unemployment pillow

unemployment pillowI originally used this project to take up time when I first moved to Melbourne and was looking for work. When I look back it was amazing to have the time to do such a feat so that I had something beautiful and custom for my first apartment.This pillow is inspired by the wonderful Ruth Cross – how she manages to make all those cushions to fulfill those orders astounds me as it took me a whole month just to make the first side!

Finding out how to make this pattern was a bit of a mission, I adapted it from another blogger from crafter, and although this was a good starting point I still had no idea how to make it into a pillow. The pattern itself was good too, except some instructions were missing and as a beginner knitter I need it spelt out for me!

So, I used 7 1/2 mm needles, with Yera Moda yarn from Spotlight ($5 a ball). It’s a 50g ball of 70% viscose derived from bamboo and 30% cotton. I just used two yarns at once to get the thickness required for the needles. The reason I had to do this was there is no bamboo/cotton blends in the thickness I wanted, I like this blend because it doesn’t irritate my skin when I knit! Plus bamboo has such a lovely sheen. Please note Yara also comes in a baby blend which is straight bamboo/cotton (not viscose). This comes in the exact same colours and weight, however because of the different fibre construction it isn’t as “fluffy” for lack of better word…. so it does look thinner. I prefer the baby one really… I was just confused at the shop :/

Also I don’t know how many balls I used…. the short answer, a lot – more than 10.

I recommend doing a 30 stitch sample swatch first if this is your first time as it is easy make mistakes, oh you will make so many! Have fun! If you use a different type of wool you might get a different measurement to mine too, so swatch, measure and adjust.

So as I said, it is a 30 stitch repeat, and to make a 50cm x 50cm pillow I used 120 stitches for the fronts main, plus 4 stitches either side in reverse for the seam line. I used 4 stitches to make the seam very clear to me, you could probably use less but it actually makes the corners nice and round when you sew them together.

Side one: Front of pillow
Cast on 128 stitches
Top Seam: Make a seam out of 4 rows finishing with a purl row – so knit, purl, knit purl
Repeat Pattern
R1 knit 4 stitches (seam) then purl the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you knit (seam)
R2 purl 4 stitches (seam) then knit the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you purl (seam)
R3 knit 4 stitches (seam) then purl the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you knit (seam)
R2 purl 4 stitches (seam) then knit the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you purl (seam)
R5 knit 4 stitches (seam) then purl the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you knit (seam)
R6 purl 4 stitches (seam) slip 5 stitches onto cable needle place in front of work. K5 then k5 off cable needle. Repeat for the rest of the row except purl the last 4 stitches (seam)
R7 knit 4 stitches (seam) then purl the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you knit (seam)

R2 purl 4 stitches (seam) then knit the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you purl (seam)
R9 knit 4 stitches (seam) then purl the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you knit (seam)
R2 purl 4 stitches (seam) then knit the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you purl (seam)
R11 knit 4 stitches (seam) then purl the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you knit (seam)
R12 purl 4 stitches (seam) then k5. Slip 5 onto cable placing behind work. K5, then knit 5 off cable. Slip 5 onto cable. K5. K5 off needle, repeat the the end of the row finishing with k5. Purl the last 4 stitches (seam)

Repeat from R1 until desired length aka 50cm – mine was 7 1/2 – finishing on a knit row.
End Seam: Make a seam out of 4 rows finishing with a purl row – so knit, purl, knit purl

Cast off.

Side 2: back of pillow
Cast on 68 stitches
Top Seam: Make a seam out of 4 rows finishing with a purl row – so knit, purl, knit purl
Repeat Pattern
R1 knit 4 stitches (seam) then purl the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you knit (seam)
R2 purl 4 stitches (seam) then knit the rest of the seam except for the last 4 stitches which you purl (seam)
Repeat until 50cm long to match side one – finishing on a knit row
End Seam: Make a seam out of 4 rows finishing with a purl row – so knit, purl, knit purl
Cast off.

Using a big fat needle and left over yarn tack down the edges of the pleats created from the cabling.
Make sure you pin first and measure against the back, because if you do it too tight it will no longer fit the back. Double, triple check the everything matches! I sewed along the seam line that was created to make sure no ugly tacks went onto my pillow. Also I made sure the 3 edges of each pleat was in line before pinning/tacking.

There is a right way and a wrong way to fold down the pleats, you want the pleat to follow the line of the first twist.

Pin around the pillow making sure the seam corners match.

Being very careful and starting on a side seam about 10cms away from the first corner meeting a pleated side – hand sew along your seam line making sure you do no catch any loops – as a guide I used each stitch as a guide. You want to follow the seam line you created absolutely matching up all sides and corners. Sew around until you get to the side you started. Leave an opening of about 30cm. Make sure either side of the opening is thoroughly tacked down so it was unravel.

Insert your pillows stuffing – I used a 50x50cm premade pillow insert from Ikea (only $5!),  I although I wish I had the money to spend on something like duck mmmm

Being super careful again sew closed the opening making sure seam lines make up and are not stretched so it doesn’t fit properly – if possible pin first.

Voila, you have a super awesome amazing designer pillow all yours and made by yourself!

Trouble shooting:
Be careful of getting extra stitches! These occur mostly when switching between purl and knit creating what looks like a stitch but is really a loop.

Lost count of how many rows you have done? Well when you come up to the twist you can easily see how many rows you have knitted! The cable twist is the first row then there should be 5 between finishing on a purl before your next twist which is a knit row.

Lost count of your stitches? Each set of 5 stitches can easily be seen as the cable twist creates a line. Either that or each stitch creates a V which you can count as well.

6 Responses to "unemployment pillow"
  1. Hi – your cushion is really cute :)
    I just noticed however that I think you are twisting your purl stitches when you knit.
    You can see in the back piece that in every second row the “v” shapes cross at the bottom.
    I used to do this all the time when I was first starting to knit.
    Maybe just have a look at a tutorial and see if you’re doing anything wrong.

    Just trying to help :)
    Sally.

  2. Hi – your cushion is really cute :)
    I just noticed however that I think you are twisting your purl stitches when you knit.
    You can see in the back piece that in every second row the “v” shapes cross at the bottom.
    I used to do this all the time when I was first starting to knit.
    Maybe just have a look at a tutorial and see if you’re doing anything wrong.

    Just trying to help :)
    Sally.

// HOLLA BACK YO



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