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crochet gift guide 2018

Twinkling lights, chocolate treats, and glitter everywhere – all clear signs Christmas is near. As my son says, the most magical time of the year is here!

You may be like my mother-in-law, and have your presents bought and wrapped since September. But if you are more like me, a last-minute gift maker, you might appreciate a little inspiration. To help you out, I lined up some of my most favorite crochet projects into a versatile crochet gift guide. They represent a mix of my original designs, both free and paid. Read on for links and an exclusive 50% coupon code for everything in my pattern shop.

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new pattern: crochet picture frame collection

Sometimes, if feels like this crochet picture frame pattern collection has been years in the making. And rightly so. Trying to remember the day I shared my first crochet picture frame pattern 6 years ago is as hard as trying to remember a past life.

Crochet picture frames by jakigu.com

I suspect not many of you were here through the whole evolution of my blog from a bobbin lace making journal through wire and resin jewelry blog to what it is now.

Read on for a little bit of a backstory, all the details about my newest (and biggest) pattern collection, and a 50% off coupon.

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free crochet pattern preview: beaded pendant

In January, I published a long list of projects I’d like to tackle and share with you this year. And while I have not been able to check items off the list as often or as quickly as I’d hoped, I did manage to accomplish quite a bit. From four new crochet patterns I added to my store, to sharing tips and tricks on working with jute, to publishing two crochet basics posts (one devoted to waistcoat stitch, the other to adjustable loop), I know I shouldn’t complain.

However, it has been painfully obvious that despite my best intentions, I am yet to share a free crochet pattern with you this year!

Well, let’s fix that, shall we?

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pattern preview: wine bottle koozies

I’m putting finishing touches on two new crochet patterns, just in time for the upcoming gift giving season. These adorable wine bottle koozies work up quick, and – dare I say – they are quite unique in the world of handmade crochet gifts.

Aren’t they just perfect? Seriously. Don’t tell me you can’t think of at least 5 people who’d be over the moon if you brought them a bottle of wine in one of these beauties.

If you want to get a head start – and save up to 75% – on these, read on. The patterns are available for pre-order and I’ve listed the materials needed below!

Crochet Wine Bottle Koozies / Cozies by jakigu.com

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pattern preview: crochet picture frame

Let me introduce you to the first design in the series of crochet patterns for beginners: crochet picture frame with picots, available as part of an exclusive crochet picture frame collection here, at jakigu.com, or though my Etsy shop.

Its petals with picots remind me of a daffodil. Or the rays of the still sleepy sun on a spring morning. One way or another, this bright and happy crochet frame makes my heart dance and smile.

Crochet picture frame pattern and beginner crochet guide by jakigu.com

You may ask, “Jana, what exactly do you mean when you say ‘crochet patterns for beginners?'”

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pattern preview: crochet basket with chevron detail

Now available on jakigu.com and in my Etsy shop: PDF crochet pattern for this adorable basket with grey chevron detail. As a reader of my blog, you are welcome to use coupon code PATDESIAT309 for a 50% discount on this newest addition to my pattern collection (only valid on jakigu.com).

Sturdy crochet basket with a grey chevron, designed by jakigu.com

What can you expect?

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pattern preview: crochet handbag

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already noticed a crochet handbag or two on my timeline. They are colorful, quick and easy to make, an oh-so-versatile. A perfect handmade gift idea!

The pattern for this lovely crochet clutch with bias flap is available in my jakigu.com store as well as in my Etsy shop. Leave a comment if you’d like me to send you a 50% off coupon code.

The sky’s the limit to the number of uses for these handy accessories. Pencil case? Perfect size. Cosmetics bag? Absolutely! An actual handbag for a night out? Oh, you bet! Book cover, journal cover, e-reader cover? Check, check, check.

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things to make and do in 2018

My mind is filled with countless crochet ideas, and my fingers are busy hooking the yarn as fast as they can; yet I seem to be barely making a dent in my ever-growing project to-do list.

Once again I find myself wishing a day had 48 hours. At least.

Though I have been designing crochet patterns for a while, realizing how much work goes into turning a simple crochet idea into a high-quality crochet pattern can still pretty much paralyze me at times. Coming up with the design – even if it takes 10 versions – is the easiest part. It’s the post-production that seems to demand way more of my time than I ever calculate for it. Taking photos, editing them, writing captions; reading and proofreading; pattern testing; social media and marketing – none of which has to do with crocheting.

Of course, I could take the easy way out and throw some brief instructions in crochet shorthand onto two pages of a Microsoft Word document and call it a pattern, but that’s not me. I don’t take shortcuts. And producing a 25, 54, or an 87-page pattern takes time. A lot of time.

So, while I take, edit, and caption a thousand pictures, what are some of the crochet ideas and projects you can be looking forward to?

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work in progress: coiled crochet & wayuu

Taking crochet basket making to the next level. Staying true to my choice of natural fibers but adding a splash of color to my designs.

I know I repeat myself but I love coiled crochet. Crocheting over a coil makes baskets incredibly sturdy, and therefore durable. Nothing makes me more sad than a crocheted basket that needs to be starched to hold its shape.

The coil in this case is made of two strands of jute, and five strands of cotton. Two of the cotton strands – a white and a rose – are working strands; the other three serve a “padding,”  or placeholder, purpose. In a design with more colors (up to 6 are common), yarn of all the colors used would need to be carried under the stitches. Even though I am only using two colors now, I want to create a universal pattern that would work equally well with 1 or 6 colors with consistent results in regard to size, gauge, and overall design.

A slight departure from my usual coiled crochet technique is evident in the way stitches themselves are executed. Instead of working regular single crochets, I am working the stitches in back loops only to closely mimic the appearance of the crocheted bags made by the Wayuu people in Colombia. Just type “mochila wayuu” in Google image search and be prepared to be blown away by the breathtaking, colorful designs.

Colorful Style and Durability - basket crocheted in Wayuu style over a coil

I deliberately chose the (seemingly) simplest design to play with: working all increases with accent color, and all other stitches in base color. Where the increases are placed changes the design drastically. The purple sunburst design is created by working all purple increases into the second stitch of the previous round’s increase. The rose spiral is the result of working all rose increases into the stitch preceding the previous round’s increase.

Crochet Potholder - Bag Bottom - Basket Base - Crochet over Coil