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December 6, 2019 @ 10:17 am

Episode 49 - My kind of rainbow

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 49 – My kind of rainbow  

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

In this episode, I cover Old Dog New Tricks; WIP RIP 2019; Final Destination; En Route; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore. 

 

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

 

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

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

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1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have a couple of things for you this month.

The first is a great way of getting accurate charts for your colourwork crochet designs.  This trick came about because Claudia mentioned in a Global Hook Up that she wanted to be able to take motifs and recreate them in crochet.  By inputting your swatch gauge into this website (link) you can get gauge specific graph paper which you can then colour in with your motif.  This will help to ensure that your motif will easily convert to crochet stitches and look great when you have hooked it up.

The second one comes from a really good discussion in the Saturday night Global Hook Up on size inclusivity.  When uploading garment projects onto Ravelry, I have been guilty of just adding ‘me’ to the box about who it is being made for.  It hadn’t dawned on me that it would actually be helpful to give my measurements so that other makers could assess the size I made against my measurements.

I’m not a massive fan of having my photo taken, so I’m going to get over myself and start uploading more photos of me in my FOs so that others can see how the size I made looks on my body shape.  If you are also making garments, I encourage you to do this too if you can.  I often refer back to other people’s projects to see what the sizing and fit are like.   

One of the things I would like to introduce in 2020 is tips from the Crochet Clan.  Beyond continuing to share what I have learned in the previous month, I would also like to share your top crochet or yarn tips.  Because these are a bit more involved it would be easier for me to get these via Ravelry or my email address.  So, I have started a new thread on Ravelry called Old Dog New Tricks and you can add your tips to that thread.  If you prefer, you can email me (fay@knitit-hookit-craftit.com). 

Each month, I will feature a tip from a member of our community so that we are all learning from each other and we continue the Crochet Clan spirit that our podcast is known for. 

 

2 – CAL Updates

#wiprip2019

The #wiprip2019 I am co-hosting with Sophie from A Spring Snowflake Podcast (link) is in full swing. 

You have from now until midnight on the 31st December to finish up or rip out some or all of your WIPs so that you go into the New Year with fewer projects.

On Instagram, you can use #wiprip2019 for chatter and #wiprip2019FO to show off your finished or frogged projects. 

Go to Sophie’s Ravelry group for chatter and the Crochet Circle Podcast group for the FO thread. 

Come and join us and together, let’s carry fewer projects into 2020.

 

One Skein Wonderland CAL

I was asked whether we were doing the One Skein Wonderland CAL again and I figured why not?  My plan is to make this very informal and just a lovely way of us all connecting together during the festive season and throughout January. 

You can start any, one skein crafting project from the 24th December onwards. 

 

3 – Final Destination

I have finished my Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild (link).  I’m used a 5mm hook and a sportweight Romney/Merino d’Arles blend from John Arbon Textiles.  This wool was a show special and is no longer available. 

It was really quick to work up because of the hook size and use of chains to create a sort of lace pattern.  I  made some changes to the pattern and have added these details to my project page on Ravelry.  Look for a pattern called “Romney Bark Jumper”.  What I would say is that this isn’t a size-inclusive pattern by any stretch of the imagination.  It covers small and large.  However, because of the pattern repeats, you can make it bigger or smaller, but you would have to do the maths yourself.

I have also finished three shawls for my latest design.  But, more on that in the future, other than to show you how the different weights are working up.

 

Ep_49_FO_1_2_.jpg

 ALT TEXT: Black background with the corners of four shawls coming in from the left.  The bottom is a duck egg light blue version on heavy laceweight, the next up is a salmon pink version in 4ply, then a mid-blue version in DK and finally a biscuit brown version in Aran.  With each shawl, you can see a defined stitch pattern and the use of filet crochet to create latticed areas.  Each of the four yarns is from John Arbon Textiles (link).

4 – En Route

I am slap-bang in the middle of a laceweight version of my latest design, so that’s taking a while! You can see it in the photo above.

I do have a project that I am just about to start though.  I was alerted to the plight of the animals that have been affected by the huge expanses of land that have been burning in Australia.  The fires have particularly affected Koala habitats and crocheted pouches are needed for joeys, possums and wombats. 

Podcast friend Mara, has created a PDF pattern on how to crochet up pouches.  You can also knit them and the wildlife charities are also in desperate need of sewn cotton liners for inside the pouches.  Don’t worry if you think that it will take you a while to crochet up some pouches.  There is an ongoing need for crocheted or knitted pouches, liners and birds’ nests.  They do need natural fibres such as wool or cotton to be used.  No acrylics and no blends because they aren’t breathable and so can’t be used.

I was looking for a charity that I could make for during the festive season and I hope to crochet quite a few pouches.  For each pouch, I also want to make 6 cotton liners because they get changed regularly throughout the day.

 

Crocheted pouch pattern – https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/crochet-marsupial-pouch?fbclid=IwAR0QdSS9ILfKweO3_icoG_3phINWzZlXZkL-Ps4V3nNTcFo_bR8qm3F-ZqU

Knitted pouch pattern – https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-info/wildlife-factsheets/making-possum-pouches

Sewn cotton liners – https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-info/wildlife-factsheets/making-possum-pouches

Birds’ nest pattern -  https://www.wires.org.au/wildlife-info/wildlife-factsheets/making-wildlife-nests

If you are unable to create something but want to help in some way, donations are also being accepted by WIRES (Wildlife Rescue (link)).

Your finished pouches can be sent straight to WIRES and they will then distribute them to their local branches.  They ask that your email address so that they can thank you and show your items in use.

Send pouches, liners and nests to:

WIRES
PO Box 7276
WARRINGAH MALL

NSW  2100

 

Ep_48_en_route_1.jpg

ALT TEXT: Black background with my folded up version of Strandir jumper.  The main body is in a very light heathered grey colour and it has contrast bubbles at the cuffs and neckline in a blue/grey.  To the right is a leftover plate of Plotulopi with a broken strand to show how friable the wool roving is.

I have also been working on a knitted jumper called Strandir by Hulda Hákonardóttir (link).  I am using Icelandic yarn from Alafoss.  The 'Light Ash' coloured Plotulopi wool comes in plates (link) and I am using Einband wool that was naturally dyed by Hespa for the contrast (link) and is a blue/green colour.  

 

5 – Feeding the Habit

I have some yarn to share with you!  For the first time ever, I found indie acid-dyed yarn in Iceland.  By chance, I came across a yarn shop in Selfoss and there was a small amount of yarn from ‘From the Shire’ yarns (link).  I bought a couple of skeins of a colourway that reminded me of my trip – basically snow, yellow snow poles and tarmac.  These skeins are destined to become part of a design.  The colourway is Betri Helmingurinn and it’s 75% SW Merino and 25% nylon 100g/425m. 

Ep_49_habit_3.jpg

Last weekend I was haring around the country doing various yarny things.  On Saturday I went down to an event in Bristol called Flock.  It is arranged by the husband and wife team that is Claire and Jonathan of BirdStreetUK/Mr. b yarns (link).

It’s a lovely gathering of knitters and crocheters in a community hall.  People go there to craft together and purchase from the pop-up shops.  You can usually buy Mr.b yarns there and Claire’s project bags and they invite another company from the yarn industry to come and join them for a trunk show.  This time, Rachael from Cat and Sparrow Yarns (link) was there. 

I bought two skeins if her Sweater Weather DK wool in colourway Grape.  It’s a gorgeous blend of 75% BFL and 25% Masham.  I have used this blend before in a 4 ply weight and it’s beautiful to crochet with.  The yarn is 240m/100g and really squishy.

Ep_49_Habit_1.jpg

ALT TEXT: Black background with the bottom of two skeins of very plump and squishy wool.  The skeins are both a semi-solid purple colour with a very obvious and lovely twist to the yarn.

On Sunday I headed over to the RiverKnits studio (link) for a yarn dyeing workshop.  I had so much fun!  The workshop was all about mixing colours and having a rainbow of 12 mini skeins at the end of it.  Of course, I wanted a dirty rainbow – I am definitely not of the pastels persuasion! We had a really lovely group of five of us and all came out with different strengths of rainbow minis. 

Ep_49_habit_4.jpg

ALT TEXT: A group of five women proudly show off their rainbow mini skeins.  Each is different, ranging from extremely bright to mucky rainbows and almost everything in-between.  We are all wearing lots of woollies because it was chilly.

 

 Ep_49_habit_2.jpg

ALT TEXT: Black background with a rainbow of twelve mini skeins hanging from a twig.  From L-R the colours are bluey purple, indigo blue, teal, jade green, moss green, poppy lime green, dirty mustard, orangey-brown, rusty fox, warm red, pinky-red and pinky purple. 

I am very pleased with mine, especially the Rusty Fox colour that I was determined to create.  I’m not sure what I am going to design with it yet, but they are going to be paired with a stormy grey to make a crochet design. 

The workshop was a little treat for another year of podcasting, running the shop and designing.  I already had a healthy level of respect for the dyers that I consider to be true artists.  After the workshop, that respect increased massively – it’s really difficult to get to the colours you have in your head.

Becci and Markus will be running more workshops in 2020, so if you are interested in going to one, sign up to the newsletter on their website because that is where you will hear about it first.

 

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – There will be more than two Hook Ups in December:

Saturday 14th  at 8 pm (GMT) and Sunday 15th at 9 am GMT.

Wednesday 25th December from 11 am until 2 pm (GMT) and Thursday 26th from 9 am until 12 pm (GMT). 

The Christmas Day and Boxing Day sessions have been added because I know that some of you are looking forward to a festive Hook Up.  I will be there at the start of the session and then might dip in and out.  Each session will go on for three hours and other folks will likely come in and out during that time. 

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

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

2 – The next podcast is episode 50!  I am delighted to have been podcasting for this long and to have consistently put a podcast out on the first Friday for that long. 

