Episode 345: A Sewcation and the Lavender Fields Shawl

Helen Stewart, Curious Handmade wearing her own design the Lavender Fields Shawl

I’m back from a lovely local holiday, all recharged and full of inspiration. I have some really exciting projects to share with you, and lots of winners to announce from recent knitalongs. And last but not least, I have all the details about our brand new shawl pattern from The Shawl Society 5: our Lavender Fields Shawl. It’s going to be lovely to catch up with you after being away, so fill your mug and settle in for some crafty chat.

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:

Julie Asselin Nurtured Fine

Hoshuku Lace yarn from Circus Tonic Handmade

@knitsocial (Knit City) on Instagram 

Jeni Baker Patterns   / @jenib320 on Instagram

My Houses quilt is ready for quilting at last – pattern by Jeni Baker Patterns  

The Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft

#thehappinessproject on Instagram

#happierpodcast on Instagram

The Panda Kit by Susan B. Anderson

The Sadie Souris Kit by Cinthia Vallet

I’ve  shared  some more details of my crafty stay-cation ; check out my latest video here on my YouTube Channel and you can find links mentioned in the video in this blog post (plus some extra holiday pics). 

Knit 20for2021 TOY Winners 

Toy Ravelry thread winner: Post 28 which is Strawberry Cow by piefairyprincess

Toy #knit20for2021TOY  Instagram winner: Ziggy the Zebra by @bexhbear

Knit 20for2021 July Winners

Ravelry: Post 56 by sheelamc , who made a hat for donation and nominated Baaad Anna’s Yarn Store

Instagram: skye.watson.16 , who ticked shawl off her list and nominated @threetreesfibrecrafts

The Lavender Fields Socks FO Ravelry Thread Winner Post 86 by patb

The Curling Mist Shawl FO Ravelry Thread winner Post 34 by sealcookie

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

The Shawl Society 5

The Shawl Society 5 is over  halfway;  The Curling Mist Shawl , The Silver River Shawl,   The Wild Bees Wrap and now The Lavender Fields Shawl  are all out now with 2 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

Huge thanks to my brilliant sample knitters  Deb @tinkhickman, Tracy @comfyredcouch and  Wendy  @wendeecut1er 

The Shawl Society 5 Finished Object Threads 

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

Wild Bees Wrap FO Thread on Ravelry will run until October 1st, 2021

Keep an eye out for The Lavender Fields Shawl  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 Scribbly Gum Socks FO Thread  will run until September 1st, 2021 

There is also Grand KAL for knitters who have made 5 or 6 of this season’s socks can post a photo of their collection for another chance to win; check out the Ravelry Thread here

Knit 20 for 2021 KAL

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

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 345. 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.

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

Hello, knitters. And welcome to the show today. Today’s episode I’ll be chatting to you about my new Lavender Fields pattern that was released as the fourth shawl in The Shawl Society yesterday, as well as a little bit of an update on my staycation/slowcation. And then I have quite a few winners of Knit-Alongs to announce as well. So lots of knitting and Knit-Along chat in the podcast today. And thanks so much for joining me for that.

The year really seems to be racing by, doesn’t it? We are now up to the fourth shawl in The Shawl Society, which I just can’t believe. And this is a really pretty shawl, quite delicate, and I did time it to coincide with summer in the Northern hemisphere, being a lace weight shawl. And I’ll just read out the description because it is quite apt for this time of year I think.

Deep rest is elusive. Real, true rest with no demands, no interruptions, no obligations. It is difficult to come by, but so powerful. This is how we replenish our energy and our creativity. It’s how we come back to ourselves and feel whole again in a world that’s often fragmented and overwhelming. But deep in the lavender fields, rest is waiting. Surrounded by the soft lullaby scent of countless tiny flowers, all we need to do is breathe. The Lavender Fields Shawl is a tribute to the wisdom of taking time out. It is a variation on the traditional hap shawl construction with a modern colour- blocked edge. The sway of the restful garter stitch is enlivened with eyelet details and a band of sweet lavender-inspired lace at the border. The delicate picot bind-off is a refreshing design detail to finish off this restorative and relaxing knit.

