Episode 340: Heading into school holidays with a cardigan and some quilting…

Helen Stewart, Curious Handmade, wearing a handknitted cardigan in a rose gold peach, design by Renee Callahan. There is a green climbing plant to Helen's right, and a white background

 I’m so excited to have a finished project to share on the podcast today. Every time I complete a piece of personal knitting amid all the design and sample work, it feels like a milestone. So today I’m chatting about my brand new Píosa  Cardigan, and already thinking about casting on another. We also have a healthy helping of quilting updates, as I find my voice and my feet in another craft. So pick up some knitting or stitching and settle in for a fun, crafty catch up with me

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 (#piosacardigan) by Renée Callahan /  @eastlondonknit on Instagram

Sweet Fiber Yarns  /@sweetfiber on Instagram

Button Mania / @buttonmaniac on Instagram

Liberty Fabrics /   @libertyfabrics on Instagram

Jeni Baker Patterns   / @jenib320 on Instagram

@9crafty11 on Instagram

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 

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 

Check out the yarn spoiler post for Shawl #3 in my blog post here

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

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

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 340. This podcast is all about crafting a life of happiness and creativity on your host, Helen, and you can find me on Ravelry as HellsBells and on social media as Curious Handmade. And you can also find the full show notes and transcript on my website at curioushandmade.com.

I’d like to say a big thank you to my sponsor, Meadow Yarn.

Hello, and welcome to the show. Thanks for joining me today. We’re chatting about knitting and quilting, and I even have a finished object to share with you today, so that is very exciting. We are halfway through the year, which is quite incredible. And just going into a couple of weeks of school holidays, which I’m really looking forward to.

I really enjoy the slightly different schedule and routine we have here in Australia compared to the UK. It’s a lot less broken up. There are less breaks and bigger chunks of time for the school term. So we tend to go for 10 weeks before having a break, compared to the UK, which would be six weeks and then a week off for half term and then another six weeks. So I really like the long stretch that I get before I have to have a break for school holidays. But it does mean that the kids tend to get quite tired towards the end of term, and that break is very much needed for all of us. By the time it comes around. It’s also quite nice having a holiday in cooler weather. It is winter here where I am in the Southern hemisphere. So we are looking forward to doing some more cosy things and wearing some winter woolies.

Speaking of winter woolies, I have a very exciting finished object, which if you’ve been listening along for a while, you can probably guess what it is. It is the Píosa Cardigan, which is a beautiful cardigan design by my friend, Renée Callahan. He is based in London, East London Knit. And this cardie I have been working on for a while since I started it late last year. I don’t keep notes of these things, which I really should, but I don’t seem to keep good notes from my personal knitting projects. I have a little bit of a record here on the podcast if I really need to try and go back and figure out when I started talking about something.

But yeah, so, so excited to finish this one. It’s a grandpa style, drop shoulder cardie, and Renée’s design has pockets. I haven’t put pockets on it. And yeah, it’s beautiful, rib-stripe all over the body with sort of more detail on the shoulders and cuffs. I knit my cardi in Sweet Fiber rose gold color, which was just an absolute joy to knit, highly recommended. And I purchased some buttons from a store here in Australia called Button Mania. And I was just doing a Google search to try and find some buttons. Having gone through my extensive button collection, and of course not being able to find just the right thing, and yeah, discovered this beautiful online shop that has a huge selection of buttons. And I looked at the Instagram… I don’t know, I usually , these days,  have a look at the Instagram feed of any online shop I’m purchasing from, especially in the craft area. And the owner seems to be a knitter as well, so that’s quite fun.

I knit the second size, which was probably a bit of a mistake, although I did that for a reason, that I didn’t think I might have enough yarn. And I do have maybe three quarters of a skein left, but I think it was probably the right decision to go for the smaller size because I might have run out of yarn if I’d gone up a size. It would definitely [have] been a bit touch and go. But the downside is that it doesn’t really fit me. It’s designed to be a really slouchy cardie with quite a bit of positive ease, and this has come out more fitted and cropped than intended on me. So I might just wear it as a fitted cropped cardie. And if that doesn’t really work, then I’ll gift it to Sophie who is much slighter than me, although she’s taller than me now.

