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The Crochet Circle

Updated 10 days ago

Rank #148 in Hobbies category

Leisure
Crafts
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A crochet podcast with a little bit of knitting on the side. You are in the right place for all things yarn based!

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A crochet podcast with a little bit of knitting on the side. You are in the right place for all things yarn based!

iTunes Ratings

15 Ratings
Average Ratings
13
1
1
0
0

Crochet, finally!

By Raquel from JC - Sep 09 2019
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I’m trying to crochet more in my crafty life and this podcast is fantastic because Fay’s voice and contents are amazing! The descriptions are very thorough and the length of the podcast is just right for my daily walks. Thanks Fay!

One of my all time favorite crochet podcasts!

By Alyson KCACY - Jun 05 2018
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Fay's monthly episodes are much anticipated in my feed (I tend to watch the video version over the audio, but I discovered the audio first). She is everything that I want to be- a crocheter who can knit, funny, well-spoken, curious about new techniques, informative, a fount of yarn knowledge, and a fabulous designer. Episodes are well organized and I dare you not to learn something new from Fay!

iTunes Ratings

15 Ratings
Average Ratings
13
1
1
0
0

Crochet, finally!

By Raquel from JC - Sep 09 2019
Read more
I’m trying to crochet more in my crafty life and this podcast is fantastic because Fay’s voice and contents are amazing! The descriptions are very thorough and the length of the podcast is just right for my daily walks. Thanks Fay!

One of my all time favorite crochet podcasts!

By Alyson KCACY - Jun 05 2018
Read more
Fay's monthly episodes are much anticipated in my feed (I tend to watch the video version over the audio, but I discovered the audio first). She is everything that I want to be- a crocheter who can knit, funny, well-spoken, curious about new techniques, informative, a fount of yarn knowledge, and a fabulous designer. Episodes are well organized and I dare you not to learn something new from Fay!
Cover image of The Crochet Circle

The Crochet Circle

Latest release on Jan 03, 2020

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A crochet podcast with a little bit of knitting on the side. You are in the right place for all things yarn based!

Rank #1: Bonus Interview with Arne & Carlos

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Featuring a bonus interview with the talented Scandinavian design duo Arne & Carlos.   This short but sweet interview was recorded during the lunch break of their 'Five Virgins Wrist Warmer Workshop' at Black Sheep Wools, Warrington, which Fay and Lynne attended.

You can find out more about Arne & Carlos through the following links:

Website: http://arnecarlos.com/

Blog: http://arnecarlos.com/blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArneCarlos

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCswHDKvVlidNa02Y_T0D1Zw/videos

Black Sheep Wools, Warrington:

http://www.blacksheepwools.com/

We hope you enjoyed the interview and thanks for listening to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Don't forget to tune in on the first Friday of every month for our regular episodes.

Happy listening and crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

Twitter: @Crochet_Circle

Instagram: Crochet_Circle

Pinterest: Crochet_Circle

Ravelry Group: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Jun 12 2016

11mins

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Rank #2: Episode 28 - Crochet Clan

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 28 – Crochet Clan.

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks; Final Destination; En Route; DIPs; Feeding the habit; Big Up and J’adore?

This episode is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile.

1 - Quick news beats

Global Hook Up – The next Global Hook Up is due to be on Saturday 28th April 2018.  Keep an eye on the Ravelry thread and Instagram for updates as I will be vending that weekend at Wonderwool Wales and I’m not sure how good my internet reception is going to be at my accommodation, but I have a back-up plan called Claudia!

Time: Saturday 28th 2018 8:00 PM London

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

Different Designer CAL – Is due to finish on the 9th April.  Thank you so much for all of your finished objects so far.  If you are looking for a new designer to try out, take a look at the threads to see who people have been working from.  Here are the designers to date:

Elisabeth Davis de Herraiz, Nicki Trench, Kat Goldin, Hannah from The Cozy Cottage, Sarah Hazell, Ashleigh Kiser, Sybil R, Vicki Brown, Joanne Scrace, Cecile Balladino, Planet June, Heidebears, Yarnville, Inspired Professor, Iron Lamb, Fay Dashper-Hughes (that felt weird to type), Zeens and Roger, Rachele Camona, Dedri Uys, Emma Potter and Yan Schenkel.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival – The vlog for Edinburgh Yarn Festival is live in all the usual places.  If you want to see what happened, look at the vlog.  Needless to say, we all had a ball and are looking to do it all again in 2019 in Dublin if you fancy joining us?  I may have been looking at accommodation options yesterday...

Spotify – the podcast can now be downloaded on Spotify which means that you can now listen on any wireless speaker you have linked to your Spotify account.  Just search for The Crochet Circle under Podcasts.

2 - Old dog, new tricks

Class on reading and understanding crochet patterns – I had a query from a watcher that asked if I had any hints on how to read patterns and charts and whether it is something I could go into more detail on.  It would fill quite  a few episodes up and so instead I searched out a really good alternative.  Craftsy has a class on Reading & Understanding Crochet Patternsh by Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby.  I watched this the other weekend when Craftsy had a free to view weekend and honestly, this Craftsy Tutorial would really get you on the right track and it is nicely delivered.  If you pay for the class, I think you get comprehensive notes to download too.

3 – Final Destination

Well, it has been all about shawls this month as I have finished three of them!

The first is my Treasure Island Shawl which is by Hannah Sigmund from The Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast.  I used The Little Grey Sheep yarn (colourway The Rhubarb Patch in their British Gotland 4 ply) and it crochets up a delight!  It’s for me and I have been using this shawl a lot over the last couple of weeks.

Next up is the knitted version of Doppio Colosseum which I managed in record time to get it to Edinburgh Yarn Festival in time.  It’s knitted using 2 x 100g of John Arbon’s Devonia in colourway Bleeding Heart.  It’s off living with the Arbon’s and being used as a show sample.

My last is a new design that I have just published called Loft. It’s a memory of all the people that made Edinburgh Yarn Festival so much fun!  The stripes in the shawl represent all the stairs we had to climb to get to the top of our accommodation called The Loft.  It uses 3 x 100g of John Arbon Knit By Numbers 4 ply.

As always, there is a 50% discount code for these patterns, just type TCC50% at the check out on Ravelry.  The code is valid until the 13th April.  This shawl (or the one you can see down in En Route) will be heading to also be a sample with John and Juliet and the other will be on my stand at any shows I do throughout the year.

I also finished my cat blanket for Pom Pom.  It was part of the Granny A Long being hosted by Rosina and I used Álafoss Lopi in shades Dark Grey (0005), Mid Grey (0058) and Light Grey (0054).  I have more affinity for the granny stitch now but I’m sill not really a fan.  Luckily Pom loves it!

4 – En Route

I also have made decent progress on my Stoborough shawl by Sarah Hazell.  It needs 300g of a 4-ply yarn (350m/100g) and I had previously dyed up 3 skeins of skinny merino for this project.  It’s my second Different Designer CAL entry but I don’t think it will be finished in time…

5 - Designs in Progress

Loft really deserved to also be made in the new Knit By Numbers 4ply Copper shades.  I’m so close to the finishing line with this one so I will pop an FO photo up next month instead.

I am also working away on the knitted version.  I’m really pleased with it because I think I have replicated the size and spacing of the crocheted version. 

6 - Feeding the habit 

What I am showing you below is a mixture of things I have bought and lovely things that were given to me.  I am a very lucky lady!

1 - RiverKnits Yarns Snow Dyed Mohair - 'There's No Business Like Snow Business', dyed on a narrow boat

2 - Birlinn Yarn - 4ply from the Outer Hebrides, Scotland

3 - Fjord Fibres - amazing sock yarn that now comes in 50g skeins! Dyed in Norway

4 - Cosmic Strings - 120g skein of Merino/ Yak/ Silk in colourway 'Pisces', dyed in Ednburgh

5 - Iona Single Origin Wool - DK in colourway 'Serpentie Green', from Scotland

6 - Hey Mama Wolf - Naturally dyed in Germany, Organic wool/ ramie, One of a Kind colourway

7 - Socks Yeah! - 4ply in colourways 'N1 Helium & N4 Xenon'

8 - Easy Knits - Mohair/ silk in colourway 'Orion'

9 - TJ Frog - Tania's new Dorset Horn in it's beautiful narutal colour

I was also utterly spoiled by lovely friends.  On the left you can see some gorgeous yarns that Yael & Emmie gave me.  These include a teal coloured flax (linen) which is gorwn and dyed in Sweden; the top left is Gotland (DK) which is from a small independent mill in Sweden called Solkustens Spinnvertstad; and the one at the bottom is a single ply from Honer o Eir, a very small company that spins the fleece from their own sheep.  The chocolate?  Gone!

On the right is wool from Lana Rara which I was very kndly given by Rachel.  It's a blend of Bündner Oberländer and Merino and it's grown by lots of small holders and spun in Switzerland.  

My love of proper woolly wools deepens...

Below you can see soem Romney Marsh Wools from Corrine and some Nash Island 'Tide' which was given to me by Sarah and came all the way from Maineand the Starcroft micro-mill! 

Look at all these goodies!  Thanks to Jenny, Vivian, Alyson, Clarisabeth, Caroline, Yael, Emmie, Lisa, Asia, Rosina, Sharon, Gill, Corrine and Charlie.  

Lovely things crafted things by lovely crafty friends. 

 7 – Big Up

I have more crafting podcasts for you:

Here are some of them for you to look at and listen to –

Little Drops of Wonderful - Ali is a crocheter and knitter and is wonderfully upbeat and positive.  She’s based in the UK and LOVES yellow! YouTube

FiberTrek – Sarah is a new to me podcaster, though I had heard of her before.  I really like her production style and the fact that she goes out into her fibre community to see what is happening in and around Maine.  If like me, you love woolly wool with provenance, then you will love what Sarah has to offer.

The Woolly Thistle/ New Hampshire Knits - Claire is a Scot, living in New Hampshire, US and has an audio knitting based podcast (New Hampshire Knits).  She is also the force behind The Woolly Thistle, which is an online yarn shop.  

When you order from The Woolly Thistle you receive your yarn quickly and without the added cost of international shipping.  Shopping is Tax Free at The Woolly Thistle.

9 – J’adore

Here is what I am currently loving:

  • Clan – all those people that make crochet a wonderful thing and something that I am proud to be part of.
  • Songs – When I get really busy, I fall back on Ben Howard and the Deluxe version of Every Kingdom It is my chill out music that just helps to keep me going.
  • Book – I started listening to The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson again. It has been about five years since I listened to is last and it is a fabulous set of books that will give me hours of entertainment while I crochet away in the coming weeks. 

See you all in May.

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

Instagram: Knitithookit

Instagram: Faydhdesigns

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups

Apr 06 2018

1hr 25mins

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Rank #3: Episode 24 - Giddy Kipper

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Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 24 – Giddy Kipper.

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs;  Feeding the habit, Designs in progress and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile.

1 - Quick news beats

Global Hook Up – I am aiming for 3rd of February for our first proper Global Hook Up. Details will be up on the Ravelry thread nearer the time.

One Skein Wonderland CAL – There are so many lovely projects in the Ravelry thread and on #oneskeinwonderlandcal on Instagram. The CAL runs until 31st January, so there is still plenty of time to get cracking with a project or two! Winners will be announced on Ravelry and Instagram.

2 - Old dog, new tricks

Over-dyeing - A while ago, I bought a bargainous cashmere cowl from TK Maxx that was from memory reduced from £50 to £10. The only problem was that it was light blue, which really doesn’t suit me. 

It took a while for the old cogs to turn before I hade the light bulb flicker that I could just dye it to a colour that I liked. So, with an overnight soak, followed by plonking it in a dye bath of the soaking water, 100ml of vinegar and 3g of Wilton’s Teal icing colourant, I have a lovely teal cashmere cowl that I now use a lot.

         Before dyeing                   During dyeing                       After dyeing

You may have a jumper hiding at the back o your wardrobe or a shawl that you just don’t like the colour of. Why not just simply over-dye it? The same applies to skeins of yarn. Icing colourants only work on animal fibres, but here is a blog post that I pulled together on dyeing with acid, natural and icing colourants if you need some pointers: Dabbling with dyeing.

Instagram – I think that some people are put off Instagram because it’s yet another social media channel or they don’t think their photography skills are up to scratch. 

Instagram is for everyone. You don’t have to post photos, you don’t even have to engage, you can just use it to see what others are up to. I think that it is a really welcoming, engaging and positive space.

What really makes a difference now is that you can follow a # as well as an individual. There are lots of crochet related hashtags on Instagram, so it’s now even easier to find crochet content and be inspired by others.   

If we all start using and following #crochetcirclepodcast then we have an even better way of connecting our community on this platform.

As for your photographic skills? Practice is what makes you better at it.   

This also makes the potential for seeing what we are all up to during #globalhookup even greater…

3 - Finished Objects

Given the amount of time spent on The Cardigan of Doom (see WIPs section), I haven’t been able to do much other crafting.   That said, I still have a couple of FOs.

First up is the Calm Cowl by Suzana Davidovik. The pattern is very popular and is on Ravelry as a free download. I have already uploaded a project page to Ravelry called Ice Flow Calm Cowl so that you can see my final notes and changes to the pattern.

I used every last scrap of my Fjord Fibres Trollfjord sock yarn in the colourway Ice Flow. Check out those pops of turquoise and jade – I love it!

My second FO is a pair of knitted socks, also in Fjord Fibres Trollfjord sock yarn but in Gilly’s Moroccan Tagine colourway. These socks are dense. I fully expect these to be the warmest socks I have ever made.

Given that I have now crocheted and knitted with Gilly’s Trollfjord sock yarn, I want to do a full review on them. Before I can do that, both things need to be properly road tested. The socks and cowl will be used on my upcoming Snowdon descent, so I’ll let you know how I get on after that.

4 - Works in progress

The Cardigan of Doom isn’t finished, despite my best efforts. I actually hate it. I have never hated a project before, but I hate this one. If it wasn’t for a friend, I would honestly frog it. The pattern is fine, the yarn is nice, it is just taking FOREVER! Moving on to more positive things…

I am working on my third version of the Criss-cross shawl. The CAL started on 1st January and runs until 23rd February, so you have plenty of time to join in. If you check the hashtags #olannandcrisscrosscal #faydhdesigns and #crisscross you will see lots of lovely versions being crocheted up and shown on Instagram.

There is also a lot of chatter in the CAL thread over in the Olann and group on Ravelry. I am in there on a daily basis checking in on progress. 

This version is Rowan’s Alpaca Colour DK, sadly, a discontinued yarn. I am using the Emerald colourway which is appropriate given that Olann and is Irealnd’s Fibre and Craft Magazine.

You can get the pattern free of charge from Olann and. It is available to download as a PDF in both UK and US terminology and there is a YouTube tutorial to help you through the slightly trickier elements, but that said, this is a pattern for competent beginners and up.

5 - Feeding the habit 

Christmas means yarny goodness. Christmas means a Christmas Eve hook on. Christmas means I have set a new rule called ‘Fay must get a skein of yarn from Matthew every year for Christmas’. I like my new rule!

Aside of the Fjord Fibres skein, I snuck in a set of mini skeins from RiverKnits. They were part of a festive charity, raising £5 from every set for Medecins Sans Frontieres. My colourway choice was Mouse King and so far I have made one sock with the set.

I also bought a set of mini skeins from my visit to The Little Grey Sheep’s farm near Basingstoke. The colourway is ‘Back on the Map’ and is a really lovely blend of Gotland, Shetland and Merino, all from their own farm.  Gorgeous, soft wool.

And here's the lovely yarn and bag from Gilly at Fjord Fibres.  In a future CAL I will have a skein of her yarn and a variation of this bag to giveaway.  Gilly has been spoiling us all. 

6 – Designs in progress

The Mouse King colour way socks (see above) are going to be developed into a pattern called ‘Mini Mania Striped Socks’. Quite a bit of technical thinking went into making these socks and so I figured I may as well write up the pattern and make it available on Ravelry.

Some months ago I showed a cowl and hat set that I designed using colour work crochet and was inspired by the Jon jumper by Istex. In December I finally got around to emailing to ask whether they minded me releasing the patterns that I had created, given that their pattern was my inspiration point. They emailed back immediately and said it was no problem but they would like to see the designs in Lopi wool.

Istex photo taken from Ravelry

So, here is where I am up to. There will be separate patterns for the cowl, hat and mittens (same pattern will cover open and closed mittens) and each pattern will give different stitch numbers for DK and 4 ply versions. The pattern is about to head off to Lisa and Jo for test crocheting and I hope to release the pattern in February. Again, I will be road testing these items up Snowdon, so will be able to give you frank feedback on how the wool and patterns performed in harsh climates.

6 - What's Good

I used just under 10kg of yarn in 2017! That is a huge amount. I crocheted 6.74kg and knitted 2.62kg.

I have also spent a fair bit of time in the last few weeks, preparing for the beginning of a new year. I know it’s just another day, but I think the 1st day of a new year is a good opportunity to press the reset button, assess what you want to do more of, what you want to do less of, and what you want start.

2018 is going to be a good year. We are going to have fun together!  

Fay x

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Instagram: Faydhdesigns

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

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Jan 05 2018

1hr 16mins

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Rank #4: Episode 45 - None (Yarn) Shall Pass

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 45 – None (Yarn) Shall Pass. 

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay a while.  

In this episode, I cover Old Dog new tricks; Perth Project Runway update; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have a quick top on how to satiate that thirst to start a new project when you still have a bit to go on an existing project.  Before you have finished the existing project, do the swatching and wet blocking for your new project. That way, if you have to play about with gauge, you have time to do that and hopefully be ready to start your new project the moment you have finished the other one. 

2 – Perth Project Runway update

Progress is going really well on my Blurred Lines by Deanne at Addydae Designs.  This is one of the best patterns I have ever worked from and the fit is really good, even though I came down to a 3mm hook. 

I have been keeping my project notes up to date on Ravelry, so you can see any changes I have made.  

I am currently working on the sleeves even though I haven’t yet finished the main body.  I have chosen to do this because I have now finished using the contrast colour on the main body, which freed up the yarn to do the sleeves.  I find it bulky and cumbersome to add sleeves when you have the near full weight of a jumper and you are constantly moving it about to complete the short rounds of the sleeves.  So, I am doing the sleeves before I finish the rest of the body.  This also means that I won’t be stranded on sleeve island!

The other thing I would like to highlight and encourage you to do is swatch with your different cakes of the same yarn.  Even is the same colourway is from the same batch, there can still be differences.  By swatching with all of them, you will quickly see if there is a difference and whether you need to alternate skeins in your project.  This is particularly applicable to garment making.

As I mentioned in the podcast. there is a slight but noticeable difference between two of my contrast colour skeins and it seems very likely I will have to rip back about 350m of crochet.  

Will this be finished for Perth Festival of Yarn?  Hell yeah!

ALT TEXT: Blurred Lines jumper progress is shown on an old mannequin   Semi tonal blue yarn with a real halo to it and it’s called ‘Sprucey Bonus’ because it is the colour of the underside of a Spruce Tree.  It is paired with a yarn called ‘Sulk’ and is on an ecru pink base with small patches of teal blue, acid yellow, sea green and plummy purples.   You can see the difference betweek the two variegated skeins.

Remember that there is a very informal MAL.  You have from now until 7th September to make or finish off a garment.  WIPs are allowed, it can be in any craft and any garment pattern, you just need to use the #crochetcirclemal and I have also opened a Ravelry thread for you to add to.

3 – Final Destination

I only have one FO to show you.  By the time you hear and see this podcast, I will be busy setting up my stand ay Yarnfolk festival in Northern Ireland.  I was fortunate enough to be asked to create a crochet design for the festival and came up with Kinbaine.  I talked about it in Episode 43 and showed off the saturated colour version. 

I wanted to make a second version using just two colours and used a collaboration yarn between John Arbon Textiles and RiverKnits.  This yarn has now sold out and the shawl is with Becci and Markus at RiverKnits, but I can at least show you the shawl and the yarn colours caked up. 

ALT TEXT:  White background with a vintage mannequin covered in the Kinbaine shawl.  The shawl is thick stripes, using two different semi-variegated colours.  The main colour is copper and the contrast is green with hints of teal and brown.

Kinbaine is now live on Ravelry and up on my website.  It’s the standard price on Ravelry and I have the pay what you can option on my website. 

4 – En Route

Monogamous me means that I am just working on the Blurred Lines jumper at the moment as a personal project, but taking my own words of advice, I have swatched for a new crocheted garment – the Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild. 

I tested out the John Arbon Textiles British Breeds 80% Romney/20% Corriedale blend on a 6mm and a 5mm hook to see which gave the best stitch definition and gauge for the project.  I definitely preferred the 5mm hook stitch definition and also as a size of hook I my hand.  The 6mm just felt a bit cumbersome and slow. 

The swatch is now dry and now I can work out what size of Bark Sweater I need to make and whether I want to make any alterations.

ALT TEXT:  Black background with a ball of wool top right in a mushroom brown colour.  In the foreground is a crocheted swatch showing lines of front post treble crochet and chains that make up a bark pattern.  This is the swatch for my Bark Sweater.

5 – Feeding the Habit

My Solstice to Solstice yarn ban is going well.  I have been tempted by things but have given myself a good talking to and remembered why I am doing this!  I have enough yarn!  I actually feel a little overwhelmed by how much yarn I have and all the things I want to make with it. 

So, there have been no stash additions this month and I am clearly working my way through some of the garment quantities that I have bought recently, which is great. 

Whenever I see something that I *must have, I pop it into a list and if I still feel that way about it on 21st December 2019, then it may be a contender for my first skein after six months of no yarn. 

So whilst I haven’t bought anything, I did receive a lovely print through the post from Lorna (@neveratalooseend).  It was done by her daughter Eilidh (@by.eilidh on Instagram) and I love her style.  I suggest checking out both of their accounts.  Lorna also has a blog which is jam-packed, full of the many, many crafts she does.  I am hoping to see Lorna when I am at Perth Festival of Yarn.

ALT TEXT: Black background with a pink, coral and purple print featuring goats, sheep, alpacas and rabbits.  Text is placed over the animals saying “all wool is yarn but not all yarn is wool”.

I was also given a lovely watercolour painting by Charlie (@love.charlie) for my birthday present.  It's a particulat view that I love - Glencoe.

ALT TEXT: Framed painting in soft greens and blues.  Deep sides of a grassy glen with a road and a small cottage.  Clouds in a blue sky.

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – I have set the dates for the next six months and will stick to the 8 pm GMT/BST on a Saturday night and 9 am GMT/BST on a Sunday morning.

The details for the next sessions are already up in the Ravelry thread, can also be found below and will be put out on Instagram in advance.

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

If you are joining on your phone or tablet you will likely need to download the software in advance.  If you are joining from a PC or Mac, you can join via the link above.  Everyone needs to use the same ID number to get into the session. 

August - Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th

September - Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd  

October - Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th  

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

2 – The ‘Healthy Crochet’ interview with Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health is now live.  I have been getting great feedback from people on it – so thank you for that.  Video version is here and the audio version is here.

3 – I have a giveaway for two tickets for the Southern Wool Show on the 31st August and the 1st September at Newbury Raceground.  If you want to be in with a chance of winning, leave me a comment in the show notes or on YouTube starting with the words Southern Wool Show. I will pick a random winner on the 9th August.  I will also be vending at the show, so do come and see me for a hug if you are coming.

7 – Big UP

There is an amazing collaboration between Lady Dye Yarns (Diane will be vending at Perth Festival of Yarn) and Jasmin from the Knitmore Girls.  To create some proper inclusion at Rhinebeck (New York Sheep and Wool Festival) they have devised the #RhineBIPOCsweater CAL/KAL.  There is a massive bundle of designs to choose from in a Ravelry bundle.  You can filter that bundle to show just crocheted designs and every single design has been created by a BIPOC designer.  You use or buy yarn from a BIPOC dyer/ producer and ideally in the following colours: purple, green, blue, golden yellow, and black.

Use the #RhineBIPOCSweater and show off your make and support for inclusivity with pride!

I will be crocheting up some form of garment and looking to my stash to promote BIPOC/BAME dyers that I have already purchased from.  The festival is on the 19th and 20th October, so although the dates of the CAL/KAL haven’t been nailed down yet, but working towards the 19th of October is a good call.

Our friend Claudia from the Crochet Luna podcast has started a twitch channel.  Twitch is an interactive platform and you can interact with Claudia when she is on her twitch channel doing crochet.  You can send her messages and links and she can respond live.  The sessions stay online, so if you wanted to join her or go back to old videos and have somebody crochet alongside you, then it’s perfect. 

I didn’t have to set up an account, I could just go straight into twitch and search for Crochet Luna.  It’s never a bad thing to sit and spend time with Claudia!

I will be back on Friday the 6th of September.

Fay x

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Aug 02 2019

1hr 2mins

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Rank #5: Episode Four - A Crochet Journey

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In this episode we talk about getting started on a crochet journey, including substituting yarn and the importance of making a tension square; lace-weight yarn; myth busting – does crochet really use more yarn than knitting? WIP Wall and FO’s along with our usual magazine round up and our look towards Woolfest.

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the Show Notes from Episode Four.

This Episode is Sponsored by:

www.lynnerowe.weebly.com

and

www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com

Rooster Delightful Lace Competition Prize is sponsored by

www.roosteryarns.com

First we have a few thank you’s for helping us to reach over 1,200 downloads on Podbean.

Thank you to Kathryn at www.crafternoontreats.com who mentioned us in her podcast Episodes 7 and 8 and also to Tamara at www.craftyescapism.com for a great review on her website.

Thanks to Trinketknits for her lovely iTunes review and to everyone else that is engaging with us through Pinterest, IG, Ravelry and Twitter.

You may have spotted us in Crochet Now, Let’s Knit magazine and Simply Crochet - so thanks to Hugh, Sarah and Sara for featuring The Crochet Circle on their News pages. We're really chuffed to bits.

1. Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet (at 3.55 mins)

It's a nay from Fay about lace-weight yarn and having to use anything below a 3mm hook: 

I love what other people can create, however, it just isn’t for me as I prefer more instant gratification. I don’t intend on doing everything in chunky yarn but I found lace weight crocheting and knitting REALLY frustrating and I’m very happy to leave that in the hands of others...

Such as these brilliant examples of miniature crochet, from Suami:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SuAmi

Its a yay from Lynne on teaching crochet:

Last week was the last of my 5 Learn to Crochet Classes at Sandbach in Cheshire. I’ve been running crochet and knitting classes through the Sandbach Adult Education programme for about four or five years now and I’ve met some lovely people along the way – many of whom have become really good friends and even work colleagues J. This time round I had four enthusiastic ladies who had all tried to teach themselves but hadn’t been able to get to grips with crochet and felt that they need to be physically shown, rather than learning by book. It was great that I have a wide range of ages, from a lady in her late 20’s up to a lady who was 79 (and who came on her bike!!!). We learned the basics of crochet and made a flower, granny squares, ripple stitches, shell stitches and we worked in a spiral. I’m always amazed when my pupils return the following week with things they’ve made from the stitches learned and even happier when they tell me how much they’ve enjoyed making things with their new skills.  

2. Helpful Hints on how to get started on a project (at 8.05 mins)

We're both starting a crochet garment (or two) that we aim to wear at Yarndale.

You can join in too and we can see just how stylish crochet can be.

We've set up a board here on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/topics/3438284

In this episode we talk about choosing or substituting yarn and the importance of working up a swatch or tension square.

We recommend http://yarnsub.com  as one method of checking which yarns you could substitute to.


We covered making a tension square in the last episode and you can find the notes here:

http://thewoolnest.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/explaining-crochet-tension.html

Then in upcoming episodes we’ll cover:

  • Finishing off the project  - best way to sew it together
  • Washing and blocking the project so that the stitches look as they should
  • Wearing/using the object
  • Aftercare
  • Darning if required – dealing with holes etc.

Lynne has chosen Aster, by designer Marie Wallin from her book 'Filigree collection three'

Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/aster-14

Filigree Book link: http://www.mariewallin.com/filigree.html

I love Marie's Filigree collection and have chosen a design as my first 'proper' crochet garment. I will raid my stash for an alternative as I'm desperately trying not to buy yarn. I've written a blog post here on how to substitute yarn:

http://thewoolnest.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/substituting-yarn.html

Fay has chosen Liala, also by Marie Wallin – it's a free pattern available on Rowan's website: if you subscribe:

http://www.knitrowan.com/designs-and-patterns/patterns/liala

The pattern calls for you to use Rowan Panama which is a 55% viscose, 33% cotton and 12% linen mix and although the ball band suggests a 3.25mm hook.

I also considered a few other things such as: I want to use my stash,; I want the finish to be a little more fitted; I want to use something with a wool content and I don't want to use anything below a 3mm hook.

After raiding my stash, I found a suitable alternative with Jeanette Sloan Baby Alpaca and Silk and started my tension square.

Link to Jeanette Sloan yarn:

http://www.jeanettesloandesign.com/ourshop/cat_835200-Baby-Alpaca-Silk-4ply.html

It's important to block your tension square as the size of your stitches may change after blocking. For my first square, there was about a 9% increase in size for both stitches and rows which was going to work perfectly for me in substituting yarn and pattern size (so I'll make the small size rather than the medium). It's worth remembering that most yarns when knitted or crocheted up, will change when blocked. I like to wet block almost everything because it helps release the dirt that builds up and it helps to bring out the pattern in the fabric especially if there are cables or lace. But be careful not to over-stretch the fabric when you block.

I gently squeezed my square, rolled it up in a towel and then pinned it onto a blocking mat and leave it to dry.

It's worth taking the time to assess whether you're using the right yarn, hook or needle, than get to the end of a project and then not being happy with the fit or finish of the item having put so much work into it.

Here's a link to Fay's Ravelry project for Liala:  

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/MaDashper/liala

We also promised to let all of the Rowan yarns that are being discontinued.  This list was provided by St Trinians on Ravelry:

Superfine Merino DK & Aran

Pure Wool 4 ply

Kidsilk Haze Stripe

Mohair Haze

Wool Cotton

Rowan Finest

Rowan Tweed

Fine Art & Fine Art Aran

Alpaca Colour

Tetra Cotton

Cotton Lustre

Panama

Revive

Pure Linen

All Seasons Cotton

Soft Knit Cotton

Truesilk

Lima

Lima Colour

Fazed Tweed

Colourspun

Thick 'n' Thin

Alpaca Chunky

British Sheep Breeds

Fur

Creative Focus Worsted

Chenille

Big Wool Colour

Big Wool Silk

3. Yarn Review - Manos Del Uruguay Marina (at 28 mins)

Shade Shantung N1765

Lace-weight yarn

100g/800m

100% superwash merino wool

RRP £16

Recommended needle size 2-4mm

Hand-dyed in Uruguay by Ellta, who is part of a fair-trade cooperative.

Link to full range of shades:

http://www.roosteryarns.com/manos-marina.html

Read about the Manos Del Uruguay fair-trade cooperative here:

http://www.roosteryarns.com/about-manos-del-uruguay.html

Link to Lynne's full yarn review:

http://thewoolnest.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/yarn-review-manos-del-uruguay.html

4. Myth-busting with Fay (at 34.50 mins)

Fay investigates the generalisation that crochet uses more yarn than knitting.

Is it a myth or a fact?  Well, it's a bit of both really, with some interesting results!

Read Fay's full investigation here:

https://www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com/blogs/news/179247111-in-the-ring-its-crochet-v-knitting-but-who-is-the-heavyweight

5. Magazine Round-up (at 43.10 mins)

Inside Crochet Issue 78

Theme: Bright Ideas – all about colour and texture for Autumn.

Lynne's favourites include Scullis Shawl in Rachel Atkinson's Column

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/knittingtastic/scullis

Lisa Sweater designed by Annelies Baes

Fay's favourite is also Lisa Sweater

There are also lots of lovely bags and baskets

Link to Inside Crochet issue 78:

http://www.insidecrochet.co.uk/blog/bright-ideas-with-issue-78/

Crochet Now Issue 2

Theme: Rainbow brights – creative with colour – things that make use smile Lynne's favourite is Nerida Shawl by Anna Nickipirowicz – a deep semi-circular with a simple lace pattern

In my yarn stash diaries this month is a crochet staple – a washcloth which is great for last minute gifting

Fay's favourite is Spring leaves cowl, designed by Mary Renji

Link to Crochet Now:

http://www.crochetnow.co.uk/956/crochet-now-issue-2/

Let's Get Crafting issue 81

Theme: Brights with Fiesta yarn kit – lots of toys including a very cute pair of Pandas by Sachiyo Ishii

Lynne's favourite is the Hanging Heart wreath designed by Irene Strange

and everyone loves a bit of bunting - Fiesta Bunting designed by Tilley Bancroft

Link to LGC issue 81 projects:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/lets-get-crafting-knitting--crochet-81/patterns

Woman's Weekly June issue

Theme: Crochet Special including five crochet garments and some lovely crochet homewares

We spotted an interview with Louise Walker who is a member of our Ravelry group and we love Louise's very cute animals and blanket. 

Link to Woman's Weekly:

http://www.womansweekly.com/

Simply Crochet Issue 45

Theme: Summer Brights, including a great article on how to sort your stash.

There's a very pretty Ladder stitch top designed by Editor Sara Huntingdon and a fun giant doughnut cushion by the renowned Twinkie Chan.

Link to Simply Crochet:

http://www.simplycrochetmag.co.uk/

6. WIPs and FOs (at 45.30 mins)

We haven't done a great deal this month as we've both been really busy with our businesses and the podcast content. Fay has been working on her Shoreline Blanket and Lynne is ready to start the beading rows on her Odeletta Shawl.

We'll be adding to our WIPs with our crochet garments, and we'll be keeping a record of how long they take us.

7. Our Book (at 52.50 mins)

We're delighted to announce that we're writing a book of 8 crocheted accessories - 4 designed by Lynne and 4 designed by Fay.

We’ve currently secured yarn support from

Erika Knight http://www.erikaknight.co.uk/

BaaBaaBrighouse https://www.baabaabrighouse.co.uk/

Laughing Hens https://www.laughinghens.com/

We’ll say more in time. But it will be a really useful collection of crochet essentials that are straight forward to make, using gorgeous yarns

8. Charity Projects

We're still collecting your fungi an mammals for the National Trust's Woollen Woods project.

You can read more here on our Ravelry page:

http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/3425147/1-25

10. Competition to Win Rooster Delightful Lace (at 54.30 mins)

We have a new competition open on our Ravelry forum to win a gorgeous skein of Rooster Delightful Lace in Shade Talara 623.

Rooster Delightful Lace is well, delightful! A blend of 80% Alpaca and 20% Silk creates a stunning 2-ply lace weight yarn which is perfect for light garments and shawls.

http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/3438319/1-25#7

9. What's Good (at 56.05 mins)

We're looking forward to Woolfest:

http://www.woolfest.co.uk/

and Fay is looking forward to visiting Caithness on a retreat organised by Louise Hunt from the Caithness Craft Collective podcast:

http://caithnesscraftcollective.podbean.com/

Happy listening and crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

Twitter: @Crochet_Circle

Instagram: Crochet_Circle

Pinterest: Crochet_Circle

Ravelry Group: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Jun 03 2016

1hr 2mins

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Rank #6: Episode 33 - It's so close I can almost sniff it

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 33 – So close, I can sniff it! 

In this episode I cover: CALs, Old dog, new tricks; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

1 – Old dog, new tricks

My Old dog, new tricks is still about the dratted moth.

Since last month, I have managed to get on top of the moth situation but I have tried a couple of different methods and wanted to tell you what worked best for me. 

Lovely Crochet Clan member Lisa told me about pheromone traps that you can buy.  They are meant to attract the male moths which therefore stops the breeding cycle.  I put the traps down as I was coming to the end of dealing with Moth Gate but still didn’t catch and moths with the various traps I put throughout the house. 

What worked best for me was using the hoover nozzle (obviously doing this diligently so that I didn’t suck up my boob this time!)  I think that this is the best technique because you can catch them in mid-air and it doesn’t make a mess.  Obviously, I would rather be able to catch them alive and put them outside but this is really hard to do. 

Another lovely Crochet Clan member, Mara, has a pest controller friend and they suggest the zip lock freezer method but with an extended freezer time.  Five days in the freezer, five days out and five days back in.  That means that if any eggs survived and hatched after the first freeze, they should be dealt with in the second freeze. 

2 - CALs

#SummerTopsCAL – is now finished and there have been so many entries.  I am really impressed and thankful to everyone that took part.  Lots of people made their first ever garments.  Some people made multiple garments for the CAL!

If you want to see what everyone has been up to you can see the FOs in two locations:

1 – The Crochet Circle Group on Ravelry has a Summer Top CAL FO thread.

2 – On Instagram go to #SummerTopCALFO

I did a random number generator for the prizes and the following people won: 

1 - Leather hook case by Nu Shearman, stitch markers by Lisa and a Liberty notebook - Mara (aka @Rubytombstone)

2 – 6 x 50g of Erika Knight Gossypium cotton (enough to make a summer top), stitch markers by Lisa and a Liberty notebook - Wendy (aka @wendlcol)

I also generated a random number for Sharon’s No Sew Mimosa Kimono.  The winner for that was Diranish from YouTube. 

#Loftalong – This C/KAL is going strong even with the heat that we have had.  If you downloaded the pattern but you’re not sure what colours to use, look at #LoftAlong or #LoftAlongFO on Instagram for inspiration.  There is also a chatter thread in the John Arbon Textiles group on Ravelry. 

Use #Loftalong for your WIPs and #LoftalongFO for your FOs. 

3 – Yarn shows – how to survive them

I lovely member of the Crochet Clan asked me if I had any tips on how to approach a yarn show, especially if you have never been before. So, I thought I would pull together my top ten tips for surviving and thriving at yarn shows:

1 – Go online and see what people have to say about the yarn show.  Is the food good, is the ground uneven, is day two quieter than day one?  All of this information can help you to really enjoy a yarn show rather than be frustrated by it because you know what you are getting yourself into.

2 – Most yarn shows put a map of the vendors up on their website a couple of weeks in advance.  Download it, look at all of the vendors and decide which ones you would be gutted to miss out on.  They should be your first people to visit, even if you miss out lots of stalls in between for now.  You can always go back and see them once you have seen your favourite vendors.

3 – Dress appropriately.  Wear layers because what on face value may look like a very cold venue soon heats up with thousands of bodies in it.  Get your comfortable shoes on because you are going to do a lot of walking.

4 – Arrive early and try to park as close as possible to the venue.  This means that you have easy access to your vehicle should you want to drop bags off and also a place to sit, rest and take your cup of tea to.  Seating is always an issue at yarn shows.

5 – Of all of the yarn shows that I go to, I would say that only two of them have decent quality food (Wonderwool Wales and Woolfest) for all of the others I am always disappointed by the cost, quality and selection.  If you have specific dietary requirements then taking your own food is a much safer bet.  Again, this is where parking your car as close as possible comes in – you can leave your lunch in the car and go back there for a break.  You can also check out what is available locally.  At Yarndale there is a bus that runs down to Skipton and there are lots of cafes there that you can go and eat in.  There is also an AMAZING farm shop down the hill from the venue where you can eat in or take away. 

6 – Go in with a spending budget and take cash with you.  The nature of yarn shows means that many of them are in rural locations and paying by card can be really tricky.  If you take cash then you can only spend what you have with you.  As a general rule of thumb, vendors have a minimum payment for card transactions because they have to pay a percentage for that transaction.  With my system I have to pay 2.7% of the transaction back to iZettle.  Vendors usually prefer cash for this reason.

7 – Be sociable.  If you have gone alone, go and grab a cuppa and sit with the crowds.  People will gladly strike up a conversation with you.  I am forever being nosy and asking people what they have been buying and asking to see it.

8 – If you have friends on Ravelry or Instagram or a favourite podcaster, see if they are going and whether there is a meet up.  It can be a very lovely hour out of your day where you get to meet people face to face and strengthen your online relationships.

9 – If like me, you don’t do well with big crowds, find out which day is quietest.  In general, a two day event over a Saturday/Sunday will be quieter in the afternoons and MUCH quieter on the Sunday.  For events that are on a Friday and Saturday, the same is true but the Friday would tend to be quieter. 

10 – Check the small print.  I have only just seen that people with advance tickets for Yarndale get in at 10am.  If you are buying your ticket on the day, you won’t get in until 11am.  Different shows will have different rules, so make sure you aren’t standing about waiting to get in when you could have had an extra hour in bed.

11 – I have added and extra one in because rather a lot of theft goes on at yarn shows.  If all of the good people were helping to keep their eyes peeled for thieves we might be able to put a stop to it.  So, if you see something that doesn’t seem quite right, please let the vendor know. 

I thought I would also add a couple of things that it’s best not to do to vendors:

1 – If you want to take photos of a vendors stand or stock, please ask them in advance.  It’s just good manners and stops us thinking that you are stealing our intellectual property, ready to create your own items.

2 – Don’t stand in a vendors stall and say “I could make that for half the price”.  Yup, this does happen!

3 – Don’t be shy.  Come and talk to us.  There is nothing nicer for a vendor than people appreciating what they are selling and talking about it.  If you ever see me vend, come and say hi and show me what you have bought so that I can live vicariously through your purchases.

4 – Final Destination

I have mainly been making Lofts!  A few people asked me for a DK version and so I quickly turned around a DK Loft knitted and crocheted pattern.  Both are available on Ravelry now.  I know that quite a few of you from the US and Canada were interested in trying John Arbon Knit by Numbers but didn’t want to have it sent from the UK.  Corrine from The Woolly Thistle stocks KBN DK in all the colours and shades, so you wouldn’t have to pay international postage. She has pulled together kits that are $49.95 and include 3 x 100g skeins a large tote bag and a pin badge.   Both versions are also much quicker in the DK…

5 – En Route

I am still working on my second top for the #SummerTopCAL.  It’s the Verity Top by the lovely Dawn at The Almond Snug.  I am just struggling with time on non-design projects at the moment.  I thought I was going to have a lovely quiet summer crocheting under the umbrella.  Nope.

Last night I started my fourth and final crocheted Loft shawl.  This one is in a DK/Light 3 weight and in the plum colour.  We have a friendly competition going between a few of us on Instagram for a LoftOff and I have until midnight on Friday to get the finish line.  I am currently on Row 60…

I love and hate deadlines in equal measure!

6 – Feeding the habit

I have been to lost of woolly events in the last few weeks.  As with last month, I intend on having a double podcast and showing off all the things I have been doing in Episode 34 which will come out in mid-August when I get back from gallivanting in Northern Ireland because I want to show off Yarnfolk and Giant’s Causeway and, and, and…

In the meantime, here are some of the goodies that I have bought, been given as birthday pressies. 

Button badges from Crochet Luna and second hand books from

the Blaze Farm Wool Experience

Icelandic wool from dewsnapswoollens.co.uk in the Peak District

(website isn't currently working)

1 - Shropshire Ply from Ewe & Ply in Shrewsbury

2 - Alley Cat (or as I called it "Dirty Tiger") from Ewe & Ply's Legends range

3 - Coloured Ryeland from Find Me Knitting

4 - North Ronaldsay from A Yarn From North Ronaldsay

5 - Feral Sphere Alpaca and Gotland blend from Find Me Knitting

6 - Mermaid and minis in shade Fuchsia from Riverknits

7 - Shepherd's Delight & Shepherd's Warning from Riverknits

8 - Hot Socks from Grundl and available from Ewe & Ply

7 - Quick News Beats

Global Hook Ups – The next Global Hook Up is due to be on Saturday 11th August 2018 (BST)

Time: Saturday 11th August 2018 8:30 PM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

There is then a second one on Sunday 12th August at 9am (BST)

Time: Sunday 12th August 2018 9:00 AM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

Here is the meringue recipe that I promised.

