Five more blankets for Crochet For Kidneys Part 5


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Today I’m showing you the last five blankets I received for Crochet For Kidneys Part 5. Our blanket total is now 31! That’s our highest number yet and means that 31 kidney disease patients will be comforted by your handmade blankets. Thank you so much!

The first blanket I’m showing is from Jude Garrett. Jude also contributed last year (see her blanket here) and she told me then that her daughter will be helping with the CFK 5 blanket. And she did! Jude’s 9 year old daughter Emily helped her with the regular granny squares. Isn’t that just the sweetest thing?! And what a cheerful and bright blanket this is. So many colours and so many different granny squares. Jude and Emily you did a great job!

This white and purple blanket is from Cecilia Ockleford. Cecilia has been with CFK since the very start back in November 2013.

This year Cecilia went for a super cute design of rows of purple hearts – the perfect design for a charity blanket. It takes Cecilia longer than the average to crochet a blanket because she suffers from muscle dystrophy and I feel very privileged that she would spend so much time on a blanket only to donate it to CFK. Not only did Cecilia crochet a blanket, she also donated £20 on the Justgiving page for the Royal London Hospital Kidney Patients Association. Thank you so much Cecilia, you are a true inspiration.


This fun blanket is by Maria Rosko – do yourself a favour and follow her on Instagram @mariarosko. She has a beautiful feed and her photos of this blanket looks so much better  than mine!

Maria Rosko

This pink and blue giant double granny square blanket was made by Tina Samways. It’s so clever to combine two huge granny squares into one blanket.


Marion Nelson already contributed to CFK5 with this striped blanket, and then she went ahead and made another! She used the same muted tones for both, but they look totally different. I always appreciate receiving blankets made with only a few colours. They   balance out the bright blankets so that we are able to donate blankets that appeal to the varying tastes of the patients, both male and female. Thanks Marion for toning down the crazy.

Marion Nelson

Speaking of crazy, I’m driving myself crazy by not finishing the autumnal ripple blanket. Ironically I found the pattern in a book on mindfulness crochet which I am reviewing, but in stead of making me calm the colours I chose for the blanket are so uninspiring to me I’m having a tough time finishing it. But I just have to man-up and get it done, and more importantly remember that it’s not about me – it’s a blanket for someone with kidney disease going through dialysis. Working with brown and yellow is NOTHING compared to that!

To everyone who has contributed to CFK 5 I thank you all for your amazing contributions, the time you put in, the postage you paid to get the blankets to me, the yarn you bought, the thought you gave to the designs and for sticking with me and Crochet For Kidneys.

Thank you, thank you, thank you lovely crocheters!



Six more blankets for Crochet For Kidneys Part 5


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Since my last blog post, I have received a further six beautiful blankets – one from Linda Baker over in Portugal, one from Mary Gordon my friend from my Thames Ditton days, and four blankets from Tamika Joyeux. Yes, you read that right – four blankets from one crocheter!

Here is the first of Tamika’s blankets: rows of colour seperated with rows of white. I love the fresh look of this blanket.

Tamika Joyeux

Tamika’s second blanket is a beautiful lacy square in dusky shades and light grey. Those yellow squares really pop!

Tamika Joyeux

Another striped blanket from Tamika, but this time is a crazy random stripe colour explosion.

Tamika Joyeux

Tamika’s fourth blanket is totally different again. This one is hexagons in blues, purples, pink and black.

I’d love to see Tamika’s yarn stash! Looking at these four blankets she is a huge lover of colour!

Tamika Joyeux

Linda, a friend of Barbara Boothman, had a tough time finishing this delicate blue blanket due to arthritis in her right hand setting in, and the design being much more work than she had anticipated. Thank you very much Linda for persevering despite these challenges, I really appreciate it!

