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June 1, 2018 @ 8:09 am

Episode 30 - Just keep swimming

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 30 – Just keep swimming.

In this episode I cover: Old dog, new tricks; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats 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.

Before I get into it, here is the little feldgeling Robin I was talking about.  He is very sweet.  

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and this is Sven, the friendly household dragon that Matthew's Mum made for me:

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1 – Old dog, new tricks

A frequently asked question is whether gauge/tension stated on a pattern is measured on the blocked or unblocked object. I would personally assume that it is always unblocked, unless stated otherwise within the pattern.

This also means that it is worth swatching for shawls, especially if your tension is likely to very or you think you may be tight on yarn. By swatching, you are giving yourself the best possible chance of creating a finished objet that you like and is fit for purpose.

 

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If you have lots of a yarn (way beyond the pattern requirements) and you like the fabric that your gauge/tension is creating, then swatching isn’t really required.

  

2 – Final Destination

So, as you are aware, it has been a very busy and emotional month and this alongside having some fairly large projects on the go has really inhibited my May output.  I did manage to finish off Matthew’s socks, ready for his mountain climbs and also knit a pair for his sister as a sort of a woolly hug from me.

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To say that Matthew is now a fan of hand-made socks would be putting it mildly. He loves both pairs that he has so far but the Fjord Fibres ones are really his favourite for inside his walking boots because they are super warm and squishy!

  

3 – En Route

I have made good progress on my Stoborough shawl by Sarah Hazell and think that I have persuaded myself to use all three skeins in it. It may not be an FO by next month.

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The second is my latest version of Loft Knitted which is in the grape colourways from the Knit By Numbers range 4 ply 100g/400m using a 3mm circular needle).

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I am also not far off starting the yoke section of my Joyside (Joyride!) jumper. I really love this so far, mainly because of the alterations I have made with the rib and colours. The grey is ‘Storm Grey’ by Birlinn Yarns Company and is a blend of Hebridean and Cheviot fleeces and the yellow is Shropshire Ply from Ewe & Ply in Shrewsbury (they have now sold out of this clip and colourway).

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4 – Designs in progress

I created this bag design as a submission for Pom Pom Quarterly that was unsuccessful. I really love the pattern and think that simple colour changes make this a really versatile bag. I have deliberately gone for the bright summer look first and will then make the bee colourway of the orange, blue green colourway next. 

The plan is to put this out as a free pattern on my birthday (either using a download code or signing up to my newsletter if you aren’t on Ravelry). Listen out in the July podcast for details on the pattern giveaway.

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5 – Feeding the habit

So, besides the spinning wheel and laser cutter, there have been a few other purchases:

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1 – John Arbon Textiles Knit by Numbers 4 ply in 006 (lighter grey) and 004 (darker grey)

2 – Daughter of a Shepherd Ram Jam DK in cream (50g)

3 – Tinky Dye Yarn Outlander series 'The Stones' 4 ply 80% SW merino and 80% nylon

4 – John Arbon Textiles mill ends

5 – Chrissie Crafts 'Life is one big WIP' pin badge

6 – Claudia from Crochet Luna's podcast badges (UK & EU) or Rest of World

7 – My bargain Falkland's wool from Andy at Wooltops 

 

6 - Quick News Beats

 

Global Hook Ups – The next Global Hook Up is due to be on Saturday 2nd June 2018 (BST)

Time: Saturday 2nd June 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 3rd June at 9am (BST)

Time: Sunday 3rd June 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

 

 

#SummerTopsCAL – this starts on Friday 1st June and goes on until the 22nd July. WIPs and double dips are welcome and it doesn’t have to be a summer top, it can be a woolly jumper if you prefer. I don’t care how you craft it. Weave, knit, crochet embroider – I just want people to craft and be happy. 

