Episode 336: The Curling Mist Shawl and so much KAL news!

Helen Stewart, Curious Handmade wearing her own design, the Curling Mist shawl. There is green fields. and in the background, beyond the fields, a heavy curling mist rises into the hills

I’m back from my sick days with a friendly catch up chat. I’m making some progress on my personal projects, and I have lots and lots of KAL news, including winners from recent giveaways, a knit along by one of my favourite yarn companies and a brand new Curious Handmade knitalong that’s a little different from anything we’ve done before. I’ve also got a more in-depth introduction to our very first shawl of The Shawl Society 5.

Show Sponsors

Meadow Yarn; Anj is the heart, mind, and hand behind Meadow Yarn. She spends her days dying yarn and telling stories in the Suffolk countryside. The regular hand dyed shades you’ll find in their online shop are influenced by the surrounding landscape, the north sea coast, and the big skies overhead. For an extra dose of imagination with your knitting, Anj also releases her limited edition yarn fictions from time to time. These capsule yarn collections are inspired by her original short stories. You can download them and read along as you knit. As well as their own label, Hand Dyed Yarn, Meadow Yarn also stocks some of Anj’s personal favorite wools and supplies, Icelandic Lopi, Hazel Knits, KnitPro needles and notions, Eucalan wool wash, and arrange of inspirational journals and magazines. You can find them at meadowyarn.co.uk.

Find all your favourite luxury yarns and discover plenty more at A Yarn Story, Bath’s premier yarn store based in Walcot Street, Bath, UK. From gorgeous skeins by The Fibre Co and Walcot Yarns to a fine selection from Shibui Knits, La Bien Aimée, House of a la Mode, and Julie Asselin, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. With friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you browse, there is plenty for the discerning knitter to enjoy. Visit the store at Walcot Street, Bath or shop online at www.ayarnstory.co.uk.

Show Links:

Píosa Cardigan by Renée Callahan

The Australian Sheep & Wool Show

English Paper Piercing on Craftsy’s YouTube channel 

The Fibre Co KAL

One Sock Pattern  and Amble Yarn by The Fibre Company 

#thefibrecoonesockkal on Instagram 

The Fibre Co Sock KAL on Ravelry 

The Fibre Co on Facebook 

Zoom link for The Fibre Co Cast On Party 

Skein Sisters

The Knit 20 for 2021 KAL

Join in with the Knit 20 for 2021 KAL by sharing your finished object photos here in the May FO Thread on Ravelry  (Don’t worry if you are not quite finished, there will be a new thread for June in the Curious Handmade Group )

You can also enter on Instagram with the hashtag #knit20for2021 and don’t forget to nominate a local yarn shop or indie dyer in case you win!

For more information on how the monthly knitalong works and how to enter, visit this page for all the details.

Knit 20 for 2021 Toy KAL

Let’s get our toy knit ticked off knit20for2021 together;

Join me on a Curious Handmade Knit Along

Image: Sindy, the toy cavoodle, with her toy lamb

We’re also going to start a  knit20for2021 toy KAL; I need your support and encouragement to help me tick ‘toy’ off my list, so I’ve decided to add this pop-up event to the regular  #knit20for2020 KAL. There are prizes to be won and so much cuteness to come.  

The rules are simple:

  • You can enter with any knitted or crocheted toy pattern
  • It’s okay if you finish a WIP or cast on a new toy
  • Post a photo of your finished toy on Instagram with the hashtag #knit20for2021TOY or in the thread in the Curious Handmade Ravelry Group.by July 31st. 


Barrett Wool Co.

Panda Kit by Susan B. Anderson  

Sadie Souris Kit by Cinthia Vallet at Wild and Woolly

#sadiesouris on Instagram  

The Wool Kitchen 

The Shawl Society 5

The first  pattern, The Curling Mist Shawl  is out now with 5 more mystery shawl patterns to follow each month until October 

Yarn Spoiler Thread on Ravelry 

The Shawl Society 5 on Gumroad 

The Shawl Society 5 on Ravelry  

#tss5  and theshawlsociety5 on Instagram 

Amazing Test Knitters Tracy @comfyredcouch & Deb @tinkhickman

Wonderful sample knitter Wendy  @wendeecut1er

The Curling Mist Shawl sample was made with  Merino Silk Sport by Skein Yarn

The Shawl Society 5 Yarn Teaser 2 featuring Happy Hank

The Shawl Society 5 Giveaway Winners 

Congratulations to all winners and thank you to all who participated

Winners can contact me via email (support@curioushandmade.com) or on Ravelry 

Ravelry Grand Prize Winner  Post 45 by rainbowmittens

Instagram Grand Prize Winner @birdsoup1

Ravelry pattern winners (winning a free CH Pattern of their choice)