Here is the Weekday Summer Porridge recipe that's in the latest issue of www.olannand.ie

I found that I had already created the ragu recipe on my old website, so here it is.  You can use red lentils instead of brown.  I also do this as a massive batch cook and store it in preserving jars for months.  It's a great store cupboard meal that is homemade and we always take a jar and a bag of pasta when we go on self catering holidays.

8 – Big Up

Everyone that joined in with the Summer Top CAL.  I know that it has given a lot of people, including me, inspiration to make more tops.  We even had a couple of crocheted dresses entered! 

9 – J’adore

Song - The latest song that I am obsessed with is ‘Shotgun’ by George Ezra and in particular the Danny Dove remix.  Happy, happy summer tune!

TV - The TV programme that we boshed in two nights (two seasons!) was The Good Place.  I loved the premise of this series.  It’s on Netflix and has some great actors (Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden) and is from the same creator as Parks and Rec – which I also loved!

Audio book – I am still making my way through The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.  I’m on Book 4/5 (told in tandem) and I am loving it every bit as much as I did the first time around.                          

I will be back in mid-August with a second installment of my Summer Shennanigans. 

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

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Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups

Aug 03 2018

1hr 28mins

Play

Rank #7: Episode 40 - When in Barcelona

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 40 – When in Barcelona.

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay a while. 

In this episode I cover: Inclusivity; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and Big Up.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you woudl like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image.  Thank you :-)

1 – Inclusivity

Following on from last month’s podcast and the actions I said I was going to take to increase inclusivity within our fibre community, here is what I have been working on: 

  • Claudia from the Crochet Luna Vlogcast has been putting in the hard miles, pulling together a list of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) crochet designers. She has created a permanent list in her Instagram ‘BIPOC Crochet Designers’ Highlights.  From that list, I have created a ‘BIPOC Crochet Designers’ blog post giving you the designers names, Instagram handles, Ravelry Designer names and other selling platforms.  If the designers have a podcast, website or Etsy shop, these have also been listed.
  • If you are looking for a decent article on the topic of inclusivity in the fibre community, I encourage you to read this one: The Knitting Community is Reckoning with Racism by Jay Saxena.  If for whatever reason, you have been in the fringe of the conversation or come to it late, this article gives a very good breakdown of what has been going on.  I meant to talk about this article in the podcast and through lack of organisation on my part, it slipped through the net. 
  • You will notice from the show notes below and video podcast (if you watch rather than listen) that I have started to show the makers behind the goods that I am buying. My intention is to create a greater connection between the makers and those watching the podcast and/or reading the show notes.  I want to show case the faces that put all the hard work into the fibre community whether they are designers, spinners, dyers or yarn shop owners. 
  • I continue to use ALT text on my Instagram posts and within the show notes. My intention is to also expand this out to my website photos and blog posts (which I have started the process of). 

2 – Old Dog New Tricks

I want to touch briefly on gut instinct and using that to shape your colour choices and pattern following. 

You know that feeling when you have pulled colours together for a project, but your gut is bubbling, telling you that something isn’t quite right?  I have had that quite a bit recently.  I tend to think I am pretty good at choosing colours but of late, I have been asking for second opinions, mainly because I knew they weren’t right. 

The same can be said for a part of the pattern design within my Esja jumper.  I could see that the short row shaping was creating a different look within my jumper but I persevered with the pattern.  My gut told me I was wrong to do so but I ignored it – I won’t do that again.

Here’s a quick trick for testing your gut feeling on something.  Using colour choice as an example; you have two choices, grey and yellow or grey and pink.  You assign each choice with a side of the coin.  Toss the coin high in the air and before you move your hand to reveal which choice has been made, listen to the voice that is telling you which one you are actually hoping for.  That is your gut reaction and the one you should actually listen to, regardless of what the coin toss actually tells you.

I use this for all sorts of decisions that I make.  It’s a surprisingly easy way to make decisions and stop procrastinating!

3 – Final Destination

I have some quite varied finished objects this month. 

I finished off my latest version of Doppio Colosseum in ‘Worn Denim’ (4ply 50% Merino/50% Silk) by The Wool Kitchen.  It was a great reminder of how much I enjoyed designing this pattern and wearing it.    

ALT TEXT: Mannequin against a white and teal painted wall.  The shawl draped over the shoulders of the mannequin is in denim blue colours and you can just make out some of the lace lines of the pattern.

Did I mention I was in Barcelona?  Whilst I was there, I was completely taken with an amazing building on Passeig de Gracia – Rocamora Houses.  There is a ceramic turret that inspired my latest design.  I wanted to capture the colours of the turret and the transition between them. 

ALT TEXT: Roof top of Rocamore Houses, Passeig die Gracia, Barcelona.  Bright blue sky with three ceramic tiled turrets showing on the skyline.  The tiels are in earthy shades of brown, orange, yallow and cream.  

ALT TEXT: White surface with crocheted cowl doubled over . A wooden carved crochet hook lying on a nest of egg yolk yellow yarn in the froefront.  The cowl is in a gradient fo four colours from cinnamon brown, to cantelope melon orange, to egg yolk yellow to a pinky cream colour.

I visited All You Knit is Love, a yarn shop in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona run by Jennifer and Miquel, and bought some of their K2tog yarn which is 70% wool and 30% milk.  It’s beautifully soft and they had the perfect colours for the design.

I suspect that the design is going to be called Rocamora. 

Finally, I have been on a bag sewing mission.  I only meant to make one and ended up with 12.  I used a couple of different YouTube tutorials for these and consider myself to be a novice sewer:

 ALT TEXT: Cream surface with three machine sewn project bags.  Top bag has a tear drop coral shape and turquoise, charcoal and grey details.  Bottom right bag had a navy background with pairs of cats facing each other in pinks, corals, mustards and greens.  Left hand bag is woven grey wool fabric with a light mustard coloured zip and it's a boxy baggy. 

4 – En Route

My Esja jumper (to be made with yarn dyed by my friend Bec of Black Horse Yarns and Socks Yeah! in the colour 'Chryso'.  I am now on sleeve island and am desperate to finish this for Edinburgh Yarn Festival. 

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/esja-sweater

Main Colour Yarn: https://coopknits.bigcartel.com/product/coop-knits-socks-yeah-yarn

Contrast Yarn: https://www.instagram.com/blackhorseyarn/

  ALT TEXT: Light blue jumper yolk with a variegated detail with blobs of orange and teal.  The stranded texture from brioche crochet is visible.

5 – Designs in Progress

The one crochet design that I have on the go at the moment is the Rocamora Cowl.  I want to make it again using some other chunky yarn so that I can test the theory that it can be made with any yarn and almost any quantity. 

 ALT TEXT: Cream background with the same four coloutrred cowl at the top left.  Three chunky, loose skeins of yarn are at the bottom of the photo.  L-R they are a mid grey, dark grey and a fox orange.  They look springy and full of character.

The next version will be a short cowl using some number 2 yarn that I bought from Die Mercerie in Munich.  It’s a Bavarian yarn of some description… 

More on this next month hopefully.

6 – Feeding the habit

Hmmmm, there is quite a bit and not all of it is mine.

First up, the things I brought back from Barcelona.

All You Knit is Love shop is run by Jennifer and Miquel.  They have their own yarn label (K2tog and others) and Jennifer also dyes her own yarn called Mur.

  ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Jennifer and Miquel from All You Knit is Love yarn shop, sitting on their sofa, knitting.

K2tog in shades Cinnamon Toast, Cantaloupe, Egg Yolk and Yellow Jade. 70% wool and 30% milk 105m/100g

ALT TEXT: Dark grey background with four skeins of yarn at the top.  The chunky, soft yarns are in a cinnamon brown, cantalope orange, egg yolk yello, and pinky cream colours.  Ay=t the bottom of the photo lies a fifth skein in gentle variegated colours of teal, green, mustard and a mid purple is dominant.

Murmur in colourway ‘Guide’.  75% Merino and 25% Cashmere, 400m/100g.

Lalanalu shop is run by Eva and Kiara and they had lots of crochet and yarn from some local yarn dyers.

  ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Eva and Kiara from Lalanalu yarn shop, stood side by sde with wool int eh background.  They are smiling straight at the camera and wearing knitted and crocheted shawls.

Ovejita Be! – in shade Greenery and Les Retrouvailles (the mini didn’t had a shade)  75% wool, 25% nylon, 425m/100g.

  ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Teresa the yarn dyer of Ovejita Be!  She is sitting on a sofa with a multicoloured crochet blanket over the back of it.  Teresa is looking down at three balls of yarn in her hands.

Soc Una Troca – in shades Ratafia, Golden Hour and Oberon. 75% Merino, 25% Nylon 420m/100g.

 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Laia the yarn dyer of Soc Una Troca!  She is stood in front of her wooden company sign, wearing a green top and smiling.  To her right is a hook with some skeins of yarn dangling down.

I also came across an amazing fabric shop called Nunoya and bougtht this amazing selection:

 ALT TEXT: Lots of different colured fabrics arranged into a swirl.  Therer are cat , moon, bear, bat, sock, llama, cherry, umbrella, rain drop and bee patterns.  

At Unravel I bought these bits and pieces: 

Frida Kahlo by Helen at The Wool Kitchen,  75% BFL, 25% Nylon, 400m/100g.

 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Helen the yarn dyer of The Wool Kitchen. She is stood taking a selfie with her phone and a Frida Kahlo phone case.  Helen is wearing a purple checked shirt and a purple hat that she had=s just finished knitting.

 ALT TEXT: Cream background with a single skein of Thw Wool Kitchen yarn, called Frida Kahlo.  It is a mallard green base with "zips" of colour at one end of the skein in luminous yellow, pink, orange, green and turquoise.

John Arbon Textiles new Exmoor Sock Yarn in shades Blooth and Hemel.  60% Exmoor Blueface, 20% Corriedale, 10% Zwartbles, 10% Nylon,  200m/50g.  I will be pairing this up shade Mizzle which I already had in my grubby little hands.  These are going to be made into Acanthium Mittens by Katie Green and hopefully, ready for Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of John and Juliet Arbon.  They are sat down with their mill machinery in the background.  Both are facing forward and smiling.  John is in fawn dungarees and Juliet's curly dark hair is in pigtails. 

  ALT TEXT: Cream background with a photo of two skeins of Exmoor Sock Yarn.  One is a dark forest green and the other is an aubergine purple.  Both have a white skein band with yellow bubbles and an old fashioned sheep drawing. 

I also came across a new to me dyer, Tara, from Irish Artisan Yarns.  I love that her yarn dying is inspired by the landscape of Northern Ireland.  I bought a Carrick-a-Rede inspired colourway from her, 75% Merino, 25% Nylon, 400m/100g.  And she kindly gave me a mini in a little goody bag. 

 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Tara from Irish Artisan Yarns.  Tara is sat ata a desk in her living room, hugging a cup of tea with skeins of her dyed yarn in front of her.

 ALT TEXT: Cream background with a photo of a full skein of Irish Artisan Yarn in subtle blue and greens.  Above it is a mini skein in all the denim blues.  Both have whire skein tags with "IAY" on them.

7 - Quick News Beats 

1 - Global Hook Ups – The next dates are Saturday 9th March 1t 8pm GMT and Sunday 10th March at 9am GMT.  The links for the sessions are all available over on the Ravelry thread.

2 – If you are anywhere North Wales, Nikki from Ewe Felty Thing is having a party on Saturday 16th March to celebrate the first birthday of her yarn store. I will be there from about 12 – 5pm and would love to see you there.

3 - I am heading to Edinburgh Yarn Festival on the Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.  On the Thursday I will be on Tanya’s stand – TJ Frog.  Please do pop along for all things Dorset Button, Dorset breed wools and generally lovely goods.

8 – Big Up

If you are looking for a non-crafty podcast, I heartily recommend David Tennant Does a Podcast With…   He basically interviews his friends and it is very funny and also sweary, so not for everyone.

I have also been relishing The Great British Sewing Bee – an hour of sewing escapism every week and just the nudge I needed to get my sewing machine out again.

I will be back on Friday the 5th April!

Fay x

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Mar 01 2019

1hr 12mins

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Rank #8: Epioide 32 - Summer Shenanigans

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This isn't a normal episode and so it doesn't have the normal level of show notes.  Instead, here are the photos I said I wouls share.

Jul 06 2018

44mins

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Rank #9: Episode 17 - Festival of Finishing

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Hello Crochet Circlers,

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes from Episode Seventeen - Festival of Finishing.

In this episode I cover: Wolf woman of Cheshire; Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018; Old dog, new tricks; Festival of Finishing CrAL; FOs; WIPs; Feeding the habit; Big up and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by:

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement is really appreciated and makes running a podcast really special.

1 - Old dog, new tricks

On the back of the 'standing crcohet stitch' tip that Claudia from the Crochet Luna Podcast gave me.  

Eleanor kindly passed on links for the 'starting crochet stitch' which gives a new technique for starting a new row or possibly round in the same colour. Please ignore that fact that I referred to 'standing' crochet during the podcast, I meant 'starting' crochet. 

Eleanor's link was to a blog by Tamara Kelly from Moggly.com:

Starting dc (tr in UK terminology)

A little further investigation brought me to this site by Jessie at Home which also gives details for starting dc (sc in US) and starting htc (hdc in US).  

I have investigated the differences when you use this technique in rows but want to do more to see how it can be used in the round, if at all.  

I have pulled together a blog post on using the standing dc to show how to do it and the results that you get compared to the standard turning chain method.

2 - Festival of Finishing CrAL

Our latest along is the Festival of Finishing Craft Along.  The idea is that through the months of June, July and August you work with some of your crafting WIPs.  I now have two (cross stitch and knitting) that I want to work on and one to salvage.  

The graphic for the CrAL looks like this, and you will see it on Ravelry and Instagram.  

I have been thinking long and hard on the reasons that projects become long-term WIPs and why we consequently get hung up about them and can even begin to feel some level of guilt. 

Rather than add all of the detail into the show notes, I wrote a detailed blog about it instead.  It's full of pointers and will hopefully help you to view your long-term WIPs in a positive and re-energised way.

Grab a cuppa and take a look at 'Why you don't finish projects and what you can do about it'.

I would love you to get involved with the CrAL and share what you are up to within the Ravelry thread in The Crochet Circle Podcast Group or by using #FestivalOfFinishing on Instagram.

A pile each for: finish, frog, salvage or donate will really help you to work out what you could do with each project.  Three of my WIPs are now going to be heading off to the Blanket of Love and Hope project in Sweden to be sewn into a larger blanket and distributed to women that need a woolly hug - thanks Yael for telling me about the wonderful project that you, Emmie and Hedvig do.  

As an additional element, via my company KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT I am going to donate £1 for every finished object (that was previously a long-term WIP) that is added to Instagram using #FestivalOfFinishing, or added to the Ravelry thread.

The amount will be capped at £150 and I would LOVE to reach that target.  The charity that will benefit from the money is Knit for Peace.  Here is what they do:

Our policy is to encourage people to give, whether it is time or money. So we set about finding outlets. We now distribute regularly to over 200 outlets, including hospitals, women’s refuges, refugee drop in centres, prisons, community groups, and hospices as well as to developing countries. We send the knitting (and crochet) to where it’s needed. We also pass on donations of yarn and needles to enable people on low incomes to knit. The operation has grown organically, and we estimate we have over 15,000 knitters.

Send your knitting to us and we will make sure that it goes to a good home.

If together we finish 150 long-term WIPs, the £150 that I will donate will help to deliver over 750 woollen items to people that really need them.

Feel free to also join in with the charitable donations and give £1 or more for every WIP you have that becomes a finished object.

Here is the 69 year old WIP that Ros's Mum kindly let me photograph.  

As I was pulling together the information for the show Jojotwinkletoes put this up on Instgram and it sums up beautifully (well maybe not) what I intend do do after my long-term WIPS have become finished object. 

3 - Finished Objects 

Once again, I didn't think I had much to show for myself, and once again I was wrong!

1 - Another version of Doppio Colosseum but this time in John Arbon Devonia 4 ply in 'Pollen Gold'.

2 - A pair of charity socks for the Sock Line by Winwick Mum.

3 - A first attempt at a cotton dishcloth by Jo at Feather and Thread.  Check Jo's patterns out and see her photo of them below - they are much nicer than my attempt (partial blame to the fact that I was gripped by Broadchaurch whilst crocheting it).

4 - I was shown this pattern for face pads by Lisa and they are fantastic!  The pattern is by Designs byZula and gives a lovely squishy pad for washing your face and taking off make up.

I have also been working on a couple of designs:

Versa is the second complete bag in the range that I am working towards and is being tech edited as I type, along with the below shawl.

I discovered post-crocheting it that the shawl seems to be very heavily influenced by a cottage that I owned (pre Matthew) in Chirk, North Wales. Clearly, the gothic windows that dominated the estate worker's cottages stayed with me:

My final FO for the month was the Miso shawl by Ambah O'Brien using Tia Merino in The Mysterious Cities of Gold colourway by Countess Ablaze.  I knitted this shawl as part of a KAL with my favourite new knitting podcast Fibre Friends. I wasn't initially sure about a single ply yarn for this shawl but the result is beautifully squishy:

4 - Works in progress

There is only one WIP this month and that is a grey cotton bag - the next in the range.  You can see it in the photo for the 'starting dc crochet' rows above - there really isn't much much to show you with that design yet.

5 - Feeding the habit

Only one thing to show here and that is a gorgeous citrus bag by Ann from Busy Pottering:

It came with a lovely notions pouch and some stitch markers - I love them!

6 - Big up

There are some great new crochet podcasts out there:

Hannah from Florida has The Cozy Cottage Podcast on YouTube

Lindsey from Lottie and Albert is also on YouTube

Alyson and Vivian have a lovely Mum and daughter audio podcast that airs on YouTube called Keep Calm and Carry Yarn

There is a new thread in the Ravelry group for people to add in any CALs/KALs that they know about.

7 - What's Good

10th June is World Knit (and crochet) in Public Day. I am holding a small event in Sandbach at The Old Hall between 11am and 3pm if anyone is local and fancies joining in?  

I have been listening to the amazing Norse Mythology audio book, written and narrated by Neil Gaiman.  I will listen to this agian in the not too distant future! 

Matthew has been on gardening leave and is currently working on what happens next...

It has been lovely to be able to spend more time with him as the pressures of his old employment cease to exist!  We have a lovely summer ahead of us and I am searching for coastal areas that we could live in.  Watch this space.

Until July folks.  

Fay x

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Jun 02 2017

1hr 27mins

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Rank #10: Episode 26 - CALathon

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Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 26 – CALathon.

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks;  FOs; WIPs; DIPs; Feeding the habit, Review of Making Winter book; Big Up and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile.

1 - Quick news beats

Global Hook Up – Are you all ready to join in the first ever Global Hook Up?  Here are the joining details: 

Hi there,

Fay Dashper-Hughes is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: 1st Global Hook Up with The Crochet Circle Podcast Group

Time: Feb 3, 2018 7:00 PM London

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

I have set it up so that everyone is on mute to begin with and then I can unmute you.  The meeting will start when I join in at 7pm (GMT) on Saturday 3rd February.  It will run for an hour and then we can take a call on whether it works and we want longer sessions.

The next session will be on 24th of February and may have a later start time so that it is more accessible from the Eastern time zones too.

You may need to bear with me whilst I get to grips with the technology.  If you are on Instagram, then please get involved by using #GlobalHookUp and following that hashtag.  That way I can see what you are all up to and comment on your projects.     

I will also release the meeting code on Instagram about an hour before it starts on Saturday night (GMT).

One Skein Wonderland CAL – By the time this podcast is out the CAL will have closed.  We will announce prizes shortly afterwards.

There have been so many great projects.  Even if you haven’t managed to join the CAL, I encourage you to look at the Finished Objects thread in the Love Charlie Podcast group on Ravelry and #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL on Instagram to see some fabulous projects.

Different Designer CAL – This will start on 1st March and run until 8th April.  The premise is that you go to the ‘Different Designer CAL’ Ravelry thread and tell everyone who your favourite designer is.  You share why you love their designs and which your favourite one is.  You then get to look through all the suggestions or come up with your own. You HAVE to try out a new designer, that’s the only rule. 

Other Crochet Circle CALs –

4th May to 30th June – Summer tops CAL

13th July – 31st August – Vintage Along (using either vintage yarn or a vintage pattern - 20+ years old) 

14th September – 26th October – Sock Along

24th December – 31st January – One Skein Wonderland CAL

Apart from the Different Designer CAL, I am going to add a new twist which is that you can enter WIPs so long as they fit the brief.

#FridayIsDyeDay – It’s great to see people taking part in this on the last Friday of every month.  There was some amazing speckled yarn by Lyndsay (andthentherewasmorgan on IG), Gemma (curlygem92 on IG) dyed up four fab bright colourways and started almost straight away to crochet a hat with one of them.  Haylie (fireweedfibres in IG) dyed up two colourways and Jo (dancing_goat_crafts on IG) dyed up some wool tops ready for spinning.   I managed to do some from my weekend accommodation.  I dyed a shop bought pair of cashmere gloves a bright turquoise and over-dyed some orange yarn that I had previously dyed and not loved.  It has already been crocheted up into a cowl which you can see in FOs. 

I also made my Mum dye up a skein which you can see below.  It’s and 80% Merino/20% silk mix and she wants me to knit her a pair of socks with it.

Unravel Festival – I am heading to Unravel on the Sunday 18th February.  If you are going to be about and fancy meeting up for a coffee, let me know. 

Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia – Eeek, I’m going to be at this show working on the Erika Knight stand!  If you are going to the show, I will be there all day on the Friday on Stand F62.  Come and say hello.  I promise to both wave at you and hug you! Both are obligatory.

2 - Old dog, new tricks

Google images – If you have a specific pattern in your mind that you want to make, then a really quick way of trying to see whether it exists is to use Google images as a search function.  I also use this if there is something that I want to buy, and I want to see what options there are. 

For instance, I typed ‘crocheted asymmetric shawl lace’ and it came up with hundreds of options which I can then quickly assess and click on the image to find out what the pattern is.  You may still have to do some sifting through because the occasional knitting pattern may appear, but I still think that it is a great way to see what is available beyond Ravelry.

Instagram – I mentioned a few of the tricks of Instagram in Episode 24 and I think that it prompted a few of you to joining Instagram.  If that is the case, I really hope that you are finding it to be the positive, inspirational space that I find it to be.

3 - Finished Objects

Well first up must be  Cardigan of Doom really.  I used Cascade Heritage in shade Dark Plum (2632) I cannot say how happy I was to get this project off my needles and out of my life.  It has now arrived safely with Frazer (after I sent it to the wrong address!) and here is a quick pic of him in it. 

I learned some major lessons with this project:

1 – Never knit a 4-ply cardigan ever again.

2 – Don’t make big items for other people. 

3 – If you make an obvious mistake, frog it back and remedy it.

4 – Don’t work simultaneously on two projects that have a level of cross over.  I ended up adding two rows of moss stich rib to a K1/P1 section of the cardigan rib…

My third Criss-cross shawl for the Olann and Criss-cross CAL is finished! I used Rowan’s Alpaca Colour DK, sadly, a discontinued yarn. It was nice to work with and used 260g in total and came out at a whopping 2.8m in length.   

You can get the pattern free of charge from Olann and. It is available to download as a PDF in both UK and US terminology and there is a YouTube tutorial to help you through the slightly trickier elements, but that said, this is a pattern for competent beginners and up.  There is still time to get hooking this shawl as the CAL doesn’t finish until the 23rd February.

At the weekend I over-dyed some chunky alpaca yarn from orange to green.  I asked Becci from River Knits for some advice and she very kindly gave me three options.  I chose option three which would give me greens and browns.  I have gone from feeling totally meh about this yarn to loving it and crocheting it up straight away.  More on the pattern in the Making Winter book review below.

4 - Works in progress

I have been beavering away on my final set of designs for Erika Knight and remaking the patterns in five different and very awesome colourways.  This means that whilst I have been crocheting away, I haven’t got much that I can show you as I only have a couple of personal projects on the go and they are both for CALs!

Alyson and Vivian from the Keep Calm and Carry Yarn Podcast are hosting an #Ultravioletkcal based on Pantone 2018 Ultra Violet.  I can’t resist a CAL and so I am crocheting up the Inclination Wrap which is available designed by Julme Conradie and available from the Nurturing Fibres website.

It is a proper sized wrap and uses linen stitch to get some nice stitch definition with the colour changes.  My yarns are Drops Alaska (03 Light Grey), a purple yarn that I hand dyed a couple of years ago (on a base from John Arbon) and want to put to good use and a skein of Life in the Long Grass aran in colourway Viola (the one with pops of yellow and burgundy). 

I have a future WIP which I am planning to start between now and the next podcast.  Claudia at the Crochet Luna vlogcast is hosting a Fortune Cookie CAL which starts on the Chinese New Year (16th February) and runs to the 31st March.  I already have my yarn selected and just need to crack open a fortune cookie which will dictate the pattern that I do.  

5 - Designs in Progress

My other DIP is just at the very beginning stages.  I’m not really a fan of granny squares and the granny stitch.  Is that something you can say when you have a crochet podcast?  Are you going to disown me?  Rosina from the Zeens & Roger vlogcast is hosting a granny along.  It started on 1st February and I figured that it isn’t really acceptable to broad-brush say I don’t like something, so I am determined to create a granny something in colours I like and hopefully a pattern I like too.  The yarn is Álafoss Lopi in shades Dark Grey (0005), Mid Grey (0058) and Light Grey (0054).  These are leftovers that I had from my version of the Phasian Blanket from Take Two.  

Watch this space to see whether I can be converted. Or not.

6 - Feeding the habit 

When I did the interlocking crochet workshop at Black sheep wools, I was in great company.  One of the other participants was the lovely Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats Podcast.  We did some podcast goodies swapping and I have a lot of very lovely things to give away from Kathryn’s Crafternoon Treats Etsy store.  Even better the prizes were chosen by Katherine and Lyndsay when we met up for a coffee before the workshop started at Black Sheep Wools. 

If you haven’t looked at Kathryn’s store yet, you really should.  She dyes up some beautiful colourways and specifically works with British breeds.  So, you will see some of these goodies going out as podcast prizes for the 2018 CALs.

She also gave me some lovely yarn to design with and some great single breed hanks which I can use for my version of Wool Exploration throughout the year.  I am a very luck lady!

I spent the last weekend in Wales.  Do you remember tales of me supposedly walking back down Snowdon having taken the train up there?  Well, because we had moved the dates of our trip, it was out of season for the train.  I took one look at the torrent of rain and decided that even a little walk was not for me.  Instead I went shopping with my Mum and got some crafting time in. That was after I managed to photograph our feral goat visitors.

En route I had to pop into Abakhan (a haberdashery chain based in the NW of England and Wales).  They had a nice selection of Rico cotton which I bought because ready for the Vintage Along in July.  I want to use a pattern from a very old book and it up to date with soft modern colours of cotton. 

7 – Book Review ‘Making Winter’ by Emma Mitchell

I bought this book from Loop London the day after it was launched in the same shop.  I bought it for a couple of reasons. 

Firstly, it is a multi-craft book with crochet patterns in it and I feel that this needed supporting.  All too often the woollen craft part of these types of publications is knitting so it’s refreshing to have crochet in there instead.

Secondly, the other crafts feel very natural and environmentally friendly.  The author, Emma Mitchell is very much inspired by nature and this is oh so apparent if you follow her in Instagram.  This is the kind of crafting that I like.  Taking my inspiration and raw materials from nature whenever possible.

I have pulled together a full book review which you can read over at my blog.

8 – Big Up

It has been a little while since I did a Big Up and new crochet podcasts are popping up!

Here are some of them for you to look at:

Micky Midge Crochet Podcast – Michelle has been podcasting for a few months and has a weekly podcast.  She’s based in the UK, is a working Mum and is starting to be drawn into the rabbit hole that is hand dyed yarn!  Michelle is about to start a SprintimeCAL which is due to start on 14th February and ends at Easter.  The idea is that you crochet something that is Spring themed.  

Talia Louise Crochet – Natalie has a couple pf podcasts out so far.  She’s based in Australia and works on a range of projects with lots of different yarns.  I think that Natalie is aiming for a monthly podcast. 

Earl Grey Crochet – Elizabeth has been podcasting for about seven months now and crochets all sorts of things.  She makes A LOT of amigurumi.  She is great fun, based in Australia and full of enthusiasm.  Elizabeth is also running a Blurre Shawl CAL starting on the 31st March.  Of course I will be participating in that!

Samsqueak Craftcast - Sam has a couple of podcasts out and is based just outside Chicago.  She loves to crochet and do all sorts of other crafting too.

9 - What's Good

I had a thoroughly lovely day at Black Sheep Wools.  The morning was spent drinking coffee and eating cake with lovely friends Katherine, Lyndsay and Kathryn.  Charlie and Katie popped their heads in for five minutes too!

The workshop that some of us did in the afternoon was interesting and it taught me a new technique – interlocking crochet.  The tutor was Graeme Knowles-Miller and he was great fun and very informative.  It’s so nice to be able to sit and chat with fellow crafters, so roll on Global Hook Up! 

Fay x

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Instagram: Faydhdesigns

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Feb 02 2018

1hr 24mins

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Rank #11: Episode 22 - The Secret's Out...

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Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 22 - The Secret's Out...

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs; DIPs; Feeding the habit; Setting up a craft group; Big up and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement is really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile.

1 - Quick news beats

#Fridayisdyeday - On the 27th October I hosted the first #Fridayisdyeday, showing how different yarns can be dyed using professional (acid), icing colourant and natural dyes.  If you are interested in having a go, take a look at the blog post that I pulled together.  The plan is to do a #Fridayisdyeday over on Instagram on the last Friday of every month.  I might be dyeing again, showing what I am making with my own hand dyed yarns or highlighting what I am making with some of those special hand dyed skeins that are residing in the Stash Palace!  

If you fancy having a go, it would be great to have you on board.  The blog post has lots of links to further information on dyeing yarn and here are my results from Friday:

Ravelry moderators - the keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have added three more moderators to the group.  Anna, Jo and Lisa are always in there welcoming people in and responding and generally being a bunch of lovelies and making our Rav group a lovely sharing place to be.  They agreed to be moderators for us all.  We have never had to kick anybody out or edit what is in the group which is amazing and the job of moedrating is more about welcoming people to the group and keeping the chat going.  Tamara and Helen were already in there as moderators and I am hoping that they will stay on even after the #BackToSchoolSweaterCAL.

Global Hook Up - A wee while ago (... quite a few months ago) I mentioned that I wanted to start hosting Global Crafting gatherings online.  You then heard nothing more on the subject but in the background I have been researching the best way to bring this to you. 

The sessions are going to be on a Saturday night (GMT) so that as many people as possible can join in.  A handful of people will be able to interact on an audio and visual basis and as many people as want (I believe) can join in by seeing what is going on.  You can also use #GlobalHookUp on Instagram to track what is going on with the session and interact and show off your crafting.

The initial test Global Hook Up is going to be on Saturday 25th November.  The exact time is to be anounced and the details will be added to a Ravelry thread and on Instagram. The idea is to use the first hook up to see how it works for everyone and iron out any niggles, ready for the next one in December

CALs for 2018 - Over the next couple of months I would like to ask you to tell me what CALs you would like me to run in 2018.  I have a few ideas but would like to get you involved in the process.  I have opened a thread on Ravelry so please do let me know what ideas you have.

Christmas Eve CAL - We had so much fun with last year's Christmas Eve CAL, that it's going ahead this year too.  Charlie from Love Charlie podcast and I are teaming up together to host the One Skein Wonderland CAL.  You can hook on at 00.01 on the 24th December.  More details to follow on this but the idea is to look out that special skein of yarn (100g) or maybe you have one coming as a present on the 25th?   

There is a thread on Ravelry so that you can suggest one skein projects that I can add to a bundle for everyone to see. 

2 - Old dog, new tricks

This month it's all about upping the odds of winning at yarn chicken (that game you play when you really, really hope you have enough yarn to finish off a row or round).  

I tested out three different yarn weights (4 ply, DK and chunky) to see if there was any real difference in the amount of yarn needed.  

After a couple of rows of dc to settle my tension on each swatch I then crocheted three rows of dc, three of half treble and three rows of treble crochet.  This allowed me to take an average length of yarn required over three rows. 

Here are the results:

4 ply (400m per 100g)

dc requires 9 times the length of your row/round

htr requires 11 times the length of your row/round

tr requires 14 times the length of your row/round

Double Knitting (DK - 200m per 100g)

dc requires 9 x the length of your row/round

htr requires 12 x times the length of your row/round

tr requires 14 x the length of your row/round

Chunky (100m per 100g)

dc requires 9 x the length of your row/round

htr requires 12 x the length of your row/round

tr requires 14 x the length of your row/round

I have since tested this on the Homebody Sweater that I am crocheting.  It's in rows of htr and I am using a 4ply yarn and a 4.5mm hook, so very different from what I tested above.  Guess what?  Yup, it took just under 12 x the length of the row.  My final nugget of yarn had 10 lengths and so I managed to save myself some time and just started a new ball instead.

3 - Finished Objects 

I didn't think I had much to show this month but it turns out I do. 

First up is my Sicily jumper which is a free of charge Rowan pattern.  Although it calls for 4ply cotton, I used a 4 ply wool blend instead (Shilasdair luxury 4 ply in shade Hawthorn).  The wool has a lot more stretch than the cotton and the sample on the model seemed quite bulky so I opted to make the smallest size and it is my best fitting handmade garment to date.  

It has been really lovely to be part of the Back To School Sweater CAL with Helen and Tamara.  So much so that I have started a second jumper.

As part of another along, I took part in the Fibre Friends Podcast North Bound Knitting Along which meant knitting any of Lisa Mutch's patterns.  I chose to do Auspice using up the 100g skein of skinny Merino that I had hand dyed with blackberries.  The yarn has faded from a soft purple colour to a silver grey and I really like it.

I also had a day out in London with four lovely friends (Flic, Corrine, Helen and Charlie) and we made our way to i Knit and Loop.  Whilst in Loop I purchased a hot off the press copy of Making Winter by Emma Mitchell (Silverpebble2 on IG).  It has some lovely crochet patterns in it as well as recipes and lots of other crafty makes.  I suspect that this is going to be a firm favourite with lots of people and I know that it is already on a few Christmas lists. 

I have made the Hawthorn mittens and although I could have stuck to the one colour version in the book, I had to fiddle and add some of my Hawthorn inspired Shilasdair yarn for the actual hawthorn berries and some brown wool that I did a test icing colour dye on in advance of #Fridayisdyeday 

It is so cold in my office that I have had these on all day! 

You can also see a scrap yarn garland that I have made ready to be part of my exhibition stand.  This is a free pattern from Little Conkers. 

My final FO is a pair of socks.  I have been trying a different heel construction this time and I have to say I really like working the after thought heel and am in love with the colour.  You can see the sock/yarn blank in the photo and the subsequent socks. 

4 - Works in progress

I only have a couple of WIPs on the go at the moment. 

The first is my second version of Criss-cross using Gym Nut from Green Elephant Yarns.  This is a CAL with Olann and which will start in January (it was going to be November but we are now going for January).  If you fancy joining in, you need a 2 x 100g of 4ply with at least 350m per 100g.  More details will follow on Ravelry and Instagram.

Progress is fairly slow on this one becasue I am recording a tutorial for the pattern as I crochet along.

The second is a new jumper using some Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) and Masham blend (4 ply and using a 4mm hook) which is really light and airy but oh so warm.  The pattern is Homebody Sweater by Megan Shaimes and it is available as a free download.  I liked the idea of having a slouchy, kick around the house crocheted jumper and had already dyed up the wool during #Fridayisdyeday knowing that I wanted a stone-washed denim look.  

5 - Designs in Progress

Thank you to everyone that responded to my call for test croheters and product reviewers.  My plan is to keep with this segment whenever I have something to say.

This month I have something massive to tell you! 

The reason I have been quiet of Ravelry and IG is because I have been designing crocheted items for Erika Knight.  

That's it, the secret really is out now.  I have been sitting on this information for just over two months and have a series of four shawls that I have designed in Erika's fab new British Blue 100 range (8 shades in gorgeous 100% British BFL).  There are some other designs as well, one finished and some in the pipeline. 

I have been working with Erika and Bella to design a set of four shawls that increase in complexity as you move from one to the next.  All four are based on the same basic pattern repeat and shape but a change of stitch or addition of lace rows leads to four very different shawls.

When I started crocheting and knitting three years ago, I naturally gravitated towards Erika's patterns and yarns because I am always drawn to elegant simplicity.  If you haven't already, please check her out - there are 10 pages of patterns on Ravelry to look at and a massive back catalogue of books too (I think I own almost all of them).

In the Stash Palace I have two shelves that are dedicted to specific yarn brands.  One is Erika Knight and the other is John Arbon Textiles.  I think you all know what that means.  The love is strong.

I still keep on having to pinch myself because I cannot quite believe that this has happened.  I have the upmost respect for what Erika and Bella achieve - they are incredibly hard working, lovely people.

The patterns will be released next year and I will of course shout about it from the roof tops and show them off to you when I can.  

I am so, so happy! :-)

And the this arrived through the post and that's my Doppio Colosseum on the front!

6 - Feeding the habit

Bags from EMYA Handmade (AKA the very lovely Emmie and Yael).  Not only did they send me these bags as a surprise (one of which is going to become a podcast prize) but they are also offering a 20% discount code on their shop www.emyahandmade.com you just need to use the code EMYA20.  They have a great range of items, including reusable make up remover pads and panty liners (one of my biggest concerns of non biodegradeable waste).

Making Winter from Emma Mitchell is priced at £14.99

Indigo dyed yarn and natural undyed yarn from Border Tart.

7 - Setting up a craft group

I promised to go through how I set up Woolgethering Sandbach and it turned out to be quite lengthy so it became a blog post as well as the detail that I gave in the podcast.

8 - Big up

I'm going a little left field this month with an audio book(ish) and a film podcast:

I love listening to audiobooks, especially since I started working from home on my own.  It's very easy to feel like your brain is turning to mush and there is a lack of intellectual content because you are missing out on office situations where dialogue and debates occur everyday.   

Audiobooks mean that I continue to learn really interesting stuff as I design or crochet or catch up on emails.  My latest is a series of lectures called The Great Courses and I chose to listen to the lectures on The Vikings.  It is extremely indepth and brilliantly delivered by Prof. Harl - not at all dry and boring.  It was just one credit on Audible and I had 18 hours of amazing content.  There are many subjects to choose from in The Great Courses and they're well worth taking a look at.

Every Friday night Matthew and I sit down to listen to the Empire Podcast.  We love watching films and really enjoy this film review podast.  It's silly, quite sweary and great Friday night entertainment.

9 - What's Good

2018 is shaping up to be a pretty good year.  I feel like I set the standard for what I want to achieve in 2017 and feel ready to take 2018 on as a crochet designer and podcaster.  Watch out world!

Until December.

Fay x

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Nov 03 2017

1hr 24mins

Play

Rank #12: Yarn Shop Day Interview with Sara from Black Sheep Wools

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Featuring a bonus interview with Sara from Black Sheep Wools on Yarn Shop Day, 30th April 2016.

Yarn Shop Day was founded in 2014 by Sarah Neal, Editor of Let's Knit Magazine. Sarah wanted to do something to help bricks and mortar yarn shops because many are struggling to keep their businesses going, due to many reasons including rising rent on the high street and competition from online stores. Sarah had seen how an annual event called Record Store Day had helped the fortunes of independent record shops and thought "Why can't we do this for our own industry." And so Yarn Shop Day was born.

There was a sock knitting drop in with Christine Perry, aka Winwick Mum, crochet inspiration with Stylecraft crochet designer Sue Pinner, weaving with Beryl Weir and a crochet drop in with bagalong extraordinaire Katherine from Crafternoon Treats.

Christine Perry (aka) Winwick Mum

www.winwickmum.blogspot.co.uk

We enjoyed chatting to Christine about knitted socks and she explained the sock knitting is not as hard as you might think. Lots of customers were wearing socks they'd knitted from Christine's book called Super Socks. Christine was wearing a lovely knitted shawlette made from sock yarn which is her own design called Couthie Shawl, and available as a free download from her blog.

Crafternoon Treats

www.crafternoontreats.com

We had a great chat about crocheted socks and recording technology with Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats. Kathryn is a blogger, vlogger and crocheter. Kathryn vlogs about all things crochet and is known for her Bag-a-long project. We're looking forward to meeting Kathryn again at Yarndale in September.

Beryl Weir (also known as Crafts from the Dungeon)

www.craftsfromthedungeon.com

Bee gave weaving demos and it was great fun to join in and learn a new skill. She had some amazing samples on display and it was interesting to learn that you can use the same yarns for weaving as you use for crochet and knitting. Here's Fay's woven fabric.

Susan Pinner

shropshirescrappersuz.blogspot.co.uk

We had a brief chat with Susan about yarn and blankets. Susan has authored two amazing books based on the popular Granny Square motifs and she's also the crochet designer for Stylecraft.

At the end of the day we interviewed Sara to learn more about what Yarn Shop Day means to the retailer.

Sara's gorgeous hank of Blue Heron Yarn

Fay enjoyed knitting with Arne and Carlos again.

We hope you enjoyed the interview and thanks for listening to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Don't forget to tune in on the first Friday of every month for our regular episodes.

May 01 2016

33mins

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Rank #13: Episode 18 - Shear Joy

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Hola Crochet Circlers!

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes from Episode Eighteen - Shear Joy.

In this episode I cover: Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs; Festival of Finishing CrAL; Feeding the habit; Big up and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by:

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement is really appreciated and makes running a podcast really special.

1 - Old dog, new tricks

I have spent the last two and a half years winding cakes of yarn wrongly because I didn't read the instructions or the wording on my ball winder. That would be nearly three years  of rubbish yarns cakes giving me yarn barf.  Well, no longer.  I now wind my yarn anti-clockwise and get beautiful cakes to make up for my inability to read instructions!

Try it - you may also have been winding yarn the wrong way...

Loose is clockwise and actually gives a tight cake of yarn(!).

Fasten is anti-clockwise and gives a squidgy but structured cake of yarn.

2 - Finished Objects 

I have a few finished objects thsi month, even though the squares below don't look like FOs, they definitely are. 

These squares and rectangles are heading off to Yael for the Blanket of Love and Hope

It was a very cactus based episode!  Cynthia was a free kit in Simply Crochet Issue 59.

Kipper socks from Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 1 re-release using Life in the Long Grass sock yarn in club colourway Chlorophyl.

Hove Purse by me (Fay Dashper-Hughes Designs) which is a free pattern to help you test out your intarsia crochet skills, crocheted in Erika Knight Gossypium Cotton (Mouse, Iced Gem and Pretty) & Netherton Pullover also from Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 1 re-release using Artesano SW Merino DK (no longer available).

The Hove Beach Bag will be released on the 10th July and available as free of charge pattern from the 10th - 31st July to celebrate my 40th birthday!  Just search for Hove Beach Bag on Ravelry. 

3 - Works in progress

I have a few WIPs on the go but am mainly concentrating on my Festival of Finishing cross sticth and starting off soem easy 'in the car' type crochet projects for our epic road trip to the Outer Hebrides. 

The TARDIS cross stitch is by StellarSpaceCraft on Etsy and I used DMC thread 311 & Evesham Socks by Joanne Scrace using Regia 4 Colour.

Fronds Shawl by Joanne Scrace using Touch Yarns Possum/ Silk / Merino and the wet felting that Jenny and I did at the Fleece to Felt Day by Good Day Out.

