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October 6, 2017 @ 9:09 am

Episode 21 - For the love of socks!

Hello my lovelies!

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes from Episode 21 - For the love of socks.

In this episode I cover: Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs; DIPs; Review of Step Into Crochet; Feeding the habit; Big up and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by:


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.


1 - Quick news beats

Crochet Cakes - I am very pleased and relieved to say the Clarisabeth and Caroline (and family) are well.  They live in Puerto Rico which was hard hit by Hurricane Maria. The news came via Alyson from the Keep Calm and Carry Yarn podcast.

I have just donated money to the Alianza Somos fund because they are concentrating on areas such as power and communications, two things that will help to get infrastructure back up which should make general aid relief easier.

It may be some time before we hear from Clarisabeth again, and it is just great to know that they are well.

Logging your projects - I am often asked how I log my designs and projects and at long last I have pulled together a 'How I log my designs, WIPs and FOs' blog in case you are interested too.

Setting up a craft group - I asked the good folk of Instagram if they were interested in finding out how I set up and run Woolgathering Sandbach.  The answer was yes, so in the November podcast I will go through how I went about getting it of the ground, how it has evolved and how much time it takes me to manage the group.

Vicki Brown giveaway - I finally got to meet Vicki face to face at Yarndale and she passed me a lucky bag for a lucky listener.  It has a temporary tattoo, gauge, wool needle, mini skein and 10% discount code.  If you want to win, head to the Ravelry thread 'Vicki Brown giveaway' and let me know what your favourite colourway is from her range.

#FridayisDyeDay - if you fancy getting involved on Instagram, a few of us are going to have a Dye Day on Friday 27th October.  Either use the # or follow it to see what dye creations have been made across the globe.  I am going to do some natural dyeling using conker husks/ shells and probably some professional acid dyeing too.  Claudia (Crochet Luna podcast) is going to use acid dyes, Charlie (Love Charlie podcast) is doing natural dyeling with avocado stones and skins.  You can even use food colourants, so you really don't have to go out and buy specialist equipment.  If you don't have undyed yarn, you can over dye exisiting yarn that you aren't that fond of.  

A quick internet search will give you lots of ideas and thoughts on how to dye your yarn.  I will also be pulling together a blog post in advance to give details on how you can get involved.


2 - Old dog, new tricks

It's amazing where you can glean information on crochet techniques from.  This month's Old Dog New Tricks is all about a little trick that I picked up from a pass away comment somebody made on Instagram. 

It's a neat little way of increasing stitches without it being as obvious.  It doesn't make a huge amount of difference to your finished object but I do think it is a little less obvious. Instead of crocheting two stitches into one, crochet one on the front loop only and the second in the back loop only.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 


3 - Finished Objects 

The sock theme has continued well into September as I pull together the review of 'Step Into Crochet' by Rohn Strong. I would love to say that I now have three pairs of finished socks but actually I have one pair and three singles.  The book review explains why... 

I have been working on lots of other design projects that I am hoping to share with you shortly.

In the meantime, this is my other FO for September.  This gorgeous little cardi is called Crumpet and was designed by Erika Knight.  This is my new go-to baby cardigan; it's really quick to work up and the 6-12 month version took just over 100g of DK yarn.  

There were two purposes to this cardigan.  The first was to have a crocheted item to send to Knit for Peace with the card to explain what Crochet Circlers had been up to during the summer with Festival of Finishing and helping me to raise funds.  The second was to show the journey of recording, washing, blocking, sewing seams and choosing trims as part of my Blog Hop for the Back to School Sweater CAL.  


Last month I had made a start on my Basket Weave Cushion Cover by Jo Janes (AKA Jojotwinkletoes) and now it is an FO!  I was doing more stash diving and using up odds and sods.  This is Aurancania Milidon (no longer available) and was actually a shawl that I never wore and so frogged to reuse the yarn.  I really love the final effect and Autumnal feel of the cushion. It's going to be used outside when I am sitting crocheting and need extra squish and back support.  Thanks for a great pattern Jo, I definitely feel like I now have a good understanding of front and back post trebles!


4 - Works in progress

I have one WIP on the go this month and it is a whopper!  It's my #BackToSchoolSweaterCAL.  I went all round the houses with this project - incapable of deciding what I was going to make.  I finally decided on the Aberdeen Castle Cable Sweater and after about seven rows I realised that I just wasn't enjoying the cabling process. 

