As the final release for my Dream Big Collection draws near, I wanted to celebrate some of the amazing projects that people have been knitting from the Collection. When I launched a collection of knitting patterns, I was inspired by my word for the year, “Dream”. I planned a pattern a month with a selection of knitting patterns for knitted accessories, mainly shawls as well as cowls, stoles and blankets. There are 8 patterns so far and looking through FO’s has been really inspiring to keep designing more and more in 2015!

Colourful handknit shawls

Colourful handknit shawls

The first pattern that started the collection was the Frangipani Shawl that was inspired by tropical flowers, will bring a ray of sunshine to a cold winter day. I love how bold both JenCollect‘s and ChellieAnne‘s versions are so different and striking at the same time.

Single skein shawls

Single skein shawls

The Fireflies Rising Shawlette came just in time for the softer sunlight of Spring and inspired a lot of projects- this one really captured knitters wanting fast, easy to knit lace with great results. This was the perfect single skein shawl pattern, as shown by Matejam and Hmgtt.

Bright Global Nomad cowls

Bright Global Nomad cowls

The Global Nomad Cowl is a great little accessory for wearing everywhere from music festivals to the weekend farmers’ market. It’s a light and airy cowl for those slightly cooler trans-seasonal days. I feel like both Patsy55 and Sunrisedawn really got the vibe of the cowl!

Handknit blankets for babies, children and adults

Handknit blankets for babies, children and adults

The Georgie Blanket went live in time to celebrate the first birthday of Prince George and has had lots of versions knit in so many bright and bold colours. With thanks to RiderCub (and Penguin) and Malorie for these bright beauties.

Beautiful Single Skein Shawl projects

Beautiful Single Skein Shawl projects

The Sunburst Shawl was the sixth design in the Dream Big Collection and put a modern spin on beautiful 1920’s fashion. I love these two versions by Camilliaknits and Knittengurl that really capture the luxury, glamour and exuberance of the Art Deco era.

Contrasting Colours of Lace Summer Shawls

Contrasting Colours of Lace Summer Shawls

The Velvet Rose Shawl is a feminine summer shawl that has sparked lots of dramatic versions- it was so hard not to want to share them all! With thanks to DynamiteTrujillo and ToryJane Knits for these stunning versions.

Quick to knit handwarmers

Quick to knit handwarmers

The Global Nomad Handwarmers were only released a few weeks ago but there’s already some great projects showing just how quick to knit this project is- perfect for gift knitting in a hurry! These handwarmers come courtesy of Aymr on Ravelry.

 

With thanks to all the knitters who gave permission to share their wonderful projects today. Stay tuned for a new pattern release next week and don’t forget, you can buy a copy of the Dream Big Collection and it will automatically update when the new patterns are released!

 

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 47

Talking about initial planning for Christmas knitting and newly published Knitsonik book.

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.

Holiday Knitting Planning

Am looking at these patterns for Sophie and Lexie for Christmas cardigans.

I really want to participate in the Double Knit Cardi Party!

Granny’s favourite

Mini Manu

Book Review

Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook

The Knitvent 2014 Free Gift!

October 23, 2014 — 1 Comment

Last year’s Knitvent Collection was so much fun- a gradual release of gorgeous accessories that inspired knitters to achieve a handmade Christmas. People who were looking for that perfect Christmas Knitting pattern joined in the KAL and we got pretty festive! When I was thinking about this year’s Knitvent I posed the question ‘What is it about gift/holiday knitting that you find most difficult?’ and the answers came flooding in. Looking at those answers, there was a definite theme: stressful deadlines and the difficulty of knowing whether or not your recipient will even like the gift. This year’s Knitvent is going to help you feel better about that!

Christmas Knitting Pattern Planner

Get your holiday season off to the best start with Curious Handmade’s Knitvent 2014 Holiday Gift Knitting Planner. If you love knitting but hate the stress of handmade gift deadlines then this is going to be perfect for you. The free planner is designed to help you get organized early and choose the perfect pattern and yarn. You can also use the fun Curious Handmade calculator to work out if you have enough time for all that knitting and I’ve included tips to choose the perfect pattern for your loved ones.

Join in each week as we take the stress out of Holiday knitting and cheer each other on with Knitvent 2014. You’ll find a chatty Ravelry board, a weekly newsletter full of tips and new knitting patterns, news (and discounts!), prizes, recipes, blog posts full of holiday inspiration and more, thanks to the Curious Handmade seasonal challenge. Let the Curious Handmade community help you get your knitting #giftingzen on this Holiday season!

