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May 5, 2017 @ 9:02 am

Episode 16 - Common Thread

Hello my lovelies,

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes from Episode Sixteen - Common Thread.

In this episode I cover: Old dog, new tricks; Tunisian CAL; Review of The Shawl Project Book Three; 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

This month I was given a great tip by Claudia from the Crochet Luna Podcast.  She asked whether I had ever come across a standing dc (US terminology) and I hadn't.  So, I did what I always do and took to Google to see what it was all about and came across these YouTube videos by Tamara Kelly from Moggly.com:

Standing dc (tr in UK terminology)

Standing hdc (htr in UK terminology)

Standing sc (dc in UK terminology)

 

I haven't had lots of time to test this technique out fully but I love the reults that I got on the coaster that I crocheted.  I did one using the standard chain method for starting the new round in the new colour and one using a standing tr (Uk terminology).  I think that the use of a standing stitch makes the join look much neater and helps to avoid the gap that often appears.  The stitch look smore like a tr and is also bulkier, which means that my eye isn't automatically drawn to an area that looks 'different'.  

Ep_16_Standing_crochet_coasters.jpg

 

Tamara's videos are very good and I suspect that once you have tried this technique, you won't go back to using a chain to start a new round off in a new colour.

What I want to investigate next is whether this technique can also be used when you are starting a new round in the same colour.  More on that next month... 

 

 

2 - Tunisian CAL update

This CAL started on the 3rd March and ran until the 16th April.  Check out the CAL FOs thread on Ravelry (under The Crochet Circle Podcast Group) or on Instagram to see posts under #tccTunisianCAL.

The projects have been great and lots of poeple can now do Tunisian crochet. Well done everyone!  I have pulled together the video for YouTube to announce the winners and show off all of the FOs. 

Thanks to everyone that took part, it was great fun.

Our next A Long is going to be a a CrAL called the Festival of Finishing.  The idea is that through the months of June, July and August you work with some of your crafting WIPs.  I have three (crochet, cross stitch and knitting) that I want to work on and then I won't have any projects that are in hibernation anymore - oh the release!  I am trying to get to a place where I can scoot through projects and don't have my crafting resources tied up elsewhere being unloved.  

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

Copy_of_Festival_of_Finishing.jpg

 

So why not look your WIPs out now and assess what you want to do with them?  In the next episode I will cover some of the things that you can do with your WIPs, how to frog your projects, give you some stash buster patterns for those frogged WIPs and pass on some advice on donating projects to charity shops.

 

3 - Review of The Shawl Project Book Three

 

Jo (jojotwinkletoes on Ravelry and Instagram) kindly agreed to review The Shawl Project Book Three for us. She has already made two of the five shawls and plans to make the other three too!  Rather than post all of the information here, I have created a new thread on Ravelry within The Crochet Circle Podcast group.

The Shawl Project Book Three can be bought direct from The Crochet Project website, or through Ravelry.  

This is Jo and and her Fog Break shawl:

 

Ep_16_Jo_Jo_1.jpg

 

Here are the photos (thanks to Kat and Joanne for providing them) of each of the shawls from the book:

 

Ep_16_TCP_1.jpg Ep_16_TCP_2.jpg

 

4 - Finished Objects (FOs)

Once again, I didn't think I had too much to show but I am clearly busier than I think with crafting!

KIHICI_bag.jpgEp_16_Ocaso.jpg

 

Colum_Cowl.jpgsock_FO.jpg

My FOs are a new bag that I have been designing and thanks to everyone that helped me to choose the colour combination on Instagram.  I'm not sure when this bag pattern will be released because I think it will now be a series of bags rather than a single pattern.  

There is my version of the Ocaso shawl by Sol Rencoret.  I really loved doing this Tunisian crochet shawl and working with some different colour combinations that have pushed my boundaries.

I have made a knitted version of my Colum Cowl using Debbie Bliss Rialto DK and Hedgehog Fibres DK in colourway 'Dragonfly'.  The combination of these two yarns has created a very snuggly cowl.

I also managed to finish off another pair of socks using some of the yarn that I received from Racheal my FibreShare partner.  I love the colours and how they have striped and pooled in the knitted sock.  I started a new pair last night to use the rest of the yarn and they wil be donated to Winwick Mum's sock line at Yarndale later in the year.

I nearly forgot to add one of my favourite FOs from this month - my gorgeous new project bag based on the #herbembroiderysal that Chrissie from Chrissie Crafts has been running:

herb_sal.jpg

Even if you haven't tried embroidery before, I would recommend giving it a go.  Chrissie has brilliant tutorials on her YouTube channel and the design is lovely.

 

5 - Works in Progress (WIPs)

I only have one WIP and that will be finished very shortly, so I am adding a very near future WIP to the pile. My actual WIP is a second bag design that I am working on as part of the 'KIHICI Bag' series.  This is a very simple pattern that comes with a few variations so that you can truly make it to your own taste.  It looks like a bit of a canoe in this picture but it is a really lovely bag (I actually finished it late last night!) and is most likely going to be called 'Versa'.

KIHICI_Kiss.jpgHOB_CAL.jpg

The second photo shows my yarn choices for the Hotel of Bees shawl, allbeit I am not actually going to do the shawl because I am not really a fan of large open lace sections and I do love a cowl...

So, having bought the pattern, I am going to use the blocks of stitches that I do like and I am going to recreate the Hotel of Bees as a large squishy cowl instead.  Not quite sure how it will turn out but I will be turning my attention to it this weekend.

 

6 - Feeding the Habit

Whilst in Amsterdam I visited the yarn shop which is run by Stephen West and Malia Mather, called Stephen & Penelope.  It is a really lovely shop as you can see from the photo below.  I took some nice video footage of it and will add that to my Amsterdam trip vlog which will be up on YouTube shortly. I bought some bespoke colourways from there and a few other things for designs.  If you are lucky enough to win a prize for the #tccTunisianCAL then you will be getting some buttons that I bought from there.

Stephen_P.jpgYael_goodies.jpg

 

I also recieved a lovely parcel from Yael at Handmade by Yael which was full of gorgeous nuggets of Ullcentrum wool which is one of my absolute favourites (see my Linus on the Lines shawl project on Ravelry if you want to see how it knits up).  I have been wearing my lovely handmade necklace a lot and received LOTS of very nice comments on it.  I was a very happy recipient - thanks Yael! 

I recieved an unexpected parcel from Tania at TJ Frog with some beautiful Dorset Button stitch markers and a notions bag in her lovely fabric.  Tania is a woman after my own heart and likes to know the different steps of manufacturing in the items that she sells.  This parcel arrived right in the middle of my preparation for Wonderwool Wales when I could barely keep my eyes open.  Needless to say, it made me very happy indeed.

Ahem, there seems to be rather a lot of stuff below!  It is all for designs, I promise.  Now that Wonderwool Wales is over, I have had designs flying through my mind and the below are all acocunted for.  You will see that I had to sneak in all that was left of the 'Nightshade' Devonia because that design is now finished (the Versa bag) and I only got the wool the week before!

Ep_16_haul.jpg  

1 - John Arbon Textiles Knit by Numbers DK is going to be a large gradient pashmina.  KBN now comes in a whopping 97 shades.

2 - Onion is a new to me yarn brand and I picked out their nettle range to work with (70% wool and 30% nettle fibre).  It is supposedly good for making socks with which I can believe because nettle fibre is extremely strong.  I really wish I had bought more to test this out with socks but it will have to be next year instead!  They have a range of interesting yarns at Onion and although there are no UK stockists, they are widely stocked elsewhere.

3 - Laura from Bellica Yarns was my vending neighbour at Wonderwool Wales.  She was and absolute joy to meet and her yarns are beautiful and VERY reasonably priced at only £12 per 100g.  Here is the link to Laura's Etsy shop - Bellica Yarns.  The one that I bought will become a cowl design for Jenny as a thank you for helping me out during that weekend.

4 - Undercover Otter are in the process of moving thier selling platform, but the www will be the same.  You can buy the bespoke Stephen & Penelope colourways online, ignore what I said in the podcast and Undercover Otter will be opening their shop up soon.  These two beauties will be a shawl and although I wouldn't usually do a pastel shade, it really works with the dark teal (always one of my go to colours).

5 - A tiny little nugget of Devonia 'Nightshade from John Arbon Textiles.  This is a very special wool given that it is 100% grown and spun in Devon, England. The composition is 50% Exmoor Blueface / 30% Devon Bluefaced Leicester / 20% Devon Wensleydale and is is lovely to work with.  Sturdy and soft with a beautiful sheen from the Wensleydale.  They have just released a DK range too.

6 - My lovely Dorset Button pouch and stitch markers from Tania at TJ Frog.  Tania also has an audio podcast which is delightful!  

 

7 - Big Up

I have a couple of podcasts for you and some new yarn:

Crochet Luna Podcast with Claudia is a YouTube podcast all about crochet!  Claudia is lovely and her enthusiasm for crochet oozes through the screen!  Claudia is Crochet Luna on Instagram.

Fiber Friends Podcast with Adrienne, Louise and Caroline is a YouTube podcast about knitting, bags, yarn, ding, patterns - everything basically.  They have a great friendhip and make me laugh a lot.

Adrienne - dyes yarn as Old Oak Yarns and has an Etsy shop here.

Louise - is also on Instagram and is a knitting designer and teacher.

Carloine - is also on Instagram and makes bags for her shop on Etsy which is called Evertote.

Poly Jane Yarns has a new range out called the Inca Collection which she sells alongside her own hand-dyed and other well known brands.  If you were a fan of Atresano yarns, then you will be pleased to hear about the Inca Collection:

 

Polly_Jane.jpg

 

8 - What's Good

The John Arbon Mill Open weekend is on on the 10th & 11th of June and I am hoping to get there!  It's free to attend, you just need to book in which slot you want to go to on the Saturday or Sunday.  The mill is at South Molton in Devon and is well worth a visit.

I am heading to Woolfest and I'm not sure which day yet.  If anyone fancies meeting up for a coffee, let me know and that will help to set my mind on which day I head there.  Woolfest is on the 23rd & 24th June up in Cockermouth in Cumbria.

 

Until June my lovelies.  Remember to get your WIPs out and see what you want to work on in June, July and August.

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast  

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups

 

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April 7, 2017 @ 8:58 am

Episode 15 - Old dog, new tricks

Hello folks,

come on into The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the show notes from Episode Fifteen - Old dog, new tricks

In this episode I cover: Old dog, new tricks; Tunisian CAL; 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. 

 

1 - Old dog, new tricks

I have changed the name of this feature because it is now more about what I have learned in the last month and whether I can offer those learnings as something useful to listeners and viewers.

This month I have been learning how to do continental knitting (holding the yarn in your left hand whcih means a different way of scooping the yarn up for a knit stitch and a completely different way to purl).  I was eager to do this one day workshop so that I had the technique under my belt and also to train my left hand to accept yarn and regulte the tension of the yarn.

Up until now I have always crocheted with both the hook and yarn in my right hand but it is a slower process.  I can now do both, which is proving to be very helpful!

 

2 - Tunisian CAL update

This CAL started on the 3rd March and runs until the 16th April.  Check out the CAL thread on Ravelry (under The Crochet Circle Podcast Group) or on Instagram you can see posts under #tccTunisianCAL.

The projects so far are fantastic and a lot of amazing progress has been made in understanding Tunisian crochet techniques.  Well done everyone!

 

3 - WIPs

I only have a couple to show this month because of my mammoth pile of FOs!!!  

The first is my Ocaso shawl for the Tunisian CAL.  Unsurprisingly I did change my mind on the colours and decided to go bright or go home:

 Ep_15_Ocaso.jpg

The yarns are a sock club skein from Life in the Long Grass and Aurancania Botany Lace.  I have to say that I rather love this colour combination and I have to remember that what you see in a skein looks completely different caked up and crocheted/knitted.

My second WIP is a bag that I am designing with John Arbon's Devonia.  I will post a picture when I have completed more of the bag, as there really sin't much to see yet!

4 - FOs

I hope you have a cuppa in front of you because I have ten FOs to show you!  I am a crafting ninja.

