If you are suddenly panicking that you have lost a day somewhere over the course of this week, don't worry, my usual fortnightly Friday date with your inbox has moved forward by a day - it is definitely still Thursday!
I am emailing a day early this week as we are in the throws of moving out of the studio and I want to let you know that we will be suspending the post in order to complete our move and prepare to exhibit at The Knitting & Stitching Show, which starts a week today.
We will not be dispatching any orders taken on the website between tomorrow afternoon and Monday 11th October. Emailing you a day earlier than usual gives us more time to react to any orders you might want to place after reading this quick catch up email and means that we can get all the post sorted before we leave the studio tomorrow.
You can still place orders on the Janie Crow site, but anything ordered after 2pm Friday 1st October through to Monday 11th will be delayed. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause, but we cannot see an alternative way of completing our move and doing the show without a little disruption.
On a brighter note, we have had quite a lot more stock arrive over the past couple of weeks and so have been able to finally make up a lot of project packs, including The Fruit Garden Crochet Blanket in the Parchment & Caramel and Love Is Enough colourways, as well as more kits for the new Indigo Dreams CAL.
I have a few other things to tell you about besides stock updates this week, so I hope you can spare a few minutes to catch up with our news...
A couple of weeks ago I gave a Zoom presentation at the AGM of the Knitting and Crochet Guild. I had a fab time chatting about how and why I became a crochet designer and didn't end up working in a bank! Look at this amazing illustration of the presentation by @salinajaneart:
Big thanks to the Guild and to Salina for all their support. If you’re not a member already then why not consider joining? For a small annual membership fee you will be offered a wealth of great aspects such as local meetings and great resources on their website.
For those of you who pre-ordered the new book, The Fruit Garden Crochet Blanket, on the Janie Crow web site, these should have now started arriving. I hope you are enjoying leafing through the pages and perhaps some of you might have already starting making your Red House versions of the blanket! I'll look forward to seeing images of them on social media over the coming months.
If you have been on the search for a Fruit Garden project yarn pack, we now have them in stock for the Parchment & Caramel and Love Is Enough colourways. We hope we will have kits for Red House in again soon, but if you are desperate for a kit, why not check out an independent store or online stockist. The books are now out in the wild and I know that quite a few yarn shops have been able to make up project packs.
If you are looking for a kit for another project, we now have really good stock levels of blanket kits including Fields of Gold, Summer Palace (original and blue/pink) and Persian Tiles (Light Blue).
We had another delivery of yarn to make up kits for the Indigo Dreams CAL, which starts in a few weeks time via Inside Crochet Magazine. From the Janie Crow website you can link through for more information about the magazine and to see the great special subscriptions on offer for the duration of the CAL project. I am really excited about the blanket and hope that you will join me on other crochet along journey to get you through the winter months. The first set of patterns will be printed in the magazine in the October issue, which is out on the 21st, and then patterns are available each month through to the February issue.
We had a really great time exhibiting at Yarndale over the weekend and it was so lovely to see so many of you 'in the flesh' at last! The show had its usual great atmosphere and the weather was amazing, so it was the perfect way to feel instantly at home in a yarn show environment. I am really grateful to all those of you who took the time to come on the stand to chat, especially those who told me how important your crochet projects had become over lockdown. I met quite a few brand new crocheters too and it was surprising to discover the number who made the Fruit Garden their first ever project!
We will be showing our wares at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace next week. The show runs from Thursday 7th through to Sunday 10th October. We have our own stand in the smaller hall and I will be on the Stylecraft stand as part of a meet and greet event on Saturday and Sunday 1pm. I hope to see some of you there!
