I am writing this email from the gardens of The Green Hotel in Mysuru where I have been teaching a workshop for Knit for Peace. Sitting here in the relative tranquility of the garden it is hard to believe that we are just over a fortnight into the new year and that Christmas was only 4 weeks or so a go - it seems like a lifetime already!
If you follow Janie Crow on Instagram then you may have seen that over the festive period we created a stream of posts that we called the '12 Days of Blankets' which ran from Christmas Day through to the 6th of January. Each day we featured a blanket design and shared images of the same project 'out in the wild' on our stories. It was a really successful idea, with many crocheters across the globe sharing their projects with the blanket hashtags so that we could see what they were up to. If you want to take a look you can still find the posts on our Instagram feed and each post features the relevant hashtag for the day.
Over the next few weeks we will be featuring some of the projects that didn't make it into our 12 Days of Blankets feature, such as The Climbing Rose Wrap, which made an appearance on the feed a few days ago.
On Day 4 of the event we featured my Fields of Gold Blanket with the promise that we would donate all proceeds from pattern sales that day to the UNHCR to help Ukrainian refugees. We tallied up the sales via our download portals and paper sales and were able to add the fabulous sum of £150 to our amazing fund-raising total, which now stands at of £5150. Thank you to everyone who got involved. We really appreciate your support. If you would like to make a donation to the UNHCR you can do so by following this link.
Sharing the projects created by you guys 'out in the wild', such as the fabulous version of Fields of Gold made by Lizzie Montgomery shown above, is something we are passionate about here at Janie Crow so please make sure you use some hashtags so that we can find your posts on social media. Using #janiecrow or #janiecrowpattern on Instagram will help us find you, but if you also add the name of the project, such as #mysticallanternsblanket or #persiantilesblanket for example, then we have more chance of seeing and sharing your work.
If you want to share images on Facebook then you can do so via the Janie Crow page which you can find here.
Just a quick note to say that we are still having an issue with sending post to countries outside of the UK. This is due to a cyber glitch with Royal Mail. Our website is currently taking orders but we will not be dispatching some of our post until we return from India week beginning 30th January. We hope that the postal service will have returned to normal by the time we are back to work. We thank you for your patience in advance.
This time last week we left the cold, wet and windy UK to fly to Mysuru and since then we have been having a great time here in the warmth of this fabulous city. I am sure I will never tire of India. The people are so incredibly friendly and the city is so vibrant and colourful that it is a designers paradise!
Last weekend was the Harvest Festival and so we were taken out to a village in the suburbs of Mysuru to see the festivities, which feature cows and oxen, which are sacred here, as an integral part. You can see from my images at the top of this email how adorned the animals are with many of them painted using turmeric and decorated with flowers and fruit.
Like most of India, Mysuru was hit badly by covid so Knit For Peace continue to do great work out here helping to combat poverty, focussing in particular on the health and education of women and children. We hope to visit some of the projects before we go home next week. If you want to find out more about the work of Knit For Peace and receive any information about future trips, please head over the the KFP website by following this link.
By the way - I learnt just before we came away (via Michael Portillo's Great Indian Train Journeys series) that the updated name for Mysore is Mysuru, so please excuse the fact that within this email I have used a few different ways of referring to this great city!
The Getting Started information and the first 2 patterns for my Spirit of Flora Crochet Along were published in Inside Crochet Magazine on January 5th. The next pattern, which I have called Merton Abbey will be featured in the next issue of the magazine which will be available in February.
It has been really exciting seeing versions of the first few crochet blocks out in the wild over the last couple of weeks and I am particularly pleased to see that so many of you are embracing the stash diving advice and are creating unique projects. The dedicated Facebook Group now has almost 3000 members and you can find it by following this link.
Since Christmas I have been working on a new version of the blanket project, which features a more random layout. This new version also has an alternative edging too, which I designed with William De Morgan's more intricate 'Arabesque' border tiles in mind.
I know from the Facebook group that many crocheters are starting to join their motifs together using the blanket layout that Inside Crochet have shared sneaky peek images of within the magazine. However, if you are working through the project it might be an idea to keep an open mind in these early stages as you may decide on your own blanket layout or might even want to make an alternative project such as a bag, a cushion or a shawl, ideas for which will all be featured in up-coming magazine issues.
We have had such an amazing response to the Emma Ball & Janie Crow Collection already and I cannot wait to share more items from it over the next few months.
Some stock items are now live on the website ready for you to take a look. We have stitch markers, note pads and small note-lets as well as the tin items for you to choose from. More items from the collection, such as tote bags, project pouches and mugs, will come into stock in the early spring.
You can check out our YouTube video where Emma and I talk about the collection here and I have also posted our live chat from a few weeks ago on our Instagram Feed.
Andy and I are already looking forward to exhibiting at Yorkshire Yarn Festival in early March. The show organiser, Sophie from Botanical Yarns, has lined up some really fabulous fellow exhibitors and I will feature as the guest at the Saturday evening craft night event where I will be doing a short presentation and Q&A session.
Tickets are still available for the 4th & 5th of March and you can purchase them in advance by following this link. Tickets for workshops are also still available and you can find more information by following this link and clicking on the menu.
he Janie Crow team have been busy getting ready for a new feature that we have imaginatively called 'Friday Motivation' over the last few weeks. We originally thought we would create 'Motivational Monday' emails but decided that the feature might be better suited to social media as we head into the weekend - a time when many more of us are able to dedicate a little bit of our precious time to a bit of TLC.
Our Friday Motivation posts will feature on our Instagram feed every Friday (funnily enough) so do look out for them over the forthcoming weeks.
Emma has created a lovely Friday Motivation post today that features out in the wild images of the Spirit of Flora CAL and talks about stash busting. Take a look by following this link.
We are very fortunate to have a day trip to an Elephant sanctuary, a coffee plantation and a golden temple lined up for tomorrow and then on Sunday we will be visiting one of the projects funded by the Charities Advisory Trust. I will be slipping my crochet hook into my travel bag as I think we have quite a lot of time on the road ahead of us which could be valuable crafting time!
With the weather in the UK decidedly chilly I am sure that many of you will be staying close to home for the next couple of days. I hope that what ever you have planned that you have a smashing weekend and that you are able to stay warm.
I will be back in a couple of weeks with a quick catch up email when I hope to bring you up to date with news of new projects.
Sending much love from India!
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