Hello and welcome to Patchwork House . . . . .
my little corner of the world on the NW coast of England, where you will find me addicted to colour and playing with yarn!

13 August 2016

Continuous Flat Braid Join ~ a tutorial in UK terms

Here at last is the long awaited tutorial that I've been promising you all.
 I am so delighted that my blankets have inspired many of you to try it!
 Years ago I began experimenting with this joining method
following the great tutorial by Priscilla Hewitt 
you can read it HERE
 This is written in US crochet terms and as a beginner,
I found this an added stress that I could do without,
 having to remember to translate the stitches into UK terms all the time.
There are of course many conversion charts around
 and I have one on my conversions page for your use.

 As you know I'm allergic to ends and so prefer methods of joining in 1 go,
 with the bonus of only 2 ends at the start and the finish.
 I am a big fan of continuous join as you go (CJAYG) for granny squares
 and it is lovely to see how popular my CJAYG Tutorial has become.

So it was a natural progression
 for me to develop my own way of using the flat braid join
in a continuous fashion. I began my learning
 with the great tutorial from Rachele Carmona at Cypress Textiles.
She makes wonderful inspiring colouful blankets
that are real works of art and has a tutorial in US terms.

So it is with many thanks to these great American Crochet Artists,
that I have learnt and arrived at this point,
where I can present to you my version of
 the continuous flat braid join using English crochet terms.

The flat braid join has a delicate lace appearance
 and adds a wonderful 3D texture to the completed blanket.
 In The Raspberry Blanket shown above I have first edged each square
 in 1 round of UK dc using my joining colour raspberry,
 this gives a wider look to the join.
 This is not necessary
 and indeed it may be your choice to make the last round in different colours,
 which makes the squares look bigger and the join look narrower,
as in the Moroccan Spice blanket below. It is totally your choice.

So once you have made your choice you can begin.

I like the wider join with the extra round of dc in the joining colour, 
making the join a big feature of the blanket.
So the first step in my Peacock Blanket,
 was to edge each square in double crochet
 using my joining colour, making 3 dc in the corner stitch.
You can use this joining method around any squares
 and this round of dc makes a perfect base to start from.

This is actually round 9 in the Circle of Friends pattern by Priscilla Hewitt.
If you missed the previous post
 about the making of The Peacock Blanket you can read it

Now I hear you all worrying
 about how many stitches are needed on the side of the square . . .
 don't worry,
 this joining method is very forgiving
 as is all crochet and it will be easy to adjust later!
 The important thing is that your squares are square and not rectangular
 so that they will have the same number of loops for joining on each side.

Now the most important part of Continuous Join As You Go (CJAYG)
 is that you understand the direction in that you will work.
 You will find this 'map' helpful.

Right handers will start at the top right corner and folow the direction in red.
Left handers will start at the top left corner and make a mirror image.

This tutorial is written in UK crochet terms
Abbreviations used :
 dc = double crochet
tr = treble 
htr = half treble
dtr = double treble

Start by attaching the yarn to the right hand stitch
 of the 3 dc in the corner and make 5 chain for the corner loop.

Then make 1 dc in the left stitch of the 3 dc in the corner.
 This has formed the corner loop.

Next make 3 chain,

miss a stitch, then dc into the 2nd stitch.

Continue this all the way along the side of the first square
(dc 3 chain miss a stitch dc)
ending with a dc in the 1st of the 3 dcs in the corner.
You can see here I have 11 loops along the side
 and 1 loop in the corner on the right.
 It is VERY IMPORTANT that you count 
and make sure you have the same amount of loops
 on each side of every square!

As I said before crochet is very forgiving and it is easy to cheat!
If you have made a mistake do not worry,
 no one will notice if you make the last loop without missing a stitch
 or indeed if you had to miss 2 stitches! The important thing
 is that I have 11 loops on each side, in between my 2 corner loops.

(Here I would like to add
 that you can alter the number of chain used for each loop if you wish.
 Using 2 chain will make a tighter braid and using 4 would make it looser.)

Make 5 chain for the corner loop
and dc in the 3rd dc in the corner

then continue making the loops along the 2nd side of the first square
and again make 5 chain ready for the corner loop.
We are then going to change direction
and follow the direction shown by the yarn here.

