JJCrochet’s 6 Year Etsy Anniversary – Get a Free Crochet Pattern. Dec 30th Only!

In one hour, it will be December 30th.  To some, December 30th is an insignificant day between the bustle of Christmas and the excitement of New Years.  But true, die-hard JJCrochet fans have marked that day on their calendars because they know that December 30th, 2011 marks JJCrochet’s 6th Anniversary on Etsy. Woo-hoo!

Since last year, JJCrochet has sold 181 crochet patterns, crochet cowls, and crochet hats for a grand total of 816 sold items over the past 6 years.  I’ve been so blessed. Thank you to every one of my customers.  I’ve loved interacting with you, sharing little pieces of my crochet, and seeing your finished products.

To celebrate JJCrochet’s 6 year Etsy anniversary – you guessed it – I’m having another giveaway!

Crochet Hat Pattern - Jenny Lee

I was debating what would be better than giving away a free crochet pattern when I decided nothing would be better than that.  Everyone loves free crochet patterns!

For JJCrochet’s anniversary, I’m giving away free copies of the Jenny Lee Hat (pictured above).  It’s become one of my top selling patterns.

This free crochet pattern giveaway is good only on 12/30/11 so make sure you enter today.  (To those who will post in the comments months after today, I’m sorry, but this is a one day, celebratory deal, so catch it while you can!)

To receive your free pattern, all you have to do is share.  Here are the details:

  • Share the JJCrochet love on a social networking site of your choice!
  • Sharing includes: tweeting about your favorite project, sharing your favorite JJCrochet pattern on Facebook, or posting a link to one of JJCrochet’s crochet video tutorials.
  • There are easy “share” buttons at the end of every post so it’s easy-peasy to enter.  You can find JJCrochet on:
                   -Facebook ( – Click the “share button” on the most recent post.
                  – Twitter (@jaynagrassel)
                  – Youtube (
                  – Even Flickr (
  • Make sure to “tag” JJCrochet in your post/status/update/link so I know to enter you into the contest!
  • If you’re unsure of how to enter, contact Jayna and I’ll help you out. 🙂

Everyone who enters will get a free Jenny Lee crochet pattern e-mailed to them (so be sure to send me your e-mail). Once you’ve shared the love, fill out the form below so I know where to send your free pattern.

JJCrochet's 6 Year Anniversary Giveaway Entry Form

After you've "shared the JJCrochet love", fill out this form to receive your free copy of the Jenny Lee Hat pattern!
  • So I can send you your free pattern!
  • Post the link where you shared the JJCrochet love!

Happy 6 Years, Everyone!  Here’s to another six.

– Jayna


Free Patterns, Knitting, Projects

Free Knit Cowl Pattern – Chunky

My love affair with cowls continue, and that’s good news for you.  Usually when I’m obsessed with things, I create patterns for those things so I can love them even more.  I just wrote a post about cowls that includes a great sampling of crocheted and knitted designs.  Of the bunch, one of my favorites is a thick, squishy, absolutely-chunky, knit cowl.

Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern
Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern

It’s a simple pattern.  So simple you’ll hate yourself for not thinking it up first (although I’m sure this isn’t the first time this cowl’s been made).

Make one for yourself (I did) or make a couple for Christmas gifts for your friends (did this, too)


Size US 17 (12.75mm) Knitting Needles

1.5 skeins (160 yards) Lion Brand Thick & Quick – Wool Ease.  You can also use any extra-chunky yarn.

Chunky Knit Eternity Cowl Pattern

CO 15 stitches.

Work Moss Stitch until you run out of yarn.

Moss Stitch

Row 1 – *K1, P1* across an odd number of stitches

Repeat Row until you have about 3 feet of yarn left.

Bind off.

Fasten off yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail.  Using a large darning needle and yarn like thread, sew short sides together with a half-twist to give cowl an infinity loop.  (For details on infinity loop, see bottom of post here.)

Cowl will measure 8.5 inches wide; 70 inches long.  Voila!

free knit cowl pattern

Free Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern
Free Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern

Close up of knit moss stitch:

Moss Stitch Knit
Close up of knit “Moss Stitch” – See how the purls are worked on top of the knit stitches to give you little bumps?

Crochet, Photoshoots, Projects

Cowls & Cousins

So if you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a “cowl kick” recently.  I love them.  The chunkier, the better.

With fall gearing up and my love of cowls in full swing, I couldn’t help but stock up on lots of cowl-making yarn tonight (like I need more skeins for my stash). 38 skeins to be exact.


Woops. 🙂

Most of this yarn will be turned into cowls and I think that warrants a FREE CROCHET COWL GIVEAWAY (posting about that next) WOO!

The family was also over for Thanksgiving which means for the first time in a while, I’ve had live models!  A few of my younger cousins and my sister (a JJCrochet regular), were kind enough to model a few cowls for me.  Unfortunately, all the eating slowed us down and we didn’t quite beat the setting sun, but we were able to get a few shots in.

I’m still undecided whether or not these wonderful winter scarves can jump across the gender gap.  What’s your vote… Can guys wear crochet cowls??

