We’re all about homemade gifts right now at Curious Handmade HQ! We’ve got lots of chat on this week’s podcast about just why it’s so special to give and receive things made by hand. I’ve just finished a few myself, which I’ll share with you, and we also have not one but two brand new Knitvent 2021 patterns to discuss.
So grab your project bag and let’s have a little visit.
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.
I can’t believe Knitvent 2021 is already over halfway ; the first four patterns have been released with 2 more secret patterns to follow between now and the 2nd of December! You can join in anytime thorough, Knitvent is designed with quick knits for gifts in mind.
Knitvent 2021 on Ravelry
Knitvent 2021 on Gumroad
The Meet Cute Socks sample 1 were knit in
(Stash divers: The sample I knit from this yarn used approximately: 110g or 248m/271yds of DK weight yarn)
The Meet Cute Socks sample 2 and The Meet Cute Mitts were knit in
(Stash divers: The Socks sample I knit from this yarn used approximately: 90g or 219m/240yds of DK weight yarn and the Mitts sample was approximately 42g or 102m/112yds of DK weight yarn)
If you’re joining me for Knitvent this year, welcome! I’ll be doing a giveaway for the whole of Knitvent in Jan. 2022 you can find the thread here on the Curious Handmade Ravelry group and on Instagram be sure to use the #knitvent2021
My own design Simply Curious Socks: click this link for a free Beginner Sock Knitting Pattern & Workshop
Twisted Finch on Instagram
#sadiesouris on Instagram
#tsutsubear on Instagram
The Shawl Society 5
All 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,The Veranda Shade Shawl and now The Hinterlands Shawl. Thank you to everyone who participated in The Shawl Society this year, it’s been such a joy to share my designs and then to see your creations on Ravely and Instagram.
The Hinterlands Shawl FO Thread on Ravelry will run until December 1st, 2021
TSS 5: Six/Five Completed Shawls FO Thread on Ravelry will run until January 7th, 2022
The Knit 20 for 2021 KAL
Join in with the Knit 20 for 2021 KAL by sharing your finished object photos here in the November 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.
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
Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 355. 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 a big thank you to my sponsor, A Yarn Story.
Hello and welcome to the show. I hope you’re having a lovely November. We are already halfway through Knitvent. I prepare for it all year and then it seems to fly by so quickly after the first pattern is released. I’ve also been working away on my handmade gifts. I have finished two works in progress that had been on the needles for a while, in one case for a long while, a pair of socks. Actually, both the items are socks. The first pair I finished was my Simply Curious Socks, my free pattern that I was knitting in Amble yarn by the Fibre Company. They turned out super squishy and cosy. And I’ve finished my Cyril socks, which was a pattern by Danielle George of Little Bobbins. And those have been on the needles for a long time. And I knit those in Twisted Finch yarn in a beautiful chestnut colour way. And those are going to be for my dad. The Simply Curious Socks will be for my mom for Christmas presents. I’m really pleased to have them finished, have two works in progress off the needles and two items in my gift knitting basket.
I’m also working on a special quilt, and that is for a gift for somebody. So I will share more details about that after it’s been gifted. But in the meantime, it’s been a lovely project to work on and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on it. So as I’ve been working on these gifts, I’ve been thinking how lovely it is in making things personal for the recipient.
From pondering on that while I’ve been stitching away, I’ve come up with a little list of five reasons why handmade gifts are so fabulous. And the first reason which is quite dear to my heart is that often they are very sustainable. There’s less packaging, less air miles. Some of them can actually be created from nothing with some creativity; for example, a poem, a song, or a musical performance. And I was reminded of this at the O’Reilly’s yarn retreat back in October when one of the attendees, Renee, who’s very creative, she’s a drama teacher by trade. And on our last evening, we had a get together and a bit of a show and tell. And she had written a special thank you poem for Kylie who organised the retreat. And it was so sweet and personal and she read out the poem and it was just so lovely. And it was just her creativity that had gone into that.
And that leads into the second item on my list, which is that they can be personal to the recipient and also personal to you as the maker. But it just means that you can make something that’s relevant to the style or favourite colours or desires of your recipient.
And I think that just makes it so special because leading on to the third thing, your item will be unique. And for me, that’s like just adds so much value to an item that it’s so special. Even if you’ve used a pattern or a kit to make something, it’s still unique because you have made it. I think a lot of times we say to ourselves, “Oh, we’re not that creative.” Or if you’re following a pattern or recreating an idea you’ve in on Pinterest or somewhere, you can often feel like it’s not very original. But the fact that your hands are making it, makes it unique and original.
Another thing I love about handmade gifts are that they’re very tactile. The things we make by hand are usually quite organic, usually using natural materials or soft, textural materials. And they often feel so beautiful just to touch and have in your hands. Because as makers, we are drawn to beautiful feeling materials, and then that translates into the finished item.
And finally, the fifth thing is something that is just not possible in a manufactured item is that it is infused with love for that person that you’re making it for. As you’re making the item, you’re thinking about them. You’re imagining them wearing it or enjoying it. And I think that puts a little bit of magic into that gift.
So those are some thoughts I’ve had about how lovely and wonderful it is to make gifts for people. Not everybody is into making gifts. Perhaps you don’t choose to spend your time that way, or maybe you’ve had experiences in the past where your gifts haven’t been appreciated. But if you can find those knit worthy people or have knit worthy people in your life or people who appreciate handmade things, it’s so lovely to be able to do that for somebody.
