CH 299: KAL prize day and extra MKAL hints

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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

A Stillness MKAL kit from La Bien Aimée

This week, I have some lucky winners to congratulate from some of our recent knitalongs. I’ve also got updates on my most recent WIP (spoiler alert, I am enjoying it so much!) and more yarn reassurance for any knitters who are stressing themselves out a bit trying to pick the perfect yarn for the Stillness Shawl Mystery Knitalong

Show Links:

Winners of the May #knit20for2020 KAL

Ravelry : craftytextilelady (hillary On)

Cypress Cardigan by Amy Herzog

The Knitting Loft in Toronto

Instagram: mctrem7

Little Love Cardigan by Ankestrik

Colorista Canada

Winner of The Handmade Sock Society Season 3 Rainy Window Socks


The Handmade Sock Society Season 3

Rainy Window Socks

Vapour Socks

The Wool Barn

Tinkhickman on Instagram

Tracyrr on Instagram

The Stillness Shaw MKAL starts on the 25th of June

Enter Stillness Shawl MKAL Giveaway before the 25th of June

  • An absolutely adorable Stitch Mischief Medium Finch Bucket bag
  • A hard-cover knitting journal from Laine. The “My Knitting Notes” Journal is an elegant way to document your knitting journey with space for 31 knitting projects, 6 pages for keeping track of your yarn purchases, 18 gridded pages, e.g. for charts or colourwork sketches, a knitting needle sizes and conversions table, and the most common abbreviations.
  • A stunning skein of Skein Australia Silk Road, in the rich Atomic colourway.

I’ll also be giving away 10 pattern prizes: each winner can choose the pattern of their choice from my designs on Ravelry!

Here’s what you need to do to be in with a chance to win:

  1. Create your project page for The Stillness Shawl MKAL. You can use the placeholder graphic below or upload a photo of your yarn!
  2. Post in the giveaway thread to tell us about your favourite still life artist, painting, or photograph. It would be amazing if you shared an image, but you don’t have to. And if there isn’t a piece that comes to mind, maybe you can share a moment of stillness in your life that you wish you could capture and keep forever, like a painting.

Hermione Jean Granger Shawl by Tyne Swedish


La Bien Aimée Yarn



Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 299. 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 curioushandmade. You can also find full show notes and transcript on my website at

Hello, and welcome to the show. How are you this week? I hope you’re having a good week. We’re having a pretty good week here. I’ve got kids still home sick, which is a bit of a worry, but it’s okay, I guess. It is what it is. They have just mild colds, but we’re not allowed to send them to school with any kind of cold. So, they’re at home. They may have gone to school if it wasn’t for that rule.

And we’re rolling into three weeks of holidays here in Queensland, so that’s coming up. So they’ll have a chance to rest, and recuperate, and hopefully I will, as well. And I am going to try to plan, in the last couple of days of term time, theoretically, even though they’re at home already, try and plan some activities for the holidays so that we don’t just mindlessly go through the three weeks without actually doing anything fun. Which way have a bit of a tendency to do if there’s not much structure.

So, yeah, so that’s where I’m at today. I’m recording this on Thursday, just the day before I release the episode. The other hugely exciting thing that is happening in the house is that we are picking up our puppy tomorrow. She is called Cindy, and the puppy breeder had called her Cindy and the girls liked the name, so we’re keeping the name, which is fine. It saves us try to think up a new name. And, yeah, it just seems to suit her.

She is a little toy cavoodle, so she is a bit of a toy, and it reminds me of my Cindy doll that I had when I was a kid. So, we are all very excited about that for tomorrow. I have to say that life has felt a little bit same-same lately, with not really being able to plan any exciting activities, or really know what’s going to happen in the future.

We’ve been fairly happy and content just hunkering down at home, but I’m sure you can relate to that it’s starting to feel a little bit monotonous now. And I know we are, of course, extremely lucky to be in that position where the worst thing is that life is slightly boring. But, yes, anyway, that’s where we are, and I do appreciate our boring, contented life. And, yeah, so hopefully today I can bring you some news about knit-alongs. I have some prize draws to share with you, a little bit of knitting news, and a little bit about the upcoming mystery knit-along.

