Curious Handmade with Helen Stewart (general)

After a long break, the podcast returns with a big chatty update about where I've been, what I've been up to, and what's coming next. Things will be looking a little different for Curious Handmade in 2022, but that's a good thing! I also have a big batch of giveaway and knitalong knitters to announce! So grab your knitting and let's catch up. 

Direct download: CH358__A_slow_new_year_and_whats_next.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am UTC

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

One more episode before I disappear into the holidays for a few festive weeks and Australia's summer school break! Today I'm chatting about the projects I have on the go and the ones I'd really like to finish by the end of the year, as well as my recent deep dive into the merry world of Vlogmas and YouTube videos!

Direct download: 101220CH320_The_Last_Show_of_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23pm UTC

As the end of such a strange year rushes towards us, I'm slowing down a little bit to think about what's left to do and what's still to come. There are knitting, quilting and creative projects to finish, new collections design, and fresh journals, planners, and calendars to consider. So come join me for a chat and let's dream about finishing this year strong and starting the next one full of inspiration.

Direct download: 021220CH139_The_Comfort_and_Joy_of_Planning.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:28am UTC

Today's podcast episode is a cosy chat about the very last Knitvent pattern of 2020, the Hearten Mitts. And as this crazy year winds down, I'm pondering the beginnings of plans for 2021. We also have a little holiday surprise: I'm releasing the Knitvent 2020 collection as single patterns a bit early this year, and having a flash sale on ALL my single patterns on Ravelry.

Direct download: 211120CH318_The_Hearten_Mitts_and_a_Flash_Sale.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm UTC

Today I'm talking about our latest Knitvent 2020 pattern, the Cheering Socks, and the lovely yarn I chose for the sample. I've been doing some of early Christmas shopping too, including some gifts for myself. A little bit of indulgence seems called for these days, and I've been finding comfort and joy in little treats from some special handmade suppliers.

Direct download: 191120CH137_CH_317_The_Cheering_Socks_and_gifts_for_yourself.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:52pm UTC

After an intense week, I'm back to talk about the second pattern of Knitvent 2020: the Tidings Shawl, including some tips and ideas for yarn substitutions, if you'd like to knit this pattern in a different wool weight. I have a lot of giveaway winners to announce, as well as some personal thoughts about some of the big happenings in the world right now.

Direct download: 131120CH136_V2_The_Tidings_Shawl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:15pm UTC

The very first pattern of Knitvent 2020 has been revealed and I’m excited to tell you all about it! On today’s podcast we have an introduction to the Hearten Cowl, an explanation of what’s been going on with the podcast feed (it should be fixed!) and a lot of cosy chat about my own ongoing projects and some free patterns and workshops I’ve created for the Curious Crew.

Direct download: 281020CH315_The_Hearten_Cowl_and_Free_Patterns1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:34am UTC

