Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 58 – Declutter, Destash & Simplify!   

My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet.  It’s a community for people that like to support their fellow humans regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, size or age. I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.  Come on in and stay awhile.  

In this episode, I cover: Old Dog New Tricks; Yarn Review; Final Destination; En Route; feeding the Habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.  

This podcast is sponsored by my online crafting company, Provenance Craft Co. 

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

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1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have been having a good old sort out these last few weeks.  One of the rooms to be sorted was my Stash Palace…

It is the smallest room in our house but it is absolutely crammed full of all my crafting materials and equipment.  These have mainly been collected in the last six years and my tastes have changed.  They haven’t changed drastically ‘cause British breeds and proper woolly wool have always been part of my crafting DNA, but I have things in my stash that I know I’m never going to use.

If you are in a similar position, the chances are that you have spent hard-earned money on those items and you would quite like to get some value back for them.

So here are some ways that you can deal with your stash based on three levels of stash love:

1 – You bought it/were given it and you aren’t that fussed about trying to get money back for it. 

This is ideal for passing on to charity shops.  All of my local ones love having crafting things passed to them so long as they are good quality.  They don’t want ratty balls of tangled yarn.  They may also be interested in partial projects, so long as the pattern/instructions are in the bundle and ideally the equipment required too.

I have also just passed a load of my commercial wool onto a friend.  Her daughter crochets blankets for charity and is going to make good use of that bag of yarn to help keep someone warm in Manchester.   

2 – You want to at least try to get some value from these mid-range items if you can. 

This is the kind of thing that I try to sell on Ebay.  Lots of commercial yarn is sold on Ebay and it’s a great platform for selling it on because the chances are that the buyer already has a knowledge of that yarn brand, so have the confidence to buy from that platform.

3 – These stash babies can’t be given away, you really need to try to recoup some of the money you spent on them. 

This is the level where you are best off going to a specific platform to sell it.  Whilst I see more hand-dyed skeins of yarn appearing on Ebay, I still think that Instagram or Facebook Groups are a better option for resale. 

If you have a large enough following, doing a destash on stories can be a great way of selling your unwanted yarn and equipment. 

Your other option is to join some of the many Facebook groups for reselling yarn.  They can be country-specific, so if you don’t want to pay high postage costs, try to find a group in your country.  I am a member of the Yarn Snobs – hand-dyed yarns FSOT group on Facebook.  It is mainly made up of UK folk and it’s easy to work out whether the yarn is available from the UK or elsewhere.

In non-COVID times, I would also recommend hosting a yarn swap at your local crafting group.  I usually hold one twice a year at Woolgathering Sandbach and it gives you the chance to refresh what is in your stash without spending a penny. 

Having sorted through all of my stash in the last few days and moved a lot of it into the three categories above, I feel a lot better.  The sheer amount of ‘stuff’ was weighing heavy.  To be fair, we have been decluttering the entire house and so unless an item is useful, beautiful, or sentimental, it has been moved on to a new home and it feels REALLY good.

So on that note, I will be having a bit of a destash sale on Instagram on Sunday the 4th October.  I will be listing books, yarn and material, so if you fancy seeing what is on offer, come and see from 12pm onwards (BST).

  

2 – Yarn Review

The good folks at John Arbon asked if I wanted to have a play with their new Alpaca Supreme yarn.  It has been given a bit of an update with some delicate new colours to complement the existing neutral palette.

I’m on a bit of an alpaca kick at the moment and so it was an obvious yes, please!

I asked Sonja to surprise me with the colour and I’m very pleased that she sent me Morganite.  It’s a proper dusky, old rose pink.  I’m not a massive pink fan, but this has such a lovely vintage vibe to it and I love it.

The blend is 40% Superfine Alpaca (UK grown), 40% Organic Falklands Merino and 20% A1 Mulberry Silk.

Skein of Alpaca Supreme on a grey background.  The skein is soft and a light vintage pink.

Alpaca Supreme shade card with 8 shades.  Three are in grey, one in white, light sage green, denim blue, vintage rose pink and light lavender

Alpaca fibre is generally graded into six different categories and depending on which website you are looking at, Superfine Alpaca is either grade 2 or 3, so right up there at the lux end. Here is a link to the suggested six grades for alpaca fibre (link).

