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April 6, 2018 @ 8:08 am

Episode 28 - Crochet Clan

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 28 – Crochet Clan.

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks; Final Destination; En Route; DIPs; Feeding the habit; Big Up and J’adore?

This episode is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

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

 

1 - Quick news beats

Global Hook Up – The next Global Hook Up is due to be on Saturday 28th April 2018.  Keep an eye on the Ravelry thread and Instagram for updates as I will be vending that weekend at Wonderwool Wales and I’m not sure how good my internet reception is going to be at my accommodation, but I have a back-up plan called Claudia!

Time: Saturday 28th 2018 8:00 PM London

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819

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

Different Designer CAL – Is due to finish on the 9th April.  Thank you so much for all of your finished objects so far.  If you are looking for a new designer to try out, take a look at the threads to see who people have been working from.  Here are the designers to date:

Elisabeth Davis de Herraiz, Nicki Trench, Kat Goldin, Hannah from The Cozy Cottage, Sarah Hazell, Ashleigh Kiser, Sybil R, Vicki Brown, Joanne Scrace, Cecile Balladino, Planet June, Heidebears, Yarnville, Inspired Professor, Iron Lamb, Fay Dashper-Hughes (that felt weird to type), Zeens and Roger, Rachele Camona, Dedri Uys, Emma Potter and Yan Schenkel.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival – The vlog for Edinburgh Yarn Festival is live in all the usual places.  If you want to see what happened, look at the vlog.  Needless to say, we all had a ball and are looking to do it all again in 2019 in Dublin if you fancy joining us?  I may have been looking at accommodation options yesterday...

Spotify – the podcast can now be downloaded on Spotify which means that you can now listen on any wireless speaker you have linked to your Spotify account.  Just search for The Crochet Circle under Podcasts.

 

2 - Old dog, new tricks

Class on reading and understanding crochet patterns – I had a query from a watcher that asked if I had any hints on how to read patterns and charts and whether it is something I could go into more detail on.  It would fill quite  a few episodes up and so instead I searched out a really good alternative.  Craftsy has a class on Reading & Understanding Crochet Patternsh by Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby.  I watched this the other weekend when Craftsy had a free to view weekend and honestly, this Craftsy Tutorial would really get you on the right track and it is nicely delivered.  If you pay for the class, I think you get comprehensive notes to download too.

 

3 – Final Destination

Well, it has been all about shawls this month as I have finished three of them!

The first is my Treasure Island Shawl which is by Hannah Sigmund from The Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast.  I used The Little Grey Sheep yarn (colourway The Rhubarb Patch in their British Gotland 4 ply) and it crochets up a delight!  It’s for me and I have been using this shawl a lot over the last couple of weeks.

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Next up is the knitted version of Doppio Colosseum which I managed in record time to get it to Edinburgh Yarn Festival in time.  It’s knitted using 2 x 100g of John Arbon’s Devonia in colourway Bleeding Heart.  It’s off living with the Arbon’s and being used as a show sample.

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My last is a new design that I have just published called Loft. It’s a memory of all the people that made Edinburgh Yarn Festival so much fun!  The stripes in the shawl represent all the stairs we had to climb to get to the top of our accommodation called The Loft.  It uses 3 x 100g of John Arbon Knit By Numbers 4 ply.

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As always, there is a 50% discount code for these patterns, just type TCC50% at the check out on Ravelry.  The code is valid until the 13th April.  This shawl (or the one you can see down in En Route) will be heading to also be a sample with John and Juliet and the other will be on my stand at any shows I do throughout the year.

I also finished my cat blanket for Pom Pom.  It was part of the Granny A Long being hosted by Rosina and I used Álafoss Lopi in shades Dark Grey (0005), Mid Grey (0058) and Light Grey (0054).  I have more affinity for the granny stitch now but I’m sill not really a fan.  Luckily Pom loves it!

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4 – En Route

I also have made decent progress on my Stoborough shawl by Sarah Hazell.  It needs 300g of a 4-ply yarn (350m/100g) and I had previously dyed up 3 skeins of skinny merino for this project.  It’s my second Different Designer CAL entry but I don’t think it will be finished in time…

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5 - Designs in Progress

Loft really deserved to also be made in the new Knit By Numbers 4ply Copper shades.  I’m so close to the finishing line with this one so I will pop an FO photo up next month instead.

I am also working away on the knitted version.  I’m really pleased with it because I think I have replicated the size and spacing of the crocheted version. 

 

6 - Feeding the habit 

What I am showing you below is a mixture of things I have bought and lovely things that were given to me.  I am a very lucky lady!

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1 - RiverKnits Yarns Snow Dyed Mohair - 'There's No Business Like Snow Business', dyed on a narrow boat

2 - Birlinn Yarn - 4ply from the Outer Hebrides, Scotland

3 - Fjord Fibres - amazing sock yarn that now comes in 50g skeins! Dyed in Norway

4 - Cosmic Strings - 120g skein of Merino/ Yak/ Silk in colourway 'Pisces', dyed in Ednburgh

5 - Iona Single Origin Wool - DK in colourway 'Serpentie Green', from Scotland

6 - Hey Mama Wolf - Naturally dyed in Germany, Organic wool/ ramie, One of a Kind colourway

7 - Socks Yeah! - 4ply in colourways 'N1 Helium & N4 Xenon'

8 - Easy Knits - Mohair/ silk in colourway 'Orion'

9 - TJ Frog - Tania's new Dorset Horn in it's beautiful narutal colour

 

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I was also utterly spoiled by lovely friends.  On the left you can see some gorgeous yarns that Yael & Emmie gave me.  These include a teal coloured flax (linen) which is gorwn and dyed in Sweden; the top left is Gotland (DK) which is from a small independent mill in Sweden called Solkustens Spinnvertstad; and the one at the bottom is a single ply from Honer o Eir, a very small company that spins the fleece from their own sheep.  The chocolate?  Gone!

On the right is wool from Lana Rara which I was very kndly given by Rachel.  It's a blend of Bündner Oberländer and Merino and it's grown by lots of small holders and spun in Switzerland.  

My love of proper woolly wools deepens...

Below you can see soem Romney Marsh Wools from Corrine and some Nash Island 'Tide' which was given to me by Sarah and came all the way from Maineand the Starcroft micro-mill! 