Today on the show I'm sharing some of my experiences at the lovely Woollinn festival in Dublin, Ireland, and the slightly unexpected (but very lovely) haul I came home with. I also have an introduction to our very first shawl in TSS III. Show Sponsors: 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. AYS is a wool boutique specializing in hand dyed yarns and luxury fibres from around the world. You’ll always find a well curated collection of yarns and colors on the shelves and a friendly knowledgeable staff on hand. Some of our favorite brands include Hedgehog Fibres, SweetGeorgia Yarn, Julie Asselin, Shibui Knits and The Fibre Co. You can find A Yarn Story on Walcot Street in Bath or online at Show Links: Leeds Wool Festival – 2nd of June 10am to 5pm in the Leeds Industrial Museum Leeds Wool Festival giveaway winner: Andrea! An Caitin Beag A Bear in Sheep's Clothing Ellie and Ada Fine Fish Yarns Olann Countess Ablaze Tilly Flop Designs Travel Knitter The Little Grey Girl Townhouse Yarns This is Knit Nancy Marchant If you are interested in Brioche knitting, Nancy has two fantastic classes up of Craftsy. They are currently on sale, or you can join Craftsy Unlimited and get instant access to both, along with hundreds of other courses! I'm a Craftsy Affiliate, so if you click the banner below and end up signing up, I will get a small commission. Thank you so much!   Woolly Wormhead Isabell Kraemer on Ravelry Babbles Yarns Babbles Travelling Yarns Podcast Gyda's Braids by Renée Callahan Shiny Bees Podcast Clark Socks by Jaclyn Salem Clark Socks KAL in Brooklyn Knitfolk –  May 6 – July 8, WIPs are allowed. Like a Cloud by Joji Locatelli Our first shawl has been released! It is called The Maytham Shawl. Here's a little bit of the description: The Secret Garden is a story about coming alive, and about the power love has to make broken things beautiful again. The flowering of the long-neglected garden and the flourishing of the children are intertwined in every page. The Maytham Shawl is a tribute to the real house that Frances Hodgson Burnett loved, and to the imaginary house, Misselthwaite Manor, which was transformed from a cold, forbidding pile of stones into a home full of warmth and laughter. This is a generous shawl using two colours, in a semicircular shape. The texture and easy lace are inspired by the grandeur of neo gothic architecture, with its soaring arches and columns.  The sample for this shawl was knit in La Bien Aimée singles, including the very special new Curious Handmade colourway. There will be a pre-order available on the La Bien Aimée website at 11pm Paris time on May 31st, the day the first shawl pattern comes out, and most of the kits will ship by June 15th. If you don’t want to wait, A Yarn Story still has a limited number of skeins of the Curious Handmade colourway, as well as a stunning stock of La Bien Aimée singles available in the shop and on their website now. If you were on the fence about joining us for this season but would like to jump in, all you have to do is grab your copy of the ebook on Ravelry now. We'd love to have you in the Secret Garden with us!  
Direct download: 180601_CH220.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

Today I have a special guest, Daphne Marinopoulos, founder of the Fibre Company on the show. The Fibre Company is an artisan yarn company and has many beautiful lines of hand dyed yarn. The Fibre Company was the sponsor of the the Muse Connection Volume 1 and we all received a gorgeous skien of the Terra yarn that you’ll hear Daphne talk about in this episode. The episode was recorded last week just before we held the first Muse event so you’ll hear us referring to it as if it is happening in the future. In this episode Daphne talks about starting the Fibre Company and her recent move back to Britian and the Lake District. I was fascinated by her description of formulating a new line of yarn and choosing and naming the colours for it. We also have a bit of a deep chat about what crafting and making things with our hands means for both of us! Events Muse Connection Volume 1 Edinburgh Yarn Festival Show Sponsor Today’s show is sponsored by Meadow Yarn. There is a beautiful rainbow of colour to browse through in the yarn section at Meadow Yarn and I was talking to Anj about choosing colours for projects and she said: “Whether it’s opening boxes full of yarn in myriad jewel tones or quietly contemplating the perfect shade of grey, we never tire of thinking about colour and we spend lots of time having our heart strings tugged by the latest ‘perfect red’ or ‘to-die-for green’…. Matching the perfect shade of yarn with the perfect pattern is our ultimate goal and whether it’s a cool aqua whispering ‘cardigan’ to us, or a pop of vivid ruby red begging to be transformed into a warm winter cowl we’re happiest when we’re indulging our love of colour…” You can find a carefully curated selection of yarn
Direct download: 150313_CH_66_the_Fibre_Company.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:09pm UTC

Today I'm talking about knitting in the round because the second Knitvent pattern, the Lind Cowl is knit in the round. Show Sponsor - 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. What's in the WIP? I'm doing some secret knitting and listening to some wonderful podcasts: Skein Studio by Kristen Knit FM  #giftingzen The second pattern in the Knitvent 2014 collection was released this week. Lind Cowl I talk about knititng in the round. Here are two good YouTube tutorials with slightly different methods. Nancy Wynn iknitwithcatfur Knitvent Podcast Tour Kicked off this week with The Knit Girllls Knitting Pipeline This weekend you can listen to GreenTriangleGirl and I chatting about our approach to holiday knitting on A Playful Day. More dates to be announced! All the podcasts on the tour will have discount codes and giveaways so make sure you check them out.
Direct download: 141121_CH_EP_51_knitting_in_the_round.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm UTC

