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.
In today’s episode I have some personal knitting to share, including a new sweater pattern I have been stalking as my Clio gets closer to completion. I’m delighted that the 4th season of The Shawl Society has launched and we’re just a week away from the first pattern! I’m also gearing up for the Sip. Stitch. Shop. event in Bath this weekend, and we’re having a sample sale to raise funds for KnitAid (have you seen the KnitAid Tedx talk?)
This week The Shawl Society Season 4 opened for membership!
It will be available at an early bird price until the first pattern of the season is released on Thursday the 16th of May, 2019.
Join The Shawl Society Season 4 now!
Ch. 261 Transcript
Welcome to the Curious Handmade Podcast. You’re listening to Episode 261. 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 the full show notes on my website at curioushandmade.com.
Hello and welcome to the show. I hope you had a fantastic week. Pull up a chair, grab your knitting, grab a beverage, and let’s us have a chat. Thank you to everyone who commented on social media, and via emails, and messages that you were interested in my conversation about my hair last week. I was talking about how I am embracing my natural color, which I think is going to be quite gray. It’s still in the growing out process, and even sort of four and a half, five months into it, it’s surprising to me, at least, how long it takes to grow. In some ways, when I was dying it to hide the gray, it seemed like it was every five minutes that I was having to dye it, and now that I’m desperately trying to grow it all out, it’s taking forever. So thank you for all your
messages of support and interest. It’s kind of a funny thing to talk about, but I feel like, for me, it’s about embracing happiness and creativity, which is the motto of the show, so I thought it was fair enough to talk about with you.
I have been extremely busy the last couple of weeks. I think after having basically three weeks holiday, I didn’t do much work while the kids were off school, which has always been my goal since having my business. A big part of my goal is to have a more flexible schedule around the kids, and that’s kind of worked and kind of hasn’t worked in some ways. I do have the flexibility with the kids, but that means that my work tends to get pushed into evenings and holidays, and weekends more. So I’m very, very lucky to be able to go to concerts or other events in the middle of the day. I’m lucky to be able to pick them up from school, but I’m basically working at least full-time, so that just means that that work has to happen somewhere else. And it’s taking me a really long time to get to grips with how that works, because I’m always very optimistic about how much I will get done, and then it either takes a lot longer, or I procrastinate, or get sucked into something else. And so I am working hard at the moment on trying to get to grips with that. I feel quite frustrated to be still grappling with this, I don’t know, four or five years since I stopped working full-time in a corporate job. But there you go. We’re always learning and improving, so I’m going to try not to beat myself up about it too much. I’m just trying to prioritize tackling that now.
Anyway, that was a bit of a ramble. Sorry about that. I’m tackling my to-do list with gusto at themoment, and I’m prioritizing by trying to look at what’s most urgent, and also what’s stressing me out the most, which isn’t always the same thing. Usually it is the same thing, because the most urgent thing is stressing me out, because it’s coming up. But sometimes strange, little things really stress me out, and so I’m trying to just get things that are playing a disproportionate, or being disproportionately stressful, out of the way, as well.
So despite being so busy, I have still been doing some personal knitting, and I think that’s actually been helping with stress levels. I have been knitting on my Clio, which is a gorgeous pullover by Elizabeth Doherty. I’m knitting that in Ysolda’s blend number one that I purchased at Edinburgh Yarn Festival, a couple of years ago. And I’m really enjoying knitting with that yarn. It’s just beautiful. It’s a very calming pale gray color, so that’s really nice as well. And the stitch pattern, now I’m onto the body, is interesting and really fun to knit. So I’m really into that at the moment, and it’s at the stage where it’s quite an easy go-to project to pick up. I can read the stitch pattern where I’m up to. It’s just a four row repeat at this stage. So, yeah, that’s quite a relaxing knit. I talked about, I don’t know, a couple of weeks ago, that I was thinking I should do the neckband. And I think what I might do is wind another skein of yarn into a ball, and have a look at the neckband after I finish recording, because I still haven’t done that, and I need to measure the body actually. It’s meant to be the cropped version, so I’m currently at risk of having an 80s tunic length version at the rate I’m going on the body. So I need to measure how much I’ve done on the body, see where I’m at with that. And also put the neckband in so that I can try it on, and measure and see how it’s going. Maybe I’ve been procrastinating on doing the neckband a little bit. It’s a little bit of a mental block, because I want the picked up stitches to be perfect, perfectly neat, and match the rest of the sweater, because often that’s where I fall down on a sweater project is not having quite perfectly picked up stitches around the neckband. I made a mistake in my Hay Pullover when I picked up the neckband stitches, and it’s not massively noticeable, but I can notice sort of a glitch in the smooth line of the neckline. And so maybe I’ve been procrastinating on that a bit as well. I did set a goal for finishing it by the end of the year, which I thought was nice, realistic goal. And then I started getting excited about the progress I was making and thinking maybe I could finish this before Squam, which I’m going to this year. But then, I looked at the calendar, and that’s only three weeks away, just over three weeks away. So, that made me feel slightly panicky, because I have a lot to do before then. And also think possibly not realistic to get Clio finished by then, sadly. So maybe it could be a finish it while I’m at Squam kind of goal. That might be more realistic. I don’t know. We’ll see. I need to assess where I’m at, especially in regards to how much more of the body I have to go.
