CH 317: The Cheering Socks and gifts for yourself

the Cheering Socks, knit in white with pink contrast cuff, heel and toes. Knitting Pattern by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade

Today I’m talking about our latest Knitvent 2020 pattern, the Cheering Socks, and the lovely yarn I chose for the sample. I’ve been doing some of early Christmas shopping too, including some gifts for myself. A little bit of indulgence seems called for these days, and I’ve been finding comfort and joy in little treats from some special handmade suppliers.

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Show links:

The Cheering Socks

Knitvent 2020 on Ravelry

Knitvent 2020 on Gumroad

Wren and Ollie

Sweet Fiber

Tree Fox

Tree Fox on Instagram

Boreal Folk

Boreal Folk on Instagram

Joji and Co

Show Transcript

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 317. 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, knitters. I hope you’re well, and thank you for joining me for a chat today. I hope you having a good week and I am in a bit of a funny mood today, I have to say. It’s really warm and sunny here, and it’s making me feel like childhood summer holidays. The weather is just, yeah, it’s really humid and warm. And I don’t know, something in my brain is just telling me I should be at the beach.

So now I’m here having a little chat with you, which is very nice and I’ve got a nice cup of tea and we just released the fifth pattern for Knitvent 2020. So nearly at the end of Knitvent already, and November is flying by. So the pattern that was released yesterday is the Cheering Socks. And the description for the socks goes, that bustle behind the door, just before it’s thrown open in welcome. A melting hug, a mug of something warm and comforting, a glass of something cold and sparkling, the spicy scent of gingerbread wafting in from the kitchen, the rustle of wrapping paper, and a gasp of surprise. Holiday cheer happens in these tiny moments. It lives in hospitality, generosity, and a heartfelt wish for happiness.

The Cheering Socks were inspired by these moments of happiness and coziness. I love wearing socks and I have an embarrassing secret. I’ve probably mentioned this on the podcast before, so it’s probably not a secret at all, but I wear socks to bed every night, even when it’s boiling hot weather. It’s kind of a obsession. Or… It’s a thing. I have to do it. I can’t sleep if I don’t. So I always enjoy hand-knitted socks. And so when I found this particular yarn, it really inspired the design. And I think this was the beginning of the Knitvent collection for me, probably started with the yarn.

So the yarn is Wren and Ollie Purist, which is a hundred percent Corriedale Merino wool. And it’s an Australian yarn. Wren and Ollie is based in Australia, and does gorgeous indie dyed yarns, lots of different colors. I’ve used her yarn in past Knitvent collections for hats and other accessories. And so when I saw this Purist base, I just thought it looked so cozy, and it might not be the base you would think of for sock yarn necessarily because it doesn’t have nylon in it. So perhaps this yarn might not be the most hard-wearing for socks, but I’m imagining them for bed socks or more like cozy socks to wear indoors. And if you’re wanting more hard-wearing socks, you can choose more of a traditional sock yarn that has some nylon in it or something like that.

But I knit two pairs of socks in this particular base and it is really, really gorgeous. I love knitting with it. And I am now thinking about what else I could knit with this yarn, because it’s really lovely. It’s a fingering weight, and I think when I’ve included socks in Knitvent previously, I’ve made them DK weight, because I usually tend towards faster gift knits for my Knitvent projects. But this year I’ve gone a bit more generous with the projects. And yeah, I just decided to do a traditional fingering weight socks this time, which might be a little bit more of a time commitment that some people might want to do for a gift knit. But anyway, that’s what I’ve done. And if you are a big sock knitting fan you’ll enjoy these ones.

I think it’s quite a traditional design with the cable, but I really feel like the twisted rib panels on either side of the cable make it look quite modern at the same time. So I really like the look of them and I hope you do too. And I have knit them with a contrasting cuff, heel and toe, which you can do some or all of those or no contrast. And I’ve written them in four sizes this time. So there’s my usual, large, medium, small, and an even smaller size if you’re wanting to maybe knit these for a child, a gift for a child.

So I hope you’re enjoying the Knitvent collection so far. I have used the same panel or motif in three of the patterns. I liked it so much. I liked the really simple but effective cable. And we just really enjoyed the look of the cable with the twisted rib on the hat, and the cowl, and now the socks. So you can have a matchy-matchy set, and of course the first pattern, which was the Hearten Cowl for your advent collection. And I see some people are dipping into their advent calendars already, and some people using other yarn and saving their advent calendars for December the first. So that’s very fun to see what people are doing with that one.

