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!

29 May 2016

Washing line photography

Happy weekend,
 happy Bank Holiday to those of you in UK
 and happy half term to all teachers!

I do hope you are enjoying sunshine
 and feel able to get out in your gardens.
I have been playing again today,
 playing at photographing blankets on the washing line and oh what fun!
 Simple pleasures are what fill me with delight!

Now it looks quite simple doesn't it?
 But you wouldn't believe how many shots I took to get these!
 Which bit of the line shall I use?
Which direction is the sun coming from?
What does the background look like?
 Is it the back view or the front view of the blanket?
Then waiting for the breeze to blow
 to catch some wonderful movement in the blanket!

Stylecraft Special DK

Of course its far easier
 to take a picture when the blanket is flat on the bed, 
but look how the sun makes the colours come alive!

This beautiful pastel granny blanket made in vintage style,
 is made by my Mum and you will find it for sale here in my
 It is 100x120cm for £85 plus postage

Another recent make
 was this gorgeous plum starburst flower blanket.
There were sadly no blue skies that day, but the daylight
 is fantastic for showing off the wonderful colours.

Stylecraft Special DK

The use of a dark background was a lovely choice by my customer
 and it really made the flowers pop!
 Isn't it great how the back looks as good as the front!
I've been asked if I'd just washed the blanket and was it there to dry.
 Well the answer is yes and no!

I always machine wash my completed blankets
 following the instructions on the ball band.
 I use my usual detergent and fabric softener and then tumble dry on low.
 Magic happens in the washing and drying process
 and your finished blanket will be oh so soft.
So the washing line is just for display!

This was made in the gorgeous soft
using wisteria clematis boysenberry fondant pale rose candyfloss and cream
 with plum for the background.
The pattern is by Jane Brocket
 from the book
 The Gentle art of knitting
 and was also featured in issue 2 of Mollie Makes magazine.

Every blanket needs a border just as a picture needs a frame

I used the book by Edie Eckman called Around the corner

so whatever you are hookin
 enjoy your extra day off this weekend
 and hopefully some outdoor hooky too!

If youre planning a new project or just enjoying topping up your stash pop over to Deramores and you will find a fabulous 25% off all weekend!

Sale !!!

Please note: This sale is now live! Offer ends midnight BST 30th May 2016. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, promotions or discount items. Terms and conditions apply.

25% off all yarn! (Please note this promotion is valid for the northern hemisphere only and the southern hemisphere will receive 15% off all yarn) our sale will be running throughout the weekend to give you all plenty of time to get your hands on some brilliant deals. Click here to shop now: http://www.deramores.com/knitting-yarn.

This weekend I am having a treat of a little selfish hooky
 making myself a summer bag
 in colours inspired by Cath Kidston.
 I am using the lovely thick cotton DK
making it up as I go!
Next week I will buy some pretty coordinating floral fabric
 and make a lining 
and I promise to come back and show you the finished result!

Have lots of hooky fun my friends

21 May 2016

Colour makes my world go round

Mandala making is such a pleasure.
 "What are they"
 I hear you ask!

 Well a mandala is a circular geometric pattern,
 a beautiful colourful piece of crochet.

 They are perfect for using up scraps of different coloured yarns,
 for practising different stitches and just for the joy of making.
 My home is full of them
 and when we moved house recently
 I had such fun unpacking them and 
finding new homes for these treasures!

 "What do you use them for"
 I am often asked!
 They make wonderful table centres,
 are perfect as a mat under a jug of flowers or ornament.

 I often use them just on their own
 for the sheer indulgence
 of having some colourful crochet on view to enjoy!

In the past I've made small plain coloured coasters,

 medium and large mats
 for vases and extra large as a table centre.

The week I've been exploring on Pinterest
 and spent many happy hours browsing and collecting patterns.

 There are many very talented and kind designers out there,
 all around the globe,
 who have written and published their patterns for free.
 You can visit my collection

Last week I began making medium sized mandalas
 and used the lovely pattern by  Crochet Millan called

They measure 18cm in diameter
 and are a perfect size for under a vase.

You can visit the blog and find her on

This week I have been using
 It is a beautiful yarn with a soft sheen that does not split.
 It is available in 29 gorgeous colours, 
comes in great 100g balls and has fabulous stitch definition.
 and I used a 3mm hook to give a nice firm texture.

So when you compare yarn prices do notice this ball
is double the size of most cottons
 which are sold in 50g balls,
 which makes it excellent value for money!

 Photographing these beauties was such fun,
 they are now listed in my
 and are selling fast!

As you know it is my pleasure to share
 and I like nothing more than setting up a photo shoot
 here at Patchwork House to show you my crochet in action.

 It is with great joy
 that I read all your lovely comments and feedback
 and I thank you for your continued interest in my work.