Linda Barker

The last blanket for this week comes from Mary Gordon. Mary lives in Thames Ditton (where John and I lived when we started Crochet For Kidneys) so she is one of the very first contributors to CFK. I met up with Mary at Carluccio’s in Waterloo station on Saturday to pick up the blanket (and to catch up on all the Thames Ditton news.) I just had to open up the blanket and admire it right there in Carluccio’s because I know the kind of quality crochet Mary produces and she did not disappoint! It’s another masterpiece. Last year Mary’s blanket was inspired by the Rainbow. This year she found inspiration from a Kaleidescope, which this blanket definitely depicts. She nailed it! Mary started work on her blanket in June when she was crocheting the central white circles during a train journey through Italy. Mary wrote on the tag attached to the blanket: “A kaleidoscope of colour to brighten the day.” So lovely!

So with these six beautiful contributions from Linda, Tamika and Mary we have 26 blankets for the Royal London Hospital. Once I’ve managed to finish my autumnal blanket, we will have exactly the same amount of blankets as last year. That’s super!

Now I just have to finish that chevron blanket. It would be a travesty if the organiser of CFK5 causes us to have fewer blankets than for CFK4!

Three more blankets for Crochet For Kidneys Part 5



I have three more granny square blankets to show you this week. The first two is from Jenny who says she is already working on a third blanket in a new square pattern. Jenny’s blankets are super squishy and warm and she arranged her squares very creatively.

blue and black granny square blanketgranny square blanket

Janet sent me this beautiful granny square from Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. I love the bright blue she used to frame her colourful  granny squares.

Thank you Jenny and Janet, your blankets are beautiful!

Our total blanket count is now 20 with about a month to go. I wonder if we will beat last year’s total of 27?


Even if you can’t crochet you can be part of Crochet For Kidneys


I started Crochet For Kidneys in 2013 and in all that time I never asked for any monetary contributions, and I was happy with that. The blankets you have sent me are amazing and it really brings comfort, literally and figuratively, to those with kidney disease. But what if we could be doing more?

This morning I remembered that as part of CFK 3 one of the crocheters from America also sent me $5 with the blanket she had made. When we delivered the blankets to the hospital and I asked what to do with the $5, the dialysis nurses told me about the Royal London Hospital Kidney Patient Association and the great work they do. I visited their website this morning and immediately decided that this year it’s time that we support this association as well. The best thing about this is that you don’t need to know how to crochet to help!  Even those not so skilled with a crochet hook and ball of yarn, can now be part of Crochet For Kidneys!

So a bit more about the Royal London Hospital Kidney Patient Association (which is part of NKF, the UK’s largest kidney patient charity). The NKF supports both patients and carers in practical ways, offering help and guidance. They also campaign tirelessly for improvements in renal health care provision throughout the United Kingdom.

Some of actions The Royal London Hospital KPA take is to:

  • provide mutual help, advice and encouragement and organises social events for patients;
  • organise various fund-raising events and issue a regular newsletter;
  • run holiday homes for haemodialysis, CAPD and transplant patients;
  • sends a team to the British Transplant Games;
  • fund entirely the Renal Amenity Fund at the Hospital and contribute to the Hospital’s Renal Diseases Research Fund and the Renal Transplant Research Fund;
  • buy medical equipment and improve facilities for patients;
  • sponsor nurses to attend the European Dialysis Nurses’ Association conferences;
  • sponsor translations of literature for patients from ethnic minorities;

I’m sure you agree that the work they do is important and I hope you will be inspired to make a donation. This is your chance to support Crochet For Kidneys even if you have run out of time to crochet a blanket, can’t crochet a blanket, or have already contributed a blanket but want to give your friends and family the chance to support CFK with you.


You can donate by text message or online. Text CFKS55 and the amount you want to donate to 70070, or visit my JustGiving page here.


Please share this post with your friend and family!



Ten more blankets for Crochet For Kidneys Part 5


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Yes you read that correctly, I received ten blankets in one week! Our blanket count is now at 17.

Emma Ashman and her mom Sandra made an amazing five beautiful blankets. This is their third CFK making beautiful blankets.

Emma and Sandra Ashman

Emma and Sandra Ashman

Emma and Sandra Ashman

Emma and Sandra Ashman

Emma and Sandra Ashman

Barbara Boothman’s second blanket all the way from Portugal also arrived this week. It’s a bright colour riot!

