Glad Tidings Wrap
A speedy email to let you know that the Glad Tidings Wrap pattern is now available.
The Glad Tidings Wrap was designed as the Advent project for Jimmy Beans Wool in December 2021.The original design used 16 mini skeins of yarn, with a new shade added to the design each day in the lead up to Christmas. The design is a great stash-buster if you have lots of little bits of left over 4-ply yarn, or you could use a curated collection of mini skeins.
The wrap is made by working a central crochet band which is added to daily. In the Jimmy Beans version the colours used on each side of the central band pretty much matched each other in terms of colour and we have made a version using Scheepjes Whirl, which does the same. You could create a quite different effect by using random shades or treating the wrap like a 'temperature' project where you assign colours to different temperatures and select your yarn according to the warmth of the weather that day. However you choose to approach making the wrap, I hope you will enjoy creating this project.
This project was originally designed for Jimmy Beans in the US and was released in December 2021. When the pattern reverted to me in 2022 we ran the project as our own Advent CAL.
The pattern has now been amended so that it is not in a crochet along style. You can purchase the paper brochure pattern (in UK or US terms) by following this link, or you can find download versions on Etsy and Ravelry.
Kits for Sandalwood are back in stock!
Click here for more information
Thank you to everyone who purchased a copy of one of the Mystical Lanterns patterns last weekend. We were totally overwhelmed by the response to our effort to raise funds for the people of Turkey and Syria, so massively affected by the recent earthquake.
We have totted up and donated all profit from the sales of both paper and download patterns and I am so pleased to say that we were able to make the most incredible donation of £3750 to the Disasters Emergency Committee.
We are totally blown away by how much we managed to raise and are so grateful to all of you who bought a pattern. Thank you so much.
I have started to think about a new CAL design and have picked out some yarn shades from a few of the Stylecraft ranges and will begin to whittle down the palette as I start the design process over the next couple of weeks. I have also made a new mood board on Pinterest, one of the aspects of starting a new design that I really love!
It is at this stage that I can get a bit daunted by the task ahead of me. Designing a CAL is a huge process for me, so I am trying to think of it in bitesize pieces so that I don't get overwhelmed and then feel stagnated by seeing the end project in my head too soon. I like to have a rough idea of what the project is going to look like, but it is never set in stone at this stage. It is aways exciting to be on the brink of something new - especially in the stage before all the maths and calculations take over!
We have a 'new' pattern release next week in the shape of the Glad Tidings wrap, which was previously released as a download only crochet along project on the lead up to Christmas. The pattern will be available in full (rather than split up in parts as it was for the CAL) from Tuesday next week. You will be able to choose from a download version via Etsy or Ravelry or a paper copy. The wrap is made using 4ply and is another great way of using up bits and bobs of left over yarns from your stash. You can find lots of lovely versions using the hashtags #gladtidingswrap on Instagram.
Another couple of patterns to look forward to over the forthcoming months are the Gertrude and Muriel cushion covers, which were previously published in Inside Crochet Magazine. Emma is currently working on the step-by-step images and the final word check of the patterns, so we hope they will be out in the wild in the spring.
Emma has been busy filming the last few videos to accompany the Sunshine and Showers crochet project. The video for Part 10 is now available to view on our YouTube channel which you can find here.
Emma has come across these lovely Yarn Tags from Laurette Crafts. How lovely they look all wound with the yarn colours from Emma’s Mystical Lanterns project. They are such a good idea and the little ring means you can take them off, reorder them, reuse them and all sorts. Emma says they are Just gorgeous!
Emma was waxing lyrical about them this week and then spotted them on another wonderful post on Instagram from @nanaseamakes too! Do have a look at their website as there are all sorts of lovely useful things on there which we definitely need and you might too!
Today (Friday 17th February) is world 'Random Acts of Kindness Day' and it is just so so easy to get involved! Being kind and helping someone else - or even just being really nice to yourself is one of the best ways to feed your soul and make you feel great. Head over to The Random Acts of Kindness website for a load of ideas for what you could do to make someone's day!
It has been fabulous seeing the most recent motif from my Spirit of Flora CAL, Merton Abbey, being made out in the wild. We have seen some really lovely versions of it on social media and over in the dedicated Facebook Group, which now has almost more than 4500 members. You can find it by following this link.
The official images of the CAL were photographed at Emery Walker's House in Hammersmith, London. The house is a wonderful example of decor from the era of the Arts and Crafts Movement and it was a joy to visit.
The house features quite a few exclusive wallpaper designs by William Morris, which we fell in love with when we were there, so we were really excited discover that some of the wallpapers are now being reproduced in collaboration with Morris & Co. Take a look at Emma's lovely Instagram post from today for more information.