Back to the drawing board and a pattern that I have had queued up for a long time - Sicily.  It's a free pattern by Rowan and can be downloaded straight from Ravelry.  Although the pattern calls for a 4 ply cotton, I am using Shilasdair 4ply (lambswool, angora, cashmere) and it is working up very nicely.  It is light, warm and by the end of the jumper I suspect that I will have only used 350g of yarn.  


Future WIP is going to be my second version of Criss-cross using Gym Nut from Green Elephant Yarns.  This is a CAL with Olann and which will start in November.  If you fancy joining in, you need a 2 x 100g of 4ply with at least 375m per 100g.  More details will follow on Ravelry and Instagram.



5 - Designs in Progress

There are designs that I can't show you yet because they are for yarn brands and then there are ones that I put out for myself under Fay Dashper-Hughes Designs.  

Whilst I always aim within the podcast not to bombard you with KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT shop updates, it occurs to me that you may actually be interested in the design process and how it moves on from one month to the next. 

So, this month I am going to show you a design in progress and you can let me know whether this is something that interests you or not.   

This design came to me at Yarndale when I bought the yarn from River Knits Yarns.  Their colours are just fabulous and instantly knew how I was going to use the colours in a cowl, mittens and possibly hat too.  I had put the puff stitch into a shawl that I was designing and it just wasn't right, so it got logged away for a couple of weeks, waiting for the right yarn/stitch combo to pop up.  


I love how this pattern is working up.  It's going to be called 'Barley' and should be out later this year if all goes well.


6 - Review of Step Into Crochet and £5 discount code

I am loving the fact that crocheted socks are getting more air time with more people making them and appreciating the warmth of crocheted socks on their feet. 

I received Step Into Crochet as a gift from Claudia of the Crochetluna podcast.  She is a lovely!

So, here are a few caveats before I get into the review proper:

  1. I have long, thin, pointy feet and thin ankles.  This makes hand crocheted and knitted sock fitting a bit harder.  Standard patterns don't fit me as well and I usually have to make changes to get something that fits well.
  2. I have an aversion to using anything below a 3mm hook.
  3. If you are starting a new crocheted or knitted sock pattern, be prepared to have a sacrificial first sock that is either going to be wonky or frogged.

The three points given above have to be taken into account when you read the review because they are issues that I have to work around when making socks.

The book is very deatiled - which I love.  There are sections on understanding sock construction, the differences in sock yarn and working out your foot measurements.  This information is incredibly helpful, especially if you have never crocheted or knitted socks before.  

There are 16 sock patterns in the book and two of those have been provided as cuff-down and toe-up options, so really there 18 patterns in total.  These patterns build up really nicely from plain one colour patterns through to cables, lace, stripes etc.  What I particulalry liked was that different toe, heel and cuff patterns were given too, so you could learn different techniques and see what works best for your feet.  If you have a high instep for instance, you may need to swap out for a different heel type that gives more stitches.  

If you want to get to the point of having really good fitting handmade socks, it usually takes a few pairs and some chopping and changing of costruction before you get there and that needs to be taken into account when you are working from sock pattern books.

I chose to work up three separate patterns from the book so that I could review it well and test out different sock yarns at the same time.   

Gorman Toe-up was worked up over three socks and two different yarns.  On each occassion I used a 3mm hook and because of that I had to rework the pattern over 40 sts rather than the smallest size provided which was 44 sts.  This wasn't a difficult task.  

Things I loved about the book:

  • The detail given on construction, sizing etc.
  • The stitch guide for each pattern is given at the top of each pattern so you don't have to flick to a glossary at the back.
  • The designs fit really well and are easy to adapt to your preferred length of cuff etc.
  • Good photography which helps to understand the construction of the socks.
  • Lots of ankle socks so you get patterns that can take you through more seasons.  

 Issues I had with the book:

  • At times, small parts of the pattern were missing.  In Mordecai, the stitch guide for foundation double chain crochet (US) is incomplete.  If you didn't know that, you would struggle to get the sock started.  In the Azalea pattern the written instructions are incorrect.  It says to repeat rnd 6 to complete rnd 7 but that is incorrect and I only know that because I read the accompanying chart.  These aren't big issues because I have used these techniques enough times but a first timer coming to these patterns with less confidence may struggle. 
  • It feels like a more thorogh tech edit was required to check and double check the patterns and provide better instructions in some areas.  Again, I managed work arounds and could understand where the problems were but only because I have knitted and crocheted quite a few pairs of socks now.  




