CH 315: The Hearten Cowl and Free Patterns

The Hearten Cowl, folded and resting on a blue chair

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The very first pattern of Knitvent has been revealed and I’m excited to tell you all about it! On today’s podcast we have an introduction to the Hearten Cowl, an explanation of what’s been going on with the podcast feed (it should be fixed!) and a lot of cosy chat about my own ongoing projects and some free patterns and workshops I’ve created for the Curious Crew.

Show links:

Gretchen Ruben’s Happier Podcast

In Color Order on Instagram

House Block Tutorial

Sign up for the Spindrift Shawl Workshop

Sign up for the Simply Curious Socks Workshop

Knitvent 2020 on Ravelry

Knitvent 2020 on Gumroad

 The beautiful and inspiring Knitvent 2020 Giveaway Thread

Hearten Cowl

Show transcript:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to Episode 315. 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, and thanks for joining me for a little chat about knitting, yarn, and crafty things. The last couple of weeks have been really good but also a little bit challenging. There has been quite a bit of things going on, family and personal things going on behind the scenes, and I don’t need to go into details but it’s just all been making me think about taking a bit of time to set an intention for the last two months of this crazy year, and just wanting to take some positive actions to bring some peace and calm, and, of course, comfort and joy into November and December. The comfort and joy is a little reference to the theme for Knitvent this year if you haven’t been listening to previous episodes.

It’s an unavoidable part of life that there will always be stuff going on but, as we come to the end of October, I’m going to set aside some time this weekend to make some intentional little plans for some practices and habits for the next two months, and also to block out some time for looking ahead to next year and planning some fun things. I was just looking my 20 in 2020 happiness project list, and so I will try and make some time to do some of those things. Some of them are on track. Some of them have happened, which is good. And I think I’ll just try and pick out a couple to try and finish before the end of the year. I wouldn’t say I’m a great planner in advance but, over the last few years, I’ve really been focusing on this skill and improving it a little bit. So, I’d say I’m getting a little bit better each year, not dramatically, but just a little bit and it’s making me feel a little bit more in control, so that’s good.

And I think these challenges like the 20 in 20 happiness project, which I’ve taken from Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast, there are probably other people doing similar challenges, but that’s where I got the idea from, and that led to the idea for Knit 20 in 2020 as well. So, yeah, I think these just challenge us, just help us focus on things that we really want to do and things that actually make us happy. And, again, as I do this project from year to year, I am actually getting better at recognizing what will make me happy. First, it sort of started off as a bit of a should-do list and a bit of a to-do list. And, as I’ve gone, I think maybe I’ve been doing it for three or… Yeah, probably three years now, I think they started on Happier Project in 2018 from vague memory.

And this year I feel like it’s really just nice, cozy, fun, happy things, which is good. Well, sort of. One of my items is to find five dinner recipes that we all like eating, and I’m not sure if I’ve achieved that. I’ll have to review that one. So, that’s a little bit practical but, yeah, generally they’re quite nice fun things. And four of them had to be canceled or rescheduled, thanks to COVID this year. That was four that involved trips and travel. So, they have all not been possible. But, yeah, the rest are looking fairly doable. One of the ones that I would definitely like to work on before the end of the year, and maybe not finish, but work on is the 40th birthday quilt. I was given gift voucher for a fabric store in London and purchased some fabric for my 40th birthday by my mum friends, my girlfriends, and I am making a little houses quilt with the theme of being home a lot this year.

I thought that was a fun pattern, and it’s such a cute little design. The creator of the pattern that I’m following is Jeni Baker. She’s jenib, J-E-N-I-B320 on Instagram. And her website is In Color Order, which is American spelling of color and the Houses Quilt, I think that’s what she calls it, just the Houses Quilt is a free pattern on her website. I’ll try and put a link in the show notes. Speaking of show notes, I am super excited to announce I finally have my new website live. I sort of soft launched it a couple of weeks ago but because I was having trouble with the podcast feed, I didn’t want to sort of announce it until that was fixed because, in my mind, the website relaunch sort of wasn’t done until that was sorted out.

So, that’s finally happened two weeks later. And so I’m super excited about my new website. It doesn’t have its own pattern shop on it yet, which I would like to get to at some point in the future but that proved to be a project or an additional part of the project that I decided to separate out and put for future tasks. But I am super excited to have my, I wouldn’t say new branding but fairly new branding represented in the website now. And also you can find there two workshops, which include free patterns. So, I’ve had my Spindrift Shawl Workshop available for a couple of years now. And when you sign up for the Spindrift Shawl Workshop, you get a copy of the Spindrift shawl pattern, which is a beautiful one skein simple shawl pattern that I designed especially for beginners. And you get a series of emails talking about knitting shawls with that.

And then for the launch of the new website, I decided to do a similar workshop for sock knitters, especially new sock knitters. So, I created, basically, a vanilla sock pattern called Simply Curious Socks. And, yeah, they’re a vanilla soft pattern but they’re written in the percentage checklist style with my favourite cuff, heel, and toe. And so you can now find that on the website as well. And both those workshops are under the link, Learn. I’m not quite sure about how good that link name is on the menu bar, whether it really describes what’s there but, anyway, that’s what it is at the moment. It’s called Learn, and you can find the Spindrift Shawl Workshop and the Simply Curious Sock Workshop there. If you just sign up and in return for your email address, I will give you a free knitting pattern. So, I don’t know if that’s a good deal but you can decide.

