Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 85

Welcome to the very last post in July’s Summer Series! Today I’m looking back at the year so far: how I’ve done on the goals I set for myself in January. The word I chose for the year was “simplify” and it’s been pretty influential, though there’s always room for improvement! I also had the opportunity to review a wonderful pattern book by Hannah Fettig, Home and Away.

Show Sponsors:

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their lovely lovely Acadia yarn.

 

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

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, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links:

I mention that I went back to listen to episode 56 of the podcast, “Hello 2015” and I that I’ve finished the Amy Herzog Custom Fit Pullover that I began back then!

I discussed the design work I’ve accomplished so far this year:

Whispering Island was a break from the plan, just a moment of inspiration I had to seize. Hole and Yarns, and two more samples with Blacker Shetland DK and one with The Fibre co Arcadia

Re-releasing Pebble Beach with two new sizes and samples in yarn from The Uncommon Thread

Re-releasing Afternoon Tea with a new size and the checklist pattern format, with another two samples in Anzula Squishy

 

I mention a book that I’ve found really helpful in my quest for simplicity:

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

it has a lot in common with another book I loved:

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Book Review

Home and Away: Knits for Everyday Adventures Hannah Fetig

Includes an interview with Pam Allan from Quince and Co. Yarns

While every garment in the collection is gorgeous and wearable, my favourite patterns from the book are

Calligraphy, a long button-up cardigan.

and

Lesley, a pullover with a gorgeous neckline

I love the book so much that I’m keeping it, but I have an electronic copy to give away! To win, just leave a comment by Thursday the 6th of August, telling me your favourite pattern from the collection, or whether you prefer top down knitting or knitting in pieces and seaming.

Announcements:

In August and September, the podcast theme will be “A Handmade Wardrobe.” Several people have sparked that idea for me, including:

Libby from Truly Myrtle

Felicia from Craft Sessions and her inspiring review post of her Me-Made May

Karen from Fringe Supply Co.

Kate from A Playful Day who talked to Ysolde Teauge about making your own clothes

I’ve mention in previous weeks how much I’m looking forward to September 5th, when I’ll be involved with the Great London Yarn Crawl. I’m sharing a stand with some other (very talented!) designers as part of their pop up marketplace Indie Designer Spotlight. Please come and say hi!

Plans for the first Curious Handmade Workshop with Emily Quinton from Makelight Studios and my friend Vicki Hillman, fashion stylist are starting to take shape! It will happen on Friday the 9th of October, so save the date!

That wraps up the show notes and the Summer Season! See you next week, and until then, happy knitting!

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 84

Welcome to the third post in the Summer Series! Today I’m talking about knit alongs. I find them such a spur to my own creativity, and love hosting them, taking part in them, and just generally following them on Ravelry. I’ve got some suggestions for KALs that you might want to join. Also, to follow on from yesterday’s interview, I have a book review of the gorgeous new book from Emily Quinton, Maker Spaces.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their absolutely gorgeous Acadia yarn.

 

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

I’ve knit with Acadia before (most notably for my two-colour Whispering Island Shawl sample) and I really love it. You can purchase Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

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, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show links:

Skein Studio Shawl KAL/CAL

Dates: June 1st until August 1st

Not a lot of time left in this one but you might already have something on the needles that will qualify. The rules are that you can knit any shawl pattern, as long as you are using hand-dyed yarn. I’m actually knitting a Candlelit Shawl right now with some Skein hand-dyed yarn, but I began it before the cast on date! I’ll probably still join in the chatter thread.

Knitting Pipeline Cavepoint KAL

Dates: July 3rd until August 31st

You have to cast on and off within the time frame, so I won’t qualify for this one, but I highly recommend it! I cast on in June and I’m flying through this shawl. I love this pattern, am really enjoying the knit. Super relaxing knitting and very addictive.

Knit Girllls Stash Dash

Dates: 12:01am on May 22nd until 11:59pm August 14th.

This is in its 4th year and it’s become quite a huge event on Ravelry! It covers the crafts of knitting, spinning, crochet, tatting and weaving, and it’s all about using up stash and finishing works in progress. It comes in three levels, measured by yardage: you can choose from the 3k 5k or 10k levels

2 Knit Lit Chicks Cardi/Tank/Tee KAL

Dates: May 1st until August 1st

This is another one finishing up soon but again you might already have a WIP that could be finished within the time frame. Given our recent discussion about summer knitting and all those great tee patterns, this one is very timely!

