Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the Show Notes from Episode Seven - Buzz, Buzz, Buzz.
In this episode we continue with our crochet journeys, including helpful hints on sewing up; Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; Yarn Club; Magazine Round-up; WIP's and FOs; Feeding the Habit, including Fay's trip to Fibre East; a sneaky peak at a couple of projects from our first book "Take Two" and finishing with What's Good.
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1.Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet (at 10:00 mins)
It's a bit of both from Lynne: I recently went to Portugal on our family holiday and spotted quite a few crochet garments and accessories. The first thing I spotted was a gorgeous long cover-up which I don't think was handmade, but it was lovely all the same. I also spotted a few nice crochet bags and some bright pink crocheted tops that seemed to be very popular. But the icing on the crochet cake was a crochet swimming costume – yes indeed I did spot a crocheted costume. It was quite like a bikini that was then joined down the middle. I didn’t see it in water – only on the sunbed, so not sure how it held up when wet.
It's a Yay Crochet from Fay: One of my book designs is a bag.
I finished it about a week ago and wasn’t 100% sure of the bag flap that I had designed. So, come Monday morning I took the time to very carefully undo the flap - easier than it sounds because yarn is a Mohair and Wensleydale mix and it took me a couple of hours. I redesigned the flap and am now really pleased with overall design and functionality of the bag. It was worth taking the time out and getting the project to where I wanted it to be.
2. Our Crochet Journey: Weaving in ends when finished and when changing colour (at 20:00 mins)
The easiest method is when joining double crochet row ends together as you can join the pieces by simply working a double crochet (US single crochet) through the row ends of your work (working 1dc into each row end). This produces a neat, slightly stretchy finish. If you want a non-stretchy finish, use slip stitch instead.
If your work is in treble crochet (US double crochet) or half treble (US half double crochet) then it's not as straight forward because the posts of the stitches are longer, so working 1 stitch through each row end doesn't work. It's often a case of trial and error - try working 2 stitches into one row end then just 1 stitch into the next row end, and repeat to the end. The good thing with crochet is that you can easily rip it out if there are too many or too few stitches.
Alternatively, you can use whip stitch to join trebles and half trebles, inserting your wool needle through the posts of the stitch (rather than underneath them, which can create a gap and leave the seam looking a little unsightly). Fay decided to add a row of double crochet (US single crochet) along the side of her garment, to create a much neater finish.
Granny Squares are easier to join as you already have a neat chain edge all around. You can use either double crochet (US single crochet), working through the back loops of the outside stitches (on right side or wrong side depending if you want a visible seam or not). You can also use slip stitch to join Granny Squares, but only use this on the wrong side of your work.
When changing colour when working, you can work over your yarn ends (like Tapestry Crochet), so hold your yarn end across the top of the stitches being worked and when you insert you hook into the stitch, wrap yarn around hook and pull back though, you will trap the yarn end into the stitch. Do this for about 6 or 7 stitches.
Links to useful websites for joining your work:
Joining seams with a slip stitch and double crochet (US single crochet): http://www.simplycrochetmag.co.uk/2013/01/09/beginners-class-joining-shapes-together/
Joining Granny Squares using 4 different methods: http://blog.deramores.com/how-to-crochet-joining-granny-squares/
Joining Granny Squares as you go: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/joining-asyougo-sqaures.html
3. Magazine Reviews (at 41:00 mins)
Let's Get Crafting issue 84:
Theme is Christmas (is this too early?? - what do you think). There are lots of cute toys and decorations.
Lynne's favourite is the Bear from North Pole Buddies (page 40) designed by Aine Marriott
Fay's favourite is the article "From Barn to Yarn" on pages 20 and 21. See issue 84 projects here on Ravelry:
Inside Crochet issue 80: Theme is still summery. Lynne's favourite is Star in a Star Blanket, by Red Sparrow Crochet, page 77
Fay's favourite is Wayfairer's Jumper by Molla Mills
See issue 80 projects here on Ravelry:
Crochet Now Issue 5:
Theme is 'bright'.
Lynne's favourite is the free Mandala pattern booklet - The Big Mandala Swap which includes Lynne's design in Reds and Oranges, called Passion, page 42.
Crochet Now has teamed up with charity Rethink and yarn shops across the country so you can make a Mandala to swap, and maybe find a new crochet friend. Pages 80 and 81.
Find out more about the Big Mandala Swap here: http://www.crochetnow.co.uk/mandala-swap/
Fay's favourite is Patchwork Garden Baby Blanket by San Beee, pages 60 and 61.
Link to Crochet Now: http://www.crochetnow.co.uk/
4. FO's (at 51:50 mins)
Fay: Blanket and cushion for our book. Both were using Alafoss Lopi wool: http://alafoss.is/knitting-yarn/alafoss-lopi/ which is from the Icelandic sheep and is a chunky yarn. I used a 5.5mm hook (US size 9).
Fourth sock as part of my study in sock stripes – I have no HOs!