 So following on from all the love that this 
extra large table mat has received
 I will be making some similar next week for my shop.
 This mandala is 40cm diameter
 and is most striking
 as a table centre either alone or under a dish or vase.

After hours of admin behind the scenes,
 doing all the necessary computer work
 that goes along with my work here at The Patchwork Heart,
 it's time or me to get back to my hook.

Just look at these gorgeous colours
 I'm having the pleasure of this week!

 My customer chose well
 and I'm enjoying this juicy fruit colour recipe so much!

Colour Recipe ~ Juicy Fruits
Colour Recipe ~ Stylecraft Special DK
 in mustard, spice, tomato, fuschia purple, fondant, pale rose,
 violet, bluebell, duck egg, sage and pistachio to be joined with denim

This is a Circle of Friends blanket using the pattern by
 and again I am enjoying working in a production line!

 If you missed my post a few weeks ago about
 how I plan colours you can read it
Have a lovely hooky weekend my dears


8 May 2016

The gentle art of crochet

The gentle art of crochet

hours of creativity playing with colours

Bridal gift
mental stimulation as I learn new patterns

Gift for a baby girl
huge satisfaction
 as I see balls of yarn turning into useful items to sell

Heart is a variety of colours

but so much more than that

it gives me something to get up for each day

a sense of being at work when I can't

it has given me crochet colleagues and customers
 to chat to all around the globe

and is a wonderful distraction from pain and fatigue.

Even if I am sat in my pj's
 and haven't been out of the house for days
 crochet keeps me sane!
Thank you for the many lovely emails and comments
 I have received here in blog land and on


 I read them all
 and really appreciate the time you all take to write.
It's great to be back in this happy place!
 It has helped me along meeting many of you
 who also cope with chronic illness
 and helps me to cope as I start my new journey
 along this unknown path of Lupus.

Granny Sweet Heart by Nancy Drew

This week has been all about hearts here at Patchwork House
 restocking my little Etsy shop with gifts for you to buy!
 I enjoying making this quick little heart,
and have been working with a fabulous cotton that does not split!
 comes in 29 shades and I highly recommend it!
 The pattern for the Granny Sweet Heart is available free on

 Putting together colour recipes is my joy, 
conjuring up combinations that will appeal for different occasions

A gift for a bride
A gift for a baby girl
A gift for a baby boy
A new home gift
Whatever the occasion these hearts are just the job!

So it's back to my hook now
This weekend is looking purple!

I am working on a plum starburst flower blanket which is an order
(Pattern by Jane Brocket in the book The simple art of knitting)

and a lilac ripple pram blanket which is for sale
(Pattern neat ripple from Attic 24 blog)

Stylecraft Special DK

I also have picked a delicious colour selection
 ready to make myself a ripple
 to add to the blanket collection here at Patchwork House!

I sell ready made items in my Etsy shop
 and also take orders for customised blankets.
 If you would like to order please email me at
 and I will send you a price list.

Have a wonderful day friends
Happy hookin

30 April 2016

Moroccan Spice ~ an example of how I plan crochet colours

One of the most frequent questions I get asked. is how I work my crochet production line ! Many people seem to be challenged by the use of colour and how to make each square unique. So with that in mind I have planned this blog post to help you see how I do it.

The Patchwork Heart

If you enjoy this blog post and find it helpful
 please consider the time it has taken for me to make this blanket,
 photograph all the stages and offer this help for FREE.
If you would like to support my crochet journey
 you can make a donation via Paypal
 using the button on the sidebar.
Thank you.

This beautiful blanket made of 48 squares
 has recently achieved great popularity on Facebook and Instagram
 and has been named Moroccan Spice.
 I used 8 colours for the squares with a 9th for the joining and border.

The pattern is called
 Circle of Friends by Priscilla Hewitt
 which is available in US crochet terms

Please note
 this is NOT a tutorial on how to make
 the square or a blanket 
but advice on how I plan my colours!

Circle of Friends pattern by Priscilla Hewitt

You can use as many shades as you wish.
I have chosen 8 for the squares, 
4 warm colours and 4 cool colours,
 and a darker shade for the joining and border.

My yarn is Stylecraft Special DK in
copper tomato gold mustard
 petrol storm blue duck egg silver 
for the squares
 and graphite for the border.

I allowed 1 x 100g of each of the 8 colours and 3 x 100g of the border colour.
My finished blanket is approximately 100x130cm and weighs nearly 900g.

Stylecraft Special DK

When planning a blanket I always begin with a test square.
 This is then measured
 and used to help calculate how many squares I will need.
 I have used a 3.5mm hook
 and with my tension the square worked out at 15cm
 after the 7th colour (9th round of pattern).
Please note 
 use whatever size hook is best for your tension,
 we are all different!

measure and calculate

So where to begin . . .
My calculations are based on making 48 squares for a blanket 6x8.
I began with making 6 of round 1 in each of the 8 colours.