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Look at all these goodies!  Thanks to Jenny, Vivian, Alyson, Clarisabeth, Caroline, Yael, Emmie, Lisa, Asia, Rosina, Sharon, Gill, Corrine and Charlie.  

Lovely things crafted things by lovely crafty friends. 

 

 7 – Big Up

I have more crafting podcasts for you:

Here are some of them for you to look at and listen to –

Little Drops of Wonderful - Ali is a crocheter and knitter and is wonderfully upbeat and positive.  She’s based in the UK and LOVES yellow! YouTube

FiberTrek – Sarah is a new to me podcaster, though I had heard of her before.  I really like her production style and the fact that she goes out into her fibre community to see what is happening in and around Maine.  If like me, you love woolly wool with provenance, then you will love what Sarah has to offer.

The Woolly Thistle/ New Hampshire Knits - Claire is a Scot, living in New Hampshire, US and has an audio knitting based podcast (New Hampshire Knits).  She is also the force behind The Woolly Thistle, which is an online yarn shop.  

 

9 – J’adore

Here is what I am currently loving:

  • Clan – all those people that make crochet a wonderful thing and something that I am proud to be part of.
  • Songs – When I get really busy, I fall back on Ben Howard and the Deluxe version of Every Kingdom It is my chill out music that just helps to keep me going.
  • Book – I started listening to The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson again. It has been about five years since I listened to is last and it is a fabulous set of books that will give me hours of entertainment while I crochet away in the coming weeks. 

See you all in May.

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

Instagram: Knitithookit

Instagram: Faydhdesigns

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups

 

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March 28, 2018 @ 11:31 am

Vlog - Edinburgh and EYF 2018

Hello folks,

 

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

 

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

 

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Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

Instagram: Knitithookit

Instagram: Faydhdesigns

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups

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March 3, 2018 @ 3:47 pm

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March 2, 2018 @ 10:12 am

Episode 27 - Global Hook Up

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

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs; DIPs; Feeding the habit; Big Up and J’adore?

This episode is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

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

Ep_27YouTube_slide.jpg

1 - Quick news beats

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

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

Time: March 24th, 2018 8:00 PM London

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

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

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

Different Designer CAL – Started on 1st March and runs until 8th April.  The premise is that you go to the ‘Different Designer CAL’ Ravelry thread and tell everyone who your favourite designer is.  You share why you love their designs and which your favourite one is.  You then get to look through all the suggestions or come up with your own. You HAVE to try out a new designer, that’s the only rule. I have two on the go already and will be doing jumper as a third when I have finished knitting a jumper that I am doing at the moment.

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

 

2 - Old dog, new tricks

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

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

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

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

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

 

3 - Finished Objects

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

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

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It is a proper sized wrap and uses linen stitch to get some nice stitch definition with the colour changes.  My yarns are Drops Alaska (03 Light Grey), a purple yarn that I hand dyed a couple of years ago (on a base from John Arbon) and a skein of Life in the Long Grass DK in colourway Viola (the one with pops of yellow and burgundy).  I have pulled together a project page on Ravelry for it (I am MaDashper on Ravelry).

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

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4 - Works in progress

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

I also have (just) started on my Stoborough shawl by Sarah Hazell.  It needs 300g of a 4-ply yarn (350m/100g) and I had previously dyed up 3 skeins of skinny merino for this project.  It’s my second Different Designer CAL entry.

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

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5 - Designs in Progress

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

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

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

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

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6 - Feeding the habit 

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

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Autumn by Freehold Yarn Company, Lancaster

     
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Single Farm Teeswater and Dodgson Farm from Northern yarns, Lancaster

 

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

Baa Ram Ewe's new Pip Colourwork 

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The Little Grey Sheep Hampshire 4-ply minis &

John Arbon Textiles Knit by Numbers 4-ply

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

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

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

 

 7 – Big Up

I have more crafting podcasts for you:

Here are some of them for you to look at:

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

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

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

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

 

9 – J’adore

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

So, here is what I am currently loving:

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

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

Fay x

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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February 28, 2018 @ 10:05 pm

Vlog - Yarn shopping in Lancaster

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

 

Fay x

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February 2, 2018 @ 8:20 am

Episode 26 - CALathon

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 26 – CALathon.

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks;  FOs; WIPs; DIPs; Feeding the habit, Review of Making Winter book; Big Up and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

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

 

1 - Quick news beats

Global Hook Up – Are you all ready to join in the first ever Global Hook Up?  Here are the joining details: 

Hi there,

Fay Dashper-Hughes is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: 1st Global Hook Up with The Crochet Circle Podcast Group

Time: Feb 3, 2018 7:00 PM London

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819

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

I have set it up so that everyone is on mute to begin with and then I can unmute you.  The meeting will start when I join in at 7pm (GMT) on Saturday 3rd February.  It will run for an hour and then we can take a call on whether it works and we want longer sessions.

The next session will be on 24th of February and may have a later start time so that it is more accessible from the Eastern time zones too.

You may need to bear with me whilst I get to grips with the technology.  If you are on Instagram, then please get involved by using #GlobalHookUp and following that hashtag.  That way I can see what you are all up to and comment on your projects.     

I will also release the meeting code on Instagram about an hour before it starts on Saturday night (GMT).

One Skein Wonderland CAL – By the time this podcast is out the CAL will have closed.  We will announce prizes shortly afterwards.

There have been so many great projects.  Even if you haven’t managed to join the CAL, I encourage you to look at the Finished Objects thread in the Love Charlie Podcast group on Ravelry and #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL on Instagram to see some fabulous projects.

Different Designer CAL – This will start on 1st March and run until 8th April.  The premise is that you go to the ‘Different Designer CAL’ Ravelry thread and tell everyone who your favourite designer is.  You share why you love their designs and which your favourite one is.  You then get to look through all the suggestions or come up with your own. You HAVE to try out a new designer, that’s the only rule. 

Other Crochet Circle CALs –

4th May to 30th June – Summer tops CAL

13th July – 31st August – Vintage Along (using either vintage yarn or a vintage pattern - 20+ years old) 

14th September – 26th October – Sock Along

24th December – 31st January – One Skein Wonderland CAL

Apart from the Different Designer CAL, I am going to add a new twist which is that you can enter WIPs so long as they fit the brief.

