Episode 63 - The Hive
My name is Fay and this is my audio and video podcast for those that love fibre crafts, particularly crochet. This podcast is sponsored by my online crafting company, Provenance Craft Co.
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OLD DOG NEW TRICKS
There are a couple of things to share with you this month and they are both about crochet connections.
The one constant thing with social media outlets is that they are forever changing. The latest one to make some major changes is YouTube.
Every month I diligently put out a podcast and select to add it to the episodes section so that all of the lovely subscribers will be notified. Here's the rub though, YouTube isn't notifying subscribers about new content. They are now putting more weight onto watch time than subscriber numbers.
I am not personally driven by subscriber numbers but it is pretty galling to put out a monthly podcast on a platform and for my lovely subscribers not to be told about it!
My options are:
1 - to be in a grump about it (I really have been)
2 - to get over myself and own the situation (this is what I am currently doing)
So, the podcast now has a newsletter. I can pop a monthly newsletter into your inbox, giving you the direct links to the video and audio podcasts, show notes and some extra titbits.
In many ways, this is actually easier than trying to trawl the different platforms to get all the Crochet Circle Podcast info because it will all be just a click away from the newsletter.
To coincide with this change, I have also moved the show notes over to my website. The show notes weren't as nicely laid out on Podbean as I had hoped and this is a better option for me. Over the coming weeks I will be updating all the old show notes, hosting them over here and providing links to them from Podbean.
So, if you think you haven't seen new content from your favourite podcasters for a while it's probably worth going to their channel to see what they have uploaded. If they have a newsletter/blog, sign up for it because that is your best way of getting their updates! Don't depend on algorithms even if you have subscribed and set an alert!
At the end of this month Ravelry will turn off Classic Ravelry and that leaves a lot of people with a platform that can make them seriously ill.
I have previously spoken about using Google images to search out more patterns but also want to point you towards Pinterest. As a platform, Pinterest’s primary focus is to be a visual search engine and given how difficult it is to be seen on Instagram and how fleeting your efforts are, I rather suspect that lots of designers are going to stat making their way over to Pinterest as a way of showcasing their designs.
So, if you are looking for patterns, why not give Pinterest a try? It is addictive. You have been warned.
I fell down a Pinterest 'Stylish Hanging Outdoors Plant Pot' rabbit hole this morning and surfaced an hour later.
Nothing is going to fill the void of Ravelry, so other options need to be found.
Given house move, algorithm shifts and the huge amounts of podmin I have done this month, I don't have any actual crocheted FOs.
To be honest, I haven't had the capacity to do anything that requires me to follow a pattern. So instead, I turned my attention to sorting out my crafting space.
I pulled together some time lapse photography for you to see. It took me the best part of three days to get everything set up and unpacked and I really love how the space unfolded.
Given how well the honeycomb shelving has worked for holding my yarn, I have renamed my crafting space The Hive. Eventually, I plan to get back to having Friday's as my design/creative days and they will be spent up in The Hive.
As I mentioned earlier, my brain capacity has been thwarted with all things house, so there is no way I could start tackling my mosaic crocheted shawl again - and I have only just found the bag it was housed in!
So, I have been doing little bits of crafting at night before I go to sleep and that has mainly been my Glasgow tapestry cushion by Hannah Bass. I will have it finished before the next podcast and will share it there.
I have also just started a new plant potholder. I was going to buy a ceramic one and then had a lightbulb moment to crochet one instead and use up some of the rough coloured wool that I stashed away a number of years ago. The wool is a DK weight and not available on line, so I have nothing to link to. The pattern I am using is the Fair Isle Crochet Workshop book by Natasja Vreeswiijk.
FEEDING THE HABIT
So rather a lot has arrived this month and most of it is design yarn for the bag collection and the other yarn weights of the Positivity Spiral Hat.
From Garthenor, there is some Preseli in colourway Gorse. This is going to become the Hive bag design. I also snaffled some of their gorgeous new Snowdonia Sock yarn which is a blend of Romney and Hebridean wool and is available in various shades, depending on the amount of each wool blended - clever!
From John Arbon Textiles, there are two brilliantly clashy colours in their Exmoor Sock Yarn (pink is Bell Heather & green is Oddmedod) and a skein of Yarnadelic in colourway Les Fleurs. The Yarnadelic will be the Sportweight version of the Positivity Spiral Hat and the sock yarn will be the Morse bag.