A1 Mulberry Silk is basically the highest quality you can get for yarn.  Mulberry has an extremely high lustre to it and the A1 refers to the fibre length and lack of neps from the cocoon.

If you have ever used their Knit By Numbers, you already know how gloriously soft their Organic Falklands Merino is.   

I am crocheting up a Positivity Spiral with this skein and it is super soft and luxurious to work with.  I’m using a 3.75mm hook and the fabric I am getting has a gorgeous drape and a fluidity to it.  I actually keep stroking my face with it, it’s that soft. 

If you are after a really special skein of yarn for a project then I thoroughly recommend Alpaca Supreme.  It’s sportweight/heavy 4 ply, so 333m per 100g.  That’s enough to make a one skein shawl with, or a hat or mittens.  It would also make a really beautiful shawl. 

I want to make mittens, a hat, bed socks and a drapey cropped cardigan with this yarn.  All the lux things.

Here are my five words for Alpaca Supreme:

lux, shiny, delicate, super-soft & drapey

  

3 – Final Destination

I have a few finished bits this month.  First up is my Encanto Not Wrap.  I used Claudia’s Encanto Wrap pattern (link) to create a cowl and since I finished it, I have barely taken it off.

I used some gorgeously soft Brenel Alpacas 100% alpaca yarn (link) that I bought in a yarn shop in Aukland, New Zealand.

Grey background with a very dark petrol/teal alpaca cowl.  Stitch definition shows the two different stitches used throughout the cowl.

Claudia’s pattern is fab and it’s really easy to make it bigger or smaller, depending on what you want to make and how much yarn you have. 

 

I also had two designs in Inside Crochet this month.  The Jewel Office Set is made from Erika Knight Gossypium Cotton (DK) and has a pattern for a desk tidy, coaster, pen pot and set of three bowls.  It’s made with a mixture of intarsia and tapestry crochet. 

Ep_58_FO_2711qx.png

Photo from Inside Crochet

My final finished object is called the Igam Wrap.  It’s made with naturally dyed yarn from Helen of Nellie and Eve (link).  Helen lives on the side of a mountain in Wales and forages locally for the plant items she uses as dye stock and even uses mountain spring water for dyeing with.  She has a lovely Instagram account (link) if you fancy getting to know a bit more about her natural dyeing process. 

Photo of Helen crouching in a field, cuddling sheep.

Blue/grey Igam wrap worn by a gorgeous grey, curly haired model.Photo from Inside Crochet

The wrap is sized from a small to a 5XL and the size I’m showing used just under 200g of 4 ply (400m/100g) yarn.  It’s a blend of 75% Bluefaced Leicester and 25% Masham.  The colour is called Juniper and it’s a beautifully soft, blue/steel grey colour.

What I really love about this wrap is how versatile it is. It has a double button band so that it can be worn as a cowl, wrap, poncho or twisted wrap. 

I also have a pair of knitted socks.  I really lost my crafting mojo for a few days.  It’s unusual for me to not pick up a hook, needles or thread at some point every day and after six days of no crafting passed, I knew it was time to kickstart it somehow. 

Off to my Stash Palace I popped and found my already caked Indian Giant Squirrel by RiverKnits.  This yarn has all of the autumnal colours in one and it was just what I needed to get my mojo back.  I knitted my good old plain socks so that the yarn wasn’t competing with a pattern.  They make me smile and they brought my mojo back.

Pair of knitted socks in a variegated yarn that has all of the Autumnal colours in one!

 

4 – En Route

This is a bit of a cheaty one because I haven’t actually started the project yet, but I have printed off the pattern and chosen my wool.  I’m going to crochet the Colour Pop Sweater by Julme Conradie (link) who is on Instagram as @mysquarehat (link). 

Set of 4 cakes of variegated yarn in a fade.  Two outer cakes are the same rusty red colour.  The two inner colours are a brighter rusty orange and mustard colour.

I really love Julme’s designs and her pattern writing is good.  I have 4 skeins of DK variegated yarn that I want to use as a mirrored fade front and back and because this design is worked vertically from side to side it will work a treat with my yarn choice.

