Episode 347: The Veranda Shade Shawl

Helen Stewart, Curious Handmade, , wearing a light pink dress and leggings, stands of a white veranda. She's holding up a hand knit lace shawl, her own design The Veranda Shade Shawl in dark teal and pink speckled yarn

Our newest secret design from The Shawl Society 5 has been revealed, and this week on the podcast I’m talking about the new pattern and the gorgeous yarn we chose for the sample. I’ve also got some quilt content: what I’m working on and whether I want to bring quilt patterns into the Curious Handmade world or whether it’s better to keep quilting as a beloved hobby instead of making it another job. I also have some giveaway winners to announce!

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:

Craft to Career Podcast with  QuiltersCandy

@quilters_candy on Instagram

The Shawl Society 5

5 of the 6 shawls in The Shawl Society 5 are out now;  The Curling Mist Shawl , The Silver River Shawl,   The Wild Bees Wrap , The Lavender Fields Shawl  and now The Veranda Shade Shawl. Just one 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 Veranda Shade Shawl sample was knit in Sylvia Sock by  Birch Hollow Fibres

Huge thanks to my talented  test knitters Wendy, Tracy, Deb & Carolyn . Thanks also to my wonderful sample knitter, Maureen and to my daughter Sophie for modelling the sample so perfectly  

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

The Lavender Fields Shawl  FO Thread on Ravelry will run until October 7th, 2021

Keep an eye out for The Veranda Shade Shawl FO Thread on the Curious Handmade Discussion Board on Ravelry 

August FO KAL Winners

Silver River Shawl Ravelry winner  Post 30 by leeleto

Scribbly Gum Socks Ravelry winner Post 41  by Knittysixx

Knit 20 for 2021 August Winners

Ravelry winner Post 52 by Raitalammas ticked off “Brioche” and “Deep pattern stash” and nominated ILO Yarn in Finland.

Instagram winner @indielynx ticked off “deep pattern stash”, “gift” & “hat” 

The Knit 20 for 2021 KAL

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

You can also enter on Instagram with the hashtag #knit20for2021 on Instagram 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 on the Curious Handmade website for all the details.

The Handmade Sock Society 4 Finished Object Threads on Ravelry 

If you’ve made 5 or 6 pairs of socks from The Handmade Sock Society 4, don’t forget to enter the Grand KAL; post a photo of your collection for a chance to win; check out the Ravelry Thread here to share your photo or just to marvel at all the beautiful work of the Handmade Sock Society members! 

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 347. 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 like to say thank you to my sponsor, A Yarn Story. 

Spring has arrived here in Australia and with it that special kind of fresh energy. I have noticed both my indoor and outdoor gardens taking off again and starting to put out new green shoots. And I also noticed that I had to postpone recording for a couple of hours this morning because there were so many mowers and garden machines at work in the neighbourhood that I couldn’t record the podcast for a while. So it’s not just me noticing the new growth. And in the Northern hemisphere, it is Fall and back-to-school time for that new notebook start of the year feeling. I really do love seeing the back-to-school photos of kids on social media. And I also really love the feeling of a fresh start at this time of year, although here we are gearing up for the last term of the school year and the start of the summer basketball season, which is a fact that has completely passed me by my whole life until now. So hooray for new things.

Speaking of new things, I have been quilting up a storm lately. It’s not a brand new thing for me, as I did quite a bit of quilt-making about 15 years ago and made quite a few quilts in quick succession. But I haven’t done that for a long time. So it feels like a new hobby again now. I’m still toying with the idea of making my quilt designs into patterns for sale and having a new branch of Curious Handmade products. On the pro side, I have experience selling patterns, so I reckon I can use my knowledge of selling knitting patterns. And I really love quilting, so I can see myself getting into it a lot more in the future.

But on the con side, do I want to monetize a hobby that I’m getting a lot of joy and fun out of and make more work for myself? So I’m just pondering this at the moment. Also, on the con side, I feel a bit daunted by getting into a new, whole new product. The quilting world is kind of a new world to me. So that’s all new language and codes to be learned. I have been listening to a really good podcast I had discovered on Instagram called Craft to Career Podcast with Quilters Candy. And the host is Elizabeth Chappell and her quilting brand is Quilters Candy. And that was the Instagram feed that I was following.

So the little blurb says, “Listen to stories of creative entrepreneurs plus tips from Elizabeth and turn your craft into a successful career.” So I’ve listened to some great interviews from successful quilt designers. And it’s been really interesting because a lot of it is specific to quilting, but a lot of it also applies to knitting pattern design as well. So it’s really interesting to notice what overlaps and what’s different. And I’ve really enjoyed listening to some of these interviews from successful crafters.

Anyway, all that to say is I’m still toying with the idea and having a little ponder about Curious Handmade quilts, and so watch this space. I’ve made three quilts recently in a joint effort with my mom, who’s done a lot of the sewing for me. And the first one I started at my staycation, so you might’ve seen some photos of that on Instagram. And that one has just come back from my quilter and is looking really gorgeous. Now we just need to sew on the binding, which I think mom is going to do for me as well. So thanks, mom.

