Wednesday, May 26, 2010

If you're still reading this...

...I'm sorry. I'm sorry I changed my website and blog to new domains without telling you. It was very rude of me and I'm sorry. While the crochet info in the following posts is still valid, if you're looking for the fresh, new, updated, and all-around better JJCrochet, you can find it at my newish, old website. So scoot on over for some cool crochet hats, crochet headbands, and some free crochet patterns.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Etsy Special!

My birthday is 4/27 and i currently have 426 sales on Etsy. The 427th person to place an order for a crochet pattern will get it for FREE!! Place your order on Etsy and your free pattern will be e-mailed to you.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Why Everyone Should Crochet/ Knit - Benefits of Needlework

Knit 1, Purl 2. Knit 1, Purl 2. Despite being a pastime for grandmas world-wide, knitting is becoming the next crafting craze of the century. Knitting and crocheting are appealing to the younger generation at a shocking rate, plus, with hidden benefits, needlework is a must for everyone.

In case you doubt why you should join the ever-rising craze, for starters, 62% of knitters surveyed said that knitting helps relieve stress and studies have shown that those who knit have a slower heart rate and are more relaxed than those who don't. The calming, repetitive motions of knitting echoed by the soothing "click-clack, click-clack" of the needles give the mind a much needed chance to unwind and the privileged knitter has more balance in their life.

Additionally, studies have found that those who have a lower heart rate also have lower blood pressure. Not only do knitters reap the immediate benefits from knitting, but they also knit with their future health in mind. According to Dr. Robert Friedland, an associate professor of neurology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, adults who stimulated their minds during the younger years of their lives with hobbies such as reading, sculpting, or knitting, were 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer's. Two and a half times. That fact alone should be evidence enough to convince you to join the surge of new knitters rushing out to their local yarn store to pick up a pair of needles and cast on.

Maybe you’re not too concerned about long term health issues now, but you'd rather focus on your current figure. Don't reach for the latest diet book, but instead grab your trusty knitting needles and a plush skein of yarn. Not trying to be too obvious here, but when both your hands are busy forming a sweater from a piece of string, it is nearly impossible to munch on that bag of Lay's Fried Potato Chips while watching the evening news.

Not only can knitting help you loose weight by keeping you busy with another pastime besides eating, but this inexpensive craft can also help smokers curb their need for nicotine. Smoking and other bad habits often form when people are bored, but when you know how to knit, those days of aimlessly wondering around the house looking for something to do are over! Countless people have found that a simplistic and affordable way to eliminate their addictions for food, nicotine, or other harmful things can be cured simply by two needles and a ball of yarn. Welcome to the wonderful world of knitting.

Socially, knitting can be a groundbreaker for shy people, or it can be a way for others to meet new people who share the same interests. It’s clinically proven that healthy lifestyles include letting your emotions out, and what better way to share your thoughts or gab about your chaotic day than while you have peaceful needles traveling methodically though your fingers and a cup of hot tea steeping at your side? Knitting groups are the perfect way to find new friends, to adjust socially, or a great way to learn a beneficial skill with a few close friends.

Despite all the medical benefits, the psychological benefits, and the social advantages knitting offers to those so fortunate to be a part of the exciting movement of craftsters, the main reason people knit, and the reason why you should too, is because when it comes down to it, knitting is just plain fun.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

JJCrochet Article!

I (or rather, JJCrochet) was recently interviewed by my college newspaper. Read the article and let me know what you think!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ravelry: A Knitter's and Crocheter's Paradise

Here's the situation: you bought some new yarn (of course it was an impulse buy) and you have no idea what you want to make with it. Where do you start searching for patterns? Some of us probably check familiar craft forums like Craftster or go to sites like Lionbrand or Berroco to start our search. Without finding the right pattern, we continue searching by visiting our favorite crafty blogs for new patterns or even browse through crochet directories with hundreds of patterns. All of these are great resources to find knitting and crochet patterns on the web, but what if there was one place where all these great resources were combined together so we didn't have to waste precious time searching for patterns.

Enter Ravelry - the premier place for knitting, crocheters, and needleworkers to post projects, update their WIPs, and keep tabs on their ever growing yarn stash. The first website of its kind, Ravelry is a paradise for yarn addicts of all kind. After joining their free website, you will be able to:

Essentially, Ravelry is a community. It's built from user content so it's what you want to see. Not only do they offer free crochet and knitting patterns, but you can also purchase patterns from aspiring designers.