First I’ll announce some knit-along prize winners. First of all, I have the Knit 20 for 2020 prize winners from May to announce. And I know we’re well into June now. I think the first week, I didn’t record an episode, and then last week I completely forgot because we were so far into the month that I’d forgotten that I still hadn’t done that.

And, anyway. So, without further ado, the winners of the Knit 20 for 2020 knit-along are on the Ravelry thread, craftytextilelady, who is Hillary from Mississauga in Ontario, Canada. She knit the Cyprus Cardigan by Amy Herzog, which looks beautiful, by the way. And her chosen yarn store is the Knitting Loft in Toronto. So, congratulations, craftytextilelady, Hillary.

And on Instagram, we have the winner, mctrem7, who is Sepia Pixie. And she also knit a cardigan for her entry for Knit 20 for 2020. And her nominated indie dyer is Colorista, also based in Canada. We have a very Canadian theme this week. And so, if you would both contact me either via Ravelry direct messages at HellsBells, or you can email me at Helen at Curious Handmade. And I just need your email address to get in contact with you to organize a gift voucher from Colorista and The Knitting Loft.

And finally, for the prize draws, we have the Handmade Sock Society prize. And the winner is [Serines 00:06:35], which was entry number 76 with her Rainy Window socks from the Handmade Sock Society, season three. And, Serines, I will need your postal address to email your prize. And hopefully the post from here will not take three or four months like it seems to be at the moment for international parcels. I might have to look into that and arrange something else for you, rather than posting something from here at the moment. It seems to be a bit of a disaster.

But anyway, if you contact me and get in touch, and let me know where you are in the world, and we can have a chat about that. So, congratulations to all the winners. Thank you so, so much for participating in the knit-alongs. It’s a lot of fun. I love seeing your projects. And I’m having a lot of fun discovering new designers, and indie dyers, and yarn stores around the world with the Knit 20 for 2020 challenge.

So, speaking of the Handmade Sock Society, this week we had the release of the fifth pattern in the series. And it’s hard to believe that it’s up to pattern number five already. We are releasing them every month this year, instead of every two months like last year. But the knit-alongs are going for two months, so that you have plenty of time to complete your socks.

That means that at the moment we have two knit-alongs happening for socks four and socks five, which is the vapor socks that have just been released. And then at the end of the series, the knit-alongs will continue for two months after the release of the sixth pattern to give you… Well, seven weeks I’ve made it. Not quite two months. Just shy of two months for each knit-along.

So you have plenty of time to complete your socks, and hopefully we’ll see some people who’ve completed the whole collection. Anyway, the vapor socks are a really pretty pair of socks. And I’ll just read you out the description. Clouds wreathing a mountain peak and fog rolling in over the water. The early morning haze in the distance before the dew dries up. A gentle mist settling on a meadow as the evening draws in. Your own breath, suspended in midair on a frosty walk, and the friendly steam piping from your tea kettle when you come back home.

Vapor is transitory and insubstantial by nature. It can play tricks on us, obscure our vision, transform a landscape, appear and disappear in a matter of moments, as fleeting as a fanciful idea and as wonderful. It reminds us that even ordinary things are worth a second look, and that nothing really lasts forever.

The vapor socks are a gentle and relaxing project with a delicate, but deceptively simple pattern. They begin with a cuff of 1×1 twisted rib, and feature an easy-to-memorize panel of eyelets and airy lace on the front with plain stockinette in back. A snug ribbed heel and wedge toe give you a steady foundation, but it’s always easy to swap in your own favorite heel and toe. As with all the Handmade Sock Society patterns, you have the three sizes to choose from to customize your fit.

These socks were knit in the beautiful The Wool Barn Cashmere Sock, which is a lovely 80% Merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon base. And as always, I just love Maya’s delicate colors. I use the colorway Smitten, and a huge thank you to Deb [Tink-Hickman 00:00:10:31], who knit the sample for me, and also photographed them. And she did this brilliantly, because in these strange times, she had to both photograph and model them herself. So, just huge thanks to Deb for doing that for me.

And also, a huge, huge, thanks to Tracey RR. [He 00:10:55] is the host of the [Cozy 00:10:58] Red Couch podcast for test knitting, and knitting a beautiful test-knit version for me, and finding any mistakes. It’s always a huge help. So, thank you very much. And thank you to Maya for the gorgeous sample yarn. I always want her yarn, it’s so inspiring, so it’s a delight to design with. And I hope you all enjoy these socks if you’re joining in on the Handmade Sock Society.

