Curious Handmade with Helen Stewart

I’ve got lots of Knitalong news, some Shawl Society yarn restocks from favourite indies, and of course, I also released the very last pattern of this year’s Knitvent, The Ever After Shawl, so I’m sharing a bit about my design process for that one, too. 

Finally, I have some Christmas treats for you, including an exclusive discount code from another favourite yarnie and another from me

Direct download: CH357_Knitalongs_Knitvent_and_some_treats.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:07pm UTC

I’ve been keeping a pretty massive project under wraps all year, but I can finally share! This week on the podcast I’m chatting about an ambitious quilt-design project I’ve been working on in the background for months. And there’s a new Knitvent pattern to discuss, of course: the very fun and quick Montage Hat. Finally, I’m still pondering what to make with one of my Advent yarn sets and am looking for suggestions! So if you’re in the mood for some crafty chat, settle in with your current project and let’s catch up over a few stitches.

Direct download: CH356_The_Montage_Hat__my_secret_quilt_project.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

We’re all about homemade gifts right now at Curious Handmade HQ! We’ve got lots of chat on this week’s podcast about just why it’s so special to give and receive things made by hand. I’ve just finished a few myself, which I’ll share with you, and we also have not one but two brand new Knitvent 2021 patterns to discuss. So grab your project bag and let’s have a little visit.

Direct download: CH355_rev_A_Meet_Cute_Mitts_and_Socks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

This week, I’m talking a bit about my design inspiration for this latest, very cosy Knitvent pattern (hint, it has to do with a favourite film) as well as mini review of my 2021 Happiness Project and what’s left to be done (I promise I’ll update you properly in the new year). 

I also have some thoughts on two ways I try to protect my creativity: decluttering and saying ‘no’, both when you want to and when you just need to.

So if you’re casting on the Rose Cottage Cowl today, or just want a little crafty company, let me join you!

Direct download: CH354_The_Rose_Cottage_Cowl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

After all the teasing and guessing, the first design of Knitvent 2021 has been revealed! The Skyline Wrap is a holiday rom-com inspired pattern designed to use up scraps or a yarn advent calendar. Today on the podcast I’m talking a bit about the pattern as well as my plans for the last bit of the year, heading into the holidays: where I’ve gotten to with my Happiness Project and how I’d like to finish out 2021. I also have many giveaway winners to announce! So settle in and get cosy, and let’s have a crafty chat.

Direct download: CH353_The_Skyline_Wrap_and_an_elegant_glide.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am UTC

We’re gearing up for Halloween this week at Curious Handmade HQ, with costume prep in high gear (including something for our pup Sindy to wear!) This week on the podcast I’m reflecting on how close we’re getting to the end of the year, and how to make the most of it. With the first Knitvent 2021 pattern release coming up fast, I’m sharing more about the inspiration for the collection (holiday films) and planning out what I’d like to watch myself and with the girls. It’s time to grab your gift knitting and join me for a cheery, cosy chat!

Direct download: CH352_Halloween_holiday_moods_and_holiday_movies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

 I’m just back from a lovely knitting retreat in the rainforest and am full of stories to share. On this episode, I’m also introducing the brand new shawl pattern I designed for the retreat, Blossom Time. And we have some fun holiday chat, with Halloween costume plans and the big Knitvent theme reveal to discuss! So pull up your cosiest chair, pick up your knitting, and let’s visit. 

Direct download: CH351_Blossom_Time__Knitvent_Time.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

In-person knitting events are rare and precious these days (and we never know if they’re actually going to happen until the last minute!) so I’m savouring the run-up to the retreat I’m hoping to attend! I’ve also just released the final design from this year’s Shawl Society, and I think you’re really going to love it. I have some KAL winners to announce, and I’m looking forward to the launch of Knitvent 2021. So come join me for a knit and a chat on this week’s episode!

Direct download: CH350_Off_on_retreat_and_the_Hinterlands_Shawl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

Join me for a quick catch up over coffee this week as I talk about what’s going on in the world of Curious Handmade. We have a big BOGO sale this weekend to kick off the start of the Knitvent 2021 launch, I've just come back from a big photo shoot, and I’m trying to end the year strong with some habits that I know make life better. So fill your mug and knit a few rows along with me!