Don’t worry if you’re not a gift knitter, these knitted accessories work just as well as indulgent treats to help you through this busy time of year too. We want you to arrive at your holiday events feeling truly festive no matter how much you’re knitting this year!

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 46

 

I’m talking about colour theory in the 10,000 hours segment and how it can help knitters choose yarn for multicoloured projects.

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.

10,000 Hours - Colour Theory

I’m definitely not an expert on colour theory but I wanted to share a few tips that I have learnt recently that might really help you with colour choices for knitting projects.

There are some gorgeous multicoloured projects around such as Veera Valimaki’s Colour Affection shawl and of course lots of Stephen West’s shawls and garments including his new mystery shawl.

Does anyone else have as much trouble as I do choosing colour combinations for these type of projects?

Back in June I did a Colour Theory class with Amy Hendrix founder of madelinetosh and it really ignited my interest in colour theory. I have always LOVED colour on a kind of emotional and intuitive level but having even just a tiny amount of theory is proving to be invaluable.

My prompt for talking about this today is the Global Nomad pieces from the Dream Big Collection.

Back in May I released the Global Nomad Cowl and this week I released the Global Nomad Handwarmers both in grey and yellow (grello!) and both knit in madelinetosh yarn

Global Nomad Cowl was knit in madelinetosh tosh sock Composition Book Grey and Chamomile

Global Nomad Handwarmers were knit in madelinetosh tosh DK (bought recently from our sponsor Meadow Yarn shop in Charcoal and Winter Wheat

Global Nomad Cowl and Handwarmers

Colour theory definitions

Hue = “colour” e.g.  yellow and red

Hues mixed with white are tints, those mixed with grey are tones, and those mixed with black are shades.

Value = Lightness and darkness

Trick is to take a picture in greyscale on your phone. If you have an iphone there are three different B&W filters and after some research I think that the mono is best to use.

Saturation = the purity of a colour

Hues mixed with white are tints, those mixed with grey are tones, and those mixed with black are shades.

Resources mentioned:

Colour Theory with Jared - Jared Flood on the Brooklyn Tweed blog

Colourlovers – a colour community and has some fun tools.

Color: A Natural History of the Palette

Knitty article

Knit FM Episode 9 Hanna Fettig and Pam Allen talk about choosing colours for the Quince and Co yarn lines

DKAL Announcement

If you’re participating in the Curious Collective DKAL – don’t forget to post your finished shawl by this Sunday 19th October. And I’ll be drawing for the prizes next week.

The sponsor is Juno Fibre Arts.

Are you on Instagram yet? Join in the fun and the amazing yarny knitting community there!

Play the instagram game and tag me with a pic of where you’re watching the podcast.

This Tuesday the Global Nomad Handwarmers went live and they are the perfect complement to the Global Nomad cowl. If you are signed up to the newsletter you’ll have received an exclusive discount code for the whole Dream Big Collection and this quick to knit handwarmer pattern is currently 50% off until the end of today so get them now and get your hands warm!

With this colour combination, a more muted palette seemed a little more seasonally appropriate rather than the bright sunshine yellow of the original cowl. The great thing about both of these projects is they make use of partial skeins in your stash, so this lends itself to endless colourplay. There’s lots of great tools out there for helping you decided which colours would work best from Pinterest to photography apps like Instagram. One trick that might be handy to know is to take a picture of the colours you’ve chosen and then use the black and white filter on your phones camera options. If the colours of each yarn still pop next to each other, you’re going to have a strong contrast.

There’s a website to help you choose colours that is endlessly inspiring. Have you discovered the Colourlovers website yet? Here’s a quick demonstration of the kind of fun you can have. First, let’s look at the inspiration from the Global Nomad cowl.

cowl collage

This is a bright palette and it was easy to pick out 4 contrasting colours that would work well with the help of the colour palette maker on Colourlovers. However, then comes the question of how to pair this accessory with the rest of your wardrobe. This is where the pattern maker comes in really handy because you can play around with the amount of each colour that takes the lead. Here are two examples of the bright palette with different percentages used:

brights1

 

It’s now really easy to see that you don’t have to go with JUST brights to make an impact. The one on the right, ‘All about the grey’ is the perfect way of introducing some of this season’s brights without being too overwhelming.

So if a more muted palette is your thing…

muted

 

This got quite addictive and I found myself back at Meadow Yarns, looking through their beautiful selection of Madelinetosh DK and thinking about more projects…

M Tosh Collage

So what colours will you be choosing from your stash and adding to your winter wardrobe? Have any plans for some new purchases? Come tell us in the Curious Handmade Ravelry group!