There will be prizes, so get your FOs into the Ravelry thread and also use #SummerTopsCALFO on Ravelry. If you sue both, you have two chances of winning – life is too short for me to work out who entered on both, so knock yourselves out and go for the double entry!

 

7 – J’adore

Whislt vending at Wool@J13, I met a lovely mother and daughter and the daughter was off in September to do a textiles degree (it also had knitting/crochet etc as part of the course). It was delightful to see a 17/18 year old be so excited about her degree and move to Nottingham.

 

I am hoping that she will keep in touch and let me know how it goes.

 

If I could have my time again…

See you all in July with a bit more crochet under my belt.

Fay x

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Instagram: Knitithookit

Instagram: Faydhdesigns

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

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May 4, 2018 @ 9:12 am

Episode 29 - All the dubs

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 29 – All the dubs.

In this episode I cover: Global Hook Up; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats 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 – Different Designer CAL – Thank you to everyone that took part in the CAL.  As you know, I pulled for prizes live on the podcast.  Emma wanted the skein of yarn and Caroline wanted the bag – perfect!

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There are lots of lovely projects in both the Ravelry FO thread and under #DifferentDesignerCAL on Instagram.

Many thanks to Gilly at Fjord Fibres for offering up some fabulous prizes!

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2 – Final Destination

It has been a bit of an odd month really.  I have been really busy but haven’t managed a scrap of personal crocheting!  I did however finish my copper Loft crocheted (3mm straight hook) and knitted (3mm circular needles) shawls (both use John Arbon Knit by Numbers Copper colours in 4 ply 100g/400m).

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I have also finished my fourth (!) pair of Mini Mania socks and have another two pairs to make!  I love the pattern and how they look but really, I could do without making a further two pairs!  All pairs are made using RiverKnits mini skeins (British Bluefaced Leicester and 2.25mm circular needles).  I am working on an extension of the pattern to show how you can knit two pairs of socks from 7 x 20g skeins.

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My biggest FO of all was my stand for Wonderwool Wales.  It takes a lot of effort to create a stand at a show and I was really chuffed with how it turned out.  I know what I want to improve on for the next show (Wool@J13 – I’m on stand 33) and next year’s Wonderwool Wales (if I get in).

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3 – En Route

I haven’t made any progress on my Stoborough shawl by Sarah Hazell so won’t show it off again until I have.

The two ongoing projects that I showed were vanilla socks for Matthew using Fjord Fibres sock yarn (100g/350m and using a 2.5mm circular needle).  The main colour is called Night Storm and the contrast colour is Boreal Forest.  I love this yarn. Warm. Bouncy. Quality. Even. Beautiful. 

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The second is my second version of Loft Knitted which is in the grape colourways from the Knit By Numbers range 4 ply 100g/400m using a 3mm circular needle)

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4 - 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. 

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 1 - Southdown fibre from Adelaide Walker

2 - 'Wood' which is a collaboration between RiverKnits and BabyLongLegs

3 - Poll Dorset from the Kennixton Flock (thanks Caroline)

4 - Twool - twine made in Devon and spun by John Arbon (thanks again Caroline).

5 - Mini skeins from RiverKnits

6 - New badge pin from Claudia at CrochetLuna (if you wanted one of these and live in UK/EU they will soon be availble from me at KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT)

7 - My bag swap bag from Claudia - my idiot cat was found attacking it this morning.  He does not share my love of all things cacti...

 

5 - Quick News Beats

Global Hook Up – The next Global Hook Up is due to be on Saturday 5th May 2018. 

Time: Saturday 5th May 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

Dyeing with daffs - Depending on what part of globe you are in, you may have daffodils that are or have just gone over.  The heads can make the most amazing, colour fast natural dye.  I aim to get twice the weight of flower heads to yarn to dry out so that I can use them when I am ready.  That ratio gives quite an intense mustard/ochre yellow so you could try 50:50 if you wanted a more subtle colour. 

