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!
I have a few things to tell you about this week, but first I want to share some images from Summer's wedding!!! We only have phone snaps at the moment, but I am showing them to EVERYONE as I am so proud of my amazing daughter and our new son-in-law!
We had the most amazing time and every aspect of the day went according to plan. Despite a dreadful forecast the weather was incredible and the rain held off, so Summer & Chris were able to get married in the pagoda in the grounds of the venue and not inside.
Even the cake behaved itself on the day, despite me battling with the butter icing in the 30 degree heat in the days leading up to the wedding!
After all the trauma of the last 18 months it was incredible to be able to get together and celebrate this very special day and we are feeling so blessed and lucky to have had everything go to plan. In the end the day went far too quickly and I wish we could do it all again. Hopefully the official photos will come soon and we can reminisce about what an amazing day it was. I am sure I will be spamming you with images for a few months more, so watch out!
I have a few other things to tell you about this week, so I hope you have a few minutes spare to catch up with all things Janie Crow....
As I mentioned in my last newsletter I'm so thrilled to have been nominated within the 'Most Iconic Crochet Designer' category in this year's British Knitting & Crochet awards. Voting is open until the 24th September so there's still plenty of time if you want to head over to the awards website to vote for all your favourite yarn brands, stores, designers and products. You can find the link here or click on the image below. The Crochet Designer award is listed under 'Miscellaneous'.
In between the wedding preparations over the last couple of weeks I have been working on the new Fruit Garden book and am really pleased with how it is coming along and cannot wait to show you a few snippets from it very soon. Hopefully I will be able to give you more information in my August Newsletter in a few weeks time.
As we prepare to leave the studio at the end of September we have been looking at putting a business plan together for the next few years. I am really excited about the prospect of a fresh start and am enjoying the process of putting some new plans in motion, one of which is to add a few more lines to the Janie Crow Lifestyle range.
We love the Della Q range of knit and crochet companions and will be slowly moving our stock from Andy's Just Knots site to the Janie Crow one as we think it will sit in the Lifestyle range really nicely.
You can find our existing stock of Della Q over on the Just Knots web site by following this link, but the real reason I am telling you about it today is because we have a new shipment of mini messenger bags arriving over the next few days. I am totally in love with the look of these bags and have already nabbed myself one, which means we will have just 8 of them to sell (2 of each in 4 shades). We have added them to the website as a pre-sale item and expect to be able to send them out next week. You can find more information by following this link or by clicking on the image above.
You can find the Makers Canvas roll top range (shown above), which are also new, by following this link.
For the last few years I have been pretty good at updating and re-releasing patterns that have previously featured in magazines, such as The Climbing Rose Wrap, but I know there are quite a few that have fallen through the net.
This week I have had a few requests for the pattern for my Dizzy cushion cover, which featured in Simply Crochet Magazine in 2017. Rather than spend lots of time revamping the pattern I have decided to release it in a slightly different format to the majority of my patterns and will include this design in my 'Studio Collection' range as a download via Ravelry.
The pattern has been written for Rowan Cotton Glace, but you could use a DK weight yarn and end up with a slightly bigger cushion by using a 3.5mm hook in place of the 3mm. It is a great stash buster!
The pattern has been technically edited, but it has not been put into my pattern writing style and it has not been laid out by a graphic designer. It is also only available in UK terms. To reflect this, the pattern will be just £1.95 as a download and will not be available as a paper pattern. You can find it by following this link.
Have you been following the progress of the amazing Letitia's Garden CAL? I think the design is totally awesome and have really enjoyed seeing images of all the crochet in progress on social media over the last week or so since it was released. You can find more information about the CAL by following this link to the Stylecraft web site.
The CAL, which launched last week comes in seven parts and will be available in three colourways and four different sizes from table runner to a blanket large enough to top a double bed.
The pattern for Letitia’s Garden is available from Rosina’s Ravelry store priced at £7.95 but it will be just £3.95 until the end of August. Rosina has also made some very helpful videos to accompany the CAL which will be added to her YouTube channel as each part of the CAL is released. The CAL will be hosted in Rosina’s Facebook group Rosina Crochets.
My Summer Palace blanket design was initially inspired by an image of a printed cushion cover I found in a magazine, but having visited the Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace, near Mysore in India, a few years ago I was inspired to look at the design again and link it into my Mysore collection.
I feel that the design reflects the wonderful carved and painted wooden pillars and painted friezes found within the building, but the original version also retains its slightly Scandinavian looking design, which I originally felt echoed traditional fairisle design and would be the perfect cosy feeling winter blanket.
Look at this beautiful version in pale pinks and blues by Litotesrabbit that we came across on Instagram:
I absolutely love the effect of the blocking boards under the blanket in this image from a_stitch_in_hand. When I first saw it I thought it had somehow been made in a colour changing yarn!
I found the image above via fionabfifi on Instagram and instantly fell in love with the subtle colour palette. You can find more examples by following the related hashtag on Instagram #summerpalaceblanket
I revisited the design for a wrap version and found colours within the Baa Ram Ewe range 'Pip Colourwork' to reflect the elaborate carved and painted wooden pillars and painted friezes found within the palace. We no longer have stock of these kits, but you can use any 4ply weight yarn.
You can find a video on YouTube here that shows the stunning interior and the gardens that surround Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace and you can find the Wikipedia page about it here.
You can find the printed brochure for the pattern in UK and US terms here and the download versions via either Ravelry or Etsy.
Thank you to Rosemary Fox and Katrin Stappart for the images from the palace shown above.
