Friday, 9 January 2015

Happy New Year!

I know I'm a little late with my 'Happy New Year!' wishes, I have been hoping to write this blog post for over a week, but already things have gone a bit crackers around here after the calm of the Christmas holiday break, so I am only just in a position to dedicate some time to a quick blog update. It's blowing up a gale outside and I am the only one home, so it's a perfect time to sit and write this, even if I do feel a bit like 'Billy No Mates' sitting at home alone on a Friday night!

2014 was a good year, but there were lots of challenges and big decisions made (such as not launching a new Crochet Club) and at times I wondered about whether all the hard work involved in running Janie Crow and designing my crochet and knit projects was worth it, but I'm pleased now that I stuck with it and didn't go out and see if I could get a job in Sainsburys - Mr C said they wouldn't have had me anyway, so perhaps it's a good thing that I didn't put my self through that humiliation too!

We have a lot to look forward to in 2015 - some of the things I can tell you a little about now, so that maybe you can look forward to them too, but a few of them I need to keep to myself for a little longer….

The first show of the year is the Waltham Abbey Wool Show, which takes place on the 17th & 18th January. The Saturday is a workshop day (I will be tutoring a finishing techniques workshop) and the Sunday is show day. You can find more information about the show on the WAWS web site here and a link back to my review of last year's show here.

There are a few images of last year's show below - I've taken some of these from the WAWS web site so they are credited to them - I'm particularly chuffed with the photo of me with the Mayor!

We are already busy sorting out our stock for the show, but only have a relatively small space, so can't take everything along. We spent 3 days over the Christmas break sorting out the studio and I have bagged up a load of my stash yarn which I will be taking to sell at the show along with our usual stock items.

Many of the exhibitors who were there last year will be there again - such as Rosie's Moments, Yarn Garden and Namolio all of whom feature in the images below and are well worth a visit.

I find that January and February are always the toughest months of the year to feel positive about, probably because the weather always seems to be so bad here in London, but if you are a fan of cold weather and fancy mixing it with some fabulous scenery, great company and some knitting or crochet, then why not consider joining me and my fellow tutor Carol Meldrum for the Norway cruise? It really is a fabulous holiday and by the time we get home in late March the better weather will have arrived and we will hopefully be well and truly into the spring. There are a few places left on the cruise which leaves on March 20th from London Heathrow and is run by Arena Tours - you can find more info here.

I know that many of my loyal followers were disappointed to hear that there would not be a Janie Crow Crochet Club in 2015. The decision not to do a club was not taken lightly, but to be brutally honest, the work load involved in the club and the amount of time that it takes up in terms of our working lives simply became a little too much to cope with in relation to the profit involved. 

If you missed out on the 2014 Crochet Club and fancy making the 'Happy Daze' crochet panel, which was inspired by my 1970's childhood, you can find more information and a link to buy the kit, which includes a fully corrected pattern, yarn and beads, on our web site.

Designing the crochet club projects and writing and checking the patterns takes a huge amount of time and the hiccups involved in the club for 2014 made the prospect of a new club a little too much for me to cope with and so the decision not to design a new project for 2015 was made. However, (and I think this is a pretty big HOWEVER), I am really pleased to tell you that we will be releasing a new CAL project as a replacement for the Crochet Club in the spring in conjunction with a UK based yarn company.

As I said at the beginning of this blog post I can't tell you everything about this exciting new project just yet, but in the hope that I will whet your appetite for it, here are a few titbits of information for you:
  • The new project is for a crochet lap blanket
  • The project is aimed at a beginner/intermediate crochet skill level
  • The patterns for the project will be free downloads - Yes! FREE!
At the moment we are working towards an April launch for the new project, but hopefully we will be able to start taking pre orders for yarn packs and giving more information in March - so watch this space and (if you haven't done so already) sign up to our newsletter by filling out the form on our web site home page

I have more to tell you about and hope to blog again within the next week, but in the mean time I wish you once again a belated 'Happy New Year!' and hope that 2015 will be a good year for all of us!

Janie x