Wednesday 4 March 2015

Crochet Along

I am really excited to now be able to tell you about my new Crochet Along (CAL) project which I am launching in association with Stylecraft yarns.

The project is not a mystery and you will be able to see from my pictures and the images that Stylecraft themselves will publish soon exactly what the lap blanket/throw design looks like. Stylecraft will be publishing the patterns for you to download free of charge via their web site in 8 parts between 7th April and 14th July and I will be doing blog posts to help you along the way should you wish to have a little more help alongside the written patterns.

I am really delighted that Stylecraft have put their faith in me and supported me with this project – they have done a superb job doing all the bits I don’t like doing and have had their experts check and layout my patterns. Having the support of Stylecraft has meant that these patterns will be available to you free of charge, something that I would not be able to offer without their backing.

Stylecraft is an independent company based in Keighley, in the heart of West Yorkshire. The company is a 100% UK owned family business and the present owner and his daughter have day-to-day involvement in the running of the company. Supporting UK business is something I feel really strongly about, but from past experience I also felt it was time I created a project which is more affordable than my previous kits and club projects and therefore within the reach of far more crocheters, be they novice or expert. I have chosen to use Stylecraft’s ‘Life DK’ for this project and the yarn cost works out at just £42 for the complete project.

How the CAL works:
The complete design of the CAL has yet to be revealed, but if you like the look of the taster images for the 'Pond Lily Blanket', which has finished measurements of approximately 110cm square, the first thing you need to do is source your yarn and make sure you have the correct hooks. You can order a kit from us if you wish and more information on how to do so is below.

The first of the eight patterns will be ready to download from the Stylecraft web site on the 7th April. More information about how to download and save the patterns will be given on the Stylecraft web site and I will also explain it on this blog when the first pattern is released.

Order a Yarn Kit from us:
We have put together an exclusive project pack that you can pre order from our web site. The pack contains all the yarns, a JANIE CROW sew in label for you to attach to your completed project and the pattern for an exclusive bag project which you can make using your left over yarns. The sew in label and bag project pattern is only available within our yarn pack and will not be available through other retailers. The design for the bag pattern will be revealed just as soon as I get it finished!
Please note that the pack does not contain the patterns for the project as these will be available for you to download every fortnight from the Stylecraft web site.

We have calculated the price of our yarn kit based on recommended retail price per ball of yarn and the 2 extra items in the pack come free of charge. We also offer free UK 2nd class postage as standard on our web site. In addition to this we are offering a reduced postage rate for all destinations outside of the UK until March 31st. Postage rates for these destinations will be added to your pre order at checkout.

Order now to ensure that your yarn kit will be included in the first batch of kits that we will dispatch so that you receive your kit in time for the beginning of the CAL on the 8th April. To pre order a kit click here

If you want to add crochet hooks to your kit order you can also do this at check out.

The Yarn Palette:
I will admit to being a total yarn snob, by this I mean that until recently I have stuck to designing with yarns with very little man made fibre content and a much higher price point. My belief has always been that the more you pay and the higher the natural yarn content, the better the yarn must be, after all, why spend loads of time completing a project only to find that it washes and wears badly? I will also admit to being skeptical about the quality of the Stylecraft Life DK, especially when considering the low price point, however, I am now a real convert to this yarn – not only does it have a really nice sheen and feel, it is also really nice to crochet with and doesn’t have that squeakiness that a lot of acrylic mix yarns have. The range of 28 shades, including mixtures and marl effects, means that you can choose pretty much exactly the colour you want and the wash and wearibility of the yarn is really good.

The yarn shades and amounts used in the project are as follows:

Stylecraft Life DK
14 x 100g balls
326yds/298 meters
75% Acrylic & 25% Wool

1 x 2357 Aqua
1 x 2319 Cranberry
1 x 2305 Cream
1 x 2394 Daffodil
1 x 2344 Fuchsia
1 x 2417 Lily
1 x 2342 Mint
1 x 2301 Rose
2 x 2311 Fern
2 x 2302 Olive
2 x 2416 Teal

Level of experience needed:
If you are relatively new to crochet and want to use the project to improve your skills then I suggest that you do a little practice prior to staring the project so that you don’t spend lots of time unpicking errors. It is important that you know basic crochet terminology and have a relatively good grip of the basic stitches – the download patterns will use UK terminology, so it is a good idea to be sure you know the difference between UK and US.

More Information:
My next blog post will tell you more about my design process and will give you more information about how to prepare for the CAL, including tips on tension, equipment needed and any other bits and bobs that you may need to do to be ready for the first set of patterns.

The complete design of the CAL will be revealed very soon, so to keep up to date with all new news you can follow Janie Crow and Stylecraft on Facebook and Twitter.

I leave you for now with this very lovely quote from Annabelle Hill - Sales and Marketing Director at Stylecraft:

"We are really excited to be working with Jane on our first crochet along. Jane is a very talented designer and the Lily Pond theme that she has chosen for the CAL makes a beautiful romantic piece”