Archives For The Shawl Society Season II


There’s a lot happening at Curious Handmade this week! In this episode I talk about all my WIP progress, tell you about the fulfilling design process for the third shawl in Season II of The Shawl Society, and fill you in on the virtual retreat we’ll be having over the next two months of the Curious Handmade Podcast.

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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 specializing 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 favorite 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

What’s in the WIP:

Confetti by Veera Välimäki

Voolenvine Yarn

Ice Cream Sundae Cardigan by Julie Sunshine

Julie Asselin Leizu DK Yarn

Box O’ Sox KAL

Sock Bash KAL

Yarn Ink Yarn

Mrs Brown’s Bags

The Fibre Co.


Yesterday was launch day for our 3rd shawl, the Vila Wrap, and I’m so thrilled to see the reactions to this design.

You’ll find the Vila in the hills and mountain tops of Slavic folklore, dwelling in the high-up places where the air is thin and sweet and the clouds are born. Some legends call them a kind of fairy, others claim them as nymphs, while a few say that they are the spirits of women who were too silly and not serious enough in their lifetimes. Whatever their origins, the Vila have a true lust for life. They are both frivolous and fierce, appearing as beautiful women in white dresses, billowing cloaks, or magical blue robes. They lure young men into rowdy dances and demand their absolute loyalty in return. They sing with enough force to call up high winds, and fight with a wildness that shakes the earth. They are gorgeous, powerful, and at least a little bit dangerous.

The Vila Wrap was designed to honour these magical creatures in all their ferocious femininity. A generous, elongated wrap with an asymmetrical design and stunning lace panels, this shawl invites you to make a statement. Created in three colours, it is an addictive knit that’s hard to put down. Stripes and engaging stitch patterns keep things interesting without being too difficult. Smart, contemporary and easy to wear, the wrap shape will complement a wide variety of wardrobes.

The Vila offer inspiration to anyone who has ever been afraid of being “too much.” They have shaken off the scrutiny of a judgemental world and live to please themselves. For all of us who have been told that we should tamp down our own spirit and creativity to fit some premade vision of reality, the Vila show us an alternative. Learning to honour our own desires is a lifelong process, but creation is a powerful antidote to the negative messages we get about who we should be. The individuality and agency of making something yourself is not a trivial or frivolous thing. There is an assertion in every stitch: this is who I am, and it deserves expression.

I knit the Vila Wrap in Walcot Yarns Opus and I’m just a little bit in love.

We still have people joining up to the Society and this shawl in particular seems to be attracting new members, so you’re certainly not too late to jump in! Just buy yourself a copy of The Shawl Society Season II on Ravelry.


Today’s episode is packed, as I share all my stories from Squam, talk about a wonderful collaboration I’m a part of this weekend, and catch you up on the many exciting WIPs I have going on at the moment.

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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.

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To help the Yarn in the City Girls celebrate five years of the GLYC, I’m launching an expanded version of my Fireflies Rising Shawl. The revised pattern will feature a new size and is launching tomorrow, Saturday, June 17th.

The two yarns that The Wool Kitchen and The Travel Knitter have created for this collaboration are breathtaking. They will be doing special updates tomorrow, Saturday, June 17th at 9am BST.

This is the delicious Dancing Fireflies in a Merino/Silk Blend

And here is the incredible Midnight Fireflies from The Travel Knitter, in crazy-soft baby camel and silk:

Here are Larissa and Helen in their Fireflies Rising Shawlettes!

And here’s the new larger version using both yarns:

There will be a Fireflies Rising KAL starting on the 1st of July!

Yarn in the City Ep: 61 with details about the upcoming GLYC Fireflies Rising KAL and an interview with me


There will be a KAL starting on the 1st of July.

HeyBrownBerry Instagram

Dyenamixx Yarn Instagram

Handmade and Woolen Podcast

Rib Magazine

Woolen Boon Yarn

Linen & Spoon

Elisabeth on Earth Art


Making Magazine

Swoon Maine Book


Union Square Socks by Mina Phillips

Voolenvine Yarn

Confetti Pullover by by Veera Välimäki

Fringe Supply Co.

