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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.

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Ch 79

 

This is a bit of a packed episode! I open the show with some thoughts from the wonderful Blogtacular conference I attended last weekend, talk a bit about upcoming events, chat about the joys and challenges of my Muse 2 KAL project, and share a bit about my special edition re-release of Afternoon Tea. Then I launch into a conversation with Cathryn Bothe from Signature Needle Arts. It’s fitting after yesterday’s post from Blacker Yarns (where I talked about the importance of beautiful materials) that this interview is so focused on the importance of good tools. Cathryn is a keen knitter, and she plays a role in every part of Signature Needle’s daily operations, especially when it comes to building relationships with customers and nurturing their creativity.

Show Sponsors

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

I’ve had so many compliments on the Whispering Island sample I knit with Acadia, and it was an absolute dream to work with. 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, Hazel Knits and many more.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL

It’s so amazing how many FOs are piling up in this KAL. I’ve been featuring some of the projects on Twitter, and it seems like everytime I search the #pebblebeachKAL hashtag there or on Instagram there’s something new and wonderful to see. Remember, the KAL is open until July 5th and you can submit any Curious Handmade pattern, no matter when you made it!

Muse 2 KAL

Our other KAL is rolling along well in the last week as we count down to the main event! I’m still working away on my entry, a pair of Rachel Coopey Oleum socks in John Arbon Textiles yarn, so if you haven’t cast on yet you’re not that far behind me!

Show Links

Signature Needle Arts

My new edition of the Afternoon Tea Shawl

Instagram post about my socks, with other people’s clever advice on avoiding the dreaded in-the-round twist!

My yarn crush of the moment: Anzula Yarns

I mention the amazing Afternoon Tea modified with a hood, by the talented Lindsay Koehler!

Muse Connection is coming up next week! So exciting!

I’m going to be at YAK in Brighton doing a little trunk show with The Uncommon Thread for Pebble Beach on June 27th from 2 to 5.

 

That about wraps up the notes for this week! I hope you enjoyed the show, and happy knitting!

As we continue to go deeper into the theme of creativity this month, I’ve made a point of celebrating the yarns I’ve been working with on my recent projects. Whether we’re talking about a painter and their paints, a sculptor and their clay, a sewist and their fabric, or a knitter with their wool, the role that materials play in any creative person’s work is hard to overstate. The nature of your material, its qualities, character, and even personality can absolutely transform the way you create. Materials can provide the first seeds of inspiration for your work, and they can surprise you, delight you, and even take you to new heights of craftsmanship and originality. I’ve certainly found this to be the case with the wonderful yarns I used for all of my Whispering Island shawl samples.  Knowing the story behind the yarn has added so much to my creative process. I’m excited to share this post by Sonja from Blacker Yarns on how the wool that goes through their mill is farmed, sourced, and spun into some of the finest yarn available today. Enjoy!

- Helen 

Woven Shetland throws in a wonderful array of natural shades

Blacker Yarns is quite a special yarn company because it is one of the only British yarn companies to come with its very own mill attached – The Natural Fibre Company.  NFC not only process Blacker Yarns, they also work with farmers and small business owners to create unique and special yarn, spinning fibre and woolly delights.  Our mill has a small minimum quantity, which is ideal for farmers like Ben Hole of Hole & Sons who are looking to do something more with their fibre.  I know Ben was keen to emphasise the wonderful story behind his yarn and we were happy to help him.

Shetland Sheep 2

At Blacker Yarns, we have a very strong relationship with our suppliers. We try to find the best quality fibre available.  We support British farming by paying fair prices for the best fleece and building long term relationships with these suppliers.  We care about what we do – by using traditional low impact methods to produce our yarns, we are able to do our bit for the environment, rare breed preservation and sustain our local communities.

I am so thrilled by the growing awareness of buying local. We’re entering such an exciting phase in the fibre industry.  Increasingly knitters are starting to ask questions about the stories behind their yarn. This awareness is perfect for us!  We love inviting people to visit the mill (see the website for this year’s dates) and inviting them to explore our production process.  As a knitter myself, I think that sense of connection with real animals – and the people who raise them – can do so much to enrich one’s crafting experience.

