Today on the Curious Handmade podcast, I’m talking about growth of all kinds. Join me as I introduce my beloved little plant family, get back to a long-neglected but wonderful embroidery project, and take my first tentative into an exciting new branch of design work that’s always scared me just a little. But isn’t that what growth usually feels like? It’s a short, sweet, and lighthearted episode this time, so grab your favourite project and let’s knit a few rows together (or maybe do a small bit of stitching!)
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GROW embroidery by Brynn and Co
Brynn and Co on Instagram
Eden Seeds – organic seed company
Sweater Design School by Clare Mountain
@sister.mountain (Clare Mountain) on Instagram
@laine_magazine on Instagram
The second secret sock design for The Handmade Sock Society 4 will be revealed next week! Follow the below links to join the fun.
#thehandmadesocksociety on Instagram
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Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 327. 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 full show notes and transcript on my website at curioushandmade.com.
Hello, and welcome to the show today. I think it would be a little bit more upbeat than last week. Thank you for all your lovely comments. I’m fine. I was just a bit sad last week and I thought I would share it with you. I hope it was okay with you to do that. And this week, I’m back to my cheerful self with lots of crafty chat for you today.
I have really been enjoying having my little themes for the week. I initially decided to create a theme for the week for the podcast, and it’s been great because it’s really given me a fresh take on some of my craft projects. And what I mean by that is once I think about my theme and decide what I’m going to talk about on the podcast for the week, it’s making me do a little bit of planning and find projects that inspire the theme, or sometimes I’m working on a project and that inspires the theme the other way around.
So this week the theme is ‘Grow’, and that has really been inspired by me pulling out a little embroidery project that I started probably a couple of years ago, I don’t know, a long, long time ago. And it’s an embroidery kit that I purchased from Brynn & Co, and she has a lovely business designing and creating embroidery kits, and is based here on the Sunshine Coast. So she attends local markets, and of course, has an online shop as well.
I don’t know how I found her. It was definitely through Instagram. I’m not sure if someone else linked to her or whether she just popped up somehow. And I just loved her kits. And at the time I didn’t realize that she was local. I was in London at the time, so she obviously wasn’t local, but local to my family or my home base here in Australia.
And so I ordered two kits. One was the Grow kit, and one is the Love kit, but I started with Grow. Love is yet to be started. And what I mean by that is the design is the word grow with lots of plants coming out of it and surrounding it. So grow is white space, and then the plants are the embroidered part. And the same with love. Love is sort of etched out of the embroidery that grows up around it. I’m not sure if I’m describing that well enough for you to imagine, but I’ll put pictures on Instagram and the blog.
So I pulled this out because I was going through some drawers of works in progress, and I had done a little bit of work on it. I had embroidered a few leaves, and I thought I would work on it this week. So now I have a bit more filled in. I’ll take photos of before and after for my progress for the week so that you can see what I’ve done this week.
So that’s been quite delightful. It’s made a nice little change from knitting because I did do quite a bit of power knitting last week to finish my Habitation Throw. I kind of wanted to have it finished, to announce as a finished object on the podcast, and I managed to achieve that. But yes, there was quite a bit of knitting in the last few days of the week to be able to meet that goal. So it’s been nice to give my wrists a little bit of a break and do something a bit more gentle. I am looking forward to being able to hang this up in my office.
In our kitchen we have a really big central island bench space and I started putting my houseplants at the end of it, and they really liked that position in the house. It’s quite bright and light, but not direct sunlight. And now I think I’ve taken over about half of the workspace. So I might need to do a little bit of rearranging and put some of them in other parts of the house, but I have been a bit reluctant to because they seem to like it there quite a lot. I also have… I have a few plants in my office and they also seem to like it here. I guess it’s similar. It’s not too direct bright sunlight, but it is fairly, fairly bright. And they seem to be going quite well.
I’m not a hugely confident indoor plant grower. I seem to be able to keep them alive for a certain amount of time, and then they turn on me and I overwater them or do something wrong, I’m never quite sure what, and then I lose them. But yeah, so far so good. I was given a Monstera Adansonii. Find that a bit difficult to say because I’ve been saying ‘adanosi’ in my head for ages. I watched some YouTube videos and it’s adansonii, which is also known as the Swiss Cheese plant apparently, and it’s sort of a smaller variety of Monstera. And it’s just beautiful. I love it. This one was given to me by my friend, Wendy, who sent me a voucher to a local plant shop when I first moved back from London. And so I bought this plant with the voucher and it’s going really well. It’s created a lot more leaves and it’s gotten a lot bigger than when I bought it.