#FridayIsDyeDay – It’s great to see people taking part in this on the last Friday of every month.  There was some amazing speckled yarn by Lyndsay (andthentherewasmorgan on IG), Gemma (curlygem92 on IG) dyed up four fab bright colourways and started almost straight away to crochet a hat with one of them.  Haylie (fireweedfibres in IG) dyed up two colourways and Jo (dancing_goat_crafts on IG) dyed up some wool tops ready for spinning.   I managed to do some from my weekend accommodation.  I dyed a shop bought pair of cashmere gloves a bright turquoise and over-dyed some orange yarn that I had previously dyed and not loved.  It has already been crocheted up into a cowl which you can see in FOs. 

I also made my Mum dye up a skein which you can see below.  It’s and 80% Merino/20% silk mix and she wants me to knit her a pair of socks with it.

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Unravel Festival I am heading to Unravel on the Sunday 18th February.  If you are going to be about and fancy meeting up for a coffee, let me know. 

Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia Eeek, I’m going to be at this show working on the Erika Knight stand!  If you are going to the show, I will be there all day on the Friday on Stand F62.  Come and say hello.  I promise to both wave at you and hug you! Both are obligatory.

 

2 - Old dog, new tricks

Google images – If you have a specific pattern in your mind that you want to make, then a really quick way of trying to see whether it exists is to use Google images as a search function.  I also use this if there is something that I want to buy, and I want to see what options there are. 

For instance, I typed ‘crocheted asymmetric shawl lace’ and it came up with hundreds of options which I can then quickly assess and click on the image to find out what the pattern is.  You may still have to do some sifting through because the occasional knitting pattern may appear, but I still think that it is a great way to see what is available beyond Ravelry.

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Instagram – I mentioned a few of the tricks of Instagram in Episode 24 and I think that it prompted a few of you to joining Instagram.  If that is the case, I really hope that you are finding it to be the positive, inspirational space that I find it to be.

 

3 - Finished Objects

Well first up must be  Cardigan of Doom really.  I used Cascade Heritage in shade Dark Plum (2632) I cannot say how happy I was to get this project off my needles and out of my life.  It has now arrived safely with Frazer (after I sent it to the wrong address!) and here is a quick pic of him in it. 

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I learned some major lessons with this project:

1 – Never knit a 4-ply cardigan ever again.

2 – Don’t make big items for other people. 

3 – If you make an obvious mistake, frog it back and remedy it.

4 – Don’t work simultaneously on two projects that have a level of cross over.  I ended up adding two rows of moss stich rib to a K1/P1 section of the cardigan rib…

My third Criss-cross shawl for the Olann and Criss-cross CAL is finished! I used Rowan’s Alpaca Colour DK, sadly, a discontinued yarn. It was nice to work with and used 260g in total and came out at a whopping 2.8m in length.   

You can get the pattern free of charge from Olann and. It is available to download as a PDF in both UK and US terminology and there is a YouTube tutorial to help you through the slightly trickier elements, but that said, this is a pattern for competent beginners and up.  There is still time to get hooking this shawl as the CAL doesn’t finish until the 23rd February.

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At the weekend I over-dyed some chunky alpaca yarn from orange to green.  I asked Becci from River Knits for some advice and she very kindly gave me three options.  I chose option three which would give me greens and browns.  I have gone from feeling totally meh about this yarn to loving it and crocheting it up straight away.  More on the pattern in the Making Winter book review below.

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4 - Works in progress

I have been beavering away on my final set of designs for Erika Knight and remaking the patterns in five different and very awesome colourways.  This means that whilst I have been crocheting away, I haven’t got much that I can show you as I only have a couple of personal projects on the go and they are both for CALs!

Alyson and Vivian from the Keep Calm and Carry Yarn Podcast are hosting an #Ultravioletkcal based on Pantone 2018 Ultra Violet.  I can’t resist a CAL and so I am crocheting up the Inclination Wrap which is available designed by Julme Conradie and available from the Nurturing Fibres website.

Ep_26_Inclination_wrap.jpg

It is a proper sized wrap and uses linen stitch to get some nice stitch definition with the colour changes.  My yarns are Drops Alaska (03 Light Grey), a purple yarn that I hand dyed a couple of years ago (on a base from John Arbon) and want to put to good use and a skein of Life in the Long Grass aran in colourway Viola (the one with pops of yellow and burgundy). 

I have a future WIP which I am planning to start between now and the next podcast.  Claudia at the Crochet Luna vlogcast is hosting a Fortune Cookie CAL which starts on the Chinese New Year (16th February) and runs to the 31st March.  I already have my yarn selected and just need to crack open a fortune cookie which will dictate the pattern that I do.  

 

5 - Designs in Progress

My other DIP is just at the very beginning stages.  I’m not really a fan of granny squares and the granny stitch.  Is that something you can say when you have a crochet podcast?  Are you going to disown me?  Rosina from the Zeens & Roger vlogcast is hosting a granny along.  It started on 1st February and I figured that it isn’t really acceptable to broad-brush say I don’t like something, so I am determined to create a granny something in colours I like and hopefully a pattern I like too.  The yarn is Álafoss Lopi in shades Dark Grey (0005), Mid Grey (0058) and Light Grey (0054).  These are leftovers that I had from my version of the Phasian Blanket from Take Two.  

Ep_26_Granny.jpg

Watch this space to see whether I can be converted. Or not.

6 - Feeding the habit 

When I did the interlocking crochet workshop at Black sheep wools, I was in great company.  One of the other participants was the lovely Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats Podcast.  We did some podcast goodies swapping and I have a lot of very lovely things to give away from Kathryn’s Crafternoon Treats Etsy store.  Even better the prizes were chosen by Katherine and Lyndsay when we met up for a coffee before the workshop started at Black Sheep Wools. 

If you haven’t looked at Kathryn’s store yet, you really should.  She dyes up some beautiful colourways and specifically works with British breeds.  So, you will see some of these goodies going out as podcast prizes for the 2018 CALs.

Ep_26_Crafternoon_Treats.jpg 

She also gave me some lovely yarn to design with and some great single breed hanks which I can use for my version of Wool Exploration throughout the year.  I am a very luck lady!

I spent the last weekend in Wales.  Do you remember tales of me supposedly walking back down Snowdon having taken the train up there?  Well, because we had moved the dates of our trip, it was out of season for the train.  I took one look at the torrent of rain and decided that even a little walk was not for me.  Instead I went shopping with my Mum and got some crafting time in. That was after I managed to photograph our feral goat visitors.

