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June 6, 2019 @ 11:52 pm

Episode 43 - Monogamous Me

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 43 – Monogamous Me.


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 a while. 


In this episode, I cover Old Dog new tricks; Perth Project Runway update; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats, Big Up and J’adore.


This podcast is sponsored by



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

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:




1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have recently been on a frogging spree.  I had a few things in my wardrobe (crocheted and knitted) that I just wasn’t wearing and I know I can put the yarn to better use.  So, I frogged a cowl and a top.


When you do this, the resulting yarn has kinks in it.  These kinks are the memory that was crocheted in – and it tends to remain in the yarn.  From experience, it is much better to freshen the yarn up before you use it again.  I once knitted a pair of socks from a sock blank and even though they have been worn and washed many times, the fabric still shows the kinks and I’m not that fond of them because of it.


So, to get around that, here is what I suggest you do with your frogged yarn:


1 – Re-skein it.  I use the back of two dining chairs to create the circular loops that make up a skein.  You could also use an umbrella swift if you have one, but I find it just as easy to use chairs.

2 – Make sure you tie your skein ends together and place a tie in at least one other place around the skein to stop it getting tangled. 

3 – Submerge your skein in water.  I would usually add a wool wash to this so that I am giving the yarn a clean at the same time.  After about 20 minutes, take the skein out of the water and squeeze out as much excess yarn as possible.

4 – Hang your skein out to dry.  This is best done outside because it will drip.  I pop the skein onto an s-hook and hang it from my washing line.

5 – To get all of the kinks out, attach something heavy to the bottom of the skein with another s-hook.  I used one of our camping torches as a weight.


I tested two skeins in this manner, one with a weight and one without.  The skein without the weight still had some little kinks in it – but it was linen which I often find has kinks in it.  The skein that was weighed down is lovely and kink-free.


Here’s a link to a tutorial video from HueLoco on how she re-skeins and ties her yarn.


I have another quick trick for you.  It seems that many, many, many of us didn’t know about the little cone that can be detached from Gutterman thread bobbins.  If you look at the bobbin, you will see that there is an extra bit at one end.  That end can be twisted off and inside you can store your needle and thread or trap down the loose end!  I know.  It’s actual magic!


2 – Perth Project Runway update

Thank you to everyone that gave suggestions for a garment that I could crochet for Perth Festival of Yarn and the catwalk.  The suggestions were fantastic and I have pulled them all into a bundle on Ravelry for you to look at. 


I looked at all of them and created a shortlist of five:


1 – Citizen Pullover by Kabila Sri Ponnusamy

2 – Liza Pullover by Yuliya Tkacheva

3 – Blurred Lines by Addydae Designs

4 – Bark Sweater by Sidsel Sangild

5 – Bruni Top by Elven Handmade


ALT TEXT: Photos L-R show the five different Designs

1 - Citizen Pullover has a main colour of light grey with diagonal stripes  in both directions in a dark coral.  Short sleeves.

2 - Liza Pullover - all in grey with a grid like/basket weave construction and short sleeves.

3 - Blurred Lines has main colour at the top and bottom in a light grey and fades into a central yarn of variegated teal and grey through bust, waist and arms.  

4 - Bark Sweater is in a light grey and has clear open/ lace sections that are leaf shaped.

5 - Bruni Top is in a dusky pink and is lacy all over with a hollow at the base of the back and ties at the base.


Now we are ready for the next stage – you get to vote which garment wins.  I have created a thread in Ravelry and will pop a poll up on Instagram during the weekend.  Whichever pattern is chosen, that is the pattern I will crochet for the show.  So, get voting!  It’s a short vote because I will be getting the yarn from Bernie at Bear in Sheep's Clothing when I see her at Woollinn Yarn Festival on the 14th of June.   


3 – Final Destination

I have been a monogamous crafter of late.  My work-life is pretty full on at the moment and I know that having lots of WIPs fogs my mind, so I have been trying to only have one crochet and one knitting project on that go at any one time.  It’s amazing how quickly you get through projects when you just concentrate on them one at a time!


Part of what spurred me on with this is that it has taken me eight (!) months to complete my Fallen Leaves socks and I have quite a lot of guilt attached to that.


ALT TEXT: A pair of socks on a grey background.  They are crocheted from the same pattern which has a waffle type effect. The sock on the left is a light blue with pops of green and grey.  The sock on the right is a bright raspberry pink and some striping can be seen where the skein has slightly darker patches. 

The pattern is by Vicki Brown and I used two different yarns from Kathryn at Crafternoon Treats.  The pink is called Darkly Raspberry and it’s a non-superwash blend of 80% Corriedale and 20% nylon.  The blue speckled one is called Forest Skies and is Superwash, 80% Corriedale and 20% nylon.  I deliberately did the other sock in the same pattern but using a different base from Kathryn so that I could investigate any differences with superwash and non-superwash and durability.  I have enough yarn in both colours left to knit a pair of socks (also different colours) so that I can test the yarn for knitted socks too. 


I am always on the lookout for yarns that are suitable for socks and aren’t super-wash or have a reduced nylon content. 


The second item I finished was the latest version of Doppio Colosseum in the birthday yarn colourway ‘The Moor’ that RiverKnits dyed up for Kate at Northern Yarn in Lancashire.  This is proper woolly wool – it’s a Poll Dorset breed (Jennett 4 ply is Poll Dorset Lambswool) and it has a real plumpy squish to it and because of that, I moved up to a 3.5mm hook so that the fabric didn’t become dense and rigid.  This shawl will be heading up to Northern Yarn next week or so, so if you are ever in there, you will be able to give it a squish.


My final FO is a new shawl design that I have been working on.  This will be my third year vending at Yarnfolk in Whitehead Northern Ireland.  Louse runs the show and also has a gorgeous yarn shop – Lighthouse Yarns, in the middle of town.




ALT TEXT:  The tip of a striped shawl in three colours (dark stormy blue, raspberry pink and seaweed green). 

At the end of each colour stripe is a point, representing a rooftop.

At the end of the festival last year, Louise got talking about crochet designs for the 2019 festival and she asked whether I would like to do one.  Well, I have never known so many crocheters as there are in Whitehead (far more crocheters than knitters in fact), so it is a complete honour to be able to create a pattern for the festival. 


I decided on a shawl because almost every crocheter I know loves a shawl, but I also wanted to represent the town of Whitehead in some way.  Whitehead is a Victorian seaside town and has pretty coloured houses along the shorefront – that is absolutely perfect for pulling into a shawl design. 


On the same timeline, John Arbon Textiles released their new sock yarn – Exmoor Sock and the range of colours is fabulous.  They come in 50g skeins, which makes them perfect for adding colour to shawls without having to break the bank.  Et voila, Kinbane (Gaelic for Whitehead) was dreamt up as three colour striped shawl with pointed rooftop edges based on the shorefront houses of the town.  I didn’t think that naming the shawl after a spot was a good idea 😉


The shawl uses 150g of the main colour and 50g each of two other colours, so has real potential to be a stash buster.  I can see this being worked up with variegated yarns too. 


The stitch used is a Half treble herringbone stitch (half double in the US) and it creates a lovely thin fabric that is perfect for shawls.  I was also consciously trying to create a shawl that is gender neutral, which I think I have achieved?


If you are coming to the festival (Saturday 3rd August), Whitehead, Northern Ireland, then you will receive a download code for the pattern in the event programme.  John and Juliet will also be bringing Exmoor Sock with them, so you can look at all of the colours and ask me for colour combinations.   


After the show, the pattern will go live on Ravelry, on my website and hard copies will be available too, but I will let you know all about that in the August podcast.


4 – En Route

I only have one crochet thing on the go at the moment – see – I’m being monogamous.  Because I am ridiculous, I thought I could quickly crochet up another sample of my Arria shawl before I head down to vend at the John Arbon Open Weekend on Friday.  It’s not going to be finished on time but will at least be there for folk to squish and see even more crocheted items in their lovely yarns.  I also love standing and crocheting as I talk to customers, so that’s what I will be working on this weekend.


ALT TEXT: Grey background with the beginnings of a triangular shawl and three cakes of yarn at the top. 

The main colour is russet brown and the small triangles making up the spine of the shawl are in a deep teal colour.


This sample is in Harvest Hues (4ply/light fingering 400m/100g) in shades Russet and Blue Spruce.


5 – Feeding the Habit

It has been a very quiet month for purchases, mainly because I’m off to the mill weekend and we all know I will be incapable of coming back without wool from there, and also, I am vending at Woollinn the week after and pick up the yarn from Bernie for the Perth Runway.  So, I curbed my will to buy all the things this month.


That said, I did receive some yarn through the post from Kim at Town End Yarns.  I was talking to her at Yarndale back in September about sock yarn no, or reduced nylon but using alpaca for strength instead.  Kim specialises in Alpaca based yarns and also knows a thing or two about socks.


She sent me two cakes of her Cumbria Sock Yarn natural and pink.  The blend is 47% British Alpaca, 43% Bluefaced Leicester which is local to her and 10% nylon and it’s all made in the UK. 


I plan to knit these up so that I can test out the durability of a reduced nylon blend of sock yarn.  It is beautiful to touch. 


I want to get to a point where I can test out lots of different reduced/no nylon yarns to see how they perform.  I generally stand up all day long, so I know I can put them through some hard work. 


6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – I have had to change the date of the June Global Hook Up because I am now vending that weekend.  The new dates and times are Saturday 22nd June at 8 pm (BST) and Sunday 23rd June at 9 am BST.

2 – Thank you to those that are taking me up on my ‘Pay what you can pattern pricing’.  It’s available on my website for electronic versions and if you are unable to pay the lowest amount of £2 then please get in touch with me using the details given in The Craft Bank group on Ravelry and I will send you the electronic pattern for free, no questions asked.

3 – The carpet moths are back in my living room.  We haven’t used that room for months, so these are very likely moth eggs that were lying dormant all winter until the rise in temperature.  Just a quick reminder on how to protect your stash from the moth larvae. 

  • Put your yarn into a sealable bag.
  • Freeze the bag for five days.
  • Take the bag out of the freezer for five days but leave the yarn sealed inside.
  • Freeze the bag for a further five days.


The initial freeze should kill off the larvae.  If there are some particularly hardy ones, they will survive the freeze and come to life during the defrosting period, and then be killed off during the second freeze.  Then choose to either store your yarn in those bags or in a moth free room of your home.  


My Stash Palace is 100% moth free which is why I freeze all yarns before they go in there. 



7 – Big Up

This month’s Big Up goes to Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health.  Lyndsey gave up her time to come and be interviewed and answer all of your questions on how to craft and look after your bodies.


She is great fun and very knowledgeable.  We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours out in my garden talking about crochet. 


Lyndsey has just started cooking curries and as a thank you from us to her, I used some of the money that you have kindly added to the Kofi account to buy her three, second hand (of course) curry recipe books from my favourite Indian recipe write, Anjum Anand.


It was also Claudia’s birthday this week – happy birthday my friend!


8 – J’adore


My laser cutter!  I got a proper kick up the backside when I realised that I have had it for a year and not produced half the things I wanted to.  I have learned a lot with this machine and really love the quality of goods I am getting as a result.  This weeks’ efforts have centred around needle and hook gauges and Kitchener and crochet stitch reckoners.  I am trying to produce things that are practical, functional and look good.  Watch this space for more things to come.


Even better, do you have any suggestions for tools that would be useful? Sock blockers are a given!


I will be back on Friday the 5th of July.


Fay x

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May 3, 2019 @ 9:25 am

Episode 42 - The Craft Bank

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 42 – The Craft Bank.

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 a while. 

In this episode I cover: Update review of KnitPro ball winder; Craft Inclusivity; Perth Project Runway; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.

This podcast is sponsored by


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

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:



1 – Review

Last month I reviewed my super-duper snazzy new KnitPro wooden ball winder and I thought that a month on, I should give you a bit of an update.  Put simply – I love it even more than I did last month. 

I have now tested out how big a cake it can wind and the answer is big!  I managed to wind 350g of 4 ply before the cake went wonky and created its own planetary rings. 

On the downside, at one point, the bearing cone came off.  I think that is my fault for caking up anti-clockwise rather than clockwise.


ALT TEXT: A massive cake of yarn (350g of 4 ply in a light bluey grey colour with mid blue neps) on a grey background with standard cake of 100g yarn for contrast.  


2 – Craft inclusivity

Update on the open letter and resources to yarn dyers, yarn shops and vendors – this piece of work is ongoing and something that I will sound you out on in the next podcast.  I don’t want to go out with the open letter until I have the resources ready and available.  I’m not trying to bash people with a crochet stick, I genuinely want to be part force for change for crochet to be given the respect it is due.  More to come on this.

I am also really proud to tell you about a group that my friend Lisa (@lisa_raspberrycrochet on Instagram) has pulled together on Ravelry.  The inclusivity discussions on Instagram have moved into the realm of pattern and yarn prices and how as dyers and designers, we can make those goods readily available for all.  

Lisa has created a group in Ravelry called The Craft Bank.  The premise is a simple one.  If you have yarn that you are destashing, you can offer it up for free or an affordable price.  The idea is that the yarn can be passed on to someone that will use it and is unlikely to be able to afford to purchase it otherwise.

There is a second thread in the group whereby, crafters are offering to buy patterns for crafters and designers are offering up their patterns for free.

