Surrounded by the profound changes and the context in which they are taking place, it’s hard not to think about survival these days. Whether it is making do, doing without, letting go, we all make dozens of tiny compromises each day we didn’t think we’d ever have to do just a few short months ago. It’s a bumpy ride but we are adapting. We we have to. After all, what is survival if not adaptation?*
And whether this urge is revolutionary or reactionary, I suddenly feel the need to make a few changes myself. Which is ok. Because not every change is bad. In fact, I am certain this change is going to be quite amazing.
You probably know by now that JAKIGU.COM is just me. There’s no photographer, social media manager, prop stylist, communications liaison, photo and video editor, marketing strategist, graphic designer, or website developer on retainer. It’s all just me.
I know these are uncertain times and countless lives are daily being changed and challenged. I wouldn’t dare complaining. On the contrary; I feel almost guilty that that an opportunity crossed my path recently and I landed an amazing job of a virtual research conference coordinator. My mom always said, Chance favors the prepared mind. These days, however, I cannot but wonder what role luck plays in it all. Because I feel nothing short of lucky.
The thing is, I don’t want to give up crochet. Picking up a crochet hook at the end of a long day feels like the balm for my soul. Trying out the new ideas and seeing them come to life exactly as I envisioned is exciting. And being able to share these ideas with you in the form of wonderfully detailed photo-guides fills my heart with joy and pride.
Yet, even under the most ideal circumstances, I struggle to find the time to execute even a small fraction of my ideas. And even if I succeed in getting as far as having a pattern written down, I don’t have the energy to organize pattern testing calls. I don’t have the motivation to maintain my Instagram or Facebook to get the word out. And the thought of having to take and edit hundreds of pictures in order to produce a detailed crochet guide is usually absolutely paralyzing. I used to love photography, but now it often feels like a chore. A chore I usually put off as long as I can.
Something’s got to give. But what?
After much thinking, I realized that the solution is quite simple.
What’s the big change?
Whether temporarily or permanently I don’t know yet, but starting in June I will shift my focus from creating a handful of detailed step-by-step guides each year to publishing most of my patterns for free for a limited time.
Why the change?
Typically, I have been able to publish 4-5 pattern guides a year. All things considered, I assume that number would only go down in the foreseeable future. I simply do not have the time for all the post-production my photo-heavy visual guides require. This way, I’ll get to share patterns – written in standard American term with plenty of additional tips and tricks, but without photo tutorials – much more frequently. In turn, I hope to gather enough feedback from the community to eliminate the pattern testing stage, should I decide to publish a design as a paid pattern later.
How will it work?
Each new pattern will be published in a pre-release stage for free, directly on JAKIGU.COM blog, for a single month.
While any pre-release pattern will be available to any visitor to the site during this one-month period, those who follow my blog will get a notification of each new pattern directly in their inbox as soon as they go live. So, if you aren’t following the blog yet, sign up below!
Why am I doing this?
Simply put, I need help!
I need to know what patterns you like, and which ones you can do without. Of course, I could be doing a lot of such research on social media, but you may know I’m not a big fan of those. Your input during this pre-release stage will be vital: if you spot any mistakes, if you have any questions or suggestions, let me know! Your feedback will help me decide whether the pattern becomes the foundation of my next paid visual guide, or if I need to put on the back burner for the time being.
How can you help, and why would you want to?
Each pattern page will contain a simple form that will allow you to quickly and effortlessly let me know what you liked about the pattern and what you didn’t. And get this: each crocheter who completes the form (along with a picture of the finished item) will be added to a draw for a $30 gift card of their choice!
Everything takes a village. Please, be my village. Let me bounce my ideas off of you. Tell me what you think. Vote for your favorites. Help me see my mistakes. Make suggestions, ask questions, showcase your creations. Don’t be a stranger.
Enter your email address below to follow my blog (if you aren’t already), to get the pre-release of the Rainbow Bag in your inbox shortly!
In the meantime, gather your materials. You will need:
Sugar’n Cream (or other 13 wpi/wraps per inch yarn) in following quantities and colors:
+ 55 g (just under 2 oz) of Main Color (Ecru)
+ 300 cm (just under 10 feet) of each of the Rainbow Colors:
– Country Red
– Hot Orange
– Custom Dyed Green (I’ll include instructions)
– Sage Green
– Lt Blue
– Soft Violet
– Black Currant
+ 4.5 mm (size 7) hook
+ scissors, tapestry needle
*Though I am publishing it just now, I wrote this post at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic; before the murder of George Floyd. Each of these cataclysmic events is simultaneously shaping our society in different – though not completely disconnected – ways that are equally complex. Nevertheless, my reasoning and intentions above were affected solely by the worldwide Coronavirus health crisis and the changes it triggered.