I’d like to say a big thank you to my sponsor, A Yarn Story. A Yarn Story is the city of Bath’s premier knitting boutique with a beautifully curated selection of luxury yarns in a wide range of fibers, shades, and weights from gorgeous skeins by The Fibre Co and yarns and Walcot Yarns to a fine selection from Shibui Knits, La Bien Aimee, and Julie Asselin. There is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. Visit the store at Walcot Street, Bath or shop online at ayarnstory.co.uk.

Can I just say what a gorgeous revamp of her website and rebrand has happened at A Yarn Story in the past week? If you haven’t been following along on Instagram or visited the website recently, Carmen has done a gorgeous job. It’s a gorgeous new logo. It’s so professional and yet so warm and friendly and knitterly at the same time. I just love it. So congratulations, Carmen. I know what a big job that is.

This week on the show we have lots of pattern release news and knit along news for you. I’ll maybe have a little bit of a chat at the end about some future plans, but yeah, mostly it’s about lots of new patterns at the moment. It’s a super busy time of year. Happy Thanksgiving to all US listeners and knitters. I hope you’re having a lovely weekend wherever you are. We’re having a a busy festive weekend here. We’re having a family Christmas party this weekend, a little bit early, so we’ll be joining in the festivities. And yeah, it’s just been one of those days. I’ve been set up my computer all day and I don’t really know what I’ve been doing. Just lots of little bits of admin and you know when you have those days where you get to the end and you’re like, “I don’t really know what I did.” So I thought I’d finish off with having a lovely chat with you and then I will have had something nice in the day that I can remember what I actually did.

Last week again, I actually went to a craft market here on the Sunshine Coast, the Sunshine Coast Collective Markets, I think it’s called up at Coolum State School, and it was a really, really lovely market. We just made it in time for the last half hour or so, and I was able to visit the stall of someone I’ve been following on Instagram for a long time, which is Brynn and Co, and she has created the gorgeous embroidery kits, the Love and Grow kit that I’ve worked on in the past and posted photos of. I’ve been working on the Grow kit. She does lovely graphics and provides all the embroidery floss and everything in the kit. So it was lovely to meet her, and I bought a magnetic needle holder that you can put on your work. It has a magnet on one side and just a little sort of almost like an enamel pin on the other side. And so you sort of pin it to your embroidery and then the needle can stay on it rather than kind of having to poke it through your work when you’re not using it I suppose.

And in knitting news, yesterday saw the release of the last two patterns of Knitvent for this season. Can’t believe it’s come around so quickly. This season I released the patterns over just four weeks. It was a little bit compressed due to starting a little bit late. And so yesterday we released the Homebody hat and mitts, which are sort of companions to the Homebody socks. I really enjoyed this stich pattern. It’s so simple and so effective, so I ended up using it in a couple of the designs and with the idea of making them into a little mini collection if you wanted to put a few things together in a gift.

It’s always a little bit of a wistful feeling when Knitvent’s over. It’s like the end of the year and heading into the holidays, but it’s also an exciting time of year. So I hope you like these two patterns. The description for the hat is “There’s a little bit of the homebody in every heart. Even a globe-trotting extrovert knows that the comforts of home are irreplaceable. Still, there are many different ways to be a home bird, and what that looks like in your life is as personal as your fingerprints. Is it a slow and solitary day where you dabble in your favorite pursuits for hours on end? Is it a big, noisy, delicious feast with a boisterous crew of loved ones trading jokes and stories over five different kinds of homemade pie? Maybe it’s just a stolen moment to yourself, between one happening and the next, where you catch your breath, look around, and know that you are exactly where you belong.

And for the Homebody mitts, “This time of year is often intense, with so many conflicting demands on our schedules. It can be especially challenging for us homebodies. The calendar fills up with parties and concerts, events and outings, shopping, chores, and a thousand errands that drag us away from the fireside and out into the wider world. And it’s all happening just when we instinctively feel a pull towards family and home. Beyond the practical demands, the emotions of the season are often complex. For many people, thoughts of home and the holidays can be bittersweet. When we start to feel as if it’s all a little too much, it’s important to have a calm and quiet place to return to, to regroup and recharge. Often, knitting is that place for me. It’s a portable retreat, a safe haven where I can rest my homebody soul even for a few quiet moments and a few thoughtful stitches.”

