Hi! My name is Jacqueline, but a lot of people call me Jac. I am a soon to be *35* year old wife and stay-at-home mom to two beautiful, smart, and stubborn little girls, we also have a dog named Brutus. My crazy family and I are from the midwest, we live in a city just a few minutes north of Chicago. My girls, Emma (who will be 5 next month) and Isabella (3) are the namesakes for this little shop of mine. They inspire and exhaust me constantly. They are the reason for so much of what I do... including sitting here and trying to write this post while they fight over legos and my dog barks at the blowing wind.
Ever since I can remember, I have loved making things. As a young kid, I remember making lanyards, friendship bracelets and latch-hook “rugs”. My mom and I even made candles and sold them at craft fairs for a little while. It didn’t matter what the project or medium was, I just always wanted to try it.
When I was little, I used to watch my mom crochet giant afghans in all of these beautiful colors. I wanted so badly to learn how to crochet too and I would beg her to teach me. I finally wore her down enough and she taught me how to make a chain with my fingers. So I would sit for what felt like hours (but realistically was probably only 15 minutes) and I would make these long chains with my little skein of Red Heart Super Saver yarn. For years that was all I knew how to do. I asked her once: “What comes next? How do I turn the chain into a blanket, do you just sew it together?” She probably thought I was annoying and she told me “yes” and I actually thought that's how it worked for a very long time. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that we finally sat down and she taught me how to hold a hook, how to slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and popcorn. From there I don’t think I ever put my hook down.
In the beginning, when I was just learning, I had no clue how to read a pattern. Looking at all of the abbreviations made my brain hurt! (Kidding… sort of.) I would sit and make blankets that I would come up with on my own, experimenting with new stitches that I would invent in my head. It went on like this for a few years. I never really made anything spectacular during that time but all of the practicing and experimenting really helped me to understand and master my tension which was about all I had going for me then. One day a friend of mine told me she was pregnant and so I became determined to teach myself how to read a pattern so that I could make her a baby gift. Turns out it was more intimidating than it was difficult. Stitch abbreviation lists and YouTube tutorials quickly became my best friends.
Overtime I started getting more confident in my skills. I sought out patterns that would challenge me and allow me to learn new techniques and stitches. Some I fell in love with (I am a sucker for anything with a post stitch) and some I hated (the granny square and I are not on speaking terms right now - but that's a story for another post). I began mashing patterns together and eventually started writing my own original patterns, which I learned is something I really love doing, and writing my own pattern book became my pipe dream.
About a year ago, I started the journey toward getting my master crochet certification from the Crochet Guild of America (which you can check out at this link if you’re interested: https://www.crochet.org/page/MasterPrograms). As we all know, life happens. I was busy being a wife and a mom and running my own little business and this all sort of fell to the wayside. Well, my *almost* 5 year old is now in pre-k, I have effectively shut down my small business, and my husband is completely supportive of me throwing myself into this new adventure.
So here we are. I am really freaking excited to be taking this leap and working toward my dreams of getting my master crochet certification and publishing original designs AND to share my journey through it all with you. I know it won't be easy (what's the saying? “nothing worth doing is easy” or something like that?) but I know it will be fun.
In this forum I am intending to share my journey as I explore the art of crochet more in depth than I ever have before. I will be bringing you my favorite techniques and stitches, tips and tricks that I’ve learned, tutorials and how to’s, my favorite tools, and I will be touching on pattern writing too. Of course I will share some *FREE* original patterns that I will write just for you every so often too.
I plan on posting around the 1st and 15th of every month, so about every two weeks. I promise, I won't always be so long winded.
<<Quick funny story: as I was working on this post earlier today, I was sitting outside while my girls were playing in their sandbox. My littlest one came inside and I didn’t think anything of it. After I got up to go check on her I realized that she had locked me and her sister out of the house and when I finally did get back inside I saw that she flooded the bathroom sink with soapy water. Let’s just say I was ready for bedtime and a glass of wine!>>
I really want this to be a blog for everyone who loves crochet. Whether you are a beginner just thinking about picking up a hook, or someone who wants to brush up on some skills, maybe learn a new technique, or someone who is simply looking for fun, cute, and modern patterns to make, there is something here for you (or at least there will be!)
I would like this blog to be a two way conversation. Now that you know my life’s story, I want to get to know you too! Please please please engage with me. I want to know what you think. Do you see an error? Let me know! Was something useful for you? I want to see so I can help you celebrate your success! Is there something that was confusing or that you struggled with? Let me know so I can clarify! Is there something you’d like me to write about? Tell me! I want you to find value here.
I am not an expert, I will never pretend to be. I am learning new skills all the time (and sometimes failing at them… (I cannot get my waistcoat stitch to line up correctly for anything). I’m hoping we can learn from each other and grow together. I want to inspire more people to explore this beautiful art and I want to document my journey as I explore it too.
I do also intend to have this blog provide some income for my family which means you will see some ads and affiliate links. I promise to only share affiliate links that are on topic and that I find to be tried and true products. These ads and links will never cost you anything, but if you click on the ads or purchase through the links, I will get a small commission.
Thank you so much for being here. I am super excited to be starting on this journey with you and I cannot wait to begin! Make sure to sign up for email notifications so that you don't miss out on the next post that will be coming October 1. My next topic is: My Favorite “Tools of the Trade.”