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December 16, 2016 @ 11:11 am

Episode Eleven - HOP to it

Welcome to The Crochet Circle Podcast. Here are the show notes from Episode Eleven - HOP to it. 

In this episode I will cover: Yay Crochet or Nay Crochet; the final installment of Yarn Club Review; Book Review of Raw by The Crochet Project; Take Two; Quod the Rav; The scene for 2017, New World Order and the final segment What's Good?

This Episode is sponsored by:

Knit It - Hook It - Craft It

Hello to beadiemom (Margo), homemadeatmyplace (Alessandra) and Nettiesely from Ravelry.

Thanks to everyone that tunes in to our podcast whether it is through Stitcher, Podbean, iTunes or our new YouTube Channel. Your support and engagement is really appreciated. We love doing the podcast and it makes it even more worthwhile knowing that there are people that really love it and are sat at their computers pressing refresh on publish day! 

The people that both have a birthday on publish date are Christinadesigns (Christina) and Felicious (Felicia) - Happy Birthday both!


1. Yay crochet or nay crochet

It's a yay.  Last podcast I showed a crocheted baby blanket for Emma and her new daughter Matilda.  Emma comes to the crochet and knitting club that I run, Woolgathering Sandbach, and a few of us crocheted the baby blanket.  I really love making things for other people, especially little folk.  

Winkie has also finished the postal scarf that we have been working on.  He really loves it but says it's a little itchy and needs washing!  Take a look at how cute he is in it:



2. Yarn club review

The final instalment of the Yarn Club Review covers off an ongoing blanket subscription and details of a new shawl club subscription that is open at the moment.

Becca, another Woolgatherer (PixieCaticus on IG and Ravelry), signed up to a blanket club ten months ago.  Every month she has received 3 x 50g of hand dyed superwash Merino from one of two indie dyers - Dye Candy (dyecandy on IG) or Unbelievawool (unbelievawool on IG) and the next stage of the blanket pattern.




The banket subscription is £21 a month and Becca has two months left to go.  She has really enjoyed receiving the yarn through the post and she like many others found that there was yarn left over, so the dyers offered and extended pattern for those that wanted to do it.  She has also kept on top of the club by making the next set of hexagons within a couple of days of them arriving and will still have yarn leftover which she can use for other projects.  


The other part of the yarn subscrition review that I wanted to point you towards is a new shawl club by Vicki Brown. I saw what she was up to on Instagram and emailed her for more details.  


The Crochet Shawl Club:

  • Starting from January 2017 Vicki will be launching one crochet shawl pattern every two months as part of a club. Every other month (January, March, May, July, September and November) she will be produce a box which will include a printed pattern and hand dyed yarn to work up that shawl (dyed by Vicki exclusively for this club). 
  • Each box will be available to purchase singly and will go on sale a month prior to shipping or you can sign up to all six for a fabulous saving (£20).
  • Each shawl pattern will be new and exclusive to box subscribers for two months, after which time the pattern will become available to purchase individually.
  • All yarn will be sock/4ply weight and will be on a range of bases and fibres varying from month to month. However, she can happily accommodate any allergies or personal dislikes. All patterns will use a 3.5mm or 4mm hook.
  • The first box and the full subscription are available to purchase now over on etsy.
  • Single boxes are priced at £20 and include UK postage, postage within Europe is an additional £1.50 and postage for the rest of the world is an additional £3
  • For the full 6 month collection the cost is £100 and includes UK postage. Postage within Europe is an additional £9 and £18 for the rest of the world.
  • The contents will remain a mystery until they have been delivered to your door, but you can find some sneak peeks over on Vickie's instagram page.

Vicki has also very kindly offered one of the shawl clubs up as a prize for one Crochet Circle listener/viewer - more on that in the future...


3. Book Review - Raw by The Crochet Project

I was very kindly sent a digital copy of Raw by the lovelies at The Crochet Project in collaboration with Blacker Yarns.  As you know, I won't reveiw a book unless I have crocheted at least one thing from it.  You can see from the below photo, I have managed to make both the Mamble socks and the Newham hat from the book. The book has six patterns - a cardigan, sweater, socks, shawl and matching mittens and hat. It was all crocheted using Blacker Yarns in natural shades, show casing British breeds.  