I decided to use two Australian indie yarn dyers for these projects. For the hat, the gray hat, I used Wren and Ollie Spin DK in the colorway gingerbread, and for the ready burgundy hat I used Happy Hank Co Classy DK in the colorway rhubarb. And both those yarns are 100% Superwash Merino. For the mitts, I used Wren and Ollie Spin DK again and this one was in the color peony, which is the beautiful light pink color. So I’ve since made Sophie a hat in the peony. So I was able to make a pair of adult mitts as well as a child hat out of 115 gram skein, which is what the put up for that particular yarn is the Spin DK. It’s 230 meters and 252 yards. So yeah, I was pretty happy with that.

I did omit about four rounds on the hat just to make sure I wasn’t playing yarn chicken, but I think actually with the amount I had leftover, I could have probably included a few more rounds. So yeah, so basically you can get a child’s hat and adult mitts out of one skein if it’s that slightly bigger skein. And I have some more Wren and Ollie and Happy Hank colorways that I ordered at the time because I couldn’t quite decide what colors to make the samples in. And so yeah, I’m looking forward to making a few more Hats and mitts sets for various friends for Christmas presents. So thank you to those gorgeous Aussie indie dyers for your gorgeous, inspiring colorways.

So upcoming for Knitvent. Now all the patterns have been released, I’m going to release the patterns as single patterns on December the 13th which is a Friday the 13th, which is a very lucky day for me because Lexie was born on Friday the 13th. So I always think that it’s a lucky number for me now and we’ll continue the knit along and extend that out until the 31st of January next year just to give people plenty of time to knit their things without pressure. Some of the things like the throw are a little bit bigger, so just to give you lots and lots of relaxing time of knitting in January. We’ll have the knit along going until then, and all you have to do to enter for the giveaway as to post a picture of your finished object in the thread on Ravelry and we’ll draw that after the 31st. I will contribute a nice prize for that. I’m not sure exactly what it will be yet, but probably some yarn and a project bag or something like that. Yeah, so that’s Knitvent.

And then we have the last of the six socks for the Handmade Sock Society coming out next week, next Thursday, and that is in a gorgeous yarn that is made by my friend Emma, I should say, dyed by my friend Emma whose Etsy shop is Seren Yarns, S-E-R-E-N. She does gorgeous, gorgeous colorways and made a special colorway for the Sock Society, which is Seaside Dreaming and it is a really dreamy color. So she’s doing an update at her Etsy shop on Sunday evening, this coming Sunday evening, the 1st of December. So I’ll put a link to her Etsy shop in the show notes, and then the socks will be coming out on this day if you’re a member of the Handmade Sock society. Of course you can use any sock yarn you have in your stash or that you decide to purchase for this, but I just wanted to give you a heads up about the special colorway from Seren Yarns.

And I am endeavoring, I have not really been committing to this goal, but I am now committed to publishing the fragment socks from issue four of Laine Magazine as a single pattern. And every time I post a picture of someone’s fragment socks on Instagram, I get asked, “When is this single pattern coming out?” And I’ve just been so slow, partly because I’m going to publish it with three sizes rather than… I think in the magazine it was just one size. So I wanted to publish it with three sizes like I normally do. So that’s probably been the main delay to be honest. Just the fact that I had that mental block about the extra work I had to do to do that, but now it’s all coming together. I think it should be possible by the end of the year. So I’m working on that basis and committing to that.

And so I will let you know more details about that probably in next week’s episode or newsletter if you subscribe to my newsletter. So thank you for your patience. I don’t even know when that pattern first came out in the magazine, but yes, it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen this year. So thanks for bearing with me through all those updates. It’s been a wonderful year for designing. I’m so honored that you knit my patterns and post photos. I absolutely love seeing what you make on Instagram and on Ravelry. It just is everything to me. I put all my effort and work into designing patterns. It’s a big part of my life now and it’s so rewarding to be in touch with you and knitters and yeah, I just love it. So I’m really looking forward to next year.

