Welcome to a quick catch up with Janie Crow. I hope that this email finds you well and happy wherever you are in the world! Here in North London the weather has been more than a bit temperamental, with lots of rain and a big drop in temperature, so we have been busy catching up with some of our indoor craft projects rather than spending time in the garden or out and about.
When I am designing I find it helps my creativity and output if I work on more than one project at a time. This way I am in less danger of getting bored or fed up. I tend to have an easy project and a harder one on the go most of the time but I have to admit that the temptation to start new things is often overwhelming and I find myself digging through my yarns for new colour palettes all the time.
The number of scrappy 'starting' samples I have here at the studio is now a bit embarrassing, so I have made a pact with myself to go back and revisit some old bits of sampling and dig around behind the settee for projects that have been sadly neglected. I always think the best part about a new project is the excitement of choosing it and then working with the first couple of colours. Personally, I find that once I am on to the third ball of yarn or the fifth repeat of a motif I start to loose momentum, but with our move from the studio increasingly imminent I really must get around to finishing some 'stuff'!
As you know, I love seeing completed projects on social media and I especially like it when crocheters have played around with their own colour palettes. A couple of weeks ago I showed you a version of my Magic Circles blanket design that was being made by Karolyn Smalls. Many of you got in touch to ask about the colourway and so I am pleased to say that Karolyn has put details of her colour choices on her Instagram feed crafts_n_cats. Her amazing blanket (shown below) is now finished and you can find more images on Karolyn's feed.
In regards to the shades used in this fabulous version of the blanket, Karolyn used an Attic 24 Meadow Yarn Pack from Woolwarehouse and added a ball of Stylecraft Special DK in both Cypress and Lime. I think I am in love....
If you follow Lucy at Attic 24 then you may have seen her collection of painted peg people made by the super talented Lyn of Silvery Paws, who is also a skilled crocheter. I have recently been following Lyn's progress as she has worked through my Mystical Lanterns blanket and have really enjoyed seeing her beautiful colour way coming together. Lyn used the new half motif pattern, which I posted on my blog a few months ago, to achieve straight sides and she has cleverly also come up with a couple of quarter motifs to achieve really neat corners.
I am not sure why it hadn't occurred to me that a quarter motif was needed, but seeing Lyn's project and her fabulous right angled motifs has prompted me to finally get around to writing out the instructions to make a quarter motif - you can find the free pattern on my blog by following this link.
If you fancy having a go at making one of my Mystical Lanterns projects, you can find the patterns in the Janie Crow web store or you can find download versions via Ravelry and Etsy. Andy has been busy putting some kits together for the scarf version of the design. He has created some really nice colourways using Coop Knits Socks Yeah! which you can find by following this link. These will be the last kits that we have for this project for quite a while (if ever!) and as we only have 21 kits in total you may need to be quick! All yarn kits are £43.50.
Over the last 18 months I have had a lot of workshops and events cancelled for obvious reasons, so it is really exciting to see some plans start to take shape for later on this year and into 2022. Arena Travel have just released the details of a cruise to Iceland that I will be tutoring next August. This trip was previously planned for this time last year and many of the original participants have moved their bookings to the new date, but I know there are still places left.
The workshop description on the web site is incorrect as it names an alternative tutor and outlines slightly different knitting techniques. I have asked Arena to update the listing to say the following:
'Our knitting expert Jane Crowfoot will offer four full day workshops on board, as well as plenty of opportunities for social knitting as we circumnavigate Iceland. Her workshops will focus on working in the round, using both stranded and fairisle knitting techniques, and beading. Jane will also show how to create and cut through a steek in your knit.
If you fancy coming along, on what promises to be a great tour, you can find more information and book by following this link.
I have always been a lover of blue and cream pottery such as Devon Blueware, Delftware and the Willow Pattern, so back in 2016 I designed a blanket with a pottery theme in mind. I am so pleased with the outcome of my Delft Blanket project and I still love the way the octagon shaped crochet motifs echo the idea of tessellating decorated plates.
When I was a child we would often visit my elderly Auntie Kit for afternoon tea and so I was used to seeing the Willow Pattern on sandwich plates and teacups. The pattern features an elaborate chinoiserie pattern that was popular towards the end of the 18th Century. Despite having an oriental style of design, pottery featuring the Willow Pattern originally came from Stoke-On-Trent in the UK, but a lot of pottery featuring the design also came from China via the East India Company. You can find a great video here that tells the story behind the pattern.
Image (C) Wollplatz
Delftware from The Netherlands, which features cream and blue designs, was in existence far earlier than its Stoke-On-Trent counterpart featuring the Willow Pattern. Delftware often features flowers and birds and is famous for it’s quality and intricate designs.
Back in 2019 we ran a colouring competition in collaboration with Stylecraft Yarns and Simply Crochet Magazine and three new versions of Delft were born! Debbie Gould, Katie Mulliner and Jackie Walker designed the Fiore, Rose Garden in Bloom and Bejewelled colourways respectively.
