We will be at the Stitch Festival next week, which is taking place at the Business Design Centre here in North London. The festival takes place over four days from Thursday next week through to Sunday. We will be there on Thursday and Friday as we are sponsoring the Knitting and Crochet Lounge.
We will have patterns and some items from the Emma Ball collaborative collection for sale over the 2 days we are there and Sarah, Gemma and I will be there to guide crocheters through a little crochet flower design that I've called Spring Blossom. If you're coming to the show I hope you will be able to drop by to stand G36 to make a flower that you can add to a Janie Crow wooden key ring. The project is free of charge if you complete a flower on the day and it would be really lovely to see some of you on the stand. If you want to get a reduced price on your ticket for the show you can use the code JCROW23 at checkout.
This week has seen the release of another motif for the Spirit of Flora CAL and you can find more information about that a little lower down. I have been putting the fishing touches to some aspects of the design this week and have now decided on all the extra projects that will accompany the blanket layouts that we have shown you already. With the design side of the project almost over for me I have started work on a couple of new and exciting projects - one of which is a crochet techniques book and the other which will be a new CAL for Stylecraft that we are aiming to reveal to you in the late autumn.
With a residential workshop on the horizon and a show next week, it has felt like I have bitten off a little more than I can chew a couple of times this week, but now that I have managed to make a bit of an inroad into both the new projects I am feeling a little calmer about my workload and have started to relax into them and enjoy the process.
As one of the patrons of the UK Knitting and Crochet Guild I am passionate about the promotion of yarn crafts in this country and am very keen that as many of you as possible understand the value of the incredible historic collection of knit and crochet related artefacts that the guild own.
The Guild have a collection open day this coming Tuesday the 21st March and a couple more over the next few months. The collection is housed in Britannia Mill, Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire and their open days are free to attend. You can find more information by following this link.
If any of you did happen to miss the Justin Bieber crochet blanket story this week, take a look at my Instagram feed for more info and images.
It's been really great this week to see your reaction to the new design for the Spirit of Flora CAL which is being published in Inside Crochet magazine. The motif this month is called Tudor Rose, which takes its name from the royal House of Tudor and is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England. The stylised rose was adopted by the Arts and Crafts Movement as a symbol of peace and unity.
William De Morgan liked to use the flower within his tile designs, often depicting them in larger and smaller scale with outer and inner petals around a central circle. There's a series of tiles that are blue Tudor roses on a cream background. There are also some tiles with red roses with leaves and thorny stems on a white background. This is the first piece that I designed for the Spirit of Flora crochet along and I really enjoyed making a flower that had layers of petals and leaves. I think it would be really lovely worked in lots of different colourways and hope that those of you joining in the CAL are already enjoying working through the pattern.
We have seen some really lovely versions of the CAL cropping up on social media and over in the dedicated Facebook Group, which now has almost more than 5500 members. You can find it by following this link.
We finally have Mystical Lanterns mugs in stock! We had no idea how many to order and so might have got our estimation way off, so if the stock sells out quickly please be assured we will get some more! You can find them here.
Our daughter, Summer, recently worked her way through the Fruit Garden 1000 piece jigsaw and took a time lapse video of her progress. You can find it on Instagram here.
Don't forget that we now have lots of items from the collaborative range in stock, including stitch markers, note pads and small note-lets as well as the tin items, project pouches and purses.
Due to cancellations there are now 2 places left on the Arena Travel 'Knitting Traditions of Peru' trip with me as tutor in early September.
Peru has the longest continuous history of textile production in the world, going back almost 10,000 years. Invented long before pottery and just as humans started agriculture, Peruvian fibre manipulation began with simple spun fibres but by 500 AD this rudimentary craft had developed into complex techniques.
On our travels we’ll explore the processes involved in the production of textiles, including the most characteristic garment, the *chullo*, a knitted hat with an earflap and a calendar waistband that depicts the annual cycles of ritual and agricultural life, and we'll meet local artisans whose traditions have been passed down through the centuries.
I am really excited by the prospect of this incredible trip to Peru, a country that has a rich history of intricate knitting traditions. When we think of Peru we imagine bright colours of lush vegetation, foliage and flowers and the incredible surface pattern of costumes, jewellery and artwork, as well as the breathtaking scenery and archaeological sites. I am sure this will be a truly inspirational trip and I am really looking forward to all that we will see and experience on this journey of a lifetime. You can find more information by following this link.
