At Last! I finished my cushion

I have really been procrastinating with regard to sewing up the two sides of my latest cushion.Celtic crochet knot work for cushion and Celtic knitted cables for cushionMainly because I am never confident when it comes to sewing and I thought that I ought to wait till I was feeling really strong and alert, however last Friday I had nothing to take to “Crafty Coffee” and so was reduced to taking the two sides of the cushion to sew together.

I am glad I did as it is now off my conscience and brightening up my chair!

Here you can see the Celtic crochet knot work side cushion on chairI notice that the cushion is so puffy that the strips are tending to pull apart and show the inner but I don’t think it matters.

And here is the Celtic knitted cables side. cushion on chairI think it looks very smart!

In order to close it in a way that made it easy to remove the cover if it ever became necessary, I crocheted an extra strip to the cable side and sewed on three odd buttons that I had in my button jar. cushion closureAnd lastly: on Saturday, as if by magic, the apple blossom appeared on the apple tree. 

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Hope this isn’t getting boring!

Last week I finished the cables. I decided to stop after five repeats. As it seemed to pull in so as to be narrower I cast off loosely but had to undo the cast off and redo it as it was then too wide at the top as maybe you can see. five repeats of main cable pattern

I thought that I would crochet round it if I needed more width or length but when I pinned it to the piece I intended for the other side other side

It seemed to fit reasonably well.sides pinned togetherI tried fitting the cushion inside. fitted over cushionAnd it was about right. I am thinking of buying a new cushion pad so I will wait until I know what will be inside before finishing off and sewing the two sides together.

I have also started the second sock. part sock

As I want to use every bit of the wool, I didn’t even think of trying to make the socks match but just started at the end of the yarn.

And I made a brioche.

I am rather fond on brioche though I don’t buy it very often and have long wanted to make some but the recipe in my bread book uses 13oz of flour and five! eggs and this always seemed a bit extravagant. However I now have a food processor and in that it has a recipe that uses 250g (about 8oz) of flour and two eggs. You also have the advantage that the processor does all the mixing/kneading. So this last Friday I mixed up the dough and made this. I think next time I may cook it a little less but it is very tasty!

It doesn’t shine because I left off the egg glaze. I had meant to save a bit of egg for this purpose but forgot and getting a whole egg just for a bit of glaze always seems wasteful unless you have plans for omelettes later.

A sock and a sixth of a cushion cover!

Over the last week I have completed another repeat of the cables. I anticipate having to do four more repeats approximately so I have completed a third of one side – hence a sixth of a whole cushion cover ! since it has two sides. knitted cablesI think you can see the pattern developing now.

I have also finished one of my rainbow socks. rainbow sockMy original idea had been to make it a little longer but I liked the way the colours went and also it occurred to me that using the wool left over from my previous socks in this type of yarn older socksI could maybe make a hybrid sock to use up the rest of the yarn, with the pale rainbow yarn for the toes and heels and ribbing. So I weighed the older yarn and made a toe. toeMy hybrid sock may be a little short as I will have about a repeat of the rainbow colours of the newer wool. But if it is too short I could maybe add in some other left over sock wool since at least the foot part will be in this deliciously soft mini-mochi!

Starting the cables!

Following on from last week’s post I decided to start working on the cabled cushion cover.

First I made a sample swatch. SampleFor the first part I cast on 20 stitches to check the tension. As usual, I discovered that I knit to the right tension using the needle size recommended.

I then worked a few rows of the simple braid, to check I could do it.

Then I cast on an extra four stitches at each end to give 28 stitches so I could practice the more complicated part of the pattern which is charted over 24 stitches. (Two stocking stitches added at each end).

I was fine until about row 6/7 when I found I made mistakes and dropped a couple of stitches. (Not helped by using a too short (for me) cable needle so the stitches kept slipping off!)

Eventually I got this bit correct (or almost) after undoing a couple of rows twice!

This exercise was actually very useful as by the end I was beginning to understand the charts and to realise that the surface was either stocking stitch or reverse stocking stitch so if the stitches I needed for the next cable bit looked wrong it probably meant I wasn’t where I thought I was!

corrected one repeat
Replacement photograph!

Thus I found that I have managed to knit the first sixteen rows of the main chart, which is the repeat, and it looks okay and wasn’t as hard as I thought! I might even be able to do it in company! (I found my longer cable needles, though I seem to have mislaid the thicker one half way through!)

