Pattern Pick

Episode 99: When Pokemon Go and Yarn Collide

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Intro

First and foremost I need you all to know that I have penned my letter to last episode’s feckless judge. I shall let you know what his response is, should he dare to make one. The big news this week is that I am selling my moneypit aka my house. Anyone for a big Victorian number in Wigan? Mates rates (not really). This does however mean that I am mega busy cleaning and planting stuff and de-cluttering, of course, so do look out for me freeing some of my skeins in a sale in the not too distant future. In my busyness I did make time to pop on a narrowboat and it got me thinking again about planning a knitting trip on a narrowboat, let me know if you fancy it, once I’ve got numbers I’ll order the buffet and we’re off. I’ve looked into this, priced it up and all, it could be a reality quite easily. Just think about the crazy that could ensure from 12 knitters on a boat.

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Episode 90: Curious Handmade- An interview with Helen Stewart

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Intro

So first things first, my mental and yet fabulous (obviously) assistant LJ is running the London marathon this weekend. She has broken her arse as a result of yarn fumes, sort of, so listen in for the full comedy breakdown of the incident. If you should take pity on the poor maniac then you can sponsor her here. As promised here is a little snap of her and what she will look like on the day in case you happen to be around and want to cheer her on in her sorry state! Good luck LJ!

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I feel sorry for her already…

Interview

The lovely Helen had a very crafty upbringing in Queensland, complete with Macrame and all. How could she not grow up to be a creative soul? At the age of 25 she upped sticks after catching the travel bug and ended up here in the UK. She began knitting again as she was living in London (and it’s cold innit?) The growth of her hobby began as her friend asked her for a contribution to her pattern book, though it was after the publication of her Afternoon Tea Shawl pattern in Knitty magazine that she began to feel more recognition and believe that this may be something she would like to focus on. After having her second child she wasn’t loving corporate work the same way and wanted something flexible to fit around the children and having them gave her the push she needed to start her own business, something she never dreamt she would do. One of the least likely elements of her business is her podcast, given that she is quite shy. Her husband says it works for her as it creates a community and allows her to talk with people without actually having to meet them. Helen feels it is an excellent springboard into friendships and makes things easier when you do meet face to face. Clearly it is a good thing she took that leap – Helen’s career high is winning the UK Podcast Awards ‘Best Hobby Podcast’ last year.

Afternoon Tea Shawl c) Helen Stewart

Afternoon Tea Shawl c) Helen Stewart

There is no fixed pattern to Helen’s day, other than the drop off, work for 6 manic hours and then pick up – familiar to all us working mums. Given that her business is so varied, with many elements, her days are never the same, though having a podcast to do gives her some structure each week. Posh coffees also have a pivotal role. Another varies aspect of Helen’s life is her creative process. It will often begin with a colourful yarn she finds that sparks her interest and then she will look for a theme, however vague, that she can use to try and tie different pieces together. She likes a good swatch and some designs are quick and easy but some take an entire shawl’s worth of swatching. It can be a time consuming process but, thankfully, one that she greatly enjoys.

With the words ‘no journey is a smooth one’ ringing in her ears Helen gives a cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t allow yourself the time you need. Early in her career she submitted an idea to a magazine with a very tight deadline. It didn’t work as she was inexperienced and ambitious but had a trip planned and due to unforeseen circumstances got held up on the other side of the world. She submitted work that she wasn’t happy with and ended up with it not being published. The message Helen hopes we all get from this is to be patient, respect yourself and your process and give yourself the time you need. An excellent learning experience for all of us, thank you for sharing Helen.

Pebble Beach Shawl c) Helen Stewart

Pebble Beach Shawl c) Helen Stewart

If Helen could go back and talk to her pre-yarny self she would stress the importance of unpicking and fixing your mistakes immediately. It won’t magically disappear by itself and it’s easier to only unpick one row. You also need to get straight back on it, don’t throw it to one side in a hissy fit like I do, basically. One big message from this interview is to be patient. That is the main bit of advice Helen would give someone looking to enter this business world as it takes years to become a success. Since we’re an impatient bunch (sorry, Helen) I asked what’s next for Curious Handmade and was thrilled to hear that there is a new shawl collection in the pipeline that may even become a club. You can find Helen at www.curioushandmade.com and all the wonderful links from there. The podcast is available at Stitcher and Itunes.