The socks are toe up in construction and I used a yarn that had very little elasticity but is lovely and warm and very sheepy! Having already made a pair of Joanne's crocheted socks, I was familiar with her style, although this one had a different heel construction.  I found the sock easy enough to crochet, although I struggled a little with the heel construction. The first time I tried it out I found it hard to keep track of where the heel steps were, called a bridge stitch (this will make sense to you when you read the pattern).  I ripped it out and started the heel part again. putting a place market on each decrease, now knowing that I needed to be able to identfy them better.  That did the trick.  I couldn't find and reference to bridge stitch anywhere so I am not sure if it something that Joanne has created.  It works for the construction but took a bit of fiddling.  The socks are lovely to wear and I would like to crochet these again in something like Socks Yeah or West Yorkshire Spinners so that I can compare them to my first pair.



The Newham hat has been crocheted in 100% Merino Knit by Numbers from John Arbon. I played around with the hat construction a little because I like quite a tight hat and the book photos show it being looser on Joanne.  I really loved the rib construction for the brim which is crocheted as one long peice and then joined to make a round before picking up stitches.  The pattern shows a simple colourwork chart that you go by to create the pattern in the round.  This is really easy to follow but unfortunately when I started this part of the hat I was really quite ill and mucked it up a little.  Luckily my two colours aren't high contrast so it isn't really obvious.  This is not a shortfall of the pattern, I was really quite poorly!  I love the finished hat and it is gorgeous to wear.

Overall, with Raw you get exactly what you would expect from Kat and Joanne at The Crochet Project - really nice simple patterns with interesting design elements, beautiful photography and good yarn choices. The book is available on their website and is £10 for the digital copy and £12 plus P&P for the hard copy which includes a digital download code.  It is written in UK crochet terminology and the US terms are given in the abreviations.

I would recommend this book.  There is something for all types of crocheters and if natural shades aren't your thing, it is simple to change to colours.   


4. Take Two

TAKE TWO is a collection of 8 crochet patterns, each shown as two designs - sixteen patterns.

You can buy: A printed copy (which includes an instant digital download) £12 from here.  I am fingers crossed hoping that the hard copy books will arrive in the thrid week of December so that I can post them out ASAP.


A digital copy for £10 here or by searching for Take Two on Ravelry in books.

Take_Two_front_cover.jpg      TT_compilation.jpg


I would love to see your finished makes and you can add them to the Ravelry page FO thread and use #TakeTwoCrochet to share your makes on Instagram.


5. Quod the Rav

Ravlery is huge, both in terms of the number of people that use it but also the functionality that it has to offer.  In this new section I want to show some of the things that Ravelry can do and ways that you can use it to get the most from the site.  It can be quite an intimidating website so I am hoping to demonstrate how you can really use it to your benefit and help others to do the same through the way that you use and record projects on Ravelry.

In this podcast I wanted to cover how you can try to verify whether a pattern is worth purchasing or not?  A question was asked in the group thread and so I have pulled together some information on how I check a pattern out pre-purchase.  I have used a pattern that I have purchased, knitted, recorded and people have found helpful.  






In case you are wondering why this section is called Quod the Rav, you can blame Eddie Izzard and his sketch on Latin.


6. Setting the scene for 2017 

At the beginning of 2016 I set myself a few crafting goals that I wanted to achieve by the end of 2016.  These have given me a gentle steer through my 2016 crafting and I have achieved or been working towards all of them:

1 - Learn how to make socks.  So far I have knitted ten pairs and crocheted three pairs and will hopefully reach 14  by the end of the year (festive socks for Jenny and The Duke).

2 - Learn how to do colourwork.  I took part in a KAL and used it as a project to work with British breeds and test my colourwork skills.  I also learned to do crochet colourwork with the Newham hat from Raw.

