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June 5, 2020 @ 7:45 am

Episode 55 - Harder than you think

Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 55 – Harder Than you Think.   

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; Final Destination; En Route; Designs in Progress; Quick News Beats; Big Up and J'adore.   

This podcast is sponsored by Provenance Craft Co. 

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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.  The video version of this episode is available on YouTube (link).

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:  https://ko-fi.com/crochetcirclepodcast kofi.png  

 

1 – General Update

I am stood at my desk as I type this and it’s really difficult to find the ‘right’ words.  I’m not even sure there are ‘right’ words.  The world seems to be on fire.  People are being killed, simply because of their skin colour. 

This episode was nearly called “Inconsequential” because that is how I felt about podcasting over the last few days – who cares about a crochet podcast when people are being killed, simply because of their skin colour. 

This crochet podcast is also a platform for morals, beliefs, community and showing solidarity.

So, instead, it is called “Harder Than You Think”.  Besides being the title for my favourite Public Enemy song (because it has lyrics that speak volumes to me (link)), it is also a reminder that life is harder than you think. 

It’s particularly hard on people that face oppression, brutality, racism and inequality on a daily basis.  That is what hard looks like. 

So, if you want to be part of the change, to support your fellow humans then know that there is hard work ahead and it will be harder than you think.  You will most likely take a step back at some point and think about your former actions and words and feel disgusted with yourself for not having done better.    You will make mistakes that you can learn from. 

I put three actions on Instagram (link).  Three simple things that can be your starting point if you are now ready to be part of the change: 

1 – Listen to the experiences of others and get angry about the injustices that they are made to suffer day after day and do something positive with that anger without being performative or centring it around you.

2 – Talk to your friends and family about diversity and inclusivity.  Keep having the conversations.  Keep pushing for solidarity over oppression.

3 – Your money makes a difference.  Donate money to organisations that make a difference such as ROTA in the UK (link) or National Bail Out in the US (link).  These are just two examples, there are many great organisations out there that you can donate to.

Let’s be part of the change.  Complacency is not an option.

 

2 – Old Dog New Tricks

I just have a quick one for you this month because time is utterly against me this week.  You may have the same issues I have when I go above a 5.5mm crochet hook.  I find that the hook gets too heavy and it can be difficult to manoeuvre and ultimately make your hands or wrist hurt.

I have some large plastic hooks in my hook case but I really don’t enjoy working with them and I find it difficult to get my tension right.  Instead, have a try with bamboo hooks.  They are lightweight, slippy enough to tension with and I find them comfortable to work with. 

So, if you have previously been put off working on larger gauge projects because of the hooks you, why not try a bamboo. 

 

3 – Final Destination

I have finished things!

Scrapvent Blanket is finished and I love it!  I’ll be writing up this pattern shortly.  My lovely friend Bec is working up a DK version with an advent yarn calendar she got last year.  I have never been that fussed about crocheting blankets, but I think the flood gates may have been opened.  I definitely prefer thin fabric without holes.

Ep_55_FO_1_6nfz4.jpgImage text: The left side of my bone coloured linen sofa has blue cushions and my Scravent Blanket draped over the arm.  A medley of 24 different coloured yarns with a peachy cream border.

Matthew called my Scrapvent Blanket “fugly” – how rude!  So, to get my revenge I used loads of the yarns craps from the blanket in a pair of Fugly Socks that he has to wear.  The truth is that I didn’t want to add a load of little yarn scraps back into my stash and I used up all the remnants of nine of my blanket colours in his socks.  I will use some of the other scraps to also make myself a pair of Fugly Socks.     

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Image text: A pair of scrappy, hand-knitted socks in stripes of forest green, acid green, teal, navy, grey and aqua.  The socks are placed on bone coloured linen sofa seat pad.

Last month I showed off some slubby/thick and thin yarn that my friend Claudia sent me from Germany.  I crocheted it into a cushion cover using a 10mm (bamboo) hook and linen stitch.  I chose linen stitch because it makes a nice flat fabric which has a decent amount of stretch which you need in a cushion cover.  Eventually, the cushion will go into my Stash Palace, but for now, Matthew is using it on his stool when her delivers training.  Who knew that metals stool seats aren’t that comfortable?!?

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Image text: A close up of my bone coloured linen sofa has blue cushions and my new slubby crocheted cushion cover at the front.  It has a light sky blue, olive green, spring green and white running through it and is nobbly because of the slubby yarn.

I have also been trying out wood whittling, and I love it.  I have concentrated on shawl sticks so far.

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Image text: Five hand whittled shawl sticks are placed on bone coloured linen sofa seat pad.  The sticks have a skeletal quality about them because of the blonde wood and finger-like quality of their shape.

4 – En Route

It is time to think about crocheting summer tops!  This has been on my to-do list for weeks now and I finally found time at the weekend to search for the right top.

I was specifically looking for a top that had been designed by a BIPOC/BAME designer and was size-inclusive (up to a 60” bust). 

