Quick catch up with janie crow
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I know that I have dropped an email into your inbox two weeks on the bounce, but that's because last week's newsletter was a week late! As things are finally calmer and more settled here at Janie Crow I am trying to get back on schedule and keep my life on track - it is good to feel like things are finally coming together after our move out of the studio.
This week we have been busy sorting out my new work space in the summer house at the end of our garden. The building (which Andy brick built about a decade ago) spans the entire width of the garden, so it is a nice sized space which we have now divided up a little so that part of it can be used by me as a small studio space. Seeing the room take shape this week has made me feel a real pang to get back to some design work. As I said last week, I have quite a few ideas hanging around in my head, so it will be lovely to finally settle down with a hook and some yarn and get going on some new projects.
I don't have a huge amount to tell you about this week and will recap on some of the things I mentioned last week in my November newsletter, but there could well be something in here that interests you, so I hope you will stick with me for five minutes and catch up with all things Janie Crow.
I love seeing my designs worked in alternative colourways and so when Lucia Dunn of Lucia's Fig Tree asked for permission to recolour my Persian Tiles blanket to create her amazing Eastern Jewels version a few years ago I was really pleased. A few years later Lucia worked her magic to create a version of my Frida's Flowers design too, so I was really excited when we caught up in the spring and she told me that she wanted to make her own version of my Fields of Gold blanket.
I adore this new brightly coloured version of my blanket, which Lucia has come up with. It is just so gorgeous!
Lucia has named her version of the blanket Fiori and, to make this collaboration even more exciting, she has very kindly included the Janie Crow logo alongside hers on the balls of gorgeous Fohen DK yarn which make up the yarn packs for this project. Fohen and Fohen Tweed yarns are a really gorgeous soft and bouncy DK weight, which is a merino wool rich mixture in fabulously vibrant shades.
We now have less than 15 of these kits left in stock and, as it is a limited edition, we currently do not have plan to restock. If you have been thinking about grabbing one of these kits, you can follow this link to nab one.
The yarn packs contain 31 x 50g balls of exclusive yarn, a sew in Janie Crow label, the original pattern for the Fields of Gold Blanket and a printed yarn sub brochure for Lucia's Fiori colourway. All our yarn kits have been packed re-using the original plastic bag packaging from the yarn supplier rather than new bags. You can find more information about the project by following this link.
Please note that the Fiori colourway is only available as a kit and that the yarn substitution document is not accessible separately. We have a limited number of these kits available. Our order came in a little short, so we will have a few more kits towards the end of the month/early December, but it is pretty much a case of when they are gone they are gone!
You can find a lovely introductory video that Lucia has made about this blanket collaboration by following this link.
It has been fabulous seeing your Indigo Dreams blankets taking shape. With part two of the pattern out now and part three not far away it has been fabulous to see all the crochet motifs popping up on social media. As usual, it has been a joy to see lots of lovely alternative colourways and types of yarn being used.
I spent some time in the garden this week doing (what might be) my final bit of leaf clearing for the year. I even managed to give the grass a cut, so it is looking much better for a quick bit of TLC. Whilst clearing up I noticed that there was quite a lot of ivy in need of chopping back, so I gave it a good prune and brought the cuttings in to use in my first little bit of Christmas decorating. If I am honest it still feels a little early to be decorating the house, but as time is flying by so quickly, I think we might be getting up into the loft this weekend to get all the festive decorations down.
If you are looking for some nice little stash busting projects and fancy having a go at making some of my crochet decorations then why not take a look at the festive decorations page on my web site by clicking here or on the images above and below.
We are really pleased that it looks like we will be having more kits in stock within the next week as the delivery of yarn is becoming more and more reliable. One of the designs we are hoping to have yarn packs for is my Sunshine and Showers blanket, which I designed as a year long CAL project quite a few years ago now.
The project was originally released as monthly patterns, but they are now all available as downloads via Ravelry and Etsy.
The inspiration for the design was the seasonal weather of the UK and each section of the design, the patterns for which were originally published monthly, reflects a different seasonal theme. For example, in July and August the design was based on sunny skies and flowers, whereas in January the focus was great snowy weather, which I represented by using crochet puff stitches.