 

Ep_15_rug_1.jpgEp_15_rug_2.jpg

This rug was my own simple design, using a massive stash (1.8kg) of British wool that I had.  I have written up the pattern and it is available free of charge on my blog.

 

Ep_15_MHC.jpg

This is the Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Shawl which I did as part of a KAL with Lora and Deirdre from Olann and Magazine and podcast (links are below in Big Up).  The KAL is running until the 14th of May 2017 so there is still plenty of time to join in and try this extremely quick knit. 

If you look at my projects on Ravelry you will see all of my notes for this pattern (I am MaDashper on Ravelry).  I used a dark purple Donegal Tweed in an aran weight and the lighter yarn is a Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed in Aran (shade 281117).

Ep_15_LITLG_socks.jpgEp_15_Crochetcakesn_socks.jpg

The first pair of socks use Socks Yeah! in shade Sphene as the main colour, Lang Jawoll for the cream and Life in the Long Grass for the speckled yarn which was another sock club colourway.   The second pair uses the beautiful, naturally dyed yarn given to me by Clarisbeth of the Crochetcakes podcast.  She dyed it using avocado stones.  To make sure I coudl get a pair of socks from the 50g skein, I paired it with soem West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in shade Poppyseed.

Ep_15_Colum_Cowl.jpgEp_15_Iona.jpg

This is a new design that I have been working on, based on the stained glass windows in the churches on Iona.  It takes less than 50g of each colour, so is a great stash buster. I will remake this agian with other yarns and also create a knitted version.

This is my other #tccTunisianCAL project - Cobbled Streets, using the 4ply fingering 50% Merino/50% Silk from The Wool Kitchen:

 

Ep_15_Cob_1.jpgEp_15_Cob_2.jpg

And this is Stream by Isabel Kraemer.  Her designs are amazing and I thoroughly recommend them.
Stream_1.jpgStream_3.jpg

And finally, the hat that I knitted during the continental knitting workshop and the hat and mitten pattern that I have been working on recently:

 

Ep_15_hats.jpg

 

5 - Feeding the habit

Considering I have been at a yarn festival, I have very little to show for it! 

The yarns that I have are (top left to moving clockwise): 

Ep_15_EYF.jpg

1 - John Arbon Textiles new yarn is called Devonia and I am in love.  It will be available on the website shortly which means that I can't yet show you the full range of colours...

2 - Iona Wool - all sourced from the island on the west coast of Scotland.

3 - The new Shorelines and Strata yarn from Tania at TJ Frog and I managed to get one of her very lovely bags.

4 - A mini skein of Scottish Thistle from Kathryn at Crafternoon Treats (Etsy shop and podcast is on YouTube).

5 - A 50g skein of yarn from Clarisabeth of the Crochetcakes podcast - been there, knitted that!

 

6 - Big Up

Here are some very cool people that you may want to check out:

Lora and Deirdre's fabulous 'Olann and' which is an Irish Fibre and Craft magazine which is an amazing free of charge online resource.  The ladies also have an accompanying podcast on YouTube which is great fun!

Tania of TJ Frog has a very lovely new podcast.  She has two episodes so far and you to listen to her talk about crafting and interviewing crafters on the Isle of Skye where she now lives. 

Chrissie Crafts on YouTube talking about her #herbembroiderySAL which I am going to take part in - want to join me?

 

7 - What's good?

A team of gardeners have buzzed around our garden and made it into a garden again.  The Winterley jungle tourist attraction is now closed for business.  I can once again enjoy our outside space.

 

Until May!

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast  

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups

 

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March 3, 2017 @ 9:52 am

Episode 14 - Unchained Melody?

Hello folks, come on into The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the show notes from Episode Fourteen - Unchained Meolody?

In this episode I cover: Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; FOs; WIPs; Feeding the Habit; Tunisian CAL; Festivals; 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. 

 

1 - Yay crochet, yay crochet, yay crochet and a wee bit more yay crochet!

I love to learn, and so when I come across a new technique I like to dive in and understand its pros and cons rather than just accept that is naturally better.  

I was coming across comments on Instagram about how many people preferred to start their projects with a chainless foundation, rather than the traditional chained foundation because it was quicker and they preferred the finished effect.  Hmm, time to get my hook out and investigate.

The below photo shows you the times, sizes, pros and cons that I found between chained and chainless foundations.  

 

Chain_v_chainless.jpg

 Bella Coco has a great YouTube tutorial on how to do a chainless foundation.

 

2 - Finished Objects

I always get through more projects that I think.  Through the guise of #StashBingo I have been using some really lovely yarns that otherwise would have remained at the back of the Stash Palace.  I have really loved working with the Jamieson & Smiths Shetland wool and it comes in a fantasic range of colours.

 

Ep_14_FOs_2_.jpg

1 - J&S 2 ply Jumper Weight (100% Shetland wool):

Blue is shade FC41, dark green is shade 65, light green is FC62 and the fawn is actually J&S 3 ply jumper weight in undyed shade 2008/Katmollet.  I was testing out whether the 3ply was better for the beginning of the cowl because the colour work strands mean that the patterened areas are heavier and contain more yarn.  My conclusion is that it is best to double up on the 2ply where needed rather than use the 3 ply.

2 - J&S 2 ply Jumper Weight (100% Shetland wool) 

Cream is shade 1A, orange is shade 125 and the dark red is shade FC62.  I have been working on these projects as part of #StashBingo but also to design projects that can use up yarn straggles and look good.

 

I also did a bit of investigating on the best place to buy Jamieson & Smith wool from and the cheapest source was Purlesence.  They offer free UK and EU postage for orders over £25 and I believe that thier non EU shipping is also very reasonable.  25g of J&S 2 ply is only £2.90.  

 

3 - This was a Corriedale pencil roving that I bought from Queen of Purls in Glasgow, but it doesn't seem to be listed on their website anymore.  I used it to crochet a hat for my neice Darcie, which you can see below. If you like the look of this yarn then you may want to try Erika Knight for John Lewis XXL which is a slightly chunkier version or Drops Eskimo.  The pattern is Super Chunky Bobble Hat by Jo Janes on Ravelry. 

 Ep_14_hat.jpg

4 - Wolle Rodel Sport and Strumpfwolle in shade 16915  75% wool and 25% polyamide.

5 - Regia 4 ply 75% wool and 25% polyamide in Ocean (06629).  I think this is what the yarn is...   The pink yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply, 75% wool (35% is Bluefaced Leicester) and 25% nylon in shade 545 Sarsaparilla.

 

To share the love with listeners and watchers of the podcast, I want to test giving out a 50% discount code for my patterns.  I am starting this off with my latest pattern Doppio Colosseum and so between 3rd and the 17th March (midnight GMT) you can get 50% off the pattern in Ravelry by using code DOPPIO50%.

This is what Doppio Colosseum looks like and it requires 200g/800m of a 4ply fingering weight yarn.  

Copy_of_Doppio_Colosseum_UK_electronic_version_A4_booklet.jpg 

 

 

3 - Work in Progress

I have two main WIPs on the go at the moment, one crochet and one knitted.  From now on in the podcast I am only going to talk about my knitting projects when they have become finished objects.  I want to make sure that the podcast remains predominantly about crochet but I still need to be able to reflect on the other things that I craft because they also give me inspiration for my crochet makes.

 

Here is my second #StashBingo project (project bag number 4).  This is some really course British wool that I picked up at Wonderwool Wales almost two years ago with the thought of making housewares with it.  I then dyed up some of the wool when I ran the dyeing workshop last September.  There was no real though to how I dyed it, I was just helping to exhaust some of the wool in Gill's dye pot. The result is lovely with a shift in the depth of colour as you get to the outer parts of the skein because the dye couldn't penetrate the inner part of the yarn cake as readily.

I am holding two strands of wool together to make this rug, starting with two strands of undyed.  When the first cake of undyed had been crocheted, I added the lightest of my dyed wool in and continued to crochet with two strands - one undyed and one dyed.  This is adding a really nice sense of balance to the rug because the undyed yarn is visible throughout the whole piece.  I have then moved onto the next darkest skein of dyed yarn, and so on and so on.  I love it! This will be an FO come the next podcast.

 

Ep_14_WIP.jpg

 

Here is my knitting WIP.  It is Stream by Isabel Kramer and I am using one of my sock club skeins from Life in the Long Grass and Socks Yeah! in Sphene (104) the mustard colour and Sugilite (112) the plum colour. 

 

Ep_14_-_Stream_jumper.jpg

 

4 - Feeding the habit

I am still being good.  I have bought Top Down Crochet Sweaters by Dora Ohrenstein and my subscription of Pom Pom Quarterly has turned up and here is a link to the Hanbira cardigan. I continue to focus on the MANY gorgeous yarns in my stash.

Ep_14_Feeding.jpg

 

5 - Tunisian CAL is GO GO GO!

This new CAL started on the 3rd March and runs until the 16th April.  We are being expertly guided by Sol through this CAL as she already teaches Tunisian crochet, has tutorials on her blog and is providing patterns for the CAL.

Tamara (long-term listener and group member) has also pulled together her top Ten Tunisian Crochet Tips as a blog post, so give that a read too.

There are three categories:

1 - Sol's Cobbled Streets Cowl which is a free of charge pattern and needs one skein (400m) of 4 ply yarn, a 4mm (G6) hook and a 30cm cable, though you may be abel to use a long shafted hook instead.

2 - Sol's Ocaso shawl which is a paid for pattern and needs three (1 x Yarn A and 2 x Yarn B) skeins of 4 ply yarn with about 380m per skein.  You will need a 4mm hook (G6) and an 80cm cable.  Use code TCCPODCAST to get 50% off this pattern in Ravelry.

3 -  Anything goes.  The pattern of your choice, it just has to be Tunisian crochet.

A ravelry thread has already been opened and you can use #tccTunisianCAL on Instagram.

 

If you are loooking at joining in under category three, then you may be interested in a couple of new patterns:

1 - Zoe Halstead has a Tunisian shawl in Inside Crochet issue 87.

2 - The Crochet Project have a new Shawl book coming out and there is a Tunisian Crochet shawl in that.

 

Cobbled_Streets.jpgOcaso.jpg

 

Here are the yarns that I am thinking about using:

 

 2.jpg

The one on the left is Denim 4ply (50% Merino/50% silk) 100g/400m by The Wool Kitchen and this is definietly going to become a Cobbled Streets cowl.

 

The second two yarns are another sock club skein from Life in the Long Grass 100g/400m and some Araucania Yarns Ranco 100g/344m (PT 2109) but the jury is out on these colours as I may change my mind.  Again.

 

6 - Festivals

I didn't make it to Unravel but Helen did and has added a review to the thread in our group in Ravelry and also to het new blog - thank Helen!

 

I am heading up to Edinburgh Yarn Festival on the 11th March and will be pulling together a vlog on my antics.

 

I will also be vending at Wonderwool Wales on the 22nd and 23rd of April and you can find me at stall H2.  Come and say hello!  

 

I also went along to the CSHI Stitches show to see some of my suppliers and see what was new.  Here are some photos from the show:

1.jpg   3.jpg

 

4.jpg  5.jpg

7 - Big Up

Here are some blogs and podcasts that you may want to check out:

 

Helen's making blog Making at Number 14

Chrissie Crafts on YouTube talking about her crochet and embroidery projects.

Crochetcakes on YouTube talking about her life in Puerto Rico, crochet and knitting.

 

 

8 - What's good?

 

I am back in the room and that is what's good! 

 

 

Until next month.

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast  

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups

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Twitter: Crochet_Circle  

 

 

 

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February 3, 2017 @ 10:23 am

Episode Thirteen - Stash Bingo

Hello folks, come on in to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the show notes from Episode Thirteen - Stash Bingo.

In this episode I cover: Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; CALs; FOs; WIPs; Feeding the Habit; Quod the Rav and the final segment What's Good?

This Episode is sponsored by:

Knit It - Hook It - Craft It

 

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

If you are missing Lynne, she is now doing audio recordings of her blog. The are available whenever she updates a new blog and are generally a lot shorter than podcasts, so you can dip in.

 

1 - Yay crochet or nay crochet

I am very aware that it is always a yay crochet.  I am a glass half full kind of a girl, so maybe that is why?