Direct download: 130606_CH.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:42pm UTC

I've been stuck at home a lot this week as it just keeps on raining here. We're all experiencing a bit of cabin fever. I'm having a nice cup of tea and digestive biscuit. Today's segments include What's in the WIP? and a slightly tonge in cheek but mostly serious 10,000 Hours. What's in the WIP? Follow Your Arrow KAL by Ysolda Teague. I've finally finished clue 1! I made a cute pompom had in Rowan Big Wool for beginners. I'm stalking the PomPom Quarterly Spring 2014 magazine patterns. I'm also practicing my colour work skills. Let me know if you have any good resources or YouTube video to help learn how to do colour work. 10,000 Hours I share my top 10 tips on how to find more time to knit! Anthology Magazine Issue No. 12, Summer 2013 Home Is Where the Art Is My Memorable Quotes Pinterest board. Wrap up Join in the Dream Big Knitalong on the Curious Handmade Ravelry board. (Tip - listen to the episode for a discount code on the Dream Big collection or for the Frangipani Shawl). Happy 2nd Birthday to Gayle and Sharlene at the Yarniacs Podcast.
Direct download: 140207_Curious_Handmade_14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

I'm HellsBells on Ravelry, and CuriousHandmade on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Today I talk about what's in the WIP, introduce a segment for the first time - 10,000 Hours and give a little update about some knitting events. It's been such a nice week because I've been having so many conversation with lovely interesting people both online and offline. One of the things I was worried about when I stopped working in an office was lack of interaction with other human beings but that hasn't been the case at all! I'm actually doing two courses at the moment. I've gone back to school! I mention: School for Creative Startups Brand Amplifier Emma-Victoria Houlton of WeProduce - edits my podcast beautifully each week. What's In the WIP? I finally cast on for Ysolda's Follow Your Arrow MKAL and started with clue A. I'm using Fyberspates Nef Sock yarn in Sunshine colourway. I'm getting a little bit addicted to Instagram! SHHHH! (follow me! I'll follow you back) 10,000 Hours Introducing a new segment. If you have any feedback I'd love to hear it. Leave a comment on the blog or on the discussion thread for this show. And if you have any requests for future segments let me know! I talk about blocking your knitting. I talk about blocking wires - I bought mine at Loop, Islington. you can see some of the tools I mention here. I plan to put together a tutorial for you soon….in the meantime, you'll have to listen to the episode. The pictures give you a sneak preview of the Frangipani Shawl from the Dream Big Collection. Events I sadly won't make to to Unravel …but don't let that stop you! Its going to be fab. But I've booked three classes at Unwind in Brighton in July. I can't wait!
Direct download: 140131_CH_13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

This episode includes What's in the WIP, continuing the conversation from last week about planning and getting motivated to take on a new year and some great events coming up this year in the UK. The theme this week is so close and yet so far.   WHATS in the WIP   Follow your Arrow - I'm planning on doing clue 1A and 2A. I'm planning to use my Fyberspates Nef Sock in the Sunshine colourway. Self Indulgent Sweater for Squam - I have a Pinterest Board for ideas! Thank you so much for all the great suggestions on the Curious Handmade Board on Rav  MadelineTosh Tosh Merino DK  Baby Cables and Big Ones Too by Suvi Simona  Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos Fifikins - A Down Under Yarn Podcast - Videocast Posh Yarn Miranda DK Poolside by Isabel Kramer Aislinn by Amy Herzog Frangipani Shawl from the Dream Big Collection - progress is being made! I'm using Juno Alice 4ply by Juno Fibre Arts Simple Life Sum: Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman "Comparison is the thief of joy" - Theodore Roosevelt. Another book currently giving me great inspiration is Gypsy: A World of Colour and Interiors by Sibella Court   Events Unravel 21 - 23 February 2014 Unwind 12th & 13th July 2014 in Brighton, UK Ravellenics A Playful Day Old Maiden Aunt 
Direct download: 140124_curious_handmade_EP12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

