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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


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.



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.


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.  



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.


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.


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. 


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!



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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