In this episode we talk about getting started on a crochet journey, including substituting yarn and the importance of making a tension square; lace-weight yarn; myth busting – does crochet really use more yarn than knitting? WIP Wall and FO’s along with our usual magazine round up and our look towards Woolfest.
Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the Show Notes from Episode Four.
This Episode is Sponsored by:
Rooster Delightful Lace Competition Prize is sponsored by
First we have a few thank you’s for helping us to reach over 1,200 downloads on Podbean.
Thank you to Kathryn at www.crafternoontreats.com who mentioned us in her podcast Episodes 7 and 8 and also to Tamara at www.craftyescapism.com for a great review on her website.
Thanks to Trinketknits for her lovely iTunes review and to everyone else that is engaging with us through Pinterest, IG, Ravelry and Twitter.
You may have spotted us in Crochet Now, Let’s Knit magazine and Simply Crochet - so thanks to Hugh, Sarah and Sara for featuring The Crochet Circle on their News pages. We're really chuffed to bits.
1. Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet (at 3.55 mins)
It's a nay from Fay about lace-weight yarn and having to use anything below a 3mm hook:
I love what other people can create, however, it just isn’t for me as I prefer more instant gratification. I don’t intend on doing everything in chunky yarn but I found lace weight crocheting and knitting REALLY frustrating and I’m very happy to leave that in the hands of others...
Such as these brilliant examples of miniature crochet, from Suami:
Its a yay from Lynne on teaching crochet:
Last week was the last of my 5 Learn to Crochet Classes at Sandbach in Cheshire. I’ve been running crochet and knitting classes through the Sandbach Adult Education programme for about four or five years now and I’ve met some lovely people along the way – many of whom have become really good friends and even work colleagues J. This time round I had four enthusiastic ladies who had all tried to teach themselves but hadn’t been able to get to grips with crochet and felt that they need to be physically shown, rather than learning by book. It was great that I have a wide range of ages, from a lady in her late 20’s up to a lady who was 79 (and who came on her bike!!!). We learned the basics of crochet and made a flower, granny squares, ripple stitches, shell stitches and we worked in a spiral. I’m always amazed when my pupils return the following week with things they’ve made from the stitches learned and even happier when they tell me how much they’ve enjoyed making things with their new skills.
2. Helpful Hints on how to get started on a project (at 8.05 mins)
We're both starting a crochet garment (or two) that we aim to wear at Yarndale.
You can join in too and we can see just how stylish crochet can be.
We've set up a board here on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-crochet-circle-podcast/topics/3438284
In this episode we talk about choosing or substituting yarn and the importance of working up a swatch or tension square.
We recommend http://yarnsub.com as one method of checking which yarns you could substitute to.
We covered making a tension square in the last episode and you can find the notes here:
Then in upcoming episodes we’ll cover:
- Finishing off the project - best way to sew it together
- Washing and blocking the project so that the stitches look as they should
- Wearing/using the object
- Darning if required – dealing with holes etc.
Lynne has chosen Aster, by designer Marie Wallin from her book 'Filigree collection three'
Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/aster-14
Filigree Book link: http://www.mariewallin.com/filigree.html
I love Marie's Filigree collection and have chosen a design as my first 'proper' crochet garment. I will raid my stash for an alternative as I'm desperately trying not to buy yarn. I've written a blog post here on how to substitute yarn:
Fay has chosen Liala, also by Marie Wallin – it's a free pattern available on Rowan's website: if you subscribe:
The pattern calls for you to use Rowan Panama which is a 55% viscose, 33% cotton and 12% linen mix and although the ball band suggests a 3.25mm hook.
I also considered a few other things such as: I want to use my stash,; I want the finish to be a little more fitted; I want to use something with a wool content and I don't want to use anything below a 3mm hook.
After raiding my stash, I found a suitable alternative with Jeanette Sloan Baby Alpaca and Silk and started my tension square.
Link to Jeanette Sloan yarn:
It's important to block your tension square as the size of your stitches may change after blocking. For my first square, there was about a 9% increase in size for both stitches and rows which was going to work perfectly for me in substituting yarn and pattern size (so I'll make the small size rather than the medium). It's worth remembering that most yarns when knitted or crocheted up, will change when blocked. I like to wet block almost everything because it helps release the dirt that builds up and it helps to bring out the pattern in the fabric especially if there are cables or lace. But be careful not to over-stretch the fabric when you block.
I gently squeezed my square, rolled it up in a towel and then pinned it onto a blocking mat and leave it to dry.