Ep_26_Snowdon.jpgEp_26_Snowdon_goat.jpg

En route I had to pop into Abakhan (a haberdashery chain based in the NW of England and Wales).  They had a nice selection of Rico cotton which I bought because ready for the Vintage Along in July.  I want to use a pattern from a very old book and it up to date with soft modern colours of cotton. 

Ep_26_Vintage_along.jpg

 

7 – Book Review ‘Making Winter’ by Emma Mitchell

I bought this book from Loop London the day after it was launched in the same shop.  I bought it for a couple of reasons. 

Firstly, it is a multi-craft book with crochet patterns in it and I feel that this needed supporting.  All too often the woollen craft part of these types of publications is knitting so it’s refreshing to have crochet in there instead.

Secondly, the other crafts feel very natural and environmentally friendly.  The author, Emma Mitchell is very much inspired by nature and this is oh so apparent if you follow her in Instagram.  This is the kind of crafting that I like.  Taking my inspiration and raw materials from nature whenever possible.

I have pulled together a full book review which you can read over at my blog.

Ep_26_Makiing_Winter_2.jpgEp_26_Making_Winter_1.jpg

 

8 – Big Up

It has been a little while since I did a Big Up and new crochet podcasts are popping up!

Here are some of them for you to look at:

Micky Midge Crochet PodcastMichelle has been podcasting for a few months and has a weekly podcast.  She’s based in the UK, is a working Mum and is starting to be drawn into the rabbit hole that is hand dyed yarn!  Michelle is about to start a SprintimeCAL which is due to start on 14th February and ends at Easter.  The idea is that you crochet something that is Spring themed.  

Talia Louise CrochetNatalie has a couple pf podcasts out so far.  She’s based in Australia and works on a range of projects with lots of different yarns.  I think that Natalie is aiming for a monthly podcast. 

Earl Grey Crochet – Elizabeth has been podcasting for about seven months now and crochets all sorts of things.  She makes A LOT of amigurumi.  She is great fun, based in Australia and full of enthusiasm.  Elizabeth is also running a Blurre Shawl CAL starting on the 31st March.  Of course I will be participating in that!

Samsqueak Craftcast - Sam has a couple of podcasts out and is based just outside Chicago.  She loves to crochet and do all sorts of other crafting too.

 

9 - What's Good

I had a thoroughly lovely day at Black Sheep Wools.  The morning was spent drinking coffee and eating cake with lovely friends Katherine, Lyndsay and Kathryn.  Charlie and Katie popped their heads in for five minutes too!

Ep_26_Interlocking_crochet.jpg

The workshop that some of us did in the afternoon was interesting and it taught me a new technique – interlocking crochet.  The tutor was Graeme Knowles-Miller and he was great fun and very informative.  It’s so nice to be able to sit and chat with fellow crafters, so roll on Global Hook Up! 

Fay x

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January 12, 2018 @ 10:30 am

Episode 25 - Clarity

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

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

 

Clarity

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

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

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

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

To me it means the following:

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

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

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

4 - Being better at communicating with the crafting community.

5 - Improving my photography skills.

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

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

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

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

Ep_25_DEsign_yarns.jpg 

Ep_25_design_yarns_2.jpg

 

Links to information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ep_25_FOs.jpg

 

I think that is enough for now.

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

Fay x

 

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January 5, 2018 @ 9:38 am

Episode 24 - Giddy Kipper

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 24 – Giddy Kipper.

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs;  Feeding the habit, Designs in progress and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

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

 

1 - Quick news beats

Global Hook Up – I am aiming for 3rd of February for our first proper Global Hook Up. Details will be up on the Ravelry thread nearer the time.

One Skein Wonderland CAL – There are so many lovely projects in the Ravelry thread and on #oneskeinwonderlandcal on Instagram. The CAL runs until 31st January, so there is still plenty of time to get cracking with a project or two! Winners will be announced on Ravelry and Instagram.

 

2 - Old dog, new tricks

Over-dyeing - A while ago, I bought a bargainous cashmere cowl from TK Maxx that was from memory reduced from £50 to £10. The only problem was that it was light blue, which really doesn’t suit me. 

It took a while for the old cogs to turn before I hade the light bulb flicker that I could just dye it to a colour that I liked. So, with an overnight soak, followed by plonking it in a dye bath of the soaking water, 100ml of vinegar and 3g of Wilton’s Teal icing colourant, I have a lovely teal cashmere cowl that I now use a lot.

Ep_24_dye_1.jpgEp_24_dye_2.jpgEp_24_dye_3.jpg

         Before dyeing                   During dyeing                       After dyeing

You may have a jumper hiding at the back o your wardrobe or a shawl that you just don’t like the colour of. Why not just simply over-dye it? The same applies to skeins of yarn. Icing colourants only work on animal fibres, but here is a blog post that I pulled together on dyeing with acid, natural and icing colourants if you need some pointers: Dabbling with dyeing.

Instagram – I think that some people are put off Instagram because it’s yet another social media channel or they don’t think their photography skills are up to scratch. 

Instagram is for everyone. You don’t have to post photos, you don’t even have to engage, you can just use it to see what others are up to. I think that it is a really welcoming, engaging and positive space.

What really makes a difference now is that you can follow a # as well as an individual. There are lots of crochet related hashtags on Instagram, so it’s now even easier to find crochet content and be inspired by others.   

If we all start using and following #crochetcirclepodcast then we have an even better way of connecting our community on this platform.

As for your photographic skills? Practice is what makes you better at it.   

This also makes the potential for seeing what we are all up to during #globalhookup even greater…

 

3 - Finished Objects

Given the amount of time spent on The Cardigan of Doom (see WIPs section), I haven’t been able to do much other crafting.   That said, I still have a couple of FOs.

First up is the Calm Cowl by Suzana Davidovik. The pattern is very popular and is on Ravelry as a free download. I have already uploaded a project page to Ravelry called Ice Flow Calm Cowl so that you can see my final notes and changes to the pattern.

I used every last scrap of my Fjord Fibres Trollfjord sock yarn in the colourway Ice Flow. Check out those pops of turquoise and jade – I love it!

Calm_cowl_1.jpg Calm_cowl_2.jpg

My second FO is a pair of knitted socks, also in Fjord Fibres Trollfjord sock yarn but in Gilly’s Moroccan Tagine colourway. These socks are dense. I fully expect these to be the warmest socks I have ever made.

