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Hi Crocheters! Today we are having a Meet and Greet with the Crochet Designer behind the blog Juniper & Oakes.
Read on below to learn about Erin Toews and her designs before scrolling to the end of this post for a selection of free crochet patterns available from Juniper & Oakes.
Be sure to check out her Cozy Cabled Ear Warmer (premium pattern) design too, it is also listed below, just before our free pattern roundup and it is perfect for Fall!
This post includes just a small sampling of all the wonderful patterns, tutorials and projects she has available for you online. Be sure to check out her social media channels for even more goodies!
Crochet Designer Feature:
Juniper & Oakes
Question: Who are you? Tell me about yourself.
Hello! I am Erin Toews (pronounced “Taves” like “caves”). I am the crocheter, designer, and wearer of all the hats at Juniper & Oakes. I am a busy wife & mama of 3 kiddos who keep me on my toes. My “day job” is working as a registered nurse. I live at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, and you can usually find me with a mug of (cold) coffee nearby that is half-drunk before I get distracted by something else – yarn, kids, housework.
Question: How did you learn how to crochet? How long have you been crocheting?
I learned to crochet when I was a kid, maybe around 8 or 9 years old. My mother taught me in the midst of raising all of her kids and being a nurse as well. She’d teach me, then I’d forget. She would sit me down with a hook & yarn again — and yet again I’d learn. Then it finally stuck and I haven’t put my hook down since. In high school my friend and I had a crochet & knitting club – it was so much fun to crochet with other friends! In college there were girls in my residence hall who I taught to crochet and we’d make single crochet blankets while we watched Gilmore Girls instead of studying. We also had a crochet club where we made hats for cancer patients. And I just haven’t stopped crocheting! From making baby blankets for all the little ones in my family, to selling at crafts fairs, and coming up with my own designs, this is a hobby/lifestyle that I will continue throughout my life.
Question: Do you have any tips for new crocheters? Any guidance to make them successful at a new hobby?
If you’re new to crocheting, welcome to the club! We’re glad you’re one of us! Keep going, if you find a certain stitch too hard or get messed up, just google it! You’ll find any answer you need. Reach out to me and I may create a video tutorial that will meet your needs! If you get bored, try something new! If you don’t like the mundane back & forth of making blankets, try amigurumi or event a different crochet technique like mosaic or C2C. If you feel like you’ve conquered the easy crochet, move on to garments. If you struggle with anything that excites you, keep trying, find a fellow crocheter and ask questions. We’re a friendly crew.
Question: What do you enjoy crocheting the most?
I love crocheting blankets. I like using a stitch pattern where I don’t have to count or keep track of much, and I can binge Netflix and end up with something big and beautiful. But I also like learning new and complicated stitches too. I guess I like a good mixtures of easy and complicated.
Question: What else are you passionate about (other than crochet)?
When I’m not crocheting, I am on the floor playing with my kids (or cleaning up their messes). I also like hiking and drinking tea while reading a good book. Actually those last 2 were my biggest hobbies before having kids. Now I mostly listen to audiobooks while pushing my kids on the swings.
Other things I love:
- My local church
- Kayaking Throwing rock in the creek with my littles
- Date nights with my hubby
- Family game nights
- DIY projects around the house
- thinking about completing my scrapbook projects that I haven’t touched in year
- sending snail mail
- buying crochet hooks
- browsing the local yarn store
Question: What prompted you to start designing?
I started designing in 2020 when there was really nothing else to do. (haha, just kidding, but seriously).
I had been learning new stitches and technique and following some crochet bloggers, and I realized that I could write down the patterns I can made up in my mind, publish them for other people to read, and make money in the process. I surely liked that idea more than mass producing crocheted items to sell on Etsy or in craft markets – especially since I was growing tired of creating the same thing over & over again. I like trying new things and creating new designs rather than repeat the same pattern again and again.
Question: How long have you been designing and where do you publish your patterns?
I have been designing for 2 year and publish my patterns on my blog, and also sell on Ravelry & Etsy.
Question: What drives you to create? Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Once I learn a new crochet stitch or technique, I tend to hyper-fixate for a few months and come up with a a few pattern along those lines. I like to go for cozy, yet interesting designs that spark conversation.
Question: What do you enjoy designing the most?
I enjoy designing home decor item – pillows, wall hangings, & blankets. Lately I’ve been into mosaic crochet – I have a yearlong crochet-along called the Monthly Mosaic Mystery CAL (find it here: https://juniperandoakes.com/blog/2022monthlymosaicmysterycal-free).
Last year I hosted a collaborative CAL called the Nordic Winter C2C Afghan as an heirloom Christmas blanket (find it here: https://juniperandoakes.com/nordic-winter-afghan-cal).
I find CALs where I can make something along with my crochet community is super fun and rewarding.
Question: What tips would you give to someone interested in designing and blogging?