Barbara Boothman

Marion Nelson made a blanket for CFK 4 and this week I received her lovely stripy blanket for CFK 5. This one will be perfect for a male dialysis patient.

Marion Nelson

And here are Susara Ribbens De Vos’s stunning three blankets. Just like the Ashmans, this is also Susara’s second year contributing to Crochet For Kidneys.  Susara used the same shades for her three blankets, but by just adding white or grey and chaining the pattern, they look so different!

Susara Ribbens de Vos

Susara Ribbens de Vos

Susara Ribens de Vos

Susara Ribbens de Vos

A pile of 10 beautiful, lovingly made blankets destined for the kidney disease patients of The Royal London Hospital.

Thank you so, so, so much to everyone who have sent me a crochet blanket. I can’t tell you much I appreciate the hard work, time and the cost of postage that go into these.

If you want to contribute to Crochet For Kidneys Part 5, you still have until the first week of November to get your blankets to me. I have to get a move on myself, because I still have to finish the autumn shades ripple blanket! Let’s get hooking!


Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium and two pink monsters



Amigurumi monsters! In pink! That’s what I’ve been making the past two weeks. Who would have thought?! I’m not a pink person and I don’t have children so why you ask would I venture down the pink children’s toy path? It’s because I’m one of the lucky bloggers in the blog tour for Kerry Lord’s new book Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium, published by Pavilion Books Books.

Monty Knits blogged her review yesterday, which you can read here and today it’s my turn to share my review.

If I can sum up my experience of using this book and making my amigurumi toys, it’s this: fun.

The book is fun, designing my monster toy was fun, the Gallery of monsters is fun, making the monster was fun. Fun, fun, fun.

Edward's Crochet Imaginarium book cover

Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium is very different to the average crochet pattern book. It has a clever flip-book section which allows you to play around with different head, arm and feet combinations. Add to that the six tails and eight colour change patterns, the book allows for your imagination to run wild.

The book is aimed at beginners and seasoned crocheters. All the basic stitches and techniques are clearly explained and photographed, and you can even watch tutorials on the TOFT YouTube channel to help you through all the steps of making monster.

Here are just six of the 40 monsters in the Gallery. Photos courtesy of Kristy Noble. The designs are so varied, and options so many, you can really spend your whole life crocheting and still not have made all the variations.

The two monsters I made are going to be gifts for 3 and 5 year old girls. Their mom said it had to be pink, and they couldn’t differ too much from each other lest one might be judged prettier than the other, but they also couldn’t be identical lest little madams confuse which toy is theirs. A tough brief to follow.

It took me three days to decide what I wanted to make! I was continually flipping between the Arm, Head and Feet pages. Just as I thought I knew what I was going to make, I flip a page and then everything changes. Such Fun!!!

In the end I decided on Arms and Feet no. 2, and Head no. 15 but in stead of only making hair spines around one ring on the head, I did four rings of spines and crocheted them in two shades of pink.

The colour shading of my bodies are that of Gallery Monster no. 20. To set the two monsters apart I made half of one arm & one leg in 1-row bands of pink and white, and for the second monster I used 3-row bands of pink and white. I also used slightly different shades of light pink yarn.

Something I found especially useful were the instructions for the order in which to sew on the arms and legs to the body, and placement of the legs so that your monster will not fall over when sitting down. Those instructions, and the flip book section for Arms, Feet and Heads, were the highlights of the book for me. Seriously clever and useful!

There was only thing I did differently to Kerry’s instructions: the eyes. I struggled to get my eyes to look friendly when I did it as Kerry suggested in her book, so I settled for < shaped eyes.  This is not a reflection on Kerry’s instructions – it’s totally down to user error/incompetence.

Fingers crossed the little madams like their Pink Monsters. If they like it half as much as I liked designing and making them, they’ll be a mammoth hit.

There are two more stops on the Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium book blog tour. Tomorrow you can read The Twisted Yarn‘s review and then the book tour ends on Tuesday with The Little Room of Rachell.

