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!


19 April 2015

Crochet with Cotton


 This week I have been playing with cotton
very pretty cotton
in my favourite Cath Kidston colours
 
Stylecraft Classique Cotton
Playing with prettiness is such a treat
and was real holiday therapy 
for my last week off school.
I have been working on a commission of table mats for
in Ruthin N Wales, 
where I am running some crochet workshops



The pattern I am using is from an old copy of
Simply Crochet Magazine issue 12
written by the very talented Wink.
(I have adapted it slightly to make it flat 
to be suitable for sitting under glass table tops)


I've had oodles of fun playing with colours


and it wasn't long before I had a pile of ten mats
but looking very sad and curly
 it has to be said!


However a day later
 after some pinning and spraying on my blocking mats
just look at the transformation!


I must admit that I rather love these 
and am going to find them very hard to part with


and it seems that many of you do too!


So I do have plans to make more to sell in my
 soon


My Easter holidays have been and gone now
and for now I have to go back to school.


Last week I had an amazing time
 taking The Spring Flower Blanket our Instagram Community Project
on its travels


It is now in the safe hands of the winning maker

Crafternoon Treats

Kath has very generously chosen to raise money for
 Marie Curie Cancer Care.


The charity raffle has reached an amazing £6300
 and is open till midnight on 23rd April.
 If you would like to donate and have a chance to win
 this beautiful blanket click
  HERE 

I will be back next week with the final story of the blanket,
 the total raised and the winner of the charity draw 

happy hookin friends

Heather
X X X








12 April 2015

Crochet Inspiration Workshops




 I have a dream
 to be full time at The Patchwork Heart,
 making items to sell in my Etsy shop and teaching my craft.
At present school holidays are a time when I can live my dream
and this week has been a lovely little taste of my future. 

People often say they would love to visit my home
 full of colour and yarny goodness. It is indeed my happy place
 and I am blessed with time off now to enjoy much crochet therapy.



This week I began an exciting new chapter in my crochet journey
with a beginners crochet course at the lovely


Oh what a beautiful place it is
and such a perfect spot I'm sure you will agree
 for an evening of crochet inspiration


The happy faces say it all


what a wonderful time we had
learning to make granny squares



and of course there has to be tea and cake!


I am very excited to tell you
 that as well as more workshops at this lovely venue,
 I am in discussions with another local gallery space
 and will soon be releasing a programme of
 Crochet Inspiration Workshops
 for the summer and autumn!


I am planning workshops for experienced crocheters,
 to come along and enjoy sharing a time of colourful yarny goodness . . . 
time to meet other crochet enthusiasts and learn new skills.
It is hoped that some will be evenings and others will be Saturday afternoons,
 to allow people to travel from a distance to join us!

If this is something you would enjoy
 I'd be really pleased to hear from you,
 as I plan the projects for these Crochet Inspiration Workshops. 
Why not bring a group of friends and make it a day out?

Wishing you all a happy weekend

Heather

X X X




6 April 2015

Granny Square Tutorial


As much as I love to crochet all sorts of different blankets there is something so very special about the humble granny square. There are many wonderful examples around some with small squares others with big and some with varying sizes of squares. You can view many lovely examples here on my
 But it is the colours which always excite me and draw me to any blanket!


 It is a crocheter's basic right of passage to learn how to make a granny square and something many of us start out on. I have fond memories as a young teenager sitting with my Mum with a massive sack of colours crocheting granny squares and have recently spent time with my own daughter passing on this lovely skill.

Over the past few weeks I have been making many rainbow baby blankets
 and enjoying the simple granny square


blending the colours has given me oodles of fun


you can find the colour palettes
 that I use on a page at the top of my blog


I must add there there are loads of tutorials and You Tube videos out there
 and many different methods available. This is just straight from my head 
and a method I have developed that works for me!

I am using Stylecraft Special DK with a 3.5mm hook. This is my preference as the yarn is soft and snuggly for a blanket, is very affordable, easily washable and comes in a fabulous choice of 63 wonderful shades!

