Monday, 17 September 2012

A Granny Squares Crochet Cushion (Mollie Makes Magazine)


I know, I know, I went on a knitting course on Saturday, and here I am showing you a crochet cushion, but I finished this last night and could not sit on my hands and wait to show you for a moment longer.

This beautifully simple cushion, which I first set eyes on in Mollie Makes magazine back in the Spring, was the first crochet pattern which really caught my eye, which gave me that excited, fluttery, ooh-I-really-want-to-make-that feeling. My learn to crochet course was looming when the magazine arrived on my doorstep, and it became my first crochet project.



I so enjoyed making this cushion. I finally understood what people meant when they talked about yarn being "nice" or "a dream" to work with. After weeks of practicing on cheap acrylic yarn, this Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino was soft, supple, and didn't split. Or squeak.



Piles of squares grew and grew over the summer months. John observed that if I spent as much time crocheting them as I did stacking, arranging and admiring them, then the whole project would have been done in half the time.

In a flash of inspiration, I joined my arranged squares with safety pins. I spent about an hour playing with the squares, aiming for an random effect which of course was not random at all. Pinning the squares together kept them in the right order and stopped me accidentally sewing one on back to front.


You can't tell from the photos, but my tension changed hugely during the making of this cushion. I made the 36 squares for one side during June and July then put them to one side to make a scarf. In August, I picked it up again and made the other 36 squares. Side 1 is about two inches bigger than side 2, but hey ho. It's a forgiving beginner's project.

I used some pretty pink buttons that came free with the magazine to fasten it together.


I'm really pleased with the results. The flashes of charcoal grey match the sofa in the living room and it gives a much needed burst of retro colour.

The facts and figures:
  1. The pattern is from Mollie Makes Magazine, issue number 13 (April).
  2. I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn and a 4mm hook. 3 balls of cream (101) and half a ball each of charcoal grey, rose pink, green, mustard yellow, purple, red and a pale grey-blue. Apologies for not keeping the labels.
  3. The cushion pad measures 45cm x 45cm or 18" x 18"
  4. It's very soft.
  5. I like it.
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Many thanks for your brilliant suggestions on crafty projects to make for and with little boys. You suggestions of sock animals/puppets, junk modelling cars/robots/trucks, homemade slime and monster softies were brilliant. Some fab short and long term projects there. I will hopefully report back with some results soon.

Also, the knitting course I attended on Saturday, at Baa Ram Ewe wool shop in Leeds, was all that it promised to be. We were shown how to cast on (I know three different ways, now! Three!), knit, purl, increase and decrease, add colour and cast off. We learnt about yarn weights and the importance of making swatches to gauge tension. We were given two balls of gorgeous chunky British wool yarn, size 10mm needles and the pattern for a simple hat. I am determined to complete the project, not because I particularly need another hat, but to learn how to follow a pattern. 

59 comments:

moleymakes said...

Well done. Your cushion looks lovely. Fantastic choice of colours :)

Monica said...

a sweet sweet cushion. great job. i would pile and admire the squares too, it's part of the fun! lol

how did you sew them together? this putting squares together still throws me (no pun). i remember looking into a couple of techniques of crocheting them together and it gave me a lumpy seam. so did you crochet or literally sew them together with thread?

love the button finish!

Morten and Me said...

The cushion looks lovely and very professional! Well done, I admire your projects! :)

Colette said...

That's gorgeous. I love the look of granny square cushions, I get bored after I've made a few though. Well done for getting it finished!
You seem to be on a very creative roll lately, so what's next??

Jen Walshaw said...

I love this cushion. I need to learn how to crochet. I have been to a class, but just didn't get it!

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

This is beautiful! Well done! Ada :)

Cheryl said...

So pretty, I love the colours. Ha ha... love the time you've spent rearranging your squares, that's part of the fun :)x

June said...