This Lavender Fields shawl was another shawl where I experimented a little bit with a new construction, new to me construction, I should say, a very old and well-trusted construction in the Shetlands. But yes, this is my take on it. I drew inspiration from the traditional hap construction, but have put my own spin on it. So it doesn’t include a knitted-on border like a traditional hap shawl would. It just has a simple picked-up border. And then it’s knit in a fairly standard shawl construction for a triangular shawl. But it is fairly straightforward, simple knit. Probably one of the more straightforward in the collection I feel. And yeah, there’s a little bit of simple lace. It’s the same lace as the Lavender Fields socks, so these are siblings, I guess, or in the Lavender Field family in my collections.

And I used two very special yarns for this shawl. The first sample I was using Julie Asselin nurtured fine yarn. And this is a lace weight, single yarn. And the nurtured fine by Julie Asselin is a gorgeous blend of 100% fine wool, Rambouillet, Targhee, and Merino, which gives it a lot of spring and character. And I used the colorways Fusion and Picnic. And they’re a beautiful grey and kind of greeny colour, maybe even a minty colour. I purchased this yarn at Knit City in Vancouver a few years ago, and I would often see Julie at various events around the world, yarning events, and being a Canadian she was there at Knit City. And I was really attracted to this yarn and partly because it’s sold on a cone and that just to me was so intriguing and I just really liked the look of that. So I bought two skeins of that yarn thinking that it might be lovely for a shawl at some point in the future. And yes, this was that shawl.

And the other yarn I selected for this shawl is Hoshuku lace from Circus Tonic Handmade. And this is a gorgeous blend for shawls particularly. It’s 80% Merino and 20% pure silk. So it’s just gorgeous for shawls. And on the Circus Tonic website, they say this exquisite yarn is soft and airy as can be and would make seriously beautiful shawls. The silk component of the yarn gives a very subtle luminosity which makes this yarn truly stunning. And I agree with every word in that description. It’s absolutely true. I am delighted with both my samples in these gorgeous yarns. And they are very different. So yeah, they both have quite a different character, which is just so interesting.

I have given two sizes for this particular shawl. And the Julie Asselin is the small size. It’s really a small to medium. I just decided to call it a small because it is on the smaller side of shawls these days relative to my other designs, I guess, is how I tried to name it. And then I have the other large size in the Circus Tonic sample.

You could also knit this shawl in fingering weight, no problems. It would translate to a fingering weight really nicely. And I would select a four millimetre US six needle if you’re doing it in a fingering weight yarn. I think for both sizes, you would want to have two skeins of colour A and one skein of colour B. And for the large, you might need two skeins of colour B. You might just go into two skeins. But you could always make that section a little bit smaller if you didn’t want to have a second skein of colour B as well if you’re using fingering weight yarn. But I haven’t done a sample or calculations for fingering weight, so I can’t tell you exactly the yardage requirements for a fingering weight shawl. But just looking at what I used for the lace weight, you’ll need a bit more yardage because you’ll go up to a bigger needle.

So I hope you love this one. It’s a really sweet, simple shawl. And I feel like it’s just perfect for summertime, summer easy, relaxed knitting. And even though we’re in winter here Down Under, it’s also perfect for some cosy, easy TV knitting.

So I was smiling to myself when I was reading about deep rest being elusive because last week I took a break and had a lovely rest and it was a bit elusive I have to say. It took me quite a few days to even start to unwind and settle into not working. And I was really trying to take a complete break from work and have a rest. And I have to say, it’s been a while since I’ve tried to do that. I’ve been on lots of trips and holidays, but usually I will have a work project that I’m working on. And I have to confess, I did knit a little bit on my sweater that I’m attempting to design at the moment. But I didn’t have to think about that at all. It was just purely stockinette in-the-round with no shaping. And so I didn’t have to think about that from a work point of view. And I was just knitting on that while I was watching some Olympics and just really relaxing. So I’m not really counting that as work, even though technically it was.