Some fabulous new items have been added to the Emma Ball & Janie Crow Collection over the last couple of weeks including notebooks, yarn cards (which I am totally smitten by), chopping boards, fridge magnets and even jigsaws.
We have stitch markers, note pads and small note-lets as well as the tin items for you to choose from. More items from the collection, such as tote bags, project pouches and mugs (shown in the image below) will come into stock in the early spring.
You can check out our YouTube video where Emma and I talk about the collection here and I have also posted our live chat from a few months ago on our Instagram Feed.
We will be exhibiting at the Yorkshire Yarn Festival in a fortnight's time and I hope that you might be able to come along to the show too! Tickets are still available for the 4th & 5th of March and you can purchase them in advance by following this link.
If you would like to come to the show we have 6 pairs of free tickets to giveaway. To be in with a chance of winning them, all you need to do is reply to this email and tell me why you deserve the tickets for you and a friend. If you are successful in your application, we will send you the details of how to claim your tickets. Please only email if you are able to go to the show, which will be held at Sandburn Hall.
The show organiser, Sophie from Botanical Yarns, has lined up some really fabulous fellow exhibitors and I will feature as the guest at the Saturday evening craft night event where I will be doing a short presentation and Q&A session. Tickets for workshops are also still available and you can find more information by following this link and clicking on the menu.
We have been featuring short biographies of members of the Janie Crow team on Instagram over the last few weeks. I kicked things off with a quick post about me and that has since been followed by one about Andy and another one about Emma. Sarah and Gemma's biogs will be posted over the next couple of weeks.
If you have ever wondered what the members of my fabulous team do for Janie Crow, or simply want to put a face to a name, then do head over to our Instagram feed to take a look!
I have had quite a lot of time away from my desk this week and have been making the most of the brighter weather by getting out and about a little more. On Tuesday I visited the Cezanne exhibition at Tate Modern and yesterday I went into town to have a mooch around the Battersea Power Station development. With various other trips this week I will have travelled into London on 4 occasions, which is really unusual for me, despite living on the outskirts of the city. Travelling into town has been a really good way of feeding my soul and I feel blessed to have been able to get out and about.
This weekend will be a busy one because we will be heading up to Birmingham tomorrow as I will be on the Stylecraft stand at the Stitches trade show at the NEC on Sunday and Monday. We are going to combine the trip with a lovely catch up with our fabulous JC team member Sarah and her husband Paul, so I am really looking forward to the next couple of days.
Next week is looking busy and I am also looking forward to a photoshoot at a location on the Columbia Road on Thursday. I will try to post a few images from that on social media so you can see what we are up to and maybe give you a few sneaky peeks of some Spirit of Flora pieces.
I hope that you are also looking forward to your weekend. Don't forget that you can get in touch by hitting reply (especially if you want to win those pairs of free tickets for the Yorkshire Yarn Festival) and you can catch up with us via our Instagram and Facebook platforms. If you want to share your 'out in the wild' project images, please use the hashtags #janiecrow or #janiecrowpattern so that we can see what you are up to.
PLEASE HELP US TO SUPPORT THE PEOPLE OF TURKEY AND SYRIA
The devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria this week has taken at least 20,000 lives and has left 17 million people in the affected area, many of them injured, cold, hungry and misplaced. The people affected by this tragedy need urgent aid to survive, especially as they are experiencing freezing weather conditions. The Disasters Emergency Fund have launched an appeal to provide items that are desperately needed, such as blankets, shelter, food and access to clean water.
We know many people across the world are having a hard time financially and it can be difficult to find the funds to give to an appeal like this, so we have decided to donate all profits from sales of our Mystical Lanterns pattern - from yesterday, today and tomorrow - to the DEC. Contributing in this way means that those of you who purchase the pattern can make a donation to the appeal and get a pattern in return.
You can purchase a paper pattern via our website or you can download one via Etsy, Ravelry or Love Crafts. You can choose any of the three Mystical Lanterns patterns - we have them for a blanket, a shawl and a scarf.
This pattern is incredibly popular at the moment, possibly because of the Emma Ball collection which features the motif, so we are hoping that this will be the pattern that will raise a good amount for the charity. It is a great stash busting project and you can see many examples of it out in the wild on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
Thank you so much for your support.
Quick catch up with Janie Crow
I hope that life is treating you all well and that you are progressing into 2023 in health and happiness. I have been more than a bit foggy brained this week as I recover from the jet lag created by our return from India. I have been so looking forward to starting on some new projects so my lack of concentration has been frustrating. Hopefully next week I will be back to my normal and will finally get going on some new design work. I know I am incredibly fortunate to have been able to travel and I have some amazing memories to make up for the short attention span, so all is good here at Janie Crow!