I’m planning what collections I’ll do next year and yeah, have lots more fun and creativity for us all to enjoy. It’s been a pretty intense year for me personally for a lot of reasons, but I think it’s been pretty intense for a lot of people around the world politically and all sorts of things have been happening. I feel like life is getting more intense rather than less intense. Obviously the move from the UK to Australia was a huge upheaval for us. A lot of work has been involved in that and, I don’t know, maybe I was a bit naive, but it’s been a lot more work than I anticipated. But we’re getting there, slowly settling in and I’m super happy. I feel a lot closer to nature here. We can always hear birds singing and it’s a lot quieter. We can go for walks on the beach. And when we’re just driving around the neighborhood or the town, we get gorgeous views up and down the coast and yeah, I’ve been appreciating that so much. Just really enjoying it.

I absolutely loved living in London, loved going for walks and so many things about living in London. But yeah, I’m really enjoying being here as well, so I’m so happy that it’s been a good move and the girls are slowly settling in. They are a little bit up and down. I don’t know if it’s been a bit harder for them probably. I’ve been so busy. I haven’t had time to think about things too much, but they’re missing their friends a little bit still. And I guess it’s going to take them probably about a year to really settle and have formed really good friends and everything. But I’m really pleased with how much they are loving school and enjoying the lifestyle here. They’ve both really got into swimming and it’s really good to see. Just before I sign off, I’d like to say a big thank you to my sponsor, Meadow Yarn.

Alongside an interesting and eclectic yarn range, which includes Hazel Knits, Icelandic Lopi & Coop Knits, 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 color, 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. You can find them at meadowyarn.co.uk. You can click on the ad on my blog.

So I will have one more episode for this year next week, and then we will take a little break and come back in 2020 the new decade. Can you believe that? So I hope you all have a wonderful week. Until next week. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

CH 250: Shell Cottage Socks

Helen —  February 15, 2019 — Leave a comment
Play

Shell Cottage Socks knitting pattern

Photo by Deb Hickman

Today on the podcast I have a bit of a catchup and a decision that maybe February is the new January. I also have some personal knitting progress to share. Most of all, I am super excited to introduce our first pair of socks from the new season of The Handmade Sock Society. I’ve got some background on the inspiration for the design and for the whole collection, including a subtle Harry Potter connection.

Show Sponsors:

 

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 specialising 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 favourite 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 www.ayarnstory.co.uk

Show Links:

Skog Candle

Sky Map Wrap by Emily Foden

Sew Sweet Violet

Clio Pullover by Elizabeth Doherty

Ysolda Blend no.1

The Shell Cottage Socks

The Handmade Sock Society Season 2

Play

Photo by Adriel Kloppenburg on Unsplash

Today on the show I am so excited to tell you all about our newest mystery collection: the Handmade Sock Society. I also have some tidbits of knitting news from my own projects, a VERY BIG announcement about the future location of Curious Handmade Headquarters, and all the winners from our first Shawl Society Book giveaway.

Show Sponsors:

 

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 specialising 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 favourite 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 www.ayarnstory.co.uk

Show Links:

Sky Map Wrap by Emily Foden

Meadow Yarns

Magpie Fibers

Big Blue Moma Baskets

The Wool Kitchen

The Handmade Sock Society Season 2 is now available to buy on Ravelry!

Run away to a quiet cottage in Cornwall, a remote hideaway overlooking the sea. Outside, the waves crash against the rocks, but you are snug and warm, wrapped in blankets and toasting by a little wood-fired stove. There’s peace to be found in the wildness of the ocean and comfort to be gleaned from the humble pleasures of life on a windswept beach. No matter how fierce the weather may be, the sound of the sea can soothe a ruffled heart. When you’re feeling brave, you can climb the cliffs and take in the exhilaration of the view, or strike out in a sailboat and test your skills and courage against the wind. There is nothing else to do and nowhere else to be but right here, and every moment in this place is full of inspiration.

