Episode 64 > Au Naturel
About a 6 minute read
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
This one is all about providing you with a set of quick reference resources. I have pulled together a set of information on the different hook sizes, yarn weights, crochet terminology that is used globally.
I think it’s a comprehensive list, I can always add to it if I have missed something. I will pop it up in the Patreon Page, Mighty Networks Crochet Clan forum on Instagram (grid and guide) and as a blog post. You can then access the information form loads of places.
You can also click here for the one-page PDF download, or on the image.
I finished my plant pot from the Fair Isle Crochet Workshop book and I absolutely love it! I used some very rustic wool that has been in my stash for a long time and a 5mm hook to get quite a tight gauge so that the finished fabric would stand up and be rigid on its own.
I also designed and created a new crocheted camera strap on Sunday. It uses two different colours of Erika Knight Studio Linen in the deep teal (404 Neo) and dusky light pink (415 Mood).
If all goes to plan, I will have the pattern written up and added as a blogpost before this podcast is even published. If not, it will be up shortly and I will let you know where you can get it from. You could make it in any yarn, but I chose linen because it will be cool on my neck in the summer, is durable and won’t stretch too much.
Another Positivity Spiral Cowl was whipped up as a commission. It was in the the new heavy laceweight Alpaca Supreme by John Arbon Textiles. This pattern in lacewieght is so light and dreamy and warm, I really wanted to keep it for myself. This yarn will be launched on the 24th of April.
I designed and created a new crocheted camera strap on Sunday. It uses two different colours of Erika Knight Studio Linen in the deep teal (404 Neo) and dusky light pink (415 Mood). As soon as I have added the final touches, this will be available as a freebie pattern to Fay DH Designs newsletter subscribers.
You could make it in any yarn, but I chose linen because it will be cool on my neck in the summer, is durable and won’t stretch too much.
I am betwixt projects right now but am eyeing up the Blocked & Cropped Crochet Pullover by Svetlana Avrakh for Patons. I may even have the perfect wool for it, waiting in the wings. I keep on seeing photos of this project and every time I do, it makes me want to make to even more.
It is Easter weekend this weekend and we are taking some days off. Whaaaaaat?
In-between gardening, painting the shed and getting the veggie patch up and running, I will be putting some time into my Clean Lines shawl by Anna Nikipirowicz (RAVELRY). It was in issue 124 of Inside Crochet and is now also available as a standalone pattern on Ravelry.
FEEDING THE HABIT
Some yarn has arrived this month. Some of it is for top secret commissions which means I can’t show you it until the designs have been published. There is still plenty I can show you though!
I have been meaning to tell you about Woolyknit for a while now. This the second order I have placed with them because they do British Wool on the cone and in balls at an amazing price. I bought some of their aran weight yarn in colourways rust tan and natural cream. The cones have 400g on them and that converts to about 155m per 100g, making it perfect for that Patons pullover I want to crochet. They are usually £20 for 400g but were on discount at £16.
I also bought some of the chunkiest wool I think I have ever handled. It’s a kind of felted roving but instead of being really stiff like felted wool can be, it’s actually quite pliable. They call it Rug yarn and also suggest it can be used for Macrame which is what I expect to do with it. It smells really sheepy!
In this next stage, I start by noting the yarn type, hook size and actual weight of my ball of yarn in my rough notebook.
I use an erasable pen to take notes that I can keep clean and change if I need to. I find this crisper and cleaner than working with pencils. My rough notebook has dots rather than lines or grids and it has tear out sheets. This means that if I change my mind about the hook size, I can neatly update my rough notes. I like things to be in order and if my notes start in disarray, they never get better, only worse.
I use a set of jewellery scales that can measure up to 200g and are extremely accurate. This gives me a huge degree of confidence that I can accurately calculate what a single stitch weighs and that is extremely useful information.
At the beginning of my swatch, I write down the weight of the yarn, then I create the number of chains I require and then I weigh the yarn again. That gives me a rough idea of how much yarn will be required for the starting chain. Then I can continue with the swatch, taking a note of how many stitches I am using and how many rows/rounds/pattern repeats I am crocheting. At the end of my swatch, I weigh the yarn again. By subtracting one weight from the other, I can work out how many grams I needed for a row or stitches, a pattern repeat, two rows…
This information allows me to them work out how much yarn I am likely to use in a project. I can also combine the weight information with dimensions. If we take a striped blanket as an example, the information for the swatch allows me to see how many pattern repeats I can get out of a certain amount of yarn and what my ultimate size could be.
I use this information to help guide me on whether a design can be made fit for purpose in terms of size and cost of yarn. If I think the design will cost too much, I will most likely look for a more affordable alternative or shelve the design.
I have this exact dilemma over a crocheted cushion design at the moment. It requires more yarn that I would have though. 3 x 100g in my chosen yarn makes it a £45 cushion just with the wool. That feels right on the cusp for me in terms what people will pay overall for an item.
By plotting all of my weights and dimensions into Excel, I can play around with the number of stitches in a row or round. Using formulas in Excel, I can quickly work out what all of my options would be. So long as my gauge doesn’t change when I come to make the full design, I can get all of that useful information from a 15cm x 15cm swatch.
It is fairly standard for designers to add 10-20% onto yarn requirements to cover different gauges and the effects of those that refuse to swatch.
When I am happy that I have got my swatch right, I start my project notes in my proper design book. This is separate from my own crafting notes and is only for my designs. The pages in this book are also dotted perforated so that I can remove the pages and file them when the project is completed.
By recording this information, I am building up a bank of yarn knowledge. It also means that if my laptop crashes, I still have my hardcopy information to fall back on.
When I pass my design over to my Tech Editor, Deb, I also pass her the accompanying Excel spreadsheet. This means that she can get inside the numbers I have in the pattern and double check my workings if she needs to.
Here is a list of the tools I use:
- Frixion erasable pens by Pilot
- Refills are also available for these pins so you can create less waste
- Fabriano A5 dotted and glued notepad for rough notes
- Set of jewellery scales
- Dingbats A5, dotted, perforated notebook for final pattern notes – I have the brown bear version and love Dingbats ethics
- Microsoft Excel software
QUICK NEWS BEATS
Global Hook Ups – The March hook ups are scheduled for: Saturday 17th at 8pm BST and Sunday 18th 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 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.
The next Hive session - for budding designers is going to be on the 24th of April at 3pm. We have Michelle from DoraDoes joining us for that session. Go to www.zoom.us and use code 475 047 5819 and passcode HIVE.
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.