I hope this quick catch up email finds you well. It has been a bit hectic here at Janie Crow this week as I have been preparing for my workshops 'up north' next week. I love doing workshops and events, but there is always a lot to do in the build up to them, like making sure the project is made and accompanying yarn packs prepared, as well as making sure I have all my own notes ready. I am also doing a presentation next week, so that has taken a bit of work too. I felt a bit snowed under yesterday, so I tidied my desk and had a quick clear up in my studio space - something that always makes me feel more in control, so I am heading into the weekend feeling a little calmer!
I have a few things to tell you about this week and hope that you can spare 5 minutes out for your own hectic schedules to catch up with all things Janie Crow.
Thank you for your incredible response to our appeal to raise funds for the charity UNHCR, who are doing their best to support refugees.
Throughout Ukraine's history sunflowers have been a symbol of peace and solidarity and it has been amazing to see how many of you adopted the idea of making a crochet mandala, using my Fields of Gold pattern to show support. We have seen so many lovely images and messages on social media over the last couple of weeks and I am absolutely blown away by your generosity.
We have tallied up all the profit made on the sales of my Fields of Gold pattern for the month of March. We have rounded all amounts up and we have taken a hit on some of the printing charges and packaging costs so that we can donate as much as possible for each sale. We have included download patterns via Etsy and Ravelry and all paper patterns, including those in blanket project kits. We have also added in donations made directly to me via the 'Support Me' buttons on my web site this month.
So, without further a do, I can reveal that the amount we raised was an amazing £4901.28. The final amount we will be donating to UNHCR is the incredible total of £5000! I am so grateful to all of you who supported this fundraiser - you are all totals stars!
Last Friday I took myself off to the V&A Museum and had a wander around for a couple of glorious hours. The V&A is my default destination when I am looking for ideas and it was so good to be back there after a long time away.
My first port of call at the museum is almost always the Islamic Middle East Gallery, where I check in with the ceramic tile that became the inspiration for my Persian Tiles design way back in 2016.
From there I wandered around the South Asia Gallery, which always leaves me full of ideas. This time I found myself really drawn to Indian water colour paintings. I have collected a few of my own miniature paintings on our travels in India, but what really drew me to those on display was the intricate floral painted frames, which I have focussed on in the images below.
A visit to the V&A is not complete without a walk around the Arts & Crafts Movement room (Britain Galleries), which has lots of lovely William and May Morris pieces. I was really excited to see that a new item in the museum's collection is this amazing portrait by the awesome Kehinde Wiley. I missed his exhibition at the William Morris Gallery in 2020, so I was a bit emotional to finally see a piece of his work up close and personal, especially as this one is so stunning! If you are a fan of Wiley's work then you might be interested to know that there will be an exhibition of his work at The National Gallery from 18th April - you can find more info here.
And finally, I climbed the stairs to my favourite 'hidden gem' in the museum, the ceramic galleries on the 4th Floor. These rooms are a bit out of the way and are not on the well trodden museum route, so there are never many people up there and it almost feels like I have found something secret! The ceramic collection is vast, with huge display cabinets from floor to ceiling in at least 4 large rooms and I always leave feeling really inspired and a little overwhelmed!
A visit to the V&A is not complete without a mooch around the shop. I found some great books, which I hope will help me form some new design ideas.
In my last email I mentioned that I have been thinking about designing some garments. Many of you replied to say that this is something you would like and I am still considering how my designs could work within items of clothing. I admit that I am quite apprehensive about the idea of fitted pieces and am more likely to come up with wrap, shawl and bag ideas to start with - so it is a case of watch this space for now. If you are looking for some great crochet fashion design I urge you to take a look at Cassie Ward's work. Cassie's Instagram feed is called The Missing Yarn and you can find it here.
The response to my pastel versions of the Beaded Decorations was so good last time I emailed that we sold out of kits in no time. The good news is that we now have some more in stock, so if you missed out last time please take a look!
The kits includes 6 balls of Organic Cotton DK in the spring shades, a bag of Debbie Abrahams beads, a 4mm crochet hook and the printed pattern, which also includes a beading masterclass. The price for the contents of the kit work out at almost £30, but we have priced it at £24.95. I have made 12 decorations so far and possibly have enough to make at least 8 more depending on the order of yarn use. You can find the kits by following this link, where you will also find the pattern if you want to use yarn from your stash.
Just a reminder that the price of our paper patterns will be going up. At Janie Crow we have tried to keep our prices as reasonable as possible and have swallowed quite a few of our increasing costs over the last few years, however we are at a point now where we can no longer put off a price increase on our paper patterns.
The cost of printing has almost doubled over the last few months and so we will be increasing the price of paper patterns as existing stocks sell through. The increase in price will be added to the next print run of all our brochure patterns, but for now our smaller 4 page folded leaflet style patterns will remain for sale at £3.95. Going forwards 8 and 12 page patterns will increase in price to £6.95 each and 16 page patterns will be priced at £8.95.