It’s not too late to join. You can join at any time. Of course, there is just one pair to be released now, so not a huge surprise in the collection like there is if you sign up at the beginning. But this way you get to see what you’re in for. The other big event that we have happening at Curious Homemade at the moment is the upcoming Stillness Mystery Knit-Along. That is a shawl mystery knit-along. The first clue comes out next week, next Thursday, the 25th of June. So that’s coming up very quickly now.

And I am just loving seeing everybody’s entries into the launch competition we have at the moment, where if you create a project page and enter it into a thread on Ravelry, then you can be in the running to win a lovely little bundle that I’ve put together. Which is one skein of the yarn that I used in the sample, which is Skein Australia Silk Road, a really luxurious blend. And a gorgeous project bag from Stich Mischief in Canada that I purchased at Knit City a couple of years ago now. And also a [liner 00:12:54] knitting diary. So, there’s a lovely prize, and all you have to do is make a post in the thread over on Ravelry.

I’ve had a lot of questions about the yarn, and I talked about this last week, so I won’t go into it again. But really I think that anything goes, and so if you have some yarn in your stash, you can probably put together a combination. It’s fingering weight yarn. I think lace weight could work as well, easily well. So, that’s something to consider if you enjoy knitting with lace weight yarn.

So the yarn I used is Skein Australia. And because we have postage delays here to and from Australia, all our parcels are coming via ship, and going via ship at the moment. So it’s very, very slow. It’s taking three months or more. So, I am trying to suggest other yarn dyers in various countries to give you some ideas of other options. Of course, you can purchase from your local yarn shop, or any local dyer.

And really, you don’t have to be in the know to put a combination together. I will actually try and do a blog post to show lots of different combinations, and highlight some of the dyers that I’ve been sharing in my newsletter and on Instagram. But I know this is the most stressful part of a mystery knit-along is choosing the yarn. And I really just want to say don’t stress about it. It’s going to be fine.

It’s, I think, a reasonably uncomplicated pattern. It’s no more difficult than the Snowmelt shawl. And I will email some frequently asked questions, or answers to frequently asked questions in the next few days. But it’s meant to be fun. I designed it when I was on lockdown. So I wanted something very relaxing, and just enjoyable. Nothing stressful. And so, that’s the kind of vibe that you’ll get with this shawl.

So, if you’re interested in joining up, you can do that over on Ravelry, just Google Stillness Mystery Knit-Along. And you just purchase the pattern on Ravelry, and then all the clues will be delivered one per week from the 25th of June. There will be five clues. And there is an early-bird price at the moment, which is four pounds. And that will go up to five pounds the day the first clue comes out. So I hope that gives you a bit more information, and I look forward to hopefully seeing you in the mystery knit-along.

I have been doing a little bit of personal knitting. I think I mentioned last week that I had started the Hermione Jean Granger shawl by Tyne Swedish, who is clevereststitch on Instagram. I am really, really enjoying that. I chose three skeins from my stash, which is La Bien Aimée Merino Singles in really vibrant pinks. And I do love pink. I love blue, and I love pink. I love all the colors, but probably those two are the ones I’m drawn to the most. And so, yeah, so heaps of fun. It’s a stripey garter stitch shawl.

It’s just really, really relaxing knitting. And I can just take it with me in the car, or, I’m not getting out much at the moment, but occasionally I’ll take it with me for the car, or for a doctor’s appointment, something like that. Or mostly watching TV at night in the evenings. It’s super, super relaxing knitting. So, thank you very much for that lovely pattern, Tyne, and highly recommend it if you’re looking for something very chill to knit at the moment.

That’s about all I have for you this week. Just before I sign off, I’d like to thank my sponsor, Meadow Yarn. And just to say that if you’re in the UK, both my sponsors, A Yarn Story and Meadow Yarn, do you have some lovely kits available for the mystery knit-along. So, if you’re in the UK, or nearby, you might find a good option for your yarn there if you haven’t already.

So, hope you have a wonderful week. Congratulations to the knit-along winners, and please get in touch with me. And, yeah, I’ll talk to you again next week for the 300th episode. Have a great week. Happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you soon.


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