3 - Dye some of my own yarn.  I organsied a workshop in September and a bunch of us dyed British yarns.  It was great fun and I am working my way through my own hand dyed yarn which makes projects even more special.

4 - Take part in CAL/KALs.  I have taken part in two KALs but up until now haven't found a CAL that I wanted to do.  Luckily, we have the Christmas CAL coming up (details further down) which I am very excited about!

5 - Put better project notes up on Ravelry.  I have really tried hard on this one.  I get so much help from going through other people's projects that I feel I should offer the same level of detail.  There is no doubt that it is time consuming but I love going back and seeing how much work went into projects.

6 - Take better photos of my projects.  I can see the difference in the photos that I take now compared to when I started on Ravelry.  To me this helps to sell myself as the owner of KNIT IT - HOOK IT - CRAFT IT and a podcaster, so hopefully my photos will only get better as time goes on.

I am going to open a thread on Ravelry called Setting the scene for 2017.  I will add my crafting goals for 2017 (I will also be talking about them in the January podcast) into that thread and you are all very welcome to do the same.  My plan is to review it every quarter to see if I want to focus on other things or document what has really caught my attention - like making socks has in 2016!  

Get thinking, what do you want to be working in in 2017? 


7. New world order

As you are all aware, Lynne is no longer doing the podcast and so I wanted to reassure people that I have every intention of continuing to podcast on a monthly basis.  Podcasting is a great way for me to get inside the crafting industry and understand what is happening and how I can be part of that.  It makes me craft more, want to learn new techniques to share with you and it is a great way of engaging with lots of lovely people about this very yarny passion.

So here is what you can expect from The Crochet Circle Podcast in 2017:

1 - A podcast that is published on the first Friday of every month for video on YouTube and also audio via Podbean etc..

2 - Vlog style videos on YouTube showing my yarn based antics and general bits and bobs.

3 - The usual content on social media.  My intention is to focus mainly on Instagram because it allows me to show off yarn based things so easily, share your makes (tag crochet_circle) and it is a very positive social media space.  I will put the occassional thing out on Twitter but most content will be on IG.

4 - Continue to grow the content and engagement in our Ravelry thread. We have so many lovely people that post in that thread and long may it continue.  At some point I may have to ask whether others want to come forward as moderators.

5 - I want to keep the standard sections like Yay crochet or nay crochet, WIPs, FOs, Feeding the habit, What's good and of course reviews when there is something to review.

6 - I work with a lot of different yarns and so that I can review them all and let you see what I am working on, I am going to pull together a yarn review format for Instagram.  That way I can let you know what I think of the yarn but I can show off more yarns rather than having to wait for the podcast.  If you aren't on Instagram, all of my Crochet Circle photos are automatically uploaded onto Pinterest.

7 - I want to introduce some new sections like Quod the Rav.  Others will will come as the podcast moves into this new phase, but I want it to be informative, useful and fun.


8. Christmas CAL 

There is a lot of excitement about a Christmas CAL!  I openend up a thread on Ravelry with a poll and 88% wanted to work from the same pattern with 12% wanting to choose their own.  So that everyone can be happy I think that CAL should be eiether!

For those of you that want to work from the same one pattern, take to the Christmas CAL thread to decide which pattern you all want to work from - you just need to decide in enough time to make sure you have enough yarn and are ready for the CAL start date.  

The CAL starts on the 24th December 2016 and the end date is the 31st January 2017, so choose a project that is realistic for that timeline.

I am going to cast on two things (possibly three)!  The pattern that you folks choose for the CAL and another of my own choice (and possibly a new design that is currently bubbling in the recess of my brain).

I may have purchased some Christmas themed yarn from Vickie Brown...


9. What's good?

The reaction to the fact that I am going to continue with the podcast has been lovely.  It is a shame that Lynne no longer wants to continue with it but I am really heartened by the fact that so many people want the podcast to continue and are supportive of my solo endeavours - thank you, you lovely poeple!


Happy listening, watching, festive season and crocheting,

Fay x

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