Ep_24_FOs.jpg

Given that I have now crocheted and knitted with Gilly’s Trollfjord sock yarn, I want to do a full review on them. Before I can do that, both things need to be properly road tested. The socks and cowl will be used on my upcoming Snowdon descent, so I’ll let you know how I get on after that.

 

4 - Works in progress

The Cardigan of Doom isn’t finished, despite my best efforts. I actually hate it. I have never hated a project before, but I hate this one. If it wasn’t for a friend, I would honestly frog it. The pattern is fine, the yarn is nice, it is just taking FOREVER! Moving on to more positive things…

I am working on my third version of the Criss-cross shawl. The CAL started on 1st January and runs until 23rd February, so you have plenty of time to join in. If you check the hashtags #olannandcrisscrosscal #faydhdesigns and #crisscross you will see lots of lovely versions being crocheted up and shown on Instagram.

There is also a lot of chatter in the CAL thread over in the Olann and group on Ravelry. I am in there on a daily basis checking in on progress. 

This version is Rowan’s Alpaca Colour DK, sadly, a discontinued yarn. I am using the Emerald colourway which is appropriate given that Olann and is Irealnd’s Fibre and Craft Magazine.

Ep_24_criss_cross.jpg

You can get the pattern free of charge from Olann and. It is available to download as a PDF in both UK and US terminology and there is a YouTube tutorial to help you through the slightly trickier elements, but that said, this is a pattern for competent beginners and up.

 

5 - Feeding the habit 

Christmas means yarny goodness. Christmas means a Christmas Eve hook on. Christmas means I have set a new rule called ‘Fay must get a skein of yarn from Matthew every year for Christmas’. I like my new rule!

Aside of the Fjord Fibres skein, I snuck in a set of mini skeins from RiverKnits. They were part of a festive charity, raising £5 from every set for Medecins Sans Frontieres. My colourway choice was Mouse King and so far I have made one sock with the set.

Mini_Mania_Striped_socks.jpg

I also bought a set of mini skeins from my visit to The Little Grey Sheep’s farm near Basingstoke. The colourway is ‘Back on the Map’ and is a really lovely blend of Gotland, Shetland and Merino, all from their own farm.  Gorgeous, soft wool.

Ep_24Feeding_habit.jpg

Ep_24_feeding_habit_2.jpg

And here's the lovely yarn and bag from Gilly at Fjord Fibres.  In a future CAL I will have a skein of her yarn and a variation of this bag to giveaway.  Gilly has been spoiling us all. 

 

6 – Designs in progress

The Mouse King colour way socks (see above) are going to be developed into a pattern called ‘Mini Mania Striped Socks’. Quite a bit of technical thinking went into making these socks and so I figured I may as well write up the pattern and make it available on Ravelry.

Some months ago I showed a cowl and hat set that I designed using colour work crochet and was inspired by the Jon jumper by Istex. In December I finally got around to emailing to ask whether they minded me releasing the patterns that I had created, given that their pattern was my inspiration point. They emailed back immediately and said it was no problem but they would like to see the designs in Lopi wool.

Jon.jpg

Istex photo taken from Ravelry

So, here is where I am up to. There will be separate patterns for the cowl, hat and mittens (same pattern will cover open and closed mittens) and each pattern will give different stitch numbers for DK and 4 ply versions. The pattern is about to head off to Lisa and Jo for test crocheting and I hope to release the pattern in February. Again, I will be road testing these items up Snowdon, so will be able to give you frank feedback on how the wool and patterns performed in harsh climates.

Borgarnes.jpg

 

6 - What's Good

I used just under 10kg of yarn in 2017! That is a huge amount. I crocheted 6.74kg and knitted 2.62kg.

I have also spent a fair bit of time in the last few weeks, preparing for the beginning of a new year. I know it’s just another day, but I think the 1st day of a new year is a good opportunity to press the reset button, assess what you want to do more of, what you want to do less of, and what you want start.

2018 is going to be a good year. We are going to have fun together!  

Fay x

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December 1, 2017 @ 9:12 am

Episode 23 - I blinked and it was December

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 23 - I blinked and it was December.

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs; Feeding the habit and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

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

 

1 - Quick news beats

#Fridayisdyeday - It was great to see people dyeing on #Fridayisdyeday.  If you are interested in having a go, take a look at the blog post that I pulled together.  #Fridayisdyeday takes place over on Instagram on the last Friday of every month.  

If you fancy having a go, it would be great to have you on board.  You don't need to dye, you can simply show off what you are making with indie dyed yarn - it's all about celebrating hand dyed.

We even have a theme tune.  Lyndsey's husband Alan thought he would be cheeky and sing a song all about it and Lyndsey's love of wool.  I have added the video to the end of the podcast.

Global Hook Up - a quick update on this one.  The platform that I was hoping to use was Google Hangouts but it isn't fit for purpose.  I need to find a platform whereby there can be a certain level of interaction and as many people as want to can join in and see what is going on.

I'm not quite back to the drawing board on this one because we (Matthew has been in his office doing test calls to me on my laptop in the dining room) have looked at so many platforms.  Some are clunky, some don't do what they promise and some simply can’t offer what they are advertising.  We are now looking at an app called Zoom.  Whilst you do have to download it, it's pretty user friendly and Grace from Babbles travelling yarn podcast is using it for Virtual Knit Nights.

My plan is to work this up over the festive period and when I am ready to do a test session, I will pop a thread up in Ravelry giving you all the details for those that want to help with that session.

My sincerest apologies for those of you that were waiting in YouTube for a live broadcast on Saturday 25th November.  I had cancelled it but YouTube had other ideas.  

CALs for 2018 - Thank you for all the fab ideas so far.  Keep them coming in.  In the January podcast I will announce what the CALs will be for 2018. 

Christmas Eve CAL - Charlie from Love Charlie podcast and I are teaming up together to host the One Skein Wonderland CAL.  You can hook on at 00.01 on the 24th December.  The idea is to look out that special skein of yarn (100g) or maybe you have one coming as a present on the 25th? I have mine already and I am allowed it on the 24th! Woohoo.  Feel free to make a project up with mini skeins if that is what you want to do.  We aren't going to be really strict.  It's more about having a special skein to work from and a quick project that you can fly through during the holidays.

