Join-as-You-Go Crochet (sometimes called JAYGO) is a method of crochet that connects each motif to the next as you work. Many people love the look of crochet squares and other motif-based projects, but they hate sewing all of the pieces together at the end of the project. In join-as-you-go-crochet, you don't have to!
If you're very comfortable with crocheting traditional motifs, it may take you a bit of time (and patience) to wrap your head around this way of working, because it's slightly different than working one motif after another. However, once you get comfortable with JAYGO, you'll appreciate the time that it saves you on the project. You can use it to join any type of motif including granny squares and crochet pentagons.
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How to Do the Join-as-You-Go Crochet Technique
With join as you go crochet, the main thing that you need to understand is that you will work a portion of a motif, join it to a second motif, and then complete the first motif after joining. Hence the name, because you are joining the motifs as you work, rather than connecting one finished motif to the next.
For example, if you want to join as you go with a two-round crochet granny square, you will crochet your first granny square in full. Then you will begin the second granny square, and when you reach the first corner of the second round, you will join that granny square to the first one that you created, connecting them in the corner. You will connect them again in the next corner so that they are joined side by side, and then you will complete the round of the second granny square. The third one will be added to the second one in the same manner and so forth.
Don't worry if it sounds a little bit confusing at first. With help from the tutorials, join-as-you-go crochet patterns and recommended resources below, you'll be able to JAYGO in no time.
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Join-as-You-Go Crochet Tutorials
You can practice the join-as-you-go crochet technique using any simple crochet motif including the classic granny square. There are some great online tutorials that will introduce you to the basics of JAYGO crochet:
- Join-as-You-Go Crochet Hexagons. This tutorial by Thistle Bear Home shows you how to create large six-round crochet hexagons and describes exactly how to join as you go.
- Hello Speckless has a join as you go crochet hexagon tutorial featuring much smaller two round hexagons. It has an excellent description of joining small motifs in the corners.
- Join-as-You-Go Crochet Granny Squares. Since these are one of the most popular motifs, you might want to learn to join them as you go. This detailed tutorial from Petals to Picots will teach you what you need to know.
- Single Crochet Join as You Go is a thicker alternative to a more classic slip stitch join. Sakura Crochet Designs has tutorials for both.
- Bella Coco has a JAYGO crochet video tutorial for people who learn best by watching videos.
There are many variations on join-as-you-go crochet, and the way that it's done depends a lot on the design of the motifs in the project, but these basic tutorials will get you well on your way to understanding the technique.
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This is a colorful crochet wrap made in an elegant mohair/silk yarn blend. The large openwork crochet motifs are stitched together as you work.
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This lightweight crochet shawl is made up of small motifs in a fingering weight yarn. With tiny motifs like this, it's definitely nice to join as you go so you don't have hundreds of ends to weave in when the wrap is done.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Join-as-You-Go Crochet Books and Courses
You can learn a lot about join-as-you-go crochet from online resources, but if you really want to understand the technique from the inside out then it can be helpful to get an in-depth crochet book or a take a video course.
Kristin Omdahl is a crochet designer who pioneered a style of JAYGO crochet. You can learn about it in-depth from her book Seamless Crochet. It is a collection of crochet motif patterns with detailed instructions about how to join as you go, giving you the foundation that you need to turn any motif into a JAYGO project. The book has an accompanying DVD for those who are interested in learning by video. The crochet patterns from this book can be viewed on Ravelry.
Kristin Omdahl also has a more recent book of JAYGO crochet patterns called Motif Magic. Two additional books to consider are Join-as-You-Go Crochet Afghans by Kathy Wesley and another on JAYGO afghans by Annie's Attic.