The book is available to purchase on Amazon or from Toft for £14.99. If you buy it directly on the Toft website, you will also receive a free and exclusive pdf that includes bonus patterns.


Leave a comment below telling me about your experience of making amigurumi toys and I will pick a comment at random and send you a copy of Edwards’ Crochet Imaginarium! (UK residents only.) Entries close at 12 noon on Sunday 18 September 2016.

Four more blankets for Crochet For Kindeys Part 5


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Oooh-wee, the blankets are starting to arrive!

First off we have a mixed colour and size, joyful granny square blanket from Barbara Boothman, all the way from Portugal:

Cindy Boot made a beautiful purple blanket with an intricate block design:

Gemma Harris turned a pastel granny square into a pastel afghan by cleverly adding rows at either end:

And Tracey Meacham used a granny rectangle to make her blanket in primary colours. This is only Tracey’s second ever blanket. Great job Tracey!:

Thank you so much ladies for your contributions to Crochet For Kidneys Part 5.

Our total blanket count is seven. Keep them coming!

First three blankets for Crochet For Kidneys Part 5

Here it is people, the first three contributions to Crochet For Kidneys Part 5! Two of the blankets are from Caroline Bennett, a regular contributor to Crochet For Kidneys. Caroline posted photos of her blankets taken in the sunshine hanging on the clothes line for the   CFK Facebook group page and everyone freaked out. Rightly so, these blankets are so cheerful, beautiful and bright.  I love it! Caroline used the same colours for both blankets, but they look so different. Amazing what a difference the design of a blanket can make, right?


The third blanket was made by me.   I made the blanket as part of my review of the How To Crochet book which you can read about here.

So that’s the first three. How many more will there be? Hopefully a lot more!

As a reminder, here is the guide for the Crochet For Kidneys blankets. Will you be taking part? It would be great if you could! You can also check out the CFK Facebook group and read about Crochet For Kidneys here.

Crochet For Kidneys Part 5

Review of How To Crochet book by Mollie Makes


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The lovely people of Mollie Makes magazine sent me the book How To Crochet, published by Pavilion, to review here on my blog.

I have to apologise to the publishers that it has taken me this long to do the review, but I wanted to do the review justice by completing one of the 20 projects featured in the book.

I chose to make the Granny Square Blanket With Edging, designed by Anita Mundt. You guys know how I love granny squares! They are my all time favourite thing to crochet. For Crochet For Kidneys Part 4 I made two 2-colour 6-round squares in blue and in pink, and in 2013 I crocheted a traditional granny square blanket for a friend and even posted on my technique for choosing random colours.

I started the blanket on the 30th of June and finished it today. Precisely one month! This granny square blanket will also be my contribution to the charity crochet campaign, Crochet For Kidneys Part 5. I had two weeks in that month where I was on sick leave so I had bit more time than usual for crocheting. (I had an operation to my foot on the 18th of June. The cast is coming off on 13 August and a month or so later, it will be the turn of my left foot to go under the knife and stay in a non-weight bearing cast for 8 weeks – expect a few more blanket ta-daaaah blog posts over the next 3 months!)

I really enjoyed following the colour scheme suggestion in Anita’s pattern. I know how to make a granny square so I didn’t need the pattern for that, but I found that following the designer’s colour scheme took away all the worry that I may get my colours wrong.

In this pattern the colour combinations are partly fixed and party random. Rounds 1, 2 and 6 are fixed colours, round 3 is random and 4 & 5 are also random but you use the same colour for both rounds.  Once I had decided on the colour for rounds 1 (green), 2 (white) and 6 (Parma Violet), there wasn’t much ‘randomising’ left to do. Choosing my colours for each square was really quick and I think I will stick to this partly fixed, partly random, colour scheme for all my future granny square blankets!

The colours I used were: Stylecraft Special DK in White, Saffron, Wisteria, Spring Green, Citron, Cloud Blue, Parma Violet (for the last round of each square) and the bright green was James C Brett Supreme Baby DK in SNG7.  I really love that Parma Violet shade. It’s not grey, it’s not purple, it’s just a beatiful  tie-it-all-together shade.