To mark the fact that it’s episode 50, I wondered about introducing a new topic just for this podcast.  The idea is that you can ask me any questions and I will give you the answer in Episode 50.  If you like the idea and want to ask a question, you can leave a question in the YouTube dropdown box or in Podbean, or leave a question in the Instagram grid story for Episode 49 (this is easier for me to find than you sending me a dm). 

It doesn’t matter if there aren’t any questions, I will be recording a podcast anyway.

3 – I have now added all of my electronic patterns (crochet UK terminology, crochet US terminology and knitting) to my Etsy shop FayDHDesigns (link).  This means that all of my patterns are now available on Ravelry (link), Etsy and from my shop website (link). 

 

7 - J’adore

This can only really be about my trip to Iceland.  I had a great time with my Dad.  We stayed in four different locations and did a lot of travelling, moving from the SW corner all the way to the East and then up to the North and back again for our flight back. 

You can see snapshots of my trip on the grid on Instagram as I crocheted my way across the island. 

Iceland is an amazing country to visit and if you are thinking about going there, I thoroughly encourage you to go to some of the places that are beyond the usual Golden Circle tourist route – there is so much more to the country.    

I particularly enjoyed when we happened across a herd of reindeer up in the mountain pass as we were driving north.  They were magical to watch, as were the moonrises and sunsets. 

Also, my Dad has asked me to knit him an Icelandic yoked jumper.  He chose the wool while we were out there and I have already made a start on it.  I’ll show it off more in the January podcast.

I’ll be back on January 3rd 2020.  Have a fab festive season!

Fay x

 

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

Instagram: Knitithookit

Instagram: FayDHDesigns

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

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November 1, 2019 @ 9:12 am

Episode 48 - Barking up the right tree

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 48 – Barking up the Right Tree  

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

In this episode, I cover Losing your Cro-jo; WIP RIP 2019; Final Destination; En Route; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore.

 

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

 

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

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

  Ko-fi_Red.png

 

This podcast is also a supporter of BIPOC in Fibrea group of amazing people that set up a crowdfunding project to create a website/project to "become a vital, interactive resource that will increase the profiles of all the BIPOC makers listed and show the true diversity that exists in our community."  If you would also like to support the project, you can do so by clicking here

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1 – Cro-jo

I popped some questions up onto a post on Instagram.  I was curious to know what made people lose their crochet mojo and what they have done to get it back.

I deliberately asked the question in October because I suspected that the pressure of making crocheted/crafted presents for a Christmas deadline would be one of the main reasons.  I wasn’t wrong.

Thank you to everyone that came back to tell me their stories.  I have compiled them into categories and listed them out below.  If you want to read some wider thinking around this topic, I created a ‘Lost your crojo’ blog post on it (link).

 

The main reasons for people losing their love of crochet or crafting were:

  • Current skill levels don’t match what they want the finished object to look like or stops them from tackling next level patterns.
  • Deadline crocheting – particularly for Christmas or teacher presents.
  • Summer months – either too hot or you are off doing other things because of the daylight.
  • Too many WIPs.
  • Big life changes such as births, deaths, weddings, house moves, relationship issues, country moves.
  • Projects that are in the naughty corner because something needs to be fixed, there are long, boring sections or the project just overall feels like a chore!
  • Being new to the craft and not yet knowing what you like to make.

 

Here are some of the suggestions for how to get your crojo back:

  • If you are on Instagram, look up crochet related hashtags to get inspiration and see what others are up making.  Try searching for crochet in different languages such as 'haken' so that you see what is popular in different parts of the world.
  • Choose a really quick project that you can finish in one sitting.  The dopamine hit that you get from finishing a project shouldn't be underestimated.
  • Look back at your Ravelry project pages or go through your handmade wardrobe.  Remind your self of all the beautiful things you have made and how far you have developed your skills.
  • Have a selection of WIPs.  One for quiet times that needs a bit of concentration, one for watching the TV or reading that requires very little concentration and one the will fly off your hook so that your brain gets that dopamine hit.
  • Do just a couple of rows.  Even one stitch is one stitch further...

 

In the blog post, I also talk through my Worthy Decision Ladder which helps me work through who I spend my precious making time on.

 

2 – CAL Updates

The #wiprip2019 I am co-hosting with Sophie from A Spring Snowflake Podcast (link) is in full swing.

You have from now until midnight on the 31st December to finish up or rip out some or all of your WIPs so that you go into the New Year with fewer projects.

On Instagram, you can use #wiprip2019 for chatter and #wiprip2019FO to show off your finished or frogged projects. 

Go to Sophie’s Ravelry group for chatter and the Crochet Circle Podcast group for the FO thread. 

Come and join us and let’s carry fewer projects into 2020.

 

3 – Final Destination

My monogamous crafting is continuing!  Whilst it means that I don’t have as much to talk about on the podcast month by month, what it actually means is that I get projects finished and I’m not building up piles of WIPs.

I have a couple of finished objects to show off.   The first was a really quick make – a crocheted headband, ready for my impending trip to Iceland.  The pattern is by Ami from Hook of Love (link to Ravelry and link to her website) and it’s called “Minta Hat Headband Earwarmer”.

It needed just 35g of an aran/worsted weight yarn and a 6mm hook.  I chose some Brigantia Luxury Aran from my stash in colourway 4c4.  It’s 100% British wool, spun in Yorkshire and 140m/100g.  Sadly, Brigantia wool is no longer available to buy. 

 

Ep_48_FO_1.jpg Ep_48_Ami.jpg

 

 

 

ALT TEXT Photo 1: grey background with a folded piece of checked woven cashmere top left, a cake of aran weight wool top right, pink 6mm crochet hook and a crocheted headband showing back loop only dc (sc in US) squish.  The wool and headband are in a scarlet/cranberry red colour.

Photo 2: Blue background with a photo of a crocheted tank top design with open ace work in a green/yellow under a blue and white checked shirt.  To the right is the slide title "Another of Ami's designs" in a bold white font. 

My second thing off the hook is my Mya Shawl by Helda Penagary (link).  The yarn is ‘Pisces’ Yak Single Ply by Cosmic Strings (the dyers are Phu and Bea (link)) as the main skein and some Rico mohair as the dark grey background colour.   I extended the width of the shawl, changed the row count and blocked it aggressively to get the width that I wanted.  If you want to see what I did, full details are in my “Sythermort Shawl” project notes on Ravelry.   I am also entering it into Clarisabeth’s (Crochet Cakes podcast) Mischief Managed CAL (link) which finished on 31st October.

 

Ep_48_FO_2.jpg

ALT TEXT: Two photos on one slide showing the same version of the Mya Shawl.  The shawl is on a mannequin and is crocheted using a dark grey laceweight mohair with alternating stripes of a bright teal/turquoise 4 ply yarn.  The stripes are quite thin and there are 50 in total, shown off nicely in the triangular-shaped shawl.

 

4 – En Route

In just four short days I have managed to progress really well with my Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild (link).  I’m using a 5mm hook and a sportweight Romney/Corriedale blend from John Arbon Textiles.  This wool was a show special for Edinburgh Yarn Festival and is no longer available. 

It’s really quick to work up because of the hook size and use of chains to create a sort of lace pattern.  I suspect this will be finished by the end of this weekend and will be going straight into my suitcase for Iceland.

Ep_48_WIP_1.jpg Ep_48_Sidsel.jpg

 

 

 

ALT TEXT Photo 1: Dark grey background with the beginnings of my Bark Sweater laid out with the 5mm hook and cake of wool.  The wool is a natural brown/grey colour and the pattern and texture of the crochet pattern is very obvious.  The use of front post treble stitches and chains create an ovate leaf shape throughout the jumper.

Photo 2: Blue background with a photo of the designer Sidsel Sangild.  Sidsel is in front of a dusky pink wall wearing a grey v-neck jumper and holding her right hand up in the air.  To the right is the slide title "This is Sidsel" in a bold white font. 

 

I have made some changes to the pattern (I can’t help myself) and will be adding these details to my project page on Ravelry.  Look for a pattern called “Romney Bark Jumper”.  What I would say is that this isn’t a size-inclusive pattern by any stretch of the imagination.  It covers small and large.  However, because of the pattern repeats, you can make it bigger or smaller, but you would have to do the maths yourself (I have added some guidance on this).

 

In my project notes I have also added how you can create an invisible round join and new round start.  In the picture below you would be hard pushed to see where the rounds end and start.

 

Ep_48_WIP_2.jpg

ALT TEXT: close up of my Bark jumper showing off how invisible the round joins and starts are.   

 

5 – Feeding the Habit

I have nothing to show you under Feeding the Habit.  Matthew has bought me wool for my Christmas present but that has already gone into hiding and I will share it with you in the January 2020 podcast. 

  

6 – Quick News Beats

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

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

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

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

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

2 – I had three kilted bear pins from Bernie at Bear in Sheep’s Clothing (link).  These pins are made in the UK and I love them. 

The winners are:

Instagram – theartsypescatarian

Podbean – marikaisa01

YouTube – Ana Bernardino

 

7 - J’adore

I have been beavering away on my knitted sock designs and needed something on in the background to keep me company.  I love the Great British Bake Off and a friend introduced me to the Great Australian Bake Off.  I am loving it.

The bakers are so talented and I really enjoy the Australian sense of humour too.  They are even allowed to swear – you didn’t get that with the BBC! 

Do other countries get their own version of Bake Off?  I need to know because I am fast running out of GABO episodes to consume.

 

8 – Big Up

Much love to everyone that took the time to answer my questions on crojo over on Instagram.  The input from the Crochet Clan can’t be underestimated because learning from your experiences allows me to gain greater knowledge and pull together better-informed blog posts to share with the wider community. 

I had to recently attribute some words to what I think my role is with this podcast and I chose “thought leader”.  I know that sounds a bit business and jargon-heavy, but what I’m trying to create is a podcast that is hopefully fun and informative.  I would love new crocheters to come across the podcast in 10 or 20 years time and for it to still bring value to them.   So thank you for being part of that process!