This week the theme is indulgence. Giving myself time to recover from the travel back to London from Aus, thinking about indulgent knitting projects and indulging in planning and dreaming big for 2014. Whats in the WIP? I finished the Naughty or Nice Pom Pom Hat from the Knitvent collection for Sophie to wear to school. I'm yet to set up a project page for it and take pics. I'm still working on my Red Robin Shawl, also from Knitvent which was my easy travel knitting on holiday. I'm considering the options for Ysolda's Follow Your Arrow Shawl Mystery Knit Along. I'm trying to decide what sweater design to knit for the Yarniac's indulgent KAL and to wear to Squam in June. I have sweater quantities of Tosh Merino DK (100% merino)  and Posh Yarn Miranda (80% Alpaca, 20% silk) Options include: Poolside by Isabell Kraemer Planters Punch by Thea Colman I'd love to knit Fuse by Veronique Avery but not right now because I want to knit it in BT Shelter but I'm knitting this one from stash. I've created a Pinterest Board called Self Indulgent Knitting for Squam to track my ideas and see all the options in one place. Let me know if you have any ideas! The Simple Life I talk about setting Goals, Inspiring Words and Resolutions. For setting goals the 2014 Create Your Amazing Year in Life & Business Workbook is a great resource and Rachel from video cast talks about it in more detail. I like setting an inspirational word and Vintage Amanda wrote an inspiring post about it - her word is "Spacious" ( Finally for resolutions and changing habits I love Leo Babaota's blog Zen Habits.  
Direct download: 130117_Curious_Handmade_EP11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

This episode I'm talking to you from holidays in Queensland, Australia. It has been hot but I've still been doing a bit of knitting in between the beach and catching up with friends and family. What's in the WIP? A Red Robin Shawl in Juno Alice sock yarn, colourway Goldmine A Naughty or Nice Hat in Rowan Wool, Navy I'm working on designing the Frangipani Shawl for the January pattern for the Dream Big 2014 Collection. Listen in for a great discount on the collection for a short time only! The not in Londontown Segment The Sunshine Coast of Australia is a gorgeous part of the world and I rave on about it a wee bit. Buderim vegan, organic cafe - Ground Organic Kunara Organic Marketplace I also announce the winners of the Knitvent KAL.  
Direct download: 140110_Curious_Handmade_Podcast_10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

This episode was recorded in London and published from Australia. All the Curious Knitvent Patterns have been released,  Anna and Purl are content and I'm thinking about my "word" for next year. Thank you to everyone who has left iTunes reviews. Also thanks to Paula from Knitting Pipeline and Martine from iMake for their lovely mentions on their podcasts. Martine is having a fun CAL (crochet along) next year called Snowflake Crochetalong. What's in the WIP The Christmas Gift Dilemma, final instalment. The last three Knitvent patterns were released this week: Warm Wishes Hottie Covers Naughty or Nice Pompom Hat Rella Fingerless Gloves Ravelry Curious Handmade Knitvent KAL Finished Object Thread for prizes The Simple Things What is your big goal, resolutions or "word" for next year? Mine is "Dream Big" And for knitting it is to complete my first colourwork finished object! Thank you for listening and have a very happy holidays!  
Direct download: 131220_Curious_Handmade_Ep_9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