Men's Crochet Cowl

Evan - Crochet CowlAnd a few group shots.  They were having fun:

crochet cowls

crochet cowls

You can make most of the crochet cowls in this mini cousin-photo shoot yourself using JJCrochet’s free crochet cowl patterns.

Crochet, Knitting

Top 8 Reasons Why Crocheting is Better Than Knitting

Top 8 reasons Why Crocheting is Better than KnittingIt’s time to hang up the gloves. The question of which is better–crocheting or knitting– has been discussed since the first sheep’s wool was spun into yarn.

Knitters hold their needles high as they offer delicate stitches and sweaters that took weeks to knit, while crocheters fight back with the functionality of their knotted work.

As someone who has been crocheting since she was 8 and knitting since she was 13, I want to end this argument for good.

Crocheting is Better Than Knitting. (Don’t tell me you couldn’t see that coming… I have a crochet blog.)

Here are 8 reasons why I believe crocheting is better than knitting:

1.  Crocheting takes 30% more yarn than knitting.  While some might view this as a disadvantage, I view it as a positive. Any compulsive crafter would have to agree. The bigger dent you make in your overwhelming yarn stash at one time, the better.

2.  Crocheting uses one hook instead of two needles.  Why finagle two things when it’s easier to hold just one?

3.  Crocheting is faster.  Knitters see patterns for 5 1/2-hour crochet afghans and cringe. They dream about the day they could make something that fast. For crocheters, making an afghan in two evening sittings isn’t anything new.

4. Crocheting is easier to learn.  I’ll admit this one is subjective… but it’s factual and true.

5.  You have more freedom when crocheting.  Crocheters use one hook with one loop of yarn on it. Knitters, on the other hand, have perfectly aligned loops sitting obediently on their needles. Where’s the freedom? When crocheting, if you suddenly want to go over the side, go for it. Back the way you came?  Sure – not a problem. Want to join something together? Just fold and stitch along the top. Folks, it doesn’t get more free than that.

6. You can easily make  a crochet flower and other accessories.  I put crochet flowers on pretty much every hat I crochet because I think they’re adorable. (In fact, I love making crochet flowers so much that I created a Video Tutorial on how to crochet a flower.) Patterns for knitted flowers involve no less than 12 steps and lots of sewing together. All that work takes the joy out of flowers.

7. There are less crochet patterns than knitting patterns.  Also might seem like a downside, but the thrill of the hunt makes this a plus for crocheting. Finding a good crochet pattern is like finding GOLD. Hundreds of books have been written about knitting, but good crochet patterns are harder to trace down and more rewarding when you find them.

8.  And finally, the most compelling part of the case:  Crocheting creates a heavier, stretchier fabric. This heavier fabric is useful when making:

  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Afghans
  • Baby Blankets
  • Scrubbies & Dishcloths
  • Dishtowels
  • Bags
  • Purses
  • Cowls
  • Socks/ Slippers
  • Rugs
  • Ponchos (are these still in?)
  • Cozies (iPod, Coffee Cup)
  • Pouches (Laptop, Cell Phone)
  • Flowers
  • Mittens or  Gloves
  • Amigurumi (little crocheted animals)
  • Even Dog Sweaters are better crocheted.

Pretty much the only thing people would rather knit than crochet is a sweater. So for projects that are a sweater, pull out the knitting needles. For everything else, grab a hook because crocheting’s where it’s at.

And so, I think you will find that crocheting, as whole, is better than knitting. What’s your preference? Are you a one hook or a two needle crafter?

For an additional comparison between knitting and crocheting, read here:


Five Year Etsy Anniversary – Free Pattern Giveaway

Ah I almost missed it – the 5th Anniversary of my Etsy shop!

I was reading someone’s blog post about an Etsy-versary when I remembered mine was sometime towards the end of December.  I looked and ah – it was today!  It IS today! How could I have almost let this day pass uncelebrated?!
JJCrochet first opened shop on December 30, 2005 and has sold 635 crochet patterns, knit hats, chunky cowls, thick scarves, and summer headbands.  Wow.  I couldn’t have done it without you, my wonderful customers. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  You’ve made these past 5 years wonderful.

To honor my Etsy-versary, I’m giving away FREE copies of my most popular crochet pattern: The most versatile crochet newsboy hat pattern! To get your free copy of the pattern that’s been purchased over 500 times, simply leave your name and e-mail in a comment and I’ll shoot you over the PDF.  Since there are only 4 hours left of December 30, 2010 here in Pennsylvania, I’m extending this free giveaway until midnight on December 31, 2010, EST.

Here’s a picture of the crochet newsboy hat pattern that will soon be yours!

Thank you for celebrating with me and thank you Etsy – here’s to another great 5 years!  Leave a comment to receive your free pattern.

Update: Thanks to all who commented – enjoy your free patterns!  

The giveaway is now closed.

Crochet, Photoshoots

Fall 2012 Photo Shoot

Since I’ve moved to a new city and my sister has gone off to college, JJCrochet has needed to find a new model.  Thankfully, my new friends are GORGEOUS. A couple knit cowls, a few crochet hats.  Patterns and project details coming soon!

Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern
Free pattern for this chunky knit cowl by JJCrochet (click image for link to pattern)
Chunky Knit Red Cowl
Chunky Knit Red Cowl
Free Crochet Cowl Pattern
Free Short Crochet Cowl Pattern by JJCrochet (click image for link to pattern)
Purple Hat with Flower
crochet chevron hat
Crochet Chevron Hat
Crochet Hat with Flower
Crochet Hat with Flower
Crocheted Womens Hat with Flower
Crocheted Womens Hat with Flower
Crochet Newsboy Hat
Crochet Newsboy Hat

A Saturday morning visit with an armful of crochet and knitted items and there you have it – new pictures for the site.  Thank you, friend for being a lovely model!  Which project do you like best for fall?

Customer Gallery

To see your crochet work featured in the Customer Gallery, fill out this “Flaunt It” form and submit your work now!


Name: Robin

Pattern: Free Knit Infinity Cowl Pattern

Description Here’s my daughter in her new beautiful cowl!


Name: Rachel

Pattern: Short Chunky Crochet Cowl with Infinity Loop

Project Name: Heather on the Hill Cowl

Description: I used a lighter weight yarn that was still slightly chunky and had great texture. I wanted to use up my purple but knew I wouldn’t have enough so I added some of the green yarn of the same kind I had on hand. Since I used a lighter weight, I discovered that I had to make 13 rows and added 6 rows of double crochet to the wide end to make it a longer rectangle so it would be \’cowl-like\’. Great pattern! Will use again!

Name: Angie

Pattern: How to Crochet a 10-Petal Flower: Video Tutorial

Project Name: Daughter’s New Hat

Description:  I got a free hat pattern before I found you but the flower is from your video tutorial, love it and off to make more!



Name: Rianna

Pattern: Jenny Lee Hat Pattern

Project Name: Rianna’s Hat

Description:  Just love it!


Name: Caroline

Pattern: Free Crochet Cowl Pattern with Infinity Loop

Project Name: Chunky Cowl


Name: Emily

Pattern: Versatile Crochet Newsboy Hat

Project Name: Emily’s Irish Newsboy Hat Pattern

JJCrochet's crochet newsboy hat pattern

Description: I just finished crocheting and following your patten for the newsboy hat and I loved how it turned out…I added a little extra “Irish” flare to it because I’m an irish dancer and love celtic designs, so the two buttons on my hat have them. It fits so nicely on my head and will match my winter coat perfectly!


Name: Crystal

Pattern: Free Rachael’s Hat Pattern

Project Name: Abby’s Hat

Crochet Open Weave Hat Pattern - Abby

Description: Abby, age 2, in “Rachel Hat” with large rose flower. Loved making this, it was the first hat I ever made and turned out fantastic, now friends and friends of friends want one!


Name: Rachel

Pattern: Jenny Lee Hat Pattern

jenny lee crochet hat pattern

Description:  I adore this hat 🙂


Name: Joanie

Pattern: Jenny Lee Hat Pattern

Joanie's crochet hat

Description:  My daughter looks so cute in her new Jenny Lee beanie! Made in pink camo with one of my grandma’s vintage buttons on the flower. Thanks for the pattern!


Name: Brooke

Pattern: Jenny Lee Hat Pattern

Crochet Jenny Lee Hat Pattner

Description:  I found this pattern when my 3 year old daughter told me she wanted a new hat, and one with a flower. She picked the pattern out from pictures. I picked the hat color to match her eyes!


Name: CrochetJoh

Pattern: Free Men’s Crochet Hat

Description:  Modified for my big head!


Name: Bess

Pattern: Jenny Lee Hat Pattern


Name: Bess

Pattern: Versatile Crochet Newsboy Hat



Yarn Treats

Red Yarn
Yarn overlooking Downtown Cleveland

This past weekend, I visited Ann Arbor, Michigan. We stayed at a quaint little bed and breakfast in Ypsilanti and had a great weekend exploring the city. While walking down Main Street, we came across Busy Hands, this little yarn store tucked in the back of a tiny shopping center. Never being one to ignore a yarn store, I went inside.

I walked away, $50 lighter, but 3 skeins happier.

I splurged and purchased some lovely yarn by Malabrigo.  A skein of “Rios” in the color 850 Archangel  caught my eye. I bought a skein, deciding to make myself a treat (as any crocheter will know, it’s a rare day when you crochet something for yourself).

I finished a lovely small cowl yesterday.  Free pattern is “Cardiff Cowl” by Lion Brand.  I made 10 rounds on one side, 7 on the other until I ran out of yarn (pattern calls for you to work off both sides of the foundation chain so the edges of the cowl are scalloped).  Here’s a quick shot I snapped of me heading off to work, wearing the cowl. Forgive the selfie, cell-phone pic at 7am. 🙂

crochet cowl

Rios: Pure Merino Superwash; 210 yards; Made in Peru.

Red Yarn

crochet yarn