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6 – J’adore

Here is what I am currently loving:

Woolly Wool Festivals – the next one that I am attending is Woolfest in Cumbria on the 22nd and 23rd June 2018.  There is something lovely about hearing sheep in the background as you walk around purchasing wool.

On the way back, I had 90's dance music blating out of the van radio with this amazing sunset keeping me company. It was a good journey home, marking the end of a great weekend.

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See you all in June when hopefully I will have had some decent crafting time out in my garden.

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

Instagram: Knitithookit

Instagram: Faydhdesigns

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

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April 6, 2018 @ 8:08 am

Episode 28 - Crochet Clan

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.

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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.

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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.

Ep_28_Loft.jpg

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!

Ep_28_FO.jpg

 

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…

Ep_28_WIP.jpg

 

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!

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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

 

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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! 

Ep_28_Habit_11.jpg

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.  

 

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

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March 28, 2018 @ 11:31 am

Vlog - Edinburgh and EYF 2018

Hello folks,

 

Rather than adding lots of text, I am just chucking a load of photos here for you to have a look at and share int he magic that was a proper crochet gathering.

 

My hearfelt thanks to everyone that made this so much fun.  If you are interested in joiing some of us, our next gathering is most likely going to be Woollinn, Dublin in May 2019.  

 

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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

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March 3, 2018 @ 3:47 pm

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March 2, 2018 @ 10:12 am

Episode 27 - Global Hook Up

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 27 – Global Hook Up.

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs; 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, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement are really appreciated and makes running a podcast very special and worthwhile.

Ep_27YouTube_slide.jpg

1 - Quick news beats

Global Hook Up – We have just had the second Global Hook Up and they have both been great fun.  The next one is due on the 24th March from 8 – 9.30pm (GMT).  After the March Global Hook Up, I will look at changing the times again so that people from different parts of the globe can join in and I can take clock changes into account.

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

Time: March 24th, 2018 8:00 PM London

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

Crochet meet up/ session in Birmingham on 25th March 2018 times tbc - Do you fancy being part of a tea party/research session for a potential new contemporary crochet publication?  All you need to do is email Marie at info@crochetartisan.co.uk to book your place.  I will be there with my crochet and inputting into the session and I would love it some of you were able to join in too.  

Marie is currently selecting an appropriate venue and refreshments will be supplied.  

Different Designer CAL – Started on 1st March and runs 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. I have two on the go already and will be doing jumper as a third when I have finished knitting a jumper that I am doing at the moment.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival – If you are going to EYF on the Thursday or Saturday then I can bring anything from my shop KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT and you can save on the P&P costs.  If you are interested in this, simply place and order and in the notes section, tell me that you are coming to EYF and whether you will be there on the Thursday or Saturday (the two days that I am going into the festival).  I will then refund the P&P costs, bag up your order and bring it with me in a very large suitcase.  

 

2 - Old dog, new tricks

Collect daffodil heads - when teh daffs start to die back, collect the heads up, dry them up and use them for dyeing.  Here is a blog post that I pulled together on dyeing (including daffs).

Ball winders and not friends with long hair – if you have long hair, it’s best to keep it tied up if you are using a ball winder.  I managed to catch my hair in my winder, which meant that I had to stop, unwind the yarn and hair and start again.  I wouldn’t mind but it happened twice on the same ball of yarn!

Technique for sewing up a round in hats or mittens - You may remember that a couple of episodes ago I said I would have to frog back a hat and sew it up again because I was unhappy with the nipple that the original method left at the top. 

The technique that I felt gave the best finish was to only sew through the front loop only of the final round of stitches. 

After crocheting the last stitch, fasten off as usual, thread the tail onto a needle and place the needle from the left, under each front loop.  You can usually manoeuvre 3-4 stitches onto the needles before you pull through the yarn.  Repeat until you have sewn through every stitch of the last round, pull to get the required tension and then weave into the inside. 