It has been a week of mixed emotions as we have packed up all or stock and personal belongings at the studio and transported them to their new homes. We have some storage space very nearby, so it has not been a lot of long trips to move everything, but it has been surprising just how much stuff we have accumulated over the course of 5 years. I am really sad to leave our building, which is set to be developed into lots of tiny bed sitting flats, especially as I thought we had found our forever home for Janie Crow, but I am equally excited to be set on our path for a new beginning and I look forward to showing you around my new studio space once everything is sorted.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our lovely assistant Sue, who has been a total rock for us over the last 6 years. Sue has been a close friend for many years since our boys went to school together and she has been an absolute star adapting her skills to fit what we needed from her. Without Sue we could not have grown our businesses the way we have and we are eternally grateful to her and wish her the best of luck for her new life, which she hopes will be by the seaside!
I thought I would briefly step away from the excitement of the Fruit Garden and Indigo Dreams blankets to look back to the Lily Pond blanket Crochet Along, which came out in 2015 and was the first crochet along I did in partnership with Stylecraft Yarns.
The design was inspired by the series of Lily Pond paintings by Claude Monet and I tried to create the feeling of movement with the stitch combinations to represent the lilies floating on top of water.
The reaction to the project was incredible with crocheters worldwide getting on board with the concept of the CAL. It was the first time that I was aware of whole groups of crocheters getting together to craft and I especially love these photos of completed projects sent to me by a crochet group in The Netherlands, who even celebrated their blankets with a party in the botanical gardens!
The design proved so popular that Stylecraft asked me if I had any ideas for a new version and the Cherry Blossom colourway was born! Here's an example in the making from ellevensies.design over on Instagram:
All of the patterns, together with the Cherry Blossom colour substitution document, remain available to download free of charge from the Crochetalong pages of the Stylecraft Yarns website here.
A quick search on #lilypondblanket on Instagram also revealed this cushion cover version from @crogemcrochet. Such a great way to turn a big project into a smaller, more manageable one for those of you with less hobby time!
I'll start with an apology for those of you who don't like beetroot but as I might have mentioned once or twice, we're a bit obsessed with it at the moment. This month Gemma has recommended this Riverford recipe for Aromatic beetroot curry with coconut.
Gemma says she put potato in her version to add some variety to the flavour/texture of the curry and it worked really well. We're definitely going to give this a go, especially as the beetroot in our garden are quite literally pushing themselves out of the ground ready to be eaten!
Facebook has been all about Indigo Dreams over the last couple of weeks. We had the most incredible response when we were able to share images for the first time, as you can see from the screen shot of the post below. This was the widest reach of any Janie Crow post on Facebook ever!
There is already a whole community of crocheters gathering in the Facebook group that has been set up especially for the CAL, with membership currently well over one thousand! Thank you to Sue, Jan and Tracy who are dedicating their time to welcoming you and helping members from all around the world with information about the CAL.
We loved reading this story about a grandmother in India being helped by her granddaughter to start a knitting & crochet business at the age of 78.
You can see Sheela's makes over on Instagram at @caughtcrafthanded.
We feel like our feet haven't touched the ground since we arrived back from our holiday a month ago. Indeed we have barely been home since, except to have dinner and head off to bed, so I am really hopeful that this weekend will provide a bit of much needed rest and recuperation!
We have a lot of sorting out to do at home as quite a lot of things have been moved there from the studio, but I am hopeful that we will find a little time to spend in the garden and Andy wants to do a bit more work on the lean to and new shed that he has built, so fingers crossed for nice weather - it has turned a bit damp and chilly here today...
I have a lovely knitting project on the go using Stylecraft's fabulous ReCreate, which is a 100% recycled yarn, and I will be hoping for some time on the settee with this. I am also hopeful that I might finally be able to get some alone time with a crochet hook as we head into next week - it feels like an age since I was immersed in a crochet project!
Are any of you planning to do the Stephen West MKAL this year? I have chosen a yarn palette that I now realise is very similar to the one I made last year, so I might make a few changes. The knit along shawl project starts next Friday and you can find more information about it by following this link.
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. I will be back in your in box with the October Newsletter on Friday 15th. Until then I hope you stay safe and warm as we head into Autumn...
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