At this point I might add
 that my squares do not look as straight as I would like,
 they still have a round appearance.
 Don't panic, trust me, when they are all joined
they pull each other straight and you will end up with a nice perpendicular join!

Adding the next square

Now we are going to join the 1st square to the 2nd
 by making a dc into the 3rd dc of the corner of square 2.

Here we begin the flat braid join.
 Make 1 chain (the first of the 3 for each loop)

then take your hook out of the stitch
 and place it from back to front
 through the first side loop on square 1.

Make 1 chain (the 2nd of the 3)

then make another chain (the 3rd of the 3).

This is the first loop made
 and we are ready to connect back to square 2
so miss a stitch then dc in the next.

Make 1 chain, take the hook out of the stitch
 and repeat the joining process along the side of the square
until you reach the corner.

For the corner we have 5 stitches to use
so chain 2 take the hook out
pass it through the loop from back to front

chain 1 (3rd of the 5)

 then chain 2.

Now continue along the side of top of the 2nd square
 following the direction of the yarn.
Keep on, across the top, down the side, add the next square, up to the top
 and repeat till you have joined the first row of squares.

Completing the bottom of a row

I advise you keep referring back to this map
 and you will next work the loops along the bottom of the squares of row 1.
So 5 chain miss a stitch dc for a corner
and 3 chain miss a stitch dc along the sides.

When you come to cross the join remember you have 5 stitches to use.
 So 2 chain, hook out and replace it though the loop back to front,

1 chain over the loop then 2 chain to complete the 5.

Continue to the end of the row.
Stop after the 11th loop, ending with the dc in the first of the corner 3.
Next we are ready to attach row 2.

Adding a new row

Chain 5 for the corner loop
 and dc into the left hand 3rd dc of the corner in the new square.
Join the new square to the previous square
making 11 loops along then arriving at the corner.
(Note there are 11 loops on my Circle of Friends squares
 but if you have an alternative pattern you will have a different amount of loops.)

Joining the 3rd square at a corner

Make 1 dc in the right dc of the 3 in the corner.
chain 2

take hook out of stitch and place through corner loop
 of the square above and left.

Pick up the stitch and make 1 chain to join

then 2 chain to complete the corner 5

and dc into the left dc of the corner 3 to complete the corner loop.

Continue along the side of this new square,
 turn at the bottom and add the next.
Work up till you get to the top
 and are ready to complete the junction of the 4 corners.

Joining the 4th square at the crossroads

After the dc to begin the corner make the 2 chain.

Take the hook out of the stitch
 and pass it under the loop diagonally opposite you back to front.

Make 1 chain ( the centre of the 5) this is the anchor of the cross over

then 2 chain to finish the corner loop
 and dc in the left dc of the 3 dcs in the corner.

The completed corner should be strong and look like this.

Continue in this way adding all the rows.

Once the final row has been added
 follow the joining direction shown on the map
 and complete the final 2 sides of the blanket.

Tadaa your blanket is now in 1 piece with only 2 ends to sew in.
 It is now ready for a border!

Border time

The perfectionist in me didn't like the curved edge of the final blanket.

  I chose to add a final round of differing stitches to even it out.
Basically I've used longer stitches near the corners
 and graduated to the shortest stitches at the centre of the squares.

Starting in the top right corner I made 2 dtr in the corner loop,
then in each loop across the square
2 dtr, 2 tr, 2 tr, 2htr, 2 htr, 2dc, 2htr, 2htr, 2 tr, 2 tr, 2 dtr
and 2 dtr in the corner loop.
You can see this gave a much flatter foundation row
 on which to start the border.

I have used border 93 from the book
this is a lovely lace border which I felt complimented the flat braid join.

I'm sorry that I'm not able to write a tutorial for the border
 as it is from a book,
 but I highly recommend this book.
 It is written in US terms but has written instructions
 and charts too which make it easy to manage.

The yarn I used for my blanket is
Stylecraft Special DK
with a 3.5mm hook. You can find the colour recipe 

It has been my pleasure to write this tutorial.

Following over a year of ill heath and time off work
 it is with much sadness that I have now left my job as a Maths teacher.
However, being positive I choose to see this as the beginning
 of my new career, as a full time crochet artist.
It is my pleasure to teach and share my crochet skills.