I have a few things to tell you about this week and hope that you have the time and inclination to catch up with our news...
The team here at Janie Crow have done an incredible job holding the fort while Andy and I have been away in India with Knit For Peace. We have an ongoing issue with Royal Mail in regards to sending things abroad, but on the whole everything has been working tickety boo in our absence, so I am beyond grateful to have such fabulous people supporting me!
Emma and Gemma have been doing a great job on our social media platforms, so do check out what they have been up to on Instagram and Facebook over the last couple of weeks. This week Emma has created some especially lovely posts on Instagram including one about the costumes within Netfilx's Wednesday, which prompted me to dig out the pattern for my Mexican Diamonds scarf and add it to the website as a free download. You can find it by following this link. Emma also shared links to a couple of crochet collars/capelets that I designed a few years ago that are very much in keeping with the Wednesday vibe.
If you are looking for a crochet project kit we now have a good stock of quite a few of my designs, including The Blue House, Climbing Rose Wrap, Frida's Flowers and Primavera, The Fruit Garden Parchment and Caramel, Indigo and Crimson Dreams, Mexican Diamonds, Mystical Lanterns (which is seeing a real boom as the moment), Persian Tiles Eastern Jewels and Light Blue. Click on the images below to find more information about these projects.
You can find patterns for all my designs on the website as paper copies or as downloads via Etsy and Ravelry.
We are looking forward to exhibiting at our first show of the year, the Yorkshire Yarn Festival (more information lower down this email), at the beginning of March and have a few other shows lining up now, so I thought it would be a good time to let you know that we will be taking over the Knit & Crochet Lounge at the Stitch Festival at the Business Design Festival here in London in March. You can find more information by following this link and you can get a discount on tickets by entering the code JCROW23 at checkout. It would be great if you could come along and join us on the stand where we will be making little crochet flowers that you could add to a free Janie Crow key ring!
The lovely Sarah Hazell, who carefully looks after all our pattern queries, has been rekindling her love of stitching in the weeks since Christmas and so I caught up with her this week to find out what she has been up to. Sarah has found a couple of great free workshops being run by TOAST which you can find more information about here and she also had a bit more to say about the pleasure she is beginning to find in stitching again after a bit of a break. Here is what she had to say:
If you are anything like me then you may find January a difficult month to navigate. There is a huge pressure to ‘improve’ ourselves in all sorts of ways. I often think it is entirely the wrong time of year to start changing – the weather is grim and our immune systems are low, and yet this year I have found myself taking on not one, but three stitch challenges!
I have stitched quite a lot in the past, but had lost my mojo. However, I kept coming across beautiful images on Instagram by Karen Turner and her #dailystitchjournal, and thought it was high time I gave myself a little window each day to place a few stitches without the pressure of it having to be something. Karen’s ethos is very much based on selecting whatever thread you feel like using each day and using your intuition to make marks and patterns. It sounds quite daunting, but having a grid to work from really helps. I find that the size and shape of each day on the grid helps me to think about how and what I want to stitch. Some days are more intuitive than others for me but I’m getting there!
If you have ever been to Yarndale, then it is likely that you will have come across the fabulous stitchery of Anne Brooke. Anne is a textile artist and teacher who also alongside other workshops, sets a yearly challenge which this year is #52stitcheshannemade. I want to learn more about how stitches can be altered so decided to join in. Once subscribed you receive a video each week from Anne, demonstrating a stitch and suggesting creative ways to interpret and explore the it. Some people are making a book of stitches, others are working on panels. I am using a piece of furnishing fabric from Ikea that is divided into painterly squares. I am being very strict and limiting myself to a ‘seashore’ palette, otherwise I will get totally overwhelmed!
I was really happy running these two projects side by side until I saw what Suraya Hussain is up to with her friend Tina Francis. If you have not come across their work before, please take a look at their boundless creativity. Suraya and Tina are not only good friends but share a passion for the power of stitch and how it can be used to measure time. Tina spent time in 2022 working on projects in the community that looked at time and memory and Suraya has been working on wraps and blankets to record daily temperatures to raise awareness of climate change. They have now joined together and are encouraging people to join in their ‘Sharing Stitches’ project.
There is a video on Tina’s Instagram page where the two friends discuss past collaborations, stitch, yarn and friendship and a full explanation on how to record your days in stitch. There is an emphasis on using yarn that you already have. I had great fun sorting through my stash and assigning different colours to different temperatures. I don’t think it has to be climate based, but I am finding this not only interesting but a great way to keep me on track. I like the sense of purpose and intention behind this project and the connection it builds between stitchers. I’m still catching up at the moment so it really isn’t too late to join in!
