Episode 26 - CALathon

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 26 – CALathon.


In this episode, I cover: Quick news beats; Old dog, new tricks;  FOs; WIPs; DIPs; Feeding the habit, Review of Making Winter book; Big Up and What's good?


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


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.   

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1 - Quick news beats

Global Hook Up – Are you all ready to join in the first-ever Global Hook Up?  Here are the joining details: 


Hi there,

Fay Dashper-Hughes is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: 1st Global Hook Up with The Crochet Circle Podcast Group

Time: Feb 3, 2018 7:00 PM London

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4750475819

The meeting ID number is 475-047-5819 and you will need to join via Zoom which you can do here:  https://www.zoom.us/join

I have set it up so that everyone is on mute to begin with and then I can unmute you.  The meeting will start when I join in at 7pm (GMT) on Saturday 3rd February.  It will run for an hour and then we can take a call on whether it works and we want longer sessions.


The next session will be on 24th of February and may have a later start time so that it is more accessible from the Eastern time zones too.

You may need to bear with me whilst I get to grips with the technology.  If you are on Instagram, then please get involved by using #GlobalHookUp and following that hashtag.  That way I can see what you are all up to and comment on your projects.     


I will also release the meeting code on Instagram about an hour before it starts on Saturday night (GMT).

One Skein Wonderland CAL – By the time this podcast is out the CAL will have closed.  We will announce prizes shortly afterwards.

There have been so many great projects.  Even if you haven’t managed to join the CAL, I encourage you to look at the Finished Objects thread in the Love Charlie Podcast group on Ravelry and #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL on Instagram to see some fabulous projects.

Different Designer CAL – This will start on 1st March and run until 8th April.  The premise is that you go to the ‘Different Designer CAL’ Ravelry thread and tell everyone who your favourite designer is.  You share why you love their designs and which your favourite one is.  You then get to look through all the suggestions or come up with your own. You HAVE to try out a new designer, that’s the only rule. 

Other Crochet Circle CALs –

4th May to 30th June – Summer tops CAL

13th July – 31st August – Vintage Along (using either vintage yarn or a vintage pattern - 20+ years old) 

14th September – 26th October – Sock Along

24th December – 31st January – One Skein Wonderland CAL

Apart from the Different Designer CAL, I am going to add a new twist which is that you can enter WIPs so long as they fit the brief.

#FridayIsDyeDay – It’s great to see people taking part in this on the last Friday of every month.  There was some amazing speckled yarn by Lyndsay (andthentherewasmorgan on IG), Gemma (curlygem92 on IG) dyed up four fab bright colourways and started almost straight away to crochet a hat with one of them.  Haylie (fireweedfibres in IG) dyed up two colourways and Jo (dancing_goat_crafts on IG) dyed up some wool tops ready for spinning.   I managed to do some from my weekend accommodation.  I dyed a shop-bought pair of cashmere gloves a bright turquoise and over-dyed some orange yarn that I had previously dyed and not loved.  It has already been crocheted up into a cowl which you can see in FOs. 

I also made my Mum dye up a skein which you can see below.  It’s and 80% Merino/20% silk mix and she wants me to knit her a pair of socks with it.




Unravel Festival I am heading to Unravel on the Sunday 18th February.  If you are going to be about and fancy meeting up for a coffee, let me know. 

Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia Eeek, I’m going to be at this show working on the Erika Knight stand!  If you are going to the show, I will be there all day on Friday on Stand F62.  Come and say hello.  I promise to both wave at you and hug you! Both are obligatory.


2 - Old dog, new tricks

Google images – If you have a specific pattern in your mind that you want to make, then a really quick way of trying to see whether it exists is to use Google images as a search function.  I also use this if there is something that I want to buy, and I want to see what options there are. 

For instance, I typed ‘crocheted asymmetric shawl lace’ and it came up with hundreds of options which I can then quickly assess and click on the image to find out what the pattern is.  You may still have to do some sifting through because the occasional knitting pattern may appear, but I still think that it is a great way to see what is available beyond Ravelry.



Instagram – I mentioned a few of the tricks of Instagram in Episode 24 and I think that it prompted a few of you to join Instagram.  If that is the case, I really hope that you are finding it to be the positive, inspirational space that I find it to be.


3 - Finished Objects

Well first up must be  Cardigan of Doom really.  I used Cascade Heritage in shade Dark Plum (2632) I cannot say how happy I was to get this project off my needles and out of my life.  It has now arrived safely with Frazer (after I sent it to the wrong address!) and here is a quick pic of him in it. 


I learned some major lessons with this project:

1 – Never knit a 4-ply cardigan ever again.

2 – Don’t make big items for other people. 

3 – If you make an obvious mistake, frog it back and remedy it.

4 – Don’t work simultaneously on two projects that have a level of cross over.  I ended up adding two rows of moss stitch rib to a K1/P1 section of the cardigan rib…

My third Criss-cross shawl for the Olann and Criss-cross CAL is finished! I used Rowan’s Alpaca Colour DK, sadly, a discontinued yarn. It was nice to work with and used 260g in total and came out at a whopping 2.8m in length.   

You can get the pattern free of charge from Olann and. It is available to download as a PDF in both UK and US terminology and there is a YouTube tutorial to help you through the slightly trickier elements, but that said, this is a pattern for competent beginners and up.  There is still time to get hooking this shawl as the CAL doesn’t finish until the 23rd February.




At the weekend I over-dyed some chunky alpaca yarn from orange to green.  I asked Becci from River Knits for some advice and she very kindly gave me three options.  I chose option three which would give me greens and browns.  I have gone from feeling totally meh about this yarn to loving it and crocheting it up straight away.  More on the pattern in the Making Winter book review below.




