I’ve been involved in textile design and embroidery for many years, and recently become passionate about crochet too. I was originally an art teacher and embroidery tutor, then created a small business publishing greeting cards. It became a successful family partnership and we are finally handing the reins over to our daughter and stepping back a little. Now is the time for me to enjoy exploring and learning -and sharing - all that this wonderful world of textiles can offer me.
Away back in 2018, at the height of my love affair with Stylecraft Batik, I made three blankets one after the other, in this wonderful water colour effect yarn.
The third one, my actual favourite, is this one – SpotsnStripes. It has taken me a while, but due to increasing demand I decided to write up a pattern for it. That meant making a second one, of course so I could photograph the different stages and gauge the amount of yarn used.
The theme of spots and stripes is a real favourite of mine. You just need to look in my wardrobe at the number of stripey t shirts and spotty scarves to realise that!
And those Batik colours are so gorgeous. I deliberately went random, pairing colours that would not immediately be considered good companions but the result is lively and fresh, all tempered and controlled by the lovely deep border of inky blue Indigo.
The pattern uses just three very basic crochet stitches plus my very own joining method so is within the scope of all crochet abilities. There is added eye candy in the form of crocheted “buttons” which give a cute finish to an already quirky blanket!
I have a couple of video tutorials as well to help you along the way. Firstly, the tutorial for the Side to Side Slip Stitch Join, which can be seen in an earlier post on this blog, and then a little video I’ve made explaining how I go about attaching the buttons to the blanket.
I’m so pleased to have been able to write up this pattern for publication, once more retrospectively.
Some of you will already know it as the Sister Blanket 2, and indeed will have followed my scratchy instructions on Instagram from a few months ago, to make your own version.
However, after quite a number of new followers started asking if there was a pattern, I thought I’d give it a go, and also give it a more descriptive name. I think it deserves that!
It’s a whole different ball game trying to write a pattern by looking at the finished article, rather than taking notes during a work in progress.
Firstly, I’ve had to “guess” the yarn quantities, so I hope I’m somewhere near right! I’ve tweaked the pattern just a little and I think everything is hunky dory, but I’ll rely on you, dear readers to shout out if you come across a mistake.
It’s a big blanket, big enough to cover the top of a double bed, but also a generous wrap for cosy sofa nights.
I loved working with the colours, so soft and pretty. Pinks are a colour I’m drawn to, but always in conjunction with other shades, and I have a lot in my yarn stash which I love to look at and admire, but which rarely get a look in when I’m crocheting. This is their time now.
Anyway, after a good number of days glued to my computer screen, and ending up that horrible dry eye syndrome, I can finally put it to bed and click “ publish”.
and I’ve added in the pattern for the Little Gem Blanket too, as an extra, since both blankets share the same origin. So you get two for the price of one!
Lastly, I put a little video tutorial on Instagram when I made the blanket a few months ago. It’s for one of the flower granny squares, and I’m happy to share it again on here for you. (Video has no sound)
So, that’s another blanket done and dusted. The next one is going to be a little bit different, and it is on my hook right now.
Thank you for reading, trying my patterns and giving me feedback. It is all so appreciated.
Over the past few months, I’ve been walking every day on a beautiful and quiet beach only a few minutes’ walk from my home.
Each day the colours, sights and sounds are different. Sometimes calm and sunny – sometimes grey, overcast and wild. But always beautiful.
I’ve been capturing the moments on camera and sharing them on social media, as a small way to help us all get through these difficult times.
Some of the photographs, particularly of the pebbles washed up on the high Spring tides, inspired me with their many colours hidden amongst the stones – surprising mauves, terracottas, slate blues, oranges – little flashes of colour among the greys.
I decided to design a blanket with the theme of these colours and the Beach Walk Blanket was born.
I’m so happy with the result – a fairly large blanket with at first glance a colour palette of greys and cream, but with glimpses of all these other amazing colours popping out when you look more closely.
The pattern itself is not complicated, combinations of granny squares and granny stripes in different sizes, working from the centre outwards.
The colour palette is definitely the star in this blanket, and in order to get just the right shades, I worked between four different yarn brands. They are all the same weight and type, and blend well together. What’s more they are machine washable and don’t need blocking, perfect for a blanket.
Yarns used were Stylecraft Special DK, Stylecraft Batik, Deramores Studio DK and Scheepjes Colour Crafter.
The pattern is now available on Etsy for instant download, and if you are quick off the mark before the end of June 2020, there is an automatic discount of 30% by clicking on the link below.
I’ve updated this post to tell you that the pattern for the May Blossom and Autumn Gold blankets, which I put on here in April, has had a complete makeover.
