Episode 328: The Picnic Blanket Socks

The Picnic Blanket Socks deigned by Helen Stewart/Curious Handmade, with a picnic basket and red apples

It’s a very picnicky episode of the Curious Handmade Podcast today! We have a brand new sock design to celebrate, as the second pattern of The Handmade Sock Society was released yesterday. The Picnic Blanket socks are inspired by childhood memories, but they also inspired me to go for a little handmade picnic adventure myself. So I have those stories to share, along with my current creative projects. So pour yourself some fresh lemonade (or fresh coffee!) and join me for a crafty catch up.

Show Sponsors

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Show Links:

The second pattern of  Handmade Sock Society 4 is out now: The Picnic Blanket Socks!  It’s not too late to join the fun: we have 4 more mystery sock patterns to discover – one each month until July!

The Handmade Sock Society 4 on Ravelry

The Handmade Sock Society 4 on Gumroad 

#thehandmadesocksociety on Instagram

#thss4 on Instagram#thehandmadesocksociety4 on Instagram

Free Curious Handmade Workshops

Simply Curious Socks: Free Beginner Sock Knitting Pattern & Workshop 

The Spindrift Shawl: Free Beginner Shawl Knitting Pattern & Workshop 

Apple Tea Cake Recipe; delicious anytime, no need to wait for a picnic

Antiquity Sock Set by Loom Wool

@tinkhickman on Instagram

@comfyredcouch on Instagram

The Comfy Red Couch on YouTube

Primavera Hat by Renee Callahan 

Subscribe to East London Knits’s newsletter for a discount code on the Primavera Hat (valid until the 20th of March 2021)

For Beginner Briochers: Brioche tutorials by Renee Callahan on LoveCrafts.com

Píosa Cardigan by Renée Callahan

Simple Cookbook by Ottolenghi 

Come little leaves! pattern by Alice Jeffries

January’s Dress Sew Along The Sudley Dress is finished, perfect for a picnic. See the pattern and my review in the links below

Sudley Dress Pattern by Megan Nielsen

Sudley Dress Review on Curious Handmade Vlogmas

Join the Curious Handmade Group on Ravelry for  new pattern announcements, KALs, support and questions for patterns and any other fun things that come up.


Show transcript:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 328. 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 full show notes and transcript on my website at curioushandmade.com. I’d like to say a big thank you to my sponsor, A Yarn Story.

I was sent a gorgeous pattern by Renée Callahan this week, and it is also spring themed. It is called the Primavera Hat, which obviously means spring in Italian. It is a gorgeous brioche design with a beautiful flower on the crown. I’ll just read her description. She does have an introductory offer. If you subscribe to her newsletter, the East London Knit Newsletter, you’ll get an exclusive discount code for the hat and it is good until the Spring Equinox on the 20th of March. So there’s a little bit of time left to get that discount and sign up to Renee’s lovely newsletter.

Light and luxurious, the Primavera Hat was inspired by the idea of Tuscany in Spring. A hat for discerning beginner, brioche knitters, Primavera uses fingering/full ply white yarn and only 30 grams of each color, for a cozy hat with a turned up hem and slouchy fit. Renee also has some beginner brioche, how-to videos -tutorial videos- available as well.

All the details for that are on her Ravelry product page for the Primavera Hat. I might even give this one a try. I’ve been warming up to brioche after having done a couple of classes, one with Renée at the Country House Retreat a few years ago. I’m feeling ready. I think I can do it. This hat pattern is inspiring me. So thank you so much for the very gentle, generous nudge, Renée . It’s also reminding me to finish my Píosa Cardigan as well, which is another beautiful design by Renée .

I’ve been working on another Spring project, which is winding my scrap yarn into many balls. I have a little themed idea for a sweet project for these minis, but I’m still not quite sure I’ll have time to get it all together in time for an Easter, spring launch. Maybe Australian spring in a few months time. We’ll see, I’m just going to keep teasing you about it for the time being, but watch this space. I have been very much enjoying going through my scraps and I’ve sorted them all into sizes. I’m making some 20 gram minis, and some 10 gram minis, and five gram minis depending on how big the leftovers are. It’s been just so nice, just thinking about past projects and looking at the beautiful colors created by my indie dyer friends.

