Hi welcome to Zeens and Roger. The latest crochet podcast is number 89!! To watch the episode you can click on the above image, or go to my YouTube channel HERE.
Crochet Good Stuff:
In this episode I finally have Quayside in my possession again!! It has proven to be a real boon in this chilly spring. It’s a crochet shawl that I am really proud of. As you may know, it featured in a craft book compiled by Wool on the Exe last year. As it was a charity project, I want sales of the pattern to continue to raise funds for charity. I have chosen CALM and the Disasters Emergency Committee. To find out more about what and why please read the blog about the Quayside shawl HERE. You can buy your copy from Etsy, Ravelry or Lovecrafts. I’m also running a casual CAL, more info is in that blog post. If you would like to contact me about one of those 5 free copies, please email me (no questions asked) at email@example.com
I think that’s it for links this time around and there’s no photos this week as I’ve had no time to snap any. I hope you enjoy the episode. Don;t forget to leave a comment on YouTube, and give a thumbs up and subscribe if you haven’t! Many thanks for being part of this brilliant crochet community! x
This is Quayside, a modern, contemporary crochet shawl that I designed last year.
Back in the summer there was a Call for Submissions from Wool on the Exe, a yarn shop in Exeter. Crocheters and knitters were asked to come up with designs that would be collated and turned into a book. The brief was to come up with concepts relating to all things Devon. I loved this, it immediately sparked lots of ideas and crochet inspiration!
My design was inspired by Exeter Quay. It’s a popular meeting place for noisy nights out, or a quiet stroll on a sunny Sunday morning. The solid striped sections of the shawl/wrap represent the paths alongside the grey waters of the river Exe. I added houndstooth stitches to reflect the movement of the water. When I was at uni I hung out at the Quay quite a lot. Mostly getting drunk and staggering around on a Saturday night (cobbles don’t make it easy to walk. Neither does knocking back too many beers). But then later it was more about strolling on a Sunday with a teeny baby in a pram. I don’t live in Exeter itself anymore but I’m still not that far away.
The book was released last year and is full of crochet, knitting and other yarn related projects. Proceeds went to Knit for Peaceand local community projects.
Quayside is now available to purchase as an individual pattern on Ravelry and Etsy. It will also be on Lovecrafts in a day or two as well. As it was initially for a charity enterprise, it’s only fitting that it continues to raise money for causes that need support. Therefore, I have chosen two charities and will donate £2.00 to each, per sale of Quayside. I hadn’t worked out precise platform fees when I posted on Instagram this morning so originally stated £1.50. I needed to make sure I could cover those fees. Thankfully, I still can!
The two charities I’ve chosen are for very good reasons. The first charity is CALM (the campaign against living miserably). Last year my step sister’s son, Adam died by suicide. Very sadly, my step sister is not the only mother I know who lost a son to suicide last year. If we can help another young man, any man, any person from feeling like that that’s their only escape, well, that’s good! It is Mental Health Week this week, which feels like appropriate timing for the pattern’s release.
The second charity is the Disasters Emergency Committee. Covid 19 is devasting India right now and help is desperately needed. The decision for this choice was cemented when someone told me the other day that “they had brought it upon themsleves” Um, what?! I’m still stuck for words on this.
You can also donate directly to either charity. If you’ve got a few extra quid, I urge you to do so, please. Ta very much!
Let’s see how it goes. Certainly, I will stick to this plan throughout the summer and then see how it goes from there. Hope that sounds OK? Let me know what you think!
Let’s do a Crochet Along!
Also to continue across the summer, how about a CAL?! It has been a while since I ran acrochet along and this seems like a good reason! The Quayside CAL! If you would like to take part, all you need to do is purchase the pattern and get cracking!
The idea is that you’re making a fab crochet shawl at the same time as lots of other makers. You are helping to raise money, for not one, but two charities! There are no real CAL rules, just choose your favourite yarn and a matching hook. Use the hashtag #QuaysideCAL and I will share your crochet progress and projects whenever I can. I’ll definitely want to write a follow up post here, and I’ll post on Insta over the next few months. I’ll say a provisional end date of September 1st but flexibilty is fine by me. Crochet is supposed to be mindful, it actually helps with mental health, it’d be silly to have tight deadlines.
