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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.

Use coupon code 1ZERO1A when you GET THE PATTERN HERE, at jakigu.com for an instant 25% discount. You can also get it 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! They’d make perfect Mother’s Day gifts, don’t you think?

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?

Continue reading things to make and do in 2018

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work in progress: journal cover (or clutch)

Hoping pictures are worth many words, here is a photo update on my newest project: a crochet journal cover.

crochet journal cover

In the process of making it, it became clear that it could easily be transformed into a clutch, or a book cover – with no adjustments to the pattern necessary.

Personally, I am inclined to turn it into a clutch – and then store both my journal and my pens in it. A clutch journal cover of sorts.

But making it into a standard book or notebook cover would be so simple by adding felt (or other non-fraying fabric) pockets on the inside to hold the book covers in place.

In either case, I am so pleased with the way it looks so far.

What do you think? What would you make it into? And… would you be interested in a pattern? Let me know!

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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

 

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work in progress: mystery crochet project

This crochet project has been on my mind for almost 4 years.

Don’t worry! It does not take that long to finish it. You know how life is. You make a plan, and life makes you change it. Dozen times over.

In fact, this is quite a simple crochet project, requiring only the knowledge of magic circle, slip stitches, and single crochets, and a lot of patience to complete countless hexagons and pentagons.

Yet, in the world of crochet, the finished product will be utterly unique and novel – and when you see what it is, you’ll be just as excited about it as I am.

This picture is your Clue #1. Can you guess what I am working on?

Stay tuned for Clue #2.

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work in progress: coiled crochet basket

I am so in love with the basket I am working on right now – I just had to share a snapshot with you!

Worked similarly as traditional coiled baskets, this one is crocheted with cotton and contrast acrylic over jute coil. What an amazing structural strength that jute lends to this basket! If I described my round and square jute and cotton baskets as sturdy, and the lace baskets as firm, this one can only be described as “solid.” Honestly, it feels more like wicker than fabric. On my quest to design the most durable, functional basket, this one might be a dream come true.

What do you think? How would you describe your ideal crochet basket? Is a basket’s ability to keep its shape an important attribute of a crochet design? Would you consider giving a coiled crochet basket a try? Should I start working on a pattern?

 

Coiled Crochet Basket by JaKiGu.

 

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work in progress – an update

Oh, moving. Four weeks ago, I moved for the seventeenth time in less than 15 years; and I am not even in the military. My husband and I chose this nomadic life, and enjoyed every aspect and every moment of it. But, we were ready to settle down.

And so this time, we moved our little family into our very own house, and we have no plans to move anywhere anytime soon (and, I secretly dream of never moving anywhere again, ever). Because no matter how many times you go through the process, and how efficient you are at packing your belongings for a move across continents, states, or just down the street, the aftermath never gets easier. Packing is easy. It’s the cleaning, unpacking, and organizing following a move that takes the biggest toll. It requires motivation, determination, and tons of energy. And time. Oh, so much time. And with a curious, clingy toddler in tow, the end is seemingly beyond my reach this time.

I hoped to have two more patterns ready by the end of May. That now seems a little too unrealistic. Especially since, at least in the Jute and Cotton series, I want to make versions of all baskets available in three different sizes to offer a stackable set. That’s a lot of baskets to make, and many lines of instruction to write, check, double check, test, and then check again. My husband laughs and says that I seem to be making baskets just to contain my old baskets.

crochet baskets by JaKiGu

So, patterns for which baskets are coming first, and when?

This lovely lacy design has become my favorite in the Jute and Cotton series and I can’t wait to share it with you – hopefully by the end of June. (Psst: The pattern for this basket is available in my shop. Click on the image below to check it out.)

Jute and Cotton Crochet Basket by JaKiGu

I wouldn’t want to disappoint a long line of eager crocheters patiently waiting for the square version of my very popular round jute and cotton baskets. It shouldn’t be long before this design is available as well. (Psst: It’s already available as well. Click on the image below to see it in my shop.)

Square Jute and Cotton Stacking Crochet Baskets by JaKiGu

And then? There are so many more basket ideas I’ve been toying with and designs for which I want to share with you! In the picture from my workshop (which these days is the windowsill) above, you can see some of them in various stages of completeness: a design that’s complementing the lacy basket; the polka dot baskets; a tall and narrow container that can be hung and serve a myriad of functions inside the house and out; and a basket with rolled rim worked in a double thick stitch that is sturdy yet really soft. And then I’ve been testing a basket worked in a brilliant new stitch that I accidentally invented (or discovered through trial and error while trying to make the square baskets) – this stitch is amazing, and creates the foundation of the sturdiest basket I’ve ever made despite looking quite delicate. Oh, and then there are baskets worked in a variation of the star stitch – they are also quite stiff and their surface features lovely texture.

And that’s just baskets. I have several bracelets, cushions, and floor mats just waiting to be taken more seriously. And then, there is a mammoth of a project I’ve been working on ever since my son was born almost two years ago. It’s nowhere to be finished, but when I finally get my hands on it, it will be magnificent. I’m keeping its identity a secret, and if you guessed it’s a blanket/throw/afgan, you’d be wrong. It’s a design quite rare in the crochet world, and I am so very proud if it. No worries, it will not take you two years to complete.

Oooh, and also, I’ve been dying to start writing free tutorials for my blog. There is so much I have learned about crocheting through my own mistakes, and I’d like to share this knowledge with you.

As you can see, all I need to make this all happen is a little help from a full-time housekeeper and a live-in nanny (and for each day to have 48 hours).

It will happen!

And one last thing.
I sure hope you decide to have a look at my pattern shop right here at jakigu.com. The current sale is pretty sweet!
However, if you prefer to purchase my patterns through my Etsy shop, you’re welcome to use coupon code BLOGZLAVA3 for an instant $3 off any purchase of $6 or more.
Go make something beautiful!

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work in progress: square stacking baskets

You asked for it, and I started working on a square version of my round stacking baskets a while ago.

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UPDATE

The pattern for a set of three stacking square baskets in my Jute and Cotton Series is finished and available right here on jakigu.com and in my Etsy shop.

Square Basket - JaKiGu Crochet Pattern

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Square Jute and Cotton Stacking Crochet Baskets by JaKiGu

I didn’t expect how much trickier the process of ‘inventing’ a jute and cotton square basket pattern would be. Especially since my objective was that the design match the round version perfectly.

Square Jute and Cotton Stacking Crochet Baskets by JaKiGu
Despite my initial excitement due to some smaller samples I’d made, it has been a long and trying journey, and I considered giving up. I made and re-made 9 basket versions. There simply wasn’t any to-me-known way to make the corners nice and sharp. It literally felt like I was trying to push a square peg into a round hole.

Square Jute and Cotton Stacking Crochet Baskets by JaKiGu

After a much needed break, with the basket tucked way out of my sight and while working on something completely unrelated, I had an idea. The simplest idea yet. I bet if you watched me from afar, you’d literally see that proverbial light bulb flash above my head.

Square Jute and Cotton Stacking Crochet Baskets by JaKiGu

I immediately tested the technique and it worked like a charm! I’m writing the pattern for all three square stacking baskets so that all of you who were interested in a square version can get crocheting. It might take a little longer as we are moving into our new house this week, but stay tuned! You’ll be the first to know when the pattern’s ready. Until then – check out my store for more home decor crochet ideas.

Square Jute and Cotton Stacking Crochet Baskets by JaKiGu