Janie's Friday Feature

Welcome to this week's Friday Feature Newsletter - the Janie Crow equivalent of a Sunday supplement magazine....

It has been a really busy week here at Janie Crow as we are preparing to head off to Vogue Knitting Live in New York next week and because we have launched (what I think is) a really exciting colouring competition. I mentioned this briefly last week, but you can find out more about it further down this email.

Another reason for the fervent activity in the Janie Crow studio this week is because we have now launched one of the 2 new web sites. The Just Knots site remains under construction, but is now live and taking orders. You can find it by following this link or by clicking on the logo above. The old web site is not automatically redirecting traffic at the moment, but we hope to have this glitch fixed soon. We are planning for the other new web site to go live on Monday - this is also under construction so please bear with us while the new sites are being worked on.

This week sees the return of the lovely Sarah to the Friday Feature newsletter. Sarah has written a piece on interior colour trends and has also very kindly agreed to share one of her favourite vegetarian recipes, should you fancy doing a bit of cooking over the weekend.

I hope you will enjoy this week's newsletter - it is quite a long one, so grab a drink and a couple of custard creams and spend a bit of time catching up with all things Janie Crow!

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
- Adelaide Anne Procter -
Colouring Competition
I am so excited to introduce you to a fun colouring in competition that I have devised in collaboration with graphic designer Luise Roberts, Simply Crochet Magazine and Stylecraft Yarns. The competition is open until 15th February 2019 and you can enter as many times as you like, so why not unleash your creativity and enjoy some mindful colouring in? 

Simply colour in the motif chart to create your own version of my Delft blanket design, then pop it in the post to us along with your written entry form to be in with a chance of winning a great prize. You can find the downloadable information pack and competition guidelines here and the competition entry form here.

The original Janie Crow Delft Crochet Blanket was inspired by the blue and white Delftware from the Netherlands. It is made up of a single motif, plus a half motif, worked in three colour ways: Dark, Medium and Light. Only one colour is worked in each round, and each colour way uses all the yarns – they just appear in different rounds and amounts.

Using all the yarns in each motif is a foolproof way of ensuring a harmonious overall blanket design, but it is not the only way. Those of you that follow my blog or receive my newsletters know that I find inspiration for my colour palettes wherever I go. When I have an idea, I surround myself with the yarns that evoke the same feelings and start to design. I am fortunate in that I have an abundance of yarn in my studio, but you can do the same using felt tip pens, coloured pencils and paper. 

I find it fascinating how recolouring a design can completely change the way it looks and I love to see other crocheters versions of my designs, especially those that have used an alternative colour palette. With this in mind Luise and I thought it would be really fun to invite you to colour in a chart representation of one of my Delft design to see what wonderful ideas you can come up with. Dont' worry - this isn’t a design competition! You do not need to know how to design, or even how to crochet, all you need to do is colour in a chart and pop it in the post!

The idea is that the entries will be judged and a selection of finalists will be chosen after a public vote. Winners will be given prizes and the yarn colour packs for the new colour ways, which will include the winner’s name and inspiration, will subsequently be available via Stylecraft stockists. The colour substitution documents for each new colour way will also be available as free downloads via this web site and will feature in an updated version of the Delft Blanket crochet pattern later on this year.

The competition is being launched in support of the release of a newly worked version of my Delft blanket pattern, which uses Stylecraft Life DK. The patterns for the blue and cream colour way, which was inspired by my love of Delftware and The Willow Pattern china, are available now via Stylecraft stockists. You can follow this link to find out more about the design and purchase the 12 page brochure pattern (£4.95) or the Stylecraft Life DK kit, which contains 15 x 100g bals of yarn, the pattern and a sew in label for £44.95. The pattern is available in UK & US terminology and Dutch language.
No purchase neccessary to enter the competition.

​I really hope that you like the thought of entering the competition. Don't forget that it closes on the 15th of February. You can find more information in this month's copy of Simply Crochet Magazine and via Stylecraft's social media platforms.
Interior Trends - The Colour Story
Sarah here! It’s great to be back and contributing to Jane’s Friday Feature!

Jane started talking to me towards the end of last year about some of the additional subjects and ideas she wanted us to explore in 2019 and I am really excited to be playing a part in this! Right now, it is still January, (which always goes on FOREVER in my opinion!), light levels are low and the weather is unpredictable, her in the UK anyway, so it’s a great time to start thinking about any changes you want to make to your home during the spring. I am always fascinated to see how it is often the simplest of changes that have the most impact on the way we live in our homes.