You can use pretty much any yarn but perhaps nothing heavier than a DK or it’ll be huuuge! My version is made usingGwlan Cambrain wool, a woolly 4 ply. You can also buy it from Wool on the Exe (I’d better mention that as they’re the team who chose the yarn for the project!).
Right, I think that’s it for now. If you have any questions, add them in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks ever so much. x
Halloooo! How are you? I hope you are very well indeed. I’m a bit achey on my arm as I had my second Pfizer jab yesterday. Luckily I don’t feel too grotty today. Aaannnyway, let’s talk about crochet! Fancy a crochet catch up!?
For Episode 88 of the Zeens and Roger Crochet Podcast, please hit the pic above or go to my YouTube channel to find all the podcasts and tutorials.
A link to episode 87 is here (in case you wanted to do a comparison of pre and post blocking of my green jumper). I’ve linked to the notes as there are suggestions for similar patterns – none of which, I’ve made. But they might be up your street.
Fun Crochet Things:
Paintbox Worsted superwash wool. This is an affiliate link that, with no extra cost to you, can get me a small percentage of the cost. It’s the usual fabulous colour palette that I really enjoy playing around with.
I briefly mentioned Moorit. If you caught that and wondered what I was on about then go HERE.
If you would like to have a look at my other work, there’s a Free Patterns page here on the blog. You can also go to Ravelry, Etsy, Lovecrafts and / orRibblr.
Other places you can find me:Instagram,Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter. These last two, hmm, I read tweets but rarely tweet myself. I use FB to share the latest videos and blog posts. I also share any interesting articles I’ve found online.
As a full on crochet addict I am always on the look out for fun items that are related to my favourite craft. I’ve got a nice collection of project bags, buttons and pins, even mugs that are clear indicators of my stitchy status but sometimes there’s not a lot of choice out there. Instead, images and ideas often come flitting in and out of my head for ways to come up with my own creations. Most things end up as a bit of a dream, or the project gets pushed back to the bottom of the list. Crochet cross stitch patterns have been on there for a while (I WILL get round to doing these, they’re half made already!). Exploring different crafts, yet staying true to my first love pleases me greatly.
The latest bright spark of an idea are these printed greeting cards. I’ve shocked myself by actually pulling my finger out and sorting them out, ready for release! I did it! There are real life granny square print cards for sale of Etsy!! I LOVE them!! The link will take you to a set of four but they are also available individually.
If you’re a Patron you get a nice discount on the set. GoHERE to Patreonto find out more. x
I’ve had a printing kit for a while and have, over the years, half halfheartedly messed about with the carving tools without getting very good. That isn’t enough to stop me from having a go though. In my kit I have multiple blades for cutting, shaving and gouging pieces of negative space from small lino sheets you can buy online. There’s also printing ink and a roller. The intricate motifs you can achieve from hand cut prints is amazing. I’m pretty bad at it yet I still get results that make me super happy. I like the imperfections and (in my case) rudimentary qualities. It’s not supposed to be perfect, that’s not the point. Have you tried lino cuts/printing before? It’s very satisfying.
Because I couldn’t find anything to buy that fit the bill, over the Christmas holidays I started playing with ways of drawing, painting and printing crochet granny squares. This is when I dug down deep into the craft cupboard to retrieve the printing kit. It’s not easy, I sliced though parts of the lino I didn’t want to slice through, or hacked off chunks that shouldn’t have been hacked off. Also, being a lazy creature, I went for abstract crochet stitches rather than go for precise realism. The idea of hand drawing every single twist of a stitch, getting perfect symmetry throughout? No, thanks, haven’t got the patience.