I wish that I could crochet. Many attempts by my aunt to teach me as a youngster failed completely. Your cushion is lovely and I like the buttons too!
June

Karen said...

Amazing work - looks lovely

...Tabiboo... said...

I wish I could crochet so well - it looks so lovely.

Nina x

thelinencloud said...

Your cushion is beautiful Gillian ... the colours and wool look lovely ... and the buttons are the perfect finishing touch ... Bee x

Andrea @ little buckles said...

That's fantastic! Looks amazing! A granny square a day keeps the knitting needles away......:)

Julia said...

I love this cushion! The colors are wonderful and work so well together! Great job!

Gillian said...

Hi Ruby, thanks for stopping by. Thank you - I was like a child in a sweet shop when I chose the colours so it's more down to luck than judgement that it worked out well!

Gillian said...

I think "proper" crocheter would crochet them together but I knew this would take me months. I just sewed them together with a big darning needle and the same cream yarn I edged each square in, taking care to stitch is so that the two edge meet neatly and all the thread is hidden behind. I hope that makes sense! x

Gillian said...

Thank you! I really enjoyed making it - I am planning another for my sister for her birthday I enjoyed is so much!

Gillian said...

Ooh, I have a mini kitchen for a mini mouse, another family of loo roll people and, if I ever get started on it, a knitted beanie hat! We'll all be eating toast for the next month though...I hope no-one in this household expects me to cook AND craft!

Gillian said...

I didn't really get how to do it until about half an hour before the class ended. I still really struggle with crocheting into a stitch which is how you make anything stripey, say. I need hours more practice!

Gillian said...

Thank Ada. x

Gillian said...

I know! I just didn't want to sew it together then discover that all the red ones were in one corner or something! And I quite enjoyed it too... x

Gillian said...

Thank you - I do love those buttons and I'm glad I found a good use for them. In all my many button tins they were the only five matching ones I had - how fortuitous!

Gillian said...

Thank you - my interest in crochet was inspired by your blog among others - especially your gorgeous "missoni" blanket! x

Gillian said...

Thank you. I have a few more granny square projects in me before get bored I think - I am just loving them! x

Gillian said...

Thanks Bee. It cost a bomb in yarn though! The kids aren't allowed any where near it with juice.

Gillian said...

Oh don't say that - I have two needles and a scary pattern here calling my name...

Gillian said...

Thank Julia, I'm pleased with how the colours came out and I love the retro look of granny square cushions. x

Ellie Foster said...

Dear Gillian
Many congratulations on your cushion which is lovely. It is so gratifying to be able to look at something and say "I made that",(even if it did cost a lot more in time and materials than a bought one would have)isn't it? Sometimes, cost just doesn't come into it. Crochet is something I keep meaning to try, so I really must have a go. I have the hooks, I have some starter thread/wool and a beginners' book, so there really is no excuse! Your cushion will act as inspiration...
Best wishes
Ellie

Jo said...

I love it, the colours work so well together. There'll be no stopping you now. I found that my tension changed throughout my first project too. Glad you enjoyed your knitting course, I'll be waiting to see your finished hat now.

Linda Stefansdottir said...

Oh my word. That is beautiful. I love it. One day I will be able to afford nice yarn. cheap acrylic is definitely squeaky! hehe. The long-term project I have is a throw, very similar to that, lots of little granny squares. It will have a similar kind of look. Perhaps I'll make some more squares soon!

Well done on that project, and good luck with the knitting! :)

emma said...

That is so beautiful! You have encouraged me to pick up a crochet hook and give it a go... Not sure I'm allowed to go in a yarn store unattended these days though... x

Charmaine said...

that's brilliant! I've tried crocheting a few times and couldn't get the hang of it. I must try again! x

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

That cushion is stunning, and I'm in awe, because I still can't crochet!

And you're knitting with confidence ... go you! Following a pattern really isn't half as scary as it looks. Have fun :D

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

Gillian your cushion is just beautiful! I love the cream acting as background and fool for the other colours. It works so well. Not surprised you spent happy time stacking and admiring before assembling - half the fun after all! E x

Gillian said...