4 - Festival of Finishing CrAL

The response to this CrAL has been fantastic!  I love that so many of you have been ruthlessly going through your craftung cupboards and using this as an opportunity to frog, donate, salvage and finish. Some of you didn't think you had any long-term WIPs and still foudn projects to finish off! 

 If you are just hearing about #FestivalOfFinishing for the first time I suggest that you start by takinf a look at this blog post 'Why you don't finish projects and what you can do about it'.

I would love you to get involved with the CrAL and share what you are up to within the Ravelry thread in The Crochet Circle Podcast Group or by using #FestivalOfFinishing on Instagram.

A pile each for: finish, frog, salvage or donate will really help you to work out what you could do with each project.  

As an additional element, via my company KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT , Claudia at Crochet Luna podcast and Carloine (also fo the Fibre Friends Podcast) and Kathy at Evertote, each FO you have under the Festival Of Finisihng is now worth about £2.37. TheThe charity that will benefit from the money is Knit for Peace.  

5 - Feeding the habit

See the sewing bobbins bag with Fronds shawl photo in WIPs.  This is by Sarah Hazell - she is also an amazing crochet designer.

1 - Various woven fabrics from Jan Beadle at Thw Wool Clip

2 - Lovely prints of textile pictures from Bright Seed Textiles

3 - Procion Dyes and a sock blank from DT Crafts

4 - Second hand book called Finishing Techniques for Crochet by Pauline Turner

5 - My gorgeous silver crochet hook by Lyn Roberts Designs with it's leather case

6 - Vintage glass and plastic pineapple buttons bought from Brimstone Buttons and Buckles (no website, you just need to try to find them at a wool festival).

I was the very lucky recipient of this gorgeous haul thanks to Claudia from Crochet Luna podcast!  Needless to say, the socks went on straight away, I have picked out the first pair of socks that I am going to crochet and the amazing Amercian yarn is going to become something very special.  The soap bar has a goats milk base which helps to repel midges, so that has already been packed for our holiday in Scotland!

The yarns are from Anzula Luxury Fibres and Trendsetter Yarns - I am a very lucky lady.

6 - Big up

Rosina has the Zeens and Roger podcast on YouTube and also a blog.  She has a lovely relaxed style and is good fun!

Two of my favourite ladies, Helen from Making at Number 14 Blog and Tamara from Craftyescapism blog have come together to create the Back to School Sweater CAL.  Here is what Helen and Tamara are up to:

  • A blog hop and CAL to celebrate crochet garment making and encourage lots of people to get making their own garments.
  • We will be launching details on our blogs and in a thread on the Crochet Circle Podcast Rav group on 29 July.
  • The blog hop will start on 26th August featuring posts from a range of bloggers looking at different elements of crochet garment construction.
  • The CAL will run from 16th Sept to 17th Nov 2017.
  • There will be prizes and discounts. If anyone wants to offer prizes please can they get in touch!
  • Tamara is planning a physical CAL at her local yarn store in Houston, Texas!

It would be great to have you all join in.  The blog hop has lots of great contributors in it and I may have aready chosen my garment  - I like to get ahead of the game and be well prepared! ;-)

7 - What's Good

I seem to have been here, there and everywhere since I last recorded.  I love being busy and learning new things.  In the last five weeks I have been to the John Arbon Mill Open Weekend, helped out at Winkie's school fete in Lancing, visited Woolfest in Cumbria, done a raku ceramics day at my pottery (amazing fun), seen Elbow (one of my all time favourite bands) play at Delamere Forest in Cheshire (I have never seen so many pots of hummus and camping chairs at a gig) and learned how to shear sheep.  

That is quite a diverse collection of things to do and long may it continue! 

The Good Day Out Fleece to Fibre experience of shearing Welsh Mountain ewes was fantastic.

See you all in August.

Fay x

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Jul 07 2017

1hr 28mins

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Rank #14: Episode Three - Socks Away!

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Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the Show Notes from Episode Three.

This Episode is Sponsored by:

www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com

and

www.lynnerowe.weebly.com

The books and yarns in this episode were all purchased by ourselves.

Arne & Carlos yarn competition prize - supplied by Knit it - Hook it - Craft it

DMC Natura Medium competition prize - supplied by DMC Creative

In this episode we talk a lot about socks as well as Wonderwool and Edinburgh Yarn Festival, stylish crochet designers, crochet tension, Crochet Yeah! WIP Wall update, Finished Objects and The Woollen Woods.

1. Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet (at 1.25 mins)

It's a yay from Fay on her Shoreline blanket:

In Episode 1, I spoke about a blanket that I hadn’t touched for a year.  I can now safely say that it has moved on somewhat and has made me think about the shorelines beyond the small island that is the UK.  I've thought about our listeners that are further afield and love the idea that through something as simple as a hook and a length of yarn, with a bit of technology, we can share our passions for crochet, knitting and yarn.  Every time I pick up the blanket to do a bit more I think about our lovely listeners.

The Shoreline Blanket uses a very subtle 4dc, 1htr, 2tr, 1htr stitch pattern for the ripple.

It's a Nay from Lynne on paper yarn. 

I used paper yarn recently for a knitting and crochet commission and I was really looking forward to trying it out.

I have to admit it wasn't one of my favourite yarns, mainly because it wasn't as flexible as I thought it would be. You have to give it a tug when working a stitch and often it popped off the end of the hook. My projects turned out fine but I would only recommend using it for homewares and accessories that will be used indoors, mainly mats, coasters and baskets or bags, because if it gets wet it will also get soggy. Quite a few yarn companies are now manufacturing paper yarn so we may see more projects and patterns becoming available.

2. Festivals (at 4.55 mins)

Fay visited Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March and had a great time. If you're into your designers, workshops, patterns and like to meet up with fellow enthusiasts then it's a great show for you.

Lynne and Fay visited Wonderwool Wales - we both love this show, which is open and airy with a good light and it's great to get around and there's a lot of space. We found some great bargains that we can't wait to turn into something lovely.

Lynne's Wonderwool haul:

 Fay's Wonderwool Haul:

 
We're also exhibiting at Yarndale later this year, which is really exciting. We will be sharing a stall so come and say Hi. For information on Yarndale 2016 see: http://yarndale.co.uk/

3. Helpful Hints

We've had a few questions via our Ravelry group (search for The Crochet Circle Podcast) on stylish crochet and also getting your tension right. We've researched both topics and here are our thoughts and tips:

Crochet Tension (at 13.25 mins)

Lynne has provided a detailed article over on her blog.

http://thewoolnest.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/crochet-tension.html

Stylish Crochet Designers (at 18.35 mins):

Marie Wallin:

Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/marie-wallin

Website: http://www.mariewallin.com/

Joanne Scrace

Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/joanne-scrace

Website: http://notsogranny.com/

Kat Goldin:

Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/people/katgold

Website: http://www.slugsontherefrigerator.com/

Vicky Brown

Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/stores/lilley-stitches

Website: http://www.vickibrowndesigns.com/

Contemporary Crochet - 37 European Designs - Sys Fredens

For book details see here

Designer Crochet - Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby. Create figure-flattering garments with great shape, with easy-to-follow tutorials.

For book details see here

4. Book Review (at 27.50 mins)

Crochet Yeah!

Crochet Yeah is a collaboration between Joanne Scrace, Kat Goldin and Rachel Coopey (Coop Knits). Joanne and Kat have designed 6 projects for the book, all using Coop Knits 'Socks Yeah!' Yarn. Projects include 2 hats, pair of mittens, scarf, cowl and socks.

Fay's full review is here:

https://www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com/blogs/news/162848583-book-review-crochet-yeah-by-the-crochet-project

5. Yarn Reviews (at 33.50 mins)

Socks Yeah!

In Shade Iolite (75% Superwash Merino/25% Nylon; 212m/50g)

RRP £5.45

Machine washable at 30 degrees

Recommended needle size 2.25mm

Read Fay's full review here:

https://www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com/blogs/news/162718215-yarn-review-socks-yeah-from-coop-knits

Regia Design Line by Arne and Carlos

4 ply engineered sock yarn (75% virgin wool and 25% polyamide; 50g/210m)

RRP £5.19

Recommended needle size is 2-3mm

Read Fay's full review here:

https://www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com/blogs/news/162372423-yarn-review-regia-design-line-by-arne-and-carlos

6. Magazine Reviews (at 40.00 mins)

Inside Crochet issue 76: The Theme for Issue 76 is Spring Time, so there are lots of lovely flowery projects, cute children’s accessories and cosy crochet for cooler evenings or country walks.

Lynne's choice: Celandine Wrap by Emma Wright – inspired by the flower of the same name. www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/celandine-wrap

Fay's Choice: Pop! Socks designed by Katherine Mills. Stretchy socks, comfortable to wear and fun to show off. www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pop-socks

Let’s Get Crafting issue 80: Includes a feature on Gregory Patrick (Madman knitting) and how knitting helped him to get out of homelessness. www.madmanknitting.wordpress.com

Lynne's choice: Fairisle Purses designed by Lynne. I know I'm breaking my own rule of not talking about my own projects but I had such fun designing and making these and love the way they turned out. I've enjoyed seeing reader's own versions too. www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fair-isle-purses

Fay's choice: Lavender Sachets designed by Nicola Valiji - but would try a crocheted version. Lavender is great from deterring moths from your stash. www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/scented-sachets

Simply Crochet – issue 44: An Oriental theme with free amigurumi sea creature pattern cards.

Lynne's Choice:  Kat Goldin’s column – an interesting read, all about her sock obsession for cosy crochet socks and passing on tools and heirlooms.

Fay's choice: Blossom Cushion - simple cushion base with pretty Oriental flowers and embroidery (image not available yet)

Woman’s Weekly Knitting and Crochet, May 2016: Bright/Spring theme.

Lynne's choice:  Crocheted Daisy Dog Toy and Blanket – a vintage pattern from the1970s, reworked in Yarn Stories Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca DK – in Cream and Dove. (Image not available yet).

Fay's choice: Crocheted Bowls. (Image not available yet).

Crochet Now issue 2 will be reviewed in our next Episode as it isn't on the shelves yet.

7. Finished Objects (at 41.00 mins)

Fay's FOs:

EYF Scarf - Endless Possibilities - pattern will be released  shortly. www.ravelry.com/projects/MaDashper/endless-possibilities

Knit British - Nature's Shades along - Nougat Neck - design to be released shortly. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/MaDashper/nougat-neck

4 (yes 4!!) crochet shawlettes (shh it's a secret - to be released soon)

Crochet Socks for The Duke www.ravelry.com/projects/MaDashper/crocheted-baby-socks

Knitted Socks for Winkie www.ravelry.com/projects/MaDashper/basic-socks-2

Lynne's FOs

Simple Granny Square Blanket using Stash yarns (DMC Natura Just Cotton): own design (not published yet)

Baktus Scarf using Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend Shade 7438 Zenith (2 skeins): http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baktus-scarf

Simple Stocking Stitch cowl using Rowan Fine Tweed (discontinued): own design (not published yet)

8. Works in Progress and WIP Wall (at 41.00 mins)

See who's at the top of the WIP Wall this month over on Pinterest:

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/417920040403148820/

Fay's WIPs

Missed Kingfisher shawl by Joanne Scrace:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/missed-kingfisher 

Scarf for Baby Bird using a knitting sequence from Cecilia Campochiaro’s book 

Sequence Knitting:  http://www.sequenceknitting.com/

The purple blanket that you can see was frogged during the recording of Episode 3!

Tardis cross stitch cushion (available to buy on Etsy):

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/203231184/tardis-de-lys-instant-pdf-pattern?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=tardis%20fleur%20de%20lys&ref=sr_gallery_1

John Arbon socks (update - these are now finished and another pair started)

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/MaDashper/basic-socks

Winkie's postal scarf is just simple rows of colour.

Shoreline Blanket (picture at beginning of show notes) is Fay's own design using a very subtle 4dc, 1htr, 2tr, 1htr stitch pattern for the ripple.

Lynne's WIPs

Spice of Life CAL (Sandra Paul): http://www.cherryheart.co.uk/p/spice-of-life-blanket.html

Agrarian Artisan Scarf CAL: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/august-crochet-scarf-mcal

Fairisle Blanket (Lynne Rowe): http://www.womansweekly.com/knitting/knit-a-long-knit-a-knitted-blanket-15631/

Odeletta Shawl (Anna Nikipirowicz) (update - I've now bought beads so ready to finish the last few rows): http://www.ravelry.com/projects/LynneRowe/the-odeletta-shawl---crochet-gifts-5

Accordion Mittens (Lynne Rowe): own pattern not yet published

9. Other links

Woollen Woods at Arlington Court, North Devon.  27th. August - 30th. October 2016 (at 59.30 mins)

Organised by Natalie Savage, Visitor Services Manager

For more information see:

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arlington-court-and-the-national-trust-carriage-museum/features/woollen-woods-in-autumn

The Crochet Circle will collect any mammals and fungi that you would like to make and send them all together. You can find out more along with some free pattern links here in our Ravelry Group:

http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/topics/3425147

John Arbon Mill Membership (at 10.50 mins)

https://www.jarbon.com/mill-membership/mill-membership#.VysCaY-cHIW

Woolfest and the wool clip

http://www.woolfest.co.uk/whos-involved/woolclip.htm

10. Competition Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered our Ravelry competitions and Congratulations to the winners:

Erika Knight Studio Linen - theemmashan

Lynne Rowe's Once Upon a Time in Crochet - jojotwinkletoes

Erika Knight's Simple Colour Knitting - Dianneb

11. New Competitions (at 63.30 mins)

We have 2 new competitions open on our Ravelry Forum:

Arne & Carlos Summer Nights Yarn 2 x 50g

http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/3424381/1-25

200g DMC Natura Medium 100% Cotton

http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/3424604/1-25

Good Luck and thank you for listening to our chatter. Don't forget, every Episode is published on the first Friday of every Month.

Happy Crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

May 06 2016

1hr 6mins

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Rank #15: Healthy Crochet Interview with Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health

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Hello!

It has been a while since I released an interview episode and I think this one is really helpful.  I had great fun chatting with Lyndsey outside in my back garden.  That does mean that there are some background noises (breeze, birds tweeting, and aggressive magpie and a small child singing down the lane).  Nonetheless, this interview is full of great tips on how to keep your self healthy while you crochet and craft.

PLEASE NOTE

The information contained within this interview is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.

Here are the links to the resources Lyndsey (https://www.phoenixoh.uk/) spoke of:  

Hand and wrist exercises.. https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/adult_health/sma_wrist_tendonitis_exercises/

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/muscle-bone-and-joints/exercises/exercises-for-wrist-hand-and-finger-problems

http://www.relievus.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Hand-and-Wrist-Exercises.pdf

https://ahpsuffolk.co.uk/Portals/1/Documents/Exercise%20Sheets/Wrist%20and%20Hand%20Pain.pdf

Exercises to manage all sorts of pains https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/managing-symptoms/exercise/exercises-to-manage-pain/

Exercises for lower back https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/lower-back-pain-exercises/

Lovely viewer Claudia watched this interveiw and recommended the follwoing: "I find it very helpful and relaxing to use gel frio relax from Naturales Canarias.... a gel which cools, relax the muscles and helps against pain and inflammation with aloe, arnica, devil‘s claw , camphor and menthol. The devil‘s claw is very good against arthritis. We all use it in the family when we feel a bit stiff or have neck and shoulder pain."

So, you may want to give Naturales Canarias a try.

Fay x

Jul 23 2019

49mins

Play

Rank #16: Episode 41 - Three Years Old

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 41 – Three Years Old.

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay a while. 

In this episode I cover: Review of KnitPro ball winder; Crochet Inclusivity; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Review

When I first started my yarn journey, I bought myself a cheap, plastic ball winder because I didn’t know then that crochet and all things yarn would literally take over my life! 

ALT TEXT: Grey background and close up of cream and red crappy plastic ball winder with broken metal finger.

Over the last couple of months, I have tried a couple of  different KnitPro wooden ball winders to see whether they would be a better option for me.  Well, the proof is that I now own one. 

ALT TEXT: Grey background with wooden ball winder and orange/grey wool scattered around it.

Given that I can be caking up yarn every other day, I thought it was a wise decision. So, here’s what I hate about my old ball winder and love about the new one:

1 – OLD: it creates a very tight cake which means that my yarn is being held under tension.

NEW: the cakes are taller and wider, so the yarn is not under the same amount of tension and pressure.

2 – OLD: it’s mainly made of plastic and is flimsy.

NEW: It’s predominantly made of wood with a little plastic and some metal.  It feels very substantial and durable.

3 – OLD: the metal finger that your yarn is placed through stopped standing on its own after about the third use.

NEW: The metal finger is very firmly in place and does not move as part of the ball winder set-up.

4 – OLD: the cakes almost always get tangled at the bottom of the spinner towards the end of the skein wind.  I have had t o cut my yarn before now, to release it.

NEW: The wooden base that the yarn caked up from is much bigger and can more than cope with the job.

5 – OLD: The ball winder struggles to create neat mini cakes.

NEW: The cakes are neat and seem to be staying in place.  I need to test whether they work well or not though.

6 – OLD: It’s really difficult to get a nice centre pulled ball that doesn’t get knotted up.

NEW: There is a space big enough to get your fingers into to pull the centre yarn from.  The cake seems to have more space in the core, so I am hopeful that the centre pull will be easy and not tangled.

The KnitPro ball winder also makes really pretty looking cakes – I know this isn’t really important, but when you have to photograph yarn as part of your living, it does factor in.

ALT TEXT: two photos, both with grey backgrounds.  First shows two cakes of identical yarn, the left was wound with the plastic crappy winder and is shorter, denser and messier and the second cake is taller and prettier.  Photo two shows 3 mini skeins (2 pink and a marroon), a green with neon colour pop cake and the brown tweed one from the first photo.

The wooden ball winder is clearly much bigger than the plastic one, so you will need more space to operate it, but the proof is in the pudding.

If you are often caking up yarn, then I wholeheartedly recommend this bit of kit.  I bought mine from Nikki at Ewe Felty Thing and it arrived within a week.  It’s not a cheap option at £105 + P&P, however, this is a piece of essential equipment for my hobby and job and I expect to be using this until the day I die.  Caking yarn is now a joy and not a task, especially when they come out in such a pretty shape! 

2 – Crochet inclusivity

Last month, I said that I was only going to purchase yarns from vendors that had crochet samples out.  I spent much of Edinburgh Yarn Festival diligently asking whether yarn dyers and vendors had crochet samples that I could see.  I got mixed reactions!  Some stall holders had some crochet, but the vast majority did not.  That isn’t specific to EYF, I find that to be the case at most yarn festivals.

Beyond the snobby reactions that I sometimes receive around crochet, there is a fundamental lack of understanding around our craft.  That may be because the vendors don’t crochet or they did it years ago and associate it with blankets, acrylic yarn and clashing colours.

There are also the urban myths that surround crochet – such as it’s yarn hungry; done by grannies, or that there are no contemporary crochet designs coming through!  In the podcast I reference a piece of research I did on knitting v crochet for grams used.  You can access that research via my blog post here.  

With most things in life, I am more carrot than stick.  I am willing to put the work in to help educate people on crochet as a craft.  My plan is to do this by writing an open letter to yarn shops, indie dyers, yarn vendors, yarn festival organisers that don’t currently give consideration to crocheters.

As part of the open letter, I will point them towards resources that dispel the urban myths and showcase the fantastic contemporary crochet that we have.  In the long-term, I plan to pull together a Crochet Collective whereby, yarn shops etc. can call upon a list of crochet designers that have beautiful crochet patterns that have been fully tech edited and deserve space and attention in yarn shops, at shows and on Instagram. 

Needless to say, this is all going to take time, so watch this space.  I always say to Matthew that “if I haven’t helped to change the face of crochet by the time I die, I simply didn’t work hard enough!”   

3 – Final Destination

I can finally share my secret projects with you!  Before Christmas, I started working on a shawl called Drucilla.  It was kept a secret because it is one of the patterns in the new John Arbon Textiles publication, The Annual.  There are three knitting patterns in The Annual and my crochet pattern.

ALT TEXT for four clsutered photos: Top left has a  grey background with some beach pebbles placed to the left of The Annual front cover. with skeins of yarn on a wooden table, mill bobbins on the floor.  Top right is a blue wall with a dusky mauve shawl with a marroon border on a mannequin.  Bottom left has a grey background with The Annual opened at a page with a triangular version of the shale in a marroon colour and dark browny/black border.  Modelled out on Exmoor by a young female.  Bottom right is the same but the shawl is now shown as a C2C version in a very light grey/blue laceweight yarn.

 All yarns are from John Arbon Textiles.  Top right used 2 x 100g skeins of Knit By Numbers DK KBN90 and 1 x mini skein DK in  KBN75

Bottom left used 2 x Devonia 4ply in colourway 'Bleeding Heart' and 1 x colourway 'Cinder Glow'.

Bottom right used 2 x 100g skeins of Alpaca 2-3 ply (heavy laceweight) in colourway 'Sea Spray'.

Drucilla is a great all-rounder shawl, using V stitch.  You can do it with one or two skeins, keep it as a triangular shawl or make it into a C2C shawl as I did with the heavy lace version.  I have also just finished off a DK weight version to show that it can be crocheted from laceweight up to DK. 

If you want to get your hands on the pattern, The Annual can be purchased via the John Arbon website.  It costs £5 plus P&P.  The whole thing is packed full of information and fun elements, like a spot the difference game! 

I have also finished off some knitted socks.  A pair for my best friend, Jenny and a pair for my Dad. 

 ALT TEXT:  Two photos both with a grey background.  The first shows a charcoal grey pair of socks with hot pink stripes, heels and toes.  The second is a plain tealy/ blue pair of socks.

Striped socks are in Dragon Hill Studio 4 ply 'Metro Pinstripe'. Second pair is in Lang Jawoll, colourway 'Peacock'.

4 – En Route

The saga of my Esja jumper continues! I had hoped to be showing you how to work the sleeves as part of the podcast, but I ran out of yarn!  We are heading up to Scotland on Friday, so I will pop into Blacksheep Wools on the way and pick up an extra skein and hopefully finish it off in the car on the way to Ben Nevis. 

Next month, I WILL be wearing my Esja jumper!

5 – Designs in Progress

Last month I showed off a Barcelona inspired long cowl that I had been working on.  It now has a name – Rocamora, after the family that lived in the building of the same name that inspired the cowl.  I have actually submitted the design into a newish online magazine called Yarn People.  I really like the inclusive nature of the magazine and the fact that they aren’t fussed about whether the pattern has already been published or talked about within the yarn community. 

Whilst I wait to hear whether the submission was successful or not, I am busy working up another version of it that is much short and only uses three colours.  There may be a third example in the offing which is a fade option too…

ALT TEXT: Grey background with wooden ball winder at top with mid grey yarn sat, balled up on it, foxy orange yarn in a skein to the left, a partial cake of dark grey yarn and a work in progress ribbed cowl with a green metal crochet hook.

6 – Feeding the habit

My friend Nic was in Australia, visiting family.  We agreed to do a yarn swap whereby, she brought me back some lovely yarns from that side of the world, and I brought her back yarns form Edinburgh Yarn Festival.  I failed to bring anything back for her that was suitable but will work on it when I vend at Spring Into Wool next weekend, but Nic brought me back two amazing yarns.  One from White Gum Wool in Tasmania and one from Great Ocean Road Mill in Australia.  They are so lovely and squishy!

I spent a lovely day over at Ewe Felty Thing in Llandudno, North Wales, helping Nikki celebrate her shop’s 1st birthday.  There was a lot of yarn to squish (and buy).  I came away with a skein of the special birthday colourway that Nikki had dyed and some minis from Abercairn that will become sock toes, heels and cuffs (and already have in one case). I also pre-ordered my ball winder when I was there.

Obviously, I brought stuff back from EYF too, but because of my point about not buying from stands that don’t have crocheted samples, I didn’t buy as much as I could have. That said, I did buy four balls of wool from Jamieson’s.  I was having an interesting discussion with one of their team and plan to recreate one of their classic Fair Isle patterns in crochet to really make that point that crochet can be beautiful and just sticking to marketing to knitters doesn’t need to be the way forward. 

Mainly, I got yarn from John Arbon Textiles.  My love of their wool continues, and I wasn’t really up for buying any indie dyed yarn.  So, I bought the yarns that they had created as show specials.  There is the Cocktail Yarn in colourway Dark & Stormy which is destined to be a trial for a new, simple design that I want to create (perfect for yarn shops and vendors to show off crochet with) and then a jumper’s quantity of their breed special yarns.  I bought the Romney breed because I really love how squishy it is and the soft colours that I bought. 

One of the real highlights of EYF for me was the Make::Wool event on the Sunday.  I didn’t get much time in sales area because I was off listening to a couple of talks.  I did, however, make a beeline for Shilasdair Yarns.  Kirsty and Simon are due to open their version of the Shilasdair Yarn Shop on the Isle of Skye this Easter.  They are still using traditional natural dyeing methods and I am very pleased to say that they have converted to using British breed yarns.  I am excited to see how they develop the company and watch with eager anticipation!

ALT TEXT: Seven different photos all on bright yellow backgrounds, showing each of the yarn makers, dyers or designers. 1 - Kirsty from Shilasdair smiling and holding a massive cone of wool outside a shed.  2 - Nikkie from Ewe Felty Thing (yarn shop) behind a wall of indie dyed yarn.  3 - John and Juliet Arbon sitting in front of some of their mill machinary.  4 - Emily K Williams from Flutterby Knits stood at the edge of a loch, showing off her latest striped knitted jumper pattern - Canisp Sweater.  5 - Desiree from Abercairn Yarns stood on a porch, sporting her latest finished object - a purple jumper.  6 - Katie Green has long brown hair and is stood in a woodlend sporting a light brown knitted shawl.  7 - Sharon from Dragon Hill Studio is out in her garden wearing a black top, with glasses on a shortish brown hair, with her dog (cream and tan coloured). 

ALT TEXT - a flat lay of many yarns with numbers atteched to each of the companies and listed below.

1 - 2 x mini skeins from Abercairn Yarn, bought at Ewe Felty Thing

2 - 4 skeins of British Breeds 'Romney' from John Arbon Textiles.  These were an EYF special and aren't on the website, but may make an appearance at Wonderwool Wales.

Also, two skeins of Cocktail blend in colourway 'Dark & Stormy' which was also an EYF special.

3 - Three balls of Shetland Spindrift wool from Jamiesons of Shetland in colours Storm, Camel and Tan Green.

4 - 2 x 50g skeins (dyed with INdigi and Meadowsweet) and 3 x mini skeins from Shilasdair Yarns  - dye stuff not identified. 

5 - 50% Camel, 50% silk blend skein of yarn from Nikki at Ewe Felty Thing called 'Confetti in the Rain' which was a special for her shop's 1st birthday.

6 - Great Ocean Road Mill, La Bella yarn (Merino and alpaca mix) in colourway Salt & Pepper.

7 - White Gum Wool, 4 ply Fingering in colourway Quarrystone - 100% Merino

7 - Quick News Beats 

1 – Here are some new hashtags/accounts for you to follow under inclusivity:

#disabledmakers is run by Eve and Anna, they are doing a grand job of showing off makes from lots of differently abled crafters. 

@fatestknits is an account that has been set up specifically to work towards size inclusivity.  Designers can have their patterns featured to find test crocheters and knitters.  If you are smaller or bigger than the average body size, then this may be a great resource for finding patterns that you like and designers that actually care about catering from different sizes.

2 – When I was Edinburgh Yarn Festival, I attended a panel discussion on Diversity and Inclusion in the Fibre Space – Where do we go from here?  It was an interesting discussion, with generally helpful questions from the audience.  The panel discussion was recorded and as soon as the video is available, I will sign post you to it.

3 – I have been invited to come and do pop-ups at a couple of yarn shops.  You can find me at Northern Yarn on 3rd May between 6.30pm and 10pm.  Kate is celebrating the shop’s 3rd birthday and I will be there selling crochet patterns and notions.

I will also be at the RiverKnits open day on the 4th March between 1aam and 5pm.  Becci and Markus now have a dye studio and they are having a grand opening.  Lost of other vendors will be there too, such as Ewe & Ply, Travelknitter, Garthenor Organic, Third Vault Yarns and RiverKnits of course.  It’s going to be a fab day with demonstrations, stuff to buy and a lovely atmosphere where you get to talk to the vendors.   

These are just two of the ten events that I will be vending at this year.  If you want to know where else I am going to be, take a look at this blog post.

4 – I have set up a Ko-fi account.  I have long thought about creating a way that you can support the podcast – if you would like to.  I am not comfortable with Patreon as an option and when I came across Ko-fi, that felt like the right fit for me.  Basically, there is a website page that is for The Crochet Circle Podcast.  Within that page, you can buy me a coffee.  In reality, this is making a donation towards the running of the podcast or may actually encourage me to leave the house, buy a coffee and take a break in a café.  However, many of you have asked how you can support the podcast and the in-depth work that I do for it.  I am very grateful to those that buy from my online shop, come to see me at shows, or buy my patterns, but some of you may prefer to support me through Ko-fi. 

I love doing this podcast.  But here is some of what it takes to create it:

$108 a year for the Podbean hosting platform

£12 a month for Zoom so that I can host the Global Hook Ups

On average, three full days of my time to pull the podcast together (recording, editing, photography, show notes)

Any extra time that I chose to spend on reviews, testing yarns, patterns etc. 

There are also things you can do to support that podcast for free:

Leave comments and give it a thumbs up on YouTube  - this puts the podcast in front of other people and increases awareness of its existence, making our community larger and stronger.

Talk about it on Instagram.  If you like what I do, tag me when you are crocheting.  It may seem like a little thing, but it makes a big difference. 

All of these things also apply to any other podcasters that you watch.  I am sure that they would also love extra comments, likes and tags.  It really makes a difference to us and helps to make our experience of creating a podcast much more fun!

8 – J’adore

The podcast is three years old!  The first episode went out on audio only back on 1st April 2016.  It is an absolute pleasure to put this podcast out and connect with our Crochet Clan.  To celebrate, there will be a pattern giveaway.  Sandra from the Cherry Heart podcast has kindly offered a copy of her Ziggy Interrupted scarf to one lucky winner, and I will do some pattern giveaways too.  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on YouTube or Podbean (underneath these show notes) and tell me what crafting technique you would like to conquer in 2019. 

Here’s to another three years!

I will be back on Friday the 3rd May.

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

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Instagram: FayDHDesigns

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups

Apr 05 2019

1hr 27mins

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Rank #17: Episode 39 - Call me Crozelda

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 39 – Call me Crozelda

In this episode I cover: Inclusivity in the fibre community; Old Dog New Tricks; CAL Updates; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

1 – Inclusivity in the fibre community and beyond

Given the importance of this topic, I felt that it needed to be the first thing I covered.  I don’t usually script exactly what I say, but because of the importance of inclusivity within the fibre community, I don’t want to ramble or use the wrong wording because of the pressure of recording and trying to get my thoughts across.

I am fairly sure that everyone listening and watching this podcast is aware of the conversations that have been ongoing for much of January.  The discussions are on inclusivity and diversity in the fibre community and beyond.  These are conversations that are long overdue and conversations that need to become actions. 

This podcast at its very heart is about welcoming everyone with one exception.  If you are watching or listening to this and have even a hint of an eye roll or a “uh, this again, just talk about crochet”, then this is probably not the podcast for you. 

Now, if you are the kind of human that likes to support your fellow humans, to build them up, rather than knock them down, to offer them the handshake of crafting kindness, and to take that handshake beyond the crafting community to every aspect of your life, then come on in, stay a while.  I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.

I would like to specify what I mean by inclusivity.  For me and this podcast, that means creating an inclusive space for Black and Indigenous and/or People of Colour (BI/PoC), for people with differing abilities, for people within the LGBTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) for people of all sizes for people that identify as binary or non-binary .  An inclusive space where racism, and discrimination of your fellow humans cannot and will not be tolerated. 

I spoke about the need for actions as well as conversations.  So, what I would like to do is take you through the changes that I am making to the podcast to make it an even more inclusive space:

Logos – I am in going to change the logo for the podcast and have one created for the Global Hook Ups.  It struck me that the current logo does absolutely nothing to say “everyone is welcome here”.  So, in true Crochet Clan spirit I looked within to see who was part of our community that I could ask to take on logo commissions.  I am really chuffed to say that Claudia from the Crochet Lune podcast is going to work up the new logos.  If she comes up with different design options. Then my plan is to throw it out to you to see which logos speak most clearly to you of inclusivity.

Recognition of makers/dyers – my plan is to seek permission from makers and dyers to show a picture of them within the video podcast and show notes.  Websites and Instagram handles don’t necessarily show the diversity within our community.  I also know that when I have seen somebody’s face, it creates more of a connection with that dyer/maker and somehow cements them in my mind.  I am also keen to do this from a business perspective because to me, seeing the face behind a small indie business is a very good for me to support them over big multi-national companies.  Let me be clear, that this is not about tokenism.  No matter who you are, if I am showing your product or yarn on the podcast and you’re are a small indie maker or dyer, I will be asking to show a photo of you in the video podcast and show notes.  You have every right to decline and a photo will only appear if I have your permission.

Increasing diversity in my Instagram feed – I thought that my feed was already pretty diverse.  I have a general policy of following people back unless their account is set to private.  So, I am not an account that has thousands of followers (I don’t anyway) and only follows a handful back.  That means that my account is full of lots of lovely diverse folk. 

However, it wasn’t until I started following #blackcrocheter #blackcrocheters #blackcraftersofinstagram #diversknitty #spooniecrafts #lgbtqcrafts #lgbtcrafts #that my feed really became diverse.  I encourage you all to do that same.  Following hashtags is a great way of finding new people on Instagram, introducing yourself and making new connections.  If you have suggestions for any other hashtags to follow, please let me know.

Highlighting under-represented groups – Back in November 2018 , Jeanette Sloan was asking the fibre community to point her towards BIPoC designers.  She has done a lot of time consuming work to pull together a list from the details she was given.  A similar piece of work is being done by Marceline from the Hey BrownBerry Podcast and she has highlighted BIPoC dyers and yarn makers.  

Claudia from Crochet Luna podcast has been beavering away pulling together a list of BIPoC crochet designers.   She is going through the painstaking work of communicating with the designers to ask whether they are happy to be featured.  I am hoping to help Claudia to pull this list together in whatever way I can.  The list of BIPoC crochet designers is going to be on my blog over at KNIT IT – HOOK IT – CRAFT IT – because Claudia has asked me to host it there. 

My hope is that in time, this will also feature dyers and makers form other under-represented groups.  However, this needs to be looked at in a sensitive manner and only undertaken with the backing and permission of the people within these underrepresented groups. 

If you would like to be added to the work that Claudia and I are doing, then I would be really interested in having a discussion with you about what the parameters should be.

Creating a more accessible podcast and Instagram accounts – I have had some very helpful and interesting Instagram discussions with Sarah from @SarahDawnDesigns.  She has been brilliant at pointing me towards ways that I can make changes to the podcast to make it more accessible for people with hearing or visual impairments. 

If you have a hearing impairment, I always try to face the camera and not show things in front of my face, in the hope that people are able to read my lips.  I always create show notes, and link to them from the dropdown box on YouTube.  If you are watching the video, the section place markers correlate to the different sections in the show notes which can always be found at www.thecrochetcircle.podbean.com  and I believe are in a suitable format as a text transcript. 

If you have a visual impairment, I try to be very descriptive with textures and colours.  Again, I believe that the show notes are in a format that are suitable for assistive technology.  In addition to the written part of the show notes, I will start adding descriptions to each photo and the caption will start with Photo:   I have also started using ALT text within my Instagram feed.  I have gone back through the posts from the last month and added ALT text to those posts, but from now on, anything I post on @crochet_circle_podcast, @knitithookit or @faydhdesigns, will have ALT text attached to each of the images.

The final thing I would like to add is that twice a month there is the Global Hook up.  I run it on a Saturday night and then again on the Sunday morning (both GMT/BST) so that the crafting session is available to different time zones.  Everyone is welcome in the Global Hook Ups. 

If you just want to check out what happens, you can join the crafting session and put something over your camera.  You also have the option to mute your microphone.  It’s really up to you how much you join in, which hopefully makes it a great crafting space for people that may be nervous about joining in.  For some people, they started out by just sitting and listening and moved onto joining the conversations in the next session.  It’s free to join, you just need a decent wifi connection.    

2 – Old Dog New Tricks

It feels like many people are working on crocheted garments, or plan to in 2019.  One of the factors that you may come across is wording like “increase/decrease by 12 stitches evenly across round/row”.  In my opinion this is a little unfair of a designer to leave it at that.  It isn’t hard to work out how you increase or decrease stitches, but if you haven’t done it before, then you should be getting more guidance within the pattern.

I am going to use one of my en route projects as an example.  I have deliberately stopped this project where it is so that I can show you how I am going to tackle the bust decreases that I want to add in.  This isn’t a feature of this pattern, it is one that I am adding in to give some shaping to the finished piece.  That said, when the pattern did call for increases it didn’t give the calculations required…

I would like to think that if I ever design a garment for crochet or knitting, this is the kind of detail that I would add. 

If  you want to see this is video form, take a look at this video from Very Pink Knits – she is one of my favourites for giving simple hint and tips video tutorials.    

Rather than using Very Pink Knits numbers, I want to use my jumper as the example piece.  I have crocheted down to just below the bust area and now I want to decrease the overall number of stitches to pull the jumper inn and give some definition. 

I have 269 stitches which gives me a circumference of 116cm.  I want to get down to a circumference of 104cm for under the bust so need to do an initial calculation: 

269 stitches/116cm means that I have approximately 2.32 stitches per cm. 

I want the circumference to be 105cm, so I need 244 stitches (105cm x 2.32 stitches).  My pattern requires an odd number of stitches, so I am actually going to decrease down to 243 stitches (because I rounded up to 244 in the first place).

Overall, I need to reduce my number of round stitches by 26 from 269 to 243. 

So, my next calculation is to work out how I can decrease 26 stitches evenly across my round.     

I start with my existing total stitch count (269) and divide it by the number that I need to decrease by (26):

269/26 = 10.35 

Again, I am going to round that number down so that I will use 10 as my answer.  Had the answer been 10.5, I would have rounded up to 11.

So, next I need to multiply the number of stitches to be decreased (26) by the number of decreases (10):

26 x 10 = 260 which leaves a remainder of 9 stitches

Because I would be decreasing two stitches together, those two stitches have to be factored in as part of the two stitch decrease every 10 stitches.  This means that I will crochet 8 stitches and decrease over the last 2 stitches – giving one decrease over every 10 stitches.  The remaining 9 stitches are simply crocheted at the end. 

You may find it easier to attach a stitch marker at the beginning of every decrease section.  This can help to make sure that you got your maths right and keep you on the stratight and narrow when you are counting and decreasing.

PHOTO: Esja Jumper (crocheted) in pale blue (main colour) and pale blue

variegarted with rust and teal as a contrast.  Around the bottom of the jumper,

each decrease section has been marked with a black bulb pin.

Now, life isn’t that easy for me because my Esja sweater is in linen stitch which is a two stitch pattern repeat of 1dc and 1ch.  That makes the calculation a little more difficult. 

But here is how I have done it:

269 stitches need to be reduced by 26 down to 243 stitches.

To create an even decrease across the fabric without getting holes in the decrease area, I want to decrease in the following way: 

Hook through first ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, hook through next ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, yrh, pull through all three loops.  This action adds a bit more yarn bulk to the area and makes the decrease look less obvious.  In doing so, you are using three stitches to decrease down to one.

So, I started looking for the number of stitches required per decrease section, remembering that each decrease will reduce the round by two stitches, not one.    

So, here is where I started:

269 stitches / by 18 stitches gives 15 decrease sections and when you multiply that by the actual number of stitches per decrease section after the decrease has been made, 16, then you would be left with approximately 240 stitches with a remainder of 3 stitches which would simply be worked at the end of the round.  You are basically looking for the division that will give you the least number of remainder stitches. 

Here is how a linen stitch decrease will work for me over 18 sts:

Ch1,  hook through first ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, hook through next ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, yrh, pull through all three loops, *ch1, skip 1 st, 1dc in next ch-sp; rep from * six (6) more times. (16 sts)

I would repeat the sequence 14 more times and finish off with ch1, skip 1 st, 1dc in next ch-sp ch1 as the stitch sequence for the remaining three stitches.

Clear as mud?

After the podcast, I will attempt to add some progress photos so that you can see how I have marked the shawl out every 18 stitches and worked the first decrease section. 

3 – CAL Updates 

The #ChristmasEveCAL is done and dusted! Once again, I had very little time to respond to the hashtags on IG.  I want to be able to, but life is crammed.  I am making some huge steps with the businesses this year and a lot of my time energy has to be on that.  

So, I’m going to take a little break from running CALs – mainly because I know I won’t have the time and I won’t be doing you the justice you deserve.  Things may shift by the end of the year, but for now I will try to concentrate on promoting the CALs that my fellow crafters and podcasters are running. 

4 – Final Destination

I only have one proper finished object, because I don’t think I can legitimately show 1.5 socks as an FO!

Last year I started a bag and my intention was to add to every January with my ‘Word of the Year’.  When I have previously seen people talk about their word  of the year, I have dismissed it as a load of old tosh!  Having lived with ‘Clarity’ as my 2018 word, I can now say that it definitely gave me grounding point throughout the year and gave me a flag to keep on coming back to. 

Clarity was meant as a word for me to stick to my core goals and not stray.  To keep on the path that I had set for the year.  Given that it was so helpful for 2018, I have now added ‘STRUCTURE’ to me bag as my word for 2019.

This is the year when I hope to move KNIT IT – HOOK IT - CRAFT IT and Fay Dashper-Hughes Designs up a few notches and to do that I need to put more structure in place.

So now, I think about clarity and how I can structure my work flow to achieve what I want to achieve in 2019 and beyond. 

Here’s what my bag looks like now.  Every year I will add to it in a Scrabble format.

PHOTO: Ecru coloured linen bag with dark grey ribbon tie lying on a dark grey surface.The word CLARITY has been embroidered across the bag horizontally and STRUCTURE, embroidered vertically as if a game os Scrabble has just been started.  Three bows of linen are at the base of the bag, in a dark grey, light fawn/grey and dark mustard

.

The bag was made from Scottish linen that I use in some of my products.  I thin just draw around a wooden Scrabble tile to get the right size for each letter.  Using a 3 ply linen thread from Namolio https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/237661664/linen-yarn-thread-25-grams-3-ply?ref=shop_home_active_1

5 – En Route

I have finished one of my Fallen Leaves socks and am ready to turn the heel on the other.  I will show them off properly in the next podcast…

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fallen-leaves-socks

My Esja jumper (to be made with yarn dyed by my friend Bec of Black Horse Yarns and Socks Yeah! in the colour 'Chryso'.  This has been really quick to crochet up so far and I only stopped to be able to use the jumper as an example in this month’s Old Dog New Tricks.

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/esja-sweater

Main Colour Yarn: https://coopknits.bigcartel.com/product/coop-knits-socks-yeah-yarn

Contrast Yarn: https://www.instagram.com/blackhorseyarn/

PHOTO: Esja jumper (crocheted) as a close up to show the slight distinction in colours made between the main colour (light blue) and contrast colour (light blue with rust and teal).  The contrast between the two yarns in the brioche section is very subtle.

I am also working on another Doppio Colosseum shawl.  Originally, I used a yarn that Helen from The Wool Kitchen no longer dyes and she kindly gave me two skeins of yarn to make a new sample with.  The yarn is 4ply (light fingering weight), 50% Merino and 50% silk and it is beautiful to work with.  The sheen and drape are just incredible.    By the time I podcast again, I hope to have this finished so that Helen can use it on her stand at her next two festivals (Unravel and Edinburgh Yarn Festival).  It’s great to see another yarn dyer that wants to fly the crochet flag.