 

3 - Finished Objects

Well it has been a fairly quiet month, mainly because I have had my head down doing designs and travelling.  I have managed to finish a couple of things and one of them is a 600g whopper!

This is my Inclination Wrap which was designed by Julme Conradie and available from the Nurturing Fibres website. It’s my entry for Alyson and Vivian’s (Keep Calm and Carry Yarn Podcast) #Ultravioletkcal.  

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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 a skein of Life in the Long Grass DK in colourway Viola (the one with pops of yellow and burgundy).  I have pulled together a project page on Ravelry for it (I am MaDashper on Ravelry).

There has been a lot of progress on the Borgarnes cowl, hat and mittens set.  I have been investigating hand anatomy so that the Borgarnes mittens and every other set that I design will have proper sizing guides.  It has been time consuming, but totally worthwhile because I now have all the formulas I need for all future mitten and glove designs that I do. 

Ep_27_FO_2.jpg

 

4 - Works in progress

I still haven’t started my future WIP for Claudia’s (Crochet Luna vlogcast) Fortune Cookie CAL which started on the Chinese New Year (16th February) and runs to the 31st March.  I’m using The Little Grey Sheep yarn (colourway The Rhubarb Patch in their British Gotland 4 ply) and the pattern is Hannah’s (Cosy Cottage Crochet Podcast) Treasure Island Shawl.  I will be double dipping with my Different Designer CAL.

I also have (just) started 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.

I have also started embroidery on the Word of the Year bag, which I am loving.  I am using 5-ply linen frm Namolio on a natural linen bag that I had made for my shop.  The mandala came from the book Mandalas to Embroider by Carina Envoldsen-Harris and it's a great book!

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5 - Designs in Progress

I’m pleased to say that I have made some progress on my Granny lap/cat blanket for Rosina’s granny along. Pom and I will be fighting it out to see who ends up owning this blanket – it’s going to be cat claws at dawn I think because he is a little partial to Icelandic wool and blankets.

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The yarn is Álafoss Lopi in shades Dark Grey (0005), Mid Grey (0058) and Light Grey (0054). 

The big question is do I now like granny stripes?  The answer is that the jury is still out!

I am making loads of progress on my Mini Mania Socks.  I have now sorted the joining and jogging techniques, thoroughly road tested them, and I am happy with how they held up.  It will still be a month or so before the pattern is ready as they need to be test knitted and I still have another two and a half socks to knit.  Part of the pattern is trying to get two pairs of socks out of 7 x 20g mini skeins from River Knits so that you aren’t left with little scraps of socks.

Ep_27_WIP_3.jpgEp_27_WIP_4.jpg

 

6 - Feeding the habit 

Hmmmm, I’m about to show you a fair bit of yarn.  I have been to Unravel festival and two yarn shops.  Most of it is for design work and I was very sensibly trying to marry up what I had with my stash with new designs and plug the gaps with the right colours, textures etc. so that I am sorted for most of 2018 when it comes to yarn. 

Ep_27_Habit_1.jpg

Autumn by Freehold Yarn Company, Lancaster

     
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Single Farm Teeswater and Dodgson Farm from Northern yarns, Lancaster

 

Ep_27_Habit_5.jpgEp_27_Habit_6.jpg

Damson Gin and Killadoon by Bear in Sheep's Clothing &

Baa Ram Ewe's new Pip Colourwork 

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The Little Grey Sheep Hampshire 4-ply minis &

John Arbon Textiles Knit by Numbers 4-ply

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Whistlebare's Yeavering Bell in Aran (Mohair and Wensleydale)

Clearly, teal, mustard and grey are very well represented!

I also went to Lancaster to visit a couple of yarn shops.  You can see the vlog here, or listen to it here.

