Featuring an interview with Hugh Metcalf, Editor of Crochet Now Magazine.

We learn more about Hugh and his journey to becoming Editor, his love of yarn, how to submit a design, what's involved in a photoshoot, how many WIPs he has, why he loves to crochet and how be brings Crochet Now together from his first ideas, through to the final product.

If you're interested in submitting a design for Crochet Now Magazine, you can email Hugh and ask to be added to his email list. Hugh puts together a mood board on Pinterest for each issue, which are based around a theme and a specific colour palette, so that designers can use the pins for inspiration.

Crochet Now on Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/hughmetcalf/

The theme for Issue 5 was 'Oranges are the New Black' (not literally, but punchy summery shades in gorgeous yarns) so from the designs submitted, Hugh has carefully selected designs to reflect this theme.

Issue 5 mood board on Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/hughmetcalf/oranges-are-the-new-black/

Here are some of the final designs being expertly styled and photographed

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 A design submission would usually need to include:

  • An outline of the design itself, including its construction, yarn, sizes, cost to make for the reader and any other information you feel is relevant to make your idea stand out from the crowd
  • A sketch, including measurements
  • A swatch photo, using suggested yarn, with stitches clearly visible

Hugh is keen to work with new designers and is happy to talk you through the process and help with your submission.

Contact Hugh by email at: hugh.metcalf@practicalpublishing.co.uk

Subscribe to Crochet Now: http://www.crochetnow.co.uk/where-to-buy/

 
A sneaky peek at Crochet Now Issue 5: http://www.crochetnow.co.uk/1181/crochet-now-issue-5/
 
There is also another giveaway that is live throughout August 2016. We need your help to name our new mascot.
 
Bag_and_yarn_giveaway_.png
                                       Look out for this tweet and a similar one for Instagram.

All of the details can be found on our Ravelry page and you can enter via Ravelry, Twitter or Instagram: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/topics/3478583
We hope you enjoyed the interview and thanks for listening to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Don't forget to tune in on the first Friday of every month for our regular episodes.

Happy listening and crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

Twitter: Crochet_Circle  https://twitter.com/Crochet_Circle

Instagram: Crochet_Circle   https://www.instagram.com/crochet_circle/

Pinterest: Crochet_Circle  https://uk.pinterest.com/crochet_circle/?etslf=5351&eq=crochet

Ravelry Group: The Crochet Circle Podcast  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-crochet-circle-podcast

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Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the Show Notes from Episode Six - Shore to Shore.

In this episode we continue with our crochet journeys, including helpful hints on blocking; Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; Yarn Review of Daughter of a Shepherd Hebridean/Zwartbles yarn; Magazine Round-up; a review of two fibre festivals on either side of the pond – Woolfest and Houston Fibre Fest; WIP Wall and FOs, Feeding the Habit, a fab giveaway from Anna Nikipirowicz and finishing with What's Good.

This Episode is Sponsored by:

www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com

and

www.lynnerowe.weebly.com

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1. Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet (at 2.55 mins)

It's a Nay Crochet from Fay due to the lack of crochet content at fibre festivals and in general. When we visited Woolfest, we noticed that most of the stalls were aimed at knitters and even on most of the yarn stalls the samples that were on show were also knitted. This seems at odds with the increasing rise in the popularity of crochet and may be off-putting to new crocheters who perhaps don't realise that you can crochet with any yarn. We know that at Yarndale we'll see a lot more crochet-related vendors and Lynne and I will also be there waving the flag for crochet.

It's a Yay Crochet from Lynne for all the lovely things that people are crocheting up and the inspiration that they give to others. I’ve really been enjoying The Crochet Circle Podcast Ravelry forum – especially seeing all of the lovely finished objects that people are sharing. In particular it’s also made me realise how adaptable crochet is, even if you’re not hugely experienced with crochet. It seems easier for people to take parts of a pattern and make something else altogether, or tweak patterns to suit their individual taste.

Here's the link to our Ravelry FO's board: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/3400722/51-75#71

2. Yarn review (at 9 mins)

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Daughter of a Shepherd: 75% Hebridean and 25% Zwartbles

DK weight 233m/255 yards per 100g

Recommended needles/hook:3.5-4.5mm hook/needles

Cool hand wash only and leave flat to dry 

Completely UK produced (sourced, scoured and spun in UK) 

RRP: £18 for 100g. 

Website: www.daughterofashepherd.com

Rachel's blog: http://mylifeinknitwear.com/

We had 10g each to test and crochet up. 

The characteristics of Hebridean wool are very similar to the Zwartbles that is has been blended with as both are very dark brown/near black in colour, durable and dense.  This yarn is spun at John Arbon Textiles and John says that the longer staple length of the Zwartbles helps with the processing of the Hebridean because it gives the Heb staples something more to align and grip to.     

Fay – I tried this with a 3.5mm, 4mm, 4.5mm and 5mm hook and found that the 4.5mm gave the nicest effect, so using a 4.5mm hook I created a tiny little bowl to put my measuring tape in because I am always losing it!  It is hard to see the stitch definition because of the natural yarn colour (which is very dark), but it is good.  I still had a little bit left over and so made some leaves with the remainder and also made some using some Jacob wool that I had to create a cup holder for when I am out and about (I usually have them in my different handbags so that I don’t need the cardboard sleeve).

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The wool is soft and nice to work with and becomes softer when washed and blocked. I would use this again for crochet and could easily take it up against my skin.  It would make a beautiful crocheted shawl with an open lacy structure that really makes the most of the stitch definition.  I would also use it with other natural wools to bring out the depth of colour that it has.  It would be great at the dark end of a gradient project or mixed with a really vibrant blue or burnt orange.

Lynne: I really enjoyed working with this yarn – as soon as I wound it off the skein I could smell the sheep and it made me feel happy to be working with a natural fibre that can be fully traced back to its source.  I love the natural colour of the wool– it’s a very deep brown, almost like treacle, and there are a few light coloured fibres running through. I have really sensitive skin, but for the time that I was using the yarn I was absolutely fine. I don’t think I could stretch to wearing it directly around my neck (but that’s just me) but I could mix it with something else and just keep the Hebridean/Zwartbles away from the neck edge.