Direct download: CH349_A_big_pattern_sale_and_happiness_habits.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm UTC

How do you find the time and mental space for creativity when life feels chaotic? Today on the podcast I’m talking a little about how I’ve been managing the messiness of everyday life and the concept of “life admin.” I also have some exciting things on the horizon: a big photoshoot, yarn hints for the final design of the Shawl Society season, and of course, Knitvent, which is inching nearer every day.

Direct download: CH348_Finding_calm_in_chaos_and_planning_a_photo_shoot.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

Our newest secret design from The Shawl Society 5 has been revealed, and this week on the podcast I’m talking about the new pattern and the gorgeous yarn we chose for the sample. I’ve also got some quilt content: what I’m working on and whether I want to bring quilt patterns into the Curious Handmade world or whether it’s better to keep quilting as a beloved hobby instead of making it another job. I also have some giveaway winners to announce!

Direct download: CH347_The_Veranda_Shade_Shawl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

Things are feeling quite summery on this side of the world! On this week’s podcast I’m enjoying that sunshiny feeling and talking about some knitting patterns that work for warmer weather and transitional seasons. My little staycation has already paid me back in a renewed sense of creativity and enthusiasm, so join me for a cheerful chat about knitting, sewing, and the crafts we love best. 

Direct download: CH346_Sunshine_shawls_and_a_creative_surge.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

I’m back from a lovely local holiday, all recharged and full of inspiration. I have some really exciting projects to share with you, and lots of winners to announce from recent knitalongs. And last but not least, I have all the details about our brand new shawl pattern from The Shawl Society 5: our Lavender Fields Shawl. It’s going to be lovely to catch up with you after being away, so fill your mug and settle in for some crafty chat.

Direct download: CH345_A_Sewcation_and_the_Lavender_Fields_Shawl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week’s episode is a chilled out chat about crafty stuff and family life! After last week’s review of my 2021 Happiness Project, I’ve gotten a fresh burst of energy and excitement about the many creative projects I have on my plate. Today I’m talking about how I’m finding balance in a busy season, the fun things the girls are up to, and some sewing I’m hoping to work on in the next couple of weeks. 

Direct download: CH344_Episode_344_Family_fun_and_sewing_plans.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

With more year behind us than there is ahead of us, I’m doing an in-depth review of my Happiness Project goals. How my personal creative projects are coming along, what I’ve been working on, and what I might let go this year. Pour yourself something lovely to sip and sit down with your favourite project: this week’s podcast episode is long and chatty!

Direct download: CH343_How_is_the_Happiness_Project_going.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week I’m introducing my newest shawl design, The Wild Bees Wrap, from The Shawl Society 5. I have the house to myself for once, so join me for a relaxed, chatty catch-up about what I’ve been working on recently. I’ve also got an update on my Word of The Year and a review of the year in general so far: it’s been a big one for getting things done!

Direct download: CH342_The_Wild_Bees_Wrap.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

The podcast returns with a brand new sock pattern...the last secret of The Handmade Sock Society has now been revealed! Today I’m chatting about the yarn that inspired this sock design, and my new(ish) adventures over on YouTube. We also have some KAL winners, the results of our little June charity pattern drive, and some updates on my own WIPs. If you’d like some crafty company as your work on your latest creative project, come join me!

Direct download: CH341_The_Scribbly_Gum_Socks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

I’m so excited to have a finished project to share on the podcast today. Every time I complete a piece of personal knitting amid all the design and sample work, it feels like a milestone. So today I’m chatting about my brand new Píosa  Cardigan, and already thinking about casting on another. We also have a healthy helping of quilting updates, as I find my voice and my feet in another craft. So pick up some knitting or stitching and settle in for a fun, crafty catch up with me

From a humble skein of yarn to the far reaches of the galaxy...Today on the Curious Handmade Podcast, I have a brand new shawl design from The Handmade Shawl Society, which was inspired by the Milky Way. It might be a lofty aspiration for a little knitting pattern, but why not dream big? We’ve also got a friendly chat about what I’ve been up to: is my houseplant stash about to overtake my yarn stash?