And so I decided after watching a really inspiring YouTube video by Pick Up Limes. She has an amazing vegan recipe cooking channel on YouTube, but she also does some lifestyle-y videos and sort of motivational, positive thinking videos, as well as having some indoor plant care videos. She has the most amazing indoor jungle in her studio.
So she did a video which I’ll link to, for how to propagate some plants. And she didn’t particularly do the Monstera adansonii, but she did do just a regular Monstera. And that gave me the idea to propagate my plant. So I looked up some videos on how to do that. And I will try and record that on video as well. If I can get Sophie to help me this weekend, I’ll do a little video on my propagation attempt. I’m obviously not an expert, but it might be fun.
So I’m trying to grow some more little Monstera babies. And I picked up some tips, but I might share those in the video if I get to record that on looking after this particular plant. And the other thing that I’ve been growing this week, which I did quite a bit a few months ago last year and then stopped, was growing sprouts. And I think I got a bit put off because I had a bad batch. I don’t think I kept up with the daily watering for a few days and they basically rotted. And it just wasn’t very nice.
So I had a bit of a break and thought, “Oh, I should get back into that.” So I ordered some broccoli sprouts seeds from a, not local, they’re, I think in Victoria possibly, organic seed company. And I had some alfalfa. So I’m growing another batch of sprouts, which is so nice for salads and sandwiches and pip up so many dish dishes, and they’re so nutritious and pretty easy to grow if you remember to wash them a couple of times a day. So that’s my little public service announcement. Growing sprouts is the best thing. I’m not much of a green thumb. I’m trying and really keen to improve, but sprouts are pretty easy generally. So highly recommended to try that. Especially if you don’t have much outdoor space or limited indoor space, it’s really good bang for your buck.
And the other thing I thought I would talk about today is Sweater Design School by Clare Mountain. And this was another Instagram inspired activity. I felt like Clare on Instagram, she’s a great sweater designer. You might remember if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while that I knit her design, the Hay pullover, which was in Laine magazine, issue three, and it’s a lovely drop shoulder pullover. And I really, really enjoyed knitting that sweater.
And so when I saw her course that she was offering, Sweater Design School, I decided to sign up for it. If you’ve been listening for a while as well, you might also know that I’ve been thinking about designing sweaters for a really long time, but never taken action. And so I thought by signing up for her course, it might really inspire me to start actually putting some ideas down on paper, maybe even getting to the point of creating and design, who knows.
And so far, oh, I think we’re in week four now, and it’s been so much fun. It’s a brilliant group of other people taking the course. And we have a Facebook group where people have been sharing mood boards and swatches, and it’s been so much fun. I have been not participating because I just haven’t had time. I’ve been doing lots and lots of design work for upcoming collections. But I’ve been following along and it’s really inspiring me. So hopefully this course will finally give me the kick up the bottom to expand and grow beyond my comfort zone a little bit. So watch this space.
I have been thinking about this for some time, and I have been collecting sweater quantities of yarn with the idea of actually designing something, not just knitting someone else’s design. One of the yarns I’m looking at using is Lore, L-O-R-E, by The Fibre Co. and it’s just such a gorgeous yarn. Daphne gave me this yarn maybe about three years ago because I had told her I’m thinking about designing a sweater and she very, very kindly gifted me a sweater quantity for yarn support. So I feel like that would be a really, really lovely place to start. I think that this yarn would just be perfect for a cozy sweater of some kind.
I have planted some seeds just to keep the theme going. And I’m now waiting for them to peek up above the earth with some little shoots. I’m telling you all of this for a little bit of accountability, just edging myself towards actually doing something about this dream. And I don’t know if Clare’s going to be opening up her course again in the future. I’m sure she will. I’m not sure when. But highly, highly recommended. It’s been brilliant so far and a lot of fun. So thank you so much, Clare. Just before I sign off, I would like to thank my sponsor A Yarn Story.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the episode this week. Thank you once again for all your lovely messages in the last week. And I hope you’re all well and thriving, and I’ll talk to you again soon. Happy knitting.