I’ll be back on December 6th.

Fay x

 

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

Instagram: Knitithookit

Instagram: FayDHDesigns

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups

 

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October 4, 2019 @ 9:01 am

Episode 47 - Tardy

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 47 – Tardy  

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

In this episode, I cover Old Dog New Tricks; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore.

 

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

 

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

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

  Ko-fi_Red.png

 

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have a quick Ravelry tip for you this month.  This feature has always existed, but the good folk at Ravelry have now spruced up the feature a little to make the suggestions more prominent. 

If you have a favourite designer that you like and a favourite design of theirs, click into that pattern page and on the right-hand side, at the bottom of the page you will see thumbnails of suggestions for other, similar patterns and a link for “More that people also like…” which takes you through to lots of other pattern suggestions.

I think this is a really great way to search for patterns and come across new, smaller designers that may struggle to get known. 

Ep_47_dog_1.jpg

Photo: Shows the Ravelry screen having searched for my Criss-cross pattern. 

Ep_47_dog_2.jpg

Photo: At the bottom right-hand side some thumbnails will appear showing alternative patterns.

Ep_47_dog_3.jpg

Photo: By clicking through to more suggestions, you will see a page of other suggested patterns that have been favourited.

 

2 – CAL Updates

This podcast is titled “Tardy” because that is what I have been!  If you aren’t familiar with the word, it means delaying or delayed beyond the right or expected time.  About 12 months ago I was running the #sockalong2018 and 11 months ago I should have drawn for prizes from Instagram and the FO thread that was hosted in Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats podcast group on Ravelry. 

About three months ago I found the prizes in my Stash Palace and figured I may as well wait and mark the occasion a full tardy twelve months later! 

So, if you have won a prize, I have already been in touch with you.  On Instagram, the winners were @yarn.adventurous and @fizzcrail.  Over on Ravelry, the random number generator picked Woolwoman2k8, NinaCamilleri and Stasiacrochet. 

Sorry, it has taken me this long to do the prize draw, it very much speaks to the reason why I haven’t been doing CALs this year.

That said, I am co-hosting a #wiprip2019 with Sophie from A Spring Snowflake Podcast (link) albeit, Sophie is doing most of the work because she is hosting the chatter thread over on her Ravelry Group Page.

The whole idea is that you have from now until midnight on the 31st December to finish up or rip out some or all of your WIPs so that you go into the New Year with fewer projects.

On Instagram, you can use #wiprip2019 for chatter and #wiprip2019FO to show off your finished or frogged projects. 

Go to Sophie’s Ravelry group for chatter and I will open and host the FO thread. 

From my end, these are the projects that I will be finishing up:

1 – Chapman Socks (knitted)

2 – Verity Vest (crochet)

3 – Anything else I have started and need to finish

I have less to go through because I have been trying to be quite a monogamous crafter over the last few months, but there may be projects lurking that need to be sorted out!

Come and join us and let’s carry fewer projects into 2020.

 

3 – Final Destination

Okay, so whilst I don’t have any finished crochet objects that I can show you, I do actually have some knitted ones.  This month I finished off two commission projects for a yarn company, but I won’t be able to show them off properly until well into next year.

However, I have been finishing up a load of knitted socks.  I quite often have a sock on the go because I leave them in yarn bowls when I am at shows to show off their potential and also to talk through my sock patterns.   

Now, instead of three single socks, I have three pairs all finished and ready to wear this winter. 

Ep_47_FO.jpg

ALT TEXT: Three socks on a grey background.  Left is a striped sock in light grey, forest green, bright green, purple, steel blue and hot pink.  The middle sock is also striped and is a dark rusty copper and dark verdigris colour.  The sock on the right is cream with blips of brown, yellow, peach and blue.  This sock has a contrast cuff, heel and toe in soft peachy pink.

The colourful striped socks are in John Arbon Textiles Exmoor Sock Yarn (link).  I was using up the ends from my Kinbaine shawl (link) and Acanthium Mittens (link).  The pattern is my own and it’s called Mini Mania (link).

The copper and green Mini Mania socks are also in John Arbon Textiles Exmoor Sock Yarn but were dyed up by RiverKnits and the colours are no longer available.

The beautiful speckled pastel socks are the Pebbles and Pathways pattern by Marceline Smith (link).  In the pattern, Marce encourages you to go your own way and add your own elements and I definitely did that – mine are cuff down and I added all sorts of extra bits!  The main colour is ‘Orchard’ by Bernie at Bear in Sheep’s Clothing (link) and is 100% Corriedale with no nylon or superwash.  I will be reporting back on how well these wear.  The contrast colour was an unnamed mini by Desiree at Abercairn Yarns (link) and I think is 75% Merino and 25% nylon.

I also attended an eco-printing workshop at my local Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild.  You place leaves and flowers on pre-mordanted material, roll it up and steam it.  This sets the vegetation print onto the material with varying results and takes a lot of trial and error.  The below photos show some of the results I got.

If you are interested in the subject of Eco-Printing and creating plant-based inks, I have just listed a book in my shop by Babs Behan called "Botanical Inks" (link).

 

Eucalyptus_on_wool_1_.jpg

ALT TEXT: Collage of three photos. Left - a square of undyed silk with Japanese Maple, ferns and purple Heuchera leaves and flower stems laid out on a table.  Below the silk is the broom handle that he silk will be rolled onto for steaming.  Top right - cream wool fabric after steaming.  Eucalyptus leaves have left a rust orange print from the eco-printing process.  Bottom right - another sheet of silk with Japanese Maple and fern.  The second half of the silk has been placed on top to create a 'ghost' print.    

 

4 – En Route

The only project on my hook is the Mya Shawl by Helda Panagary (link).  This is my entry into #RhineBIPOCSweater K/CAL – I can’t link to the bundle within Ravelry, but you can get details via Lady Dye’s Instagram post (link). 

After a bit of fiddling around with hook sizes and the number of rows, I settled on using ‘Pisces’ by Cosmic Strings (the dyers are Phu and Bea (link)) as the main skein and some Rico mohair as the sort of background colour. 

I had been hoping to finish this up and be wearing the shawl as I listened to Helda do her talk on ‘Being a Crochet Designer’ at Yarndale on Saturday.  I didn’t quite manage it and settled instead for crocheting on it whilst she talked.

Had I just stuck to the pattern and not fiddled (I will never learn), then I would have had an FO.  However, because I am doing 4 rows of mohair laceweight (100m per 100g) to 2 rows of 4ply, it’s taking a little longer.  My plan is to use up all of the mohair, which I suspect will leave me with a little bit of the Cosmic Strings teal. 

My reason for fiddling is a good one though.  The pattern makes quite a deep, but short shawl and I have quite wide shoulders.  By changing the number of row repeats, I am able to make a bigger shawl that will better fit my body shape.    

I am calling it my Slythermort shawl and also entering it into Clarisabeth’s (Crochet Cakes podcast) Mischief Managed CAL (link).  I have until the 31st October to get this finished!

 Ep_47_En_route.jpg

ALT TEXT: Image shows a dark background with a cake of a dark/dirty teal coloured yarn to the left and a flattened mohair cake of stormy grey yarn to the right.  At the fore are a blue metal crochet hook and a striped shawl in the yarn. 

  

5 – Feeding the Habit

Did I got to Yarndale and manage to not buy any yarn?  Yup, yes I did!  This is totally aided by the fact that I picked up two loads of yarn from vendors which is yarn support for my patterns. 

So, what did I buy instead of yarn?  I bought a knitted pattern book by Jimi Knits (link), some pin badges from Bear in Sheep's Clothing (link) and Nerdbird Makery (link) and a small sewn project bag by Border Tart (link). 

Ep_47_habit.jpg

ALT TEXT: grey background with Jimi Knits A4 pattern book to the left, linen project bag with sewn scraps of blue fabric overlapping the book.  To the right are folds of soft cashmere tweed and in the fore are two pins on cards, one is the back of a polar bear wearing a kilt and the other is head and of a BIPOC knitter with yarn and knitting needles in her hair. 

I’m not really missing buying yarn.  I have so much in my stash and I am really enjoying shopping in my own Stash Palace and using up deep stash in particular.

  

6 – Quick News Beats

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

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

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

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

October - Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th  

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

2 – I promised in the last podcast that I would write a quick blog on what apps and podcasts I use to help to run my business.  You can find that blogpost on my website (link).

3 – I had three copies of Eilidh’s print (link) to giveaway and the winners are:

Instagram – @craftybritabroad (Amy)

Podbean – Marce (BrownBerry Podcast)

YouTube – Patty Crochets

Well done everyone. 

4 – I did the catwalk at Perth Festival of Yarn!  It was a lot of fun and definitely showcased crocheted garments.  However, I had an epic fail on getting photos or video footage.  It was a lot of fun and luckily, Laura from The Lonely Knitter Podcast recorded it all, so you can see all of the lovely crocheted and knitted items that went down the Gala Dinner catwalk (link).

To celebrate the fact that I managed to finish my Blurred Lines jumper in time, I bought three kilted bear pins from Bernie at Bear in Sheep’s Clothing.  These pins are made in the UK and I love them.  I already own one that Bernie gave me at Perth and I thought some of you may want to try to win one too! 

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning, leave a comment on the threads of this episode of YouTube, Podbean and/or Instagram.  It’s open to everyone across the globe.  I will draw winners just before I record the November podcast.  Start your comment with “bare bear” so that I know you are entering to win.  Why bare bear?  Bears are true Scots – no knickers!

 

7 - J’adore

I had an absolute ball at Yarndale.  I went with a bunch of friends, we laughed, wore pyjamas for most of the weekend, drank gin and generally had a great time. 

I met lots of my lovely yarn colleagues and friends and made new friends.  Plans have been hatched, new business ideas have formed and 2020 is shaping up rather nicely. 

My sleeves are bulging with all of the ideas, projects, interviews and designs that I want to do in the coming months.   

