Janie's Quick Update
I hope this email finds you well and that you are looking forward to the weekend. I feel like it has been ages since I dropped into your inbox to say hello! So much has happened since my last email....
We arrived home safely from another fabulous trip to Mysore in India with Knit For Peace. I have been very fortunate to have been invited three times to tutor the charity workshop and, as always, we were treated to a really wonderful trip. I will tell you more about it in my bumper email newsletter next week.
I have to say, as a lover of all things warm and sunshiny, it was really good to have spent the last few weeks in a lovely warm climate - coming back to the UK's grey weather last weekend was a bit of a shock and at the beginning of the week it was making me feel a bit gloomy - that and the fabulous effects of jet lag - and so, when searching for a quote for this week's newsletter, I felt the one below was very apt:
'When God was making the months I think February was a mistake, like a burp. There it was, small, dark and prickly. It had absoloutely no redeeming qualities.'
(Shannon Wierbitzky, What Flowers Remember)
The last few days, however, have been really bright and there has been an abundance of sunshine. Many of the bulbs and some blossom are appearing in the garden and there are more and more signs that spring is on the way - so perhaps the quote is a less relevant now.... I hope so anyway!*
I have a few things to tell you about this week, so I hope you can spare a couple of minutes to catch up with a slice of Janie Crow pie!
Weekend breaks have always been a real treat, but when they also focus around a craft or hobby I think they are even more special. Knitwear designer Debbie Abrahams and myself have been running weekend workshops via our Inspired Minds partnership for the last 5 or 6 years and we will be revealing our events for 2020 very soon, but this week I want to tell you about another exciting event that you might be interested in.
I am really pleased that Diana Benstead of The Crochet Chain has invited me to be a part of the first Woolly Away Weekend at The Manor Groves Hotel, High Wych, Hertfordshire on the 14th and 15th March 2020.
Diana and her team have put together a great itinerary that includes workshops, talks, demonstrations and a chance to have a go at spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet and more. There will also be a market place on the Sunday afternoon so that participants don’t miss out on a bit of retail therapy!
I will be at the event on Sunday the 15th March and will be teaching my Bohemian Blooms Mandala workshop in the morning and hanging around the market place in the afternoon. I would love to see you there! You can find more info by following this link.
Gemma has been very busy adding the Janie Crow back catalogue of designs to Ravelry. My best selling Persian Tiles blanket pattern is now on there as a PDF download and my remaining designs will go on there over the next few weeks.
It has been a big decision for me to put my patterns out as downloads, partly because we already supply paper patterns to retailers, but also because it can be hard protect ourselves against illegal sharing of the designs. That said I have decided that the positive aspects of downloads vs paper patterns in relation to the need to be ‘green’ now outweigh the negative. Paper brochure style patterns will continue to be available via the Janie Crow web site and our stockists. Paper patterns will also continue to be a feature of yarn kits on the Just Knots web site.
PDF downloads will only be available via Ravelry and will not be on any other web site, although my Janie Crow site will be updated soon to include links to purchase downloads via Ravelry. In the past we have added download codes to selected patterns. This process will stop over the next few months as patterns start to head to reprint.
This week Gemma has also added my Mystical Lanterns patterns as downloadable files to Ravelry. If you rummage around in the store you will find the scarf, shawl and blanket versions. A US yarn producer has recently used the design as the basis for a new project they have called The Tear Drop Throw. The design (shown above) differs slightly to my original, but nonetheless many of you have contacted me to ask whether or not the design infringes my copyright. Please be assured that Mary Maxim do have my blessing to use the design and that they have agreed to give me a % of their profits made on this yarn kit. I really like their colour way and you can customise your shade choices on their web site, so if you fancy making an alternative version of the Mystical Lanterns Blanket do take a look.
Ideas for Valentine's Day
It's Nearly the Weekend!
After a mammoth journey back from India last Friday the following weekend ended up being a bit of a blur as we struggled with jet lag, unpacking and subsequent washing. We did, however, manage to make it over to see Summer and Chris's new home, which they are busy decorating and making their own. Seeing the tester pots and shiny newly painted walls made me fancy doing some much needed DIY at the bungalow - not sure it will happen this weekend, but perhaps it is time some plans were made.... Heading off to India in mid January meant that I did not fully get my head around New Year resolutions and plans for 2020, so I think it is time I thought about this a little. I may well head off to the gym and try to curb my appetite as middle age spread is definitely winning the battle against the bulge and needs to go on my 'sort it out' list!
