Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long have you been crocheting/writing patterns?
A: My grandmothers both taught me to crochet when I was a little girl, but until my mid 30s, all I ever made was afghans. In November of 2010 I got back into crocheting and within a few months I was tweaking patterns, then writing my own. I still find that I am constantly learning as I go.
Q: Which of your patterns are your favorites?
A: Kyle Newsboy, Kylie Baby Bonnet, Vintage Star Baby Bonnet, Ashlyn Baby Bonnet, Arrowhead Beanie, Sophia Beanie, Freedom Fighter Beanie, Chrissy Beanie, Mia Beanie, Basket Weave Beanie, Kamryn Beanie/Cloche, and the Ripley Newsboy/Beanie are some of my very favorites. You might notice that these are all very textured patterns.
Q: What are your favorite brands of yarn?
A: Cotton is my favorite fiber and these are the brands I use most often: Lily Sugar’n Cream, Peaches & Creme, Lion Brand Cotton, Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Knit Picks Dishie Cotton, Red Heart Eco-Cotton Blend, and Lion Brand Cotton-Ease (cotton/acrylic blend). Generally these can all be substituted for each other but I will sometimes go up a hook size for the Dishie cotton, Red Heart Eco-cotton, and the Cotton-Ease as I’ve noticed they tend to be thinner. Another nice cotton yarn is I Love This Cotton by Hobby Lobby but it is much thinner than the other ones mentioned, so it will affect your gauge. * Note: the Red Heart Eco-Cotton Blend was discontinued. :(
Q: Do you have a favorite crochet hook size/brand?
A: Yes I do, I LOVE my Boye hooks and won't use any other brand, (with the exception of some vintage Hero hooks that I just adore). My favorite hook sizes are J and K (6 and 6.5 mm). My hands hurt using really small hook sizes so I rarely write patterns using smaller hooks. In testing patterns, I have discovered that there can be a big discrepancy in gauge when using different brands of hooks, so I try to add notes to my patterns for those situations.
Q: Where do you buy most of your yarn?
A: I buy a lot of yarn online, most often from Joann's, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Knit Picks, and sometimes ebay. I also purchase from my local yarn store (Knitting Knight), Joann's Fabrics, and Wal-mart.
Q: Which patterns of yours do you recommend for beginners?
A: I recommend the following patterns: Ava Sun Hat, Emily Flapper Beanie, Madeline Sun Hat, Pinwheel Beanie, Puppy Hat, Spring Bloom Beanie, Lily Newsgirl, Katrina Cloche, and the Taryn Hat. Others that include sewing on parts but are still quite simple overall include the Siamese Cat hat, Panda Hat, Chunky Monkey, Minion Hat, and the Gingerbread Cookie hat.
Q: What sizes do your patterns include?
A: I almost always write my hat patterns in at least 5 sizes, from baby to adult. Some come in as many as seven or eight sizes. I do not charge separately for different sizes like some designers do, so you get more value for your money. (By the way, although a lot of my patterns show a baby in the photo, check the sizes....most go all the way up to adult size!)
Q: Do you provide assistance with your patterns?
A: Absolutely, email me any time at email@example.com. I will do my best to get back to you in a timely manner. While you are waiting to hear back from me, you can also check this forum on Ravelry for answers to pattern questions: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/crochet-by-jennifer-pattern-forum. If you do NOT hear back from me within 48 hours, please send me another message.
Q: Why is gauge important when following a pattern? (Or why does my hat come out smaller/larger than it is supposed to?)
A: Everyone crochets with a different tension, I sometimes use different tensions even within the same pattern which is why I will include in the directions “crochet loosely” or “crochet tightly”. If the size of your finished item does not match the size you were making, this means your gauge is different than mine, it does not mean the pattern is wrong. All that you have to do is change your hook size until it matches the gauge provided. It is also very important to pay attention to the yarn listed for a pattern. Different brands of yarn can vary widely, even for the same “weight”. For example, Red Heart Super Saver and Caron Simply Soft yarns are both considered “worsted weight” but are totally different in size. I crochet somewhat tightly, so a lot of people have to go down in hook size to match my gauge. If your project comes out too large, keep this in mind so you can adjust your gauge.
Q: What exactly is gauge (or tension)?
A: A pattern gauge is the number of stitches and rows in a given measurement, preferably 4 inches wide by 4 inches tall. A good crochet pattern will list the yarn and hook size used to achieve the finished size with the gauge provided. The “tension” is how tightly (or loosely) you crochet your stitches. You can practice with your tension if you need to loosen or tighten up to match gauge, or you can just change the size of your hook.
Q: Can I sell items I make from your patterns?
A: Absolutely! If you list them online, I will always appreciate a note saying where you purchased the pattern, but it’s not required. I have been known to give free patterns to people who link to me though. :)
Q: How can I get free crochet patterns?
A: If you provide professional photos of my patterns on a model that I can use in my pattern listings (with the photographer’s permission of course), then I will give a free pattern of your choice. For more details, see this page: http://www.crochetbyjennifer.com/freecrochetpatterns.html.
Q: How do you send your patterns?
A: All of my patterns are now available as instant downloads, with the exception of the pattern packs. The pattern packs are sent through Ravelry because if there is ever a revision or update to the pattern, I can easily send the update to all the people who have purchased that pattern through Ravelry’s website.
Q: Do you give refunds for patterns?
A: No, I’m sorry. Due to the nature of patterns, once they are emailed, there are no refunds or exchanges. Please read the pattern listing carefully for level of difficulty and materials needed.
Q: Do you put your patterns on sale?
A: I have permanent sales on both Etsy and Ravelry. On Etsy, you can purchase pattern packs in lots of 3, 5, 10, or 15 patterns for a discount. On Ravelry, you can add 5 patterns ($4.95 each) to your cart and use the coupon code ‘pick5’ and get $5 off your entire purchase. For other offers, please follow my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/crochetbyjennifer, I post coupons there quite frequently.
Q: How long does it take to receive a pattern I buy on Etsy?
A: All patterns are now available as instant downloads, even on Etsy! The only exceptions are the pattern packs, which must still be emailed. These will usually be emailed within 24 hours. If you do not see an email within 24 hours, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the pattern, the date you bought it, and which website you purchased from. (The easiest way for me to check your order on Etsy is when you send me a convo directly from your order, using the "contact" button.)
Q: I need my pattern right away, can I get an instant download?
A: Yes. Unless you are purchasing a pattern pack, your pattern purchase will be an instant download on any of the websites (as soon as payment clears).
Q: Do you provide video links for special techniques or stitches?
A: Yes. In my patterns, if I use a special stitch or technique, I always try to provide a video link to help demonstrate. Below are the two most important techniques that I recommend learning, they are extremely useful and used in many of my patterns.
Magic Ring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHYVutk2iYY
Invisible Join: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsHggQGFq3A