CH 68: Spring Colour

March 27, 2015 — 1 Comment
Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 68

Today I have some announcements and am sharing my thoughts on an inspiring workshop I attended this week by Fiona Humberstone called Colour for Creatives. It fits in so perfectly with our focus on colour on the podcast this month.

 Show Sponsor

Meadow Yarn

Today’s show is sponsored by Meadow Yarn.

There is a beautiful rainbow of colour to browse through in the yarn section at Meadow Yarn and I was talking to Anj about choosing colours for projects and she said:

“Whether it’s opening boxes full of yarn in myriad jewel tones or quietly contemplating the perfect shade of grey, we never tire of thinking about colour and we spend lots of time having our heart strings tugged by the latest ‘perfect red’ or ‘to-die-for green’…. Matching the perfect shade of yarn with the perfect pattern is our ultimate goal and whether it’s a cool aqua whispering ‘cardigan’ to us, or a pop of vivid ruby red begging to be transformed into a warm winter cowl we’re happiest when we’re indulging our love of colour…”

You can find a carefully curated selection of yarn  meadowyarn.co.uk

the Muse Connection Volume 2: Musing on Beginnings

The Muse Connection is a series of gatherings where we celebrate creativity, share our inspiration and come together as crafters. A Playful Day and Curious Handmade have collaborated in order to create sessions of creative fun, pulling together our two loves- maintaining a playfulness in the everyday and exploring our curiosity about new and creative things to make. For a few indulgent hours, enjoy inspirational company, at specially chosen venues for some knitting, a little chatter and share some musings on your favourite creative topics.

I’m thrilled to announce that one of our speakers at Volume 2 in June is Lydia Gluck, editor of Pom Pom Quarterly.

Lydia Gluck Pomcast

Photography: Clara Parkes

Here is Lydia interviewing Clara Parkes for the Pomcast podcast.

Pom Pom Quarterly will also be a sponsor of the Muse Connection Volume 2 together with Anzula Luxury Fibers and Signature Needle Arts.

Coincidentally, in the latest issue of Pom Pom there is a gorgeous shawl knit in Anzula Haiku called Blommande by Hanna Maciejewska

Blommande Shawl

Photography: Ana Mercedes

Pom Pom Quarterly

Photography: Agnese Sanvito

Pom Pom Quarterly

Photography: Agnese Sanvito

Colour for Creatives Workshop with Fiona Humberstone

This week I attended the Colour for Creatives workshop by Fiona Humberstone aka the Brand Stylist

The workshop was all about colour psycology and how to use colour to help your brand really sing.

I actually found about it quite by chance through Instagram from from Emily Quinton to Gudy Herder to the Brand Stylist.

After having “sort out website” on my to do list for about 2 years – when I found out there was a inspiring workshop happening on this very topic in the next suburb I had to sign up.

I arrived to find a bouquet of spring flowers tied to the door of a character filled warehouse building in Brixton and immediately knew the day would be something special.

We had a chance to have a coffee, chat to fellow attendees and take in the surroundings before it started.

Colour for Creatives

The workshop took us through colour psychology which Fiona explained as being represented by seasons. We started to think about our brands and businesses in terms of what season best represents the brand. I wasn’t sure at first as being a bit of a colour junkie I am attracted to aspects from all the seasons. I found it quite hard to narrow down to one or two. Eventually I settled on Autumn for Curious Handmade.

Fiona described it as game changing for her and there is no doubt that I feel like I have been given some very powerful tools to use in analysing and putting together colour schemes. I can see how it will be useful in so many facets including my branding, design work and the stuff that I do at home and for fun like decorating a room or a theme for a party or event!

We were also very lucky to have another talented visual story teller Gudy Herder of Eclectic Trends to take us through a session on creating moodboards. If you follow me on IG and have seen my #itsamoodywednesday posts – that is Gudy’s meme.

I am still processing everything I learned and also reading more about it like crazy. Apparently this is quite a typical Autumn thing to do!

The best thing is that Fiona has an amazing amount of her knowledge and resources on her website.