Direct download: CH339_The_Silver_River_Shawl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:22am UTC

Today on the Curious Handmade podcast, as the Western Hemisphere heads towards the summer solstice, I’m savoring every scrap of winter we’ll get in Queensland. The chilly weather has finally arrived here, which is very good news for my knitting mojo. I’m working on my Píosa Cardigan and my project for the Knit 20 for 2021 Toy KAL. I also have some sock yarn notes for ongoing Sock KALs. So pull up a cosy chair and let’s chat about what’s on the needles this week.

Direct download: CH338_Sweater_weather_down_under.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

This week on the podcast we have lots of wonderful news. Our latest design from The Handmade Sock Society 4 came out this week, so I have a few stories from the design process to share. I’m also doing a very special giveaway for my birthday month (a free pattern for everyone!) Finally, I’ve got updates on my Hexie A Day in May challenge and my other personal projects. So settle in for a fun crafty chat, and let’s catch up. 

Direct download: CH337_The_Lavender_Fields_Socks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

I’m back from my sick days with a friendly catch up chat. I’m making some progress on my personal projects, and I have lots and lots of KAL news, including winners from recent giveaways, a knit along by one of my favourite yarn companies and a brand new Curious Handmade knitalong that’s a little different from anything we’ve done before. I’ve also got a more in-depth introduction to our very first shawl of The Shawl Society 5.

Direct download: CH336__The_Curling_Mist_Shawl_and_so_much_KAL_news.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

We think of creativity as this wild, unbridled thing that thrives on spontaneity and novelty. That can be true, but sometimes, staying creative (and productive!) means we need to build structures and systems. Today on the podcast, I’m chatting a little bit about what that looks like for me right now. I’ve also got updates on some projects I’ve got going on, and the next big thing on the way for the Curious Crew.

Direct download: CH335_Sleep_systems_shawls_and_sleeves.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

Have you ever been daunted by the scale of a creative project? You’re not alone! I just saw the big numbers sitting between me and a completed quilt of hexie today on the podcast I’m talking about that project: how it’s going and how far there is to go. I’m also chatting about the newest adventures of the Curious Crew, including the brand new Spinifex Socks from The Handmade Sock Society 4, and the launch of The Shawl Society 5.

Direct download: CH334_Heaps_of_hexies_and_the_Spinifex_Socks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

Today on the podcast I’ve got a mini review of the year so far, in terms of creativity, productivity, and my word for the year. I’m also sharing some personal project plans and the new season of The Shawl Society, which is coming up next month. (And it just occurred to me that next month starts...tomorrow!) So join me this week for a big cheerful chat about music, quilting, embroidery, knitting, and yarn: so many of the things we creative crafty folk like best.

Direct download: CH_333_Connection_and_creativity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:04am UTC

On today’s podcast episode, I’m chatting about what I’ve been up to in the break: probably the most intense design and knitting sprint I’ve ever done! And stories from an all-hands-on-deck photoshoot that was a lot of fun. 

Just a little content warning for this episode, in case you’re feeling tender: in this week’s podcast I’m also remembering my very dear friend and mentor Paula Emons-Fuessle, who passed away at the end of March. It is a huge loss to the knitting community, but I have a lot of happy and beautiful memories of time we spent together, and so much gratitude for her kindness and generosity over the years. I wanted to share some of that today, but if loss is a heavy topic for you right now I just wanted to let you know before you hit play.

Direct download: CH332_Back_from_a_break...and_a_design_marathon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Have you ever daydreamed about making a career out of your creative projects? Today on the podcast I have a bit of an unexpected book review; as I’ve been planning for the future of Curious Handmade, I read something very inspiring, and I wanted to share that with you. I’ve also got a brand new finished object to share and some crafty and gardeny news. So grab your current WIP and settle in to join me for an uplifting, cheerful episode.

Direct download: CH331_Make_a_Living_Living__inspiration_dreams_and_plans.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

It might be almost Autumn here in Australia, but it’s so warm that we’re starting seeds and propagating like the gardeners in the Northern Hemisphere, so I’ve let myself be swept away by the spring mood. On today’s podcast I have an outrageously cute selection of spring and Easter themed dream projects to share with you. I might not be able to resist a few new cast-ons myself.