There is a thread on Ravelry so that you can suggest one skein projects.  Thank you for all the suggestions so far.  If you go to The Crochet Circle Group (not forum) in Ravelry, you will see bundles on the right-hand side.  I have added a load of others too, from hats and shawls to toys and market bags.  Any new suggestions to the thread will also be added to the bundle.

We have three prizes for this CAL.  A lovely project bag from Emya handmade, The Accessories Project Book One (signed by Kat and Joanne) and an icing dye kit from Charlie.

Special Skein Competition - I have a quick turnaround competition for you this month.  Gilly from Fjord Fibres has kindly donated a skein of her Norwegian wool blend yarn - it's lush.   The deadline for the competition is going to be Friday 8th December at 12pm, so that I can get the prize into the post early the next week and hopefully the recipient has it for the Christmas Eve hook on.

To enter you must do one of two things but feel free to go for a double entry and do both:

1 - Go to Ravelry and in the thread, say which of Gilly's colourways you would most like to work with and why.

2 - Go to Instagram search for my post on the competition (it will be published at some point on the Friday), make sure you are following GillyCharlie and me and comment on what you would make with the skein that is up for grabs.  

I will draw a winner through random number generation on Saturday 9th December.  Good luck.

Gilly is also offereing readers a 20% discount code in her Etsy store, you just type in CCP20 at check out.

Ep_23_Fjord.jpg

 

Festive Shoutouts Episode - I hear from a lot of listeners and watchers that the people they live with, be it friends, parents, partners, they have to put up with your love of podcasts. 

To give something back, I want to do an extra podcast that will go live on Christmas Eve where I give shoutouts with your messages.  I have run this past a couple of people already and the answer was that this would be well received and a bit of fun.

If you would like me to read something (it can be funny - nicknames are 100% encouraged) out to someone special in your life then go to the Ravelry thread.  I will then record the messages in advance and press publish on Christmas Eve. 

I will not be wearing a Christmas outfit, but may have a Christmas decoration up, a mince pie in one handy and a cheeky Amaretto in the other.

 

2 - Old dog, new tricks

I have a couple of quickies for you this month.

The first may be known by some of you but I happened across it when I was scrolling through Ravelry the other day.  Quite a while ago Ravelry started asking whether your pattern was in US or UK terminology when you uploaded a new one.  The first time this happened I emailed Ravelry and asked whether they planned to start filtering projects out on terminology.  They said they may do at some point but there were no plans in the near future.

Now, if you start using the filters down the left-hand side when you are searching for patterns, there is a filter quite far down for Crochet Terminology and it is split into UK, US and unknown.  I know that many people struggle with knowing which terminology a pattern is in.  I'm not saying this is fail-safe, but it may help some of you. 

The second is all about socks again - I may be obsessed!  I have a load of shop bought wool and silk blend socks.  They are threadbare on the soles, toes and back of the heel but the calf and top of the foot is fine.  I hate throwing things out that still have some life in them through a bit of reuse and creative thinking.  I am the kind of girl that will eat a previously unopened yoghurt even if it's a month out of date.  If it smells alright, eat it!

I currently have eight pairs of socks that have worn through and I'm not willing to just pop them in my compost bin.  Instead I have turned them inside-out and machine sewn them across the bottom of the calf area.  I then cut below the sew line (make sure you cut towards the heel and not towards the cuff).  Turn the sock back out.  Et voila you have a perfect sized pouch for a 100g cake of yarn.  If you do a centre pull cake, you will have a lovely little protective pouch around your yarn that saves it from being dragged along the floor, picking up dust, getting tangled...   

It takes just a few minutes to make these up and they are amazing for yarn management and storage in your project bag.  I'll come back to you next month with whatever scheme I dreamt up for the remaining part of my socks.  Now where's that yoghurt? 

 

3 - Finished Objects 

I was vending at Nottingham Yarn Expo in November and the preparation and aftermath of that has really impacted on my crafting times.  I have still managed to whip through some bits and pieces though.

The biggie is my Homebody Sweater designed by Megan Shaimes.  I have added project notes giving all of my measurements, row and stitch counts.  Just go to my projects (MaDashper) and you will see it in there).  I am so chuffed with this jumper.  I fiddled around with the yarn, using 4 ply rather than bulky and came down to a 4.5mm instead of a 6.5mm hook so that I could get a tighter fitted jumper.  I love the way my hand dyed wool turned out.  I was aiming for a proper 80s stone washed denim affect and am really pleased with the outcome.  The jumper only took 281g so I have 210g left over and plan to make a big squishy cowl with it because the Bluefaced Leicester (BFL)/Masham mix is light, airy and oh so warm. 

Next up was a very quick make.  Off the back of finishing a jumper and having a deadline cardigan to knit, I wanted a project that I could tackle in a morning.  This mini hot water bottle cover was featured in Issue 21 of Crochet Now and was designed by my friend Helen Eccles. I crocheted it using a beautiful skein of The Little Grey Sheep's Hampshire DK.  It's lovely wool, quite full for a DK and the tonal shifts in the skein are beautiful.  You think it's a solid colour and then you see a little patch of seaweed greeny/brown. All in, this took me about 4 hours to make and it required about 47g of DK using a 4mm hook.

Ep_23_hot_water.jpg

The final bits I have been working on are hand embroidery.  I have started selling embroidery bag kits in the shop which means that I have to make some up to show off.  I really loved choosing which colours would go where.  For me, I got the relaxation of adult colouring with a useful project bag at the end of it.  

Ep_23_bear_bag.jpgEp_23_skull_bag.jpg

 

4 - Works in progress

I have one major WIP on the go at the moment - a knitted cardigan.  I've not got much further than the rib and I have to have it finished for Christmas Day...

...hmmmm.  I have worked out that I need to be averaging about 10 rows a day throughout December to hit the deadline.  A knit row take about 10 minutes and a purl is 15.  On the upside, the sleeves can be started now rather than when I am at the end of the body parts, so I can at least break up the monotony of purl rows with more knit rows.  I sincerely hope my friend Frazer appreciates this.  He is one of less than a handful of people I would make this much effort for and it is the only one he is ever going to receive from me.

Ep_23_WIP.jpg

5 - Feeding the habit 

So, it looks like a lot, but I only bought one skein - I promise.

Glacier and Moroccan Tagine - both by Fjord Fibres (Glacier is my Christmas skein from Matthew and Gilly sent me Moroccan Tagine as a treat - I am very lucky).