I always work as a production line
 making all round 1 first then all round 2 etc. 
This way is much quicker and more efficient,
 as your brain and fingers learn the stitch you are doing, 
saving constant rereading of the pattern!

planning round 2

To plan round 2 ~
I like to keep an even balance of all the shades in the blanket
 so that when it is finished it has an equal share of each colour
 and no colour screams out louder than any other!
So this means I will make 6 round 2 of each colour.
I began with the 6 round 1 in mustard
 and notice how I have put 1 by each of 6 balls of yarn. 
This way I will not get 2 the same. 
Do the same with all of the next colour and so on.
Pick a 2nd colour middle and share them out.
 Eventually all 48 middles are shared out 
and you can see there are not 2 the same in any pile.

round 2

I like to keep my work organised.
 It helps me to see where I'm going
 and to check I have an equal balance of colours.
 Here in the picture above I can see easily that I have
 6 of each shade of round 2 and each is different.
(Please note the silver and duck egg look very similar here)

round 3 and 4

Rounds 3 and 4 use the same colour
 and it was planned in the same way.

4th colour (pattern row 5)

I like to store my work in baskets or trays to keep it organised.

check the colour balance

Arranging my work in colour order
 helps me to see I have 6 of each colour and they are all different

4th colour (pattern row 5)

Now for the 5th colour (pattern rows 6 and 7)
again I start with my balls of yarn in a row.
 I find it helpful to have the cool colours together
 and the warm colours together.

Now as we have already used 4 colours in each circle
 my method of selection changes.
This time for the silver
 I first pick out all the circles that do not yet have silver in.
 Then I choose 6 of them
 trying to have different 4th colours as far as possible.
Repeat this for each colour as far as possible
 but don't worry if you have 2 with the same edge it'll never be noticed!

planning the 5th colour (pattern row 6 and 7)

So after the planning
 I will work with 1 colour of yarn
 and make all the next rounds in that colour at the same time. 

work with 1 colour and make the 6 squares

You will notice ends . . . oh yes if you want colours you will have ends !
 For this square in some rounds you can
 crochet over the ends and hide them well,
 in others I prefer to use a needle and sew them in to hide them.

5th colour

The same process happens again for each round.
 Here below you can see I have chosen 6 squares
 which do not have storm blue in
 and they all have a different 5th colour.

6th colour

As you all know, my crochet is always accompanied by a cuppa
 ~ sometimes tea sometimes coffee, depending on the time of day. 
But it is always in a mug which matches my crochet!
 It's the perfectionist in me, the OCD, and it seems you all love it too!

 Imagine my pleasure
 when I discovered these yummy Caramac buttons
 which also coordinated with my work !

crochet treats!

As the colour planning continues
 of course it gets harder to select 6 for the next round
 that have a different edge.
 But don't worry if you have 2 the same
 their middles are different and it wont show!


Once all the rounds are completed
 and all the ends have been sewn in
 the next job is planning the layout.

 I like to achieve a random effect
 and take care to ensure there are not 2 of the same edge, in any row.
 I think of it as Crochet Sudoku
 and it appeals greatly to my mathematical brain!

flat braid join

For this blanket I have used a flat braid join
 and worked it in the continuous join as you go fashion.
 This is super speedy and means there will only be 2 ends
 as all the squares are joined without cutting the yarn!
You can read a tutorial by Priscilla Hewitt
but I have adapted it for continuous join as you go.

If you are new to this idea
 helps explain the direction to work in.

crochet mug match

And there we go!
 Squares are complete and joined into one piece
 so the blanket needs testing before it goes off to its new home!

blanket in 1 piece

Every masterpiece needs a frame
 and in the same way every blanket needs a border.
I like a deep border
 but didn't want anything too lacey for this colour scheme.

I chose border 27 from the book
This is a fabulous book which I highly recommend.
 It is written in US crochet terms
 but also has good clear charts
 which make it fine to use if you are used to UK terms.

every blanket needs a border

Finally the blanket is ready for the washing machine.
"What" I hear you cry!

Yes I'm always asked if I block my work and the answer is no! 
With my tension I am lucky to find that my squares are flat.
 However there is a certain magic that happens in the wash. 
As the yarn is wet and dried it reforms into the shape of the stitches
 you have made with the effect of blocking. 
The resulting blanket always sits nicely and flat and is amazingly soft. 
I suggest you follow the washing instructions on the ball band of your yarn.
washes well at 30 or 40c and can be tumble dried on LOW.


This beauty is now enjoying being loved in a home in Scotland.
Think its time I made one for myself!

If you enjoy this blog post and found it helpful
 please consider the time it has taken
 for me to make this blanket,
 photograph the stages and offer this help for FREE.

If you would like to support my crochet journey
 you can make a donation via Paypal
 using the button on the sidebar.
Thank you.

blanket complete!
Wishing you all a happy hooky weekend.

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