You can read all about the competition over on the website here. The Delft pattern has been updated to include images of the winning colourways and the free colour substitution documents can be downloaded by clicking on the images above. The pattern is available as a paper copy on the Janie Crow web site here or as a download from Ravelry or Etsy.
Over on Facebook we recently asked a question about your crocheting habits. Are you strictly a one project person or do you have lots of works in progress like me?
As you can see from the image above, the results were pretty clear. Over 550 of you voted and almost three quarters of you have at least 2 projects on the go at any one time. It was interesting to read all the comments that were made on the post. Some of you have a variety of projects on the go, varying in complexity, that you might pick up at different times. This could be, for example, a simpler project that you can work on while watching the TV or a smaller project like socks, alongside a larger one such as a blanket.
Some of you simply cannot resist the temptation when a new pattern or crochet along is released so you have projects waiting in the wings! One thing that a lot of you seemed to agree on is that there simply aren't enough hours in the day!
Gemma decided to cook up a curry feast for Father's Day on the 20th June and one of the dishes she made was this yummy fried cabbage dish. Gemma says this was definitely not the recipe to undertake on a relaxing day as she says was almost too exhausted to eat by the time it was all finished! Thankfully this recipe was oh so tasty despite all the chopping and shredding involved!
Wanting to add a few more vegetable dishes to the mix Gemma tried this dish from Dassana's Veg Recipes for something a bit different. With the addition of grated carrots and using soaked dessicated coconut instead of freshly grated, it apparently went down a storm!
We always love reading about celebrities and prominent people who enjoy a bit of crochet on the side and so this article in the Washington Post about the American Vice President Kamala Harris was good to see. She visited a yarn store called Fibre Space much to the delight of the owner, Danielle Romanetti. We particularly like the amigurumi doll of the Vice President, pictured in the article. Click on the image below to read more (you need to click on the 'read for free' tab).
There's an interesting article on CNN Style about the rise of knitting and crochet on social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. Click here or on the image below to read about 'The trend making the internet wholesome again'!
I follow an Instagram feed called 'Dudewithsign' and I love seeing the different topical placards he comes up with. The wording in the image below has been photoshopped and so is not one of his actual comments, but it did make me laugh, especially as the constant confusion between knitting and crochet drives me crazy!
I got an email this morning about the RSPB's new campaign called 'Revive Our World'. The Royal society believes that the loss of nature threatens human life as we know it and they want to put pressure onto world leaders who are negotiating last-resort targets to save nature at two global summits this year.
You can find more information about the campaign and add your name (along side mine) to the list of people willing to put pressure on the government by following this link.
I love looking at interior trends and have always been a bit of a DIY fan, so I follow quite a few home decorating themed feeds on social media. One of my favourites is Greg at manwithahammer who is busy renovating a huge ex-naval Georgian property in Devon.
Greg has recently become really interested in textiles and has a new penchant for really huge bed headboards like the examples below via Kit Kemp designs.
I have really enjoyed watching Greg make his own headboards and I feel quite inspired to have a go at making one myself, although perhaps not on quite the same scale as these shown above as it would take up almost the whole of my little bedroom!
I was really honoured when the lovely chaps at Inside Crochet magazine suggested that the Janie Crow catalogue could feature as the free gift in this month's edition. The catalogue showcases all my past designs and it was so exciting to see it wrapped up with the magazine when it arrived in the post last week!
If you are not a subscriber to the magazine and want to see a catalogue, which is full of beautiful colour images of my projects, you can find it as a free download via the homepage. A printed copy can be added to your basket at no extra cost if you are ordering from the website or for a small postage contribution without any other purchase.
With just 3 weeks until our daughter Summer hopefully gets married we have a weekend of wedding related plans, which includes a hair trial for the bride to be and suit fittings for the boys! It is really exciting to think that all the plans might come to fruition soon, so long as current restrictions are lifted. We have our fingers very tightly crossed....
With the wedding potentially on the horizon we are battening down the hatches over the next couple of weeks just to be sure that we all stay healthy, so I have lined up quite a few projects to finish off, including a design which will be the advent project for Jimmy Beans in the US and another new version of my Delft pattern.
I leave you with this sweet story about orphaned sheep in Australia that I came across via the BBC. My cousin Bev lived on a farm when we were children and I remember her nurturing poorly lambs back to good health every spring. At the time I thought it was really cute and lovely and I wished I could have a lamb too, but my uncle Pete would always remind me that Bev had in effect saved the lambs for a dinner plate in the future in his matter of fact, no nonsense farmer way! These days, (especially as I am now a vegetarian) I prefer to think that these lovely little animals are simply busy growing beautiful wool for us to use!
Whatever your plans for the next few days I hope you have a great weekend. We always enjoy hearing from you, so if you want to get in touch simply hit reply and let us know what is on your mind.
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