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January 6, 2017 @ 9:59 am

Episode Twelve - Who you gonna call? Stash Buster!

Hello folks, come on in to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the show notes from Episode Twelve - Who you gonna call?  Stash Buster! 

In this episode I will cover: Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; Setting the Scene for 2017; FOs; WIPs; Feeding the Habit; Quod the Rav and the final segment What's Good?

This Episode is sponsored by:

Knit It - Hook It - Craft It

Hello to Happyhound11, Thell and Snotestine (Shannon) from Ravelry.  Happy birthday to DianneB (Dianne) whose birthday is on publish day!

Thanks to everyone that tunes in to the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or the YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement is really appreciated. 


1 - Yay crochet or nay crochet

It can ony be a yay because if the response to the Crochet Circle Christmas Crochet Along.  The response has been fanstastic!  

I am so impressed with the number of things that people have made, the fact that people are learning new skills and techniques or using new yarns.  Best of all, you can still get hooking!  I am starting a third project in the next couple of days and have so far finished a pair of socks and a shawl which you can see in more detail under FOs. 

You can check out the FO thread on Ravelry under the group - The Crochet Circle Podcast or by searching #tccChristmasCAL on Instagram.

This makes me wonder if you would like to do a Spring CAL too?  Let me know.  The Christmas CAL goes on until the 31st January so there s still plenty of time to start a project.


2 - Setting the scene for 2017

During the last podcast I started to talk about some of my crafting goals for 2017.  I have opened up a thread on Ravelry so that you can add yours in too, as many already have. It's great to be able to see your lists, although I keep on adding some of your ideas into mine...

So, here is what I am working towards in 2017:

1 - Not buy any if I can possibly help it. The caveat to this is that I may need specific yarns for design work in which case I will have to buy it. I have a rather large stash (you may get to see it in Episode 12). I am hoping to stick to this for the whole year so that I can really appreciate the beautiful stash that I have and use some of it.

2 - To try to log all of my stash on Ravelry so that I have easy access to it when I am looking at patterns.

3 - To do more crochet colour work. I really enjoyed doing a colour work hat recently and can see many applications for it.
4 - Explore more crochet stitches to see how I can combine them and/or work with them to bring texture and more interest to my projects.
5 - Use more British breeds for my crochet projects.
6 - Crochet more garments.

7 - Finish the three large projects that I have on the go (TARDIS cushion, Shorelines blanket and Uncia number two). 
8 - Log more of my FOs on Ravelry.

9 - Knit some garments. 


10 - Sew a garment to wear possibly as part of #memademay.
11 - Be more focussed about sketching out designs when they come to me.
12 - Learn to bake bread - I have been meaning to do this for a while so I may as well add it to the list! 


Join in.  Add your details to the thread and share what you want to work on in 2017.

3 - Finished Objects

I have had fingers of fire recently.  This is in part due to me doing some gift crafting, partly because of the Christmas CAL and partly beause I didn't cover FOs in the last podcast.  

I knitted Christmas socks for Jenny and her two boys - all gratefully received.  Our friends have also just had a baby boy and so I designed and crocheted up a pram blanket for Theodore!  I was keen to design a blanket that would use as much of the four skeins as possible and have as few ends to weave in as possible.     I really love the finished blanket and it only has seven ends to weave in!  I used a 6mm (J/10) hook for the blanket but moved up to an 8mm (L/11) hook for the slip stitch border.

I have two FOs from the Christmas CAL, so far!  My first were the Winter Wonder socks by Vicki Brown.  She very kindly offered a 50% discount on the sock pattern for the CAL, just use the code CCCAL when you are checking out on Ravelry.

I used a 3mm hook (C/2) and Zealana Cozi (15% Brushtail Possum, 58% Merino, 5% baby Alpaca and 22% nylon) in shade Peppermint. I deliberately went a little more luxurious with this yarn because these are socks for wearing in the house when my feet are very cold and also for inside my wellies.  The pattern is really easy to follow and memorise with a new to me toe construction.  I struggled with the sizing to begin with but got there by making the small size and a 3mm hook for most of the sock, moving to a 4mm (G/6) hook to do the heel, moving back to the 3mm when starting in rounds again.  

I would recommend both yarn and pattern, though you may want to make sure that you are comfortable with using Possum before you make your yarn purchase.  I am a trained conservationist and so using Possum isn't an issue for me personally.  Although I bought my two balls in Munich, you can also buy it from Hulu Crafts in the UK or check the Zealana website for stockists.

These are my best fitting crocheted socks to date.

I also managed to finish my version of Spun Gold by Kat Goldin and used some Jeanette Sloan Baby Alpaca 4 ply in shade Olive (50g/200m).  Sadly, this yarn is no longer available which is one of the reasons that I used it for this project.  I had already used the yarn for my crocheted Liala top and so had two and a bit balls left.  Spun Gold is one of those patterns where you crochet increases until you have used half of your yarn and then start decreasing.  All in I had 140g and used 133g to make this shawl.  

