Anniversary Cushion

My husband loves dandelions and so I decided to make and embroider a cushion for him, for our 4th wedding anniversary.

The cushion itself is made from half a metre of Barkcloth fabric from Moda. Barkcloth is a soft, thick, slightly textured fabric, so named because it has a surface like that of tree bark – but it doesn’t feel rough like a tree!  It’s heavier weight means it is ideal for home furnishings or bags.

My husband also likes the sashiko work I’ve done in the past, so the embroidery was meant to resemble that style.

My Sunnyside Cushion

I finished my patchwork cushion this week! I love it. It feels so fresh and summery to me.

sunnyside patchwork cushion

It’s made with squares from a Moda mini charm packthe Sunnyside collection – plus some 2.5″ squares of plain white.

sunny side cushion back

The backing fabric and piping fabric is also from the Sunnyside collection.

This is the first time that I’ve ever done piping on something. I found it a little tricky to do, especially around the corners so it’s not perfect, but I do think that cushions look so nice with piping.

Now I must get back to the socks for my husband.

Mini Charm Pack cushion

I’ve not really been in the mood for knitting at all. At the last knit and natter I did about 10 rows of a swatch and that was it! Granted I was quite busy helping other people, but it just wasn’t happening.

However I’ve been itching to do some sewing. My own sewing machine is still at my parents house, so last week I set up one of our Elna demo machines that are on display in our shop and had a go at making this cushion during quiet moments.

mini charm pack cushion

The pattern is a freebie from the Janome USA site and you can download it here.

I used a Moda Aspen Frost mini charm pack for the small squares, a fat quarter of Moda Bella Solids in white, a fat quarter of the Figgy Pudding collection that Mum had in her stash, and a quarter of a metre of Makower Green spraytime fabric.

This cushion is going on display in the shop, but I might make another one for at home. I think I will try and collect my sewing machine from Mum and Dad’s this evening, so I can get on with some more sewing. I need to crack on with the Raining Cats and Dogs quilt!

Another Kidsilk Haze Cushion

Thought I’d just show you a cushion that Mum has just finished making.  It’s like the St Ives Cushion I did recently, just in different colours.

mum st ives cushion

It’s made with three balls of kidsilk haze, pink, yellow and green.  You knit with two strands at a time and by doing so you can use one strand in one colour, and the second strand in a different colour to achieve a blend or colour wash effect.  In this case Mum blended the yellow and green.

mum st ives cushion back

The back is a 50cm piece of Amy Butler fabric – this one’s called Happy Dots.

mum's cushion side on

FO: St Ives Cushion

It’s been ages since I last blogged, but I have finished a couple of things in the interim, one of which is the St Ives Cushion.

st ives cushion with rowan kidsilk haze

The pattern is from Little Luxury Knits by Alison Crowther-Smith, and uses 3 balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze.  I’ve never knitted with Kidsilk Haze before and quite enjoyed it.  It’s not that easy to rip back though, so you need to be careful not to go drastically wrong.  

The clever thing about this pattern is the way the two shades of red are blended together.  You knit every row with two strands of yarn, but the two strands are not always the same.  What I mean is this: you start by knitting a few rows with two strands of blue.  Then a few rows with two strands of dark red, then a couple of rows with one strand dark red and one strand light red, then a few rows with two strands of light red.

 amy butler fabric backling

I backed this cushion with a piece of Amy Butler fabric, called French Wallpaper in duck egg blue.  I love this fabric.  It’s such good quality and the pattern is so pretty.

amy butler fabric cushion cover

Tomorrow is World Wide Knit in Public Day and there’s going to be a gathering in Plymouth which I’m planning to go along to. I think there’s a group planning to come up from Cornwall, but it will be nice to meet other knitters from Plymouth.  Maybe they’ll be interested in coming along to our Knit and Knatter group.  I hope it doesn’t rain!

First FO of 2008

On Wednesday I finished the cupcake cushion and it is exceedingly comfy. I have it on my bed and it is so soft to lie on whilst I read.

For those interested, it is a design from 25 Cushions to Knit by Debbie Bliss

Cupcake cushion front side

The front panel is a combination of moss stitch and stocking stitch. Easy to do, although I did find that with the yarn I used – Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino – it was easy to put the needle through the strands of yarn, rather than the whole stitch. Not a big problem, just something to watch out for. The actual pattern calls for sewing buttons and beads on, but I decided it would make it uncomfortable to lie on if they were there.

cupcake cushion back

This is the back, the pattern of which I modified quite a lot. Had I been using beads, I think it would have been ok as written, but when I started it just looked odd, so I added the vertical stripes instead and was very pleased that I even managed to knit this fair-isle style using both hands to hold the different colours. At least on the knit rows. Purling was impossible. I just couldn’t do it for some reason, so I sort of devised my own method of hooking the one of the colours around with my thumb, so that I didn’t have to completely drop the first colour. It works for me, so I guess that’s all that matters. Maybe I’ll try and video it sometime in case other people are having the same problem.

I went to John Lewis in Southampton yesterday and bought 8 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky and a Debbie Bliss book – Simply Living, which has a collection of nice patterns including cushions, slippers, jumpers, jackets, blankets and bags. Both yarn and book were half price, so it would have been rude not to buy them! Don’t know what I’ll use the yarn for yet.

Side 1 finally done

I finished the first side of the cushion cover last night… finally!  It took ages.  It’s turned out OK and I think it will look pretty good once blocked.

cupcake cushion side 1

I think I need a break from the cushion now. I haven’t worked on my brother’s cardi for ages, so I think I ought to get back to that this weekend.

Here’s another square I did this week:

Square 43

I have been knitting

Really, I have. In fact everyday last week I spent at least a couple of hours knitting. But the cushion cover seems to be taking forever to grow. I’m half way through the front piece now and it’s been relatively plain sailing. I did make a couple of small mistakes where I purled and should have knitted, but I was so chuffed that I was able to fix these odd stitches without having to undo entire rows. Mum showed me how to take the stitch off and pick it up again the correct way around.

Was bored with the cushion last night, so whilst watching It Takes Two, Holby City and Spooks (a great evening of TV!) I did a couple more blanket squares with balls of yarn that came with the magazine a few weeks ago. The patterns they suggested in those two issues, were boring – yet another plain garter stitch square, and another reverse stocking stitch square with a star embroidered on.

Boring, boring, boring…

So I picked out two new patterns from the stitch library pages that come each week as part of the magazine. From what I can tell, these patterns aren’t going to be used in later issues as part of the blanket pattern, so I thought it would be nice to include them.

Zigzag Stitch

zigzag stitch

Offsetting purl stitches creates this zigzag effect.

Rose Stitch

Rose Stitch square

I chose this one because of the name really – Rose is my middle name and the name of my great, great grandmother, who was by all accounts a lovely lady.

Rope cable square

Rope cable square

Needs blocking – I know.  But you get the idea.  I like cables.