 

8 – Big Up

I already mentioned that I went to see Helda give her talk at Yarndale on being a crochet designer.  Before she started her talk, she was nervous and had no reason to be.  Her talk was genuine, from the heart and fab!  Big Up Helda you were great!

Fay x

 

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September 6, 2019 @ 7:39 am

Episode 46 - Tipsy Crocheting

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 46 – Tipsy Crocheting! 

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

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

 

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

 

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

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

 Ko-fi_Red.png

 

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have two quickie tricks for you this month:

1 – Here is a neat little trick I learned from watching yarn dyers at work.  Have ever popped a skein of yarn onto a swift to cake up and as you start to form the cake, it snags, isn’t as smooth as it is should be and create a tighter tension in your cake than needed?  There is a very simple way around this and it involves what I can only describe as ‘snapping’ your yarn.

Once you have opened up the skein and ensured that the strands are flowing the right way, put both hands into the skein, using your upright thumbs to keep the skein on your hand, ‘snap’ the skein outwards.  This will help to realign the strands back to the way they were initially wound back in the factory.  This realignment makes it easy to get the skein onto your swift and should lead to tangle-free, even tension cakes of yarn.

 

2 – If you find yourself short of a locking stitch marker and desperately need to hold a stitch, check your hair.  I found myself in desperate need of a cable needle the other evening and really could not be bothered to go downstairs for it.  Instead, I used a Kirby grip/bobby pin that was in my hair.  It did the job perfectly and is great for securing stitches and being lazy!

 

2 – Final Destination

Sound the trumpets!  I have finished my Blurred Lines by Deanne at Addydae Designs (link).  As I record this podcast, it is Wednesday the 4th September and I am due to wear the jumper down the runway at Perth Festival of Yarn on Saturday (I will pop some pics up on Instagram Stories  (@crochet_circle_podcast) if you want to see what goes down).

I have added full project notes on Ravelry, so you can see any changes I have made. I just need to add some final photos.  

Ep_46_Blurred_FO.jpg

ALT TEXT: Fay stands in her dining room, in front of an open fireplace with a small table and lamp to the left.  She is looking down with hands in pockets, wearing jeans and her newly finished Blurred Lines Jumper which is a grey/teal blue main colour (top and bottom) with a middle variegated section in cream/pink with little pops of yellow, teal and blue.

I also have a couple of little things that I have crocheted up.  These are samples for the online shop and for shows.  I have started selling craft books, but only wish to sell ones that I have worked from personally and can therefore recommend.  It’s not about fads, it’s about well-written books and patterns. 

I finally managed to make something from my Crocheted Succulents book by Emma Varnam (link).  I had this book on pre-order last year but just couldn’t find a window of time to make something from it.  I crocheted up a Mexican Snowball succulent using 50g of Rowan cotton glace that I had in my stash.  It was really easy to make, and the instructions were lovely and clean.  It took me about 5 hours in total and I can see many more cacti and succulents in my future because I struggle to keep house plants alive!

Ep_46_FO1.jpg

ALT TEXT: Corner of the Crocheted Succulents book by Emma Varnam is in the bottom left.  In the middle sits a white pottery reused candle holder with a sage green crocheted succulent (Mexican Snowball) on top. At the bottom of the pot lies a pink crochet hook, little worm of the left over sage green cotton and a pair of snips shaped and decorated to look like a crocodile. 

Another book that has been sitting on my crafting shelves waiting for some attention is Laly Lalas Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies book (link).  Of all of the gorgeous little creatures in this book, I chose to hook up a moth!  I was working on the basis that this is the only moth that is actually allowed anywhere near my yarn!  This took me about 7 hours to make and used up lots of little odds and ends of cotton from my stash. 

Ep_46_FO_2.jpg Ep_46_FO_3.jpg

ALT TEXT: Two images - both with very dark grey backgrounds.  Image one shows the Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies book by Laly Lala.  The front cover shows lots of crocheted bugs as examples and to the right of the book is the front of a moth I have crocheted up from the book.  The moth has detachable wings and har with antennae.  Image two is the back of the moth, which shows clearly that the top of the wings are off-white edged with grey cotton and the bottom is blue.  The main moth body is a green/yellow and the hat id a mustard yellow.  

It was really nice being able to quickly plough through a couple of crochet projects, even if they are small.

 

3 – My Life

This is not going to be a regular segment, but I thought I would just offer up a little slice of what this year has been like so far and how I dearly want the last three months to unfold. 

Most of 2019 has been spent bombing up and down the UK road and ferry network, attending yarn shows all over the place.  It had been a busy year so far which I love because I get to see so many of you Crochet Clanfolk and it really helps to put my business on the map!

The downside though is the impact that it has.  I. Don’t. Stop. 

If you have ever met me in real life, when you watch my face, you can literally see the cogs turning.  Most conversations make neurons ping in my brain and the ideas flow immediately.  My brain is always on, it is never quiet. 

As you listen and watch this podcast I will be up at the Perth Festival of Yarn – my last yarn show of 2019!  I am really excited to be vending at this show but if truthful, I am just as excited about life calming down a little.  I am planning on having a relaxing week, next week after I have counted the stock back into the shop. 

Relaxation for me means audiobooks or courses and sitting with my feet up, crafting.  I may even set myself a little crochet goal.  See what I mean?  I have already set myself a goal for my time off!  There is just no hope for me. 

When you are driving and sitting on ferries you get a lot of time to think.  My main focus for this year was ‘structure’ and I have done a lot around that for the business, podcast and design work this year which has really helped to streamline my work focus. 

My recent motorway mile shave given me time to think about what I need to concentrate on in 2020.  It feels like it will be a big year, even if it’s just because of the repetition of the numbers!  My focus for 2020 is going to be around the word ‘centre’.  It is ‘centre’ because “no” or “selfish” just felt too negative!  So, my focus is about saying no to things that other people want me to do for them, so that I can say yes to the things that I need to do for myself.  My problem is that I want to be helpful and supportive and therefore take on too much because I hate letting people down.  So, by saying no and centring back to what I need for my business, my family and me personally.     

Saying to something is never saying yes to just one thing because there are always mini-tasks that lead to that final completed yes.  My theory is that saying no to one thing is actually more like saying no to ten mini-tasks, which frees up ten things that I can then do for me or my business.  It’s not all about saying no, it’s also about focussing some time back to me and creating a strong personal core from which to work.    

 

Would anyone find it useful for me to write a blog post on what software I use to help with this and what podcasts I listen to for business/creative inspiration?  Ping me a message if it would be useful and I will pull something together.

So, if you need me in October, November, December 2019, I will be chilling a little, drinking more tea and hopefully doing a lot more crafting and designing. 

 

4 – En Route

As I record this podcast, I have no crocheted project on the go.  However, I have two that I want to start: 

The first is the Mya Shawl by Helda Panagary (link).  This is going to be my entry into #RhineBIPOCSweater K/CAL – I can’t link to the bundle within Ravelry, but you can get details via Lady Dye’s Instagram post (link).  As for the yarn that I want to use, I think I am going to crochet the shawl with ‘Orion’ by Cosmic Strings (the dyers are Phu and Bea (link)) as the main skein.  As you know, I am on a yarn ban until 21st December, so I can’t buy any mohair which is what the pattern calls for.  Instead, I took to my stash (deeeeep stash) and found some Rico mohair that I can use instead.  Whilst this isn’t strictly within the parameters of the CAL, I’m not going to break my yarn ban when I already own something suitable! 

Ep_46_Helda.jpg Ep_46_Mya_shawl.jpg

ALT TEXT: Image one shows crochet designer, Helda Panagary standing side on in front of cream tiles, holding a  ball of dark arn in her left hand and a crochet hook in her right.  Helda looks beautiful long dark hair that curls at the bottom.  Image two shows a dark background with a skein of a dark/dirty teal coloured yarn to the left (ball band reads 'Cosmic Strings' and two flattened mohair cakes of yarn piled to the right.  These are is a very stormy grey colour.

 

Ep_46_Mya_2.jpg

ALT TEXT: Image three shows the same model twice, (Back and front), showing off Helda's Mya Shawl.  It is triangular and shows subtle stripes in pinks where different yarn blends have been used.  Each corner has a corresponding tastle.

I am off to Yarndale the last week of September and have a ticket to see Helda talk on Saturday afternoon.  I would love to be wearing my version of Helda’s Mya Shawl when I sit and listen to her talk on life as a crochet designer.

The second is the Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild (link). I will be using John Arbon Textiles British Breeds 80% Romney/20% Corriedale blend and a 5mm hook.  I can’t link to the wool because it was a special and only available to Mill Members on their website. I have a ridiculous self-imposed goal that maybe I could be wearing this at Yarndale too…

 

If I whizz through that, then I will also try to work up Claudia’s Encanto Wrap (link) which is her first-ever design!

Ep_46_Encanto_Wrap.jpg

ALT TEXT - A split image showing a very smiley Claudia from Crochet Luna on the left, wearing her first design around her neck.  The textured wrap shows stripes fo bright green and purple leading up to her neck and a more solid purple around her neck.   The second side of teh image shows the wrap on a mannequin that has a black dress on.

 

5 – Feeding the Habit

Still no stash additions and my Solstice to Solstice yarn ban is going well.  I am still tempted by things but have managed to just say no!

There have been other things though:

Last month I showed off a lovely print that I received in the post from Lorna (@neveratalooseend).  It was done by her daughter Eilidh (@by.eilidh on Instagram) and I love her style.  I contacted Eilidh to say that I wanted to buy some prints from her to pass to friends and unbeknown to me, some more just arrived in the post!  Needless to say, when I see Lorna at Perth Festival of Yarn, I will be passing her money to pass to Eilidh so that I can properly purchase the prints.  More on this in Quick Newsbeats.

I have started selling Yael’s crocheted necklaces in my online shop and at shows (link).  Her work is beautiful and I want to be able to support a fellow crafter.  Because Yael is naughty, she snuck a notions pouch into my order – and it’s beautiful.  Yael also makes beautiful linen project bags and I encourage you to check out her Etsy shop (link).