It is all about Tunisian crochet.  Although I already crochet, I feel like I am learning a new genre of craft by getting to grips with Tunisian crochet.  I haven't done a lot yet, but it is all leading towards me spiralling down yet another rabbit hole...  

 

2 - CALs

The Christmas CAL started on teh 24th December and concluded on the 31st January.  The enthusiasm, support and skill shown within this CAL has been fantastic.  

I have pulled together a 'TCC Christmas CAL' video montage to show all of the finished objects, the crafters behind them and the prize winners (drawn using a random number generator).  

You can also view the finsihed projects by checking #tccChristmasCAL on Instagram or looking at the 'Christmas CAL FOs' thread within The Crochet Circle POdcast group on Ravelry.  You will see lots of beautiful projects.

The running of our first CAL has definitely helped to define how the next CAL is going to be managed.

 

Tunisian CAL

This new CAL will start on the 3rd March and run until the 16th April.  We are being expertly guided by Sol through this CAL as she already teaches Tunisian crochet, has tutorials on her blog and is providing patterns for the CAL.

Sol.jpg

As with the Christmas CAL, there will be three categories:

1 - Sol's Cobbled Streets Cowl which is a free of charge pattern and needs one skein (400m) of 4 ply yarn, a 4mm (G6) hook and a 30cm cable, though you may be abel to use a long shafted hook instead.

2 - Sol's Ocaso shawl which is a paid for pattern and needs three (1 x Yarn A and 2 x Yarn B) skeins of 4 ply yarn with about 380m per skein.  You will need a 4mm hook (G6) and an 80cm cable.

3 -  Anything goes.  The pattern of your choice, it just has to be Tunisian crochet.

A ravelry thread has already been opened and you can use #tccTunisianCAL on Instagram.

 

Cobbled_Streets.jpgOcaso.jpg

 

Roll on March 3rd.

 

3 - Finished Objects

Many FOs are in my midst!  I have managed to get some major projects finished.  During the last podcast I promised that I would have my  Leigh Tee finished, and I had also started the Riveret crochet top, so here they both are:

 

Leigh.jpgRiveret.jpg

 

I also finished off the redesign of Colosseum to make it into a two skein shawl.  I am currently writing the new pattern up and it will be available to purchase from Ravelry and my website shortly but I will also be sending it as a free pattern to people that have already bought a copy of Take Two.

Colosseum.jpg

 

 

My final FO was a pair of knitted Delilah socks from The Sock Drawer.  I also used these for a bit of test on sock blockers:

 

Sock_blockers_1.jpgSock_blockers_2.jpg

Here is the link to the differences in yarn usage between some knitted and crocheted stitches.  If you have any burnung questions on similar topics, let me know via Ravelry and I will see if I can investigate.

4 - WIPs

Hmmm, I want to start all of the things, but let's start with the thing that is not my best friend at the moment, my second Uncia shawl.  I had to work so hard to knit Juliet's Uncia for the self-imposed deadline that the thought of picking up my Uncia to finish it is filling me with dread.  I have 95 rows left to knit, about 25 hours worth of knitting maybe?  I just can't face it at the moment. Maybe next week.

I wanted to start a knitted garment at the back end of 2016 but was enticed into more Christmas CAL crochet and so made a start on a Leigh top on the 1st January 2017 instead.   This is really quick to knit up and I am using the yarn that the pattern called for - Rowan Cocoon (shade Crag).  This is gorgeous to work with and there is a very strong sheepy smell coming off the yarn (80% wool and 20% Mohair) which just makes me want to knit on it all day long.

I also seem to have started another crocheted garment!  The pattern is Riveret by Merrian Holland from Pom Pom Quarterley's Spring 2016 issue.  I liked the look of this pattern when I first got my copy through the door but I wasn't convinced that it would suit me.  I then saw the sample at Yarnporium in London and realised how big it was on the model and just how elegant it was.  I have done very little on this but it should receive some more love before the next podcast!

 

 

5 - Feeding the habit

I have been very good.  Whilst I have bought yarn for designs and present crafting, I have bought NO personal yarn!

 

Instead, I bought books:  

1 - Around the Corner Crochet Borders

2 - The New Tunisian Crochet

 

6 - Quod the Rav

If you have some yarn that you want to use but you don't know what to makwe with it, then here are some simple ways of filtering through Ravelry to drill down to some suitable pojects:

QTR_1.jpgQTR_2.jpg

 

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QTR_5.jpgQTR_6.jpg

So much easier to search through 85 projects than 614,000+.

 

 

What's good?

 

We are heading into yarn festival season once more.  The fist that I will be attending is Edinburgh Yarn Festival on the 11th March so if anyone fancies meeting up, let me know.  I will also be vending at Wonderwool Wales on the 23rd and 24th April and who knows where else I will end up this year...

 

Until next month.

Fay x

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January 6, 2017 @ 9:59 am

Episode Twelve - Who you gonna call? Stash Buster!

Hello folks, come on in to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the show notes from Episode Twelve - Who you gonna call?  Stash Buster! 

In this episode I will cover: Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; Setting the Scene for 2017; FOs; WIPs; Feeding the Habit; Quod the Rav and the final segment What's Good?

This Episode is sponsored by:

Knit It - Hook It - Craft It

Hello to Happyhound11, Thell and Snotestine (Shannon) from Ravelry.  Happy birthday to DianneB (Dianne) whose birthday is on publish day!

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

 

1 - Yay crochet or nay crochet

It can ony be a yay because if the response to the Crochet Circle Christmas Crochet Along.  The response has been fanstastic!  

I am so impressed with the number of things that people have made, the fact that people are learning new skills and techniques or using new yarns.  Best of all, you can still get hooking!  I am starting a third project in the next couple of days and have so far finished a pair of socks and a shawl which you can see in more detail under FOs. 

You can check out the FO thread on Ravelry under the group - The Crochet Circle Podcast or by searching #tccChristmasCAL on Instagram.

This makes me wonder if you would like to do a Spring CAL too?  Let me know.  The Christmas CAL goes on until the 31st January so there s still plenty of time to start a project.

 

2 - Setting the scene for 2017

During the last podcast I started to talk about some of my crafting goals for 2017.  I have opened up a thread on Ravelry so that you can add yours in too, as many already have. It's great to be able to see your lists, although I keep on adding some of your ideas into mine...

So, here is what I am working towards in 2017:

Yarn:
1 - Not buy any if I can possibly help it. The caveat to this is that I may need specific yarns for design work in which case I will have to buy it. I have a rather large stash (you may get to see it in Episode 12). I am hoping to stick to this for the whole year so that I can really appreciate the beautiful stash that I have and use some of it.

2 - To try to log all of my stash on Ravelry so that I have easy access to it when I am looking at patterns.

Crochet:
3 - To do more crochet colour work. I really enjoyed doing a colour work hat recently and can see many applications for it.
4 - Explore more crochet stitches to see how I can combine them and/or work with them to bring texture and more interest to my projects.
5 - Use more British breeds for my crochet projects.
6 - Crochet more garments.

FOs:
7 - Finish the three large projects that I have on the go (TARDIS cushion, Shorelines blanket and Uncia number two). 
8 - Log more of my FOs on Ravelry.

Knitting: 
9 - Knit some garments. 

Other:

10 - Sew a garment to wear possibly as part of #memademay.
11 - Be more focussed about sketching out designs when they come to me.
12 - Learn to bake bread - I have been meaning to do this for a while so I may as well add it to the list! 

 

Join in.  Add your details to the thread and share what you want to work on in 2017.

3 - Finished Objects

I have had fingers of fire recently.  This is in part due to me doing some gift crafting, partly because of the Christmas CAL and partly beause I didn't cover FOs in the last podcast.  

I knitted Christmas socks for Jenny and her two boys - all gratefully received.  Our friends have also just had a baby boy and so I designed and crocheted up a pram blanket for Theodore!  I was keen to design a blanket that would use as much of the four skeins as possible and have as few ends to weave in as possible.     I really love the finished blanket and it only has seven ends to weave in!  I used a 6mm (J/10) hook for the blanket but moved up to an 8mm (L/11) hook for the slip stitch border.

I have two FOs from the Christmas CAL, so far!  My first were the Winter Wonder socks by Vicki Brown.  She very kindly offered a 50% discount on the sock pattern for the CAL, just use the code CCCAL when you are checking out on Ravelry.

I used a 3mm hook (C/2) and Zealana Cozi (15% Brushtail Possum, 58% Merino, 5% baby Alpaca and 22% nylon) in shade Peppermint. I deliberately went a little more luxurious with this yarn because these are socks for wearing in the house when my feet are very cold and also for inside my wellies.  The pattern is really easy to follow and memorise with a new to me toe construction.  I struggled with the sizing to begin with but got there by making the small size and a 3mm hook for most of the sock, moving to a 4mm (G/6) hook to do the heel, moving back to the 3mm when starting in rounds again.  

I would recommend both yarn and pattern, though you may want to make sure that you are comfortable with using Possum before you make your yarn purchase.  I am a trained conservationist and so using Possum isn't an issue for me personally.  Although I bought my two balls in Munich, you can also buy it from Hulu Crafts in the UK or check the Zealana website for stockists.

These are my best fitting crocheted socks to date.

I also managed to finish my version of Spun Gold by Kat Goldin and used some Jeanette Sloan Baby Alpaca 4 ply in shade Olive (50g/200m).  Sadly, this yarn is no longer available which is one of the reasons that I used it for this project.  I had already used the yarn for my crocheted Liala top and so had two and a bit balls left.  Spun Gold is one of those patterns where you crochet increases until you have used half of your yarn and then start decreasing.  All in I had 140g and used 133g to make this shawl.  

You can also see my pair of Solar socks by Gill Slater which is free pattern on Ravelry.  I knitted thsee using 2.5mm/9 inch circular needles and Socks Yeah! yarn in shade Malachite.

I nearly forgot about the Uncia for Juliet!  I finished it, she loves it, I still have mine to finish...

 

Ep_12_WIPs.jpg

4 - WIPs

Hmmm, I want to start all of the things, but let's start with the thing that is not my best friend at the moment, my second Uncia shawl.  I had to work so hard to knit Juliet's Uncia for the self-imposed deadline that the thought of picking up my Uncia to finish it is filling me with dread.  I have 95 rows left to knit, about 25 hours worth of knitting maybe?  I just can't face it at the moment. Maybe next week.

I wanted to start a knitted garment at the back end of 2016 but was enticed into more Christmas CAL crochet and so made a start on a Leigh top on the 1st January 2017 instead.   This is really quick to knit up and I am using the yarn that the pattern called for - Rowan Cocoon (shade Crag).  This is gorgeous to work with and there is a very strong sheepy smell coming off the yarn (80% wool and 20% Mohair) which just makes me want to knit on it all day long.

I also seem to have started another crocheted garment!  The pattern is Riveret by Merrian Holland from Pom Pom Quarterley's Spring 2016 issue.  I liked the look of this pattern when I first got my copy through the door but I wasn't convinced that it would suit me.  I then saw the sample at Yarnporium in London and realised how big it was on the model and just how elegant it was.  I have done very little on this but it should receive some more love before the next podcast!

 Ep_12_WIPs.jpg

 

5 - Feeding the habit

In 2017 I am going to try my very best to not buy yarn.  Having gone through my stash during December, I bolstered the areas that I knew were lacking such as sock yarn.  I have A LOT of yarn and it is time to use some of it up.

My plan is to to log all of the weights and metrage of yarn that I use in 2017 so that I can record what a dent I am making.  There does have to be one caveat though.  For yarn specific projects (one of which is a man's cardigan which is a present and has to be in a very specific colour that I don't currently have or for designs that I need to work on) I iwll most likley have to buy yarns, the same applies to new designs that I don't have the correct yarn for.   

I am also going to put some of my older stash into six different bags.  Each bag will be assigned a number and by using a random number generator that will dictate the next bag of yarn that I have to work with and find a pattern for - Stash Bingo!

There will be some feeding the habit as I am sure that I will be buying patterns and books to find great projects to use with my stash.  I also intend on attending workshops to increase my skill base.