By the end of this bank holiday weekend I will have done the following to ensure that I am contributing positively to this:

1 – For all of my electronic patterns on my website, I will have incorporated a payment scale for patterns.  They generally sell for £4 per pattern and there will be a scale of £2 - £6 for each pattern.  The concept is that you pay what you can afford and would genuinely like to see people on lesser incomes, taking me up on this offer.

2 -  I will have added to give-away patterns to The Craft Bank Thread (crochet and knit).

3 – I will have added some destash yarns to the yarn thread and will probably keep on adding some little and often.  Due to the cost of postage, this will be open to UK residents only – sorry.

So, if you have a yarn stash that you want to decrease or want to know that you are directly supporting fellow crafters, I encourage you to go to The Craft Bank Group on Ravelry and see what support you can lend.


3 - Perth Project Runway

I have something very exciting to tell you.  Not only am I vending at Perth Festival of Yarn with my company, KNIT IT – HOOK IT – CRAFT IT, but I am also looking to create some crochet gorgeousness to send down their runway!

On the Saturday night, there is a Gala Dinner and as part of that dinner, they have a runway fashion show of knitted and crocheted items.  Eva heads up the Perth Festival of Yarn team and we have been in conversation about more crochet representation at the show and she asked whether I might be able to crochet a garment for the runway. 

Ehm, yeah I’ll do that!  The thing is though, that I would like the Crochet Clan to be part of it too. 

So, here’s what I would love your help with.  I need to find a suitable jumper/seater/top pattern.  You know what my style is and ultimately this needs to be something that I will want to wear after the event. 

I am looking for something really contemporary.  They yarn that I am going to use is a new base that Bernie from Bear in Sheeps Clothing is launching at Woollinn this year.  It’s a 4 ply (395m per 100g, light fingering weight) yarn and a blend of 50% Corriedale and 50% Mohair – so, think soft, silky, drapey with a fluffy halo! I can stretch to 6 x 100g of 4 ply, but I would prefer something around the 4-500g mark.

Let’s talk about granny stitch and granny squares.  I know lots of you love them, but I just don’t and that isn’t the image that I want to portray for contemporary crochet going down the Perth Festival of Yarn Runway.  So, without being rude, please don’t send me ideas of crocheted garments that have these elements.  I really want to show how crochet is moving on from what people already perceive it to be.

So, here’s what to do if you want to be part of Perth Project Runway:

1 – Respond with YouTube comment or Podbean comment or DM me @crochet_circle_podcast (on Instagram).

2 – Let me know what the garment is called and who the designer is.

3 – Don’t worry if the design is for DK or worsted weight rather than 4 ply.  I can make changes to the pattern to make it fit and be able to use Bernie’s yarn. 

In next month’s podcast, I will have looked at all the options sent to me and whittled it down to 3-5 patterns that I would be happy to make and wear.  You then get to vote on the final pattern choice and your decision is final, not mine!

I will make a bundle of all of your suggestions in Ravelry so that you can easily see all of the suggestions in one place.

I will pick up the yarn from Bernie in June (it will likely be a custom dye lot) and then get hooking away from mid-June, ready for Perth Festival of Yarn on the 7th & 8th September. 

Festival tickets went on sale last weekend and it is looking like a fantastic show.  I think there is still a handful of tickets for the Gala evening – it would be lovely to have some Crochet Clan folk there if you fancy it?

It’s all very exciting!


4 – Final Destination

This is my one and only FO this month and I finished it at the beginning of the month when I was in Scotland!  I was vending at two, weekend shows, which has taken up most of my time.

I don’t seem to like this jumper until I put it on and then I like it.  I seriously considered ripping it all out this morning and then I put it on to record the podcast and though “you’re not so bad!”


ALT TEXT a flat lay of my Esja Sweater on a wooden floor.  The sweater is crocheted using a mid-blue grey yarn as the main colour and a speckled mid-blue, teal and rust yarn for the crocheted brioche areas of the yolk.  


5 – En Route

I don’t have much to show here either – sorry.  I am just about to finish off another Doppio Colosseum that I have crocheted for Kate at Northern Yarn in Lancaster.  She is keen to have more crochet in her shop and as part of her 3rd Birthday celebrations this Friday, she has had some of her Poll Dorset lambswool custom dyed by an indie dyer.  Two skeins of the wool were passed to me to crochet Doppio Colosseum.  The colours and indie dyer are under wraps until Friday night, so I won’t be able to share it with you until then.  Needless to say, I will show it off as an FO in the June podcast and post about it on Instagram this weekend.

I have also made a start on my Canisp jumper using the Romney/Corriedale yarn that I showed off in last month’s podcast.  It’s just rounds of knitted stripes for now, and so I won’t show you that until I am a bit further in.   The Romney/Corriedale is working up a treat though and I plan to have this off the needles, ready for the John Arbon Textiles Open Weekend at the beginning of June.  If you fancy coming to that, just follow the link above – it’s a great day trip out, but you have to book.


6 – Feeding the habit

I’m trying to slow down on my wool purchases.  My Stash Palace is bulging at the moment and it’s starting to make me feel a little uneasy.  That said, I still have some Feeding the habit for you this month, but a fair amount of it was given to me as presents.

If you watch my Instagram stories, you will know that I was at the New Lanark Mill in Scotland at the beginning of April.  I first went there as a Conservation student, about 23 years ago.  If you want to know more about the mill, follow this link. It’s a very interesting place and happens to now spin Scottish wool on their original machinery. 



ALT TEXT: New Lanark Mill in the sunrise/set, nestled by the river at the bottom of a steep valley.  Lots of mill buildings glowing orange with green trees surrounding the site.


ALT TEXT: Inside New Lanark Mill with arched windows and vintage macjinery the length of the long hall.  Old tiled floor and a worker keeping the machinery going.

I had promised myself a jumper’s quantity of wool from there are my birthday jumper wool this year.  What I didn’t expect was to find such an utter bargain.  There was a random hank of 4 ply yarn that was labelled up as £22.50.  I asked them to check whether that was right, because it seemed like a lot of wool for such little money, and I was assure that it was correct.  When I got it home, I discovered that it was a 450g hank!  So, this is destined to be some form of colour-work birthday jumper – probably knitted because of the low twist on it.  See photo from ball winder cakes for New Lanark wool purchased (Donegal Silk Tweed 4 ply ‘Light Limestone’ 90% wool/10% silk)

I also had a very good discussion with them about crochet and crocheted samples.  They don’t have any out in their shop, but I am going to design something in their yarn – probably next year.  Think – thistle based colour-work shawl and you will be spot-on.

When I was vending at Wonderwool Wales last weekend, my stand neighbour was a lovely lady called Helen from Nellie and Eve.  We share the same environmental ideals and Helen’s naturally dyed British breed yarns quite honestly took my breath away.

ep_42_Helen_from_Nellie_and_eve.jpg ep_42_habit_1.jpg

ALT TEXT: Photo 1 is of Helen at her stand surrounded by lovely skeins of pastel, soft wools. 

Photo 2 is a close up of the two skeins of 4ply British wool I bought from Helen.  The light siege green skeins lie on a grey background with white skein bands. 

Helen is keen to have crocheted samples on her stand and I want to help her achieve that.  So, I bought two skeins of wool (75% BFL/25% Masham in a 4 ply) from her and the ideas for them are starting to filter through.  It may be next year before any of these designs come to fruition, but I am happy to be able to support companies that really want to have crochet as part of their offering.

I also received some very lovely, surprise gifts through the post from Tania and Edwyn.



ep_42_habit_4.jpg ep_42_habit_3.jpg

ALT TEXT: Photo 1 - three skeins of creamy Dorest Down wool.  One lies on top of the other two, with white/green labels and the black TJ Frog logo.

Photo 2 - Grey background with a linen, zippered bag with a print of large Dorest Buttons on oranges, browns and black.  Green TJ Frog tag lies to the left.   


 Photo 3 - grey background with a "crochet Workshop' book by James Walters.



7 - Quick News Beats 

1 – Winners of 3 year podiversary were announced and I have been in touch with everyone.  Thank you for entering and giving so many great comments on what crafts you would like to master in 2019.

2 – Thank you to everyone that is supporting me through the Ko-fi account.  I was really quite bowled over by the response.  During the course of the weekend I promise to go and grab a coffee on you and sit in my local town, crocheting and chilling out. 

Thank you also for leaving comments, tagging me on Instragram, following me.  It all makes a massive difference to the algorithm and helps to wide our community. 

3 – May Global Hook Ups are on Saturday 11th May at 8pm BST and the 12th May at 9am BST.  Everyone is welcome.

4 – I am recording the interview with Lyndsey from Phoenix Occupational Health in a couple of weeks, so you still have time to get some questions in.  The interview will likely come out in July because of other time pressures.

5 – Happy 50th Birthday to Katherine- you know, the one with all the cats on Instagram!   


8 – J’adore

I have a new to me podcast for you - Quirky Monday Craftcast by Caleisha AKA @nadiratani 

Caleisha is based in Florida and is primarily a crocheter but dabbles in lots of other crafts too.  She is bright, positive and full of energy!  Go watch her, she will most definitely help to top up your positivity batteries.

I will be back on Friday the 7th June.

Fay x

Instagram: Crochet_Circle_Podcast 

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Instagram: FayDHDesigns

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April 5, 2019 @ 5:03 am

Episode 41 - Three Years Old

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 41 – Three Years Old.

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 a while. 

In this episode I cover: Review of KnitPro ball winder; Crochet Inclusivity; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore.


This podcast is sponsored by


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

If you would like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image, or follow this link:


1 – Review

When I first started my yarn journey, I bought myself a cheap, plastic ball winder because I didn’t know then that crochet and all things yarn would literally take over my life! 


ALT TEXT: Grey background and close up of cream and red crappy plastic ball winder with broken metal finger.

Over the last couple of months, I have tried a couple of  different KnitPro wooden ball winders to see whether they would be a better option for me.  Well, the proof is that I now own one. 


ALT TEXT: Grey background with wooden ball winder and orange/grey wool scattered around it.

Given that I can be caking up yarn every other day, I thought it was a wise decision. So, here’s what I hate about my old ball winder and love about the new one:

1 – OLD: it creates a very tight cake which means that my yarn is being held under tension.

NEW: the cakes are taller and wider, so the yarn is not under the same amount of tension and pressure.

2 – OLD: it’s mainly made of plastic and is flimsy.

NEW: It’s predominantly made of wood with a little plastic and some metal.  It feels very substantial and durable.

3 – OLD: the metal finger that your yarn is placed through stopped standing on its own after about the third use.

NEW: The metal finger is very firmly in place and does not move as part of the ball winder set-up.

4 – OLD: the cakes almost always get tangled at the bottom of the spinner towards the end of the skein wind.  I have had t o cut my yarn before now, to release it.

NEW: The wooden base that the yarn caked up from is much bigger and can more than cope with the job.

5 – OLD: The ball winder struggles to create neat mini cakes.

NEW: The cakes are neat and seem to be staying in place.  I need to test whether they work well or not though.

6 – OLD: It’s really difficult to get a nice centre pulled ball that doesn’t get knotted up.

NEW: There is a space big enough to get your fingers into to pull the centre yarn from.  The cake seems to have more space in the core, so I am hopeful that the centre pull will be easy and not tangled.

The KnitPro ball winder also makes really pretty looking cakes – I know this isn’t really important, but when you have to photograph yarn as part of your living, it does factor in.

Ep_41_yarn_cakes.jpg Ep_41_yarn_cakes_2.jpg

ALT TEXT: two photos, both with grey backgrounds.  First shows two cakes of identical yarn, the left was wound with the plastic crappy winder and is shorter, denser and messier and the second cake is taller and prettier.  Photo two shows 3 mini skeins (2 pink and a marroon), a green with neon colour pop cake and the brown tweed one from the first photo.

The wooden ball winder is clearly much bigger than the plastic one, so you will need more space to operate it, but the proof is in the pudding.

If you are often caking up yarn, then I wholeheartedly recommend this bit of kit.  I bought mine from Nikki at Ewe Felty Thing and it arrived within a week.  It’s not a cheap option at £105 + P&P, however, this is a piece of essential equipment for my hobby and job and I expect to be using this until the day I die.  Caking yarn is now a joy and not a task, especially when they come out in such a pretty shape! 


2 – Crochet inclusivity

Last month, I said that I was only going to purchase yarns from vendors that had crochet samples out.  I spent much of Edinburgh Yarn Festival diligently asking whether yarn dyers and vendors had crochet samples that I could see.  I got mixed reactions!  Some stall holders had some crochet, but the vast majority did not.  That isn’t specific to EYF, I find that to be the case at most yarn festivals.


Beyond the snobby reactions that I sometimes receive around crochet, there is a fundamental lack of understanding around our craft.  That may be because the vendors don’t crochet or they did it years ago and associate it with blankets, acrylic yarn and clashing colours.

There are also the urban myths that surround crochet – such as it’s yarn hungry; done by grannies, or that there are no contemporary crochet designs coming through!  In the podcast I reference a piece of research I did on knitting v crochet for grams used.  You can access that research via my blog post here.  

With most things in life, I am more carrot than stick.  I am willing to put the work in to help educate people on crochet as a craft.  My plan is to do this by writing an open letter to yarn shops, indie dyers, yarn vendors, yarn festival organisers that don’t currently give consideration to crocheters.

As part of the open letter, I will point them towards resources that dispel the urban myths and showcase the fantastic contemporary crochet that we have.  In the long-term, I plan to pull together a Crochet Collective whereby, yarn shops etc. can call upon a list of crochet designers that have beautiful crochet patterns that have been fully tech edited and deserve space and attention in yarn shops, at shows and on Instagram. 

