Welcome to this week's Friday Feature Newsletter - the Janie Crow equivalent of a Sunday supplement magazine....
As usual it has been all go here at Janie Crow this week - At the time that this email will drop into your inbox I will be at the Breidagen Show in Holland where I am joining the Stylecraft Blogstars for a couple of days. I will be teaching 2 'Crochet with Beads' workshops and 2 shorter 'Mystical Lanterns' mini workshops, for which there may well still be some tickets, so check out the web site for more information. If you are coming to the show, then make sure you come along and say hello! Do also be sure to check out my Instagram page so that you can keep tabs on me and my fellow Blogstars to see what is going on - I am getting a little better at remembering to post images on there!
The Netherlands is a really growing market for us in regards to crochet, so we will be heading back out there in a couple of weeks time to exhibit at the KreaDoe show in Utrecht, so it would be fabulous to see you there too!
Last week I spent a pretty bonkers couple of days at The Knitting and Stitching Show here in North London, where I was lucky enough to be given part of the Black Sheep Wools stand. Thank you to those of you who came along to say hello and see the new designs - it was wonderful to see so many of you and to hear your crochet stories.
One of the things I love about The Knitting and Stitching Show is that it attracts so many high profile knitters and crocheters who come along to do book signings, talks and demonstrations. I was chuffed to bits to finally get to meet Norwegian designers Arne and Carlos (above) and it was great to catch up with old friends and new alike at the UK Knitting and Crochet Awards - I will post some images of this in a few week's time.
This week my lovely friend and yarn aficionado Juliet Bernard has put together some words about her recent trip to The Shetland Wool Week. Juliet has also shared some more fabulous pictures and information about her trip on her blog 'A Kingfisher Morning', which you can find by following this link. You can also find an interview with Juliet on the Knitting and Crochet Guild web site, by following this link.
The Shetland Wool week is a huge event in the knitting (and yarn) calendar and the event is growing year on year with people travelling from all over the world to attend. Having been to Shetland a few times now I know first hand how beautiful the islands are and how friendly the people, so if you are thinking of a trip, then Wool Week is a perfect time to go. Next year will be the 10th Annual Week and it will run from the 28th September to the 6th October. You can find more information by following this link to the official web site.
I won't be flying home from Holland until Sunday, so I am really looking forward to my Dutch weekend away. I have only ever driven through Holland on my way to Germany, so I am excited about spending more time there. I have it in mind that it is a country of friendly people who understand the importance of craft and are taught it from an early age. I am also hoping that the food is all that I think it will be - I am thinking chips, mayonnaise and lots of apple pie! Oh and beer, but for now I leave you in the capable hands of Juliet and her lovely piece about Shetland Wool Week.....
Shetland Wool Week 2018
For a whole year I have been looking forward to attending Shetland Wool Weekwith my friends and this event was one of the most uplifting and inspirational I have ever been to.
It’s really hard to sum up the experience in words because the whole week was full of memorable moments, amazing workshops, talks and drop in events, but here goes.....
The first thing you need to know is that you should book your accommodation now if you want to be part of next year’s event – it gets booked up pretty quickly.
The second thing is that it is really worth taking out a premium membership when they are released in 2019. As well as the goodies you get the full timetable in advance so that you can plan all the events you want to attend. When bookings go live there is a real scrum for tickets, so having your wish list ready is essential so you don’t miss out.
That’s the ‘housekeeping’ out of the way.
Once you land in Shetland by air or sea you can expect a very warm welcome. We decided to arrive a few days early so that we could explore because the scenery is quite stunning.
Everywhere we went we met people in the official Shetland Wool Week hat. It was a great icebreaker and a chance to chat with some of the hundreds of people that travel to the islands from all over the world.
There are lots of places to shop for Shetland goodies such as fudge and chocolate and, of course, yarn! We visited Jamieson’s (shop and factory), Jamieson and Smith and the Makers Market for really unique yarns.
