Episode 35: Can you teach an old knitter new tricks?

In this episode of the podcast, we review Tracey Todhunter’s new book, Women’s Weekly Guide to Crochet, which is inspiring us to pick up our hooks. Along with the usual - shout-outs, chat about what we’ve been working on, upcoming events and a very special announcement!

Shout outs, news, events: 

Shout to all the regulars and new faces at our knit night who took over three tables in the pub this week, and thanks for everyone’s yarn show tips!

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last episode of the podcast, and congratulations to our giveaway winner of CC Almon’s book Coffee With CC – Clare! 

News and events:

18-24 April: Makers for Fashion Revolution photo challenge hosted by Karie Westermann, aka Kariebookish, on Instagram. The idea behind the challenge is to get conversation happening within the making community about where our clothes come from. 

21 April: A Yarn Story is bringing their Shibui Mix Party to Omnibus, in Clapham. This one-off special event will give you a chance to learn more about the Shibui Mix Concept and try out their various yarns to create your own personalized textures for your knits. Space is limited but tickets are still available for £15, a portion of which will be credited to any yarn purchases made on the evening. 

23-24 April: Wonderwool Wales in Builth Wells. 

30 April- 1 May: The annual Knitter’s Folic in Toronto! 

30 April: Wooltastic Mini Pop-Up Wool Show, Walton Village Hall, Cumbria.

30 April: Yarn Shop Day - show your love for your local Yarn Shop by popping in to see what they have. In Manchester, Brit Yarn will be having a special pop-up at the Countess Ablaze studio. In Bath, A Yarn Story will have a yarn tasting of all their Fibre Co. yarns and will have a world-exclusive of The Fibre Co.’s newest yarn, Arranmore! 

7 May: Wharfe Wool Fair, Ilkley

21 May: Highland Wool and Textile Fair, Dingwall Mart

21-22 May: Baa Baa Bazaar at the Shepley Spring Festival, Shepley.

UK Fibre and Yarn Events group on Ravelry.

What we’re working on:

Rachel's Coffee Date Shawl by C. C. Almon

Rachel's Coffee Date Shawl by C. C. Almon

Rachel is working on the Crocheted Starburst Baby Blanket by Sara Rivka, and the Coffee Date shawl by C. C. Almon. In finished objects, she's blocked the world's largest shawl (Freshwater Shawl from the last podcast), and finished her latest shawl design. 

Allison's crochet and handspun finishes

Allison's crochet and handspun finishes

Allison finished Your Mileage May Vary by Joanne Scrace and finished spinning her Porpoise Fur fibre club from January resulting in 138 yards of worsted weight yarn. She’s now back to working her way through her WIPs and on a couple of baby and toddler sweaters. 

Book review: Women’s Weekly Guide to Crochet by Tracey Todhunter 

Tracy Todhunter, a long time crochet designer and teacher, has a new book out that is perfect for those, like us, who are not the most accomplished crocheters. Great photos, tutorials and tips for all! You can find it on Amazon UK and in your local yarn store. It's also available in the US, as Crochet: Learn It. Love It.

Wonderful Wonderwool (and other Yarn Show) Tips 

At our most recent Knit Night, we asked for tips from our compatriots on how they get ready for wool shows, and we share their thoughts with you.

And speaking of yarn shows… 

We have a big announcement: the Yarnporium is coming!!!! All the details that are currently available are here, and stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks. If you are interested in vending at the Yarnporium, more information is here, and if you'd like to volunteer, there's information here.

Please let us know what you think through comments on the show notes, send us an email at hello@yarninthecity.com or via TwitterFacebook and Instagram. You can find us on iTunes or Stitcher Radio (and please consider leaving a review for us!), or download us directly from the Yarn in the City website.  

On Wednesday nights you can find us at knit night at The Goat on the Rise pub on Battersea Rise, close to Clapham Junction station in SW London. We meet from 7pm to around 10pm. The food is great and the knitters are friendly. Join us! 

Music (all available on NoiseTrade):
Sunstroke - Wylder
Offer Up My Love - Midnight Pilot
The Good Life - Midnight Pilot

London Craft Guide Project: Candy Bag

Even though crochet is not our first craft we know that for many of you it is. In an attempt to offer more than just knitting and sewing projects in the London Craft Guide we were extremely happy to come across French designer Cécile Balladino and her Candy Bag - and even more so when she agreed to let us have it for the book! The bag builds upon granny squares, their modular nature making them eminently portable and with a pattern that is easy to memorize.

YITC: Tell us about the inspiration for your design.
 It is the yarn that inspired me. I love self-striping yarns and this one was perfect for crochet. I started making simple squares to see what it looked like and enjoyed how it turned out. I thought the project was great for London where people are more audacious with colours than in France. It's a versatile bag that you can use during your crafty vacations.

Photo credit: Juju Vail

Photo credit: Juju Vail

YITC: Do you travel for your craft? How do travel and craft fit together in your world?
CB: Yes! I teach crochet in various places in France. Twice a month I teach at La Bien Aimée (sister shop to l'Oisive Thé and like my second home!) and this last year I've taught in Belgium, Switzerland and even Iceland. Crochet and design are both solitary activities for me so it's a good opportunity to meet new people and discover new places. I mostly travel by train and always have some yarn and crochet projects with me so a lot of my projects are made while travelling. Travelling always brings new inspiration!

YITC: What was your most memorable crafty vacation? What did you do?
It was Iceland last September. I went there with my friend Christine who sells Icelandic yarn online. I taught two crochet classes and the rest of the time was spent exploring the country. Enjoying a geothermal bath just before a crochet class was an unforgettable experience! It was a magical place, full of colours.

YITC: Tell us about you and your personal design style. How does your project fit in?
 Bohemian chic with a vintage touch.

Photo credit: Juju Vail

Photo credit: Juju Vail

YITC: What is your crafty background?
 As far as I can remember I've always played with yarn. I learned to knit before I was able to read! I can sew, quilt, embroider, make jewellery, paint - but crochet is still my favourite! I've also studied fashion design and I've been a fashion designer in Paris for 15 years.

YITC: What's your favourite part of the designing/creative process and what are your designing essentials?
Choosing the colours and creating an atmosphere. I love that each of my items tells a story. As for designing essentials my phone is like my personal assistant. I take notes, pictures and publish on social media with it. And of course my Tulip Etimo crochet set and a good cup of tea.

YITC: Do you have a favourite designer who's work you follow?
I've long admired the work of Kaffe Fasset - although he doesn't crochet!

YITC: What creative (or travel!) plans do you have for 2016?
I'll be in London to teach two classes at Loop this weekend and then in the coming months I'll be teaching classes in Belgium, Spain, Italy and of course in Paris. My latest project is a shawl design for Simply Crochet magazine. Beyond that, I have lots of creative plans but I'm kind of superstitious about saying anything...

Cécile also has two crochet books available: Crochet Bohème and Au fil des Couleurs. They're in French but contain graphic charts for all the designs so you can understand them whether you speak French or not. As Cécile often says: crochet is an international language!

Social media info:
Ravelry: eclecticgipsy
Website: Eclectic Gipsyland
Instagram: eclecticgipsy