Browse Author by JJCrochet
Crochet, Pictor Granny Square, Projects

Granny Square Picot Afghan – Part III

The last time I shared a picture of the granny square picot afghan, it was 18 squares big. Such a baby! It’s grown quite considerably in the last couple months (to 76 squares) as I’ve found these cold winter months in PA are great for movie-watching and couch-crocheting.



crochet ends
Weaving in ends – my least favorite part, but the finishing touch

crochet flower square

All that’s left to do is make 18 more squares, crochet a couple rows for a border and sew in loose ends, which at 10 ends a square to sew in, it’ll be a task in itself.

Expect a project recap and “hooray, it’s finished” pictures soon!

Crochet, Projects

Crochet Baby Booties/Boots

My friend sent a link from Pinterest, asking if I could  make her daughter a pair of these crochet baby bootiesUm, of course I could. It looked like a great pattern and I had a free Sunday morning so I spent the time crocheting, drinking French press coffee and reading. Could you think of a more perfect time?

Crochet Bootie Pattern

I found some pink yarn and the booties worked up quickly. Barely took any yarn. I made the seize 0-3 month booties and even though my friend’s baby is 6 months old, they were falling off her feet. Maybe I needed to size down? Regardless, they’re adorable and she can always grow into them.

Baby Crochet Booties Pattern

Project Details

  • Pattern (free): Crochet baby booties pattern from Quartered Heart Crochet
  • Crochet Needle: Size E (3.5mm)
  • Yarn: Vanna’s Choice, worsted weight in Light Pink – about 45 yards
  • TIme: 1 hour
  • Favorite part: The functional button closure and scalloped edges
  • Edits: None, followed pretty much as written. Skipped the instructions for the button holes since I always just push the buttons through an open spot in the work – the stitches are loose enough. I did have some trouble making the second shoe turn out like the first. Made two pairs and always had the same problem… had something to do with the decreasing around the toes, but I wasn’t able to fix it completely. Not too noticable, though
  • Make again? For sure! I could see this being a good baby shower gift

Newborn Crochet Booty Pattern

Crochet, Knitting, Projects

Katniss Vest/Cowl from Catching Fire

They say books are better than movies, and I’d agree. But I’ll be the first to admit:  when reading the Hunger Games trilogy, I never would have dreampt up this knit vest deign Katniss wears in Catching Fire.


I was recently commissioned by a friend to make the “Huntress Vest” Katniss wore for a brief second. The part-cowl, part-vest was only in one scene, but crocheters and knitters were quick to draft patterns to replicate the design. Depending on the look you want, you can find free and paid patterns for Katniss’ vest on Etsy and Ravelry,

My friend thought his wife would like this chunky version of the cowl by TwoOfWands.  It was made in my favorite yarn (Lionbrand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick) so I was looking forward to the project. I mean let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to look like Katniss?

Crochet Katniss Vest
Channeling Katniss with a side-braid… Not my best look.
Katniss Cowl Back
Open on the left side; arm hole on the right.
Crochet Katniss Vest
Knit panel over the right shoulder; the rest of the cowl is crocheted.

This pattern is clearly written and was a fun project amidst the many Christmas projects I had going on. It’s 4 parts crochet and 1 part knit; the chunky yarn helps it work up quickly. It’s made in 5 separate pieces which makes the construction a little tricky and since it’s not a normal sweater or vest, I needed a couple tries to piece it together. Does it swoop left then right or right then left?

Project Details: 

  • Pattern ($5): Katniss Cowl by TwoOfWands on Etsy
  • Yarn: 4 skeins of Lionbrand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Grey Marble
  • Needles/Hooks: Size US 19 knitting needles and P and J crochet hooks
  • Size: One size fits all; larger than Katniss’ original cowl
  • Modifications: Used seed stitch for the knit panel instead of the pattern instructions; found I liked it better than the chevron pattern that was called for
  • Favorite part: The wonderfully big cowl neck
  • Odd elements: Working two separate panels for the main “swoop” piece when I thought one would have worked. Also using single crochet to seam the pieces together rather than stitching them with a darning needle. It makes the seams visible which is a ‘look’, but I’m not sure it would have been my first choice.
  • Make again: For sure! Like the pattern and the detailed instructions

Knit Katniss Vest Cowl

During the brief time I had the cowl/vest on to take pictures, I realized just how warm it was. I’m sure my friend’s wife will like it. Down with the Capital… Katniss and Peeta forever.

Crochet, Projects

Crochet Santa Hats: Tis The Season

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re experiencing peace this holiday season as you spend time with friends and families to celebrate the birth of Christ. Blessings and a Happy New Year.