There have been a few incarnations. The one below is one of my first attempts at a granny print. It’s OK. I like it but it’s a bit rough. I was going to sell those ones as originals but there was a needling feeling that they weren’t quite good enough. I tried again. Second time around and everything is sooooo much better, I’m tremendously pleased with the balance of inky silhouette granny and rainbow colours. I had learned from the first goes to get the paint smoother and pay a bit more attention to carving the print (whilst still being lazy of course). And this time I felt they were good. I’m really proud of them. So much so I took photos of my four favourites and ordered prints! Prints to sell! I added them to my Etsy shop yesterday and I’ve already sold a few. Loads of people have added them to their shopping baskets (come on people, please hit “buy!”). One person has noticed the silliness in the product description too, I was having a funny five minutes at the time…
This probably won’t be a permanent thing, there is actual crochet that needs doing, but it is important to learn new skills and have a go at different things, don’t you think? Is there anything you fancy having a go at? And have you spotted any good crochet merch? If so, please let me know!
Hey! I’m back already, surpriiise!! For Episode 87 of the Zeens and Roger crochet podcast please click on the pic above to go directly to the episode, or go to my YouTube channel HERE.
Thanks to everyone who left comments on the last episode. It was very heartening to know that so many are keen on a monthly newsletter. I’m going to whirr it round in my brain for a while to work out the best way to get this to you.
Links to Crochet Good Stuff:
Paintbox Yarns can be found HERE. It’s an affiliate link so if you buy via the link I will get at least 5% of the sale. The cardi I made and the new cardigan I will make next are both going to be made in Paintbox yarns. One is the aran wool mix, which I absolutely love and the other I’ve not used before. It’s worsted weight 100% wool superwash. I have had a squidge and it seems nice so far! The cardies evolved from the JW Anderson cardigan that I made last year.
I used Cascade 2020 superwash in Tree Top to make my green jumper. Here are a couple of turtle neck crochet sweater patterns if you fancy: The Chainette Turtleneck was one I first spotted. Then I saw the Millennial Jumper, which is a pretty close match. Or there’s the Elsa Polo neck, which I’m sure I spotted made with mohair too. That would look amazing!
Heather’s Grading Work Book is HERE. Once again, it’s an affiliate link and I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale. As you may know Heather is the garment designer behind HGDC. I’m sure you know the Revival jumper, a modern granny masterpiece! Pre-orders are open until the 1st of April. Check it out asap cos there are early bird discounts! There are two different levels, which I think is pretty neat. One has more of a personal touch from Heather but there are limited spaces so grab a space while you can!!
Ribblr, a new platform for crochet, knitting and sewing patterns. I joined and am learning slowly. I’ll let you know the things I learn. Probably at my usual snails pace!
Join the Patreon community! There are now tiers: Moss, Linen and Granite (they’re all the same crochet stitch but with the different names! I thought it was funny…). There is lots of extra content on Patreon, pop over and have a look. The first Zoom meet up for those in the Granite tier is this Saturday the 27th at 11:00am GMT.
If Patreon doesn’t float your boat then you can always buy me a ko-fi! Or buy one of my patterns… You can find me in all the usual please: Ravelry, Etsy, LoveCrafts. Thank you so much.
Hello, welcome to the Zeens and Roger Crochet Podcast! This is Episode 86 (not 85 like I say, with blissful ignorance, on this episode). I have crochet sweaters (jumpers) on the go in this episode as well as a couple of magazine features that you might be interested in. One is my latest design in Inside Crochet, called Ostara. It is the most perfect cosy cowl for this time of year. The other is a C2C blanket in issue 107 of Simply Crochet. On the back page is a little article I wrote about one of my favourite makes too.
For further info on Dora’s new e-book, go HERE. It’s well thought out and really useful. If you want a hand to hold whilst you start to make your first crochet garments, or want to go that step further from basic jumpers then this is for you. Dora/Michelle sent me a copy as a gift but I wouldn’t gush about it if I didn’t think it was legit.
Check out my jazzed up Patreon with all it’s Tiers!! I’m so pleased. It’s really good value, especially if you’re often tempted by my patterns!
Or, if you’re not up for bargains and glorious extra content, you can always support me on Ko-fi. Thank you!