So, where do you start?  Well, you go to the BIPOC in Fiber website (link) because it is an amazing resource that is easy to navigate and gives the details and links of BIPOC/BAME in all sorts of categories such as crochet designers, hand-knit designers, yarn retailers, photographers, podcasters – basically every element of our fibre community is covered and categorised, ready for you to search.

There were three pages of crochet designers for me to go to and they all link to website or Ravelry pages where I could see their full designs line-up. 

Because I was looking for a size-inclusive garment, that narrowed the field but I enjoyed going through all of the designer profiles, many of which I was familiar with because of the work that Claudia from Crochet Luna vlog cast had been doing. 

So, I settled on the Zig-Zag-Zummer top (link) by Sandra at Nomad Stitches (link).  You definitely will have seen Sandra’s work before.  She is the designer behind the Taroko and Aztec Sweaters.

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Image text: 1 - Boen coloured linen seat pad with a ball of olive green yarn to the right, the very beginnings of a top and an orange crochet hook.  The yarn has a sheen to it because it is pure linen.  Image 2 - White wall with Sandra's torso showing.  She is wearing her Zi-Zag-Zummer crocheted top which has filet zig zags at the bottom, working up to a plain v-neck top.  The top is a mid-dusky rose pink.  

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Image text: Dusky pink background with a white polaroid cut out and Sandra from Nomad Stitches as he photo held up with clear washi tape.  Sandra has mid-length brown hair and is wearing a crocheted top with love hearts at the bottom.  She is also wearing a big smile.

 

I plan on using my Rowan Pure Linen stash which is 130m/50g because it will ake for a nice cool summer top.

I haven’t really made much progress on the top because life, but have a deadline of the 1st July because I am joining in the @promised.fiber (link) Make IT Inclusive MAL (link). 

If you fancy joining in too, it is open to crocheters, knitters and sewers.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if lots of Crochet Clan people searched out a BIPOC/BAME designer from the BIPOC in Fiber website and joined in? 

I also wanted to highlight a couple of other sources:

1 – Lisa (LisaRaspCrochet on Ravelry) has made a bundle which has 133 different size-inclusive garments.

2 – Yelley (Yelley on Ravelry) also has a bundle with 158 size-inclusive crocheted garments.

Find the person on Ravelry, click onto their favourites and then you can search their ‘bundles’.

 

5  – Designs in Progress

I have finished all of my Positivity Spiral samples and have updated the pattern.  If you have already bought it or buy it in the future, it now gives options form heavy laceweight up to bulky/chunky weight.  I have added in estimated circumference and depth measurements so that you can choose how many stitch repeats you do to get the measurements you want. 

The updated version will be going out next week.

I also have the rights back for Omni and that has already been uploaded onto my website and Ravelry.  Again, that works in all weights between heavy laceweight and aran/worsted. 

 

6  – Feeding the Habit

There is no Feeding the Habit this month.  I have been buying sewing books, but no yarn. 

This will not last for long because this weekend is the John Arbon Textiles Mill Open Weekend.  I should have been vending and instead we are doing it all virtually from Friday through to Sunday.

I know I am going to buy yarn.   Especially because I got to design my own colour.  More on that in J’adore. 

As part of the Virtual Mill Open Weekend, we are having an online crafting session – much like the Global Hook Up.  Do come and join us on Sunday 7th June at 2pm on Zoom (same joining details as below for Global Hook Ups).  It will be some of the Mill Folk form John Arbon, Katie Green, me and hopefully, lost of friendly faces joining us. 

 

7 – Quick News Beats

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

Saturday 27th  at 8pm BST and Sunday 28th at 9am BST.

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

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

2 – Lots of yarn shows are moving to virtual events.  Obviously it is nice to meet face to face, but the beauty of a virtual event is that you can o to ones that were previously out of your reach.  Look out for Woolfest, Yarndale and others in the UK.

8 - Big Up

This one has to go out to the BIPOC in Fiber team.  The website that has been created is a wonderful resource.  You may not be aware, but the person behind the website development is actually Alyson from the Keep Calm and Carry Yarn podcast.  Alyson has and continues to do an amazing job on the site. 

7 – J’adore

My love affair with John Arbon Textiles continues.  When I first started crocheting and getting into really lovely wool and yarns, I dreamt about having my own yarn colours. 

I was asked to design my own for the Virtual Mill Open Weekend in their Yarnadelic range which is my current favourite wool of theirs. 

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Image text: Image split into two but features the same yarn, Another Friday Night.  The yarn is dark, dusky blue with slivers of silver through it.  It’s like the night sky when the starts just start twinkling but not all the light has disappeared.  In the left picture, skeins of the yarn are on a table with a chair tucked underneath.  On the right, the yarn is wound on colourful plastic cones and bundled inside a large white industrial bag.  

Obviously, I was tempted to do a mustard but they already have an amazing mustard in that range.  Instead, I went for a dark, dusky blue with slivers of silver through it.  It’s like the night sky when the starts just start twinkling but not all the light has disappeared.  I LOVE IT.  If you want some too, be quick (link). 

 

I’ll be back on the 3rd July.

Fay x

 

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