It is feeling decidedly chilly here in North London today and, after a very wet week, where the rain has seemed incessant at times, I have found myself indoors with my crochet quite a large proportion of the time. This is the time of year when I often feel inspired to work on new projects, so I have been busy trying to get myself organised for the forthcoming months. With autumn very definitely knocking at the door, I have been enjoying immersing myself in the world of lovely crochet to cheer myself up!
I have quite a lot to tell you about this week including news of our Advent CAL, the Glad Tidings Wrap, which launches today. Gemma has also added in some fun things to this week's Quick Catch Up email, including her Facebook round up, her 'Words From The Web' piece and a lovely autumnal recipe.
I hope you have five minutes to spare to catch up with all things Janie Crow...
Here at Janie Crow we have been getting increasingly excited this week about the release of the Glad Tidings Advent CAL, which will start on the 1st December and run through to the 15th. The patterns for the CAL will be released in daily parts via Ravelry and you can find lots more information about the project and what you will need to to do to get involved by following this link.
The wrap was originally designed for Jimmy Beans in the US and featured as their Craftvent CAL this time last year. Since then we have been working on the pattern in order to put it into the Janie Crow style and split it into easy to follow parts that will be released daily. We have also used this time to make some new versions, with my lovely test group making the wrap using yarns they found by rummaging through their stashes.
With almost 4 weeks to go before the first part of the pattern is released via Ravelry on the 1st of December you have plenty of time to source your yarn. If you want to use yarns from your stash you will need those that work to a 4 ply weight. You can use as many or as few shades as you wish. Alternatively, if you want to treat yourself to some new yarn to make the wrap, we have partnered with 2 of our favourite indie yarn producers, Eden Cottage Yarns and The Knitting Shed and they can help you make some lovely colour choices to make an extra special project.
The cost to join the CAL is just £6.95 and it will only be hosted via Ravelry. If you would rather not join the CAL, but like the look of the wrap and fancy making it in the future and not within the time frame of the CAL, the pattern will be available in an amalgamated form in the future - at the moment we are unsure what price point this will have.
We are planning to post a lot more information on our social media platforms over the forth coming days and weeks, so if you are on Facebook or Instagram do take a look. If you have read through the Getting Ready document and still have questions, then do get in touch by hitting reply. The document is available for free here and is also listed within the Ravelry project folder here if you want to sign up.
I had a lovely time celebrating Yarn Lane TV's second birthday party and felt incredibly touched to have been given 2 hour long slots on the show on Wednesday. During the first hour I chatted about my Indigo and Crimson Dreams blankets and demonstrated how to make the half and half granny square and the love heart. You can find the show archived on the Yarn Lane web site here.
After the lovely Stuart Hillard had recorded his hour-long show, where he talked about his fabulous Head Over Heels yarns, I appeared again to talk about Magic Circles, Mexican Diamonds, Persian Tiles and Frida Primavera. I demonstrated how to join pieces of crochet together and how to work surface crochet as well as how to make a crochet leaf. You can find the video for the show here.
On Tuesday we released our new festive pattern 'Twinkle Bunting'. I love how decorating the house at Christmas time brings back so many family memories. We have some decorations that date back quite a few generations and I especially like these old pieces. When setting out to design this bunting I wanted to create some crochet motifs that echoed the shape of our precious vintage Christmas tree baubles. I have added beads, bells and little 'shisha' mirrors to add a touch of sparkle and I am so pleased with the results.
The pattern for the bunting is written with three classic shades in mind - Navy, Mustard and Grey, but you could raid your stash for multicoloured left-overs to create a very different, vibrant look as in the image above.
You can find more information by following this link and you can find the 8-page paper brochure pattern here. You can also find the download version of the pattern (which is in UK terms) on Ravelry and Etsy.
