As we find our feet in this new month of February, I’m settling into my new word for the year, connection. On today’s episode, I’m chatting about some of the ways it’s starting to appear more in my life, including my craft projects. I’m also introducing the very first pattern of The Handmade Sock Society 4: the Curling Mist Socks, and we have lots to discuss. It’s been a great start to the season with so many amazing knitters (and brave beginners) joining in.
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The Handmade Sock Society 4 has begun; the first pattern The Curling Mist Socks is available now with 5 more mystery sock patterns to follow each month until July!
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Knit 20 for 2021 January winners!
Knit 20 For 2021 FO January Thread (now closed)
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Welcome to The Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 324. 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 and transcript on my website at curioushandmade.com. I’d like to say a big thank you to my sponsor, Meadow Yarn.
Hello, and welcome to the show. Grab a beverage of your choice and join me for a chat about knitting and life. As the month of January went by, I was pondering about my word for the year, which is ‘connection’, this year. And have been coming up with a few little ideas about what that might mean for me. I’m thinking maybe the first baby step I can do is as part of also my goal of doing a digital declutter is to update my contacts on my phone with current addresses and maybe if I can add birthdays. And so then I have that information and can send birthday cards. I’m not committing to sending everybody a birthday card for my friends listening to this because I’m pretty hopeless at getting to the post office. It’s a little idea, and I thought I could take the first step and get organized.
And I also need to work out how to work the Google calendar function to add birthdays so that they pop up every year. I know I have a sort of a birthday calendar in there. I’m not quite sure how to update it though. I don’t know. Anyway, that can’t be too difficult to find out how to do so that’s something else that I plan to investigate. And then finally, on that idea to purchase some nice sort of generic, as in like no particular message on them, some nice greeting cards on Etsy, or maybe at a local market if I see some. And create a little correspondence kit so that it’s easy to do that when the mood takes me. So, that’s been fun.
And all righty, since putting the word sort of out there and being aware and conscious of wanting to connect more, it has definitely had that effect, if that makes any sense whatsoever. I have had two phone calls from long lost friends, just out of the blue. They would not have known about my word for the year. A friend that I went to high school with and a friend from London that has since moved back to Australia. She moved back about seven years ago, one of my knitting friends Mel, and she called me out of the blue. So, that’s been pretty cool.
And today, or this afternoon, I am going to have a coffee with a mom from school, one of my kid’s friends and I reached out to her, we haven’t really caught up at all. She’s a new friend, hopefully. And yeah, I thought you just need to be a bit braver about contacting people rather than waiting for people to contact you. As the new person in town, I think that’s the way it has to work. Unfortunately, as an introvert, I usually just wait to meet an extroverted person and just go along with them. I think I’ve seen a funny cartoon or two about that. So yeah, that’s a little update on my word for the year.
And my current work in progress is also come about from a connection. My friend Julia contacted me because I had posted on Instagram about wanting to sew a dress or two or five. And she said she was wanting to do that as well. So why don’t we have a little informal sew along. So, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we have set up the Januarydresssal hashtag. And obviously it’s not January anymore, but that’s okay. But I use that as a prompt on the weekend for my personal craft time. I’m trying to set aside weekends to do fun things, personal things, personal craft projects, and trying to avoid working on the weekends. And so, that will be a bit of a practice and a rhythm to get into.
But on Sunday I thought, “Right, it’s the last day of January. I better make a start on this sew along.| So I pulled out the Sudley dress pattern by Megan Nielsen and spent quite a bit of time tracing the size that I’ve decided on finally. And then cutting out the fabric. So that felt really good. It took me ages. I think the fabric is a little bit, what do you say? Slippery? It’s a little bit drapy. So I think that didn’t help. In terms of speed of cutting had to be quite careful that it was pinned in a lot of places, but yes, I got it cut out. Then the next step was that I had bought an overlocker or a serger, I don’t know, maybe June last year. It was sort of to get it in time for the financial year, end of financial year here in Australia. So I had bought it and then hadn’t used it yet.
So of course threading an overlocker is a little bit daunting. And I bought a version that is meant to be quite easy to thread. And so I had a go at that last night. I don’t think I’ve got it quite right though, because it’s pulling a little bit, so I need to go back and maybe in daylight, be a little bit easier. My eyes are getting a little bit old and fuzzy. So maybe with better light and a little bit of more concentration on the directions, I’ll be able to troubleshoot whatever’s not quite working. But it was encouraging that I sort of, at least made a start. The first step is always the hardest. And then by the time this is published, I will have my dress. I am committing to that.