God has given each of you some special abilities,
use them to help each other . . . 1 Peter 4 v 10

I now am exploring the path I will take,
dividing my time between making items to sell in my
 taking commissions for blankets,
posting daily on my busy
 and writing here on my blog to inspire you. 

If you have enjoyed this free tutorial, 
please consider making a donation using the PayPal donate app on the sidebar.
 Writing a tutorial like this takes many days of my time,
time when I am not crocheting and so not earning money to put food on the table.
Donations help to ensure that more tutorials can be written for your use.

I wish you much fun and success with this method.
Do post photos on the Facebook group
"Crochet Inspired by The Patchwork Heart"
and if you have any problems the ladies there will be sure to help.

Happy hookin



11 August 2016

The Peacock Blanket

The Peacock Blanket
 was designed as an exercise in ombre crochet
 to provide opportunity for playing with colours
 and to showcase the wonderful colour palette
 from Stylecraft Yarns of over 80 shades of

Ombre is a French word meaning
 the gradual blending of one colour hue to another.
I chose to start with the deepest hue
working outwards to the palest.

With 6 shades needed to make 1 square
 the Circle of Friends is a perfect pattern to illustrate this.
 I have used 6 shades for the 8 rounds
 as rounds 3&4 and also 6&7 use the same colour.
(Round 9 will be made in the joining colour)

The wonderful Circle of Friends square
is written in US crochet terms and
you can find the free written pattern

Blues and greens are such a restful colour palette
 and they blend easily from one to the other.
 Starting at the purple end of the blues,
moving through the cold blues into turquoise,
then the aqua into green, the forest greens
and finally into the jungle greens.

After much experimentation and fun playing with my shade squares,
I arrived at 9 different squares for my ombre blanket.
Top Row ~ left to right 1 2 3
Middle Row ~ left to right 4 5 6
Bottom Row ~ left to right 7 8 9

Colour Recipes

1 ~ midnight, royal, lobelia, bluebell, lavender, parma violet

2 ~ bottle, khaki, cypress, meadow, sage, duck egg

3 ~ empire, denim, aster, turquoise, cloud blue, sherbet

4 ~  petrol, storm blue, denim, aster, cloud blue, duck egg

5 ~ teal, empire, turquoise, aspen, sage, sherbet

6 ~ green, kelly green, grass green, lime, pistachio, spring green

7 ~ khaki, cypress, meadow, lime, pistachio, spring green

8 ~ midnight, royal, lobelia, denim, aster, cloud blue

9 ~ bottle, teal, sage, aspen, sherbet, duck egg

The pattern has 9 rounds.
I used colours for rounds 1- 8 and
 then my joining and border colour silver for round 9.

Once the squares were all edged in silver and all the ends sewn in,
 I used the flat braid join to make them into a blanket.
I like to work in a continuous fashion
 joining all the squares in 1 go from start to finish,
to avoid adding more ends to sew in.

There are many good patterns around,
 some I have learnt from are by


 again these are written in US crochet terms.

I have written a tutorial in UK terms for the 

As a compliment to the detailed lace join
 I chose a deep lace border,
from the book

This is an excellent border book written in US terms
with written patterns and charts too.
You can view it and buy it

So here we have it
The Peacock Blanket
in all its glory, a feast of colour texture and pattern!

I have used 36 squares in a 6 x 6 arrangement,
 4 of each of my 9 colour ways.

It would be very easy to make the blanket bigger
by increasing the number of squares used
and it can be varied by using just a few of the colour combinations.
 All 9 are not needed,
 you can pick and choose whichever colour recipes
you like and arrive at a unique blanket of your own choice!

Finally the washing machine!
Yes I hear you all groan and shudder!
One of the most FAQ I am asked is
why and how I wash blankets.

Washing increases the softness of the yarn
 and tumble drying adds a really special quality!
 Simply follow the instructions on the ball band and you cant go wrong!
 I wash at 30 degrees using my usual soap powder and fabric softener,
 then tumble dry on LOW.
Another FAQ is how do I block my squares . . . well I don't!
They are flat off my hook and easy to join,
 but I find the washing process does help to block
 the completed blanket and make the joins sit nice and flat.

So there you have it
 the tale of the Peacock Blanket!

Happy hookin!



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