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/doppio-colosseum

Yarn: https://www.thewoolkitchen.com/collections/4ply-merino-silk/products/worn-denim-merino-silk-4ply

PHOTO: Dark back background, flat lay of a started crocheted shawl in linen stitch.  To the left is a skein of Worn Denim by The Wool Kitchen (light blue/grey with blotches of dark denim blue), to the right is a cake of the same yarn and below is the curled beginnings of a Doppio Colosseum shawl.

6 – Feeding the habit

I truly believed that I was going to severely restrict the amount of yarn that I was going to buy in 2019.  The difficulty comes when I enter yarn shops.  I want to be able to support Bricks and Mortar shops by purchasing from them and highlighting them on the podcast. 

So, this month I have been a bit naughty.  I went over to visit the Laxton’s spinning mill in West Yorkshire and on the way back, I ‘popped’ in to see the good folk at Black Sheep Wools.  It’s probably my most local yarn shop (about 45 minutes away) and I always like having a good natter with Sara and the others. 

When I was there, I picked up some of the ‘Pip Colourworks’ from Baa Ram Ewe.  I had a little mini skein of this given to me as a test skein and couldn’t really do it justice with 10g.  I have since knitted another Curlew hat with it and plan on hooking something up with it too, so that I can do a proper yarn review on it for the podcast.

PHOTO: Dark background with a blurred foreground of a dark dusky rose ball of yarn.  At the back from left to right is the same Pip Colourwork yarn from Baa Ram Ewe, bit in a light green, dark forest green, grey sky blue and mustard.  Just fo camera to the right is the brim of a knitted Curlew hat in the same colours.

PHOTO: Dark grey background with a close up of Reggia Nautic Color sock yarn.  Self striping in a white and mid blue.  The ball band is yellow and shows a white sock with thin blue stripes.

I also came across and had to buy the latest Regia sock yarn called Nautic Colour, which creates sailor striped socks.  I am an absolute sucker for sailor striped anything! 

Local Yarn Shop: https://www.blacksheepwools.com/knitting-yarn/baa-ram-ewe-pip-colourwork.html

Yarn – Pip Colourwork: https://baaramewe.co.uk/products/pipcolourwork?variant=1440591249416

Yarn – Regia: https://www.blacksheepwools.com/knitting-yarn/regia-nautic-color.html

Later that week, I snuck up to Lancaster to see Kate from Northern Yarn in her new shop location in the city centre.  It’s a really beautiful shop that is easy to get to.  Kate works really hard at developing both the shop and her relationships with local shepherds and shepherdesses.  She only sells British yarns and many of them are local.  That is definitely something worth supporting in my opinion.

PHOTO: Five balls of wool all in a horizontal row on a dark background and each with a cream "Jamiesons Shetland Spindrift" ball band.  The colours from left to right are:  a vibrant mid green, rusty red, rusty orange, bright rusty mustard and a bright mid blue.

Whilst there, I picked up some Jamiesons Sheltand Spindrift 2 ply to make into a hat from this book that I also got. 

Local Yarn Shop: https://www.northernyarn.co.uk/jamiesons-of-shetland

Yarn: https://www.jamiesonsofshetland.co.uk/spindrift-1-c.asp

Book: https://www.shopkdd.com/books/milarrochy-heids

Hmm, it doesn’t stop there.  Last week, I hopped on the train a went to Llandudno on the North Wales Coast.  Nikki runs Ewe Felty Thing, a yarn shop just a few minutes away from the train station.  It has the most impressive wall of indie dyed yarn from 16 different dyers. 

PHOTO: Dark grey background showing top right, a skein of yarn from Abercairn.  It's a skinny single plyed yarn in a blend of merino and silk and has a beautiful sheen.  The variegated skein has pinks, purples, teals, greens and blues in it - just like the Grampian mountains. Underneath the skein are two mini skeins, one in a deep dusky pink and one in a bright aubergine purple.  In the bottom corner there is a bit of a purple/pink mohair skein.

Of course I came home with yarn.  Of course one of them was mohair!  I bought a new to me indie dyer called Abercairn Yarns. 

Local Yarn Shop: https://ewefeltything.co.uk/

Yarns:  https://ewefeltything.co.uk/product-category/handdyedyarns/yarns-by-dyer/abercairn-yarns/4ply-fingering/page/2/

https://www.instagram.com/abercairn_yarns/?hl=en

I was also vending at Waltham Abbey Wool Show this month, and it was a great show!  My bestie, Jenny turned up as a surprise in the afternoon and helped on the stand.  As a thank you, she got to pick which yarn she liked best from Dragon Hill Studios.  Andrew and Sharon run the company and I really love the way they cake up their yarn.  I have been meaning to buy some of their yarn for a while and Waltham Abbey was the ideal time.  I have a deal going with Jenny that if I am making socks with a yarn she likes, she can have a pair too.  I can get two pairs of knitted socks out of a 100g skein of 4 ply (light fingering weight) yarn with contrast toes, heels and cuffs. 

PHOTO:Dark background with a cake of yarn and a white circular tag from Dragon Hill Studios with a paired back green curled up dragon for a logo.  The yarn is dark grey with bright pink stripes and they cleverly cake up the yarn, wrapping the last few lengths over the top and bottom of the cake to show off the ratio of self striping colours which is more dark grey and a pop of pink.  

Yarn show: http://www.walthamabbeywoolshow.co.uk/

Yarn: https://www.dragonhillstudio.co.uk/

7 - Quick News Beats 

1 - Global Hook Ups – I have had to change the date of the February hook up:

February – 16th Saturday (night) and 17th (morning) GMT

The other dates for the first half of 2019 are in the Ravelry thread.  

2 – I am now heading to Edinburgh for all four days of the festival.  I will be in the show on Thursday working on a stand (more on that to come), and back at the show for the Saturday and Sunday.  This wasn’t what was planned, but it’s now happening!

Edinburgh Yarn Festival: http://www.edinyarnfest.com/

3 – I have also booked to go to Woolinn Festival, just outside of Dublin in June.  I am landing at the airport on the Saturday morning and leave on the Sunday night.  So, if you are coming over and fancy a meet up either at the festival or on the Saturday night in Dublin city centre – let me know!

Woolinn Festival: http://woollinn.com/

4 – Sean, you can never have too many shawls!

8 - J’adore 

I am loving that January has really felt like a new start.  I have reset the button, good changes have been made and 2019 is looking like a good one.  

I am also off to Barcelona shortly with Matthewkins.  We really need some time out and I am looking forward to soaking up some Spanish atmosphere and being inspired by the gothic architecture.      

I will be back on Friday the 1st March!

Fay x

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Feb 01 2019

1hr 13mins

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Rank #18: Episode 21 - For the love of socks!

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Hello my lovelies!

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes from Episode 21 - For the love of socks.

In this episode I cover: Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs; DIPs; Review of Step Into Crochet; Feeding the habit; Big up and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by:

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement is really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special.

1 - Quick news beats

Crochet Cakes - I am very pleased and relieved to say the Clarisabeth and Caroline (and family) are well.  They live in Puerto Rico which was hard hit by Hurricane Maria. The news came via Alyson from the Keep Calm and Carry Yarn podcast.

I have just donated money to the Alianza Somos fund because they are concentrating on areas such as power and communications, two things that will help to get infrastructure back up which should make general aid relief easier.

It may be some time before we hear from Clarisabeth again, and it is just great to know that they are well.

Logging your projects - I am often asked how I log my designs and projects and at long last I have pulled together a 'How I log my designs, WIPs and FOs' blog in case you are interested too.

Setting up a craft group - I asked the good folk of Instagram if they were interested in finding out how I set up and run Woolgathering Sandbach.  The answer was yes, so in the November podcast I will go through how I went about getting it of the ground, how it has evolved and how much time it takes me to manage the group.

Vicki Brown giveaway - I finally got to meet Vicki face to face at Yarndale and she passed me a lucky bag for a lucky listener.  It has a temporary tattoo, gauge, wool needle, mini skein and 10% discount code.  If you want to win, head to the Ravelry thread 'Vicki Brown giveaway' and let me know what your favourite colourway is from her range.

#FridayisDyeDay - if you fancy getting involved on Instagram, a few of us are going to have a Dye Day on Friday 27th October.  Either use the # or follow it to see what dye creations have been made across the globe.  I am going to do some natural dyeling using conker husks/ shells and probably some professional acid dyeing too.  Claudia (Crochet Luna podcast) is going to use acid dyes, Charlie (Love Charlie podcast) is doing natural dyeling with avocado stones and skins.  You can even use food colourants, so you really don't have to go out and buy specialist equipment.  If you don't have undyed yarn, you can over dye exisiting yarn that you aren't that fond of.  

A quick internet search will give you lots of ideas and thoughts on how to dye your yarn.  I will also be pulling together a blog post in advance to give details on how you can get involved.

2 - Old dog, new tricks

It's amazing where you can glean information on crochet techniques from.  This month's Old Dog New Tricks is all about a little trick that I picked up from a pass away comment somebody made on Instagram. 

It's a neat little way of increasing stitches without it being as obvious.  It doesn't make a huge amount of difference to your finished object but I do think it is a little less obvious. Instead of crocheting two stitches into one, crochet one on the front loop only and the second in the back loop only.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

3 - Finished Objects 

The sock theme has continued well into September as I pull together the review of 'Step Into Crochet' by Rohn Strong. I would love to say that I now have three pairs of finished socks but actually I have one pair and three singles.  The book review explains why... 

I have been working on lots of other design projects that I am hoping to share with you shortly.

In the meantime, this is my other FO for September.  This gorgeous little cardi is called Crumpet and was designed by Erika Knight.  This is my new go-to baby cardigan; it's really quick to work up and the 6-12 month version took just over 100g of DK yarn.  

There were two purposes to this cardigan.  The first was to have a crocheted item to send to Knit for Peace with the card to explain what Crochet Circlers had been up to during the summer with Festival of Finishing and helping me to raise funds.  The second was to show the journey of recording, washing, blocking, sewing seams and choosing trims as part of my Blog Hop for the Back to School Sweater CAL.  

Last month I had made a start on my Basket Weave Cushion Cover by Jo Janes (AKA Jojotwinkletoes) and now it is an FO!  I was doing more stash diving and using up odds and sods.  This is Aurancania Milidon (no longer available) and was actually a shawl that I never wore and so frogged to reuse the yarn.  I really love the final effect and Autumnal feel of the cushion. It's going to be used outside when I am sitting crocheting and need extra squish and back support.  Thanks for a great pattern Jo, I definitely feel like I now have a good understanding of front and back post trebles!

4 - Works in progress

I have one WIP on the go this month and it is a whopper!  It's my #BackToSchoolSweaterCAL.  I went all round the houses with this project - incapable of deciding what I was going to make.  I finally decided on the Aberdeen Castle Cable Sweater and after about seven rows I realised that I just wasn't enjoying the cabling process. 

Back to the drawing board and a pattern that I have had queued up for a long time - Sicily.  It's a free pattern by Rowan and can be downloaded straight from Ravelry.  Although the pattern calls for a 4 ply cotton, I am using Shilasdair 4ply (lambswool, angora, cashmere) and it is working up very nicely.  It is light, warm and by the end of the jumper I suspect that I will have only used 350g of yarn.  

Future WIP is going to be my second version of Criss-cross using Gym Nut from Green Elephant Yarns.  This is a CAL with Olann and which will start in November.  If you fancy joining in, you need a 2 x 100g of 4ply with at least 375m per 100g.  More details will follow on Ravelry and Instagram.

5 - Designs in Progress

There are designs that I can't show you yet because they are for yarn brands and then there are ones that I put out for myself under Fay Dashper-Hughes Designs.  

Whilst I always aim within the podcast not to bombard you with KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT shop updates, it occurs to me that you may actually be interested in the design process and how it moves on from one month to the next. 

So, this month I am going to show you a design in progress and you can let me know whether this is something that interests you or not.   

This design came to me at Yarndale when I bought the yarn from River Knits Yarns.  Their colours are just fabulous and instantly knew how I was going to use the colours in a cowl, mittens and possibly hat too.  I had put the puff stitch into a shawl that I was designing and it just wasn't right, so it got logged away for a couple of weeks, waiting for the right yarn/stitch combo to pop up.  

I love how this pattern is working up.  It's going to be called 'Barley' and should be out later this year if all goes well.

6 - Review of Step Into Crochet and £5 discount code

I am loving the fact that crocheted socks are getting more air time with more people making them and appreciating the warmth of crocheted socks on their feet. 

I received Step Into Crochet as a gift from Claudia of the Crochetluna podcast.  She is a lovely!

So, here are a few caveats before I get into the review proper:

  1. I have long, thin, pointy feet and thin ankles.  This makes hand crocheted and knitted sock fitting a bit harder.  Standard patterns don't fit me as well and I usually have to make changes to get something that fits well.
  2. I have an aversion to using anything below a 3mm hook.
  3. If you are starting a new crocheted or knitted sock pattern, be prepared to have a sacrificial first sock that is either going to be wonky or frogged.

The three points given above have to be taken into account when you read the review because they are issues that I have to work around when making socks.

The book is very deatiled - which I love.  There are sections on understanding sock construction, the differences in sock yarn and working out your foot measurements.  This information is incredibly helpful, especially if you have never crocheted or knitted socks before.  

There are 16 sock patterns in the book and two of those have been provided as cuff-down and toe-up options, so really there 18 patterns in total.  These patterns build up really nicely from plain one colour patterns through to cables, lace, stripes etc.  What I particulalry liked was that different toe, heel and cuff patterns were given too, so you could learn different techniques and see what works best for your feet.  If you have a high instep for instance, you may need to swap out for a different heel type that gives more stitches.  

If you want to get to the point of having really good fitting handmade socks, it usually takes a few pairs and some chopping and changing of costruction before you get there and that needs to be taken into account when you are working from sock pattern books.

I chose to work up three separate patterns from the book so that I could review it well and test out different sock yarns at the same time.   

Gorman Toe-up was worked up over three socks and two different yarns.  On each occassion I used a 3mm hook and because of that I had to rework the pattern over 40 sts rather than the smallest size provided which was 44 sts.  This wasn't a difficult task.  

Things I loved about the book:

  • The detail given on construction, sizing etc.
  • The stitch guide for each pattern is given at the top of each pattern so you don't have to flick to a glossary at the back.
  • The designs fit really well and are easy to adapt to your preferred length of cuff etc.
  • Good photography which helps to understand the construction of the socks.
  • Lots of ankle socks so you get patterns that can take you through more seasons.  

 Issues I had with the book:

  • At times, small parts of the pattern were missing.  In Mordecai, the stitch guide for foundation double chain crochet (US) is incomplete.  If you didn't know that, you would struggle to get the sock started.  In the Azalea pattern the written instructions are incorrect.  It says to repeat rnd 6 to complete rnd 7 but that is incorrect and I only know that because I read the accompanying chart.  These aren't big issues because I have used these techniques enough times but a first timer coming to these patterns with less confidence may struggle. 
  • It feels like a more thorogh tech edit was required to check and double check the patterns and provide better instructions in some areas.  Again, I managed work arounds and could understand where the problems were but only because I have knitted and crocheted quite a few pairs of socks now.  

Would I recommend this book to others?  Even with the issues that I have outlined above, I would still recommend the book.  I would just encourage people to read through the pattern thoroughly, be prepared to frog or have an initial wonky sock until the perfect length, stitch count etc is reached.  It may also be worth heading to project pages on Ravelry where people like me have put up notes explaining changes and pattern work arounds.  

There are currently no errata links for this book on Interweave's website or Ravelry.

In the UK the book retails for £16.99 and I think this is good value for money.  Eighteen patterns, loads of upfront information before you even start and loads of techniques to learm.  You just have to have the confidence to know when something probably isn't quite right and be able to work around that.

In the UK the book retails for £16.99 and I think this is good value for money. Eighteen patterns, loads of upfront information before you even start and loads of techniques to learn. You just have to have the confidence to know when something probably isn't quite right and be able to work.

FW Media have offered people in the UK a £5 discount code and free P&P, bringing the cost down to £11.99. All you have to do is call 01206 255777 and use code KHC117. The discount is available until the 15th December 2017.

7 - Feeding the habit

Here are some of the things that I aquired at Yarndale:

1 - Yarn from Black Horse Yarns

2 - Dorset Button kit from Tania at TJ Frog

3 - Amazing yarnyness from RiverKnits

4 - More buttons from Textile Garden

5 - Vintage scissors from Eliza Conway

6 - Some paper yarn to play with.

That RiverKnits yarn in the middle is called Indian Giant Squirrel - just look at it unskeined and the the actual beast below!

And here is my amazing prize from Vivian and Alyson from the Keep Calm and Carry Yarn podcast.  This is an exceptionally well made bag form Vivian via her Pearl and Plum shop. 

8 - Big up

I have a couple of podcasts for you to take a look at. Both are on YouTube.

Deanne from Addydae Designs is very well known for her crochet designs such as the Blurre shawl, but she has a podcast too.  She lives in Australia which gives it a different twist for me and is very open about her design process and sharing with the audience. 

The second is the Thread the Love podcast on YouTube.  Amber has a couple of episodes out so far.  She is a crochet designer and so far her episodes are both under 30 minutes.

9 - What's Good

Clarisabeth and Caroline are well - it is worth reiterating that this is very good news.  I am loving that Charlie from the Love Charlie podcast is local to me.  It is really nice to have a podcaster just down the road.     

I have just interviewed Becci and Markus from RiverKnits.  I really enjoyed doing the interview with them and it reminded me how much I enjoy the process, so I need to get out ont he road and get interviewing people again!  You can hear the interview or watch it.

See you all in November.

Fay x

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Oct 06 2017

1hr 37mins

Play

Rank #19: Episode 20 - Flappy Socks

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Hello my lovelies!

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes from Episode Twenty - Flappy Socks.

In this episode I cover: Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs; Festival of Finishing CrAL; #BackToSchoolSweaterCAL; Feeding the habit; Big up and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by:

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement is really appreciated and makes running a podcast veryspecial.

1 - Old dog, new tricks

Having heard lots of radio adverts for the magazine app 'Readly' I was intrigued to see what it was all about.  This was also hot on the heals of me learning from Alyson at the Keep Calm and Carry Yarn Podcast that her local library (Edinburgh) has free subscriptions to libraries through a different app (I have looked into this and very few UK libraries actually offer this service).

Already a subscriber to Spotify, I figured that Readly woulld work in the same way - it doesn't!  You can sign up five more friends or family members to the service and they don't appear to need to live at the same address.  I have offered this out around Woolgathering and my friend Jenny also has one of my five subscription spots.

CAVEAT - Having recorded the podcast I went to downlaod the latest Simply Crochet magazine and it wasn't there.  Nor was Mollie Makes...

I emailed Readly and they say that those publications are no longer available but that they have lots of other craft titles.  They seem to have started doing Crochet Now instead which is good news but still means that what has gone out in the podcast is a) inaccurate and b) annoying.  I will still subscribe to this because there are so many titles to download, especially if you enable lots of different countries as you can then get magazines form there too.

2 - Finished Objects 

There is a bit of a sock theme this month.  Had you noticed?  I have really enjoyed making the Socks Yeah! (shade is 102 Ammolite) version of the Gorman Street Toe Up Socks from Step Into Crochet.  I can't say the same for the Regia version which is why I have only made one of them.  This yarn split with almost every stitch.  I liek the end prodct, the sock is squishy and warm but the process very frustrating.  I have previously knitted and crocheted socks with a different Regia 4 ply yarn and didn't have these problems.  Tonight I was at Wollgathering sandbach (the crafting group that I run) and Sam had just finished knitting a pair using Regia 4 ply and had the same issues.

In advance of a full book review on Step Into Crochet next month, I wanted to set out the rib changes that I made:

Larger ankles - stick to the pattern and keep a turning chain at the top of the rib - this is what I did with the Regia sock on the left and you can see that it is 'flappy'

Medium ankles - try only doing the turing chain on every other rib at teh top.  This leads to a tighter rib with good elasticity (see the middle sock) but it was still too loose for me.

Thin ankles - don't do a turning chain at the top of the rib at all.  This is how I got a good fit at the top of my socks (see third sock).

I also finshed off my Rambling Friends Socks from my Fibre Friends Podcast kit.  The yarn was dyed by Adrienne (Old Oak Yarns), the pattern was craeted by Louise (Louise Patterson on Ravelry) and I kept it all in my Evertote bag made by Caroline and Kathy.  THese were lovely to work on - the yarn was squishy and vibrant, the pattern was great (I loved the simple lace detail at the back) and my project bag had mustard and teal birds on it, a winning combination.

My final FO is a crocheted shawl of my own design.  It's called Basalt and is 100% inspired by the hexagonal geological features taht you get throughout the world.  This version is crocheted with John Arbon Textiles Knit By Numbers 4 ply (2 x 100g skeins and one mini skein).  The pattern is on Ravelry now and if you use the cde TCC50% between 1st and 30th September 2017 you will get 50% off making it £1.75.  

The pattern covers crocheting this both bottom up and top down and has a private YouTube tutorial that is only available to those that have purchased the pattern.

3 - Works in progress

I only have one WIP this month.  I have been pattern testing a cushion cover for Jo jo Twinkletoes.  I haven't previously tried the basket weave stitch and this was the perfect project for it.  The pattern will be free of charge and go live on Jo's blog the second weekend of September and I should be able to show it off as an FO in the next episode.

I also talked about the future WIPs that I will be workingon in the coming month.  More socks, in the form of the Mordecai Socks from Step Into Crochet but this time using West Yorjshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply and Lang Yarns Jawoll (with the reinforcement thread because the socks won't last very long without it).   

4 - Festival of Finishing

The response to the CrAL has been fabtastic.  As I type out these notes it is 00:19 on the 1st September and I know that we reached the target of 150 FOs about an hour ago and there are more FOs to be added to the Ravelry thread.  I am so proud of the fact that between us all we have rasied a load of money for Knit for Peace.  I will be able to gve you a total number of projects and £ raised inthe next podcast.Thank you. x

I finally finished my Uncia shawl, knitted in John Arbon's Harvest Hues in colourway Blue Spruce.  It was a bit of an effort to get this finished but the sheepy smell of the wool kept me going.  I have just washed and blocked this and it is beautiful and still smells sheepy - lush.

5 - Back to School Sweater CAL

We have lift off on the CAL.  

I have finally decided on the garment that I am going to start with.  It's the Aberdeen Castle Cable Sweater by Noelle Stiles and I am using Shilasdair Luxury 4 ply for it which has been naturally dyed with Hawthorn berries.

6 - Feeding the habit

I have very little for you this month, just some 4 ply from Green Elephant in colourway Gym Nut.  I love this yarn from Fiona and will be using it in a second version of the Criss-cross shawl which will be a CAL with Olann and magazine later in the year.

7 - Big up

I have a couple of new podcasts for you to take a look at.  Both are on YouTube.

Charlie has a blog and a new crochet podcast.  She's a designer and seems to be pretty much yarn obsessed with a stash that looks like it could start to rival mine...

The second is Grace from Babbles Travelling Yarn Podcast.  She is great fun to watch even if you aren't a knitter - one of those dafties that can always cheer you up.

8 - What's Good

At the beginning of the month I was vending at Yarnfolk Festival in Whitehead, Northern Ireland.  What a day!  I was up very early in the morning to catch the ferry from close to my Mum and Dad's house in Scotland and talked crochet and crafting all day long with the friendliest people.

I didn't manage to take a single photo while I was there but luckily Lora from Olann and magazine has created a really good vlog of the day showing off the exhibitors.

See you all in October.

Fay x

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Sep 01 2017

1hr 23mins

Play

Rank #20: Interview with RiverKnits

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Whist visiting Yarndale 2017 (Yorkshire based yarn show), I was ushered towards RiverKnits by my friend Bec.  I was instantly in awe of their yarns, colours and dyeing techniques.

I discovered that they live and dye (see what I did there!) on a narrow boat that was moored up less than a mile from my house.  It was such a golden opportunity to interview a dyeing duo on their boat that I coudln't pass it up.

What you will hear is an interview that was conducted as we sat outside on the narrow boat.  There are knocks and bangs and engines noises.  I deliberately wanted this as part of the interview so that you got a feel for life on the boat.  At the end there are soem lovely tunes played by Becci and Markus, so keep on listening.

The interview is also available as a video file on YouTube.  Unfortunately, the footage is over exposed (my baf for not sorting out hte wite balance better) but I felt it was still okay to put out and the interview is just so nice that I coudln't not be seen.

Rather than write lots about the interview, I just want to show you some photos below that punctaute the interview.  

You can buy RiverKnits yarns from www.riverknits.co.uk and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.  They also have a Facebook page for their folk band Das Boaty McBoatface.

 Some RiverKnits colourways

The most amazing 'Indian Giant Squirrel' colourway

The actual Indian Giant Squirrel.

My latest design 'Barley', which uses 100g of Splenidferous Sock in 'Stoke' and 5 x mini skeins of your choice.

One of Becci's favourite dyers is Victoria from Eden Cottage - you can see why!

Some examples of colourways inspired by life on the canal.

Goregous leather project bags made by Nu Shearman.  Nu uses British leather and has an Etsy shop.

Thanks for listening and thanks to Becci and Markus for letting me come and interview them.

Fay x

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Oct 05 2017

1hr 6mins

Play

Episode 50 - Woohoo

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 50 – Woohoo!

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay awhile.  

In this episode, I cover Old Dog New Tricks; WIP RIP 2019; Final Destination; En Route; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore. 

This podcast is sponsored by:

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

Last month, I said I was also going to start sharing your top tips in this section.  This fist Crochet Clan tip comes from two folk – Trina (browneyedgirlGB on Ravelry and  @browneyedgirl on Instagram) and Andrea (woolwoman2k8 on Ravelry,  @woolwomank2k8  on Instagram and  Woollen Yarns Blog).  The tips are all about using stitch markers.  Andrea uses them to mark the right side of her work, making it easier to find where you are in a pattern.  Trina uses them to mark the first stitch of each row. 

I really like the bulb safety pins and stitch markers with the lever back arch because they are easy to attach and lock in place. 

Using stitch markers may seem like a bit of a faff, but it can honestly save you hours of work and help you to keep your row and round counts accurate. 

I’m working on a blog post which answers your questions on blocking.  You still have time to ask me specific questions on blocking, if you have any.  One of the questions was about how to block hats.  If you are lucky enough to have a bowl that has the same circumference as the recipient, then you can use that.  However, if the bowl is too deep, you run the risk of the hat brim being stretched too widely. 

I wanted to create a hat blocker that was bespoke to the circumference of my head, so I made one with papier mache and a balloon.  Here is how to do it:

1 – Measured the circumference of your head.  I measured 58cm across my forehead, over my ears and around the nape of my neck.

2 – Blow up a balloon and deflated it until it has a circumference of 2cm less than your measurement at the widest point and tie it off.    Note that you reduce the circumference by 2cm so that the hat will block slightly smaller than your head and will be a good fit. 

3 – Make a ‘glue’ from ½ cup of flour and 2.5 cups of water, heat on the hob and whisk until it creates a thick paste.  Allow it to cool.  This was enough to create two hat blocking moulds.

4 – Tear a few pages of newspaper into strips.

5 – Using a pastry brush (or similar), spread some of the paste over the balloon and press strips of newspaper over the balloon.  Cover most of the balloon in an initial layer.  Use a mug to stand the balloon on.  Keep on building up paste and newspaper layers over the balloon.  I added three layers of newspaper and three layers of tissue paper.  You will need at least five layers to create a thick enough mould that will retain its shape when the balloon has deflated. 

6 – Leave the mould to dry thoroughly. 

7 – Coat the mould with three layers of clear varnish, allowing it to dry between coats.  This will help to harden the mould and stop create a waterproof barrier between your wet damp hat and the paper. 

ALT TEXT : Photo 1 - cream background with two blown up balloons covered in newspaper and brown tissue paper. 

Photo 2: a newspaper/tissue covered balloon is sat on a mug on top of newspaper.  A tin of interior clear wood varnish and a brush lie beside the mug.

If you make hats for other people too, you may as well make two hat blockers at the same time.  I also made a smaller one that fits my nieces head.

To wet block your hat, soak it in wool wash, squeeze out the excess water and place it on the hat blocker (you may want to stand it on a mug).  The shape of the mould should mean that the brim of your hat is at a point with a smaller circumference.  This means that the brim will block to a smaller size from the main body of your hat and help to keep it on your head.  

 ALT TEXT: Papier mache balloon mould is in a mug and has an orange and green knitted hat blocking on it.

2 – CAL Updates

#wiprip2019

You did so well with the #wiprip2019.  So many projects were finished up before the 31st of December. 

I managed to pass into 2020 with the following WIPs:

1 – a knitted jumper for my Dad

2 – a crocheted shawl design (30% done)

3 – a new crocheted shawl design (about 10% done)

Basically, no personal WIPs, which is exactly what I was aiming for. 

3 – Final Destination

I have finished a lot of items in the last month.  Some of them were things that needed to be sorted and others were designs or samples.

Here is what has been finished off:

  • My Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild (link) needed a remedy for the bottom because it was curling up. I have added two rounds of dc (US sc) and although it is curling a little, I haven’t yet blocked it and I think it will work.
  • My Strandir knitted jumper (link) by Hulda Hakonardottir needed to be lengthened. I picked up stitches from the bottom, cut off the original ribbing and knitted a new 2 x 2 rib to make the jumper my desired length.
  • I finished off my laceweight design shawl. I thought I would be able to show them all to you in this podcast, but I am entering them into a design competition that Unravel Yarn Festival is running.  I’ll let you know how I get on!
  • I finally finished my Verity Vest – it has only been about 18 months. It was designed by Dawn at The Almond Snug (link) and I crocheted it in Aruancania Ranco (link) in the colour – turquoise.  I haven’t blocked the vest because it’s for my friend and she may want to add more length to it. 
  • I was also taking part in The Craft Bank, Gift along. I had chosen to sew for my gift partner and so made matching large and small project bags because she was teaching her granddaughter to knit.  Whilst I was making the bags for my gift partner, I made some for me too.  I’m trying to use up some of my fabric stash…
  • Over the festive season, I made another bag, but this time, I added embroidery to one side and embroidery applique to the other. This will be used as a shop sample to show what you can make from some of the books I sell.  I really enjoyed doing these embroideries.  Sometimes working on a different craft can create a welcome break.

ALT TEXT Photo 1 - waist rubbing of Strandir jumper showing the cut off the old rib and newly finished 2 x 2 rib.

ALT TEXT Photo 2 - finished Strandir jumper on black background.  The jumper is a snowy white colour with tabs of a midnight blue at the yoke and cuffs.

ALT TEXT Photo 3 - cream background with mottled turquoise coloured Verity Vest.  The top is sleeveless and is worked in diagonal rows the form in the centre.  Eyelet rows give it more features.   

ALT TEXT Photo 4 - front of a cream, linen handmade project bag.  Three detailed black and yellow bees have been embroidered onto the bag and loo as though they are flying upwards.

ALT TEXT Photo 5 - back of the same cream, linen bag has mustard and green leaves appliqued onto it with woollen threads in an oval wreath with additional foliage embroidery.

ALT TEXT Photo 6 - Two, one skein handmade bags on top of a cream background.  The bag on the left is a French blue colour with white clouds dumping snowflakes. The bag on the right has a cream background and a light teal motif that looks like a knit stitch/cat head.  Both bags have two poppers to close them and sage green tabs as a small handle.

4 – En Route

I have two WIPs on the go.  The first is a jumper for my Dad and it’s a design called Jon (link) and is by the same designer as my Strandir Jumper – Hulda Hakonardottir.  I’m knitting it using Lettlopi (link) in four shades of grey.  I’m trying to make this quickly so that my Dad can get some use out of it this winter.

I’m also about to start on the marsupial pouches to send to WIRE in Australia.  I plan to make three of them, with cotton liners, before the end of January. 

Crocheted pouch patterns – https://www.facebook.com/rubylovesbrains/photos/pcb.10159191872638032/10159191871513032/?type=3&theater

Knitted pouch pattern – https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-info/wildlife-factsheets/making-possum-pouches

Sewn cotton liners – https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-info/wildlife-factsheets/making-possum-pouches

Birds’ nest pattern -  https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-info/wildlife-factsheets/making-wildlife-nests

If you are unable to create something but want to help in some way, donations are also being accepted by WIRES (Wildlife Rescue (link)).

All donated items should be sent to Jacqui Fink, who is matching items up with the volunteers animal carers and organisations who need them. Her details are:

Jacqui FinkPO Box 126,Balgowlah NSW 2093Australia

ARRINGAH MALL

NSW  2100

5 – Feeding the Habit

I have managed my six months of no yarn buying (this excludes yarn that I needed to buy for designs and the yarn dyeing workshop that I did).  I was giving myself until the beginning of January to see if any yarn took my fancy, but I haven’t seen anything.  That said, I was given three sets from Matthew for Christmas.  I do have my eye on some yarn, but it isn’t available until the end of January, so my plan is to start another six-month yarn ban from the beginning of February. 

Here are my Christmas pressies. 

Three skeins of Autumn in colour Narcissus from Freehold Yarn Company (link).  I asked for this because I already had a skein of the mustard and a skein of the grey in my stash and wanted more to make a jumper – also, it was 40% off.  It’s a fingering weight yarn (385m per 100g) and a blend of 25% Gotland and 75% Bluefaced Leicester. 

ALT TEXT: cream background with three skeins of sunshine, mustard coloured yarn and white label.

Eight skeins of Tuku Wool (link) in colour H22 Valo.  It’s a fingering weight yarn (195m per 50g) and 100% Finish wool.  This was also from Freehold Yarn Company and was 40%.

ALT TEXT: cream background with seven, 50g skeins of greeny mustard lying vertically and one skein lying on top diagonally.  The yarn looks woolly and is heathered with green and mustard colours.

Six skeins of Erika Knight British Blue 100 (link) which is a DK weight yarn ( 220m per 100g) and 100% British grown and spun Bluefaced Leicester.  The colourway is called Mrs Dalloway.  This was a last-minute addition because a local garden centre was selling off their Erika Knight stocks at 50% off, so £6.50 per skein.  More skeins were bought to make Matthew a jumper too. 

ALT TEXT: cream background with two skeins of plum – proper mustard, squishy wool with a kraft paper label.  

I also received a skein of variegated yarn as a present from my friend Charlie.  It is the colourway Exposed Steel by Gilly at Fjord Fibres (link).  I really love crocheting and knitting with Gilly’s yarn – it’s really plump and warm.  80% Norwegian wool and 20% nylon – 350m per 100g.

ALT TEXT - cream background with a variegated skein of plump yarn.  It is green, grey, yellow, brown, orange and utterly gorgeous. 

6 - Ask me anything

As we are at Episode 50 of the podcast (woohoo) and I said that if you had any questions to ask, then I would answer them, so here you are:

Ally asked - I know you left your job to start your business but what made you decide to design as well as running the business? Did you do any training/reading/workshops, etc before doing your first pattern?

Pretty much as soon as I picked up a hook, I was designing my own items, even if it was just crocheting a cowl with a stitch pattern.  It sounds a bit cheesy, but it was like I finally found my creative calling.  Prior to crocheting, I wouldn’t have called myself a creative person at all.  Crochet is what helped me understand that creativity isn’t just about being and to draw or write or play an instrument.  Crafting opened up a whole new part of my life and creativity just keeps on pouring in.

Fiona asked - When it is suggested you alternate skeins of hand-dyed yarn does it mean every 2 rows or how many? Does that mean extra ends to sew in too?

Personally, if it was something worked in rows then I would do alternate every two rows so that there were no extra ends to weave in.  If I was working in rounds, I would change every round to really blend the skeins. 

Claudia asked:

What is your goal - where do you see your business in five years time?

I would love my designs to have more prominence.  It’s really hard to get your designs seen and to become well known in the world of crochet and knitting. 

I would also like to be in a position to support other new designers.  This is something that I am working towards now, but I think one of my skills is in pulling people together to move crochet forward as a craft.

Do you think that Brexit will have an impact on your business and if so - in which way?

Most of my customers are UK based and I try to buy in as much stock as possible from the UK or make it myself, so I’m not seeing a massive impact at the moment.  I know that there has been an increase in some of my raw materials that come from the EU which isn’t great.  I suspect that there is a tightening of belts for UK citizens which isn’t great for our economy in general.  However, there is an increase in the number of people crafting because it’s a skills-based hobby that is seen as useful and value for money.  Interest in crochet, in particular, is on the up.

Do you have many friends in your local area you can meet up with and knit/crochet together?

Do you know that saying “if you want something doing, ask a busy person”?  Well, I also run a fortnightly craft group called Woolgathering Sandbach.  It has been going for four years now and we have a lovely group that meets up.

I’m also beginning to work on another crafting meet-up with my friend Bec.  The plan is to offer a meet up just south of Manchester a few times a year so that we can increase the number fo crafters meeting up in our part of the UK.

Let’s not forget the Global Hook Ups too, where I et to meet with crafters from Russia, Australia, Germany, France, Scotland…

Why did you leave Scotland and would you ever like to move back and live there?

I had to leave to get a job associated with my degree.  The expectation was that I would have to do voluntary work to be able to get a conservation job in Scotland and I couldn’t see why after five years of further education, I shouldn’t be paid for my expertise.  I moved to England to have a job interview and became the Compost Development Officer for Oxfordshire County Council.

I don’t ever imagine going back to Scotland.  I suspect that our next move will be to North Devon!

What other things - aside from yarn - are you passionate about? Which of your other talents would you like to develop more in future?

Cooking!  I love food and finding new ingredients.  At one point, I was actually working towards running a charcuterie company.  Then I started crocheting and decided it was a safer bet than charcuterie.  I love the idea of crocheting a garment from shearing to hook and also learning to weave.  I basically want to learn all the crafts. 

Corrine asked -  What’s your naughtiest yarn-based project/ story?!

I think I would probably have to hark back to a time when we had a fair bit more money coming into our household.  Matthew had bandmates staying to write and record an entire album in one weekend. 

I was basically banished to the bedroom whenever I was in the house and by Sunday lunchtime, I had had enough.  I basically surfed all the big yarn websites and pulled together a very large basket of goodies.  The more frustrated I got, the better the yarns got.  Needless to say, I have some very lovely cashmere in my stash that Matthew bought me to ease my pain over that weekend!   

7 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – The January hook ups are on:

Saturday 25th  at 8 pm (GMT) and Sunday 26th at 9 am GMT.

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

If you are joining on your phone or tablet you will likely need to download the software in advance.  If you are joining from a PC or Mac, you can join via the link above.  Everyone needs to use the same ID number to get into the session. 

2 –  I have had my first ever pattern printed in a crochet magazine!  Basalt has been printed in Inside Crochet.  I really like the team at Inside Crochet, so it wasn’t exactly a hard decision when they asked if they could use the pattern for the magazine.  It’s in issue 121, which came out on the 19th of December.

3 – My company name has changed from KNIT IT – HOOK IT – CRAFT IT to Provenance Craft Co.  You may have seen some of my details change over on Instagram and across other social media.  This is what the new logo looks like:

I’ll be back on February 7th 2020.  Have a fab festive season!

Fay x

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Jan 03 2020

1hr 20mins

Play

Episode 49 - My kind of rainbow

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 49 – My kind of rainbow  

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay awhile.  

In this episode, I cover Old Dog New Tricks; WIP RIP 2019; Final Destination; En Route; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore. 

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have a couple of things for you this month.

The first is a great way of getting accurate charts for your colourwork crochet designs.  This trick came about because Claudia mentioned in a Global Hook Up that she wanted to be able to take motifs and recreate them in crochet.  By inputting your swatch gauge into this website (link) you can get gauge specific graph paper which you can then colour in with your motif.  This will help to ensure that your motif will easily convert to crochet stitches and look great when you have hooked it up.

The second one comes from a really good discussion in the Saturday night Global Hook Up on size inclusivity.  When uploading garment projects onto Ravelry, I have been guilty of just adding ‘me’ to the box about who it is being made for.  It hadn’t dawned on me that it would actually be helpful to give my measurements so that other makers could assess the size I made against my measurements.

I’m not a massive fan of having my photo taken, so I’m going to get over myself and start uploading more photos of me in my FOs so that others can see how the size I made looks on my body shape.  If you are also making garments, I encourage you to do this too if you can.  I often refer back to other people’s projects to see what the sizing and fit are like.   

One of the things I would like to introduce in 2020 is tips from the Crochet Clan.  Beyond continuing to share what I have learned in the previous month, I would also like to share your top crochet or yarn tips.  Because these are a bit more involved it would be easier for me to get these via Ravelry or my email address.  So, I have started a new thread on Ravelry called Old Dog New Tricks and you can add your tips to that thread.  If you prefer, you can email me (fay@knitit-hookit-craftit.com). 

Each month, I will feature a tip from a member of our community so that we are all learning from each other and we continue the Crochet Clan spirit that our podcast is known for. 

2 – CAL Updates

#wiprip2019

The #wiprip2019 I am co-hosting with Sophie from A Spring Snowflake Podcast (link) is in full swing. 

You have from now until midnight on the 31st December to finish up or rip out some or all of your WIPs so that you go into the New Year with fewer projects.

On Instagram, you can use #wiprip2019 for chatter and #wiprip2019FO to show off your finished or frogged projects. 

Go to Sophie’s Ravelry group for chatter and the Crochet Circle Podcast group for the FO thread. 

Come and join us and together, let’s carry fewer projects into 2020.

One Skein Wonderland CAL

I was asked whether we were doing the One Skein Wonderland CAL again and I figured why not?  My plan is to make this very informal and just a lovely way of us all connecting together during the festive season and throughout January. 

You can start any, one skein crafting project from the 24th December onwards. 

3 – Final Destination

I have finished my Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild (link).  I’m used a 5mm hook and a sportweight Romney/Merino d’Arles blend from John Arbon Textiles.  This wool was a show special and is no longer available. 

It was really quick to work up because of the hook size and use of chains to create a sort of lace pattern.  I  made some changes to the pattern and have added these details to my project page on Ravelry.  Look for a pattern called “Romney Bark Jumper”.  What I would say is that this isn’t a size-inclusive pattern by any stretch of the imagination.  It covers small and large.  However, because of the pattern repeats, you can make it bigger or smaller, but you would have to do the maths yourself.

I have also finished three shawls for my latest design.  But, more on that in the future, other than to show you how the different weights are working up.

 ALT TEXT: Black background with the corners of four shawls coming in from the left.  The bottom is a duck egg light blue version on heavy laceweight, the next up is a salmon pink version in 4ply, then a mid-blue version in DK and finally a biscuit brown version in Aran.  With each shawl, you can see a defined stitch pattern and the use of filet crochet to create latticed areas.  Each of the four yarns is from John Arbon Textiles (link).

4 – En Route

I am slap-bang in the middle of a laceweight version of my latest design, so that’s taking a while! You can see it in the photo above.

I do have a project that I am just about to start though.  I was alerted to the plight of the animals that have been affected by the huge expanses of land that have been burning in Australia.  The fires have particularly affected Koala habitats and crocheted pouches are needed for joeys, possums and wombats. 

Podcast friend Mara, has created a PDF pattern on how to crochet up pouches.  You can also knit them and the wildlife charities are also in desperate need of sewn cotton liners for inside the pouches.  Don’t worry if you think that it will take you a while to crochet up some pouches.  There is an ongoing need for crocheted or knitted pouches, liners and birds’ nests.  They do need natural fibres such as wool or cotton to be used.  No acrylics and no blends because they aren’t breathable and so can’t be used.

