It has been a busy couple of weeks at Janie Crow HQ as we continue to sort out our stock as we prepare to move at the end of September. I had thought we were working on the packing a little early, but as the weeks seem to be flying by faster than ever I think we have timed things about right, especially as we have accumulated so much stuff over the last 5 years! You can find more information about our Grand Summer Sale lower down this email.
I have been busy finalising my advent project that I have designed for Jimmy Beans in the US. The project is now blocked and ready to be packaged up to head off to The States early next week. I have to admit it was a bit of a learning curve designing with a yarn palette chosen by someone else and having a restriction of just 20g of each shade, but in the end I am really pleased with the project and look forward to showing it to you soon.
If you don't already know about Jimmy Beans you can find them here The advent project will go on sale in September I think, but you can find all their other current knit and crochet clubs by following this link.
I am really looking forward to tutoring my first weekend workshop for more than 18 months in a few weeks time and so I have been working on the crochet project that participants will make over the course of the weekend. I have been looking back at my Frida's Flowers design and have added elements that echo my new Indigo Dreams CAL to the project. I am so looking forward to being with a group of crocheters again and hope that this will be the start of more events and workshops.
As I have told you in previous emails, I have been working on a new version of The Fruit Garden blanket. What I haven't told you before is that I have been putting together a book, which will feature all three of the existing colourways of the blanket plus this new version, which I have called Red House. The book will contain all the CAL patterns, step-by-step images and a more in depth introduction and explanation about my design journey on the project.
The patterns for the project will remain free to download via the Stylecraft web site, but the new book will include crochet charts and a few fabulous testimonials and stories put together by crocheters from all over the world who worked through the CAL last year. I am hoping the book will make a really lovely keepsake for those of you who have already completed the project and that it might also prompt you to make the new version using Stylecraft Organic Cotton DK. I am hoping that the book will be available towards the end of August. Of course I will give you more information as soon as I have it.
I have spotted a few amazing versions of Persian Tiles out in the wild over the last few weeks. You can click on the images below to be taken to the linked Instagram feeds.
I think all these blankets have been made using 4ply yarn rather than DK. When I spotted the blanket below I was blown away by the fact that there are 200 motifs in it.
You can find more Persian Tiles Inspiration by following the hashtag #persiantilesblanket. There are some truly amazing blankets on there.
am really pleased to have been nominated within the 'Most Iconic Crochet Designer' category in this year's British Knitting & Crochet awards. If you want to head over to the awards website to vote for all your favourite yarn brands, stores, designers and products then you can find the link here. The Crochet Designer award is listed under 'Miscellaneous'.
As I have said already, we have been busy sorting out the studio ready to move in September. We have lots of new plans associated with our move. One of them is to stop stocking quite so much yarn, so we have decided to sell off the majority of our huge yarn stash.
We had thought that we would have an open day in order to do this, but I am aware that it is still not safe to have quite a lot of people in enclosed spaces. If we did decide to invite people to a physical studio sale we would have to create specific time slots for people to visit, so, with this in mind, we have decided to start selling off our stock via Andy's 'Just Knots' web site for now.
It might still be that we manage to have a sale here at the studio in August, but I think we are being prudent to see how things go once we officially come out of lockdown here in England from Monday.
This week Andy has added our stock of Rowan Summerlite DK to his site. The yarn should retail at £4.50 a ball, but we have reduced it to £2.75. We also have the 4ply on offer at £2.50 a ball reduced from £3.95.
Rowan Summerlite yarns are really beautiful premium cotton and both the DK and 4ply have really good meterage per ball. I used the DK weight to make my Bohemian Blooms blanket and the 4ply to make my Wiremu shawl, which you can find more information about lower down this email.
If you go to Andy's Just Knots home page you will see that he also has a few 25g balls of Scheepjes Catona, which is available in packs of 5 balls at just £3.95 and some West Yorkshire Spinners ColourLab DK reduced from £6.50 a ball to £3.95.
What total bargains!
We wil have more offers in our next newsletter and Andy will be adding items to his web site over the next few weeks, so do keep an eye out for more amazing offers!
I really enjoy planning which projects to take away with me on holiday and tend to opt for those that are easily transportable. I think crochet is especially good for holiday makes as the projects are usually pretty compact with just a hook and a yarn cutter to pop in your handbag together with a few balls of yarn to go in your main luggage.