One repeat of cable patternHaving written the above and knitted another couple of rows I realised that I had made a mistake on the left-hand simple braid and so I had to undo a few rows. the mistake had been on row 14 of a 16 repeat so more undoing than I would have liked! You can see the mistake if you click on the thumbnail on the left!!

I  think I need about five more of the above for the full cover.

Interestingly, I am finding that my reduced energy levels and emphasis on looking after myself means that instead of the normal sense of pressure to knit or crochet all evening so as to complete the latest project and get onto the next one and thus have something for the blog, I am sometimes actually watching TV with no knitting and just pick it up when I feel in the mood. In fact I am probably watching more TV without knitting than with. I think I like this more relaxed approach.

Just a bit of a catch up

Started into the chemo last week. I found the most tiring aspect was not, as yet, a side effect but having to make sure that I did not encounter cold: objects, food, drink or air. At least this only applies for the first few days so should wear off soon! However having to boil a kettle every time you want a drink, even just to take a few pills (and there have been lots of pills!) is a bit if a pain and gets wearing.

All this has made me think more of just resting in between, not even done much sock knitting (except when hospital appointment was delayed by an hour and a half!)

Also my daughter came to stay for a couple nights and we had a lovely day on Saturday, visiting the Sea City Museum in the morning, then going to a Greek restaurant for a late lunch followed by home by teatime for a restful evening.

I did think however that I could share with you the next knitting project on my list that I am a little afraid to start in case a make a mess of it.

If you remember this recent crochet that I was going to use as a cushion cover. cushion coverWell the big question was what to do for the other side.

In the end I thought of this cardigan cardiganThat was meant to wear over summer t-shirts but makes my arms itch. Now I have quite a lot of  wool over which is obviously not very suitable for clothing and decided that maybe I could use the wool for the reverse of the cushion and knit a Celtic style cable square. This would give me an opportunity to learn more about cable knitting as so far my only attempt was the collar of this jumper. 

I found a pattern for a celtic style pattern I liked but the chart looks a bit daunting! chartThere is also all the swatching and counting to get the piece the right size. But maybe I might start it soon, with socks for when I go out and this at home.

My Celtic Cushion is finished!

I recently finished the other half of my Celtic cushion cover and joined the two halves together.

I chose to sew the sides together as I thought that would be the easiest in spite of the fact that I don’t like and am not very good at sewing (probably some cause and effect here!).

stitchingI actually sewed from the right side because the stitches would tend to show anyway and I thought this way I would get the neatest result.

As a closure, so I can remove the cushion pad easily should it become necessary, I decided on buttons. buttonsI had thought about clear, virtually invisible, buttons but then I saw these and thought they were very pretty in an understated way.  buttons on cushion

I increased the length of the original side with a few rows of dcs for something to sew the buttons onto then used the natural gaps in the crochet for button holes.

buttons on cushionI think this gives an unobtrusive finish to what I regard as the ‘back’ of the cushion. Though with all my cushions I turn them from time to time to see both sides.

Here you can see the nominal front of the cushion (the side I showed you before). cushion frontAnd the new side that is a variation. other sideI have been having the cushion alongside me on the settee since I made it, so I removed all the mess, to show it off to you. cushion on setteeThe snuggle blanket is there, all ready, for when I need it.

I am very happy with my new cushion and the interleaving layers make it very tactile.

I regard all my cushions as little works of art and here you can see them all in a row. fronts of three cushionsThese are nominally the fronts.

And here are the other sides. other side of three cushionsI think they make a lovely set of cushions to brighten up my sitting room.

So what might this be?

stripsI have at last managed to finish these. Other things that might have been finished by now have been left but these were easy to do.

Within a few hours of taking the first photograph they had morphed into this strips woven togetherwhich is half a cushion cover.

Wanting to make a Celtic Plaitwork type cushion cover in rainbow colours and preferring an even number of different colours for this sort of design I chose the following Stylecraft Special DK colours. colour choiceDeciding to increase the number of colours from the standard seven ‘rainbow’ colours by adding a purple as a bridge between ‘violet’ and ‘red’.

Of course I had to spend time on my computer playing around with the colours to decide what exactly I wanted to do with them. This was the ‘original’, if you like, designplan for first sidebut I decided that it would be fun to create a cushion cover with this arrangement on one side and plan for second sidethis variant on the other.

I have now squared off the first side One side completewhich I was pleased to find came out about the size I had calculated and will now fit in making the strips for the other side in between my other projects which include edging my symmetrical granny ripple blanket, finishing off the socks for my granddaughter and making the hat I promised my daughter.