A past attendee commented they wanted to share it but also wanted to keep it to herself as it is so powerful – I can relate to that feeling.

Fiona has a book on it coming out in May and having seen an advance copy – I can’t wait to read the whole thing – How to Style Your Brand: Everything You Need to Know to Create a Distinctive Brand Identity

The whole day was such a wonderful experience – I’m still buzzing from meeting such lovely people. I’m looking forward to catching up with some of the attendees at Blogtacular in June.

Lovely words from Maria of Subway Knits for the final postcard in the series put together by A Playful Day #postcardbloggers2015

***

empire state building and the freedom tower

Dear Helen,
As we come to the final round of postcards, I thought it would be appropriate to come full circle, to say the least and talk about home, and how where someone lives serves as a daily and constant inspiration.
Where you live definitely plays a big role in who you are and what inspires you – I would say that while I love going abroad and exploring new places, there is something about where you are from, or where you plant your roots that has an equal appeal.
New York is something of a city to be reckoned with – people come here to make it, and people do their best to stay for as long as they can. New York definitely is a source of inspiration for me: it keeps me on my toes and on the go and has taught me to think fast, on my feet and to be adaptable to almost any kind of surrounding, be it the concrete and glass megaliths of downtown Manhattan, or the tree-lined streets of Astoria, where I grew up and still live.
There is always something happening here and always a new place to go and new things to see, which only add onto the ways one can be inspired. Nevertheless, this isn’t just limited to New York: wherever one makes their home, there is always that sense of discovery which never ends.
rockefeller center
There is a Japanese proverb which for my 30th birthday I had inscribed on a necklace: “sumeba miyako.” Translated, it means, “Wherever you live, it is your capital.” So far, New York City has been one of my major capitals and source of inspiration, and is my top capital, because this is where I come from.
I wonder what my next capital would be. As you can definitely understand, I still have that sense of perpetual wanderlust.
xo,
Maria

nyc christmas

 

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast ep 67

This week I talk about my visit to Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015, What’s in the WIP?, a review of The Bletchley Collection and announce details of the Muse Connection Volume 2.

Show Sponsor

Meadow Yarn

Today’s show is sponsored by Meadow Yarn.

There is a beautiful rainbow of colour to browse through in the yarn section at Meadow Yarn and I was talking to Anj about choosing colours for projects and she said:

“Whether it’s opening boxes full of yarn in myriad jewel tones or quietly contemplating the perfect shade of grey, we never tire of thinking about colour and we spend lots of time having our heart strings tugged by the latest ‘perfect red’ or ‘to-die-for green’…. Matching the perfect shade of yarn with the perfect pattern is our ultimate goal and whether it’s a cool aqua whispering ‘cardigan’ to us, or a pop of vivid ruby red begging to be transformed into a warm winter cowl we’re happiest when we’re indulging our love of colour…”

You can find a carefully curated selection of yarn  meadowyarn.co.uk

the Muse Connection Volume 2: Musing on Beginnings

The Muse Connection is a series of gatherings where we celebrate creativity, share our inspiration and come together as crafters. A Playful Day and Curious Handmade have collaborated in order to create sessions of creative fun, pulling together our two loves- maintaining a playfulness in the everyday and exploring our curiosity about new and creative things to make. For a few indulgent hours, enjoy inspirational company, at specially chosen venues for some knitting, a little chatter and share some musings on your favourite creative topics.

The next gathering will be on Sunday 21 June at The Parcel Yard, Kings Cross London.

Tickets will go on sale tomorrow!

Look out for more details on the blog here.

Also did you see that Kate is giving away a goodie bag from the Muse Connection Volume 1 over at A Playful Day?

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2015

Highlights from my brief visit to the festival include (in no particular order)

As usual I didn’t get to see as many people as I would have liked but did have chat’s with some wonderful fibre people

Laura at Laura’s Loom

Julie at Tilly Flop

Tilly Flop at EYF

Black Bat (rare British breed wool)

Black Bat EYF

Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin at the Crochet Project

Daphne at The Fibre Company

The Fibre Company at EYF

Victoria at Eden Cottage Yarn

Eden Cottage Yarn EYF 2015

Lydia and Amy at Pom Pom Quarterly

Pom Pom Quarterly at EYF

Ysolda and Stephen West

Stephen West and Ysolda EYF
I also had a wonderful chat with Yarn Whisperer Clara Parkes who travelled all the way from Maine to join in the fun!