So, enjoying that project a lot, and also starting to think about what’s coming next in the sweater queue. I have been stalking a brand new pattern released this month. It’s called Midding, M-I-D-D-I-N-G, by Renee Callahan. It’s been popping up on Instagram and in Ravelry, and I’m in love with this cardigan. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s quite a similar color to what I’m knitting with at the moment. And Renee’s used Baskerville DK, by Kettle Yarn Co, which is a DK for this. And Baskerville has some Gotland in it, and silk, so that’s probably partly why I love it so much. I just adore Gotland. So, it’s a cardigan with cable panels down the front, down the sleeves, and across the back. It’s a really, really nice, modern cable, and I really love the neckline. It looks like just a very, very delicate simple i-cord around the neck, and so there’s no band as such. It just goes straight from this, I think it’s an i-cord.
I’m not sure if it’s cast on from the top down. No, work from the bottom up. I’ll read the description. All questions will be answered.
Midding is feeling the tranquil pleasure near a gathering, but not quite in it, hovering on the perimeter of a camp fire, chatting outside a party while others dance inside, resting your head in the backseat of a car listening to your friends chatting up front, feeling blissfully invisible yet still fully included, safe in the knowledge that everyone is together and everyone is okay, with all the thrill of being there without the burden of having to be. Some projects suggest a kind of sweet nostalgia. Midding is a project like that. A classic cardigan shape, with long, fitted sleeves, a straight body, and panels of open cables. This cardigan is worked from the bottom up, with raglan shaping in the yoke, and i-cord finishing at the neck and button bands.
It’s in DK weight yarn, and she has some very, very gorgeous testers, who’ve knit this up, beautiful, sample projects that are making me fall even more in love with it. So, I think this is going to be in my queue. I do have some DK weight yarn, in sweater quantities of yarn in my stash, including some Triskelion, and I think that’s in a nice, can’t remember the blend, but I think
it’s called Arthur, but I could be making that up completely. So that might be good for this one actually. So, so beautiful. I can’t stop looking at it. She’s done a settled shoulder, so the cable goes right up to the neckline. Really love it. Good one, Renee. It’s beautiful. I have to get cracking, cracking on my Clio, so that I can get on to this one.
So apart from knitting sweaters, and stalking sweaters, this week has also seen the opening of the Shawl Society, Season 4, and the theme is Perfect Day At The Beach. I announced the theme, and talked a little bit about it last week. So you can now purchase the collection at a presale, early bird price of 12 pounds. And once the first pattern is released next week on Thursday the 16th of May, the price will go up to 15 pounds. So it’s a nice discount at the moment, and it’s basically two pounds per pattern. That price is for all six designs, that will be released from May through to October, one pattern per month. There’s going to be a range of sizes, shapes, yarn weights. So the yarn weights will range from a heavy lace weight/light fingering weight, through fingering, and through to a DK weight yarn. A little bit of a range there. I’m including a bulky one this year like I have in previous years. In terms of the sizes, a lot of
people have been asking about what size they’re going to be. Last year I kind of got ambitious and flamboyant with the sizes. A lot of them were quite big, and this year they’re going to be probably a little bit more constrained than last year overall, but possibly not going down to small sizes. I don’t think there’s any that are small, shawlette size this time again. But I can offer suggestions for adapting them to smaller or bigger in most cases, I think. So I will try and do that wherever possible.
If you have anymore questions just email me or put them on the Ravelry group, and I’m preparing a frequently asked questions email for people, so I’ll be sending that out next week. If you have any questions about the Shawl Society, you can let me know. It’s going to follow a fairly similar format to previous years, in terms of how it rolls out. So, as I mentioned, you have just under a week to sign up at the early bird price. The first pattern is coming out next Thursday, and the yarn I’ve used for the first pattern is by Suburban Stitcher in a special colorway called sea smoke. Diane is having some updates for this colorway, including one on the 16th of May, and so if you’re interested in that colorway, you can check out her website and Instagram for any updates about that.
We also have an In Real Life event happening this weekend, which is Sip, Stitch, Knit, with me in Bath, with A Yarn Story. And I’m really looking forward to seeing everybody who’s coming along to that. We’re going to have a lovely day. There’s going to be amazing vendors. We’re going to have a sample sale of about 20 of my samples, and the proceeds of that are going to go to a UK based charity called Knit Aid, who send knitted items to refugees. I’ve been a big supporter and fan of their work for, I don’t know, a couple of years now, I think. And Shahnaz, who is the founder of Knit Aid, has actually done a TED Talk, which was recently published. So, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. It’s a lovely talk. It just makes you feel happy and proud to be a knitter, when she tells her story.
So, I can’t wait to see you there, if you’re coming along. So, if I don’t see you in Bath, have a fantastic week, happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you again soon.