About A Chair

[whispers] It’s done.

Let me tell you a story.

crochet cottage garden ikea poang chair cover

Once upon a time (an embarrassingly long time ago), there was a young psychologist who lived alone in a flat in Oxford. She loved her home very much and was happy there, but she didn’t have much spare cash, so not being able to afford an antique overstuffed armchair on castors, she went instead to Ikea, where she bought a Poäng chair:-

The chair served her well over the years, and was sat in without obvious complaint by a long succession of friends, family, and a couple of boyfriends.

crochet ikea poang chair cover cottage

Eventually, she moved out of her lovely flat and got married. The chair came too. (Well, it didn’t come to the actual wedding: she didn’t love it that much.) Her husband grew fond of the chair, which was fortunate because for his bride, it was pretty much a case of ‘Love me, love my chair’. But the Stoic Spouse understood that, and all was well.

crochet ikea poang chair cover

The chair accompanied the not-quite-so-young-now couple through a succession of house moves, before coming to rest in their long-term home. And still, the faithful chair accommodated bottoms of all shapes and sizes, with almost no complaint apart from the occasional creak.

crochet embroidered yarn seagull ikea poang chair cover

By now, the definitely-left-their-youth-behind-some-time-ago couple had two small children, and the chair accepted its fate of being climbed on and used as part of a den.

crochet cottage garden ikea poang chair cover

Which brings us up to about a year ago. After so many years of loyal service, the chair was understandably looking the tiniest bit shabby around its edges. So like many things in the house – including the building itself – it fell victim to yarn-bombing. Frankly, anything in this house that’s not moving is vulnerable to being yarn-bombed. That’s why guests don’t tend to stay very long.

crochet cottage garden ikea poang chair cover cat pond

The let’s-face-it-middle-aged-now psychologist had once designed a crochet bag shaped like a cottage, and in a moment when reason abandoned her, she decided that it would be a good idea to make a larger-scale version to cover the chair. There was probably wine involved in this ridiculous impulse.

crochet cottage garden ikea poang chair cover

So she set about crocheting the cottage, and also a garden which would form the seat of the chair. (There were a few knitted bits too, such as the pond and the picnic blanket.) And when her hooks and knitting needles weren’t up to the job, she picked up her darning needle and embroidered flowers, and leaves, and little rows of vegetables, and a pigeon, and a door-knocker, and…

This work took some time. I have no idea how many hundreds (thousands?) of hours have gone into this chair cover. Then one day (yesterday, as it so happens), she was busy attaching a small embroidered seagull to the roof of the cottage. She fixed its feet in place, wove in the ends, and then she realized…

…It was done.

crochet cottage garden ikea poang chair cover

Not just the seagull (which had been fiddly enough – do you know how hard it is to capture the essence of seagull in yarn?) but the whole thing. Done. Finished. Complete.

crochet cottage garden ikea poang chair cover

She stood back to look at her work, and she thought, ‘That, my friends, is completely and utterly bonkers. I shall not be making another.’

crochet poang ikea chair cover

Just a chair… that I spent a year crocheting all over.

So shall we take a tour? The roof is crocodile stitch (see my tutorial), and walls are a brick stitch that I improvised, loosely based on equivalent stitches used by others. That rambling rose took flippin’ ages to embroider:-

crochet cottage garden ikea poang chair cover roses flowers

The garden was fun, and provided plenty of blog-fodder along the way.

crochet cottage garden ikea poang chair cover

The lavender came out quite well:-

crochet garden lavender embroidery

There was cake:-

crochet cottage garden ikea poang chair cover cake

And flower-beds and veg-beds that took an age to make.

crochet cottage garden ikea poang chair cover flowers

The rambling rose needed a sturdy trunk:-

And whoever was to sit on the picnic blanket needed a good book:-

And just to make it realistic, there’s a pigeon in the vegetable patch:-


The pigeon is rather small, and was a tad fiddly to make:-

crochet pigeon

Want to see the back? It’s very plain:-

So, whilst I’m not about to rush off and make another one, I’ll grudgingly concede that this yarn journey has been rather a lot of fun.

crochet ikea poang chair coverMany of you have shown huge encouragement along the way. THANK YOU for your loyalty and kindness, you crazy enablers! I hope that the result has put a tiny smile on your face.

Meanwhile, I don’t know how much each tiny weeny little yarny stitch weighs, but the fact that the cover alone (minus cushion) weighs 2.5 kg (5lb, 6oz) should give you an idea of just how many stitches went into this beast. Quite possibly over a million.