Kettle Yarn Boardwalk Collection KAL

Dates: August 2st until September 6th

If you read my recent blog post for the Boardwalk Collection Blog Tour, you’ll know that the collection is full of inspiring new patterns, all using Kettle Yarn Co’s new yarn Islington DK. The KAL hasn’t started yet, so you have lots of time to choose your favourite!

Yarniacs Colours of Fall KAL

Dates: June 21st (Summer Solstice) until September 23rd (Autumnal Equinox)

I follow along with this KAL every year, even though I haven’t managed to enter it yet. Loving colour the way I do, it really speaks to me.  The KAL is one that really get the creativity flowing. The rules are very simple: knit a fall look using one or more of the colour from the Pantone Fashion Colour Report for Fall 2015. Incidentally, I think that several of the Islington DK colourways would be ideal for this! For example:

Marigold

Neckinger

Purple Reign

Book Review:

Maker Spaces by Emily Quinton

I met Emily through taking one of her Makelight Workshops, really great photography workshops in London.

Emily has very kindly given me a copy of Maker Spaces for a giveaway! You have two weeks to enter this contest. All you have to do is go over to the post on my blog with Emily’s interview and leave a comment about your favourite space to work.

Events:

I’m looking forward to September 5th, when I’ll be taking part in the Great London Yarn Crawl. I’ll be sharing a stand at their pop up marketplace Indie Designer Spotlight with some other wonderful designers, so I hope to see you there.

Exciting news: on Friday the 9th of October I will be hosting a Curious Handmade Workshop with Emily Quinton from Makelight Studios and my friend Vicki Hillman, a very talented fashion stylist. (I interviewed her on the podcast back in May!)

As always, thank you so much for listening and for being a part of the Curious Handmade community. Happy knitting!

An Interview With Emily Quinton

I have a bit of a special treat for you today. In tomorrow’s podcast I’ll be reviewing the book Maker Spaces, by Emily Quinton. Emily is the very talented photographer who runs Makelight Studios here in London (that’s one of her gorgeous photos above) and I’ve been lucky enough to attend one of her workshops, where she teaches photography to anyone who wants to learn to make beautiful images, using whatever camera or smartphone they already have.

Emily recently brought out her first book, which is focused on the studios and creative spaces of makers. As soon as I got my hands on it I knew I wanted to hear more about how it came into being, and Emily graciously agreed to talk to me about creating Maker Spaces, and the inspiration she found in the process. I’ve put my questions into italics to make it easy to follow along.

Emily Quinton Makelight Studios

Makelight Studios, from Maker Spaces
Photo credit: Emily Quinton

Where did the idea for the book come from?

Since becoming a mother 8 years ago I have paid a lot more attention to creativity at home. I have always made things and so has my husband, so when we came parents we wanted to share our love of making and creativity with our children, and create a home environment that could enable them to enjoy art as much as possible. Becoming a mother also made me realise just how much I am affected by the space around me. I have had to put a lot of work into not getting too upset by all the chaos of my four children every single day.

I was really intrigued to find out whether other creatives were so emotionally connected to their spaces. In addition to this I am fascinated by the modern maker movement and the combination of a return to traditional crafts alongside modern techniques like 3D printing and laser cutting.

How did you choose the makers to feature in the book?

This was the hardest task throughout the whole process. There are so many amazing makers out there and there were so many that I wanted to feature. I found most of them through social media, blogs and my online network. They all had to make amazing things and have wonderful homes and studios. They couldn’t be too similar to any of the others in my list and needed to live and work in one of the places on my locations list.

Did you do all the photography for the book?

Sadly not. My publishers decided I couldn’t write and photograph the book by myself. I will argue otherwise for future books!

What inspiration did you take from the makers you featured?

They all inspired me with their incredibly attention to detail in their spaces and their understanding of the importance of letting a space grow, develop and change as you and your work do. All the spaces had a great feeling of flow and positive energy.

Kimberly Austin Maker Spaces

Kimberly Austin’s studio, from Maker Spaces
Photo credit: Emily Quinton

Did visiting these amazing makers’ spacers make you want to set up your own Makelight studio?

Definitely! My studio has been a dream for a couple of years now and seeing other makers’ spaces really encouraged me to make it happen. It also made me determined to create a space that other makers can come to help them with their own work.