If you are ever stuck for ideas for a quick and easy dessert, Gemma recommends this Bailey's Cheesecake from the BBC Good Food website. Clearly it's not a recipe for every day given the calorific content but, for a once in a while treat, it is just perfect!
In the picture from the BBC website there is cream on the top of the cake and on the side which Gemma felt was just a bit excessive, so she decorated the top of hers with Malteser buttons and some chocolate shavings with no extra cream needed to serve!
Like many cakes and desserts Gemma says the cheesecake is definitely best made the day before and left to set in the fridge overnight, so it could be a prefect sweet to make on Saturday for Sunday dinner? I think it looks really scrummy!
Following on from the question we asked recently about how many projects you have on the go at a time, we asked our Facebook followers whether they prefer to crochet on their own or get together with others for companionable hooking...
More than 300 of you entered the poll and over three quarters of those who voted said they prefer to crochet alone, or simply don't know anyone else with whom to share their hobby. Although the solitary aspect of the craft could seem a little sad, many of you made the point that it can be much harder to concentrate on complicated crochet if you are in the company of friends and that for many of you, part of the joy of crochet is that quiet time, later on in the evening, when you can relax and de-stress whilst focussing on your craft.
I have to admit that I love the mindfulness that crocheting alone can produce. When I am working on a design I find I have to take myself away from company as my work demands my full focus, but, as someone with a pretty short attention span, I tend to get fidgety when making repeated motifs so tend to do these in company, especially if they are easy to follow parts of a design.
Working in a production line way helps me get through repetitive bits too and I often save these for the weekends when Andy and I are sitting with our morning coffee having a chat, or for when the TV is on.
We've had some very hot weather recently and it got us thinking about some of the images of crochet garments that pop up on social media from time to time. My friends are always sending me links to articles that show men in jazzy knitted or crocheted shorts with captions like 'I saw this and thought of you!'
Where do you stand on woolly shorts? This article should give you some food for thought, although a couple of the images are not for the faint hearted - you have been warned!
If you've been thinking about planning a road trip (once travel is a bit less complicated of course!) then how about heading to California to visit the 'World Famous Crochet Museum'. We just love the idea of this tiny roadside shrine dedicated to the art of crochet!
Currently on display at the Helsinki Biennial 2021 is the Crochet Coral Reef. This crochet installation has been travelling the world since 2007 and was shown at the Hayward Gallery here in London in 2008. I am pretty sure the UK also has its own satellite reef which was on display at the Knitting & Stitching Show in London a few years back.
What an incredible feat of crochet skill!
f you follow my emails you will know that I am really interested in the process of yarn production and the origin of fibres, but I am also interested in where our food comes from and have tried to include some good links to sustainable brands within the Janie Crow Lifestyle section of our website.
So, with this in mind, we were interested to read about some of the research currently being done into alternatives to imported soya for use in animal feed, which is one of the hot topics right now.
The production of soya for animal feed is a known cause of deforestation in the Amazon and so any sustainable and ethically produced alternative has to be good thing. You can find out more in this article published on Wicked Leeks, the magazine produced by Riverford Organic farmers. It's great to see what's going on behind the scenes in the UK.
We are looking forward to a quiet couple of days after the whirlwind fairytale of a wedding last weekend. I will be teaching my first workshop in 18 months next weekend, so Andy and I will be staying close to home and avoiding busy places to keep ourselves safe in the lead up to that.
I have to admit that I am really looking forward to a bit of down time and am hoping to spend some time finishing off a couple of WIPS and pottering around in the garden - weather permitting!
Andy has done a really great job getting the start of the framework for our new lean-to erected against the summer house in the garden. I am starting to visualise how lovely this space is going to be and am looking forward to choosing the floor tiles and decorating our new outside space. You can find my Pinterest board for the lean-to here.
I know that a lot of people are now on their holidays or are busy having some lovely day trips. Ros Harwood sent me this image of her Blue House blanket on the beach. I love the way she has co-ordinated her breakfast to match!
The weather forecast here in the UK doesn't look all that good for the weekend, so if you are looking for something to do then you might be interested in some great tutorial videos aimed at knitters that have been put together by my friend Juliet Bernard.
The series of 10 videos will show you how to finesse your knitting skills and are available via the Beyond Knitting & Stitching Show. I think these videos could make the perfect companion for a rainy weekend, so I might well be heading over to take a look at some point over the next few days. At just £40 for all 10 workshops I think they are a bargain too!
'If you have ever wanted to try some intermediate knitting techniques to take your craft to the next level, then this class, which includes 10 sessions, will take you there. Learn intermediate techniques to improve your knitting skills including, different sock heels and toes, double knitting, brioche, continental knitting, steeking, intarsia, short row shaping, cabling without a cable needle and how to recolour a Fair isle pattern.'
My friend Jan is right to be feeling very proud of her daughter Drucilla as her 'Atelier Rococo' project, which she has worked on in conjunction with The National Gallery, has gone live. I will definitely be taking a good look at this over the weekend as there are some fabulous images and quite a lot of fascinating information about the project over on the dedicated web site and via the National Gallery site.
'Atelier Rococo (Drucilla Burrell and Magdalene Celeste) have created 15 new works inspired by paintings from the Gallery that explore themes of power in portraiture and create alternative narratives to the traditional expressions of wealth and domesticity.
For inspiration, they choose a mix of paintings that were both familiar and unfamiliar; their selection “referenced both wealth and domesticity and classical portraits.” They also selected some “purely based on outfits we wanted to recreate, being contemporary dandies!”
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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