Sunshine and Showers uses 15 balls of 100g Special DK, so if you fancy doing your own colour way you could search through your stash for left over yarns.
Like all my crochet along projects I tried to design this one in a way that made it a great learning tool. It gets progressively harder so that crocheters can build their skills. All patterns include step-by-step images and detailed instructions throughout. Follow this link to the Janie Crow website for more information.
The other kits we are hoping to have in stock next week are Eastern Jewels, Fruit Garden - Night & Dusk and Lily Pond. If you are after one of these kits please keep an eye on the web site.
We felt really privileged to attend our niece's wedding last weekend, especially as the ceremony had previously been cancelled twice as a result of lockdown.
The wedding was absolutely wonderful and it was so lovely to see our beautiful girl finally marry her prince. The whole day was a delight from start to finish, but one of the highlights was the amazing Italian wedding breakfast, which included the most delicious pasta dish I think I have ever had in my life!
All the food was delicious, but we enjoyed the mushroom fettuccine so much that we searched out a recipe and made our own version the following day. We used this recipe from Pinch of Yum.
As we have been sorting out the summer house/studio space this week I have been looking at lots of interiors/decorating web sites and whilst doing so I came across a great app from Dulux which helps you envisage what their paint shades will look like in your home. The visualiser app is really cool and you can find more information about it here. Whilst playing about with it this week I found that you can pick colours from existing images too and then match them in their paint range, so needless to say, I am now a tad addicted to the app!
We have also been looking for some curtains for the studio and so I was excited to see the range of William Morris fabrics that are making a comeback in the form of ready made curtains. Whilst on the John Lewis website I found some Kelmscott Tree curtains.
As the embroidered bed hangings on William Morris's bed at Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire were one of the inspirations for the Fruit Garden blanket I couldn't resist these beauties, despite the price tag - I will just have to make a few savings elsewhere to stay within my little budget!
Finding the Kelmscott curtains led me down a William Morris rabbit hole once again and I came across some lovely festive items in the William Morris Gallery shop. I resisted temptation, but there might be something there that takes your fancy.
We have an imitation Christmas Tree that we get out year after year. I bought the tree around 10 years ago, but have since discovered that you need to keep a fake tree for many years to balance its carbon foot print so it looks like our tree will have a few more years left with us. Thankfully I still love the tree, so am not too worried about that, however I did consider renting a real tree this year to give us a bit of a break from our fake snowy one.
Andy's cousin rented a tree last year and many areas in the country operate a tree rental service. You can find more information about this in a piece via Country Living, which you can find here. If you want to read up on the fake vs real Christmas Tree debate you could take a look at this article.
After a long period of time of not really doing a lot of anything (in terms of going out) we have a busy weekend ahead of us so I am thankful that we have already had our booster jabs!
Tonight we are going to see The Manic Street Preachers in concert at Wembley and tomorrow Summer and I are heading to the festive open day at The Grey Sheep Co in Hampshire. On Sunday afternoon we are hoping to see a local band at the pub! I would like to think that somewhere amongst all of this we will manage to get some of our festive decorations up at home and that I will get to have some cosy time with my knitting on the settee....
I know that we are very lucky to be in such a privileged position to be planning a lovely weekend ahead and that there are many others who are not so lucky. We are very thankful for what we have and try our best to pay back in small ways if we can. At this time of year we support two of the UK's homeless charities, Shelter and Crisis. If you want to support them too, please click on the links. Both charities rely on the work of volunteers and not just on the proceeds of donations and they do amazing work at a time of year when not everyone is lucky enough to be at home enjoying a lovely Christmas.
I will be back in a couple of weeks time with my December newsletter. If you are looking for a project to work on over the festive period or want to source a kit as a gift (either to self or for a friend) don't forget to check into the web site to see if kit stocks have been updated. If you are looking for small stocking filler gifts with an eco edge, then you could also take a look at our Lifestyle range here.
I hope that you are well and happy as we head into the weekend and that all is good with you wherever you are in the world. Sending yarny hugs...
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