Wrap Up

That’s all from me this week. As always, thank you for listening. Feedback is always appreciated, and you can email me or message me via Ravelry or social media. If you enjoyed listening today, please consider leaving an iTunes review, to help others find the podcast too. Happy crafting!

Episode 75: Joyeux Noel

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Image Details: ‘Esprit de Noël’ by Christophe Pinard, via Flickr.

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Intro

This week it’s a fairly pensive and reflective mini-essay to start the podcast, prompted by an email from Marguerite in Australia (who drives the biggest trains in the world – amazing!) who reminded me about the time in Africa when the power went down and my friends had an entire dead animal in their freezer, which was slowly defrosting! Sometimes at this time of year, it’s all about looking forward and rushing on to the next thing, without fully appreciating exactly how far we have come.

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Episode 63: Over the Hills and Back to London!

Image Details: ‘Super Mario’ by Tom Newby, via Flickr.

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Intro

This week sees somewhat of a return to the usual format, with the Enablers’ Corner front and centre, some knitty news and the infamous Shinybees Pattern Pick, inspired by that everyone’s favourite plumber, Mario. There’s also a précis of the Yarn In The City Pop Up Marketplace, which took place on 5th September 2015 along with the Great London Yarn Crawl.

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Episode 49: Endless Winter

Narnia

Image Details: ‘Narnia’ by David Muir, via Flickr.

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Episode 39: Of Socks and Discworld – A Knitty Homage to Sir Terry Pratchett

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Image Details: IMG_0543 by cherryred2001, via Flickr

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Intro

This episode is a knitty homage to my favourite author, Sir Terry Pratchett. In Enablers’ Corner, there’s a little rundown of the first quarter of The Golden Skein. The Pattern Pick, somewhat unsurprisingly, takes its inspiration from Discworld. Then the Sock Surgery returns with some chat about Afterthought Heels and a review of Sock Architecture by Lara Neel.

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Episode 36: The One With The Circus Music and a Trip to New Lanark Mill

They don't muck about round here.

They don’t muck about round here.

We’re back with a slightly belated episode with lots of comedy circus fun for you to enjoy. Expect a good ab workout to occur during this high-comedy show. Grab your knitting and a tissue to wipe away the tears of laughter!

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PodRetreat 2015

Story time this week where there is a roundup of all the happenings at PodRetreat2015, including patio chairs, statues of Elvis and fuse box infernos. If you want several good reasons why you shouldn’t buy French cars or Welsh farmhouses, you’ll find them here.

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#FreeYourSkeins2015 Friday Week 3 Pattern of the Week: Atlantic Current Socks by Melissa Sibley

'Atlantic Current Socks' by Melissa Sibley. Image Copyright Melissa Sibley.

‘Atlantic Current Socks’ by Melissa Sibley. Image Copyright Melissa Sibley.

Free the variegated skeins!

It’s the third Free Your Skeins Friday and this week it’s all about socks, probably due in no small part to having cast on two pairs of socks this week: one for the Sock Surgery and one to review a set of teeny tiny Kinki Amibari needles for the podcast. This week’s choice of the ‘Atlantic Current Socks’ by Melissa Sibley is an homage to all the variegated yarn in my stash.

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Episode 27: Toe Up or Cuff Down Socks and a Review of WTF Knits

Hello and welcome to all new and returning listeners, especially those who came over from A Playful Day. Welcome to the show! It’s a yarn, comedy and sock knitting palooza this episode, as we review WTF Knits and welcome Clare and Kate for the Sock Surgery.

Intro

The pantomime opened last weekend and we have another three shows to come this weekend. If you’re not familiar with pantomime, you can find out an explanation here. It’s a bit of a British thing.

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Episode 23: Knit Your Own Halloween

Londeyr napin

Image Details: ‘Londeyr napin’ by pstainthorp, via Flickr.

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