Ep_46_-_Habit.jpg

ALT TEXT:  Black background with a patchwork linen notions pouch in grey/browns, pink and a navy with white dashed fabric and pastel yellow zip to the top left.  Colourful print to the right in purples and corals, saying "All wool is yarn but not all yarn is wool" on a scarf that is wrapped around fibre giving animals (bison/Alpaca/goat/sheep/rabbit). Two large paper clips with material covered tops to the bottom left.  One has a black and white cat on the fabric and the other has the head of a sheep.

While I was vending at Yarnfolk in Northern Ireland, I met Jean and not only did she bring me a can of pop to keep me going in the afternoon, she also gave me two large fabric button clips.  One has a sheep on it and the other a black cat – not unlike Pom!  These are perfect for marking which page you are on in a pattern!

  

6 – Quick News Beats

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

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

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

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

September - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15thNOTE THAT THIS IS A DATE CHANGE!  

October - Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th  

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

2 – Over on Instagram, I was showing off a vegan soup I was making on Stories and some of you asked for the recipe.  I have created a blog post for it (link) and it’s a really hearty spicy tomato soup that is made mainly from store cupboard ingredients.  

3 – I have three copies of Eilidh’s print (link) that I want to give away.  It looks beautiful framed (I have one up on my studio wall).  To enter, simply respond on YouTube, comment in Podbean or on Instagram.  I will draw one winner from each platform and get in touch with you to say that you have won.

4 – I still have an unclaimed prize of one of Deanne’s patterns.  Angee Stitch 78 from YouTube, you were a winner but haven’t responded, so could you please get in touch to claim your prize.

5 – I always provide links within the show notes, but sometimes people struggle to find them.  From this month onwards, anything that I talk about and provide a link for, just look for “link)” and that is where to click to get to the relevant web page.

 

7 - J’adore

There is a very definite Autumnal nip in the air.  I can feel my hibernation senses tingling and I am excited about woolly socks, fires, endless cups of tea and lots of crafting. 

As I said earlier, it has been a very long year so far and it’s time to take life down a few notches and recharge my batteries. 

I love the excuse to snuggle up under a blanket with an audiobook and my crochet.  Also, the colours of Autumn are my jam – I am so inspired by these few months of all things earthy!

I will be back on Friday the 4th of October.

Fay x

 

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August 2, 2019 @ 8:48 pm

Episode 45 - None (Yarn) Shall Pass

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

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

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

 

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

 

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

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

 

Ko-fi_Red.png

 

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

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

 

2 – Perth Project Runway update

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 Ep_45_En_route.jpg

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

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

 

3 – Final Destination

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

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

 Ep_45_FO.jpg

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

 

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

 

4 – En Route

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

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

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

 

Ep_45_old_dog.jpg

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

 

5 – Feeding the Habit

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

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

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

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

 Ep_45_habit.jpg

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

 

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

 

Ep_45_habit_2.jpg

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

 

6 – Quick News Beats

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

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

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

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

August - Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th

September - Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd  

October - Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th  

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

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

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

 

7 – Big UP

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Fay x

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July 23, 2019 @ 12:30 pm

Healthy Crochet Interview with Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health

Hello!

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

 

 

PLEASE NOTE

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Fay x

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July 5, 2019 @ 8:59 am

Episode 44 - Go Garment Go

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 44 – Go Garment Go. 

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

 

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

 

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

 

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

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

 

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

Have you ever looked to buy a skein of variegated yarn and struggled to see how it might look crocheted up?  I know that work has been done on how stocking stitch knits up and it’s because of SpaceCadet’s brilliant blogpost that I am doing this work for crochet.

Many yarn dyers have samples of their yarns knitted up but fewer do that same for crochet.  I am pleased to report though that this is changing and more crochet is being sighted as swatches and samples at the yarn shows I am attending.  We are having a positive impact!

Reading a skein of variegated could really help you to work out whether it is going to work for you or not.  I have done some of the work for you, but if you really want an accurate gauge, you need to do some swatching too!  I have written and illustrated this for you in a blog post: 'How to read a skein of variegated yarn for crochet'.

 

As a rough guide, here is how many centimetres each stitch takes in 4 ply and DK, my favourite two weights of yarn:

4 ply/light fingering weight dc (US sc) uses about 3 - 3.5cm per stitch using a 3mm hook

4 ply/light fingering weight htr (US hdc) uses about 4.5 - 5cm per stitch using a 3mm hook

4 ply/light fingering weight tr (US dc) uses about 6 – 6.5cm per stitch using a 3mm hook

DK dc (US sc) uses about 5cm per stitch using a 4.5mm hook.

DK htr (US hdc) uses about 7cm per stitch using a 4.5mm hook.

DK tr (US dc) uses about 9cm per stitch using a 4.5mm hook.

So, next time you are thinking about buying a variegated yarn in person, you can measure the length of each colour change (you will need to take a little measuring tape with you) to see whether the colour changes are right for you.

As a general rule, I prefer variegated yarns with quick colour changes for crochet.  I think that it leads to a nicer looking, more cohesive finished project.  You may prefer otherwise, and either way, it’s good to understand where your preference lies so that you buy yarn that you are more likely to want to use. 

Please don’t just walk into a yarn shop or to a yarn vendor at a show and start opening out their skeins of yarn.  If you ask them nicely, they will most likely be happy for you un-skein the yarn and take a look at it.  Often there are hidden colours inside anyway that you may not see when it is all twisted up. 

 

2 – Perth Project Runway update

The votes are now closed on the five garments that I short-listed (I have kept the list below in case you want to take another look at them).  The top that won by one vote (between Instagram and Ravelry votes counted at midnight on Thursday 13th June) was Blurred Lines by Deanne at Addydae Designs.  This was a pattern that was suggested time and time again by many of you and so I am unsurprised that it came out as the favourite.  The Citizen Pullover by Kabila Sri Punnusamy (Tunisian crochet) was the next favourite.

ep_43_Blurred_LInes.jpeg

ALT TEXT: Blurred Line jumper is being worn outside.  It is a light grey with a

faded core down the trunk and arms of a light grey/teal variegated yarn.

ep_43_Citizen_Pullover.jpg

ALT TEXT: Citizen Pullover is being worn outside beside a city building.  It is a light grey with coral pink stripes running on diagonals.  Quite a long pullover with short sleeves.

1 – Citizen Pullover by Kabila Sri Ponnusamy

2 – Liza Pullover by Yuliya Tkacheva

3 – Blurred Lines by Addydae Designs

4 – Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild

5 – Bruni Top by Elven Handmade

 

On the Friday of Woollinn Festival of Yarn I scooted over the marquee to see Bernie at Bear in Sheep's Clothing to choose a variegated yarn to go with the teal blue that she had custom dyed for me.  This was the day that Bernie was launching this new base which is called Corrie Halo (50% Corriedale and 50% Mohair).   

Ep_44_habit_1.jpg

ALT TEXT: Semi tonal blue yarn with a real halo to it and it’s called ‘Sprucey Bonus’ because it is the colour

of the underside of a Spruce Tree.  It is paired with a yarn called ‘Sulk’ and is on an ecru pink

base with small patches of teal blue, acid yellow, sea green and plummy purples.   

I know that when Stasia made her version of Blurred Lines, it took three weeks and she was working on it almost constantly.  Although I have until the 6th September to get this jumper crocheted, it’s still going to be a tall order with all of the other things I have going on at the moment.

The lovely Catherine asked whether I was going to host a make along for this project.  I wasn’t but I am now!  It’s all very informal and you have from now until 7th September to make or finish off a garment.  WIPs are allowed, it can be in any craft and any garment pattern, you just need to use the #crochetcirclemal and I have also opened a Ravelry thread for you to add to.

3 – Final Destination

I only have one FO to show you, my latest version of the Arria shawl.  I finally finished this just before I headed up to Cumbria to vend at Woolfest last weekend. 

This version is in John Arbon Textiles Harvest Hues (4ply/light fingering 400m/100g) in shades Russet and Blue Spruce and I am loving the shawl in solid colours.

ep_44_FO.jpg

ALT TEXT:  White background with a vintage mannequin covered in the Arria shawl.  It has a deep V front with dark petrol blue triangle segments running in a spine up the centre of the shawl.  The rest of the shawl is in a russet brown/orange colour. 

4 – En Route

Monogamous me means that I am just working on the Blurred Lines jumper at the moment as a personal project.  There is a design project on the go at the moment but I will show you that in a future episode. 

So, for the next couple of episodes, it may just be all about Blurred Lines because it needs up to 600g of 4 ply yarn  - that’s 2,400m of yarn to crochet! 

So, here’s my progress so far.  I have completed the neck ribbing and the second round of increases.  I keep on trying the project on to make sure it fits nicely.  If you are interested in making one of these, I am making notes for each stage that I pass through in my Ravelry project.  If you want to take a look, simply search for ‘Perth Project Runway Blurred Lines’ under projects.  I will also be adding updates to Ravelry.

Ep_44_en_route.jpg

ALT TEXT: The collar and beginnings of a yolk in a mid teal blue sit on a grey background.  To the right is 

a small ball of the same coloured yarn and above is a cake of the variegated pinky/ecru yarn which is the contrast colour.

 

I am hoping to get to the contrast colour in the next couple of days and am intrigued to see how the variegated skein will work up.

Deanne, the designer of Blurred Lines is an absolute star and has offered up some free patterns.  To be in with a chance of winning one of her brilliantly written patterns, simply leave a comment in YouTube, Ravelry (there is a specific thread called Garment Make Along in time for Perth Festival of Yarn) or on the Instagram post for Episode 44 over @crochet_circle_podcast

 

5 – Feeding the Habit

Oooh, it has been a bit of a month and all of my purchases probably seem ridiculous, but I have plans, oh yes, I have plans!! Mwahahahahahahaaaa!