If you were interested in designing your own patterns or starting your own crochet blog – just go for it! Try it out. Experiment. If you don’t like it, it’s OK to stop. If you don’t know if anyone will make your patterns, just hit publish and see what happens. I think the scariest part is starting, and once you get over the hurdle of pressing “publish” on your first pattern, it gets easier from there.
Question: What goals have you set for yourself for the future?
Most of the goals I have for my crochet business are centered around what I can provide for my family. I’d like to renovate the attic in our little house so we have a “bonus room” I can use as an office. I’d like to take us on an epic vacation.
But I would also like to build a community of crocheters centered on a common cause. Whether we’re crocheting for a charity, or donating proceeds to women & infants shelters. I have a dream for my community that is slowly developing and making itself a reality.
Question: Who are your favorite makers? How have they inspired you?
If it wasn’t for other crochet designers, I wouldn’t be where I am today!
Some of my favorite makers are:
They’ve inspired me by teaching my new techniques and showing me what’s possible with a yarn & hook!
I also have some crochet design besties who push me to reach goals and inspire me to try new stuff:
- Ambassador Crochet
- High Desert Yarn
- Me’n’My Hook
- Sunflower Cottage Crochet
- E’Claire Makery
- Classy Lady Yarnworks
- Cosy Rosie UK
- Crochets by Trista
- Hooked by Kati
- Two Brothers Blankets
- Madame Stitch
- J2 Craftworks
- Nana’s Crafty Home
- The Crochetpreneur, Pam Grice
Question: Do you have a favorite yarn you like to use when you are crocheting? What colors and fibers do you gravitate toward when choosing your yarn?
Lately I’ve been diving into some more natural fibers and even hand-dyed yarn. I purchased some custom hand-dyed skeins from High Desert Yarn for a personal project (a romper for my baby). Joanna did such a fantastic job! I love her stuff! (Find her shop here: High Desert Yarn)
Question: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with us?
I am hosting a new collaborative CAL for fall 2022 – the Mosaic Nordic CAL. Learn more here: https://www.juniperandoakes.com/blog/mosaic-nordic-blanket-cal-free
Make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter to find out about my CALs, patterns, and other yarn-related content. When you do you will receive a free overlay mosaic cheatsheet. Sign up here: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/q4n7s7
Follow me on all of the socials:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/juniperandoakes/
Crochet Community FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JuniperandOakes/
Become a Featured Designer at Oombawka Design Crochet!
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This cabled ear warmer pattern is a great way to practice your crochet cables! Don’t worry, I also have a video tutorial that goes along with it.
Along with some fantastic free crochet patterns, Erin also has some stunning premium patterns available. One example is the Cozy Cabled Ear Warmer (pictured immediately below).
This cabled ear warmer pattern is a great way to practice your crochet cables! Don’t worry, I also have a video tutorial that goes along with it. Get your copy here.
Free Crochet Patterns from Juniper & Oakes
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Become a Guest Designer for Oombawka Design Crochet!
Learn more here.
Free Patterns from Juniper & Oakes
Details and Links:
This is a FREE crochet along which includes overlay mosaic charts for each section released weekly from mid-October through mid-Decmeber 2022. After that the charts will be forever free on each designer's blog. There is an option to purchase the complete pattern. Need worsted weight yarn in 2 colors and a size H/5.0mm hook.Read More
This was my collaborative CAL for the 2021 holidays. 12 C2C blanket squares with free charts across 11 different blogs. The charts are still available for free, and the ebook is still available for purchase. Worsted weight yarn in 2 colors and a size H/5.0mm hook.Read More
This was my first pattern. Named after a baby I miscarried and designed to match the personality and character traits I imagined she'd have. Beautiful, intricate, delicate - yet adventurous! Using worsted weight yarn and a size J/6.0mm hook. It features bobbles, cables, and fringe!Read More
This was my second published pattern. This easy pumpkin plush has bobbles galore!! The pattern include 2 different sizes but you can easily adjust the pattern for any size pumpkin you'd like!Read More
Using the alpine stitch and worsted weight yarn - you can work up these cute pumpkin plushes quick! Perfect for fall markets and hosted gifts at Thanksgiving.Read More
Just 2 panels of 4 Granny Squares seamed together, plus a granny stitch border. Use any colors of worsted weight yarn with a size J/6.0mm hook.Read More
A baby blanket crochet pattern featuring the cluster stitch and a shell-stitch border. This works up beautifully in boy colors, girl colors, or even gender neutral. Use worsted weight yarn with a size J/6.0mm hook.Read More
Very similar to crochet wind spinners seen on TikTok. This a free video tutorial on a simple ornament pattern.Read More
This is a plant pot cover pattern that features the moss stitch. It comes in 3 different sizes for house plant pot covers. You need worsted weight yarn in 3 colors and a size J/6.0mm hook.Read More