I wanted to share a project I’d been working on for a few weeks. While visiting Cleveland to see my friend’s new baby (remember the crochet newborn vest?), I heard plans of a Christmas 10K run and was asked if I could make hats. Not just any hats, though. Santa hats. (said in the Will Ferrell voice: SANTAAA!!!) Seven Santa hats in a few weeks – totally doable.

baby crochet santa hat
Little dude looking adorable in his baby-sized Santa hat

I’d make a hat or two a night and worked up 10 hats total – 7 adult and 3 for the kids. No official pattern, but I made a basic hat shape using two stands of Red Heart and a size K crochet hook. 9 Rounds of red, 3 of white for the brim, and a pom-pom for the tops.

The final products turned out great and I took a couple pics of the hats sitting in my living room in Pittsburgh. When I started getting texts from my friends during race day and seeing pics on Facebook, I realized just how cute they all looked together. They’re a good looking crew (minus Tim, of course).

Crochet Santa HatsFrom what I heard, everyone finished the race and had some great times, despite it being a blustery 34 degrees in Cleveland. Thanks to my friends for letting me be a part of something in Cleveland (felt like I was there, minus the having to exercise part which I count as a win in my book) and for sending some cute pics.

Adult Crochet Santa Hats
The crew at a post-race brunch
crochet santa hat
Husband and wife team, Kim and Jon, looking especially festive as they run

Crocheted Santa Hats

My Three Good Friends: Kim, Tisha and Trisha
My Three Good Friends: Kim, Tisha and Trisha. Miss these ladies!


Knitting, Projects

Knit Baby Sweater – Baby Sophisticate II

It’s been 3 years since I’ve made the “Baby Sophisticate” knit sweater, a free pattern on Ravelry that has over 5,600 projects. People like this design because it’s easy yet interesting, classic yet works up quickly.


I especially like the button and roll-collar details. You knit using size 8 needles so it’s warm without having painstakingly small stitches (goodbye size 3’s).

My college friend, Blake Imeson, runs a web design business called Lime Cuda, and we keep in touch. He and his wife recently gave birth to a beautiful little boy, Wesley, and I’ve been meaning to make them something. Wesley is just about 5 months old so I sized up for this sweater and made it to fit 6 months – 1 year (pattern is also available in newborn size). Hopefully he’ll be able to get some good use out of it.

Blake, I’m sorry if you’re seeing this post before the sweater’s shipped. Act surprised 🙂


Project Details: 

  • Free Pattern: Baby Sophisticate
  • Knitting Needles: size 8
  • Yarn: 1 skein (about 200 yards) of Red Heart Soft
  • Time: Mmmm… maybe 5-6 hours?


Sweater Yarn

Just for Fun

If You Have Etsy + A Website, Use Etsy Mini

I had to give my blog a facelift a couple weeks ago and the new layout deleted my “Etsy Mini”. I just got around to putting it back up on the right sidebar and it’s something I should have done weeks ago.

(If you don’t know what an Etsy Mini is – read “What is an Etsy Mini and How Do I Make One”: If you have a website and Etsy shop, I highly recommend you set yours up. It’ll take you no more than 2 mins.

As proof, here are my shop analytics. Can you tell when I added it back to my site?

Etsy Mini
Statistics for JJCrochet’s Etsy Mini

I was pretty shocked to see these numbers for such a simple task. You upload code to your site one time and from then on, Etsy automatically displays recent product listings (I use the 5 x 2 option).

Etsy Mini isn’t a new feature, but it’s one I’ve rediscovered – figured I’d pass along. Has anyone else seen similar results from using this plugin?

Crochet, Free Patterns, Projects

Easy & Quick Crochet Cowl Pattern

I wanted to write a pattern for the perfect cowl I could toss on for brisk fall mornings. Not something as intense as the chunky knit cowl pattern I use when it’s snowing, just something that would keep out the whippy morning wind.

Crochet Scarf Pattern
Crochet Scarf Pattern

This easy and quick crochet cowl works up in a snap with bulky yarn and a size N crochet hook. It’s pretty easy and the result is a semi-open weave cowl to top off your I-refuse-to-admit-it’s-winter-so-all-I-will-wear-is-a-cardigan look. (It’s ok, we’ve all been there.) It’s functional without being over the top.


Easy & Quick Crochet Cowl Pattern


  • Size N (10mm) Crochet Hook
  • 1.5 Skeins of Lionbrand Wool-Ease Chunky Thick & Quick (or 150 yards of any “Size 6” – super bulky weight yarn or roving)

Finished Size: 31 inches long; 8 inches wide

Special Stitches

3-DC Cluster: Also known as DC3tog. *YO, insert hook into stitch. YO, pull up a loop. YO, pull through 2 loops. Two loops on hook. * Repeat from * to * twice more until there are four loops on hook. YO, pull through all loops on hook.


Chain 49. Join with slip stitch to form ring. Cowl is worked in the round.