Any tips to share for setting up a really inspiring maker space that you’ve picked up from doing this project?

Create the space you want and need for your work. Create a space from your heart and not just from a Pinterest board! Make a space that is beautiful and reflects your work. Create a space that feels like an extension of your work and consciously realise how closely connected the two things are.

How long did it take for you to write and photograph the book?

The whole process from signing the contract to delivering the final manuscript was 7 months.

What is next for you? Any more book ideas in the pipeline?

I have a few more book ideas, which I hope to start exploring next year but for the rest of 2015 I am focusing on the Makelight Studio and to my online photography courses.

 

Teresa Robinson's Studio, from Maker Spaces

Teresa Robinson’s Studio, from Maker Spaces
Photo credit: Emily Quinton

I’d like to thank Emily so much for coming on the blog and sharing her journey to Maker Spaces with us.

Be sure to tune in for tomorrow’s podcasts for more about the book and info about how you can win a copy for yourself!

CH 83: Summer Knitting

July 16, 2015 — 3 Comments
Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 83

It’s already the third week of our Summer Series! Knitters often struggle a bit with projects in the warmer months, when a lap full of wool sounds less cosy and more stifling. Today I talk about summer knitting: lovely cool t-shirts created with light, airy, breathable yarns, and the challenges and joys of moving away from wool to other, more seasonal fibres such as linen and cotton.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their magnificently soft and beautiful Acadia yarn.

 

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

My two-colour Whispering Island Shawl sample was knit in Acadia, and it’s gotten so many compliments. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

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, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links

The summer knitting patterns I talk about are:

Waterlily by Megan Fernandes from Pom Pom Quarterly’s Spring 2014 issue.

The original is knit from Kettle Yarn’s Islington, which is what I used for the Sunburst Shawl last year.

Linum Tee by Bristol Ivy in Quince and Co’s Sparrow

Lina and Colina by Elizabeth Doherty also in Sparrow

Elizabeth has a great post on working with linen on her blog. Here’s the original post.

 

I also discuss some other summer yarns:

Aside from Sparrow, Quince and Co also has a worsted weight linen yarn called Kestrel

Blacker Yarns Lyoness I’ve seen this used beautifully in the Drift Raglan Increase Shawl by Sonja Bargielowska

Wool and The Gang Shiny Happy Cotton a lovely squishy, and super soft bulky weight 100% cotton yarn which is absolutely gorgeous knit up into Palila by Natalie Selles

 

As I mentioned last week, on September 5th I’ll be taking part in the wonderfully fun Great London Yarn Crawl and have a stand at their pop up marketplace Indie Designer Spotlight. I’m excited to be one of their five featured designers. I’ll be in the company of:

Louise Zass-Bangham From Inspiration Knits

Renee Callahan of East London Knits

Boo Knits and

Kate Atherley

 

Whether it’s summer or winter wherever you are, I hope you’re enjoying the show. If you have any favourite summery patterns or yarns, please tell me about them! Leave a comment here or join the discussions on Ravelry in the Curious Handmade Group. Don’t forget to join me on my travels on Instagram. Tag me and let me know where you’re listening from, or if you’re knitting one of my patterns. I love seeing your WIPs! Happy Knitting!

Kettle Yarn Co. Boardwalk Collection

With all the thinking about summery knitting that I’ve been doing over this Summer Series (even as I chill out in the wintery Southern Hemisphere!) today’s blogpost is a perfect fit for the theme. About a month ago Kettle Yarn Co. invited me to be a part of a blog tour for their new pattern collection, Boardwalk, which was created around the new Islington DK yarn. Of course I jumped at the chance! I’m so excited that it’s finally my turn to talk about this wonderful yarn and this marvellous gathering of patterns.

Kettle Yarn Co. Boardwalk Collection

Kettle Yarn Co. is an old friend. As you might remember, the first Pebble Beach shawlette was made from their Westminster base, and I used the first incarnation of Islington (the lighter fingering weight version) to knit my Sunburst Shawl. I’ll always be a big fan of their yarns. I was enchanted with the Islington blend when I used it, and the fact that it’s now available in a DK weight opens up a whole new realm of knitting possibilities.

