Knitvent 2014 has been so much fun this year. I’ve heard from so many people enjoying the patterns, telling me about their festive making efforts and the KAL has been full of gorgeous handknits for weeks. It’s almost time to get all of your entries in to win prizes (more on that in a moment) but first I wanted to extend a festive thank you to everyone.

Curious Handmade Holiday Sale

As well as celebrating the release of single patterns for Knitvent 2014, you can also enjoy any single pattern free with purchase of two others (put all three in cart and you will automatically get one FREE) with the code HAPPYHOLS342 entered at checkout on Ravelry. The offer will run through till Sunday 28 December 2014.

So whether you’ve been craving some beading in the Candlelit Shawl, a simple and soothing lace shawl like Pebble Beach Shawlette or something quick and comforting like the Red Robin Shawl, now is the time to treat yourself after all that gift knitting. 

There’s still time to enter to win fab prizes for the knitalong too. The prizes are lining up and looking really tempting for this one. So if you’ve been knitting from Knitvent 2013 or 2014 over the last few weeks, come tell me about it and you could win one of these fab prizes:

Knit and Let Knit Tote

Fringe Supply Co ‘Knit and Let Knit’ Tote Bag

ECY BFL sock

Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock in the Robin Egg colourway (as used in the Candlelit Shawl)

For all the rules of play please take a look at the KAL chatty thread and be sure to post your FO pic in the finished objects thread before 28th December 2014 (for those of you knitting really close to the wire with those gift knits!).

Happy knitting!

CH 54: Ice Skating

December 12, 2014 — 20 Comments
Play

Curious Handmade Podcast ep 54

Show Sponsor – Meadow Yarn

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, Hazel Knits and many more.

#GiftingZen

The final Knitvent 2014 pattern was released this week, the Ice Skating Scarf ad Wrap.

iCord edging video tutorial by Very Pink Knits

The Madeline Tosh Vintage yarn for the Wrap Version is available from show sponsor Meadow Yarn.

Book Review

I do a review of Kate Atherley’s new Book Pattern Writing for Knit Designers (everything you didn’t know you needed to know)

The ebook is available from Kate’s blog Wise Hilda for US$25

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is designing and writing knitting patterns for hand knitters.

Kate also has a really great Craftsy class - Blocking Handknits with Kate Atherley - I  talked about the topic of blocking on the podcast in Episode 13.

Craftsy Class Blocking Handknits with Kate Atherly

To win this eBook, leave a comment on this post by Tuesday 16 December and let me know why you would like to have a copy of Kate’s book, Pattern Writing for Knit Designers (everything you didn’t know you needed to know)

(sponsored link)

Shop Craftsy’s Stuff your Stocking Flash Sale now! Enjoy special savings on popular yarn, sewing and quilting products and get it in time for Christmas. But act fast because this limited supply won’t last! Offer expires at midnight on December 12th, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT.

Have you heard about Knitvent from one of these fab podcasters? If you’ve found me from one of these episodes, it always great to meet new faces so please say hi in the Ravelry group. If you’re reading this and see a podcast you’ve not tried before, do check these ladies out- they’re great!

yarniacs podcast

Yarniacs

This is a US based audio podcast with 2 friends as the hosts. Sharlene and Gayle do a great job of focusing on their knitting from what they’re wearing to what they’re coveting as well as actively working on and just finished. They regularly review new releases too so it’s a great podcast for knitting fans who want plenty of knitting chatter to keep them company and plenty of pattern ideas to keep them knitting!