 

 7 – Big Up

I have more crafting podcasts for you:

Here are some of them for you to look at:

Cherry Heart Podcast – I am sure that this podcast is familiar to everyone, but just in case, this is where Sandra Paul uploads her podcast to.  Sandra uploads monthlyish and is a designer and blogger too.  She is also very lovely, so give her a watch.  YouTube

Bear in Sheep’s Clothing – Bernie and Derek are absolute honeys!  They podcast from Belfast in Northern Ireland and talk all things knitting.  If you like really chilled out podcasts where cocktails are sipped, and you can watch a great duo talking about British wools and hand dyeing then check them out!  If you get a chance to meet this pair at a yarn show, do it.  YouTube      

Tatted Tatter – Stephanie is already on her 4th podcast (I don’t know how she is managing it).  She podcasts from San Diego and does all sorts of crafts but predominantly crochet and tatting.  She has a lovely manner about her and is great fun.  YouTube 

Hooked on Owls – Lacey podcasts from Michigan and is a crocheter, knitter and crochet designer – very cute amigurumi!  She has eight episodes already and a fun household full of kids, animals and yarn!  YouTube

 

9 – J’adore

I am swapping out What’s Good for J’adore.  In this new segment I just give you a very quick run down of the random things that are getting my love this month.  It could be music, books, films, TV, yarn, shoes – anything!

So, here is what I am currently loving:

  • Song – Say Something by Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton. It’s got an interesting video that is one long tracking shot.  They sing as they move through a large building and it makes the acoustics different.
  • Book – I am continuing to listen to The Great Courses on Audible and am currently making my through ‘The Irish Identity: Independence, History and Literature’.
  • TV – we have binge watched Derry Girls (set in Northern Ireland), London Irish (Irish 20 somethings living in London) and have just started Young Offenders (set in Belfast). Lots of great Irish comedy!
  • Yarn – I went to a trade show last week (Stitches in Birmingham) and went to see Erika and Bella on their stand. I was lucky enough to get my paws on some of the new Studio Linen colours (Neo and Shrub).  They are gorgeous.  I want to design a summer top with the Studio linen and possibly some other bits and pieces too…

Well, that covers another jam-packed month! See you all in April.

Fay x

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February 28, 2018 @ 10:05 pm

Vlog - Yarn shopping in Lancaster

I won't produce show notes for this one.  The shop details are on the cover photo and the video is a quick 10 minutes on YouTube if you fancy lookng at some visuals of the two shops.

 

Fay x

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February 2, 2018 @ 8:20 am

Episode 26 - CALathon

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.

Ep_26_Due_day_1.jpgEp_26_Dye_day_2.jpg

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.

Ep_26_Google_image_search.jpg

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. 

Ep_26_Cardigan_of_Doom.jpg

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.

Ep_26_Crisscross.jpg

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.

Ep_26_orange_yarn.jpgEp_26_FO.jpg

 

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.

Ep_26_Inclination_wrap.jpg

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.  

Ep_26_Granny.jpg

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.

Ep_26_Crafternoon_Treats.jpg 

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.

Ep_26_Snowdon.jpgEp_26_Snowdon_goat.jpg

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. 

Ep_26_Vintage_along.jpg

 

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.

Ep_26_Makiing_Winter_2.jpgEp_26_Making_Winter_1.jpg

 

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 PodcastMichelle 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 CrochetNatalie 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!

Ep_26_Interlocking_crochet.jpg

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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January 12, 2018 @ 10:30 am

Episode 25 - Clarity

This isn't a standard episode because instead of all the normal stuff I reflect on the year that was 2017 and what I want to achieve in 2018 with the podcast, my company KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT and with my designing under Fay Dashper-Hughes Designs.

I have kept the show notes to a minimum and provided all of the links from the bits and bobs that I talked about in the episode. 

 

Clarity

I have never done a 'word of the year' before, in part because that isn't something that usually motivates me. 

On New Year's Day, Matthew and I headed off to have our annual review - we are very business focussed in our household. This involves pitching up at the Yourkshire Sculpture Park with our laptops, eating good local food and going for a walk around the grounds and deciding what we want more and less of in the following year.

