crochet: just for me

Even though I design all my crochet items with functionality in mind and use vast majority of them daily in our home, every now and then I make something just for me. It may or may not be practical or needed, but it makes my heart smile.

Usually, these items are the easiest to create. Perhaps it’s because there’s no second-guessing myself when I crochet something just for me. I know what I want, and I know how to create it – or I keep on trying until I get it right. Without the need to take meticulous notes, the process is quick and almost effortless, and thoroughly enjoyable.

So, allow me to share with you a few projects I completed over the last three months. They were all designed with one customer in mind. Me.

Continue reading “crochet: just for me”

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 high-quality patterns and pictorials that are concise but don’t leave anything out 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?

(You may want to Save this post on Pinterest for future reference as I will add links to the listed projects and patterns as I finish them. Of course, you can also follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook to get updates on everything else I might be up to. Fear not – I will not blow up your feed. I use social media sparingly and responsibly.)

Learn to Crochet Series

First and foremost, I am considering launching a Learn to Crochet series of free video tutorials and easy to follow pictorials right here on jakigu.com, focusing on techniques and stitches one needs to be familiar with in order to complete my designs.

Crochet techniques

Crochet tips and tricks

Crochet stitches

  • Chain and slip stitches
  • Single crochet worked three ways (a “v” single crochet; an “x ” single crochet; and waistcoat stitch, also known as center single crochet or knit stitch)

Free Crochet Projects

You will get to practice these techniques and stitches on some pretty neat crochet projects:

I will add projects to this list on an ongoing basis – I literally have about 3 dozen ideas I’d love to share with you.

Crochet ideas and projects you can make today

UPDATE: All crochet patterns I worked on this spring are now available. See below for information and how to get them.

A series of crochet baskets with geometric designs.

Sometimes, crochet ideas pop up in my head and immediately my hands work them into tangible functional crochet art. Other crochet ideas, on the other hand, are born much more slowly. On my long quest to find the perfect method to create the sturdiest, most durable crochet basket, I discovered that my favorite coiled crochet technique executed in waistcoat stitch yield incredible results. Baskets crocheted this way are almost as sturdy as wicker baskets, and even more durable.

To date, I designed two crochet baskets and two wine bottle carriers using this method. Links to all are at the bottom of this section.

With the first design, a basket with grey chevron detail, I am breaking away from offering a set of 3 stacking basket sizes with each pattern. For the sake of simplicity, baskets with geometric designs will come in single-size patterns.

Geometric Crochet Basket, detailed crochet pattern and guide by jakigu.com

It’s funny. The longer I look at this pink band of triangles, the more I realize that how much the negative space white chevron within it matches the chevron pattern on the grey basket. It must have happened subconsciously. Nevertheless – or perhaps more so – I love the final effect. Simple & minimal geometric accent. Perfect. (Oh, and I couldn’t resits taking a ton of pictures when my Christmas cactus bloomed in March. How awesome is the the fact that the pink highlight of its flower is the exact same hue as Sugar n’ Cream in Rose Pink?)

Crochet Basket or Planter with pink geometric detail | triangle chevron basket by jakigu.com

You can add all waistcoat stitch baskets and bag patterns to your cart right now by clicking the Add to Cart buttons on the images below. Alternatively, you can find these designs in my Etsy shop.

Crochet picture frames pattern collection

To dust off some of my early designs, I am in the process of developing a pattern collection of crochet picture frames. The collection will contain 5 or 6 designs, each in two sizes. It will be an ideal quick-and-easy crochet pattern suitable for experienced crocheters and complete beginners alike, as the pattern will contain complete step-by-step photo directions.

UPDATE: The collection is now available at jakigu.com. Click on the Shop now button below to add it to your cart right now.

A set of crochet photo frames and chubby crochet vessels | jakigu.com

Baby teether/rattle

Believe it or not, I don’t really crochet much for others. Perhaps I am surrounded by people who care too little about crochet. And I am absolutely fine with that. I understand that way too many people associate crochet with those horrid granny square blankets of the ’70s worked in neon-colored acrylic yarn that is so crunchy it sends goosebumpy shivers down your spine when you accidentally squish it. That kind of trauma is hard to overcome.

This baby toy is an exception. I made it for my nephew when he was born, with more love and passion than anything else I had ever made (well, perhaps except the toy I made for my son when he was a baby). My sister is a minimalist, prefers natural materials – and was going to move abroad within months after her son’s birth. She needed something light and small. This toy was a perfect solution. She and baby W both fell in love with the toy – it’s traveled with baby W across 3 continents. And my sister doesn’t mind – because it is machine washable!

I cannot believe my nephew is two now. That’s a sobering reminder that writing the pattern for this high-contrast baby teether has been on my to-do list for more than 2 years. I hope to cross it off later this year. A written pattern is now available by clicking below, or via my Etsy shop.

High Contrast Baby Toy | jakigu.com crochet pattern

Triangle jute and cotton basket

These baskets are a perfect addition to all the other baskets in Jute and Cotton Series. They can be used individually (they fit so beautifully in shelf corners) or together for compartmentalized storage. I must thank my husband for some seriously brilliant feedback regarding using them in groupings, and I can wait to share the pictures and an awesomely detailed pattern.