So here to help with the many questions I have been receiving is my version of
how I make a Granny Square. (I am using UK crochet terminology. You will find a handy conversion to US terms on the Crochet Conversions page at the top of my blog)


1. Make a magic loop (I prefer this starting method as it does not leave a hole that is too big in the centre)
2. Pull through a loop for the 1st stitch
3. Make 3 chain for the 1st treble
4. Make 2 trebles to complete the first cluster


5. Make 1 chain then 3 trebles thus forming a corner
6. Repeat this twice more
7&8. Pull the tail to close up the magic loop. Make 1 chain then join with slip stitch into the 1st treble of the round


9&10 Fasten off 1st colour by pulling yarn through loop and cutting to leave a tail about 10cm /  4inches
11. TURN WORK OVER and make 2nd round from the back. This is very important to stop the granny square from twisting.
12. Using a new colour pull up a loop making sure you leave an end of about 10cm / 4 inches for sewing in later.


13. Holding the tail firmly at the back of the work make 3 chain for the 1st treble
14. Make 2 trebles to complete the first cluster (this is half of a corner)
15. In next chain space make 3 trebles 1 chain 3 trebles (this is a corner)
16. Repeat this twice more in the next 2 chain spaces


17&18. To complete the 1st corner make 3 trebles then 1 chain 
19&20. Join with slip stitch into 1st treble of the round


21&22. Pull yarn through and fasten off cutting yarn to leave a tail 10cm / 4inches
23. TURN WORK OVER. You are going to do this every round keep a perfect square. It prevents the awful twisting that is often seen and has the added bonus of making both sides the same so there is no right or wrong side to the blanket!
24. Using a new colour pull up a loop making sure you leave an end of about 10cm / 4 inches for sewing in later.



25. Holding tail firmly at back of work make 3 chain for the 1st treble
26. then 2 trebles to complete the 1st half corner. In the next chain space make 3 trebles and the same in the corner. 
27. Complete the corner by making 1 chain 3 trebles
28. Continue around the square making clusters of 3 trebles with 1 chain only in the corners. Note this is different to many other granny square patterns as I prefer a closer texture. Fasten Off.



29. TURN WORK OVER each round  - this means you work in alternate directions, anti clockwise then clockwise which prevents a twist forming.
30. Keep hooking until you have your desired number of rounds.
31&32 On completion of each square use a darning needle and sew the tails into their own coloured  stitches



33. I sew in half on the front and half on the back
34. Trim ends neatly with sharp scissors
35&36. The result is a perfect square which can be used from any side! Notice it has 90 degree corners and parallel sides, all very pleasing to the eye and easy for joining.


So there you have all the information you need to make squares!
Get hookin and come back in a few weeks for my next tutorial on joining!

Of course if you are a complete beginner 
you may wish to make solid squares to avoid all the colour changing


these are equally pretty


and can be joined very simply to make a beginners blanket.


To avoid the joining why not make just 1 big square! 
(I hasten to add though that a big square does tend to become frilly
 after about 60cm so I only use these for small baby blankets!)

I hope this helps answer the questions you have.
Do please leave me a comment if this has been helpful or  
if you have any questions
 and I will try to edit and update the tutorial to help!

If you have used and enjoyed my tutorial please consider supporting my crochet work


Happy Hookin

Heather X X X












29 March 2015

Crochet Community Charity Blanket

 Would you like to win this fabulous blanket?
It is unique and made with love by 121 ladies in UK.


Sitting at home crocheting
 and enjoying the company of my Instagram friends on a daily basis
 is one of life's ultimate pleasures for me!

Last year we joined together and made a care blanket
 for one of our friends
 to support her through an illness.
So much good came out of our group
 and when it was over we all missed the community project.

So this winter I planned and launched the first 
Patchwork Heart Community Blanket.
Ladies in the UK
 were invited to make a 10cm square containing a flower,
 from a given colour palette of Stylecraft Special DK.
120 crocheters signed up
 and soon squares were flooding into Patchwork House.
I had the lovely pleasure 
of joining the squares into the blanket and making a border.

