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November 3, 2017 @ 8:34 am

Episode 22 - The Secret’s Out…

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 22 - The Secret's Out...

In this episode I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks; FOs; WIPs; DIPs; Feeding the habit; Setting up a craft group; Big up and What's good?

This episode is sponsored by


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


1 - Quick news beats

#Fridayisdyeday - On the 27th October I hosted the first #Fridayisdyeday, showing how different yarns can be dyed using professional (acid), icing colourant and natural dyes.  If you are interested in having a go, take a look at the blog post that I pulled together.  The plan is to do a #Fridayisdyeday over on Instagram on the last Friday of every month.  I might be dyeing again, showing what I am making with my own hand dyed yarns or highlighting what I am making with some of those special hand dyed skeins that are residing in the Stash Palace!  

If you fancy having a go, it would be great to have you on board.  The blog post has lots of links to further information on dyeing yarn and here are my results from Friday:



Ravelry moderators - the keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have added three more moderators to the group.  Anna, Jo and Lisa are always in there welcoming people in and responding and generally being a bunch of lovelies and making our Rav group a lovely sharing place to be.  They agreed to be moderators for us all.  We have never had to kick anybody out or edit what is in the group which is amazing and the job of moedrating is more about welcoming people to the group and keeping the chat going.  Tamara and Helen were already in there as moderators and I am hoping that they will stay on even after the #BackToSchoolSweaterCAL.


Global Hook Up - A wee while ago (... quite a few months ago) I mentioned that I wanted to start hosting Global Crafting gatherings online.  You then heard nothing more on the subject but in the background I have been researching the best way to bring this to you. 

The sessions are going to be on a Saturday night (GMT) so that as many people as possible can join in.  A handful of people will be able to interact on an audio and visual basis and as many people as want (I believe) can join in by seeing what is going on.  You can also use #GlobalHookUp on Instagram to track what is going on with the session and interact and show off your crafting.

The initial test Global Hook Up is going to be on Saturday 25th November.  The exact time is to be anounced and the details will be added to a Ravelry thread and on Instagram. The idea is to use the first hook up to see how it works for everyone and iron out any niggles, ready for the next one in December

CALs for 2018 - Over the next couple of months I would like to ask you to tell me what CALs you would like me to run in 2018.  I have a few ideas but would like to get you involved in the process.  I have opened a thread on Ravelry so please do let me know what ideas you have.

Christmas Eve CAL - We had so much fun with last year's Christmas Eve CAL, that it's going ahead this year too.  Charlie from Love Charlie podcast and I are teaming up together to host the One Skein Wonderland CAL.  You can hook on at 00.01 on the 24th December.  More details to follow on this but the idea is to look out that special skein of yarn (100g) or maybe you have one coming as a present on the 25th?   

There is a thread on Ravelry so that you can suggest one skein projects that I can add to a bundle for everyone to see. 


2 - Old dog, new tricks

This month it's all about upping the odds of winning at yarn chicken (that game you play when you really, really hope you have enough yarn to finish off a row or round).  

I tested out three different yarn weights (4 ply, DK and chunky) to see if there was any real difference in the amount of yarn needed.  

After a couple of rows of dc to settle my tension on each swatch I then crocheted three rows of dc, three of half treble and three rows of treble crochet.  This allowed me to take an average length of yarn required over three rows. 



Here are the results:

4 ply (400m per 100g)

dc requires 9 times the length of your row/round

htr requires 11 times the length of your row/round

tr requires 14 times the length of your row/round


Double Knitting (DK - 200m per 100g)

dc requires 9 x the length of your row/round

htr requires 12 x times the length of your row/round

tr requires 14 x the length of your row/round


Chunky (100m per 100g)

dc requires 9 x the length of your row/round

htr requires 12 x the length of your row/round

tr requires 14 x the length of your row/round

I have since tested this on the Homebody Sweater that I am crocheting.  It's in rows of htr and I am using a 4ply yarn and a 4.5mm hook, so very different from what I tested above.  Guess what?  Yup, it took just under 12 x the length of the row.  My final nugget of yarn had 10 lengths and so I managed to save myself some time and just started a new ball instead.


3 - Finished Objects 

I didn't think I had much to show this month but it turns out I do. 

First up is my Sicily jumper which is a free of charge Rowan pattern.  Although it calls for 4ply cotton, I used a 4 ply wool blend instead (Shilasdair luxury 4 ply in shade Hawthorn).  The wool has a lot more stretch than the cotton and the sample on the model seemed quite bulky so I opted to make the smallest size and it is my best fitting handmade garment to date.  

It has been really lovely to be part of the Back To School Sweater CAL with Helen and Tamara.  So much so that I have started a second jumper.

As part of another along, I took part in the Fibre Friends Podcast North Bound Knitting Along which meant knitting any of Lisa Mutch's patterns.  I chose to do Auspice using up the 100g skein of skinny Merino that I had hand dyed with blackberries.  The yarn has faded from a soft purple colour to a silver grey and I really like it.