So I have a couple of days. I’m recording this midweek and yeah, I’m just putting it out there that I’m committing to finishing that thing. I don’t think it will take too long to sew up. It’s a really simple pattern. So, I’m optimistic. Anyway, if you want to stay tuned to see how that commitment went, maybe check out Instagram, I’ll post the FO on Friday. And that was just a really nice tie-in to connecting with my friend Julia. So, thank you so much, Julia, for suggesting that, because if you hadn’t, I’m sure the big stash of fabric and patterns would just be sitting there and the serger would also just be sitting there. So I feel great about the progress so far.
The other project that I’ve been working on this week is also a sewing project, a quilting project. And I’ve been working on my Houses Quilt, and I’m working on the blocks. And this is also a really lovely project that connects me with my mom, friends in London, because they gave me the fabric for this, for my 40th birthday, or they gave me a voucher for a now closed fabric and they used to do classes, the Make Lounge or the Makery, something like that in Islington. And yes, by the time I used my voucher, which was a year after my birthday, just before it was expiring, they were actually closing down. So I managed to get some fabric with my voucher at a good discount. But yes, anyway, that’s many years ago now.
So I’m super happy about using that fabric and thinking a lot about my friends in London, while I’m doing that. And yes, sending out my best wishes and love to them going through a third lockdown, kids home from school, and not much of an end in sight to that. So my heart goes out to them and wishing them all the strength and courage and I don’t know, sanity that they can possibly find.
So I’ll wrap up with a couple of announcements. A rather big announcement is that the first pattern for the Handmade Sock Society Season Four was published yesterday. It dropped for members and I would love to introduced to you the Curling Mist socks. I’ll just read the description, I love Amanda’s descriptions that she writes for my patterns. Here in the eucalyptus forest, first thing in the morning, it’s like another world. For a few magical hours just before the sun takes over, this place is cool and dim. Sculptural gum trays reach for the sky. Mist rises from the forest floor, curling around the trunks and branches. Crush a few leaves gently in your hand and breathe deeply that wonderful scent part honey, part peppermint part citrus will follow you all the way home.
The Curling Mist socks capture the fresh loveliness of an early walk in the inner Australian forest. They are knit from the top down with tiny cables that begin right at the edge and continue all over the leg and onto the top of the foot. The pattern ends with a ribbed heel flap and gusset and a wedge toe. Of course, you can easily substitute your favorite finishes if you have a preferred heel. And there are three sizes for your ideal fit. Thank you so, so much to everybody who has joined The Sock Society this year, I do really enjoy designing socks. I thought when I first started that I would never have that many ideas, but somehow there’s something about the creative constraints of putting a design on to a little sock that brings out my creativity. And I just love it.
So I’m so pleased that so many of you have joined and so many beginner sock knitters. I’m really excited about that. And I do hope that you enjoy these patterns .They’re, I don’t think too difficult, fairly straightforward. I don’t personally love knitting super complicated patterns. And so most of my designs end up being fairly easy with enough interest to not get bored. Yes, I hope all the new sock knitters love it as much as I do. And all the regular sock knitters can find some fresh designs in the collection.
And just finally, an announcement of the winners of Knit20for021 in January. We have a knit-along that will be going throughout the year. Yeah, it’s a challenge with 20 prompts and you can find out all about that on my website. There is a link on the top menu bar on the right-hand side, if you’d like to know more about that. And the winners for January are on Ravelry, post number 116 is rahgallagher. Her name is Rebecca, she says on Ravelry that she lives in New York. She has knit an Audrey Cardigan by Isabel Kramer and has nominated Magpie Fibers as her preferred indie dyer. So a good choice there, with the beautiful Magpie Fibers. And the Instagram winner is @handknitonnobhill . And Marcy has made a Project Piece 2017 Shawl. So this goes into the work in progress category and her nominated yarn store is Little Knits Seattle.
So thank you to everybody who has participated in January Knit20for021. And we will be starting a thread for February on Ravelry, and you can post using the hashtag #knit20for2021 on Instagram. And we will find your entries there. Congratulations to the winners. It’s lovely looking through the threads and on Instagram and seeing what everybody is up to with their knitting at the moment. That’s all the news I have for you today. Before I sign off, I’d like to thank my sponsor, A Yarn Story.
I hope everybody has a fantastic week and stays healthy and safe. I’ll talk to you again soon. Happy knitting.