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!

22 November 2015

Hot Water Bottle Production Line

Crochet and colour are my everything.
Today my blanket of choice is the turquoise hexie I made last year.
It's vibrant colours never fail to inject me with energy and lift my spirits!

My addiction of matching my mug to my crochet of course continues
 and has become something of a trademark! 
So much so, that if my daily morning picture on my Facebook Page
 doesn't have a pretty mug of something delicious and hot,
 people write to me and ask if I'm ok! How lovely is that?!

Here at Patchwork House I am still resting
 and waiting for new medication to work.
 I am so fortunate to have a hobby which I can use to fill my time,
 but more than that, a hobby which I can use to bless other people. 
My daily posts on Instagram and Facebook are such a pleasure to me
 and lately I've had the most wonderful encouragement 
from all around the world,
 knowing I am touching the lives of others
 who also suffer with illness. 
Thank you all for your comments and emails,
 too many to reply to, but please know I am very humbled 
and so happy to know that many of you visit my pages daily
 for your dose of colour therapy!

Patchwork House has turned into Santa's workshop lately
 and I have been working on the hot water bottle production line !
We Brits are very partial to our hotties, here in damp cold UK,
 for snuggling these cooler days.
 I'm often asked by puzzled Americans what they are for,
 but am pleased to say that they've started flying out of my Etsy Shop
 and winging their way across the pond the last few weeks! 
So as well as keeping Britain warm, I'm now breaking into USA !

This year I've added a few new designs to my range
 and the corner to corner stitch creating a diagonal stripe
 has been most popular.

I just love coordinating the bottle and the buttons with the cover, 
it's the little details that count
 and what people have come to expect from The Patchwork Heart!

The hot water bottle is a perfect little canvas
 for trying out new colour recipes
 and I get so excited when customers email me with their own colour choices
 to match their homes or satisfy family favourites.

I also sell covers only which of course saves on postage !

The classic granny squares hottie is my best seller 
with its vintage look and air of nostalgia.

The black forest colour recipe
 of my last granny blanket was so popular I had to try it on a hottie
 and yes I was right they flew out of my Etsy shop so fast !

 is a very classy restful combination

and these too can't be made fast enough
 to keep up with demand !

Our old favourite Cath Kidston
 as always
 provides me with much colour inspiration

and I've enjoyed playing with the same colours
 in 3 different patterns.

Peacock was great fun to make
 using some of the new shades of Stylecraft Special DK

and the rich warm autumnal colours here
 were very comforting and apt for this time of year.

The most exciting
 new addition to the range this year has been my circles design
using colours inspired by Orla Kiely

These are made in a contemporary design have a retro look.

I love making circles

the precision appeals to my Maths brain!

and the negative or reverse image on the back
 has caused a lot of interest!

So now my next venture is to create some new colour recipes
 again inspired by Cath Kidston. 
I spent some lovely time shopping and browsing
 on the Cath Kidston website
 and was inspired by these gorgesous items

Thank you to the many people who voted on my Facebook page.
 It seems that many people would like
 something different and without pink!
 The most popular of these were

top row right ~ grey blue green and yellow
middle row centre ~ lime green white and red
middle row left ~ white orange red yellow and green

so watch out for some new designs on hot water bottles
 to be hitting my Etsy shop soon!

I do take orders too if you find you miss the stock in my shop
so if that helps please email me at


Order will be taken up to 30th November for Christmas delivery.

Back to my hook now
have a happy hooky weekend friends
x x x

PS. Before I'm asked I must say sorry no I do not use a pattern! But Im told you can find some to buy on Etsy.

23 October 2015

Willow block help

I have made many willow blankets over the past few years
 and they never fail to delight !

There is something very special about this beautiful block
with its intricate lace detail and crisp corners

but sadly every time I post pictures
 I get flooded with requests for help
 and cries of despair from frustrated hooksters !

200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton

The willow block is by Jan Eaton
 and is pattern 189 in the book 200 Crochet Blocks
It is a fabulous book with written patterns for 200 blocks
 that you can mix and match to make blankets
and I highly recommend it!
(this book is written in UK crochet terms)

I have chosen to make my squares in 1 colour only
 as I think it enhances the pattern.
 I have adapted the pattern
 and just keep working in 1 colour until finished.

So now to help the many of you who say they can't master
 round 4 ! Please note this is how I make my blocks. 
Other people may have interpreted the pattern differently, 
but this works for me !

This pattern is from a book
 so I will not post pattern details here just my hints and tips.
If you buy the book it is clearly written
 and with these extra photos I hope you will manage!