Some of the yarn we produce, like our Blacker Swan Merino, is farm assured which means the fibre comes from one particular farm.  Other yarns, like the Shetland used for Helen’s gorgeous shawl, come from a number of small farms up and down the UK.  We record where the fibre for each individual batch comes from, so we are often able to let people know the source of their fibre if they email us directly.  This is something rather unique and only possible when buying direct from farmers. Currently most of our Shetland yarn comes from farms in Wiltshire and Somerset.Shetland Sheep

Shetland fleece is matt and one of the finest of all British breed wools.  These hardy little sheep date back to the 8th century and the Viking conquest. Their fleeces come in a vast array of natural shades the names of which can be found in Norsk nomenclature.  These magical words like ‘Katmogit’, ‘Moorit’ and ‘Gulmogit’ are all centuries old and filled with a wonderful romance.

Shetland DK shades

The north of Scotland has always had a difficult climate and the people living there would have needed warm garments to protect themselves.  So it is likely that Shetland sheep have always been bred with a mind to the quality of their fibre.  From the 17th century onwards, Shetland islanders’ have created high quality knitted goods for export across Europe and the world. For this reason the breed has a few distinctive qualities. Shetland sheep come in a vast array of natural shades from white, through to fawn, chocolate brown and black.  These shades can be blended or dyed and then used to knit those distinctive Fair-Isle patterns we all know and love. The fibre also works wonderfully for lace work, creating a light and airy fabric which holds its block wonderfully. Shetland yarn will felt well and is highly resistant to the tendency that some softer fibres have to pill.

Our Shetland yarn is available in both 4-ply and DK. We select the finest fleeces we can find, so this breed is a wonderful place to start if you’re thinking of delving into breed specific yarns. We offer a wide variety of natural shades which are complemented by a few dyed shades in the 4-ply only.

Both weights retail at £5.70 a ball, but are currently on sale for £5.20 a ball until 22nd June.

Thank you to Sonja from Blacker Yarns for this guest post.
Play

Curious Handmade Ep 78 Hole & Sons

Photo credit: Benjamin Hole

This is a really fun episode. Ben Hole of Hole & Sons Farm speaks to me about life on the farm on the Isle of Purbeck in beautiful Dorset. We talk about the process of creating their unique, wonderful, and much-coveted yarn, what it’s like to work in a place with so much heritage, and how he has brought the business into the online world with his wildly popular Instagram account. This interview would have been a great fit with April’s yarn theme, but Ben has so many eloquent things to say about creativity and living a life around your passions that it’s perfect for Ben’s love for his animals, the farming life, and photography is infectious and inspiring. It was such a pleasure to bring all that story and to my newest shawl pattern, Whispering Island. I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation as much as I enjoyed having it.

Show Sponsors

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

I’ve just finished knitting a shawl sample with Acadia and it more than lives up to its description. This is very special yarn. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarns:

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.

KAL News:

Still a few weeks left in both of our KALs. It really isn’t too late to hop into either! The Pebble Beach KAL can include FOs that you started or finished before the start date, and the Muse Connection KAL is full of lots of lovely little projects like hats and socks that you can finish up in a week or two – I’m still working on mine!

Show links:

Hole & Sons (lots of in-depth info about the farm and the yarn here which makes for great reading!)

Ben’s Instagram

Ben Hol of Hole and Sons

The artisan mill where Hole & Sons yarn is spun: The Natural Fibre Company

My newest shawl pattern, Whispering Island (which was inspired by Hole & Sons wool) is now available on Ravelry!

The two alternate yarns I used for the samples are:

Blacker Shetland in Fawn

Fibre Co Acadia in Driftwood and Summersweet

The Isle of Purbeck, home to the Hole & Sons farm. It inspired Enid Blyton’s Whispering Island, which inspired the name of my shawl!

Events

I also mention the wonderful Do What You Love course by last week’s guest Beth Kempton. There’s still a week left to register. As I said last week, this course was really powerful for me and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to invest in their creative life.

If you want to hear more from Ben, he’s speaking this weekend at the Blogtacular conference on June 13th in London. I’ll be there, and it should be a lot of fun!

On Saturday 27 June I will be at YAK in Brighton for a trunk show for Pebble Beach shawl. Hope to see some of you there.

Happy Knitting!

Whispering Island Shawl

I’ve been hinting all week about my newest pattern, and I’m so excited to share it with you all that I’ve decided to release it a day earlier than planned.

The pattern is available on Ravelry to buy now.

“My readers will want to know if Whispering Island is real, set in the great blue harbour in the story – and if the little cottage on the hills is there still…Yes, the island is real, and lies in the great harbour, still full of whispering trees. The little cottage on the hills is still there, with its magnificent view and its old well… I have taken them all and put them into this book for you.”