I made two things also with my mini skein – a book mark, which I’ve already been using, and a small mandala that I’ve made a pin cushion from. Both have great stitch definition and are firm in structure. I made my pin cushion using wool fabric from Eliza Conway (a Yarndale purchase) and I’m delighted with both of my mini projects.

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On Ravelry in Rachel’s group, there are lots of projects on the go with this yarn – often it’s mixed with something else, but it’s a great place to go and visit if you want inspiration.

Link to Rachel's Ravelry group: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/daughter-of-a-shepherd

 

3. Magazine round up (at 22.15 mins)

Fay's overall favourite: Cowslip Parsley Garland from Simply Crochet issue 47, designed by Emma Mitchell. It's a free pattern download from Emma's blog: www.silverpebble.net

Lynne's overall favourite: Lace Shirt from Love to Knit and Crochet issue 4. It's a button-down shirt with a scalloped edge on the cuffs and hem. A clamshell pattern creates a light and airy effect which is perfect for Summer.

Simply Crochet – issue 47

Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/simply-crochet-issue-47

Website Link: http://www.simplycrochetmag.co.uk/2016/07/21/simply-crochet-issue-47/

Fay's favourite: Cow Parsley Garland,  designer Emma Mitchell, pg 98

Lynne's favourite: Freeform Floral Cowl,  designer Jennifer May, page 83

Let’s Get Crafting – issue 83

Ravelry Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/lets-get-crafting-knitting--crochet-83

Website Link: http://www.letsgetcrafting.com/

Fay's favourite: Mouse toys (knitted), designer Sachiyo Ishii,  I have a pregnant friend that woudl love these for her daughter and new baby!

Lynne's favourite: Hearts Garland, designer Kath Webber, pg 48 

Crochet Now - issue 4

Website link: http://www.crochetnow.co.uk/

Fay's favourite: Flower Bedspread, designer Mrs. Moon, page 36 - this is beautifukl yarn to work with.

Lynne's favourite: Candy amigurumi Deer, designer Irene Strange, pg 62 

Love to Knit and Crochet - issue 4

Website Link: https://www.theknittingnetwork.co.uk/

Fay's favourite: Silky Vest Top, pg 33

Lynne's favourite: Lace Shirt, pg 34

4. A Crochet Journey - some tips on blocking your garment (at 26.30 mins)

Like everything with crochet (and knitting) there are some aspects of blocking that are just a personal preference. 

Fay - in the main I wet block by immersing my finished object in cold water with a small amount of soaking product, gently washing then very gently squeeze out excess water and roll in a towel before pinning out to required dimensions.  You can see from the below photo that this can help to take out any residual (unexhausted dye).

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Lynne - in the main, I spritz (or spray) my work to the point that it’s wet but not saturated. I use a plastic spray gun (the type that you can buy for the garden - usually around £1), then I gently press the water into the fibres with my hands. I then pin out carefully, according to the dimensions of the pattern, and leave to dry. Sometimes I repeat this process if I feel it necessary.

Even when a project is already the size you want it to be (pre-blocking), I'd still recommend blocking as it greatly improves your stitch definition and "sets" the stitches.

I mainly steam block for cotton (I cover my project with a cotton cloth and hold the iron above and steam  - do not touch the fabric with the iron). I also steam block fair isle items because it really sets the stitches nicely. After steam blocking I pin out because it’s damp and leave to dry.

What if I’m desperate? Sometimes I may be on a close call with a deadline – it could be 2pm in the afternoon and I’m still working on a project that needs posting that day – by 4.30pm – so I will always steam block just to make sure that the stitches look good for photography. If necessary I will use a hairdryer to dry it off before posting.

A lot of people say don’t block acrylic as it’s not wool and therefore has no stitch memory – but I do block acrylic projects, just because it improves the overall appearance and stitch definition. I would mainly spray block acrylic but have been known to steam block (very carefully) when desperate. There is more risk with steam blocking as you can relax the fibres too much and your work can become very droopy and much bigger than originally made.

I always sew my ends in first and then block, whereas Fay doesn't sew in her ends before blocking because she found that if she sewed her ends in first and then blocked, the tail ends sometimes shift and she would have little bits of yarn poking out which then just create more work to neaten them up again. 

When pinning out it is essential that you get your measurements right because if you over stretch the yarn than it’s ruined forever – yarn has memory so once it’s set then it will spring back to that shape after washing. So be really careful when blocking, especially if using an iron.

It really is a case of trying the method that suits you best given the yarn and project that you have made, but it is definitely worth it - see below!

 

 

5. Woolfest and Houston Fiberfest (at 48.50 mins)

As you know we went off to Woolfest at the end of June.  Whilst we were there, Tamara, one of the listeners to the podcast was at a yarn festival in Houston, Texas.  Tamara kindly recorded some audio for us on the festival that she attended and we have some photos too. 

Woolfest:

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Houston Fibrefest:

We have started a thread in Ravelry for you to add details on any yarn festivals that you have been to. Kerry listens in Australia and has just added details of the large Wool and Sheep Festival that she has been at in Bendigo, Australia.  Feel free to add details of any yarn festivals that you have been to so that others can see what is available throughout the world.  I have added some standard questions that you can answer if you need something to crib from.


Tamara is on the left - thanks for doing the review!

Here's Tamara's round-up from Houston Fiber Fest:

Link to website: http://www.houstonfiberfest.com/

New companies that Tamara hadn’t come across before:

Independence Farmstead Fiber Mill, an artisan mill service for the independent fiber producer: http://www.independencefarmsteadfibers.com/

Windmill Crest Farms near San Antonio: http://www.windmillcrestfarms.com/

There was a gentleman there had an industrial needle felting machine: http://www.feltcrafts.com/

Lucky Ewe Yarn in New Braunfels dye their own yarn which is called Wool Tree Yarn using natural ingredients: http://www.luckyeweyarn.com/

Things that Tamara bought:

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Brazen Stitchery Harmony Sock in colorway Team Gayle semi solid in tonal shades of dark green: http://www.brazenstitchery.com/

Lazy cat yarns 2 x 50 gram skeins of Endurance - semi solid – in shades of gorgeous teal: http://www.lazycatyarn.com/

Western Sky Knits, 2 variegated 100g skeins: http://www.westernskyknits.com/

Hedgehog Fibers is an Irish indie dyer. I was surprised to find Irish yarn in Houston. This festival was their launch at Park Avenue Yarns (a loyal yarn store): http://shop.hedgehogfibres.com/

http://www.parkavenueyarns.com/

Blind date project from In Skein Yarns, one of the local yarn stores. So fun! They were clear plastic bags with a label on the outside describing the project - The craft (I chose crochet), yarn weight, fiber content, difficulty of pattern and type of project:  https://inskeinyarns.com/

Shawl pin – from the Muddy Knitter: https://squareup.com/store/themuddyknitter

Two mini Loomes spelt L-O-O-M-E and you can make pom poms, cords, tassels and weavings: https://www.theloome.com/

A funky necklace from Fiesty Fenn Fibers: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FeistyFennFibers

Some tea from Independence Fiber Mill: http://www.independencefarmsteadfibers.com/

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Didn’t buy but have ear-marked:

Suzoo’s Wool Works: http://www.suzooswoolworks.com/

Inner Loop Dyeworks: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/InnerLoopDyeworks – I will definitely buy some more of her yarn – we stock her yarn at the store where I work which is very lucky but tempting at the same time http://www.nimblefingerstx.com

Podcaster Suburban Stitcher’s project bags. http://suburbanstitcher.com/

I might buy a mini loom for weaving from Purl and Loop www.purlandloop.com

All of Tamara's photos of Houston Fiber Fest can be found here:  https://uk.pinterest.com/craftyescapism/  and you can also view her blog here: http://www.craftyescapism.com/

6. Finished Objects (at 71.45 mins)

Fay - Missed Kingfisher shawl was completed whilst in France with Jenny. 

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Cowls for the book – testing more colours because I am thinking about doing them as a kit for Yarndale.  Also, the items for the yarn review. One sock firmly in the HO pile!  

Lynne: Pin cushion and book mark from Daughter of a Shepherd (so pleased with both); mandala coaster for hubby (at his request) to put his mobile phone on at night; lots of commission projects, including a hot water bottle cover, a pair of fingerless mittens, a teddy, a lampshade cover, a set of crochet frames, a cushion, a pair of slippers, another pincushion and another couple of bookmarks - phew.

7. WIPs (at 79 mins)

Fay - Simply Crochet wrap-over, Henslowe shawl, Nut-Hap (Kingfisher colours), Tardis cushion, Shorelines blanket, Baby Bird scarf, blanket for booklet, John Arbon socks for a study on adding stripes to socks.

I'm still at eight but there are so many things that I want to start!

Lynne – I'm still at 14, but have started (and finished a few) so they didn't even make onto the list (which is good) and I probably won't be able to make a dent in this until after Yarndale.

8. Feeding the habit (at 91 mins)

Fay – I thought I was really good this month and so, I bought some extra Rowan Felted Tweed to be able to do a Kingfisher based Nut-Hap.  I also realised that I needed to get another skein of the Kalinka linen because it would look great with a contrast colour. Then I remembered that I had been to Woolfest...

At Woolfest, I bought yarn from John Arbon and Ripples Crafts, some amazing Art Deco buttons and some woven fabric.

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It was also my Birthday so I am book rich – Fleece and Fiber, Erika Knight’s latest, a book on dying yarn, British Sheep Breeds and an old book of my Dad’s.  Very lucky to have so many nice wool related books to go through in the next few months and enhance my reference library with.

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Lynne - At Woolfest I bought some John Arbon skeins (I love their mini skeins too),  a couple of squares of handwoven fabric which is really lovely, some buttons for my cowl from Textile Gardens, and Emily Foulds kindly gave me a ball of WYS Signature 4ply from the cocktail range for my knitting book which I can’t wait to use. I have bought lots of yarn for kits and to test colours, but I don’t count work related purchases as they go through the business.

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9. Competition Time - Odeletta Shawl Give-away

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This month we have a give-away, kindly sent to us by Anna Nikipirowicz for her Odeletta Shawl Kit which contains everything you need to create your own shawl, including two balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, patterns, beads and a crochet hook. Plus a lovely teabag so you can enjoy a nice cuppa whilst you crochet. Thanks Anna!

Anna's website is here: https://moochka.co.uk/

Find all the details for the giveaway here: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/topics/3468941

10. What’s Good (at 105 mins)              

Fay:  This was meant to be my What's Good but I was so excited about it that I covered it off early!  I just mentioned that my Dad gave me one of his books.  It is a very special book that was my absolute favourite book when I was little. It is the Observer’s book of Farm Animals.  I was born in 1977 and the book came out in 1976 and was given to my Dad by friends when we moved from Wiltshire to Caithness in the North of Scotland in early 1978.  It used to fit in the pocket of my pinafore and I would spend ages pawing through the different breed photos and memorising them.  I even wrote in the front of the book to amend it to say “Fay - it is to Fay” so that I could lay claim to it. 

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Needless to say, the book is battered and the spine is being held together with masking tape and love. It is delightful to have something in my possession that brings back nice memories and until recently I had completely forgotten about.  It clearly influenced and shaped the person I have become.

So my What's Good became the excitement for going to interview John Arbon down in Devon - it really was good!

Lynne: Really enjoying natural fibres at the moment – you can definitely feel the difference and there a lots of affordable natural yarns out there that are well worth a try. I’ve been using Wendy Ramsdale which is about £3.50 a ball for 50g and the colours are lovely as well as the texture and feel of the yarn. I’ve used if for hats (only takes 1 ball to make a child’s hat) and also for my cushion (6 balls, so less than £24) for the yarn. Also Erika Knight British Blue is £4.20 for a 25g ball – a bit more expensive but well worth it when you can make a nice cowl with just three balls - so that's £13 for a cowl made with British yarn - where every step is traceable. Remember cotton is also a natural fibre and you can buy Rico Cotton Aran for less than £2 for 50g. I’m not saying I don’t use acrylic as I do because some projects have to be really affordable but there are some lovely yarns out there that may cost less than you would expect.

Happy listening and crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

Twitter: Crochet_Circle  https://twitter.com/Crochet_Circle

Instagram: Crochet_Circle   https://www.instagram.com/crochet_circle/

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Ravelry Group: The Crochet Circle Podcast  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-crochet-circle-podcast

 

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Featuring an interview with indie hand dyer Verity Castledine who runs Truly Hooked from her home in Nottingham. Hear all about the various processes of hand-dying, what inspires Verity and how she works with her husband Meyrick to run their successful family business (they even rope the children in too).
 
Verity hanging her latest skeins out to dry. 


Some of the skeins that we discussed during the interview.

In addition to hand dying, Verity is also a designer and has just published her first knitting book, 'The Sock Drawer'.

To find out more about Verity, visit her at the following
Truly Hooked website: http://www.trulyhooked.com/
Truly Hooked on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trulyhooked
Truly Hooked on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/trulyhooked/
 

The two mini skeins from the first skeins that 
Verity ever dyed and some of her latest work.

You can squish some Truly Hooked yarn at the following events in 2016:

Fibre East, Ampthill, Bedford - 30th/31st July:  http://www.fibre-east.co.uk/

British Wool Show, York - 5th/6th August: http://britishwool.net/ 

Popup Wool Show, Port Sunlight, Wirral - 20th August: http://popupwoolshow.co.uk/ 

Yarndale, Skipton, Yorkshire - 24th/25th September: http://yarndale.co.uk/

Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London - 5th to 9th October: http://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/london/

One of Verity's crochet designs in three of her very different yarns.

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

Lynne has also been beavering away, uploading the episodes to YouTube, so you can catch us there too!  

Happy listening and crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

Twitter: Crochet_Circle  https://twitter.com/Crochet_Circle

Instagram: Crochet_Circle   https://www.instagram.com/crochet_circle/

Pinterest: Crochet_Circle  https://uk.pinterest.com/crochet_circle/?etslf=5351&eq=crochet

Ravelry Group: The Crochet Circle Podcast  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-crochet-circle-podcast

00:0000:00

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

In this episode we continue with our crochet journeys, including helpful hints on how to get through the next stages of working on a garment; Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; World Knit in Public Day; WIP Wall and FOs along with our usual Magazine round-up, our competition winners so far, our new regular feature called "Feeding the Rabbit" and we finish with What's Good.

This Episode is Sponsored by:

www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com

and

www.lynnerowe.weebly.com

 

1. Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet

It's a Nay Crochet from Lynne this month, as she lost her favourite crochet hook:

My favourite hook is an Addi Swing Crochet Hook, size 3.5mm which I use all the time – it’s an ergonomic hook so it's really comfortable and sits in your hand perfectly, so I was quite annoyed at myself for losing it. The question is – do I just buy another one as a replacement? Do I try a different make, do I buy just one or a set? They're quite expensive individually and even more expensive for a set so these would have to be a Birthday/Christmas gift. I can’t decide what to do, so I’m having a think and will have a mooch around Woolfest or go to Black Sheep Wools. If anyone uses any other good ergonomic hooks and has a favourite - do let me know – it might help me decide.

I bought my lost hook from Laughing Hens:

https://www.laughinghens.com/knitting-needles/addi-swing-crochet-hooks

It's a big Yay Crochet from Fay on her Liala Top by Designer Marie Wallin:

I love my top and the way that it looks. It is easy to wear as summer chic or dressed down with jeans or over a dress with tights for some winter colour. The yarn I used has unfortunately been discontinued (Jeanette Sloan 4 ply alpaca/silk) but it was lovely to work with and produced a very soft garment with clear stitch definition. 

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Link to Jeanette Sloan: http://www.jeanettesloandesign.com/

Link to Marie Wallin: http://www.mariewallin.com/

Fay also sneaked in a Knitting Nay for picot cast off:

I've knitted a lovely shawl for a friend which involves a picot edge bind-off which is a new technique for me. It involves knitting lots of stitches before actually casting off, making it a long-winded process. I gave up after about an hour and a half and seemingly getting nowhere, so I will choose a different method to cast off with. 

2. Magazine Round-up

We've have added Pom Pom Quarterly into our list of magazines because they generally feature a couple of crochet patterns in each issue.  As the title would suggest, it comes out quarterly so you will hear about Pom Pom every third episode.

Inside Crochet – issue 79 - Seaside Theme

Website Link: http://www.insidecrochet.co.uk/

Lynne's favourite: Greta Stole designed by Claire Montgomerie using Coopknits Socks Yeah – I really love the colour combination and you could use up your oddments of sock yarn to create your own colour combination (pg 54).

Fay's favourite: Friendship Quilt, designed by Mica York, using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (pg 80).

There’s also a great interview with Betsan Corkhill, who is a Wellbeing Coach who focusses on the therapeutic benefits of knitting and how it can help improve your health and mindfulness. It’s not just about enjoying knitting and crochet, it links to meditation, to calmness, to stress relieving and to helping you improve your mood by working with calming colours – it’s fascinating and I'd recommend going along to one of Betsan’s workshops if there’s one near you.

Betsan's Website: http://www.stitchlinks.com/

Simply Crochet – issue 46 - Nautical theme

Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/simply-crochet-issue-46/patterns

Website Link: http://www.simplycrochetmag.co.uk/2016/06/23/simply-crochet-issue-46/

Announces a Crochet-A-Long for subscribers, for a blanket using different crochet squares.

Lynne's favourite: I LOVE the cute little Beach Babe Piggy by designer Illaria Caliri – he/she’s so cute and even has a life ring, bucket, spade and beach towel, using DMC Natura Just Cotton (4-ply) (pg 42).

Fay's favourite: Claude the Octopus by designer Kate E. Hancock (Fay is slowly being brought round to the fun side of crochet), using Drops Paris 100% cotton (pg 24).

Kat Goldin also talks about her local yarn shop and how it provides a sense of community and a place of creativity (pg 34).

Crochet Now - issue 3

Website link: http://www.crochetnow.co.uk/

Lynne's favourite: Amigurumi Guard and Bus designed by Editor Hugh Metcalf.

Fay's favourite: Infinity Cowl designed by Vicki Brown.

Let’s Get Crafting – issue 82

Ravelry Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/lets-get-crafting-knitting--crochet-82/patterns

Website Link: http://www.letsgetcrafting.com/

Features The Crochet Circle Podcast on page 6 – thank you.

Lynne’s favourite: The Wildlife Rescue Nets by Kath Webber, which link to a charity knitting project for animal rescue centres who are looking for knitting donations (pg 28).

Fay's favourite: Baby Slippers - Summer Espadrilles designed by Jackie Carreira (pg 40).

Woman's Weekly Knitting & Crochet July Issue

Website Link: http://www.womansweekly.com/

Lynne's favourite: Teal Appeal - Vintage Cardigan knitted in mohair (Rowan Kidsilk Haze) (pg 24).

Fay's favourite: Hi-Ho Silver - Cotton shrug, crocheted in DMC Petra Cotton 3 (pg 50).

Pom Pom Quarterley

Website Link: https://www.pompommag.com/

Ravelry Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/pom-pom-quarterly-issue-17-summer-2016/patterns

Lynne and Fay's favourite: Altair by designer Joanne Scrace.

Love to Knit and Crochet - issue 3

Website Link: https://www.theknittingnetwork.co.uk/

Lynne's favourite: Crochet Stool Cover - Too Cool for Stool (pg 57).

Fay's favourite: Feeling Tubby - crochet bowls (pg 56).

3. Our Crochet Journey - Next Steps and issues we've faced

Lynne's progress with her Lisa Sweater:

I had to rip back a couple of times due to losing stitches - in the end I gave up ripping out and just added a couple of stitches along the row instead. Now that I'm in the flow of the pattern I've stopped dropping a stitch at the end. It isn't noticeable where I've added the extra stitches.

I had to buy 4 extra balls of Rowan Purelife Revive which are a different dye lot than my original 5 balls. Luckily, the yarn is mottled so the slight difference in the shades is not noticeable. I will alternate the balls used, but will do the same on each half of the jumper so that any difference will appear as if it's intentional as both halves will be identical. Fingers crossed they will blend nicely or look like gradient yarn.

Purelife_Revive.jpg

For those new to crochet or knitting, on the ball band of every ball of yarn is essential information on the yarn itself – what it’s made from, what needle size to use, the tension and the weight. Also you will find the shade number or reference and (like a tin of paint), the dye lot or dye batch that has been used. Like paint, a different dye lot will potentially produce a slightly different shade, so when buying yarn for a project, you need to make sure that all the ball bands have the same dye lot on them.

I found 2 balls of yellow Rico cotton in The Woolnest to show you how different the dye lots can be and therefore how important it is to use the same batch of yarn – you can see the difference below:

rico_yellow.jpg

Fay's progress with her Liala Top:

I had to rip back due to an error in the pattern, which I didn't realise until I'd ripped it back about 5 times. I also re-jigged the hook size and change the pattern a little to make it into a wearable top because of my body shape. I'm really happy with my crocheted top and will be making more. Full notes of my changes are on my Ravelry project page.

Link to Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/MaDashper/liala

It's fantastic to see the different garments that people are working on, over on our Ravelry forum.  Helen is motoring on with her Aberfoyle Cardigan and Jo is working on a wrap around top from issue 41 of Simply Crochet which I love and I'm now making my own version using Rowan Finest.

fays_new_jumper.jpg

After seeing Helen's Aberfoyle, Lynne has mooched in The Woolnest and found enough balls of Garthernor Organic 4-ply to make her own. Garthernor produce sustainable, organic yarn in and ecological way. They started out in the 1990s with their own sheep and now buy raw fleeces from other UK farmers, so all their wool is fully traceable and fully certified organic.  At Wonderwool  this year Lynne had a lovely chat with the owner and they had some beautifully knitted samples on show and once washed, the yarn is really soft and much softer than it is on the ball.

Link to Aberfoyle Cardigan by Joanne Scrace: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/aberfoyle-cardigan

So our next patterns are Aberfoyle and Simple Wrapover.  We have been inspired by the folk in the Crochet Circle podcast to make the same items that they are making - so thank you. Feel free to join in with our Stylish Crochet CAL and don't forget to wear your garment at Yarndale.

Link to our Stylish Crochet Ravelry forum: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/3438284/26-50#31

4. Woolfest

We're off to Woolfest in the morning.  Whilst we are there, Tamara, one of the listeners to the podcast will be at a yarn festival in Houston, Texas.  Tamara lives over there now but we've noticed that lots of people seem to be traveling much further afield to go to yarn festivals.  At Edinburgh yarn festival, people had come from all over Europe. TNNA (The National Needle Arts Association) was on in America a couple of weeks ago and lots of folk were there from the UK.

So, given that Tamara is going to be at a yarn festival at the same time as we are we thought we would share notes.  We have the same set of questions to answer and photos will be taken from both sides of the pond and added to the Pinterest board for Episode 5. 

5. World Knit in Public Day

This was held on Saturday 18th June.

Link: http://www.wwkipday.com/find-a-kip/kips-in-europe/ 

Fay experienced the East London Yarn Triangle, Hackney made up of 3 shops - Fabrications, Wild and Woolly and Knit With Attitude. They offered 10% off if you posted 3 photos with their hashtag on Instagram, and they also had refreshments. The yarn shops are within walking distance and maps were provided which highlighted the photo locations and I bought lots of wool and concluded that you can indeed crochet on a swing.


http://eastlondonyarntriangle.com/

 

6. Finished Objects

Fay: Liala top by Marie Wallin, Cowl for The Crochet Circle book using Erika Knight British Blue and Shawl for the book using Whistlebare's Yeavering Bell (Mohair/Wensleydale blend).

http://www.whistlebare.co.uk/

Fay also has an answer on whether a sock from an unfinished pair is an FO or a WIP.  It’s a HO (half object).

Lynne's FO's are mainly secret commissions but she finished her Cowl for The Crochet Circle book, using Baa Baa Brighouse yarn called Baa Baa Brew.

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

Lynne_FO_1.jpg

7. WIP Wall

Fay: I'm currently at 8 and many are the same as last time.  A new one on the list is the Wrapover Shawl from Simply Crochet issue 41, and I don’t have much to report yet other than I have done a yarn and hook substitute to change the finished fabric a little.

Lynne: I’m at 11 – I frogged a pair of socks as the yarn wasn’t showing off the lace pattern properly, in fact it was barely visible. I finished the secret project for our book and I haven’t really started the Studio Linen Shawl so it doesn’t really count. With my Lisa Sweater I'm back up to 12 and my next book project will take me up to 13 WIPs.

8. Feeding the Rabbit (aka feeding the habit)

Fay's purchases: I bought quite a lot of yarn during my visit to London on World Knit in Public Day, including:

From Fabrications - Recycled Fibre (in lovely creams, whites and denim blue from UK); 100% Bluefaced Leicester Roving yarn (brown) and 100% Bluefaced Leicester Roving yarn (cream), both from West Yorkshire Spinners, suitable for hand-dying and felting.

From Wild and Woolly - Rowan felted tweed and Erika Knight British Blue Wool from the Stash Depot (buying another person’s stash); Kalinka linen from Sweden in colour cyan  (Fibre: 100% linen Yardage: 320m per 100g skein Gauge: 28 stitches per 10 cm, recommended needle size: 3-4 mm needles)

From Knit with Attitude - Hedgehog Fibres in colourway Dragonfly  (DK weight yarn, 100% merino wool, superwash. 115g/200m); Socks Yeah! – in colourway 110 Malachite -(75% superwash merino, 25% nylon, 50g/212m/231 yds). Mirasol – Kingfisher 14 (4-ply, 60% merino wool, 20% Alpaca, 20% Silk, 250m/274yds, 50g).

http://www.wildandwoollyshop.co.uk/

http://www.fabrications1.co.uk/

http://knitwithattitude.com/shop/


I also sneaked a visit to Ewe and Ply in Shrewsbury - and still resisted the spinning wheel. Ewe and Ply have a great selection of British wools and is well worth a visit.

I bought some Eden Cottage yarn, and one of the natural roving yarns from West Yorkshire Spinners.

ee.jpg

Link to Ewe and Ply, Shrewsbury: http://www.eweandply.co.uk/

Lynne's purchases: I bought a gorgeous skein of yarn from I Knit (London) – I had a spare few hours a couple of weeks  ago when in London, so I jumped on the tube to Waterloo and found the shop quite easily. I’ve wanted the yarn ever since seeing it - mainly because it’s called Starman – one of my favourite songs by my favourite artist, David Bowie, so I just had to buy it. I’m going to try my crochet cowl from the book and see how it works with the hand-dyed yarn.

Lynne_feeding_rabbit1.jpg

Link to I Knit London: http://iknit.org.uk/

9. What’s Good               

For Lynne: About a year ago I was commissioned by Search Press to write a book for their "20 To Make" series. I had great fun designing the Mandalas for the book and have also designed a few more for commissions. I’m definitely hooked by Mandalas – they’re meditative and you can make them your own by using your favourite colours and favourite yarns. They’re useful for all sorts of things, like placemats, wall hangings and you can even sew them together to make a throw. The Search Press book is out in October and you can pre-order it on Amazon at the moment.

Link to pre-order on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1782214348/ref=s9_simh_gw_g14_i2_r?ie=UTF8&fpl=fresh&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=8GEY1S41T0EQ7PTJK30T&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=26de8ef0-2ad7-412c-8634-6cd03b7b73e2&pf_rd_i=desktop

For Fay there are 2 things:

Firstly, I was contacted recently by Knitting magazine who would like to review and feature my stash tags, so I'm delighted and excited. It came out of the blue and it was because of Erika Knight and Emma Knitted!

Link to Stash Tags KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT: https://www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com/products/stash-tag

Knitting magazine: https://www.thegmcgroup.com/pc/viewPrd.asp?idProduct=2327&idCategory=717

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

Emma Knitted: http://www.emmaknitted.co.uk/      

Secondly, we were sent Daughter of a Shepherd mini-skeins by Rachel Atkinson to test for crochet. We love how they smell and can't wait to try them out. Rachel is manufacturing Hebridean wool from sheep her father breeds in the UK.

Link to Daughter of a Shepherd: https://daughterofashepherd.com/

As we both smelled the sheepiness of the yarn we realised that we were both sporting Hebridean moustaches.


Other things we've mentioned:

Winners Round-up - Who's won what so far:

200g DMC Natura Medium and DMC hook – Kerryd19 from Australia

Arne & Carlos Sock yarn (with signed Stash Tag)  - Curlylou – UK

Lynne Rowe's Once Upon a Time in Crochet (signed copy) - JojoTwinkletoes

Erika Knight’s Simple Colour Knitting (signed copy) – DianeB

2 x 50g Erika Knight’s Studio Linen – Emma from Woolgathering Sandbach

Happy listening and crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

Twitter: @Crochet_Circle

Instagram: Crochet_Circle

Pinterest: Crochet_Circle

Ravelry Group: The Crochet Circle Podcast

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

arne_carlos_sm.jpg

 

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

Website: http://arnecarlos.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArneCarlos

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

Black Sheep Wools, Warrington:

http://www.blacksheepwools.com/


Arne.png

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

Happy listening and crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

Twitter: @Crochet_Circle

Instagram: Crochet_Circle

Pinterest: Crochet_Circle

Ravelry Group: The Crochet Circle Podcast

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


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

This Episode is Sponsored by:

www.lynnerowe.weebly.com

and

www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com

Rooster Delightful Lace Competition Prize is sponsored by

www.roosteryarns.com

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

          let_knit.jpg 


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

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

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

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

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

  

Its a yay from Lynne on teaching crochet:

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

Then in upcoming episodes we’ll cover:

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

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

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

                                               ASTER_037_small2.png

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

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

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

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

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

                             lialla.jpg

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

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

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

Link to Jeanette Sloan yarn:

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

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

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

 

