It's a lovely afternoon here in North London. The sun is shining and the garden is calling, so I am looking forward to spending this evening outside, maybe with a glass of something cold and bubbly! I hope that wherever you are things are looking lovely too as we head into the weekend. I am here with a very quick email just to bring you up to speed with all that has been going on here at Janie Crow. We have quite a few kits in stock and I have a couple of new projects to tell you about so I hope you can spare a few minutes to catch up....
Emma has made a great video tutorial for joining my Magic Circles motifs. Making the crochet circles used in this project are easy to make, but the joining can be a little tricky so we thought a clear video might help some of you. You can find the video here.
While I am on the subject of Magic Circles, it reminds me that Victoria at Eden Cottage has put a new kit together for the scarf version, which means that she now has the choice of three lovely colourways. You can find more information by following this link.
We have seen on Instagram that lots of people are making the blanket version of this project using Attic 24's Meadow yarn pack, which you can find on the Wool Warehouse website. You can find the pattern here.
My friends at Mary Maxim have put together a lovely new colourway of my Persian Tiles blanket, which they have called Rose Garden. I collaborate with Mary Maxim in order to bring my designs to the American and Canadian markets and I am really proud of my association with them. For customers in the UK the price of postage on these kits possibly makes them too expensive to afford, but those of you in the US and Canada might be interested to know that there is currently a reduction on the kit price and a standard flat rate postage charge for domestic parcels through until 11th July.
For those of you in the UK - I know it can be frustrating not being able to source alternatives to the yarn used in some of my projects that are available on Mary Maxim, but please do not email us to ask for a yarn shade list for this project as it is not something we can provide you with. We are looking into whether or not we might be able to stock the yarns used in some of the projects that are available on the US and Canadian sites, so please be patient and look out for more information soon.
Emma has filmed the video for Part Three of my Sunshine and Showers blanket. This will go live on our YouTube channel next Friday, so make a note in your diary if you are waiting for it. You can find videos for parts one and two by following this link and you can find more information about the project here.
We have pretty much sold out of the first print run of The Fruit Garden Blanket books. We have had a new print run made, but unfortunately due to the increased costs of paper and printing we have had to up the retail price off the book to £14.95. If you want to grab one of the last copies left at the lower price of £12.95 you can do so by following this link.
If you have been waiting for Fruit Garden yarn packs we are expecting to be able to send out packs for the Love Is Enough and the Parchment and Caramel versions from July 15th - these are available to purchase on a presale basis now.
This week I have been working on a Christmas bunting design, which I will release later on in the year. It has been a bit strange crocheting a festive project when the weather has been so summery, but I have really enjoyed making a stash-busting version using lots of brightly coloured beads and fabulous 'disco' bright colours.
I know that it might be little warm for a 'woolly' crochet project, but we do have good stock levels of some our kits that you might be interested in, especially if you are beginning to plan a project for later on in the year. These include crochet along packs for Lily Pond, Climbing Rose and Sunshine and Showers. We also have good stock of kits for Mexican Diamonds in red, The Blue House and Sussex Gardens and limited stock of quite a few other projects. The easiest way to browse the kits is to follow this link.
Photos from my recent teaching trip to Finland, in particular those of the Korsnäs sweaters, were very popular on Facebook.
This is a traditional sweater from the municipality Korsnäs, close to Vaasa in Ostrobothnia, on the west coast of Finland. The design dates back to the 1870’s. These beautiful garments combine the skills of both knitting and crochet colourwork.
If you'd like to find out more, take a look at the website of the Korsnäs museum by clicking on the image below.
There has been a fascinating series on the BBC called Art That Made Us. Each episode focuses on artworks from periods of history, right back to the Dark Ages up to the 20th century. One of the episodes looks at the Industrial Revolution and includes an interesting commentary on the work of William Morris.
The series is available on BBC iPlayer for over a year so it's well worth catching up on if you have a chance.
Kathryn, creator of the Crafternoon Treats blog, has been indulging an urge to paint by creating colour swatches. We think they are fabulous and you can read all about how she went about it in her blog post from earlier this year by clicking on the image below.
My regular newsletter readers may remember this from a couple of years ago, but as it's coming up to blackberrying season I thought I'd share Gemma's blackberry vinegar recipe with you again. It makes a lovely salad dressing and more traditionally drizzled on Yorkshire Pudding.
"Blackberry vinegar is not difficult to make and only needs three ingredients: blackberries, vinegar and sugar. I like to use a raw organic cider vinegar (such as that produced by Aspalls) but any cider vinegar or wine vinegar will do just as well.
Quantities are not an exact science here but as a rough guide, a pound of blackberries will need about a pint of vinegar. The first step in the process is to put your blackberries in a dish or bowl. I use a pyrex bowl as it won’t be affected by the acidity of the vinegar. Pour on the vinegar to cover the blackberries, cover the bowl, and then leave them for around a week, stirring occasionally. The longer you leave the berries to steep in the vinegar the stronger the final flavour will be but if it's very warm it's worth popping it in the fridge to stop it turning musty.
After the steeping time is up, strain the mixture through a sieve into a jug or bowl so that you end up with just the liquid. Press the berries on the sieve as you strain them so that every last drop of juice and flavour is squeezed out. You will need to measure the liquid you end up with before pouring it into a saucepan and for every pint of liquid you will need a pound of sugar. I prefer to use unrefined sugar, simply because it less processed. Bring the liquid and sugar to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and simmer for around 15 minutes. If you get a scum forming on the top just skim it off using a metal spoon. Once simmered pour into sterilized bottles.
I use the bottles from the vinegar used in the recipe. You just need to remove the little plastic insert in the neck in order to fill them, before popping it back in and putting the lid on. Allow to mature for a few months before starting to enjoy your blackberry vinegar."
Yesterday I met up with a few friends and visited the Fashion and Textile Museum near London Bridge to see the Royal School of Needlework exhibition and specifically the Red Dress project.
We had a lovely time and if you are interested in knowing more you can find out about the exhibition and the Red Dress by following this link. You can find some images from the exhibition on my Instagram page here.
While we sat at a table outside a coffee shop prior to going into the exhibition I spotted this tiny little scene at the side of the pavement. It was the knotted sheet that first drew my eye and it made us laugh when we saw a teeny weeny escapee at the top of the sheet! You can find a piece about similar London street art by following this link.
With thanks to my pal Suraya for taking the image!
We don't have huge plans for the weekend. After all the travelling I have done lately I am happy to just be at home, pottering around. I have a busy week coming up as we will be doing a photo shoot on Monday and I will be away from Thursday next week for a couple of meetings, so I am going to make the most of some downtime with no particular plans.
I hope that whatever you have going on over the next couple of days that you have a great time and that you stay safe and well. I will be back in a fortnight with my July newsletter, so I look forward to meeting you here again in 2 weeks time. Sending yarny hugs.....
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