Enid Blyton “Five Have a Mystery to Solve”

Cliffs and caves, coastlines and caravans: Whispering Island is inspired by the landscapes of beautiful Dorset and the fun to be had there by the young at heart. This generously-sized shawl wants to be slung across your shoulders as you wander through fields, explore forgotten ruins, scramble up hillsides, and toast marshmallows over a campfire.

An elongated triangle shawl with a rounded border, Whispering Island is all about texture. Knit in a rustic, rugged DK weight yarn, it features rippling ridges and just a hint of feminine lace in the eyelets along the edge. Although packed with lovely details, this pattern is amazingly easy and fast to knit: the perfect project for a knitter setting off on their first shawl adventure, or for the experienced knitter who wants something simple to finish by the fireside in the long summer evenings of a camping holiday.

This particular project has been such a joy. It was one of those patterns that seems to know exactly what it wants to be from the beginning, and I had a wonderful time bringing it to life. I also had the immense pleasure of working with three marvellous yarns, which each brought their own magic to the design. As any knitter knows, it all begins with the feeling of fibre in your hands.

Whispering Island in Hole & Sons Yarn

The first inspiration for Whispering Island came from my precious stash of Hole & Sons wool. I was lucky to get my hands on some (the last release sold out online in a matter of minutes.) I knew I needed a very special project to make the most of its wonderful qualities, and I felt it was worthy of its own new pattern. I enthuse at length about what makes this yarn so miraculous in tomorrow’s podcast, where I interview Benjamin Hole about his farm, process, and philosophy.

For the original Whispering Island, I used Hole & Sons Pure Wool in the “Fog” colour. [100% Dorset Poll Pure Wool, 110m/119yds per ball], 6 x 50g balls.

Because there will be a bit of a wait before more Hole & Sons yarn is available for purchase, I also wanted to knit this shawl in some other lovely yarns which allow for more instant gratification.

Whispering Island in Blacker Shetland Yarn

Blacker Yarns Shetland DK shares a lot of qualities with the Hole & Sons wool. Soft, springy, and heathered, it is actually spun in the same mill in Cornwall. It manages to be both rugged and incredibly cuddly, all at the same time, and it’s very smooth on the needles. The colour of the wool, Fawn, is completely natural. It’s an undyed light brown in a creamy caramel shade: it reminds me of Werther’s Originals! [100% Wool, 110m/119yds per ball], 6 x 50g balls]

Whispering Island in Acadia

You’ve probably heard me mention the Fibre Company’s gorgeous Acadia yarn. I was planning to knit a two-colour version of Whispering Island, and I wanted a yarn that would still capture the outdoorsy feeling of my original vision. When I looked at some other shawls knit in Acadia I suddenly knew that this was the perfect yarn for the job. I can’t say enough about what a pleasure this yarn is to work with. The blend of merino, alpaca and silk is wonderfully soft and luxurious with loads of rustic character. [60% Merino wool, 20% Baby alpaca, 20% Silk, 133m/145yds per skein], 4 x 50g skeins, Colour: 2 x Driftwood, 2 x Summersweet]

The result, in all three yarns, is a big, welcoming shawl with lots of heart, an all-season shawl that will be equally at home sheltering you from the soft breezes of a summer evening as it will be cuddling around your neck once the winter winds begin to blow. It’s a surprisingly quick knit, and lots of fun: I’ve made it three times now, and it has never lost its charm.

I really love Whispering Island, and I hope you will too.

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 77

 

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by the Fibre Co, and the 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.

I’ve just finished knitting a shawl sample with Acadia and it more than lives up to its description. This is very special yarn. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarns:

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.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL, There’s exactly a month left to join this lively KAL which is being hosted by my friendPaula on the Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group. I’ve been marvelling at all the gorgeous FOs people are posting, and it’s been thrilling to see all the different patterns people are choosing. It’s especially fun to watch the larger Pebble Beach shawls show up. If you can’t resist jumping in, here’s what you need to know:

  • Any Curious Handmade pattern qualifies

  • You can have begun or even finished the object before the start date?

  • The hashtag for WIPs and FOs is #pebblebeachKAL. I’m stalking the hashtag on social media and it’s so fun to watch people’s progress!

Muse2 KAL The event is just around the corner and the KAL is great fun. I’m participating in this one with a pair of socks by Rachel Coopey! Just a way for everyone to join in on the Muse Connection buzz, from anywhere in world. I’m participating and having a ball, and there’s another month to go (it runs until the 30th of June) so jump in with us! FOs just need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

Hashtag #muse2KAL for WIPs and FOs!