In the weeks leading to the end of the year, I did A LOT of work on what I want to get out of the the podcast, my business and designing in 2018.  A couple of days before we headed to Yorkshire, one word was popping up everywhere - CLARITY.

So, who am I to ignore something that keeps on presenting itself to me?  Clarity is my word for 2018.

To me it means the following:

1 - Being clear about what I want from the three elements of my business.

2 - Spending my time wisely/  More doing, less faffing.

3 - Planning what I think is acheivable in a year - 12 podcasts, 12 designs, more of my own manufacturing.

4 - Being better at communicating with the crafting community.

5 - Improving my photography skills.

6 - Being creative for the sake of being creative and not always for the end goal of creating patterns or products.

7- Having a colour palette that is attractive to me and works across all three areas of my working life (podcast, online shop and designing) bringing clarity and consistency.  This is a massive step forward for me and helps me to understand that not liking rainbows, unicorns and pastels is actually acceptable. You would not believe the hours spent wondering why rainbows and unicorns leave me cold and even irritated at times.  

By writing all of these things down and talking about them in Episode 25 I feel like I have kicked of the process of approaching 2018 with clarity.  I have told you what I am up to and now I feel accountable.  That would scare some people, but I am self employed and work from home, I have no other way of making myself accountable.  You are my team.

So, to highlight the colour palette things, here are a couple of photos.  The first shows a lot of the yarn that I will be designing with this year.  The second shows the same yarn with the Autumn colour palette on top.  I bought/ received all of these yarns well in advance of gaining any understanding of the colour psychology seasons.  Hmmm, I seem to really like the Autumn colour palette...

Ep_25_DEsign_yarns.jpg 

Ep_25_design_yarns_2.jpg

 

Links to information

So, here is what I have been reading, listening to, possibly even taking in through osmosis.

Things that have helped me get focussed for 2018 and beyond:

1 - Sara Tasker from 'Me & Orla' has a beautiful instagram account, is a Social Media Influencer and I really like her down to earth approach. 

2 - Sara also does the Hashtag Authentic podcast which has been invaluable to me so far and will continue to be this year.

3 - There are a few guests that Sara has had on that have really hit home for me, starting with Fiona Humberstone from The Brand Stylist.  The podcast that I linked in number 2 will take you to that interview.  Here's the page on the Psychology of Colour.  There is just enough detail here to get your teeth into and you can buy Fiona's book if you need to know more.  I am an Autumn person.  I knew thsi already but reading this information and looking at the colour palette really helped to cement this for me.

4 - Tara Swiger, is very au fait with the yarn community and helps crafting and other businesses to move to the next level.  I haven't delved into lots of Tara's information yet, but I will be.

5 - Jen Carrington also did a great interview on 'The Glorification of Being Busy' which is worth a listen too.

6 - Photography course with Shaw Academy - I am currently doing the free introduction to photography which is online.  I have also previously done the online course from Making Light and they currently have a free tatser course running.

Here are most of my finished objects from 2017.  I crocheted and knitted just over 10kg of yarn, most of which was crocheted. 

Ep_25_FOs.jpg

 

I think that is enough for now.

In February you will get my normal podcast and less talk of clarity and focus.

Fay x

 

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January 5, 2018 @ 9:38 am

Episode 24 - Giddy Kipper

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.

Ep_24_dye_1.jpgEp_24_dye_2.jpgEp_24_dye_3.jpg

         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!

Calm_cowl_1.jpg Calm_cowl_2.jpg

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.

Ep_24_FOs.jpg

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.

Ep_24_criss_cross.jpg

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.

Mini_Mania_Striped_socks.jpg

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.

Ep_24Feeding_habit.jpg

Ep_24_feeding_habit_2.jpg

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.

Jon.jpg

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.

Borgarnes.jpg

 

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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