Bear in Sheep’s Clothing - Killadoon. Bernie and I did swapsies at Nottingham Yarn Expo.  She got a bear bag embroidery kit (of course) and I got wool (of course).  

North Ronaldsay Wool - I didn't buy this from Brit Yarn for a specific design but there is a design purpose behind it.  I want to get to know our British breeds a little better and Louise at Knit British is running  something called Wool exploration in 2018 with a new breed being reviewed and discussed each month.  First up is North Ronaldsay, then it's Gotland, Ryeland and Jacob (all of which I already have in my stash).  My plan is to report back each month and let you know how I get on and build up something - possibly a blanket, but mainly my knowledge of how British breeds handle and which are best suited to the types of crochet I design.

Ep_23_Habit.jpg

As for these goodies, my pin was a gift from the ever-lovely Claudia at Crochet Luna podcast.  I tried to buy one and I wasn't allowed! 

The crochet hooks are rather special too.  I commissioned them from Hayley of Fireweed Fibres.  Not only does she dye yarn, she also goes stick foraging.  These amazingly ergonomic and tactile crochet hooks are individually chosen as a branch by Hayley before prep, whittling, sanding, varnishing and pyrography.  I cannot tell you how lovely these are as things of beauty and as crafting tools. If you would like something similar, just drop Hayley a line, she is very lovely. 

Ep_23_hooks.jpg

My Dad was on a trip to Iceland and this little lot turned up this morning.  It's a new to me yarn from from a new Icelandic producer, Einrum and is an 80:20 mix of Icelandic wool and Mulberry Silk from Thailand.  I have a design in mind for this, I just need the time to get my hook out!

Ep_23_habit_2.jpg

 

6 - What's Good

My brain is starting to filter through what I want 2018 to look like. At the beginning of every new year we sit down and write a list of all the things we want to achieve in the following 12 months.  It can be silly stuff or major goals to be achieved.

As part of the January podcast I want to review my 2017 craft goals, set new ones for 2018 and give you a bit of a run down for what I want to achieve personally, professionally and with the podcast.  Not wishing to get all business like, but this way of thinking gives me clarity and means that I deliver an interesting (hopefully) podcast every month.   

  

Until 2018 - I cannot believe that I have just typed that.

Fay x

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November 3, 2017 @ 8:34 am

Episode 22 - The Secret’s Out…

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 22 - The Secret's Out...

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs; DIPs; Feeding the habit; Setting up a craft group; Big up and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by

KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT

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

 

1 - Quick news beats

#Fridayisdyeday - On the 27th October I hosted the first #Fridayisdyeday, showing how different yarns can be dyed using professional (acid), icing colourant and natural dyes.  If you are interested in having a go, take a look at the blog post that I pulled together.  The plan is to do a #Fridayisdyeday over on Instagram on the last Friday of every month.  I might be dyeing again, showing what I am making with my own hand dyed yarns or highlighting what I am making with some of those special hand dyed skeins that are residing in the Stash Palace!  

If you fancy having a go, it would be great to have you on board.  The blog post has lots of links to further information on dyeing yarn and here are my results from Friday:

Ep_22_dyed_yarn.jpg

 

Ravelry moderators - the keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have added three more moderators to the group.  Anna, Jo and Lisa are always in there welcoming people in and responding and generally being a bunch of lovelies and making our Rav group a lovely sharing place to be.  They agreed to be moderators for us all.  We have never had to kick anybody out or edit what is in the group which is amazing and the job of moedrating is more about welcoming people to the group and keeping the chat going.  Tamara and Helen were already in there as moderators and I am hoping that they will stay on even after the #BackToSchoolSweaterCAL.

 

Global Hook Up - A wee while ago (... quite a few months ago) I mentioned that I wanted to start hosting Global Crafting gatherings online.  You then heard nothing more on the subject but in the background I have been researching the best way to bring this to you. 

The sessions are going to be on a Saturday night (GMT) so that as many people as possible can join in.  A handful of people will be able to interact on an audio and visual basis and as many people as want (I believe) can join in by seeing what is going on.  You can also use #GlobalHookUp on Instagram to track what is going on with the session and interact and show off your crafting.

The initial test Global Hook Up is going to be on Saturday 25th November.  The exact time is to be anounced and the details will be added to a Ravelry thread and on Instagram. The idea is to use the first hook up to see how it works for everyone and iron out any niggles, ready for the next one in December

CALs for 2018 - Over the next couple of months I would like to ask you to tell me what CALs you would like me to run in 2018.  I have a few ideas but would like to get you involved in the process.  I have opened a thread on Ravelry so please do let me know what ideas you have.

Christmas Eve CAL - We had so much fun with last year's Christmas Eve CAL, that it's going ahead this year too.  Charlie from Love Charlie podcast and I are teaming up together to host the One Skein Wonderland CAL.  You can hook on at 00.01 on the 24th December.  More details to follow on this but the idea is to look out that special skein of yarn (100g) or maybe you have one coming as a present on the 25th?   

There is a thread on Ravelry so that you can suggest one skein projects that I can add to a bundle for everyone to see. 

 

2 - Old dog, new tricks

This month it's all about upping the odds of winning at yarn chicken (that game you play when you really, really hope you have enough yarn to finish off a row or round).  

I tested out three different yarn weights (4 ply, DK and chunky) to see if there was any real difference in the amount of yarn needed.  

After a couple of rows of dc to settle my tension on each swatch I then crocheted three rows of dc, three of half treble and three rows of treble crochet.  This allowed me to take an average length of yarn required over three rows. 

Ep_22_yarn_chicken.jpg

 

Here are the results:

4 ply (400m per 100g)

dc requires 9 times the length of your row/round

htr requires 11 times the length of your row/round

tr requires 14 times the length of your row/round

 

Double Knitting (DK - 200m per 100g)

dc requires 9 x the length of your row/round

htr requires 12 x times the length of your row/round

tr requires 14 x the length of your row/round

 

Chunky (100m per 100g)

dc requires 9 x the length of your row/round

htr requires 12 x the length of your row/round

tr requires 14 x the length of your row/round

I have since tested this on the Homebody Sweater that I am crocheting.  It's in rows of htr and I am using a 4ply yarn and a 4.5mm hook, so very different from what I tested above.  Guess what?  Yup, it took just under 12 x the length of the row.  My final nugget of yarn had 10 lengths and so I managed to save myself some time and just started a new ball instead.

