It has been a bit of an odd week here at Janie Crow. We started the week with a huge snow shower that left us with thick ice and freezing conditions for the rest of the week. Low temperatures (currently -5 here as I write this) have made it difficult to keep my crocheting fingers warm, so I have been doing quite a lot of stuff on my PC, like catching up with emails and pattern checking, but we have also been getting ready to reveal our fabulous new collaboration, which you can read about lower down.
Yesterday saw the final instalment of the Glad Tidings Wrap Advent CAL. Thank you to all those of you who took part - I hope you enjoyed it and that you are pleased with your wrap. The pattern has now been archived on Ravelry as the CAL was just 15 days long, but don't worry if you are not up to date with your wrap as the patterns will stay on Ravelry for everyone who signed up before there 15th. Emma and Steph have been working hard on the collated pattern and we will be releasing it again as a single pattern next year.
I have been working on the projects that I will be taking to Mysore with me in January and am also creating a new colourway of my Mystical Lanterns project, so I have lots to keep my fingers occupied in front of the TV in the evenings. It has been really cold here, so we have not been venturing very far. The settee is such a lure at this time of year!
We will be 'breaking up' from work next Wednesday the 21st December and will be returning on the 4th January, so I am looking forward to a nice break. I have lined up quite a few projects to work on while I am away from my desk and particularly hope to finish my knitted tank top that has been a work in progress for almost a year!
The video to accompany Part 8 of the Sunshine and Showers blanket project will be posted on our YouTube channel next week, so do look out for that if you have been following along.
I feel very honoured to have been asked to join Jamie and Merion of The Love Crafts Show Podcast for a chat. The recorded programme will go live on Spotify on Tuesday next week (the 20th December) if you fancy tuning in. If you haven't listened to the podcast before I urge you to give it a listen - its a great programme to craft along to and we chatted about lots of crochet related stuff!
We have been getting lots of attention on Instagram lately, especially since we launched the teaser images of the new Spirit of Flora CAL and I have finally got my head around creating (very basic) Reels! This week I posted the image above of some fabulous bunting my friend Rosemary made using the Mystical Lanterns blanket pattern as the basis. Rosemary started making the bunting while we were away in France on a workshop recently and she added a border with a picot edge and little elephant charms and bells to make it extra special - isn't it fabulous! This post has had more than 11k views on Instagram, which is just amazing!
I have recently joined an organisation called A C I D (Anti Copying In Design) and so my website and this newsletter now carry their logo and copyright statement. Janie Crow patterns will be updated with the logo over the next few months, so if you have a download pattern in your Ravelry library you may find an email alert to let you know that the pattern has had an update.
We have been keeping a really big secret, but now the cat is out of the bag!
Emma Ball has been designing fabulous accessories for the craft world for the last two decades and is well known for her signature style of hand painted birds and animals placed within hand knitted backdrops. Emma’s company now supply many stockists across the UK and overseas with quirky gifts, stationery, homeware, textiles, and greeting cards. With a history of creating limited edition art prints, Emma not only produces her products using her own designs, but also those of other artists so that she can offer pieces to suit many tastes. I am really excited to reveal that I am the latest artist to join this list.
Emma has used images of my crochet pieces to create some fabulous items including many of the signature things we have all come to know and love her for, such as project bags and totes, tins, stitch markers, notelets, and cards.
Items from the collection will be revealed over the next few weeks and stockists will be able to start ordering them to sell at retail in the New Year. Emma and I will be busy posting images and information on our social media channels, so do look out for more information soon. We are incredibly proud of this collaborative collection and we hope that you will love it too!
We recorded a video interview this morning which we will post on our YouTube channel next week so please look out for that and follow us on social media if you want to find out more. You can find Emma's web site here and her Instagram feed here.
As you may already know, we have released some teaser images of my new CAL Spirit of Flora over the last couple of weeks along with some advanced information about the project. The images have been very popular on social media and I am so pleased to know that so many of you are hoping to follow the crochet along in the new year. The first pattern will be published in Inside Crochet magazine in January.
You can find more information about the project over on the website and I have posted some further information about yarn and tension over on my blog. If you want to purchase a yarn starter pack we still have amore than 20 in stock on the web site. Please note that these will not be dispatched until 6th January.
Working with Stylecraft Yarns and Inside Crochet Magazine is an absolute joy and it is wonderful to have so much support from them. I am sure you will agree that the images taken at Emery Walker's House in Hammersmith are fabulous - there will be many more to come over the forthcoming months.
The design of my new crochet along was inspired by the work of ceramicist William De Morgan who was a member of the Arts and Crafts Movement. You can find out more about William and his wife Evelyn, who was a renowned Pre-Raphaelite artist by following this link to the De Morgan Foundation.
Sarah Hardy, Director of the De Morgan Museum, has been incredibly helpful over the last couple of months and has given me permission to use quite a few images from the collection including the one above of one of William's tile designs and the beautiful painting 'Flora' created by Evelyn in 1894. The painting, inspired by Botticelli’s Primavera, was made entirely in Florence and is a celebration of the city and its Renaissance artists.
When the nights are really cold and frosty I am very lucky to be able to curl up on the settee with my crochet for a warm and cosy evening. I know that I am in a very privileged position to be able to do this and often find myself thinking about those who are not so fortunate, especially those who are displaced or homeless, at this time of year.
Gift giving also comes from this point of privilege, so if you are in a position where you can find a little extra money, I urge you to make a donation to our two chosen charities this festive season. We are supporting UNHCR, who tirelessly support refugees the world over, and CRISIS who support the homeless. I know it's a tough time for many with all that is going on with energy bills and the cost of living, but even the smallest donation will help these worthy causes.
Tuesday 20th December
You can listen to an interview with me on The Love Crafts Show Podcast
Thursday 5th January
First Instalment Spirit of Flora CAL - Inside Crochet Magazine
Sunday 19th & Monday 20th February
Stitches Trade Show NEC Birmingham
Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th March
Yorkshire Yarn Festival
Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th March
Janie Crow in the Crochet Lounge - The Stitch Festival
Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd April
Wonderwool Yarn Festival
Despite our far flung locations here in the UK my little Janie Crow team managed to all collide with Andy and I in the same place at the same time last Friday for our little festive do! We had a lovely evening, although it all went far too quickly. It was a real treat to finally catch up in the flesh rather than chat via WhatsApp, email or Zoom.
If you are wondering who everyone is, the top image is of me with Emma, who helps me with Instagram and is responsible for liaising with our fabulous Graphic Designer, Steph, to produce our patterns. Emma is relatively new on board and has already been a bit of a God send to me as she now does a lot of our YouTube tutorials and most of my step-by-step photography.
In the second image Sarah is on the left and Gemma is on the right hand side. Sarah is responsible for putting the wording of my patterns into the Janie Crow style and is an excellent proof reader. She also deals with our pattern queries and comes along to help us at shows. Some of you may have met her at events and so you already know what a lovely human being she is! Gemma is responsible for our Facebook posts and she looks after our Etsy and Ravelry stores too. Gemma has recently done a fabulous job posting the Glad Tidings Wrap patterns and is another real asset to us here at Janie Crow. I am so thankful to have these amazing ladies in my life!
As life has once again been pretty hectic over the last couple of weeks I am looking forward to a relatively quiet weekend. I am off to a carol concert with my Mum this evening but have very few other plans. We still have a few festive decorations to put up as we have not been able to put anything outside yet due to the snow!
I will be back in your mail box on Monday 2nd January and hope that you all keep well and safe between now and then. Thank you for all your incredible support in 2022 - you're all amazing!
'Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.'
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