Post 6  by stellacometa Post 96 by itzmeshel

Post 27 by monacarterknight Post 84 by SpinningtoKnit

Post 78 by rowe8ks Post 103 by mrspetro

Post 11 by HelenMc Post 31 by cgob

Post 107 by bcagility Post 54 by Tawanna2

Instagram pattern winners (winning a free CH Pattern of their choice)




Free Curious Handmade Workshops

Simply Curious Socks: Free Beginner Sock Knitting Pattern & Workshop The Spindrift Shawl: Free Beginner Shawl Knitting Pattern & Workshop

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, and join our Curious Crew Newsletter at the link below

Show transcript:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 336. 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.

Hello, and welcome to the show. I missed talking to you last week because I had a really bad cold, and you can probably still hear it a little bit in my voice. It’s lingering on, still have a bit of a cough, but I’m feeling a lot better. Both the girls had some time off school, sick with it as well. So we were all laid low for a while then. I didn’t do very much work last week as a result, but I did take the opportunity of having some sick days to get up-to-date on some personal admin, do a bit of tidying up in the office. I did a little bit of rearranging in my office/studio and worked on some personal projects. So that was really satisfying.

I got a bee in my bonnet just as I was starting to get sick to really do a good re-arrange in my office and I started making a video, but I ended up having a bit of a coughing fit as I was making the videos so I haven’t yet recorded the after video and it’s not quite a hundred percent finished yet either. So perhaps this weekend, I will be able to just finish that off and do an after video and get it up on YouTube hopefully.

I have been working on my Píosa Cardigan by Renée Callahan, and I have almost finished one sleeve and will quickly start the second sleeve while I’m on a roll with that. I am really motivated to finish this soon because in July, I’m going down to the Bendigo Sheep And Wool festival, that’s in Victoria. Hopefully that will all be fine. They are just having a little COVID outbreak at the moment. So it’s always a little bit up and down between traveling between the different states here in Australia, because they tend to shut the borders when another state has an outbreak. So fingers crossed by then it will be all fine and I can go down because I’m really looking forward to it. And I thought I would try and have a new garment to wear, because it will be quite cold down there compared to up here in Queensland.

And I’ve also been working on my hexie-a-day-in-May English paper piecing quilt project, and that’s been going really well. I wasn’t sure at the beginning if I would be able to keep it up, but I have been able to not necessarily make a hexie every day, but keep up with the number of days overall, if that makes sense. I.e. make two on Sundays and skip other days. So I’m up to date with that, which is super exciting. And it’s super nice to make some progress on that project because it’s a really big project and yeah..I’ll do a little bit more of an update next week when I’m finished, just to see if I managed to make these last few days and keep up before… for the end of the month.

So in today’s show, I have two knit alongs to announce: one that is hosted by The Fibre Company, and one hosted by me. I will announce the first shawl of The Shawl Society that was published last week that I was hoping to announce in last week’s episode. That didn’t happen. And also prizes from the launch giveaway for The Shawl Society.

So the first knit along that I wanted to share with you is The Fibre Company sock knit along in June. They are having a month of socks, celebrating a month of sock knitting. And of course, I’m very happy to share that with you and promote that. I’m participating as a prize giver, prize donator for that. And I’m also participating as a knitter. So the knit along is starting on the first of June and is going until the 30th of June. And I’ll just read out their little blurb.

Any sock knitter can participate in The Fibre Co One Sock KAL, as long as they are either knitting the One Sock pattern, which is a pattern published by The Fibre Company and written by Kate Atherley and/or knitting any other sock pattern with Amble sock yarn, which is by The Fibre Company. They say, we are supporting newbie sock knitters with tutorials, kits and encouragement and experienced sock knitters are very welcome to knit any sock pattern they would like as long as they are using The Fibre Company Amble yarn, which is a fairly new yarn to The Fibre Company and they have been developing this yarn for a really long time and just getting this blend perfect. And I’m looking forward to hearing more about that. They are hosting a kickoff cast on via Zoom, so anybody can participate in that Zoom call and I’ll post a link to that in the show notes, as well as all the other details. And you can participate in this knit along on Ravelry, Facebook and Instagram. They’re hosting the knit along on all three places.

So on Ravelry, they’ll have a thread in the chat section. On Facebook, they are hosting it in The Fibre Co Knit And Crochet Facebook group. And on Instagram at The Fibre Company. And the hashtag is #TheFibreCo and fiber is spelled the English way, F-I-B-R-E, co C-O, one as in O-N-E, sock K-A-L. So #thefibrecoonesockKAL is the hashtag and yeah, there’s going to be prizes and updates and it’s going to be really fun.