You can also see my pair of Solar socks by Gill Slater which is free pattern on Ravelry.  I knitted thsee using 2.5mm/9 inch circular needles and Socks Yeah! yarn in shade Malachite.

I nearly forgot about the Uncia for Juliet!  I finished it, she loves it, I still have mine to finish...



4 - WIPs

Hmmm, I want to start all of the things, but let's start with the thing that is not my best friend at the moment, my second Uncia shawl.  I had to work so hard to knit Juliet's Uncia for the self-imposed deadline that the thought of picking up my Uncia to finish it is filling me with dread.  I have 95 rows left to knit, about 25 hours worth of knitting maybe?  I just can't face it at the moment. Maybe next week.

I wanted to start a knitted garment at the back end of 2016 but was enticed into more Christmas CAL crochet and so made a start on a Leigh top on the 1st January 2017 instead.   This is really quick to knit up and I am using the yarn that the pattern called for - Rowan Cocoon (shade Crag).  This is gorgeous to work with and there is a very strong sheepy smell coming off the yarn (80% wool and 20% Mohair) which just makes me want to knit on it all day long.

I also seem to have started another crocheted garment!  The pattern is Riveret by Merrian Holland from Pom Pom Quarterley's Spring 2016 issue.  I liked the look of this pattern when I first got my copy through the door but I wasn't convinced that it would suit me.  I then saw the sample at Yarnporium in London and realised how big it was on the model and just how elegant it was.  I have done very little on this but it should receive some more love before the next podcast!



5 - Feeding the habit

In 2017 I am going to try my very best to not buy yarn.  Having gone through my stash during December, I bolstered the areas that I knew were lacking such as sock yarn.  I have A LOT of yarn and it is time to use some of it up.

My plan is to to log all of the weights and metrage of yarn that I use in 2017 so that I can record what a dent I am making.  There does have to be one caveat though.  For yarn specific projects (one of which is a man's cardigan which is a present and has to be in a very specific colour that I don't currently have or for designs that I need to work on) I iwll most likley have to buy yarns, the same applies to new designs that I don't have the correct yarn for.   

I am also going to put some of my older stash into six different bags.  Each bag will be assigned a number and by using a random number generator that will dictate the next bag of yarn that I have to work with and find a pattern for - Stash Bingo!

There will be some feeding the habit as I am sure that I will be buying patterns and books to find great projects to use with my stash.  I also intend on attending workshops to increase my skill base.


Ep_12_yarn.jpg1 - Regia sock yarn   2 - The Bavarian yarn that I bought from Die Mercerie is by Hofer Schafwolle  3 - Metallico by Blue Sky Alpacas             4 - Wolle Rodel sock yarn  5 - Vicki Brown skeins of lovliness!  6 - Merino/Silk 4 ply from The Wool Kitchen  7 - Lang Yarns Jawoll sock yarn 8 - Life in the Long Grass - no more words are required!  9 - Socks Yeah! by Rachel Coopey


6 - Quod the Rav

Not so long ago, a lovely person on Ravelry sent me a message to suggest that I start using some of the useful functions when I was adding to discussion threads.  This is called Magic Linking.  Yes the information for it popped up every time I pressed the 'Reply to thread' button, but no I didn't read it or act upon it!  

Here is how to do it:

Magically link to Ravelry by typing some text in brackets and a type of thing in parentheses. At the moment, you can link to a yarnpersonpatternprojectbook or group.

[Somewhat Cowl](pattern) [casey](person) [Malabrigo](yarn) [mayarn's chuppah](project) 
[Canadian Knitter](group) [Favorite Socks](book)

This is a really helpful tool to use when you are participating in forums because it allows you to quickly and easily use the backend database of Ravelry to provide useful links within your comments.  

For instance, if I was going to add an FO to a thread I would use the Magic Link function to show what pattern and yarn I had used or if I wanted to point people to my project for that pattern then I might give project and yarn links instead.

This is a really quick and effective way of sharing your knowledge with people and stops annoying people like me aksing what pattern and yarn you used!

A top tip from me is to have a little written note for your pattern/project/yarn at the ready so that you know execatly what it is called.  This can save you the annoyance of trying to find it mid-forum response and potentially losing your draft comments so far. The other way around this is to have two Ravelry tabs open, one for checking details and one for adding comments to. 

I find it immensley helpful when people use the magic link function as I love to see what yarn and patterns people have used for projects and I can't be the only one...


What's good?

I have had some time off in Munich and with our friends Jenny and Frazer and it has been wonderful. Whilst in Munich, I manged to visit three yarn shops and have a firm favourite - Die Mercerie.  It was such a beautiful space with very tastefully curated items and great displays.  If you find yourself in Munich, you will not be disappointed with a walk out to visit this shop!




Fay x

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