But for most of the time, I spent quilting and doing some patchwork quilts. And that was really, really satisfying. I was able to finish the top of my House’s quilt that I’ve been talking about for a while on the podcast. And it’s on my Happiness Projects for the year. So that was super satisfying to finish. And it’s quite large. I’d say it’s a queen size. I can’t think of the dimensions off the top of my head, but it covers, oh, actually, our bed is king size, so it’s really quite big. And when I saw it, I was talking on the last podcast about maybe quilting it myself, but then when I saw how big it was I immediately decided that I wouldn’t try and do that. And so I contacted a friend who’s a longarm quilter here on the coast, and she said that she’d be able to do it for me. So I was super happy to have that.

I’ve put together the back using a panel that I had made probably nine years ago. I’d started to work on this quilt and was doing a very, I don’t know what the word is, but just very random shapes and kind of putting them together as I went along. I’ll take a photo so that you can see what I mean. And so I thought I could use that panel for part of the back and then I’ve put some other, patched some other pieces together to make the back of the quilt. And so I will give that to Fiona now that we’re out of lockdown here in Queensland. I will get that to her as soon as I can just in case we go back into lockdown again. So that was really good.

And then my mum came up to spend a few days with us as well. And she asked if I wanted to work on another quilt that I’d been talking about for a while and had actually designed, an idea for a design for a quilt. And so we started working on that in the last few days of the week and basically almost finished it in about two days working on that together. So that was really exciting.

And I still have to put a few strips on the top and sides, kind of like a border. It is basically a border. That’s what top and sides are, isn’t it? And then, yeah and then I’ll be able to see how it’s all come-together. I don’t feel like I can decide if I like the design or not just yet. And yeah, it’s interesting that the first design came out as a very scrappy design. It’s very, yeah… lots and lots of pieces. And I will maybe talk a little bit more about that process in another episode if I decide that I like it. So I also need to finish that and also give that to my quilter as well to quilt for me.

So, yeah. So that was super satisfying in terms of what I finished. I also finished my pandas cardigan, hooded cardigan. I finished my little panda as part of the Knit 20 for 2021 Toy Knit-Along that I hosted in June and July. And I just have a little bit of the cardigan to go. So I finished that before the end of the month. I said, I think I’ve said on the last podcast that I’d finished the bear but I hadn’t finished the cardigan yet, so I finished that off within the month. And so that was also very exciting and quite a good sense of achievement having really wanted to make a toy for a couple of years now. And having the Knit-Along, I often don’t meet my own Knit-Along deadlines or challenges. So yes, so this was really good to do and good for the confidence as well.

And I guess that brings me on to talking about Knit-Along winners. So I can lead into the those announcements. So for the Knit 20 for 21 Toy, I’ll start there, seeing as I’ve been talking about that. I was so in love with all your entries, such cute toys. Lots of people had knit the bears and the mice and turtles from Cinthia Vallet, who is the designer of the Sadie Souris mouse that I have a kit for. And I didn’t start that. I hoped to, but I didn’t get to start that one. But now, I’m super inspired to do that. And I feel a real boost of confidence from doing the panda. But anyway, onto the winners. So we have from Ravelry post number 28, Strawberry Cow by Pie Fairy Princess. And on Instagram, we have Ziggy the Zebra by @bexhbear. So congratulations, and congratulations on your gorgeous toys as well.

For the Knit 20 for 21 July general Knit-Along, on Ravelry we have post 56 by Sheilamc who made a hat for donation and nominated Baaad Anna’s Yarn store in Vancouver. And on Instagram, we have @skye.watson.16 who ticked shawl off her list and nominated Three Trees Fibre Crafts. We also drew winners for the Lavender Fields socks and the winner is post 86 by PatB, and for the Curling Mist shawl, the winner is post 34 by SealCookie. So congratulations to all our winners. You can email us at support@curioushandmade.com or message HellsBells on Ravelry. Thank you to everybody who participated, especially the toy knitters. You really encouraged me and kept me going.

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

And also, a big thank you to my sample and test knitters for the Lavender Fields shawl. I couldn’t do it without you. So a huge thank you to Wendy, Deb, and Tracy, and to our gorgeous yarn dyers for this shawl, Julie Asselin and Circus Tonic Handmade.

 I hope you have a fantastic week. Happy knitting. And I’ll talk to you soon.

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