Round 1: Ch 1, sc in each stitch around. Join round with sl st into first ch-1. (49 sc)

Round 2: Ch 2, counts as first DC in 3-DC cluster. DC2tog in same stitch to complete first 3-DC cluster. *Chain 1, skip next stitch. Work 3-DC cluster in next stitch.* Repeat instructions from * to * around for the rest of the round. Join round with sl st into first cluster. (24 clusters)

Round 3: Ch 2, counts as first DC in 3-DC cluster. DC2tog in same stitch to complete first 3-DC cluster. *Chain 1, skip next ch-1 space. Work 3-DC cluster in next st (which is the 3-DC cluster of the previous round).* Repeat instructions from * to * around for the rest of the round. Join round with sl st into first cluster. (24 clusters)

Rounds 4 – 7: Repeat Round 3

Round 8: Ch 1, sc in east stitch around. (49 sc)

Fasten off



Easy Crochet Cowl Pattern
Easy Crochet Cowl Pattern
Crochet, Projects

Crochet Newborn Vest for Titus

My friends (not me) are getting old. Old people have babies. Which means “Fun Aunt Jayna” gets the chance to crochet something tiny!

Newborn Vest for Baby

I visited Cleveland last weekend to see a friend who’d had a baby. She was pregnant when I left and a mom for a second time when I returned. Titus Hudson is adorable. Slept a lot, but can’t blame the kid – he’s only 10 days old.

Hanging out in his new vest.
Hanging out in his new vest.

I crocheted the vest the morning before I drove back. Searched for a pattern to replicate, but when I couldn’t find anything, I created my own design. It was a little tight going on Titus and now I see why people don’t make newborn-sized vests. Not to self: make a sweater next time – kids don’t like things shoved on their heads.

Titus in his crochet vest with "Fun Aunt Jayna"
Titus in his crochet vest with “Fun Aunt Jayna”. He loves it already.

Project Stats:

  • The vest ended up being 16.5-17 inches in circumference
  • No pattern, but I should write one down in the future. Made up of FPDC, SC, DC, and HHDC stitches.
  • Stripes were a happy accident. I was running out of blue yarn and started incorporating other colors. I think they make it look vintage. His parents are urban dwellers (hipsters?) so it works.

Just sharing the latest  project I was working on. Have you made newborn clothing? Any go-to patterns? My favorite is the Baby Sophisticate, a knit baby sweater that I’ve made a few times because of its classic design.


Crochet, Free Patterns, Projects, Uncategorized

Crochet Flower Pattern

Crochet Flower Pattern

Having a go-to crochet flower pattern should be every crocheter’s goal. This crochet flower isn’t fancy, but it works up quickly and is great for adding detail to a project.

Crochet Flower Pattern

It’s a great flower for beginner to learn – I’ve even written out the crochet abbreviations and taken pictures along the way so you know exactly what to do. For the more experienced crocheter, this is a good “base flower” that you can add more petals to (why stop at 5?) or a second layer for added volume.

Crochet Flowers

Crochet Flower Pattern


  • Crochet Hook & Yarn – Any Size! Depends on your project, but this will work up with everything from thread to bulky yarn
  • Flowers below crocheted with a size H (5.0mm) crochet hook and worsted weight yarn (Vanna’s Choice)


Chain 3, slip stitch into first chain to form a ring.

Round 1: Chain 2 (counts as a double crochet). Work 9 more double crochet into the center of the ring (10 DC total). Join to top of chain 2 with a slip stitch.

Round 2: Chain 3 + 1 (counts as chain-3 space plus 1 single crochet). Skip 1 stitch, single crochet in next stitch. *Chain 3, skip 1 stitch. Single crochet in next stitch.* Repeat instructions from * to * around two more times. Chain 3, skip next stitch. Single crochet into first chain-3 space to join Round 2. (5, chain-3 spaces).

Round 3: Work 4 double crochet and one single crochet into first chain-3 space. First petal complete. Into next chain-3 space, work [1 single crochet, 5 double crochet, 1 single crochet]. Repeat for next 3 patterns. Slip stitch to first single crochet to join.

Fasten off.

Crochet Pattern
Round 2 after Chain 3 + 1, Skip next stitch, single crochet, chain 3
At the end of Round 2. Join last chain-3 with a single crochet into the first chain-3 space.
At the end of Round 3, after 4 petals have been made.
At the end of Round 3, after 4 petals have been made.
Crochet Flower
Finished Crochet Flower!

Crochet Flowers Pattern


Craft Shows

Delmont Apple ‘n Arts Festival – Craft Show this Weekend (Oct 5th & 6th)

Currently, I’m crocheting. Well not right at this moment since I’m typing, but stitches will resume once this post is finished. If you’re a fellow crafter, you see the signs. The blowing off of friends, refusing to make plans, the few hours of sleep for the week before.


craft show season

noun \ˈkraft\ˈshō\sē-zən\ : an activity that involves making something in a skillful way by using your hands and selling to folks from the comfort of a 10 x 10 canopy tent. Rain and inclement weather is sometimes possible, but highly likely.