I give a review of the Pompom Quarterly Christmas Party and some Kettle Yarn Co yarn that jumped into my bag. I talk about why Friday 13th is my lucky day and the latest Curious Knitvent knitting pattern released. London Town Pompom Quarterly Kettle Yarn Co (Hint I see on Linda's blog that she is offering 20% off until 20 December!!) What's in the WIP Anna and Pearl are having a quiet night in. The Quicksilver Cowl is the latest pattern in the Curious Knitvent Collection, released this week. There are three more patterns to come so stay tuned. The Simple Things I'm making the leap from full time corporate to full time knitting entrepreneur! Thank you to all the lovely Curious Knitters who have made this possible. If you leave an iTunes review for the Curious Handmade podcast or a comment on this post about why you like the podcast or anything you would like to hear then I would like to give you one of my patterns as a thank you. Let me know if you have done this on the Curious Handmade Episode 8 thread on Ravelry and what pattern you would like including my 2014 monthly (yet to be named) collection.      
Direct download: 131213_Curious_Handmade_8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

Today I'm looking forward to the Pom Pom Quarterly Christmas Party. I talk about Knitvent 2013 and patterns 3 and 4 out this week. I also talk at some length about travelling with kids ahead of our big flight to Australia in just over a week's time. What's in the WIP? Two patterns for Curious Knitvent were released this week: Fresh Powder Cowl Stardust Infinity Scarf You can pick up the collection of 8 patterns for the steal price of $9 here:   I am also stalking some patterns in the new issue of Knitty just out: Princess Franklin by Franklin Habit Superduper by Lee Meredith Lempster by Nora Gaughan Armande by Andi Satterlund Sssstarter by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud   The Simple Life Travelling with kids (long haul) I mention Leo Babauta's blog Zen Habits and his post on travelling light. Please let me know in the comments or on the Curious Handmade Ravelry board if you have any tips for travelling with kids.        
Direct download: 131206_CH_EP_7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

Happy Thanksgiving to my American listeners. I am feeling very thankful today. Last week I launched Curious Knitvent 2013, a mystery collection of accessories being released over the next couple of weeks. The pattern behind window #1 on the Knitvent Calendar was Red Robin Shawl and #2 was the Checkerboard Mitts. We have over 30 people knitting along on the Curious Handmade board for Knitvent so please pop along and join in. Curious Community I mention the Hands Across the Water Charity for orphaned children in Thailand. Events in London: Crafty Fox Market Selvedge Winter Fair  
Direct download: 131129_CHP_EP_6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

Hello and welcome to episode 5 of the Curious Handmade Podcast. At the end of the show I have a special announcement about the Knitvent mystery knit along that I’ve been working on for ages and a special little something for my podcast listeners so its worth making it to the end of the show for that. This week I have a special guest on the show, a good friend from my Wednesday night knitting group. Her name is Tina Chiang, but you will hear me call her Ting throughout our conversation as that is how I know her. Ting came over to my house last Friday and we knitted, chatted and ate some amazing cakes from the Blackbird bakery around the corner. We talk about knitting, careers and life. We get a bit deep and then we get really shallow! We giggle. A lot. I hope you enjoy knitting along with us as we have a good old natter. Chatting with Ting Ting is Knitterroony on Ravelry  is knitting a Cupido Cowl by Hiroko Fukatsu I am knitting a secret item for my Curious Knitvent 2013 Collection Yarn stores Ting mentioned that she visited on her play tour: The Fibre Works in Chipping Norton Purl City Yarns in Manchester The Yarn Cake in Glasgow and the .....famous Yarngina The play Ting was in recently - Chimerica. The play is no longer running in London. Lucy Kirkwood won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play! Woot Woot. Curious Knitvent 2013 I finally announce the launch of my mystery Knitvent 2013 Collection. If you listen to the podcast in the next couple of days, I announce a coupon code for a great discount on the collection. This special podcast code is only valid until midnight on Sunday 24 November so join in quick for a bargain. Do you love a mystery? Who doesn’t? Over the next 4 weeks we’ll open the doors on the Knitvent calendar, revealing another gorgeous accessory. Each pattern will be available to purchase individually for $6, and if you want to grab yourself an amazing bargain, you can buy the whole ebook of all 8 patterns. The normal price of the ebook will be $12 but for the period of the Knitvent mystery knit along from now until mid December – it will be just $9. The first Knitvent pattern window will open on Sunday 24 November!  
Direct download: 131122_Curious_Handmade_EP5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

