Jun 6th, 2019
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 awhile.
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 my online crafting company, Provenance Craft Co.
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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.
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