I’ve been doing craft shows for the past 9 or so years (maybe 10, but who can keep track). Ever since I was 14, I’ve frequented the fair grounds of the hand-made. During JJCrochet’s prime (high school and a little into college), I was churning out hats and was able to attend 4-5 fairs a year, but since working full time and developing a social life, I’ve resigned to attending one fair.

People jamming out to live music at the Delmont Apple ‘n Arts Festival.

It’s one of my favorite shows of the year since it takes place in my hometown of Delmont, PA: The Delmont Apple ‘n Arts Festival. After moving back to Pittsburgh, I was also invited to be on the Board of Directors and manage the website for the show (I’m not lying – my picture’s on the site… that I made: I keep the site up-to-date with fair info, highlight participating artisans, and attend monthly committee meetings. I’ve been planning this show for the past couple months and it’s been so neat being on the “inside” of things.

If you’re in Westmoreland County or in the Pittsburgh are this weekend, stop by the festival. They have fresh pressed apple cider, over 150 crafters, food vendors, and live entertainment that attracts over 50,000 people a year. Once again, that was FRESH PRESSED APPLE CIDER.

This year, the Delmont Apple ‘n Arts Festival is on Saturday, October 5th (10am – 6pm) and Sunday, October 6th (11am – 5pm). It’s the only show I’m doing this year and your only chancee to pick up a hand-crocheted original by JJCrochet. If you’re in the area – stop by and say hello!

For up-to-date details, check out the Delmont Apple ‘n Arts Festival Facebook Page.

The antique apple press from 1907 makes hundreds of gallons of fresh-pressed apple cider



Knit the Bridge Pittsburgh: The Final Project

View of the yarn-bombed Andy Warhol bridge, as taken from the North Shore walkway
View of the yarn-bombed Andy Warhol bridge, as taken from the North Shore walkway

If you live in the tri-state area or have read one of my old posts, you probably know about “Knit the Bridge”–the largest yarn bombing in the US.  The community project got lots of coverage, a write-up by the Huffington Post along with local news coverage.

Nothing brings a community together quite like a yarn-covered bridge.

I was part of the “knit-in” two Sundays ago when the installation was first taking place. The Knit the Bridge group made a Facebook plea for more black railings and the hookers answered. About 20 people gathered in a tent at the base of the bridge to knit and crochet a couple more feet of fabric in the last hours before the installation.

Finishing black railings in the Knitting & Crocheting tent at Knit the Bridge, Sunday, August 11th

This past Sunday, August 25th, was the official “Knit the Bridge Community Celebration“. The bridge was closed to vehicles as booths with artists, crafters, free yoga and food vendors filled the center lanes. People of the community were invited to come downtown to check out the bridge first-hand and celebrate the history-making yarn installation. It was great to be part of such a positive event made me proud to live in the city of Pittsburgh.

Here are some close-up pics of the panels–some of them being installed a few weeks ago–as well as the finished project. The aptly covered bridge is the Andy Warhol or 7th street bridge on the North Shore of Pittsburgh – right by the Pirate’s home of PNC Park.  The installation will be up until early September (the 4th?) so if you’re heading to a game or walking through the Cultural District in the next couple days, be sure to check it out. To learn more about Knit the Bridge, check them out here.

Volunteers installing hand-made knit and crochet panels
Volunteers installing hand-made knit and crochet panels
One of my favorite panels. Crocheters, are you not impressed by this cool design?!
One of my favorite panels. Crocheters, are you not impressed by this cool design?!
Shot of the installed panels during the Community Celebration.
Shot of the installed panels during the Community Celebration.

Nantucket Yarn

Last month, I went on a self-created cross country tour. It began in Pittsburgh, stopped in Indianapolis, then continued onto St. Louis. From there, it spent two days celebrating a wedding in Washington, Missouri. Then back to Pittsburgh and a flight to Boston. Once landed, a drive to the Cape then a ferry to Nantucket, MA.

In Nantucket, we admired houses with their weather gray wood and white trim. We went to the beach. We slept and ate and check out the shops. One in particular caught my attention. It’s called Flock; a yarn store in Nantucket.

Never one to turn down local, hand-spun wool I purchased this beautiful skein:

75 yards of Chunky, 100% Nantucket Wool yarn
75 yards of Chunky, 100% Nantucket Wool yarn

I’m not sure what I’ll make, but I’m leaning towards a chunky Aran hat. Maybe something like this… Any recommendations?



Especially love that this yarn was made from sleep that live on the 14 miles long, 3.5 miles wide island of Nantucket. Happy to support a great cause. For more info about the Nantucket Conservation, you can check out their website.