It has been a busy couple of weeks here at Janie Crow and this weekend finds us at The Yorkshire Yarn Festival where we will be exhibiting our wares for the weekend. We are so excited to be out and in show mode again.
Whilst the weather has been bright but still chilly here in North London I have been trying to get out and about a bit for some local walks. It has been good to finally see the daffodils and crocuses making an appearance and bringing some spring time cheer. The hyacinths on the window sill in my kitchen and my incredibly prolific amaryllis (which currently has 6 flowers in bloom) have definitely kept my spirits up alongside a few bunches of daffodils!
Flowers are such a healing power don't you think? Maybe that's why they always end up making an appearance in my designs, even when I am trying not to create them in crochet!
I have been putting the finishing touches to some of the motifs and projects that will be part of the Spirit of Flora CAL and, as we head into March, we are looking forward to some new projects that will be out in the wild soon. I have a few things to tell you about this week and hope that you have the time and inclination to catch up with our news..
Three motif patterns that make up part of the Spirit of Flora CAL project have now been released via Inside Crochet Magazine with the fourth pattern, Tudor Rose, coming soon.
It has been fabulous seeing versions of the motifs cropping up on social media and especially great to see those that have been made using alternative colours. Last week I was lucky enough to attend another photo shoot with the magazine team where we shot images of the my alternative blanket layout.
This version is a little more random than the one already shown in the magazine and it has a fancier edging that features a flower motif inspired by William De Morgan's more 'Arabesque' style tile designs. You can see by the image that I have also made a matching cushion using a motif that will feature in the magazine in the late summer/early autumn. You can find a little video from the shoot on my Instagram feed by following this link.
Over Christmas I worked on creating a new colourway of my Mystical Lanterns pattern. Annabelle at Stylecraft has also come up with a new colourway so we will be releasing a yarn shade substitution document, which will also show the layout for a shawl project, over the next couple of months. At the moment we are hoping this will be ready for May.
Whilst on the subject of new colourways, I am really excited to reveal that my good friend Lucia of Lucia's Fig Tree has also been working on some new versions of my designs too. I am looking forward to showing you her version of Indigo Dreams, which we are tentatively calling Rainbow Dreams, soon.
The Glad Tidings Wrap was designed as the Advent project for Jimmy Beans Wool in December 2021. The original design used 16 mini skeins of yarn, with a new shade added to the design each day in the lead up to Christmas. The design is a great stash-buster if you have lots of little bits of left over 4-ply yarn, or you could use a curated collection of mini skeins.
The wrap is made by working a central crochet band which is added to daily. In the Jimmy Beans version the colours used on each side of the central band pretty much matched each other in terms of colour and we have made a version using Scheepjes Whirl, which does the same. You could create a quite different effect by using random shades or treating the wrap like a 'temperature' project where you assign colours to different temperatures and select your yarn according to the warmth of the weather that day.
The pattern has been amended so that it is not in a crochet along style. You can purchase the paper brochure pattern (in UK or US terms) by following this link, or you can find download versions on Etsy and Ravelry.
If you have been patiently waiting for Persian Tiles Sandalwood kits to come back into stock then you might be pleased to hear that we have them in stock now! Follow this link for more information
We will be taking over the Knit & Crochet Lounge at the Stitch Festival at the Business Design Festival here in London in March. You can find more information by following this link and you can get a discount on tickets by entering the code JCROW23 at checkout. It would be great if you could come along and join us on the stand where we will be making little crochet flowers that you could add to a free Janie Crow key ring!
We now have project bags, pencil cases, pouches and greetings cards from the Emma Ball range in stock. You can find the Janie Crow and Emma Ball collection by following this link.
You can check out our YouTube video where Emma and I talk about the collection here and I have also posted our live chat on our Instagram Feed.
As I said already, Andy and I are exhibiting at Yorkshire Yarn Festival this weekend. The show organiser, Sophie from Botanical Yarns, has lined up some really fabulous fellow exhibitors and I will feature as the guest at the Saturday evening craft night event where I will be doing a short presentation and Q&A session.
Tickets are still available for both days, although tickets are now in short supply for Saturday. You can purchase them in advance by following this link. Tickets for workshops and my Q&A session on Saturday night are also still available. You can find more information by following this link.
Hi, Gemma here. Last Friday I was lucky enough to visit the Unravel Yarn Festival in Farnham, Surrey, together with my good friend Courtney. Interestingly Farnham, around 36 miles southwest of London, has the status of a World Craft Town, something I wasn't aware of until I read the informative show guide that was included in the reasonable ticket price of £12. Timed tickets were available in advance giving entry throughout the morning, with some tickets available on the door too, for a couple of pounds more than the advance price.
These two look like trouble! That's me on the right, we might look it but we're not actually related
The show is hosted by Farnham Maltings, an Arts & Cultural organisation, who you can find out more about here. Farnham itself is a really lovely market town, with a surprising number of independent shops to explore (when there isn't the urgent business of attending a yarn show of course).
On arrival we were greeted with the art installation 'Seed of Hope' by Diana Burch, representing the connections between people and nature. All of the connecting cells were bound by hundreds of local people and drop in sessions were running across the weekend for visitors to get involved with binding the laurel cuttings with recycled wool.
Once inside the building there were two floors to explore, with 75 exhibitors in total spread throughout several interconnecting spaces. It felt quite crowded at times but not too uncomfortably so, although I expect it might have been busier on the Saturday and Sunday.
There were beautiful yarns on display as far as the eye could see. We spotted the Glad Tidings Wrap that Sarah Hazell worked up adorning the Knitting Shed's stall and it's even prettier in the flesh than in the photo.
The primary focus of this show is hand-dyed yarn, with the majority of stalls offering a highly tempting array of the most beautiful colours you can imagine. There were rainbow bright colours on some stalls alongside more muted, sultry colours, some of which you can see here on the Urban Purl's stall.
Courtney and I found that two hours was enough time to visit and browse all the stalls we were interested in and, although refreshments were available in the venue, we decided to head back into the town centre to find somewhere for lunch (and to compare our purchases of course).
Mine - I just have to learn to knit & crochet faster now!
We both enjoyed the show as the range of stalls and the manageable size of the show was fabulous, so we will be getting next year's date in the diary as soon as it's announced!
Gemma works a really long day teaching crochet on Wednesdays and always has to leave food prepared for her family. This week's offering was a roasted vegetable and lentil lasagne, from the Delicious Magazine website. Lasagne is always great for the winter as it's so warming and satisfying. If you fancy having a go at the recipe click on the image below.
We found this fascinating article from the Guardian newspaper about crochet patterns created through Artificial Intelligence. We're not sure designers need to feel threatened quite yet - which is a bit of a relief if we are honest!
A Guinness World Record was broken in Derby last Friday, with 960 people crocheting simultaneously at the Derby Arena. The previous record was 604 people and was set in Australia in 2017. You can read all about it here or click on the image below.
I have felt more inspired this week than I have for a while so I have packed my crochet hook and some yarn to take away to Yorkshire with me. I have finally started work on a new CAL design and so, as we have a long drive ahead of us, I hope that means plenty of hooky time for me!
I hope that you have some nice plans for the next few days and that life treats you kindly whatever you have planned...
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