Direct download: CH330_Spring_Growth_and_the_Cutest_Spring_Projects.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

We’ve been pretty focused on knitting socks around here, and there’s plenty more to come, but on today’s podcast episode, I’m returning to my first love, shawls. I have two recently finished projects to share, plus a new cast on. In the background, plans are afoot for a whole new season of The Shawl Society. So, if you love hand-knit shawls, or just cosy chats about our favourite pastime, pull up a comfy chair and join me.

Direct download: CH329_So_many_shawls_and_more_on_the_way.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

It’s a very picnicky episode of the Curious Handmade Podcast today! We have a brand new sock design to celebrate, as the second pattern of The Handmade Sock Society was released yesterday. The Picnic Blanket socks are inspired by childhood memories, but they also inspired me to go for a little handmade picnic adventure myself. So I have those stories to share, along with my current creative projects. So pour yourself some fresh lemonade (or fresh coffee!) and join me for a crafty catch up.

Direct download: CH328_rev_A_The_Picnic_Blanket_Socks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Today on the Curious Handmade podcast, I’m talking about growth of all kinds. Join me as I introduce my beloved little plant family, get back to a long-neglected but wonderful embroidery project, and take my first tentative into an exciting new branch of design work that’s always scared me just a little. But isn’t that what growth usually feels like? It’s a short, sweet, and lighthearted episode this time, so grab your favourite project and let’s knit a few rows together (or maybe do a small bit of stitching!)

Direct download: CH327_Planting_ideas_for_the_future.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Today’s podcast episode is a little out of the ordinary.  We will be talking about crafting and creativity and Happiness Projects, but also about  grief and loss. I’ll be sharing some thoughts and feelings I’ve had lately about loss in the knitting community and in my own life. I just wanted to give you a little content warning that I'll be talking about some tougher things, in case you're just not feeling up for that topic today.  If you’re not, make sure to be gentle and take care of yourself. It’s okay to sit this one out, and don’t worry: I’ll be back again next week with a lighter episode and more knitting and sewing content.

Direct download: CH326_Knitting_love_and_loss.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Today’s podcast episode is short but sweet, so grab your favourite work in progress and join me for a few rows of knitting and a friendly catch up. I’ve just finished a project I’m really excited about: sewing a brand new dress! And as we start to settle into the rhythm of the year, I’m focusing on being gentle with myself as I continue my happiness projects and explore new ways to connect with my community.

Direct download: CH325_Sewing_the_Sudley_Dress_and_Settling_into_the_Year.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

As we find our feet in this new month of February, I’m settling into my new word for the year, connection. On today’s episode, I’m chatting about some of the ways it’s starting to appear more in my life, including my craft projects. I’m also introducing the very first pattern of The Handmade Sock Society 4: the Curling Mist Socks, and we have lots to discuss. It’s been a great start to the season with so many amazing knitters (and brave beginners) joining in.

Direct download: 040221CH324_The_Curling_Mist_Socks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

As we settle into the swing of the New Year, I’m still taking stock and making plans. On this week’s episode, I have a fun review of how I did on my list of Happiness Projects last year. It wasn’t a normal year for anyone, but I think the results still add up to some significant happiness! I’m also chatting about what I’ve put on the list for 2021, and how that’s shifted. And of course, as the first pattern of The Handmade Sock Society comes closer, we're chatting a bit about that too.

Direct download: 290121CH323_The_Happiness_Project_2020_review_and_new_plans.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm UTC

It’s a very exciting week for the Curious Crew! Our newest mystery collection, The Handmade Sock Society 4, is available for presale from today. On this special and rather personal episode I’m going a little deep. Of course, we have some chatting about the theme for the collection and how the KALs will work. But I’m also looking back at my happiness project and word of the year went last year, and the surprising ways it has changed my life. And I’ll reveal my new word for 2021.

Direct download: 180121CH322_The_Handmade_Sock_Society_4_and_my_word_for_2021.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am UTC

Welcome Back to the Curious Handmade Podcast! Our first episode of the year is a big chatty catch-up after our holiday break. How did I do on my own Knit 20 for 2020 project? What WIPs did I finish and what new things did I try? I’ve also got KAL winners to announce and we’re kicking off a new Knit 20 for 2021 project, too! So grab your knitting and a snack and come join me for some happy, crafty company.

Direct download: 090121CH321_Knit20for2021_WIPs_and_Trying_New_Things.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC