It has been a busy couple of weeks at Janie Crow HQ as we continue to sort out our stock as we prepare to move at the end of September. I had thought we were working on the packing a little early, but as the weeks seem to be flying by faster than ever I think we have timed things about right, especially as we have accumulated so much stuff over the last 5 years! You can find more information about our Grand Summer Sale lower down this email.
I have been busy finalising my advent project that I have designed for Jimmy Beans in the US. The project is now blocked and ready to be packaged up to head off to The States early next week. I have to admit it was a bit of a learning curve designing with a yarn palette chosen by someone else and having a restriction of just 20g of each shade, but in the end I am really pleased with the project and look forward to showing it to you soon.
If you don't already know about Jimmy Beans you can find them here The advent project will go on sale in September I think, but you can find all their other current knit and crochet clubs by following this link.
I am really looking forward to tutoring my first weekend workshop for more than 18 months in a few weeks time and so I have been working on the crochet project that participants will make over the course of the weekend. I have been looking back at my Frida's Flowers design and have added elements that echo my new Indigo Dreams CAL to the project. I am so looking forward to being with a group of crocheters again and hope that this will be the start of more events and workshops.
As I have told you in previous emails, I have been working on a new version of The Fruit Garden blanket. What I haven't told you before is that I have been putting together a book, which will feature all three of the existing colourways of the blanket plus this new version, which I have called Red House. The book will contain all the CAL patterns, step-by-step images and a more in depth introduction and explanation about my design journey on the project.
The patterns for the project will remain free to download via the Stylecraft web site, but the new book will include crochet charts and a few fabulous testimonials and stories put together by crocheters from all over the world who worked through the CAL last year. I am hoping the book will make a really lovely keepsake for those of you who have already completed the project and that it might also prompt you to make the new version using Stylecraft Organic Cotton DK. I am hoping that the book will be available towards the end of August. Of course I will give you more information as soon as I have it.
I have spotted a few amazing versions of Persian Tiles out in the wild over the last few weeks. You can click on the images below to be taken to the linked Instagram feeds.
I think all these blankets have been made using 4ply yarn rather than DK. When I spotted the blanket below I was blown away by the fact that there are 200 motifs in it.
You can find more Persian Tiles Inspiration by following the hashtag #persiantilesblanket. There are some truly amazing blankets on there.
am really pleased to have been nominated within the 'Most Iconic Crochet Designer' category in this year's British Knitting & Crochet awards. If you want to head over to the awards website to vote for all your favourite yarn brands, stores, designers and products then you can find the link here. The Crochet Designer award is listed under 'Miscellaneous'.
As I have said already, we have been busy sorting out the studio ready to move in September. We have lots of new plans associated with our move. One of them is to stop stocking quite so much yarn, so we have decided to sell off the majority of our huge yarn stash.
We had thought that we would have an open day in order to do this, but I am aware that it is still not safe to have quite a lot of people in enclosed spaces. If we did decide to invite people to a physical studio sale we would have to create specific time slots for people to visit, so, with this in mind, we have decided to start selling off our stock via Andy's 'Just Knots' web site for now.
It might still be that we manage to have a sale here at the studio in August, but I think we are being prudent to see how things go once we officially come out of lockdown here in England from Monday.
This week Andy has added our stock of Rowan Summerlite DK to his site. The yarn should retail at £4.50 a ball, but we have reduced it to £2.75. We also have the 4ply on offer at £2.50 a ball reduced from £3.95.
Rowan Summerlite yarns are really beautiful premium cotton and both the DK and 4ply have really good meterage per ball. I used the DK weight to make my Bohemian Blooms blanket and the 4ply to make my Wiremu shawl, which you can find more information about lower down this email.
If you go to Andy's Just Knots home page you will see that he also has a few 25g balls of Scheepjes Catona, which is available in packs of 5 balls at just £3.95 and some West Yorkshire Spinners ColourLab DK reduced from £6.50 a ball to £3.95.
What total bargains!
We wil have more offers in our next newsletter and Andy will be adding items to his web site over the next few weeks, so do keep an eye out for more amazing offers!
I really enjoy planning which projects to take away with me on holiday and tend to opt for those that are easily transportable. I think crochet is especially good for holiday makes as the projects are usually pretty compact with just a hook and a yarn cutter to pop in your handbag together with a few balls of yarn to go in your main luggage.
If you are lucky enough to be off on holiday within the next few weeks then why not take a look at my Mystical Lanterns scarf kits. We have a few left over in some lovely new colourways. You can find them here and don't forget that you can find instructions for making straight sided motifs and corner motifs for the Mystical Lanterns project over on my blog.
Last year we managed to spend some time at home rather than go away on a holiday. It was really nice to potter around in the garden and do a little bit of work on the house. I finally managed to give the kitchen a much needed coat of paint and enjoyed sourcing some new cabinets. I am hopeful that we might get some time at home this year too, so have been looking at quite a few interior feeds lately in the hope that I will feel more inspired to dig out the decorating gear!
I have been following Nathalie Lete for quite a long time and already have quite a few of her painted plates from Anthoplogie, so I really enjoyed following her progress as she decorated her home last year. I have to say that seeing her amazing hand painted murals put my efforts in the kitchen to shame so I am thinking it would be nice to do something a little more creative this year. Click on the images below to be taken to Nathalie's web site and Instagram feed.
If you are a knitter looking for a holiday project then how about checking out the Southwold Wrap by the fabulous Helen Kurtz. The project features as the Make Along project on the Stylecraft MAL Facebook group and you can find more information about this lovely project on Helen's blog.
The wrap is made using Stylecraft's gorgeous Bamboo + Cotton yarn in a couple of fabulous colour ways. I think I am in love with the blue version (shown above) and agree with Helen that the glass beads she has chosen for the project really add a fabulous finishing touch. You can find the pattern for the project on Helen's Ravelry page here.
This week I have strained my elderflower liqueur (that I showed you about 4 weeks ago) and have added the sugar syrup. I have managed to get 3 bottles out of the batch I made and these have now been put away in a cool dark place for a couple of months to mature. I was really tempted to keep one bottle out to add to a glass or 2 of Cava or Prosecco over the weekend, but I have been a really good girl and stowed it away until September. If you want to take a look at the recipe I followed you will find it here. It is now possibly a bit too late for Elderflowers here in the UK, but maybe they are still in flower somewhere in the world?
We are in full wedding preparation now as our daughter Summer and her partner Chris will finally tie the knot in just 8 days time! I will be spending the next few days making their wedding cakes and have used this recipe via the BBC Good Food web site. I have tested the recipes quite a few times over the last few months and have not had a failed cake yet, so if you are looking for a really good chocolate cake or lemon cake you need look no further.
My Dad is a keen baker, who has taken to bread and cake making since his retirement. Summer asked if he would make her Fruit Cake tier of the cake and he duly obliged! Above is an image of the cake with its marzipan layer ready and waiting for the fondant early next week. Not bad gong for an 87 year old eh! What a hero!
If you want to follow my cake making process over the next few days I will try to remember to post some images on my Janie Crow Lifestyle Instagram feed. I have to admit that I am pretty nervous about the fondant icing stage of the process, especially as the weather is due to be so warm, but I am going to take it slow and steady and will resort to butter icing if all else fails!
We have just four kits left for my Wiremu Shawl. We have two in the original colour way and two in a darker grey combination. The kits are for sale on the Just Knots website at a discounted price of £34.95 each.
The kits include 11 balls of Summerlite 4 ply in two shades and the Rowan pattern book, which includes 11 crochet designs. The individual components of the kit should retail at more than £52 so these kits are quite the bargain.
I will be tutoring a knit and crochet workshop at the amazing venue of Gladstone's Library in December. I am really looking forward to this event and hope that you might consider joining me for a few days of rest and recuperation before the festive season sets in.
The workshop has been organised by Knit For Peace and you can find more information and booking details by following this link.
I am sitting at my laptop writing this while wearing my soft yoga pants, an old sloppy Joe T shirt and my glittery silver heels in an effort to break them in a little before the wedding. I have spent the last year in my trainers and deck shoes, with the occasional pair of flip flops thrown in for good measure, so squeezing my feet into a pair of glamorous shoes has been a bit of an effort, but hopefully I have finally broken them in!
We are all in a bit of a tizzy with the thought of finally being able to socialise and celebrate the big day in a more 'normal' way and I have to admit I am finding it hard to concentrate. To help me focus I will be making a lot of lists over the weekend in the hope that I get all my wedding related jobs done. I have managed to sneak some crochet into the decoration side of things, so I still have a little bit of that to finish while waiting for cakes to cook. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me, especially as it is finally sunny here in North London.
leave you with this link to a great video made by film maker Lior Patel who filmed a flock of sheep from a drone. I am not totally sure of my viewpoint on the ethics of this huge herd of sheep but I particularly like the bits where some of them get distracted by feeding stations and other animals and then have to run like crazy to catch up with the rest of the group! There is an interview with Lior here, where he explains how he captured these amazing films.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
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