I was looking for a charity that I could make for during the festive season and I hope to crochet quite a few pouches.  For each pouch, I also want to make 6 cotton liners because they get changed regularly throughout the day.

Crocheted pouch patterns – https://www.facebook.com/rubylovesbrains/photos/pcb.10159191872638032/10159191871513032/?type=3&theater

Knitted pouch pattern – https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-info/wildlife-factsheets/making-possum-pouches

Sewn cotton liners – https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-info/wildlife-factsheets/making-possum-pouches

Birds’ nest pattern -  https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-info/wildlife-factsheets/making-wildlife-nests

If you are unable to create something but want to help in some way, donations are also being accepted by WIRES (Wildlife Rescue (link)).

All donated items should be sent to Jacqui Fink, who is matching items up with the volunteers animal carers and organisations who need them. Her details are:

Jacqui FinkPO Box 126,Balgowlah NSW 2093Australia

ARRINGAH MALL

NSW  2100

I have also been working on a knitted jumper called Strandir by Hulda Hákonardóttir (link).  I am using Icelandic yarn from Alafoss.  The 'Light Ash' coloured Plotulopi wool comes in plates (link) and I am using Einband wool that was naturally dyed by Hespa for the contrast (link) and is a blue/green colour.   

ALT TEXT: Black background with my folded up version of Strandir jumper.  The main body is in a very light heathered grey colour and it has contrast bubbles at the cuffs and neckline in a blue/grey.  To the right is a leftover plate of Plotulopi with a broken strand to show how friable the wool roving is.

5 – Feeding the Habit

I have some yarn to share with you!  For the first time ever, I found indie acid-dyed yarn in Iceland.  By chance, I came across a yarn shop in Selfoss and there was a small amount of yarn from ‘From the Shire’ yarns (link).  I bought a couple of skeins of a colourway that reminded me of my trip – basically snow, yellow snow poles and tarmac.  These skeins are destined to become part of a design.  The colourway is Betri Helmingurinn and it’s 75% SW Merino and 25% nylon 100g/425m. 

Last weekend I was haring around the country doing various yarny things.  On Saturday I went down to an event in Bristol called Flock.  It is arranged by the husband and wife team that is Claire and Jonathan of BirdStreetUK/Mr. b yarns (link).

It’s a lovely gathering of knitters and crocheters in a community hall.  People go there to craft together and purchase from the pop-up shops.  You can usually buy Mr.b yarns there and Claire’s project bags and they invite another company from the yarn industry to come and join them for a trunk show.  This time, Rachael from Cat and Sparrow Yarns (link) was there. 

I bought two skeins if her Sweater Weather DK wool in colourway Grape.  It’s a gorgeous blend of 75% BFL and 25% Masham.  I have used this blend before in a 4 ply weight and it’s beautiful to crochet with.  The yarn is 240m/100g and really squishy.

ALT TEXT: Black background with the bottom of two skeins of very plump and squishy wool.  The skeins are both a semi-solid purple colour with a very obvious and lovely twist to the yarn.

On Sunday I headed over to the RiverKnits studio (link) for a yarn dyeing workshop.  I had so much fun!  The workshop was all about mixing colours and having a rainbow of 12 mini skeins at the end of it.  Of course, I wanted a dirty rainbow – I am definitely not of the pastels persuasion! We had a really lovely group of five of us and all came out with different strengths of rainbow minis. 

ALT TEXT: A group of five women proudly show off their rainbow mini skeins.  Each is different, ranging from extremely bright to mucky rainbows and almost everything in-between.  We are all wearing lots of woollies because it was chilly.

ALT TEXT: Black background with a rainbow of twelve mini skeins hanging from a twig.  From L-R the colours are bluey purple, indigo blue, teal, jade green, moss green, poppy lime green, dirty mustard, orangey-brown, rusty fox, warm red, pinky-red and pinky purple. 

I am very pleased with mine, especially the Rusty Fox colour that I was determined to create.  I’m not sure what I am going to design with it yet, but they are going to be paired with a stormy grey to make a crochet design. 

The workshop was a little treat for another year of podcasting, running the shop and designing.  I already had a healthy level of respect for the dyers that I consider to be true artists.  After the workshop, that respect increased massively – it’s really difficult to get to the colours you have in your head.

Becci and Markus will be running more workshops in 2020, so if you are interested in going to one, sign up to the newsletter on their website because that is where you will hear about it first.

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – There will be more than two Hook Ups in December:

Saturday 14th  at 8 pm (GMT) and Sunday 15th at 9 am GMT.

Wednesday 25th December from 11 am until 2 pm (GMT) and Thursday 26th from 9 am until 12 pm (GMT). 

The Christmas Day and Boxing Day sessions have been added because I know that some of you are looking forward to a festive Hook Up.  I will be there at the start of the session and then might dip in and out.  Each session will go on for three hours and other folks will likely come in and out during that time. 

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

If you are joining on your phone or tablet you will likely need to download the software in advance.  If you are joining from a PC or Mac, you can join via the link above.  Everyone needs to use the same ID number to get into the session. 

2 – The next podcast is episode 50!  I am delighted to have been podcasting for this long and to have consistently put a podcast out on the first Friday for that long. 

To mark the fact that it’s episode 50, I wondered about introducing a new topic just for this podcast.  The idea is that you can ask me any questions and I will give you the answer in Episode 50.  If you like the idea and want to ask a question, you can leave a question in the YouTube dropdown box or in Podbean, or leave a question in the Instagram grid story for Episode 49 (this is easier for me to find than you sending me a dm). 

It doesn’t matter if there aren’t any questions, I will be recording a podcast anyway.

3 – I have now added all of my electronic patterns (crochet UK terminology, crochet US terminology and knitting) to my Etsy shop FayDHDesigns (link).  This means that all of my patterns are now available on Ravelry (link), Etsy and from my shop website (link). 

7 - J’adore

This can only really be about my trip to Iceland.  I had a great time with my Dad.  We stayed in four different locations and did a lot of travelling, moving from the SW corner all the way to the East and then up to the North and back again for our flight back. 

You can see snapshots of my trip on the grid on Instagram as I crocheted my way across the island. 

Iceland is an amazing country to visit and if you are thinking about going there, I thoroughly encourage you to go to some of the places that are beyond the usual Golden Circle tourist route – there is so much more to the country.    

I particularly enjoyed when we happened across a herd of reindeer up in the mountain pass as we were driving north.  They were magical to watch, as were the moonrises and sunsets. 

Also, my Dad has asked me to knit him an Icelandic yoked jumper.  He chose the wool while we were out there and I have already made a start on it.  I’ll show it off more in the January podcast.

I’ll be back on January 3rd 2020.  Have a fab festive season!

Fay x

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Dec 06 2019

1hr 19mins

Play

Episode 48 - Barking up the right tree

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 48 – Barking up the Right Tree  

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay awhile.  

In this episode, I cover Losing your Cro-jo; WIP RIP 2019; Final Destination; En Route; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

This podcast is also a supporter of BIPOC in Fibre, a group of amazing people that set up a crowdfunding project to create a website/project to "become a vital, interactive resource that will increase the profiles of all the BIPOC makers listed and show the true diversity that exists in our community."  If you would also like to support the project, you can do so by clicking here

1 – Cro-jo

I popped some questions up onto a post on Instagram.  I was curious to know what made people lose their crochet mojo and what they have done to get it back.

I deliberately asked the question in October because I suspected that the pressure of making crocheted/crafted presents for a Christmas deadline would be one of the main reasons.  I wasn’t wrong.

Thank you to everyone that came back to tell me their stories.  I have compiled them into categories and listed them out below.  If you want to read some wider thinking around this topic, I created a ‘Lost your crojo’ blog post on it (link).

The main reasons for people losing their love of crochet or crafting were:

  • Current skill levels don’t match what they want the finished object to look like or stops them from tackling next level patterns.
  • Deadline crocheting – particularly for Christmas or teacher presents.
  • Summer months – either too hot or you are off doing other things because of the daylight.
  • Too many WIPs.
  • Big life changes such as births, deaths, weddings, house moves, relationship issues, country moves.
  • Projects that are in the naughty corner because something needs to be fixed, there are long, boring sections or the project just overall feels like a chore!
  • Being new to the craft and not yet knowing what you like to make.

Here are some of the suggestions for how to get your crojo back:

  • If you are on Instagram, look up crochet related hashtags to get inspiration and see what others are up making.  Try searching for crochet in different languages such as 'haken' so that you see what is popular in different parts of the world.
  • Choose a really quick project that you can finish in one sitting.  The dopamine hit that you get from finishing a project shouldn't be underestimated.
  • Look back at your Ravelry project pages or go through your handmade wardrobe.  Remind your self of all the beautiful things you have made and how far you have developed your skills.
  • Have a selection of WIPs.  One for quiet times that needs a bit of concentration, one for watching the TV or reading that requires very little concentration and one the will fly off your hook so that your brain gets that dopamine hit.
  • Do just a couple of rows.  Even one stitch is one stitch further...

In the blog post, I also talk through my Worthy Decision Ladder which helps me work through who I spend my precious making time on.

2 – CAL Updates

The #wiprip2019 I am co-hosting with Sophie from A Spring Snowflake Podcast (link) is in full swing.

You have from now until midnight on the 31st December to finish up or rip out some or all of your WIPs so that you go into the New Year with fewer projects.

On Instagram, you can use #wiprip2019 for chatter and #wiprip2019FO to show off your finished or frogged projects. 

Go to Sophie’s Ravelry group for chatter and the Crochet Circle Podcast group for the FO thread. 

Come and join us and let’s carry fewer projects into 2020.

3 – Final Destination

My monogamous crafting is continuing!  Whilst it means that I don’t have as much to talk about on the podcast month by month, what it actually means is that I get projects finished and I’m not building up piles of WIPs.

I have a couple of finished objects to show off.   The first was a really quick make – a crocheted headband, ready for my impending trip to Iceland.  The pattern is by Ami from Hook of Love (link to Ravelry and link to her website) and it’s called “Minta Hat Headband Earwarmer”.

It needed just 35g of an aran/worsted weight yarn and a 6mm hook.  I chose some Brigantia Luxury Aran from my stash in colourway 4c4.  It’s 100% British wool, spun in Yorkshire and 140m/100g.  Sadly, Brigantia wool is no longer available to buy. 

ALT TEXT Photo 1: grey background with a folded piece of checked woven cashmere top left, a cake of aran weight wool top right, pink 6mm crochet hook and a crocheted headband showing back loop only dc (sc in US) squish.  The wool and headband are in a scarlet/cranberry red colour.

Photo 2: Blue background with a photo of a crocheted tank top design with open ace work in a green/yellow under a blue and white checked shirt.  To the right is the slide title "Another of Ami's designs" in a bold white font. 

My second thing off the hook is my Mya Shawl by Helda Penagary (link).  The yarn is ‘Pisces’ Yak Single Ply by Cosmic Strings (the dyers are Phu and Bea (link)) as the main skein and some Rico mohair as the dark grey background colour.   I extended the width of the shawl, changed the row count and blocked it aggressively to get the width that I wanted.  If you want to see what I did, full details are in my “Sythermort Shawl” project notes on Ravelry.   I am also entering it into Clarisabeth’s (Crochet Cakes podcast) Mischief Managed CAL (link) which finished on 31st October.

ALT TEXT: Two photos on one slide showing the same version of the Mya Shawl.  The shawl is on a mannequin and is crocheted using a dark grey laceweight mohair with alternating stripes of a bright teal/turquoise 4 ply yarn.  The stripes are quite thin and there are 50 in total, shown off nicely in the triangular-shaped shawl.

4 – En Route

In just four short days I have managed to progress really well with my Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild (link).  I’m using a 5mm hook and a sportweight Romney/Corriedale blend from John Arbon Textiles.  This wool was a show special for Edinburgh Yarn Festival and is no longer available. 

It’s really quick to work up because of the hook size and use of chains to create a sort of lace pattern.  I suspect this will be finished by the end of this weekend and will be going straight into my suitcase for Iceland.

ALT TEXT Photo 1: Dark grey background with the beginnings of my Bark Sweater laid out with the 5mm hook and cake of wool.  The wool is a natural brown/grey colour and the pattern and texture of the crochet pattern is very obvious.  The use of front post treble stitches and chains create an ovate leaf shape throughout the jumper.

Photo 2: Blue background with a photo of the designer Sidsel Sangild.  Sidsel is in front of a dusky pink wall wearing a grey v-neck jumper and holding her right hand up in the air.  To the right is the slide title "This is Sidsel" in a bold white font. 

I have made some changes to the pattern (I can’t help myself) and will be adding these details to my project page on Ravelry.  Look for a pattern called “Romney Bark Jumper”.  What I would say is that this isn’t a size-inclusive pattern by any stretch of the imagination.  It covers small and large.  However, because of the pattern repeats, you can make it bigger or smaller, but you would have to do the maths yourself (I have added some guidance on this).

In my project notes I have also added how you can create an invisible round join and new round start.  In the picture below you would be hard pushed to see where the rounds end and start.

ALT TEXT: close up of my Bark jumper showing off how invisible the round joins and starts are.   

5 – Feeding the Habit

I have nothing to show you under Feeding the Habit.  Matthew has bought me wool for my Christmas present but that has already gone into hiding and I will share it with you in the January 2020 podcast. 

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – I have set the dates for the next few months and will stick to the 8 pm GMT/BST on a Saturday night and 9 am GMT on a Sunday morning.

The details for the next sessions are already up in the Ravelry thread, can also be found below and will be put out on Instagram in advance.

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

If you are joining on your phone or tablet you will likely need to download the software in advance.  If you are joining from a PC or Mac, you can join via the link above.  Everyone needs to use the same ID number to get into the session. 

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

2 – I had three kilted bear pins from Bernie at Bear in Sheep’s Clothing (link).  These pins are made in the UK and I love them. 

The winners are:

Instagram – theartsypescatarian

Podbean – marikaisa01

YouTube – Ana Bernardino

7 - J’adore

I have been beavering away on my knitted sock designs and needed something on in the background to keep me company.  I love the Great British Bake Off and a friend introduced me to the Great Australian Bake Off.  I am loving it.

The bakers are so talented and I really enjoy the Australian sense of humour too.  They are even allowed to swear – you didn’t get that with the BBC! 

Do other countries get their own version of Bake Off?  I need to know because I am fast running out of GABO episodes to consume.

8 – Big Up

Much love to everyone that took the time to answer my questions on crojo over on Instagram.  The input from the Crochet Clan can’t be underestimated because learning from your experiences allows me to gain greater knowledge and pull together better-informed blog posts to share with the wider community. 

I had to recently attribute some words to what I think my role is with this podcast and I chose “thought leader”.  I know that sounds a bit business and jargon-heavy, but what I’m trying to create is a podcast that is hopefully fun and informative.  I would love new crocheters to come across the podcast in 10 or 20 years time and for it to still bring value to them.   So thank you for being part of that process!

I’ll be back on December 6th.

Fay x

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Nov 01 2019

1hr

Play

Episode 47 - Tardy

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 47 – Tardy  

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay awhile.  

In this episode, I cover Old Dog New Tricks; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have a quick Ravelry tip for you this month.  This feature has always existed, but the good folk at Ravelry have now spruced up the feature a little to make the suggestions more prominent. 

If you have a favourite designer that you like and a favourite design of theirs, click into that pattern page and on the right-hand side, at the bottom of the page you will see thumbnails of suggestions for other, similar patterns and a link for “More that people also like…” which takes you through to lots of other pattern suggestions.

I think this is a really great way to search for patterns and come across new, smaller designers that may struggle to get known. 

Photo: Shows the Ravelry screen having searched for my Criss-cross pattern. 

Photo: At the bottom right-hand side some thumbnails will appear showing alternative patterns.

Photo: By clicking through to more suggestions, you will see a page of other suggested patterns that have been favourited.

2 – CAL Updates

This podcast is titled “Tardy” because that is what I have been!  If you aren’t familiar with the word, it means delaying or delayed beyond the right or expected time.  About 12 months ago I was running the #sockalong2018 and 11 months ago I should have drawn for prizes from Instagram and the FO thread that was hosted in Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats podcast group on Ravelry. 

About three months ago I found the prizes in my Stash Palace and figured I may as well wait and mark the occasion a full tardy twelve months later! 

So, if you have won a prize, I have already been in touch with you.  On Instagram, the winners were @yarn.adventurous and @fizzcrail.  Over on Ravelry, the random number generator picked Woolwoman2k8, NinaCamilleri and Stasiacrochet. 

Sorry, it has taken me this long to do the prize draw, it very much speaks to the reason why I haven’t been doing CALs this year.

That said, I am co-hosting a #wiprip2019 with Sophie from A Spring Snowflake Podcast (link) albeit, Sophie is doing most of the work because she is hosting the chatter thread over on her Ravelry Group Page.

The whole idea is that you have from now until midnight on the 31st December to finish up or rip out some or all of your WIPs so that you go into the New Year with fewer projects.

On Instagram, you can use #wiprip2019 for chatter and #wiprip2019FO to show off your finished or frogged projects. 

Go to Sophie’s Ravelry group for chatter and I will open and host the FO thread. 

From my end, these are the projects that I will be finishing up:

1 – Chapman Socks (knitted)

2 – Verity Vest (crochet)

3 – Anything else I have started and need to finish

I have less to go through because I have been trying to be quite a monogamous crafter over the last few months, but there may be projects lurking that need to be sorted out!

Come and join us and let’s carry fewer projects into 2020.

3 – Final Destination

Okay, so whilst I don’t have any finished crochet objects that I can show you, I do actually have some knitted ones.  This month I finished off two commission projects for a yarn company, but I won’t be able to show them off properly until well into next year.

However, I have been finishing up a load of knitted socks.  I quite often have a sock on the go because I leave them in yarn bowls when I am at shows to show off their potential and also to talk through my sock patterns.   

Now, instead of three single socks, I have three pairs all finished and ready to wear this winter. 

ALT TEXT: Three socks on a grey background.  Left is a striped sock in light grey, forest green, bright green, purple, steel blue and hot pink.  The middle sock is also striped and is a dark rusty copper and dark verdigris colour.  The sock on the right is cream with blips of brown, yellow, peach and blue.  This sock has a contrast cuff, heel and toe in soft peachy pink.

The colourful striped socks are in John Arbon Textiles Exmoor Sock Yarn (link).  I was using up the ends from my Kinbaine shawl (link) and Acanthium Mittens (link).  The pattern is my own and it’s called Mini Mania (link).

The copper and green Mini Mania socks are also in John Arbon Textiles Exmoor Sock Yarn but were dyed up by RiverKnits and the colours are no longer available.

The beautiful speckled pastel socks are the Pebbles and Pathways pattern by Marceline Smith (link).  In the pattern, Marce encourages you to go your own way and add your own elements and I definitely did that – mine are cuff down and I added all sorts of extra bits!  The main colour is ‘Orchard’ by Bernie at Bear in Sheep’s Clothing (link) and is 100% Corriedale with no nylon or superwash.  I will be reporting back on how well these wear.  The contrast colour was an unnamed mini by Desiree at Abercairn Yarns (link) and I think is 75% Merino and 25% nylon.

I also attended an eco-printing workshop at my local Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild.  You place leaves and flowers on pre-mordanted material, roll it up and steam it.  This sets the vegetation print onto the material with varying results and takes a lot of trial and error.  The below photos show some of the results I got.

If you are interested in the subject of Eco-Printing and creating plant-based inks, I have just listed a book in my shop by Babs Behan called "Botanical Inks" (link).

ALT TEXT: Collage of three photos. Left - a square of undyed silk with Japanese Maple, ferns and purple Heuchera leaves and flower stems laid out on a table.  Below the silk is the broom handle that he silk will be rolled onto for steaming.  Top right - cream wool fabric after steaming.  Eucalyptus leaves have left a rust orange print from the eco-printing process.  Bottom right - another sheet of silk with Japanese Maple and fern.  The second half of the silk has been placed on top to create a 'ghost' print.    

4 – En Route

The only project on my hook is the Mya Shawl by Helda Panagary (link).  This is my entry into #RhineBIPOCSweater K/CAL – I can’t link to the bundle within Ravelry, but you can get details via Lady Dye’s Instagram post (link). 

After a bit of fiddling around with hook sizes and the number of rows, I settled on using ‘Pisces’ by Cosmic Strings (the dyers are Phu and Bea (link)) as the main skein and some Rico mohair as the sort of background colour. 

I had been hoping to finish this up and be wearing the shawl as I listened to Helda do her talk on ‘Being a Crochet Designer’ at Yarndale on Saturday.  I didn’t quite manage it and settled instead for crocheting on it whilst she talked.

Had I just stuck to the pattern and not fiddled (I will never learn), then I would have had an FO.  However, because I am doing 4 rows of mohair laceweight (100m per 100g) to 2 rows of 4ply, it’s taking a little longer.  My plan is to use up all of the mohair, which I suspect will leave me with a little bit of the Cosmic Strings teal. 

My reason for fiddling is a good one though.  The pattern makes quite a deep, but short shawl and I have quite wide shoulders.  By changing the number of row repeats, I am able to make a bigger shawl that will better fit my body shape.    

I am calling it my Slythermort shawl and also entering it into Clarisabeth’s (Crochet Cakes podcast) Mischief Managed CAL (link).  I have until the 31st October to get this finished!

ALT TEXT: Image shows a dark background with a cake of a dark/dirty teal coloured yarn to the left and a flattened mohair cake of stormy grey yarn to the right.  At the fore are a blue metal crochet hook and a striped shawl in the yarn. 

5 – Feeding the Habit

Did I got to Yarndale and manage to not buy any yarn?  Yup, yes I did!  This is totally aided by the fact that I picked up two loads of yarn from vendors which is yarn support for my patterns. 

So, what did I buy instead of yarn?  I bought a knitted pattern book by Jimi Knits (link), some pin badges from Bear in Sheep's Clothing (link) and Nerdbird Makery (link) and a small sewn project bag by Border Tart (link). 

ALT TEXT: grey background with Jimi Knits A4 pattern book to the left, linen project bag with sewn scraps of blue fabric overlapping the book.  To the right are folds of soft cashmere tweed and in the fore are two pins on cards, one is the back of a polar bear wearing a kilt and the other is head and of a BIPOC knitter with yarn and knitting needles in her hair. 

I’m not really missing buying yarn.  I have so much in my stash and I am really enjoying shopping in my own Stash Palace and using up deep stash in particular.

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – I have set the dates for the next few months and will stick to the 8 pm GMT/BST on a Saturday night and 9 am GMT/BST on a Sunday morning.

The details for the next sessions are already up in the Ravelry thread, can also be found below and will be put out on Instagram in advance.

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

If you are joining on your phone or tablet you will likely need to download the software in advance.  If you are joining from a PC or Mac, you can join via the link above.  Everyone needs to use the same ID number to get into the session. 

October - Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th  

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

2 – I promised in the last podcast that I would write a quick blog on what apps and podcasts I use to help to run my business.  You can find that blogpost on my website (link).

3 – I had three copies of Eilidh’s print (link) to giveaway and the winners are:

Instagram – @craftybritabroad (Amy)

Podbean – Marce (BrownBerry Podcast)

YouTube – Patty Crochets

Well done everyone. 

4 – I did the catwalk at Perth Festival of Yarn!  It was a lot of fun and definitely showcased crocheted garments.  However, I had an epic fail on getting photos or video footage.  It was a lot of fun and luckily, Laura from The Lonely Knitter Podcast recorded it all, so you can see all of the lovely crocheted and knitted items that went down the Gala Dinner catwalk (link).

To celebrate the fact that I managed to finish my Blurred Lines jumper in time, I bought three kilted bear pins from Bernie at Bear in Sheep’s Clothing.  These pins are made in the UK and I love them.  I already own one that Bernie gave me at Perth and I thought some of you may want to try to win one too! 

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning, leave a comment on the threads of this episode of YouTube, Podbean and/or Instagram.  It’s open to everyone across the globe.  I will draw winners just before I record the November podcast.  Start your comment with “bare bear” so that I know you are entering to win.  Why bare bear?  Bears are true Scots – no knickers!

7 - J’adore

I had an absolute ball at Yarndale.  I went with a bunch of friends, we laughed, wore pyjamas for most of the weekend, drank gin and generally had a great time. 

I met lots of my lovely yarn colleagues and friends and made new friends.  Plans have been hatched, new business ideas have formed and 2020 is shaping up rather nicely. 

My sleeves are bulging with all of the ideas, projects, interviews and designs that I want to do in the coming months.   

8 – Big Up

I already mentioned that I went to see Helda give her talk at Yarndale on being a crochet designer.  Before she started her talk, she was nervous and had no reason to be.  Her talk was genuine, from the heart and fab!  Big Up Helda you were great!

Fay x

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YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

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Oct 04 2019

1hr

Play

Episode 46 - Tipsy Crocheting

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 46 – Tipsy Crocheting! 

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay awhile.  

In this episode, I cover Old Dog new tricks; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have two quickie tricks for you this month:

1 – Here is a neat little trick I learned from watching yarn dyers at work.  Have ever popped a skein of yarn onto a swift to cake up and as you start to form the cake, it snags, isn’t as smooth as it is should be and create a tighter tension in your cake than needed?  There is a very simple way around this and it involves what I can only describe as ‘snapping’ your yarn.

Once you have opened up the skein and ensured that the strands are flowing the right way, put both hands into the skein, using your upright thumbs to keep the skein on your hand, ‘snap’ the skein outwards.  This will help to realign the strands back to the way they were initially wound back in the factory.  This realignment makes it easy to get the skein onto your swift and should lead to tangle-free, even tension cakes of yarn.

2 – If you find yourself short of a locking stitch marker and desperately need to hold a stitch, check your hair.  I found myself in desperate need of a cable needle the other evening and really could not be bothered to go downstairs for it.  Instead, I used a Kirby grip/bobby pin that was in my hair.  It did the job perfectly and is great for securing stitches and being lazy!

2 – Final Destination

Sound the trumpets!  I have finished my Blurred Lines by Deanne at Addydae Designs (link).  As I record this podcast, it is Wednesday the 4th September and I am due to wear the jumper down the runway at Perth Festival of Yarn on Saturday (I will pop some pics up on Instagram Stories  (@crochet_circle_podcast) if you want to see what goes down).

I have added full project notes on Ravelry, so you can see any changes I have made. I just need to add some final photos.  

ALT TEXT: Fay stands in her dining room, in front of an open fireplace with a small table and lamp to the left.  She is looking down with hands in pockets, wearing jeans and her newly finished Blurred Lines Jumper which is a grey/teal blue main colour (top and bottom) with a middle variegated section in cream/pink with little pops of yellow, teal and blue.

I also have a couple of little things that I have crocheted up.  These are samples for the online shop and for shows.  I have started selling craft books, but only wish to sell ones that I have worked from personally and can therefore recommend.  It’s not about fads, it’s about well-written books and patterns. 

I finally managed to make something from my Crocheted Succulents book by Emma Varnam (link).  I had this book on pre-order last year but just couldn’t find a window of time to make something from it.  I crocheted up a Mexican Snowball succulent using 50g of Rowan cotton glace that I had in my stash.  It was really easy to make, and the instructions were lovely and clean.  It took me about 5 hours in total and I can see many more cacti and succulents in my future because I struggle to keep house plants alive!

ALT TEXT: Corner of the Crocheted Succulents book by Emma Varnam is in the bottom left.  In the middle sits a white pottery reused candle holder with a sage green crocheted succulent (Mexican Snowball) on top. At the bottom of the pot lies a pink crochet hook, little worm of the left over sage green cotton and a pair of snips shaped and decorated to look like a crocodile. 

Another book that has been sitting on my crafting shelves waiting for some attention is Laly Lalas Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies book (link).  Of all of the gorgeous little creatures in this book, I chose to hook up a moth!  I was working on the basis that this is the only moth that is actually allowed anywhere near my yarn!  This took me about 7 hours to make and used up lots of little odds and ends of cotton from my stash. 

ALT TEXT: Two images - both with very dark grey backgrounds.  Image one shows the Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies book by Laly Lala.  The front cover shows lots of crocheted bugs as examples and to the right of the book is the front of a moth I have crocheted up from the book.  The moth has detachable wings and har with antennae.  Image two is the back of the moth, which shows clearly that the top of the wings are off-white edged with grey cotton and the bottom is blue.  The main moth body is a green/yellow and the hat id a mustard yellow.  

It was really nice being able to quickly plough through a couple of crochet projects, even if they are small.

3 – My Life

This is not going to be a regular segment, but I thought I would just offer up a little slice of what this year has been like so far and how I dearly want the last three months to unfold. 

Most of 2019 has been spent bombing up and down the UK road and ferry network, attending yarn shows all over the place.  It had been a busy year so far which I love because I get to see so many of you Crochet Clanfolk and it really helps to put my business on the map!

The downside though is the impact that it has.  I. Don’t. Stop. 

If you have ever met me in real life, when you watch my face, you can literally see the cogs turning.  Most conversations make neurons ping in my brain and the ideas flow immediately.  My brain is always on, it is never quiet. 

As you listen and watch this podcast I will be up at the Perth Festival of Yarn – my last yarn show of 2019!  I am really excited to be vending at this show but if truthful, I am just as excited about life calming down a little.  I am planning on having a relaxing week, next week after I have counted the stock back into the shop. 

Relaxation for me means audiobooks or courses and sitting with my feet up, crafting.  I may even set myself a little crochet goal.  See what I mean?  I have already set myself a goal for my time off!  There is just no hope for me. 

When you are driving and sitting on ferries you get a lot of time to think.  My main focus for this year was ‘structure’ and I have done a lot around that for the business, podcast and design work this year which has really helped to streamline my work focus. 

My recent motorway mile shave given me time to think about what I need to concentrate on in 2020.  It feels like it will be a big year, even if it’s just because of the repetition of the numbers!  My focus for 2020 is going to be around the word ‘centre’.  It is ‘centre’ because “no” or “selfish” just felt too negative!  So, my focus is about saying no to things that other people want me to do for them, so that I can say yes to the things that I need to do for myself.  My problem is that I want to be helpful and supportive and therefore take on too much because I hate letting people down.  So, by saying no and centring back to what I need for my business, my family and me personally.     

Saying to something is never saying yes to just one thing because there are always mini-tasks that lead to that final completed yes.  My theory is that saying no to one thing is actually more like saying no to ten mini-tasks, which frees up ten things that I can then do for me or my business.  It’s not all about saying no, it’s also about focussing some time back to me and creating a strong personal core from which to work.    

Would anyone find it useful for me to write a blog post on what software I use to help with this and what podcasts I listen to for business/creative inspiration?  Ping me a message if it would be useful and I will pull something together.

So, if you need me in October, November, December 2019, I will be chilling a little, drinking more tea and hopefully doing a lot more crafting and designing. 

4 – En Route

As I record this podcast, I have no crocheted project on the go.  However, I have two that I want to start: 

The first is the Mya Shawl by Helda Panagary (link).  This is going to be my entry into #RhineBIPOCSweater K/CAL – I can’t link to the bundle within Ravelry, but you can get details via Lady Dye’s Instagram post (link).  As for the yarn that I want to use, I think I am going to crochet the shawl with ‘Orion’ by Cosmic Strings (the dyers are Phu and Bea (link)) as the main skein.  As you know, I am on a yarn ban until 21st December, so I can’t buy any mohair which is what the pattern calls for.  Instead, I took to my stash (deeeeep stash) and found some Rico mohair that I can use instead.  Whilst this isn’t strictly within the parameters of the CAL, I’m not going to break my yarn ban when I already own something suitable! 

ALT TEXT: Image one shows crochet designer, Helda Panagary standing side on in front of cream tiles, holding a  ball of dark arn in her left hand and a crochet hook in her right.  Helda looks beautiful long dark hair that curls at the bottom.  Image two shows a dark background with a skein of a dark/dirty teal coloured yarn to the left (ball band reads 'Cosmic Strings' and two flattened mohair cakes of yarn piled to the right.  These are is a very stormy grey colour.

ALT TEXT: Image three shows the same model twice, (Back and front), showing off Helda's Mya Shawl.  It is triangular and shows subtle stripes in pinks where different yarn blends have been used.  Each corner has a corresponding tastle.

I am off to Yarndale the last week of September and have a ticket to see Helda talk on Saturday afternoon.  I would love to be wearing my version of Helda’s Mya Shawl when I sit and listen to her talk on life as a crochet designer.

The second is the Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild (link). I will be using John Arbon Textiles British Breeds 80% Romney/20% Corriedale blend and a 5mm hook.  I can’t link to the wool because it was a special and only available to Mill Members on their website. I have a ridiculous self-imposed goal that maybe I could be wearing this at Yarndale too…

If I whizz through that, then I will also try to work up Claudia’s Encanto Wrap (link) which is her first-ever design!

ALT TEXT - A split image showing a very smiley Claudia from Crochet Luna on the left, wearing her first design around her neck.  The textured wrap shows stripes fo bright green and purple leading up to her neck and a more solid purple around her neck.   The second side of teh image shows the wrap on a mannequin that has a black dress on.

5 – Feeding the Habit

Still no stash additions and my Solstice to Solstice yarn ban is going well.  I am still tempted by things but have managed to just say no!

There have been other things though:

Last month I showed off a lovely print that I received in the post from Lorna (@neveratalooseend).  It was done by her daughter Eilidh (@by.eilidh on Instagram) and I love her style.  I contacted Eilidh to say that I wanted to buy some prints from her to pass to friends and unbeknown to me, some more just arrived in the post!  Needless to say, when I see Lorna at Perth Festival of Yarn, I will be passing her money to pass to Eilidh so that I can properly purchase the prints.  More on this in Quick Newsbeats.

I have started selling Yael’s crocheted necklaces in my online shop and at shows (link).  Her work is beautiful and I want to be able to support a fellow crafter.  Because Yael is naughty, she snuck a notions pouch into my order – and it’s beautiful.  Yael also makes beautiful linen project bags and I encourage you to check out her Etsy shop (link).

ALT TEXT:  Black background with a patchwork linen notions pouch in grey/browns, pink and a navy with white dashed fabric and pastel yellow zip to the top left.  Colourful print to the right in purples and corals, saying "All wool is yarn but not all yarn is wool" on a scarf that is wrapped around fibre giving animals (bison/Alpaca/goat/sheep/rabbit). Two large paper clips with material covered tops to the bottom left.  One has a black and white cat on the fabric and the other has the head of a sheep.

While I was vending at Yarnfolk in Northern Ireland, I met Jean and not only did she bring me a can of pop to keep me going in the afternoon, she also gave me two large fabric button clips.  One has a sheep on it and the other a black cat – not unlike Pom!  These are perfect for marking which page you are on in a pattern!

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – I have set the dates for the next few months and will stick to the 8 pm GMT/BST on a Saturday night and 9 am GMT/BST on a Sunday morning.

The details for the next sessions are already up in the Ravelry thread, can also be found below and will be put out on Instagram in advance.

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

If you are joining on your phone or tablet you will likely need to download the software in advance.  If you are joining from a PC or Mac, you can join via the link above.  Everyone needs to use the same ID number to get into the session. 

September - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th – NOTE THAT THIS IS A DATE CHANGE!  

October - Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th  

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

2 – Over on Instagram, I was showing off a vegan soup I was making on Stories and some of you asked for the recipe.  I have created a blog post for it (link) and it’s a really hearty spicy tomato soup that is made mainly from store cupboard ingredients.  

3 – I have three copies of Eilidh’s print (link) that I want to give away.  It looks beautiful framed (I have one up on my studio wall).  To enter, simply respond on YouTube, comment in Podbean or on Instagram.  I will draw one winner from each platform and get in touch with you to say that you have won.

4 – I still have an unclaimed prize of one of Deanne’s patterns.  Angee Stitch 78 from YouTube, you were a winner but haven’t responded, so could you please get in touch to claim your prize.

5 – I always provide links within the show notes, but sometimes people struggle to find them.  From this month onwards, anything that I talk about and provide a link for, just look for “link)” and that is where to click to get to the relevant web page.

7 - J’adore

There is a very definite Autumnal nip in the air.  I can feel my hibernation senses tingling and I am excited about woolly socks, fires, endless cups of tea and lots of crafting. 

As I said earlier, it has been a very long year so far and it’s time to take life down a few notches and recharge my batteries. 

I love the excuse to snuggle up under a blanket with an audiobook and my crochet.  Also, the colours of Autumn are my jam – I am so inspired by these few months of all things earthy!

I will be back on Friday the 4th of October.

Fay x

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Sep 06 2019

1hr

Play

Episode 45 - None (Yarn) Shall Pass

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 45 – None (Yarn) Shall Pass. 

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay a while.  

In this episode, I cover Old Dog new tricks; Perth Project Runway update; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have a quick top on how to satiate that thirst to start a new project when you still have a bit to go on an existing project.  Before you have finished the existing project, do the swatching and wet blocking for your new project. That way, if you have to play about with gauge, you have time to do that and hopefully be ready to start your new project the moment you have finished the other one. 

2 – Perth Project Runway update

Progress is going really well on my Blurred Lines by Deanne at Addydae Designs.  This is one of the best patterns I have ever worked from and the fit is really good, even though I came down to a 3mm hook. 

I have been keeping my project notes up to date on Ravelry, so you can see any changes I have made.  

I am currently working on the sleeves even though I haven’t yet finished the main body.  I have chosen to do this because I have now finished using the contrast colour on the main body, which freed up the yarn to do the sleeves.  I find it bulky and cumbersome to add sleeves when you have the near full weight of a jumper and you are constantly moving it about to complete the short rounds of the sleeves.  So, I am doing the sleeves before I finish the rest of the body.  This also means that I won’t be stranded on sleeve island!

The other thing I would like to highlight and encourage you to do is swatch with your different cakes of the same yarn.  Even is the same colourway is from the same batch, there can still be differences.  By swatching with all of them, you will quickly see if there is a difference and whether you need to alternate skeins in your project.  This is particularly applicable to garment making.

As I mentioned in the podcast. there is a slight but noticeable difference between two of my contrast colour skeins and it seems very likely I will have to rip back about 350m of crochet.  

Will this be finished for Perth Festival of Yarn?  Hell yeah!

ALT TEXT: Blurred Lines jumper progress is shown on an old mannequin   Semi tonal blue yarn with a real halo to it and it’s called ‘Sprucey Bonus’ because it is the colour of the underside of a Spruce Tree.  It is paired with a yarn called ‘Sulk’ and is on an ecru pink base with small patches of teal blue, acid yellow, sea green and plummy purples.   You can see the difference betweek the two variegated skeins.

Remember that there is a very informal MAL.  You have from now until 7th September to make or finish off a garment.  WIPs are allowed, it can be in any craft and any garment pattern, you just need to use the #crochetcirclemal and I have also opened a Ravelry thread for you to add to.

3 – Final Destination

I only have one FO to show you.  By the time you hear and see this podcast, I will be busy setting up my stand ay Yarnfolk festival in Northern Ireland.  I was fortunate enough to be asked to create a crochet design for the festival and came up with Kinbaine.  I talked about it in Episode 43 and showed off the saturated colour version. 

I wanted to make a second version using just two colours and used a collaboration yarn between John Arbon Textiles and RiverKnits.  This yarn has now sold out and the shawl is with Becci and Markus at RiverKnits, but I can at least show you the shawl and the yarn colours caked up. 

ALT TEXT:  White background with a vintage mannequin covered in the Kinbaine shawl.  The shawl is thick stripes, using two different semi-variegated colours.  The main colour is copper and the contrast is green with hints of teal and brown.

Kinbaine is now live on Ravelry and up on my website.  It’s the standard price on Ravelry and I have the pay what you can option on my website. 

4 – En Route

Monogamous me means that I am just working on the Blurred Lines jumper at the moment as a personal project, but taking my own words of advice, I have swatched for a new crocheted garment – the Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild. 

I tested out the John Arbon Textiles British Breeds 80% Romney/20% Corriedale blend on a 6mm and a 5mm hook to see which gave the best stitch definition and gauge for the project.  I definitely preferred the 5mm hook stitch definition and also as a size of hook I my hand.  The 6mm just felt a bit cumbersome and slow. 

The swatch is now dry and now I can work out what size of Bark Sweater I need to make and whether I want to make any alterations.

ALT TEXT:  Black background with a ball of wool top right in a mushroom brown colour.  In the foreground is a crocheted swatch showing lines of front post treble crochet and chains that make up a bark pattern.  This is the swatch for my Bark Sweater.

5 – Feeding the Habit

My Solstice to Solstice yarn ban is going well.  I have been tempted by things but have given myself a good talking to and remembered why I am doing this!  I have enough yarn!  I actually feel a little overwhelmed by how much yarn I have and all the things I want to make with it. 

So, there have been no stash additions this month and I am clearly working my way through some of the garment quantities that I have bought recently, which is great. 

Whenever I see something that I *must have, I pop it into a list and if I still feel that way about it on 21st December 2019, then it may be a contender for my first skein after six months of no yarn. 

So whilst I haven’t bought anything, I did receive a lovely print through the post from Lorna (@neveratalooseend).  It was done by her daughter Eilidh (@by.eilidh on Instagram) and I love her style.  I suggest checking out both of their accounts.  Lorna also has a blog which is jam-packed, full of the many, many crafts she does.  I am hoping to see Lorna when I am at Perth Festival of Yarn.

ALT TEXT: Black background with a pink, coral and purple print featuring goats, sheep, alpacas and rabbits.  Text is placed over the animals saying “all wool is yarn but not all yarn is wool”.

I was also given a lovely watercolour painting by Charlie (@love.charlie) for my birthday present.  It's a particulat view that I love - Glencoe.

ALT TEXT: Framed painting in soft greens and blues.  Deep sides of a grassy glen with a road and a small cottage.  Clouds in a blue sky.

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – I have set the dates for the next six months and will stick to the 8 pm GMT/BST on a Saturday night and 9 am GMT/BST on a Sunday morning.

The details for the next sessions are already up in the Ravelry thread, can also be found below and will be put out on Instagram in advance.

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

If you are joining on your phone or tablet you will likely need to download the software in advance.  If you are joining from a PC or Mac, you can join via the link above.  Everyone needs to use the same ID number to get into the session. 

August - Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th

September - Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd  

October - Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th  

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

2 – The ‘Healthy Crochet’ interview with Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health is now live.  I have been getting great feedback from people on it – so thank you for that.  Video version is here and the audio version is here.

3 – I have a giveaway for two tickets for the Southern Wool Show on the 31st August and the 1st September at Newbury Raceground.  If you want to be in with a chance of winning, leave me a comment in the show notes or on YouTube starting with the words Southern Wool Show. I will pick a random winner on the 9th August.  I will also be vending at the show, so do come and see me for a hug if you are coming.

7 – Big UP

There is an amazing collaboration between Lady Dye Yarns (Diane will be vending at Perth Festival of Yarn) and Jasmin from the Knitmore Girls.  To create some proper inclusion at Rhinebeck (New York Sheep and Wool Festival) they have devised the #RhineBIPOCsweater CAL/KAL.  There is a massive bundle of designs to choose from in a Ravelry bundle.  You can filter that bundle to show just crocheted designs and every single design has been created by a BIPOC designer.  You use or buy yarn from a BIPOC dyer/ producer and ideally in the following colours: purple, green, blue, golden yellow, and black.

Use the #RhineBIPOCSweater and show off your make and support for inclusivity with pride!

I will be crocheting up some form of garment and looking to my stash to promote BIPOC/BAME dyers that I have already purchased from.  The festival is on the 19th and 20th October, so although the dates of the CAL/KAL haven’t been nailed down yet, but working towards the 19th of October is a good call.