I bought the Chainette Turtle neck by Knits and Knots. I’m using Cascade 220 superwash for my my green jumper and I bought it from Wool Warehouse. Its Tree Top green. It says it’s a DK but I think it’s an aran or worsted, especially as other DKs have an much higher meterage.
Here is my first top tips blog post from a few years ago. I’d like to write a sequel or update the ones there. Do you have any suggestions please?! I would love to hear from you. You can leave a comment here or over on YouTube. Cheers.
If you fancied a shopping spree, I am just popping this Lovecrafts Affiliate link. Just in case… it is no extra cost to you but for me, I get 5% of the sale. More (I think it’s 15%) if you’re a new customer.
I think that’s it for now, if you have any questions, give me a shout! Thank you! xxx
I was recently sent a naked, undyed skein of King Cole merino yarn. (Disclosure: I am a King Cole ambassador; I got the yarn for free but this is not a sponsored post). Receiving the yarn was all the persuasion I needed to have a brief dalliance with yarn dyeing. And I do mean brief. My first time was dyeing with avocado skins a few weeks ago, which I found interesting but getting the right colour was tricky. The second time was with little pots of powdery acid dyes (thanks Sherrie of Ollie & Bella for recommending the dyes). Acid dyeing yarn is a messy affair and I don’t suggest you try it unless you’re willing to destroy your kitchen, clothes, and anything else within a fifteen foot radius. My kitchen is old and tatty, therefore I don’t care about the fact that it now has a rainbow of colours forever tainting my work tops. Bit dodgy for food prep though.
What I’ve done is put together a couple of videos for YouTube. The first was published a couple of weeks ago. You can watch it HERE. It’s the dyeing yarn with avocado video, not “dying”, which is what I’ve accidentally titled the episode. It’s actually a relatively safe process. I pretended it was homeschooling science and got the kids involved. Well, the youngest one helped, the eldest just came into the kitchen in search of the Flap Jacks that were being baked in the oven whilst we did the dyeing. Apart from using high temperatures in the dyeing process, it’s a pretty good project for getting the kids involved.
Recently uploaded is the acid dyeing vid, HERE. It’s a bit longer as the first section of the video is a “show and tell” of the yarn colours that were created. Then the shoddy demo of my attempts follows after. This one is not be so great for the kids (although one of mine watched from a reasonable distance).
The colours that you can achieve with the acid dyes are far more intense. I have a distinct lack of knowledge about the chemistry of colour work and it shows. I didn’t try to experiment with mixing or diluting, just jumped straight into bright primary-ish shades. The results aren’t too bad. They’re not exactly “my” colours but that’s OK. The dye is Landscapes Dyes from Wingham Wool Work, a great recommendation from Sherrie. I wasn’t scared of using it but hard core professionals use loads of safety gear during dye sessions. Gloves and breathing apparatus are strongly recommended. Please do be careful! The particles of the powders can get inside your lungs and the powders also contain other elements that you don’t want to end up in your dinner.
After a quick shout out for advice on my crochet podcast, Becca from Totnes Yarns got in touch and offered some invaluable advice, thank you so much Becca! She Recommended using an old pot for dyeing the yarn, don’t use your best pans. Some of the acid dyes contain chemicals you don’t want to consume. But also, Becca pointed me in the direction of ChemKnits on YouTube. This is a rabbit hole I do not want to go down. This is just a quick fling, not a new hobby!! But if you did want to commit, check it out.
Research was a quick glance at Google, finding blog posts about avocado experiments. For more information about dyeing with avocado I found Woods and Woolto be really thorough. And also Thoresby Cottage. Deffo worth a look. I didn’t google much about acid dyes, I had the advice from Becca, and the Landscapes dyes came with a leaflet full of excellent instructions for both simmering on the hob or blasting in a microwave. You can download guidance on safety from Wingham Wool Work too.
Michelle from Dora Explored also has a blog post about dyeing with every day household stuff. Lots of helpful explanations about processes in that blog post, including info on why you might need to give your wool a bath in vinegar before you dye, and what a mordant is. But I confess to only skim reading certain bits so missed where it said to heat the yarn again after I added speckles onto the already dyed yarn. Might be why I didn’t end up with as many speckles as I hoped. I do realize that the heat is how the yarn fixes the colour, it was just a brief moment of stupidity. The fact that I have no patience is also a reason why the speckles washed out, which you’ll see from the finished results.
