Episode 337: The Lavender Fields Socks

The Lavender Fields Socks in misty mauve, design by Helen Stewart, Curious Handmade

This week on the podcast we have lots of wonderful news. Our latest design from The Handmade Sock Society 4 came out this week, so I have a few stories from the design process to share. I’m also doing a very special giveaway for my birthday month (a free pattern for everyone!) Finally, I’ve got updates on my Hexie A Day in May challenge and my other personal projects. So settle in for a fun crafty chat, and let’s catch up. 

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:

Cast On, Bind Off by Leslie Ann Bestor

The Wool Barn 

Píosa Cardigan by Renée Callahan

English Paper Piecing on Craftsy’s YouTube channel 

The Australian Sheep & Wool Show

Many hexie flowers complete in my hexie a day in May challenge but many more to go

Birthday Month Giveaway

Get one of my ‘scrappy’ patterns for free using the code HOMEBODY 

(these patterns are perfect for using your scrap yarn, mini skein bundles, or advent kits)

Dust of Snow Wrap on Ravelry                Dust of Snow Wrap on Gumroad 

Land of Sweets Cowl on Ravelry             Land of Sweets Cowl on Gumroad 

Hearten Cowl on Ravelry                         Hearten Cowl on Gumroad 

Habitation Throw on Ravelry                 Habitation Throw on Gumroad

If you choose to purchase any of these patterns instead during the month of June, I will be donating the full amount (less transaction fees) to the UN HCR supporting refugees around the world. 

#habitationthrow   #dustofsnowwrap  #landofsweetscowl #heartencowl

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 

Luminary Socks by Curious Handmade 

Simply Curious Socks: Free Beginner Sock Knitting Pattern & Workshop 

The Knit 20 for 2021 KAL

Join in with the Knit 20 for 2021 KAL by sharing your finished object photos here in the June FO Thread on Ravelry  

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.

May knit20for2021 Winners

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

Ravelry Winner  Post 55 by sharonhof nominating Hue Loco yarns

Instagram Winner  kuutaria nominating Louhittaren Luola

Knit 20 for 2021 Toy KAL

I need your support and encouragement to help me tick ‘toy’ off my knit202for2021 list, so I’ve decided to add this pop-up event to the regular  #knit20for2021 KAL. There are prizes to be won and so much cuteness to come.  

The rules are simple:

I am trying to complete 2 toys for this challenge:

The Panda Kit by Susan B. Anderson  and the Sadie Souris Kit by Cinthia Vallet

The Handmade Sock Society 4

Just one more mystery sock pattern left in The Handmade Sock Society 4; the first 5 patterns,  The Curling Mist Socks, The Picnic Blanket Socks , The Wild Bees SocksThe Spinifex Socks and The Lavender Fields Socks are available now withlast mystery sock patterns to follow in July! Don’t worry if you’ve not signed up yet, you can join in anytime!

The Handmade Sock Society 4 on Ravelry

The Handmade Sock Society 4 on Gumroad 

#thehandmadesocksociety on Instagram

#thss4 on Instagram

#thehandmadesocksociety4 on Instagram

The yarn for the final secret sock pattern of the season is from Louie & Lola, a fantastic yarn dyer from Australia. She’ll be having a special update for the colourway “Joy” on June 12th, so keep an eye on the website!

The Handmade Sock Society 4 KALs 

The Spinifex Socks FO Thread this KAL will run until July 1st,2021

Wild Bees Socks KAL Winner 

Post 78 by kswager

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 337. 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 curioushandmade.com.

Hello, and thanks for joining me this week for a chat about knitting, crafting and some other fun news I have to share with you. I’m finally feeling almost 100% better. I still have a slight lingering cough, but it’s almost gone, and I’m almost feeling back to my usual, somewhat energetic self. And yeah. So thanks for bearing with me. I had a week off and then last week I recorded with a very croaky throat. This week it’s only mildly croaky, I hope. So, yeah. And we’re up to June already, which is a little bit crazy. I can’t really believe we’re nearly halfway through the year.

And I had a text from one of my best friends on the 1st of June, to say, Hey, it’s your birthday month. And this is a friend who celebrates the whole month her birthday is in, for her birthday. I’ve never really been a huge birthday celebrator, but seeing as you reminded me, it brought a smile to my face and I thought, yeah, maybe I will do something fun for my birthday month this year.

My birthday is not till the 28th of June, so it is getting a bit ahead of myself, but I thought what I might do is have a giveaway of some of my designs. Last year, I had a giveaway for the Habitation Throw, and I thought this year I might extend that to all of my scrappy/advent designs, which there are four of now, for those people who have already got the Habitation Throw, which is quite a few of you.

So what I thought I would do, is from today, or from the time I’m recording, which is a couple of days before this will be released, I will make available my four patterns that are designed for advent kits/scrap yawn, which are Land of Sweets, Dust of Snow wrap, the Habitation Throw and the Hearten Cowl.

You can use the code, ‘homebody’ to get one of those patterns for free. And if anyone purchases any of those patterns this month, I will donate the whole amount after the PayPal fees to the UNHCR, to support refugees around the world.