Would I recommend this book to others?  Even with the issues that I have outlined above, I would still recommend the book.  I would just encourage people to read through the pattern thoroughly, be prepared to frog or have an initial wonky sock until the perfect length, stitch count etc is reached.  It may also be worth heading to project pages on Ravelry where people like me have put up notes explaining changes and pattern work arounds.  

There are currently no errata links for this book on Interweave's website or Ravelry.

In the UK the book retails for £16.99 and I think this is good value for money.  Eighteen patterns, loads of upfront information before you even start and loads of techniques to learm.  You just have to have the confidence to know when something probably isn't quite right and be able to work around that.

In the UK the book retails for £16.99 and I think this is good value for money. Eighteen patterns, loads of upfront information before you even start and loads of techniques to learn. You just have to have the confidence to know when something probably isn't quite right and be able to work.

FW Media have offered people in the UK a £5 discount code and free P&P, bringing the cost down to £11.99. All you have to do is call 01206 255777 and use code KHC117. The discount is available until the 15th December 2017.



7 - Feeding the habit

Here are some of the things that I aquired at Yarndale:



1 - Yarn from Black Horse Yarns

2 - Dorset Button kit from Tania at TJ Frog

3 - Amazing yarnyness from RiverKnits

4 - More buttons from Textile Garden

5 - Vintage scissors from Eliza Conway

6 - Some paper yarn to play with.


That RiverKnits yarn in the middle is called Indian Giant Squirrel - just look at it unskeined and the the actual beast below!


And here is my amazing prize from Vivian and Alyson from the Keep Calm and Carry Yarn podcast.  This is an exceptionally well made bag form Vivian via her Pearl and Plum shop. 


8 - Big up

I have a couple of podcasts for you to take a look at. Both are on YouTube.

Deanne from Addydae Designs is very well known for her crochet designs such as the Blurre shawl, but she has a podcast too.  She lives in Australia which gives it a different twist for me and is very open about her design process and sharing with the audience. 

The second is the Thread the Love podcast on YouTube.  Amber has a couple of episodes out so far.  She is a crochet designer and so far her episodes are both under 30 minutes.


9 - What's Good

Clarisabeth and Caroline are well - it is worth reiterating that this is very good news.  I am loving that Charlie from the Love Charlie podcast is local to me.  It is really nice to have a podcaster just down the road.     

I have just interviewed Becci and Markus from RiverKnits.  I really enjoyed doing the interview with them and it reminded me how much I enjoy the process, so I need to get out ont he road and get interviewing people again!  You can hear the interview or watch it.



See you all in November.

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

Instagram: Knitithookit

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups


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October 5, 2017 @ 1:05 pm

Interview with RiverKnits

Whist visiting Yarndale 2017 (Yorkshire based yarn show), I was ushered towards RiverKnits by my friend Bec.  I was instantly in awe of their yarns, colours and dyeing techniques.

I discovered that they live and dye (see what I did there!) on a narrow boat that was moored up less than a mile from my house.  It was such a golden opportunity to interview a dyeing duo on their boat that I coudln't pass it up.

What you will hear is an interview that was conducted as we sat outside on the narrow boat.  There are knocks and bangs and engines noises.  I deliberately wanted this as part of the interview so that you got a feel for life on the boat.  At the end there are soem lovely tunes played by Becci and Markus, so keep on listening.

The interview is also available as a video file on YouTube.  Unfortunately, the footage is over exposed (my baf for not sorting out hte wite balance better) but I felt it was still okay to put out and the interview is just so nice that I coudln't not be seen.

Rather than write lots about the interview, I just want to show you some photos below that punctaute the interview.  

You can buy RiverKnits yarns from and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.  They also have a Facebook page for their folk band Das Boaty McBoatface.



 Some RiverKnits colourways



The most amazing 'Indian Giant Squirrel' colourway



The actual Indian Giant Squirrel.



My latest design 'Barley', which uses 100g of Splenidferous Sock in 'Stoke' and 5 x mini skeins of your choice.



One of Becci's favourite dyers is Victoria from Eden Cottage - you can see why!



Some examples of colourways inspired by life on the canal.



Goregous leather project bags made by Nu Shearman.  Nu uses British leather and has an Etsy shop.



Thanks for listening and thanks to Becci and Markus for letting me come and interview them.

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

Instagram: Knitithookit

YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast

Ravelry Group: Search for The Crochet Circle Podcast in Groups

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