 

Ep_12_yarn.jpg1 - Regia sock yarn   2 - The Bavarian yarn that I bought from Die Mercerie is by Hofer Schafwolle  3 - Metallico by Blue Sky Alpacas             4 - Wolle Rodel sock yarn  5 - Vicki Brown skeins of lovliness!  6 - Merino/Silk 4 ply from The Wool Kitchen  7 - Lang Yarns Jawoll sock yarn 8 - Life in the Long Grass - no more words are required!  9 - Socks Yeah! by Rachel Coopey

 

6 - Quod the Rav

Not so long ago, a lovely person on Ravelry sent me a message to suggest that I start using some of the useful functions when I was adding to discussion threads.  This is called Magic Linking.  Yes the information for it popped up every time I pressed the 'Reply to thread' button, but no I didn't read it or act upon it!  

Here is how to do it:

Magically link to Ravelry by typing some text in brackets and a type of thing in parentheses. At the moment, you can link to a yarnpersonpatternprojectbook or group.

[Somewhat Cowl](pattern) [casey](person) [Malabrigo](yarn) [mayarn's chuppah](project) 
[Canadian Knitter](group) [Favorite Socks](book)

This is a really helpful tool to use when you are participating in forums because it allows you to quickly and easily use the backend database of Ravelry to provide useful links within your comments.  

For instance, if I was going to add an FO to a thread I would use the Magic Link function to show what pattern and yarn I had used or if I wanted to point people to my project for that pattern then I might give project and yarn links instead.

This is a really quick and effective way of sharing your knowledge with people and stops annoying people like me aksing what pattern and yarn you used!

A top tip from me is to have a little written note for your pattern/project/yarn at the ready so that you know execatly what it is called.  This can save you the annoyance of trying to find it mid-forum response and potentially losing your draft comments so far. The other way around this is to have two Ravelry tabs open, one for checking details and one for adding comments to. 

I find it immensley helpful when people use the magic link function as I love to see what yarn and patterns people have used for projects and I can't be the only one...

 

What's good?

I have had some time off in Munich and with our friends Jenny and Frazer and it has been wonderful. Whilst in Munich, I manged to visit three yarn shops and have a firm favourite - Die Mercerie.  It was such a beautiful space with very tastefully curated items and great displays.  If you find yourself in Munich, you will not be disappointed with a walk out to visit this shop!

 

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Fay x

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December 16, 2016 @ 11:11 am

Episode Eleven - HOP to it

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the show notes from Episode Eleven - HOP to it. 

In this episode I will cover: Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; the final installment of Yarn Club Review; Book Review of Raw by The Crochet Project; Take Two; Quod the Rav; The scene for 2017, New World Order and the final segment What's Good?

This Episode is sponsored by:

Knit It - Hook It - Craft It

Hello to beadiemom (Margo), homemadeatmyplace (Alessandra) and Nettiesely from Ravelry.

Thanks to everyone that tunes in to our podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or our new YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement is really appreciated. We love doing the podcast and it makes it even more worthwhile knowing that there are people that really love it and are sat at their computers pressing refresh on publish day! 

The people that both have a birthday on publish date are Christinadesigns (Christina) and Felicious (Felicia) - Happy Birthday both!

 

1. Yay crochet or nay crochet

It's a yay.  Last podcast I showed a crocheted baby blanket for Emma and her new daughter Matilda.  Emma comes to the crochet and knitting club that I run, Woolgathering Sandbach, and a few of us crocheted the baby blanket.  I really love making things for other people, especially little folk.  

Winkie has also finished the postal scarf that we have been working on.  He really loves it but says it's a little itchy and needs washing!  Take a look at how cute he is in it:

IMG-20161215-WA0001.jpg

 

2. Yarn club review

The final instalment of the Yarn Club Review covers off an ongoing blanket subscription and details of a new shawl club subscription that is open at the moment.

Becca, another Woolgatherer (PixieCaticus on IG and Ravelry), signed up to a blanket club ten months ago.  Every month she has received 3 x 50g of hand dyed superwash Merino from one of two indie dyers - Dye Candy (dyecandy on IG) or Unbelievawool (unbelievawool on IG) and the next stage of the blanket pattern.


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The banket subscription is £21 a month and Becca has two months left to go.  She has really enjoyed receiving the yarn through the post and she like many others found that there was yarn left over, so the dyers offered and extended pattern for those that wanted to do it.  She has also kept on top of the club by making the next set of hexagons within a couple of days of them arriving and will still have yarn leftover which she can use for other projects.  

 

The other part of the yarn subscrition review that I wanted to point you towards is a new shawl club by Vicki Brown. I saw what she was up to on Instagram and emailed her for more details.  

vix_brown.jpg 

The Crochet Shawl Club:

  • Starting from January 2017 Vicki will be launching one crochet shawl pattern every two months as part of a club. Every other month (January, March, May, July, September and November) she will be produce a box which will include a printed pattern and hand dyed yarn to work up that shawl (dyed by Vicki exclusively for this club). 
  • Each box will be available to purchase singly and will go on sale a month prior to shipping or you can sign up to all six for a fabulous saving (£20).
  • Each shawl pattern will be new and exclusive to box subscribers for two months, after which time the pattern will become available to purchase individually.
  • All yarn will be sock/4ply weight and will be on a range of bases and fibres varying from month to month. However, she can happily accommodate any allergies or personal dislikes. All patterns will use a 3.5mm or 4mm hook.
  • The first box and the full subscription are available to purchase now over on etsy.
  • Single boxes are priced at £20 and include UK postage, postage within Europe is an additional £1.50 and postage for the rest of the world is an additional £3
  • For the full 6 month collection the cost is £100 and includes UK postage. Postage within Europe is an additional £9 and £18 for the rest of the world.
  • The contents will remain a mystery until they have been delivered to your door, but you can find some sneak peeks over on Vickie's instagram page.

Vicki has also very kindly offered one of the shawl clubs up as a prize for one Crochet Circle listener/viewer - more on that in the future...

 

3. Book Review - Raw by The Crochet Project

I was very kindly sent a digital copy of Raw by the lovelies at The Crochet Project in collaboration with Blacker Yarns.  As you know, I won't reveiw a book unless I have crocheted at least one thing from it.  You can see from the below photo, I have managed to make both the Mamble socks and the Newham hat from the book. The book has six patterns - a cardigan, sweater, socks, shawl and matching mittens and hat. It was all crocheted using Blacker Yarns in natural shades, show casing British breeds.  

 

Ep_11_-_Raw_by_The_Crochet_Project.jpg   

 Ep_11_-_Raw_2.jpg

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The socks are toe up in construction and I used a yarn that had very little elasticity but is lovely and warm and very sheepy! Having already made a pair of Joanne's crocheted socks, I was familiar with her style, although this one had a different heel construction.  I found the sock easy enough to crochet, although I struggled a little with the heel construction. The first time I tried it out I found it hard to keep track of where the heel steps were, called a bridge stitch (this will make sense to you when you read the pattern).  I ripped it out and started the heel part again. putting a place market on each decrease, now knowing that I needed to be able to identfy them better.  That did the trick.  I couldn't find and reference to bridge stitch anywhere so I am not sure if it something that Joanne has created.  It works for the construction but took a bit of fiddling.  The socks are lovely to wear and I would like to crochet these again in something like Socks Yeah or West Yorkshire Spinners so that I can compare them to my first pair.

 

Raw_ingredients.jpg

The Newham hat has been crocheted in 100% Merino Knit by Numbers from John Arbon. I played around with the hat construction a little because I like quite a tight hat and the book photos show it being looser on Joanne.  I really loved the rib construction for the brim which is crocheted as one long peice and then joined to make a round before picking up stitches.  The pattern shows a simple colourwork chart that you go by to create the pattern in the round.  This is really easy to follow but unfortunately when I started this part of the hat I was really quite ill and mucked it up a little.  Luckily my two colours aren't high contrast so it isn't really obvious.  This is not a shortfall of the pattern, I was really quite poorly!  I love the finished hat and it is gorgeous to wear.

Overall, with Raw you get exactly what you would expect from Kat and Joanne at The Crochet Project - really nice simple patterns with interesting design elements, beautiful photography and good yarn choices. The book is available on their website and is £10 for the digital copy and £12 plus P&P for the hard copy which includes a digital download code.  It is written in UK crochet terminology and the US terms are given in the abreviations.

I would recommend this book.  There is something for all types of crocheters and if natural shades aren't your thing, it is simple to change to colours.   

 

4. Take Two

TAKE TWO is a collection of 8 crochet patterns, each shown as two designs - sixteen patterns.

You can buy: A printed copy (which includes an instant digital download) £12 from here.  I am fingers crossed hoping that the hard copy books will arrive in the thrid week of December so that I can post them out ASAP.

or

A digital copy for £10 here or by searching for Take Two on Ravelry in books.

Take_Two_front_cover.jpg      TT_compilation.jpg

 

I would love to see your finished makes and you can add them to the Ravelry page FO thread and use #TakeTwoCrochet to share your makes on Instagram.

 

5. Quod the Rav

Ravlery is huge, both in terms of the number of people that use it but also the functionality that it has to offer.  In this new section I want to show some of the things that Ravelry can do and ways that you can use it to get the most from the site.  It can be quite an intimidating website so I am hoping to demonstrate how you can really use it to your benefit and help others to do the same through the way that you use and record projects on Ravelry.

In this podcast I wanted to cover how you can try to verify whether a pattern is worth purchasing or not?  A question was asked in the group thread and so I have pulled together some information on how I check a pattern out pre-purchase.  I have used a pattern that I have purchased, knitted, recorded and people have found helpful.  

Episode_Eleven_-_HOP_to_it.jpg 

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     Episode_Eleven_-_HOP_to_it_3_.jpg     

 

In case you are wondering why this section is called Quod the Rav, you can blame Eddie Izzard and his sketch on Latin.

 

6. Setting the scene for 2017 

At the beginning of 2016 I set myself a few crafting goals that I wanted to achieve by the end of 2016.  These have given me a gentle steer through my 2016 crafting and I have achieved or been working towards all of them:

1 - Learn how to make socks.  So far I have knitted ten pairs and crocheted three pairs and will hopefully reach 14  by the end of the year (festive socks for Jenny and The Duke).

2 - Learn how to do colourwork.  I took part in a KAL and used it as a project to work with British breeds and test my colourwork skills.  I also learned to do crochet colourwork with the Newham hat from Raw.

3 - Dye some of my own yarn.  I organsied a workshop in September and a bunch of us dyed British yarns.  It was great fun and I am working my way through my own hand dyed yarn which makes projects even more special.

4 - Take part in CAL/KALs.  I have taken part in two KALs but up until now haven't found a CAL that I wanted to do.  Luckily, we have the Christmas CAL coming up (details further down) which I am very excited about!

5 - Put better project notes up on Ravelry.  I have really tried hard on this one.  I get so much help from going through other people's projects that I feel I should offer the same level of detail.  There is no doubt that it is time consuming but I love going back and seeing how much work went into projects.

6 - Take better photos of my projects.  I can see the difference in the photos that I take now compared to when I started on Ravelry.  To me this helps to sell myself as the owner of KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT and a podcaster, so hopefully my photos will only get better as time goes on.

I am going to open a thread on Ravelry called Setting the scene for 2017.  I will add my crafting goals for 2017 (I will also be talking about them in the January podcast) into that thread and you are all very welcome to do the same.  My plan is to review it every quarter to see if I want to focus on other things or document what has really caught my attention - like making socks has in 2016!  

Get thinking, what do you want to be working in in 2017? 

  

7. New world order

As you are all aware, Lynne is no longer doing the podcast and so I wanted to reassure people that I have every intention of continuing to podcast on a monthly basis.  Podcasting is a great way for me to get inside the crafting industry and understand what is happening and how I can be part of that.  It makes me craft more, want to learn new techniques to share with you and it is a great way of engaging with lots of lovely people about this very yarny passion.

So here is what you can expect from The Crochet Circle Podcast in 2017:

1 - A podcast that is published on the first Friday of every month for video on YouTube and also audio via Podbean etc..

2 - Vlog style videos on YouTube showing my yarn based antics and general bits and bobs.