The original pattern had been saved on a rubbishy pdf reader which caused the file to do silly things and run to over 60 pages, and although it was a free pattern, it certainly used up a whole lot of precious paper stocks!
I’ve now taken the time to sort that out, and after a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears have managed to produce an altogether neater and more user friendly document.
I know that a lot of you have already made this pattern and I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see your results posted on Instagram.
It has apparently been a godsend for a lot of people who were isolated or stuck at home during the recent lockdown. So many of you have told me how it has kept you occupied and sane at a time of uncertainty and worry. That makes me feel as if I’ve done something useful with my time – thank you so much.
I hope this pattern will continue to engage people as we slowly emerge from the crisis and become a favourite for a long time to come.
And meanwhile, there is another one in the pipeline!
Those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook will know that I’ve been working on two blankets over the past few months, and they seem to have struck a chord with a lot of you, so much so that I promised I would try to produce a pattern for them to share.
That is still a work in progress, but hopefully soon I’ll have it ready. Let’s just say I have PLENTY of time to work on it in these strange weeks and months ahead.
However, perhaps it might be a good idea now, to publish the list of yarn colours I’m using, so that you can stock up ahead of time. Both blankets follow the same actual pattern, so you can choose whichever of the two colour ranges you want.
When I made the first blanket, the Autumn Gold one, I wasn’t thinking about publishing a pattern, so I went my merry old way, picking yarn colours from all over my stash and mixing different yarn brands as well, if one brand didn’t quite have the right shade.
That’s the way I tend to work – using the yarns in my collection like paints, a little of something here, a dash of something there. I think that makes my blankets come alive but it does mean that pattern writing becomes, shall I say “interesting”!
Now when I made a start on the second one, the May Blossom Blanket it was with writing a pattern in mind, so I have been strict with myself and kept all the colours to one brand. How good was that!
Of course, these colours are suggestions. If you have something in your stash which is almost the same as one of those listed, by all means use it, but remember all the yarns I’ve used are 100% acrylic in DK, apart that is, from the Stylecraft Batik in the Autumn Gold Blanket. It is an 80%/20% mix of acrylic and wool, but works in very well with the other acrylics. I wouldn’t recommend mixing some acrylic with some 100% wool yarns, as their washing instructions are different, as well as the handle.
So I’ll start with AUTUMN GOLD BLANKET
Stylecraft Batik in: BISCUIT – 5 x 50g balls. OLD GOLD – 2 balls. CREAM and PISTACHIO – 1 ball each.
Stylecraft Special DK in: MOCHA – 2 x 100g balls, 1 ball each WALNUT, CAMEL, MUSTARD, KHAKI, CYPRESS (oops missed that out in the pic), COPPER, TOMATO, SPICE, LIME, BUTTERMILK, PISTACHIO, MEADOW, CREAM
Deramores Studio DK in: GREEN TEA and BUTTERSCOTCH – 2 x 100g balls of each colour.
And next the MAY BLOSSOM BLANKET
All Stylecraft Special DK: 2 balls each of LINCOLN, DUCK EGG, PISTACHIO, SAGE and MEADOW. 1 each of: POWDER, FONDANT, POMEGRANATE, WISTERIA, LAVENDER, VIOLET, STORM BLUE, SHERBERT, CLOUD BLUE, CREAM, BUTTERMILK, SAFFRON, MUSTARD, LIME, CYPRESS, ASPEN and LEMON (not in pic).
This looks like a LOT of colours, and it’s likely you will not use up a whole ball of many of them, but I was going for a floral effect of little spring flowers appearing through the fresh greens, so I wanted a range of different pretty colours. You may well have some already in your stash and if you have less than a full ball of a colour that should be OK.
Now, all I need to do is press on and get the second blanket finished, photographed and a pattern written! As I said, lucky I’m not going anywhere in the foreseeable future!!
I’ve been asked by a number of people who have seen my latest blanket on Instagram about the join I’m using.
To my knowledge it isn’t a regular join, but one that I made up myself. I devised it for a blanket I was making in 2017, and really the liked the effect it gave for being such a simple stitch. I searched on Google, Facebook, Pinterest etc to see if I could find it by someone else, but drew a blank.
Update – I’ve since found three other people on youtube who claim ownership of this stitch by way of their youtube video tutorials. The interesting thing is though – their tutorials all appeared a few weeks after this tutorial on my blog! Funny that, isn’t it?
So I’m now convinced that this stitch is my baby!
And I’ll I’ll happily take credit for it and call it Side to Side Slip Stitch join by Woolthreadpaint! If you want to share it anywhere, please go ahead, but I would ask you to credit me as the designer.