 

If all this chatter about choosing colours from stash has reminded you that your stash soon needs to be ready for all that Holiday knitting you planned to be super organised with this year, don’t panic! KnitVent 2014 is coming and it’s brimming with tips and tricks to help get you organised for the Holidays, feeling festive and the kind of Christmas knitting patterns that you’ll enjoy knitting as much as gifting. Are you ready to get your #giftingzen on?

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 45

This week I’m answering a listener question about how I juggle designing with family life.

What’s in the WIP?

A lot of secret knitting.

Next Dream Big pattern will be released next week.

Next week is the last week of the Curious Collective DKAL.

The Simple Life – a listener question

Today I’m answering a question from TanyaMarie who hosts the Sampler Girl podcast about how I balance design and knitting time with my family life.

Giveaway

Stay tuned to the end of the show as I draw the lucky winner of the madelinetosh Prairie yarn from commenters on last week’s episode.

Thanks so much to everyone who commented.

Don’t forget to play the Instagram game!

Last week’s podcast featured an interview with Vicki Hillman, a fashion stylist friend of mine who gave some great tips into this season’s major knitting trends. The big stories for Autumn/ Winter 2014 knitwear trends were knitted trousers, chunky knits, the sweater dress and blanket scarves. To celebrate Wool Week 2014, I’m sharing my top tips for British sourced yarn that’s perfect to make your own fashion forward knitwear.

The Sweater Dress:

Things can get hot and bulky with that much knit fabric and something breathable and a little airy is key here. The great dilemma then comes if the yarn has too much drape- a sagging, shapeless dress is not a good look! I think John Arbon’s Alpaca Supreme 4ply. This is the perfect mix of British sourced 40% Alpaca, 40% Organically Farmed Falklands Merino and 20% A1 Mulberry Silk. This yarn will give all the breathability from Alpaca with the strength of Silk and Merino. A fabric with great drape without the risk of losing shape in your garment! Go with Grey for the best Normcore colour palette.

supreme-steelgrey-2013

(c) JAT

 

Knit Trousers:

There’s a few basic requirements that would have to be in place for this particular trend- the yarn mustn’t be itchy and needs to keep it’s shape! I’m thinking something like the Corriedale Sportweight, sourced & spun in the UK exclusively for Old Maiden Aunt Yarns. Corriedale combines the best of the wool world: the kind of fine fibre we’d associate with Merino alongside the kind of elasticity we’ve come to associate with Blue Face Leicester. This is a much overlooked fibre but one I think would be perfect here, especially in jewel tones- another trend that featured highly on the catwalks during London Fashion Week.

(c) OMA

(c) OMA

Chunky Knits

I think this trend needs something really soft as most of the knits have simple ribs, oversize cables and so the stitch definition doesn’t have to be as high as you might need for more intricately worked knits. This is where softness, plump twists of yarn and great colour are key. My vote is for Eden Cottage Yarn’s Whitfell Chunky, a Worsted spun 100% Baby Alpaca. Get it in the Echinecea colour if you want to be right on trend- soft pink was everywhere this season!

(c) ECY

(c) ECY

Blanket Scarves:

This trend is about serious layering and cocooning with your winter style and it means you can work up any scarf or stole pattern you like in double the size to get the desired look. I love the look of the ‘Braes’ palette from Shilasdair, natural dyed yarns produced on the Isle of Skye. There’s a wonderful selection of fibres whether its Cashmere/Angora/Lambswool blend or a local Hebridean. Great choices for whatever trend influence you want but those braes look good for the growth of a military palette on the catwalks- a trend that can only grow. Will we see the rise of the combat trousers once more??

 

(c) Shilasdair

(c) Shilasdair

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 44

I’m talking to my special guest and good friend Vicki Hillman, fashion stylist about the trends in knitwear for the Autumn/Winter 2014 season.

Trends we discussed:

Sweater Dresses

Pinterest board: Sweater Dresses

Chunky Hats and Scarves and Texture

Pinterest board: Chunky Hats and Scarves

Knitted Trousers

Pinterest board: Knitted Trousers

Fabulous fluffy pom poms can be found at TOFT Alpaca

Giveaway

AlpakkaAnna’s comment about holiday knitting got me thinking about how many of us, me included love to knit gifts for family and friends but often find it a bit of a challenge.