Hello and welcome to Episode 4 of the Curious Handmade Podcast. Today I'm talking about a charity knitting project, my knitting design process, making soap and some other bits and bobs. Charity knitting project I was knitting for this campaign at work yesterday: The Big Issue are running a campaign called the big-knitathon to benefit homeless people in the UK. Whats in the WIP I share how I design my knitting patterns for you. A new pattern I'm stalking (and have since purchased) is The Great Oddments Knitdown by Romi Hill The Simple Things Lena Corwin's Made By Hand book (hint: would be a lovely gift for a crafty person) UK Amazon link: Made By Hand: Classes from Lena Corwin's Studio: A Collection of Projects to Print, Sew, Weave, Dye, Knit, or Otherwise Create US Amazon link: Lena Corwin’s Made By Hand: A Collection of Projects to Print, Sew, Weave, Dye, Knit, or Otherwise Create Down to Earth blog by Rhonda Hetzel Soap Making Tutorial Events Pom Pom Christmas Party - London  6:30-10:00 on Friday 6 December The Crypt, Christ Church, Spitalfields Includes an indie yarn market (uh oh) and live music Pom Pom Quarterly knitting magazine Last week's episode Fairy lights (Fairly lights?!) -  the Curious Handmade Fairy Lights Board  
Direct download: 121115_CH_EP4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

Hello and a very warm welcome to Episode 3 of the Curious Handmade Podcast. On the show today, I'm talking about fairy light installations, advent calendars and a slightly subversive English tradition Its been sparkling and crackling here this week with Guy Fawkes night or Bonfire night as its also called happening this past Tuesday. What's in the WIP? Making festive fairy light installations. Check out my Fairy Light Pinterest board for some inspiration. If you would like me to add your own fairy light creation to the board take a photo and pin it or tweet it to me at @curioushandmade with #curiouslights. (Just as a tip - if you are outside the US and dont have the "#" symbol on your keyboard its ALT + 3. This is because Apple decided that the local currency symbol such as the £ should go on the 3 instread...knowing that helps me to remember it!) I'm knitting with Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse but its still a secret project! Advent Advent Bunting/Christmas Stockings by Ruth Chester Advent Treats by Emma King Advent Stockings by Paula Gaumer Tooke - crochet Wee Tiny Elf Sock by Meg Bakewell - super cute and free! DIY Advent Wreath by Isabell Kraemer Advent activity card ideas from the All Things Simple blog Stonehaven by Laura Aylor - Sweater pattern Indie Gift Along (Ravelry link) - 25% patterns from 177 indie designers!! Until 15 November. The Simple Things Ways to stay chilled out during the hectic holiday season: 1. Meditation - I'm aiming to do 5-10 minutes each morning 2. Breathe! Simple to do, easy to forget 3. Stay present - try not to be distracted by social media and work while hanging out with my kids 4. Go for walks 5. Knit! Fantastic for relaxation. Events Renegade Craft Fair on 9-10 November at The Old Truman Brewery in London Wrap up and Thank yous Thank you to my lovely listeners for your comments on the Ravelry Curious Handmade group: Peachcrisp, RachelNZ, yvhiha, DianeB, ParrotGreen, candigirl429, dani89, knittylucia, theyarngoeson Don't forget to send me your photo or tag it #curiouslights if you make a fairy lights installation. You can also find me on Ravelry as HellsBells or Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook as CuriousHandmade if you want to get in touch.
Direct download: 131108_CH_Ep3_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