Needless to say, this is all going to take time, so watch this space.  I always say to Matthew that “if I haven’t helped to change the face of crochet by the time I die, I simply didn’t work hard enough!”   



3 – Final Destination

I can finally share my secret projects with you!  Before Christmas, I started working on a shawl called Drucilla.  It was kept a secret because it is one of the patterns in the new John Arbon Textiles publication, The Annual.  There are three knitting patterns in The Annual and my crochet pattern.

Ep_41_The_Annual_1.jpg Ep_41_FO_3.jpg

Ep_41_The_Annual_2.jpg Ep_41_The_Annual_3.jpg

ALT TEXT for four clsutered photos: Top left has a  grey background with some beach pebbles placed to the left of The Annual front cover. with skeins of yarn on a wooden table, mill bobbins on the floor.  Top right is a blue wall with a dusky mauve shawl with a marroon border on a mannequin.  Bottom left has a grey background with The Annual opened at a page with a triangular version of the shale in a marroon colour and dark browny/black border.  Modelled out on Exmoor by a young female.  Bottom right is the same but the shawl is now shown as a C2C version in a very light grey/blue laceweight yarn.

 All yarns are from John Arbon Textiles.  Top right used 2 x 100g skeins of Knit By Numbers DK KBN90 and 1 x mini skein DK in  KBN75

Bottom left used 2 x Devonia 4ply in colourway 'Bleeding Heart' and 1 x colourway 'Cinder Glow'.

Bottom right used 2 x 100g skeins of Alpaca 2-3 ply (heavy laceweight) in colourway 'Sea Spray'.

Drucilla is a great all-rounder shawl, using V stitch.  You can do it with one or two skeins, keep it as a triangular shawl or make it into a C2C shawl as I did with the heavy lace version.  I have also just finished off a DK weight version to show that it can be crocheted from laceweight up to DK. 

If you want to get your hands on the pattern, The Annual can be purchased via the John Arbon website.  It costs £5 plus P&P.  The whole thing is packed full of information and fun elements, like a spot the difference game! 

I have also finished off some knitted socks.  A pair for my best friend, Jenny and a pair for my Dad. 


 ALT TEXT:  Two photos both with a grey background.  The first shows a charcoal grey pair of socks with hot pink stripes, heels and toes.  The second is a plain tealy/ blue pair of socks.

Striped socks are in Dragon Hill Studio 4 ply 'Metro Pinstripe'. Second pair is in Lang Jawoll, colourway 'Peacock'.


4 – En Route

The saga of my Esja jumper continues! I had hoped to be showing you how to work the sleeves as part of the podcast, but I ran out of yarn!  We are heading up to Scotland on Friday, so I will pop into Blacksheep Wools on the way and pick up an extra skein and hopefully finish it off in the car on the way to Ben Nevis. 

Next month, I WILL be wearing my Esja jumper!


5 – Designs in Progress

Last month I showed off a Barcelona inspired long cowl that I had been working on.  It now has a name – Rocamora, after the family that lived in the building of the same name that inspired the cowl.  I have actually submitted the design into a newish online magazine called Yarn People.  I really like the inclusive nature of the magazine and the fact that they aren’t fussed about whether the pattern has already been published or talked about within the yarn community. 

Whilst I wait to hear whether the submission was successful or not, I am busy working up another version of it that is much short and only uses three colours.  There may be a third example in the offing which is a fade option too…


ALT TEXT: Grey background with wooden ball winder at top with mid grey yarn sat, balled up on it, foxy orange yarn in a skein to the left, a partial cake of dark grey yarn and a work in progress ribbed cowl with a green metal crochet hook.


6 – Feeding the habit

My friend Nic was in Australia, visiting family.  We agreed to do a yarn swap whereby, she brought me back some lovely yarns from that side of the world, and I brought her back yarns form Edinburgh Yarn Festival.  I failed to bring anything back for her that was suitable but will work on it when I vend at Spring Into Wool next weekend, but Nic brought me back two amazing yarns.  One from White Gum Wool in Tasmania and one from Great Ocean Road Mill in Australia.  They are so lovely and squishy!

I spent a lovely day over at Ewe Felty Thing in Llandudno, North Wales, helping Nikki celebrate her shop’s 1st birthday.  There was a lot of yarn to squish (and buy).  I came away with a skein of the special birthday colourway that Nikki had dyed and some minis from Abercairn that will become sock toes, heels and cuffs (and already have in one case). I also pre-ordered my ball winder when I was there.

Obviously, I brought stuff back from EYF too, but because of my point about not buying from stands that don’t have crocheted samples, I didn’t buy as much as I could have. That said, I did buy four balls of wool from Jamieson’s.  I was having an interesting discussion with one of their team and plan to recreate one of their classic Fair Isle patterns in crochet to really make that point that crochet can be beautiful and just sticking to marketing to knitters doesn’t need to be the way forward. 

Mainly, I got yarn from John Arbon Textiles.  My love of their wool continues, and I wasn’t really up for buying any indie dyed yarn.  So, I bought the yarns that they had created as show specials.  There is the Cocktail Yarn in colourway Dark & Stormy which is destined to be a trial for a new, simple design that I want to create (perfect for yarn shops and vendors to show off crochet with) and then a jumper’s quantity of their breed special yarns.  I bought the Romney breed because I really love how squishy it is and the soft colours that I bought. 

One of the real highlights of EYF for me was the Make::Wool event on the Sunday.  I didn’t get much time in sales area because I was off listening to a couple of talks.  I did, however, make a beeline for Shilasdair Yarns.  Kirsty and Simon are due to open their version of the Shilasdair Yarn Shop on the Isle of Skye this Easter.  They are still using traditional natural dyeing methods and I am very pleased to say that they have converted to using British breed yarns.  I am excited to see how they develop the company and watch with eager anticipation!

Ep_41_Shilasdair.jpg Ep_41_Nikki.jpg

Ep_41_JAT.jpg Ep_41_Emily_K_Williams.jpg

Ep_41_Desiree_Abercairn.jpg Katie.jpg


ALT TEXT: Seven different photos all on bright yellow backgrounds, showing each of the yarn makers, dyers or designers. 1 - Kirsty from Shilasdair smiling and holding a massive cone of wool outside a shed.  2 - Nikkie from Ewe Felty Thing (yarn shop) behind a wall of indie dyed yarn.  3 - John and Juliet Arbon sitting in front of some of their mill machinary.  4 - Emily K Williams from Flutterby Knits stood at the edge of a loch, showing off her latest striped knitted jumper pattern - Canisp Sweater.  5 - Desiree from Abercairn Yarns stood on a porch, sporting her latest finished object - a purple jumper.  6 - Katie Green has long brown hair and is stood in a woodlend sporting a light brown knitted shawl.  7 - Sharon from Dragon Hill Studio is out in her garden wearing a black top, with glasses on a shortish brown hair, with her dog (cream and tan coloured). 



ALT TEXT - a flat lay of many yarns with numbers atteched to each of the companies and listed below.

1 - 2 x mini skeins from Abercairn Yarn, bought at Ewe Felty Thing

2 - 4 skeins of British Breeds 'Romney' from John Arbon Textiles.  These were an EYF special and aren't on the website, but may make an appearance at Wonderwool Wales.

Also, two skeins of Cocktail blend in colourway 'Dark & Stormy' which was also an EYF special.

3 - Three balls of Shetland Spindrift wool from Jamiesons of Shetland in colours Storm, Camel and Tan Green.

4 - 2 x 50g skeins (dyed with INdigi and Meadowsweet) and 3 x mini skeins from Shilasdair Yarns  - dye stuff not identified. 

5 - 50% Camel, 50% silk blend skein of yarn from Nikki at Ewe Felty Thing called 'Confetti in the Rain' which was a special for her shop's 1st birthday.

6 - Great Ocean Road Mill, La Bella yarn (Merino and alpaca mix) in colourway Salt & Pepper.

7 - White Gum Wool, 4 ply Fingering in colourway Quarrystone - 100% Merino


7 - Quick News Beats 

1 – Here are some new hashtags/accounts for you to follow under inclusivity:

#disabledmakers is run by Eve and Anna, they are doing a grand job of showing off makes from lots of differently abled crafters. 

@fatestknits is an account that has been set up specifically to work towards size inclusivity.  Designers can have their patterns featured to find test crocheters and knitters.  If you are smaller or bigger than the average body size, then this may be a great resource for finding patterns that you like and designers that actually care about catering from different sizes.

2 – When I was Edinburgh Yarn Festival, I attended a panel discussion on Diversity and Inclusion in the Fibre Space – Where do we go from here?  It was an interesting discussion, with generally helpful questions from the audience.  The panel discussion was recorded and as soon as the video is available, I will sign post you to it.

3 – I have been invited to come and do pop-ups at a couple of yarn shops.  You can find me at Northern Yarn on 3rd May between 6.30pm and 10pm.  Kate is celebrating the shop’s 3rd birthday and I will be there selling crochet patterns and notions.

I will also be at the RiverKnits open day on the 4th March between 1aam and 5pm.  Becci and Markus now have a dye studio and they are having a grand opening.  Lost of other vendors will be there too, such as Ewe & Ply, Travelknitter, Garthenor Organic, Third Vault Yarns and RiverKnits of course.  It’s going to be a fab day with demonstrations, stuff to buy and a lovely atmosphere where you get to talk to the vendors.   

These are just two of the ten events that I will be vending at this year.  If you want to know where else I am going to be, take a look at this blog post.

4 – I have set up a Ko-fi account.  I have long thought about creating a way that you can support the podcast – if you would like to.  I am not comfortable with Patreon as an option and when I came across Ko-fi, that felt like the right fit for me.  Basically, there is a website page that is for The Crochet Circle Podcast.  Within that page, you can buy me a coffee.  In reality, this is making a donation towards the running of the podcast or may actually encourage me to leave the house, buy a coffee and take a break in a café.  However, many of you have asked how you can support the podcast and the in-depth work that I do for it.  I am very grateful to those that buy from my online shop, come to see me at shows, or buy my patterns, but some of you may prefer to support me through Ko-fi. 

I love doing this podcast.  But here is some of what it takes to create it:

$108 a year for the Podbean hosting platform

£12 a month for Zoom so that I can host the Global Hook Ups

On average, three full days of my time to pull the podcast together (recording, editing, photography, show notes)

Any extra time that I chose to spend on reviews, testing yarns, patterns etc. 

There are also things you can do to support that podcast for free:

Leave comments and give it a thumbs up on YouTube  - this puts the podcast in front of other people and increases awareness of its existence, making our community larger and stronger.

Talk about it on Instagram.  If you like what I do, tag me when you are crocheting.  It may seem like a little thing, but it makes a big difference. 

All of these things also apply to any other podcasters that you watch.  I am sure that they would also love extra comments, likes and tags.  It really makes a difference to us and helps to make our experience of creating a podcast much more fun!


8 – J’adore

The podcast is three years old!  The first episode went out on audio only back on 1st April 2016.  It is an absolute pleasure to put this podcast out and connect with our Crochet Clan.  To celebrate, there will be a pattern giveaway.  Sandra from the Cherry Heart podcast has kindly offered a copy of her Ziggy Interrupted scarf to one lucky winner, and I will do some pattern giveaways too.  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on YouTube or Podbean (underneath these show notes) and tell me what crafting technique you would like to conquer in 2019. 


Here’s to another three years!


I will be back on Friday the 3rd May.

Fay x

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March 1, 2019 @ 10:00 am

Episode 40 - When in Barcelona

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 40 – When in Barcelona.

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 a while. 

In this episode I cover: Inclusivity; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and Big Up.


This podcast is sponsored by


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

If you woudl like to support the podcast, you can now do that through my new Ko-fi account, just click on the image.  Thank you :-)


1 – Inclusivity

Following on from last month’s podcast and the actions I said I was going to take to increase inclusivity within our fibre community, here is what I have been working on: 

  • Claudia from the Crochet Luna Vlogcast has been putting in the hard miles, pulling together a list of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) crochet designers. She has created a permanent list in her Instagram ‘BIPOC Crochet Designers’ Highlights.  From that list, I have created a ‘BIPOC Crochet Designers’ blog post giving you the designers names, Instagram handles, Ravelry Designer names and other selling platforms.  If the designers have a podcast, website or Etsy shop, these have also been listed.
  • If you are looking for a decent article on the topic of inclusivity in the fibre community, I encourage you to read this one: The Knitting Community is Reckoning with Racism by Jay Saxena.  If for whatever reason, you have been in the fringe of the conversation or come to it late, this article gives a very good breakdown of what has been going on.  I meant to talk about this article in the podcast and through lack of organisation on my part, it slipped through the net. 
  • You will notice from the show notes below and video podcast (if you watch rather than listen) that I have started to show the makers behind the goods that I am buying. My intention is to create a greater connection between the makers and those watching the podcast and/or reading the show notes.  I want to show case the faces that put all the hard work into the fibre community whether they are designers, spinners, dyers or yarn shop owners. 
  • I continue to use ALT text on my Instagram posts and within the show notes. My intention is to also expand this out to my website photos and blog posts (which I have started the process of). 


2 – Old Dog New Tricks

I want to touch briefly on gut instinct and using that to shape your colour choices and pattern following. 

You know that feeling when you have pulled colours together for a project, but your gut is bubbling, telling you that something isn’t quite right?  I have had that quite a bit recently.  I tend to think I am pretty good at choosing colours but of late, I have been asking for second opinions, mainly because I knew they weren’t right. 