My biggest plan of all is that I have signed up to a solstice to solstice yarn ban with a friend.  So, design yarn aside, I won’t be buying any yarn until the winter solstice on the 21st December.    In 2017 I only bought design yarn, so know that I can manage 6 months.  It is time to work through some of my stash!

 

Ep_44_habit_5.jpg

ALT TEXT: Two handmade bags on a grey background.  The one on the left has a deep brown base and the top is bold autumnal coloured flowers and seed heads with a drawstring.  Little balls of different coloured fibres are spilling out of the top and some ocean-inspired stitch markers are nearby.  The bag to the right has a material handle and is cream with shop fronts of cafes and coffee shops.

These two bags were lovely gifts from friends.  Marceline and I agreed way back at Edinburgh Yarn Festival to do a bag swap as we both aim to improve our machine sewing skills.  The date was set for when she was over vlogging Woollinn Festival of Yarn. You can catch up with Marce’s trip to Dublin and the festival from her YouTube Channel.  While I was vending at this festival – one of the friendliest I have ever been to – I was also given a bag by Sophie from A Spring Snowflake Podcast.  I am so spoiled!

Then there is some yarn!  I have been at the John Arbon Open Mill Weekend, Woollinn Festival of Yarn and Woolfest in the last month.  Here is what has come in.  The John Arbon wool is a mill special; before the open weekend they spin various colours together, so they are one-offs and sometimes move into a bit of a fade.  I bought a jumper’s worth of this in a 4 ply and it will fade from a blue and cream into teal and cream. I also have a jumper’s quantity of the undyed Romney that I initially bought for my knitted Canisp jumper.  I finished Canisp and the shape didn’t look right on me but looked fab on Juliet and she insisted on replacing the finished jumper with the means for me to make myself another. The Romney Sportweight is now destined to become a Bark Sweater which will be my next crocheted garment after I have finished Blurred Lines. 

Ep_44_habit_2.jpg

ALT TEXT: Four skeins of marled yarn on a grey background.  The skeins are all marled with a grey/cream but fade from teal to blue.

Ep_44_habit_3.jpg

ALT TEXT: THree skeins of a mushroom brown wool lie on a grey background.  The labels have sheep on them and sat Romney.  The twist of the yarn is obvious and squishy.

At Woollinn I picked up a couple of skeins for a one-skein shawl design that I am working on.  The first is a beautiful blend of Alpaca and silk from Tara at Irish Artisan Yarns.  I love that Tara is inspired by the colours of her home turf of the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland.  The second is a skein of Alpa-Si-Li (50% Alpaca, 25% silk, 25% linen) in colourway Passion, by Dye Dye Done.  I was vending along from both of these lovely vendors at Woollinn which was an absolute delight.  Dye Dye Done is a husband and wife team.  Hanna is an extremely talented knitwear designer and Daniel is the yarn dyer – what a duo!  They also have vegan yarns.    

Ep_44_habit_4.jpg

ALT TEXT: Grey background with a skein of pale, delicate and luxurious yarn at the front from Irish Artisan Yarns.  It is pink, purple and grey. 

Behind it sits a ball of yarn with the tail pulled forward.  It's plummy purple/scarlet with silver slivers running through it.

On our way up to Woolfest in Cumbria, we stopped off at Blackwell Arts and Crafts House.  It is a stunning example of arts and crafts architecture and interior design and well worth a visit.  It’s right beside Lake Windermere.  While I was there, I picked up a Japanese book on embroidery called ‘Simply Stitched’ by Yumiko Higuchi which is stuffed full of beautiful projects that you can use odds and ends of wool and cotton for. 

Ep_44_habit_6.jpg

ALT TEXT: Grey background with the 'Simply Stitched' book lying flat.  The front cover shows

examples of embroidery motifs (trees, flowers, a chicken), all sewn with wool thread. 

 

6 – Quick News Beats

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

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

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

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

July – Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st

August - Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th

September - Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd  

October - Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th  

November - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th  

December - Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th  

2 – The good folk behind The Craft Bank on Ravelry, Lisa and Sophie are hosting a gift-along.  You just need to go to The Craft Bank Group on Ravelry and fill in the very quick online survey that is linked and then you will be paired up with a partner.  I have already signed up, so some lucky, lucky soul will be getting a dodgy project bag from me…

3 –  I have a handful of yarn shows left that I am vending at in 2019 and the next one to let you know about is Yarnfolk in Northern Ireland on Saturday 3rd of August.  It’s a one-day show in Whitehead (accessible via train from Belfast) and is such a friendly show.  This will be my third year vending there, which says a lot really.

 

7 – J’adore

While I was up in the Lake District with my friend Annabel, our lovely hosts Sarian and Andrew took us for a picnic to Derwent Water.  It was a cracking evening by the lakeshore and I went swimming! In the lake!

ep_44_j_adore.jpg

ALT TEXT: A lake with mountains in the background.  Some stones are in the foreground with various people

out swimming and a man and his dog on a paddle board.  I am one of the swimmers!

I am now a little obsessed with the idea of wild swimming.  It wasn’t as cold as you might think!  My very lovely Papa Bear has asked me to go to Iceland with him in November, so I see a lot of trips to geothermal plunge pools and outdoor pools in my future. 

 

I will be back on Friday the 2nd of August.

Fay x

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June 6, 2019 @ 11:52 pm

Episode 43 - Monogamous Me

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 43 – Monogamous Me.

 

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

 

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

 

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

 

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

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

 

Ko-fi_Red.png

 

1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have recently been on a frogging spree.  I had a few things in my wardrobe (crocheted and knitted) that I just wasn’t wearing and I know I can put the yarn to better use.  So, I frogged a cowl and a top.

 

When you do this, the resulting yarn has kinks in it.  These kinks are the memory that was crocheted in – and it tends to remain in the yarn.  From experience, it is much better to freshen the yarn up before you use it again.  I once knitted a pair of socks from a sock blank and even though they have been worn and washed many times, the fabric still shows the kinks and I’m not that fond of them because of it.

 

So, to get around that, here is what I suggest you do with your frogged yarn:

 

1 – Re-skein it.  I use the back of two dining chairs to create the circular loops that make up a skein.  You could also use an umbrella swift if you have one, but I find it just as easy to use chairs.

2 – Make sure you tie your skein ends together and place a tie in at least one other place around the skein to stop it getting tangled. 

3 – Submerge your skein in water.  I would usually add a wool wash to this so that I am giving the yarn a clean at the same time.  After about 20 minutes, take the skein out of the water and squeeze out as much excess yarn as possible.

4 – Hang your skein out to dry.  This is best done outside because it will drip.  I pop the skein onto an s-hook and hang it from my washing line.

5 – To get all of the kinks out, attach something heavy to the bottom of the skein with another s-hook.  I used one of our camping torches as a weight.

 

I tested two skeins in this manner, one with a weight and one without.  The skein without the weight still had some little kinks in it – but it was linen which I often find has kinks in it.  The skein that was weighed down is lovely and kink-free.

 

Here’s a link to a tutorial video from HueLoco on how she re-skeins and ties her yarn.

 

I have another quick trick for you.  It seems that many, many, many of us didn’t know about the little cone that can be detached from Gutterman thread bobbins.  If you look at the bobbin, you will see that there is an extra bit at one end.  That end can be twisted off and inside you can store your needle and thread or trap down the loose end!  I know.  It’s actual magic!

 

2 – Perth Project Runway update

Thank you to everyone that gave suggestions for a garment that I could crochet for Perth Festival of Yarn and the catwalk.  The suggestions were fantastic and I have pulled them all into a bundle on Ravelry for you to look at. 

 

I looked at all of them and created a shortlist of five:

 

1 – Citizen Pullover by Kabila Sri Ponnusamy

2 – Liza Pullover by Yuliya Tkacheva

3 – Blurred Lines by Addydae Designs

4 – Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild

5 – Bruni Top by Elven Handmade

ep_43_Citizen_Pullover.jpgep_43_Liza_Pullover.jpgep_43_Blurred_LInes.jpegep_43_Bark_Sweater.jpgep_43_Bruni_Top.jpg

ALT TEXT: Photos L-R show the five different Designs

1 - Citizen Pullover has a main colour of light grey with diagonal stripes  in both directions in a dark coral.  Short sleeves.

2 - Liza Pullover - all in grey with a grid like/basket weave construction and short sleeves.

3 - Blurred Lines has main colour at the top and bottom in a light grey and fades into a central yarn of variegated teal and grey through bust, waist and arms.  

4 - Bark Sweater is in a light grey and has clear open/ lace sections that are leaf shaped.

5 - Bruni Top is in a dusky pink and is lacy all over with a hollow at the base of the back and ties at the base.

 

Now we are ready for the next stage – you get to vote which garment wins.  I have created a thread in Ravelry and will pop a poll up on Instagram during the weekend.  Whichever pattern is chosen, that is the pattern I will crochet for the show.  So, get voting!  It’s a short vote because I will be getting the yarn from Bernie at Bear in Sheep's Clothing when I see her at Woollinn Yarn Festival on the 14th of June.   

 

3 – Final Destination

I have been a monogamous crafter of late.  My work-life is pretty full on at the moment and I know that having lots of WIPs fogs my mind, so I have been trying to only have one crochet and one knitting project on that go at any one time.  It’s amazing how quickly you get through projects when you just concentrate on them one at a time!

 

Part of what spurred me on with this is that it has taken me eight (!) months to complete my Fallen Leaves socks and I have quite a lot of guilt attached to that.

Ep_43_fo_1.jpg

ALT TEXT: A pair of socks on a grey background.  They are crocheted from the same pattern which has a waffle type effect. The sock on the left is a light blue with pops of green and grey.  The sock on the right is a bright raspberry pink and some striping can be seen where the skein has slightly darker patches. 

