My new crochet along project Indigo Dreams will run in Inside Crochet Magazine over five issues between October and February. The CAL will start in issue 141 of the magazine, which will be on sale on October 21st and you can find preview images and the list of yarns needed to create the project in this month's issue, which came out yesterday.
The design for this blanket was inspired by a beautiful Kantha stitched quilt that I found on my travels in India a few years ago, as well as my love of traditional patchwork quilts and tessellations.
The pattern will be broken down into five parts and will include the usual step-by-step images and detailed written instructions and charts. This is possibly one of my easiest projects to date, with most motifs based on the traditional granny square motif. As usual with my CAL designs the project will get progressively harder so that you can push your crochet ability and increase your skill set.
I love working with Inside Crochet Magazine and am incredibly proud of the outcome of this project. The styling of the blanket by Claire Montgomerie and the shots themselves by the fabulous Leanne Jade make me so happy and I hope you are going to love this project as much as I do.
You can find more information and a list of the Stylecraft yarns I have used to make this project by following this link. We have stock of kits available on the web site now. They are £59.50 plus P&P and include the yarn and a Janie Crow sew in label. Patterns are only available via Inside Crochet Magazine for the duration of the CAL and are not included in the yarn pack.
The magazine are offering a six-month subscription offer, which will guarantee that you receive each part of the CAL as it is revealed every month. You can find a great offer (which will save you ££££) for the print magazine by following this link and one for the digital subscription by following this link.
You can also find a wonderful Facebook community, so that you can share your progress and ask questions as you go along, by following this link.
The Fruit Garden Crochet Blanket books arrived here this week after a slight delay due to unforeseen circumstances, but boy was it worth the wait! I am so incredibly happy with it and hope that you are going to love it too!
Because of the delay in receiving the books we have had to move the publishing date a little, so if you are waiting on a pre-order please excuse the slightly longer wait. The official publishing date will now be Thursday 23rd September. Moving the date gives us time to make sure that books are also available via other yarn stores, so if you have a local Stylecraft stockist you may want to ask if they are expecting to have it for sale.
The original patterns for this project remain available as free downloads via the Stylecraft web site, but I have now amalgamated all the motif designs needed to make this stunning heirloom blanket into a book, which also includes crochet charts, testimonials and more background information about my inspiration and design process as well as a brand new colourway of the blanket project, 'Red House'.
When putting the book together I was lucky enough to be granted permission to use images from The William Morris Society, The V&A and The National Museums of Scotland, all of whom have items in their collections by William & May Morris that inspired my design.
I am immensely proud of The Fruit Garden blanket and all that it came to represent over the course of the last 18 months, when so many people used it as a way to help them through difficult times. I have included 8 testimonials in the book from people all over the world who created their own versions of the blanket in 2020.
I hope that this book will act as a great learning tool for crocheters who want to create a blanket of their own and also as a lovely keepsake for those who may have already made one or more of the project colourways.
All versions of the blanket use yarns from the Stylecraft range, including Life DK, Naturals – Bamboo + Cotton and the new Organic Cotton.
When I posted the video above on Instagram of my test print copy, I had a lot of people asking about purchasing a spiral bound copy. I asked our printer if he could cost a print run for a spiral bound version, but the price has come up far too high for it to be feasible.
Within the chat on Instagram many people mentioned how easy it is to get existing books spiral bound, so if you think this is something you might want to do with your copy of the book, check out this link to Rymans for more information. Apparently if you have an existing book they can cut through the spine and bind it for you! I am sure other stationary stores are able to provide this service, so don't worry if you don't have a Rymans near you. If you are in the US I understand that Office Depot provide this service too.
We may only just be on the verge of autumn here in the UK, but when it comes to crafting for the festive season it is wise to start planning your projects early, so I am really pleased to say that my Tidings Wrap, which I designed for this year's Jimmy Beans Advent Box is now available to order via their web site.
This will be the sixth annual Craftvent, a holiday-themed Advent calendar and there is something for every type of maker, as Jimmy Beans commissioned both knit and crochet project options and you can choose to work on either a 24 day project or 12 day one.
Designer Ambah O'Brien developed the large knit project called Festive Wrap and I came up with the crochet project, Tidings Wrap, which utilises a unique construction that begins at the centre and works each side outward. Adorable pom-poms are added to the outside using leftover scraps from each day and you can choose from 2 lovely colourways - Ribbon Candy is shown above and the Buttermint version is shown below.
Jimmy Beans' own knit and crochet designer Amy Gunderson created both the smaller knit and crochet projects, called 'Tis The Season Mitts. Gunderson owned a pizza place in Iowa City for seven years, which is also where she first learned to knit in between making pizzas. In addition to being a designer, she is also the Yarn Director at Jimmy Beans Wool.
We have just two weeks left here at the studio and so, if I am honest, I am beginning to get a little worried about the mountains of stock we need to sort through before we leave, especially as the books and yarn for new kits has all arrived this week and we have Yarndale to prepare for. I think we will be having a lot of late nights and no days off between now and the end of the month in order to sort ourselves out, but I am also feeling really excited about our new beginnings...
Andy's Just Knots site will be live until this coming Monday, so if you want to grab any of his reduced stock you have a few days to do so - there are still some great kits and yarn bargains there. Just Knots will be up and running as an ebay only store in a few weeks time, but while we sort everything out here and start to merge parts of Just Knots back into Janie Crow, we have put the store into holiday mode.