Our friend Claudia from the Crochet Luna podcast has started a twitch channel.  Twitch is an interactive platform and you can interact with Claudia when she is on her twitch channel doing crochet.  You can send her messages and links and she can respond live.  The sessions stay online, so if you wanted to join her or go back to old videos and have somebody crochet alongside you, then it’s perfect. 

I didn’t have to set up an account, I could just go straight into twitch and search for Crochet Luna.  It’s never a bad thing to sit and spend time with Claudia!

I will be back on Friday the 6th of September.

Fay x

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Aug 02 2019

1hr 2mins

Play

Healthy Crochet Interview with Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health

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Hello!

It has been a while since I released an interview episode and I think this one is really helpful.  I had great fun chatting with Lyndsey outside in my back garden.  That does mean that there are some background noises (breeze, birds tweeting, and aggressive magpie and a small child singing down the lane).  Nonetheless, this interview is full of great tips on how to keep your self healthy while you crochet and craft.

PLEASE NOTE

The information contained within this interview is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.

Here are the links to the resources Lyndsey (https://www.phoenixoh.uk/) spoke of:  

Hand and wrist exercises.. https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/adult_health/sma_wrist_tendonitis_exercises/

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/muscle-bone-and-joints/exercises/exercises-for-wrist-hand-and-finger-problems

http://www.relievus.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Hand-and-Wrist-Exercises.pdf

https://ahpsuffolk.co.uk/Portals/1/Documents/Exercise%20Sheets/Wrist%20and%20Hand%20Pain.pdf

Exercises to manage all sorts of pains https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/managing-symptoms/exercise/exercises-to-manage-pain/

Exercises for lower back https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/lower-back-pain-exercises/

Lovely viewer Claudia watched this interveiw and recommended the follwoing: "I find it very helpful and relaxing to use gel frio relax from Naturales Canarias.... a gel which cools, relax the muscles and helps against pain and inflammation with aloe, arnica, devil‘s claw , camphor and menthol. The devil‘s claw is very good against arthritis. We all use it in the family when we feel a bit stiff or have neck and shoulder pain."

So, you may want to give Naturales Canarias a try.

Fay x

Jul 23 2019

49mins

Play

Episode 44 - Go Garment Go

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 44 – Go Garment Go. 

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay a while. 

In this episode, I cover Old Dog new tricks; Perth Project Runway update; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

Have you ever looked to buy a skein of variegated yarn and struggled to see how it might look crocheted up?  I know that work has been done on how stocking stitch knits up and it’s because of SpaceCadet’s brilliant blogpost that I am doing this work for crochet.

Many yarn dyers have samples of their yarns knitted up but fewer do that same for crochet.  I am pleased to report though that this is changing and more crochet is being sighted as swatches and samples at the yarn shows I am attending.  We are having a positive impact!

Reading a skein of variegated could really help you to work out whether it is going to work for you or not.  I have done some of the work for you, but if you really want an accurate gauge, you need to do some swatching too!  I have written and illustrated this for you in a blog post: 'How to read a skein of variegated yarn for crochet'.

As a rough guide, here is how many centimetres each stitch takes in 4 ply and DK, my favourite two weights of yarn:

4 ply/light fingering weight dc (US sc) uses about 3 - 3.5cm per stitch using a 3mm hook

4 ply/light fingering weight htr (US hdc) uses about 4.5 - 5cm per stitch using a 3mm hook

4 ply/light fingering weight tr (US dc) uses about 6 – 6.5cm per stitch using a 3mm hook

DK dc (US sc) uses about 5cm per stitch using a 4.5mm hook.

DK htr (US hdc) uses about 7cm per stitch using a 4.5mm hook.

DK tr (US dc) uses about 9cm per stitch using a 4.5mm hook.

So, next time you are thinking about buying a variegated yarn in person, you can measure the length of each colour change (you will need to take a little measuring tape with you) to see whether the colour changes are right for you.

As a general rule, I prefer variegated yarns with quick colour changes for crochet.  I think that it leads to a nicer looking, more cohesive finished project.  You may prefer otherwise, and either way, it’s good to understand where your preference lies so that you buy yarn that you are more likely to want to use. 

Please don’t just walk into a yarn shop or to a yarn vendor at a show and start opening out their skeins of yarn.  If you ask them nicely, they will most likely be happy for you un-skein the yarn and take a look at it.  Often there are hidden colours inside anyway that you may not see when it is all twisted up. 

2 – Perth Project Runway update

The votes are now closed on the five garments that I short-listed (I have kept the list below in case you want to take another look at them).  The top that won by one vote (between Instagram and Ravelry votes counted at midnight on Thursday 13th June) was Blurred Lines by Deanne at Addydae Designs.  This was a pattern that was suggested time and time again by many of you and so I am unsurprised that it came out as the favourite.  The Citizen Pullover by Kabila Sri Punnusamy (Tunisian crochet) was the next favourite.

ALT TEXT: Blurred Line jumper is being worn outside.  It is a light grey with a

faded core down the trunk and arms of a light grey/teal variegated yarn.

ALT TEXT: Citizen Pullover is being worn outside beside a city building.  It is a light grey with coral pink stripes running on diagonals.  Quite a long pullover with short sleeves.

1 – Citizen Pullover by Kabila Sri Ponnusamy

2 – Liza Pullover by Yuliya Tkacheva

3 – Blurred Lines by Addydae Designs

4 – Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild

5 – Bruni Top by Elven Handmade

On the Friday of Woollinn Festival of Yarn I scooted over the marquee to see Bernie at Bear in Sheep's Clothing to choose a variegated yarn to go with the teal blue that she had custom dyed for me.  This was the day that Bernie was launching this new base which is called Corrie Halo (50% Corriedale and 50% Mohair).   

ALT TEXT: Semi tonal blue yarn with a real halo to it and it’s called ‘Sprucey Bonus’ because it is the colour

of the underside of a Spruce Tree.  It is paired with a yarn called ‘Sulk’ and is on an ecru pink

base with small patches of teal blue, acid yellow, sea green and plummy purples.   

I know that when Stasia made her version of Blurred Lines, it took three weeks and she was working on it almost constantly.  Although I have until the 6th September to get this jumper crocheted, it’s still going to be a tall order with all of the other things I have going on at the moment.

The lovely Catherine asked whether I was going to host a make along for this project.  I wasn’t but I am now!  It’s all very informal and you have from now until 7th September to make or finish off a garment.  WIPs are allowed, it can be in any craft and any garment pattern, you just need to use the #crochetcirclemal and I have also opened a Ravelry thread for you to add to.

3 – Final Destination

I only have one FO to show you, my latest version of the Arria shawl.  I finally finished this just before I headed up to Cumbria to vend at Woolfest last weekend. 

This version is in John Arbon Textiles Harvest Hues (4ply/light fingering 400m/100g) in shades Russet and Blue Spruce and I am loving the shawl in solid colours.

ALT TEXT:  White background with a vintage mannequin covered in the Arria shawl.  It has a deep V front with dark petrol blue triangle segments running in a spine up the centre of the shawl.  The rest of the shawl is in a russet brown/orange colour. 

4 – En Route

Monogamous me means that I am just working on the Blurred Lines jumper at the moment as a personal project.  There is a design project on the go at the moment but I will show you that in a future episode. 

So, for the next couple of episodes, it may just be all about Blurred Lines because it needs up to 600g of 4 ply yarn  - that’s 2,400m of yarn to crochet! 

So, here’s my progress so far.  I have completed the neck ribbing and the second round of increases.  I keep on trying the project on to make sure it fits nicely.  If you are interested in making one of these, I am making notes for each stage that I pass through in my Ravelry project.  If you want to take a look, simply search for ‘Perth Project Runway Blurred Lines’ under projects.  I will also be adding updates to Ravelry.

ALT TEXT: The collar and beginnings of a yolk in a mid teal blue sit on a grey background.  To the right is 

a small ball of the same coloured yarn and above is a cake of the variegated pinky/ecru yarn which is the contrast colour.

I am hoping to get to the contrast colour in the next couple of days and am intrigued to see how the variegated skein will work up.

Deanne, the designer of Blurred Lines is an absolute star and has offered up some free patterns.  To be in with a chance of winning one of her brilliantly written patterns, simply leave a comment in YouTube, Ravelry (there is a specific thread called Garment Make Along in time for Perth Festival of Yarn) or on the Instagram post for Episode 44 over @crochet_circle_podcast

5 – Feeding the Habit

Oooh, it has been a bit of a month and all of my purchases probably seem ridiculous, but I have plans, oh yes, I have plans!! Mwahahahahahahaaaa!

My biggest plan of all is that I have signed up to a solstice to solstice yarn ban with a friend.  So, design yarn aside, I won’t be buying any yarn until the winter solstice on the 21st December.    In 2017 I only bought design yarn, so know that I can manage 6 months.  It is time to work through some of my stash!

ALT TEXT: Two handmade bags on a grey background.  The one on the left has a deep brown base and the top is bold autumnal coloured flowers and seed heads with a drawstring.  Little balls of different coloured fibres are spilling out of the top and some ocean-inspired stitch markers are nearby.  The bag to the right has a material handle and is cream with shop fronts of cafes and coffee shops.

These two bags were lovely gifts from friends.  Marceline and I agreed way back at Edinburgh Yarn Festival to do a bag swap as we both aim to improve our machine sewing skills.  The date was set for when she was over vlogging Woollinn Festival of Yarn. You can catch up with Marce’s trip to Dublin and the festival from her YouTube Channel.  While I was vending at this festival – one of the friendliest I have ever been to – I was also given a bag by Sophie from A Spring Snowflake Podcast.  I am so spoiled!

Then there is some yarn!  I have been at the John Arbon Open Mill Weekend, Woollinn Festival of Yarn and Woolfest in the last month.  Here is what has come in.  The John Arbon wool is a mill special; before the open weekend they spin various colours together, so they are one-offs and sometimes move into a bit of a fade.  I bought a jumper’s worth of this in a 4 ply and it will fade from a blue and cream into teal and cream. I also have a jumper’s quantity of the undyed Romney that I initially bought for my knitted Canisp jumper.  I finished Canisp and the shape didn’t look right on me but looked fab on Juliet and she insisted on replacing the finished jumper with the means for me to make myself another. The Romney Sportweight is now destined to become a Bark Sweater which will be my next crocheted garment after I have finished Blurred Lines. 

ALT TEXT: Four skeins of marled yarn on a grey background.  The skeins are all marled with a grey/cream but fade from teal to blue.

ALT TEXT: THree skeins of a mushroom brown wool lie on a grey background.  The labels have sheep on them and sat Romney.  The twist of the yarn is obvious and squishy.

At Woollinn I picked up a couple of skeins for a one-skein shawl design that I am working on.  The first is a beautiful blend of Alpaca and silk from Tara at Irish Artisan Yarns.  I love that Tara is inspired by the colours of her home turf of the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland.  The second is a skein of Alpa-Si-Li (50% Alpaca, 25% silk, 25% linen) in colourway Passion, by Dye Dye Done.  I was vending along from both of these lovely vendors at Woollinn which was an absolute delight.  Dye Dye Done is a husband and wife team.  Hanna is an extremely talented knitwear designer and Daniel is the yarn dyer – what a duo!  They also have vegan yarns.    

ALT TEXT: Grey background with a skein of pale, delicate and luxurious yarn at the front from Irish Artisan Yarns.  It is pink, purple and grey. 

Behind it sits a ball of yarn with the tail pulled forward.  It's plummy purple/scarlet with silver slivers running through it.

On our way up to Woolfest in Cumbria, we stopped off at Blackwell Arts and Crafts House.  It is a stunning example of arts and crafts architecture and interior design and well worth a visit.  It’s right beside Lake Windermere.  While I was there, I picked up a Japanese book on embroidery called ‘Simply Stitched’ by Yumiko Higuchi which is stuffed full of beautiful projects that you can use odds and ends of wool and cotton for. 

ALT TEXT: Grey background with the 'Simply Stitched' book lying flat.  The front cover shows

examples of embroidery motifs (trees, flowers, a chicken), all sewn with wool thread. 

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – I have set the dates for the next six months and will stick to the 8 pm GMT/BST on a Saturday night and 9 am GMT/BST on a Sunday morning.

The details for the next sessions are already up in the Ravelry thread, can also be found below and will be put out on Instagram in advance.

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

If you are joining on your phone or tablet you will likely need to download the software in advance.  If you are joining from a PC or Mac, you can join via the link above.  Everyone needs to use the same ID number to get into the session. 

July – Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st

August - Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th

September - Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd  

October - Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th  

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

2 – The good folk behind The Craft Bank on Ravelry, Lisa and Sophie are hosting a gift-along.  You just need to go to The Craft Bank Group on Ravelry and fill in the very quick online survey that is linked and then you will be paired up with a partner.  I have already signed up, so some lucky, lucky soul will be getting a dodgy project bag from me…

3 –  I have a handful of yarn shows left that I am vending at in 2019 and the next one to let you know about is Yarnfolk in Northern Ireland on Saturday 3rd of August.  It’s a one-day show in Whitehead (accessible via train from Belfast) and is such a friendly show.  This will be my third year vending there, which says a lot really.

7 – J’adore

While I was up in the Lake District with my friend Annabel, our lovely hosts Sarian and Andrew took us for a picnic to Derwent Water.  It was a cracking evening by the lakeshore and I went swimming! In the lake!

ALT TEXT: A lake with mountains in the background.  Some stones are in the foreground with various people

out swimming and a man and his dog on a paddle board.  I am one of the swimmers!

I am now a little obsessed with the idea of wild swimming.  It wasn’t as cold as you might think!  My very lovely Papa Bear has asked me to go to Iceland with him in November, so I see a lot of trips to geothermal plunge pools and outdoor pools in my future. 

I will be back on Friday the 2nd of August.

Fay x

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Jul 05 2019

1hr 6mins

Play

Episode 43 - Monogamous Me

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 43 – Monogamous Me.

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay a while. 

In this episode, I cover Old Dog new tricks; Perth Project Runway update; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats, Big Up and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have recently been on a frogging spree.  I had a few things in my wardrobe (crocheted and knitted) that I just wasn’t wearing and I know I can put the yarn to better use.  So, I frogged a cowl and a top.

When you do this, the resulting yarn has kinks in it.  These kinks are the memory that was crocheted in – and it tends to remain in the yarn.  From experience, it is much better to freshen the yarn up before you use it again.  I once knitted a pair of socks from a sock blank and even though they have been worn and washed many times, the fabric still shows the kinks and I’m not that fond of them because of it.

So, to get around that, here is what I suggest you do with your frogged yarn:

1 – Re-skein it.  I use the back of two dining chairs to create the circular loops that make up a skein.  You could also use an umbrella swift if you have one, but I find it just as easy to use chairs.

2 – Make sure you tie your skein ends together and place a tie in at least one other place around the skein to stop it getting tangled. 

3 – Submerge your skein in water.  I would usually add a wool wash to this so that I am giving the yarn a clean at the same time.  After about 20 minutes, take the skein out of the water and squeeze out as much excess yarn as possible.

4 – Hang your skein out to dry.  This is best done outside because it will drip.  I pop the skein onto an s-hook and hang it from my washing line.

5 – To get all of the kinks out, attach something heavy to the bottom of the skein with another s-hook.  I used one of our camping torches as a weight.

I tested two skeins in this manner, one with a weight and one without.  The skein without the weight still had some little kinks in it – but it was linen which I often find has kinks in it.  The skein that was weighed down is lovely and kink-free.

Here’s a link to a tutorial video from HueLoco on how she re-skeins and ties her yarn.

I have another quick trick for you.  It seems that many, many, many of us didn’t know about the little cone that can be detached from Gutterman thread bobbins.  If you look at the bobbin, you will see that there is an extra bit at one end.  That end can be twisted off and inside you can store your needle and thread or trap down the loose end!  I know.  It’s actual magic!

2 – Perth Project Runway update

Thank you to everyone that gave suggestions for a garment that I could crochet for Perth Festival of Yarn and the catwalk.  The suggestions were fantastic and I have pulled them all into a bundle on Ravelry for you to look at. 

I looked at all of them and created a shortlist of five:

1 – Citizen Pullover by Kabila Sri Ponnusamy

2 – Liza Pullover by Yuliya Tkacheva

3 – Blurred Lines by Addydae Designs

4 – Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild

5 – Bruni Top by Elven Handmade

ALT TEXT: Photos L-R show the five different Designs

1 - Citizen Pullover has a main colour of light grey with diagonal stripes  in both directions in a dark coral.  Short sleeves.

2 - Liza Pullover - all in grey with a grid like/basket weave construction and short sleeves.

3 - Blurred Lines has main colour at the top and bottom in a light grey and fades into a central yarn of variegated teal and grey through bust, waist and arms.  

4 - Bark Sweater is in a light grey and has clear open/ lace sections that are leaf shaped.

5 - Bruni Top is in a dusky pink and is lacy all over with a hollow at the base of the back and ties at the base.

Now we are ready for the next stage – you get to vote which garment wins.  I have created a thread in Ravelry and will pop a poll up on Instagram during the weekend.  Whichever pattern is chosen, that is the pattern I will crochet for the show.  So, get voting!  It’s a short vote because I will be getting the yarn from Bernie at Bear in Sheep's Clothing when I see her at Woollinn Yarn Festival on the 14th of June.   

3 – Final Destination

I have been a monogamous crafter of late.  My work-life is pretty full on at the moment and I know that having lots of WIPs fogs my mind, so I have been trying to only have one crochet and one knitting project on that go at any one time.  It’s amazing how quickly you get through projects when you just concentrate on them one at a time!

Part of what spurred me on with this is that it has taken me eight (!) months to complete my Fallen Leaves socks and I have quite a lot of guilt attached to that.

ALT TEXT: A pair of socks on a grey background.  They are crocheted from the same pattern which has a waffle type effect. The sock on the left is a light blue with pops of green and grey.  The sock on the right is a bright raspberry pink and some striping can be seen where the skein has slightly darker patches. 

The pattern is by Vicki Brown and I used two different yarns from Kathryn at Crafternoon Treats.  The pink is called Darkly Raspberry and it’s a non-superwash blend of 80% Corriedale and 20% nylon.  The blue speckled one is called Forest Skies and is Superwash, 80% Corriedale and 20% nylon.  I deliberately did the other sock in the same pattern but using a different base from Kathryn so that I could investigate any differences with superwash and non-superwash and durability.  I have enough yarn in both colours left to knit a pair of socks (also different colours) so that I can test the yarn for knitted socks too. 

I am always on the lookout for yarns that are suitable for socks and aren’t super-wash or have a reduced nylon content. 

The second item I finished was the latest version of Doppio Colosseum in the birthday yarn colourway ‘The Moor’ that RiverKnits dyed up for Kate at Northern Yarn in Lancashire.  This is proper woolly wool – it’s a Poll Dorset breed (Jennett 4 ply is Poll Dorset Lambswool) and it has a real plumpy squish to it and because of that, I moved up to a 3.5mm hook so that the fabric didn’t become dense and rigid.  This shawl will be heading up to Northern Yarn next week or so, so if you are ever in there, you will be able to give it a squish.

My final FO is a new shawl design that I have been working on.  This will be my third year vending at Yarnfolk in Whitehead Northern Ireland.  Louse runs the show and also has a gorgeous yarn shop – Lighthouse Yarns, in the middle of town.

ALT TEXT:  The tip of a striped shawl in three colours (dark stormy blue, raspberry pink and seaweed green). 

At the end of each colour stripe is a point, representing a rooftop.

At the end of the festival last year, Louise got talking about crochet designs for the 2019 festival and she asked whether I would like to do one.  Well, I have never known so many crocheters as there are in Whitehead (far more crocheters than knitters in fact), so it is a complete honour to be able to create a pattern for the festival. 

I decided on a shawl because almost every crocheter I know loves a shawl, but I also wanted to represent the town of Whitehead in some way.  Whitehead is a Victorian seaside town and has pretty coloured houses along the shorefront – that is absolutely perfect for pulling into a shawl design. 

On the same timeline, John Arbon Textiles released their new sock yarn – Exmoor Sock and the range of colours is fabulous.  They come in 50g skeins, which makes them perfect for adding colour to shawls without having to break the bank.  Et voila, Kinbane (Gaelic for Whitehead) was dreamt up as three colour striped shawl with pointed rooftop edges based on the shorefront houses of the town.  I didn’t think that naming the shawl after a spot was a good idea 😉

The shawl uses 150g of the main colour and 50g each of two other colours, so has real potential to be a stash buster.  I can see this being worked up with variegated yarns too. 

The stitch used is a Half treble herringbone stitch (half double in the US) and it creates a lovely thin fabric that is perfect for shawls.  I was also consciously trying to create a shawl that is gender neutral, which I think I have achieved?

If you are coming to the festival (Saturday 3rd August), Whitehead, Northern Ireland, then you will receive a download code for the pattern in the event programme.  John and Juliet will also be bringing Exmoor Sock with them, so you can look at all of the colours and ask me for colour combinations.   

After the show, the pattern will go live on Ravelry, on my website and hard copies will be available too, but I will let you know all about that in the August podcast.

4 – En Route

I only have one crochet thing on the go at the moment – see – I’m being monogamous.  Because I am ridiculous, I thought I could quickly crochet up another sample of my Arria shawl before I head down to vend at the John Arbon Open Weekend on Friday.  It’s not going to be finished on time but will at least be there for folk to squish and see even more crocheted items in their lovely yarns.  I also love standing and crocheting as I talk to customers, so that’s what I will be working on this weekend.

ALT TEXT: Grey background with the beginnings of a triangular shawl and three cakes of yarn at the top. 

The main colour is russet brown and the small triangles making up the spine of the shawl are in a deep teal colour.

This sample is in Harvest Hues (4ply/light fingering 400m/100g) in shades Russet and Blue Spruce.

5 – Feeding the Habit

It has been a very quiet month for purchases, mainly because I’m off to the mill weekend and we all know I will be incapable of coming back without wool from there, and also, I am vending at Woollinn the week after and pick up the yarn from Bernie for the Perth Runway.  So, I curbed my will to buy all the things this month.

That said, I did receive some yarn through the post from Kim at Town End Yarns.  I was talking to her at Yarndale back in September about sock yarn no, or reduced nylon but using alpaca for strength instead.  Kim specialises in Alpaca based yarns and also knows a thing or two about socks.

She sent me two cakes of her Cumbria Sock Yarn natural and pink.  The blend is 47% British Alpaca, 43% Bluefaced Leicester which is local to her and 10% nylon and it’s all made in the UK. 

I plan to knit these up so that I can test out the durability of a reduced nylon blend of sock yarn.  It is beautiful to touch. 

I want to get to a point where I can test out lots of different reduced/no nylon yarns to see how they perform.  I generally stand up all day long, so I know I can put them through some hard work. 

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – I have had to change the date of the June Global Hook Up because I am now vending that weekend.  The new dates and times are Saturday 22nd June at 8 pm (BST) and Sunday 23rd June at 9 am BST.

2 – Thank you to those that are taking me up on my ‘Pay what you can pattern pricing’.  It’s available on my website for electronic versions and if you are unable to pay the lowest amount of £2 then please get in touch with me using the details given in The Craft Bank group on Ravelry and I will send you the electronic pattern for free, no questions asked.

3 – The carpet moths are back in my living room.  We haven’t used that room for months, so these are very likely moth eggs that were lying dormant all winter until the rise in temperature.  Just a quick reminder on how to protect your stash from the moth larvae. 

  • Put your yarn into a sealable bag.
  • Freeze the bag for five days.
  • Take the bag out of the freezer for five days but leave the yarn sealed inside.
  • Freeze the bag for a further five days.

The initial freeze should kill off the larvae.  If there are some particularly hardy ones, they will survive the freeze and come to life during the defrosting period, and then be killed off during the second freeze.  Then choose to either store your yarn in those bags or in a moth free room of your home.  

My Stash Palace is 100% moth free which is why I freeze all yarns before they go in there. 

7 – Big Up

This month’s Big Up goes to Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health.  Lyndsey gave up her time to come and be interviewed and answer all of your questions on how to craft and look after your bodies.

She is great fun and very knowledgeable.  We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours out in my garden talking about crochet. 

Lyndsey has just started cooking curries and as a thank you from us to her, I used some of the money that you have kindly added to the Kofi account to buy her three, second hand (of course) curry recipe books from my favourite Indian recipe write, Anjum Anand.

It was also Claudia’s birthday this week – happy birthday my friend!

8 – J’adore

My laser cutter!  I got a proper kick up the backside when I realised that I have had it for a year and not produced half the things I wanted to.  I have learned a lot with this machine and really love the quality of goods I am getting as a result.  This weeks’ efforts have centred around needle and hook gauges and Kitchener and crochet stitch reckoners.  I am trying to produce things that are practical, functional and look good.  Watch this space for more things to come.

Even better, do you have any suggestions for tools that would be useful? Sock blockers are a given!

I will be back on Friday the 5th of July.

Fay x

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Jun 06 2019

1hr 5mins

Play

Episode 42 - The Craft Bank

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 42 – The Craft Bank.

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay a while. 

In this episode I cover: Update review of KnitPro ball winder; Craft Inclusivity; Perth Project Runway; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Review

Last month I reviewed my super-duper snazzy new KnitPro wooden ball winder and I thought that a month on, I should give you a bit of an update.  Put simply – I love it even more than I did last month. 

I have now tested out how big a cake it can wind and the answer is big!  I managed to wind 350g of 4 ply before the cake went wonky and created its own planetary rings. 

On the downside, at one point, the bearing cone came off.  I think that is my fault for caking up anti-clockwise rather than clockwise.

ALT TEXT: A massive cake of yarn (350g of 4 ply in a light bluey grey colour with mid blue neps) on a grey background with standard cake of 100g yarn for contrast.  

2 – Craft inclusivity

Update on the open letter and resources to yarn dyers, yarn shops and vendors – this piece of work is ongoing and something that I will sound you out on in the next podcast.  I don’t want to go out with the open letter until I have the resources ready and available.  I’m not trying to bash people with a crochet stick, I genuinely want to be part force for change for crochet to be given the respect it is due.  More to come on this.

I am also really proud to tell you about a group that my friend Lisa (@lisa_raspberrycrochet on Instagram) has pulled together on Ravelry.  The inclusivity discussions on Instagram have moved into the realm of pattern and yarn prices and how as dyers and designers, we can make those goods readily available for all.  

Lisa has created a group in Ravelry called The Craft Bank.  The premise is a simple one.  If you have yarn that you are destashing, you can offer it up for free or an affordable price.  The idea is that the yarn can be passed on to someone that will use it and is unlikely to be able to afford to purchase it otherwise.

There is a second thread in the group whereby, crafters are offering to buy patterns for crafters and designers are offering up their patterns for free.

By the end of this bank holiday weekend I will have done the following to ensure that I am contributing positively to this:

1 – For all of my electronic patterns on my website, I will have incorporated a payment scale for patterns.  They generally sell for £4 per pattern and there will be a scale of £2 - £6 for each pattern.  The concept is that you pay what you can afford and would genuinely like to see people on lesser incomes, taking me up on this offer.

2 -  I will have added to give-away patterns to The Craft Bank Thread (crochet and knit).

3 – I will have added some destash yarns to the yarn thread and will probably keep on adding some little and often.  Due to the cost of postage, this will be open to UK residents only – sorry.

So, if you have a yarn stash that you want to decrease or want to know that you are directly supporting fellow crafters, I encourage you to go to The Craft Bank Group on Ravelry and see what support you can lend.

3 - Perth Project Runway

I have something very exciting to tell you.  Not only am I vending at Perth Festival of Yarn with my company, KNIT IT – HOOK IT – CRAFT IT, but I am also looking to create some crochet gorgeousness to send down their runway!

On the Saturday night, there is a Gala Dinner and as part of that dinner, they have a runway fashion show of knitted and crocheted items.  Eva heads up the Perth Festival of Yarn team and we have been in conversation about more crochet representation at the show and she asked whether I might be able to crochet a garment for the runway. 

Ehm, yeah I’ll do that!  The thing is though, that I would like the Crochet Clan to be part of it too. 

So, here’s what I would love your help with.  I need to find a suitable jumper/seater/top pattern.  You know what my style is and ultimately this needs to be something that I will want to wear after the event. 

I am looking for something really contemporary.  They yarn that I am going to use is a new base that Bernie from Bear in Sheeps Clothing is launching at Woollinn this year.  It’s a 4 ply (395m per 100g, light fingering weight) yarn and a blend of 50% Corriedale and 50% Mohair – so, think soft, silky, drapey with a fluffy halo! I can stretch to 6 x 100g of 4 ply, but I would prefer something around the 4-500g mark.

Let’s talk about granny stitch and granny squares.  I know lots of you love them, but I just don’t and that isn’t the image that I want to portray for contemporary crochet going down the Perth Festival of Yarn Runway.  So, without being rude, please don’t send me ideas of crocheted garments that have these elements.  I really want to show how crochet is moving on from what people already perceive it to be.

So, here’s what to do if you want to be part of Perth Project Runway:

1 – Respond with YouTube comment or Podbean comment or DM me @crochet_circle_podcast (on Instagram).

2 – Let me know what the garment is called and who the designer is.

3 – Don’t worry if the design is for DK or worsted weight rather than 4 ply.  I can make changes to the pattern to make it fit and be able to use Bernie’s yarn. 

In next month’s podcast, I will have looked at all the options sent to me and whittled it down to 3-5 patterns that I would be happy to make and wear.  You then get to vote on the final pattern choice and your decision is final, not mine!

I will make a bundle of all of your suggestions in Ravelry so that you can easily see all of the suggestions in one place.

I will pick up the yarn from Bernie in June (it will likely be a custom dye lot) and then get hooking away from mid-June, ready for Perth Festival of Yarn on the 7th & 8th September. 

Festival tickets went on sale last weekend and it is looking like a fantastic show.  I think there is still a handful of tickets for the Gala evening – it would be lovely to have some Crochet Clan folk there if you fancy it?

It’s all very exciting!

4 – Final Destination

This is my one and only FO this month and I finished it at the beginning of the month when I was in Scotland!  I was vending at two, weekend shows, which has taken up most of my time.

I don’t seem to like this jumper until I put it on and then I like it.  I seriously considered ripping it all out this morning and then I put it on to record the podcast and though “you’re not so bad!”

ALT TEXT a flat lay of my Esja Sweater on a wooden floor.  The sweater is crocheted using a mid-blue grey yarn as the main colour and a speckled mid-blue, teal and rust yarn for the crocheted brioche areas of the yolk.  

5 – En Route

I don’t have much to show here either – sorry.  I am just about to finish off another Doppio Colosseum that I have crocheted for Kate at Northern Yarn in Lancaster.  She is keen to have more crochet in her shop and as part of her 3rd Birthday celebrations this Friday, she has had some of her Poll Dorset lambswool custom dyed by an indie dyer.  Two skeins of the wool were passed to me to crochet Doppio Colosseum.  The colours and indie dyer are under wraps until Friday night, so I won’t be able to share it with you until then.  Needless to say, I will show it off as an FO in the June podcast and post about it on Instagram this weekend.

I have also made a start on my Canisp jumper using the Romney/Corriedale yarn that I showed off in last month’s podcast.  It’s just rounds of knitted stripes for now, and so I won’t show you that until I am a bit further in.   The Romney/Corriedale is working up a treat though and I plan to have this off the needles, ready for the John Arbon Textiles Open Weekend at the beginning of June.  If you fancy coming to that, just follow the link above – it’s a great day trip out, but you have to book.

6 – Feeding the habit

I’m trying to slow down on my wool purchases.  My Stash Palace is bulging at the moment and it’s starting to make me feel a little uneasy.  That said, I still have some Feeding the habit for you this month, but a fair amount of it was given to me as presents.

If you watch my Instagram stories, you will know that I was at the New Lanark Mill in Scotland at the beginning of April.  I first went there as a Conservation student, about 23 years ago.  If you want to know more about the mill, follow this link. It’s a very interesting place and happens to now spin Scottish wool on their original machinery. 

ALT TEXT: New Lanark Mill in the sunrise/set, nestled by the river at the bottom of a steep valley.  Lots of mill buildings glowing orange with green trees surrounding the site.

ALT TEXT: Inside New Lanark Mill with arched windows and vintage macjinery the length of the long hall.  Old tiled floor and a worker keeping the machinery going.

I had promised myself a jumper’s quantity of wool from there are my birthday jumper wool this year.  What I didn’t expect was to find such an utter bargain.  There was a random hank of 4 ply yarn that was labelled up as £22.50.  I asked them to check whether that was right, because it seemed like a lot of wool for such little money, and I was assure that it was correct.  When I got it home, I discovered that it was a 450g hank!  So, this is destined to be some form of colour-work birthday jumper – probably knitted because of the low twist on it.  See photo from ball winder cakes for New Lanark wool purchased (Donegal Silk Tweed 4 ply ‘Light Limestone’ 90% wool/10% silk)

I also had a very good discussion with them about crochet and crocheted samples.  They don’t have any out in their shop, but I am going to design something in their yarn – probably next year.  Think – thistle based colour-work shawl and you will be spot-on.

When I was vending at Wonderwool Wales last weekend, my stand neighbour was a lovely lady called Helen from Nellie and Eve.  We share the same environmental ideals and Helen’s naturally dyed British breed yarns quite honestly took my breath away.

ALT TEXT: Photo 1 is of Helen at her stand surrounded by lovely skeins of pastel, soft wools. 

Photo 2 is a close up of the two skeins of 4ply British wool I bought from Helen.  The light siege green skeins lie on a grey background with white skein bands. 

Helen is keen to have crocheted samples on her stand and I want to help her achieve that.  So, I bought two skeins of wool (75% BFL/25% Masham in a 4 ply) from her and the ideas for them are starting to filter through.  It may be next year before any of these designs come to fruition, but I am happy to be able to support companies that really want to have crochet as part of their offering.

I also received some very lovely, surprise gifts through the post from Tania and Edwyn.

ALT TEXT: Photo 1 - three skeins of creamy Dorest Down wool.  One lies on top of the other two, with white/green labels and the black TJ Frog logo.

Photo 2 - Grey background with a linen, zippered bag with a print of large Dorest Buttons on oranges, browns and black.  Green TJ Frog tag lies to the left.   

 Photo 3 - grey background with a "crochet Workshop' book by James Walters.

7 - Quick News Beats 

1 – Winners of 3 year podiversary were announced and I have been in touch with everyone.  Thank you for entering and giving so many great comments on what crafts you would like to master in 2019.

2 – Thank you to everyone that is supporting me through the Ko-fi account.  I was really quite bowled over by the response.  During the course of the weekend I promise to go and grab a coffee on you and sit in my local town, crocheting and chilling out. 

Thank you also for leaving comments, tagging me on Instragram, following me.  It all makes a massive difference to the algorithm and helps to wide our community. 

3 – May Global Hook Ups are on Saturday 11th May at 8pm BST and the 12th May at 9am BST.  Everyone is welcome.

4 – I am recording the interview with Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health in a couple of weeks, so you still have time to get some questions in.  The interview will likely come out in July because of other time pressures.

5 – Happy 50th Birthday to Katherine- you know, the one with all the cats on Instagram!   

8 – J’adore

I have a new to me podcast for you - Quirky Monday Craftcast by Caleisha AKA @nadiratani 

Caleisha is based in Florida and is primarily a crocheter but dabbles in lots of other crafts too.  She is bright, positive and full of energy!  Go watch her, she will most definitely help to top up your positivity batteries.

I will be back on Friday the 7th June.

Fay x

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May 03 2019

1hr 5mins

Play

Episode 41 - Three Years Old

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 41 – Three Years Old.

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay a while. 

In this episode I cover: Review of KnitPro ball winder; Crochet Inclusivity; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast

1 – Review

When I first started my yarn journey, I bought myself a cheap, plastic ball winder because I didn’t know then that crochet and all things yarn would literally take over my life! 

ALT TEXT: Grey background and close up of cream and red crappy plastic ball winder with broken metal finger.

Over the last couple of months, I have tried a couple of  different KnitPro wooden ball winders to see whether they would be a better option for me.  Well, the proof is that I now own one. 

ALT TEXT: Grey background with wooden ball winder and orange/grey wool scattered around it.

Given that I can be caking up yarn every other day, I thought it was a wise decision. So, here’s what I hate about my old ball winder and love about the new one:

1 – OLD: it creates a very tight cake which means that my yarn is being held under tension.

NEW: the cakes are taller and wider, so the yarn is not under the same amount of tension and pressure.

2 – OLD: it’s mainly made of plastic and is flimsy.

NEW: It’s predominantly made of wood with a little plastic and some metal.  It feels very substantial and durable.

3 – OLD: the metal finger that your yarn is placed through stopped standing on its own after about the third use.

NEW: The metal finger is very firmly in place and does not move as part of the ball winder set-up.

4 – OLD: the cakes almost always get tangled at the bottom of the spinner towards the end of the skein wind.  I have had t o cut my yarn before now, to release it.

NEW: The wooden base that the yarn caked up from is much bigger and can more than cope with the job.

5 – OLD: The ball winder struggles to create neat mini cakes.

NEW: The cakes are neat and seem to be staying in place.  I need to test whether they work well or not though.

6 – OLD: It’s really difficult to get a nice centre pulled ball that doesn’t get knotted up.

NEW: There is a space big enough to get your fingers into to pull the centre yarn from.  The cake seems to have more space in the core, so I am hopeful that the centre pull will be easy and not tangled.

The KnitPro ball winder also makes really pretty looking cakes – I know this isn’t really important, but when you have to photograph yarn as part of your living, it does factor in.

ALT TEXT: two photos, both with grey backgrounds.  First shows two cakes of identical yarn, the left was wound with the plastic crappy winder and is shorter, denser and messier and the second cake is taller and prettier.  Photo two shows 3 mini skeins (2 pink and a marroon), a green with neon colour pop cake and the brown tweed one from the first photo.

The wooden ball winder is clearly much bigger than the plastic one, so you will need more space to operate it, but the proof is in the pudding.

If you are often caking up yarn, then I wholeheartedly recommend this bit of kit.  I bought mine from Nikki at Ewe Felty Thing and it arrived within a week.  It’s not a cheap option at £105 + P&P, however, this is a piece of essential equipment for my hobby and job and I expect to be using this until the day I die.  Caking yarn is now a joy and not a task, especially when they come out in such a pretty shape! 

2 – Crochet inclusivity

Last month, I said that I was only going to purchase yarns from vendors that had crochet samples out.  I spent much of Edinburgh Yarn Festival diligently asking whether yarn dyers and vendors had crochet samples that I could see.  I got mixed reactions!  Some stall holders had some crochet, but the vast majority did not.  That isn’t specific to EYF, I find that to be the case at most yarn festivals.

Beyond the snobby reactions that I sometimes receive around crochet, there is a fundamental lack of understanding around our craft.  That may be because the vendors don’t crochet or they did it years ago and associate it with blankets, acrylic yarn and clashing colours.

There are also the urban myths that surround crochet – such as it’s yarn hungry; done by grannies, or that there are no contemporary crochet designs coming through!  In the podcast I reference a piece of research I did on knitting v crochet for grams used.  You can access that research via my blog post here.  

With most things in life, I am more carrot than stick.  I am willing to put the work in to help educate people on crochet as a craft.  My plan is to do this by writing an open letter to yarn shops, indie dyers, yarn vendors, yarn festival organisers that don’t currently give consideration to crocheters.

As part of the open letter, I will point them towards resources that dispel the urban myths and showcase the fantastic contemporary crochet that we have.  In the long-term, I plan to pull together a Crochet Collective whereby, yarn shops etc. can call upon a list of crochet designers that have beautiful crochet patterns that have been fully tech edited and deserve space and attention in yarn shops, at shows and on Instagram. 

Needless to say, this is all going to take time, so watch this space.  I always say to Matthew that “if I haven’t helped to change the face of crochet by the time I die, I simply didn’t work hard enough!”   

3 – Final Destination

I can finally share my secret projects with you!  Before Christmas, I started working on a shawl called Drucilla.  It was kept a secret because it is one of the patterns in the new John Arbon Textiles publication, The Annual.  There are three knitting patterns in The Annual and my crochet pattern.

ALT TEXT for four clsutered photos: Top left has a  grey background with some beach pebbles placed to the left of The Annual front cover. with skeins of yarn on a wooden table, mill bobbins on the floor.  Top right is a blue wall with a dusky mauve shawl with a marroon border on a mannequin.  Bottom left has a grey background with The Annual opened at a page with a triangular version of the shale in a marroon colour and dark browny/black border.  Modelled out on Exmoor by a young female.  Bottom right is the same but the shawl is now shown as a C2C version in a very light grey/blue laceweight yarn.

 All yarns are from John Arbon Textiles.  Top right used 2 x 100g skeins of Knit By Numbers DK KBN90 and 1 x mini skein DK in  KBN75

Bottom left used 2 x Devonia 4ply in colourway 'Bleeding Heart' and 1 x colourway 'Cinder Glow'.

Bottom right used 2 x 100g skeins of Alpaca 2-3 ply (heavy laceweight) in colourway 'Sea Spray'.

Drucilla is a great all-rounder shawl, using V stitch.  You can do it with one or two skeins, keep it as a triangular shawl or make it into a C2C shawl as I did with the heavy lace version.  I have also just finished off a DK weight version to show that it can be crocheted from laceweight up to DK. 

If you want to get your hands on the pattern, The Annual can be purchased via the John Arbon website.  It costs £5 plus P&P.  The whole thing is packed full of information and fun elements, like a spot the difference game! 

I have also finished off some knitted socks.  A pair for my best friend, Jenny and a pair for my Dad. 

 ALT TEXT:  Two photos both with a grey background.  The first shows a charcoal grey pair of socks with hot pink stripes, heels and toes.  The second is a plain tealy/ blue pair of socks.

Striped socks are in Dragon Hill Studio 4 ply 'Metro Pinstripe'. Second pair is in Lang Jawoll, colourway 'Peacock'.

4 – En Route

The saga of my Esja jumper continues! I had hoped to be showing you how to work the sleeves as part of the podcast, but I ran out of yarn!  We are heading up to Scotland on Friday, so I will pop into Blacksheep Wools on the way and pick up an extra skein and hopefully finish it off in the car on the way to Ben Nevis. 

Next month, I WILL be wearing my Esja jumper!

5 – Designs in Progress

Last month I showed off a Barcelona inspired long cowl that I had been working on.  It now has a name – Rocamora, after the family that lived in the building of the same name that inspired the cowl.  I have actually submitted the design into a newish online magazine called Yarn People.  I really like the inclusive nature of the magazine and the fact that they aren’t fussed about whether the pattern has already been published or talked about within the yarn community. 

Whilst I wait to hear whether the submission was successful or not, I am busy working up another version of it that is much short and only uses three colours.  There may be a third example in the offing which is a fade option too…

ALT TEXT: Grey background with wooden ball winder at top with mid grey yarn sat, balled up on it, foxy orange yarn in a skein to the left, a partial cake of dark grey yarn and a work in progress ribbed cowl with a green metal crochet hook.

6 – Feeding the habit

My friend Nic was in Australia, visiting family.  We agreed to do a yarn swap whereby, she brought me back some lovely yarns from that side of the world, and I brought her back yarns form Edinburgh Yarn Festival.  I failed to bring anything back for her that was suitable but will work on it when I vend at Spring Into Wool next weekend, but Nic brought me back two amazing yarns.  One from White Gum Wool in Tasmania and one from Great Ocean Road Mill in Australia.  They are so lovely and squishy!