It’s also in linen stitch which I love.  After finishing my Esja Sweater, I swore to never do another long jumper that had a horizontal linen stitch body because I don’t think it has enough integral structure to it for the weight of the yarn. 

My suspicion is that a vertical stitched, cropped version will be fine, and we are going to find out aren’t we!

One of the beauties of side to side vertical construction is that I can put colours that I wouldn’t want right at my face, into the arms instead.  I have a deep orange/red that I wouldn’t normally wear in a jumper.  I love the colour, I just don’t think it does anything with my pink complexion.

The other thing to say about the Pop Colour Sweater is that of course, I am going to fiddle with it.  I’m going to knit the ribbing rather than crochet it, which means adding all of it at the end and therefore playing around with the pattern a little. You would expect nothing less of me!

So, more actual progress on that jumper next month.  Even though it’s DK, there is no way it will be finished.

 

4  – Feeding the Habit

I am fresh back from a lovely weekend away with a couple of my yarny friends.  We couldn’t get our money back for our Yarndale weekend, so still went to Skipton and had a weekend of watching movies, eating good food and crafting. 

We took along yarn that we didn’t want anymore and swapped with each other for things we would use. 

Three skeins of yarn. L-R is a dark coral, mid grey woolly wool and self-striping DK in green, blue and red.

 

So, I have three new skeins of yarn in my stash that I didn’t really pay for and have decluttered some of the yarn that I know I won’t use.  Result!

The yarns are John Arbon Textiles Exmoor Zwartbles in a DK (link), Lain 'Amouree 100% Merino (link) and a skein of unknown goodness!

 

5 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – The October hook ups are on:

Saturday 17th at 8pm BST and Sunday 18th at 9am BST.

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  if a password is required, it is WOOL.

If you are joining on your phone or tablet you will likely need to download the software in advance.  If you are joining from a PC or Mac, you can join via the link above.  Everyone needs to use the same ID number to get into the session. 

2 – A group of amazing crocheters and I are part of a Vogue Knitting Live panel on the 8th October called “Crochet in the UK”.  It’s part of Vogue Knitting Live form the 8th – 11th October (link). 

We will be chatting for an hour about how the UK is pushing crochet forward and hopefully showing off contemporary crochet and why it isn’t second fiddle and deserves its own seat at the crafting table. 

As I get more details on how to join, I will add them to the show notes and get them out on Instagram.

All of this is being pushed by Claudia from Crochet Luna podcast.  The panel was her idea and she has brought together a fabulous group to represent the UK crochet scene.

3 – Somebody got in touch to say that they were having issues getting into my project notes in Evernote.  If anyone else has had issues can you please let me know?  Equally, if you managed to get into the notes can you let me know?

4 – Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting me on Patreon.  I cannot tell you what a difference it makes to me and my ability to deliver this podcast.  If you want to investigate becoming a Patron, you can see what it means via this link. 

5 – Just a bit of a heads up that I may not be around much this coming month.  Have no fear, I will be back next month but it may be a bit of an amalgamation podcast as I am going to have to record bits and pieces as I can throughout the month. 

There is rather a lot going on at Chez Dashper-Hughes at the moment, so I am going to have to squeeze things in when I can. 

 

6 – J’adore

I have a new to me podcast to recommend for you today and it isn’t specifically about crochet, but there is a connection.  I am really interested in where my food and resources come from, how it is produced and the people behind the production.  I should imagine that is fairly obvious from this podcast. 

Through my friend and stockist Maria or Dodgson Wood, I came across an audio podcast called Rock and Roll Farming (link).  Will is a beef, arable and egg farmer in North Wales and has been delivering a weekly podcast since April 2017, with well over 100 episodes to listen to. 

I know this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but here in the UK, small scale farming is integral to our landscape, food chain and textiles industry and Will offers a broad overview of the UK farming scene through his podcast.  I promised you will be interested in some if not all of it.  

If you want to dip your toe in gently, start with the Herdy Shepherd interviews (part 1 & part 2).  If you were ever of the opinion that farmers and agrics weren’t impressive folk, think again. 

 

I’ll be back on 6th November in some form or not – possibly a hologram.

Fay x

 

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