I am really looking forward to some time at home tomorrow and we are off to a trade event at one of our suppliers on Sunday. Hopefully this will include a preview of the new Rowan Yarns range for 2020, so I will try and get some shots of the new trends to show you next week.
Whatever you have planned I hope you have a good time. I will be back in your inbox next Friday with my bumper monthly email, until then, please stay safe and happy....
* STOP PRESS! I have just looked at the weather forecast for the UK this weekend and see that a storm is on the way - looks like a couple of days of crocheting on the sofa - sigh!!! Stay safe everyone...
Janie's Quick Update
I hope this email finds you well and that you are looking forward to the weekend....
Today's email was supposed to be my big January Newsletter, but as usual I have been chasing my tail big time! I have been trying to get myself sorted for the Knit For Peace trip to India and have also had a problem with Mailchimp - the host of our newsletters, as the site stopped working on my laptop, from where I usually do my newsletters. As a result I have had to commandeer one of the bigger PCs in the office. Poor Sue has also been off sick for a couple of days, so we have had to fill her shoes in the packing department!!
Magic Circles Scarf
Anyway, as time is ticking away for me I thought I would just let you know that my Magic Circles Wrap /Scarf pattern is now available to download via Ravelry. We will put paper copies on both the Janie Crow and the Just Knots web site in a few weeks time when we are back from India.
I love looking at how shapes fit together and had wanted to create a tessellating circle design for some time. Circular motifs can be tricky to fit together and it is common to find the circular shape becomes slightly distorted when motifs are pieced together, so rather than create motifs that are square or octagonal, I designed cross-shaped infill pieces that protect the shape of the large circles.
This pattern was originally written for a blanket, but when I saw the beautiful range of shades available in Eden Cottage Milburn DK range I knew I had to make a scarf version.
Just Knots have had the kits on sale since November. If you fancy making the project in the suggested yarn, then the kits on the Just Knots site work out as good value - the pattern is included for free. You can find the kits by following this link.
When making the small infill circles you are asked to make a magic loop to start. You can find a technique download that explains how to do this on the Janie Crow website
We have had a flurry of new subscribers to the Janie Crow newsletter, so I have left the information I put in the newsletter 2 weeks ago in this week's one - I know that a lot of people want to know more about the CAL in particular - more info on this will be available soon.
We head out to Mysore for the Knit For Peace knitting and crochet holiday today, so I have been busy working on the projects for the group. I have prepared a knit project and a crochet one, so have had quite a lot to do! I am really happy with both projects and will be releasing them as patterns in the future. The projects are based on an indigo, cream and red block printed patchwork throw I found on my last trip to India. I have added lots of stitching and embellishments, so there are lots of techniques included. I will show you some images of the project and of the trip in my February newsletter.
I will be launching a new crochet along (CAL) with Stylecraft in the spring. The pattern will be relased in 8 parts for free from late April/early May through to the end of July and I really hope you are going to like it! I have already made my prototype blanket and the patterns are being checked, but we have now decided to make a second version using Stylecraft's new natural yarn range, which will make an appearance via yarn stockists soon. I am really excited that another natural yarn is set to join Classique Cotton DK in the Stylecraft range and think that you are going to love the fabulously subtle range of chalky colours in this new yarn palette - I am already madly in love with it! Look out for more information about the CAL and the new yarn in forthcoming newsletters.
The trip to Mysore and the CAL are both on my imminent forward radar, but there will be some more (what I think are) really exciting projects coming through this year, some of which are reworkings of older designs and some that will be brand new. If you are interested in my back catalogue of designs you might be pleased to hear that the patterns for many of these are being added as download options to my Ravelry store. As I have said already you can now find the Magic Circles Blanket pattern to download here and the Summer Palace Wrap here.
Paper brochure copies of my patterns are all still available via the Janie Crow web site.
When I was thinking about what I was going to tell you about in the newsletter I happened across a great 'woolly' story on the BBC app. It is about seaweed eating sheep on Orkney. You can find it by following this link or clicking on the image above.
It's Nearly the Weekend!
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Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my email newsletter archive alongside any other general musings or information about events or new pattern releases that I wish to share with you!