There are two really strong colour stories for 2019. The first is Pantone’s 16 – 1546 (Living Coral), a mouthwatering vibrant coral - shown above.

Pantone declared that Living Coral would be the 2019 Colour of the Year, not least because of its life affirming tone, but also because of the symbolism it shares with the natural world.

'Just as coral reefs are a source of sustenance and shelter to sea life, vibrant yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.

In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.'

Another key colour for 2019 is the more demure, but no less dramatic 'Night Watch' (Pantone Ref PPG1145-7)

The inspiration for advocating this luxurious green is its association with nature once again. Take one look at Night Watch and we think of luscious vegetation and the calming atmosphere of walking through a forest. The image below is typical of the way that Night Watch is being used as a feature wall to provide a flawless backdrop to those elements used in the soft furnishings and accessories like brass, glass, wood and woven textiles and proves to be the perfect foil to those coral coloured tulips taking centre stage. 

Here at Janie Crow we had a great response to the Colour Palette of the Week feature in last Friday's newsletter, with some readers suggesting that they would be interested in buying packs of yarn based on an inspiring palette - this is something that Jane and I are going to look into.

I came across this gorgeous image that I think really sums up the potential of these two 2019 trend colours.

I decided to put some yarn wraps together showing the kind of palettes that you might like to use as inspiration for your own interior projects, such as cushions or throws.

Revitalising an interior does not always have to cost the earth either. You may find that you have all sorts of fabric, yarn or buttons that you could get creative with and allow these shades of natural optimism to brighten the last few dreary weeks of winter.

 Tip of the week
This tip is not knitting or crochet related, but it is such a good one that I had to make it one of the first non craft tips to be featured. This is a tip that was sent in by Jane Dearie and is a great one that we have been using at home for the past couple of years. I think this tip originally came from Martha Stewart so I have added an image and a link to a Youtube video via the image below:

Folding duvet covers into pillow cases:

'I have a life tip I picked up a few years ago which I find particularly
I store my bedding sets inside one of the pillowcases. The folded
sheet(s), duvet cover and other pillowcase all fit perfectly inside and
I'm not having to hunt through the airing cupboard to find all the
different bits of linen.
I swear it's saved me days, never mind hours!'

- Jane Dearie -

Credit where credit is due?
If you follow me on Instagram then you may well have seen that I shared an image taken at the Dolce and Gabbana Spring Catwalk show in September, The image is of a skirt and a sun top that I think bears a striking resemblance to my Frida's Flowers CAL project that I launched in collaboration with Stylecraft back in 2016.

My good friend and fellow designer Lucia Dunn was the first to flag this image to me and over the course of last Friday evening we received messages and emails from many crocheters asking whether D&G had collaborated with me on this design.

Copying goes on in many businesses and the hand knit and crochet world is no different. Having a design or an idea copied is pretty common. For example, I know a lady who swears blindly that Mystical Lanterns is her design and that it is simply fate that we have achieved exactly the same stitch count on every round and even given our design motifs the same name!

When I first saw this image I was totally stunned. To me it looks like there are elements of both Frida and Lily Pond in the skirt (which would set you back a whopping £12,850). I can see at least 2 squares from Lily Pond, with the 3D lily shown above being the most obvious one and I can see lots of elements from Frida reproduced as squares rather than hexagons as in the image below. What do you think?

As a small independent designer in a world of much bigger fish there is probably very little I can do about (what I feel is) blatant copying. Sadly, crochet patterns are like recipes - you only need to make a few changes to the ingredients in order to call it your own and a law suit related to this would end up expensive and exhausting. Add to this the fact that I don't want my love for my work and my belief in the power of the positive effects of crochet to be affected by what would no doubt turn into a bitter and costly affair, however I do feel that this is a case of awarding credit where it is due.

As I have said already, the response to the posts I have published on Facebook and Instagram over last week have been incredible and I am so grateful for everyone's amazing support. Many people have left comments on the D&G facebook page and have shared lots of related posts on Instagram, Twitter and on their own Facebook pages. If you would like to do the same then I would love to have your support. If you copy Dolce & Gabanna into your Instagram posts and hashtag #fridasflowerscal #lilypondcal2015 and me #janiecrow and #stylecraft that would be brilliant. Many people are also using the hastag #creditwherecreditisdue and copying in @dietprada - an Instagram account that exposes copying in the fashion industry.

Instagram Favourites
This week my Instagram recommendation is a couple of hashtags rather than a person or company. The hashtags in question are #delftware and #delftblue. Both feeds have very similar images as most people use both hashtags when posting, but if, like me, you are a fan of anything Delft related then it is worth following them both.