3 - The usual content on social media.  My intention is to focus mainly on Instagram because it allows me to show off yarn based things so easily, share your makes (tag crochet_circle) and it is a very positive social media space.  I will put the occassional thing out on Twitter but most content will be on IG.

4 - Continue to grow the content and engagement in our Ravelry thread. We have so many lovely people that post in that thread and long may it continue.  At some point I may have to ask whether others want to come forward as moderators.

5 - I want to keep the standard sections like Yay crochet or nay crochet, WIPs, FOs, Feeding the habit, What's good and of course reviews when there is something to review.

6 - I work with a lot of different yarns and so that I can review them all and let you see what I am working on, I am going to pull together a yarn review format for Instagram.  That way I can let you know what I think of the yarn but I can show off more yarns rather than having to wait for the podcast.  If you aren't on Instagram, all of my Crochet Circle photos are automatically uploaded onto Pinterest.

7 - I want to introduce some new sections like Quod the Rav.  Others will will come as the podcast moves into this new phase, but I want it to be informative, useful and fun.

 

8. Christmas CAL 

There is a lot of excitement about a Christmas CAL!  I openend up a thread on Ravelry with a poll and 88% wanted to work from the same pattern with 12% wanting to choose their own.  So that everyone can be happy I think that CAL should be eiether!

For those of you that want to work from the same one pattern, take to the Christmas CAL thread to decide which pattern you all want to work from - you just need to decide in enough time to make sure you have enough yarn and are ready for the CAL start date.  

The CAL starts on the 24th December 2016 and the end date is the 31st January 2017, so choose a project that is realistic for that timeline.

I am going to cast on two things (possibly three)!  The pattern that you folks choose for the CAL and another of my own choice (and possibly a new design that is currently bubbling in the recess of my brain).

I may have purchased some Christmas themed yarn from Vickie Brown...

 

9. What's good?

The reaction to the fact that I am going to continue with the podcast has been lovely.  It is a shame that Lynne no longer wants to continue with it but I am really heartened by the fact that so many people want the podcast to continue and are supportive of my solo endeavours - thank you, you lovely poeple!

 

Happy listening, watching, festive season and crocheting,

Fay x

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December 2, 2016 @ 10:06 am

Episode Ten - Take Two

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the show notes from Episode Ten - Take Two. 

In this episode we will be covering: Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; the (almost) final instalment of our Yarn Club Review; Yarn Review of The Big Scary Bear Alpaca DK; Copyright; Take Two; FOs; WIPs; Feeding the Habit and our final segment What's Good? This Episode is sponsored by:

Knit It - Hook It - Craft It

and

Lynne Rowe Knitting and Crochet

Hello to Lisanif (Lisa), Soundzik (Marianna) and Monknitker (Amanda) from Ravelry.

Thanks to everyone that tunes in to our podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or our new YouTube Channel.  Your support and engagement is really appreciated. We love doing the podcast and it makes it even more worthwhile knowing that there are people that really love it and are sat at their computers pressing refresh on publish day! 

The person that has the closest birthday to our publish date is Littlefrog (Tania) - Happy Birthday Tania!

1. Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet

It' a Nay from Lynne: This month I've suffered from Repetitive Strain Injury from my crochet, mainly due to a number of combined reasons - I was using a metal hook, the hook was small in size, my stitches were small and I was wrangling to get my hook into them for the particular stitch type I was using (I normally use a hook with an soft grip handle and a metal hook on the end, but I didn't have the size needed). To remedy this I crocheted in short bursts and wore a pair of fingerless mittens whilst crocheting, which stops the metal touching my skin and prevents the pain from occuring.

Fay: It's a yay from me.  I have said many times that I am quite a warm bodied person and am usually stripping off rather than putting on layers. My friend and neighbour, Gill, pops in to see if I want to go for a walk and the weather has definitely taken a turn for the colder in Cheshire.  It has been too cold to go out with bare hands, but not cold enough to necessitate full gloves.  Given that all of the samples for Take Two have been sat in my kitchen, I just keep on diving into the bag to pull out my version of Lynne's pattern, Baltum which is a pair of fingerless mittens. The have given the perfect amount of warmth for our country walks. 

2. Yarn Club Review

The final instalment of our Yarn Club Review is from another Crochet Circler, Charlotte (purplehayescrochet on IG and Charlottemhayes on Ravelry), who has subscribed to two Clubs: Crochyay! and Little Box of Crochet.

Charlotte's full review is going to be loaded onto the 'Things to know about yarn clubs' board, but here are the main points about the two box clubs that she has been receiving:

 

  • Little Box of Crochet is a monthy box that costs £17.45 and is done on a monthly rolling subscription although you can sometimes pick up additional boxes. Cahrlotte has been receiving this box since April 2016.
  • Crochyay! is also monthly and costs £22.50 & P&P and you can also buy the boxes as a one-off.  Charlotte received her first box in October 2016.  
  • With both boxes you receive at least one pattern, the yarn required and lots of treats such as handmade stitch markers or a project bag.
  • Charlotte has made most of the things from all of the boxes she has recieved with the exception of a Little Box of Crochet pin cushion because it isn't her type of thing.  She has simply stashed the yarn instead and will use it in another project.
  • The yarns used have been great and have made Charlotte try yarns that were new to her.  The only one that she was less keen on was the Rico cotton, because it split a lot.  
  • LBC generally sends out cotton based yarn and Crochyay! has been acrylic/cotton so far.  
  • The projects come with enough yarn for each project and the only time that Charlotte ran out, it was because her gauge was off but the yarn was readily available so she was able to go and buy more.
  • Both boxes contain full written instructions.  LBC also use handy photos as part of a step by step guide and Crochyay has lovely big text which makes the patterns very easy to read and follow.  
  • In October the LBC project was a tea cosy which Charlotte loved because she is a bit of a tea jenny.  The Crochyay project was a pair of mittens with a half heart on each, making a full heart when placed together.  
  • All of the patterns  have been easy to follow and Charlotte hasn't needed any pattern support.
  • She has loved receiving both boxes and particularly loves receiving a surpsrise every time, making things that she wouldn't normally crochet and has particularly liked supporting small businesses.
  • Charlotte does intend on moving to just one subscription and says that it will most likely be Crochyay! because the patterns are more modern and fit with her style.

3. Yarn Review - The Big Scary Bear Alpaca DK

The Big Scary Bear is a relatively new company, owned by Richard and Karen Collier and is based in a small semi-rural village is Essex. Their fleece is sourced from their own herd of alpacas who live with them at Bramble Cottage, along with their six pygmy goats, two cats and two rabbits.

The fleece is hand-sorted and graded before being spun into yarn by a specialist spinning mill in Oxfordshire.

Their yarn is 100% alpaca and the ball band in made from recyled material. They have 6 shades available, all of which are lovely, soft hues, including Cream, Brown, Ginger, Navy, Cinnamon Grass, Pebble, Teaberry and Seafoam.

About the Yarn:

DK weight/21 sts and 28 rows over 10x10cm in stocking stitch

£6 per 50g ball

We used a ball of yarn to knit up a test square using our standard test square pattern. Fay crocheted a premature baby hat with the remainder of the ball and Lynne crocheted a pair of mittens with a fresh ball.

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Lynne: The knitted swatch shows that the stitch definition is really clear, with moss stitch, cables and stocking stitch. I love how there are flecks of lighter colour here and there where the dye hasn't fully taken, which creates a mildly semi-solid appearance. The yarn is incredily soft and could be worn next to the skin and even I could wear it around my sensitive neck, which is fab. It is great to knit with too - the yarn slid through my fingers beautifully and created a nice, firm stitch. My test square blocked out beautifully and I'm itching to start a neck cosy in fairisle with it. The tension isn't on the ball band, but it knitted up almost to a standard double knitting (light worsted) tension of 21 sts and 28 rows to 10x10cm over stocking stitch. I also wanted to test it out for crochet, so I've started a pair of crocheted fingerless mittens using half treble crochet in the round. Again, the stitch definition is perfect and they are incredibly soft and really warm.

Fay: This is beautiful to work with and I felt that it really maintained the halo and sheen that I would expect from alpaca.  The yarn has been nicely plyed and so there were no issues with the yarn splitting when I was crocheting and it was a dream to run through my fingers.  

I think that the pricing point is incredible for soemthing that is 100% British and I would happily use this to make a garment with.  It feels like the company is in its infancy and I really hope that it goes well for them.  

The only slight downside I had was that the dye in the teaberry shade wasn't completely exhausted and so a littel came out when I washed it. However, this is the case with many yarns and so it is always worth testing a small cut of yarn in luke warm water to see if it is dye-fast. This is particularly important if you are using more than one colour.   

4. Copyright

In our Take Two book we encourage you to take our designs and change them up - if you don't like the yarn weight, then use something different, if you want to make it simpler then leave something out or if your're not keen of the colours, change them. However, all of the patterns are fully copyrighted to either Lynne or Fay, so even though you may tweak something in any published pattern, it doesn't mean that you can then publish the tweaked version as your own. There have been a few instances recently on social media where designers are finding that distinctive elements of their designs have been incorporated in to another designer's pattern. Sometimes this has been something very obvious like a fairisle pattern, or it can be that the whole designs looks almost identical. This sometimes happens purely by coincidence, after all, there are only so many ways to crochet a leaf or a granny square. So the best thing to do with a tweaked pattern is to add your FO to the designer's Ravelry page, then in the notes you can document your tweaks.

5. Take Two

Created and published by Lynne and Fay, from designing, sample testing, pattern styling and pattern checking, photography and book layout.

Take_Two_front_cover.jpg

TAKE TWO is a collection of 8 crochet patterns, each shown as two designs - sixteen patterns.

We used some amazing yarns for our main designs, all of which have been spun in the north of England and in some cases grown there too. We each designed 4 patterns each which we passed to each other to remake in our own style using yarn from our stash. This wasn't a problem as we both have rather large stashes. We were keen to show that our designs could be made using the original yarns spun in the north of England, or they can be made using yarn that may be hiding at the bottom of your stash, waiting to be turned into something lovely.

TAKE TWO is our first collection and includes a variety of easy-to-make crochet essentials including: Colosseum (an asymmetrical shallow shawl); Auchincruive (a cowl); Skogafoss (a stylish messenger bag); Paraphernalia (a notions pouch or purse); Galicia (a long cowl); Baltum (a pair of fingerless mittens); Phasian (a textured Granny Square Blanket); Chrysanth (a textured circular cushion).

You can buy:

A printed copy (which includes a digital download) £12 (we are currently taking pre orders and hope that the hard copy will arrive during the third week of December, ready to be posted out ASAP).  When you buy the hard copy, you receive an instant digital download.

or

A digital copy £10 can also be purchased from Ravelry (search 'Take Two' under books) or from www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com

 TT_compilation.jpg

 

We'd love to see your finished makes and you can add them to our Ravelry page and our discussion board FO thread.

6. WIPS

Lynne: not much progress on WIPS - I'm focussing on one thing at a time now, to try and bring my FOs down to a more managable level. My 12 WIPS are:

Aran Tweed Blanket - working on the border/2 pairs of socks - no progress/Mother-in-Law's Travis blanket - no progress/Manos del Uruguay Shawl - own design - no progress/Accordian Fingerless mittens - no progress/Lopi Cushion - no progress/Wrist Warmers - no progress/Odeletta Shawl - no progress (I started this again with a heavier weight yarn)/Cabled mittens - one more to make/Baltum mittens in WYS DK - one more to make/Lisa Sweater - no progress/crocheted mittens for testing The Big Scary Bear - one more to make.

I've frogged the Sausage Dog - I took out the toy filling to re-use and frogged the knitting, wound it into balls and it went to the charity shop as I would never use the colours myself. I've finished my Abraham Shawl.

Fay: There has been no attention paid to my Shorelines blanket or TARDIS cushion and that will remain the case until next year now - I just have too many other things to get on with.  Lots of time has been spent on the two Uncia shawls because I have to have them ready for the second weekend in December - hmmm.  I also have a HOP.  I am now calling a sock a Half Of Pair because if it is a sock, you would have to hop. The pattern is 'Solar' by Gill (Gilly Slater on Ravelry and it is free) one of the Woolgathering Sandbach goers.  I really love the vertical lace pattern and the bottle green makes me think of school uniforms and being eight again.

