The weather here has been pretty dismal over the last few days and at times it has even seemed a little autumnal, with lots of rain. Despite the fact that the garden is grateful for the water, the lack of warmth up here in the studio has got me hoping that some brighter weather will appear over the weekend and into next week. Fingers crossed!
I have a few bits to tell you about this week and you can find more information about what we have been chatting about on social media lower down this email. I have also added links to quite a few projects. We have a price increase coming at the beginning of August (that's next week!) in line with the rise in the trade prices of yarn, so now might be a good time to grab a kit or two in time for the autumn. We have good stock of quite a few of our kits including our best sellers - Sandalwood and Eastern Jewels.
I hope this quick catch up email finds you well, that you are all safe and sound and that you have a few minutes spare to catch up with all things Janie Crow.
Emma and I have been seeing quite a lot of posts on social media that talk about Christmas in July so we started wondering whether any of our southern hemisphere friends take part in any Christmas in July events. Emma created a post on Instagram this week that I thought I would share here - would love to know what you think:
We have seen this phrase plenty of times this year, but mostly relating to lovely crafts rather than gatherings or celebrations, but we understand that lots of people arrange parties and gatherings to celebrate together in colder weather. We would love to hear about any that you might be involved in!
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, when our summer gets a bit steamy, the thought of cooler months to come, and invoking that with a little dip into a festive project, might be just what you fancy, or maybe you're just a person who is wonderfully organised and likes to start Christmas prep nice and early. We know lots of lovely people like that too.
So what other benefits are there to get a bit festive a wee bit early? Well, apart from anything else, many of the Christmas Decoration patterns are brilliant for using up leftovers. You could make little stockings to create an advent calendar or tree decorations - they’re a great size to pop little daily treats in!
Following our recent post about the new versions of Mystical Lanterns, perhaps you love the project but don't want to commit to a full blanket: festive solution ahoy! Make a row of the motifs, fill in with half and side motifs (here is the link the blog posts to show you how), add the edging and some little bells and voila - a sumptuous and dare we say, all year round bunting!
We wondered if we could get festive in the summer months and it took about 5 seconds to realise that yes, we absolutely could! Crocheting small and pretty things is completely appropriate isn't it, whatever the time of year.
Following on from our festive post, we are still casting glances in the direction of Christmas and within Wednesdays Instagram post we wondered if any of you were planning to make and gift a larger project this year?
Once summer has been packed away and autumn arrives, it seems moments before we are rushing around trying to fit in all the things we had planned during those times when we had the luxury of the long months stretching ahead of us. Christmas really does seem to hurtle towards us at lightning speed every year, mostly catching us out totally unawares!
With that in mind, if you’re one of the very kind souls who have chosen to make and gift a blanket to a loved one, it might be an excellent time to start! Blankets can take many months to complete, especially since we generally have such a lot of “life” we have to take care of before we can sit down with hook and yarn. We love a Christmas Eve cast on project but imagine a “comfortably finished by Halloween” one feels just as amazing!
We’ve included some of our favourite photos here to give you some inspiration and you can of course have a browse on the website. Every year we have the best intentions, perhaps this year will be the one they come to fruition!
There never seems to be enough time does there? I think that is why, when we receive a handmade gift, it’s so incredibly generous and touching: the gift itself is wonderful, but it’s the time that has been gifted with it that’s so valuable and humbling. The hours of work that went into it – the maker chose to spend those hours on us. Those are the things that make handmade things so very precious.
After some scorching weather in June, July has turned into a month of much more variable weather and so over on Facebook Gemma turned the spotlight on the Sunshine & Showers blanket, which was originally released as a crochet along back in 2016. This isn't a blanket that we often see different colour schemes for but we thought you might like to see Stephanie Davison's version as it's so unusual and effective in its use of fewer colours than the original.
We also took a look back at another crochet along, the Climbing Rose Wrap. This originally appeared over 4 issues of Inside Crochet during 2019 and was inspired by the William Morris fabric design 'The Strawberry Thief' along with the 'Molly Blue' design by Fryetts Fabrics, which perfectly encapsulated the colour palette I wanted to use.
Some of my CAL designs have taken me months to design and make, whilst others, have been quite quick. The design for the Climbing Rose Wrap was a really speedy one once I set to crocheting and I really enjoyed interpreting elements of Morris’s fabric design in my crochet. The flowers within the original design are not easy to identify exactly, so I looked at traditional Victorian garden flowers and used these as the basis for my motifs, hence the fact that they are called Day Lily, Rambling Rose and Anemone.
Here's Becky Rolfe modelling her wrap.
Margaret MCCauley made a square version.
Thank you, as always, for sharing your photos with us. We do look at them all and so enjoy seeing your colourways and interpretations of the designs.
As we're in the thick of courgette season we thought we'd show you this lovely Greek recipe combining courgettes, orzo, feta and lemon. We tested the recipe we found here out on Sarah while she was with us last week for step-by-step photography for my new book.
It was really tasty, but a little gloopy thanks to the starch from the pasta, so I really recommend using a higher end brand of orzo or part cooking it to remove some of the starch before hand.
If you do a search for recipes that use courgettes with pasta and feta you will find a lot! The recipe we used was really lovely and lemony but I have since found another that uses fresh thyme - something I really love, so I will definitely be giving this one a go too. You can find the recipe by following this link or by clicking on the image above.
We have shared this before, but we have been reminded about it again over the last couple of weeks. This wonderful little animation on YouTube is called Lost & Found. It really had us on the edge of our seats!
A crochet dinosaur is desperate to save the love of his life and makes the ultimate sacrifice! Apparently the film was shortlisted for an Oscar in 2019 and you can also watch a behind the scenes video here.
After a weekend of teaching and a busy time doing step-by-step photography for my new book last week I really struggled to get out of bed most days this week and could quite happily have sneaked back to the bedroom for a quick nap! But, as usual, there have been a long list of things that needed to be done, so I am really looking forward to a little bit of downtime over the weekend. We are going away for a few days to celebrate our wedding anniversary and I am planning which crochet projects to take with me so that I can grab some of that all important crochet time.
I still treasure my crochet time and see it as a bit of a reward in the evening - a way to clear my mind and mull over the events of the day. I use my crochet as a tool to look after myself. I think the maths and continuous counting helps my little grey cells and the complexity of my designs keeps my brain problem solving and concentrating. The rhythmic action of my hook helps to keep me calm and relaxed.
July has been World Self Care Month. An event that promotes the importance of maintaining our own health and that of those around us. Self Care month is about empowering people to be active agents in their own healthcare and I definitely feel that my crochet plays a part in my own well being.
I would love to know if your crochet helps you feel the same way and what other practices you have created to help look after your own well being.
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Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my email newsletter archive alongside any other general musings or information about events or new pattern releases that I wish to share with you!