All sorts of yarn was pulled into service, especially anything green. There’s hand-dyed merino and there’s mass-produced acrylic. But I do want to thank my friends at Stylecraft, because there’s a lot of Stylecraft Special in this thing, especially DK-weight amongst the flowers and pond, and their chunkier weights for the back of the cover.

crochet garden knitted

Anyway, to conclude this family saga, the psychologist showed the Stoic Spouse the finished chair, and encouraged him to sit in it. But although he admired it and said nice things, he refused to sit, claiming that the chair cover might get damaged if people used it. The psychologist pointed out that she’d made it practically bomb-proof, and it was designed to be used. Still, the Stoic Spouse refused. The psychologist, being a reasonable sort, offered him a choice between sitting in the chair, and divorce. The Stoic Spouse chose divorce.

But what he doesn’t yet know, is that in the divorce settlement, I shall make sure that the only piece of seating he ends up with is this chair, so he will have to sit in it!

The end. (We’re not really getting a divorce, by the way.)


Filed under Crochet

213 Responses to About A Chair

  1. Hope

    I am speechless, words ate not enough to describe the wonderfully, minutely detailed yarn creation you have wrought for a chair. Congratulations on your creativeness, persistence and vision. Wonderful, beautiful!

  2. Allison

    The only reason, well 2 reasons I wouldn’t sit in the chair is because

    1 – the beauty would be hidden
    2 – all the flowers and stuff would be squashed, then I would feel the need to. fix it all and have them all back in place stand them all up, get and the book pages up and turning etc.

    Exquisite! My yarn bombing group is going to love this!!

  3. This is so beautiful in (I can say this because you said it first!) a bonkers sort of way. Thank you for visiting The Glasgow Gallivanter – I’m glad you liked the Somme Inspired Community Knitting.

  4. Abso-bloomin-lutely amazing!!! I love it and am in awe of your yarny skills.
    Brilliant, just brilliant.

  5. Kris Rasmussen

    AMAZING! The run rampant roses are my favorite part. And Gemma. 🙂 You are gifted in a twisted sort of way ~ a team of horses could not make me sit on your work!

  6. Awesome, I love the story and the chair is amazing

  7. Ulrike Ackermann

    a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e !

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  9. Jane Gourley

    I have just found your blog and OMG! your chair is stunning!!! The fact that your hubby won’t sit in it is because he values it as art. It’s just so clever.

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  11. Absolutely fantastically beautiful in all it’s finish glory! I am so in love with your teeny tiny seagull but it is all stunning.

  12. Wow, and wow again! Almost makes me want to take up crochet again but sanity will prevail and I’ll just leave it to incredibly talented people like yourself.

  13. Kate

    I would never sit in it either. I’d want to always admire it from a good vantage point. It’s stunning.

  14. Barbara

    Your chair is so amazing,serious amount of work and the detail is brilliant, well done, I love it.

  15. Moved to the point of a lump in my throat… By the beauty, the creativity, the… Something special that’s hard to define. Haven’t seen so much playful optimism in a long time.

  16. Oh my goodness – that is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen! And I LOVE the story that goes along with it 🙂 I’m with hubby I’m afraid, there’s no way I could ever sit in it, for fear of squashing all of those hours of hard work! The amount of detail is scarily exquisite and it should be treasured forever 🙂
    Thank you for brightening up a very glum February day x

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  18. Sue

    I would probably be the kind to sit on a work of art but even with the extra padding I pack on my sitter I suspect it would be a teeny bit uncomfortable which is just as well because I have chair envy and want one

  19. Lynn Butler

    I think this is just amazing! I would sit in it just once because I can see that you designed it to be comfortable, but I would prefer to just gaze upon it. So many moments to see. Wow! Just WOW!

  20. That is a truly amazing chair cover. I wouldn’t want to sit in it either (that cat might have sharp claws!) xx

  21. I haven’t been on wordpress for a while and was looking through my reader to find the post to tell us about the finishing of this epic project (Last time I read you were close to finishing it). And there it was. I had no idea that it would become a chair cover ( I have got the same chair but could never embark on anyhting like this myself) and your new cover is absolutely briliiant. I wouldn’t sit on it either for fear of flattening all the precious vegetation or of pushing Gemma into the pond by accident. I love your “bonkersness” and the glorious creations that come from it, both in words and yarn.

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