Please excuse the wonky photo but it’s difficult to get a blanket to lie flat and take a perfectly straight taken-from-above photo when you have only one leg to balance on!

For this blanket I also didn’t have to go looking for border like I do with my other granny square blankets – Anita’s border was just so perfect – I just had to follow her pattern.

The team from Mollie Makes (the UK’s most successful lifestyle and craft magazine) hand-picked the projects for this book.  All the patterns were designed exclusively for this book by the team’s favourite crochet designers: Ilaria Chiaratti, Emma Lamb, Beata Basik, Cara Medus, Pip Lincolne and Anita Mundt.  Apart form the Granny Square Blanket With Edging which I made, there are more fun and beautiful projects like the adorable set of Russian dolls from the cover photo, Bouquet of Flowers, pocket placemats and Monster Gadget Covers called Chomper, Nibbles and Tryclops. How To Crochet contains all the techniques you need to get started with crochet, with step-by-step instructions and clear, beautiful illustrations. Each of the 20 patterns have a Crochet Story which I really enjoyed reading – even if I weren’t going to make the project. How To Crochet is available on Amazon for £9.99.

If however you don’t want to purchase one, why not enter my giveaway!

I’m giving away two copies of How To Crochet by Mollie Makes. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blogpost telling me what your favourite time of day and/or week is to crochet. There’s no special reason why I ask this question, I’m just interested to know when my readers sit down with their yarn and hooky stick. The winners will be drawn randomly and announced on my Instagram feed (natasjaking) and crochetime Facebook page on 7 August.  Good luck!

Crochet For Kidneys Part 5


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Today I’m launching Crochet For Kidneys Part 5!

Crochet For Kidneys Part 5

Crochet For Kidneys has grown from seven blankets in Part 1, to 14 blankets in Part 2, 17 blankets in Part 3 and last year we made 27 blanket for Part 4. We had purple squares with a white border in Part 1, hexagons with a white border in Part 2, and for Part 3 I asked you send me strips of six squares with white borders. The beautiful, lovingly made blankets were given to dialysis patients at the Royal London Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital.

In Part 4 we made blankets of any design and any colour. You guys loved this approach to CFK so much! Some of you even made two blankets, so we’re sticking to this format for Part 5. No colour rules, no design rules – you are in charge of the look of your blanket for the dialysis patients! Squares, hexagons, stripes, chevrons – go wild!

Like always, I only ask that the blankets be roughly 90 cm x 135 cm (35″ x 53″) – that’s about a lap afghan size. If you are making 15 cm squares like we did for Parts 1 and 3, that would be 54 squares arranged in 9 rows of 6 squares. If you are making 13 cm squares for instance, that would be 70 squares arranged in 10 rows of 7 squares. Use your judgement, but as long as the blanket comes out to roughly (but no smaller) than 90 cm x 135 cm (35″ x 53″) it will be perfect.

Please do not use wool for your blankets as it may shrink or felt when the recipients wash their blankets on a too warm wash. Acrylics or cotton only please.

I would like to have all the blankets by Sunday 31 October 2016 please. When John goes for his annual Living Donor check-up at the Royal London Hospital mid-November, we will take the blankets with us so that the Renal Unit nurses can distribute it amongst the dialysis patients at Royal London and their satellite units.

If you’re new to Crochet For Kidneys (maybe you read about it in Inside Crochet magazine) or have been with me from Part 1 but need a reminder of why I started Crochet For Kidneys, you can read about it in this blogpost.

Please post photos of your blankets-in-the-making on the Facebook Group . If you’re not a member of the group, just ask to join and I’ll add you immediately.

I would really love it if we we can break the 50-blanket mark this year. Wouldn’t that be great?! Will you help me?  I know 50 blankets is almost double what we had for Part 4, but I really think it can be done. Just crochet a blanket, or two, or three and tell all your crochet buddies about CFK so that we can bring comfort to 50 dialysis patients this year.

If you use Twitter or Instagram tag your tweets and photos with #crochet4kidneys. You can also invite others to join our Facebook group. But most importantly, start crocheting those lovely, comforting blankets.