7. FOs

Lynne: Abraham Shawl (knitted) made with stash yarns from John Arbon (Knit by Numbers) and Artesano (Superwash DK)/Christmas bauble (knitted) for a Christmas Swap/Test Square using The Big Scary Bear/Take Two Skogafoss Bag, Paraphernalia/various commission: knitted baby bootees, crocheted baby shoes, Daisy May next crocheted outfit, a crocheter flower wreath, a teeny tiny knitted panda and a crocheted sheep.

Abraham2.png

Fay: I have made a third and fourth version of Paraphernalia so that I could show it off in other sizes and double, double check the measurements and amount of wool required.  There was also the premature baby hat for the local hospital but I will make a few of them before I hand them over.  Emma from Woolgathering has given birth to a baby girl, Matilda, and so a few of us have crocheted a pram blanket for her and I managed to finish that off over this weekend.  I also fired out the Newham hat from The Crochet Project's latest book, Raw and there is more to come on that in the next podcast.

The problem I face at the moment is that I just want to start all of the projects and have really had to stop myself!

Here are Fay's needle felting projects and knitted stockings, the Newham hat in John Arbon Knit by Numbers 4ply and Mamble socks in Shropshire Ply from Ewe & Ply from Raw. The baby blanket that Woolgathering folk worked on for Emma's baby and a premature hat for the local hospital.  The hat was in The Big Scary Bear Alpaca in Teaberry and the blanket used Blue Sky Cotton and Evie from Sublime.

 

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Raw_ingredients.jpg

 

FO_blanket.jpg

8. Feeding the Habit

Lynne: No new purchases this month for me - all yarns used were supplied for commissions or were in my stash including: West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK, Garthenor Organics Wensleydale (4ply), Rico Essentials Cotton DK, King Cole Merino Blend 4ply, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and Sublime Superfine Alpaca. That said - I've just purchased a skein of chunky hand dyed yarn from Petra Black (Made By Black Elephant) - ethically sourced yarns, hand dyed in Yorkshire. If yarn isn't local then it is ethically sourced and supports the communities that produce it (mulesing free).

yarn.png

Fay: I got my third and last installment of my Life in the Long Grass yarn club which is called Chlorophyll and I can see why!  I also went to Yarnporium which was great fun and picked up some new Gotland from Midwinter Yarns and a very special skein from Helen at The Wool Kitchen which is most likely going to be used as my yarn for the Christmas CAL.  

The other thing that I have purchased is a daylight lamp.  I have been struggling to see the pattern properly for the Uncia shawls and under the guidance of my friend Jenny, went to Hobby Craft to buy the Naturalight portable LED lamp.  What a difference this has made to my nightime crochet and knitting activity!  You can use it with the internal rechargable battery, via mains electricity or a USB cable which would be perfect for car crafting.  I am so impressed with this and it is currently reduced from £20 down to £15.  It gives off a white rather than a blue light which means that is isn't likely to set off migraines.  

The yarn that I didn't have to purchase was the yarn haul that my Dad brought back from Iceland.  I have a sweater quantities worth of Lett-Lopi and some new Icelandic yarn that I hadn't seen before from Gusto, an Alpaca/Icelandic mix.

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1 - 100% Gotland yarn from Midwinter Yarns (mustard 293, Peacock Blue 174 & Dark Grey 960).

2 - Erika Knight for John Lewis DK is 100% South American wool, dyed, spun and balled in the UK (Citrine 04).

3 - The newest of Erika's lines for John Lewis is XXL, 250g with 55m shown in Dusky Pink.

4 - Mini Skeins from Baa Ram Ewe in their base Titus shown Dalby , Parkin & Bantum (top to botom).

5 - Newest wool available from Daughter of a Shepherd is Foxen meets Merino.

6 - Thw wonderous The Wool Kitchen skein - I really shoudl have bought two!  This is in teh colourway Denim. 

7 - Icelandic wool is a firm favourite of mine, especially if it has coem from one of my Dad's trips to Iceland.  This is Lettlopi and is destined to become a jumper.  The shade is Ocean Blue.

8 - A new to me Icelandic yarn brand called Gusta is a mixture of Icelandic wool and alpaca from Peru.  The one shown above is shade Coal Grey (2500) and is a fair bit softer than 100% Icelandic wool...

9 - My final installment of my Life in the Long Grass has arrived and is called Chlorophyll.  I initially didn't really like thsi colour but it has grown on me and I find that I keep on going back to it to see all of the colours that are hidden throughout the skein.

  

9. What's Good?

Lynne: I'm looking forward to a new year and being really organised. I say this every year, but it's definitely going to happen this year. I shall look forward to buying some shiny new stationery and making lists.

Fay: It has been good doing the podcast with Lynne.  It has been great for me having left a small team to have somebody to bounce ideas off and work with. As said we will continue to work together and already have plans afoot for Take Two, Collection Two...

Happy listening and crocheting,

Fay and Lynne x

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November 4, 2016 @ 10:22 am

Episode Nine - Yarn Pride

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the show notes from Episode Nine - Yarn Pride. 

In this episode we will be covering: Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; the second instalment of our Yarn Club Review; Yarn Review of Shropshire Ply from Ewe & Ply; Stylish Crochet; FOs; WIPs; Feeding the Habit; Christmas CAL and our final segment What's Good?  This Episode is sponsored by:

Knit It - Hook It - Craft It

and

Lynne Rowe Knitting and Crochet

Hello to Sunflowers55 (Charlene), TheGoffWife (Lisa) and MrsB59 from Ravelry.

Thanks to everyone that tunes in to our podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or our new YouTube Channel.  Your support and engagement is really appreciated. We love doing the podcast and it makes it even more worthwhile knowing that there are people that really love it and are sat at their computers pressing refresh on publish day! 

The person that has the closest birthday to our publish date is PixieCaticus which is Becca from Woolgathering Sandbach.  Happy Birthday Becca!

1. Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet

It's a yay from Lynne:

I'm finding a lot of new crochet podcasts to listen too and one in particular that I love is called Potter and Bloom, presented by Emma Potter. She's such a lovely lady and great to listen too. Emma is a crochet designer and uses bright, fresh colours. I love her honesty and she's funny too. Love to Knit & Crochet Magazine have just launched a crochet-a-long with Emma's blanket design which is called #crochetgirlgang. Emma invested the hashtag and user #crochetgirlgang on Instagram which is really popular and even has it's own merchandise. Emma is Potter and Bloom on Ravelry, Instagramtwitter and facebook.

 

 

It's a yay from Fay: 

I am loving the speed of crochet projects.  I don't seem to have enough hours in the day and I love the fact that I can quickly whizz off crochet projects and get a sense of satisfaction from finishing a project. I am really enjoying crocheting socks; I don't think it's much quicker than knitting a sock but it feels like a great achievement when you have a crocheted sock HO.  I often find that it is easier to create small crochet projects than small knitting projects and that really suits me at busy times.


2. Yarn Clubs  

This is part two of Yarn Club Reviews.  Lynne has received her Baa Baa Brighouse subscription.  This is a different type of subscription from the one that Fay reviewed in Episode Eight which was a subscription of just yarn.  Lynne's is for a yarn box which means that you get more than just yarn in the box.  

The yarn dyer for October was Katie Pearce of Sylvan Tiger Yarn, based in Leeds, West Yorkshire.  Her inspiration came from ‘Stained Glass’ by Shutterspot Photography. The picture was taken at St Matthew’s Church in Rastrick, just a stone’s throw away from Baa Baa Brighouse HQ. There is evidence to suggest that the site has been a place of worship from as early as the 10th Century.  The colourway will be based on a stained glass window.

Yan_Tan_Tethera_Yarn_Club3.png


Baa_Baa_Brighouse_has_15_off_across_thei

The final instalment of Yarn Club review will be from another Crochet Circler, Charlotte.  She currently has subscriptions for a couple of crochet boxes and will give us the low down on those for us. We will have more on that in Episode Ten.   

3. Yarn Review - Shropshire Ply

Shropshire Ply has been created by Teri and Becca, owners of yarn shop Ewe & Ply in Shrewsbury. The yarn is a predominantly from the fleeces of Shropshire sheep (including Teri's own pedigree Shropshire sheep) but also has some fleeces from a Wensleydale/BFL cross.  Spun and dyed in Yorkshire, the yarn is 100% British.  


DK: 100g/247m/270yds 19sts x 28 rows over 10cm £12 per 100g

4 Ply: 100g/395m/430yds 27sts 38 rows over 10cm £12 per 100g

 

We were given some minis by the ladies at Ewe & Ply and so Lynne used the DK weight to make her 'Glen' tea cosy, and Fay used the 4 ply to knit a swatch and test the stitch definition.  The remainder was used to create the face of Brian the Brit Bat, an amigurumi pattern.  


Fay:  I wanted to test the yarn further and so bought some more of the undyed 4ply.  The knitted swatch shows how nicely the yarn behaves.  The stitch definition is incredible and so this yarn is great for lace, cabling and more intricate details.  It isn't the softest of yarns and so for some they won't want this directly next to their skin.  I think it is ideal for knitted homewares (a cabled cushion/throw would look amazing), colourwork jumpers and shawls would also look great in this yarn, although I am using it for socks.


The knitted square was 11cm x 11cm unblocked (2.5mm needles gave an unblocked tension of 30sts and 46 rows over 10cm).  I then washed and blocked it out to 12.5cm x 12.5cm and when it was dried and unpinned it sprang back to 12cm x 12cm (blocked tension tension of 27sts and 42 rows over 10cm).  


Shropshire_Ply_on_4_ply_undyed_.png


As for the amigurumi bat face, the yarn worked very well.  It didn't split  - even though I thought it might because it doesn't have a high twist to it.  The results are neat, consistent rounds that will be very hard wearing. 


The skein that I bought is being used to crochet a pair of Mamble Socks by Joanne Scrace.  It wound on my ball winder/swift very easily and there were no knots.  So far I have finished one sock and hope to be onto the second before we record the podcast.  The yarn is bouncy and airy (as publicised by Ewe & Ply) but doesn't have a lot of elasticity/give so if you are working with it I would choose your project well or think about moving up a hook/needle size or two to open the project out a little. The sock is toe up and I had to pull back down and change my tension and increase some stitches to get my foot in.  This is probably due to a number of factors: I was crocheting the heel up in a pub in semi darkness and had a glass of wine in hand - not a winning combination.  Although I was happy to crochet at a gig in a pub, I was less comfortable with taking my boot and sock off and trying on a semi-sock!  So, when I tried the sock on the next morning, it was clear that I would have to rip back.  Keeping the 'crocheting at a gig' factor in mind I am still sure that the lack of elasticity is a factor too.  That said, the increase in stitches and loosening of tension seem to have done the trick.  I am yet to wash and block the sock and I expect it to grow a little, as the knitted square did (it grew just over 8%).  I have now washed the sock and it really didn't grow, it stayed put.


I wore the sock for about 12 hours (standing on my feet) when I had finished it.  I have previously said in the podcast that I have very sensitive feet and yet I had no issues wearing this yarn directly on my feet.  The sock was warm and the stitches came to life when stretched out properly over my foot.  I will report back over the coming months on how hard-wearing the yarn is for socks.            


Lynne: I had 28g of DK weight in a pale grey colour. I knew that Fay had already knitted up the tension square with the 4ply, so I decided to make something in crochet. I wanted to make something useful and after racking my brain I realised that the little teapot I use in The Woonest needed a tea cosy. The first thing I noticed about the yarn was the smell, which is really pleasant and fragrant. When I squidged the yarn it felt crispy and a bit crunchy and I was a little worried that it may be a bit rough on my hands (I have sensitive skin) but I was wrong and it felt much softer when I was working with it than I'd anticipated. It created a firm, study fabric with crochet and was perfect for my tea cosy. I used some oddments of a similar wool to add a splash of autumn colour to the top of the cosy and added leaves and flowers. Due to the lack of elasticity in the yarn, it wouldn't stretch over my tea pot, so I had to add a button fastening to my tea cosy for ease of use. I love the yarn and could see myself using it again for slippers, cushions and amigurumi. I imagine that it would make the most gorgeous blanket - either knitted or crocheted and would be great for felting. I grew to love the yarn whilst I was using it and I would definitely use it again. I've blogged all about it over on The Woolnest blog.