Rounds 1 2 & 3 
Check you have 48 trebles in round 3.
This is important!
48 divided by 4 = 12 stitches for each side

ready to start round 4 with 1 dc in 1st stitch

5 chain
now put your hook into the bottom chain
 and make a slip stitch
this forms a little 'ear'
make a slip stitch in 1st chain
Now this is where it may start to go wrong.
We are going to make the circle into a square.
So I find it helps to calculate how many stitches will be for each side.
48 divided by 4 = 12 stitches for each side of the square

slip stitch in 1st chain complete
next you must MISS 2 STITCHES
make 2 chain
then 1dc where the needle is

miss 2 stitches 
it will look like this

miss next 2 stitches chain 2 then dc where needle is
again miss 2 stitches chain 2
then 1dc

miss 2 stitches chain 3
then 1dc

miss 2 stitches chain 2
then 1dc

(each time we miss 2 stitches)

this completes 1 side of the square
you have used 13 stitches

1 side of the square
now you will repeat that little sequence
for the next 3 sides of the square

chain 5 then slip stitch into bottom chain
when all 4 sides are done
you will have 4 'ears' 
equally spaced in the corners

4 sides complete
now for round 5
slip stitch into next 5 chain space
this will be the first corner
continue from the book

slip stitch into 1st ear

If making in 1 colour
I begin round 6 where round 5 ends
to save breaking off the yarn.
I start with 7 chain
 (2 to replace a treble then 5 for the chains)
then 1dc 3 chain 1dc in the corner etc

willow square complete

Finally I add an extra round of dc
 to each square in my joining colour
making 3 dc in each corner stitch.

When calculating my squares
 I try to make an equal amount of each shade
to ensure an even balance
 but you don't need to be too fussy about this!

I lay them out like a Sudoku puzzle
 in a random arrangement but trying to get
 only 1 of each colour in any row or column!
This is great fun!

My favourite method of joining for these squares
is crocheting the squares together from the front
using UK dc through both loops.
This creates a really strong join
 with the ridge on the front.

First I join all the rows in 1 direction.
Then in the opposite direction.
You will find a detailed picture tutorial

My blankets are made in
It is my favourite blanket making yarn
as it is soft and snuggly, very affordable,
 can be machine washed and tumble dried
 and comes in 68 wonderful shades.
(As I write this is currently on offer at
 and they ship worldwide ! )

Crochet Borders
Finally to complete a blanket you need a border.
It is like a frame around a picture and sets it off !

My border comes from the book
I added 1 round of trebles first to add depth
then used border 93.
(do note this book is written using US crochet terms)

So there you are !
Easy when you know how ?!
I do hope this has helped the many of you who have written to me.

It is my pleasure
 as a teacher and crochet artist to share and encourage others.
However blogging takes much time when I am not making orders.

If you have been helped or inspired by my work
please consider a small donation to support my crochet journey.
You can do this by using the Paypal donation button on the sidebar.

Many thanks
and happy hookin!



9 October 2015

Autumn Jewels

I love the seasons
 and believe them to be a real gift
 from God our creator. 
At this time of year the artist in me
 is so excited by the changing colour palette around us.
 Autumn is one of my favourite seasons
 with its rich warm cosy tones.

 Working with one colour is a wonderful change
 to celebrate the stitch pattern in a block.
 For a while now I have been inspired by the crochet world
 on Instagram and tracked down this wonderful
This is a free pattern available on Ravelry by Destany Wymore.
It is very well written and includes a chart
 but please note it uses US crochet terms!
You will find a handy conversion here on the
crochet conversions page of my blog.

To add wonderful stitch definition to this block I chose to work in
This is a fairly new yarn labelled as 'anti pilling' and I highly recommend it.
It is slightly finer than other popular DK yarns,
 has a gorgeous satin quality and comes in 27 shades.

I chose mist chocolate oatmeal heather aubergine mustard
 amethyst wine and malachite for the squares with 
smoke for the joining and border.
You can buy the colour pack

The yarn is a dream to work with gliding over your hook so easily. 
I used a 3mm hook to produce a nice firm texture
 ( half a size smaller than my usual)
 as it is slightly finer yarn than my normal DK.

The squares are large at about 17cm each
and with my tension I was able to make 5 from each 100g ball.
This means I had 45 squares from my 9 shades
so the largest blanket I could make was 
6 rows of 7 using 42 of the blocks.
Please note different people have different tensions
 and yarn used may vary!

For joining and edging I chose the dark grey called smoke.
So to prepare for joining I completed each square
 with an extra round of UK dc making 3 dc in each corner.
This now made the squares about 18cm in width.

Laying the squares out in a rectangle is such fun!
I like to make a random arrangement rather like sudoku
 trying to avoid 2 of the same colour in any row or column!

For joining I prefer to crochet the squares together.
This makes a strong neat join which will not come undone.
I crocheted together from the back with right sides together.
You will find a tutorial 

The above photo shows clearly how
 the squares are first joined in 1 direction leaving gaps.

Then you join in the other direction
crocheting over the joins to complete the blanket

I was delighted with the results
and think it looks rather like a stained glass window
 with the lead between the coloured glass!

front view of join
Here you can see clearly that this method creates
 a smooth flat finish on the front with a ridge on the back.

back view of join
Just like a picture needs a frame
so a blanket needs a border.
I began with a round of UK trebles.

One of my most used books is
by Edie Eckman
I chose a deep lace border to compliment the square.

To complete my blankets I always wash and tumble dry them.
I do not block my squares
 as with my tension I am lucky and they are flat.
 However I do find that a wash at 30c
 with my normal soap powder and fabric softener
 followed by tumble drying on LOW
adds a certain magic to the blanket
 helping to settle the joins and soften the crochet.

My finished blanket of 6x7=42 squares with the border
measured approximately 120x140cm.
This is a great size for a sofa or single bed.

The Autumn Jewels colour pack is now available
 from Deramores and you can buy it

Wishing you all a happy autumn
the perfect time for blanket making!



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