Curious Handmade with Helen Stewart

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Alongside an eclectic yarn range, which includes Hazel Knits, Icelandic Lopi & CoopKnits, we stock a carefully chosen selection of needles and notions. We’ve also recently launched ‘hand dyed by meadowyarn’, our very own in-house, hand-dyed yarn range. Working in our tiny dye studio, nestled in the Suffolk countryside, we are able to indulge our love of colour, producing complex tonal, kettle-dyed shades across a range of weights and bases. With regular updates our collections evolve and grow, inspired by the landscape and people around us.

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In today’s show I have the winners from September’s Knit20for20 KAL, and some other light-hearted knitting chat. I’m looking forward to Knitvent, which will be launching very soon! There’s also a little life update of what we’ve been up to over the school holidays here in Australia, and a surprise flash sale on one of my favourite patterns.

Show Links:

September Knit20for2020 Winners!

Ravelry winner: maryann7211

Four Purls Yarn Shop in Florida

Instagram winner:


Yarn Over New York

Skyppy Stripes by Annette Schleicher

isenfriesen’s beautiful Stillness Shawl

frauWolle Yak-Seide

Sign up to the Curious Handmade Newsletter and Get the Make Your Own Yarn Calendar ebook

(If you’re already on the Curious Handmade Newsletter list, you don’t need to sign up again: I’ll make sure to include it with the next few newsletters!)

Rewilding Shawl

For the month of October, you can get the Rewilding Shawl pattern on Ravelry for 40% off by using the code Rewilding when you check out!

The Fibre Co. Meadow

Show Transcript:

Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 311. This podcast is all about crafting a life of happiness and creativity. I’m your host Helen and you can find me on Ravelry as HellsBells and on social media as curious handmade. You can also find full show notes and transcript on my website at

Hello, and welcome to the show. How are you going this week?

I hope you’re okay. I know from my small amount of news watching and Instagram scrolling, that things are pretty stressful in a lot of places. The UK has seen increased restrictions and the US is going through a turbulent political time. Here in Australia we seem to be coming out of a lockdown in Melbourne.

So things seem to be easing here slightly, hopefully. And yes, it’s just watching and listening to people around the world. There’s a lot of people going through some heavy times, so hopefully I can bring a little bit of lighthearted, crafty, cheerful, knitting chat to you today. That’s my goal. And so I hope you’re well, and able to spend a few minutes with me relaxing, maybe going for a walk, maybe doing a little bit of knitting, or maybe just doing a few chores, getting organized, I don’t know.

Anyway, welcome and I’m happy to have you with me, whatever you might be doing. So unbelievably, we are into October. So welcome to autumn, if you’re in the Northern hemisphere, it feels a little bit strange to be around the wrong way, upside down, in the coming into spring here in Australia and in the Southern hemisphere. It’s such a different mood from autumn.

I know most of my listeners are in the northern hemisphere. I do have some listeners in Australia and New Zealand and maybe a few in other countries in the Southern hemisphere, but mostly northern hemisphere.

And so end of a month or beginning of a new month means that we have Knit 20 for 2020 September winners to announce. And the winner for the Ravelry thread for September Knit 20 for 2020 challenge is Maryann7211, and Maryann knit a Hilltop jacket by Joanna Johnson and has a photo of her proudly wearing her cardigan. And she said, in the comments, “It checks off bucket list and cardigan.”

And Marianne has nominated Four Purls in Florida. So congratulations, Marianne we’ll be in touch to organize your gift voucher from Four Purls. And on Instagram we have the winner, Toni_Sweeney, who knit bright sunny socks in yarn from YarnOver New York. They’re the Skyppy stripes pattern. So congratulations, Toni. And again, we’ll get in touch with you or feel free to get in touch on or on Ravelry, HellsBells.

So, congratulations for everybody who entered in the challenge and has knit some wonderful finished objects. I had a lovely time scrolling through, in particular the Ravelry thread. The Ravelry thread seems to have quite a few more entries than Instagram.

So that’s just a little tip if you’re on Instagram and participating in the challenge, do be sure to tag your finished projects with the Knit24for2020 hashtag because I draw a prize of a $50 gift voucher from a yarn store, or indie dyer of your choice each month. And so it’s a nice little knit along to participate in, and it’s also quite open if you’ve finished an item that ticks off one of the prompts on the challenge checklist, then you can be in the draw.

So, yeah, but there was a particularly gorgeous Stillness Shawl posted in the Ravelry thread. And that was knit by isenfriesen who is Iris based in Austria. And she’s knit her Stillness Shawl in Fru Valborg Yak Sida which is yak silk, I think. Really gorgeous colors and she’s posted pictures in her project page on Ravelry of the still life painting she’s been inspired by.