Show links:

I mention that I’m off at the magical Squam art retreat. Just like last year I’m planning to come home with some wonderful interviews with creative people, so we can all look forward to that!

Beth talked about the book which started it all for her: Flying Lessons by mixed media artist and teacher Kelly Rae Roberts.

We discussed some of the free resources available to anyone on the Do What You Love course website, including the Making Time email program.

I personally recommend investing in yourself with the Do What You Love course. I took it last year and I’m still feeling the positive effects rippling through my life today. Beth is generously offering a discount to Curious Handmade listeners who register on the next course, which starts on June 15th.

With the exclusive code DWYLHandmade, you can purchase the course for £115 instead of £129. This offer will expire on the 7th of June, but of course you can register for the course right up until it starts.

Just a note to say that if you purchase the course after clicking through a link on my site, I receive a small affiliate commission. It’s a lovely way to support the show, so if you do decide to sign up, thank you so much!

I also announce the name of my newest design, which will be released on June 12th, so make sure to listen to the episode to hear more hints about this project! Have a wonderful week. Happy knitting to you all.

 

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 76

Join me today as I chat with with Vicki Hillman, Fashion Stylist. We talk about original and classic ways to style all those beautiful handmade shawls that we spend so many hours creating. Vicki talks about novel ways to wrap and wear a shawl, knitting patterns that reflect current trends, and how to pair shawls with fashion items for a timeless and unmistakable style.

Show Sponsors

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.

This episode is also sponsored by The Fibre Company and their lovely yarn, Arcadia.

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.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL, hosted by the wonderful Paula from Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group, is cranking out amazing FOs. We’re even starting to see some of the new sizes rolling in, which is so exciting. With the deadline off on the horizon (July 5th) there’s lots of time left, and new people are constantly joining. If you’d like to be one of them, there are a couple of easy rules and pointers:

  • Any Curious Handmade pattern qualifies

  • Did you begin or even finish the object before the start date? No problem!

  • Don’t forget that there’s a Ravelry coupon code: use KPKAL30 for 30% off until May 31st

  • The hashtag for WIPs and FOs is #pebblebeachKAL. It’s so great to see all the projects on the go!

Muse2 KAL Just a way for everyone to join in on the Muse Connection buzz, from anywhere in world. I’m participating and having a ball, and there’s another month to go (it runs until the 30th of June) so jump in with us! FOs just need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

Hashtag #muse2KAL for WIPs and FOs!

What’s in the WIP?

Rachel Coopey’s Oleum socks for the Muse 2 KAL are still on the go! And as I mention on the show, there’s a new shawl pattern on the way…

Show links:

Fashion-friendly patterns that Vicki and I discussed:

Greco by Courtney Spainhower

Emma Boatneck Jumper from the Country Escape book by MillaMia

Farmhouse Shawl by cabinfour

Pomelo knit bag by Clare Lakewood

Pure shawl by cabinfour

If you’re in the neighbourhood, drop in to YAK Yarn and Knitting Brighton 27th of June, when I’ll be visiting for a little Pebble Beach trunk show!

I talked about the new shawl pattern that’s on the way very soon! It was inspired by the magnificent Hole and Sons wool which sold out in minutes when it was released this year, but I’m making up samples in some wonderful and easier-to-source yarns as well:

Blacker Yarns Shetland DK

Acadia by the Fibre Company

That wraps up the notes for this week’s show! Thanks for listening, and happy knitting.

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast Episode 75In this episode I talk about some of the factors that make for an enjoyable shawl project. As always, choosing yarn, pattern, and needles that all play nicely together are really important. I also chat a bit about all the shawls I’m daydreaming about knitting these days.

Show Sponsors

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.

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

This episode is sponsored by The Fibre Company and their newest yarn, Cumbria.

Inspired by England’s stunning northwest region with its deep blue lakes and sheep-grazed fells and valleys, Cumbria is a lustrous blend of brown wool from the rare breed masham sheep, fine South American wool and mohair from South Africa. The resulting light brown-grey shade is then over-dyed creating lovely deep saturated colours. Cumbria is a staple yarn, perfect for garments and accessories alike.

KAL News

Meet My Yarn KAL We have a winner!! Number 25, skibum, aka Anita in real life, has won that special skein of yet-to-be-released Cumbria yarn. Her yarn was Rustic Fingering by The Neighborhood Fiber Co. and she was swatching for Monomania by Ann Weaver. Thank you so much to everyone who took part in this KAL. It was fascinating and a lot of fun!

