Good morning all, especially to those of you who are here for the first time because you’re following along with the 2017 Stylecraft Blog Tour. Welcome! Feel free to stay awhile, have a poke around, and make yourself at home. (You may even sit on The Chair.) And yes, this post will include both a brand new free pattern,
and the chance to win oodles of yarn, regardless of where in the world you call home. GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED.
So. Very, very, late last night, the Stylecraft Blog Tour Bus pulled away from the home of Lucy of Attic24, having visited to view her marvellous, Monet-inspired, cushion pattern. The bus travelled south through the night, pausing only to top up with chocolate supplies somewhere near Birmingham… and again near Banbury. And it was blisteringly early this morning that I opened the curtains here at the brewery, to see the tour bus rolling into our car park. Fortunately I was wearing my very best pyjamas at the time. Look!
Now we’re all here, let’s get down to serious business. This year’s blog tour is all about some exciting developments in the Batik range. (Not come across the loveliness of Batik before? Here’s a cowl that I designed when the range first came out.) Following the success of the range, they’re introducing Batik Elements, eight DK-weight, variegated colourways, each incorporating multiple shades from the original Batik shades. just like the original range, these new shades are 20% wool and 80% arylic:-
And to celebrate all this new fluffy wonderfulness, they’ve put together some ten-ball colour packs, each showing off four balls of one of the new shades, with six different shades from the existing range. Am I making sense at all? You’ll have seen some of the other colour packs if you’ve been following along with the blog tour so far. I chose the Rain Forest pack, which shows off the new Platinum shade. Loooooooook!
So what to do with all this colour? I doodled, I looked around at the natural world, and eventually (after several false starts) I came up with this:-
Here’s another view:-
It was fun to design, and fun to make:-
Actually, there’s sort-of, almost, nearly enough yarn in the pack to make TWO cushions, as long as you enjoy playing a really brutal, nail-biting, game of Yarn Chicken, which you may or may not win. (Worst case scenario: you’ll need a couple of extra metres of the Pistachio and Old Gold shades.)
So shall we begin with the giveaway? To win the ‘Rain Forest’ pack of the ten balls of yarn used for this pattern, enter below!
Click the link here or use the icon below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Posted 12 hours ago
The competition is open from 1000hrs UK time today, 24.10.17, until 1000hrs UK time tomorrow, 25.10.17. After that time, a winner will be selected at random. The contest is open worldwide, so GO FOR IT! Good luck!
But let’s get on with the free cushion pattern. 🙂 October is worked in stranded knitting, in the round. The long leaf stems at the very top and bottom of the cushion are worked as crocheted slip stitches into purl-stitched troughs. (If you’re wary of crochet, you can always embroider chain stitches using a darning needle.) Don’t worry, it’ll all make sense from the chart.
You’ll need the following:-
- Yarn: One ‘Rain Forest’ pack, or the following Stylecraft Batik yarns purchased separately: two balls of Batik Elements in Platinum (or three, if you’re making two cushions), plus one ball of each of the following Batik shades: Violet, Plum, Raspberry, Teal, Old Gold, and Pistachio. If you’re making two cushions, you may – or may not – run slightly short of Pistachio and Old Gold. Just sayin’…
- 4mm circular needles, approximately 60cm (24″). One stitch marker. Darning needle. 4mm crochet hook.
- A 45Cm (17″) cushion pad – or two, if you’re feeling bold.
So let’s knit. In Platinum, cast on 180 stitches. Place marker and join in the round, being careful not to twist. You will now work rounds of stitches, each comprising nine repeats of a row in the chart below. Begin at the bottom of the chart and work upwards, always proceeding from the right to the left of each chart row. The first 21 rounds are worked in one colour at a time, with a trough of purl stitches that will later be filled by crocheted or embroidered leaf stems. Rounds 22 to 87 are worked as stranded knitting, using two colours per round. Round 88 onwards is worked in one colour only, and from round 89 onwards, a trough of purl stitches is once again introduced.
Having completed the chart from bottom to top, cast off.
You now need to crochet or embroider chains of stitches to make stems of the leaves at the top and bottom of the cushion, using Pistachio for the stems at the bottom and Old Gold for the stems at the top. Using a 4mm crochet hook, work one slip stitch per row, always travelling up the rows in the same direction in which you knitted. The chain of stitches you’ll create will resemble knitting, just like their surrounding stitches.
In case you’ve never done this before, keep your yarn on the wrong side of the fabric. Insert your crochet hook from the right side and pull up a loop of yarn.
Then insert your hook again in the next purl stitch up. Pull up a second loop of yarn, and pull this loop through the first loop.
Insert your hook in the next purl stitch up, and pull up another loop of yarn, which you’ll pull through the previous loop, and so on until you have a column of stitches.
Lay the finished work flat (and inside-out) so that the stems line up at the top and bottom of the cushion. Sew the top edge closed. Turn the right side out, insert the cushion pad, and sew the bottom edge closed. Ta-daaaa!
And tomorrow? The tour bus will trundle w-a-a-a-a-a-y up north, to the home of Julia at Hand Knitted Things. Given her record of producing utterly gorgeous knitted designs, I seriously recommend that you take a look tomorrow. (And there’ll be another chance to win a bundle of yarny loveliness. Good luck!)