The pattern is by Vicki Brown and I used two different yarns from Kathryn at Crafternoon Treats.  The pink is called Darkly Raspberry and it’s a non-superwash blend of 80% Corriedale and 20% nylon.  The blue speckled one is called Forest Skies and is Superwash, 80% Corriedale and 20% nylon.  I deliberately did the other sock in the same pattern but using a different base from Kathryn so that I could investigate any differences with superwash and non-superwash and durability.  I have enough yarn in both colours left to knit a pair of socks (also different colours) so that I can test the yarn for knitted socks too. 

 

I am always on the lookout for yarns that are suitable for socks and aren’t super-wash or have a reduced nylon content. 

 

The second item I finished was the latest version of Doppio Colosseum in the birthday yarn colourway ‘The Moor’ that RiverKnits dyed up for Kate at Northern Yarn in Lancashire.  This is proper woolly wool – it’s a Poll Dorset breed (Jennett 4 ply is Poll Dorset Lambswool) and it has a real plumpy squish to it and because of that, I moved up to a 3.5mm hook so that the fabric didn’t become dense and rigid.  This shawl will be heading up to Northern Yarn next week or so, so if you are ever in there, you will be able to give it a squish.

 

My final FO is a new shawl design that I have been working on.  This will be my third year vending at Yarnfolk in Whitehead Northern Ireland.  Louse runs the show and also has a gorgeous yarn shop – Lighthouse Yarns, in the middle of town.

 

 

Ep_43_fo_2.jpg

ALT TEXT:  The tip of a striped shawl in three colours (dark stormy blue, raspberry pink and seaweed green). 

At the end of each colour stripe is a point, representing a rooftop.

At the end of the festival last year, Louise got talking about crochet designs for the 2019 festival and she asked whether I would like to do one.  Well, I have never known so many crocheters as there are in Whitehead (far more crocheters than knitters in fact), so it is a complete honour to be able to create a pattern for the festival. 

 

I decided on a shawl because almost every crocheter I know loves a shawl, but I also wanted to represent the town of Whitehead in some way.  Whitehead is a Victorian seaside town and has pretty coloured houses along the shorefront – that is absolutely perfect for pulling into a shawl design. 

 

On the same timeline, John Arbon Textiles released their new sock yarn – Exmoor Sock and the range of colours is fabulous.  They come in 50g skeins, which makes them perfect for adding colour to shawls without having to break the bank.  Et voila, Kinbane (Gaelic for Whitehead) was dreamt up as three colour striped shawl with pointed rooftop edges based on the shorefront houses of the town.  I didn’t think that naming the shawl after a spot was a good idea 😉

 

The shawl uses 150g of the main colour and 50g each of two other colours, so has real potential to be a stash buster.  I can see this being worked up with variegated yarns too. 

 

The stitch used is a Half treble herringbone stitch (half double in the US) and it creates a lovely thin fabric that is perfect for shawls.  I was also consciously trying to create a shawl that is gender neutral, which I think I have achieved?

 

If you are coming to the festival (Saturday 3rd August), Whitehead, Northern Ireland, then you will receive a download code for the pattern in the event programme.  John and Juliet will also be bringing Exmoor Sock with them, so you can look at all of the colours and ask me for colour combinations.   

 

After the show, the pattern will go live on Ravelry, on my website and hard copies will be available too, but I will let you know all about that in the August podcast.

 

4 – En Route

I only have one crochet thing on the go at the moment – see – I’m being monogamous.  Because I am ridiculous, I thought I could quickly crochet up another sample of my Arria shawl before I head down to vend at the John Arbon Open Weekend on Friday.  It’s not going to be finished on time but will at least be there for folk to squish and see even more crocheted items in their lovely yarns.  I also love standing and crocheting as I talk to customers, so that’s what I will be working on this weekend.

 Ep_43_en_route.jpg

ALT TEXT: Grey background with the beginnings of a triangular shawl and three cakes of yarn at the top. 

The main colour is russet brown and the small triangles making up the spine of the shawl are in a deep teal colour.

 

This sample is in Harvest Hues (4ply/light fingering 400m/100g) in shades Russet and Blue Spruce.

 

5 – Feeding the Habit

It has been a very quiet month for purchases, mainly because I’m off to the mill weekend and we all know I will be incapable of coming back without wool from there, and also, I am vending at Woollinn the week after and pick up the yarn from Bernie for the Perth Runway.  So, I curbed my will to buy all the things this month.

 

That said, I did receive some yarn through the post from Kim at Town End Yarns.  I was talking to her at Yarndale back in September about sock yarn no, or reduced nylon but using alpaca for strength instead.  Kim specialises in Alpaca based yarns and also knows a thing or two about socks.

 

She sent me two cakes of her Cumbria Sock Yarn natural and pink.  The blend is 47% British Alpaca, 43% Bluefaced Leicester which is local to her and 10% nylon and it’s all made in the UK. 

 

I plan to knit these up so that I can test out the durability of a reduced nylon blend of sock yarn.  It is beautiful to touch. 

 

I want to get to a point where I can test out lots of different reduced/no nylon yarns to see how they perform.  I generally stand up all day long, so I know I can put them through some hard work. 

 

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – I have had to change the date of the June Global Hook Up because I am now vending that weekend.  The new dates and times are Saturday 22nd June at 8 pm (BST) and Sunday 23rd June at 9 am BST.

2 – Thank you to those that are taking me up on my ‘Pay what you can pattern pricing’.  It’s available on my website for electronic versions and if you are unable to pay the lowest amount of £2 then please get in touch with me using the details given in The Craft Bank group on Ravelry and I will send you the electronic pattern for free, no questions asked.

3 – The carpet moths are back in my living room.  We haven’t used that room for months, so these are very likely moth eggs that were lying dormant all winter until the rise in temperature.  Just a quick reminder on how to protect your stash from the moth larvae. 

  • Put your yarn into a sealable bag.
  • Freeze the bag for five days.
  • Take the bag out of the freezer for five days but leave the yarn sealed inside.
  • Freeze the bag for a further five days.

 

The initial freeze should kill off the larvae.  If there are some particularly hardy ones, they will survive the freeze and come to life during the defrosting period, and then be killed off during the second freeze.  Then choose to either store your yarn in those bags or in a moth free room of your home.  

 

My Stash Palace is 100% moth free which is why I freeze all yarns before they go in there. 

 

 

7 – Big Up

This month’s Big Up goes to Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health.  Lyndsey gave up her time to come and be interviewed and answer all of your questions on how to craft and look after your bodies.

 

She is great fun and very knowledgeable.  We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours out in my garden talking about crochet. 

 

Lyndsey has just started cooking curries and as a thank you from us to her, I used some of the money that you have kindly added to the Kofi account to buy her three, second hand (of course) curry recipe books from my favourite Indian recipe write, Anjum Anand.

 

It was also Claudia’s birthday this week – happy birthday my friend!

 

8 – J’adore

 

My laser cutter!  I got a proper kick up the backside when I realised that I have had it for a year and not produced half the things I wanted to.  I have learned a lot with this machine and really love the quality of goods I am getting as a result.  This weeks’ efforts have centred around needle and hook gauges and Kitchener and crochet stitch reckoners.  I am trying to produce things that are practical, functional and look good.  Watch this space for more things to come.

 

Even better, do you have any suggestions for tools that would be useful? Sock blockers are a given!

 

I will be back on Friday the 5th of July.

 

Fay x

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May 3, 2019 @ 9:25 am

Episode 42 - The Craft Bank

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 42 – The Craft Bank.

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

In this episode I cover: Update review of KnitPro ball winder; Craft Inclusivity; Perth Project Runway; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

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

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

 Ko-fi_Red.png

 

1 – Review

Last month I reviewed my super-duper snazzy new KnitPro wooden ball winder and I thought that a month on, I should give you a bit of an update.  Put simply – I love it even more than I did last month. 

I have now tested out how big a cake it can wind and the answer is big!  I managed to wind 350g of 4 ply before the cake went wonky and created its own planetary rings. 

On the downside, at one point, the bearing cone came off.  I think that is my fault for caking up anti-clockwise rather than clockwise.

ep_42_habit_5.jpg 

ALT TEXT: A massive cake of yarn (350g of 4 ply in a light bluey grey colour with mid blue neps) on a grey background with standard cake of 100g yarn for contrast.  

 

2 – Craft inclusivity

Update on the open letter and resources to yarn dyers, yarn shops and vendors – this piece of work is ongoing and something that I will sound you out on in the next podcast.  I don’t want to go out with the open letter until I have the resources ready and available.  I’m not trying to bash people with a crochet stick, I genuinely want to be part force for change for crochet to be given the respect it is due.  More to come on this.

I am also really proud to tell you about a group that my friend Lisa (@lisa_raspberrycrochet on Instagram) has pulled together on Ravelry.  The inclusivity discussions on Instagram have moved into the realm of pattern and yarn prices and how as dyers and designers, we can make those goods readily available for all.  

Lisa has created a group in Ravelry called The Craft Bank.  The premise is a simple one.  If you have yarn that you are destashing, you can offer it up for free or an affordable price.  The idea is that the yarn can be passed on to someone that will use it and is unlikely to be able to afford to purchase it otherwise.

There is a second thread in the group whereby, crafters are offering to buy patterns for crafters and designers are offering up their patterns for free.

By the end of this bank holiday weekend I will have done the following to ensure that I am contributing positively to this:

1 – For all of my electronic patterns on my website, I will have incorporated a payment scale for patterns.  They generally sell for £4 per pattern and there will be a scale of £2 - £6 for each pattern.  The concept is that you pay what you can afford and would genuinely like to see people on lesser incomes, taking me up on this offer.

2 -  I will have added to give-away patterns to The Craft Bank Thread (crochet and knit).

3 – I will have added some destash yarns to the yarn thread and will probably keep on adding some little and often.  Due to the cost of postage, this will be open to UK residents only – sorry.

So, if you have a yarn stash that you want to decrease or want to know that you are directly supporting fellow crafters, I encourage you to go to The Craft Bank Group on Ravelry and see what support you can lend.

