Thursday, 7 June 2012

A Very, Very Simple Knitted Cushion


I feel slightly shy about showing you this cushion as a finished knitting project. I see so much really beautiful knitting by talented and inspiring knitters on other blogs (typically redknitsofacto and Mags Creative Meanderings in particular) that I feel a little embarrassed by the starter level simplicity of this cushion. Also, my mother-in-law is an outstanding knitter, although sadly arthritis makes knitting difficult for her now.

First, some context...when I was pregnant with Bella, I bought this book and I made the garter stitch blanket while I was on maternity leave. 


While rummaging for my knitting stuff in the loft recently, I found a bag containing 29 pink knitted squares. I think I had intended to make a border for the blanket.


When I made the blanket we didn't know whether Bella was a boy or girl, so I tried to use a palette suitable for either sex, while avoiding the ubiquitous pastel baby shades. Now, Bella is  five and I have no need for a baby blanket, but I couldn't bring myself to throw out the squares. Such a waste of time, effort and yarn!


So I decided to make a cushion using 50 squares altogether, 25 on each side. I had some yarn leftover and bought a little more. I don't really know what type of yarn it is, sorry. But here is a label:


The squares are 14 stitches wide and 24 rows long, knitted on 5mm/US 8 needles. I found the repetition of these little squares so soothing, so relaxing, each one a little mini task. So easy to pick up and put down. Little concentration required. In fact, an excellent project to gently ease me back into knitting.

Knitting, where have you been for the last five years? Can we be friends again? I promise I will learn to read a pattern, increase and decrease, so that I can make things other than blankets, cushions and scarves.

This is the back of the cushion. I think my Mum knitted some of the squares as I found some were much smaller than mine - we must have very different tension. I actually like the higgledy piggledy patchwork effect!


I sewed only three side together as I needed the cushion cover to be removable (small people = spills), so I made little bows along the bottom with lengths of yarn.


A simple garter stitch patchwork, with the squares sew together at alternate angles, to avoid stretching.


And tassells were added, just for fun. I rather like it. It sits in the little IKEA tub chair in Bella's bedroom for the time being. What do you think? Can anyone recommend some easy knitting projects...? 


38 comments:

Andrea @ little buckles said...

Beautiful! The simpler the stitch the better I say. It looks great. I am no fan of knitting. If we lived closer I could give you my knitting books. Crochet is more my thing. Square and stripes look great though. x

Rachel said...

Fab - love the tassles. Have a little look about on ravelry for some simple patterns. I think my learn to knit book went to the Cahrity shop you you could have had it - I am happy to admit defeat as a knitter.

emma said...

Cute! Ravelry is a great source as is Knitty. I love knitting - it keeps me sane...

Col @ Hello Olive said...

It looks great - love the tassles! I've been wanting to make a blanket like yours for a while now... I'll just add it to my very long To Do list :-)

Caroline South said...

It's beautiful, I can't knit at all so it looks pretty complicated to me! I love the little bows at the opening and they are very pretty colours. xx

Jackie said...

I love the cushion and the baby blanket ~ both very simple in their design but also very lovely too :O)xx

Karen said...

I love your cushion! The tassels are fab - very cool colours x

Donna said...

I love your cushion. You shouldn't be embarrassed at all! As someone who is scared to attempt knitting, I'm in awe of anybody who can use the sticks :) I like the tassels as a finishing touch. Lovely!

kitty loves custard said...

I think your cushion is adorable! Less is more sometimes, and this is more! Very cute! :D

thriftwood said...

Lovely cushion and it has history! Love your blog too but all your pictures of cakes making me hungry and wanting to ditch diet, have a lovely weekend, Claire (new follower) xxxx

Gillian said...

Ah, thanks. I really need to get back into the crochet. I feel like I've forgotten half of what I learnt on that course. Going to my friend's house next week for wine and crochet night, that will be a good plan!

FourHappyBunnies said...

