Verb: pootle
poo-t(u)l To move in a leisurely unhurried way,
with no real purpose

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

 Blanket season 


With the clocks now having gone back an hour the nights are definately drawing in and, 
if you're anything like me, that means it's time to get the cosy blankets out !

And as I seem to have a bit of a 'thing' for crochet blankets, 
in our house that poses the very big question of which one :)!

Looking back at the blankets that I have made over the last few winters
 I rather seem to have got hooked on the colour combination of snowy white, 
a bright letter box red and a soft pistachio shade of green.


I used this colourway when I designed my first Christmas blanket a couple of years ago
 as I wanted to create a vintage feel to the blanket 
and these three colours seemed to create exactly the look that I was after. 
And it seems to have stuck since then !

I think I particularly like the contrast of the bright red against the white
 as it gives such an iconic Christmas look.

This blanket also set the pattern for some of my future designs as I loved the fact 
that the basic blanket was just straightforward rows of dc ( UK terms) 
and then all of the picture features are crocheted seperately
 and stitched on to the completed blanket.
You can find the pattern for this blanket HERE

The following year I was asked to design a festive blanket for Simply Crochet magazine
 and the same colours worked beautifully for the idea that I had in mind.
Again, the blanket is worked in rows of dc and then the mistltoe sprig,
 ivy leaves and robin are all made seperately and stitched on to the finished blanket
 along with the little star snowflakes


You can find the pattern for this blanket HERE.

This years blanket design has been ticking away in my head
 since I visited the Country Living Christmas Fair last December. 
Whilst browsing all the gorgeous stalls I saw the most perfect wrapping paper 
in excatly my colour scheme ! 
And just like that the seed was sewn.

I started the blanket back in the Summer 
and once the main base was complete 
it was time to add the candy canes.
Out of all my designs I think this has to be the simplest of them all 
as even the candy canes are just small rectangles of dc, 
rolled up to make the cane shape.

You can find the pattern for this blanket HERE.


Of course, making a blanket is quite a labour of love so what to do if, 
after all your hard work, you really don't want to have to pack 
it all away for 11 months until next Christmas ?

One solution is to make a blanket in a colourway of your choice that can stay out all year
 but that, when the time comes, will match in with a Christmas cushion cover.
A cushion cover is much less time consuming to make but just as full of impact.

This pistachio green bobbly blanket looks perfect left 
out all year round
 but, when added to this Christmas wreath cushion 
suddenly feels wonderfully Christmassy.

Both the pattern for the bobbly blanket and the wreath cushion can be found
 in my new book Crocheted Home, available HERE

These two Christmas cushions are some I designed a couple of years ago 
and they really do add a lovely festive touch to a sofa or bed.

As with the blanket designs the actual cushion cover couldn't be simpler
 as it is made up of a front panel and two overlapping back panels, 
all worked in rows of dc, 
and then the different picture elements are made seperately
 and stitched on to the completed cover.

You can find the pattern for the cushions HERE


Of course, once your blanket and cushion is made what else is there to do
 but to find the perfect spot to cosy up and enjoy them !


Wednesday, 9 September 2020


 ♥ Autumn Crochet  

Over the past few years my Autumn crochet makes seems to have increased somewhat
 and so I thought I'd put together a post sharing a few of my favourites.

Firstly - Pumpkins !
I just love everything about them, 
from their shape to the huge array of colours 
to the fun you can have crocheting them, the list is endless.


These little yarny pumpkins are perfect as table or mantle piece decorations
 - but be warned - 
they are seriously addictive 
and once you've made one
 you'll suddenly find yourself surrounded by a little pumpkin patch !

These ones are some that I designed for last year 
and you can find the free patterns here

And if you fancy a bit of teeny crochet you could have a go at hooking up some of these mini pumpkin keyrings. ( Pattern in the link above)


And then of course, you could go to the complete other extreme and go LARGE !
The same pattern can be used for pumpkins of all different sizes, 
from thin cotton yarn to big and chunky, 
just choose the hook size accordingly and off you go.


Then, when you're all pumpkinned out, 
 there's another whole world awaiting of crocheted Autumn leaves.

From the simplest of garlands made of bunches of oak leaves and acorns, 
 to ones abundant with golden leaves and pine cones 
the only limit is your imagination.


This Autumn Garland (below) is one that I designed for Simply Crochet's 2019 Calendar, 
the idea behind it being an Autumn walk in the woods 
where your feet are landing on a soft carpet of leaves 
and when you look hard enough,
hidden in amongst the leaves, are lots of tiny bright toadstools, 
poking through to the see the daylight.

Lastly, if you still have some orange yarn left over, 
how about a little Pumpkin Mouse to keep an eye on all those crochet pumpkins !