As a designer, I’m often inspired by seascapes (just look at Pebble Beach and Whispering Island!) and the Boardwalk collection speaks to me on so many levels. With six tempting patterns by superbly talented designers Rachel C Brown, Renée Callahan, Rachel Coopey, Linda Lencovic, Isabell and Kraemer, it really manages to capture the joy of a summer holiday and strolling by the sea.

I’m finding the whole Boardwalk collection extremely inspiring. Just seeing the unique directions that each of the six designers have taken from the theme of the Hastings pier is intriguing. Each pattern is full of summer joy but it’s easy to see how well they will work as transitional pieces across the seasons, bringing some off that sunshine into the coldder months. They’ve put together a brilliant lookbook of all the designs for us to enjoy.

It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite pattern, but Bagatelle by Rachel Brown is standing out for me personally right now. This cowl just looks so fun, simple and easy to wear, but with really great detail. I also love the colour of the sample, Peony.

Bagatelle By Rachel Brown

Each of the patterns takes a different approach to showcasing Islington DK, playing on its unique strengths and qualities. I love the official description:

Well-bred but streetwise, this lightweight blend yarn is versatile and strong while maintaining buttery softness – a sophisticated choice for everyday items, luxurious next-to-skin wear and precious accessories.

As soft as Merino, the blend’s 100% British Bluefaced Leicester tempers silk’s drape while adding strength and elasticity. The high percentage of BFL makes items hardwearing, very low pilling and long lasting. The addition of 45% silk combines sophisticated sheen and luxurious handle with crispness and uniformity for stunning stitch definition.

In my experiences, the wool-silk blend of Islington DK is a wonderful fibre for warding off summer breezes without excess weight. As always, I’m especially drawn to the richness of the colourways. They put me in mind of ice lollies, striped beach umbrellas, and the flashing shades of the sea itself. I have a serious weakness for teal and blue-green tones, and Verdigris is so rich and intense it just makes me want to dive right in.

Islington DK in Verdigris

If you’d like to visit this yarn in person, it will be holding court at two upcoming yarn shows in the UK:

Fibre East on the 25 – 26th of July

Yarn in the City on the 15th of September

You can also get your hands on it immediately in the Kettle Yarn Co. online shop.

As a bit of a treat, Kettle Yarn Co. have kindly offered a skein of Islington DK as a giveaway for Curious Handmade readers. Just leave a comment with your favourite colour way, and I’ll draw a winner randomly at the end of the blog tour, on Thursday the 6th of August!

The next stop on the tour is with the hilarious and wonderful Jo from Shiny Bees podcast and blog, giving her take on the yarn and the collection. Be on the lookout for that on Tuesday, 21 July!

Ch 82: Wandering

July 9, 2015 — 2 Comments
Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 82

Welcome to the second in my Summer Series. I talk about the magical trip I had to New York and on to Squam back at the beginning of June, indulging my global nomad tendencies. I spent my time there doing a bit of “knitting crosstraining”, stretching my creative horizons, and, as always, falling in love with lots of gorgeous yarn, only some of which came home with me.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their magnificently soft and beautiful Acadia yarn.

 

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

My two-colour Whispering Island Shawl sample was knit in Acadia, and it’s gotten so many compliments. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

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, the Fibre Co and many more.

What’s in the WIP

I mentioned Paula Emons-Fussle’s new Cave Point Shawl on last week’s show, coming from the Shawls 2015 collection from Quince and Co. I’ve cast it on using that lovely Chickadee Yarn in Audouin and it’s a ridiculously addictive knit.

I’m also working on the Coopey Oleum Socks and I’m up to the lace now!

Show Links

I talk about my road trip to Squam Art Workshops with my friend Stewart. We visited:

Brooklyn General, where I splurged on a sale of Madeline Tosh yarn.

Mood Fabrics in Manhattan, of Project Runway fame, where I managed to control my urges and didn’t buy anything!

and in New Hampshire, we stopped in Harrisville, where they are famous for spinning wool. Notably Brooklyn Tweed (I bought some) but also their own Harrisville Yarn (I bought some of that, too.)

Once I got to Squam I took two classes:

An embroidery class:”Thread and Memory” with Joetta Maue

A writing class: “Writing Your Own Myth” with Elizabeth Duvivier, the founder and director of Squam

We also got to hear a talk from Clara Parkes who talked about her journey and her projects, especially her lovely Clara Yarn.