So I just jumped online to order some Amble yarn. And I’ve ordered this from Skein Sisters here in Australia. I just Googled The Fiber Co Amble Australia and Skein Sisters, which is a yarn shop in Sydney was stocking it. So I ordered the Buttermere colorway, which is a really vibrant yellowy goldy color. And, yeah, I just thought I’d do that for a bit of fun to have a really bright, fun, cheerful color. And I haven’t decided on a pattern yet, but I might do the One Sock pattern or I might just knit one of my patterns, I’m not sure. Or someone else’s. I’m not sure yet, but I will satisfy the criteria for the knit along by at least using Amble.

So everyone’s welcome to join in and I will, yeah, put a few more links and details in the show notes for you if you’re interested.

So the next knit along that I wanted to share with you is the Knit 20 for 21 Toy knit along. And I decided to host this knit along as a little bit of accountability and encouragement for myself. So it’s a completely selfish knit along that I’m hosting here but I thought it could be really fun. And so basically it’s very simple. Just knit a toy to be able to tick off the prompt in the Knit 20 for 21 challenge that I’m hosting all year long. And I’m going to have this run for June and July because I thought no myself, be Helen and know that one month might not be enough time. So why not give myself two months and give everybody two months so that we all have plenty of time to prepare and finish our toy?

I am fairly well prepared because I have two kits that I’ve had for some time now. So I am going to try and complete two toys. I’ll be happy if I just do one, but I have two kits. So I thought I’ll try and do both of them. So the first kit that I purchased is from Barrett Wool Co to knit the Panda by Susan B. Anderson. And I just saw this on Instagram. I don’t know how long ago I ordered this, ages and ages. More than a year. It’s the cutest thing. I think actually I ordered it probably around last February or maybe March, and then it took ages to arrive because COVID had just hit. So I’ve probably had it for about a year now, which isn’t too bad for me. It’s not deep-stash yet, so I can’t tick that one, but yeah, a super cute toy pattern. And I have the yarn and the gorgeous little heart shaped buttons and everything I need to make a Panda.

And then I think maybe just before Christmas, perhaps, I can’t remember either when I ordered this one, but I ordered a Sadie Souris kit from Wild And Wooly in London. They were doing a kit with gorgeous yarn by my dear friend, Helen of The Wool Kitchen and including the pattern by Cinthia. Her Instagram and design name is From Cinthia with a C. And I just fell in love with her adorable toy patterns and this beautiful kit came up in one of my favorite indie dyers yarn, so I couldn’t resist that. And I have been slightly daunted on that one by the very lengthy instructions. But I think instead of being daunted, I should really be reassured that these instructions will take me through very thoroughly to knit my Sadie Souris, my little mouse.

So I’m reframing my mindset, getting my mindset straight and yeah, really looking forward to it. So please do join me. I’m going to say WIPs are okay because really, I just want to encourage people to finish a toy that we can tick off our toy prompt for the Knit 20 for 2021 challenge. And the hashtag is going to be #Knit20for2021toy. And so you just need to either post a finished object in the thread that I’ll set up on Ravelry by the 31st of July, or a finished toy with the hashtag #Knit20for2021toy on Instagram.

I’m going to have a prize for Ravelry and Instagram. The prizes are going to be a $50 US voucher for a yarn store or indie dyer of your choice, which has become my go-to prize at the moment. It seems to be working really well for people and it’s working really well for me. I might come up with some other fun prizes as we go along as well, but there would definitely be a voucher for Instagram and Ravelry and yeah. I hope that some people will join me in knitting my toys and we can give each other encouragement and have fun sharing different toy patterns and maybe tips on toy knitting for me as a newbie toy knitter.

On to Shawl Society news. If you’ve signed up for the Shawl Society season five, you will have received your first pattern last week, which is the Curling Mist Shawl. And I’m so happy with this one. It’s such a simple pattern, but it’s so cozy and squishy to wear. I’m really looking forward to wearing this one in our winter, which is hopefully going to start soon. We only get about two weeks of winter here in Queensland so I’ll have to be quick, but I’m looking forward to wearing it. And even if I’m in a t-shirt sometimes it’s nice to wrap a shawl around my shoulders.