One thing this has shown me is that despite my doubts that such an arrangement could be used for a blanket. The woven strips do actually hold together pretty well, even before being edged, and so a blanket could be possible subject to various issues regarding colour(s) and length and thickness of strips.

Recent makes and WIPs

I have been working on quite a few odds and ends before and after my holiday, apart from the coasters I showed you recently.

I thought that it seemed a shame to waste the place mat I had made just to show it could be done,Placemat and coasterand I remembered that I had a cushion that could do with a new cover. Old cushion coverSo I worked out a way to make a surround and thought I could turn the placemat into a cushion cover. Half a cushion coverThe only question was what should I do for the other side? I found a pattern for a Celtic style weave using front post and back post crochet stitches but didn’t really enjoy working it and thought it was a bit too holey, so I am not sure what to do for the reverse.

Until I do this will remain a WIP.

I have a local crafting friend who has been making some of my cross and angel bookmarks to give to children who are about to be baptised. She said that she had worked the angel one in #20 thread. Now I have always made the angels in #10 thread so I thought here was an interesting challenge. Could I see well enough to make the angel in #20 thread? The only thread I had enough of was my Anchor Artiste multicolour one. After the first row or two I found it easier than I expected! Crochet angelOf course this is larger than life size. (Unless it is on a small screen!)

I have also been making a couple of cross bookmarks, to maybe give away some time. Cross bookmarkThis one is finished, though neither the cross or angel has been stiffened and ironed yet.

I have also gone back to working on my sea-and-sand blanket that has been a bit neglected of late. I feel I am on the home straight now as I am working the last repeat of the colours.

 

Cushion cover revealed

First a bit about the side made out of thirty six one-colour squares.

I started by making some squares out of yarn I had left over from my blanket. Blanket on the setteeLipstick, Pomegranate,Shrimp, Saffron, Citron, Meadow, Sage, Aster, Violet, Plum.

As I mentioned in a previous post the idea was to use these round the outer part and have bi-colour ones in the centre but I couldn’t get that to work so I chose two more colours: Aspen and one colour I had not used in the blanket but had bought as an impulse purchase: one of Stylecraft’s new colours, a dark blue called Lobelia. I thought it was prettier than Royal.

This gave me three each of twelve colours, a total of thirty-six.

I had worked out that a 7×7 square would be too big and a 6×6 square a little too small for a side of the cushion, so I chose to make a 6×6 square with a border. Finished side
This time I decided to crochet the squares together using slip stitches on the wrong side. Slip stitchingThis was much quicker and easier than sewing. Not that I regret sewing the other side of the cushion cover as that would have been tricky to crochet because of the different sizes.

Some information about the other side. Cushion cover - first side that was madeThere I had used only seven ‘rainbow’ colours: leftovers from the blanket again – Lipstick, Pomegranate, Shrimp, Spice, Saffron, Citron, Meadow, Sage, Aster, Violet, Plum. Again I had added the Lobelia as an ‘indigo’ colour.

And here is the finished cushion. Final cushion first sideand the other side. Final cushion second sideIt was hard to decide how to close the cushion so I decided to crochet all the way round leaving the ends easy to get at so if I needed to wash the cover at some future time I could pull out the crochet round the last side and re crochet afterwards.

And here a couple of picture of my old and new cushions.Two cushions first sidesandTwo cushions second sidesThese are two cushions not four! I can just mix and match which side is showing.

Three choices – my choice

It was interesting to see that your preferences seemed to be evenly spread between the three possible choices.

Number two was actually the first arrangement I tried out. First arrangementBut I had wanted something where the colours flowed into each other and with the bright red diagonal in particular I felt that this was breaking up into triangles.

So I tried again. Chosen arrangementThis I felt gave that sense of flow I wanted and I think that was what Nanacathy saw.

Having realised that there were only three totally different arrangements if I kept the basic pattern and colour order, I laid out the last arrangement which was given as the first of the three. Third arrangementThis, to my mind, very much dived the shape into squares. A red-orange square, a yellow-green square, a greeny-blue square and a dark blue-purple square.

This made me certain that I would use the pattern shown as three in my arrangement. All three choicesThe squares, the triangles and my chosen one.

All attractive in their own way.

I have joined the squares and will show you them next week and maybe the finished cushion if I have got that far. It seemed too much to add to this post.