 

3 - Perth Project Runway

I have something very exciting to tell you.  Not only am I vending at Perth Festival of Yarn with my company, KNIT IT – HOOK IT – CRAFT IT, but I am also looking to create some crochet gorgeousness to send down their runway!

On the Saturday night, there is a Gala Dinner and as part of that dinner, they have a runway fashion show of knitted and crocheted items.  Eva heads up the Perth Festival of Yarn team and we have been in conversation about more crochet representation at the show and she asked whether I might be able to crochet a garment for the runway. 

Ehm, yeah I’ll do that!  The thing is though, that I would like the Crochet Clan to be part of it too. 

So, here’s what I would love your help with.  I need to find a suitable jumper/seater/top pattern.  You know what my style is and ultimately this needs to be something that I will want to wear after the event. 

I am looking for something really contemporary.  They yarn that I am going to use is a new base that Bernie from Bear in Sheeps Clothing is launching at Woollinn this year.  It’s a 4 ply (395m per 100g, light fingering weight) yarn and a blend of 50% Corriedale and 50% Mohair – so, think soft, silky, drapey with a fluffy halo! I can stretch to 6 x 100g of 4 ply, but I would prefer something around the 4-500g mark.

Let’s talk about granny stitch and granny squares.  I know lots of you love them, but I just don’t and that isn’t the image that I want to portray for contemporary crochet going down the Perth Festival of Yarn Runway.  So, without being rude, please don’t send me ideas of crocheted garments that have these elements.  I really want to show how crochet is moving on from what people already perceive it to be.

So, here’s what to do if you want to be part of Perth Project Runway:

1 – Respond with YouTube comment or Podbean comment or DM me @crochet_circle_podcast (on Instagram).

2 – Let me know what the garment is called and who the designer is.

3 – Don’t worry if the design is for DK or worsted weight rather than 4 ply.  I can make changes to the pattern to make it fit and be able to use Bernie’s yarn. 

In next month’s podcast, I will have looked at all the options sent to me and whittled it down to 3-5 patterns that I would be happy to make and wear.  You then get to vote on the final pattern choice and your decision is final, not mine!

I will make a bundle of all of your suggestions in Ravelry so that you can easily see all of the suggestions in one place.

I will pick up the yarn from Bernie in June (it will likely be a custom dye lot) and then get hooking away from mid-June, ready for Perth Festival of Yarn on the 7th & 8th September. 

Festival tickets went on sale last weekend and it is looking like a fantastic show.  I think there is still a handful of tickets for the Gala evening – it would be lovely to have some Crochet Clan folk there if you fancy it?

It’s all very exciting!

 

4 – Final Destination

This is my one and only FO this month and I finished it at the beginning of the month when I was in Scotland!  I was vending at two, weekend shows, which has taken up most of my time.

I don’t seem to like this jumper until I put it on and then I like it.  I seriously considered ripping it all out this morning and then I put it on to record the podcast and though “you’re not so bad!”

eo_42_fo_2.jpg

ALT TEXT a flat lay of my Esja Sweater on a wooden floor.  The sweater is crocheted using a mid-blue grey yarn as the main colour and a speckled mid-blue, teal and rust yarn for the crocheted brioche areas of the yolk.  

 

5 – En Route

I don’t have much to show here either – sorry.  I am just about to finish off another Doppio Colosseum that I have crocheted for Kate at Northern Yarn in Lancaster.  She is keen to have more crochet in her shop and as part of her 3rd Birthday celebrations this Friday, she has had some of her Poll Dorset lambswool custom dyed by an indie dyer.  Two skeins of the wool were passed to me to crochet Doppio Colosseum.  The colours and indie dyer are under wraps until Friday night, so I won’t be able to share it with you until then.  Needless to say, I will show it off as an FO in the June podcast and post about it on Instagram this weekend.

I have also made a start on my Canisp jumper using the Romney/Corriedale yarn that I showed off in last month’s podcast.  It’s just rounds of knitted stripes for now, and so I won’t show you that until I am a bit further in.   The Romney/Corriedale is working up a treat though and I plan to have this off the needles, ready for the John Arbon Textiles Open Weekend at the beginning of June.  If you fancy coming to that, just follow the link above – it’s a great day trip out, but you have to book.

 

6 – Feeding the habit

I’m trying to slow down on my wool purchases.  My Stash Palace is bulging at the moment and it’s starting to make me feel a little uneasy.  That said, I still have some Feeding the habit for you this month, but a fair amount of it was given to me as presents.

If you watch my Instagram stories, you will know that I was at the New Lanark Mill in Scotland at the beginning of April.  I first went there as a Conservation student, about 23 years ago.  If you want to know more about the mill, follow this link. It’s a very interesting place and happens to now spin Scottish wool on their original machinery. 

 

ep_42_new_lanark.jpg

ALT TEXT: New Lanark Mill in the sunrise/set, nestled by the river at the bottom of a steep valley.  Lots of mill buildings glowing orange with green trees surrounding the site.

ep_42_new_lanark_2.jpg

ALT TEXT: Inside New Lanark Mill with arched windows and vintage macjinery the length of the long hall.  Old tiled floor and a worker keeping the machinery going.

I had promised myself a jumper’s quantity of wool from there are my birthday jumper wool this year.  What I didn’t expect was to find such an utter bargain.  There was a random hank of 4 ply yarn that was labelled up as £22.50.  I asked them to check whether that was right, because it seemed like a lot of wool for such little money, and I was assure that it was correct.  When I got it home, I discovered that it was a 450g hank!  So, this is destined to be some form of colour-work birthday jumper – probably knitted because of the low twist on it.  See photo from ball winder cakes for New Lanark wool purchased (Donegal Silk Tweed 4 ply ‘Light Limestone’ 90% wool/10% silk)

I also had a very good discussion with them about crochet and crocheted samples.  They don’t have any out in their shop, but I am going to design something in their yarn – probably next year.  Think – thistle based colour-work shawl and you will be spot-on.

When I was vending at Wonderwool Wales last weekend, my stand neighbour was a lovely lady called Helen from Nellie and Eve.  We share the same environmental ideals and Helen’s naturally dyed British breed yarns quite honestly took my breath away.

ep_42_Helen_from_Nellie_and_eve.jpg ep_42_habit_1.jpg

ALT TEXT: Photo 1 is of Helen at her stand surrounded by lovely skeins of pastel, soft wools. 

Photo 2 is a close up of the two skeins of 4ply British wool I bought from Helen.  The light siege green skeins lie on a grey background with white skein bands. 

Helen is keen to have crocheted samples on her stand and I want to help her achieve that.  So, I bought two skeins of wool (75% BFL/25% Masham in a 4 ply) from her and the ideas for them are starting to filter through.  It may be next year before any of these designs come to fruition, but I am happy to be able to support companies that really want to have crochet as part of their offering.

I also received some very lovely, surprise gifts through the post from Tania and Edwyn.

 

 

ep_42_habit_4.jpg ep_42_habit_3.jpg

ALT TEXT: Photo 1 - three skeins of creamy Dorest Down wool.  One lies on top of the other two, with white/green labels and the black TJ Frog logo.

Photo 2 - Grey background with a linen, zippered bag with a print of large Dorest Buttons on oranges, browns and black.  Green TJ Frog tag lies to the left.   

ep_42_habit_2.jpg

 Photo 3 - grey background with a "crochet Workshop' book by James Walters.

 

 

7 - Quick News Beats 

1 – Winners of 3 year podiversary were announced and I have been in touch with everyone.  Thank you for entering and giving so many great comments on what crafts you would like to master in 2019.

2 – Thank you to everyone that is supporting me through the Ko-fi account.  I was really quite bowled over by the response.  During the course of the weekend I promise to go and grab a coffee on you and sit in my local town, crocheting and chilling out. 

Thank you also for leaving comments, tagging me on Instragram, following me.  It all makes a massive difference to the algorithm and helps to wide our community. 

3 – May Global Hook Ups are on Saturday 11th May at 8pm BST and the 12th May at 9am BST.  Everyone is welcome.

4 – I am recording the interview with Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health in a couple of weeks, so you still have time to get some questions in.  The interview will likely come out in July because of other time pressures.

5 – Happy 50th Birthday to Katherine- you know, the one with all the cats on Instagram!   

 

8 – J’adore

I have a new to me podcast for you - Quirky Monday Craftcast by Caleisha AKA @nadiratani 

Caleisha is based in Florida and is primarily a crocheter but dabbles in lots of other crafts too.  She is bright, positive and full of energy!  Go watch her, she will most definitely help to top up your positivity batteries.

I will be back on Friday the 7th June.

Fay x

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April 5, 2019 @ 5:03 am

Episode 41 - Three Years Old

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

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

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

 

This podcast is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

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

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

Ko-fi_Red.png 

1 – Review

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

Ep_41_plastic_ball_winder.jpg 

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

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

Ep_41_ball_winder_review.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ep_41_yarn_cakes.jpg Ep_41_yarn_cakes_2.jpg

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

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

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

 

2 – Crochet inclusivity

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

3 – Final Destination

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

Ep_41_The_Annual_1.jpg Ep_41_FO_3.jpg

Ep_41_The_Annual_2.jpg Ep_41_The_Annual_3.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ep_41_FO_1.jpgEp_41_FO_2.jpg

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

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

 

4 – En Route

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

Next month, I WILL be wearing my Esja jumper!

 

5 – Designs in Progress

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

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

Ep_41_WIP.jpg

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

 

6 – Feeding the habit

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

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

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

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

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

Ep_41_Shilasdair.jpg Ep_41_Nikki.jpg

Ep_41_JAT.jpg Ep_41_Emily_K_Williams.jpg

Ep_41_Desiree_Abercairn.jpg Katie.jpg

Ep_41_Dragon_Hill.jpg

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

 

1.jpg  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

7 - Quick News Beats 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$108 a year for the Podbean hosting platform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

8 – J’adore

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

 

Here’s to another three years!

 

I will be back on Friday the 3rd May.

Fay x

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