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.
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