The same can be said for a part of the pattern design within my Esja jumper.  I could see that the short row shaping was creating a different look within my jumper but I persevered with the pattern.  My gut told me I was wrong to do so but I ignored it – I won’t do that again.

Here’s a quick trick for testing your gut feeling on something.  Using colour choice as an example; you have two choices, grey and yellow or grey and pink.  You assign each choice with a side of the coin.  Toss the coin high in the air and before you move your hand to reveal which choice has been made, listen to the voice that is telling you which one you are actually hoping for.  That is your gut reaction and the one you should actually listen to, regardless of what the coin toss actually tells you.

I use this for all sorts of decisions that I make.  It’s a surprisingly easy way to make decisions and stop procrastinating!


3 – Final Destination

I have some quite varied finished objects this month. 

I finished off my latest version of Doppio Colosseum in ‘Worn Denim’ (4ply 50% Merino/50% Silk) by The Wool Kitchen.  It was a great reminder of how much I enjoyed designing this pattern and wearing it.    

Ep_40_FO_1.jpgALT TEXT: Mannequin against a white and teal painted wall.  The shawl draped over the shoulders of the mannequin is in denim blue colours and you can just make out some of the lace lines of the pattern.

Did I mention I was in Barcelona?  Whilst I was there, I was completely taken with an amazing building on Passeig de Gracia – Rocamora Houses.  There is a ceramic turret that inspired my latest design.  I wanted to capture the colours of the turret and the transition between them. 


ALT TEXT: Roof top of Rocamore Houses, Passeig die Gracia, Barcelona.  Bright blue sky with three ceramic tiled turrets showing on the skyline.  The tiels are in earthy shades of brown, orange, yallow and cream.  


ALT TEXT: White surface with crocheted cowl doubled over . A wooden carved crochet hook lying on a nest of egg yolk yellow yarn in the froefront.  The cowl is in a gradient fo four colours from cinnamon brown, to cantelope melon orange, to egg yolk yellow to a pinky cream colour.

I visited All You Knit is Love, a yarn shop in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona run by Jennifer and Miquel, and bought some of their K2tog yarn which is 70% wool and 30% milk.  It’s beautifully soft and they had the perfect colours for the design.

I suspect that the design is going to be called Rocamora. 

Finally, I have been on a bag sewing mission.  I only meant to make one and ended up with 12.  I used a couple of different YouTube tutorials for these and consider myself to be a novice sewer:


ep_4-_fo_3.jpg ALT TEXT: Cream surface with three machine sewn project bags.  Top bag has a tear drop coral shape and turquoise, charcoal and grey details.  Bottom right bag had a navy background with pairs of cats facing each other in pinks, corals, mustards and greens.  Left hand bag is woven grey wool fabric with a light mustard coloured zip and it's a boxy baggy. 

4 – En Route

My Esja jumper (to be made with yarn dyed by my friend Bec of Black Horse Yarns and Socks Yeah! in the colour 'Chryso'.  I am now on sleeve island and am desperate to finish this for Edinburgh Yarn Festival. 


Main Colour Yarn:

Contrast Yarn:


  ALT TEXT: Light blue jumper yolk with a variegated detail with blobs of orange and teal.  The stranded texture from brioche crochet is visible.

5 – Designs in Progress

The one crochet design that I have on the go at the moment is the Rocamora Cowl.  I want to make it again using some other chunky yarn so that I can test the theory that it can be made with any yarn and almost any quantity. 


 ALT TEXT: Cream background with the same four coloutrred cowl at the top left.  Three chunky, loose skeins of yarn are at the bottom of the photo.  L-R they are a mid grey, dark grey and a fox orange.  They look springy and full of character.

The next version will be a short cowl using some number 2 yarn that I bought from Die Mercerie in Munich.  It’s a Bavarian yarn of some description… 

More on this next month hopefully.


6 – Feeding the habit

Hmmmm, there is quite a bit and not all of it is mine.

First up, the things I brought back from Barcelona.

All You Knit is Love shop is run by Jennifer and Miquel.  They have their own yarn label (K2tog and others) and Jennifer also dyes her own yarn called Mur.


  ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Jennifer and Miquel from All You Knit is Love yarn shop, sitting on their sofa, knitting.

K2tog in shades Cinnamon Toast, Cantaloupe, Egg Yolk and Yellow Jade. 70% wool and 30% milk 105m/100g


ALT TEXT: Dark grey background with four skeins of yarn at the top.  The chunky, soft yarns are in a cinnamon brown, cantalope orange, egg yolk yello, and pinky cream colours.  Ay=t the bottom of the photo lies a fifth skein in gentle variegated colours of teal, green, mustard and a mid purple is dominant.

Murmur in colourway ‘Guide’.  75% Merino and 25% Cashmere, 400m/100g.


Lalanalu shop is run by Eva and Kiara and they had lots of crochet and yarn from some local yarn dyers.


  ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Eva and Kiara from Lalanalu yarn shop, stood side by sde with wool int eh background.  They are smiling straight at the camera and wearing knitted and crocheted shawls.


Ovejita Be! – in shade Greenery and Les Retrouvailles (the mini didn’t had a shade)  75% wool, 25% nylon, 425m/100g.OveJita_Be_Teresa.jpg

  ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Teresa the yarn dyer of Ovejita Be!  She is sitting on a sofa with a multicoloured crochet blanket over the back of it.  Teresa is looking down at three balls of yarn in her hands.

Soc Una Troca – in shades Ratafia, Golden Hour and Oberon. 75% Merino, 25% Nylon 420m/100g.


 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Laia the yarn dyer of Soc Una Troca!  She is stood in front of her wooden company sign, wearing a green top and smiling.  To her right is a hook with some skeins of yarn dangling down.


I also came across an amazing fabric shop called Nunoya and bougtht this amazing selection:


 ALT TEXT: Lots of different colured fabrics arranged into a swirl.  Therer are cat , moon, bear, bat, sock, llama, cherry, umbrella, rain drop and bee patterns.  

At Unravel I bought these bits and pieces: 

Frida Kahlo by Helen at The Wool Kitchen,  75% BFL, 25% Nylon, 400m/100g.


 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Helen the yarn dyer of The Wool Kitchen. She is stood taking a selfie with her phone and a Frida Kahlo phone case.  Helen is wearing a purple checked shirt and a purple hat that she had=s just finished knitting.


 ALT TEXT: Cream background with a single skein of Thw Wool Kitchen yarn, called Frida Kahlo.  It is a mallard green base with "zips" of colour at one end of the skein in luminous yellow, pink, orange, green and turquoise.

John Arbon Textiles new Exmoor Sock Yarn in shades Blooth and Hemel.  60% Exmoor Blueface, 20% Corriedale, 10% Zwartbles, 10% Nylon,  200m/50g.  I will be pairing this up shade Mizzle which I already had in my grubby little hands.  These are going to be made into Acanthium Mittens by Katie Green and hopefully, ready for Edinburgh Yarn Festival.


 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of John and Juliet Arbon.  They are sat down with their mill machinery in the background.  Both are facing forward and smiling.  John is in fawn dungarees and Juliet's curly dark hair is in pigtails. 


  ALT TEXT: Cream background with a photo of two skeins of Exmoor Sock Yarn.  One is a dark forest green and the other is an aubergine purple.  Both have a white skein band with yellow bubbles and an old fashioned sheep drawing. 

I also came across a new to me dyer, Tara, from Irish Artisan Yarns.  I love that her yarn dying is inspired by the landscape of Northern Ireland.  I bought a Carrick-a-Rede inspired colourway from her, 75% Merino, 25% Nylon, 400m/100g.  And she kindly gave me a mini in a little goody bag. 


 ALT TEXT: Blue background with a photo of Tara from Irish Artisan Yarns.  Tara is sat ata a desk in her living room, hugging a cup of tea with skeins of her dyed yarn in front of her.


 ALT TEXT: Cream background with a photo of a full skein of Irish Artisan Yarn in subtle blue and greens.  Above it is a mini skein in all the denim blues.  Both have whire skein tags with "IAY" on them.


7 - Quick News Beats 

1 - Global Hook Ups – The next dates are Saturday 9th March 1t 8pm GMT and Sunday 10th March at 9am GMT.  The links for the sessions are all available over on the Ravelry thread.

2 – If you are anywhere North Wales, Nikki from Ewe Felty Thing is having a party on Saturday 16th March to celebrate the first birthday of her yarn store. I will be there from about 12 – 5pm and would love to see you there.

3 - I am heading to Edinburgh Yarn Festival on the Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.  On the Thursday I will be on Tanya’s stand – TJ Frog.  Please do pop along for all things Dorset Button, Dorset breed wools and generally lovely goods.


8 – Big Up

If you are looking for a non-crafty podcast, I heartily recommend David Tennant Does a Podcast With…   He basically interviews his friends and it is very funny and also sweary, so not for everyone.

I have also been relishing The Great British Sewing Bee – an hour of sewing escapism every week and just the nudge I needed to get my sewing machine out again.

I will be back on Friday the 5th April!

Fay x

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February 1, 2019 @ 10:04 am

Episode 39 - Call me Crozelda

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 39 – Call me Crozelda


In this episode I cover: Inclusivity in the fibre community; Old Dog New Tricks; CAL Updates; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by


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


1 – Inclusivity in the fibre community and beyond

Given the importance of this topic, I felt that it needed to be the first thing I covered.  I don’t usually script exactly what I say, but because of the importance of inclusivity within the fibre community, I don’t want to ramble or use the wrong wording because of the pressure of recording and trying to get my thoughts across.

I am fairly sure that everyone listening and watching this podcast is aware of the conversations that have been ongoing for much of January.  The discussions are on inclusivity and diversity in the fibre community and beyond.  These are conversations that are long overdue and conversations that need to become actions. 

This podcast at its very heart is about welcoming everyone with one exception.  If you are watching or listening to this and have even a hint of an eye roll or a “uh, this again, just talk about crochet”, then this is probably not the podcast for you. 

Now, if you are the kind of human that likes to support your fellow humans, to build them up, rather than knock them down, to offer them the handshake of crafting kindness, and to take that handshake beyond the crafting community to every aspect of your life, then come on in, stay a while.  I hope you feel the welcome embrace and love of the Crochet Clan.

I would like to specify what I mean by inclusivity.  For me and this podcast, that means creating an inclusive space for Black and Indigenous and/or People of Colour (BI/PoC), for people with differing abilities, for people within the LGBTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) for people of all sizes for people that identify as binary or non-binary .  An inclusive space where racism, and discrimination of your fellow humans cannot and will not be tolerated. 

I spoke about the need for actions as well as conversations.  So, what I would like to do is take you through the changes that I am making to the podcast to make it an even more inclusive space:

Logos – I am in going to change the logo for the podcast and have one created for the Global Hook Ups.  It struck me that the current logo does absolutely nothing to say “everyone is welcome here”.  So, in true Crochet Clan spirit I looked within to see who was part of our community that I could ask to take on logo commissions.  I am really chuffed to say that Claudia from the Crochet Lune podcast is going to work up the new logos.  If she comes up with different design options. Then my plan is to throw it out to you to see which logos speak most clearly to you of inclusivity.

Recognition of makers/dyers – my plan is to seek permission from makers and dyers to show a picture of them within the video podcast and show notes.  Websites and Instagram handles don’t necessarily show the diversity within our community.  I also know that when I have seen somebody’s face, it creates more of a connection with that dyer/maker and somehow cements them in my mind.  I am also keen to do this from a business perspective because to me, seeing the face behind a small indie business is a very good for me to support them over big multi-national companies.  Let me be clear, that this is not about tokenism.  No matter who you are, if I am showing your product or yarn on the podcast and you’re are a small indie maker or dyer, I will be asking to show a photo of you in the video podcast and show notes.  You have every right to decline and a photo will only appear if I have your permission.

Increasing diversity in my Instagram feed – I thought that my feed was already pretty diverse.  I have a general policy of following people back unless their account is set to private.  So, I am not an account that has thousands of followers (I don’t anyway) and only follows a handful back.  That means that my account is full of lots of lovely diverse folk. 

However, it wasn’t until I started following #blackcrocheter #blackcrocheters #blackcraftersofinstagram #diversknitty #spooniecrafts #lgbtqcrafts #lgbtcrafts #that my feed really became diverse.  I encourage you all to do that same.  Following hashtags is a great way of finding new people on Instagram, introducing yourself and making new connections.  If you have suggestions for any other hashtags to follow, please let me know.

Highlighting under-represented groups – Back in November 2018 , Jeanette Sloan was asking the fibre community to point her towards BIPoC designers.  She has done a lot of time consuming work to pull together a list from the details she was given.  A similar piece of work is being done by Marceline from the Hey BrownBerry Podcast and she has highlighted BIPoC dyers and yarn makers.  

Claudia from Crochet Luna podcast has been beavering away pulling together a list of BIPoC crochet designers.   She is going through the painstaking work of communicating with the designers to ask whether they are happy to be featured.  I am hoping to help Claudia to pull this list together in whatever way I can.  The list of BIPoC crochet designers is going to be on my blog over at KNIT IT – HOOK IT – CRAFT IT – because Claudia has asked me to host it there. 

My hope is that in time, this will also feature dyers and makers form other under-represented groups.  However, this needs to be looked at in a sensitive manner and only undertaken with the backing and permission of the people within these underrepresented groups. 

If you would like to be added to the work that Claudia and I are doing, then I would be really interested in having a discussion with you about what the parameters should be.

