Hello there and welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast and the show notes for Episode 59 – Face the frog  

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: Life; Old Dog New Tricks; 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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Thanks to everyone who tunes into the podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, Amazon, 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 do that through Patreon: 

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1 – Life

So, since February this year, we have been getting our house ready to put on the market.  It went up the day before lockdown in March and we accepted an offer when we came out of lockdown. 

I honestly believed I would be recording this new podcast from the new house.  For those that are watching, that clearly hasn’t happened and I am still here in my lovely studio which I am really going to miss.

I can’t complain in the grand scheme of a pandemic and world politics, but all the same, I am utterly frustrated.

You know when you keep on looking at the photos of the house you are moving to and you just want to be there, unpack and enjoy your new space?  That’s where we are right now. 

The worst bit is that I don’t have ready access to my stash.  I miss it and the ability to just dip into it and be enthused by wool. 

I put several things on hold while we dealt with the move and at the weekend I decided that life can’t really go on hold anymore and that I just need to crack on with things.   

One of those things is to try out some new podcast equipment.  I am using audio, lighting and visual equipment today, and I would love to know what you think. 

I’m trying to use less kit, so save space and also create better light to get over the Winter gloom in my studio.

I already have my podcast space worked out in the new house and it is all flooded with light, so will be much brighter at some point in the future.  My fingers, toes and legs are crossed.

Please bear with me a little longer if I’m not about so much on social media and have fewer projects to show off.  I promise to be back to full volume as soon as I can, but moving house takes priority over all else until we have moved.    

I don’t recommend trying to move house in a pandemic – it adds a whole new level of crap to an already crappy situation.    

 

2 – Old Dog New Tricks

I have two old dog new tricks for you today.

The first is to show that you can make your own yarn colour blend.  I have been working on my Color Pop Sweater and unfortunately ran out of yarn. 

Not wanting to try to match the third colour to fade in via online shopping, I started playing around with twisting two 4ply yarns together to make a DK weight yarn in the right colour.  Amazingly, it worked rather well. 

It’s easy to blend two strands together to get an idea of whether the colours will work or not.  I used a solid yarn and a heavily variegated yarn, testing a couple of variegated colours to see what would work best. 

Trial blends to make a new yarn from two strands.  Both use a dirty mustard solid colour and the first tries is twisted with a yellow and mustard yarn.  The second is the solid mustard with a variegated yarn which has a lot of wien red in it. Bothe twisted yarn samples placed on top of the crocheted fabric it needs to be faded into.

I even worked the samples into my project to see whether they would fade well with the existing yarn. 

My one word of caution would be to try to get a blend that creates a similar fabric to the work you are trying to match to.  If not, you might create something that is stiffer and doesn’t drape so well or kicks out slightly at the ends because the combined yarn is thicker, or pulls in because the combined yarn is thinner. 

Crocheted fabric showing the new yarn blend (variegated wine and mustard) against the spiced pumpkin yarn. 

The second en route is a quick and neat way of frogging projects.  Roll the project you want to frog into a sausage, leaving the ‘live’ end towards you, and start to frog. 

the live edge of a crochet project rolled up into a swiss roll shape, ready for frogging.

You have a much smaller surface area to contend with and won’t do half as much yanking at the yarn to get it to come loose.  It also means that you can keep on moving your hand down the yarn sausage as you frog.  

   

3 – Final Destination

I literally have nothing that I can show you.  I have finished so many things, but they are all commissions. 

At some point in the future, I will be able to show you the four shawls, hat, mittens and baubles that I designed – just not yet! 

 

4 – En Route

I have made some decent progress on my Color Pop Sweater by Julme Conradie (link) who is on Instagram as @mysquarehat (link). 

Julme is sat outside ina n urban scene, wearing a light variegated Color Pop Sweater with bright pink collar, cuff and waistand. 

I had 4 skeins of DK variegated yarn that I wanted to use as a mirrored fade front and back and because this design is worked vertically from side to side, I thought it would work a treat with my yarn choice.  And it did until I ran out of yarn!

The jumper has a really interesting construction where you work up the sleeve in rounds and then create a chain length from your underarm to whatever length you want for your jumper and then you work down the chain, around the sleeve and back up the chain before you turn to do the next row. 

This helps to make it a really speedy make that is easy to customize. 

My partially frogged Color Pop Sweater on a raspberry pink background.  The right hand side of the jumper has a pile of frogged pumkin spiced yarn beside it.

That said, I am about to frog my initial version because:

  • I have run out of yarn, even with the extra that I added in as my new blended colour.
  • When you have sewn the two back panels up you can try it on and I hadn’t made the shoulder to neck piece long enough.
  • I also didn’t make the overall piece long enough, even though I was aiming for a cropped jumper.
  • I brought the front neckline down too far.
  • I honestly think I would get more wear out of a self-coloured version. I was pushing myself with these colours and it was a mistake. 

This is an extra top tip for you.  If you are going to rework an entire jumper in new yarn because you didn’t like the fit of what you did the first time, don’t frog the initial one until you have made the second one.  That way you have it as a frame of reference for all the things you want to change and can assess them side by side.   

Also, if you’re not that keen on what you are making, you probably won’t wear it so you may as well frog it. 

