Episode 339: The Silver River Shawl

standing in the left foreground, Helen from Curious Handmade wearing one of her own designs The Silver River Shawl in pink and dark green, the background is out of focus green fields and trees

From a humble skein of yarn to the far reaches of the galaxy…Today on the Curious Handmade Podcast, I have a brand new shawl design from The Handmade Shawl Society, which was inspired by the Milky Way. It might be a lofty aspiration for a little knitting pattern, but why not dream big? We’ve also got a friendly chat about what I’ve been up to: is my houseplant stash about to overtake my yarn stash?

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:

Lovely outing with my plant & knitting buddy @nnkyarns; we learned how to make a kokedama at The Soul Pantry   (@soulpantry on Instagram ) and got to meet up with knitting & sewing friend @9crafty11 

Picking up new skills (and new plants) with @nnkyarns at the The Soul Pantry  

Cleo Pullover  by Elizabeth Doherty                    @bluebeestudio on Instagram

Hay Pullover by Clare Mountain-Manipon        @sister.mountain on Instagram

Píosa Cardigan by Renée Callahan                      @eastlondonknit on Instagram

The Shawl Society 5

The first  pattern, The Curling Mist Shawl  and the second pattern, The Silver River Shawl  are both out now with 4 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 

The Silver River Shawl  sample was made with Lite (Single) Fingering 100% Superwash Merino by  Happy Hank 

Happy Hank TSS5 Shawl 2 Kit can be purchased  here 

Huge thanks to my brilliant sample knitter & test knitter Wendy  @wendeecut1er and my talented test knitters Tracy @comfyredcouch,  Deb @tinkhickman & Carolyn @cazknits . Thanks also to my daughter Sophie for modelling the sample so wonderfully 

Knit 20 for 2021 Toy KAL

I need your support and encouragement to help me tick the ‘toy’ prompt 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

At present the Barrett Wool Co have the Panda Kit in stock if you would like to join me with this project. 

The Handmade Sock Society 4

The yarn for the final secret sock pattern of the season is from Louie & Lola, a fantastic yarn dyer from Australia. They have put together a kit containing the sample colours, check it out here 

The Handmade Sock Society 4 is nearing the end; 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 with just 1 more 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 Handmade Sock Society 4 KALs 

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

The Lavender Fields Socks FO Thread this KAL will run until August 1st,2021

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 

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 339. 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 this Hells Bells 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. 

Hello and welcome to the show. Thanks for joining me for a chat about crafty things today. I am coming to you from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and it is living up to its name this week. It’s been gorgeous weather, beautiful and sunny and also cool and crisp. We have had some winter weather finally, and I have been enjoying wearing my winter woolies, including my Clio pullover by Elizabeth Doherty and my Hay pullover by Clare Mountain. And I have almost finished my Píosa cardi, which is a beautiful pattern by Renée Callahan. Although I am thinking that it probably will be for Sophie rather than me. It’s designed to be a bit oversized and on me it’s quite fitted. We’ll see, I don’t know if it might expand a little bit after blocking, but I’ll share more details about that one next week when I have finished it. I have lots of other crafty projects to share with you this week so let’s get into talking about those.

In Curious Handmade design news, yesterday, I released the Silver River shawl, which is the second design in The Shawl Society, season five. I’ll just read you the beautiful description that Amanda wrote for me. “Out here, far from the city, the stars will steal your breath. They are the only light aside from the occasional firefly. On a clear night like this, the Milky Way is painted across the sky, a silver river of fire, unimaginable lengths of time and space, unbelievable beauty. It is our galaxy, our home and yet nothing could seem more distant. Lying in the grass, looking up, the earth solid and still at your back, for an instant you have the sensation of flying towards the sky. A sudden expansion, a lifted heart, a whole new sense of scale. The Silver River shawl is a nod to the inspiration we’ve always drawn from the stars. This short row crescent shawl is knit in two colors with an interesting construction and a lighthearted attitude, which is of garter stitch interspersed with arcing sections of star stitch, give the Silver River shawl a sense of movement and a modern romantic aesthetic.”

For this season of The Shawl Society, I wanted to bring in some new techniques and ideas and I haven’t used short rows in any of my designs before, apart from sock heels, but I don’t think that really counts, not in my shawls at least. And so I’ve introduced a new-to-me technique, new to my designs technique in this shawl. And I’m really thrilled with how it’s worked out. It’s always a bit of a trial and error when you’re trying something new. And I decided to, as I said in the description, intersperse the short row sections with these kinds of sections where regular increases occur and I think it looks pretty cool. I hope you like this one. I’m really pleased with this design and it’s just a little bit different. It’s still quite a traditional crescent shaped shawl.

Two skeins of yarn. I used beautiful yarn from Happy Hank Co., which is her light fingering, it’s a single ply, 100% super wash merino and the colors I used are Djamor, which is the pinky speckly and Moby Dick, which is the dark green. And these colors really helped inspire the design. I had the yarn before I came up with a design and just chose these out of my stash. And I really drew these colors when designing the shawl. I would like to thank Wendy for knitting the sample and Deb, Tracy, Carolyn and Wendy for test knitting. And I’d also like to thank Sophie, my daughter, for helping me model for the photography. I hope you enjoy knitting this shawl as much as I enjoyed coming up with the idea.