The Bletchley Collection by Joanne Scrace 

Electronic copies available on Ravelry

Printed copies available at Eden Cottage Yarn

Knit and crochet designs by Joanne Scrace (Not So Granny)

I meant to mention on the podcast that this book has been beautifully laid out by Clare Devine and the presentation is really clear and clean.

The Bletchley Collection

The Muse Connection is a series of gatherings where we celebrate creativity, share our inspiration and come together as crafters. A Playful Day and Curious Handmade have collaborated in order to create sessions of creative fun, pulling together our two loves- maintaining a playfulness in the everyday and exploring our curiosity about new and creative things to make. For a few indulgent hours, enjoy inspirational company, at specially chosen venues for some knitting, a little chatter and share some musings on your favourite creative topics.

After the inspiration we shared for Volume 1 on colour and community, The Muse Connection will be exploring the theme of ‘beginnings’. Building on what made Volume 1 so popular we will once again be bringing like minded makers together as part of our Muse Connection Community and we can’t wait to share everything we’ve planned.

In this Volume we’re adding more: more door prizes, more goodies in the bags and some very special guests that we’ll be announcing shortly. Tickets go on sale this Saturday and we’re expecting quite a fast turn around following the reaction to Volume 1 so mark it in your diary!

The Muse Connection Volume 2

Tickets are £18 (plus booking fee) and include the following:

  • An exclusive goodie bag (containing goodies worth over £15!)
  • 3 and a half hours of indulgent time to knit and indulge your making
  • Become part of the Muse Connection community with exclusive first peeks at designs, products and future volumes
  • Delicious food and drink (gluten free options included)
  • 2 very special guests who will be sharing a unique insight into their knitty inspirations
  • Yarn tasting courtesy of our sponsor

For further announcements such as the refreshment plans, special guests and fun surprises, you can sign up for our newsletter on the event page, which is also where tickets will go on sale this weekend.

See you there?

#TheMuseConnection #MuseVol2

 

ps Don’t forget you can win a goodie bag from Volume 2 both here on Curious Handmade and at A Playful Day!

I’m was so excited to receive this postcard from blogger - Clare Devine of Yarn and Pointy Sticks.  Clare has written about a place that is very dear to my heart! I’m sure you’ll all agree that scenery is breathtaking!

Tune in next week for Maria of Subway Knits and remember you can find all the blog hop participants by following the hashtag #postcardbloggers2015

*****

Dear Helen,

This week I wanted to share a special journey and some beautiful souvenir yarn with you. Just as a scent or a piece of music can evoke a feeling and sense of place, returning you to that moment in time, yarn and colour can do the same for me. There are many skeins in my stash and projects I have made that are entwined with the memories of a time or place gone by. I know A Playful Day talked about this recently on a podcast and I wanted to share my fibre memories with you this week. Colour is such an important part of memory and I thought this would be a lovely contribution to your colour theme this month.

Last year we visited Canada for a family holiday and to attend an important family wedding. It is a magical country and we spent two weeks exploring the Rocky Mountains. The spectacular landscape was awe-inspiring and the trip is filled with fantastic memories.

Image 1_Canada

Driving from Jasper to Banff along the Icefields Parkway was an experience I will never forget. Mountains and lakes galore.

Image 2_Canada

Image 3_Canada

The colour of the water was almost impossible to capture but it really was magnificent. Up close the water is crystal clear but from afar it has this vivid turquoise green colour.

Image 4_Canada

Image 5_Canada

After this magical road trip, I could not believe my luck when I returned to the yarn shop in Calgary, The Loop – Kensington and found this skein of Sweet Georgia yarn in the Tough Love sock base.

Image 6_Skein of Tourmaline

It was the perfect match! Tourmaline captures everything I remember about those vivid lakes in a single skein of sock yarn. It really was the perfect holiday souvenir. I really should liberate it from my stash and make some gorgeous Canadian inspired socks soon.