I also have a skein of superwash merino from Ishrat at Fruitful Fusion. It is aran weight and will become the aran weight version of the hat.
That is rather a lot of design yarn and really helps to explain why I am struggling to get through my stash at the moment!
A very special parcel arrived from Hayley in Canada. She sent me over a magazine that has a really interesting article about the history of crochet. The writer of the article, Cary Karp, actually has a blog which is full of lots of crochet information and you can access it from here.
I decided to call the design section The Hive because it is my new creative craft space name and also I plan to bring other people in from the industry as part of the broader piece of how I design - activate the hive mind.
1 - First off is how I come up with an actual design. Well this can be anything from architecture like the Colosseum, to beach front houses like Kinbaine, or just needing some simple stripes like Loft.
What is now very obvious to me is that some designs are fleeting and others just won't leave my head until I have got them down on paper or wool.
What is also very obvious is that I am so much much more creative either side of a full moon. New moons are for admin and being very task focussed and full moons are for being creative. So, I don't try to push my creativity when I just know that it isn't going to flow. It takes longer and doesn't feel natural and so I just wait it out.
2 - After I have jotted down the design concepts in my notebook (I will be covering tools and notebooks next time around), I then work out what yarn I think is going to work best for my design. Often, this starts with the density fo the fabric that I need. No point in using a laceweight yarn for a shopping bag! Once I know the type of fabric I want and the overall look of the bag, I can start looking for the right yarns.
I am going to be working up four different bag designs and I need them to look different but I also need a level of cohesion for times when they will be photographed together and I need to take this into account when I am taking the photos for the bags. The colours need to work for the individual bag designs and the whole collection.
This is why I tend to stick with a handful of yarn producers and dyers. I know their stock, I know how their different yarns work up for crochet and I tend not to get any surprises when the yarn isn't right and wastes my time and their/my money.
There is nothing the matter with going back to the same yarns time and time again, it is a massive shortcut for that part of the design process. If you are just starting out on this journey of yarn brand discovery, shade cards area a great way of seeing their colours in real life without committing a lot of money.
3 - Once I am certain that I have the right yarns selected, I get them. This is either because I purchase them or I have submitted a request for yarn support. I personally do a mixture of purchasing and asking for yarn support across the different yarn suppliers I use. I often create a PDF of the pattern idea so that the company can see what it is I am asking them to support. This shows that I am being business like, have a firm idea in my mind and am not looking for free wool to add to my stash!
The yarn support element is a two way relationship. Yes they are supporting you with yarn, but you should also be supporting them through nice photography, mentions in the pattern, shout outs on Instagram/Pinterest etc. and let's not forget, actually making the item and getting the pattern out...
4 - You will notice that I haven't even picked up a hook yet! Before I do that, I photograph all of the full skeins of yarn with and without notions. This gives me filler content for patterns, is good for the relationships with the yarn suppliers and generally helps to show off your whole process. You don't need a fancy camera, I now use my phone most of the time.
If you area budding designer, or just interested in learning more about the design process, each of The Hive segments will be followed up with a Zoom session so that you can ask more questions. This month's session is going to be at 3pm (GMT) on the 27th March 2021. www.zoom.us using meeting code 475 047 5819 and password HIVE.
I suspect that here will be quite a few questions around yarn support and so I have asked Becci from RiverKnits to join us at the beginning of the session to talk about what they like to see in a yarn support relationship.
After the Zoom session, my plan is to create a blog post on the questions asked so that I can make this segment really relevant.
QUICK NEWS BEATS
Global Hook Up – The March hook ups are scheduled for: Saturday 20th at 8pm GMT and Sunday 21st 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.
Mighty Networks - Just a quick note to say that Mighty Networks is open to everyone. Come along and join us there. It's a lovely space to come and share what you are up to and to chat with like minded people and get inspiration from them. You can join up here.
KEEP IN TOUCH
YouTube: The Crochet Circle Podcast
Newsletter: Provenance Craft Co.
Newsletter: Fay DH Designs
Newsletter: Living at no. 87
Crochet Clan on Mighty Network: Invite
ABOUT THE PODCAST
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.