So yeah, so it’s a beautiful garment and one of us will get a lot of use out of it. Maybe both of us. And I could see it looking really cute over a dress now, a tunic style dress. Or maybe even with jeans and a t-shirt. It’s just not quite the intended amount of ease. I would definitely knit it again and probably go up two sizes maybe, or at least one size if not two, for myself in the future. So yeah, I’ll definitely put it back into my queue for another try I think. It was a really, I don’t know, easy, enjoyable knit. Not too complicated, but quite a bit of interest with the different textured patterns on it. And Renée’s patterns are super clear and beautiful to knit from. So that’s my exciting news for the podcast. I get very excited when I have a finished object to announce, especially in my personal knitting, because that doesn’t happen very often at all. So yes, maybe a couple of times a year I’ll have a garment completed.

I’ve also been knitting a little bit on my Simply Curious socks in Amble yarn from The Fibre Company for their, the Fibre Co. one sock KAL for the month of June. And I am definitely not going to have them finished for the KAL deadline, which is in a couple of days, but I have very much enjoyed knitting on these and I will finish them at some point in the near future. I guess I’ll just keep working on these as my project that I take around with me while I’m waiting for kids’ sport lessons to happen. And I am knitting these in the buttermere colorway, which is a beautiful chartreuse green, I would say. Thanks to Julia @9crafty11 for coming out with that description. And yeah, it’s just such a beautiful, soft yarn to knit that I’m really enjoying knitting those.

Other than my knitting progress, I’ve been spending a little bit of time doing some quilting. I’ve actually been working on a couple of projects, or maybe three projects, recently. One is my ongoing Liberty of London Hexie quilt. And I decided, I don’t know, maybe about a month ago to concentrate on my two inch hexie quilt project. I have a one inch quilt and a two inch quilt in progress. I did some calculations and thought if I sewed 12 flowers or rosettes a month, I would have enough rosettes to make a queen-sized quilt by the end of the year. So I’m very pleased that I have managed to do my 12-goal for the month of June. So that’s a good start to meeting my goals.

And I’ve also been working on a quilt design. So that’s something quite new. And I’m working with my mum, who’s an incredible sewist and quilter, to make some quilts as gifts for some special people. And I thought rather than find a quilt design, I would get a bit creative and come up with my own. So that’s been really interesting process to design something in a new craft. And it’s been really lovely actually. I’ve spent a lot of lovely time browsing Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, and just kind of thinking about the different styles and what I’m drawn to and coming up with my own sort of voice and style in a different area from knitting has been really, really fun.

And one of the fun things about designing a quilt is that you can make blocks and arrange them in different ways before committing to the final design. So there’s a bit of flexibility as you go along. If you don’t like a section, you can take it out quite easily compared to designing a shawl, and if you want to change something at the beginning, it’s a lot of rework to change something earlier on. But with sewing and quilting, you can either place them before you sew them together or unpick them quite easily. And so, that’s been quite refreshing, and also how quickly a project can come together as well. So yeah, that’s been really fun and I will see how it goes before I share it with you. But if it works out really well, I might write it up and publish it as a cool design. I don’t know, I’m thinking about it. We’ll have to see. I feel a little bit daunted about learning something so new and different, but I’m also really, really enjoying it.

I’ve done a little bit of work on my House’s Quilt, which is a pattern by Jeni B, and that has been a long-standing project that I’ve been talking about for ages. And I really, really want to get this done by the end of the year. I kind of thought I might get it done by the end of the month, but that didn’t happen. But yes, I’m still working on this as one of my happiness projects for 2021. But with so many other things that I’m working on at the same time, it is obviously quite slow and I can just do a little bit at a time.

But yeah, I’ve been really having a lot of fun doing personal projects lately. I have been spending a little bit less time on work and work projects and more time on having some fun with personal knitting and quilting projects. That’s just been so lovely and quite needed. I think it was sort of getting a little bit burned out with the work side of things. So it’s really inspiring and nice to have some time to do some fun stuff.

As we are nearly at the end of June, this is the last chance I will have to remind you that I have a birthday offer happening at the moment. With the code HOMEBODY, You can download one of my scrappy projects as a gift from me to you. And that includes Land of Sweets Cowl, the Dust of Snow Wrap, Habitation Throw and the Hearten Cowl. And, of course, if anybody purchases any of those patterns during the month of June, I am donating the proceeds to the UNHCR, the Australian division of that, to support refugees throughout the world. So thank you to everybody who has participated in one of the ongoing knit-alongs I’m hosting at the moment And anybody who has purchased those patterns or downloaded them, I hope you are enjoying all of your knitting.

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

Have a wonderful week. Happy knitting. And I’ll talk to you soon.

More To Explore


Learn all the essential skills you need to start knitting stunning handmade shawls with the FREE Spindrift Shawl Pattern and Online Workshop

Magazine Covers with Helen Stewart on it and a knitted shawl wrapped around her neck and shoulders