The main Curious Handmade news this week is that the second socks in The Handmade Sock Society were released yesterday. They are the Picnic Blanket Socks, and I’ll just read you the description for these socks.

Everything tastes better out in the fresh air. You can pack a wicker hamper with delicacies, or just wrap up some bread and jam and an apple or two. It almost doesn’t matter what you bring to eat, as long as there’s also a bottle of homemade lemonade. Add some sunshine, a soft blanket, and a good friend, or a good book. That’s really all you need for a magical picnic lunch. The Picnic Blanket Socks bring back memories of childhood afternoons spent eating sandwiches on the beach, or after a hike. Each sock starts from the top down, with a simple two by two rib cuff. The ruched stitch pattern on the leg is inspired by the gingham, seersucker picnic cloth my mum laid out for picnics when we were growing up. The design is finished with a slip stitch heel flap and gusset with with a rounded toe, but you can always feel free to substitute your own favorites.

The sample for these socks is knit in Loom Yarn Hand-dyed Yarns, Simple Sock Set in the colorway antiquity. Loom Yarn is a fairly new to me, indie dyer based in the UK. My dear friend, Deb, @tinkhickman introduced me to this indie dyer. So thank you, Deb, I think. It could be quite an expensive introduction. Her colors are just divine and so calm and elegant. I love them. The sample was knit in two colors, a contrasting heel and toe because the yarn came in a set and I decided to use it as a set. You could always knit them in one color, but if you have some scraps or a beautiful socks set, then you can use that.

I would just like to thank Deb so much for knitting the sample, and taking the beautiful photographs of these socks. Thank you also, so much to my wonderful test knitter Tracy, who is @comfyredcouch on Instagram and YouTube, as well as my tech editors, Emma and Anna. These socks are a really easy fun knit and I think are super cute. I hope you enjoy them too.

Publishing the Picnic Socks this week inspired us to go on a little picnic of our own. It’s pretty warm here, but if you can find a shady tree with a bit of a breeze, it’s quite lovely. I had thoughts of finding a secluded location and it was getting bigger than Ben-Hur in my mind. In the end, I decided to keep it really simple and go to our local park five minutes away. I made the corn bread from the Ottolenghi Simple book that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. It was so delicious, and ever since I made it, I was craving it again, it’s perfect picnic food. Also dug out an apple tea cake because I was feeling nostalgic. That is from a recipe book that I had from childhood. It’s such a nice recipe. I’m not even sure where it came from. I’ve handwritten it out into my little recipe book, so I can probably share it on the blog. I’ll have a look into that.

I took some picnic knitting along. I’m working on my Come Little Leaves! socks by Alice Jeffries. And of course, socks are a perfect picnic knit, very small and light and easy to knit a few rounds. That was lovely, highly recommend any socks for picnic knitting. Also, a simple shawl would be fun and perfect as well. I also had the perfect spring picnic outfit with my Sudley Dress and it’s blousy blooms. If you haven’t seen it, I posted a little pattern review video on YouTube about making the Sudley dress. You can check that out on my YouTube channel. I’ll put a link in the show notes to that.

If you happen to be looking for an easy, relaxing shawl pattern or some simple socks, I thought I would give a little plug for my Spindrift Shawl workshop and The Simply Curious Socks workshop. On my website I have links to both of those, and they include some emails about knitting shawls and socks, some helpful tips, as well as a free pattern. You can get the Spindrift Shawl pattern or the Simply Curious Socks, or both if you want to sign up for both, for free when you sign up to those on my website. I thought it would be a nice moment to mention those seeing as I was talking about relaxing picnic knitting. The Spindrift Shawl workshop has been available for a couple of years now, but the Simply Curious Socks are quite new. You might not have seen those. They’re basically my favorite  vanilla sock pattern written in the Curious Handmade percentage checklist style for easy reference.

Just before I sign off, I would like to thank my sponsor Meadow Yarn.

Thanks for joining me for a little chat. I hope you have a really good week. I’ll talk to you again soon. Happy knitting!

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