I am planning a wonderful Knitvent collection for you again this year so I’m really curious this week to know –

What is it about gift/holiday knitting that you find most difficult?

Anyone who leaves a comment below by 9 October 2014 to help me understand the challenges of holiday knitting will go in the draw for a skien of divine Madeline Tosh Prairie in the Posy colour. This is the yarn I used to knit my Cloud Wrap with.

Curious Handmade Podcast giveaway

The Curious Collective DKAL is in full swing and there are so many gorgeous shawls appearing which is always so great to see as a designer. There has also been lots of eye candy on Instagram thanks to people using the #CCDKAL. As we start to enter the final stages of our Collective efforts, here are all the goodies you could win by taking part, with special thanks to our sponsor for the DKAL, Juno Fibre Arts.

IMG_7428

Prize 1: Finished Object – Random selection

This will be a prize for a random draw from the FO thread in Ravelry for all finished shawls posted by 19th October 2014. The prize will be a skein of Milly Sleek Single (70% Merino, 30% Silk Singles Fingering Weight base) in the one of a kind exclusive colourway, ‘Flow’. This prize is sponsored by Juno Fibre Arts.

IMG_7419

Prize 2: Finished Object – Best Styled FO 
This will be a prize for the best styled shawl in keeping with the theme of the Tribes we have been participating as. I will choose one of my favourite FO pictures which is always a really tough choice. This prize is a skein of Juno Fibre Arts Alice (70% Alpaca, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere) in the ‘Gunmetal’ colourway and is sponsored by Curious Handmade.

IMG_7442

Prize 3: Social Media Maven Prize
A Curious Handmade Project bag made by me containing a tin of stitch markers that I picked up on my recent trip to Tangled Yarns in Australia, vintage buttons from my recent trip to Paris, 3 heat transfer patches in a cute Matryoshka Doll design and two mini skeins of Juno Fibre Arts Alice in Cherry Blossom and Ethereal which are the design colourways.

If you like what you see, it’s not too late to join us over on Ravelry where you’ll also find plenty of tips and suggestions for how to make this shawl really work for you. You can find the Curious Collective Shawl Pattern on Ravelry here.

Don’t forget that shout outs for the Curious Collective DKAL posted on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram with the hashtag #CCDKAL will go into the draw for a the Social Media Maven Prize. You can join me in with the with conversation as Curious Handmade  and you can find some inspirational pinning over on the Curious Collective Pinterest board. Use the following Tribe hashtags for some friendly competition between the tribes!

#CCDKAL

#spacechictribe

#frenchvintagetribe

#englishrosetribe

#enchantedforesttribe

#artdecotribe

 

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Ep 43

What’s in the WIP?, an update on the Curious Collective knit along and a recap about the Great London Yarn Crawl I went on last weekend.

Thank you for all your lovely comments and feedback about my interview with Jemilla Robertson founder of Fellow Dreamers last week.

Please have a look at her Fellow Dreamers Kickstarter page – even if its just to have a look at the lovely video she put together for the campaign.

What’s in the WIP?

Cloud Wrap from the Dream Big Collection – just launched.

Cloud Wrap by Helen Stewart

Socks with “Mind the Gap” yarn from Trailing Clouds

Trailing Clouds Mind the Gap Yarn

Curious Collective DKAL

The Curious Collective DKAL is in Week 3 and we are aiming for 60% completion mark by this Sunday 28 September.

There are some gorgeous finished shawls already posted in the FO thread on the Curious Handmade Rav Board. All the Tribes are represented!

Don’t forget to post on social media with the #CCDKAL to be in the running for the Social Media Maven prize.

The Great London Yarn Crawl

The Great London Yarn Crawl

A Playful Day – post about Refuge and video of Patrick Stewart talking passionately about his support for the charity

Nest

Great London Yarn Crawl Nest

Prick Your Finger

Great London Yarn Crawl Prick Your Finger

Wild and Woolly

Great London Yarn Crawl Wild and WoollyPom Pom Quarterly Party

Great London Yarn Crawl Pom Pom Party

Thank you so much to the organisers, sponsors, volunteers and my lovely BFL team mates for a wonderful day out.

We have a GIVEAWAY!!

To win the two Silver Screen Knits books by Kathleen Lawton-Trask just leave a comment below telling us what your favourite local yarn store (LYS) is.

ETA: I’ve now drawn a winner ….listen to Episode 44 of the podcast to see if you won!

Thank you so much to Kathleen and to the lovely Sadie who is Whitehart on Ravelry for donating her door prize to the give away.