The second season of The Handmade Sock Society takes us on a voyage away from the complexity and clutter of our modern schedules to a seaside retreat where we can steal a little time for ourselves, our thoughts, and our handmade projects. There will be moments of rest and of excitement, the joy of the unknown and the ease of the familiar, and most of all, the indulgence of as much sock knitting as our hearts desire.

The Handmade Sock Society Season 2 is a pattern subscription club inspired by the beautiful Cornish coastline. The six secret sock knitting patterns in the collection are ideal for any knitter who is obsessed with hand-knitted socks, loves a bit of suspense, and enjoys creating along with other enthusiastic makers. The first pattern of the series will be released in early later this month, and then there will be another pattern release every other month until December 2019. There’s never any pressure to “keep up” with the crowd, and our leisurely release schedule should allow knitters of all skill levels and knitting speeds a nurturing and relaxed experience.

Join the Handmade Sock Society Season 2 now

Pattern Release Dates: 
Sock 1: Thursday 14th of February
Sock 2: Thursday 11th of April
Sock 3: Thursday the 13th of June
Sock 4: Thursday the 8th of August
Sock 5: Thursday the 10th of October
Sock 6: Thursday the 5th of December

The Shawl Society Book Giveaway Winners:

A huge thank you to everyone who entered and everyone who has bought a copy of my book. Your support is heartwarming!

The Shawl Society Season 1 book on Amazon.co.uk

The Shawl Society Season 1 book on Amazon.com

Winners of Shawl Society Pins:

thereadingstitcher 

jjyauch

nightingaleanddolittle

aviatrix

purls_and_lace

cnschmidt16

ireneknitter

certainstyle_makes

jillyflower653

navel2468

Grand prize winner:

LaurieandOwen

I hope you enjoyed catching up with or reviewing the first three installments of The Sock Series. It’s lovely to hear from newish knitters who are building their confidence around sock knitting. By the time the first pattern of this new season drops, you’ll be unstoppable! I know we have a lot of expert sock knitters in our community, too, so if you have a special tip or trick you’d be willing to share with the rest of us, please let me know: sharing with—and learning from—each other is one of the great joys of the knitting community.

I’ve had a lot of questions about when we’re going to kick off this season, and I’m excited to say…

Membership for The Handmade Sock Society Season 2 opens TOMORROW!

I’ll send out an email with links as soon as it’s live with more details and everything you need to know. I can’t wait!

In the meantime, I want to celebrate this community and the around-the-corner kickoff of The Handmade Sock Society Season 2, so I’ve started a giveaway thread in our Ravelry group! The winner will get a hand-picked special skein of sock yarn from my stash…I’ll choose something I think you’ll like! I’ll also be offering a free pattern of your choice to six more lucky winners (one for each design!) To be in for a chance to win, all you need to do is

  • Make a project page for THSS Season 2 Socks #1
  • Post in the giveaway thread with your favourite seaside memory or place…if you’re landlocked and haven’t spent any time by the sea, where would you love to spend a peaceful week on your own, with your knitting? Share your dream seaside escape with us! Photos are highly encouraged but not required. 🙂

Now…back to the Sock Series!

Today I want to share a technique that I learned from a very dear knitting friend of mine, Paula from The Knitting Pipeline. Paula is an incredibly skilled knitter, and always so generous with her knowledge.  She showed me this very helpful sock-knitting tip on one of her wonderful retreats, and I’ve been using it ever since.

Anatomy of a Sock: The Heel Flap and Gusset

A feature of sock knitting (and one of the bits that scares most newbies the most) is the need to “turn the heel” of the sock. This is how you achieve the “L” shape that makes a sock a comfy, well-fitting sock instead of just being a scrunchy tube. It’s one of those things that sounds so much more complicated than it is. Once you’re actually doing it, it’s not so complicated at all, especially if you have a clearly-written pattern (and maybe a patient knitting friend online or in real life) to walk you through it. There are several different ways to create a heel, but one of the most common (and one of my favourites) is the heel flap and gusset. 

The actual knitting of the heel flap and gusset is actually pretty simple, as you’ll know if you’ve ever knit a sock of this type. But there is one issue that can haunt even experienced knitters: the hole in the gusset. What causes these pesky holes, and how can you avoid them?