And, apart from that, you can find blog posts, and podcast episodes, as well as information about Knit 20 for 2020. I think that’s basically what I have there at the moment. I have knitting patterns but they link through to my Ravelry shop. And I’ve also got a link to Etsy there where I have a very limited number of patterns available, mostly my newer patterns.

So, thanks for bearing with me with the podcast. It should be feeding through correctly now to your podcast listening apps. I’m sure there’s a better name for it than that but it should feed through to Apple, Spotify, I think Stitcher Radio. And I’m not sure if I have to subscribe to other apps. So, if you use a different app that you’d like me to get it fed through to somehow, just let me know. Otherwise, it’s available to listen to on the post for podcast episodes with the show notes. And seeing as you’re listening to this, you’ve obviously found it somehow but in case you’ve gone to the website because it wasn’t feeding through to your Apple podcast app or whichever app you use, then it should be feeding through there now.

So, I’m a little bit all over the place today, just chatting about various different things. But the main thing I’ve been working on is, of course, Knitvent. And Knitvent is a holiday theme collection of six patterns that are surprises that open like windows of an advent calendar. The theme for this year’s Knitvent is comfort and joy. And I’m very excited that the very first pattern of the collection was released yesterday. So, the collection is now priced at its full price, which is £15. You can still join in any time and the collection price works out to about half price of the patterns individually. I will be releasing all the patterns individually in December but if you’d like to join in now, you can purchase the collection. There is a thread on Ravelry for information about the yarn for the upcoming pattern or patterns.

And it’s a little bit of a spoiler thread because you might get clues for what the pattern is from the thread. So, I label it as a spoiler thread and just to keep it as a surprise for people that want to a complete surprise about the pattern. We had a launch competition, which has just closed, where people posted things that bring them comfort and joy in the thread. And it was an absolutely amazing thread to read through. And even just reading it will give you a lot of comfort, and joy, and connection with knitters all around the world. It’s just lovely to see people in different areas, in different continents, from the US, and Europe, and in Southern Hemisphere countries, and just different little traditions and things that bring people joy.

So, it’s a lovely, lovely thread to have a look at if you’re feeling like you need a little bit of a pick me up. And that competition is now closed so I will draw the winners tomorrow. I’ll announce winners next week in the thread and on the podcast as well. So, thank you everybody who participated in that, and I am very grateful for you because it’s just been such a lovely, cheerful thing to read.

And, yeah, just thanks so much for everybody joining in on Knitvent as well. The first pattern is the Hearten Cowl. To hearten is to encourage, to give heart. It’s an especially beautiful kind of love focused on bringing comfort and joy wherever they are most needed. It’s what the holiday season is all about. Heartfelt presents and wholesome home cooking. Thoughtful active charity, and random acts of kindness. Often it’s something we do for others but it’s also a gift we can give ourselves. The rousing pep talk addressed to the mirror before you face the day, the hearty bowl of stew you sit down to after coming in from the cold, the quiet blissful moments of making that you allow yourself, even when the list of holiday chores seems impossibly long.

The Hearten Cowl is a joyful project, full of color, courage, and love. Designed specifically to be knit with a yarn advent calendar or cherished fingering-weight scraps from your stash, it features playful stripes and chevrons with a touch of easy lace. This is a big, generous hug of a cowl, big enough to wrap around twice for extra warmth and luxury. It’s a project you can savor, knitting it slowly row by row, watching the colors shift and change. So, I hope you enjoyed seeing the first pattern in the collection. As mentioned, it is designed to be knit with your advent sets. And some of you may wish to wait till December the 1st if you are knitting an advent set, might not have arrived just yet.

So, that’s, obviously, absolutely fine. There’s no rush for these things. And in the yarn information, you’ll see that it uses 10 grams of yarn. That’s a little bit of a generous amount. I’ve given a bit of a buffer there so you can probably do each color in about 8 grams but I always like to give a bit of a generous estimation so that people don’t get stressed out playing yarn chicken. But there is a small buffer there, which over 24 colors does add up. But, yes, for each color you need at least 8 grams, maybe a slight amount more, depending on your gauge, of course. We also have a knit along thread in the Curious Handmade group on Ravelry if you’d like to post progress or finished objects in the thread, and we can all knit along on our Knitvent projects together. Apart from Knitvent, we also have the Knit 20 for 2020 challenge happening, and the October thread we’ll close tomorrow, the 31st of October. It’s the end of the month. Also, happy Halloween for anyone who gets into those festivities and celebrations.

It’s actually my daughter Lexi’s favorite celebration of the year. She loves dressing up and planning her Halloween costume. She has a little bit of an inner goth so she likes a lot of black makeup, which she has liked doing since she could get into my makeup and apply eyeliner to her face, which was quite young, I think about two. So, she’s been doing that for a long time, and we enjoy making costumes and having a wander. It’s not hugely celebrated here in Australia, really. It’s never traditionally been a big thing but we like to adopt American traditions. So, there is some streets locally that get into the theme and, happily, that happens to be my parents’ street. They celebrate, and lots of houses will have sweets, and decorate for the kids. So, that’s quite fun. So, we’ll go down there and wander around their neighborhood a little bit.

Thanks so much for joining me today, and thank you to everyone who is joining in on Knitvent and other patterns that you’re knitting along with, and I love seeing your works in progress and finished objects on Ravelry and Instagram, and thanks very much for sharing those with me. I hope you have a fantastic week. Happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you soon.

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