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


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

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


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

Superfine Merino DK & Aran

Pure Wool 4 ply

Kidsilk Haze Stripe

Mohair Haze

Wool Cotton

Rowan Finest

Rowan Tweed

Fine Art & Fine Art Aran

Alpaca Colour

Tetra Cotton

Cotton Lustre

Panama

Revive

Pure Linen

All Seasons Cotton

Soft Knit Cotton

Truesilk

Lima

Lima Colour

Fazed Tweed

Colourspun

Thick 'n' Thin

Alpaca Chunky

British Sheep Breeds

Fur

Creative Focus Worsted

Chenille

Big Wool Colour

Big Wool Silk

 

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

 

       marina.jpg 

 

Shade Shantung N1765

Lace-weight yarn

100g/800m

100% superwash merino wool

RRP £16

Recommended needle size 2-4mm

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

 

Link to full range of shades:

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

 

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

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

 

 

Link to Lynne's full yarn review:

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

 

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

 

        myth_busting.jpg

 

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

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

Read Fay's full investigation here:

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

 

 

5. Magazine Round-up (at 43.10 mins)

Inside Crochet Issue 78

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

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

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

Lisa Sweater designed by Annelies Baes

Fay's favourite is also Lisa Sweater

There are also lots of lovely bags and baskets

Link to Inside Crochet issue 78:

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

Crochet Now Issue 2

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

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

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

Link to Crochet Now:

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

Let's Get Crafting issue 81

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

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

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

 

Link to LGC issue 81 projects:

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

Woman's Weekly June issue

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

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

Link to Woman's Weekly:

http://www.womansweekly.com/

Simply Crochet Issue 45

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

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

 

Link to Simply Crochet:

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

 

6. WIPs and FOs (at 45.30 mins)

           wips.jpg

 

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

 

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

 

7. Our Book (at 52.50 mins)

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

We’ve currently secured yarn support from

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

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

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

 

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

8. Charity Projects

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

You can read more here on our Ravelry page:

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

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

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

                 rooster_lace_sm.jpg 

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

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

9. What's Good (at 56.05 mins)

We're looking forward to Woolfest:

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

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

http://caithnesscraftcollective.podbean.com/

Happy listening and crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

Twitter: @Crochet_Circle

Instagram: Crochet_Circle

Pinterest: Crochet_Circle

Ravelry Group: The Crochet Circle Podcast


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We were delighted to interview Cara Ackerman, PR Coordinator and resident needlecraft expert at DMC Creative World, at a Trade Show earlier this year. We were keen to find out more about Cara and also about DMC’s recent yarn launch.

CARA2.jpg

You’re currently launching a new ‘DMC’ yarn – can you tell us a little bit about it?

DMC Natura Medium is 100% cotton; it’s really soft and doesn’t irritate the skin –so it’s lovely to wear and great if you have any skin conditions or sensitive skin. Natura Medium is a natural follow-on from Natura (4-ply) and Natura XL (super chunky).  It sits between a double knitting and aran weight, so it’s great for beginners to learn with. It comes in a range of 32 colours which are gorgeous and range from neon brights to more subtle tones. Like any yarn, a tension square is recommended before you being your project to make sure you match the pattern tension and your finished project will be the right size.

Nat_med.jpg

 Crochet seems to be the “new knitting” - have you seen an increase in the number of people crocheting over the past 4 or 5 years?

We were looking at the crochet market about 4 years ago when the advent of the Crochet part-work magazines really helped spread the word of crochet. It seemed to attract a younger audience who had seen people crocheting and who wanted to learn.  Since then we’ve seen a huge increase, year-on-year, in the number of people crocheting. DMC has developed a range of cotton yarns specifically for crochet, and we launch new patterns seasonally. A lot of knitters are moving over to crochet to expand their skills too, which is fantastic.

People often see crochet as a bit 1970s – we often see photos of strange crochet paraphernalia on social media (such as crocheted shorts/bikinis etc.). Do you think crochet is now being taken more seriously now that “handmade” is back in fashion?

Thanks to Beyonce, the crochet bikini has taken on a whole new meaning and I was recently chatting to a younger crocheter who wanted to crochet a bikini. The DMC cotton range would be perfect as the colours don’t run – so watch this space!!! Many of the top fashion houses have vintage-style crochet in their Spring/Summer collections and it’s great to see designers being creative with crochet. You can also mix and match crochet with leather or fabric as well as beads and tassels to make your projects more up to date and personal.

Do you have a favourite bit of crochet paraphernalia? 

My favourite crochet items are my mum’s crochet hooks, which are very precious to me. When I use the crochet hooks I feel a special connection, and they’re still as good today as they were all those years ago. Although I must admit that I also love our DMC bamboo hooks which are lovely and smooth and light.  They look fun and appeal to a young audience who like natural fibres and they’re great if you suffer with arthritis as they are warmer to use than traditional metal ones.

Do you have a top tip for Crafting in general, not necessarily just for crochet?

I do a huge number of crafts, and so my tip is to try and finish a project before you start a new one. It’s really easy to start too many.  I have one project on the go that I keep dipping in and out of, but I’m determined to get it finished before I start another big project. That said, I keep playing around with Natura Medium making Spring flowers and Easter bunnies.

What in this industry inspires you?

On a personal level, my inspiration is to get as many people as possible crocheting, whether it’s working with designers and tutors, or by using magazines and videos. I think it’s really important for crochet to be as accessible as possible.

On a work level, my inspiration is the colour range of DMC yarns. DMC is all about colour and we’re known for our fantastic colour range.  It’s great that we can offer such an amazing range to inspire people, it’s like going into a sweet shop and being spoilt for choice.

What would 16 year-old Cara make of you now?

I was very creative as a child and have been crocheting since I was 8 years old when I was taught by a neighbour and I still haven’t stopped learning. I always hand-crafted gifts at Christmas, so I think 16 year old Cara wouldn’t be surprised at the older Cara today, and I think she would have been very proud of my achievements.

On the scale of a couple of balls of yarn to a Westminster Abbey sized heap, how big is your stash?  What does your stash look like, how is it organised?