Creating a more accessible podcast and Instagram accounts – I have had some very helpful and interesting Instagram discussions with Sarah from @SarahDawnDesigns.  She has been brilliant at pointing me towards ways that I can make changes to the podcast to make it more accessible for people with hearing or visual impairments. 

If you have a hearing impairment, I always try to face the camera and not show things in front of my face, in the hope that people are able to read my lips.  I always create show notes, and link to them from the dropdown box on YouTube.  If you are watching the video, the section place markers correlate to the different sections in the show notes which can always be found at  and I believe are in a suitable format as a text transcript. 

If you have a visual impairment, I try to be very descriptive with textures and colours.  Again, I believe that the show notes are in a format that are suitable for assistive technology.  In addition to the written part of the show notes, I will start adding descriptions to each photo and the caption will start with Photo:   I have also started using ALT text within my Instagram feed.  I have gone back through the posts from the last month and added ALT text to those posts, but from now on, anything I post on @crochet_circle_podcast, @knitithookit or @faydhdesigns, will have ALT text attached to each of the images.

The final thing I would like to add is that twice a month there is the Global Hook up.  I run it on a Saturday night and then again on the Sunday morning (both GMT/BST) so that the crafting session is available to different time zones.  Everyone is welcome in the Global Hook Ups. 

If you just want to check out what happens, you can join the crafting session and put something over your camera.  You also have the option to mute your microphone.  It’s really up to you how much you join in, which hopefully makes it a great crafting space for people that may be nervous about joining in.  For some people, they started out by just sitting and listening and moved onto joining the conversations in the next session.  It’s free to join, you just need a decent wifi connection.    


2 – Old Dog New Tricks

It feels like many people are working on crocheted garments, or plan to in 2019.  One of the factors that you may come across is wording like “increase/decrease by 12 stitches evenly across round/row”.  In my opinion this is a little unfair of a designer to leave it at that.  It isn’t hard to work out how you increase or decrease stitches, but if you haven’t done it before, then you should be getting more guidance within the pattern.

I am going to use one of my en route projects as an example.  I have deliberately stopped this project where it is so that I can show you how I am going to tackle the bust decreases that I want to add in.  This isn’t a feature of this pattern, it is one that I am adding in to give some shaping to the finished piece.  That said, when the pattern did call for increases it didn’t give the calculations required…

I would like to think that if I ever design a garment for crochet or knitting, this is the kind of detail that I would add. 

If  you want to see this is video form, take a look at this video from Very Pink Knits – she is one of my favourites for giving simple hint and tips video tutorials.    

Rather than using Very Pink Knits numbers, I want to use my jumper as the example piece.  I have crocheted down to just below the bust area and now I want to decrease the overall number of stitches to pull the jumper inn and give some definition. 

I have 269 stitches which gives me a circumference of 116cm.  I want to get down to a circumference of 104cm for under the bust so need to do an initial calculation: 

269 stitches/116cm means that I have approximately 2.32 stitches per cm. 

I want the circumference to be 105cm, so I need 244 stitches (105cm x 2.32 stitches).  My pattern requires an odd number of stitches, so I am actually going to decrease down to 243 stitches (because I rounded up to 244 in the first place).

Overall, I need to reduce my number of round stitches by 26 from 269 to 243. 

So, my next calculation is to work out how I can decrease 26 stitches evenly across my round.     

I start with my existing total stitch count (269) and divide it by the number that I need to decrease by (26):

269/26 = 10.35 

Again, I am going to round that number down so that I will use 10 as my answer.  Had the answer been 10.5, I would have rounded up to 11.

So, next I need to multiply the number of stitches to be decreased (26) by the number of decreases (10):

26 x 10 = 260 which leaves a remainder of 9 stitches

Because I would be decreasing two stitches together, those two stitches have to be factored in as part of the two stitch decrease every 10 stitches.  This means that I will crochet 8 stitches and decrease over the last 2 stitches – giving one decrease over every 10 stitches.  The remaining 9 stitches are simply crocheted at the end. 

You may find it easier to attach a stitch marker at the beginning of every decrease section.  This can help to make sure that you got your maths right and keep you on the stratight and narrow when you are counting and decreasing.


PHOTO: Esja Jumper (crocheted) in pale blue (main colour) and pale blue

variegarted with rust and teal as a contrast.  Around the bottom of the jumper,

each decrease section has been marked with a black bulb pin.


Now, life isn’t that easy for me because my Esja sweater is in linen stitch which is a two stitch pattern repeat of 1dc and 1ch.  That makes the calculation a little more difficult. 

But here is how I have done it:

269 stitches need to be reduced by 26 down to 243 stitches.

To create an even decrease across the fabric without getting holes in the decrease area, I want to decrease in the following way: 

Hook through first ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, hook through next ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, yrh, pull through all three loops.  This action adds a bit more yarn bulk to the area and makes the decrease look less obvious.  In doing so, you are using three stitches to decrease down to one.

So, I started looking for the number of stitches required per decrease section, remembering that each decrease will reduce the round by two stitches, not one.    

So, here is where I started:

269 stitches / by 18 stitches gives 15 decrease sections and when you multiply that by the actual number of stitches per decrease section after the decrease has been made, 16, then you would be left with approximately 240 stitches with a remainder of 3 stitches which would simply be worked at the end of the round.  You are basically looking for the division that will give you the least number of remainder stitches. 

Here is how a linen stitch decrease will work for me over 18 sts:

Ch1,  hook through first ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, hook through next ch-sp, yrh, pull up a loop, yrh, pull through all three loops, *ch1, skip 1 st, 1dc in next ch-sp; rep from * six (6) more times. (16 sts)

I would repeat the sequence 14 more times and finish off with ch1, skip 1 st, 1dc in next ch-sp ch1 as the stitch sequence for the remaining three stitches.

Clear as mud?

After the podcast, I will attempt to add some progress photos so that you can see how I have marked the shawl out every 18 stitches and worked the first decrease section. 


3 – CAL Updates 

The #ChristmasEveCAL is done and dusted! Once again, I had very little time to respond to the hashtags on IG.  I want to be able to, but life is crammed.  I am making some huge steps with the businesses this year and a lot of my time energy has to be on that.  

So, I’m going to take a little break from running CALs – mainly because I know I won’t have the time and I won’t be doing you the justice you deserve.  Things may shift by the end of the year, but for now I will try to concentrate on promoting the CALs that my fellow crafters and podcasters are running. 


4 – Final Destination

I only have one proper finished object, because I don’t think I can legitimately show 1.5 socks as an FO!

Last year I started a bag and my intention was to add to every January with my ‘Word of the Year’.  When I have previously seen people talk about their word  of the year, I have dismissed it as a load of old tosh!  Having lived with ‘Clarity’ as my 2018 word, I can now say that it definitely gave me grounding point throughout the year and gave me a flag to keep on coming back to. 

Clarity was meant as a word for me to stick to my core goals and not stray.  To keep on the path that I had set for the year.  Given that it was so helpful for 2018, I have now added ‘STRUCTURE’ to me bag as my word for 2019.

This is the year when I hope to move KNIT IT – HOOK IT - CRAFT IT and Fay Dashper-Hughes Designs up a few notches and to do that I need to put more structure in place.

So now, I think about clarity and how I can structure my work flow to achieve what I want to achieve in 2019 and beyond. 

Here’s what my bag looks like now.  Every year I will add to it in a Scrabble format.


PHOTO: Ecru coloured linen bag with dark grey ribbon tie lying on a dark grey surface.The word CLARITY has been embroidered across the bag horizontally and STRUCTURE, embroidered vertically as if a game os Scrabble has just been started.  Three bows of linen are at the base of the bag, in a dark grey, light fawn/grey and dark mustard


The bag was made from Scottish linen that I use in some of my products.  I thin just draw around a wooden Scrabble tile to get the right size for each letter.  Using a 3 ply linen thread from Namolio


5 – En Route

I have finished one of my Fallen Leaves socks and am ready to turn the heel on the other.  I will show them off properly in the next podcast…


My Esja jumper (to be made with yarn dyed by my friend Bec of Black Horse Yarns and Socks Yeah! in the colour 'Chryso'.  This has been really quick to crochet up so far and I only stopped to be able to use the jumper as an example in this month’s Old Dog New Tricks.


Main Colour Yarn:

Contrast Yarn:


PHOTO: Esja jumper (crocheted) as a close up to show the slight distinction in colours made between the main colour (light blue) and contrast colour (light blue with rust and teal).  The contrast between the two yarns in the brioche section is very subtle.

I am also working on another Doppio Colosseum shawl.  Originally, I used a yarn that Helen from The Wool Kitchen no longer dyes and she kindly gave me two skeins of yarn to make a new sample with.  The yarn is 4ply (light fingering weight), 50% Merino and 50% silk and it is beautiful to work with.  The sheen and drape are just incredible.    By the time I podcast again, I hope to have this finished so that Helen can use it on her stand at her next two festivals (Unravel and Edinburgh Yarn Festival).  It’s great to see another yarn dyer that wants to fly the crochet flag.




PHOTO: Dark back background, flat lay of a started crocheted shawl in linen stitch.  To the left is a skein of Worn Denim by The Wool Kitchen (light blue/grey with blotches of dark denim blue), to the right is a cake of the same yarn and below is the curled beginnings of a Doppio Colosseum shawl.


6 – Feeding the habit

I truly believed that I was going to severely restrict the amount of yarn that I was going to buy in 2019.  The difficulty comes when I enter yarn shops.  I want to be able to support Bricks and Mortar shops by purchasing from them and highlighting them on the podcast. 

So, this month I have been a bit naughty.  I went over to visit the Laxton’s spinning mill in West Yorkshire and on the way back, I ‘popped’ in to see the good folk at Black Sheep Wools.  It’s probably my most local yarn shop (about 45 minutes away) and I always like having a good natter with Sara and the others. 

When I was there, I picked up some of the ‘Pip Colourworks’ from Baa Ram Ewe.  I had a little mini skein of this given to me as a test skein and couldn’t really do it justice with 10g.  I have since knitted another Curlew hat with it and plan on hooking something up with it too, so that I can do a proper yarn review on it for the podcast.



PHOTO: Dark background with a blurred foreground of a dark dusky rose ball of yarn.  At the back from left to right is the same Pip Colourwork yarn from Baa Ram Ewe, bit in a light green, dark forest green, grey sky blue and mustard.  Just fo camera to the right is the brim of a knitted Curlew hat in the same colours.


PHOTO: Dark grey background with a close up of Reggia Nautic Color sock yarn.  Self striping in a white and mid blue.  The ball band is yellow and shows a white sock with thin blue stripes.

I also came across and had to buy the latest Regia sock yarn called Nautic Colour, which creates sailor striped socks.  I am an absolute sucker for sailor striped anything! 

Local Yarn Shop:

Yarn – Pip Colourwork:

Yarn – Regia: 


Later that week, I snuck up to Lancaster to see Kate from Northern Yarn in her new shop location in the city centre.  It’s a really beautiful shop that is easy to get to.  Kate works really hard at developing both the shop and her relationships with local shepherds and shepherdesses.  She only sells British yarns and many of them are local.  That is definitely something worth supporting in my opinion.

Ep_39_Habit_jam.jpgPHOTO: Five balls of wool all in a horizontal row on a dark background and each with a cream "Jamiesons Shetland Spindrift" ball band.  The colours from left to right are:  a vibrant mid green, rusty red, rusty orange, bright rusty mustard and a bright mid blue.

Whilst there, I picked up some Jamiesons Sheltand Spindrift 2 ply to make into a hat from this book that I also got. 

Local Yarn Shop:




Hmm, it doesn’t stop there.  Last week, I hopped on the train a went to Llandudno on the North Wales Coast.  Nikki runs Ewe Felty Thing, a yarn shop just a few minutes away from the train station.  It has the most impressive wall of indie dyed yarn from 16 different dyers. 



PHOTO: Dark grey background showing top right, a skein of yarn from Abercairn.  It's a skinny single plyed yarn in a blend of merino and silk and has a beautiful sheen.  The variegated skein has pinks, purples, teals, greens and blues in it - just like the Grampian mountains. Underneath the skein are two mini skeins, one in a deep dusky pink and one in a bright aubergine purple.  In the bottom corner there is a bit of a purple/pink mohair skein.

Of course I came home with yarn.  Of course one of them was mohair!  I bought a new to me indie dyer called Abercairn Yarns. 

Local Yarn Shop:



I was also vending at Waltham Abbey Wool Show this month, and it was a great show!  My bestie, Jenny turned up as a surprise in the afternoon and helped on the stand.  As a thank you, she got to pick which yarn she liked best from Dragon Hill Studios.  Andrew and Sharon run the company and I really love the way they cake up their yarn.  I have been meaning to buy some of their yarn for a while and Waltham Abbey was the ideal time.  I have a deal going with Jenny that if I am making socks with a yarn she likes, she can have a pair too.  I can get two pairs of knitted socks out of a 100g skein of 4 ply (light fingering weight) yarn with contrast toes, heels and cuffs. 


PHOTO:Dark background with a cake of yarn and a white circular tag from Dragon Hill Studios with a paired back green curled up dragon for a logo.  The yarn is dark grey with bright pink stripes and they cleverly cake up the yarn, wrapping the last few lengths over the top and bottom of the cake to show off the ratio of self striping colours which is more dark grey and a pop of pink.  