 

4. Stylish Crochet

This is the final instalment of the series and we want to cover how we wear our woollen garments and what we style them with. 

Fay:  I have a few rules that I stick to when I pulling together an outfit:

1 - I tend to use navy as my base colour (it is good against my milk white skin, pairs with all of the autumnal colours that I love and goes well with denim jeans which I wear almost every day).

2 - I usually have no more than three colours in any one outfit because I think that less is more.  An ex-boyfriend used to call me a bumble bee because I like to coordinate my outfit colours.  

3 - I wear quite plain clothes and use accessories (jewellery, shoes, woollen items) as my statement.  

4 - I have started to collect some nice shawl pins to use with my crocheted and knitted shawls.  They are beautiful on the item and also practical.  I don't know how many times I have had to stop in my tracks to rearrange a shawl to stop it falling off or blowing away in the wind.  I have bought some from Textile Garden (they are very affordable) and have my eye on some of the leather ones from Jul Designs too.

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I was also thinking about how I wear my shawls and came up with three main ways - pashmina, neckerchief and all front.  There is also the traditional style, but I don't tend to wear my shawls that way.

Pashmina_style.jpg

Lynne: I'm always envious of my good friend Cassie as she has a shawl for every occasion and in every colourway. She chooses her shawl for the day according to the colour of her bag, coat or shoes, so she always looks perfectly co-ordinated.

For me, I'm slowly building up my collection of knitted and crocheted shawls as I have sensitive skin and I'm a little limited on what I can wear around my neck. So instead I often finish an outfit with a crocheted flower brooch which looks great in DK or heavier weight yarn. Adding a felt ball to the centre instead of a button adds a stylish finish.
 
I'm not a fan of the deep "V" shawl as for some reason they make me feel like grandma from "Red Riding Hood", so I tend to opt for a shallow "V" shawl, and like to wear the "V" at the front or offset and over one shoulder. I like the length of the shawl to be long enough to cross over at the back and come back to hang at the front otherwise I feel like a cowboy. I also like a shawl to have a good drape so that it folds softly around the neckline. My "Baktus" is currently my favourite shawl, despite almost frogging it at one time (it took me 2 years to knit!!).
 

5. FOs 

Fay: I have bombed though quite a bit this month, including my crocheted sock HO!   

I came across the amigurumi patterns of Lalylala on Instagram a few weeks ago and was bowled over by how cute they were.  They are utterly adorable and I completely understand why she has sold nearly 49,000 patterns in five years.  I bought three of her patterns and because we are in October I concentrated on Vlad the Vampire (I renamed him Brian the Brit Bat because he is made completely with wool from the British Isles/Territories).  Brian has been finished and can be seen in all his glory below.  


This was a really fun crochet pattern to work on partly because it has quite a few parts, so you get some bit sized satisfaction from finishing the individual pieces. The patterns use American terminology and are set out in a slightly different manner but you soon get the hang of it.  


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A friend that comes to Woolgathering Sandbach works with lots of crocheters who volunteer their time to crochet poppies in aid of our local Royal British Legion Centre in Shrewsbury which supports wounded, injured or sick Service Personnel. So far Cath has raised a whopping £42,500 through poppy brooch sales (since 2011) and hopes to reach £50,000 this year.  


I crocheted a load of poppies for her last year and this year she needed more leaves to add to the brooch.  A bunch of us have been crocheting leaves, ready to pass to Cath at the next Woolgathering Sandbach session.  By the time this goes live I will have crocheted about 100 leaves for the cause.  If you wanted to buy a crocheted poppy from Cath at Cottage Crafts, please click here.


My nephew was staying with us the other weekend and he wanted me to knit him a hat  which I knitted up very quickly during yet another cringeworthy game of Cards Against Humanity! I don't have a photo because he went back to Glasgow the next day, but he was pleased with the finished item.  I used Debbie Bliss Winter Garden using 8mm circular needles throughout.  I have also just finished a pair of mittens to match (Dexter Mittens on Ravelry).


I also finished my Fugly Socks which were knitted using my hand dyed yarn, and the final pair of charity socks for Christine's Yarndale Sock Line. If you want to read more about the charity project, she has written a blog post about it here.  An amazing 160 pairs of socks were knitted to give away to various charities in the UK. 

 

 

Lynne: This month is probably to most FO's I've ever accomplished mainly because for the past 3 weeks I've been a knitting hermit, working on my Search Press book. I've  designed and knitted a pair of mittens, scarf, cushion, hat, a blanket, a shawl, a bag and a tea cosy and mug cosy set. I've also designed a new crochet outfit for my dress up doll (for Crochet Now magazine) along with a small project for my Crochet Now Stash Diaries column (valentine theme). I've almost finished my final Take Two projects and not forgetting "Glen", my yarn review tea cosy. Last but not least, I designed and knitted some crème egg cosies that are for a charity project with Let's Get Crafting Magazine.

I've used some gorgeous yarns in these various projects that I haven't come across before - my favourites were:

King Cole Florence Chunky which contains 25% wool and 8% alpaca. I used shade 2082 Everglade

King Cole Riot DK which is a wool-mix gradient yarn. I used 1689 Foliage

Rowan Big Wool - a super chunky weight wool that is so soft and easy to work with

 

 

6. WIPs 

Fay: Some of my WIPs (shorelines blanket, Wensleydale Uncia shawl) haven't been picked up but I did manage to get a couple of hours on the Tardis cross stitch cushion cover and started the next chart on my Uncia shawl.  I have the second Mamble sock to finish using the Shropshire 4 ply (Mamble socks are from The Crochet Project's latest book 'Raw' which I am hoping to review in the next episode).  So I have five WIPs at the moment but have lots planned...

Lynne: There hasn't been a great deal of goings on with my standard WIP list as work has pretty much taken over my life for the past few weeks. That said, I reluctantly took out my aran tweed blanket and counted the number of squares I had. In my head I had so many more squares to make that it was putting me off. However, I played around with the 30 squares I already had, and lo and behold there was enough to create a pattern. So I watched Strictly and crocheted the squares together and managed to work a couple of rounds of edging. Still more to go, but I'm definitely moving forward. I've called the blanket "Tess" after Strictly's Tess Daly.

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I also started a new knitting WIP with some stash yarns, to play around with the design of a basic shawl, so that I can develop some ideas of my own. It's called "Abraham" (any Walking Dead fans may have guessed my naming theme this week - "Abraham" and "Glen" are my humble tributes to 2 amazing characters, so brutally taken).

7. Feeding the Habit

Fay:  As I said in the last podcast, Matthew and I went to Glasgow for the weekend to meet my Dad and Nephew.  Whilst there I visited two yarn shops - The Yarn Cake and The Queen of Purls (officially my favourite yarn shop in the UK).  Both shops were nice but The Queen of Purls was exceptional - lots of their own hand dyed yarn, a real focus on British yarn, great fibre tops, lovely yarn based wall art, a really inviting space...    


I have also been looking for a yarn to pair up with my Daughter of a Shepherd 100% Hebridean skein.  I want something that will really help the brown to come alive, but it has to be a match in softness too.  I bought some of Ewe & Ply's Shropshire DK in Wenlock Hedge (an acidic yellow) but I am going to see how much the Shropshire softens up before I match the two. There is a pattern slowly building in my mind so I will be taking my time on this one.


I received my second installment of Life in The Long Grass yarn club and it is a bramble overload - I love it.  I wonder what my final instalment will be? Below is the jumper that I am thinking of making with Barley Cove, the first batch of yarn I received from the my Life in the Long Grass club.


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Grazing over Instagram on Saturday night I saw a post from Hedgehog Fibres to say that in 2 minutes time they would have a shop update selling off "lucky dip" bunches of three skeins that were no longer available because they were old club colours or simply discontinued.  


I was very tired, I was snuggled up on the sofa with Matthew, I was in a very happy place, I was even happier when I had ordered the yarn.  I don't know what I am going to receive but it is definitely my final cork in the speckles hole of my stash. 


A final Feeding the Rabbit item was a surprise addition.  In the UK we have a shop called Home Sense which is the sister company to TK Maxx. Both TK Maxx and Home Sense sell books and often carry current crochet and knitting books.  I have been coveting Molla Mills' latest book 'Crocheterie' and there it was on the shelf for £6.99 instead of £19.99. That went straight in my basket! If you ever go into TK Maxx or Home Sense, check out the book area for crafting books, I have had many a bargain from them.


Lynne: My yarn box arrived from BaaBaaBrighouse, although I purchased that in September. I have plans to design a nice, simple scarf and I'm planning on using this yarn. I haven't bought anything else as I'm still organising and sorting my stash - not just my yarn but also my books and magazines too. I have started a blog series called "Thrifty Knitting & Crochet" so I'll be sharing my processes for sorting and grading my stash and deciding what to do with it. I'll be sharing this through a series of blog posts and on the podcast too. My aim is for it to be interactive so I'd love to hear how you keep on top of your stash too.


8. Christmas CAL

 

 

We would love to know if you are interested in being part of a holiday CAL? The idea is to pick a smallish project that can be started from 24th December onwards and finished by 31st January 2017.  


If you are interested, let us know via Social Media or within the Ravelry thread.  We would need to know whether you would prefer:

1 - We pick a pattern (a cowl, scarf, something like that) and we all crochet the same thing.

2 - We each individually pick our own patterns (this may be a better option for those that are coming into Summer months). 


Either way is fine and we would set up hash tags as well as the Ravelry thread so that you can show off your progress.

 

9. What’s Good? 

Fay: I have been trying really hard to take better photos for my own work, Knit It - Hook It - Craft It Instagram feed and for The Crochet Circle Instagram feed. I get lots of lovely engagement and had a really nice email from somebody to say that they were really enjoying my photos.  It is nice to know that people like and appreciate the photos I am putting out there for public consumption because it makes me want to do more and get better at it.

Lynne: I'm constantly surprised and amazed at how versatile crochet is. I've managed to make 3 things out of just 28g of yarn and they're all useful too. My flower brooches use even less yarn  (about 15g max) and make great little gifts that won't cost much at all - just the price of a brooch back. I can't wait to see what I can make with the rest of my yarn oddments in The Woolnest.

Happy listening and crocheting,

Fay and Lynne x

 

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October 31, 2016 @ 12:30 pm

Interview with John Arbon from John Arbon Textiles

Interview with John Arbon from John Arbon Textiles.


Way back in February, we approached John Arbon about interviewing him for The Crochet Circle Podcast.  Spool forward a few months and at the back end of July the interview took place at the John Arbon Textiles mill in North Devon.

Lynne was unable to make it because she was off on holiday a few days later and so the interview is just between John and Fay, although Matthew (Fay's husband) was in the background and helped with the Yarn Challenge video

The mill is a wonderful place, full of older machines that help to bring the whole process to life.  Walking around with John, cup of tea in hand, the pride and enthusiasm for the work that they do here is palpable.  When you look at the job sheets on the machines and tags for the fibres being processed it becomes obvious John and the team spin yarn for a lot of people.  John gives a bit of a run down within the interview, but the chances are that if you tend to buy at the higher end of the British wool/yarn market (think Daughter of a Shepherd, Ysolda Teague, The Little Grey Sheep) then you have used/stashed yarn that has been spun by John.

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Fay baked the team a cake to say thank you of having us.  Cake and mill bits - a winning combination.

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These five skeins were used as part of John's Yarn Challenge and 
represent a very small fraction of the yarns spun at the mill.

They also have their own amazing yarns for sale, such as their sock ranges, incredible Knit by Numbers range or alpaca ranges to name but a few.  Oh, and if you didn't want to crochet or knit your own socks, you can buy them ready made (in the UK), using John Arbon yarn - I have a pair on my feet as I type and they are lush!