The art fair at Squam had so many wonderful vendors, including:

My friend Stewart’s Leather Wool Linen, selling beautiful bags

Yarn on The House with their brilliantly coloured hand-dyed yarn

Hannah Fettig was selling her pattern book Home and Away, which I will review in a future episode.

If you didn’t make it to Squam and you’d like to make your own little retreat at home, online classes are a great way to introduce yourself to something new, stirring your creativity. I looked up some Creativebug embroidery classes to recommend. Rebecca Ringquist is a hugely gifted thread artist and teacher who has some really great classes available.

Creating an Embroidery Sampler

Advanced Sampler Class

Kids Embroidered Pillow Class

And a heads up about an amazing event coming up.

Great London Yarn Crawl on Saturday the 5th of September, which is huge fun, and I’ll have a stand at the pop-up marketplace at the end!

That about does it for the show notes this week! I hope you enjoyed this laid-back summer episode. Join me in the Instagram game while I’m away. Just tag me or comment away to get in touch. Happy knitting!

 

The Pebble Beach Shawl KAL just finished over on the Knitting Pipeline group on Ravelry with over 240 entries it was quite an event!

I don’t think a winner has been drawn just yet but luckily for Paula it is a random draw for prizes as it would be absolutely impossible to choose a winner from the incredible entries. I have just been reading through the thread in awe at all that amazing knitting – you are an amazing skilled and artistic bunch! I’ve pulled out some of the projects to admire here – just a few – I would have liked to have shared them all here but there were too many!

You can see all the gorgeous entries in the thread on the Knitting Pipeline Group here.

Pebble Beach Shawls

Pebble Beach Shawl

Davetony || fairycake || suemwitkin

sticksnspokes || envieduatrechose || moonlit

careree || mgladue || malhadeira

More Pebble Beach Shawls!

Pebble Beach Shawl by Curious Handmade

porcupineknitter || gypsythedog || Rohanknitter

MLES || simplyme5252 || Carmenatalie

sismademeknit || nimpin || jackie06

Other Curious Handmade Shawls

Curious Handmade Shawls

knitcrit || sandyknits || bluebirdnest

quiltercaroline || debr57 || lightning

moonlit || Betty4Fiber || patb

Curious Handmade Cowls, Wraps and Blankets

Curious Handmade Cowls and Blankets

suddgummi || JanaNav || cydh

DynamiteTrujillo || skibum || JudyAnn

judso || LauraKnitsPA || hsuv

 

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 81

After an absolutely wonderful whirlwind time during June’s Design and Creativity theme, for July I’m casting my mind forward into the summer holidays. In fact, that’s the theme for this month. I’ll be travelling, so I’m pre-recording some episodes around the theme of holidays for the weeks when I’m in Australia.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their magnificently soft and beautiful Acadia yarn.

 

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

My two-colour Whispering Island Shawl sample was knit in Acadia, and it’s gotten so many compliments. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

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, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links

The Muse Connection Volume Two was last weekend and it was a really wonderful event. Lots of laughter and learning. A huge thank you to my co-host, Kate from A Playful Day, and to the special guests and sponsors who made it such a success.

Rachel Coopey, from Coop Knits who had us giggling about yarn shenanigans

Lydia Gluck, co-editor of Pom Pom Quarterly who regaled us with tales from the world of magazines

Anzula who provided their covetable yarn for our gift bags

 and

Signature Needle Arts who gave us a “tasting session” with their remarkable knitting needles.

It was really special to watch everyone casting on Afternoon Tea at the end!

My visit to Brighton at YAK was so much fun, too. Thanks a million to Kate for hosting my Pebble Beach trunk show, and to everyone who dropped in!

Later in the show, I talk a bit about what I pack when I go away, including my “mobile workplace.” Stitch dictionaries are coming along for sure! Here are a few favourites:

Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary: More than 150 stitch patterns to knit top down, bottom up, back and forth, and in the round

A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns

Super Stitches Knitting: Knitting Essentials Plus a Dictionary of more than 300 Stitch Patterns

My old-school love for notebooks means I always pop a few into my bag to help me with my design work. Favourites include grid or graph notebooks, like this one from Moleskine and a larger one from Paperchase, something like this.

KAL News

I can’t believe it, but the Pebble Beach KAL is ending in two days, on July 5th. This has been so incredible to be a part of. Maybe the best KAL of all time. Thank you so much to everyone who has been a part of this, most especially to my friend Paula, for hosting it on the Knitting Pipeline Group, and to Jo, who has moderated it so beautifully.