I spent a lovely day over at Ewe Felty Thing in Llandudno, North Wales, helping Nikki celebrate her shop’s 1st birthday.  There was a lot of yarn to squish (and buy).  I came away with a skein of the special birthday colourway that Nikki had dyed and some minis from Abercairn that will become sock toes, heels and cuffs (and already have in one case). I also pre-ordered my ball winder when I was there.

Obviously, I brought stuff back from EYF too, but because of my point about not buying from stands that don’t have crocheted samples, I didn’t buy as much as I could have. That said, I did buy four balls of wool from Jamieson’s.  I was having an interesting discussion with one of their team and plan to recreate one of their classic Fair Isle patterns in crochet to really make that point that crochet can be beautiful and just sticking to marketing to knitters doesn’t need to be the way forward. 

Mainly, I got yarn from John Arbon Textiles.  My love of their wool continues, and I wasn’t really up for buying any indie dyed yarn.  So, I bought the yarns that they had created as show specials.  There is the Cocktail Yarn in colourway Dark & Stormy which is destined to be a trial for a new, simple design that I want to create (perfect for yarn shops and vendors to show off crochet with) and then a jumper’s quantity of their breed special yarns.  I bought the Romney breed because I really love how squishy it is and the soft colours that I bought. 

One of the real highlights of EYF for me was the Make::Wool event on the Sunday.  I didn’t get much time in sales area because I was off listening to a couple of talks.  I did, however, make a beeline for Shilasdair Yarns.  Kirsty and Simon are due to open their version of the Shilasdair Yarn Shop on the Isle of Skye this Easter.  They are still using traditional natural dyeing methods and I am very pleased to say that they have converted to using British breed yarns.  I am excited to see how they develop the company and watch with eager anticipation!

ALT TEXT: Seven different photos all on bright yellow backgrounds, showing each of the yarn makers, dyers or designers. 1 - Kirsty from Shilasdair smiling and holding a massive cone of wool outside a shed.  2 - Nikkie from Ewe Felty Thing (yarn shop) behind a wall of indie dyed yarn.  3 - John and Juliet Arbon sitting in front of some of their mill machinary.  4 - Emily K Williams from Flutterby Knits stood at the edge of a loch, showing off her latest striped knitted jumper pattern - Canisp Sweater.  5 - Desiree from Abercairn Yarns stood on a porch, sporting her latest finished object - a purple jumper.  6 - Katie Green has long brown hair and is stood in a woodlend sporting a light brown knitted shawl.  7 - Sharon from Dragon Hill Studio is out in her garden wearing a black top, with glasses on a shortish brown hair, with her dog (cream and tan coloured). 

ALT TEXT - a flat lay of many yarns with numbers atteched to each of the companies and listed below.

1 - 2 x mini skeins from Abercairn Yarn, bought at Ewe Felty Thing

2 - 4 skeins of British Breeds 'Romney' from John Arbon Textiles.  These were an EYF special and aren't on the website, but may make an appearance at Wonderwool Wales.

Also, two skeins of Cocktail blend in colourway 'Dark & Stormy' which was also an EYF special.

3 - Three balls of Shetland Spindrift wool from Jamiesons of Shetland in colours Storm, Camel and Tan Green.

4 - 2 x 50g skeins (dyed with INdigi and Meadowsweet) and 3 x mini skeins from Shilasdair Yarns  - dye stuff not identified. 

5 - 50% Camel, 50% silk blend skein of yarn from Nikki at Ewe Felty Thing called 'Confetti in the Rain' which was a special for her shop's 1st birthday.

6 - Great Ocean Road Mill, La Bella yarn (Merino and alpaca mix) in colourway Salt & Pepper.

7 - White Gum Wool, 4 ply Fingering in colourway Quarrystone - 100% Merino

7 - Quick News Beats 

1 – Here are some new hashtags/accounts for you to follow under inclusivity:

#disabledmakers is run by Eve and Anna, they are doing a grand job of showing off makes from lots of differently abled crafters. 

@fatestknits is an account that has been set up specifically to work towards size inclusivity.  Designers can have their patterns featured to find test crocheters and knitters.  If you are smaller or bigger than the average body size, then this may be a great resource for finding patterns that you like and designers that actually care about catering from different sizes.

2 – When I was Edinburgh Yarn Festival, I attended a panel discussion on Diversity and Inclusion in the Fibre Space – Where do we go from here?  It was an interesting discussion, with generally helpful questions from the audience.  The panel discussion was recorded and as soon as the video is available, I will sign post you to it.

3 – I have been invited to come and do pop-ups at a couple of yarn shops.  You can find me at Northern Yarn on 3rd May between 6.30pm and 10pm.  Kate is celebrating the shop’s 3rd birthday and I will be there selling crochet patterns and notions.

I will also be at the RiverKnits open day on the 4th March between 1aam and 5pm.  Becci and Markus now have a dye studio and they are having a grand opening.  Lost of other vendors will be there too, such as Ewe & Ply, Travelknitter, Garthenor Organic, Third Vault Yarns and RiverKnits of course.  It’s going to be a fab day with demonstrations, stuff to buy and a lovely atmosphere where you get to talk to the vendors.   

These are just two of the ten events that I will be vending at this year.  If you want to know where else I am going to be, take a look at this blog post.

4 – I have set up a Ko-fi account.  I have long thought about creating a way that you can support the podcast – if you would like to.  I am not comfortable with Patreon as an option and when I came across Ko-fi, that felt like the right fit for me.  Basically, there is a website page that is for The Crochet Circle Podcast.  Within that page, you can buy me a coffee.  In reality, this is making a donation towards the running of the podcast or may actually encourage me to leave the house, buy a coffee and take a break in a café.  However, many of you have asked how you can support the podcast and the in-depth work that I do for it.  I am very grateful to those that buy from my online shop, come to see me at shows, or buy my patterns, but some of you may prefer to support me through Ko-fi. 

I love doing this podcast.  But here is some of what it takes to create it:

$108 a year for the Podbean hosting platform

£12 a month for Zoom so that I can host the Global Hook Ups

On average, three full days of my time to pull the podcast together (recording, editing, photography, show notes)

Any extra time that I chose to spend on reviews, testing yarns, patterns etc. 

There are also things you can do to support that podcast for free:

Leave comments and give it a thumbs up on YouTube  - this puts the podcast in front of other people and increases awareness of its existence, making our community larger and stronger.

Talk about it on Instagram.  If you like what I do, tag me when you are crocheting.  It may seem like a little thing, but it makes a big difference. 

All of these things also apply to any other podcasters that you watch.  I am sure that they would also love extra comments, likes and tags.  It really makes a difference to us and helps to make our experience of creating a podcast much more fun!

8 – J’adore

The podcast is three years old!  The first episode went out on audio only back on 1st April 2016.  It is an absolute pleasure to put this podcast out and connect with our Crochet Clan.  To celebrate, there will be a pattern giveaway.  Sandra from the Cherry Heart podcast has kindly offered a copy of her Ziggy Interrupted scarf to one lucky winner, and I will do some pattern giveaways too.  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on YouTube or Podbean (underneath these show notes) and tell me what crafting technique you would like to conquer in 2019. 

Here’s to another three years!

I will be back on Friday the 3rd May.

Fay x

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Apr 05 2019

1hr 27mins

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Episode 40 - When in Barcelona

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 40 – When in Barcelona.

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay a while. 

In this episode I cover: Inclusivity; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and Big Up.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

If you woudl like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image.  Thank you :-)

1 – Inclusivity

Following on from last month’s podcast and the actions I said I was going to take to increase inclusivity within our fibre community, here is what I have been working on: 

  • Claudia from the Crochet Luna Vlogcast has been putting in the hard miles, pulling together a list of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) crochet designers. She has created a permanent list in her Instagram ‘BIPOC Crochet Designers’ Highlights.  From that list, I have created a ‘BIPOC Crochet Designers’ blog post giving you the designers names, Instagram handles, Ravelry Designer names and other selling platforms.  If the designers have a podcast, website or Etsy shop, these have also been listed.
  • If you are looking for a decent article on the topic of inclusivity in the fibre community, I encourage you to read this one: The Knitting Community is Reckoning with Racism by Jay Saxena.  If for whatever reason, you have been in the fringe of the conversation or come to it late, this article gives a very good breakdown of what has been going on.  I meant to talk about this article in the podcast and through lack of organisation on my part, it slipped through the net. 
  • You will notice from the show notes below and video podcast (if you watch rather than listen) that I have started to show the makers behind the goods that I am buying. My intention is to create a greater connection between the makers and those watching the podcast and/or reading the show notes.  I want to show case the faces that put all the hard work into the fibre community whether they are designers, spinners, dyers or yarn shop owners. 
  • I continue to use ALT text on my Instagram posts and within the show notes. My intention is to also expand this out to my website photos and blog posts (which I have started the process of). 

2 – Old Dog New Tricks

I want to touch briefly on gut instinct and using that to shape your colour choices and pattern following. 

You know that feeling when you have pulled colours together for a project, but your gut is bubbling, telling you that something isn’t quite right?  I have had that quite a bit recently.  I tend to think I am pretty good at choosing colours but of late, I have been asking for second opinions, mainly because I knew they weren’t right. 

The same can be said for a part of the pattern design within my Esja jumper.  I could see that the short row shaping was creating a different look within my jumper but I persevered with the pattern.  My gut told me I was wrong to do so but I ignored it – I won’t do that again.

Here’s a quick trick for testing your gut feeling on something.  Using colour choice as an example; you have two choices, grey and yellow or grey and pink.  You assign each choice with a side of the coin.  Toss the coin high in the air and before you move your hand to reveal which choice has been made, listen to the voice that is telling you which one you are actually hoping for.  That is your gut reaction and the one you should actually listen to, regardless of what the coin toss actually tells you.

I use this for all sorts of decisions that I make.  It’s a surprisingly easy way to make decisions and stop procrastinating!

3 – Final Destination

I have some quite varied finished objects this month. 

I finished off my latest version of Doppio Colosseum in ‘Worn Denim’ (4ply 50% Merino/50% Silk) by The Wool Kitchen.  It was a great reminder of how much I enjoyed designing this pattern and wearing it.    

ALT TEXT: Mannequin against a white and teal painted wall.  The shawl draped over the shoulders of the mannequin is in denim blue colours and you can just make out some of the lace lines of the pattern.

Did I mention I was in Barcelona?  Whilst I was there, I was completely taken with an amazing building on Passeig de Gracia – Rocamora Houses.  There is a ceramic turret that inspired my latest design.  I wanted to capture the colours of the turret and the transition between them. 

ALT TEXT: Roof top of Rocamore Houses, Passeig die Gracia, Barcelona.  Bright blue sky with three ceramic tiled turrets showing on the skyline.  The tiels are in earthy shades of brown, orange, yallow and cream.  

ALT TEXT: White surface with crocheted cowl doubled over . A wooden carved crochet hook lying on a nest of egg yolk yellow yarn in the froefront.  The cowl is in a gradient fo four colours from cinnamon brown, to cantelope melon orange, to egg yolk yellow to a pinky cream colour.

I visited All You Knit is Love, a yarn shop in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona run by Jennifer and Miquel, and bought some of their K2tog yarn which is 70% wool and 30% milk.  It’s beautifully soft and they had the perfect colours for the design.

I suspect that the design is going to be called Rocamora. 

Finally, I have been on a bag sewing mission.  I only meant to make one and ended up with 12.  I used a couple of different YouTube tutorials for these and consider myself to be a novice sewer:

 ALT TEXT: Cream surface with three machine sewn project bags.  Top bag has a tear drop coral shape and turquoise, charcoal and grey details.  Bottom right bag had a navy background with pairs of cats facing each other in pinks, corals, mustards and greens.  Left hand bag is woven grey wool fabric with a light mustard coloured zip and it's a boxy baggy. 

4 – En Route

My Esja jumper (to be made with yarn dyed by my friend Bec of Black Horse Yarns and Socks Yeah! in the colour 'Chryso'.  I am now on sleeve island and am desperate to finish this for Edinburgh Yarn Festival. 

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/esja-sweater

Main Colour Yarn: https://coopknits.bigcartel.com/product/coop-knits-socks-yeah-yarn

Contrast Yarn: https://www.instagram.com/blackhorseyarn/

  ALT TEXT: Light blue jumper yolk with a variegated detail with blobs of orange and teal.  The stranded texture from brioche crochet is visible.

5 – Designs in Progress

The one crochet design that I have on the go at the moment is the Rocamora Cowl.  I want to make it again using some other chunky yarn so that I can test the theory that it can be made with any yarn and almost any quantity. 

 ALT TEXT: Cream background with the same four coloutrred cowl at the top left.  Three chunky, loose skeins of yarn are at the bottom of the photo.  L-R they are a mid grey, dark grey and a fox orange.  They look springy and full of character.

The next version will be a short cowl using some number 2 yarn that I bought from Die Mercerie in Munich.  It’s a Bavarian yarn of some description… 

More on this next month hopefully.

6 – Feeding the habit

Hmmmm, there is quite a bit and not all of it is mine.

First up, the things I brought back from Barcelona.

All You Knit is Love shop is run by Jennifer and Miquel.  They have their own yarn label (K2tog and others) and Jennifer also dyes her own yarn called Mur.

  ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Jennifer and Miquel from All You Knit is Love yarn shop, sitting on their sofa, knitting.

K2tog in shades Cinnamon Toast, Cantaloupe, Egg Yolk and Yellow Jade. 70% wool and 30% milk 105m/100g

ALT TEXT: Dark grey background with four skeins of yarn at the top.  The chunky, soft yarns are in a cinnamon brown, cantalope orange, egg yolk yello, and pinky cream colours.  Ay=t the bottom of the photo lies a fifth skein in gentle variegated colours of teal, green, mustard and a mid purple is dominant.

Murmur in colourway ‘Guide’.  75% Merino and 25% Cashmere, 400m/100g.

Lalanalu shop is run by Eva and Kiara and they had lots of crochet and yarn from some local yarn dyers.

  ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Eva and Kiara from Lalanalu yarn shop, stood side by sde with wool int eh background.  They are smiling straight at the camera and wearing knitted and crocheted shawls.

Ovejita Be! – in shade Greenery and Les Retrouvailles (the mini didn’t had a shade)  75% wool, 25% nylon, 425m/100g.

  ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Teresa the yarn dyer of Ovejita Be!  She is sitting on a sofa with a multicoloured crochet blanket over the back of it.  Teresa is looking down at three balls of yarn in her hands.

Soc Una Troca – in shades Ratafia, Golden Hour and Oberon. 75% Merino, 25% Nylon 420m/100g.

 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Laia the yarn dyer of Soc Una Troca!  She is stood in front of her wooden company sign, wearing a green top and smiling.  To her right is a hook with some skeins of yarn dangling down.

I also came across an amazing fabric shop called Nunoya and bougtht this amazing selection:

 ALT TEXT: Lots of different colured fabrics arranged into a swirl.  Therer are cat , moon, bear, bat, sock, llama, cherry, umbrella, rain drop and bee patterns.  

At Unravel I bought these bits and pieces: 

Frida Kahlo by Helen at The Wool Kitchen,  75% BFL, 25% Nylon, 400m/100g.

 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Helen the yarn dyer of The Wool Kitchen. She is stood taking a selfie with her phone and a Frida Kahlo phone case.  Helen is wearing a purple checked shirt and a purple hat that she had=s just finished knitting.

 ALT TEXT: Cream background with a single skein of Thw Wool Kitchen yarn, called Frida Kahlo.  It is a mallard green base with "zips" of colour at one end of the skein in luminous yellow, pink, orange, green and turquoise.

John Arbon Textiles new Exmoor Sock Yarn in shades Blooth and Hemel.  60% Exmoor Blueface, 20% Corriedale, 10% Zwartbles, 10% Nylon,  200m/50g.  I will be pairing this up shade Mizzle which I already had in my grubby little hands.  These are going to be made into Acanthium Mittens by Katie Green and hopefully, ready for Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of John and Juliet Arbon.  They are sat down with their mill machinery in the background.  Both are facing forward and smiling.  John is in fawn dungarees and Juliet's curly dark hair is in pigtails. 

  ALT TEXT: Cream background with a photo of two skeins of Exmoor Sock Yarn.  One is a dark forest green and the other is an aubergine purple.  Both have a white skein band with yellow bubbles and an old fashioned sheep drawing. 

I also came across a new to me dyer, Tara, from Irish Artisan Yarns.  I love that her yarn dying is inspired by the landscape of Northern Ireland.  I bought a Carrick-a-Rede inspired colourway from her, 75% Merino, 25% Nylon, 400m/100g.  And she kindly gave me a mini in a little goody bag. 

 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Tara from Irish Artisan Yarns.  Tara is sat ata a desk in her living room, hugging a cup of tea with skeins of her dyed yarn in front of her.

 ALT TEXT: Cream background with a photo of a full skein of Irish Artisan Yarn in subtle blue and greens.  Above it is a mini skein in all the denim blues.  Both have whire skein tags with "IAY" on them.

7 - Quick News Beats 

1 - Global Hook Ups – The next dates are Saturday 9th March 1t 8pm GMT and Sunday 10th March at 9am GMT.  The links for the sessions are all available over on the Ravelry thread.

2 – If you are anywhere North Wales, Nikki from Ewe Felty Thing is having a party on Saturday 16th March to celebrate the first birthday of her yarn store. I will be there from about 12 – 5pm and would love to see you there.

3 - I am heading to Edinburgh Yarn Festival on the Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.  On the Thursday I will be on Tanya’s stand – TJ Frog.  Please do pop along for all things Dorset Button, Dorset breed wools and generally lovely goods.

8 – Big Up

If you are looking for a non-crafty podcast, I heartily recommend David Tennant Does a Podcast With…   He basically interviews his friends and it is very funny and also sweary, so not for everyone.

I have also been relishing The Great British Sewing Bee – an hour of sewing escapism every week and just the nudge I needed to get my sewing machine out again.

I will be back on Friday the 5th April!

Fay x

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Mar 01 2019

1hr 12mins

Play

Episode 39 - Call me Crozelda

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 39 – Call me Crozelda

In this episode I cover: Inclusivity in the fibre community; Old Dog New Tricks; CAL Updates; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

1 – Inclusivity in the fibre community and beyond

Given the importance of this topic, I felt that it needed to be the first thing I covered.  I don’t usually script exactly what I say, but because of the importance of inclusivity within the fibre community, I don’t want to ramble or use the wrong wording because of the pressure of recording and trying to get my thoughts across.

I am fairly sure that everyone listening and watching this podcast is aware of the conversations that have been ongoing for much of January.  The discussions are on inclusivity and diversity in the fibre community and beyond.  These are conversations that are long overdue and conversations that need to become actions. 

This podcast at its very heart is about welcoming everyone with one exception.  If you are watching or listening to this and have even a hint of an eye roll or a “uh, this again, just talk about crochet”, then this is probably not the podcast for you. 

Now, if you are the kind of human that likes to support your fellow humans, to build them up, rather than knock them down, to offer them the handshake of crafting kindness, and to take that handshake beyond the crafting community to every aspect of your life, then come on in, stay a while.  I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.

I would like to specify what I mean by inclusivity.  For me and this podcast, that means creating an inclusive space for Black and Indigenous and/or People of Colour (BI/PoC), for people with differing abilities, for people within the LGBTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) for people of all sizes for people that identify as binary or non-binary .  An inclusive space where racism, and discrimination of your fellow humans cannot and will not be tolerated. 

I spoke about the need for actions as well as conversations.  So, what I would like to do is take you through the changes that I am making to the podcast to make it an even more inclusive space:

Logos – I am in going to change the logo for the podcast and have one created for the Global Hook Ups.  It struck me that the current logo does absolutely nothing to say “everyone is welcome here”.  So, in true Crochet Clan spirit I looked within to see who was part of our community that I could ask to take on logo commissions.  I am really chuffed to say that Claudia from the Crochet Lune podcast is going to work up the new logos.  If she comes up with different design options. Then my plan is to throw it out to you to see which logos speak most clearly to you of inclusivity.

Recognition of makers/dyers – my plan is to seek permission from makers and dyers to show a picture of them within the video podcast and show notes.  Websites and Instagram handles don’t necessarily show the diversity within our community.  I also know that when I have seen somebody’s face, it creates more of a connection with that dyer/maker and somehow cements them in my mind.  I am also keen to do this from a business perspective because to me, seeing the face behind a small indie business is a very good for me to support them over big multi-national companies.  Let me be clear, that this is not about tokenism.  No matter who you are, if I am showing your product or yarn on the podcast and you’re are a small indie maker or dyer, I will be asking to show a photo of you in the video podcast and show notes.  You have every right to decline and a photo will only appear if I have your permission.

Increasing diversity in my Instagram feed – I thought that my feed was already pretty diverse.  I have a general policy of following people back unless their account is set to private.  So, I am not an account that has thousands of followers (I don’t anyway) and only follows a handful back.  That means that my account is full of lots of lovely diverse folk. 

However, it wasn’t until I started following #blackcrocheter #blackcrocheters #blackcraftersofinstagram #diversknitty #spooniecrafts #lgbtqcrafts #lgbtcrafts #that my feed really became diverse.  I encourage you all to do that same.  Following hashtags is a great way of finding new people on Instagram, introducing yourself and making new connections.  If you have suggestions for any other hashtags to follow, please let me know.

Highlighting under-represented groups – Back in November 2018 , Jeanette Sloan was asking the fibre community to point her towards BIPoC designers.  She has done a lot of time consuming work to pull together a list from the details she was given.  A similar piece of work is being done by Marceline from the Hey BrownBerry Podcast and she has highlighted BIPoC dyers and yarn makers.  

Claudia from Crochet Luna podcast has been beavering away pulling together a list of BIPoC crochet designers.   She is going through the painstaking work of communicating with the designers to ask whether they are happy to be featured.  I am hoping to help Claudia to pull this list together in whatever way I can.  The list of BIPoC crochet designers is going to be on my blog over at KNIT IT – HOOK IT – CRAFT IT – because Claudia has asked me to host it there. 

My hope is that in time, this will also feature dyers and makers form other under-represented groups.  However, this needs to be looked at in a sensitive manner and only undertaken with the backing and permission of the people within these underrepresented groups. 

If you would like to be added to the work that Claudia and I are doing, then I would be really interested in having a discussion with you about what the parameters should be.

Creating a more accessible podcast and Instagram accounts – I have had some very helpful and interesting Instagram discussions with Sarah from @SarahDawnDesigns.  She has been brilliant at pointing me towards ways that I can make changes to the podcast to make it more accessible for people with hearing or visual impairments. 

If you have a hearing impairment, I always try to face the camera and not show things in front of my face, in the hope that people are able to read my lips.  I always create show notes, and link to them from the dropdown box on YouTube.  If you are watching the video, the section place markers correlate to the different sections in the show notes which can always be found at www.thecrochetcircle.podbean.com  and I believe are in a suitable format as a text transcript. 

If you have a visual impairment, I try to be very descriptive with textures and colours.  Again, I believe that the show notes are in a format that are suitable for assistive technology.  In addition to the written part of the show notes, I will start adding descriptions to each photo and the caption will start with Photo:   I have also started using ALT text within my Instagram feed.  I have gone back through the posts from the last month and added ALT text to those posts, but from now on, anything I post on @crochet_circle_podcast, @knitithookit or @faydhdesigns, will have ALT text attached to each of the images.

The final thing I would like to add is that twice a month there is the Global Hook up.  I run it on a Saturday night and then again on the Sunday morning (both GMT/BST) so that the crafting session is available to different time zones.  Everyone is welcome in the Global Hook Ups. 

If you just want to check out what happens, you can join the crafting session and put something over your camera.  You also have the option to mute your microphone.  It’s really up to you how much you join in, which hopefully makes it a great crafting space for people that may be nervous about joining in.  For some people, they started out by just sitting and listening and moved onto joining the conversations in the next session.  It’s free to join, you just need a decent wifi connection.    

2 – Old Dog New Tricks

It feels like many people are working on crocheted garments, or plan to in 2019.  One of the factors that you may come across is wording like “increase/decrease by 12 stitches evenly across round/row”.  In my opinion this is a little unfair of a designer to leave it at that.  It isn’t hard to work out how you increase or decrease stitches, but if you haven’t done it before, then you should be getting more guidance within the pattern.

I am going to use one of my en route projects as an example.  I have deliberately stopped this project where it is so that I can show you how I am going to tackle the bust decreases that I want to add in.  This isn’t a feature of this pattern, it is one that I am adding in to give some shaping to the finished piece.  That said, when the pattern did call for increases it didn’t give the calculations required…

I would like to think that if I ever design a garment for crochet or knitting, this is the kind of detail that I would add. 

If  you want to see this is video form, take a look at this video from Very Pink Knits – she is one of my favourites for giving simple hint and tips video tutorials.    

Rather than using Very Pink Knits numbers, I want to use my jumper as the example piece.  I have crocheted down to just below the bust area and now I want to decrease the overall number of stitches to pull the jumper inn and give some definition. 

I have 269 stitches which gives me a circumference of 116cm.  I want to get down to a circumference of 104cm for under the bust so need to do an initial calculation: 

269 stitches/116cm means that I have approximately 2.32 stitches per cm. 

I want the circumference to be 105cm, so I need 244 stitches (105cm x 2.32 stitches).  My pattern requires an odd number of stitches, so I am actually going to decrease down to 243 stitches (because I rounded up to 244 in the first place).

Overall, I need to reduce my number of round stitches by 26 from 269 to 243. 

So, my next calculation is to work out how I can decrease 26 stitches evenly across my round.     

I start with my existing total stitch count (269) and divide it by the number that I need to decrease by (26):

269/26 = 10.35 

Again, I am going to round that number down so that I will use 10 as my answer.  Had the answer been 10.5, I would have rounded up to 11.

So, next I need to multiply the number of stitches to be decreased (26) by the number of decreases (10):

26 x 10 = 260 which leaves a remainder of 9 stitches

Because I would be decreasing two stitches together, those two stitches have to be factored in as part of the two stitch decrease every 10 stitches.  This means that I will crochet 8 stitches and decrease over the last 2 stitches – giving one decrease over every 10 stitches.  The remaining 9 stitches are simply crocheted at the end. 

You may find it easier to attach a stitch marker at the beginning of every decrease section.  This can help to make sure that you got your maths right and keep you on the stratight and narrow when you are counting and decreasing.

PHOTO: Esja Jumper (crocheted) in pale blue (main colour) and pale blue

variegarted with rust and teal as a contrast.  Around the bottom of the jumper,

each decrease section has been marked with a black bulb pin.

Now, life isn’t that easy for me because my Esja sweater is in linen stitch which is a two stitch pattern repeat of 1dc and 1ch.  That makes the calculation a little more difficult. 

But here is how I have done it:

269 stitches need to be reduced by 26 down to 243 stitches.

To create an even decrease across the fabric without getting holes in the decrease area, I want to decrease in the following way: 

Hook through first ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, hook through next ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, yrh, pull through all three loops.  This action adds a bit more yarn bulk to the area and makes the decrease look less obvious.  In doing so, you are using three stitches to decrease down to one.

So, I started looking for the number of stitches required per decrease section, remembering that each decrease will reduce the round by two stitches, not one.    

So, here is where I started:

269 stitches / by 18 stitches gives 15 decrease sections and when you multiply that by the actual number of stitches per decrease section after the decrease has been made, 16, then you would be left with approximately 240 stitches with a remainder of 3 stitches which would simply be worked at the end of the round.  You are basically looking for the division that will give you the least number of remainder stitches. 

Here is how a linen stitch decrease will work for me over 18 sts:

Ch1,  hook through first ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, hook through next ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, yrh, pull through all three loops, *ch1, skip 1 st, 1dc in next ch-sp; rep from * six (6) more times. (16 sts)

I would repeat the sequence 14 more times and finish off with ch1, skip 1 st, 1dc in next ch-sp ch1 as the stitch sequence for the remaining three stitches.

Clear as mud?

After the podcast, I will attempt to add some progress photos so that you can see how I have marked the shawl out every 18 stitches and worked the first decrease section. 

3 – CAL Updates 

The #ChristmasEveCAL is done and dusted! Once again, I had very little time to respond to the hashtags on IG.  I want to be able to, but life is crammed.  I am making some huge steps with the businesses this year and a lot of my time energy has to be on that.  

So, I’m going to take a little break from running CALs – mainly because I know I won’t have the time and I won’t be doing you the justice you deserve.  Things may shift by the end of the year, but for now I will try to concentrate on promoting the CALs that my fellow crafters and podcasters are running. 

4 – Final Destination

I only have one proper finished object, because I don’t think I can legitimately show 1.5 socks as an FO!

Last year I started a bag and my intention was to add to every January with my ‘Word of the Year’.  When I have previously seen people talk about their word  of the year, I have dismissed it as a load of old tosh!  Having lived with ‘Clarity’ as my 2018 word, I can now say that it definitely gave me grounding point throughout the year and gave me a flag to keep on coming back to. 

Clarity was meant as a word for me to stick to my core goals and not stray.  To keep on the path that I had set for the year.  Given that it was so helpful for 2018, I have now added ‘STRUCTURE’ to me bag as my word for 2019.

This is the year when I hope to move KNIT IT – HOOK IT - CRAFT IT and Fay Dashper-Hughes Designs up a few notches and to do that I need to put more structure in place.

So now, I think about clarity and how I can structure my work flow to achieve what I want to achieve in 2019 and beyond. 

Here’s what my bag looks like now.  Every year I will add to it in a Scrabble format.

PHOTO: Ecru coloured linen bag with dark grey ribbon tie lying on a dark grey surface.The word CLARITY has been embroidered across the bag horizontally and STRUCTURE, embroidered vertically as if a game os Scrabble has just been started.  Three bows of linen are at the base of the bag, in a dark grey, light fawn/grey and dark mustard

.

The bag was made from Scottish linen that I use in some of my products.  I thin just draw around a wooden Scrabble tile to get the right size for each letter.  Using a 3 ply linen thread from Namolio https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/237661664/linen-yarn-thread-25-grams-3-ply?ref=shop_home_active_1

5 – En Route

I have finished one of my Fallen Leaves socks and am ready to turn the heel on the other.  I will show them off properly in the next podcast…

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fallen-leaves-socks

My Esja jumper (to be made with yarn dyed by my friend Bec of Black Horse Yarns and Socks Yeah! in the colour 'Chryso'.  This has been really quick to crochet up so far and I only stopped to be able to use the jumper as an example in this month’s Old Dog New Tricks.

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/esja-sweater

Main Colour Yarn: https://coopknits.bigcartel.com/product/coop-knits-socks-yeah-yarn

Contrast Yarn: https://www.instagram.com/blackhorseyarn/

PHOTO: Esja jumper (crocheted) as a close up to show the slight distinction in colours made between the main colour (light blue) and contrast colour (light blue with rust and teal).  The contrast between the two yarns in the brioche section is very subtle.

I am also working on another Doppio Colosseum shawl.  Originally, I used a yarn that Helen from The Wool Kitchen no longer dyes and she kindly gave me two skeins of yarn to make a new sample with.  The yarn is 4ply (light fingering weight), 50% Merino and 50% silk and it is beautiful to work with.  The sheen and drape are just incredible.    By the time I podcast again, I hope to have this finished so that Helen can use it on her stand at her next two festivals (Unravel and Edinburgh Yarn Festival).  It’s great to see another yarn dyer that wants to fly the crochet flag.

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/doppio-colosseum

Yarn: https://www.thewoolkitchen.com/collections/4ply-merino-silk/products/worn-denim-merino-silk-4ply

PHOTO: Dark back background, flat lay of a started crocheted shawl in linen stitch.  To the left is a skein of Worn Denim by The Wool Kitchen (light blue/grey with blotches of dark denim blue), to the right is a cake of the same yarn and below is the curled beginnings of a Doppio Colosseum shawl.

6 – Feeding the habit

I truly believed that I was going to severely restrict the amount of yarn that I was going to buy in 2019.  The difficulty comes when I enter yarn shops.  I want to be able to support Bricks and Mortar shops by purchasing from them and highlighting them on the podcast. 

So, this month I have been a bit naughty.  I went over to visit the Laxton’s spinning mill in West Yorkshire and on the way back, I ‘popped’ in to see the good folk at Black Sheep Wools.  It’s probably my most local yarn shop (about 45 minutes away) and I always like having a good natter with Sara and the others. 

When I was there, I picked up some of the ‘Pip Colourworks’ from Baa Ram Ewe.  I had a little mini skein of this given to me as a test skein and couldn’t really do it justice with 10g.  I have since knitted another Curlew hat with it and plan on hooking something up with it too, so that I can do a proper yarn review on it for the podcast.

PHOTO: Dark background with a blurred foreground of a dark dusky rose ball of yarn.  At the back from left to right is the same Pip Colourwork yarn from Baa Ram Ewe, bit in a light green, dark forest green, grey sky blue and mustard.  Just fo camera to the right is the brim of a knitted Curlew hat in the same colours.

PHOTO: Dark grey background with a close up of Reggia Nautic Color sock yarn.  Self striping in a white and mid blue.  The ball band is yellow and shows a white sock with thin blue stripes.

I also came across and had to buy the latest Regia sock yarn called Nautic Colour, which creates sailor striped socks.  I am an absolute sucker for sailor striped anything! 

Local Yarn Shop: https://www.blacksheepwools.com/knitting-yarn/baa-ram-ewe-pip-colourwork.html

Yarn – Pip Colourwork: https://baaramewe.co.uk/products/pipcolourwork?variant=1440591249416

Yarn – Regia: https://www.blacksheepwools.com/knitting-yarn/regia-nautic-color.html

Later that week, I snuck up to Lancaster to see Kate from Northern Yarn in her new shop location in the city centre.  It’s a really beautiful shop that is easy to get to.  Kate works really hard at developing both the shop and her relationships with local shepherds and shepherdesses.  She only sells British yarns and many of them are local.  That is definitely something worth supporting in my opinion.

PHOTO: Five balls of wool all in a horizontal row on a dark background and each with a cream "Jamiesons Shetland Spindrift" ball band.  The colours from left to right are:  a vibrant mid green, rusty red, rusty orange, bright rusty mustard and a bright mid blue.

Whilst there, I picked up some Jamiesons Sheltand Spindrift 2 ply to make into a hat from this book that I also got. 

Local Yarn Shop: https://www.northernyarn.co.uk/jamiesons-of-shetland

Yarn: https://www.jamiesonsofshetland.co.uk/spindrift-1-c.asp

Book: https://www.shopkdd.com/books/milarrochy-heids

Hmm, it doesn’t stop there.  Last week, I hopped on the train a went to Llandudno on the North Wales Coast.  Nikki runs Ewe Felty Thing, a yarn shop just a few minutes away from the train station.  It has the most impressive wall of indie dyed yarn from 16 different dyers. 

PHOTO: Dark grey background showing top right, a skein of yarn from Abercairn.  It's a skinny single plyed yarn in a blend of merino and silk and has a beautiful sheen.  The variegated skein has pinks, purples, teals, greens and blues in it - just like the Grampian mountains. Underneath the skein are two mini skeins, one in a deep dusky pink and one in a bright aubergine purple.  In the bottom corner there is a bit of a purple/pink mohair skein.

Of course I came home with yarn.  Of course one of them was mohair!  I bought a new to me indie dyer called Abercairn Yarns. 

Local Yarn Shop: https://ewefeltything.co.uk/

Yarns:  https://ewefeltything.co.uk/product-category/handdyedyarns/yarns-by-dyer/abercairn-yarns/4ply-fingering/page/2/

https://www.instagram.com/abercairn_yarns/?hl=en

I was also vending at Waltham Abbey Wool Show this month, and it was a great show!  My bestie, Jenny turned up as a surprise in the afternoon and helped on the stand.  As a thank you, she got to pick which yarn she liked best from Dragon Hill Studios.  Andrew and Sharon run the company and I really love the way they cake up their yarn.  I have been meaning to buy some of their yarn for a while and Waltham Abbey was the ideal time.  I have a deal going with Jenny that if I am making socks with a yarn she likes, she can have a pair too.  I can get two pairs of knitted socks out of a 100g skein of 4 ply (light fingering weight) yarn with contrast toes, heels and cuffs. 

PHOTO:Dark background with a cake of yarn and a white circular tag from Dragon Hill Studios with a paired back green curled up dragon for a logo.  The yarn is dark grey with bright pink stripes and they cleverly cake up the yarn, wrapping the last few lengths over the top and bottom of the cake to show off the ratio of self striping colours which is more dark grey and a pop of pink.  

Yarn show: http://www.walthamabbeywoolshow.co.uk/

Yarn: https://www.dragonhillstudio.co.uk/

7 - Quick News Beats 

1 - Global Hook Ups – I have had to change the date of the February hook up:

February – 16th Saturday (night) and 17th (morning) GMT

The other dates for the first half of 2019 are in the Ravelry thread.  

2 – I am now heading to Edinburgh for all four days of the festival.  I will be in the show on Thursday working on a stand (more on that to come), and back at the show for the Saturday and Sunday.  This wasn’t what was planned, but it’s now happening!

Edinburgh Yarn Festival: http://www.edinyarnfest.com/

3 – I have also booked to go to Woolinn Festival, just outside of Dublin in June.  I am landing at the airport on the Saturday morning and leave on the Sunday night.  So, if you are coming over and fancy a meet up either at the festival or on the Saturday night in Dublin city centre – let me know!

Woolinn Festival: http://woollinn.com/

4 – Sean, you can never have too many shawls!

8 - J’adore 

I am loving that January has really felt like a new start.  I have reset the button, good changes have been made and 2019 is looking like a good one.  

I am also off to Barcelona shortly with Matthewkins.  We really need some time out and I am looking forward to soaking up some Spanish atmosphere and being inspired by the gothic architecture.      

I will be back on Friday the 1st March!

Fay x

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Feb 01 2019

1hr 13mins

Play

Episode 38 - World Pomination

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 38 – World Pomination

In this episode I cover: Old Dog New Tricks: CAL Updates; Yarn Review; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I never, ever, ever, expected to be writing the following words: “I am a little bit in love with a pompom”!

Normally, I see a hat and I think that it would look so much better without a pom pom on it.  Then the flick switched during a silly shopping trip in TK Maxx with my best friend, Jenny.  We tried on almost every single hat in there, to try to find a syles that actually suited us.  Who knew, I could rock a pompom?

So now that I am pom pom obsessed, I have made two of them and my friend Bec came up with a very cunning idea.  Pom poms are a pain to make and trim, so why not have some that are transferable to different hats?  After all, you can only really wear one physical hat at a time.

If you sew a button onto the pompom and leave enough of a gap at the top of the crown to tightly pass the button through, you can wash the hat without the pompom, change the pompom colour, wear the hat without the pompom.  

2 – CAL Updates 

The #ChristmasEveCAL continues with lots of lovely projects being made. 

As usual, you can crochet, knit, weave, do whatever yarn based craft you please.  This is all about having a chilled out project that you can work on during the Festive Season and the month of January. 

The CAL ends on Sunday 27th 2019.  It is a very chilled out CAL, mainly because I am flat out at the moment and don’t want to over-commit myself again. 

Use #ChristmasEveCAL and #ChristmasEveCALFO to show off your projects and finished objects.

3 – Yarn Review

I have been working with ‘wild wool’ from Erika Knight.  It’s an aran weight yarn (170m/186yds to 100g) and is a blend of 85% wool (unspecified breed/s) and 15% nettle fibres.

Last month I was talking about the Onion Yarns wool and nettle blend and how much I loved it.  The same is true for ‘wild wool’.  

I have really tested the metal of the yarn.  It does brilliantly when ripped back and reworked.  It creates a lovely stitch definition, and has a lovely, substantial feel to it.

It’s widely available in the UK and beyond and I have provided the stockist links and a full review as a blog over on my website.

I would definitely love to use this yarn again.  The nettle brings qualities such as durability, and strength but also a silver strands to the yarn, no matter what colour the wool has been dyed.

I can see it making great accessories and on a larger hook/needle size amazing, drapey garments.

4 – Final Destination

I finished a couple of hats this month – both with pom poms! Who am I?

The first is the Wynn Slouch Hat by Harlee Wentworth.  You can get this pattern for free on the Noowul website or pay for an advert free version on Ravelry.  I paid for the pattern (about £3) to be able to support the designer.

I used my 100g skein of wild wool from Erika Knight in the colourway ‘Mooch’ and added a contrast pompom in some Rowan yarn I had stashed.

I have added project notes on Ravelry for both hats and you can fine me there as MaDashper.

My second hat is knitted colour work.  I fell in love with this design when I saw Kate at Northern Yarn making one.  In the lull between Christmas and New Year, I decided to treat myself with a quick project that taxed my brain a little.

The pattern is called Curlew and it’s by Linda Shearer.  Again, it’s a free pattern but was designed to raise awareness of the decline of the Curlew.  You can get the pattern through Ravelry or on the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) website. I donated £5 to the RSPB as a thank you for a lovely pattern that I will make again and to help with bird conservation projects in the UK and across the globe.

My Curlew is made from Rowan Felted Tweed and some stash yarns that I had that are very similar to Felted Tweed. More details can be found on my project page.

I finished off my two whopper projects and got the designs in on time for the deadline.  I actually quite enjoyed crocheting with a heavy laceweight yarn.  I will be able to show those projects off in March/April time.

I also stupidly put myself under pressure to knit four pairs of socks as Christmas presents.  It was worth it though to see some of my favourite people wearing matching handmade socks on Christmas day.  They were all knitted in West Yorkshire Spinner’s special edition Christmas yarns:  Candy Cane from 2017 and Fairly Lights form 2018.  

5 – En Route

I have been making good progress on my pink Fallen Leaves sock, the heel has been turned and I am now just crocheting up the leg.  It’s quite a dense, but well fitted sock, so it’s taking quite a lot of time to make.  I suspect that I am going to knit the cuff onto it rather than crochet it, because I can make it more accurate and get better elasticity from a knitted cuff.

One of my interests this year is around using knitted cuffs, heels and toes for crocheted socks.

Let me introduce my future WIP - an Esja jumper to be made with yarn dyed by my friend Bec of Black Horse Yarns and Socks Yeah! in the colour 'Chryso'.

6 – Feeding the habit

I have been very good this month - not a single gram of yarn has been bought.  This is just as well because I tidied up the Stash Palace and I have enough to be getting on with.

What I did receive were some lovely crafting and lifestyle books (see links below).  My friend Jenny also ordered Vicki Brown’s 4 ply advent calander.  Before I left her on Boxing Day, she pulled out six 10g mini skeins that she definitely won’t use.  So, they are now in my stash and I have sent her six 10g mini skeins that are more her colours. Everyone is a winner!

Ikigai - The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

Look what we made - a tribute to a handmade life 

Knits about Winter - 12 knittign patterns inspired by Winter

7 - Quick News Beats 

1 - Global Hook Ups – the first Hook Ups of 2019 are:

January – 12th Saturday (night) and 13th (morning) GMT

The other dates for the first half of 2019 are in the Ravelry thread.  

2 - The next yarn show that I am vending at is Waltham Abbey Wool Show on the 20th January.  It’s run by Diane from the Crochet Chain, so has a nice mix of crochet at the show too.   

3 - I have set up the ‘Setting the Scene for 2019’ thread in Ravelry.  Feel free to use this as a space to set out your crafting and personal goals for the year.

I will be pulling together a very relaxed 2018 round up and 2019 goals episode in the next week or so.  It will be a chatty episode with coffee and a roaring fire rather than my usual heavy edited style.  It’s more about signing up to the year ahead than spending hours at a computer making a shiny episode. 

8 – Big Up

There’s another podcast for you.  This one is hosted by the lovely and beautiful Marceline and it’s called the Hey BrownBerry podcast on YouTube.  She has been podcasting for a while and has 60 episodes to go at.  She is predominantly a  knitter but does all sorts of crafts from crochet to drawing.

