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
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.
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.
This adorably shapely crochet bowl meets all the requirements I focus on when designing a crochet container: it is made with durable natural materials, it feels sturdy and substantial; and it can be used for a variety of purposes.
Its current role as a planter cover is to hide an unsightly container in which my new pothos clipping is growing new roots. But previously, it served me wonderfully as a counter-top fruit basket. My husband has the smaller one on his desk as a catchall. And just ask my 4-year-old son and he’ll tell you how many rocks from his little rock collection can fit in, or how well it sits on his head as a helmet!
Would you like to learn to make a container like this yourself? A pattern with an amazingly detailed step-by-step photo tutorial is coming soon. Comment below and three lucky commenters will be randomly chosen on November 30, 2017 to receive a free copy of the pattern & tutorial PDF.
In the meantime, I invite you to have a look at the other crochet baskets I have designed, either in my online store, or in my Etsy shop.
A new idea popped up in my mind. A lovely idea.
I started working on a cute crochet basket speckled with polka dots.
Polka dots are made of bobbles in a contrast colour.
Bobbles are nice and fluffy both on the outside and on the inside.
Basket base is quite stiff and helps the basket keep its shape.
Tapestry crochet inspired sides make the sides stand nice and upright, and the reinforcing edge adds a little chubbiness to the basket because it curls inwards just a little bit.
I adore this project and hope to have a pattern for you soon! Until then, have a look at what’s new in my shop and don’t forget to keep in touch on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or right here by subscribing to the JaKiGu blog.
A sneak peek: a set of three stacking jute and cotton baskets.
Utilitarian base. Firm sides. Reinforced edge.
Natural fibres in a timeless colour combination.
So versatile. So practical. So simple.