He is such a quick thing to make, as like the other pumpkin patterns, his body is simply a rectangle of crochet, gathered top and bottom and stuffed with toy stuffing. His head and ears are worked from a Magic Ring and his arms and tail are simply crochet chains.
If you fancy having a go the pattern is here.

Happy Autumn crocheting !


Friday, 24 July 2020

♥ Simple, lightweight pompom blanket 

Finally, finally I have got around to writing down the pattern for my pompom blanket!

I have so enjoyed making this blanket, from start to finish it has been such an easy, 
uncomplicated make that hasn't demanded any extra concentration
 and has made for the perfect calming crochet project .

I first knew I wanted to make it after I finished my Chelsea Flower Show cushion. 
I wanted a lightweight blanket, that would be plain in design 
and that would co-ordinate with the main colourway of the cushion. 

The finished blanket measures W 120cm  x H 140cm .

The yarn that I chose to use is DROPS Baby Merino, 
it's beautifully light and soft and is 100% superwash merino wool.
The colour is very similar to the DROPS yarn that I used for the cushion, 
and the two shades work beautifully together. 

To tie the two makes together I edged the blanket and made
  the pompoms in the same DROPS Cotton Merino that I used for the cushion.

The pattern is written in UK terms.

Tension square:
22 sts x 25 rows, worked in dc with a 3mm hook = 10cm x 10cm.


To make the blanket:


26 x balls of DROPS BABY MERINO in colour 43.
3 x balls of DROPS COTTON MRINO in colour 29.
3mm crochet hook
35mm pompom maker

For the blanket:

Using the DROPS baby merino and the 3mm crochet hook work a chain of 261. 
Keep your chain taut, but not too tight, as this will make the first row a little easier.
If you find that even whilst keeping your chain relatively loose it is still difficult to 
work the first row, try using a 3.5mm hook just for the initial chain.

Row 1: Starting in the second chain from the hook work 1 htr in to each chain
 all the way along to the end. 260 sts. At the end of the row, chain 1 and turn.

Row 2: Starting in the first stitch of the row, work 1 htr in each stitch all the 
way to the end of the row. 
When I work htr's I work each stitch into the space below the stitch rather than directly 
under the stitch as I find this gives a lovely neat appearance to the finished blanket. 
If you prefer to work htr's in the usual way it will work equally work.

And that really is the most complicated part over as now all you need 
to do is keep repeating Row 2, 
remembering to chain 1 and turn at the end of each row.

Keep crocheting away until your blanket measures approx. 139cm, 
finishing on a right side row.
At the end of the final row, finish off and sew in the ends.


To edge the blanket:

Round 1: Using DROPS Cotton Merino and the 3mm hook, join in the yarn at the top 
right hand corner, at the start of the row ( right side facing), and work a row of dc. 
Work 2 extra dc in to the last stitch and then continuing on around, 

 work 1 dc in to each end of row stitch all the way down the left hand side of the blanket. 
Work  3dc in to the last st and then work 1 dc in to each
 stitch along the bottom of the blanket. 
Work 3dc in to the last stitch and then work back up the right hand side of the blanket. 
Work 2 extra dc in to the last st and then sl st back to the beginning of the top row to join.

Round 2: Where you have just joined the end of the round, chain 1 and work 1 dc in to 
the same stitch. Now work another complete round of dc as for Round 1. 
Sl st to join at the end of the round, as for Round 1.

You could choose to finish your edging at this point, or, if you wanted to add a further 
round to give extra weight to the blanket, you could work 1 round of Rope stitch 
all the way around the edge of the blanket. 
Rope stitch is essentially dc, but worked in a clockwise direction
 rather than the usual anti-clockwise direction.

Once you have completed the border make sure all your ends are sewn in carefully.

For the pompoms:

For my pompoms I used a 35mm pompom maker and the DROPS Cotton Merino.
To keep all the pompoms the same size make sure you wrap the same amount
 of yarn evenly around the maker for each one. 
I worked 90 wraps of yarn for both the top half and bottom half of each pompom.
Make sure that the tie for the centre of the pompoms has tails of a good length 
as you will be using these to stitch the pompoms to the blanket.


The key to getting a neat pompom is to spend a little bit of time trimming 
each finished pompom with a small pair of scissors.
 You will find that this makes all the difference to the finished look, and that it is 
so worth spending a little bit of time doing this.

In total I made 24 pompoms.

Once you have made the pompoms, lay your blanket out on a flat surface
 and evenly space 12 pompoms along the top edge
 and then the same along the bottom edge.
Once you are happy with the positioning stitch them securely in to place.

And that completes your blanket !

All you need to do now is to find the perfect chair or sofa to lay it on.