What a great cushion! When my children were babies/toddlers my mum knitted so many gorgeous things from Debbie Bliss books. Have you tried Debbie Bliss wool? X

Debs said...

it looks lovely (I didn't expect anything else from you!) and it even seems to be in-keeping with the Jubilee colour scheme.

Colette said...

It looks great, I love that it has a it's own story too. I will look forward to seeing your next project :)

Anna said...

The cushion and blanket are both so pretty. You say it's simple but I really wouldn't know where to start with making my own. The colours are lovely together, and Debs is right, you are subtly trying to continue your Jubilee celebrations aren't you?! xxx

Jenny said...

It's wonderful! I love the squares and the colors. I also love your tied edge idea for easy slip-off-and-wash convenience.

Bravo!

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

What a lovely cushion! Nothing wrong with simple. Sometimes "simple" is what makes the difference between projects that are finishable and those that languish permanently in outer darkness! I love the tasselled edges you've made.

mags said...

You definitely should be proud to display you cushion. How sqidgely comfy it looks. You have made it up beautifully and love the tassels. I've just ordered gypsy garden wool for a 90 minute cowl. Will be putting details on my blog. Xx

Gillian said...

I started making pompoms and promptly lost the will to live so tassles it was. Forget the knitting, it's your crochet skills I'm after! x

Gillian said...

Thanks - I have heard of Ravelry but never explored it. I will look at Knitty too. x

Gillian said...

It's quite a good long term project to do as you can just knit the squares between other projects, and sewing them together didn't take nearly as long as I'd feared. (Just don't leave it five years like me!) x

Gillian said...

Thank you. It seems to be a pre-requisite that bloggers either knit or crochet and it seems that everyone is AMAZING as it, so it's a relief to hear that's not always the case!

Gillian said...

Thank you Jackie - your jubilee socks inspired me!

Gillian said...

Thanks Karen. Trying to avoid the whole knitting/crochet thing become too rainbow-y!

Gillian said...

Well I am in awe of your crochet skills, especially the Granny Squares projects you've recently completed...beautiful.

Gillian said...

Thank you, I am liking all this "less is more" feedback, it's very reassuring!

Gillian said...

Hi Claire, how nice to meet you! Thank you for stopping by. Sorry about the cake posts... ;-) I do like to bake, it relaxes me! Gillian x

Gillian said...

I have some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino that I am saving for my granny square cushion (which I will start soon, I promise...) The colours are heavenly but it isn't cheap! It would make the softest blanket or baby clothes though...

Gillian said...

Ha ha, I didn't think of the Jubilee thing! It wasn't deliberate, I promise. I chose those colours years ago, honest!

Gillian said...

Thank you. I am on a crochet mission now but have joined a knitting circles so I keep up with my knitting (no idea what the next project will be though.)

Gillian said...

Thank you. I suppose everything seems hard until you learn how to do it then it's easy. I wish I could play the piano like you!

Gillian said...

Thanks Jenny. Our cushions get a lot of spilt juice, sticky fingers and runny noses thrown at them so everything has to be washable!

Gillian said...

Elizabeth, you are right! If it's too hard it seems impossible then gets abandoned. The tassles were plan b after it became clear that plan a (20 pompoms) was going to drive me completely mad.

Gillian said...

It is "squidgely comfy"! I found a nice duck feather cushion that fitted perfectly.

A 90 minute cowl - I am SO intrigued to learn more about that. Does that mean it can be knitted in 90 mins?? I will check your blog for details! x

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

It's fabulous! Like so many naturally talented people you underestimate your abilities I fear. Simple is good! As for simple knitting projects, try Boneyard by Stephen West. The pattern is free on Ravelry, and if you find the increases awkward there are alternatives you can use.

Thank you for the mention, you're too kind :D

Gillian said...

Thank you...*blushing*...I'm not naturally talented at all! I have heard so much good stuff about Ravelry, I need to investigate it.

(you're welcome - I truly do find your blog and knitting very inspiring.)

JoJo said...

Love the it all Gillian, Pics great to, Jo xx

Gillian said...

Thank you Jo! x