Yarn show:



7 - Quick News Beats 

1 - Global Hook Ups – I have had to change the date of the February hook up:

February – 16th Saturday (night) and 17th (morning) GMT

The other dates for the first half of 2019 are in the Ravelry thread.  


2 – I am now heading to Edinburgh for all four days of the festival.  I will be in the show on Thursday working on a stand (more on that to come), and back at the show for the Saturday and Sunday.  This wasn’t what was planned, but it’s now happening!

Edinburgh Yarn Festival:


3 – I have also booked to go to Woolinn Festival, just outside of Dublin in June.  I am landing at the airport on the Saturday morning and leave on the Sunday night.  So, if you are coming over and fancy a meet up either at the festival or on the Saturday night in Dublin city centre – let me know!

Woolinn Festival:


4 – Sean, you can never have too many shawls!


8 - J’adore 

I am loving that January has really felt like a new start.  I have reset the button, good changes have been made and 2019 is looking like a good one.  

I am also off to Barcelona shortly with Matthewkins.  We really need some time out and I am looking forward to soaking up some Spanish atmosphere and being inspired by the gothic architecture.      

I will be back on Friday the 1st March!


Fay x

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January 4, 2019 @ 9:34 am

Episode 38 - World Pomination

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 38 – World Pomination

In this episode I cover: Old Dog New Tricks: CAL Updates; Yarn Review; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by


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


1 – Old Dog New Tricks

I never, ever, ever, expected to be writing the following words: “I am a little bit in love with a pompom”!

Normally, I see a hat and I think that it would look so much better without a pom pom on it.  Then the flick switched during a silly shopping trip in TK Maxx with my best friend, Jenny.  We tried on almost every single hat in there, to try to find a syles that actually suited us.  Who knew, I could rock a pompom?

So now that I am pom pom obsessed, I have made two of them and my friend Bec came up with a very cunning idea.  Pom poms are a pain to make and trim, so why not have some that are transferable to different hats?  After all, you can only really wear one physical hat at a time.


If you sew a button onto the pompom and leave enough of a gap at the top of the crown to tightly pass the button through, you can wash the hat without the pompom, change the pompom colour, wear the hat without the pompom.  


2 – CAL Updates 

The #ChristmasEveCAL continues with lots of lovely projects being made. 

As usual, you can crochet, knit, weave, do whatever yarn based craft you please.  This is all about having a chilled out project that you can work on during the Festive Season and the month of January. 

The CAL ends on Sunday 27th 2019.  It is a very chilled out CAL, mainly because I am flat out at the moment and don’t want to over-commit myself again. 


Use #ChristmasEveCAL and #ChristmasEveCALFO to show off your projects and finished objects.


3 – Yarn Review

I have been working with ‘wild wool’ from Erika Knight.  It’s an aran weight yarn (170m/186yds to 100g) and is a blend of 85% wool (unspecified breed/s) and 15% nettle fibres.

Last month I was talking about the Onion Yarns wool and nettle blend and how much I loved it.  The same is true for ‘wild wool’.  

I have really tested the metal of the yarn.  It does brilliantly when ripped back and reworked.  It creates a lovely stitch definition, and has a lovely, substantial feel to it.



It’s widely available in the UK and beyond and I have provided the stockist links and a full review as a blog over on my website.

I would definitely love to use this yarn again.  The nettle brings qualities such as durability, and strength but also a silver strands to the yarn, no matter what colour the wool has been dyed.


I can see it making great accessories and on a larger hook/needle size amazing, drapey garments.


4 – Final Destination

I finished a couple of hats this month – both with pom poms! Who am I?

The first is the Wynn Slouch Hat by Harlee Wentworth.  You can get this pattern for free on the Noowul website or pay for an advert free version on Ravelry.  I paid for the pattern (about £3) to be able to support the designer.

I used my 100g skein of wild wool from Erika Knight in the colourway ‘Mooch’ and added a contrast pompom in some Rowan yarn I had stashed.

I have added project notes on Ravelry for both hats and you can fine me there as MaDashper.

ep_38_FO_wynn_hat_1.jpg ep_38_FO_2.jpg


My second hat is knitted colour work.  I fell in love with this design when I saw Kate at Northern Yarn making one.  In the lull between Christmas and New Year, I decided to treat myself with a quick project that taxed my brain a little.

The pattern is called Curlew and it’s by Linda Shearer.  Again, it’s a free pattern but was designed to raise awareness of the decline of the Curlew.  You can get the pattern through Ravelry or on the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) website. I donated £5 to the RSPB as a thank you for a lovely pattern that I will make again and to help with bird conservation projects in the UK and across the globe.


My Curlew is made from Rowan Felted Tweed and some stash yarns that I had that are very similar to Felted Tweed. More details can be found on my project page.

I finished off my two whopper projects and got the designs in on time for the deadline.  I actually quite enjoyed crocheting with a heavy laceweight yarn.  I will be able to show those projects off in March/April time.


I also stupidly put myself under pressure to knit four pairs of socks as Christmas presents.  It was worth it though to see some of my favourite people wearing matching handmade socks on Christmas day.  They were all knitted in West Yorkshire Spinner’s special edition Christmas yarns:  Candy Cane from 2017 and Fairly Lights form 2018.  


5 – En Route

I have been making good progress on my pink Fallen Leaves sock, the heel has been turned and I am now just crocheting up the leg.  It’s quite a dense, but well fitted sock, so it’s taking quite a lot of time to make.  I suspect that I am going to knit the cuff onto it rather than crochet it, because I can make it more accurate and get better elasticity from a knitted cuff.


One of my interests this year is around using knitted cuffs, heels and toes for crocheted socks.

Let me introduce my future WIP - an Esja jumper to be made with yarn dyed by my friend Bec of Black Horse Yarns and Socks Yeah! in the colour 'Chryso'.

Ep_38_WIP_2.jpg Ep_38_WIP_3.jpg

6 – Feeding the habit

I have been very good this month - not a single gram of yarn has been bought.  This is just as well because I tidied up the Stash Palace and I have enough to be getting on with.

What I did receive were some lovely crafting and lifestyle books (see links below).  My friend Jenny also ordered Vicki Brown’s 4 ply advent calander.  Before I left her on Boxing Day, she pulled out six 10g mini skeins that she definitely won’t use.  So, they are now in my stash and I have sent her six 10g mini skeins that are more her colours. Everyone is a winner!


Ikigai - The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

Look what we made - a tribute to a handmade life 

Knits about Winter - 12 knittign patterns inspired by Winter


7 - Quick News Beats 

1 - Global Hook Ups – the first Hook Ups of 2019 are:

January – 12th Saturday (night) and 13th (morning) GMT

The other dates for the first half of 2019 are in the Ravelry thread.  


2 - The next yarn show that I am vending at is Waltham Abbey Wool Show on the 20th January.  It’s run by Diane from the Crochet Chain, so has a nice mix of crochet at the show too.   

3 - I have set up the ‘Setting the Scene for 2019’ thread in Ravelry.  Feel free to use this as a space to set out your crafting and personal goals for the year.

I will be pulling together a very relaxed 2018 round up and 2019 goals episode in the next week or so.  It will be a chatty episode with coffee and a roaring fire rather than my usual heavy edited style.  It’s more about signing up to the year ahead than spending hours at a computer making a shiny episode. 


8 – Big Up

There’s another podcast for you.  This one is hosted by the lovely and beautiful Marceline and it’s called the Hey BrownBerry podcast on YouTube.  She has been podcasting for a while and has 60 episodes to go at.  She is predominantly a  knitter but does all sorts of crafts from crochet to drawing.

Marce also works with a friend called Kelly and together they run MakersMerch on Etsy selling pins and bags.

Until very recently Marce also had a natural yarn dyeing business that she runs with her daughter.


9 - J’adore

You lot.  I am not particularly good at responding to comments.  I see them all, but rarely get the time to respond.  I figure that you all prefer me spending time on show notes, reviews and trips out to interesting places anyway. 

Thank you for coming on my yarn journeys with me.  I have some fab things lined up for the year ahead…


Have a great start to 2019.  I will be back on Friday the 1st February!

Fay x

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December 7, 2018 @ 9:45 am

Episode 37 - Feeling Festive?

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 37 – Feeling Festive?

In this episode I cover: Old Dog New Tricks: CAL Updates; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by


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


1 – Old Dog New Tricks

Today’s Old Do is all about fixing crochet when a hole appears in it.  My friend Lisa went to put on one of her crocheted shawls and discovered that somehow there were two ends poking out that were once a fully formed stitch.  She wasn’t sure how to fix it, so I said I would have a go. 

On investigating the shawl there were a few areas where loose ends were showing and one knot.  I don’t know what caused the yarn breakage but suspect one of three things:

1 – moths

2 – the shawl was trapped in a drawer or door at some point

3 – the yarn has worn at particular points (it was a skinny single merino)

The good news is that you can fix crochet, the bad news is that I don’t think one method fixes all.  With Lisa’s shawl she provided me with her leftover yarn (always a good reason to keep some spare) and I knew that the broken stitches were quadruple trebles. 



Key to fixing these holes was spit splicing new yarn onto the tiny ends of yarn that were poking up.  If you have never spit spliced before, it is a wonderful way of joining two ends of yarn together and works particularly well with wool or yarn with a high wool content.  You can do it with superwash yarn, but it may take a bit more effort for the splice to take.  If you are new to spit splicing, here is a link to a YouTube video on how to do it.


Ensure that you are joining to the loose piece at the top of the row so that you are starting from the correct height.  Do the same with the bottom strand of loose yarn so that it won’t unravel further and weave this end in so that it is secure.

Go back to the newly spliced yarn at the top of the row and crochet the missing stitch as per the pattern.  I finished by adding a slip stitch to really bed the new stitch in.  Weave in the end.



If you don’t have enough yarn to do a spit splice, you may be better of tying a knot in it (this will likely create a puckered area in your work though) and then try to felt the two ends together (like the spit splice but without cutting any of the plies out).  This should help to secure the ends which you may be able to weave in and tidy up. 


2 – CAL Updates 

I haven’t recorded it yet, but hopefully, this weekend, I will have announced the #SockCAL winners on Instagram, Ravelry and possibly a YouTube video (time allowing).

Charlie and I are colluding again on a Christmas Eve CAL.  At any point on Christmas Eve you can start a new project.  Last year we did it as a One Skein Wonderland CAL and this year it is up to you what you make and with how much yarn.  The bundle is still up in the Ravelry group from last year, so if you need some inspiration for one skein projects, go and take a look. 

As usual, you can crochet, knit, weave, do whatever yarn based craft you please.  This is all about having a chilled out project that you can work on during the Festive Season and the month of January. 

The CAL starts on the 24th December 2018 and ends on Sunday 27th 2019.  It is going to be a very chilled out CAL, mainly because I am flat out at the moment and don’t want to over-commit myself again. 


Use #ChristmasEveCAL and #ChristmasEveCALFO to show off your projects and finished objects.


3 – Final Destination

Do you remember me saying that I was going to get time off in November and that I was going to finish all my WIPs before the end of 2019?  Did you believe me? 

It hasn’t quite worked out like that.  I sort of forgot about a project that I signed up to do and got the go ahead on two rather large commissions that I need to deliver by mid-December…

So, there has been MUCH crocheting going on, but I can’t show you properly until March.

When I have large work crochet projects on the go, I tend to turn to other crafts as my personal crafts and vice versa.  What this means is that I have finished up a couple of long-term knitting WIPs that I had on the go.


The first is a DK weight jumper which is called Joyride.  It’s a free pattern on Ravelry and was really quite quick to make, even though I started it at the beginning of February. I made a few modifications and hope to get my project notes up on Ravelry shortly.

All of my other FOs are socks.  I have listed all of the patterns and yarns used.  Of particular interest are two new yarns that I used.  The first was Tania’s (TJ Frog) Dorset Horn wool, which has no nylon in it whatsoever, just pure wool.  We were both vending at Yarnporium together and had a little chinwag about the viability of using Dorset Horn for socks.  I thought it was worth a try because of the decent staple length of the fibre and strurdiness of the twist and wool that Tania has had spun.   Needless to say, Tania is currently testing out her new striped (Sufragette coloured) socks and will report back so that I can let all of you know how well her Dorest Horn wool has performed in sock form. 

Ep_37_FO_5.jpg Ep_37_FO_6.jpg

The other yarn of note is 70% SW wool and 30% nettle.  I bought this yarn when I was at Stephen & Penelope’s in Amsterdam and loved working with it.  It’s plump, warm and silky.  The nettle makes a real difference to yarn.  I haven’t worn the socks yet because I wanted to show them off, but even just from trying them on, I know that these are going to be toasty.  I think that the Onion Sock Yarn would be amazing for crocheted socks.  I need to find some more because I think that it would be incredible in a pair of Deanne’s (Addydae Designs) Baseline or Segue Socks.

If you are UK based and interested in this yarn, you can get it from Wild & Woolly in London.  There are other stockists worldwide, just search for Onion Yarns Sock Yarn. 

Ep_37_FO_3.jpg Ep_37_FO_4.jpg

The stripey fellas were a quick make for my Father-in-Law because everyone needs a woolly hug every now and then.  They were knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners Mallard colourway.   The Eddisbury Socks are a pattern by my freind Gill, using Socks Yeah!

My other FO was for Crochetzine’s latest issue.  I said that I would pull together a tutorial on intarsia crochet and I wanted to work that around something festive, so created an intarsia Christmas cracker.  If you aren’t familiar with Crochetzine, it’s a mini crochet magazine on Instagram and it’s run by Chrissie, Sarah and Sharma.  It is going from strength to strength and every month they have a new load of stories, giveaways, patterns and tutorials.  It is a genius way of delivering crochet content to crafters for free. 