2 knit lit chicks

2 Knit Lit Chicks

This is a mother and daughter combination hosting an audio podcast, also based in the US. Tracie and Barb are prolific knitters who are charming and chatty in equal measure. While there’s plenty of knitting content such as on and off the needles, they also talk about what they’re reading and enjoying in a way that adds plenty to keep you engaged and feels like a catch up with friends over coffee.

stash and burn

Stash and Burn

Two friends who have been audio podcast for an impressive amount of time! Nicole and Jenny are West Coast knitters who love to chat about what they’ve been working on and stashing. I love how there’s always plenty of inspiration about new publications as they’re both big fans of US magazines such as Interweave Knits and often go back to previous issues and knit their favourites too. Its always really interesting the way they bounce ideas and problems between them and it often gives me a lot of ideas and inspiration. They never fail to make me laugh and put me in a good mood.

skein

Skein

This videocast is hosted by a favourite dyer of mine- Kristen from Skein. Based in Australia, Kristen knits and dyes such beautiful things that there’s so much inspiration to be found in every single episode. What I like about Kristen is that while she’s talking about a lot of her own gorgeous yarns, she’s not shy about enabling you to find other dyer’s great work. The lighting and sound quality is really good in this videocast too as she films in her studio in Australia. Gorgeous!

I’m Curious…..Leave a comment and let me know if these are favourites of yours too and what other podcasts both audio and video you love to listen to!

The final Knitvent pattern is ready and this week’s window has opened to reveal the Ice Skating Scarf and Wrap!

Ice Skating Scarf

The Ice Skating scarf and wrap are knit in a worsted weight yarn, making either of them perfect for keeping you warm while whether gliding round an ice rink or building a snowman.

There are three different stitch patterns to give an interesting look and they are all based on garter stitch so it is a very easy, relaxing knit – ideal for knitting by the fire with great friends, good conversation and a mug of hot chocolate.

The middle section is created with slipped stitches and gives a dramatic effect without having to deal with more than one colour at a time.

Ice Skating Wrap

The sides are finished with an icord edge which is also deceptively simple and hides the colour changes beautifully. It looks like a lot of knitting but the bigger needles and garter stitch means it flies off the needles – just in time for that walk in the snow!

Ice Skating Scarf 4

The pattern contains two options: a more unisex scarf or the ultra warm wrap version. The Ice Skating Scarf is worked up in 3 contrasting colours of Cascade 220 and measures 132cm (52″) in length and 24cm (9.5″) in width.

The scarf uses just under a skein of each colour so you can embellish with some tassels or leave it plain for a more manly look. The PDF of the pattern includes illustrated instructions of how to make the tassels for those of you who haven’t made these before.

Ice Skating Wrap 2

The Ice Skating wrap measures 127cm (50″) in length and 47cm (18.5″) in width and is worked up using 3 colours of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage. You will need 2 skeins of Colour A (shown here in Antler), 1.5 skeins of Colour B (show here in Dahlia) and just 1 skein of Colour C (shown here in Sand Dune).

Adding buttons is optional as a way of helping you style the wrap should you wish.

Knitvent 2014 is available to buy on Ravelry here:

Week 5 Special Treat!

Download these cute gift tags designed exclusively for Curious Handmade fans by BettyEttiquetteBetty Etiquette is a London based stationery brand and design studio that celebrates the power of putting pen to paper with inviting illustration and typography. Download Knitvent 2014 and you will find the PDF for these cute tags ready to attach to your careful crafted goodies.

Betty Etiquette Gift Tags

Betty Etiquette Gift Tags

Wish you all #giftingzen this Holiday Season!

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 53

This week I’m talking about the 4th Knitvent pattern – the Adorn Gift Bags, some tips for knitting them and ideas for things to put in them from the Curious Handmade community.

Show Sponsor – Meadow Yarn

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, Hazel Knits and many more.

#GiftingZen

Knitvent 2014 window 4 opened to reveal the Adorn Gift Bags

It comes in two styles A and B.

Some techniques used in these bags:

Magic Loop

Kitchener stitch (grafting) – I’ve always used this Knitty Tutorial for kitchener but I also saw this TECHknitting one that also looks good.

or 3 needle bind off - Written instructions or Video tutorial

How to knit an  i-cord

Adding Beads to your knitting with a Crochet Hook

Libby of Truly Myrtle blog – her thoughts on 9″ circular needles.