We had planned to video the walk around the mill but as you would expect, it is an industrial process and was too noisy to make out the chatting.  So, instead here are a few places where you can see exactly what happens at the mill:
This longer video 'A Long Day in the Mill' shows the mill in full swing and the process from start to finish.  It is 8 ins 34 seconds long.

This is a shorter version of the above video - 'A Short Day in the Mill', in case you only have a couple of minutes to spare, though I encourage you to watch the longer version when you can.  It is 4 minutes long.

This link takes you to an article that Knit Now did for the magazine when they visited the mill and interviewed John back in 2013.  They have done a great job of explaining each part of the process and I couldn't see the point in reinventing the wheel.

John and Juliet exhibit at many of the various yarn events across the UK. You can follow them on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and Ravelry.  You can also buy all of their lovely, yarn and goodies on their website.

If you would like to see more photos from the trip, take a look at our YouTube Channel where you can hear the interview and watch a slide show at the same time.

I'll leave you with this photo.  We obviously had to go to the pub that John and Juliet frequent.  What we didn't know was that the barman is John's son, Harry.  I asked Harry whether he was allowed to wear socks that weren't spun by his Dad and he assured me that he only owns socks from his Dad.  Here is Harry proudly showing off his pair of John Arbon socks.

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October 7, 2016 @ 9:02 am

Episode Eight - I’m Still Standing

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the show notes from Episode Eight - I'm Still Standing. 

In this episode we will be covering Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; Yarn Clubs; Book Review of 'Three from the Top'; Yarndale Festival Review; FOs; WIPs; Feeding the Habit; a quick update on our first book 'Take Two' and finishing with What's Good?

This Episode is sponsored by:

 

Lynne Rowe Knitting and Crochet

and

Knit It - Hook It - Craft It

Thank you for helping us reach over 5200 audio downloads and to all of our lovely listeners and watchers for tuning in.  As well as our audio podcast, we will also upload each audio episode to our YouTube channel - The Crochet Circle Podcast.  This may be a few days after the audio launch each month.

1.Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet (at 3.25 mins)

It's a yay from Fay: Having previously had a Nay Crochet about the lack of crochet stalls at yarn events, I am pleased to report that my Yay Crochet is the amount of crochet related stalls at Yarndale.  I pulled together the below map to aid crocheters that were coming to Yarndale and for those that weren't able to get there so that they could go on-line and investigate the vendors.


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It's also a yay from Lynne: 

The love for crochet seems to be growing - I currently have 12 lovely ladies eagerly awaiting their weekly "learn to crochet class" at Sandbach Boys School, Cheshire. Classes are run by The Link and the next round of classes will be "next steps crochet".



2. Yarn Clubs (at 7.35 mins)

This kick starts the beginning of a new series where we talk about yarn clubs.  The intention is to cover off standard yarn clubs within this episode and in the coming couple of months investigate themed yarn clubs (where you get more than just the yarn) and crochet boxes (where you receive the yarn, pattern etc. either in one hit or as part of a larger month by month project). 

Fay signed up to a club from Life in the Long Grass, an Irish based husband and wife dying team.  They take inspiration from their surroundings and pull together some of the nicest speckled yarns available.  

Amazingly, Fay managed to wait a whopping 24 days to open up the package so that it could be done as part of the podcast recording. Was it worth the wait?  Yes it was!  Looking forward to the next installment?  Oh, yes.  

Here are the details of Fay's yarn club subscription:

Name: Life in the Long Grass (LITLG) Autumn Club.

Cost: The single subscription is 70 EUROS or you can double up to get 2 x 100g skeins over three months for 120 EUROS.  This means that each skein including P&P costs 20 EUROS (about £105 for the entire double subscription - £17.50 per skein).  This is good value for money given that a single skein costs £19 elsewhere and you may also incur P&P costs if you buy online.  

Colours: You don't know what they will be in advance, although you can guess that because it is the autumn club, the colours will be autumnal.  Had I seen this in a shop, I wouldn't have gone to buy it, however, I absolutely love all of the colours.  Receiving yarn in this way can be a risk because you don't know what the colours will be.  I am very happy with the colours I received in the first month and the fact that they will move me on from my usual colour palette of blues. 

Yarn base: Another factor to think about is whether you are going to like the base that they are using.  I had already squished LITLG yarn and so I knew that I liked their base (75% super wash merino 25% nylon, 100g is 400m) and wouldn't have any issues with it.  

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Lynne has ordered a one month subscription from Baa Baa Brighouse and it is due to arrive in October. The yarn dyer for October was Katie Pearce of Sylvan Tiger Yarn, based in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Her inspiration came from ‘Stained Glass’ by Shutterspot Photography. The picture was taken at St Matthew’s Church in Rastrick, just a stone’s throw away from Baa Baa Brighouse HQ. There is evidence to suggest that the site has been a place of worship from as early as the 10th Century.  The colourway will be based on a stained glass window.

Here are some of the other yarn only clubs (from the British Isles) that we have come across, and if you think we have missed any or you have suggestions, why not add them to our yarn club chat thread in Ravelry? 

1 - Hedgehog Fibre Twist Club, 100g each month for three months for 64.50 EUROS (not sure if this includes the 14 EUROS P&P).

2 - The Golden Skein The Power of 3 Yarn Club, 100g each month  includes postage and continues for three months for £75 in total.

3 - Devon Sun Yarns Sock Yarn Club, 100g each month for three months for £55 including P&P.

4 - DT Crafts Super Sock Medley Membership. 100g each month for three months including P&P for £45.

5 - Ripples Crafts Yarn Notes from Assynt (Reliable Sock) Club, 100g each month for three months including P&P for £52.

6 - Cuddlebums Sock Yarn Club, 100g per month and can be purchased on a monthly basis for £16.50 including P&P. 

A general google search for 'Yarn Clubs UK' will bring up lots of other options.  Our suggestion would be to check them all out (you won't know the prices of some until the club goes live) and sign up to the dyers newsletters and follow them on social media.  That way, you will be one of the first to know about their yarn club openings.  You need to be quick though because they generally sell out very quickly.

 

3. Book Review - Three from the Top (at 25.55 mins)

We talk about the duo of Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace rather a lot, and with good reason.  They create gorgeous, functional, well written patterns using beautiful yarns.  Back in April they brought out a book called 'Three from the Top' but whilst we haven't been able to make anything from it yet, one of the Crochet Circler's, Helen, has so far made two of the three cardigans from the book, so we asked her to do the review for us and she kindly agreed!


Here is a picture of Helen wearing her version of the Aberfoyle cardigan and below are the top-line details of her review.  The full review can be read on Ravelry here.  


This_is_Helen_modelling_her_Callander_Ca

 

Three from the Top highlights:

Overall: 5/5.

Value for money: 5/5 (£12 hardcopy plus digital or £10 digital only).

Likelihood to make again: High.

Likelihood to recommend to a friend: Yes - I already have! 

The book can be bought online at The Crochet Project.


4. Yarndale (at 34.20 mins)

Fay: It is a very different proposition to attend a yarn festival as a trader rather than a visitor.  It is hard work and you are 'on' with nowhere to hide for a full two days.  I have a new found respect for people that are trading at yarn festivals weekend after weekend.

It was lovely to meet so many Crochet Circle listeners and special thanks to Kate for showing us her beautiful crocheted shawl and Eleanor for the offer of a cuppa next time we are in the area.

The only downside to Yarndale 2016 was that I didn't have any time to go yarn shopping.  Dinna fash yersels readers, I was in Glasgow for 24 hours last weekend and more than made up for it!

Lynne: Despite being shattered, I had a great time exhibiting at Yarndale. It was lovely to meet so many people and chat about knitting and crochet. Thanks to everyone who bought my books and to my good friend Cassie for helping me on the stand - I couldn't have done it without her. And thanks to Martine for providing regular hot drinks on the Sunday. Overall it was a great success. I'm so glad that a lot of my knitting and crocheted samples have gone to new homes and hopefully I'll be seeing lots of FOs of your Mandalas and Fairytale characters.

Easily the cutest visitor that we had at the stand.  

The baby was given one of Lynne's samples to wear.

5. FOs (at 58.25 mins)

Fay: My FOs have been reasonably small ones this month because I was making little things to dotaround my Yarndale stall such as the Cow Parsely Garland that I had favourited in a previous Magazine Roundup.  The only big item that I finished was my second crocheted garment for Yarndale - Wrapover Top as seen below. You can get all of the details from my Ravelry page.


 

Lynne: most of my FOs have been work related so it's hard to share them with you before they're published. But I did create a cute little cuddle bear for Yarndale with his own snuggle blanket, and he proved very popular.

 

Also, I recently completed another toy for Crochet now magazine, which is a dress up doll. Each month, a new outfit will be published. I love how Editor Hugh has made a clothes rail for her outfits.


 

6. WIPs (at  66 mins)

Fay: Some of mine (shorelines blanket, Tardis cushion, two Uncia shawls) haven't been picked up at all but this is mainly because of Yarndale and Take Two preparations.  I have been working on a couple of knitted pairs of socks, one of which is for a charity project and that is all I have had time for.   So, my WIP list is currently at six including the socks below.


Lynne: I'm the same as last month at 14, as I haven’t had any time to work on my own WIPS. I’ve started and finished lots of projects (work related) but nothing for myself so I’m really looking forward finishing my Search Press book so that I can get on with making things for myself (hopefully).


7. Feeding the Habit (at 76.50 mins)

Fay: Well of course very little was added at Yarndale, but a couple of weeks before, I took part in The Great London Yarn Crawl.  In short, you sign up to be with a group that has a specific route for the day and times to be at certain yarn shops in London.  We had a fab tour guide called Jenny who successfully navigated us around the busy London streets from Liberty's to i Knit London and then on to Sharp Works (my absolute favourite of the three shops).  As we were all so fleet of foot, we managed to cram in Loop London as well before making our way to the pub (open just for yarn crawlers) for the raffles and a Q&A session.  It was a great day out and formed a large part of my best friend Jenny's birthday present.


Here are September's yarn purchases!


1 - Sassenach from Yarns from the Plain    2 - Knit by Numbers from John Arbon Textiles   3 - DK from Wensleydale Sheep Shop bought at i Knit London   4 - Mini from Owl About Yarn   5 - Mini from Third Vault Yarns   6 - Alpaca from Juniper Moon Farms, bought at Sharp Works in London   7 - Madelinetosh bought from Loop London


A couple of weeks before that, I had organised a yarn dying workshop which of course meant more yarn acquisitions.  It was great fun to try dip dying, kettle dying and hand painting and all three techniques gave very different results.  So far, I have started a pair of socks off in my hand painted yarn (see the Fugly Sock picture under my WIPs).


This picture shows lots of the yarn dyed during the workshop - so many colours!



Lynne: I bought a sock bag from Fay at her yarn dying workshop along with a tension square gauge and some lovely Italian scissors and a leather sheath. I also bought a couple of skeins of yarn from Nic (Yarns from the Plain) and two cute little tins of hand cream from Rachel Atkinson at Yarndale.


   

 

8.Take Two update

 

 

We took our samples for our book 'Take Two' to Yarndale and they were very well received.  The book will be available in November and here is a hint of what it will contain:

 


It will cost £12 for the hard/digital copy and £10 for digital only copy.

 

 

9. What’s Good (at 105 mins)

Fay: Whilst doing all of the preparation work I had many hours to listen to/watch podcasts.  I binge watched Tilly Trout on YouTube because she is always upbeat and positive and kept me motivated through many days of hard graft!  Tilly mainly knits but also makes quite a few crochet projects.  If you need to brighten your day, try a Tilly Trout episode!

A sneaky second What's Good? is that I am going to be in Glasgow for 24 hours and my DAD (!) has looked up which yarn shops I would want to go to. I will be heading to The Yarn Cake and The Queen of Purls and will report back in the next episode.

Lynne: I've made a start on my new regime - to work upstairs in the Woolnest instead of downstairs in the dining room/living room. It's much better in terms of keeping the house tidy and having everything accessible and close to hand. Next stop is to sort out my work/life balance - watch this space.

Also I spotted a new yarn shop in Congleton, on West Street, called the Craft Barn (or the Craft room?) - I'll check it out and let you know all about it next time.

Happy listening and crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

 

Twitter: Crochet_Circle  

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YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

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