Then I have done another one in the same design, but made a couple of modifications to the design just to make it a little bit more balanced looking. And I think that’s improved it a bit. So I’m really happy with that design now. And finally, I thought for the third one I would come up with another design. So I did that and put together the top for that one last week. So both of those two quilts are now with the quilter. So I did a bit of a swap. I picked up one and dropped two off. And I’m just enjoying the process so much.

I really love working with fabric. I love sewing clothes and quilting, especially with cotton. And I also enjoy linen as well, which is perfect for our hot climate here to be using materials like that. And I really wish I enjoyed knitting with cotton and linen more, but my hands don’t really love it because those fibres aren’t very elastic at all. So there’s no give to them, and so I find it quite hard on my hands. But it would be great for this climate if I could knit with those fibres. I have some blends which are I think about 50% wool, 50% cotton. And so I’m looking forward to trying those because I think that they will have a nice balance of some elasticity but also the cotton will probably be a bit cooler for this Queensland climate.

In other knitting news, yesterday I released the fifth pattern in The Shawl Society Season 5, and that is The Veranda Shade Shawl. And the countryside theme continues. A long summer’s afternoon. Each shimmering in the distance, a soft drone of nearby wings and far away lawn mowers as slow snippets of conversation rise and fall. It’s so warm that every slight breeze is a cherished blessing, but here in the shade with an icy glass of something by your side, you’re just cool enough to be comfortable. In the contended haze of this rocking chair drowsiness, it’s so easy to drift and dream. The Veranda Shade Shawl celebrates the luxurious laziness of summertime. This classic crescent shawl is ideal holiday knitting, enough interest to hold your attention but simple enough that you can daydream over your work. It starts off with laid-back garter stitch, and then grows into a pattern of easy lace, recalling the slow rhythm of a rocking chair. As they’re relaxing, lace repeats and the pattern drifts back to finish with a wide garter stitch border.

The sample for this shawl was knit in Birch Hollow Fibres Sylvia Sock. It’s 75% Superwash Merino, 25% nylon, and that is 423 metres or 463 yards per 100 gram skein. The two colorways are At Stone’s End and Cedar, which is a beautiful dusky pink speckle. If you’re substituting other yarn, the shawl used approximately 70 grams of the colour A, At Stone’s End, which is the blue, and 80 grams of colour B, which is the pink.

So it’s a lovely, fairly simple crescent-shaped shawl. The lace is fairly relaxing. I think you can memorise the pattern before too long. And it’s a really easy-to- read pattern in the sense that you can tell where you’re up to from the previous row. And when we went to the venue where we did the photo shoot for the whole collection, which was a little cottage on a farm in the hinterland near where I live, about an hour’s drive from where I live, and I was pretty delighted to find that there was a veranda there because we’d already come up with a name and concept for the shawl. So that was made for a really lovely photo opportunity.

I’d like to thank my testers Tracy, Deb, Wendy, and Carolyn for testing this shawl for me. They all used really different colour combinations, and so it was lovely to see how they came together. I absolutely love Birch Hollow Fibres colour sense. Her yarns are just gorgeous. Robin is an indie dyer based in the U.S. And yeah, just beautiful, beautiful colours. I’ve used her yarns for a few designs now and every time it’s just an absolute joy. So thank you for the inspiring yarn, Robin. It was one of these cases where I had the yarn and had just bought them as single skeins, but when they arrived I just thought that they would look really lovely in a shawl together. So they basically inspired this design. And I’d also like to thank my sample knitter, Maureen, and my daughter, Sophie, for modelling for me.

I can’t believe that we are now up to the final shawl in the collection next time. And yeah, this year’s gone so fast, honestly. Well, it’s kind of the times where I felt like it’s going quite slowly. But yes, here we are in September and it will be a quite rapid ride to the end of the year now I think.

We are going to have some fun emails and little eBooks gifts for you. So if you would like to sign up for my newsletter in the lead up to Knitvent this year, if you’re not already receiving my emails, that will be a great way to be the first to hear about any promotions and Knitvent early-bird season. We also have some eBooks we’re planning to send to you and just the usual updates about knit-alongs and the news from Curious Handmade as well.

For our knit-alongs, we have our August winners to announce. So I will do that now before I sign off. So the winner for the Silver River Shawl knit-along is post number 30 on Ravelry, who is leeleto. So congratulations. And for The Handmade Sock Society winner, that was for the Scribbly Gum Socks, and the winner is post 41 by Knittysixx with two X’s. So congratulations Knittysixx. We also have August Knit 20 for 2021 winners to announce. So on Ravelry, we have post number 52 by Raitalammas R-A-I-T-A-L-A-M-M-A-S, who ticked the box for Brioche and Deep Pattern Stash. And she has nominated ILO Yarn in Finland for her prize.

And on Instagram, we have Claire, who is indilynx on Instagram, I-N-D-I-L-Y-N-X. And she ticked off Deep Pattern Stash Gift and Hat for her prompts this month. And we haven’t had that many people on Instagram tagging the knit20for21 hashtag, which is how we find people to draw the prizes for. So if you are participating in Knit 20 for 21 and posting on Instagram, please use the hashtags and we can find you to put you in the prize draw.

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

Have a wonderful week whichever season and part of the world you’re in. Happy knitting. I’ll talk to you soon.

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