Last year, I was able to donate 3,000 Australian dollars to UNHCR when I did the Habitation Throw giveaway. Lots of people purchased that pattern. And I think I donated some as well personally. But yeah, so most of that came from generous knitters purchasing the pattern in that period that I was giving it away. And lots of people also were able to have a little treat as well, which both of those things brought me a lot of joy. And so I thought it would be fun to do that this month.

I had the UNHCR charity call me last week, to see if I would be able to make another generous donation this year, because the end of financial year in Australia is the end of June and so they try to get people to make donations in June, so that they can claim it off their tax. Which I don’t think is necessarily the most logical thing, but it’s a bit of a thing. So I told them that that was really a very special donation last year, and I probably wouldn’t be able to match it this year. But then I started thinking, well maybe I could do something still, even if it’s not as amazing as last year was.

So just to summarize my four advent patterns, Land of Sweets, Dust of Snow, Habitation Throw and the Hearten Cowl will all be free for the month of June. And any purchases of those patterns, I will donate the proceeds to the UNHCR. I will definitely be having that available on Ravelry and on Gumroad.

Yesterday I released the fifth pattern for the Handmade Sock Society, season four. And that is the Lavender Fields Socks. I’ll just read you the little description for these latest socks in the series. Lavender is the scent of slow living. For such a little flower, it has a heady presence. Hand stitched sachets tucked away in chests and cupboards, a single pot blossoming by your doorstep, nodding gently as you pass by. Endless fields of pale purple, rippling in the breeze. Lavender stands for memories and gentleness. It loves the sun, but offers us the gift of deep rest and sweet dreams.

The Lavender Field Socks evoke the delicate beauty of the lavender stem. They are knit from the top down, starting with a pretty picot cast-on and continuing with a lavender inspired lace panel around the top of the leg. The pattern is written for a shorter sock and finished with a textured Eye of Partridge heel flap and gusset, and around toe. Like all the Handmade Sock Society designs, this pattern comes in three sizes and is easy to adjust and modify to achieve your perfect fit.

I had fun experimenting with a picot cast-on for these socks. I got this cast-on from a stitch dictionary called Cast On, Bind Off, by Leslie Ann Bestor. And it said it was a particularly good cast-on for socks, because it’s quite stretchy. And I really liked this cast-on. I have added some garter rows after the cast-on, because I found that it was making the cast-on stick down a little bit. So I added in those rounds of garter or purls. And I found that that helped the problem.

And if you’re finding this cast-on tricky or not to your liking, you can just substitute a ribbed cuff. Of course, everything is substitutable and you can modify my designs anyway people wish to, including preferred heels and toes. And I had some comments last month about the toe up socks being converted to top down. So of course, please substitute any details you want to with these designs.

I think that this cast-on has come out really, really cute, but it might be a little bit tricky. And if you don’t like it, for whatever reason, please just substitute a one-by-one or a two-by-two ribbed cuff. I made these a little bit shorter just because I thought that looked quite cute. They’re not exactly shorty socks, but they’re quite short the way I’ve written them. So again, if you’d like to make them longer or shorter, feel free.

And the yarn I used is The Wool Barn Cashmere sock. And this is one of my absolute favorite yarns for knitting socks. It’s 80% super wash Merino, 10% Cashmere and 10% nylon. So it’s beautifully soft and luxurious. And the put-up for this yard is 350 meters or 383 yards. It’s slightly less than some sock yarn yardage is. So if you have long feet like me and do a slightly longer leg, then you might need a second skein of this yarn.

So hope you enjoy this fifth design in the Handmade Sock Society. And we just have one more to go for the season. The yarn that I am using for the sixth socks in the series will be from Louie & Lola here in Australia. And she is doing an update for this special colorway called Joy on the 12th of June. So… coming up quite soon. I just thought I’d give you a little up on that one.

Last month, if you’ve been listening to the last few episodes, I set myself a little challenge, which I called a hexie flower a day in May. I gave myself a challenge to hand sew a flower, using English paper piecing every day for the month of May, for my Liberty hexie quilt. I’m working on two at the moment. One is a two inch hexie and one is a one inch hexie quilt. And I succeeded in my challenge. I actually made 33 flowers. I’m so happy because I don’t normally manage to completely fulfill these challenges that I set for myself. It’s usually short of the mark, so I was pretty happy to have done that. And I did eight, two inch flowers and 25, one inch flowers.

I was having a look at the chart that I got with my kit, which says how many hexies are needed to make a queen-sized quilt for each of them. And so our queen-size quilt is 77 inches by 85 inches. So I guess the sizing varies in different countries, but for that size, they’ve said that I need 600, two inch hexies, which would be 86 flowers, and there’s seven hexies in a flower. And I’ve currently made 17, two inch hexies, so I only have 69 to go. Which doesn’t sound too terrible. But for the one inch hexies, I need 2,474 hexies to make a queen-sized quilt. And if I divide that by seven that’s 354 flowers. And I’ve currently made 36, so 318 to go, which doesn’t sound so good.

