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


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!

Heather

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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!

Heather

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1 October 2015

Winner of the Stylecraft Draw


Good morning my hooky friends!
What a fun day yesterday was
 with 1330 of you entering the draw
 to win the limited edition colour pack from 



Today it is my pleasure to announce
that the winner is

Emma Smith-Horne
 from the UK

Congratulations to Emma, 
Stylecraft will be in touch with you
 and you will soon be the lucky owner of the 10 new shades!

If you would like another chance to win
remember that the blog tour continues and today you can visit
 to see what she has been making
 and have another chance at winning!

Happy hookin!

Heather
X X X

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