I have used four different techniques to try to find the best way of adding even stripes to socks and other projects knit in the round. I have written a blog post about it so if you are also a knitter and like me have been striving to find the perfect stripe technique, take a look here: https://www.knitit-hookit-craftit.com/blogs/news/jog-free-sock-stripes-two-pairs-of-socks-from-100g-of-yarn
I was using two different John Arbon sock yarns. The pink is Exmoor Sock Yarn in shade Blossom:
The grey is Alpaca Sock Yarn in shade Charcoal:
I use 2.5mm needles and generally knit a 60 stitch sock. A pair of these lovely socks will be donated to Winwick Mum's Yarndale sock appeal:
A few episodes ago I'd been a bit eager and put this shawl in my FO list and then had to admit within the podcast that I had messed up the rows. I left it on the naughty step for two months, then frogged it back and then inside of four nights, I had knitted the lace and done the picot edge bind-off. I used Rowan Finest for this project in shade 067 Cool: http://www.knitrowan.com/yarns/rowan-finest
It was glorious to work with, so soft and warm. I used 4mm (US 6) Knit Pro Symfonies. It is made from extrafine merino, cashmere and royal alpaca.
I didn’t know what ‘royal alpaca was so I looked it up. Baby alpaca is between 19 and 21 microns in diameter. Royal alpaca is anything below 19 microns and so is supposedly the finest alpaca that you can get. Only about 1% of the alpaca produced is deemed to be royal alpaca. Human hairs range from about 17 – 181 microns depending on age, colour, weather etc. You can find out more about Royal Alpaca here: http://www.alpacacollections.com/natural-fibers
I mentioned a couple of episodes ago that I had bought The Book of Haps by Kate Davies Designs, even though I had tried my hardest not to. I also tried to not join the KAL and failed miserably! I used Rowan Felted Tweed in five different colours and really love the outcome. All of the details on yarn and needles can be found on my Ravelry page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/MaDashper/nut-hap
I have added extensive notes, so if you were thinking about doing a Nut-Hap, you may want to take a look at my Kingfisher version before you start. Mine is huge (but still lovely)!
I would definitely use this yarn for crocheting with and am currently dreaming up a cowl design for my leftover Rowan Felted Tweed.
The only FOs I can share are the projects for our book – I finally finished my cushion which I LOVE, especially as it uses one of my favourite yarns (Wendy Ramsdale). I love the texture that I’ve created, which works perfectly with the yarn (which is almost feels a little felted).
I finished a shawlette (also for the book) and lots of projects for my latest Search Press book – I did have some knitting help with a couple of the projects, which was a relief, but there was still a lot of work to do, alongside some regular commissions that I do each month, so I’ve literally been knitting or crocheting all day pretty much everyday and will be doing so for the foreseeable future. This month I've made: 2 hot water bottle covers, boot toppers, crochet collar, bunting, hats, washcloths, a deep cowl, a pin cushion, a dress-up doll with outfits and some stuff I can't even remember. I've worked with some gorgeous yarns, including Sublime's Evie and Superfine Alpaca DK - both are beautifully soft to work with and are firmly placed on my "favourite yarns" list: http://sublimeyarns.com/
5. WIPs (at 72:45 mins)
Fay: My WIPS are five in total plus some projects that didn’t even make the WIP list.
I still have some standard items like the Tardis cushion and shorelines blanket which have had NO LOVE! I have had to work on lots of crochet projects for the book and so these two WIPs have been placed on the back burner for now.
I've made a decent amount of progress on my Wrap Over Top from Simply Crochet issue 41. Again I am using Rowan Finest but in shade 069 Star. It's really lovely to crochet with even though it splits occasionally. So far I have used 9 balls worth and will probably need to put 12 into it. Luckily I got the yarn at the Black Sheep Wools sale and so got 10 balls for under £30 instead of £65! I had to do some maths to rejig the pattern for this yarn, and now that I am on the last 6 rows (but I will probably extend it) I can see that my calculations seem to have worked, so very worthwhile doing the swatching, blocking and maths.
I may have also started two new haps from The Book of Haps…
Uncia – using John Arbon’s Harvest Hue’s 4 ply in Blue Spruce
Uncia– using John Arbon’s Devon Wensleydale 4 ply which is an undyed natural grey.
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 to a yarn dying workshop next week, organised by Fay, as it will be a nice to step away from knitting and crocheting for few hours and learn a new skill.
6. Feeding the Habit Rabbit (rabbit... rabbit... rabbit)
Link to Chas and Dave song "Rabbit, Rabbit":
Fay: Since we last recorded, I've been to Fibre East. Unsurprisingly the yarn that I got was John Arbon mini skeins and some BFL fibre tops, also from John and Juliet. The stand across from them at Fibre East was selling spindles and so I bought one of them too because I am desperate to learn how to draft, ready for the inevitable spinning wheel.