Thank you to YAK for including the Lind Cowl in your Pattern Round up on the YAK blog and for the alternative yarn suggestion of Bessie May Grace.

I can’t wait to share my Betty Etiquette printable gift tags with you! They will be gifted to everyone on my newsletter list or anyone who has purchased Knitvent 2014 next week!!

You can buy her gorgeous unique Christmas and other gift cards here. She uses the most beautiful card and printing for her designs.

Meadow Yarn have gorgeous stitch markers and other lovely notions (not to mention the yarn) and this weekend they are having a 20% off sale! Just use code celebratesmall

Knitvent 2014 KAL

Don’t forget to post your finished object in the thread and join in the chat on the Curious Handmade board on Ravelry to be in with a chance to win fab prizes.

Join in the Knitvent Podcast tour with:

Knitgirllls

Knittng Pipeline

A Playful Day

Yarniacs

Skein Studio

2 Knit Lit Chicks

Events

I went to a talk by Wool and the Gang at the Apple Store.

A Playful Day – #MEalong

Pom Pom Quarterly Christmas Party

This week I’m curious to know what knit alongs you are participating or know about happening at the moment?

And don’t forget to play the Curious Handmade Instagram game!!

 

Gift Ideas for Crafters

December 4, 2014 — 1 Comment

I’ve been really enjoying reading all the gift ideas that people have been leaving on the comments of the Adorn Gift Bags pattern page (have you entered the competition yet?). There’s so many wonderful gift ideas this year and not all of it has to be handmade by you. Here’s some of the goodies I’ve been drooling over recently.

Gift Ideas Collage

1. Fringe Supply Company

This is a gorgeous resource for stylish bags, bowls, notions and knitting inspiration. I love this simplicity of the design and statement logo ‘Knit and Let Knit’ of their large Tote bags. A must on the school run!  Also, their Holiday Catalogue might have been one of my absolutely favs this year- so inspiring!

2. Fancy Tiger Crafts

These screen printed tees are so stylish and give an understated ‘yes I’m a crafter’ nod on your day to day outings. There’s a unisex version to the one picture above that is slightly less shaped if you’re looking for something less structured.

3. Ray Stitch

A beautiful shop located in North London, very close to Loop that is one of my favourite haberdashers. These hand stitch calendars are such a cute idea and would be so simple but effective to make.

4. Amirisu

magazine filled with beautiful styling, inspirational patterns and so many yarns I’d love to work with. A subscription to this bi annual publication would make me very happy.

5. Yellow Bear Wares

Ever since discovering these hand crafted pieces at Unwind, I’ve been completely smitten. Claire hand makes each jewellery and accessory item from vintage knitting supplies she finds and I think this necklace is stunning.

6. Merchant and Mills

This Maker’s journal captures everything I love about this company- stylish, practical and minimal. This would be a fabulous present for those who love journalling as much as making.

7. Purl Soho

More screen printing but this time tea towels that can also be cut out and sewn to create children’s toys. Beautiful to look at and such a sweet idea!

What’s on your wishlist this Christmas?

Knitvent Week 4: Adorn

December 2, 2014 — 4 Comments

Week 4 of Knitvent contains something a little different: a little sparkle, a little indulgence and a lot of eco power!

This window opened today to reveal the Adorn Gift Bags.

Wrapping gifts so that they are appealing under the Christmas tree and inviting to open is one of the joys to be found this time of year. Christmas trees and displays adorned with pretty parcels is a joy to behold but what happens to all that paper afterwards? Also, is it just me or are those little treats you bought like hand cream and jewellery especially difficult to wrap so they end up looking bulky and awkward by the time you’ve finished?

3 Adorn Gift Bags

This is where Adorn Gift Bags come in. These three little bags can be made quickly from your prettiest leftover yarn. Perfect for slipping under the tree with a small gift in to make the present all the more special. These little pouches are a treat in themselves to make and share- think of all those little haberdashery bits and pieces you’ve been collecting for years for ‘just the right project’!

