A podcast for people who love knitting, Dorset Buttons, creativity & Scotland, especially the Highlands & Islands.

Welcome to the 12th episode of my podcast – Ripples Crafts

Thank you for listening again or welcome if you are a first time listener.

This 12th episode marks the 1st birthday of the TJFrog Podcast & also celebrates the 10th birthday of Ripples Crafts!

The Weather 

Have you been affected by the “Beast from the East” or are you enjoying clear calm crisp sunny weather like us where “west is best?!”

I was made aware of the hashtag #beastfromtheeast by Amy of @MyLifeScribble who does the most wonderful quirky fun doodles on her observations of everyday life.  Amy recently launched a range of greeting cards under the name of Inky Thinks.

Huge snowfall has hit many parts of the UK particularly along the eastern coast and the Met Office has issued its highest severe weather warning of red alert for the central belt of Scotland.


My making has stalled this year with preps for Edinburgh Yarn Festival and other forth coming shows.  This means my good intentions to finish my Eigg Slippers and Blanch Top did not happen.  I shall revisit them post EYF when I’m also looking forward to catching up with the Kate Davies posts and Ravelry chat on her new book the West Highland Way.

Dorset Buttons

It’s time to reveal my new TJFrog Shorelines & Strata wool that will be making their first appearance at Edinburgh Yarn Festival and will then go on the website.  Both single breeds from Dorset.

This is Dorset Horn sourced from a farm in Cornwall.  It’s a limited edition from the 2017 clip and comes in 4 colours, natural, purple and green and a hand-dyed by Ripples Crafts combining purple & lime green.   A rare breed identified as ‘at risk’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust it is not an easy fleece to source having unsuccessfully tried in previous years.  I was keen to have this as the Dorset Horn, a native breed was around in the day of the Dorset Button cottage industry.

This is Dorset Down sourced from Rampisham Hill Farm who also supply my Poll Dorset fleeces.  Another rare breed classified as at ‘minority risk’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust you can read more about their watch lists on native UK breeds here.

There are 4 colours available.  Apart from the natural cream the other 3 colours have been chosen as a nod to the coloured cards that Dorset Buttons use to be mounted on when they went off to be sold.  Superior were mounted on pink, standard on blue and seconds on yellow.

Both yarns have a stickiness that make them suitable for colourwork and they are warm and robust.


Blacker Yarns the sponsor of the podcast lounge at EYF will be launching their new Jacob range at the festival and this is the shade card.  From the two coloured Jacob fleece they have blended the colours to produce 4 undyed shades which have then been dyed with green, purple and blue.

If you are coming along to Edinburgh Yarn Festival do come and say hello.  The “Meet The Podcaster” in the podcast lounge is happening daily from 1200 – 2pm.  I aim to be in there at some point during these times each day.

I will also be going to the Ceilidh on the Friday night so hope to see some of you there too!

A litte bit of signposting for the website.  If you’d like to receive blog posts including these show notes then the sign up is at the bottom of my website page.  Alternatively if you’d like to receive my newsletter (first one is yet to go out!) then the sign up bar is across the top of my website page.  And this is where you will hear about latest news and offers and any special information.

Local Lowdown

I tell you about a change to the menu at The Oyster Shed in Carbost.  After eulogising on a couple of episodes about their wonderful scallops and chips, langoustine and chips, mussles and chips, the owner Paul has decided to stop the chips!  The seafood will continue and there are new items coming on the menu just no more chips!

Skye recently received funding to extend car park facilities at the Fairy Pools and the Quiraing which will hopefully go someway to providing better facilities for visitors and reduce the damage to land and roads being partially blocked.

Across The Bridge

For this interview I travelled 150miles north on the north west coast of Scotland to visit Helen of Ripples Crafts.  I have been using Helen’s beautiful hand-dyed yarns since the start of my TJFrog Dorset Button business.

And at the end of the interview I got to go yarn shopping!  Look at all these colourful yarn goodies!!!


2018 sees Helen celebrate her 10th year of Ripples Crafts and there was much to talk about.  The interview lasts for approximately 50 minutes and covers the new shed & welcoming visitors, the challenges with running a business in a remote area, how the name of her business came about and that all important yarn festival on the horizon – Edinburgh.

The old & new Ripples Crafts dye sheds sit side by side.

You can find Helen on Twitter, Instagram & Ravelry as Ripples Crafts.

Music – the music is:

One Frog For a Prince, by Ron Patton & licensed from Melody Loops.

Bye for now.

TJ Signature

4 Responses

  1. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years Helen. How far you’ve come. Congratulations. The new shed is beautiful. The podcast is a brainwave. All the best and lots of inspiration for the next 10 years.

    1. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed Helen! I’m glad you enjoyed it too – see you soon! x

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