I had a great time in France last week tutoring a workshop where the group focussed on making some festive decorations using a collection of my patterns, including the new Twinkle Bunting. The fabulous group of crocheters came up with some really lovely ideas, such as wreaths and hanging decorations. You can find a few images on my Instagram page by following this link.
If you fancy having a go at making your own decorations too and want to use any of my patterns as the basis for your designs, just click on the images to be taken to the pattern pages. If you share your makes on Instagram, please use the hashtag #janiecrow so that we can see what you've been up to - we just love seeing your makes out in the wild!
We had a show & tell a couple of weeks ago over on the Facebook page and as usual we loved seeing all your lovely makes. You showed us your many versions of The Fruit Garden Blanket, as well as Magic Circles and Mystical Lanterns, but two of our favourites were this gorgeous Fox Lovey made by Yvonne Teunisson and a fabulous Christmas cushion cover made by Mary Woodall Cude.
We think we have found the pattern for the Fox Lovey here and have found the Noel cushion cover pattern for sale on Etsy via Two Little Birds here.
For those of you who are knitters, the wonderful charity Woolly Hugs are helping a Care Leavers project with their request for hat and scarf sets for young care leavers. The sets are given to care leavers (from foster and care homes) who are provided with Christmas dinner by Care Leavers Christmas Dinners. The deadline for posting is 21st November.
You can find all the information at the Woolly Hugs website via this link or click on the image below
We absolutely love this story about Diana Baker, aged 77, who took on the amazing challenge of a wing walk on a 1940's biplane to raise money for a dementia charity. An anonymous crafter has made a crochet postbox topper in her honour. We think they are both amazing!
Most of us will have seen the images of Tom Daley knitting and crocheting between dives at the Olympics but this article delves a little deeper into what role yarn crafts have played in his life over the last few years. It's an interesting read. You can follow Tom's yarny tales over on Instagram @madewithlovebytomdaley.
At this time of year Gemma is lucky enough to have access to a plentiful supply of windfall cooking apples and this is one of her favourite recipes to make in the slow cooker.
You can leave out the cranberries if you're not keen and a garlic clove or two makes a good addition. It's a great accompaniment to all sorts of meals and you definitely don't have to wait until Christmas day to make it!
I am looking forward to my first full weekend at home in a while. I had a good clear up in the front garden last Sunday as we had a deluge of fallen leaves and I wanted to make it look nice for Halloween. I decorated the little iron table that sits outside our front door with a lantern, some cute little squashes and lots of clementines. We really enjoyed greeting all the little 'Trick or Treaters' who visited us, despite the rain! There are more leaves to clear up this weekend so I am hoping it stays dry long enough for me to do the same job all over again!
I was really pleased to finish my hand knitted 'orchid' sweater while I was away in France last week and think it will make a very cosy addition to my wardrobe. I have made a pact with myself to finish some of my WIPs before starting anything new, so have returned to working on a slip-over made in Rico yarn that I started at the beginning of the year. You can find the pattern I am working from here if you fancy taking a look - it is a really simple knit.
If you want to watch something uplifting as we head into the weekend then I suggest you take a look at this video of an awesome teacher who has created an individual greeting for each of his students. What a guy! And - if you fancy a laugh at some members of the animal kingdom, then why not take a look at the images selected for the comedy wildlife awards here. I think the one below is probably my favourite!
Oh - I almost forgot! Andy has been doing quite a lot of work on the website over the last week, updating our stock levels of kits and patterns. He has finally had time to add the Cohana range of snips and scissors to the store and update the stock levels of the items in the Della Q makers bag range. You can find the Cohana pages here and the Della Q listings here. I think these items would make great gifts, so if you are beginning to think about presents, either for yourself or for others, do take a look.
I hope that whatever you have planned for your weekend that you will have a lovely time. I will be back in 2 weeks with my November newsletter, but I hope that you will keep up to date with all that is going on here in the meantime via our social media channels. Do get in touch if you have any questions or things you want to show us. Sending yarny hugs....
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