And then next week is the last pattern in the collection for the year. So I can’t believe it’s come around so quickly and I will be releasing the patterns as single patterns a week or so after the last pattern is released, so that if people have their eye on one of the patterns, they can just get that one and not have to purchase the whole collection.

Speaking of advent sets, I was going along thinking I was being quite virtuous for not having purchased an advent set this year. I do really love them. And then a couple of weeks ago I had an email from Sweet Fiber saying, oh, your advent set will be ready to post soon. And I’d completely forgotten that I’d ordered it. So how nice a surprise was that? I’d purchased it I don’t know when, really early in the year I think she put them up for sale, and I love Sweet Fiber colors so much that I was tempted into purchasing a advent kit, because I just know that I will love the colors. And then so I was completely surprised, I had completely forgotten that I’d ordered it.

And then when it arrived yesterday, I’d completely forgotten again that it’s coming. So I am very forgetful, let’s just say. So that’s super exciting. And now I am going to have to really try and not be tempted to open up all the colors to see what they are, before December the first. I’m not even sure that I’m even going to try. I’ll have to think about it. Maybe if I just put it away, I’ll forget again that I have it, and not be tempted if I just put it out of sight for a while, probably knowing me at the moment that will happen. I’ll pull it out next year thinking, what on earth is this?

So, anyway, so that was quite exciting. And I have been doing a little bit of shopping lately online. I’ve been so good all year, and then in the last few weeks, I’ve just gone a bit crazy. I discovered this beautiful skincare that is made by hand by somebody. And it’s by a business called Tree Fox, and they are nearby to where I live here on the coast in the Hinterland. And I’ve been following her Instagram for some time and purchased some of the products, and then purchased a second batch of the products because I really liked them so much. I wanted to get some of their face cleanser, which is an oil based cleanser for Sophie. Well, actually Sophie stole mine. So then I had to get one for myself, and a face butter and a really, really beautiful lip balm.

And it all comes in really environmentally friendly packaging and just beautiful, beautiful products. It reminds me a little bit of some beauty products I bought at Knit City in Vancouver a couple of years ago by Boreal Folk, and it’s a very similar type of product. And if you aren’t following Boreal Folk on Instagram, that just have a delightful Instagram feed with a beautiful alternative lifestyle, living in a beautiful little mobile home and a mobile apothecary to make the products. It’s just beautiful, in the Canadian forest. So that’s really nice. And these products really remind me of that.

So I’m delighted to find some local skincare products that remind me of those beautiful products I bought in Vancouver a couple of years ago. I’ve also been purchasing some fabric. I’m getting into patchwork again, as you probably have noted from previous episodes where I’ve talked about my Hexi English paper piecing obsession, and I’m also going to make some quilts, and Sophie and I have been talking about making lavender sachets for gifts and possibly doing a little online store, a project for her to do some making and maybe get in to a little bit of entrepreneurial spirit.

So we’ll see, she doesn’t seem to be getting into that too much, but we’ve started cutting out some fabric and ordered some lavender. So we’ll see. Watch this space, whether we get that off the ground before Christmas. I’ve also been enjoying a couple of new Joji and Co purchases. Joji and Co made a Pacific friendly shop update time a few weeks ago, and so I took full advantage of that because usually their updates are at one in the morning for me. And I’ve just been like, oh, well, that’s probably a good thing that I’m not tempted, but then they had this very friendly update time. And I took advantage of that and bought a few lovely bags. So I’ve been enjoying using those, and their mail service is incredible. They just arrive, less than a week after I placed the order. So that’s just incredible. They have an amazing, amazing delivery time.

So those are a few of the early Christmas presents I have treated myself to. And I’m curious to know if you’ve made any little purchases for yourself or maybe gifts for other people? I’ll need to think about teachers gifts, because this is the end of the school year for us in a couple of weeks. Maybe I can get Sophie organized to make some lavender sachets for some of the teachers. Yes, we’ll be heading into our long summer break soon, here in Australia. And I think I’m pretty ready for it. I think the girls are too, so we’re looking forward to that, but in the meantime, I better keep doing a little bit of work. I still have a bit to do before then, before they’re off school.

So I hope you have a wonderful week. And with me, in doing a final sprint to get a few things done, and maybe a few projects finished before the end of the year. Happy knitting. And I’ll talk to you again soon.

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