There is a small waiting list period because Ravelry is still a young project, but once you request an invitation to join, you will be taken to a wonderful world full of yarn, hooks and needles, and other needleworkers that are just as passionate about yarn as you are!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Etsy - If You Craft, You Need to Be on It

Etsy...Have you heard of it? If you're familiar with this megahouse crafting website, when you tell others about it, you end up saying the name twice and almost always spelling it. "Etsy, yeah..... Etsy. E-t-s-y. It's basically an E-bay for crafts."

And that's what it is - a cross between Amazon and Ebay where small, large, and growing businesses list their handmade items or supplies. You can buy everything from peacock feather earrings to gorgeous handsewn t-shirts to edgy calendars. Whatever you want to buy, Etsy has it, and it's handmade.

Every Etsy seller has their own dowmain name and personal store. (My username is jjcrochet and my etsy website is Anyone can sign up for their own Etsy shop. Etsy's fees are also extremely cheap:

  • free to join/ set up a store
  • $.20 to list an item for 6 months
  • 3.5% fee when you sell an item
My experience with Etsy has been nothing but positive; having my Etsy store has increased my sales ten-fold. Like any ambitious, up-and-coming crafter, I purchased a domain name when I first opened my small crochet business. Even after heavily promoting and trying to generate traffic to my website through paid advertisements, I just wasn't getting the type of resonse I wanted. Finally, after a few unsuccessful months of trying to make a business on my own domain, I decided to take the plunge and opened my own Etsy shop in December 2005.

After those first few months, I realized that Etsy would be the new home of all JJCrochet products. I canceled my domain and hosting package and moved all my items into my Etsy store. While there's not a lot of freedom as far as design options and layout of your store, as a busy college student trying to run a business between classes and late night studying sessions, I was happy I didn't have to spend hours trying to write my own HTML code.

Through a simple 5-step process, you type descriptions, upload pictures, and select keywords that relate to your item. It is so easy - follow the template to upload items then organize your store and group your items by section and they're ready for sale.

The main reason Etsy is such a success and has over 3,000 new users join each day, is that it's more than just a website - it's a community. Etsy just isn't a place for people to come, upload their items and wait for sales. The Etsy team has made it so much more than that. There are forums, personal swaps, and chat rooms where you can connect with craftsters and fellow entrepreneurs all over the world. It's as much of a buyer-friendly as it is a seller-friendly website. Sellers and buyers alike are what make up the core of Etsy; it's the community that makes Etsy the great site that it is today.

If you're a crafter looking for a way to generate exposure to a large market and wanting to do so with minimal effort, try won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Crochet Earflap Hat Pattern, Crochet Beanie Hat Pattern

Crochet earflap hat patterns, crochet hat patterns, and crochet beanie hat patterns are hard to find. Believe me, I've been there. I used to search and search through books, online websites, and pattern collections looking for a hat that I wanted to crochet. I would find outdated sites with wierd hat that normal people never worn. How difficult was it to find a normal, basic crochet hat pattern? It was frustrating - I knew what I wanted, but could never seem to find the perfect design. One day, after my websearches proved to be unsuccessful, I had a though. I've been crocheting for 11 years - I don't need a pattern. I should just design my own hat!
And so I did.

Over Christmas break last year, I finally wrote down a pattern for my very first hat - a crocheted newsboy hat. Normally, all the hats I crochet for my business, JJCrochet, are freeform and I never take the time to actually write down what I'm doing. I tested it a few times myself and had other crocheters test it before putting it on my Etsy store.

It's been a little over a year since I wrote it down and as of January 14th, I have sold 227 patterns of my Most Versatile Crocheted Newsboy Hat on Etsy. Apparently the people seem to like it. :)
So if you've been in the same situation as I have been - looking, searching, browsing and crying about the lack of good crochet patterns, stop your search. This hat is the end-all of hat patterns. (Notice the "Versatile" part in the name...) I like to be able to make multiple hats or different variations from the same pattern when I'm crocheting so I include instruction on how to make different options from the same pattern. You can make this with or without a brim, with or without a flower, or you can just make a plain, basic beanie - it's up to you! The pattern includes sizes to make hats for men, women, and it even includes sizes for children.