Adorn Gift Bag 2

There are two versions to this pattern that are both easy to modify. The first has a simple ribbed lace top and is written in two sizes and the other has an eyelet detail around the top with a beaded star for some added sparkle under the fairy lights. They are knit in the round and can easily be adapted to the size you need for your particular gift. Save trees, use your scraps and let the wrapping be a gift in itself that will treasured for years to come!

Adorn Gift Bag 3

You might recognise some of these colours- they’re some of the remnants from other Knitvent 2014 patterns- so those special skeins you bought or dived into stash for earlier get great usage and won’t cost you any more to make. Above is the Tosh Sock I used for the larger version of the Candlelit Shawl and the beaded version comes from remnants of Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock for the original sample. Remember?

candlelit Collage

It’s also competition time!

To win one of the little care packages pictured below, all you have to do is leave a comment on the pattern page for the Adorn Gift Bags telling me what little treats you’d pop inside for a special someone.

I’ll be choosing one random comment and one comment that makes me laugh or is the most unique posted by Sunday 7 December (midnight GMT) . Good luck!

Care package 1 includes including 25g of Eden Cottage BFL sock yarn used in the beaded sample and Neroli & Bergamot Handcream.

Care package 2 includes 25g of madelinetosh Tosh Sock used in the small sample Style A and Pomegranate lip balm.
Adorn Gift Bags Prizes

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast ep 52

Show Sponsor – Meadow Yarn

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, Hazel Knits and many more.

What’s in the WIP?

Still working on secret design knitting.

Paper snowflakes – fab tutorial that kids can do – How to make paper snowflakes tutorial

#GiftingZen

Week 3 Knitvent pattern – Crisp and Even Cowl

Leave a comment on the pattern page above and let me know who you would make this for to go in the draw for a ball of Rowan Creative Focus Worsted (by Sunday 30 Nov)

Milla Mia

Knitting cables WITH a cable needle (front cross)

Knitting Cables WITHOUT a cable needle

Join in the Knitvent KAL over here on Curious Handmade board on Ravelry.

There is going to be an Eden Cottage Yarn shop update this weekend which will include some BFL sock.

And Eden Cottage Yarn is going to sponsor the Knitvent Jingle Bells Grand Prize!!

Non-Guilty Pleasures

Did you see that A Playful Day SSSalong has been renamed #MEalong?

It made me think about the book I’m reading at the moment The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
by Brene Brown and how being a little bit selfish isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, gratitude, #MEalong and #zengifting I chat about some little things that I’m planning on “indulging” in.

  1. Drink more water – its really nice with a squeeze of fresh lemon
  2. Do 5 minutes of breathing in a quiet space (or in a queue at the post office)
  3. Declutter a space in your house – even just one space or surface
  4. Delete those sale emails and don’t even click on them!
  5. Do one little annoying job that you’ve been putting off.
  6. Pee when you need to
  7. Call a friend – remember how we used to pick up the phone and talk to people? Reclaim the phone!
  8. Take some things off your plate and say “no” to more things.
  9. Maybe start or revive a a gratitude practice such as a journal or a visual one e.g. 100 happy days
  10. AND enjoy and savour your knitting regardless of whether you are knitting gifts or something for yourself.

I’m curious about what are your non-guilty pleasures and tips?

Leave a comment below on the blog by Wednesday 3 December and let me know and I will give away a gorgeous skein of yarn to a commenter.