As this week's newsletter focusses on all things home I thought it would be interesting to see if any interior paint manufacturers produce an emulsion called Delft Blue. I found a few examples of paints that contain the word Delft in their name - my favourite was Designers Guild shade called Delft Tile, which you can see by following this link.
Colour Palette of the Week
If you fancy entering the brand new colouring in competition that I have mentioned further up this email, then you might want to take a look around the internet for some palette ideas. Pinterest is a great place to find a colour palette and I often look at interior images to find unusual colour mixtures. I also look back through all the pictures I have taken on my mobile phone.

When thinking about the palette idea for this week I wanted to tie it in with Sarah's piece, which mentions Pantone's colours of the year. The Pantone colours are used in regards to both fashion and interiors and it is always intersting to see just how much these two areas over lap each other, invariably without us realising, with a popular interior shade often featuring on the catwalk too.

I had a lady at a show once tell me that she would never purchase a yarn kit that featured a coral pink, as she HATED that colour! Sometimes people's dislike of a colour is linked to a negative experience - or becuase it seems old fashioned and I have to admit that until recently I found 'shimpy' coral kind of colours quite a challenge to use in my design work. Now though I am a total convert, especially when I look at these kinds of shades in relation to inky dark green, blues and bright turquoise and petrol shades as in Sarah's interior image.

So, this week I have chosen an image that I took whilst on holiday in Athens last summer. At this time of year it is good to be reminded of warmer days and, with the current trend for all things foliage related in regards to home interiors, I thought it would make a suitable picture for this week.
Nuts About January - Sarah's Speedy Veggie Loaf
Mr H and I decided to try a meat free January almost by accident! We both know several vegans, but happily tucked into turkey, gammon and all the trimmings over the festive season. During the lull between Christmas and New Year we caught up with friends who we haven't seen for ages and discovered that they had become vegan. Paul and I were both vegetarian during our student days, but for one reason or another eventually went back to eating meat.

So, we've been giving 'Veganuary' or at least a meat-free January a go!

We are not trying to change our eating habits overnight, but we have really enjoyed sourcing, cooking and eating a different set of ingredients. It doesn't have to be expensive either. Many of you probably have nuts left over after Christmas, so why not try a nut roast - it really is tastier than you might imagine!

There are no hard and fast rules with a nut roast, but I would recommend combining equal amounts of nuts to other ingredients like pulses /cheese/ breadcrumbs. An egg can help bind ingredients together, but if you want the full vegan experience you can use a food processor to blitz all the ingredients together along with a couple of softened, chopped onions.

Here's an oldie but a goody from my student days and it serves 6 people:


1 large onion , chopped
50g butter/vegan alternative
1tsp mixed herbs
1 tbsp plain (gluten-free) flour
150ml milk or vegan alternative
225g ground nuts - this can be a single nut type or a blend
50g fresh breadcrumbs/gf breadcrumbs
juice and rind of half a lemon
1 egg - optional
sea salt
ground black pepper


225g chopped mushrooms
50g butter/vegan alternative
teasp yeast extract or similar
175g fresh breadcrumbs/gf breadcrumbs
1 egg yolk - optional
sea salt
ground black pepper

Heat oven to 180C or Gas 4.
Fry onions and herbs in the butter until soft. Add flour, milk and stir until thickened. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Season to taste.

Make the stuffing by frying the mushrooms in the butter until slightly softened. Add remaining ingredients, stir and season to taste.

Line a 450g loaf tin. Add half the nut mixture and then layer with the mushroom stuffing and top with a final layer of the nut mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 60 mins. Remove foil and allow to stand for 5 mins before turning out and slicing!

So far we are really enjoying a meat free diet, but I will let you know how we continue to fare over the next few months...

Sign up or miss out!
If you want to continue to receive the Friday Feature newsletters and any other information relevant to me and my designs, then you need to sign up to a new mailing list. You can do this by following this link. We will add this link to this newsletter for the next couple of weeks.
It's nearly the weekend!
We will be at the Waltham Abbey Wool Show this Sunday and would love you to come and say hello if you are going to be there too!

I think Saturday is going to be a quiet day after all the madness of the last week. We have an invitation to join my Mum for her birthday celebrations in the afternoon, so it will be nice to have some family time, especially as we are going to be away next week.

I have already prepared most of next week's newsletter ahead of our trip to New York for Vogue Knitting Live. We are back the following week and so on Friday 1st of February the Friday Feature newletter will focus on our US adventure. This will be the final newsletter sent via this mailing list, so, If you haven't done so already, please make sure you join the new mailing list by following the link.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

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