Crochet ideas and projects currently in the making

Journal covers and clutches

Aside from crochet baskets, nothing makes me as excited as designing new and unique “bags.” Honestly, I don’t know what to call them as they can be anything: notebook or journal covers, pencil cases, cosmetic bags, book covers, catch-all pouches, or even handbags or clutches. Or phone and tablet covers. So versatile, yet so simple. Design ideas for at least a dozen bags float restlessly in my mind at the moment. So far, I have , and I hope to share them all with you eventually, but for now here are the few I have managed to photograph.

Bold crochet clutch - handbag - journal cover
Colorblock crochet clutch by jakigu.com / crochet journal cover / crochet bag

Whew. And that’s not even close to all that’s been on my mind. But at least you get an idea.

Wish me luck.

And as always, if any of my paid patterns catch your eye, let me know in comments below. I’d be happy to send you a link and a 50% off coupon code as soon as they are published!

Pssst! Don’t forget to Save this post on Pinterest. Consider it jakigu.com project index for 2018. I will be constantly updating it with links to free patterns and tutorials as I complete them throughout the year. I promise, you will want to come back!

May your 2018 be filled with love, joy, and laughter.

custom order finished

I am very pleased. Not just because I love how these picture frames turned out, but also because I managed to finish them well ahead of the deadline. The world of custom orders is exciting! Send more requests my way, I’m ready!

Crochet Picture Frame by JaKiGu, Original Design

custom order: a set of crochet picture frames

Once again, I got approached by someone who saw my work online. She asked whether I’d be willing to create a custom order, and when it was clear I will comfortably be able to meet the deadline, I agreed.

By the way, I am beginning to like the way people find me. It seems so random, but obviously my crochet patterns and bobbin lace jewelry must pop up in searches somewhere. It’s really cool.

Here’s the colour scheme the client chose for her daughter’s nursery. I quite like it!

Crochet Picture Frame by JaKiGu

Oh, and it you’d like to make a set of these cute frames with a 2-inch inside diameter, a PDF pattern is available through my store.

Crochet Picture Frame by JaKiGu

Crochet Picture Frame by JaKiGu

Crochet Picture Frame by JaKiGu

crochet pattern: picture frame with fan edge

Crocheted picture frame with a fan edge – now available for download in my Etsy shop.Crochet Picture Frame Pattern by JaKiGu
I designed and wrote this frame pattern in the spring. I crocheted more than forty of them in this lovely lilac purple for the custom order I was working on at the time.
Crochet Picture Frame Pattern by JaKiGu
I love purple, I love lilac, and I love spring.
Crochet Picture Frame Pattern by JaKiGu
But recently, a different season and different colours have been on my mind. Christmas with its trademark pine green, cardinal red, and golden yellow, and of course, the classic candy cane red and cream white.
Crochet Picture Frame Pattern by JaKiGu
I crocheted a couple fan-edged frames in the red and white combination, inserted zen snowflake art, hung them on the wall, and it immediately felt like the air was a little crisper, and the mood was a little more magical. I swear I can almost hear the jingle bells.
Crochet Picture Frame Pattern by JaKiGu
Whatever colour you decide to crochet these frames in, my pattern is super easy to follow and even a beginner crocheter can finish a frame well in under an hour. In addition to the pattern itself and useful, close-up images, the downloadable PDF comes with stitch knowledge base, and tips on finishing, blocking, stiffening, and cleaning crochet frames. Each purchase also comes with a bonus PDF with several ideas on how to finish the back of the frame to hold miniature art securely in place. And while you’re there, see what else is available at JaKiGu on Etsy!
Crochet Picture Frame Pattern by JaKiGu

custom made crochet picture frames

Life is full of exciting twists and turns – many of which have very little to do with our plans or intentions.

My store, for example, at the moment only offers PDF crochet patterns. Before I got pregnant with Bubba, I used to sell resin and wire bobbin lace jewelry, too. But I never really desired to sell finished crochet items there. For one, I get bored easily, and making the same thing over and over would certainly take away from the joy crocheting otherwise brings me. Plus, I am a slow crocheter. And now with Bubba, I am even slower! Crochet items on Etsy are so competitively priced that I would either have to be the most expensive seller, or make peace with the fact that when it’s all said and done (or, crocheted and shipped), I made about 50 cents an hour.

So it was kind of peculiar when I got contacted twice in the last week with two separate custom crochet requests. So peculiar, in fact, that I excitedly agreed. To both.

One order is already with it’s new owner down in sunny Florida. I shipped it so fast I forgot to even take a real photo – all I have are these two cell phone snapshots.

Crochet Picture Frames by JaKiGu

Picture Frames by JaKiGu

The second order is larger and I am still working on it. It consists of six frames – two in teal, and four in grey. I instantly fell in love with this colour combination, and can’t wait to see all of the frames together. Here’s a sneak peek – I have finished two of the frames.

Picture Frames by JaKiGu

Picture Frames by JaKiGu

Picture Frames by JaKiGu

Picture Frames by JaKiGu

Picture Frames by JaKiGu

The pattern for the starburst trio is available in my shop here. The teal and grey frames can be made with this pattern here. And while you’re at my shop, look around for other picture frame patterns. There are seven in total, and I hope to have a full dozen available by this summer.

crochet pattern: round ornate picture frame

Following the success of my original ornate picture frame pattern (available for free here), I’ve developed a new pattern with a more baroque look.

Ornate Picture Frame Pattern by JaKiGu

Ornate Picture Frame Pattern by JaKiGu

Ornate Picture Frame Pattern by JaKiGu

A comprehensive instant download PDF pattern should be available soon in my shop. Check it out to see what other cool home decor projects you could be working on immediately.