If you want to stock up on paper patterns before the price increase starts to kick in from next week, you can find a link to all our paper patterns here.
I will be at Black Sheep Wools for a couple of days next week. I will be hosting a Fruit Garden Blanket Tea Party at the store on Wednesday 6th of April. The event is a chance for you to come along and hear about my design process for the project, how we launched it as a CAL over the pandemic and how I set about creating the dedicated book last year. I will be bringing along lots of my own projects and hope that participants will also get involved in a show and tell and talk about their own Fruit Garden projects. You can find more details about the event by following this link.
The following day (7th April) I will be tutoring 2 beaded flower mini workshops where I will demonstrate how to make a lovely beaded flower using a motif from the Fruit Garden project as inspiration. Most of the places have sold out but you can still find a couple of spare spots by following this link.
Gemma has been incredibly busy finding some great items online this week, such as the fact that March was National Crochet Month in the US and that crochet is a key fashion trend for 2022. You can find a great piece from The Fashion Network here, a piece from Malay Mail here and a lovely piece about crochet handbag trends from Woman and Home. I am pretty sure we could all come up with some lovely crochet bags at a fraction of the price of some of these....
Gemma also found this great little video from 'On the Red Dot' entitled 'Handmade Tales'. I really enjoyed watching it and particularly liked the piece about yarn bombing in Singapore and the spotlight on fibre artist Kelly Limerick.
Gemma is always busy in the kitchen and serves her family some lovely home made meals. This week she has recommended this Parsnip Dal recipe from Riverford. It sounds delicious!
The last couple of weekends we had some amazing weather, so we spent quite a lot of time preparing the garden for veggie planting. Our little beetroots were delicious, so too were the over wintered fennel I used to make a scrummy pasta sauce.
I try to start my working week with a good dose of fresh air and tend to head for a walk around the woods before I settle down at my desk on a Monday. This week the blossom was in full bloom and the catkins were just so pretty that my walk took me much longer to complete as I kept stopping to take some photos on my phone! The weather is a little different here today as we are now in the grips of some icy and blustery weather, so it is extra nice to look back on my images and be reminded that it has been warm and sunny so recently!
We are heading away to Stratford Upon Avon for the weekend to meet up with a group of friends who came to Mysore with us in 2020. I am really looking forward to a weekend of knit and chatter and some good walks around lovely Stratford, so I am hoping the weather will not be too unkind!
If you are also planning a spot of knit or crochet over the weekend, then you might want to find some good TV to keep you company. I am looking forward to catching up with all things Bridgerton over the next few weeks and will try hard not to binge watch it. Andy and I have also been watching 'This is Us' and are totally hooked - we are only one season in, so we will probably be watching it for the next 5 years! I am always on the look out for good TV and love to hear recommendations, so I would love to know what your favourite shows are to knit and crochet along to! I know that many of you listen to podcasts and book readings, so I would love to be able to pass on your recommendations for these too.
We have been keeping an eye on our plastic use in the home for the last couple of years and have managed to drastically reduce the amount that goes into our recycling bin, but we still have a way to go, especially as the figures suggest that only 9% of household plastic gets recycled in the UK and because plastic cannot be recycled infinitely. If you are also on a mission to reduce your plastic consumption then you might want to take part in 'The Big Plastic Count', which will take place for a week between 16th & 22nd May. You can get more info and sign up by following this link.
As the war in Ukraine continues, we will be looking at ways to continue our fundraising over the next couple of months. There are still many knitters and crocheters out there doing their bit to raise money, so do have a look around for ways that you can support them. Amanda at Little Box of Crochet is asking for crocheted squares made in blue and yellow to make blankets that will become part of a big raffle. You can find more info on Amanda's Instagram feed.
Before I leave you I just want to ask a small favour. My good friend Emma has had her Instagram account blocked, which means she can no longer access it. Despite being a beautiful middle aged woman, the IG bots believe Emma to be underage for an account and, despite her providing all the required information to reinstate her account, she continues to be blocked. Over the years Emma had gained a really good following of more than 10,000 people on Instagram, but now she has had to start all over with a new account. So, my appeal is for you to take a look and follow her if you fancy - I guarantee you will not regret it as she is a lovely, funny human with a great big heart who will not fail to give you a giggle!
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend whatever you have planned and I look forward to popping back into your inbox in a couple of weeks time. Thank you all again for your incredible support of our Ukraine appeal - you're all amazing!
THIS IS A NEW BLOG.
YOU CAN FIND MY OLD BLOG BY FOLLOWING
Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my email newsletter archive alongside any other general musings or information about events or new pattern releases that I wish to share with you!