Wool yarn will take on dyes really well. Different fibres react in different ways, which is worth bearing in mind. As well as having theKing Cole merino dk to play with, I decided to purchase a few skeins of Regia 4ply merino, another yarn specifically for hand dyeing. It worked a treat with the microwave acid dyeing. I also went digging through my own stash and came up with a mystery mini skein of a sheepy wool, and two silky looking skeins of Teeswater/Wensleydale yarn that were purchased on a holiday in Lancashire a few years ago. Please do read the blog post about that, it’s HERE. It was really quite a treat for a fan of yarn. On a personal level, reading about that holiday demonstrates that I know much more about yarn now than I did then. But judging by my tinkerings with the dyes, I’ve got a long way to go! Still very much an amateur…
Anyway, that’s it really. It’s a vast subject and this experience is barely a toe dipped in avocado blush waters. So much to explore. Have you tried yarn dyeing? What do you think? I bet you’re better at it than me!
The Crochet Community has spoken, Moorit magazine is happening! We are getting a crochet magazine for crocheters, like no other that has been seen before.
Yarn lovers have chatted dreamily over the years about what it’d be like to have a high end crochet publication. Imagine, if you will, a cool crochet magazine that is collectible, beautiful, and features artisanal designs that you just have to make. It shouts from the rooftops that crochet is second to none! But here’s the thing, there are whispers about crochet, assumptions and rumours. …ugly stitches, they whisper at yarn shows….. gasp, squeaky acrylic!…. Shh, old ladies!… Pah! It is a reputation that us dreamers fight with fervour to shake. Modern crocheters understand that there’s more to the hook and yarn than the humble Granny square (and I’m saying this as a champion of the Granny). We love it for it’s rhythmic stitches and limitless twists and turns. In recent years, more and more designers are coming through who brilliantly showcase the very best that contemporary crochet has to offer. This is an exciting time.
Many of us have often wondered if a magazine would ever happen. Sadly, we didn’t really think “when,” it was more a wistful “if”. Alyson Chu is going to make sure it happens though. Did you see the huge success of Alyson’s Kickstarter campaign?! That’s how much we need Moorit! The first goal was smashed within two days. After two weeks, it has been totally obliterated. That speaks volumes! If you haven’t already, please go and read about Alyson’s vision on the Kickstarter page, you’ll learn about the detailed plans she’s working hard to bring to life, the designers who’ll be featured in Issue 1, and get a feel for the gorgeous aesthetic.
With a Masters degree in publishing and a passion for crochet, Alyson realised she had the skills and experience to make it a reality. Not just a dreamer but a full on innovator! It’s the right time and the right place. Yessss!
I was listening to her chat with Fay from the Crochet Circle Podcast the other day (you can watch the interview HERE), and it was awesome how she said [paraphrasing a bit] “If not me, then who?” She wasn’t going to sit back and wait for some else to do it. It might never happen. She told herself the same when she approached knitwear designer Jeanette Sloan about Bipoc in Fiber too, a website that highlights the creative work of Black, Indigenous & People of Colour within the yarn world. Alyson’s ambition and enthusiasm is gloriously contagious. Love it!
As well as the interview with Fay, do also check out the interview from Knitsonik. I really enjoyed reading this chat about crochet history and Moorit’s connection to Scotland. And I’ve just started reading the 1847 book, Miss Lambert’s “My Crochet Sampler” because of this interview! (you can find it online as a free digital download).
I am so excited about Moorit. What an amazing opportunity to show crochet design at its very best. I can’t deny that it’s also about absolute privilege to be a part of issue 1 with one of my designs. I am chuffed to bits…. and waiting to get dragged back from my front row seat. Gulp! On a personal level I want to push myself and my skills as a designer for Moorit. For others, I want to challenge how they see crochet. This is crochet enrichment.