Thank you Ellie. Yes, you do have a point, it would've been cheaper to buy a cushion, but I so enjoy the process of crochet. I sometimes think the making is more rewarding than the finished result. x

Gillian said...

I am hoping that my tension is now "sorted" and wont change back again! I haven't even cast on my hat yet...bad me.

Gillian said...

It's true, the yarn for that cushion was £5 a ball, but the yarn and crochet course were my birthday present from hubby. The cost of yarn is always a consideration for me though - I order a lot from here: http://www.yvestown.com/shop/, it can work out really good value.

Gillian said...

Yes, John does mutter darkly when I go to yarn shops about the cost of such things...I am not allowed to buy any more yarn till I've used some of the stash. x

Gillian said...

Thank you! I was hopeless to begin with. I honestly think if I can do it anyone can. x

Gillian said...

I wouldn't say knitting with confidence, exactly...more slightly reduced terror. I still live in fear of the dreaded dropped stitch!

Gillian said...

Thank you. I am really pleased with how the colours came out. Your blog was a huge inspiration, and knowing that you had not been crocheting for all that long really encouraged me to learn. x

Col | Hello Olive said...

You are such a talented lady! I love your cushion! x

Lyn said...

it looks great!
and I hate squeaky wool too!
xxx

Donna said...

Gillian, your cushion is absolutely gorgeous. I love the colours you've used and the buttons - they finish it off just perfect. I'm pleased you enjoyed the knitting course xx

Anna said...

The cushion is beautiful and the colours go really well together. Mum has also just finished hers and it looks lovely too. Now she's onto her matching throw. xxx

Jenny said...

WOW! I am seriously impressed. It's gorgeous!
I wish we had a wool shop named Baa Ram Ewe. I'd shop there all the time just because of the name. We love "Babe."

trishie said...

The cushion looks simply wonderful, you did an amazing job. I'm suitably impressed!

Trudy said...

Hi Gillian, your cushion is beautiful and wow! first crochet project - you've done a fabulous job. Do tell John that stacking, arranging and admiring is all part of the art of crochet!!

Gillian said...

I'm not really, I promise - I just pick the simplest pattern in the magazine! x

Gillian said...

Boo to squeaky wool! Although I have been recommend some lovely non-squeaky acrylic wool which I may try as wool is pricey! x

Gillian said...

Thank so much Donna - it reminds me a bit of your gorgeous liquorice allsorts cushion (but not as well made). x

Gillian said...

Mum has well and truly caught the crocheting bug, hasn't she? It'll be you next... xx

Gillian said...

It's a great name, isn't it? It's not the cheapest place but I do like it there and all the staff are knitting mad and know their yarn, which sometimes what you need! x

Gillian said...

Thanks Trishie.

Gillian said...

Ha - I will tell him. Although I think he may have already guessed. That, and spending too much money in yarn shops...

Greer said...

Goodness, I've missed so much! You went to a knitting course!!! And that cushion is exceptional. I found a stack of white Debbie Bliss cotton DK at the op shop a while ago and have great plans to make a cushion like yours. Just need to learn to crochet...

pippa moore said...

love the cushion and that was a really good idea to join them by safety pins to get an idea how they would look sewn up. i usually buy mollie makes and love looking in the artists homes as well as all the projects and giveaways love your blogg hope to come back soonxx

Gillian said...

Why thank you. :-) When I am a grown up I want to knit like you! I wish I found Debbie Bliss yarn at our charity shops, no such luck. x

Gillian said...

Hi Pippa, thanks for stopping by. I love Mollie Makes - attemping a monthly make is good fun, although I do tend to pick the easy stuff. x

stitch craft sew said...

I love your cushion, very clever lady, I am currently making a few for friends birthdays.. wish me luck