Marce also works with a friend called Kelly and together they run MakersMerch on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/makersmerch selling pins and bags.

Until very recently Marce also had a natural yarn dyeing business that she runs with her daughter.

9 - J’adore

You lot.  I am not particularly good at responding to comments.  I see them all, but rarely get the time to respond.  I figure that you all prefer me spending time on show notes, reviews and trips out to interesting places anyway. 

Thank you for coming on my yarn journeys with me.  I have some fab things lined up for the year ahead…

Have a great start to 2019.  I will be back on Friday the 1st February!

Fay x

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Jan 04 2019

56mins

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Episode 37 - Feeling Festive?

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 37 – Feeling Festive?

In this episode I cover: Old Dog New Tricks: CAL Updates; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

Today’s Old Do is all about fixing crochet when a hole appears in it.  My friend Lisa went to put on one of her crocheted shawls and discovered that somehow there were two ends poking out that were once a fully formed stitch.  She wasn’t sure how to fix it, so I said I would have a go. 

On investigating the shawl there were a few areas where loose ends were showing and one knot.  I don’t know what caused the yarn breakage but suspect one of three things:

1 – moths

2 – the shawl was trapped in a drawer or door at some point

3 – the yarn has worn at particular points (it was a skinny single merino)

The good news is that you can fix crochet, the bad news is that I don’t think one method fixes all.  With Lisa’s shawl she provided me with her leftover yarn (always a good reason to keep some spare) and I knew that the broken stitches were quadruple trebles. 

Key to fixing these holes was spit splicing new yarn onto the tiny ends of yarn that were poking up.  If you have never spit spliced before, it is a wonderful way of joining two ends of yarn together and works particularly well with wool or yarn with a high wool content.  You can do it with superwash yarn, but it may take a bit more effort for the splice to take.  If you are new to spit splicing, here is a link to a YouTube video on how to do it.

Ensure that you are joining to the loose piece at the top of the row so that you are starting from the correct height.  Do the same with the bottom strand of loose yarn so that it won’t unravel further and weave this end in so that it is secure.

Go back to the newly spliced yarn at the top of the row and crochet the missing stitch as per the pattern.  I finished by adding a slip stitch to really bed the new stitch in.  Weave in the end.

If you don’t have enough yarn to do a spit splice, you may be better of tying a knot in it (this will likely create a puckered area in your work though) and then try to felt the two ends together (like the spit splice but without cutting any of the plies out).  This should help to secure the ends which you may be able to weave in and tidy up. 

2 – CAL Updates 

I haven’t recorded it yet, but hopefully, this weekend, I will have announced the #SockCAL winners on Instagram, Ravelry and possibly a YouTube video (time allowing).

Charlie and I are colluding again on a Christmas Eve CAL.  At any point on Christmas Eve you can start a new project.  Last year we did it as a One Skein Wonderland CAL and this year it is up to you what you make and with how much yarn.  The bundle is still up in the Ravelry group from last year, so if you need some inspiration for one skein projects, go and take a look. 

As usual, you can crochet, knit, weave, do whatever yarn based craft you please.  This is all about having a chilled out project that you can work on during the Festive Season and the month of January. 

The CAL starts on the 24th December 2018 and ends on Sunday 27th 2019.  It is going to be a very chilled out CAL, mainly because I am flat out at the moment and don’t want to over-commit myself again. 

Use #ChristmasEveCAL and #ChristmasEveCALFO to show off your projects and finished objects.

3 – Final Destination

Do you remember me saying that I was going to get time off in November and that I was going to finish all my WIPs before the end of 2019?  Did you believe me? 

It hasn’t quite worked out like that.  I sort of forgot about a project that I signed up to do and got the go ahead on two rather large commissions that I need to deliver by mid-December…

So, there has been MUCH crocheting going on, but I can’t show you properly until March.

When I have large work crochet projects on the go, I tend to turn to other crafts as my personal crafts and vice versa.  What this means is that I have finished up a couple of long-term knitting WIPs that I had on the go.

The first is a DK weight jumper which is called Joyride.  It’s a free pattern on Ravelry and was really quite quick to make, even though I started it at the beginning of February. I made a few modifications and hope to get my project notes up on Ravelry shortly.

All of my other FOs are socks.  I have listed all of the patterns and yarns used.  Of particular interest are two new yarns that I used.  The first was Tania’s (TJ Frog) Dorset Horn wool, which has no nylon in it whatsoever, just pure wool.  We were both vending at Yarnporium together and had a little chinwag about the viability of using Dorset Horn for socks.  I thought it was worth a try because of the decent staple length of the fibre and strurdiness of the twist and wool that Tania has had spun.   Needless to say, Tania is currently testing out her new striped (Sufragette coloured) socks and will report back so that I can let all of you know how well her Dorest Horn wool has performed in sock form. 

The other yarn of note is 70% SW wool and 30% nettle.  I bought this yarn when I was at Stephen & Penelope’s in Amsterdam and loved working with it.  It’s plump, warm and silky.  The nettle makes a real difference to yarn.  I haven’t worn the socks yet because I wanted to show them off, but even just from trying them on, I know that these are going to be toasty.  I think that the Onion Sock Yarn would be amazing for crocheted socks.  I need to find some more because I think that it would be incredible in a pair of Deanne’s (Addydae Designs) Baseline or Segue Socks.

If you are UK based and interested in this yarn, you can get it from Wild & Woolly in London.  There are other stockists worldwide, just search for Onion Yarns Sock Yarn. 

The stripey fellas were a quick make for my Father-in-Law because everyone needs a woolly hug every now and then.  They were knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners Mallard colourway.   The Eddisbury Socks are a pattern by my freind Gill, using Socks Yeah!

My other FO was for Crochetzine’s latest issue.  I said that I would pull together a tutorial on intarsia crochet and I wanted to work that around something festive, so created an intarsia Christmas cracker.  If you aren’t familiar with Crochetzine, it’s a mini crochet magazine on Instagram and it’s run by Chrissie, Sarah and Sharma.  It is going from strength to strength and every month they have a new load of stories, giveaways, patterns and tutorials.  It is a genius way of delivering crochet content to crafters for free. 

Sometimes the smallest and simplest things take the longest time.  That is certainly true of this little cracker!   

In other news, I have had the laser cutter up and running.  I have been working on a collaboration with Becci and Markus from RiverKnits and Nu Shearman from Hide and Hammer.  I will talk more about the collaboration and kit sales in Quick Newsbeats, but that is another reason for the knitted sock extravaganza!

4 – En Route

As alluded to, I have to whopper crochet commissions on the go at the moment and they are taking up almost all of my crafting time.  My fallen Leaves socks are sitting patiently, waiting to be picked up again.  I know that as soon as I turn the heel on the first one, I will be away and they will be finished in no time!

5 – Feeding the habit

Given the number of yarns shows I vend at, you would think that is when I get the majority of my yarns.  Not the case because you spend all your time setting up, vending and then taking down.  That said, at Yarnporium, I did manage to sneak away for a few minutes because I was told that I must go and see Becca at Mahoodly.  I wasn’t disappointed, especially as I seem to be on a mini skein kick at the moment.  She dyes on 100% British Bluefaced Leicester. 

We also went to Glasgow for a night to meet up with my Dad.  We managed to cram a lot into just over 24 hours, which included two (yes two!) yarns shops!  I had arranged to meet Fiona and Lorna at Queen of Purls on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately Lorna couldn’t make it , but I had a lovely afternoon with Fiona, chatting to Zoe (yarn shop owner) and her sister,  whom is also now dyeing and has a company called The Sleekit Hare.  You can find her yarns at Queen of Purls and although Zoe is closing the bricks and mortar shop down because she is moving, her online shop will remain open. 

I also bought a skein of Zoe’s yarn in a glorious mustardy colour to go with the mini skeins and a 50g skein of variegated to go with some of her yarn I bought last time I was in Glasgow!

After Yarnporium, I took a little trip to Richmond to go back to Tribe Yarns.  I picked up some Isager yarn to crochet a lightweight top with.  I have crocheted with their Alpaca 1 before, held double, and it creates the softest fabric with gorgeous drape.  I also bought some Isager Silk Mohair to add some texture to parts of the top. 

Milli also had Isager Spinne which is made in Denmark and 100% wool.  I hadn’t touched this wool in the flesh before and wanted to give it a try as it is really quite rustic in it’s unblocked state.  This will become my version of the shawl that I am currently making under commission.

I am currently reviewing what my yarn buying habits might be in 2019…

6 - Quick News Beats 

Global Hook Ups – I said that the hook ups would be back in December, but looking at my calendar, I just can’t make it work.  So here are the suggested dates for the first half of 2019:

January – 12th Saturday (night) and 13th (morning)

February – 9th Saturday (night) and 10th (morning)

March – 9th Saturday (night) and 10th (morning)

April – 20th Saturday (night) and 21st (morning)

May – 11th Saturday (night) and 12th (morning)

June – 15th Saturday (night) and 16th (morning)

Festive collaboration – the project that I have been working on with Nu and Becci goes love on Friday 7th December and the kits are available to buy at the RiverKnits website up to Monday 10th at midday or until the limited edition stocks have run out.  There is a knit version of the kit and a crocheted version.  I’m not yet confident enough to design a crocheted sock, but the yarns amounts should be perfect for Vicki Brown’s Sweetheart Socks or Deanne’s Segue Socks.

7 – Big Up

I have a new YouTube podcast for you.  It’s called The Green Bean Podcast and it’s by Katie Green, formerly of Blacker Yarns.  Katie lives on the Cornwall/Devon border and podcasts about her crafting which is mainly sewing, illustrating and knitting, but she does also crochet.  It’s a lovely gentle podcast and her dog Jack often appears in it. 

8 - J’adore

I was thinking about the things that make me feel festive or that I look forward to over the Christmas period.  Here is what I came up with:

1 – Satsumas are in season and I could eat a bag a day!

2 – Mulled wine is perfectly acceptable on a Sunday afternoon as I sit by the fire.

3 – Seeing little children being excited by the magic of the festive season.

4 – Christmas cake is allowed.

5 – Unsolicited access to marzipan.  Hmmmm, marzipan.

6 – Making things for people I love. 

Have a fabulous December and festive season my lovelies.  I will be back on Friday the 4th January!

Fay x

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Dec 07 2018

1hr 2mins

Play

Episode 36 - Frolicking with hooligans

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 36 – Frolicking with hooligans

In this episode I cover: Sock CAL; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement is really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

1 - #SockAlong 2018 CAL

The response to the CAL has been incredible.  As I recorded this episode, there were a few days left for the CAL.  I would like to record a separate piece on the Sock Along and show off the finished objects.

All of the blogs are available here if you need support with making more crocheted socks. 

Here are the links to all of the blog hop folk:

#1 Sat 15th Sep - Sock Making Tips - me (http://www.craftyescapism.com/)

#2 Sat 22nd Sep - Yarn Choice - Fay (https://www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com/)

#3 Sat 29th Sep - Knit vs Crochet Socks - Caroline (https://www.mindandmusecrafts.com/)

#4 Sun 30th Sep -  Sock Anatomy - Deanne (http://www.addydae.com/)

#5 Sat 6 Oct - Toe up vs Cuff down Socks - Jo (http://jojotwinkletoes.blogspot.com/)

#6 Sat 13th Oct - Colour & colour patterns - Marta (http://mrsdaftspaniel.blogspot.com/)

#7 Sat 20th Oct - Customising socks - Kathryn (http://crafternoontreats.com/)

#8 Sat 27th Oct - Crochet Sock Heels are not Scary - Karen (https://www.karenwhooley.com/)

More prizes have come in for the CAL.  Lovely Sandra from Cherry Heart podcast has kindly offered copies of her latest pattern, the Linden Bee Shawl

Nikki from Ewe Felty Thing a LYS in Llandudno, North Wales and indie dyer, has kindly given a prize of the most beautiful 50% silk and 50% camel yarn.  It is so beautifully soft.  I am also pleased to say that in November, Nikki will be extending the size of her shop.  It's always good to hear local yarn shop successes.

2 – Final Destination

Creatively, I have been very busy this month, it's just that much of it has been for the shop and for Yarnporium (a large London yarn show on 2nd & 3rd November).  So, less crochet and a lot of pottery, sewing, bag making, designing, and, and, and...

I have finished off two shawls that I have been designing.  The shawl is called Arria and on Friday 2nd November, the 4ply crocheted and knitted versions are being launched.  They both use the intarsia technique and are a nice introduction to it because you only have three balls on the go.  They both use 2 x 100g skeins of a 4 ply/light fingering weight yarn (400m/437yds) and a 20g mini skein of the same yarn weight.     

If you prefer to work in DK weight yarns, the DK Arria patterns are being worked up at the moment and might be ready for the December podcast.

I have also been working on my first knitted sock pattern, which uses 20g mini skeins from River Knits.  The pattern is called Mini Mania and if you buy a seventh 20g mini skein, you can use up almost all of your wool and get two pairs of socks from the 140g.  

Discount codes are set up on all three patterns on Ravelry.  Use CROCHETCLAN at check out to receive 50% discount.

3 – En Route

I have made very little progress on my Fallen leaves socks.  I am desperate to get more crochet time in during November and catch up on life.  Ho-hum.

4 – Feeding the habit

This section usually reflects any woolly adventures I have had during the month.  October was a great month for going to new places and seeing some of my lovely woolly friends.  

It all started with a trip to Hooligan Yarns on their open day. This is a small holding called Manor Farm Charitable Trust, where they take in animals that would otherwise go to slaughter.  Di, her husband Allan and a team look after 170 sheep, goats, chickens, donkeys, pony, geese, geep (yes, there is such a thing as a goat/sheep cross) and ducks.

All of the animals get to live a full life and it was amazing to see the different personalities the animals have.  

The trip was all down to my friend Bec who organised it, and we had a great day out.  Di has been working over the last couple of years to create yarn from the fleeces of the sheep.  Needless to say, I couldn’t come away without any.  I really love that I have animal and fleece specific wool and I have seen just how happy the animals were.  The sale of the wool offers direct support to the charity. 

You can buy their yarn online.  You can follow the different animals on Instagram (@hooliganyarns).  You can also see the farm on Countryside Autumn Diaries 2018, Episode 3, go to 35:25 minutes.

I know of two other UK suppliers of slaughter free wool in case you are interested:

Doulton Border Leicester Flock and Izzy Lane.

The next day I was off to Bakewell Woolgathering in Derbyshire, a two day yarn festival.  I didn't have long there and made a beeline to see some friends.  One of my plans for this year has been to look to my stash, see where I have single skeins that need partners and buy those partners.  Laili owns Emily Foulds, a LYS in Colne, Yorkshire and one of the yarns she carries is The Fibre Company and this was one of the stash areas that I wanted to marry up with an extra skein.  I really like Laili and what a success she is making of her shop, so I was pleased to be able to buy from her.  When my skein arrived in the post (she didn't have the colour I wanted at the show) it also arrived with a couple of skeins of the new The Fibre Company yarn - Arranmore.  I am looking to design up a new crocheted bag with this yarn, so it was really nice to get some to play with.

I took a sneaky day off and headed down to London to meet up with a couple of friends.  Stasia was over from Russia and Lisa works in London, so we met up int he afternoon for some tea, coffee and crochet at a very cool location called Drink, Shop & Do (later that night the cafe bar was hosting prosecco and pumpkin carving party!)  We were all swapping little bits and pieces as gifts and I was blown away with the lovely things I received from Stasia and Lisa.  I am now the happy owner of some Russian yarn and a really special stitch marker.

I also visited a new yarn shop called Tribe Yarns (@Tribeyarnslife).  I only had about 20 minutes there and it was so amazing.  I can't do it justice just now, so I am going to go back and have a proper look and photograph it properly.  It's in Richmond on the Hill and it is easily one of my new favourite yarn shops.  

The lovely Nikki from Ewe Felty Thing also sent me through a skein of yarn, very specifically for making socks with so that I can check out another type of yarn.  I was searching at Yarndale for some alpaca based sock yarn but couldn't find any, so this skein is just perfect.  I will report back in due course so that  you know how it wears.    

5 - Quick News Beats 

Global Hook Ups – I am going to take a month off the Global Hook Ups.  I know that when I come back form Yarnporium, my battery levels are going to be really low and I want to make sure I get a proper recharge during November.  The hook ups will be back in December.  

Meet up in Glasgow - 24th November meet up in Glasgow at The Queen of Purls at 3.30pm.  It would be lovely to see some of you there.

WIPalong - Charlie from the Love Charlie Podcast and some Instagram friends are hosting #WIPvember.  It runs from 1st - 30th November om Instagram.  All you need to do is get cracking on your WIPs.  My plan is to continue this throughout December too because ideally, I would carry just one WIP into 2019.  I really want to move into the New Year with a clean slate, knowing that I can tackle whatever it is I want and there is no background guilt over long-suffering projects).  

6 – Big Up

I don't think I have ever told you about my wonderful sister-in-law.  Sarah is Matthew's sister and she is an author, and a very good one at that.  She has a new book out under the Urban Fantasy genre and when she was visiting this weekend, we hatched a plan for a giveaway.  'The Night Raven' is the first novel in The Crow Investigation Series. 

Sarah is giving away a signed copy of 'The Night Raven' and between us we picked out linen embroidery thread colours to match the front cover which is then part of a raven embroidery bag kit that I am giving away from KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT. The embroidery kit is an absolute one-off (apart from the one that I gave to Sarah - because she is an amazing person).  

If you would like to win the prize bundle, take to Instagram and make sure you are following her account (@sarapainterbooks)and my business account (@knitithookit) and leave a comment on the post in my account @knitithookit  If you want to tag a friend that might be interested, then please do, but it isn't compulsory.  Simply comment on the post by 12pm GMT 9th November.  

Sarah has a growing back catalogue, many of which are available through Amazon and Audible.    

7 - J'adore

We have been binge watching The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel which is airing on Amazon.  

Right, I am off to do more prep for Yarnporium and will be spending most of November on the sofa crocheting.  

Fay x

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Nov 01 2018

56mins

Play

Episode 35 - Sockdale

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 35 – Sockdale

In this episode I cover: Old dog new tricks; Sock CAL; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

1 – Old dog new tricks

I was in our Ravelry pages the other day and came across a link that was helpfully posted to try to help people understand what kind of crocheter they are.  You may be a yanker, rider or a lifter.  Your style affects whether or not you are going to hit row tension/gauge and by crocheting in the Rider style, you should be able to hit gauge with most patterns (unless the designer is a Yanker or Lifter).  This can help you to get the right number fo pattern rows/rounds and in the case of a Yanker, stop you from having to use more yarn to get the right length of project.

I thought I would raise this because a Crochet Clan member said that they managed to get gauge on their stitches, but not rows and their way around that was to add more rows.  This has happened to me in the past too. 

Yankers – tend to pull the golden loop (first loop pulled up from yarn round hook) and create shorter stitches because they are yanking down on the loops as they work through each stitch.  With this technique, you are likely to create shorter projects unless you do extra rows/rounds,

Riders – this is really where you want to be because your hook is being worked parallel with your row/round and the height is where it ideally should be.  When you pull through a loop from your first yarn round hook, your hook should almost be pointing diagonally down so that you are not extending the loop and you can continue to build the right height as you do the remaining parts of that stitch.

Lifters -  A lifter is the opposite of a Yanker because they extend the golden loop every time, creating a taller stitch.  With this technique you are likely to create taller projects overall.

If you want to know more about this, I thoroughly recommend looking up Deje Jetmir’s YouTube video.  She takes you through what a difference it makes and how to overcome being a Yanker or Lifter.

2 - #SockAlong 2018 CAL

This CAL is well and truly underway and I am mightily impressed with how many socks are being crocheted and the progress so far!

  • It runs from Saturday 29th September – 31st October 2018.
  • There is a series of blog posts taking you through the intricacies of crocheting socks.
  • You can join in with crocheted or knitted socks.
  • The chatter thread is on Claudia’s (Crochet Luna’s Ravelry page), the FO thread will be hosted by Kathryn from the Crafternoon Treats podcast Ravelry Group and I am heading up the Instagram #SockCAL2018 #SockAlong2018.
  • Sock patterns are available from various designers.
  • There will be prizes for winning entries into the Ravelry FO thread and those using #SockAlong2018FO and I showcase some of them on the podcast.
  • The FO thread is already open in Kathryn's Crafternoon Treats Ravelry Group and there are entries already!

Here are the links to all of the blog hop folk:

#1 Sat 15th Sep - Sock Making Tips - me (http://www.craftyescapism.com/)

#2 Sat 22nd Sep - Yarn Choice - Fay (https://www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com/)

#3 Sat 29th Sep - Knit vs Crochet Socks - Caroline (https://www.mindandmusecrafts.com/)

#4 Sun 30th Sep -  Sock Anatomy - Deanne (http://www.addydae.com/)

#5 Sat 6 Oct - Toe up vs Cuff down Socks - Jo (http://jojotwinkletoes.blogspot.com/)

#6 Sat 13th Oct - Colour & colour patterns - Marta (http://mrsdaftspaniel.blogspot.com/)

#7 Sat 20th Oct - Customising socks - Kathryn (http://crafternoontreats.com/)

#8 Sat 27th Oct - Crochet Sock Heels are not Scary - Karen (https://www.karenwhooley.com/)

These designers have offered a discount or free pattern:

Karen Whooley - 20% off all her sock patterns and books through Ravelry.  Just use code socktober2018 at the checkout.  https://www.ravelry.com/designers/karen-whooley

Deanne from Addydae Designs - 20% off Baseline Socks using code SOCKCAL2018 at the Ravelry checkout.  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baseline-socks

Vicki Brown - free Magdalen Sock Pattern on Ravelry https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/magdalen-socks

Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats Podcast - free SuperSonic Socks on Ravelry https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/supersonic-socks

Caroline from Mind and Muse podcast - free Miniature Hooked Socks and My Sweet Socks on Ravelry  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/mind-and-muse-crafts/patterns

Here are some of the prizes that have been coming in for the CAL:

1 - Shawl pin by Vesna and her Etsy shop UstvarjalniNavdih

2 - Yarn by Bec at Black Horse Yarn with a Votes for Women badge I found at Yarndale

3 - Yarn via The Wool Stop in Bristol but dyed by Deb at Crafty Cat Knitty Bits

4 - Stitch markers by Lisa 

5 - Stitch markers by Kathryn at Crafternoon Treats

3 – Final Destination

I have a couple of finished things to share with you this month.  I managed to do my project with the Blacker Tor, the birthday yarn I was sent by Blacker and it’s everything Jo said it was in the yarn review was spot on.  It’s bouncy, recrochets brilliantly and is beautiful to work with.  I made myself a little bag for all of my essential crochet designers kit.  It’s just big enough to carry my design kit of stopwatch, calculator, notepad, scales and pen and fit inside a project bag.

I am pleased to have finished the crocheted version of Arete.  I had to steek this project and it seems that steeking crochet IS NOT A THING.  It is now.  It works.  My stitches haven’t come undone and the world didn’t implode! Yay.  I plan on writing a couple of blog posts on steeking crochet because I really think it should be incorporated into more designs.  I much prefer tapestry crochet in the round rather than in rows.  So, here is the design and the ways I liked to style it:

Discount codes are set up on both patterns on Ravelry.  Use CROCHETCLAN at check out to receive 50% discount.

I also finished my knitted version of Arete and here it is too.

4 – En Route

It is all about socks!  Crocheted socks.  I have two different pairs on the go.  Both are using the same Fallen Leaves pattern by Vicki Brown. 

I am making both pairs with some of Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats yarn so that I can do a side by side comparison.  Both are 80% Corriedale and 20% nylon, but the bright pink one is non-super wash and the light blue is super washed. 

I am intrigued to see the difference between the two and so I am making them both into the same crocheted sock pattern.  My plan is to wear both pairs one day each week for a number of months, put them both through our weekly wool wash and test the side by side to discern whether there is any material difference between super wash and non-super wash.

The yarn is working up really well and is giving great stitch definition with the Fallen Leaves which is beautiful.

5 – Feeding the habit

Well, I was at Yarndale.  I am now on a bit of a yarn ban again and I think I am going to try to take it right through to 2019 and assess the situation then.

So, here is what has been in my shopping basket this month, bearing in mind that much of it is for designs:

Left - 'Orchard' in Bear Twist by Bernie at Bear in Sheep's Clothing

Middle and right-hand side yarn are both Crafternoon Corrie Sock from Kathryn at Crafternoon Treats

Right photo shows all the lovely gifts I have receievd during the month.  Lost of sticth markers and notions.  There were chocolates and tablet...

Left - Alpaca Rose yarn from Border Mill

Right - crochet hook roll and bag from Clarisabeth from Crochet Cakes Podcast and DaintyByCrochetCakes Etsy shop, Chocolate bag and Patons Kroy sock yarn from Claudia at Crochet Luna Podcast and esty shop

Left - BFL, mohair and Pecora Brugno from Officina del Colore Naturale

Right - Poll Dorset Lambswool from Kate at Northern Yarn

6 - Quick News Beats 

Global Hook Ups – The next Global Hook Up is due to be on Saturday 13th October 2018 (BST)

Time: Saturday 13th October 2018 8:30 PM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

There is then a second one on Sunday 14th October at 9am (BST)

Time: Sunday 14th October 2018 9:00 AM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

Making Things App - A new pattern app is in the making.  It is called Making Things App and you can take a look at their website and Instagram.  This is quite a different take on how you can access patterns form designers.  Think of a Netflix monthly payment with access to all of the patterns on the app.  I will report back when I know more about a launch date but what I can say is that as a designer and user of paid for patterns, I am excited about this new platform.

C2C CAL - Rosina of Zeens & Rogers podcast is hosting a corner to corner (C2C) CAL.  It starts on Sunday 7th October and runs until 17th November.  You can get all the details here in the blogpost.

Glasgow trip – I am heading to my favourite Scottish city on Saturday 24th November.  If anyone fancies meeting up, I will be heading to The Queen of Purls for about 3.30pm.  The yarn shop is at 1069 Argyle Street, Studio 8, Second Floor, The Hive, Glasgow, G3 8LZ and is open until 5pm. So, if you are in or around Glasgow and fancy squishing yarn with me and going for a coffee, please drop me a line.

8 – Big Up

My friend Sophie has taken up podcasting.  She is quite a few episodes in now and you can catch her easy breezy, positive catch ups and see her massive WIP pile over at the A Spring Snowflake Podcast over on YouTube.

Yarndale organisers – it is a fabulous event that is very crochet welcoming and I think becomes more and more crochet friendly every year. 

Everyone with a zombie apocalypse plan.  In a short and unscientific poll at Yarndale, three out of eight people do not have a zombie apocalypse plan.  In case you don’t have a plan, here are some tips:  https://comicvine.gamespot.com/profile/masterkungfu/blog/my-zombie-apocalypse-survival-plan/101215/

9 – J’adore

Song – I listen to a fair bit of folk music and Spotify brought me ‘Dark Honey’ by Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr.  It is just beautiful. 

Claudia – Claudia from the Crochet Luan podcast was over for Yarndale.  We had a blast.  It is just as well we live far apart because I don’t think the world is ready for the amount of naughty we would create together!

Fay x

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Oct 05 2018

1hr 31mins

Play

Episode 34 - Sock Season

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 34 – Sock Season

In this episode I cover: CALs, Yarn review; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Uo and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

1 - #SockAlong 2018 CAL

This CAL is starting to shape up rather nicely.  Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • It runs from Saturday 29th September – 31st October 2018.
  • You can join in with crocheted or knitted socks.
  • Designers, podcasters and yarn dyers are getting involved with the CAL.
  • You can get the full details closer to the CAL start date on both Ravelry and Instagram (#SockAlong2018)
  • Tamara is organising a blog hop which will start on the 15th of September, two weeks before the CAL starts.
  • The chatter thread(s) will be available on Claudia (Crochet Luna’s Ravelry page), the FO thread will be hosted by Kathryn from the Crafternoon Treats podcast Ravelry Group and I will head up the Instagram # and information.
  • Behind the scenes we are pulling together some great crocheted sock patterns for you to try out. These range from free to paid for and beginner onwards. 
  • My blog hop is all about choosing the right yarn for crocheted socks and that will come out before the CAL starts so that you have time to get your paws on yarn if you need to.
  • There will be prizes for winning entries into the Ravelry FO thread and those using #SockAlong2018FO
  • The CAL officially starts on 28th September when a bunch of us will be gathered for a picnic at Yarndale.

 2 – Yarn review – ‘Tor’ – Blacker’s 2018 birthday yarn

Blacker Yarns sent the podcast some of their latest birthday yarn to squish and review.  I asked for some extra skeins so that another clan member could also have a squish with it.  I sent three of the mini skeins to Jo (@jofeatherandthreads on Instagram) and I have been playing with the other three mini skeins.

Jo's full yarn review is up in the yarn review Ravery thread in The Crochet Circle Group. 

3 – Final Destination

I finished yet another Loft which is a crocheted DK version in gorgeous wine colours.  Again, this is in Knit by Numbers by John Arbon Textiles and will be available to squish on their show stand.

When I was over in Northern Ireland, Louise at Lighthouse Yarns gave me some vintage Irish linen.  I have a bout 1kg of this linen left after I crocheted up a Zeens & Rogers Market Bag for a friend. 

I did manage to whip up a pair of my standard socks using the Alley Cat (AKA Dirty Tiger) yarn that I bought over at Ewe & Ply in July.  I have used West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply for the contrast heel and toes in colourway ‘Poppy Seed’.

4 – En Route

Time is 100% against me at the moment.  I have very little personal crocheting time and so things like my summer top have languished in a project bag.  I am desperate to get to it but I just have too many design and show deadlines at the moment.  

My Verity V neck is my only real WIP at the moment.  Once this episode is out, I plan on getting some time back for me, myself and I. 

5 - Designs in Progress

Heg tre is the pashmina/cowl that I have been working on, called Arete.  You can see where it will be steeked - where the stitches differ.  It's going to be nail biting stuff!

6 – Feeding the habit

I took a little look in my Stash Palace the other month and felt a little overcrowded by it all.  That is usually a good time to stop spending or at the very least, slow it down and concentrate on making things instead.  I even declined more Icelandic wool from my Dad…

That said, I had some lovely things liven to me at the Southern Wool Show.  Flic has taken pity on my phone and bought me a child’s stopwatch so that I can get my phone fixed and hopefully not break it again!  Ali gave me some dodgy yarn which isn’t at all dodgy and Helen baked some AMAZING brownies that clearly can’t be shown here because they got wolfed at the end of the show during take down.

So, here’s what has been incoming this month:

1 – Wild Wool from Erika Knight – a blend of wool and nettle.

2 – Some gorgeous hand spun from Mary at Marethdale.  I went to see her at The Pop Up Wool Show at Port Sunlight. 

3 - Supposedly 'dodgy yarn' from Ali of the Little Drops of Wonderful podcast. 

4 - Hand Spun from Jo at Dancing Goat Crafts.

5 - Present from Flic to preserve my phone!

6 – Studio Donegal’s ‘Soft Donegal’ in shades 5528 & 5219.  I bought these from Louise at Lighthouse Yarns when we were over for Yarnfolk.

7 – Woolganic Knitters Yarn from Australian Fleece Wool in shade CHB8.  I forgot to add it to the photo!

Harvest Hues from John Arbon Textiles ready for a crocheted Arete pashmina/cowl.   It’s a blend of Zwartbles (35%) and Merino (65%) and is only £11 per 100g.

7 - Quick News Beats 

Global Hook Ups – The next Global Hook Up is due to be on Saturday 15th September 2018 (BST)

Time: Saturday 15th September 2018 8:30 PM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

There is then a second one on Sunday 16th September at 9am (BST)

Time: Sunday 16th September 2018 9:00 AM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

Thanks to everyone that came to say hi at the Southern Wool Show.  I was hugging people right left and centre.  It was an amazing day and I am hoping to be there again next year.  My next show is Yarnporium in London on the 2nd & 3rd November.  It’s a whopper of a show and I have lots of stuff up my sleeve for it. It’s all very exciting!

8 – Big Up

To everyone that is helping to pull together the #SockAlong2018.  I am really stretched for time at the moment, so having so many great people being involved is making it a better and more interesting CAL.  Huge thanks and appreciation going out to Caroline, Tamara, Kathryn, Claudia, Vicki and Deanne.  Let’s get some socks on the hook.   

9 – J’adore

Song – Of course I have a new song to obsess over and it’s another dance remix.  It’s called ‘Send me on my way’ by Rusted Roots and it’s a Jesse Bloch remix.  You may recognise the original from the film ‘Ice Age’.

TV – We have gone back to watch Green Wing for the umptieth time.  This really is proper, silly, British humour.  It can be a bit sweary, so if that’s not your thing then don’t look it up!

Autumn - It’s a bit Autumnal round these parts but I’m still managing to eek out a few more times sitting outside (with a blanket) as I work.  I love the Autumn and the fact that soup, log fires and blankets are back on the menu.

Fay x

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Sep 07 2018

1hr 14mins

Play

Episode 33 - It's so close I can almost sniff it

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Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 33 – So close, I can sniff it! 

In this episode I cover: CALs, Old dog, new tricks; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

Thanks to everyone who tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile. 

1 – Old dog, new tricks

My Old dog, new tricks is still about the dratted moth.

Since last month, I have managed to get on top of the moth situation but I have tried a couple of different methods and wanted to tell you what worked best for me. 

Lovely Crochet Clan member Lisa told me about pheromone traps that you can buy.  They are meant to attract the male moths which therefore stops the breeding cycle.  I put the traps down as I was coming to the end of dealing with Moth Gate but still didn’t catch and moths with the various traps I put throughout the house. 

What worked best for me was using the hoover nozzle (obviously doing this diligently so that I didn’t suck up my boob this time!)  I think that this is the best technique because you can catch them in mid-air and it doesn’t make a mess.  Obviously, I would rather be able to catch them alive and put them outside but this is really hard to do. 

Another lovely Crochet Clan member, Mara, has a pest controller friend and they suggest the zip lock freezer method but with an extended freezer time.  Five days in the freezer, five days out and five days back in.  That means that if any eggs survived and hatched after the first freeze, they should be dealt with in the second freeze. 

2 - CALs

#SummerTopsCAL – is now finished and there have been so many entries.  I am really impressed and thankful to everyone that took part.  Lots of people made their first ever garments.  Some people made multiple garments for the CAL!

If you want to see what everyone has been up to you can see the FOs in two locations:

1 – The Crochet Circle Group on Ravelry has a Summer Top CAL FO thread.

2 – On Instagram go to #SummerTopCALFO

I did a random number generator for the prizes and the following people won: 

1 - Leather hook case by Nu Shearman, stitch markers by Lisa and a Liberty notebook - Mara (aka @Rubytombstone)

2 – 6 x 50g of Erika Knight Gossypium cotton (enough to make a summer top), stitch markers by Lisa and a Liberty notebook - Wendy (aka @wendlcol)

I also generated a random number for Sharon’s No Sew Mimosa Kimono.  The winner for that was Diranish from YouTube. 

#Loftalong – This C/KAL is going strong even with the heat that we have had.  If you downloaded the pattern but you’re not sure what colours to use, look at #LoftAlong or #LoftAlongFO on Instagram for inspiration.  There is also a chatter thread in the John Arbon Textiles group on Ravelry. 

Use #Loftalong for your WIPs and #LoftalongFO for your FOs. 

3 – Yarn shows – how to survive them

I lovely member of the Crochet Clan asked me if I had any tips on how to approach a yarn show, especially if you have never been before. So, I thought I would pull together my top ten tips for surviving and thriving at yarn shows:

1 – Go online and see what people have to say about the yarn show.  Is the food good, is the ground uneven, is day two quieter than day one?  All of this information can help you to really enjoy a yarn show rather than be frustrated by it because you know what you are getting yourself into.

2 – Most yarn shows put a map of the vendors up on their website a couple of weeks in advance.  Download it, look at all of the vendors and decide which ones you would be gutted to miss out on.  They should be your first people to visit, even if you miss out lots of stalls in between for now.  You can always go back and see them once you have seen your favourite vendors.

3 – Dress appropriately.  Wear layers because what on face value may look like a very cold venue soon heats up with thousands of bodies in it.  Get your comfortable shoes on because you are going to do a lot of walking.

4 – Arrive early and try to park as close as possible to the venue.  This means that you have easy access to your vehicle should you want to drop bags off and also a place to sit, rest and take your cup of tea to.  Seating is always an issue at yarn shows.

5 – Of all of the yarn shows that I go to, I would say that only two of them have decent quality food (Wonderwool Wales and Woolfest) for all of the others I am always disappointed by the cost, quality and selection.  If you have specific dietary requirements then taking your own food is a much safer bet.  Again, this is where parking your car as close as possible comes in – you can leave your lunch in the car and go back there for a break.  You can also check out what is available locally.  At Yarndale there is a bus that runs down to Skipton and there are lots of cafes there that you can go and eat in.  There is also an AMAZING farm shop down the hill from the venue where you can eat in or take away. 

6 – Go in with a spending budget and take cash with you.  The nature of yarn shows means that many of them are in rural locations and paying by card can be really tricky.  If you take cash then you can only spend what you have with you.  As a general rule of thumb, vendors have a minimum payment for card transactions because they have to pay a percentage for that transaction.  With my system I have to pay 2.7% of the transaction back to iZettle.  Vendors usually prefer cash for this reason.

7 – Be sociable.  If you have gone alone, go and grab a cuppa and sit with the crowds.  People will gladly strike up a conversation with you.  I am forever being nosy and asking people what they have been buying and asking to see it.

8 – If you have friends on Ravelry or Instagram or a favourite podcaster, see if they are going and whether there is a meet up.  It can be a very lovely hour out of your day where you get to meet people face to face and strengthen your online relationships.

9 – If like me, you don’t do well with big crowds, find out which day is quietest.  In general, a two day event over a Saturday/Sunday will be quieter in the afternoons and MUCH quieter on the Sunday.  For events that are on a Friday and Saturday, the same is true but the Friday would tend to be quieter. 

10 – Check the small print.  I have only just seen that people with advance tickets for Yarndale get in at 10am.  If you are buying your ticket on the day, you won’t get in until 11am.  Different shows will have different rules, so make sure you aren’t standing about waiting to get in when you could have had an extra hour in bed.

11 – I have added and extra one in because rather a lot of theft goes on at yarn shows.  If all of the good people were helping to keep their eyes peeled for thieves we might be able to put a stop to it.  So, if you see something that doesn’t seem quite right, please let the vendor know. 

I thought I would also add a couple of things that it’s best not to do to vendors:

1 – If you want to take photos of a vendors stand or stock, please ask them in advance.  It’s just good manners and stops us thinking that you are stealing our intellectual property, ready to create your own items.

2 – Don’t stand in a vendors stall and say “I could make that for half the price”.  Yup, this does happen!

3 – Don’t be shy.  Come and talk to us.  There is nothing nicer for a vendor than people appreciating what they are selling and talking about it.  If you ever see me vend, come and say hi and show me what you have bought so that I can live vicariously through your purchases.

4 – Final Destination

I have mainly been making Lofts!  A few people asked me for a DK version and so I quickly turned around a DK Loft knitted and crocheted pattern.  Both are available on Ravelry now.  I know that quite a few of you from the US and Canada were interested in trying John Arbon Knit by Numbers but didn’t want to have it sent from the UK.  Corrine from The Woolly Thistle stocks KBN DK in all the colours and shades, so you wouldn’t have to pay international postage. She has pulled together kits that are $49.95 and include 3 x 100g skeins a large tote bag and a pin badge.   Both versions are also much quicker in the DK…

5 – En Route

I am still working on my second top for the #SummerTopCAL.  It’s the Verity Top by the lovely Dawn at The Almond Snug.  I am just struggling with time on non-design projects at the moment.  I thought I was going to have a lovely quiet summer crocheting under the umbrella.  Nope.

Last night I started my fourth and final crocheted Loft shawl.  This one is in a DK/Light 3 weight and in the plum colour.  We have a friendly competition going between a few of us on Instagram for a LoftOff and I have until midnight on Friday to get the finish line.  I am currently on Row 60…

I love and hate deadlines in equal measure!

6 – Feeding the habit

I have been to lost of woolly events in the last few weeks.  As with last month, I intend on having a double podcast and showing off all the things I have been doing in Episode 34 which will come out in mid-August when I get back from gallivanting in Northern Ireland because I want to show off Yarnfolk and Giant’s Causeway and, and, and…

In the meantime, here are some of the goodies that I have bought, been given as birthday pressies. 

Button badges from Crochet Luna and second hand books from

the Blaze Farm Wool Experience

Icelandic wool from dewsnapswoollens.co.uk in the Peak District

(website isn't currently working)

1 - Shropshire Ply from Ewe & Ply in Shrewsbury

2 - Alley Cat (or as I called it "Dirty Tiger") from Ewe & Ply's Legends range

3 - Coloured Ryeland from Find Me Knitting

4 - North Ronaldsay from A Yarn From North Ronaldsay

5 - Feral Sphere Alpaca and Gotland blend from Find Me Knitting

6 - Mermaid and minis in shade Fuchsia from Riverknits

7 - Shepherd's Delight & Shepherd's Warning from Riverknits

8 - Hot Socks from Grundl and available from Ewe & Ply

7 - Quick News Beats

Global Hook Ups – The next Global Hook Up is due to be on Saturday 11th August 2018 (BST)

Time: Saturday 11th August 2018 8:30 PM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

There is then a second one on Sunday 12th August at 9am (BST)

Time: Sunday 12th August 2018 9:00 AM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

Here is the meringue recipe that I promised.

Here is the Weekday Summer Porridge recipe that's in the latest issue of www.olannand.ie

I found that I had already created the ragu recipe on my old website, so here it is.  You can use red lentils instead of brown.  I also do this as a massive batch cook and store it in preserving jars for months.  It's a great store cupboard meal that is homemade and we always take a jar and a bag of pasta when we go on self catering holidays.

8 – Big Up

Everyone that joined in with the Summer Top CAL.  I know that it has given a lot of people, including me, inspiration to make more tops.  We even had a couple of crocheted dresses entered! 

9 – J’adore

Song - The latest song that I am obsessed with is ‘Shotgun’ by George Ezra and in particular the Danny Dove remix.  Happy, happy summer tune!

TV - The TV programme that we boshed in two nights (two seasons!) was The Good Place.  I loved the premise of this series.  It’s on Netflix and has some great actors (Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden) and is from the same creator as Parks and Rec – which I also loved!

Audio book – I am still making my way through The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.  I’m on Book 4/5 (told in tandem) and I am loving it every bit as much as I did the first time around.                          

I will be back in mid-August with a second installment of my Summer Shennanigans. 

Fay x

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Aug 03 2018

1hr 28mins

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Epioide 32 - Summer Shenanigans

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This isn't a normal episode and so it doesn't have the normal level of show notes.  Instead, here are the photos I said I wouls share.

Jul 06 2018

44mins

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iTunes Ratings

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Crochet, finally!

By Raquel from JC - Sep 09 2019
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I’m trying to crochet more in my crafty life and this podcast is fantastic because Fay’s voice and contents are amazing! The descriptions are very thorough and the length of the podcast is just right for my daily walks. Thanks Fay!

One of my all time favorite crochet podcasts!

By Alyson KCACY - Jun 05 2018
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Fay's monthly episodes are much anticipated in my feed (I tend to watch the video version over the audio, but I discovered the audio first). She is everything that I want to be- a crocheter who can knit, funny, well-spoken, curious about new techniques, informative, a fount of yarn knowledge, and a fabulous designer. Episodes are well organized and I dare you not to learn something new from Fay!