Some of you might have noticed Knitvent has been cropping up in various places in the podcast community. I’ve been very lucky to be featured by some of my favourite podcasters so here is a little summary of each for those of you looking for something new to watch or listen to. I highly recommend them all – have a listen to their latest episodes for their exclusive coupon codes to get 25% off Knitvent 2014 and 2013 and for giveaways of the collection.

knitgirllls banner

The KnitGirllls

This is a US based videocast hosted by Leslie and Laura. These two best friends are really committed to independent dyers, designers and producers and have been really supportive of my designing from very early on. I love their cheerful banter and the way they include so much detail about their knitting or spinning process. There’s very often a review or competition and other hobbies creep in such as books they’re enjoying, sewing and what events they’ve been to lately. They also hosted the Super Summer knitalong that I’d love to attend- it looks so fun!

knitting pipeline

The Knitting Pipeline

This is a US based audio podcast, hosted by Paula. Paula has a soothing voice and includes so much interesting content that I always enjoy her show. Regular features include nature notes, needle notes, products notes and the blethering room. It’s a great mix of wildlife spotting, knitting chatter, poetry and more. I always find out about something new in the knitty world that  inspires my creativity. Paula is also a wonderful designer and hosts the Pipeline Retreat each year- another event I’d love to attend.

download (1)

A Playful Day

This is a UK based audio podcast, hosted by Kate and is one of the first knitting podcasts I started listening to many years ago. Kate talks about all sorts of topics including cooking, gardening, outings with her cute tot in London and of course lots of interesting details about the yarn and projects she is knitting. I love that she is based in London so I often pick up tips about what is happening in the local knitting scene and as it turns out she lives very close to me! So to get into the Christmas spirit I popped around to hers for a cup of tea and a natter about holiday knitting recently. You can our chat on A Playful Day episode 70.

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated so far!! You have been keeping me company while I work away on my holiday knitting!

Watch out for an upcoming post when I announce more stops on the Knitvent podcast tour!

 

A quick walk around my neighbourhood confirmed that winter is well and truly here with everyone bundled in winter coats, boots and cosy accessories. The shops are filling up with Christmas decorations and there’s fairy lights decorating the streets of London. It’s all very festive and reminded me that the holidays are well and truly arriving so this week’s pattern seems perfectly timed.

Crisp and Even Cowl

The Crisp and Even Cowl is the perfect neck warmer for those cozy nights by the fire or a cold, relaxing walk before scurrying home to tuck excited children to bed. The blocks of colour make this an easily customisable cowl for all the family and cables mean a little extra warmth and a little more interest in the knitting. Worked up in aran (worsted) weight yarn, this is a quick cowl too — perfect for those last minute gifts you forgot about or a sudden falling of fresh snow.

The Crisp and Even Cowl pattern contains 3 size options:

Crisp and Even Cowl

Small- 16″ circumference, 6.5″ width. (Shown here in Milla Mia Naturally Soft Aran [100% Wool, 80m/87yds per 50g ball], Colour A is Pink Glaze, Colour B is Teal).

Crisp and Even Cowl

Medium- 24″ Circumference, 10″ width. (Shown here in Malabrigo Worsted [100% Merino Wool, 198m/210 yds per 100g skein], colour A is Bergamotta and Colour B is Geranio).

Crisp and Even Cowl

Large- 48″ Circumference, 10″ width. (Shown here in Rowan Creative Focus Worsted [75% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 200m/220yds per 100g ball], colour A is Magenta and Colour B is Charcoal Heather).

This week’s special treat comes in the form of a giveaway and an extended special offer. To win a ball of Rowan Creative Focus Worsted, please leave a comment on the pattern page for the Crisp and Even Cowl tell me who you’d love to knit this squishy cowl for. I will draw for the winner on Sunday 30 November so be sure to leave your comment by then.

Rowan Creative Focus Worsted

Also, due to the overwhelming responses and continued requests I’ve received, I’ll be offering Knitvent 2013 for free once again when you purchase Knitvent 2014. That’s a total of 13 gorgeous patterns including my incredibly popular Red Robin Shawl for £9.80. This offer will end Sunday 30th November 2014. (Just put both collections in your Ravelry shopping cart and the offer will be automatically applied).