Sometimes the smallest and simplest things take the longest time.  That is certainly true of this little cracker!   

In other news, I have had the laser cutter up and running.  I have been working on a collaboration with Becci and Markus from RiverKnits and Nu Shearman from Hide and Hammer.  I will talk more about the collaboration and kit sales in Quick Newsbeats, but that is another reason for the knitted sock extravaganza!



4 – En Route

As alluded to, I have to whopper crochet commissions on the go at the moment and they are taking up almost all of my crafting time.  My fallen Leaves socks are sitting patiently, waiting to be picked up again.  I know that as soon as I turn the heel on the first one, I will be away and they will be finished in no time!


5 – Feeding the habit

Given the number of yarns shows I vend at, you would think that is when I get the majority of my yarns.  Not the case because you spend all your time setting up, vending and then taking down.  That said, at Yarnporium, I did manage to sneak away for a few minutes because I was told that I must go and see Becca at Mahoodly.  I wasn’t disappointed, especially as I seem to be on a mini skein kick at the moment.  She dyes on 100% British Bluefaced Leicester. 


We also went to Glasgow for a night to meet up with my Dad.  We managed to cram a lot into just over 24 hours, which included two (yes two!) yarns shops!  I had arranged to meet Fiona and Lorna at Queen of Purls on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately Lorna couldn’t make it , but I had a lovely afternoon with Fiona, chatting to Zoe (yarn shop owner) and her sister,  whom is also now dyeing and has a company called The Sleekit Hare.  You can find her yarns at Queen of Purls and although Zoe is closing the bricks and mortar shop down because she is moving, her online shop will remain open. 


I also bought a skein of Zoe’s yarn in a glorious mustardy colour to go with the mini skeins and a 50g skein of variegated to go with some of her yarn I bought last time I was in Glasgow!

After Yarnporium, I took a little trip to Richmond to go back to Tribe Yarns.  I picked up some Isager yarn to crochet a lightweight top with.  I have crocheted with their Alpaca 1 before, held double, and it creates the softest fabric with gorgeous drape.  I also bought some Isager Silk Mohair to add some texture to parts of the top. 


Milli also had Isager Spinne which is made in Denmark and 100% wool.  I hadn’t touched this wool in the flesh before and wanted to give it a try as it is really quite rustic in it’s unblocked state.  This will become my version of the shawl that I am currently making under commission.

I am currently reviewing what my yarn buying habits might be in 2019…


6 - Quick News Beats 

Global Hook Ups – I said that the hook ups would be back in December, but looking at my calendar, I just can’t make it work.  So here are the suggested dates for the first half of 2019:

January – 12th Saturday (night) and 13th (morning)

February – 9th Saturday (night) and 10th (morning)

March – 9th Saturday (night) and 10th (morning)

April – 20th Saturday (night) and 21st (morning)

May – 11th Saturday (night) and 12th (morning)

June – 15th Saturday (night) and 16th (morning)


Festive collaboration – the project that I have been working on with Nu and Becci goes love on Friday 7th December and the kits are available to buy at the RiverKnits website up to Monday 10th at midday or until the limited edition stocks have run out.  There is a knit version of the kit and a crocheted version.  I’m not yet confident enough to design a crocheted sock, but the yarns amounts should be perfect for Vicki Brown’s Sweetheart Socks or Deanne’s Segue Socks.

 Ep_37_Santa_s_knit_sack.jpg Ep_37_Santas_knot_sack.jpg


7 – Big Up

I have a new YouTube podcast for you.  It’s called The Green Bean Podcast and it’s by Katie Green, formerly of Blacker Yarns.  Katie lives on the Cornwall/Devon border and podcasts about her crafting which is mainly sewing, illustrating and knitting, but she does also crochet.  It’s a lovely gentle podcast and her dog Jack often appears in it. 


8 - J’adore

I was thinking about the things that make me feel festive or that I look forward to over the Christmas period.  Here is what I came up with:

1 – Satsumas are in season and I could eat a bag a day!

2 – Mulled wine is perfectly acceptable on a Sunday afternoon as I sit by the fire.

3 – Seeing little children being excited by the magic of the festive season.

4 – Christmas cake is allowed.

5 – Unsolicited access to marzipan.  Hmmmm, marzipan.

6 – Making things for people I love. 


Have a fabulous December and festive season my lovelies.  I will be back on Friday the 4th January!

Fay x

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November 1, 2018 @ 11:14 pm

Episode 36 - Frolicking with hooligans

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 36 – Frolicking with hooligans

In this episode I cover: Sock CAL; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by


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


1 - #SockAlong 2018 CAL

The response to the CAL has been incredible.  As I recorded this episode, there were a few days left for the CAL.  I would like to record a separate piece on the Sock Along and show off the finished objects.

All of the blogs are available here if you need support with making more crocheted socks. 

Here are the links to all of the blog hop folk:

#1 Sat 15th Sep - Sock Making Tips - me (

#2 Sat 22nd Sep - Yarn Choice - Fay (

#3 Sat 29th Sep - Knit vs Crochet Socks - Caroline (

#4 Sun 30th Sep -  Sock Anatomy - Deanne (

#5 Sat 6 Oct - Toe up vs Cuff down Socks - Jo (

#6 Sat 13th Oct - Colour & colour patterns - Marta (

#7 Sat 20th Oct - Customising socks - Kathryn (

#8 Sat 27th Oct - Crochet Sock Heels are not Scary - Karen ( 


More prizes have come in for the CAL.  Lovely Sandra from Cherry Heart podcast has kindly offered copies of her latest pattern, the Linden Bee Shawl


Nikki from Ewe Felty Thing a LYS in Llandudno, North Wales and indie dyer, has kindly given a prize of the most beautiful 50% silk and 50% camel yarn.  It is so beautifully soft.  I am also pleased to say that in November, Nikki will be extending the size of her shop.  It's always good to hear local yarn shop successes.



2 – Final Destination

Creatively, I have been very busy this month, it's just that much of it has been for the shop and for Yarnporium (a large London yarn show on 2nd & 3rd November).  So, less crochet and a lot of pottery, sewing, bag making, designing, and, and, and...

I have finished off two shawls that I have been designing.  The shawl is called Arria and on Friday 2nd November, the 4ply crocheted and knitted versions are being launched.  They both use the intarsia technique and are a nice introduction to it because you only have three balls on the go.  They both use 2 x 100g skeins of a 4 ply/light fingering weight yarn (400m/437yds) and a 20g mini skein of the same yarn weight.     


If you prefer to work in DK weight yarns, the DK Arria patterns are being worked up at the moment and might be ready for the December podcast.

I have also been working on my first knitted sock pattern, which uses 20g mini skeins from River Knits.  The pattern is called Mini Mania and if you buy a seventh 20g mini skein, you can use up almost all of your wool and get two pairs of socks from the 140g.  



Discount codes are set up on all three patterns on Ravelry.  Use CROCHETCLAN at check out to receive 50% discount.


3 – En Route

I have made very little progress on my Fallen leaves socks.  I am desperate to get more crochet time in during November and catch up on life.  Ho-hum.


4 – Feeding the habit

This section usually reflects any woolly adventures I have had during the month.  October was a great month for going to new places and seeing some of my lovely woolly friends.  

It all started with a trip to Hooligan Yarns on their open day. This is a small holding called Manor Farm Charitable Trust, where they take in animals that would otherwise go to slaughter.  Di, her husband Allan and a team look after 170 sheep, goats, chickens, donkeys, pony, geese, geep (yes, there is such a thing as a goat/sheep cross) and ducks.

All of the animals get to live a full life and it was amazing to see the different personalities the animals have.  

The trip was all down to my friend Bec who organised it, and we had a great day out.  Di has been working over the last couple of years to create yarn from the fleeces of the sheep.  Needless to say, I couldn’t come away without any.  I really love that I have animal and fleece specific wool and I have seen just how happy the animals were.  The sale of the wool offers direct support to the charity. 


You can buy their yarn online.  You can follow the different animals on Instagram (@hooliganyarns).  You can also see the farm on Countryside Autumn Diaries 2018, Episode 3, go to 35:25 minutes.

I know of two other UK suppliers of slaughter free wool in case you are interested:

Doulton Border Leicester Flock and Izzy Lane.


The next day I was off to Bakewell Woolgathering in Derbyshire, a two day yarn festival.  I didn't have long there and made a beeline to see some friends.  One of my plans for this year has been to look to my stash, see where I have single skeins that need partners and buy those partners.  Laili owns Emily Foulds, a LYS in Colne, Yorkshire and one of the yarns she carries is The Fibre Company and this was one of the stash areas that I wanted to marry up with an extra skein.  I really like Laili and what a success she is making of her shop, so I was pleased to be able to buy from her.  When my skein arrived in the post (she didn't have the colour I wanted at the show) it also arrived with a couple of skeins of the new The Fibre Company yarn - Arranmore.  I am looking to design up a new crocheted bag with this yarn, so it was really nice to get some to play with.



I took a sneaky day off and headed down to London to meet up with a couple of friends.  Stasia was over from Russia and Lisa works in London, so we met up int he afternoon for some tea, coffee and crochet at a very cool location called Drink, Shop & Do (later that night the cafe bar was hosting prosecco and pumpkin carving party!)  We were all swapping little bits and pieces as gifts and I was blown away with the lovely things I received from Stasia and Lisa.  I am now the happy owner of some Russian yarn and a really special stitch marker.



I also visited a new yarn shop called Tribe Yarns (@Tribeyarnslife).  I only had about 20 minutes there and it was so amazing.  I can't do it justice just now, so I am going to go back and have a proper look and photograph it properly.  It's in Richmond on the Hill and it is easily one of my new favourite yarn shops.  


The lovely Nikki from Ewe Felty Thing also sent me through a skein of yarn, very specifically for making socks with so that I can check out another type of yarn.  I was searching at Yarndale for some alpaca based sock yarn but couldn't find any, so this skein is just perfect.  I will report back in due course so that  you know how it wears.    


5 - Quick News Beats 

Global Hook Ups – I am going to take a month off the Global Hook Ups.  I know that when I come back form Yarnporium, my battery levels are going to be really low and I want to make sure I get a proper recharge during November.  The hook ups will be back in December.  

Meet up in Glasgow - 24th November meet up in Glasgow at The Queen of Purls at 3.30pm.  It would be lovely to see some of you there.

WIPalong - Charlie from the Love Charlie Podcast and some Instagram friends are hosting #WIPvember.  It runs from 1st - 30th November om Instagram.  All you need to do is get cracking on your WIPs.  My plan is to continue this throughout December too because ideally, I would carry just one WIP into 2019.  I really want to move into the New Year with a clean slate, knowing that I can tackle whatever it is I want and there is no background guilt over long-suffering projects).  


6 – Big Up

I don't think I have ever told you about my wonderful sister-in-law.  Sarah is Matthew's sister and she is an author, and a very good one at that.  She has a new book out under the Urban Fantasy genre and when she was visiting this weekend, we hatched a plan for a giveaway.  'The Night Raven' is the first novel in The Crow Investigation Series. 


Sarah is giving away a signed copy of 'The Night Raven' and between us we picked out linen embroidery thread colours to match the front cover which is then part of a raven embroidery bag kit that I am giving away from KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT. The embroidery kit is an absolute one-off (apart from the one that I gave to Sarah - because she is an amazing person).  

If you would like to win the prize bundle, take to Instagram and make sure you are following her account (@sarapainterbooks)and my business account (@knitithookit) and leave a comment on the post in my account @knitithookit  If you want to tag a friend that might be interested, then please do, but it isn't compulsory.  Simply comment on the post by 12pm GMT 9th November.  

Sarah has a growing back catalogue, many of which are available through Amazon and Audible.    


7 - J'adore

We have been binge watching The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel which is airing on Amazon.  


Right, I am off to do more prep for Yarnporium and will be spending most of November on the sofa crocheting.  

Fay x

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October 5, 2018 @ 9:08 am

Episode 35 - Sockdale

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 35 – Sockdale

In this episode I cover: Old dog new tricks; Sock CAL; Final Destination; En Route; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J’adore?

This podcast is sponsored by


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


1 – Old dog new tricks

I was in our Ravelry pages the other day and came across a link that was helpfully posted to try to help people understand what kind of crocheter they are.  You may be a yanker, rider or a lifter.  Your style affects whether or not you are going to hit row tension/gauge and by crocheting in the Rider style, you should be able to hit gauge with most patterns (unless the designer is a Yanker or Lifter).  This can help you to get the right number fo pattern rows/rounds and in the case of a Yanker, stop you from having to use more yarn to get the right length of project.

I thought I would raise this because a Crochet Clan member said that they managed to get gauge on their stitches, but not rows and their way around that was to add more rows.  This has happened to me in the past too. 

Yankers – tend to pull the golden loop (first loop pulled up from yarn round hook) and create shorter stitches because they are yanking down on the loops as they work through each stitch.  With this technique, you are likely to create shorter projects unless you do extra rows/rounds,

Riders – this is really where you want to be because your hook is being worked parallel with your row/round and the height is where it ideally should be.  When you pull through a loop from your first yarn round hook, your hook should almost be pointing diagonally down so that you are not extending the loop and you can continue to build the right height as you do the remaining parts of that stitch.