 

3 - Finished Objects 

I didn't think I had much to show this month but it turns out I do. 

First up is my Sicily jumper which is a free of charge Rowan pattern.  Although it calls for 4ply cotton, I used a 4 ply wool blend instead (Shilasdair luxury 4 ply in shade Hawthorn).  The wool has a lot more stretch than the cotton and the sample on the model seemed quite bulky so I opted to make the smallest size and it is my best fitting handmade garment to date.  

It has been really lovely to be part of the Back To School Sweater CAL with Helen and Tamara.  So much so that I have started a second jumper.

As part of another along, I took part in the Fibre Friends Podcast North Bound Knitting Along which meant knitting any of Lisa Mutch's patterns.  I chose to do Auspice using up the 100g skein of skinny Merino that I had hand dyed with blackberries.  The yarn has faded from a soft purple colour to a silver grey and I really like it.

I also had a day out in London with four lovely friends (Flic, Corrine, Helen and Charlie) and we made our way to i Knit and Loop.  Whilst in Loop I purchased a hot off the press copy of Making Winter by Emma Mitchell (Silverpebble2 on IG).  It has some lovely crochet patterns in it as well as recipes and lots of other crafty makes.  I suspect that this is going to be a firm favourite with lots of people and I know that it is already on a few Christmas lists. 

Ep_22_FOs.jpg

I have made the Hawthorn mittens and although I could have stuck to the one colour version in the book, I had to fiddle and add some of my Hawthorn inspired Shilasdair yarn for the actual hawthorn berries and some brown wool that I did a test icing colour dye on in advance of #Fridayisdyeday 

It is so cold in my office that I have had these on all day! 

You can also see a scrap yarn garland that I have made ready to be part of my exhibition stand.  This is a free pattern from Little Conkers. 

My final FO is a pair of socks.  I have been trying a different heel construction this time and I have to say I really like working the after thought heel and am in love with the colour.  You can see the sock/yarn blank in the photo and the subsequent socks. 

Ep_22_socks_nov.jpg

4 - Works in progress

I only have a couple of WIPs on the go at the moment. 

The first is my second version of Criss-cross using Gym Nut from Green Elephant Yarns.  This is a CAL with Olann and which will start in January (it was going to be November but we are now going for January).  If you fancy joining in, you need a 2 x 100g of 4ply with at least 350m per 100g.  More details will follow on Ravelry and Instagram.

Progress is fairly slow on this one becasue I am recording a tutorial for the pattern as I crochet along.

Wiltonicing_colourant_violet_1_.jpg 

The second is a new jumper using some Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) and Masham blend (4 ply and using a 4mm hook) which is really light and airy but oh so warm.  The pattern is Homebody Sweater by Megan Shaimes and it is available as a free download.  I liked the idea of having a slouchy, kick around the house crocheted jumper and had already dyed up the wool during #Fridayisdyeday knowing that I wanted a stone-washed denim look.  

 

5 - Designs in Progress

Thank you to everyone that responded to my call for test croheters and product reviewers.  My plan is to keep with this segment whenever I have something to say.

This month I have something massive to tell you! 

The reason I have been quiet of Ravelry and IG is because I have been designing crocheted items for Erika Knight.  

That's it, the secret really is out now.  I have been sitting on this information for just over two months and have a series of four shawls that I have designed in Erika's fab new British Blue 100 range (8 shades in gorgeous 100% British BFL).  There are some other designs as well, one finished and some in the pipeline. 

Ep_22_EK.jpg

I have been working with Erika and Bella to design a set of four shawls that increase in complexity as you move from one to the next.  All four are based on the same basic pattern repeat and shape but a change of stitch or addition of lace rows leads to four very different shawls.

When I started crocheting and knitting three years ago, I naturally gravitated towards Erika's patterns and yarns because I am always drawn to elegant simplicity.  If you haven't already, please check her out - there are 10 pages of patterns on Ravelry to look at and a massive back catalogue of books too (I think I own almost all of them).

In the Stash Palace I have two shelves that are dedicted to specific yarn brands.  One is Erika Knight and the other is John Arbon Textiles.  I think you all know what that means.  The love is strong.

I still keep on having to pinch myself because I cannot quite believe that this has happened.  I have the upmost respect for what Erika and Bella achieve - they are incredibly hard working, lovely people.

The patterns will be released next year and I will of course shout about it from the roof tops and show them off to you when I can.  

I am so, so happy! :-)

And the this arrived through the post and that's my Doppio Colosseum on the front!

Ep_22_JA.jpg

 

6 - Feeding the habit

Ep_22_rabbit.jpg

Bags from EMYA Handmade (AKA the very lovely Emmie and Yael).  Not only did they send me these bags as a surprise (one of which is going to become a podcast prize) but they are also offering a 20% discount code on their shop www.emyahandmade.com you just need to use the code EMYA20.  They have a great range of items, including reusable make up remover pads and panty liners (one of my biggest concerns of non biodegradeable waste).

Making Winter from Emma Mitchell is priced at £14.99

Indigo dyed yarn and natural undyed yarn from Border Tart.

 

7 - Setting up a craft group

I promised to go through how I set up Woolgethering Sandbach and it turned out to be quite lengthy so it became a blog post as well as the detail that I gave in the podcast.

 

 

8 - Big up

I'm going a little left field this month with an audio book(ish) and a film podcast:

I love listening to audiobooks, especially since I started working from home on my own.  It's very easy to feel like your brain is turning to mush and there is a lack of intellectual content because you are missing out on office situations where dialogue and debates occur everyday.   

Audiobooks mean that I continue to learn really interesting stuff as I design or crochet or catch up on emails.  My latest is a series of lectures called The Great Courses and I chose to listen to the lectures on The Vikings.  It is extremely indepth and brilliantly delivered by Prof. Harl - not at all dry and boring.  It was just one credit on Audible and I had 18 hours of amazing content.  There are many subjects to choose from in The Great Courses and they're well worth taking a look at.

Every Friday night Matthew and I sit down to listen to the Empire Podcast.  We love watching films and really enjoy this film review podast.  It's silly, quite sweary and great Friday night entertainment.

 

9 - What's Good

2018 is shaping up to be a pretty good year.  I feel like I set the standard for what I want to achieve in 2017 and feel ready to take 2018 on as a crochet designer and podcaster.  Watch out world!

  

Until December.

Fay x

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