Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cushy Number

Louis sporting my latest cowl
 I have a habit of doing knit projects in clusters (or obsessions - potatoe/potato). This year has been the 'beanie' cluster, then the 'cowl' cluster & now we have the 'cushion' cluster. Now to be fair I have been meaning to replace all my manky cushions with stylish knitted ones for ages, but the recent purchase of a new sofa made the manky old cushions look even mankier - so I have pulled finger & have just completed my third cushion for the collection.

 I know I used the word stylish before - I fear that might me a touch optimistic. I am sure a true dedicated home interior stylinesta would have themes, colours & textures that you would follow to complete a prescribed look. Me, well I am more of a wing & a prayer kinda gal - so my cushions have been inspired by so far: Gorgeous yarn, recycling & necessity.
Simple, Stylish - I hope!
  The first of the 'Cushy Triptych' is a simple garter stitch cushion knitted on the bias. Starting with 2 stitches & then increasing into the first stitch of every row until you have the diameter required & then decreasing by knitting the last two stitches together on each row. The yarn that inspired is a buttery fine micron Merino that you usually don't find in hand knitting yarns, but this Briar Patch Merino is divine & worth hunting out (oh & the 'most experienced knitter' in the quote - 'tis Moi).  It begs to be cuddled, fondled & caressed - so perfect for a cushion.

If you look closely you can see some of the shaping from the original project!
The second foray into the cushion craze came out of a fit of recycling.  I frogged my only UFO project for some time - the Ombre Shrug.  I had completed the back, however the thick & thin nature of the yarn meant when I started frogging the completed front half it caught & snagged, driving me crazy.  So what to do with the completed back portion?  Simple - unravel back to live stitches - knit up some additional length & with some cleaver mattress stitching to disguise ( as best I could) the shaping - voila one re-purposed cushion!

The 'Necessity' Log Cabin - my latest creation

I opted for some vibrant striping on the back

Then there is the 'necessity' cushion.  What creates such urgency that necessitates the creation of this cushion?  Rugby, more importantly, All Black rugby watching.  Have you ever tried knitting during a test match?  The the test match itself - it's not easy, you have to select a project that is a) simple in design, so there is no risk of losing your place when crucial points in the game are being scored. b) a project that can sustain knitting after multiple glasses  of wine. c) a pattern that is easily memorized so no pattern referral is required otherwise distracting you from the game.
With all these factors in mind I dragged out the scraps bag & cast on a log cabin cushion.  The result has been fabulous - so much so I will be entering it into the local A&P Show this year.  So a cushion that has been incredibly successful in fill my necessity, as well as providing me a great level of joy.


I'm really enjoying the little wedges of happiness.
On the sticks at the moment I have finally cast on Spectra by Stephen West.  I have had some Rainbow Kauni burning a hole in my stash since KAN:3 & managed to get the perfect contrast yarn from Skeinz a few weeks later.  So far I am thrilled with the progress & I have even learned a new refinement to the short row technique I was using - so far a very satisfying knit!  If I get it finished in time it could also make the short list as a show entry, assuming of course I don't cast on another cushion!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tree Hugging

One of my favourites - simple, fun, whimsical
I am excited to get behind the Creative Napier Tree Cosy event again this year.  This is where knitters & crocheters 'yarn bomb' the palm trees down Napier's Emerson street.  Last year saw the bright wooly creations capture the hearts & minds of locals & visitors alike.

If you think you's like to whip up a fun tree cosy, it can be something as small (like the collar pictured above) or as large as you like.  The theme this year is HOT - contact me at Skeinz & get knitting!  Cosies go up on the 22nd of September. 
Our Tree Anenome from last year

Time for tea?