If you were previously a subscriber to Andy's Just Knots mailing list (which operated under the umbrella company of Janie Crow) this might be the first email you have seen from me directly, so welcome!
We are really excited that we will be exhibiting at Yarndale next weekend - 25th & 26th September. We have secured a really big stand so that there is double the amount of space for us to display the blankets and projects and more room for people to move around whilst browsing and stay a little more socially distanced. We are hoping to have yarn kits, patterns, books, crochet hooks, knitting needles and accessories for sale.
We will be dedicating quite a large space on the stand to display The Fruit Garden blankets and I will be on hand to sign copies of the book and catch up with any of you who want to have a chat!
The organisers of the show have made tickets available as timed entry to ease congestion and they have provided us with lots of suggestions to make the day safer of everyone, such as the provision of hand sanitisers on the stand and the recommendation for attendees to wear face coverings.
We are really looking forward to the event after 2 years away and hope that some of you will come along too. You can find tickets and more information by following this link to the Yarndale web site.
Veronica Drury is the driving force behind a great company Simply Shade Cards, who produce wooden cards that you can use to record your yarn choices for a project. Veronica has already made cards for Attic 24, Emma Varnam and Coastal Crochet projects, so I was really pleased when she approached me about making cards for The Fruit Garden Blanket.
Veronica will have Fruit Garden cards for each of the 4 blanket colourways on sale in her Etsy shop this afternoon.
Because the new book uses an alphabetical reference for the shades used in each of the 4 blanket colourways I thought that a shade card that lists shades from A to L would be a really useful tool, so over the last few months I worked with Veronica in order for her to also create some fabulous cards which will be exclusive to Janie Crow (shown above). We will have the alphabetical cards for sale at Yarndale and if we have any left over I will add them to the website on our return from the show.
Aren't they fabulous!
Stylecraft have had a large delivery of yarn this week, which means that many of our out of stock kits will start to make an appearance on the Janie Crow web site again. We have yarn packs for the Eastern Jewels version of Persian Tiles and the Night & Dusk version of The Fruit Garden blanket back in stock on Janie Crow. We also have kits for the original Persian Tiles blanket project.
We have yarn waiting to be made up for the Climbing Rose Wrap, Sunshine and Showers and the Sussex Garden version of Bohemian Blooms - all these kits have been put into stock and can be dispatched from Monday.
Most of our yarn kits are now packaged using repurposed packing as we are re-sealing the yarn bags that we receive our stock from Stylecraft in. This has meant we are using a lot fewer new plastic bags.
A few weeks ago Mary Maxim released a new yarn pack for my Delft blanket design. You can find it by following this link. If you would rather not have a yarn kit and are interested in my paper catalogue or download patterns, then take a look at them here on the Janie Crow website. Project pages have links for download copies of my patterns via Ravelry and Etsy.
I am really pleased to have been nominated within the 'Most Iconic Crochet Designer' category in this year's British Knitting & Crochet awards. If you want to head over to the awards website to vote for all your favourite yarn brands, stores, designers and products then you can find the link here. The Crochet Designer award is listed under 'Miscellaneous'. Voting closes next Friday, September 24th.
I want to show you the outcome of all the experimental cake making I went through in order to make Summer & Chris's wedding cake. Ta Dah!
Transporting and stacking a 4 tier wedding cake on the morning of the wedding was not the most relaxing thing to be doing, but I am really pleased with how the cake turned out and hope that you will be especially impressed by the beaded crochet doily that I made for the cake to sit on!
I used the rich dark chocolate cake and zingy lemon cake recipes from the BBC Good Food website and my fantastic Dad made a gorgeous fruit cake which was the second tier down.
I am not sure I will ever volunteer to make a wedding cake again, but I do really enjoy my new cake making hobby even if my waistline doesn't!
We will be at the studio over the next few days doing some packing and sorting, but we have a few little arrangements slotted in to make it feel a little more like a weekend.
Tomorrow afternoon we are heading over to see our artist friend Paul Hillary's open studio event and on Sunday we are going to try to catch a pop up zero waste market that is held once a month in our town.
We have a lot of vegetables suddenly ready in the garden, including an abundance of aubergines which we have been really successful with (beginners luck!), so I will probably make an aubergine and red onion casserole on Saturday night. Although we also have lots of beetroot suddenly ready, so it is going to be a hard choice!
This week I have started knitting a tank top in Stylecraft's ReCReate yarn. It really is lovely to knit with and I was inspired to make it by Emma Varnam who showed her lovely version on one of her recent Instagram Live videos. Like Emma, I am probably going to make it without the cable on the front. I am using shade 1942 Cherry. Emma does a weekly video on a Saturday morning, so you may want to check that out tomorrow.
Have any of you already signed up to the next Stephen West Mystery Knit Along? I made the slipstravavganza shawl this time last year and love it, although the last few rows felt never ending as the stitch count was so huge! So far I have resisted the temptation to officially join in, but I have found myself gathering 4ply from my stash to look at colour combos and will probably be dipping into it again over the next few days when I get distracted from the packing!
I hope that wherever you are and whatever you have planned, that you have a fabulous weekend and I will see you back here in a couple of weeks time - if you are coming to Yarndale next weekend please make sure to come and say hello!
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