Pebble Beach KAL, hosted by my friend Paula from Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group, is still going strong. The deadline isn’t until July 5th, so there’s still loads of time if you’d like to get involved. The rules are simple and chilled out:

  • You can use any Curious Handmade pattern

  • It’s okay if you began or finished the object before the start date

  • Don’t forget that there’s a Ravelry coupon code: use KPKAL30 for 30% off until May 31st

  • The hashtag for WIPs and FOs is #pebblebeachKAL. There are already some great projects showing up on Instagram and twitter!

Muse2 KAL We’ve put this together so everyone can join in the fun, no matter where you are on the world. It’s going until June 30th. Nice loose rules on this one, too. Just submit a FO that meets one or more of the following criteria:

Hashtag #muse2KAL for WIPs and FOs!

What’s in the WIP?

I mentioned last week that I’m planning to knit Rachel Coopey’s Oleum socks for the Muse 2 KAL. So far I’ve printed out the pattern and wound the yarn: it’s progress, and I’ll take it!

Show Links

I talked about the two Craftsy classes I’m enjoying right now

Shawlscapes by Stephen West

Laura Nalkin’s Mastering Lace Shawls

I mentioned that specialist lace needles, like Addi Lace, can be handy for the delicate lace yarns.

Three shawl patterns mentioned in this episode:

Aisling by last week’s guest Justina Lorkowska

Swallowtail by Evelyn A. Clark

Echo Flower by Jenny Johnson Johnen

That should just about wrap it up for this episode! I hope you enjoyed the show. Happy knitting in the week ahead!

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast With Justyna

Today I have the pleasure of speaking to the lovely, funny, and incredibly talented Justyna Lorkowska of Lete’s Knits. She talks about her signature knitting style, the journey from her hilarious and humbling teenage projects to her current sophisticated designs, and how to choose a shawl shape for every occasion.

She’ll be launching a brand new hap shawl this weekend at the Berlin Knits Yarn Festival with Walkcollection, so we’ll all be looking forward to seeing the new pattern once it hits Ravelry.

Show Sponsors

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.

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

This episode is sponsored by The Fibre Company and their newest yarn, Cumbria.

Inspired by England’s stunning northwest region with its deep blue lakes and sheep-grazed fells and valleys, Cumbria is a lustrous blend of brown wool from the rare breed masham sheep, fine South American wool and mohair from South Africa. The resulting light brown-grey shade is then over-dyed creating lovely deep saturated colours. Cumbria is a staple yarn, perfect for garments and accessories alike.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL, which Paula is hosting on the Knitting Pipeline Ravelry Group, is running until July 5th, and we already have loads of chatter and more than 50 FOs, all competing for that scrumptious skein of Uncommon Thread Merino Lace in the Mermaid colourway. You’ve still got lots of time to join in, and the rules are loose on this one! Remember:

  • You can use any of my patterns

  • It doesn’t matter if you began or finished the object before the start date

  • If you want to purchase a pattern or collection, use Ravelry coupon code KPKAL30 for 30% off until May 31st

  • The hashtag is #pebblebeachKAL so we can find all your WIPs on Twitter and Instagram!

Meet My Yarn KAL has just wrapped up and I absolutely loved everyone’s swatches and stories. I’ll be announcing the winner next week: they’re going to get their hands on a skein of the wonderful Cumbria yarn from The Fibre Company. As I’ve mentioned before, this yarn won’t even be available to the public until late summer.

Muse2 KAL is running from May 1st until June 30th, so that everyone can be a part of the fun. Enter with any FO that meets one or more of the following criteria:

I’ve just decided on my project for the KAL: Rachel Coopey’s gorgeous Oleum socks. It’s the perfect pattern for the great John Arbon Exmoor Sock Yarn I was talking about a few weeks ago.

Show Links

Visit Justyna’s busy, happy Ravelry Group and take a look at the Shawlicious KAL, ending June 30th

You can find all of Justyna’s amazing patterns on website and her Ravelry profile, but here are the ones we discussed specifically:

Fickle Heart hoodie

Shifting sweater

Aisling shawl

Masgot shawl

Hermit shawl

If you’re free over the weekend, pay a visit to the I Knit Fandango, happening the 15th and 16th of May at Royal Horticultural Halls, Lindley Hall, Westminster, London, and say a special hello to three friends of the podcast: Kettle Yarn Co, Pom Pom Quarterly, and Rachel Coopey.

That’s everything for this week! Thanks so much for listening, and happy knitting!