It's worth taking the time to assess whether you're using the right yarn, hook or needle, than get to the end of a project and then not being happy with the fit or finish of the item having put so much work into it.
Here's a link to Fay's Ravelry project for Liala:
We also promised to let all of the Rowan yarns that are being discontinued. This list was provided by St Trinians on Ravelry:
Superfine Merino DK & Aran
Pure Wool 4 ply
Kidsilk Haze Stripe
Fine Art & Fine Art Aran
All Seasons Cotton
Soft Knit Cotton
Thick 'n' Thin
British Sheep Breeds
Creative Focus Worsted
Big Wool Colour
Big Wool Silk
3. Yarn Review - Manos Del Uruguay Marina (at 28 mins)
Shade Shantung N1765
100% superwash merino wool
Recommended needle size 2-4mm
Hand-dyed in Uruguay by Ellta, who is part of a fair-trade cooperative.
Link to full range of shades:
Read about the Manos Del Uruguay fair-trade cooperative here:
Link to Lynne's full yarn review:
4. Myth-busting with Fay (at 34.50 mins)
Fay investigates the generalisation that crochet uses more yarn than knitting.
Is it a myth or a fact? Well, it's a bit of both really, with some interesting results!
Read Fay's full investigation here:
5. Magazine Round-up (at 43.10 mins)
Inside Crochet Issue 78
Theme: Bright Ideas – all about colour and texture for Autumn.
Lynne's favourites include Scullis Shawl in Rachel Atkinson's Column
Lisa Sweater designed by Annelies Baes
Fay's favourite is also Lisa Sweater
There are also lots of lovely bags and baskets
Link to Inside Crochet issue 78:
Crochet Now Issue 2
Theme: Rainbow brights – creative with colour – things that make use smile Lynne's favourite is Nerida Shawl by Anna Nickipirowicz – a deep semi-circular with a simple lace pattern
In my yarn stash diaries this month is a crochet staple – a washcloth which is great for last minute gifting
Fay's favourite is Spring leaves cowl, designed by Mary Renji
Link to Crochet Now:
Let's Get Crafting issue 81
Theme: Brights with Fiesta yarn kit – lots of toys including a very cute pair of Pandas by Sachiyo Ishii
Lynne's favourite is the Hanging Heart wreath designed by Irene Strange
and everyone loves a bit of bunting - Fiesta Bunting designed by Tilley Bancroft
Link to LGC issue 81 projects:
Woman's Weekly June issue
Theme: Crochet Special including five crochet garments and some lovely crochet homewares
We spotted an interview with Louise Walker who is a member of our Ravelry group and we love Louise's very cute animals and blanket.
Link to Woman's Weekly:
Simply Crochet Issue 45
Theme: Summer Brights, including a great article on how to sort your stash.
There's a very pretty Ladder stitch top designed by Editor Sara Huntingdon and a fun giant doughnut cushion by the renowned Twinkie Chan.
Link to Simply Crochet:
6. WIPs and FOs (at 45.30 mins)
We haven't done a great deal this month as we've both been really busy with our businesses and the podcast content. Fay has been working on her Shoreline Blanket and Lynne is ready to start the beading rows on her Odeletta Shawl.
We'll be adding to our WIPs with our crochet garments, and we'll be keeping a record of how long they take us.
7. Our Book (at 52.50 mins)
We're delighted to announce that we're writing a book of 8 crocheted accessories - 4 designed by Lynne and 4 designed by Fay.
We’ve currently secured yarn support from
Erika Knight http://www.erikaknight.co.uk/
Laughing Hens https://www.laughinghens.com/
We’ll say more in time. But it will be a really useful collection of crochet essentials that are straight forward to make, using gorgeous yarns
8. Charity Projects
We're still collecting your fungi an mammals for the National Trust's Woollen Woods project.
You can read more here on our Ravelry page:
10. Competition to Win Rooster Delightful Lace (at 54.30 mins)
We have a new competition open on our Ravelry forum to win a gorgeous skein of Rooster Delightful Lace in Shade Talara 623.
Rooster Delightful Lace is well, delightful! A blend of 80% Alpaca and 20% Silk creates a stunning 2-ply lace weight yarn which is perfect for light garments and shawls.
9. What's Good (at 56.05 mins)
We're looking forward to Woolfest:
and Fay is looking forward to visiting Caithness on a retreat organised by Louise Hunt from the Caithness Craft Collective podcast:
Happy listening and crocheting,
Lynne and Fay x
Ravelry Group: The Crochet Circle Podcast
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