If you’ve ever knit one of my patterns, it’s not too late to upload a photo: it doesn’t matter when you started or finished the piece, as long as the photo is in the FO thread by July 5th! You could win a skein of Lace Merino from The Uncommon Thread!

What’s in the WIP

With all the new and re-released pattern chatter lately, I haven’t talked much about what’s on the way. Summer holidays are a perfect time to catch up with WIPs, and I have quite a few I’d like to bring with me. I mentioned in the podcast that this year I’m going to take a break from the Curious Collective shawl design. It’s part of my word for the year: “Simplify.” I’ll miss it, but it’s the right decision for this year. Previous years are still available, if you’d like to revisit those yourself, and later in the summer I’m going to bring out a new design with a fun KAL or perhaps do a mystery KAL!

The first Curious Collective

Curious Collective 2014

I’m also working on two totally new design projects, so they’ll be going in the suitcase. They are still at very early stages, but I’m excited to see where they go. Then I move onto the “just for fun” WIPs which are clamouring to come along.

A Candlelit Shawl in Skein Australia yarn (in the fig colourway.) I’m about halfway done, so I love the idea of actually getting a chance to finish something while I’m on holidays. It’s a beaded shawl, though, and traveling with beads is a little fiddly, so I’m not sure this is one for the airplane.

The Rachel Coopey Oleum Socks that I’m knitting in John Arbon yarn, on the other hand, will make perfect travel knitting, compact, interesting, and simple enough

The Magic Cake Shawl by Paula Emons-Fussle, host of the Knitting Pipeline which I began on the Georgia retreat, is also ideal knitting to travel with: it’s mindless and meditative.

Reyka Pullover by Cirilia Rose in Lopi yarn. I’d actually prefer to be packing the finished object to wear in the Australian winter, but I’d love to finish it while I’m out there.

I am certainly bringing Paula’s marvelous Cave Point shawl which she has just released with Quince and Co’s Shawls 2015 collection of patterns. It’s knit in their Chickadee yarn. I have four lovely skeins in the Audouin colourway, which I got in my giftbag at the Georgia retreat, and I think this would be a wonderful holiday project. really relaxing knitting, at least up to the lace selection!

I’ve also got some sewing WIPs. I might take the chance to use my Mum’s lovely new machine while I can! Here are the patterns I mention:

The Dress Shirt by Merchant and Mills

Geranium by Rae

Washi dress by Rae

Contest winner!

We have a winner for last week’s contest! The lucky Lex has won her choice of pattern from the Norah Gaughan for The Fibre Co. Collection! Here’s her comment:

“I’d like to let you know how much I enjoy your podcasts. When I first listened, I was pretty excited because you sound so local – and I read you are a Queenslander. It made so much sense!

I can’t decide, but it’s a tie between Parkview and Metropolis for me. I like Parkview because it looks so wearable. The think I love about Metropolis is it’s structure. It looks like it could easily replace a blazer in the office.”

So, Lex, which one will you go with? They’re both gorgeous!

Busy show this week! I hope you enjoy it, and that you’re looking forward to the Summer Series as much as I am. Thank you for listening, and happy knitting!

Play

Episode 8o with Norah Gaughan

Photo © Norah Gaughan

This conversation with Norah Gaughan is a really special one. Norah is an incredibly accomplished knitwear designer who has been sharing her patterns with the world since the age of 17. After a long time on staff at Berroco she has recently gone independent, but her workload has not slowed down even a little bit! She is constantly partnering with some of the biggest names in the yarn world to bring out a steady supply of amazing designs which play with shape, colour, and construction. Having her on the show was such an honour. She talks about developing her new collection with The Fibre Company and shares so many insights into how she conceives, designs, and creates her ground-breaking patterns. If you’re anything like me, I think you’ll find this conversation incredibly inspiring.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their very wonderful Acadia yarn.

 

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

One of my Whispering Island Shawl samples was knit in Acadia, and it’s just a wonderful yarn to work with, on every level. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

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, the Fibre Co and many more.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL

Just a little while left in this one, but people are still adding beautiful FOs every day! If you’ve somehow missed this one, but have ever knit one of my patterns, you can still enter until the 5th of July. Just post a photo in the FO thread, and you’re in!