Fringe Association Blog

Summer of Basics-Along


Pure Joy Shawl by Joji Locatelli

Giveaway Winners:

For Pom Pom Magazine and Pomfest Tickets:

The magazine:

I love the Bon Bon mitts. Unfortunately, I can’t come to London for the festival but would love an issue of this magazine. Thank you.

The tickets:

Hi! Thanks for this podcast episode–it was great and fun listening. So, I’ve thought through the question about my fave design in the newest Pom Pom Quarterly, issue 21. I am very keen to get my hands on this bday issue. I really want to knit nearly all the patterns, so it’s difficult to decide on my favourite. My way of solving this, is that, since we are hopefully into warmer weather, I would knit either Boum or Jambouree first, as they’re the best knits for warmer weather. I would love to attend the Pom Pom 5 year bday party, so please enter me into this competition, as well. Thanks so much for this giveaway!!

For the Fairyhill Shawl Mini KAL

Winner of the Eden Cottage Yarn prize:
Winner for the Wool Barn prize:
That’s all I have for this episode’s notes! I hope you enjoyed the show, and until next week, happy knitting!

Today on the podcast I’m talking to the brillant women behind Pom Pom Quarterly in celebration of their 5 year anniversary. Five years of this wonderful magazine, which has done so much for the knitting community! From the begining they have championed indie yarn dyers and designers and brought a fresh, fun aesthetic to the knitting magazine landscape. We talk about the Pom Pom origin story, how they’ve grown, and their very special anniversary issues. I also chat a little about my current projects and give you an update on the doings of The Shawl Society!

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:

Lollipop Yarn

Box O’ Sox KAL, hosted by the Yarngasm Podcast

Sock Bash KAL hosted by the Grocery Girls Podcast

Starting Point MKAL by Joji Locatelli

Juno Fibre Arts Alice

The Wool Barn

La Bien Aimée Yarn

Pura Hilados Yarn


Pom Pom Quarterly Magazine

Bon Bon Mitts by Joji Locatelli

Anniversaire Cardigan by Veera Välimäki

Soirée Pullover by Emily Foden

Festoon Socks by Rachel Coopey

Jamboree Pullover by Francesca Hughes

Bash Hat by Linda Dubec

Listen to the episode to find out how you can win a copy of Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 21 or a pair of day tickets to the Pomfest birthday celebration in London on the 14th or 15th of July!


Don’t forget to post your finished Fairyhill Shawl to the FO thread in the Ravelry group and your project page as soon as you finish! There are some amazing prizes on offer for the mini KAL, which ends on June 1st. The Wool Barn and Eden Cottage Yarns are each offering a prize that would delight any knitter. If you’re not going to make the deadline, though, don’t stress! As long as you finish and post one of the season’s shawls (including Fairyhill) by the end of October, you’ll be in with a chance to win a different prize in the Shawl Society Grand KAL.

I’ve also released yarn notes for the second shawl of the season, which is coming up in a couple of weeks! This time the pattern has been written to work with a fingering or laceweight yarn. The sample yarn for the fingering weight version is the amazing new Varigradients from Seven Sisters Arts, and for the laceweight version, I used the blissfully soft and delicate Julie Asselin Merletto.

I’ve also begun an interview series with our yarn sponsors over on the official Shawl Society website, which I know you’ll enjoy, This week features Julie Asselin, with some fun stories about how she got started as an indie dyer and what it’s like to run a booming small yarn business!

It’s still early days for Season II and we are still welcoming new members every day. It’s certainly not too late to jump on board! You dn’t have to worry about being behind or catching up: we’re all going at our own pace.

Join The Shawl Society Season II today!


That’s it for this week’s notes! Thanks again for listening and I’ll chat to you again soon!


In today’s short and sweet episode, I’m introducing the first shawl in The Shawl Society Season II, and chatting a little bit about the magical theme behind the whole collection. I’m also rounding up the WIPs I have on the needles right now…so many fun projects. It’s a joy and a bit of an escape to indulge in knitting other designer’s patterns in the middle of my own secret design work!

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:

Our first season II pattern, the Fairyhill Shawl, was released today!