So – Side to Side Slip Stitch Join by Marion of Woolthreadpaint…….
This little blanket has been crocheted twice. The first time was last year when I had just discovered this lovely yarn, Stylecraft Batik and had plunged into blanket making with the naive enthusiasm of a rookie crocheter.
There were three different blankets which I made with this yarn, one crocheted after another, and this one was the middle one. The first I kept for myself, the third I gave to my sister and the middle, this one went to my son and daughter in law. So I’ve got another two I can share with you at a future date!)
Son and Daughter in law have recently moved into a lovely new home in the pretty Shandon Conservation Area of Edinburgh, and hence the name – the Shandon Blanket!
What I wasn’t expecting was the amount of interest shown in this little blanket when I posted it on Instagram. I was very flattered and thrilled with the lovely comments and took on board the requests from several people asking for information about how it was done.
So, feeling the burden of “impostor syndrome” ( who the hell do I think I am – a crochet expert? Well no, absolutely not!) I’ve tried to put together a guide to what I did.
What I do feel confident in though, is using colour. My background is in textile design and embroidery, and colour has been a main feature of my working life. All 45 years of it!!
So I think the use of colour has been the main attraction in this blanket – the pattern itself is easy peasy. I wanted to create a blanket with an apparent random colour selection, where the juxtaposition of colours is often surprising, sometimes challenging but where everything blends together as a whole.
Of course it is not at all random. Each colour has had to be chosen with surrounding colours in mind to make sure the balance is right.
I mean, truly random selection ( pulling the first yarn out of the bag that comes to hand) might have meant a square in the middle that was all in say, cool colours – blues and greens. That would upset the balance. Does that make sense?.
In order to refresh my memory I decided to make a second blanket, in exactly the same colours and try to photograph the steps along the way.
That proved to be just as much fun as the first one, and is already firing up my brain to think about new Shandon blankets in different colour ways……
Let me say here that I personally compare making a crochet blanket with painting a picture. I like to see it growing organically, so colours are chosen as I go along. I start with a collection of colours I intend to use, but don’t have plans beforehand as to where they will go.
I joined the middle squares as I went along for example, rather than making a pile of circles first then joining them. That way it seemed easier to blend the colours.
The same went for the solid granny square border. I worked the first square, attached it with the “join as you go” method and then continued along the edge, one square at a time. I know some of you with mathematical brains might want to create a pile of squares first in a methodical way, and that’s absolutely fine. Go for it.
My pictures are not brilliant – they were not taken in a professional way – some were on a table, some on the floor and some on my lap – but hopefully they will be enough to point you in the right direction.
It has taken me about three weeks of crocheting in the evenings to complete the blanket but there have been a few interruptions with weekends away etc so it could have been finished sooner.
The blanket measures 100cm x 100cm (39ins x 39ins). This makes it ideal as a sofa throw, as you can see. The sofa in the picture is a three seater.
It has been crocheted in Stylecraft Batik DK yarn. This is a 20% wool/ 80% acrylic mix with a soft handle, and is machine washable at 30 degrees. It comes in 20 shades and I have used 18 of them.I purchased mine from Wool Warehouse who will ship worldwide, but there are many online yarn stores who stock it.
The colours I used are:
BISCUIT – 2 balls
GRAPHITE – 2 balls
OLIVE – 2 balls
SILVER – 2 balls
and 1 ball each of OLD GOLD, CORAL, CHERRY, RASPBERRY, HEATHER, PLUM, SAGE, TEAL, PISTACHIO, VIOLET, STORM, ROSE, MINT and LUPIN.
You will have some of each colour left over, but hey that means more projects, right?
I used a 4mm crochet hook.
Once finished, I put it through a 30 degree machine wash and it came out flat as a pancake and looking lovely.
A note about the final shell border – I wanted something quite colourful around the edge, but didn’t think I’d have enough of any one shade left to go all the way round.
Inspiration happened to be right beside me in the shape of this cushion ( Christmas gift from hubby a few years ago)As you can see, there is an edging of three scallops each of a variety of colours. Hey, that would work, and it meant that even small scraps of colours could be used! So that is how the border came to be.
And finally yes you’ve guessed, there were a LOT of ends to sew in. Now that’s not a problem for me as I happen to like sewing them in. It might seem a daunting task, but a coffee or something stronger and a Netflix series ( I’m steadily working my way through Friends at the moment because believe it or not I didn’t see it first time round!) and hey presto the ends are taken care of before you know it!
Now (at last) the Pattern
I’ve saved it in pdf form in case you want to download and print it off.