Muse 2 KAL

The KAL is about to wrap up – be sure to get your entries in by 30 June.  I’m still working on my Rachel Coopey Oleum socks. I don’t know if I’ll make that deadline, but I should have them finished for the Summer of Socks KAL in the Coop Knits group! Double dipping in KALs is the best.

Show links

The patterns we discussed in detail from the Norah Gaughan for The Fibre Company collections were:

Times Square

Skyscraper

Oporto

Atonium

Metropolis

District

You can find the entire gorgeous collection on Ravelry here.

Norah is also designing some really special pieces for Brooklyn Tweed these days, and we specifically mention her pattern

Chainlink

She’s always busy with yarn shop appearances and teaching engagements, which you can find on her events page. If you’re lucky enough to be nearby any of these opportunities, I highly recommend you check them out!

We’re also giving you a chance to win pattern of your choice from Norah’s new collection with The Fibre Company. Be sure to listen to the end of the episode to find out how!

As I mentioned, tomorrow I’ll be doing a little trunk show for Pebble Beach  in Brighton  at YAK with The Uncommon Thread. June 27th from 2 to 5.

That’s all our notes for this episode! Thank you so much for joining us, and happy knitting!

Afternoon Tea in Anzula Squishy: Candy Apple

Back in 2012, I released a little shawlette on Knitty. Afternoon Tea, which was inspired by vintage frocks and pastel-frosted cupcakes, played on the concept of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s beloved Pi shawl. Since then the pattern has had quite a life. It has racked up almost 1000 projects on Ravelry, has been made in every colour under the rainbow, and made an appearance at countless special events (including starring roles in at least a dozen weddings!)

I designed Afternoon Tea as a fun little fancy. It had only one job, to be ornamental. That’s a role it has played perfectly, but recently I wanted to revisit the pattern to see what more it had to offer. When I re-released Pebble Beach in larger sizes, the response was wonderful, and I knew that Afternoon Tea also deserved its own “growing up” moment. Over the last few months I have carefully redesigned and rewritten the pattern as a full-sized shawl. The new, larger Afternoon Tea retains all the delicacy, refinement, and playfulness of the original shawlette, but now it’s ready to do double duty as both a decorative and a more functional piece.

The yarn I chose for the new samples has quickly become one of my favourites. If there was such a thing as a yarn soulmate, Anzula Yarn’s Squishy might just be mine. It’s a fingering weight MCN blend: 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon. It’s so, so soft and the colours are completely lush. I knit the small sample in Teal (possibly my perfect colour) and used up one skein, pretty much exactly.

Afternoon Tea Shawlette in Teal

Small Afternoon Tea in Anzula Luxury Fibers Squishy [80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon, 352m /385yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Teal

My wonderful mother knit the medium sample for me in Candied Apple: I was so grateful to her but it was hard to hand those two skeins over. I wanted to keep knitting with that yarn! The lovely drape is especially evident in this larger size.

Afternoon Tea Shawl in Anzula Candied Apple

The new, larger size of Afternoon Tea in Anzula Luxury Fibers Squishy [80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 352m/385yd per skein], 2 x 100g skeins, Colour: Candied Apple

The original samples were knit in three other yarns which are still very close to my heart. The sheen and stich definition in Quince & Co’s Tern wool and silk blend is to die for.

Afternoon Tea in Columbine

The original small Afternoon Tea in Quince & Co Tern [75% wool, 25% silk, 202m /221yd per skein], 2 x 50g skeins, Colour: Columbine

Madelinetosh’s Tosh Sock really needs no introduction. This yarn is a perennial favourite, and the Baltic colourway is deep, moody, and elegant. Best of all, the small version of the shawl uses up exactly one skein.

Afternoon Tea in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock Baltic

Original small Afternoon Tea in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock [100% superwash merino wool, 361m /395yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Baltic

I’m still such a fan of Viola’s Merino fingering, in this rich violet colour.

Original small Afternoon Tea in Viola Merino Fingering [100% superwash merino wool; 365m/400yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Violet

Original small Afternoon Tea in Viola Merino Fingering [100% superwash merino wool; 365m/400yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Violet

As of today, the revamped pattern is available to buy now on Ravelry: as part of this rebirth, along with the new size, I have also converted both sizes into my easy-to-follow percentage checklist format that is so popular with Curious Handmade knitters! And of course, the original pattern will still be available for free on Knitty. I hope you enjoy it.