Episode 342: The Wild Bees Wrap

Helen stands in a green field, facing the camera wearing her own design The Wild Bees Wrap large rectangular hand knit wrap in blue, gold and grey yarns

This week I’m introducing my newest shawl design, The Wild Bees Wrap, from The Shawl Society 5. I have the house to myself for once, so join me for a relaxed, chatty catch-up about what I’ve been working on recently. I’ve also got an update on my Word of The Year and a review of the year in general so far: it’s been a big one for getting things done!

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:

Subscribe to my YouTube channel; I’ve posted a video of my completed  Píosa Cardigan 

Píosa Cardigan by Renée Callahan                  @eastlondonknit on Instagram

Come Little Leaves! Sock pattern by Alice Jeffries      @homebody_diaries on Instagram

Birch Hollow Fibers

Amble Yarn by The Fibre Company 

Wild and Woolly Shop 

Barrett Wool Co.

Buderim Concert Band

Buderim Craft Cottage 

The Shawl Society 5

Can’t believe The Shawl Society 5 is already halfway;  The Curling Mist Shawl , The Silver River Shawl  and now The Wild Bees Wrap are all now with 3 more mystery shawl patterns to follow each month until October 

The Shawl Society 5 on Gumroad 

The Shawl Society 5 on Ravelry  

#tss5  and theshawlsociety5 on Instagram

The Wild Bees Wrap sample was knit in Merino Silk Yak by Natural Fibre Arts

Huge thanks to my brilliant (and speedy) sample knitter & test knitter Wendy  @wendeecut1er 

Thanks also to my talented test knitters Tracy @comfyredcouch &  Deb @tinkhickman  

The Shawl Society 5 Finished Object Threads 

Curling Mist Shawl FO Thread will run until August 1st, 2021

Silver River Shawl FO Thread will run until September 1st, 2021

Keep an eye out for The Wild Bees Wrap FO Thread on the Curious Handmade Discussion Board on Ravelry 

The Handmade Sock Society 4

All 6 patterns have now been released for The Handmade Sock Society 4 ;  The Curling Mist Socks, The Picnic Blanket Socks , The Wild Bees Socks ,  The Spinifex Socks, The Lavender Fields Socks and The Scribbly Gum Socks  are all available now.  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 Finished Object Threads 

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

The Scribbly Gum Socks FO Thread  will run until September 1st, 2021 

Knit 20 for 2021 KAL

Join in with the Knit 20 for 2021 KAL by sharing your finished object photos here in the July 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.

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

Hoping to finish my Panda Bear this week! 

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 342. 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 transcripts on my website at curioushandmade.com.

Hello, and welcome to the show this week. I am basking in a quiet house. We’ve had a couple of weeks of school holidays, and I love having the kids at home. I love having to not get up and do the school routine in the morning because that can be a bit stressful at times. But I have to say it is quite nice to have the house to myself for a couple of hours.

So, I’m taking the opportunity to record and hopefully have not too much background noise for once. It was quite a grounding couple of weeks, quite literally in the sense that our trip to Sydney was canceled due to the latest COVID outbreaks, which always seemed to happen just before or around school holidays.

So yes, we were going to go down and watch Hamilton. The musical is playing in Sydney at the moment, and see my best friend, and have a couple of days in Sydney. I don’t think the girls have ever been to Sydney, except for like a stopover one time when we basically went to an airport hotel unexpectedly. Anyway, that was a whole other story.

But yeah, so we took the chance instead to just get a bit organized, and do a little bit of partying and decluttering at home, and some crafty projects. I was actually able to do a little bit of work, which was nice to get on top of that. And I also took the time to do a bit of a review of the year so far. So I’ll share a little bit about my thoughts on my word of the year and Knit 20 for 21 challenge this week. And I’ll probably aim to do a little bit of an update on my 21 in 2021 Happiness projects next week.

But first, in some Curious Handmade design news, we had the Wild Bees Wrap, which is the third shawl in the Shawl Society released yesterday. And this is a little bit of a different shape for me. I set out with this collection to introduce some new shapes, and techniques, and some fresh ideas into the season of the Shawl Society. And so, this is one of the more obvious results of that. I’ll just read you the description about this shawl.