There are also 2 places left on my Stitch Yourself Happy - Crochet & Yoga workshop in July. Numerous studies have shown that crafting is just as beneficial for your personal wellbeing and mental health as Pilates, yoga and mindfulness are for both physical and mental health. Over the course of this weekend I will be tutoring beaded crochet workshops and, if you come along, you will get to do some lovely relaxing yoga too!
Beaded crochet is a beautifully effective technique that is much simpler than you imagine. There is no need to learn any new stitches, the beads are just added into your crochet at certain stages of the stitch to create a really lovely effect. Participants will need to know how to work crochet basic crochet stitches and how to read a crochet pattern.
I started collaborating with Mary Maxim in the US and Canada a few years ago. Working alongside them means that I can enable my designs to reach an audience that would otherwise find the postage costs of my kits prohibitive and has also meant that I get to play with some lovely yarns and experiment with new versions of existing designs.
The first design they stocked a yarn kit for were the original and light blue versions of Persian Tiles and a few months down the line I created the Sandalwood colourway, which has proved very popular.
Recently the team at Mary Maxim have created some more versions of the Persian Tiles pattern, which they have advertised under the name of Rose Garden. There are now 4 colour ways to choose from and you can find them here.
We had a really nice time at the Yorkshire Yarn Festival a few weeks ago. We had a big stand in the Great Hall upstairs at the pretty venue and were so pleased to have so many people pop along to say hello!
On the Friday evening I attended a Q&A session by knitwear designer Rachel of Unwind Knitwear who I urge you to take a look at as her work is just so lovely. On Saturday evening it was my turn to take the stand to talk about my background and my crochet work. It was so kind of organiser Sophie to allow me to talk at people for half an hour and especially great to hear how many people have come over to the 'dark side' as a result of seeing my designs.
The next festival will be held in November so if you fancy going, check out the website for more information. I think it will be a fabulous venue and show in the lead up to Christmas - perfect for yarny gift finding!
We had planned to introduce you to the lovely Gemma over on Instagram this week, but with the Justin Bieber blanket mayhem we have moved the post to next week.
If you have ever wondered what the members of my fabulous team do for Janie Crow, or simply want to put a face to a name, then do head over to our Instagram feed to take a look!
This month marks 3 years since Andy and I became vegetarian - a decision we have never regretted and so I am really pleased that March is officially Veggie Month here in the UK.
We cut out meat partly because we were in lockdown with our son, Charlie who was already vegetarian, but also because we were becoming more and more concerned about the global meat trade.
Whatever your opinion on the way meat is farmed and processed, it is now recognised that eating less meat is good for you and the environment so I hope you have enjoyed seeing the vegetarian recipes we have been sharing within the newsletters over the last few years. You can find them all featured over on the blog.
I asked Andy which is his favourite recipe find of the last couple of years and he said it was Dishoom's Gunpowder potatoes. I agree! They are truly delicious and so easy to make that they have become a regular item in the Crowfoot kitchen. You can find the recipe here.
You may have seen the current trend for fashion houses to promote the idea of visible mending and mending in general. The fashion company TOAST have been running lots of workshops along this theme. I attended one of them that was about mending knitwear, which was really interesting and they've also had some events surrounding visible mending and sewing techniques. TOAST now have a range of reinvented clothes that they have called Renewed - you can find it by following this link.
Zara have also jumped on the bandwagon of mending with their new range called Pre-Owned. It's something that of course our grandparents did without even thinking about it, but hopefully more and more of us are going to start to thinking about mending our clothes before passing them along the line to others.
We have had a myriad of weather here in North London over the last couple of weeks with a sprinkling of snow last Tuesday followed by lots of rain and wind, but the bright patches are starting to appear and I have noticed it is much lighter in my garden studio through to the early evening. I am really excited by the prospect of the official start of spring here in the UK on Monday.
We have a busy weekend ahead as it is Charlie's birthday on Monday too, so I am panning a bit of cake making (Lemon Drizzle is his favourite) and we have family coming for lunch on Sunday. I would love to know what you have planned for the weekend and especially what you currently have on your hook. Don't forget to tag us into any images of your projects that you share on social media.
Sending virtual yarny hugs to you all
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