When you create the heel flap of a sock, you’re only knitting half the stitches. Once you’re done, and after you’ve shaped the “cup” of the heel (usually with short rows…don’t worry, it’s actually quite easy!) you’ll need a way to resume knitting in the round. So, you pick up the stitches along the side of the heel flap you’ve just created until you reach the waiting stitches at the front of the sock. You could just keep knitting across, but if you do, there will always be a little gap there. This gap is what creates the holes (also known as pig’s eyes!) and it can be very frustrating. Who wants a little hole in a brand new sock?

The solution is usually to pick up an extra stitch or two in the gap, but as I learned, if you’re not careful how you pick up those stitches, you can sometimes inadvertently create an even bigger and more noticeable hole. There are a few different ways to tackle this, but the one I learned from Paula is so easy and foolproof that I’ve used it on every single sock since. 

I could try to explain it, but luckily, I don’t have to. The amazing Paula has already made a fabulous, easy-to-follow video, which makes it crystal clear:

Isn’t that ingenious? It’s so simple and so effective. I hope it’s as helpful to you as it has been to me!

If you are a regular listener of Paula’s wonderful podcast, you’ll know that right now she’s dealing with some scary health stuff, with all the grace and good humour we would expect from her. I know that messages of support and encouragement mean a lot to her right now. You can drop by her Ravelry Group to say hello and keep up with her health updates on her Caring Bridge site. She is very much in our hearts and I know so many knitters are sending her so much gratitude, love, and strength right now. 

Happy knitting,
Helen x

Around this time last year, I sent a series of emails full of tips and techniques for knitting handmade socks. They were such a hit in the lead up to the first season of The Handmade Sock Society that I turned them into a blog series, too. As we’re getting ready to start our second season of THSS, it seems like the perfect moment to revisit The Sock Series (and also add to it)!

It was such a joy to watch so many people stretch their sock-knitting skills in the Society last year. I received wonderful emails from knitters who had never made a single sock before but managed to find the courage to dive right in. I marveled at the seasoned sock knitters who said that they’d discovered a new technique or hack that they’d never tried before.

I absolutely love the way that the members of our community are always learning and growing. It pays to stay curious, especially when you’re passionate about making things. So, for everyone who is thinking about filling a box of socks this year (or even just casting on their first-ever pair) here are some links to the first three posts in The Sock Series to get you started:

Part One of The Sock Series: Choosing Yarn for Handmade Socks

Socks work harder than just about any other type of knitwear out there. They need to withstand constant friction and moisture, two things that can quickly break down delicate fibre. This means that for the most comfortable and long-lasting socks, you need to think carefully about your yarn selection. In this post, we take an in-depth look at what makes a great sock yarn great, and how to pick the right yarn for your handmade sock project.

Part Two of The Sock Series: Sock Knitting Needles and How to Use Them

One of the reasons new knitters are sometimes scared of socks is the fact that they are knit “in the round”. The first time you see a set of double-pointed needles or a magic loop, it’s easy to think you’re looking at something really complicated. This post demystifies the most common sock-knitting techniques, from DPNs to two-at-a-time and beyond.

Part Three of The Sock Series: Stretchy Cast-Ons for Hand-Knit Socks

When you’re knitting a cuff-down sock, you need to make sure that you use a flexible, stretchy cast-on method, so that it’s easy to get your foot in and out of the sock. There are so many great cast-ons out there, and I highly recommend experimenting until you find on you love. In this post, I share just a handful of favourites.

New! Part Four of The Sock Series: Avoiding Holes in the Gusset

Those pesky holes in the corners of your sock gusset can be a real pain, but there’s a simple trick to help you get rid of them as you knit!

I hope you’re getting excited for our next season of The Handmade Sock Society, and that you’ll find something here that helps you along the way. I’ll be adding more articles to The Sock Series over the next weeks, so don’t forget to check back. And if you’re not on the mailing list yet, you can sign up right here to get the new posts and all the Curious Handmade news right to your inbox. Happy knitting!