My husband would say the size of Westminster Abbey, and I would say no it’s not –but I have to admit that it’s quite big and I love to add to it at any opportunity. However, my stash is not just yarn, as I enjoy lots of other crafts as well, so I have boxes of threads and buttons all over the place. My yarn stash itself is quite manageable but it does need sorting out, and it’s on my to-do list for 2016.

How many WIP’S do you have?

I try not to have too many WIPS at any one time, and try to finish each project before I start another one. Crochet is my passion so most of my WIPs are crochet and initially I would have said that I only had two, but I’ve found a few more tucked away in bags, which makes a total of five!

Thank you so  much for your time and for giving us and future crafters such a great choice of yarns.  You are now an honorary member of The Crochet Circle and it has been an absolute pleasure to welcome you in.

DMC manufactures richly-coloured yarns, threads and fabrics and essential accessories for your craft projects.

To see the full range visit www.dmccreative.co.uk

dmc_top.jpg

 

To win 200g of DMC Natura Medium you can enter our competition here on Ravelry (open until 30th. June 2016):

http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/3424604/1-25#10

 

competition.jpg

 

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

 

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

This Episode is Sponsored by:

www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com

and

www.lynnerowe.weebly.com

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

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

DMC Natura Medium competition prize - supplied by DMC Creative

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

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

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

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

Shoreline_Blanket.jpg   

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

It's a Nay from Lynne on paper yarn. 

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

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

2. Festivals (at 4.55 mins)

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

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

Lynne's Wonderwool haul:

Lynne_s_Wonderwool_Haul_sm.jpg

 Fay's Wonderwool Haul:

Fay_s_Wonderwool_haul_sm.jpg

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

 

3. Helpful Hints

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

Crochet Tension (at 13.25 mins)

Lynne has provided a detailed article over on her blog.

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

Stylish Crochet Designers (at 18.35 mins):

Marie Wallin:

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

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

Joanne Scrace

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

Website: http://notsogranny.com/

Kat Goldin:

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

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

Vicky Brown

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

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

  

Contemporary Crochet - 37 European Designs - Sys Fredens

For book details see here

 

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

For book details see here

 

4. Book Review (at 27.50 mins)

Crochet Yeah!

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

Fay's full review is here:

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

 

5. Yarn Reviews (at 33.50 mins)

Socks Yeah!

fay_crochet_socks.jpg 

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

RRP £5.45

Machine washable at 30 degrees

Recommended needle size 2.25mm

Read Fay's full review here:

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

 

Regia Design Line by Arne and Carlos

arne_and_carlos_socks.jpg

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

RRP £5.19

Recommended needle size is 2-3mm

Read Fay's full review here:

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

 

6. Magazine Reviews (at 40.00 mins)

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

7. Finished Objects (at 41.00 mins)

Fay's FOs:

 

Fay_s_FOs.jpg

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Lynne's FOs

Lynn_s_FOs.jpg

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

  

Fay's WIPs

Fay_s_WIPs.jpg 

Missed Kingfisher shawl by Joanne Scrace:

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Lynne's WIPs

Lynne_s_WIPS.jpg 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

9. Other links

 

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

 

Organised by Natalie Savage, Visitor Services Manager

 

woollenwoods2_sm.jpg

 

For more information see:

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

 

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

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

 

John Arbon Mill Membership (at 10.50 mins)

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

 

 

Woolfest and the wool clip

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

 

10. Competition Winners

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

Erika Knight Studio Linen - theemmashan

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

Erika Knight's Simple Colour Knitting - Dianneb

 

 

11. New Competitions (at 63.30 mins)

We have 2 new competitions open on our Ravelry Forum:

 

Arne & Carlos Summer Nights Yarn 2 x 50g

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

 

200g DMC Natura Medium 100% Cotton

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

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

Happy Crocheting,

Lynne and Fay x

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

Sara_small.jpg

 

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

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

YSD1_small.jpg

 

Christine Perry (aka) Winwick Mum

www.winwickmum.blogspot.co.uk

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

 Winwick_Mum_3__sm.jpg

Crafternoon Treats

www.crafternoontreats.com

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

crafternoon_treats_and_Lynne_sm.jpg

Beryl Weir (also known as Crafts from the Dungeon)

www.craftsfromthedungeon.com

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

Fay_s_weaving_project_sm.jpg 

Susan Pinner

shropshirescrappersuz.blogspot.co.uk

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

 

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

 

Sara's gorgeous hank of Blue Heron Yarn

 Sara_s_NYC_yarn_sm.jpg

Fay enjoyed knitting with Arne and Carlos again.

 Arne_and_Carlos_knitting_2__sm.jpg

 

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

 

 

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Featuring a full-length interview with Erika Knight, chatting about her new Studio Linen yarn and Studio Linen Collection, her partnership with John Lewis, the importance of Yarn Shop Day, British manufacturing and why she wants to teach Bear Grylls to crochet.

 

Please note that this interview was recorded at a trade show so there is quite a bit of background noise and you may need to adjust your volume a little.  We have tried to filter out as much of the background noise as possible, but is was a very busy trade show...

 

 

 Erika_in_the_studio_small.jpg

 

1. Studio linen

erika_knight_studio_linen.jpg

http://www.erikaknight.co.uk/studio-linen/

 

2. Studio Linen Collection

Studio-Linen-Collection-web-image_small.

http://www.erikaknight.co.uk/studio-linen-collection/

 

3. John Lewis Partnership - Erika Knight for John Lewis

http://www.erikaknight.co.uk/erika-knight-for-john-lewis/


 

4. More information on Linen and Flax

 http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-linen-and-vs-flax/

and

http://www.myinterestingfacts.com/linen-facts/

 

5. New Manchester cotton mill 

http://www.drapersonline.com/news/cotton-industry-revived-in-manchester/7002776.fullarticle

 

6. Yarn Shop Day

 http://www.letsknit.co.uk/yarnshopday

 

7. YAK Brighton 

http://yarnandknitting.com/

 

8. Black Sheep Wools

www.blacksheepwools.com

 

9. Skein Cocaine

 www.skeincocaine.com

 

Thanks for listening to our podcast and don't forget to tune in on the first Friday of each month for a new episode.

Happy Crocheting

 

Lynne and Fay x


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