I was lucky enough to get a space on three really excellent workshops, but it’s not just about the teaching. There are drop in events all over Shetland held by local knitting groups who throw their doors open to you. The skills of these ladies (and they are mostly ladies) are astonishing and it’s fascinating to watch them using their knitting belts – they knit so fast, barely looking at their work. Everyone was happy to pass on tips and answer questions.
Then there’s the cake! In Shetland they have 11 O’clocks, 3 O’clocks and 8 O’clocks, which all involve copious amounts of tea and the most delicious homemade cakes. Some days I ate cake 3 times – well, it would have been rude not to!
We had the most brilliant time, so if you get the chance to go don’t think twice. You won’t regret it.
Juliet x x
It's nearly the weekend!
Next week Sarah will be here with a piece about making and giving hand made presents. I can't believe just how fast the Festive Season is approaching, so I am really hoping that Sarah has a few speedy tips for gift making.
I always have big plans this time of year, which mostly fail to materialise on the 'Big Day', but one thing I do tend to get sorted are my knit and crochet related tree decorations and this year I have already nabbed myself a couple of really lovely things in the shape of some knitted butterfly and festive sweater decorations from Anthropologie. You can find a link to these by clicking on the images below:
The decorations are a bit of an investment, but I know they will bring me great pleasure and the butterflies are made in collaboration with designer Max Alexander, who has forged a relationship with the store. Anthroplogie say of her:
'Sparked by a desire to always wear something wooly, even in the warmer months, Max Alexander began making knit jewellery in 2009, and expanded into the creation of large-scale knit sculptures and award-winning stop-motion animations. This season, her detailed creatures epitomize the warmth and cosiness of spending the holidays at home.'
Last year I treated myself to some decorations designed by Kate Jenkins, a knitwear and crochet designer that I love. This year she has produced the cute crochet Gingerbread Man shown below. As with the previous images, click on the picture below to be taken to the store.
If you are thinking of making some woolly decorations yourself the Anthropologie site has some great ideas, including pom pom door wreaths and felt garlands, so why not take a look?
If, like me, you are already beginning to think beyond December and into next year then you might be interested to know that there are still places on the Knit For Peace trip to Mysore. The workshops which take place on the trip will be tutored by Renee Callahan and you can find more information by folowing this link.
Tickets for Vogue Knitting Live in New York in January are also now live. The package tickets were released last week, but you can now go onto the web site and purchase class and market place tickets. You can view the main web site by following this link and can book tickets by following this one.
I have had an email from the President of the New York City Crochet Guild and am really hopeful that I can get to meet some of the members at the show. I have emailed the Guild President suggesting we meet up, but have yet to hear back, so if you are a member of the guild could you let me know if the email has been received? My emails can get caught up in spam settings and I would hate to miss the opportunity to meet members of the guild at the show.
Broadway actress and avid crocheter Sutton Foster has been named as the speaker at the Gala Dinner at VKLive, so I am really hopeful that the show will be a great platform for crochet design and that I will get to meet lots of NYC based crafters. If you are planning to come along please let me know - perhaps a group of us can arrange to meet up for a drink and a chat about our love of crochet and all things yarny somewhere?
As October speeds past us I am looking forward to some studio time after the next Dutch show as I am itching to get involved in some new design work. I love the anticipation of new projects, so fingers crossed that my crochet mojo is on the way back!
Wherever you are and whatever you are knitting, crocheting or crafting, as always we would love to hear from you, so do hit reply and let us know what you are up to.
Welcome to this week's Friday Feature Newsletter - the Janie Crow equivalent of a Sunday supplement magazine....
I start this newsletter with a hugh THANK YOU to all of you who took the time to email after our horrible experience last week - it means so much to know that you have been sending us your love and best wishes. We are pretty much sorted now and are very grateful that very little was taken and no one was hurt.
It has been a busy week here at Janie Crow and it is hard to believe that we are now heading full throttle into the autumn season. The weather has been beautiful and still a little warmer than usual, so the transition period over autumn from my beloved summer months into the winter is less of a shock than usual and it still seems odd to be thinking about cosy fireside evenings and chunky sweaters. Here in North London people seem at a loss as to how to dress due to the unusually warm weather - some people are still sporting T shirts, sandals and summer dresses, whilst others have their winter boots and jackets on - it is so strange to see such a mix as I walk through our town!
I have spent that last couple of days at The Knitting and Stitching Show here in London. The lovely guys at Black Sheep Wools have very kindly given me an area on their stand in the main hall and it was fabulous to be given such a warm welcome there yesterday. This afternoon I will be on the Stylecraft stand for a couple of hours and then tomorrow I will be back on the Black Sheep stand, which is C15/6 down by the rose window - please drop over and say hello if you are visiting.
After countless false starts, this is the week when I finally get to talk briefly about Charleston Farmhouse and the nearby Berwick Church, which Andy and I visited back at the beginning of September. It seems a while ago now, especially as so much has happened since, but we had a fabulous weekend and I urge you, if you are ever down in Sussex and have the time, to go and visit. You can find my piece further down this email, along with some information about a couple of our forthcoming trips.
I hope, as always, that this newsletter finds you well. If you have anything you would like to share with us, please hit reply.
Charleston Farmhouse & Berwick Church
At the outbreak of the first World War in July 1914 many young men volunteered to go to war, however in 1916 the British Government passed the Military Service Act which specified that all single men aged 18 to 40 years old were liable to be called up for military service unless they were widowed with children or ministers of religion. Stanley Spencer and his Slade counterparts such as Mark Gertler, Isaac Rosenberg and Paul Nash, were all sent to contribute to the war effort - their subsequent art and written work later reflecting their experiences of wartime. However, as pacifists, most of the members of the Bloomsbury Group were conscientious objectors of the war and so they made the decision to leave London and find work on the land rather than face the persecution that many other objectors were subjected to.
Vanessa Bell, her children, Duncan Grant and the writer David Garnett moved to Charleston Farmhouse in 1916. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, yet close to the town of Lewes, which connected to London via the train line, the farmhouse, along with Virginia Woolf’s nearby retreat ‘Monks House’ became a focal point for the Bloomsbury Group. Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant both lived at Charleston until their deaths (in 1962 and 1978 respectively) and within their time there they both produced many fabulous works of art, textile, rug and furniture designs, whilst also decorating their home and working on the fabulous murals at the nearby St Michael and All Angels church in Berwick village.
During the first world war, when the members of the Bloomsbury Group first arrived at Charleston, the land around the house was used for vegetable plots and chicken runs, but Vanessa and Duncan later transformed it into the garden of today using plans by Roger Fry as their guideline for the layout. The garden is not huge – it is walled to divide it from the original farm buildings and features a large pond, which makes a focal point for fabulous views across the garden and out onto the surrounding Sussex countryside from the front of the house. Formal beds and areas where the planting is relaxed, mixing Mediterranean influences with cottage garden planting, creates a wonderful fluid feel to the garden and you can understand why it became a great focus in Vanessa’s life in particular. Whilst the garden provided her with a distraction from her paintings and artwork, Vanessa also used her garden as a kind of canvas, almost painting her flowerbeds with ‘a dithering blaze of flowers and butterflies and apples’.
I first visited Charleston when I was studying my degree in Textile Design at Winchester School of Art. Previous to this visit I had no idea who Duncan Grant or Vanessa Bell had been or what part The Bloomsbury Group, of which they were members, had played in the story of Modern Art. I think I probably visited the house about ten years after the death of Duncan Grant in 1978 and just a few years after it had been purchased by The Charleston Trust, part renovated and opened to the public.
With no expectations of what I was going to see and no prior knowledge of any of the many inhabitants of the house I remember being absolutely blown away by the surprising beauty of the interior décor. Each visit since has not disappointed and I always feel quite emotional about visiting.
In the past and in times of neglect, many areas of the house suffered with damp, which meant that lots of the hand painted surfaces had peeled and flaked. The house is now run by the Charleston Trust and they have spent many years renovating it, along with the surrounding gardens, to their former glory so that the house appears as it did in the 1950s, with reproduction carpets, rugs and textiles specially made to replace originals and many walls and pieces of furniture carefully returned to their for prior beauty by skilled craftspeople.
My CAL style project Bohemian Blooms was inspired by both the house and gardens and the murals painted predominantly by Vanessa and Duncan within the nearby church at Berwick. The patterns are available within a book, which features more information about my design inspiration and many step by step images.
Photography is prohibited within the Farnhouse, so to see pictures of the house decor I urge you to head over to the official Charleston web site.
Annie Sloan at Charleston
Annie Sloan is considered one of the world’s most respected paint and colour experts, she brings decades of knowledge – and plenty of style – to her hugely popular line of decorative paint, 'Chalk Paint' and with books, brushes, stencils, and fabrics, her inspirations are transforming more and more homes every day.
“Annie Sloan is one of "Britain's most influential female designers." The Telegraph
Annie discovered the Bloomsbury group of artists and their country retreat, Charleston farmhouse, whilst she was studying Fine Art. When the opportunity arose for her to collaborate with the Charleston Trust to create a unique range of Chalk Paint colours, it was a dream come true for Annie...
Annie's collaboration with Charleston has seen her create three distinctive paint colours inspired by the incredible home of the Bloomsbury group. Each of the colours are named after local places which the artists would have known and are inspired by elements of the highly decorated rooms within the British farmhouse.
Please note: All wording and the image above have been copied from the Annie Sloan web site. You can find more information about the paint ranges and Annie's inspiration by following this link to the web site.
Breidagen & KreaDoe
Towards the end of next week I will be travelling out to Holland along with a group of fabulous Stylecraft Blogstars to attend the Breidagen show in Zwolle in The Netherlands. I have only ever driven through Holland briefly on family trips to Germany, so I am really looking forward to visiting for longer.
The Breidagen show takes place from Friday 19th October to Saturday 20th and I will be teaching some mini workshops while I am there - you can find a list of all the workshops by following this link.
During the last week of October and the first week of November Andy and I will be exhibiting at The KreaDoe show in Utrecht. We are really excited to be taking Janie Crow to this show, especially as we are told it is one that appeals to crocheters in particular. We will be launching a blanket version of my new Summer Palace design in 2 colour ways at the show. I have put a sneeky peek image of the design below.
Kits for the new blankets, which are made using Stylecraft Life DK, will be available on our web site from the middle of November and the pattern only option will be available in the spring.
It's nearly the weekend!
Last night I attended the British Knitting and Crochet awards where I picked up the 'Highly Commended' award for Crochet Designer of the year. It was a lovely event, which reinforced the sense of community that the knitting and crochet industry has and I am really proud to have picked up this award. I will post some images as soon as I have some, but in the mean time I want to thank you all again wholeheartedly for your votes and kind wishes.
As I mentioned in last weeks (belated) newsletter, tickets for the workshops at next year's Edinburgh Yarn Festival go on sale via their web site tomorrow. You can view the classes by following this link.
This week the class lists for the Vogue Knitting Live New York show have also gone live and I am so excited to see our little bird logo on the exhibitors page - eek! VKLive have also released details of their VIP style packages and you can find these by following this link. General tickets for classes and the market place will go on sale soon.
We are looking forward to the weekend and all it has in store - as I already said, I will be at The Knitting and Stitching show on Saturday and then will be enjoying a home based day for most of Sunday. If you are coming to Alexandra Palace then I am sure you are set for a great weekend - if you have other exciting plans that you would like to tell us about, then do hit reply and let us know!
Next week I am very pleased to say that I will be posting a great article written by Juliet Bernard about her recent trip to Shetland Wool Festival. Juliet had an absolutely fabulous time and has given me access to lots of great photos - so make sure you don't miss it. Much love until then....
Janie's Friday Feature on a Saturday!
This is a speedy email to apologise for the fact that you have not been sent a Friday Feature Newsletter for the last 2 weeks and to quickly update you on a few things that are happening over the next week or so......
Last week we were at Yarndale and the lead up to the show was so busy that the Friday Feature Newsletter didn't materialise. This week we have had a bit of a personal disaster in that our home was broken into on Thursday evening so Friday was spent clearing up the house rather than sorting out a newsletter. Thankfully very little was taken, but in the space of the 4 minutes that the burgulars were in our home they did manage to make a huge amount of mess!
I know that I owe you a newsletter which focuses on my recent visit to Charleston House - this will now be scheduled for next Friday, but I wanted to write a quick email today to thank all those of you who drooped onto the stand at Yarndale last week to say hello and to remind you all that we will be at The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace next week - you can find more information about this below.
Today is also the day when the lovely guys at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival release their class lists for next year. I will be teaching 2 workshops and the listings of all workshops will be live on the EYF web site at 4pm this afternoon. You can book workshops next Saturday the 13th October. The link to the EYF web site is here.
I hope that wherever you are you are having a nice weekend and I look forward to getting back to normal and being in touch again next week. If you have anything you would like to share with us, as always, please hit reply.
The Knitting and Stitching Show
We are so excited that the lovely folks at Black Sheep Wools have allowed us to take over an area of their stand at the forthcoming Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. The show starts on Thursday the 11th and runs through to next Sunday the 14th October. The Black Sheep stand is in the main hall by the large stained glass window.
We will have the new Royal Garden blankets on display at the show alongside the new Summer Palace Wrap and will also be taking all my other blankets, books and patterns. I will be on the stand on Thursday and Saturday, so it would be lovely to see you if you are visiting the show.
There's still time to book your ticket to take part in one of the workshops at the show, but you need to hurry as they only have a limited number of places remaining.
The Knitting & Stitching Show offers one of the biggest programmes of specialised textile workshops in the UK. There are over 230 classes to choose from, all taught by leading experts in their fields. Sessions include dress-making, upcycling, applique, shisha embroidery, wet-felting, screen printing, shibori and many more.
Advance bookings for the workshops cease at midnight on Sunday 7th October (tomorrow). Remaining workshop tickets can be purchased at the show, but they recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
Our lovely friend Luise will be teaching a couple of really interesting knitting workshops - 'How to Knit a Small Sphere' and 'How to Knit a Beaded Button Cover'. You can find more info by following this link. The fabulous Jo Smith will be teaching at the show too and she still has a very limited number of places left on her class programme.
We had an amazing time at Yarndale last week. As always it was a really exciting show and there was a lot going on. It was really great to get to say hello to so many of you and it was lovely to hear about how much you are enjoying the newsletters.
I think the show had grown in size yet again this year and I was especially excited to discover that the yarn company Scheepjes had a stand there - not only that, but they had also invited a group of their amazing bloggers along to meet and greet people on the stand. It was as lovely as always to see our friend the lovely Dedri Uys along with designer Carmen Jorissen (pictured above) and I was beyond excited to finally get to meet the amazing Rachel Carmona (aka Cypress Textiles) who is one of my crochet heroes - if you don't already know about her work then you need to head over to her web site for more info - her Instagram feed is also fabulous!
You can find some images taken at the show on my Instagram feed by following this link.
It is the weekend!
I am feeling a little out of sync today and keep having to remind myself what day it is. The weather here in North London is pretty dismal, so it looks like it is shaping up to be a couch potato kind of a day, but that's probably a good thing after the stress of the last 36 hours or so and given that we have a lot going on next week and over the forthcoming months - when things are busy it is always so nice to know that the weekend offers the comfort of home.
Hoping you are having a fabulous weekend whatever it is you have planned....
THIS IS A NEW BLOG.
YOU CAN FIND MY OLD BLOG BY FOLLOWING
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!