Just in time for autumn, Moorit will be here in September. It will focus on crochet garments and accessories for everyone, using beautiful fibres to do it. Issue 1 focuses on women’s wear but there will be designs in there that aren’t exclusively female. Come September we’ll have this plush publication in our hands. I literally cannot wait to leaf through its pages. Crochet is beautiful, it is time to celebrate! Don’t you think?! Yesss!!
I was at the very cold and windy beach yesterday when I realised how much I LOVED the crochet cowl I was wearing! Sat securely & snuggly around my neck, it wasn’t going anywhere. The best thing about a cowl is that there are no flappy scarf ends, breeze whipping them about my face! Neither will it slowly work itself free and slide to the ground. A crocheter can also hook up a handmade cowl pretty quickly.
I started counting up how many there were in my crochet collection. A LOT!! And they all get worn at this time of year. The ice cold weather this week isn’t set to rise above 3 degrees. A warm cowl is the first choice crochet accessory that I’m going to reach for.
Whether fancy 4ply or super chunky, there are all sorts of styles you can try. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner crocheter as there are loads of easy cowl patterns to try. It doesn’t have to be fancy stitches or anything, you could smoosh together four largish granny squares (5 inches would do it) and that’s a cowl. When I say smoosh, I mean sew them together in a row and then join ends to create a circle. Voila, a cowl has been made.
This blog post is also a blatant excuse to share loads of my designs to tempt you into getting the yarn and hooks out. Of course it is….
My renewed enthusiasm for keeping warm in the winter means I am about to go rummaging to find yarn to make a new cowl. It will be released as a free pattern when it’s done. Keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, I will share my latest design. It’s called Companions, which is a cowl and wrist warmers pattern set. There are still a few days where you can get 25% off on Ravelry andEtsy. Last day of the discount is the 13th Feb. I am so so pleased with this stripey set. Ridiculously pleased. Every aspect works: the yarn, the pattern, the style. It’s exactly what I had imagined. This is the cowl I was wearing yesterday at the beach (the wrist warmers were left at home as I didn’t want them getting mucky whilst rooting through pebbles, looking for seashells!).
With that plug out of the way, there are plenty of free crochet patterns and tutorials you can try. I’d say that they were suitable for beginners who fancy a quick project that’s simple yet effective. A corner to corner chevron? It’s all in the colour work. Here’s the YouTube tutorial to show you how. The same pattern can easily be turned into a hat too. It’s good to have options!
I got the idea for a C2C chevron fromthe granny chevron I designed which, in turn came from a big floofy version I did. (I am currently obsessed and delighted with how ideas beget ideas – it’s fascinating).
Have you made any? They don’t have to be small and simple. You can make elegant, double looping infinity scarves, or massive super chunky things that envelope your entire top half. There are loads of variants in between.
A couple of years ago I was asked to design a cowl that looked like a shawl for the front cover of Mollie Makes magazine (yep, still proud of that moment). I wanted it to be a bit different to my other designs so added the triangle shaping. A shawl that’s not a shawl! It turned out to be one of my most popular designs ever. It’s for sale on Ravelry, Etsy and LoveCrafts.
I see triangle cowls popping up more and more in the knitting and crochet community. I’ve got more than one design now too and another one due in a future magazine. That one is cute, perfect for early spring!
Right, rather than a overly detailed breakdown of each and every one I will just add some more pictures and let you peruse at your leisure. There’s also ascarf and cowl bundle on Ravelrywhich is worth looking at. Yes, I know they’re all mine. It’s a starting point.
Do have a favourite crochet cowl out there? Which one? Hopefully there’s something here to inspire you to get crocheting. Let me know how you get on.
John Arbon Textiles’ Yarnadelic comes in 25g and 100g skeins. Here’s the birthday podcast. I’m not an affiliate but with the lengths I go to to plug it, you’d be fooled into thinking I am!
Paintbox wool mix– This is an affiliate link, I recently set it up to see if it would be a viable finger in a pie. From each sale generated through the link I get a minimum 5% of the sale. The wool mix is my current fave aran weight yarn. It’s often on sale.