So I’ve been thinking about this as a five year project, but I thought it might be nice to have a bit more of a feeling of completion a bit sooner. And I thought if I switched to being monogamous on the two inch project. And so I was thinking about how many I should aim for. If I did 20 per month, then I could make enough in four months. But I think that number doesn’t give me much time for other projects. When I was doing one a day, I didn’t manage to do any other personal project. So I thought, seeing as I have a very long list of other projects I want to work on as well, maybe if I set myself a goal of 12 per month, I’ll see really good progress and could have enough flowers for a queen sized cool by the end of the year. And that would be pretty excellent. So I quite like that plan. And I think I’m going to try and do that. So I’ll make myself a little progress chart, to tick off my hexies. I like it to have a visual of progress on these things.

So that’s just a little update for anybody who’s interested. I know that some of you are working on English paper piecing projects. I have seen them popping up in my Instagram feed. So I hope this isn’t too boring for people that aren’t into quilting or these kind of quilts at all. But anyway, it’s just what I’ve been working on a lot, so figured I’d chat about it.

And I’ve also been making some great progress on my Píosa Cardigan. And I’ve knit both sleeves down to the cuffs, and maybe by the time this is published, I will have at least finished the sleeves, if not have finished the button band as well. I’m thinking.. probably I won’t have time in the next couple of days to finish all the knitting on that, but I think I can finish the sleeves, which is exciting. And it’s nearly finished. So after sitting in… not timeout.. but just having a little rest for most of this year, I think, it’s been great to pick that up again and make some good, quick progress on it.

It’s DK or worsted weight that I’m using. Think DK. I should know that. That’s kind of a detail I should really know. I think it’s DK weight yarn, so it’s going really fast. It’s on four millimeter needles or 4.5 millimeter. Again, a bit hazy on remembering details like that. But yeah. So that’s been going pretty quickly actually. Yeah, so I can’t wait to be wearing that. And I think the 1st of June is considered the first day of winter here, so that’s nice timing.

And I think I mentioned last week that I’m going down to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show. So yeah. So I’m planning to have that as my show cardi for that special event, the first event in a very long time. Two years, at least that I’ve been to. So yeah, pretty exciting. And yeah, it’s just been a gorgeous pattern to knit as well. The design is by my friend, Renée Callahan in London. But yeah, she writes a very, very good pattern. So I’ve been enjoying every stitch.

Last week, I announced two knit-alongs that I’m participating in this month as well. So the first one is the Fiber Co sock knit-along. They’re celebrating a month of socks in June. And I purchased some beautiful Amble by the Fiber Co, which is their sock yarn, in the Buttermere colorway, which is a super vibrant yellowy gold. And I wasn’t really sure which pattern to use. You can participate in the knit-along if you’re using either Amble yarn or the One Sock design, by Kate Atherley. And I think I’ll knit one of my own designs for this. And I haven’t quite decided on which one. I’m thinking I’ll knit the Simply Curious Socks, which is my pattern that you can get for free, if you sign up for the Simply Curious Socks workshop on my website.

I’m thinking a pair of vanilla socks might be what I need right now. But I’m also thinking about doing the Luminary Socks as well, which is one of my own designs. At the moment I’m leaning towards the Simply Curious Socks, just for a very quick, satisfying, simple knit.

My other knit-along is the toy knit-along. Knit 20 for 2021 toy knit-along. And the hashtag to join in on that is #knit20for2021toy, if you’re joining it on Instagram. And there’s a thread on Ravelry as well. And I have got as far as winding the yarn and a look at the pattern to see what needles I need and just basically getting ready to cast-on. And haven’t quite got to the cast-on point yet, but I am making baby steps and progress on that. So hopefully this week I’ll cast-on both of those projects.

Speaking of knit 20 for 2021, I have the May winners to announce, seeing as we’re in June. So the Ravelry winner is post 55 by sharonhof, who has nominated Hue Loco- yarns for her prize. And on Instagram, the winner is @kuutaria, K-U-U-T-A-R-I-A who has nominated Louhittaren Luolan. And I’m pretty sure I haven’t pronounced either of those correctly, but that is a beautiful yarn shop in Finland. So thank you for joining in with the knit 20 for 2021 knit-along this month. And congratulations to our two winners. We also have the winner of the Wild Bee Socks knit-along to announce. And the winner is post number 78 by kswager, who is Karen. According to her profile, she lives in Tampa, Florida. And I can see Karen has knit lots of my sock designs. So congratulations, Karen. And for all the winners, you can either message us at support@curioushandmade.com. That’s [to] email us. And message me on ravelry @hellsbells, if you prefer. And we can organise your prize vouchers. If we don’t hear from you, we will try and get in touch with you as well. So congratulations to all our winners last month, and thanks for joining in the knit-alongs.

Don’t forget to pop over to Ravelry and Gumroad to participate in my birthday giveaway with the code, ‘homebody’ because that’s what I am, and apparently Cancerians are famous for being homebodies. It certainly applies to me. So that’s the code to get a free pattern, and anyone who purchases the pattern I am going to donate the proceeds to the UNHCR.

Have a wonderful week, everyone. Happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you soon.

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