“Inspiration is rarely a bolt from the blue. More often than not, it is something gathered over time, bit by bit. The sources of our creativity are countless, and often many miles apart. The wild bees understand this by instinct. A single strong hive collectively flies the distance between the earth and the moon each day, with each bee pollinating up to 5,000 flowers along their winding root.

Every spoonful of honey is a miracle of creativity, community, and patience. So is everything we make. The Wild Bees Wrap is a generous reminder that inspiration and creativity never happen in a vacuum. This stray color rectangular wrap is fun and engaging knit on a grand scale with plenty of interest. It is knit from the center out, starting with a simple square, and branching out into panels of bee-inspired lace and gentle textured stitches and stripes.”

For this shawl, I used a yarn from Natural Fibre Arts, their merino silk yak blend, which is 60% merino, 20% silk, and 20% yak. So it’s a really luxurious blend of fibers and it’s perfect, in my humble opinion, for shawls because the silk gives it a lot of drape, and the yak makes it beautiful and soft. The three colors I used are Denim, Stonewash, and Beekeeper, which is the beautiful gold color.

Thank you very much to my sample knitter, Wendy, who knit this sample very quickly for me before my photo shoot in April, where I managed to photograph all the whole season of shawls all at once, which has never happened before, so it was a new, fabulous thing that happened.

And thank you to my test knitters. Deb, Tracy, and Wendy knit the whole shawl or wrap again as a test net for me, which I so appreciate, so thank you so much.

And, if you’re interested to see what this looks like knit all in one color, Deb knit this in a single color rather than the striped version, and it looks really fabulous. So yeah, I thought that was really fabulous to see a different colour-story. So, that means we are halfway through Season 5 of the Shawl Society already. I’m really loving seeing everybody’s shawls, and I hope you’re enjoying it so far. I certainly am enjoying seeing the knits that are popping up on Instagram and Ravelry.

So, I thought today I’d give a little bit of an update on my Knit 20 for 2021 challenge. I’ve made a little bit of progress on this challenge, and I’m basically trying to keep this as my personal knitting rather than design work, although sometimes I cheat a little bit and use some of my design work to tick off a prompt. And I think that’s okay. This is a very relaxed, meant to be a fun challenge, and it can be sort of whatever it needs to be for you, and for your knitting. To enter for prizes each month, all you need to do is either make an entry in the Ravelry thread for the month, or #knit20for2021 on Instagram. And it’s great if you can nominate your favorite indie dyer or local yarn shop of choice because we have a prize for both Instagram and Ravelry of a $50 voucher of your choice of yarn store or dyer as the prizes each month.

And yes, all you have to do is post a finished object that you’ve finished that month that ticks off one of the prompts on the list, which you can find on my website, curioushandmade.com. We have a link on the top menu bar, so it’s pretty easy to find what the list of prompts are. And I’ll just go through and have a little bit of a chat about some of the prompts that I have either managed to tick off or that I’m working on at the moment.

So, I’m calling a few of them achieved, finish a work in progress, I’m counting as my Píosa Cardigan, and that is also counting for the cardigan prompt. So, that was pretty cool to have two prompts ticked off, finishing that lovely project. And, if you didn’t see, I mentioned in my newsletter last week that I’ve actually done a YouTube video with a bit of a review or reveal of my Píosa Cardigan on my YouTube channel, which I’ve started to revive over there.

For short rows, I am counting my Silver River Shawl design, which is cheating a little bit, but I think it’s okay. I released the Silver River Shawl as the second shawl in the Shawl Society last month. And I incorporated short rows into that design, which is a new to my designs technique. And I really enjoyed introducing that. And I’ve had some lovely comments that people have enjoyed learning how to do short rows. And it’s a really… an easy introduction to short rows. Because the short rows are in garter stitch, you don’t really have to worry too much about hiding them. So, that’s been a kind of nice, easy introduction for me, and any of my knitters that haven’t attempted short rows before either.

For the socks prompt, I am knitting two pairs of socks at the moment that are personal projects. I’m working on my Come Little Leaves! Socks by Alice Jeffries in Birch Hollow Fibers yarn, which is just a stunning colourway called Curiosity. And yeah, I’m just savoring those and knitting them quite slowly. But they’re just a little project that I have to hand, I sometimes grab when I’m taking one of the girls to a swimming or lesson sporting activity.