It's called frogging because you ”rip it/ribbit” out. 

 

I am also working on a Tower of Strength Skirt by JimiKnits (link) @jimiknits on Instagram. The pattern can be found here as an individual pattern (Ravelry link) or as part of her design collection Jimi Knits Volume One (link).  It is only sized from XS to 1XL, but I am still making it because, it is honestly, the easiest project to change the size on and Jimi gives information on that within the pattern. 

Jimi is wearing one of her versions of her skirt design while leaning against a wall with her head down.

Before I packed up the stash, I went stash shopping for a soft, but hopefully hard-wearing wool and came out with some wool that I bought in New Zealand a few years back. 

It’s Ashford Tekapo 8 ply (link) and although it is labelled as a DK, at 200m per 100g it’s more of an Aran/Worsted weight.  This is the same Ashford that makes spinning wheels and looms.

The wool is a blend of Corriedale, which is soft, and Perendale which gives a bit more structure and bounce and should lend some durability to the fabric, stopping it from pilling of felting when I sit down. 

I am using Shade 227 Slate (link to UK shop selling this wool) and Shade 207 Natural (link to UK shop selling this wool).

The third wool I am using is a random skein from my stash.  It has no label but the colours were good and it felt like the right weight of yarn in my fingers!

My Tower of Strength Skirt WIP whowing my light teal, light oatmeal and light brown wool choices.  Pattern 3 of probably 12 has been completed.

I’m taking my time with this make.  I deliberately kept it back as a project to work on during the house move shenanigans because I knew that the pattern would be easy to memorise and I could keep on knitting until I ran out of yarn and got my desired length.  A good pick-up and put-down project.

 

5  – Feeding the Habit

As part of the destash sale I did last month, I did a yarn swap with my friend Lisa and got a skein of Studio Donegal ‘Darnie’ (shade 8808 link) in a bright turquoise shade with mustard coloured flecks.  

Bright skein of turquiose wool with subtle flecks of a bright mustard yarn visible.

I have some other Studio Donegal yarn that I am hoping to mix this with and suspect it will make some rather lovely new cushions or seat pads for the new house. 

It’s 100% lambswool and a 4 ply at 410m per 100g.

 

6 – Quick News Beats

1 - Global Hook Up – The November hook ups are scheduled for:

Saturday 21st at 8pm GMT and Sunday 22nd at 9am GMT.

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 a password is required, it is WOOL.

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 – Thanks to the folk that got in touch regarding Evernote not working for them either.  I have tried to fix it but am struggling to find what the problem is and to create a solution.  I will keep on plugging away with it.  It matters less for this month given that I have no FOs to share with you and therefore, no project pages to create…

3 – Thank you for supporting me on Patreon.  I cannot tell you what a difference it makes to me and my ability to deliver this podcast.  If you want to investigate becoming a Patron, you can see what it means via this link.  At the moment, I am pooling all of the Patron money and will add it to the money I generated from my yarn and craft supply destash.  In the new year, it will all go towards buying a second-hand Mac which will allow me to have my own place to edit the podcast.  Since I started the video part of the podcast, I have only ever been able to edit on Matthew’s Mac when he isn’t using t for work.  This usually means starting editing on a weeknight after 8pm and continuing into the early hours so that it can upload while we sleep.  Having my own Mac will give us both a lot more flexibility and allow me to do more with the podcast.   

 

7 – Big UP

I am going to give a massive shoutout to Claudia, @sunbirdcrochet

She is a huge part of the Crochet Clan, is always upbeat and working on some crafty magic somewhere.  If you don’t already follow her on Instagram, I encourage you to seek her out.  Claudia is a multi-crafter and can turn her hand to pretty much anything. 

Claudia in her house wearing sunglasses and her crocheted acre sweater, head tilted to one side and doing a peace sign.  Flatlay of teh Fay Cowl in a very dark peaty brown with electric blue in a tight s-shaped swirl and cream detaisl at teh top and bottom

She also created a crochet colourwork cowl pattern and called it the Fay Cowl!  As a child, I was always dismayed that I could never find keyrings or fridge magnets with my name on them and if I found one, it was ALWAYS Faye with an E on the end!  So, for Claudia to have created a cowl and call it Fay is really special.  I will be making one, just as soon as I can get into my stash, which currently looks like this:

Claudia has also started podcasting about her makes and you can see them on Youtube (link).  As if she isn’t busy enough, she has also been designing a load of colourwork crochet patterns and has been adding them into the Crochet Clan Mighty Network where you can download them for free!

 

8 – J’adore

This is just a quick one to say that as the Pandemic rumbles on I have noticed a general trend within the Crochet Clan of people saying that they aren’t doing the things that they routinely used to do that made them happy and was for them rather than family or friends.

So, if you need somebody to tell you to look after yourself and out time into you, I am here to do that.  Supporting others is tiring and energy-sapping and you can only do that if your own foundation is solid. 

Go for a run, have a long bath, eat your naughty food, start all the projects.  Do whatever brings you joy, tops you up and strengthens your foundations.  It’s not selfish, it’s essential.

You have been told! 😊

 

I’ll be back on 4th December.

Fay x

 

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