Have a wonderful week,

Clare

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 66

Today I have a special guest, Daphne Marinopoulos, founder of the Fibre Company on the show.

The Fibre Company is an artisan yarn company and has many beautiful lines of hand dyed yarn. The Fibre Company was the sponsor of the the Muse Connection Volume 1 and we all received a gorgeous skien of the Terra yarn that you’ll hear Daphne talk about in this episode.

The episode was recorded last week just before we held the first Muse event so you’ll hear us referring to it as if it is happening in the future. In this episode Daphne talks about starting the Fibre Company and her recent move back to Britian and the Lake District. I was fascinated by her description of formulating a new line of yarn and choosing and naming the colours for it. We also have a bit of a deep chat about what crafting and making things with our hands means for both of us!

Events

Muse Connection Volume 1

Edinburgh Yarn Festival

Show Sponsor

Meadow Yarn

Today’s show is sponsored by Meadow Yarn.

There is a beautiful rainbow of colour to browse through in the yarn section at Meadow Yarn and I was talking to Anj about choosing colours for projects and she said:

“Whether it’s opening boxes full of yarn in myriad jewel tones or quietly contemplating the perfect shade of grey, we never tire of thinking about colour and we spend lots of time having our heart strings tugged by the latest ‘perfect red’ or ‘to-die-for green’…. Matching the perfect shade of yarn with the perfect pattern is our ultimate goal and whether it’s a cool aqua whispering ‘cardigan’ to us, or a pop of vivid ruby red begging to be transformed into a warm winter cowl we’re happiest when we’re indulging our love of colour…”

You can find a carefully curated selection of yarn  meadowyarn.co.uk

Did you see the announcement about the postcard bloggers last week? Here is the first postcard thanks to Kate of the A Playful Day blog and podcast. I love how she thought about finding colour even in the most urban of environments.

Next week is Clare Devine of Yarn and Pointy Sticks.

Hi Helen,

I know you’ve been thinking about colour this month and I wanted to share one of my favourite games when exploring my home town- ‘find the colour.’

You see, I’ve been a city girl most of my life and London’s hustle and bustle, grey cityscape and urban vibe has always been my colour palette. I ALWAYS choose grey when I buy new yarn. It can get a little dreary though if I’m honest Helen.

puddles

So I find myself actively seeking those surprising peeks of colour that you get in modern cities. That unexpected gorgeousness from the produce of the greengrocers on the corner….

produce at greengrocers

The Banksy you gaze at every time you walk by….

banksy

Even the rug in your favourite grungy pub can feel like a welcome reminder that colour is everywhere on a grey day.

rug

There’s always something surprising waiting to be found and I like to think of my stash in the same way- a jumble of colours tucked in amongst all that grey!

grey & colourful yarn

Can’t wait to hear you colour and travel stories too!

Kate x

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 65

This week I’m talking about finishing my Custom Fit sweater by Amy Herzog and an introduction to my love of colour for the March podcast theme.

Show Sponsor

Meadow Yarn

Today’s show is sponsored by Meadow Yarn.

There is a beautiful rainbow of colour to browse through in the yarn section at Meadow Yarn and I was talking to Anj about choosing colours for projects and she said:

“Whether it’s opening boxes full of yarn in myriad jewel tones or quietly contemplating the perfect shade of grey, we never tire of thinking about colour and we spend lots of time having our heart strings tugged by the latest ‘perfect red’ or ‘to-die-for green’…. Matching the perfect shade of yarn with the perfect pattern is our ultimate goal and whether it’s a cool aqua whispering ‘cardigan’ to us, or a pop of vivid ruby red begging to be transformed into a warm winter cowl we’re happiest when we’re indulging our love of colour…”

You can find a carefully curated selection of yarn  meadowyarn.co.uk

What’s in the WIP?

I finished my Custom Fit V Neck pullover! Yay!