I’ll just read you the description for this shawl. If your heart is longing for peace, pay a visit to the forest just after dawn. If you could see trees breathing, it might look like this. Mist suspended in the morning air, drifting upwards through the forest canopy, swirling and the rare and welcome breeze. If you could hear trees talking, it might sound like this. Barely more than silence. The sound of a thousand leaves brushing by each other and back again. The Curling Mist Shawl is a meditation on the quiet beauty of the Australian eucalyptus forest. This asymmetrical triangle shawl is relaxing to knit and easy to wear. Casual relaxing sections of garter stitch alternate with a quick to memorize pattern of tiny, simple cables, like wisps of fog curling through the trees. It is the perfect project to pick up and savor in peaceful moments. Undemanding, but absorbing.

The yarn I used for this shawl is really beautiful. It’s a sport weight blend of 50% merino and 50% silk from Skein Yarn, who is an Australian indie dyer. Kristin has been a friend for many years now, and if you’re not able to get hold of this particular yarn, it’s a really flexible pattern. I think that fingering weight works really well. Sport weight and other sport weight, or even DK weight will be great for this particular pattern and just adjust your needles to a fabric that you like. I’ve suggested four millimeter US six size needles in the pattern for the sport weight. And I usually recommend four millimeter needles for fingering weight for shawls. But if you wanted something a little bit tighter, a little bit squishier, you could go down to 3.75 millimeters or 3.5 for fingering weight. And for DK weight, I usually recommend either 4.5 millimeter or five millimeter needles for a slightly thicker yarn.

And with my shawl patterns, I usually recommend a fairly large needle size relative to what you would normally use for say a sweater or something with a tighter gauge. I usually recommend a fairly loose gauge for shawls, but really it’s up to you and just find a gauge that you’re happy with and gauge isn’t really critical for shawls, I don’t think. They don’t need to particularly fit you, but of course you might use a different amount of yarn if you’re getting a different gauge.

I find gauge quite tricky as a knitter and as a designer because somebody can be getting the same gauge and use quite a different amount of yarn. And I’m not quite sure how that’s even possible, but I know that it happens and yeah, it’s just somehow the way people make their stitches so uniquely to them. So that’s one of the reasons I really like designing shawls because it doesn’t give people too many headaches with gauge, but yeah, so that’s just a little chat about gauge and yarn substitution.

With this yarn, it does have 50% silk, which makes it very drapey and beautiful for a shawl. So perhaps if you’re substituting another yarn, maybe finding some yarn with 20% silk or 20 to 50% silk would be really lovely. So yeah, so I hope that you’re enjoying this latest shawl pattern from me. We didn’t do The Shawl Society last year. So it’s been a little while. So I’m enjoying hosting another season of The Shawl Society and I hope you really enjoy it. I’m really excited about the patterns that I have for you this year.

When I did the photo shoot for the patterns recently, I just wanted to share a little story. We held the photo shoot quite close to where I live, but in the hinterland behind the Sunshine Coast. So a place in the… I don’t know if they’re mountains, but in the hills, just behind the coast. And when we arrived in the valley where the cottage, where we held the photo shoot is, the valley was full of mist. And we sort of drove over a hill and just could see this valley full of mist. And when we drove up to the cottage, it was just sort of drifting up through the trees. So it was so incredible that that happened for this first shawl. I just wanted to share that little behind the scenes story with you.

You can purchase this season of The Shawl Society either on Ravelry or on my Gumroad store. And there’ll be six patterns released, one per month for the next five months now.

I’d like to thank my sample knitter, Wendy, for knitting the beautiful sample and to my amazing test knitters, Tracy and Deb who knit fingering weight samples of the shawl. So if you want to see their shawls on either Instagram or Ravelry, you can see how it comes up in fingering weight.

For the launch, we hosted a competition on Ravelry and Instagram and I’ve drawn the winners and I’ll just announce the winners of the launch competition. On Ravelry we have post 45 who is rainbow mittens and on Instagram the grand prize winner is bird soup one. So congratulations and if you hear this announcement, you can get in touch to support at curioushandmade.com or we’ll get in touch with you as well.

I’m also giving away patterns to 10 winners on Ravelry and Instagram. So the 10 winners on Ravelry are stellacomita, itzmeshel, monacarterknight, SpinningtoKnit, rowe8ks, mrspetro, HelenMc, cgob, bcagility, Tawanna2. And we didn’t have as many entries on Instagram, so the pattern winners on Instagram are heatherhasyarn, gracieknits, and indobleutravel. So again, if you’ve heard your name, please get in touch either on Ravelry to HellsBells or support@curioushandmade.com on email.

Thank you so much for participating and joining in this season of the Shawl Society. I’ve had a lot of fun with it and I hope you do too.

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

I hope you’re having a good week wherever you are in the world. Happy knitting and I’ll talk to you again soon.

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