The Getting Started information and the first 2 patterns for my Spirit of Flora Crochet Along were published in Inside Crochet Magazine on January 5th. The next pattern, which I have called Merton Abbey will be featured in the next issue of the magazine which will be available next Thursday 9th February.
There are some beautiful versions of the first few crochet blocks appearing out in the wild and I wanted to share some images with you to spur you on and motivate you. I am particularly pleased to see that so many of you are embracing the stash diving advice and are creating unique projects. Gemma has selected some images from the dedicated Facebook Group, which now has over 3500 members. You can find it and sign up by following this link.
Amy Paoletti's cushion cover - beautiful tones of blue
Liesl Kleu's Moffat Flower - so pretty
Kylie Anderson's blocks - reminding me of Frida's Flowers!
Hilary Lyall's blocks - a lovely vintage feel
Karolyn Smalls - love all the different colourways
Since Christmas I have been working on a new version of the blanket project, which features a more random layout. This new version also has an alternative edging too, which I designed with William De Morgan's more intricate 'Arabesque' border tiles in mind.
I know from the Facebook group that many crocheters are starting to join their motifs together using the blanket layout that Inside Crochet have shared sneaky peek images of within the magazine. However, if you are working through the project it might be an idea to keep an open mind in these early stages as you may decide on your own blanket layout or might even want to make an alternative project such as a bag, a cushion or a shawl, ideas for which will all be featured in up-coming magazine issues.
While searching for some more information about William De Morgan recently I came across the knitwear collection that Loewe designed using the ceramicist as their inspiration in 2019. It really is fabulous! You can take a look here.
This is a quote from the site where you can find more information and images:
'De Morgan’s Persian and medieval-inspired influence on the Loewe De Morgan capsule permeates abundantly throughout – the ready-to-wear women’s, men’s and accessories pieces serve as a fantastical ode to the artisan, and a sartorial tribute to the enduring spirit of the imagination. From the embroidered indigo, cerulean and green peacock pattern that pieces together a trench coat (as though De Morgan himself stitched each thread), and the high drama of a woollen dragon’s tale and horned knitted beanie, to the collection’s quieter moments: floral motifs adorning Loewe’s signature leather Puzzle, Hammock and Gate bags, and neutral knitwear which feature the ceramicist’s iconic dodo silhouette.'
I will be joining Emma on her stand at the Spring Fair trade show on Sunday and Monday at the NEC Birmingham. I am really looking forward to seeing the items from Emma's lovely collection on display and will post some images from the show on Monday so long as all goes to plan.
We have some more items from the collection coming into stock next week, including greetings cards and notepads, so I am really looking forward to showing you these very soon. Don't forget that you can also support your local Emma Ball stockists.
You can check out our YouTube video where Emma and I talk about the collection here and I have also posted our live chat from a few weeks ago on our Instagram Feed.
Andy and I are already looking forward to exhibiting at Yorkshire Yarn Festival in early March. The show organiser, Sophie from Botanical Yarns, has lined up some really fabulous fellow exhibitors and I will feature as the guest at the Saturday evening craft night event where I will be doing a short presentation and Q&A session.
Tickets are still available for the 4th & 5th of March and you can purchase them in advance by following this link. Tickets for workshops are also still available and you can find more information by following this link and clicking on the menu.
If you're looking for a simple recipe that's very quick to prepare, Gemma recommends this Mushroom Stroganoff recipe from the BBC Good Food website.
Gemma doubled up the ingredients to serve more than two. It was great for using up a glut of mushrooms and went down a storm with the family, no leftovers in sight!
I love Friday afternoons with the promise of the weekend on the horizon. For us, Saturdays usually involve a lay-in with a good book and a lazy breakfast of eggs, either fried or poached, toast and lots of lovely coffee as we contemplate what to do with our day off. Tomorrow, however, Andy has an appointment for an MRI scan (for his sore shoulder) at 6.50am! Yes, you read that right! 6.50am!
So this week our Saturday will involve a bit of a rude awakening, but hopefully they will get to the bottom of what is going on with Andy's shoulder and of course, we are incredibly lucky to have our fabulous NHS looking after us. At least we only have to get up early one Saturday whereas the hospital staff are there bright and early week in, week out....
We have been trying to be a bit more healthy since we got back from our trip to India and have been upping the exercise a little, so no doubt the weekend will involve a walk or two and a bit of batch cooking in a bid to stop us from picking between meals!
I am of course hoping to find some time to plonk myself on the settee to crochet as I need to finish my new colourway of Mystical Lanterns and also hope to finish my current book 'Live Life in Crescendo', which I am finding a really good read.
I hope that you have a good weekend and that life treats you kindly whatever you have planned...
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