To help with the finishing I watched parts of two Craftsy Classes:

The Essential Guide to Finishing Handknits with Anne Hanson
Seaming Handknits with Chris Bylsma

Both classes were great and as the titles suggest – the Anne Hanson class included more general finishing tips while Chris Bylsma was more detailed on seaming.

Next up I’m planning to knit Reyka by Cirilia Rose from Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads: A Modern Knitter’s Guide to Discovering and Exploring Style

I have my Lopi from Meadow Yarn all lined up ready to go.

Colour in March

I mention some books for colour inspiration:

Color: A Natural History of the Palette

Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style

Colour Deconstructed

Farrow & Ball Living With Colour

Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads: A Modern Knitter’s Guide to Discovering and Exploring Style

As someone who loves to travel and considers themselves a global nomad, I was really intrigued when I was invited to be part of a blog hop organised by Kate at A Playful Day.

As part of her year of inspiration, called ‘An Inspired 2015‘, she’s been choosing different themes each month to help focus her creativity. This month her theme is ‘Location & Journey’ and she’s asked me to swap a postcard with other fellow global nomads to help share the inspiration around.

So for the next 3 Mondays you will hear from Clare of Yarn and Pointy Sticks, Maria of Subway Knits or Kate. In return, I’ll be sharing my latest inspiration for the theme on their blogs. If you want to share your inspirations or reactions, follow along and contribute with the hashtag #aninspired2015. We’ll be keeping you up to date with the tag #postcardbloggers2015.

Blogger postcards

When I left Australia for a “gap year”, I never would have imagined it would become closer to a  gap quarter-century! Having worked and lived in many different places I have called London home for many years now. Somehow, living in a different place from where I grew up always feels a little bit like being on holiday.

Since having kids, we still travel a lot and while its very different, we still love travelling and now get to see the world through a different (much shorter and slower) perspective.

Sunshine Coast Australia

 

Next week, expect to hear from Kate who I’ve told needs to think about her colour inspiration as that’s our topic of the month here at Curious Handmade. I wonder what she’ll come up with?

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 64

 

Today I have a special guest on the show – she is someone I have mentioned many times recently and is the perfect guest for this month’s theme. She openly admits to having a sweater problem – of course its Amy Herzog

Show Sponsor

Meadow Yarn

 

In the spirit of the theme of sweater month I ask Anj, the owner of Meadow yarn about her sweater knitting. Anj replied saying:

“Just about our favourite thing to knit is a sweater… The options are infinite and the result always hugely satisfying, whether it’s a fine fair isle or a chunky quick-knit it’s always a pleasure to see a finished sweater roll off the needles. At the moment with temperatures sub-zero we’re thinking about Icelandic Lopi yarn… used to create traditional Icelandic ‘Yoked’ sweaters, known as Lopapeysas, they remain hugely popular with knitters around the world and contemplating the endless shade combinations – from the traditional ‘naturals’ to the vivid, jewel- bright colours - is just about the best fun we have on a chilly day at Meadow Yarn!”

You can purchase Icelandic Lopi yarn and other gorgeous products at meadowyarn.co.uk

I ordered some gorgeous Lopi from Meadow Yarn this week to make the Reyka Pullover from Magpies, Homebodies and Nomads.

Amy Herzog and Sweater Knitting

I’m excited to share my conversation with Amy Herzog who is the creator of Custom Fit, the author of two books – Knit to Flatter and a new one about to be released, as well as teaching workshops to help knitters make sweaters they will love to wear including at Squam – which is where I did Amy’s sweater fit class last year.

Amy Herzog Squam class

Amy teaching at Squam last year and demonstrating fit of different sweater samples.

It was great to get to try on lots of samples in the class and see what suited us.

Amy Herzog Swatches

Amy really does love to swatch! A pile of swatches she brought to the Squam class to demonstrate knitted fabric and fibres.

You can find Amy Herzog and the things we talked about in the episode here:

Amy Herzog Blog

Custom Fit – Custom Sweater Generator

Knit to Flatter: The Only Instructions You’ll Ever Need to Knit Sweaters that make You Look Good and Feel Great!

Craftsy Class – Knit to Flatter
(my affiliate link)

Amy’s Squam Body and Soul Class