If you are lucky enough to be off on holiday within the next few weeks then why not take a look at my Mystical Lanterns scarf kits. We have a few left over in some lovely new colourways. You can find them here and don't forget that you can find instructions for making straight sided motifs and corner motifs for the Mystical Lanterns project over on my blog.
Last year we managed to spend some time at home rather than go away on a holiday. It was really nice to potter around in the garden and do a little bit of work on the house. I finally managed to give the kitchen a much needed coat of paint and enjoyed sourcing some new cabinets. I am hopeful that we might get some time at home this year too, so have been looking at quite a few interior feeds lately in the hope that I will feel more inspired to dig out the decorating gear!
I have been following Nathalie Lete for quite a long time and already have quite a few of her painted plates from Anthoplogie, so I really enjoyed following her progress as she decorated her home last year. I have to say that seeing her amazing hand painted murals put my efforts in the kitchen to shame so I am thinking it would be nice to do something a little more creative this year. Click on the images below to be taken to Nathalie's web site and Instagram feed.
If you are a knitter looking for a holiday project then how about checking out the Southwold Wrap by the fabulous Helen Kurtz. The project features as the Make Along project on the Stylecraft MAL Facebook group and you can find more information about this lovely project on Helen's blog.
The wrap is made using Stylecraft's gorgeous Bamboo + Cotton yarn in a couple of fabulous colour ways. I think I am in love with the blue version (shown above) and agree with Helen that the glass beads she has chosen for the project really add a fabulous finishing touch. You can find the pattern for the project on Helen's Ravelry page here.
This week I have strained my elderflower liqueur (that I showed you about 4 weeks ago) and have added the sugar syrup. I have managed to get 3 bottles out of the batch I made and these have now been put away in a cool dark place for a couple of months to mature. I was really tempted to keep one bottle out to add to a glass or 2 of Cava or Prosecco over the weekend, but I have been a really good girl and stowed it away until September. If you want to take a look at the recipe I followed you will find it here. It is now possibly a bit too late for Elderflowers here in the UK, but maybe they are still in flower somewhere in the world?
We are in full wedding preparation now as our daughter Summer and her partner Chris will finally tie the knot in just 8 days time! I will be spending the next few days making their wedding cakes and have used this recipe via the BBC Good Food web site. I have tested the recipes quite a few times over the last few months and have not had a failed cake yet, so if you are looking for a really good chocolate cake or lemon cake you need look no further.
My Dad is a keen baker, who has taken to bread and cake making since his retirement. Summer asked if he would make her Fruit Cake tier of the cake and he duly obliged! Above is an image of the cake with its marzipan layer ready and waiting for the fondant early next week. Not bad gong for an 87 year old eh! What a hero!
If you want to follow my cake making process over the next few days I will try to remember to post some images on my Janie Crow Lifestyle Instagram feed. I have to admit that I am pretty nervous about the fondant icing stage of the process, especially as the weather is due to be so warm, but I am going to take it slow and steady and will resort to butter icing if all else fails!
We have just four kits left for my Wiremu Shawl. We have two in the original colour way and two in a darker grey combination. The kits are for sale on the Just Knots website at a discounted price of £34.95 each.
The kits include 11 balls of Summerlite 4 ply in two shades and the Rowan pattern book, which includes 11 crochet designs. The individual components of the kit should retail at more than £52 so these kits are quite the bargain.
I will be tutoring a knit and crochet workshop at the amazing venue of Gladstone's Library in December. I am really looking forward to this event and hope that you might consider joining me for a few days of rest and recuperation before the festive season sets in.
The workshop has been organised by Knit For Peace and you can find more information and booking details by following this link.
I am sitting at my laptop writing this while wearing my soft yoga pants, an old sloppy Joe T shirt and my glittery silver heels in an effort to break them in a little before the wedding. I have spent the last year in my trainers and deck shoes, with the occasional pair of flip flops thrown in for good measure, so squeezing my feet into a pair of glamorous shoes has been a bit of an effort, but hopefully I have finally broken them in!
We are all in a bit of a tizzy with the thought of finally being able to socialise and celebrate the big day in a more 'normal' way and I have to admit I am finding it hard to concentrate. To help me focus I will be making a lot of lists over the weekend in the hope that I get all my wedding related jobs done. I have managed to sneak some crochet into the decoration side of things, so I still have a little bit of that to finish while waiting for cakes to cook. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me, especially as it is finally sunny here in North London.
leave you with this link to a great video made by film maker Lior Patel who filmed a flock of sheep from a drone. I am not totally sure of my viewpoint on the ethics of this huge herd of sheep but I particularly like the bits where some of them get distracted by feeding stations and other animals and then have to run like crazy to catch up with the rest of the group! There is an interview with Lior here, where he explains how he captured these amazing films.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Welcome to a quick catch up with Janie Crow. I hope that this email finds you well and happy wherever you are in the world! Here in North London the weather has been more than a bit temperamental, with lots of rain and a big drop in temperature, so we have been busy catching up with some of our indoor craft projects rather than spending time in the garden or out and about.
When I am designing I find it helps my creativity and output if I work on more than one project at a time. This way I am in less danger of getting bored or fed up. I tend to have an easy project and a harder one on the go most of the time but I have to admit that the temptation to start new things is often overwhelming and I find myself digging through my yarns for new colour palettes all the time.
The number of scrappy 'starting' samples I have here at the studio is now a bit embarrassing, so I have made a pact with myself to go back and revisit some old bits of sampling and dig around behind the settee for projects that have been sadly neglected. I always think the best part about a new project is the excitement of choosing it and then working with the first couple of colours. Personally, I find that once I am on to the third ball of yarn or the fifth repeat of a motif I start to loose momentum, but with our move from the studio increasingly imminent I really must get around to finishing some 'stuff'!
As you know, I love seeing completed projects on social media and I especially like it when crocheters have played around with their own colour palettes. A couple of weeks ago I showed you a version of my Magic Circles blanket design that was being made by Karolyn Smalls. Many of you got in touch to ask about the colourway and so I am pleased to say that Karolyn has put details of her colour choices on her Instagram feed crafts_n_cats. Her amazing blanket (shown below) is now finished and you can find more images on Karolyn's feed.
In regards to the shades used in this fabulous version of the blanket, Karolyn used an Attic 24 Meadow Yarn Pack from Woolwarehouse and added a ball of Stylecraft Special DK in both Cypress and Lime. I think I am in love....
If you follow Lucy at Attic 24 then you may have seen her collection of painted peg people made by the super talented Lyn of Silvery Paws, who is also a skilled crocheter. I have recently been following Lyn's progress as she has worked through my Mystical Lanterns blanket and have really enjoyed seeing her beautiful colour way coming together. Lyn used the new half motif pattern, which I posted on my blog a few months ago, to achieve straight sides and she has cleverly also come up with a couple of quarter motifs to achieve really neat corners.
I am not sure why it hadn't occurred to me that a quarter motif was needed, but seeing Lyn's project and her fabulous right angled motifs has prompted me to finally get around to writing out the instructions to make a quarter motif - you can find the free pattern on my blog by following this link.
If you fancy having a go at making one of my Mystical Lanterns projects, you can find the patterns in the Janie Crow web store or you can find download versions via Ravelry and Etsy. Andy has been busy putting some kits together for the scarf version of the design. He has created some really nice colourways using Coop Knits Socks Yeah! which you can find by following this link. These will be the last kits that we have for this project for quite a while (if ever!) and as we only have 21 kits in total you may need to be quick! All yarn kits are £43.50.
Over the last 18 months I have had a lot of workshops and events cancelled for obvious reasons, so it is really exciting to see some plans start to take shape for later on this year and into 2022. Arena Travel have just released the details of a cruise to Iceland that I will be tutoring next August. This trip was previously planned for this time last year and many of the original participants have moved their bookings to the new date, but I know there are still places left.
The workshop description on the web site is incorrect as it names an alternative tutor and outlines slightly different knitting techniques. I have asked Arena to update the listing to say the following:
'Our knitting expert Jane Crowfoot will offer four full day workshops on board, as well as plenty of opportunities for social knitting as we circumnavigate Iceland. Her workshops will focus on working in the round, using both stranded and fairisle knitting techniques, and beading. Jane will also show how to create and cut through a steek in your knit.
If you fancy coming along, on what promises to be a great tour, you can find more information and book by following this link.
I have always been a lover of blue and cream pottery such as Devon Blueware, Delftware and the Willow Pattern, so back in 2016 I designed a blanket with a pottery theme in mind. I am so pleased with the outcome of my Delft Blanket project and I still love the way the octagon shaped crochet motifs echo the idea of tessellating decorated plates.
When I was a child we would often visit my elderly Auntie Kit for afternoon tea and so I was used to seeing the Willow Pattern on sandwich plates and teacups. The pattern features an elaborate chinoiserie pattern that was popular towards the end of the 18th Century. Despite having an oriental style of design, pottery featuring the Willow Pattern originally came from Stoke-On-Trent in the UK, but a lot of pottery featuring the design also came from China via the East India Company. You can find a great video here that tells the story behind the pattern.
Image (C) Wollplatz
Delftware from The Netherlands, which features cream and blue designs, was in existence far earlier than its Stoke-On-Trent counterpart featuring the Willow Pattern. Delftware often features flowers and birds and is famous for it’s quality and intricate designs.
Back in 2019 we ran a colouring competition in collaboration with Stylecraft Yarns and Simply Crochet Magazine and three new versions of Delft were born! Debbie Gould, Katie Mulliner and Jackie Walker designed the Fiore, Rose Garden in Bloom and Bejewelled colourways respectively.
You can read all about the competition over on the website here. The Delft pattern has been updated to include images of the winning colourways and the free colour substitution documents can be downloaded by clicking on the images above. The pattern is available as a paper copy on the Janie Crow web site here or as a download from Ravelry or Etsy.
Over on Facebook we recently asked a question about your crocheting habits. Are you strictly a one project person or do you have lots of works in progress like me?
As you can see from the image above, the results were pretty clear. Over 550 of you voted and almost three quarters of you have at least 2 projects on the go at any one time. It was interesting to read all the comments that were made on the post. Some of you have a variety of projects on the go, varying in complexity, that you might pick up at different times. This could be, for example, a simpler project that you can work on while watching the TV or a smaller project like socks, alongside a larger one such as a blanket.
Some of you simply cannot resist the temptation when a new pattern or crochet along is released so you have projects waiting in the wings! One thing that a lot of you seemed to agree on is that there simply aren't enough hours in the day!
Gemma decided to cook up a curry feast for Father's Day on the 20th June and one of the dishes she made was this yummy fried cabbage dish. Gemma says this was definitely not the recipe to undertake on a relaxing day as she says was almost too exhausted to eat by the time it was all finished! Thankfully this recipe was oh so tasty despite all the chopping and shredding involved!
Wanting to add a few more vegetable dishes to the mix Gemma tried this dish from Dassana's Veg Recipes for something a bit different. With the addition of grated carrots and using soaked dessicated coconut instead of freshly grated, it apparently went down a storm!
We always love reading about celebrities and prominent people who enjoy a bit of crochet on the side and so this article in the Washington Post about the American Vice President Kamala Harris was good to see. She visited a yarn store called Fibre Space much to the delight of the owner, Danielle Romanetti. We particularly like the amigurumi doll of the Vice President, pictured in the article. Click on the image below to read more (you need to click on the 'read for free' tab).
There's an interesting article on CNN Style about the rise of knitting and crochet on social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. Click here or on the image below to read about 'The trend making the internet wholesome again'!
I follow an Instagram feed called 'Dudewithsign' and I love seeing the different topical placards he comes up with. The wording in the image below has been photoshopped and so is not one of his actual comments, but it did make me laugh, especially as the constant confusion between knitting and crochet drives me crazy!
I got an email this morning about the RSPB's new campaign called 'Revive Our World'. The Royal society believes that the loss of nature threatens human life as we know it and they want to put pressure onto world leaders who are negotiating last-resort targets to save nature at two global summits this year.
You can find more information about the campaign and add your name (along side mine) to the list of people willing to put pressure on the government by following this link.
I love looking at interior trends and have always been a bit of a DIY fan, so I follow quite a few home decorating themed feeds on social media. One of my favourites is Greg at manwithahammer who is busy renovating a huge ex-naval Georgian property in Devon.
Greg has recently become really interested in textiles and has a new penchant for really huge bed headboards like the examples below via Kit Kemp designs.
I have really enjoyed watching Greg make his own headboards and I feel quite inspired to have a go at making one myself, although perhaps not on quite the same scale as these shown above as it would take up almost the whole of my little bedroom!
I was really honoured when the lovely chaps at Inside Crochet magazine suggested that the Janie Crow catalogue could feature as the free gift in this month's edition. The catalogue showcases all my past designs and it was so exciting to see it wrapped up with the magazine when it arrived in the post last week!
If you are not a subscriber to the magazine and want to see a catalogue, which is full of beautiful colour images of my projects, you can find it as a free download via the homepage. A printed copy can be added to your basket at no extra cost if you are ordering from the website or for a small postage contribution without any other purchase.
With just 3 weeks until our daughter Summer hopefully gets married we have a weekend of wedding related plans, which includes a hair trial for the bride to be and suit fittings for the boys! It is really exciting to think that all the plans might come to fruition soon, so long as current restrictions are lifted. We have our fingers very tightly crossed....
With the wedding potentially on the horizon we are battening down the hatches over the next couple of weeks just to be sure that we all stay healthy, so I have lined up quite a few projects to finish off, including a design which will be the advent project for Jimmy Beans in the US and another new version of my Delft pattern.
I leave you with this sweet story about orphaned sheep in Australia that I came across via the BBC. My cousin Bev lived on a farm when we were children and I remember her nurturing poorly lambs back to good health every spring. At the time I thought it was really cute and lovely and I wished I could have a lamb too, but my uncle Pete would always remind me that Bev had in effect saved the lambs for a dinner plate in the future in his matter of fact, no nonsense farmer way! These days, (especially as I am now a vegetarian) I prefer to think that these lovely little animals are simply busy growing beautiful wool for us to use!
Whatever your plans for the next few days I hope you have a great weekend. We always enjoy hearing from you, so if you want to get in touch simply hit reply and let us know what is on your mind.
A few months ago I posted the instructions for how to make a half motif for my Mystical Lanterns design in order to achieve straight vertical sides. You can find the post here on the blog. What I didn't think about at the time is the fact that you may also want to create right angled corner motifs, so today I finally got around to sorting this out!
You will need to make 2 different corner motifs - I have referred to these as left and right throughout the following instructions:
Using your first colour choice, start by making 4ch and join with a ss to form a ring.
Left Motif Foundation Round: 4ch (counts as 1tr & 1ch), 3tr into ring, 3ch, 2tr into ring, fasten off. (6sts & 2 ch-sps)
Right Motif Foundation Round: 3ch (counts as 1tr) 1tr into ring, 3ch, 3tr into ring, 1ch, 1tr into ring, fasten off (6sts & 2 ch-sps)
Using next colour choice:
Left Motif Round 1: join yarn into ch-sp at beginning of last round by working 1ch + 2ch (counts as 1tr), 2tr into same ch-sp, 1ch, [3tr, 3ch, 3tr] into next ch-sp, 1ch, skip next tr, 1tr into final st, fasten off. (10sts & 2 ch-sps)
Right Motif Round 1: join yarn into 3rd ch made at beginning of last round by working 1ch + 3ch (counts as 1tr & 1ch), [3tr, 3ch, 3tr] into next ch-sp, 1ch, 3tr into next ch-sp, fasten off. (10sts & 2 ch-sps)
Using next colour choice:
Left Motif Round 2: join yarn into top of st made at beginning of last round by working 1ch + 5ch (counts as 1tr & 3ch), skip 1ch, 1dc into each next 2ch, 2tr into (same) st at base of 6ch, 3tr into next ch-sp, [3tr, 3dtr] into next ch-sp, dtr2tog into final ch-sp, fasten off. (15sts)
Right Motif Round 2: join yarn into ch-sp made at beginning of last round by working 1ch + 3ch, 1dtr into same ch-sp (counts as dtr2tog), [3dtr, 3tr] into next ch-sp, [3tr into next ch-sp] twice, 3ch, skip 1ch, 1dc into each next 2ch, ss into top of last tr, fasten off. (15sts)
Using next colour choice:
Left Motif Round 3: join yarn into skipped ch at motif tip by working 1ch (does not count as a st) 2dc into same skipped ch, 1dc into each next 10sts, 2dc into next st, 1dc not each next 3sts, 2dc into final st, fasten off. (19sts)
Right Motif Round 3: join yarn into top of dtr2tog made at beginning of last round by working 1ch (does not count as a st), 2dc into same st, 1dc into each next 3sts, 2dc into next st, 1dc into each next 10sts, 2dc into skipped ch at motif tip, fasten off. (19sts)
Because of the curly nature of crochet my quarter motifs do not look brilliantly right angled, but when added into a project alongside the other motifs they will pull into shape and create a great corner. Don't forget that you will need to make 2 of each.
I love seeing my projects worked in other colour ways and really enjoy following the progress of your projects on social media. Big thanks go to Lyn of Silvery Paws who brought it to my attention that I had not posted instructions for a quarter motif. Lyn created her own corner pieces for her recent Mystical Lanterns project and made a brilliant job of it!
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