I think next on my list, once I finish my quilt that I’m making, I’m really keen to finally launch into making a Sadie Souris, which is a gorgeous, cute toy pattern by Cinthia Vallet. Her Instagram handle is From Cinthia and Cynthia is C-I-N-T-H-I-A. She’s currently having a knit along for one of her amazing little creatures, which is the Tsutsu Bear, T-S-U-T-S-U bear. And I’ve just been watching this knit along and just so keen to jump in. So I’m tempted to knit a bear. I have some gorgeous Wren and Ollie yarn. I can’t remember the name of the base, but it’s a really natural base of fingering weight yarn that I think will be really perfect for these toys. And I also have a kit that I’ve had for quite a while now to make a Sadie Souris with clothes in beautiful yarn hand dyed by Wool Kitchen, to make her clothes. So I am debating whether to use my kit or just jump into the Tsutsu bear knit along. I don’t know. Anyway, hopefully I’ll start somewhere in the very near future.
And speaking of cute things, that is a lovely segue to my Knitvent patterns that were released yesterday. So yesterday two patterns were released, a little set, kind of. So the first one is the meet cute socks. And these are some lovely cable socks knit in beautiful DK yarn. And I’ll just read you the little story that goes along with them. It wouldn’t be a holiday romance if there wasn’t something for us to swoon over. But the iconic meet cute, isn’t all butterflies and fluttering eyelashes. Sometimes those flying sparks look more like instant loathing than love at sight. Sometimes it’s the start of a comic misunderstanding that will escalate scene by scene. The course of true love never did run smooth, and there will always be a few bumps along the way. That might be the best part. We know that no matter what the plot might throw at them, these two people will always arrive at happily ever after together.
The Meet Cute Socks are cute and comforting. Designed for plump DK yarn, they’re a very speedy knit and super snuggly, perfect for kicking around the house on a frosty morning or for cuddling up on the couch on a movie night. They feature stylish “antler” cable pattern down the front and are finished with a heel flap and gusset end around the toe. The pattern includes four sizes, so you can whip up a pair for your favourite folks and find your own perfect fit, too.
I knit two samples of these socks. The first yarn I used was from Fibre Smith, hand dyed DK Merino, which is a hundred percent sustainable extra fine Australian Merino. And the DK weight is 225 metres or 246 yards per hundred gram skein. And so I knit the medium sample to fit my size European 42, size 10 feet. And I used 110 grams of the DK weight yarn, so a little over a skein. Unfortunately I had to go into a second skein. And the colour way I used of the Fibre Smith yarn is white marble, beautiful, beautiful, subtle pale colour.
And the second sample is in Louie and Lola Merino nylon DK. That’s 80% super wash Merino, 20% nylon. And that put up is 243 metres, 266 yards per hundred gram skein, so a little bit more yardage for those skeins. And the colour way is sea smoke, a beautiful speckled light blue. I just loved the colour way when I saw it on Karina’s Instagram. So I asked if I could do a sample. And that one I knit the same size, but was 90 grams of that yarn, so it used a little bit less in weight. And so depending on the size and length unit will obviously impact on the amount of yarn you need. These are knit on 3.25 millimetre needles, US size three. And they were a pretty quick knit. I found the cable pattern quite potato-chippy to knit, have that panel down the front of the socks. And yeah, they knit up pretty quickly. I’d say, I think I was designing and knitting at the same time and they probably took just a few days, maybe even just a day each. So I think that’s the beauty of DK weight socks. They do knit up very quickly. So they’re great for gift knitting, and they’re very cosy for winter gifts.
And matching those, the Meet Cute Mitts also were releasedyesterday. And the little story continues. Here it is, that moment totally unexpected, a little awkward, impossibly charming. However our couple meets, there’s going to be laughter and lots of eye contact, blushing, probably a bit of snapping. Perhaps this mysterious stranger recently arrived in town to take over the local hardware store or they could be related to the awful old Grinch who’s driving the plot forward. But it doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that sparks are flying, chemistry is simmering and our love story has really begun. Warm hands, warm heart. The Meet Cute. Mitts are cute enough to have a starring role in your gift knitting repertoire this year. These cuddly fingerless mitts use DK weight yarn for extra squish, and to help them knit up quickly. A panel of simple antler cable offers visual and knitting interest and is easy to master, even if cable knitting is a new skill for you. This pattern includes two sizes to help you cross multiple names off your list.
I knit this sample and Louis and Lola Merino nylon DK, which is the 80% super wash Merino, 20% nylon blend from the socks. And I used the colorway robin’s nest. And the medium size used 42 grams, which is about a hundred metres or 112 yards of DK weight yarn. So any DK weight yarn that you are happy to have against your hands is suitable. You might have some scraps, 42 grams in your stash. And I think there’s probably a gram or two of buffer in there. These little mitts don’t use much yarn at all, so they’re a great little gift to put it as a stocking filler.
So I hope you are enjoying following on with the holiday movie theme of Knitvent this year, and having a lovely festive month.
Just before I sign off, I’d like to thank my sponsor Meadow Yarn.
Have a wonderful cosy week. I hope you find some moments of peace and stitching. Happy knitting. I’ll talk to you soon.