Lifters -  A lifter is the opposite of a Yanker because they extend the golden loop every time, creating a taller stitch.  With this technique you are likely to create taller projects overall.

If you want to know more about this, I thoroughly recommend looking up Deje Jetmir’s YouTube video.  She takes you through what a difference it makes and how to overcome being a Yanker or Lifter.


2 - #SockAlong 2018 CAL

This CAL is well and truly underway and I am mightily impressed with how many socks are being crocheted and the progress so far!

  • It runs from Saturday 29th September – 31st October 2018.
  • There is a series of blog posts taking you through the intricacies of crocheting socks.
  • You can join in with crocheted or knitted socks.
  • The chatter thread is on Claudia’s (Crochet Luna’s Ravelry page), the FO thread will be hosted by Kathryn from the Crafternoon Treats podcast Ravelry Group and I am heading up the Instagram #SockCAL2018 #SockAlong2018.
  • Sock patterns are available from various designers.
  • There will be prizes for winning entries into the Ravelry FO thread and those using #SockAlong2018FO and I showcase some of them on the podcast.
  • The FO thread is already open in Kathryn's Crafternoon Treats Ravelry Group and there are entries already!

Here are the links to all of the blog hop folk:

#1 Sat 15th Sep - Sock Making Tips - me (

#2 Sat 22nd Sep - Yarn Choice - Fay (

#3 Sat 29th Sep - Knit vs Crochet Socks - Caroline (

#4 Sun 30th Sep -  Sock Anatomy - Deanne (

#5 Sat 6 Oct - Toe up vs Cuff down Socks - Jo (

#6 Sat 13th Oct - Colour & colour patterns - Marta (

#7 Sat 20th Oct - Customising socks - Kathryn (

#8 Sat 27th Oct - Crochet Sock Heels are not Scary - Karen (


These designers have offered a discount or free pattern:

Karen Whooley - 20% off all her sock patterns and books through Ravelry.  Just use code socktober2018 at the checkout.

Deanne from Addydae Designs - 20% off Baseline Socks using code SOCKCAL2018 at the Ravelry checkout. 

Vicki Brown - free Magdalen Sock Pattern on Ravelry 

Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats Podcast - free SuperSonic Socks on Ravelry 

Caroline from Mind and Muse podcast - free Miniature Hooked Socks and My Sweet Socks on Ravelry 


Here are some of the prizes that have been coming in for the CAL:


1 - Shawl pin by Vesna and her Etsy shop UstvarjalniNavdih

2 - Yarn by Bec at Black Horse Yarn with a Votes for Women badge I found at Yarndale

3 - Yarn via The Wool Stop in Bristol but dyed by Deb at Crafty Cat Knitty Bits

4 - Stitch markers by Lisa 

5 - Stitch markers by Kathryn at Crafternoon Treats


3 – Final Destination

I have a couple of finished things to share with you this month.  I managed to do my project with the Blacker Tor, the birthday yarn I was sent by Blacker and it’s everything Jo said it was in the yarn review was spot on.  It’s bouncy, recrochets brilliantly and is beautiful to work with.  I made myself a little bag for all of my essential crochet designers kit.  It’s just big enough to carry my design kit of stopwatch, calculator, notepad, scales and pen and fit inside a project bag.


I am pleased to have finished the crocheted version of Arete.  I had to steek this project and it seems that steeking crochet IS NOT A THING.  It is now.  It works.  My stitches haven’t come undone and the world didn’t implode! Yay.  I plan on writing a couple of blog posts on steeking crochet because I really think it should be incorporated into more designs.  I much prefer tapestry crochet in the round rather than in rows.  So, here is the design and the ways I liked to style it:


Discount codes are set up on both patterns on Ravelry.  Use CROCHETCLAN at check out to receive 50% discount.

I also finished my knitted version of Arete and here it is too.




4 – En Route

It is all about socks!  Crocheted socks.  I have two different pairs on the go.  Both are using the same Fallen Leaves pattern by Vicki Brown. 

I am making both pairs with some of Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats yarn so that I can do a side by side comparison.  Both are 80% Corriedale and 20% nylon, but the bright pink one is non-super wash and the light blue is super washed. 


I am intrigued to see the difference between the two and so I am making them both into the same crocheted sock pattern.  My plan is to wear both pairs one day each week for a number of months, put them both through our weekly wool wash and test the side by side to discern whether there is any material difference between super wash and non-super wash.


The yarn is working up really well and is giving great stitch definition with the Fallen Leaves which is beautiful.


5 – Feeding the habit

Well, I was at Yarndale.  I am now on a bit of a yarn ban again and I think I am going to try to take it right through to 2019 and assess the situation then.

So, here is what has been in my shopping basket this month, bearing in mind that much of it is for designs:


Left - 'Orchard' in Bear Twist by Bernie at Bear in Sheep's Clothing

Middle and right-hand side yarn are both Crafternoon Corrie Sock from Kathryn at Crafternoon Treats

Right photo shows all the lovely gifts I have receievd during the month.  Lost of sticth markers and notions.  There were chocolates and tablet...



Left - Alpaca Rose yarn from Border Mill

Right - crochet hook roll and bag from Clarisabeth from Crochet Cakes Podcast and DaintyByCrochetCakes Etsy shop, Chocolate bag and Patons Kroy sock yarn from Claudia at Crochet Luna Podcast and esty shop



Left - BFL, mohair and Pecora Brugno from Officina del Colore Naturale 

Right - Poll Dorset Lambswool from Kate at Northern Yarn

6 - Quick News Beats 

Global Hook Ups – The next Global Hook Up is due to be on Saturday 13th October 2018 (BST)

Time: Saturday 13th October 2018 8:30 PM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:

There is then a second one on Sunday 14th October at 9am (BST)

Time: Sunday 14th October 2018 9:00 AM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:

Making Things App - A new pattern app is in the making.  It is called Making Things App and you can take a look at their website and Instagram.  This is quite a different take on how you can access patterns form designers.  Think of a Netflix monthly payment with access to all of the patterns on the app.  I will report back when I know more about a launch date but what I can say is that as a designer and user of paid for patterns, I am excited about this new platform.

C2C CAL - Rosina of Zeens & Rogers podcast is hosting a corner to corner (C2C) CAL.  It starts on Sunday 7th October and runs until 17th November.  You can get all the details here in the blogpost.

Glasgow trip – I am heading to my favourite Scottish city on Saturday 24th November.  If anyone fancies meeting up, I will be heading to The Queen of Purls for about 3.30pm.  The yarn shop is at 1069 Argyle Street, Studio 8, Second Floor, The Hive, Glasgow, G3 8LZ and is open until 5pm. So, if you are in or around Glasgow and fancy squishing yarn with me and going for a coffee, please drop me a line.


8 – Big Up

My friend Sophie has taken up podcasting.  She is quite a few episodes in now and you can catch her easy breezy, positive catch ups and see her massive WIP pile over at the A Spring Snowflake Podcast over on YouTube.

Yarndale organisers – it is a fabulous event that is very crochet welcoming and I think becomes more and more crochet friendly every year. 

Everyone with a zombie apocalypse plan.  In a short and unscientific poll at Yarndale, three out of eight people do not have a zombie apocalypse plan.  In case you don’t have a plan, here are some tips:


9 – J’adore

Song – I listen to a fair bit of folk music and Spotify brought me ‘Dark Honey’ by Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr.  It is just beautiful. 

Claudia – Claudia from the Crochet Luan podcast was over for Yarndale.  We had a blast.  It is just as well we live far apart because I don’t think the world is ready for the amount of naughty we would create together!


Fay x

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September 7, 2018 @ 6:04 am

Episode 34 - Sock Season

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 34 – Sock Season


In this episode I cover: CALs, Yarn review; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Feeding the habit; Quick News Beats; Big Uo and J’adore?


This podcast is sponsored by


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

1 - #SockAlong 2018 CAL

This CAL is starting to shape up rather nicely.  Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • It runs from Saturday 29th September – 31st October 2018.
  • You can join in with crocheted or knitted socks.
  • Designers, podcasters and yarn dyers are getting involved with the CAL.
  • You can get the full details closer to the CAL start date on both Ravelry and Instagram (#SockAlong2018)
  • Tamara is organising a blog hop which will start on the 15th of September, two weeks before the CAL starts.
  • The chatter thread(s) will be available on Claudia (Crochet Luna’s Ravelry page), the FO thread will be hosted by Kathryn from the Crafternoon Treats podcast Ravelry Group and I will head up the Instagram # and information.
  • Behind the scenes we are pulling together some great crocheted sock patterns for you to try out. These range from free to paid for and beginner onwards. 
  • My blog hop is all about choosing the right yarn for crocheted socks and that will come out before the CAL starts so that you have time to get your paws on yarn if you need to.
  • There will be prizes for winning entries into the Ravelry FO thread and those using #SockAlong2018FO
  • The CAL officially starts on 28th September when a bunch of us will be gathered for a picnic at Yarndale.


 2 – Yarn review – ‘Tor’ – Blacker’s 2018 birthday yarn

Blacker Yarns sent the podcast some of their latest birthday yarn to squish and review.  I asked for some extra skeins so that another clan member could also have a squish with it.  I sent three of the mini skeins to Jo (@jofeatherandthreads on Instagram) and I have been playing with the other three mini skeins.

Jo's full yarn review is up in the yarn review Ravery thread in The Crochet Circle Group. 





3 – Final Destination

I finished yet another Loft which is a crocheted DK version in gorgeous wine colours.  Again, this is in Knit by Numbers by John Arbon Textiles and will be available to squish on their show stand.


When I was over in Northern Ireland, Louise at Lighthouse Yarns gave me some vintage Irish linen.  I have a bout 1kg of this linen left after I crocheted up a Zeens & Rogers Market Bag for a friend. 



I did manage to whip up a pair of my standard socks using the Alley Cat (AKA Dirty Tiger) yarn that I bought over at Ewe & Ply in July.  I have used West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply for the contrast heel and toes in colourway ‘Poppy Seed’.



4 – En Route

Time is 100% against me at the moment.  I have very little personal crocheting time and so things like my summer top have languished in a project bag.  I am desperate to get to it but I just have too many design and show deadlines at the moment.  

My Verity V neck is my only real WIP at the moment.  Once this episode is out, I plan on getting some time back for me, myself and I. 


5 - Designs in Progress

Heg tre is the pashmina/cowl that I have been working on, called Arete.  You can see where it will be steeked - where the stitches differ.  It's going to be nail biting stuff!



6 – Feeding the habit

I took a little look in my Stash Palace the other month and felt a little overcrowded by it all.  That is usually a good time to stop spending or at the very least, slow it down and concentrate on making things instead.  I even declined more Icelandic wool from my Dad…

That said, I had some lovely things liven to me at the Southern Wool Show.  Flic has taken pity on my phone and bought me a child’s stopwatch so that I can get my phone fixed and hopefully not break it again!  Ali gave me some dodgy yarn which isn’t at all dodgy and Helen baked some AMAZING brownies that clearly can’t be shown here because they got wolfed at the end of the show during take down.


So, here’s what has been incoming this month:



1 – Wild Wool from Erika Knight – a blend of wool and nettle.

2 – Some gorgeous hand spun from Mary at Marethdale.  I went to see her at The Pop Up Wool Show at Port Sunlight. 

3 - Supposedly 'dodgy yarn' from Ali of the Little Drops of Wonderful podcast. 

4 - Hand Spun from Jo at Dancing Goat Crafts.

5 - Present from Flic to preserve my phone!

6 – Studio Donegal’s ‘Soft Donegal’ in shades 5528 & 5219.  I bought these from Louise at Lighthouse Yarns when we were over for Yarnfolk.

7 – Woolganic Knitters Yarn from Australian Fleece Wool in shade CHB8.  I forgot to add it to the photo!




Harvest Hues from John Arbon Textiles ready for a crocheted Arete pashmina/cowl.   It’s a blend of Zwartbles (35%) and Merino (65%) and is only £11 per 100g.


7 - Quick News Beats 

Global Hook Ups – The next Global Hook Up is due to be on Saturday 15th September 2018 (BST)

Time: Saturday 15th September 2018 8:30 PM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:

There is then a second one on Sunday 16th September at 9am (BST)

Time: Sunday 16th September 2018 9:00 AM London BST

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:  The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:


Thanks to everyone that came to say hi at the Southern Wool Show.  I was hugging people right left and centre.  It was an amazing day and I am hoping to be there again next year.  My next show is Yarnporium in London on the 2nd & 3rd November.  It’s a whopper of a show and I have lots of stuff up my sleeve for it. It’s all very exciting!


8 – Big Up

To everyone that is helping to pull together the #SockAlong2018.  I am really stretched for time at the moment, so having so many great people being involved is making it a better and more interesting CAL.  Huge thanks and appreciation going out to Caroline, Tamara, Kathryn, Claudia, Vicki and Deanne.  Let’s get some socks on the hook.   


9 – J’adore

Song – Of course I have a new song to obsess over and it’s another dance remix.  It’s called ‘Send me on my way’ by Rusted Roots and it’s a Jesse Bloch remix.  You may recognise the original from the film ‘Ice Age’.

TV – We have gone back to watch Green Wing for the umptieth time.  This really is proper, silly, British humour.  It can be a bit sweary, so if that’s not your thing then don’t look it up!

Autumn - It’s a bit Autumnal round these parts but I’m still managing to eek out a few more times sitting outside (with a blanket) as I work.  I love the Autumn and the fact that soup, log fires and blankets are back on the menu.


Fay x

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