If you missed the original posts about the making
 you can read them HERE


The plan was to hold a draw of the makers names
 and the winner had the choice of keeping the blanket
 or using it to raise money for charity.

I am delighted to announce that the lovely Kathryn at
won the blanket and has decided to use it to raise money for 
You can take part in this draw to win the blanket
 by making a donation on her


The draw closes at midnight on April 23rd
 and the winner will be drawn on April 25th.
For just £2 you can make a donation and have a chance to win!
This is open to anyone worldwide
 and postage will be very kindly paid by the lovely Kathryn.

As I write we are absolutely flabbergasted at the popularity of our blanket 
and thank all the lovely people who have made donations.
 In less than 3 days of the draw being open
 we have raised £2600 for Marie Curie Cancer Care!!!

If you have a blog or facebook page please share this post
 and help us make a difference!

Wishing you all a happy Sunday

Heather

X X X






23 March 2015

Making Rainbows

Today I am really excited
 to be able to tell you about a competition
 to win £500 worth of yarn!!!

I have joined together with 5 other bloggers
 to help launch the

Here's how you can take part!

Everyone loves a rainbow
red  orange  yellow  green  blue  indigo  violet.
Lately I've been playing with colours
 a lot

as a Mathematician
 order is very important to me
and
as an artist 
colour fills me with passion
so
 to create a rainbow
 is perfection
 in my little world!


A few months ago
 I made myself a set of shade squares
 for all my favourite Stylecraft Special DK shades.
I used a small 3 round solid granny square
you can find a pattern 


Hours of fun and playing
 ended up with this combination
 for my bright traditional rainbow

I tried it out on a star shaped baby blanket
using a free pattern by 
and the result was amazing!


but the artist in me wants to play
and my brain is continually making new rainbows


a pastel rainbow was next on my hook
oh so pretty


then again more playing with my squares
resulted in 
bright versus vintage
rainbows



using my creative license
I next hooked a
vintage look rainbow baby blanket
and I really love these soft muted tones



So where did this rainbow trend begin?
I have to give thanks
 to my hooky friends over on


This winter there has been a craze inspired by
 a beautiful Cath Kidston blanket.
So many of my clever hooky friends
 have been making their own versions, 
beautiful granny striped blankets
 with a parchment background.


totally inspired by the lovely makes of
 @wooly_creations
@pandagourgh
@yarnandwhatnot
@thelittlegreencupboard
and many others
I finally gave in and tried it myself


adding the neutral background
 to my vintage rainbow
 resulted in this amazing 
Cath Kidston inspired
 granny square baby blanket


Rainbows have spread into my cotton creations too


I always begin with a traditional colour order


Mandala making
 is such a perfect way
 of trying out colour combinations


but I soon find myself thinking
 that rainbows don't have to include all 7 shades!


Before I know it I'm shading pinks and purples
and blending blues and greens


Working with colour is therapy to me
it excites me
and makes me come alive!
So what better rainbow celebration
than my latest creation of a dream catcher!
This pattern by ATERGcrochet is available to buy on Etsy


So are you inspired?
 Do you want to play with colour too?
Oh I do hope I've got you rushing for your hooks
 and diving into your stash!

Ladies I'm really excited to tell you
 about the fabulous new
I'm helping launch


would you like to win
 £500 worth of yarn
? ? ?

All you have to do
 is play with colour and crochet something wonderful!
Blog about your makes and enter the competition.
You will find all you need to know here


Go on you know you are itching to create
and who doesn't need more yarn!
You can enter many times
 and there are 5 other trends you can follow too!


This week I will be playing with a bright rainbow
 and a cream background! 
Come back next week to see what I made!

Do leave a comment to let me know what you are making
 and entering into the competition, 
I'd love to pop over and visit your blogs
 to see what you are making

Happy hookin
Heather

X X X









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