And then, last month, I started knitting some socks in Amble from The Fibre Co., which is just a gorgeous sock yarn, a fairly new to them blend that they designed especially for socks. And I’m knitting that in the Buttermere colourway, and just really enjoying those as well. I’m using my Simply Curious sock pattern, which is a free sock pattern. If you sign up to the workshop on my website, it’s available there. And yes, just enjoying having those as little travel projects, I guess. And I think that also will tick the new-to-me designer box because Alice Jeffries, [who] is also @homebody_diaries on Instagram, is a new-to-me designer. So, I will also tick that prompt with those socks when I finish them.

For the gift or charity knit, I’m cheating a little bit again and counting my donation to the UNHCR last month. For my birthday celebrations, I was able to donate $2,200, Australian dollars, to the UNHCR, and that was through generous purchases of my Scrappy Projects on Ravelry. So I’m counting that as a charity knit, even though it’s not my actual knitting.

Finally, I wanted to mention the toy prompt. If you’ve been listening along for a while, you’ll know that I’m having a Knit Along for June and July, which is being hosted with the hashtag knit20for2021toy. And I’ve been knitting on my bear by Susan B. Anderson with a kit from Barrett Wool Co., and making pretty good progress with that. I expect to finish that this week. Well, I’m setting myself the goal to finish that this week. So, hopefully, next week I’ll be able to announce that I’ve ticked that one off.

And then, I will start on my Sadie Siri Kit that I purchased from Wild and Woolly Shop, which is a beautiful London yarn store. And the pattern is by Cinthia Vallet, who is @fromcinthia with a C, C-I-N-T-H-I-A, on Instagram. And yes, I purchased this kit last year, and I’m looking forward to starting on that one. I’m a little bit nervous, but I’ve had so many reassurances and kind comments from everyone that I will just start and see how I go.

And for my word of the year, I just thought I’d have a little update on that as well. My word of the year is connect. And it’s been a really fabulous word for me this year because, with moving and COVID, I have sort of gotten into a little bit of a hibernation, let’s say, from socially being social. And so, this word has helped pull me out of that a little bit this year. And I joined the Buderim Concert Band, which has been really, really nice, and made some nice connections through that, as well as the Buderim Cottage Patchwork Group, which there’s another social stitching group that I joined and go to on a Thursday night. And they’ve both been a little bit patchy in terms of how much I’ve been able to attend. I was quite sick for like about a month. And then, lately, we’ve had a little bit of cancellations of the group because of COVID. But I think we’ll be back to that quite soon. And yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing my friends at both of those groups again.

I’ve also been prompted to reach out to my friends a little bit more than perhaps I would have. Not dramatically more but it’s just that thought is there that I want to keep up my beautiful connections that I have with my friends. So, when opportunities arise to jump on a Zoom call or have a text conversation, I’m sort of not forcing myself, but just encouraging myself to really lean into those connections more than I might have otherwise. I’m such an introvert, so it’s very easy for me to become more introverted unless I push myself a little bit.

And there are a couple of specific things that I thought I would do in relation to this word, which is update my contacts and send people birthday cards. And I have not managed to do either of those yet but I think, with this half-year review, I will put those back on my list, if they’ve fallen off, and make that a little bit more of a priority in the next… I don’t know, maybe I should say I’ll commit to doing that in July. And, scarily, July is half over already, so that will give me a bit of a kick up the bum to get that done. Yes, I think I’ll do that. I’m saying that for accountability right now, and I’m going to write it down as soon as I finish recording. I should just actually do it as soon as I’m finished recording, update my contacts, but I feel like it’s one of those things that has become more of a job in my mind than it will actually be, so I’m procrastinating on it. But no more. I’m going to… I’m going to… I’m going to do it.

This year has been a lot more action-oriented, and a lot more getting on top of things than I have in the past, so I’m feeling really good about that. So, that’s all the news I have for you this week. I’d like to thank my sponsor, A Yarn Story.

Thanks for joining me this week for a little chat. If you’re participating in the Handmade Sock Society or the Shawl Society this year, do keep posting your projects in the finished object threads and on Instagram And you still have a couple of weeks to join me for the Knit 20 for 2021 Toy challenge, the special, extra knit along I’m hosting last month and this month, as well as July’s prompt for Knit 20 for 2021.

I hope you have a great week. Happy knitting, and I’ll talk to you soon.

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