Other habit feeders were our new mascot, who remains nameless until the competition has been judged at the beginning of September. I also bought a new shawl pin which is ceramic and made in the UK: http://an-caitin-beag.myshopify.com/
I also bought some 2 ply linen to play with and Verity’s new sock book – The Sock Drawer:
If you haven’t heard the interview with Verity from Truly Hooked yet, then take a listen - it's been one of our most popular interviews to date.
However, that was on the 31st of July and so I created a self-imposed yarn diet throughout the month of August. Today is the 25th and, so far I have not bought any yarn that will be in my hands in August (apart from signing up to a yarn club). I have six more days of no yarn buying and can prove a point to myself.
Lynne: I haven’t bought anything either this month, as I know I don’t have any time to crochet or knit and the Woolnest is just overflowing with stuff. So rather than buy new yarn I’ve gone through my drawers and bags and sorted out all the yarn I know I won’t use and will be selling this at Yarndale and hope that it will go to a good home and that someone will make something lovely out of it all.
7. Our First Crochet Circle Book (at 101:55 mins)
We're really excited to tell you a little about the book that we have been working on.
It is called "Take Two" and the premise is simple. We've each designed four crochet patterns. Lynne has designed a long cowl with matching mittens, a blanket and a cushion. I have designed a short cowl, a bag, a narrow shawl and a purse.
So there's something for everyone - from accessories to homewares.
There are two key differences with this book. The first is that the yarns we used had to be British and in particular had to be spun in the North of England as we feel proud of our industrial heritage and that fact that we still have working mills that produce amazing yarns.
The second is that we both re-made each other’s patterns using our own stash yarn. This has allowed us to showcase British yarns and to also show how a change in yarn weight, colour or a slight variation in the pattern can create an entirely different project. You don’t always have to use the yarns stated in a pattern and so we hope to encourage you to look to your stash when you are crocheting from a pattern and don't be afraid to substitute yarn and make the pattern your own.
Take Two is essentially: two designers, eight patterns with two interpretations, creating sixteen designs.
Lynne’s favourite pattern from the book and yarn is:
I'm twixt between my textured blanket which uses West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply yarn, and my textured cushion, but I think may be cushion just takes it (and has yet to be named).
The basis of the cushion is treble crochet worked in rounds, but for the front piece the rounds are worked in back loops only, leaving the front loops free for working a picot - this creates the deep texture (resembling a Chrysanthemum Flower). You could make it in almost any yarn, from 4-ply to chunky so it’s really versatile and looks like a shop bought cushion. The size I made with DK yarn took just 6 balls of 50g. I used Wendy Ramsdale which is bred, spun and dyed in Yorkshire and is a sturdy yarn, which is great for a cushion, but it’s definitely a design that you could use up different yarns from your stash. Yarn support was kindly provided by Laughing Hens: https://www.laughinghens.com/
Fay's favourite design is Colliseum. It is a narrow shawl that uses just one skein of 4 ply yarn. The pattern is really simple and memorable, yet elegant and light. I really love all of the yarns that I used for my patterns – Erika Knight and Whistlebare. The yarns were specifically chosen to be soft or lustrous where they needed to be or hard wearing where required – like the bag.
8.Yarn Clubs (at 115:20 mins)
We mentioned in Episode Six that we wanted to do a review on yarn clubs. We know that a few people that have signed up to them but neither Lynne or I ever have. So, in the interests of fair reporting and for you lovely Crochet Circler’s, Fay has selflessly signed up to a yarn club with Life in the Long Grass - a husband and wife team based in Ireland: https://www.lifeinthelonggrass.com/clubs/
Fay will open her parcel when we record the next podcast so we'll capture her excitement.
Lynne will look into other clubs, including Baa Baa Brighouse Yan Tan Tethera's club: https://www.baabaabrighouse.co.uk/shop/yan-tan-tethera-yarn-club/yan-tan-tethera-subscription/
So, in the next episode we will be able to report back with a list of available yarn clubs, the cost of Fay's LITLG club and reaction to it, people’s feedback on yarn clubs that they have been part of. So, if there is anything that you would like to know about yarn clubs, please let us know through Ravelry – we will start a thread called ‘Things to know about yarn clubs’ and we will endeavour to answer your questions.
9. What’s Good (at 123:15 mins)
Fay: I'm organising a workshop under the banner of KNIT IT – HOOK IT – CRAFT IT on hand dyed yarns on the 3rd September and 10 of us will get to try out three different yarn dying methods – kettle, hand painted and dip dyed. I'm really looking forward to spending a day learning to dye with some lovely people. It will be a welcome break from all of the work that I have been doing.
Lynne: I received advanced copies of my Mandala Book earlier this week, which was really exciting. I’m delighted at how lovely it looks. It’s one of the "20 to Make" titles by Search Press, and the idea is that the projects are quick to make, yet all different and interesting too. Hoping to have them for sale at Yarndale but not sure if they will arrive in time – fingers crossed:
Happy listening and crocheting,
Lynne and Fay x
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