4 - Works in progress

I have been beavering away on my final set of designs for Erika Knight and remaking the patterns in five different and very awesome colourways.  This means that whilst I have been crocheting away, I haven’t got much that I can show you as I only have a couple of personal projects on the go and they are both for CALs!


Alyson and Vivian from the Keep Calm and Carry Yarn Podcast are hosting an #Ultravioletkcal based on Pantone 2018 Ultra Violet.  I can’t resist a CAL and so I am crocheting up the Inclination Wrap which is available designed by Julme Conradie and available from the Nurturing Fibres website.



It is a properly sized wrap and uses linen stitch to get some nice stitch definition with the colour changes.  My yarns are Drops Alaska (03 Light Grey), a purple yarn that I hand-dyed a couple of years ago (on a base from John Arbon) and want to put to good use and a skein of Life in the Long Grass aran in colourway Viola (the one with pops of yellow and burgundy). 


I have a future WIP which I am planning to start between now and the next podcast.  Claudia at the Crochet Luna vlogcast is hosting a Fortune Cookie CAL which starts on the Chinese New Year (16th February) and runs to the 31st March.  I already have my yarn selected and just need to crack open a fortune cookie which will dictate the pattern that I do.  


5 - Designs in Progress

My other DIP is just at the very beginning stages.  I’m not really a fan of granny squares and the granny stitch.  Is that something you can say when you have a crochet podcast?  Are you going to disown me?  Rosina from the Zeens & Roger vlogcast is hosting a granny along.  It started on 1st February and I figured that it isn’t really acceptable to broad-brush say I don’t like something, so I am determined to create a granny something in colours I like and hopefully a pattern I like too.  The yarn is Álafoss Lopi in shades Dark Grey (0005), Mid Grey (0058) and Light Grey (0054).  These are leftovers that I had from my version of the Phasian Blanket from Take Two.  




Watch this space to see whether I can be converted. Or not.


6 - Feeding the habit 

When I did the interlocking crochet workshop at Black sheep wools, I was in great company.  One of the other participants was the lovely Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats Podcast.  We did some podcast goodies swapping and I have a lot of very lovely things to give away from Kathryn’s Crafternoon Treats Etsy store.  Even better the prizes were chosen by Katherine and Lyndsay when we met up for a coffee before the workshop started at Black Sheep Wools. 


If you haven’t looked at Kathryn’s store yet, you really should.  She dyes up some beautiful colourways and specifically works with British breeds.  So, you will see some of these goodies going out as podcast prizes for the 2018 CALs.



She also gave me some lovely yarn to design with and some great single breed hanks which I can use for my version of Wool Exploration throughout the year.  I am a very lucky lady!


I spent the last weekend in Wales.  Do you remember tales of me supposedly walking back down Snowdon having taken the train up there?  Well, because we had moved the dates of our trip, it was out of season for the train.  I took one look at the torrent of rain and decided that even a little walk was not for me.  Instead, I went shopping with my Mum and got some crafting time in. That was after I managed to photograph our feral goat visitors.




En route I had to pop into Abakhan (a haberdashery chain based in the NW of England and Wales).  They had a nice selection of Rico cotton which I bought because ready for the Vintage Along in July.  I want to use a pattern from a very old book and it up to date with soft modern colours of cotton. 




7 – Book Review ‘Making Winter’ by Emma Mitchell

I bought this book from Loop London the day after it was launched in the same shop.  I bought it for a couple of reasons. 

Firstly, it is a multi-craft book with crochet patterns in it and I feel that this needed supporting.  All too often the woollen craft part of these types of publications is knitting so it’s refreshing to have crochet in there instead.

Secondly, other crafts feel very natural and environmentally friendly.  The author, Emma Mitchell is very much inspired by nature and this is oh so apparent if you follow her in Instagram.  This is the kind of crafting that I like.  Taking my inspiration and raw materials from nature whenever possible.


I have pulled together a full book review which you can read over at my blog.




8 – Big Up

It has been a little while since I did a Big Up and new crochet podcasts are popping up!


Here are some of them for you to look at:

Micky Midge Crochet PodcastMichelle has been podcasting for a few months and has a weekly podcast.  She’s based in the UK, is a working Mum and is starting to be drawn into the rabbit hole that is hand-dyed yarn!  Michelle is about to start a SprintimeCAL which is due to start on 14th February and ends at Easter.  The idea is that you crochet something that is Spring themed.  

Talia Louise CrochetNatalie has a couple of podcasts out so far.  She’s based in Australia and works on a range of projects with lots of different yarns.  I think that Natalie is aiming for a monthly podcast. 

Earl Grey Crochet – Elizabeth has been podcasting for about seven months now and crochets all sorts of things.  She makes A LOT of amigurumi.  She is great fun, based in Australia and full of enthusiasm.  Elizabeth is also running a Blurred Shawl CAL starting on the 31st March.  Of course, I will be participating in that!

Samsqueak Craftcast - Sam has a couple of podcasts out and is based just outside Chicago.  She loves to crochet and do all sorts of other crafting too.


9 - What's Good

I had a thoroughly lovely day at Black Sheep Wools.  The morning was spent drinking coffee and eating cake with lovely friends Katherine, Lyndsay and Kathryn.  Charlie and Katie popped their heads in for five minutes too!




The workshop that some of us did in the afternoon was interesting and it taught me a new technique – interlocking crochet.  The tutor was Graeme Knowles-Miller and he was great fun and very informative.  It’s so nice to be able to sit and chat with fellow crafters, so roll on Global Hook Up! 


Fay x


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