Hello and welcome to Episode 2 of the Curious Handmade Podcast. It's Friday first of November! That means starting the countdown to the end of the year and trying to squeeze in as much as possible into the last couple of months! Today I'm looking forward to having a good natter with you today about knitting, an unplanned yarn shopping trip and my plans for regular podcast segments. Recap from Episode 1: Some favourite Knitty patterns of some lovely listeners: SpinnyGonzales Aeolian Shawl and Laminaria by Elizabeth Freeman Brbrcat - Date Night - Nikol Lohr Aorlavfan - Leaflet - by Cecily Glowik MacDonald Theyarngoeson - Blossoms by the Brook by Ilga Leja Londontown Stories Erika Knight Yarn Collection Rowan Angora Haze Rowan Angora Haze and Kidsilk Haze Eclipse Rowan Tweed Aran Rowan Tweed Aran Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eclipse British Sheep Breeds Bouclé Rowan British Sheep Breeds Boucle Rowan Felted Tweed I rave about dinner at Polpo The WIP Gift Knitting and an upcoming collection The needles have been running hot at chez curious the last few months and the creative juices flowing. I can't tell you the details just yet but I'm planning a holiday season surprise for my knitters. one of the fabulous things about being a little indie designer is that I can totally make up the rules. I haven't worked out all the details yet but can say so far that I'm putting together a collection of sassy little patterns perfect for little gifts and it will be released as some kind of mystery game. I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings about gift knitting in the comments below or on the Ravelry Curious Handmade discussion board. Rowan Felted Tweed To listen to the episode click on the play arrow button at the top or download and subscribe in iTunes.
Direct download: 131101_CH_EP2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

Welcome to my first full Curious Handmade podcast episode. I'm  exited to tell you about my trip up to Glasgow for the Glasgow School of Yarn last weekend. Not only that but I am so thrilled to be able to share with you an interview with Amy Singer from If you are a fan of Knitty which many of us are, or perhaps have even thought about submitting a pattern to be published in Knitty then you definitely want to listen to this interview. You can find out how Amy started out creating the online knitting magazine and what happens behind the scenes of putting an issue together. Thank you to Libby from Truly Myrtle for your comments and lovely encouragement for my introductory episode last week. Mackintosh Church Glasgow Nano Skeins Amy and Antje announce Design Competition Winners Links for things mentioned in the episode: The Yarn Cake - sponsor and organiser of the Glasgow School of Yarn Blank Canvas sweater pattern by Ysolda Teague Old Maiden Aunt Skein Queen Easy Knits and Easy Knits Nano Skeins Liz Lovick of Northern Lace (she has a lovely write up of the event on her blog) and her new book: The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting: Stitches, Techniques, and Projects for Lighter-Than-Air Shawls & More A Suitcase full of Old Maiden Aunt Yarns Stunning Silk Skein Queen yarn Glasgow School of Yarn at Mackintosh Church Interview with Amy Singer from The Dead Fish Hat! My two patterns mentioned in the interview are: Afternoon Tea Glitz at the Ritz My all time favourite Knitty pattern is the famous Clapotis Pop over to the episode discussion thread in Ravelry and let me know what your favourite pattern is or comment below. I would love to hear what you think of the show and if you have any questions. To listen to the episode click on the play arrow button at the top or download and subscribe in iTunes. Skein Queen Yarn Mackintosh Church Glasgow
Direct download: 131025_Curious_Handmade_EP1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

I give a little introduction to my knitting history and share a couple of embarrassing stories. My podcasting inspirations include (but are not limited to): Stash and Burn Double Knit Knitting Pipeline Electric Sheep iMake 2 Knit Lit Chicks The Knitmore Girls This week is Wool Week UK and there are lots of events happening. As I mentioned in a previous post, this weekend I am very excited to be heading up to Scotland for the Glasgow School of Yarn. I am doing Amy Singers "Add Texture to your Sweater" class and I was doing some homework for the class. I need to find a plain vanilla pullover pattern. I'm looking at: Mandel by ANKESTRICK The Daily Sweater by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne Blank Canvass by Ysolda Teague
Direct download: Episode000.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC