Welcome to this week's Friday Feature Newsletter - the Janie Crow equivalent of a Sunday supplement magazine....
I am doing my best to ignore the sniffs and snuffles that have surrounded me over the last week or so, but I have a horrible feeling that the lurgy might be just around the corner! My son Charlie (and more recently Andy) have been struck down with man flu over the last couple of weeks, so it seems inevitable that the germs will spread! I hope that this email finds you well and that like me you have so far managed to avoid coughs, colds and general nastiness in the lead up to Christmas....
Rather terrifyingly there are just 17 full days before Christmas Day and so now would be a good time to make sure we are all on track with Festive plans. Our Sue, who works on the orders and the post here in the studio, is ultra organised and has already ticked off all her gifts on her list and written her cards. Sue started making pom pom wreaths as gifts way back at the end of the summer so now she can be wonderfully smug as she watches me panic about the fact that I have yet to even write a list.....
If you are like me and have yet to do any serious organising or shopping, you might be interested in a few of my favourite gift ideas which I have listed as part of the newsletter this week. Maybe you will find something suitable for a friend or that you can add to your own list, but either way, reading this Friday Feature will distract you from the reality of Christmas shopping for a little while longer, in the same way that writing it has distracted me!!!
Gift Ideas for crafters....
A few months ago Sarah wrote a great article on giving hand made presents and one of the things she focussed on is whether or not gifts that have taken a lot of time and effort are actually appreciated by the recipient. Along this same theme the guys at Crochetzine, an Instagram based free crochet magazine, have written some great posts over the past week or so about making items to gift at Christmas. I really recommend you head over to see their page if you are considering making a last minute gift before you pick up your needles or hook as they offer some great tips and advice as well as some fabulous little projects that you might want to make including the lovely little crochet stockings shown below, which, despite being designed for Advent, would work really well as decorations on the tree or the Christmas table, or as the wrapping for other small gifts.
If you're looking for something nice to give a yarn loving friend then you might want to take a look at some of the many subscription style gifts that are around.
One of my favourites has to be Little Box of Crochet, which you can find by following this link. Amanda Bloom and her fabulous team have a wide selection of wonderful boxes you can choose from, ranging from beginners boxes to 'Not so' Little Boxes, all of which contain the items needed to make a fabulous crochet item alongsdie some lovely extra surprise gifts. You can start the subscription this month and receive a really exciting looking box that includes all you need to make a beautiful design from Toft. The site also includes and area for gift subscriptions and links to purchase past boxes.
If you want to treat a really serious yarn lover who also happens to have a penchant for sock making then how about taking a look at the Triskelion Sock Club? We are massive fans of the Triskelion range, which is hand dyed by Caerthan Wrack - a man famous for his wonderfully deep and luxurious colour palette. You can find details of the sock club here, or, if you would rather just invest in one or two skeins of Triskelion yarn, then you could take a look at our range of Gofannon 4ply which is dyed by Caerthan exclusively for Janie Crow and comes with a free pattern for my Emily shawlette, which is shown above.
If you want to find an extra special gift and know someone who might want to wear a stunning piece of knitted or crocheted jewellery, or you fancy really treating yourself, then head over to the Mahliqa web site to be wowed by some amazing hand made jewellery designs. I am a huge fan of Suraya's work and am so pleased to say that she will be coming to the studio next year to do a workshop - details of this will be posted early in the New Year so keep a look out for more information soon. The image above shows one of Suraya's incredible hand made pieces, but you can also find kits and stitch marker sets on her lovely web site.
If you fancy knitting a slightly silly item to either gift or decorate your home, how about making one, or both of these brilliant hand knitted sprouts or Christmas puddings by Sincerley Louise. I love them!
If you want to be smug like our Sue and make a pom pom wreath then you can find a tutorial I wrote a few (4!) years ago by following this link to my blog. Making pom poms is a great stash buster and they are still bang on trend. You can find pom pom makers (which make this fun task even easier) by following this link.
Crisis at Christmas.
I am very much a believer that Christmas should be about spending time with family and friends and generally being a bit nicer and more thoughtful towards others rather than getting caught up in all the commercial hype that seems to surround so many things these days.
Many of us are in the nice position where we have warm houses and supportive friends and family, but there are are many people who don't have this luxury, so my number one tip for the ultimate feel good gift is to donate a gift of either your time or money to those who really need it.
The charity Crisis do amazing work here in the UK at this time of year and for just over £28 you could reserve a place for a homeless person at a centre this Christmas. For less than £30 you can help the charity provide a warm welcome and good company, three nutritious hot meals daily, including a delicious Christmas dinner, a bed for the night if needed and a chance to shower and get clean clothes. The charity also aims to provide a health check and treatment from a doctor, optician and dentist, expert help with mental health and addiction problems, advice on housing, employment and benefits and for some a way out of homelessness for good through Crisis’ year-round training, education and support.
Here is another reminder that you need to subscribe to a new mailing list if you want to continue to receive the Friday Feature Newsletter in 2019.
We are introducing 2 new web sites in order to make our business clearer, more customer friendly and easier to understand. Both web sites will continue to be managed by us and both will sit under the same 'umbrella'. The new retail web site, which launches this week will be called Just Knots (our prototype log is shown above) and Jane's brand web site will continue to use the Janie Crow name.
Because of new laws introduced earlier on this year we have to make a clear definition between the mailing lists for the 2 new web sites, so when the Janie Crow brand web site is relaunched in January it will send to a new mailing list rather than this one. If you want to continue to receive the Friday Feature newsletters and any other information relevant to me and my designs, then you need to sign up to a new mailing list.
If you follow this link or click on the bird image above you will be able to sign up. We will add this link to this newsletter every week until the new Janie Crow web site is up and running. Until then the Friday Feature Newsletter will continue to come from this mailing list.
It's nearly the weekend!
What are you up to this weekend? I hope you have some exciting plans! We are heading into town this evening to visit the Sky Garden, which is London's highest (free) public garden. If you don't know about this amazing looking place then head over to the web site for more information - I will let you know what it is like next week and will share some images, so long as it isn't too dark!
Our trip into town this evening will most likely be the only venture out for us this weekend, other than to do a spot of food shopping or nip quickly to the gym, as I am hoping to have some much needed time at home. The tree is up and it is beginning to feel very Christmassy, so hopefully we will line up some festive movies and light the fire. I have a crochet deadline looming so I am looking forward to ensconcing myself on the sofa for 2 days pretty much straight.... my idea of heaven!
Whatever your plans I hope you have a lovely weekend!
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!