I also had a day out in London with four lovely friends (Flic, Corrine, Helen and Charlie) and we made our way to i Knit and Loop.  Whilst in Loop I purchased a hot off the press copy of Making Winter by Emma Mitchell (Silverpebble2 on IG).  It has some lovely crochet patterns in it as well as recipes and lots of other crafty makes.  I suspect that this is going to be a firm favourite with lots of people and I know that it is already on a few Christmas lists. 


I have made the Hawthorn mittens and although I could have stuck to the one colour version in the book, I had to fiddle and add some of my Hawthorn inspired Shilasdair yarn for the actual hawthorn berries and some brown wool that I did a test icing colour dye on in advance of #Fridayisdyeday 

It is so cold in my office that I have had these on all day! 

You can also see a scrap yarn garland that I have made ready to be part of my exhibition stand.  This is a free pattern from Little Conkers. 

My final FO is a pair of socks.  I have been trying a different heel construction this time and I have to say I really like working the after thought heel and am in love with the colour.  You can see the sock/yarn blank in the photo and the subsequent socks. 


4 - Works in progress

I only have a couple of WIPs on the go at the moment. 

The first is my second version of Criss-cross using Gym Nut from Green Elephant Yarns.  This is a CAL with Olann and which will start in January (it was going to be November but we are now going for January).  If you fancy joining in, you need a 2 x 100g of 4ply with at least 350m per 100g.  More details will follow on Ravelry and Instagram.

Progress is fairly slow on this one becasue I am recording a tutorial for the pattern as I crochet along.


The second is a new jumper using some Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) and Masham blend (4 ply and using a 4mm hook) which is really light and airy but oh so warm.  The pattern is Homebody Sweater by Megan Shaimes and it is available as a free download.  I liked the idea of having a slouchy, kick around the house crocheted jumper and had already dyed up the wool during #Fridayisdyeday knowing that I wanted a stone-washed denim look.  


5 - Designs in Progress

Thank you to everyone that responded to my call for test croheters and product reviewers.  My plan is to keep with this segment whenever I have something to say.

This month I have something massive to tell you! 

The reason I have been quiet of Ravelry and IG is because I have been designing crocheted items for Erika Knight.  

That's it, the secret really is out now.  I have been sitting on this information for just over two months and have a series of four shawls that I have designed in Erika's fab new British Blue 100 range (8 shades in gorgeous 100% British BFL).  There are some other designs as well, one finished and some in the pipeline. 


I have been working with Erika and Bella to design a set of four shawls that increase in complexity as you move from one to the next.  All four are based on the same basic pattern repeat and shape but a change of stitch or addition of lace rows leads to four very different shawls.

When I started crocheting and knitting three years ago, I naturally gravitated towards Erika's patterns and yarns because I am always drawn to elegant simplicity.  If you haven't already, please check her out - there are 10 pages of patterns on Ravelry to look at and a massive back catalogue of books too (I think I own almost all of them).

In the Stash Palace I have two shelves that are dedicted to specific yarn brands.  One is Erika Knight and the other is John Arbon Textiles.  I think you all know what that means.  The love is strong.

I still keep on having to pinch myself because I cannot quite believe that this has happened.  I have the upmost respect for what Erika and Bella achieve - they are incredibly hard working, lovely people.

The patterns will be released next year and I will of course shout about it from the roof tops and show them off to you when I can.  

I am so, so happy! :-)

And the this arrived through the post and that's my Doppio Colosseum on the front!



6 - Feeding the habit


Bags from EMYA Handmade (AKA the very lovely Emmie and Yael).  Not only did they send me these bags as a surprise (one of which is going to become a podcast prize) but they are also offering a 20% discount code on their shop you just need to use the code EMYA20.  They have a great range of items, including reusable make up remover pads and panty liners (one of my biggest concerns of non biodegradeable waste).

Making Winter from Emma Mitchell is priced at £14.99

Indigo dyed yarn and natural undyed yarn from Border Tart.


7 - Setting up a craft group

I promised to go through how I set up Woolgethering Sandbach and it turned out to be quite lengthy so it became a blog post as well as the detail that I gave in the podcast.



8 - Big up

I'm going a little left field this month with an audio book(ish) and a film podcast:

I love listening to audiobooks, especially since I started working from home on my own.  It's very easy to feel like your brain is turning to mush and there is a lack of intellectual content because you are missing out on office situations where dialogue and debates occur everyday.   

Audiobooks mean that I continue to learn really interesting stuff as I design or crochet or catch up on emails.  My latest is a series of lectures called The Great Courses and I chose to listen to the lectures on The Vikings.  It is extremely indepth and brilliantly delivered by Prof. Harl - not at all dry and boring.  It was just one credit on Audible and I had 18 hours of amazing content.  There are many subjects to choose from in The Great Courses and they're well worth taking a look at.

Every Friday night Matthew and I sit down to listen to the Empire Podcast.  We love watching films and really enjoy this film review podast.  It's silly, quite sweary and great Friday night entertainment.


9 - What's Good

2018 is shaping up to be a pretty good year.  I feel like I set the standard for what I want to achieve in 2017 and feel ready to take 2018 on as a crochet designer and podcaster.  Watch out world!


Until December.

Fay x

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