Throughout the British Isles, a rich and mysterious folklore surrounds the rumoured homes of the fairy folk: the fairy hill. This is where the fairy folk gather far beneath the stones and moss. It is a place where a curious traveller passing at dawn or dusk might hear the pipes and harps of an otherworldly band, where a visitor may step through a luminous door. Drink a sparkling goblet of fairy wine, taste the fruit of a fairy feast, and you may find yourself dancing months or years of your life away in the space of a single night.

A fairy hill is a threshold to another secret world, which makes it the perfect inspiration for the first design of The Shawl Society Season II. The Fairyhill Shawl calls on these tales of a private realm where mystery and magical company beckon. Its graceful crescent shape and beautiful lace recall the flowers and leaves that flutter across the fae kingdom. This shawl will add a touch of enchantment to your everyday outfits, and with a little sparkle in your yarn or a scatter of twinkling beads it is fit for any revelry. The pattern includes two sizes: the small is perfect for a single spellbinding skein, and the medium colour-blocked version offers opportunities to experiment with bewitching colour combinations.

The true magic of a fairy hill goes far beyond folk tales, and you don’t need a literal belief in the little people to see the results. These are protected places in the human landscape. Farmers will not allow their sheep to graze there and roads are rerouted to avoid angering the mythical residents. As a result, they become sheltering islands for wildlife and ecology, beacons of biodiversity, peaceful havens where nature can carry on her wild creativity, undisturbed by the demands of modern life. Our special knitting projects often occupy the same space in our lives. We carve out a sacred time and place to make beautiful things, and the results of that creation are nothing less than magic.

Eden Cottage Yarns

The Wool Barn

The Woolly Thistle

Ice Cream Sunday Cardigan by Julie Sunshine

Julie Asselin Leizu DK Yarn

Gramps Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

Box O’ Sox KAL, hosted by the Yarngasm Podcast

Apple Blossom Socks

Turtlepurl Yarn

Laine Magazine

Pure Joy by Joji Locatelli

Joji Mystery Wrap MKAL is starting on May 12

Giveaway Winner:

Josephine Franz has won the physical copy of East London Knit’s Zen Variations book with her comment:

Hi Helen,
I’d love to win a copy of Renee’s Zen Variations book!My favorite sweater is “Enzo”, I saw the one Helen from the woolkitchen made and I fell in love with this polished looking sweater! Thanks for the giveaway!

That’s all for now! Happy knitting and I’ll chat to you next week.



CH ep 167Today is all about the launch of the next season of The Shawl Society! This was such a huge event last year. The whole experience was just magical, and I couldn’t help doing it again this year. In this episode I let you know all the details about how it works and how to join in!

The Curious Handmade Video Podcast Ep. 5

A Homespun House Harry Potter and Charm Yarn Club

Harry Potter KAL hosted by Inside Number 23

Box O’ Sox KAL, hosted by the Yarngasm Podcast

Sock Bash KAL hosted by the Grocery Girls Podcast


The Shawl Society Season II launches for presale today!

The Shawl Society Website

The Shawl Society Season II on Ravelry

I can’t wait to share this season with you. Here’s the collection description:

Ethereal. Enchanting. Unexpected.

Being a part of the Shawl Society is all about opening yourself to the joy of surprise, the warmth of community, and the pleasures of creativity.

The Shawl Society Season II is the second incarnation of the magical pattern subscription club that caught so many knitters’ imaginations last year.

When you join The Shawl Society, you again access to six incredible months of mysterious shawl patterns to knit with your fellow members. Participation in The Shawl Society also opens up a world of secret codes, exclusive offers from boutique yarn producers, members-only pop-up sales, and luxurious KAL prizes. Other important membership benefits include (but are not limited to):

– Close-knit camaraderie

– The thrill of anticipation

– The particular glow you get from a really good secret

Every month for six months, you’ll encounter a new secret shawl pattern, delivered right to your Ravelry inbox on release day. The six designs which make up Season II range right across the spectrum of shawls, with a beautiful mix of shapes, sizes, techniques to challenge and delight you at every turn. Each shawl will offer you a brush with everyday magic: from simple, breezy knits easy enough to deliver you into daydreams, all the way to more challenging adventures which absorb your attention and usher you into a state of flow.

You can see some of last year’s gorgeous knitter creations on Ravlery and on Instagram #TheShawlSociety #tssfromstash

That’s everything for this week! I’ll talk to you again soon. Until then, happy knitting!