She says, “I’ve loved still life as a genre for a long time from Dutch artists impressionist and post-impressionist particularly Cezanne and Cubists like Braque and van Gogh. But if I did think about stillness, I think of one particular painting by Chardin and of Giorgio Morandi, who tirelessly painted the same boxes, bottles and vases all over again. I have seen two exhibitions Museo Morandi in Bologna and another one in Austria and visited his studio in Grizzani Morandi where you can see all those objects that appear in his paintings.”

She’s posted the pictures of the paintings and her beautiful shawl, which you can instantly see the color inspiration from the paintings in her shawl. Thank you so much Iris for sharing your beautiful shawl and inspiration. So, we’ll link to her project page as well in the show notes. And thank you to everyone who posted and joined in the challenge and shared the beautiful projects with us this month.

We’ll set up a thread for October, so in other knit along news. We have Knitvent 2020 coming up very soon, and we are just putting the final touches to the patterns behind the scenes. And that will be opening up for pre-sales in a couple of weeks. And in the meantime, we have a little giveaway, which is an ebook on how to make your own yarn advent calendar.

So, some of you may have exciting advent calendars either already or already arrived, or on order from your favorite indie dyer. And if you’re like me who struggles to get organized, or maybe haven’t ordered one this year than we have created this little ebook on how to make your own from scraps that you may have in your stash from previous projects.

And I just think it’s such a nice thing to do with a friend to make one for each other and then do a swap. And that way you can be surprised by the yarn and it’s a lovely gift you can put in little extras, like tea or some special stitch markers or other little trinkets that you think your friend would like. And yeah, it’s just a really nice festive thing to do. So you can find a link to get that ebook on my website, in the show notes for this episode. Or on Instagram, in my links, there’s a link to sign up for that as well.

So that’s something we’re doing in the run up to Knitvent. I’ve been quite busy preparing the patterns for the upcoming season and I’m really pleased how it’s going. And for once I think I might have been able to organize it so that all the patterns will be released before December. And so maybe a little bit earlier than previous years, maybe by a week, not by a huge amount, but just by that little bit, that hopefully will give you just that tiny little bit more time for your gift knitting, if you like to gift knit for friends and family, otherwise just a little bit earlier that you can use your Yarn Advent calendar, if you choose to use it on my design.

I’m sure there’s lots of other lovely options as well. And I also have, I think three previous years, I have designed a pattern now for the advent calendars and four scrappy projects. So there’s a few to choose from, but yes, that will be the first design for the season that will come out. And that will be late October.

This week, we have had school holidays here in Queensland, and it’s been a really nice relaxing time. I had some friends for lunch yesterday, who I haven’t managed to catch up with since we’ve been back in Australia and that’s been over a year now. So that felt really good to finally see some dear friends, really good friends, but we just have had such a busy year and with the lockdowns and things hadn’t managed to catch up in person.

So, that was really nice. And we’ve gone for a lovely walk in nature. That was one of my goals for little nice moments to have with the girls on the holidays. I wasn’t planning anything too ambitious, but yeah, just a little lovely moment of a walkout in nature. And that made me think of my Rewilding Shawl pattern. So I just thought I would read the description of that, that my lovely writer, Amanda wrote for me and share that with you today.

Sometimes all it takes to heal a place is to gently step away. Ecologists call this process rewilding, and it is transforming landscapes around the world. Rewilding means stopping the bustle of human activity and giving the land back to itself, allowing the earth and the creatures that live there to get on with the work of growth and balance and restoration.

It is a beautiful concept. And one that is doing so much for biodiversity and the health of our wildlife. It’s also a lovely concept for people stepping away from the busy-ness of our lives and just letting ourselves be for a little while. That’s one of the greatest gifts we can get from a creative retreat, the chance to rewild ourselves, just a little bit. The Rewilding Shawl was created for the autumn 2018 Curious Handmade Country House Retreat.

So, many of the Shawls I create for retreat knitting are simple and relaxing. And there are some fun tassels that you can add to your shawl if you want to. It’s a one skein shawl. And I knit the sample in the beautiful Meadow Base from the Fibre Company, which is 40% merino, 25% baby llama, 20% silk and 15% linen. And it has a really generous 498 meters per 100 gram skein, which is 545 yards.

And it is really one of my very favorite yarns to knit with. It’s so lovely to knit with. And it’s nice and light and quite nice for the climate here, with the lovely linen and silk as well as the merino. So I just thought I’d share that design with you today as a little bit of a featured pattern, and maybe while I’m chatting about it, I will do I spontaneous discount on that.

So. I’m going to set up a 40% off discount with the code rewilding for the month of October for this little shawl, because it’s one of my favorites and I want to share it with you. So, that will be 40% off with the code rewilding for the month of October.

You can find them at or you can click on the ad on my blog. So thanks for joining me today for a little chat. I do hope you have a good week and I’ll talk to you again soon. Happy knitting.

Direct download: 011020CH311_A_little_bit_of_Rewilding.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 12:00am UTC