I’ve really enjoyed seeing people’s photos of their Curling Mist shawls, which was the first design in the series. And quite a few people seem to have finished the shawls already. I did design that one to be a really relaxing, fairly easy knit so I’m glad that people are finding it to be relaxing and also really wearable, has been some of the comments. I’ve been really pleased to see that. Thank you to everybody joining in with the Shawl Society knit along. You can do that on Ravelry and on Instagram with the #theshawlsociety5 and also everybody joining in with the Handmade Sock Society this season.

We are approaching the release of the final sock in that series and I mentioned last week that the yarn that I used for the sample for the last socks in the series is by Louie & Lola. Here is Karina an indie dyer based in Tasmania here in Australia and she has done a shop update for the particular colorway, which is called Joy. And I think she still might have some of that. I’m recording a little bit earlier in the week, so I’m not sure if it will still be there by the time this episode is released, but at the moment, there are still a few skeins at Louie & Lola, if you would like to get that exact colorway for the last socks in the series.

I’ve had quite a sociable and creative week as I went down to Brisbane to do a workshop with my friend, Lisa from NNK Yarns and it’s not a knitting or yarn workshop, much to the surprise of my family when I told them what I was doing, it was a more of a plant workshop. We did a class at The Soul Pantry, which is a beautiful shop and cafe in Brisbane. And it was to make a Kokadama which is a special type of plant. Kododama translates to moss ball. And so you make this special ball of moss and soil and twine and we also used some coconut coir instead of the second layer of moss to use less sphagnum moss, because it’s a little bit endangered maybe, or a little bit rare. We did a workshop down there with the owner of The Soul Pantry and it was just such a lovely time. Lisa invited me to go and do this workshop with her and we have become yarn and plant buddies.

I think my plant habit might have overtaken my yarn buying habit in the past year or so. I’m always up for any planty outings to a nursery or a workshop like this. The plant we used for the Kokodama is a Cissus Ellen Danica. And I don’t think it’s an Australian native, but it’s just a really beautiful plant with beautiful sort of oak shaped leaves. And it looks a little bit like a grape vine to me. I don’t know if that describes it really well, but that might give you an idea of the sort of foliage. I also purchased an Oxalis triangularis, which is this most gorgeous purpley plant and it’s a native to South America, apparently. I just looked it up, but so, so gorgeous. The leaves are a beautiful shape and it’s sometimes called I purple shamrock because the leaves are the shamrock shape.

Then after the workshop we met up with another Brisbane knitter, Julia, 9crafty11, who you might remember from my dress sew-along that we did earlier in the year together. And they’ve got a beautiful cafe there and I really enjoyed the emphasis on sustainability throughout the workshop and the gift shop and the cafe as well. It’s a beautiful creative center in a shed in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. I was knitting on my Amble socks, my Simply Curious Amble socks, which is beautiful yarn by The Fibre Company.

And I just wanted to correct something I said on last week’s show. I said, I was thinking about casting them on, on either 2.25 or I mistakenly said 3.5 millimeter needles and someone was querying that because they got a bit confused, which understandably, because I actually meant 2.5. And in the end I decided not to go up a needle size. I am using 2.25 millimeter needles to knit my Amble socks. Amble is a beautiful yarn.

And I was also talking about the Buttermere colorway as being a goldy color. But actually now I’m knitting it, it’s much more greeny. And Julia said, which I thought was the perfect word for it, it’s more of a chartreuse colorway. I don’t know why I was calling it a gold and yellow, but it’s really much greener than I was describing it as, but very much enjoying the feel of that yarn and just knitting on a very plain, simple sock pattern for that. And I haven’t made a huge amount of progress. I’m still working on the leg of the first sock, but enjoying every stitch on that one. The hashtag for that knit along is #TheFibreCoOneSockKAL and that is a knit along being hosted by The Fibre Company for the month of June.

I am nice doing a knit along to knit a toy for the month of June and July and the hashtag for that one is Knit 20 for 2021 Toy. And I have wound the yarn for my panda by Susan B. Anderson. I purchased the kit last year, earlier in the year just as COVID was hitting around March and so the kit took a long time to arrive here in Australia, but yes, I have also had it in my stash for a very long time, not doing anything with it. I finally wound the yarn and the pattern is gorgeous. And I just wanted to highlight, I received a newsletter from Barrett Wool Co., which is Susan B. Anderson’s company. And they currently have this kit in stock if you’re interested. It’s called Panda and yes, if you’d like the exact kit with the beautiful Barrett Wool Co. yarn, you might be able to get one of those at the moment. They haven’t had them in stock for a while so it’s a good chance if you’re interested.

That’s all the news I have for you this week. Just before I sign off, I’d like to thank my lovely sponsor Meadow Yarn. 

And one final announcement before I say goodbye, for the month of June, I am giving away all my scrappy designs, which are Land of Sweets, Dust of Snow, Habitation Throw and the Hearten Cowl. You can purchase them from Ravelry or Gumroad with the code homebody and by purchase, I mean get them for free. And if anyone does purchase any of those four patterns in the month of June, I’m going to donate the proceeds to UNHCR to make a small contribution to help refugees in the worst hit areas around the world, as I’m so grateful to be living in such a beautiful part of the world and have the security of living here in Australia. I hope that if anyone would like one of those patterns, they can have a little birthday gift from me to you during the month of June. And on that note, I would like to say a warm goodbye and have a wonderful week. Happy knitting and I’ll talk to you soon.

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