Friday, 22 November 2013

Vintage-style round striped cushions

My daughter recently moved home, and wanted cushions to go with her new 50s/60s style sofa. As usual I ended up designing my own pattern - there are images on the Internet for similar cushions, but I couldn't find a free pattern.
This is a great stashbusting project - use bright colours with black or white for a 60s look, and more subtle shades for a 50s feel. The pattern is for a cushion 18” in diameter, but you can easily adjust the size – see note at end.


100g DK in colour 1 – used for the back and the narrow stripes separating the colour segments
40g DK in each of 2 more colours. If you want to use 3 colours, allow 30g of each. 6 colours will need about 15 g and so on. You could even make each segment a different colour, to use up all those tiny balls of yarn! I used yarn from my 100% acrylic stash, which is mainly Hayfield Bonus DK and Woolcraft New Fashion DK.
Pair UK 9/3.75 mm straight needles.
3.5 mm crochet hook.
10” or 12” zip to match back colour.
18” round cushion pad.


Finished diameter approximately 17” (to fit an 18” diameter cushion pad).


22 sts and 44 rows to 4”/10 cm over garter stitch.


K knit C1 colour 1
st(s) stitch(es) C2 colour 2
g st garter stitch (every row K) C3 colour 3
dc double crochet sl st slip stitch (crochet)


Using C1, cast on 48 sts.
*Break off C1 and join in C2. K to last 3 sts, turn and K to end.
Next 2 rows: K to 3 sts less than previous rows, turn and K to end.
Repeat last 2 rows, reducing the number of sts worked each time by 3, until the rows K3, turn, K3 have been worked. Break off C2.
Join in C1 and K 2 rows across all sts.
Repeat from * using C3. Continue as picture until 18 segments in all have been worked, ending with K3, turn,K3 (ie do not knit the 2 full rows in C1).
Join in C1, K 1 row and cast off loosely (use a needle 1 or 2 sizes larger).


Make exactly as for front, using C1 throughout. You can make the back to match the front, but you will need to knit the coloured segments in reverse order to make the edges match up – this matters more when 3 or more colours are used.


Note: For US readers, dc (double crochet) in the UK is the same as single crochet in the US

For each piece, with right sides together, oversew seam fairly loosely. At centre, weave yarn through the row ends, draw up tightly and stitch to secure. Press seams lightly according to ball band instructions.
On the back piece, with RS facing you and starting at the seam, work 1 dc into each “knot” at the row ends, thus working 1 dc for every 2 rows of g st. Work until row of dc is about ¾” shorter than the zip you are using.
Place front and back pieces wrong sides together, lining up the seams. With RS of front facing you, work a row of dc into the front piece to correspond with the dc on the back.
Pin the two pieces wrong sides together, lining up the full rows at the end of each segment, and continue to work dc as before, working through both layers. When the round is complete, work 1 sl st into the start of the crochet round and fasten off.
Insert zip, stretching work slightly to fit. Insert cushion pad.


The rust and grey cushion measures 24” across and required 63 sts to be cast on. To make cushions in different sizes or using other yarn thicknesses, simply multiply the radius (half the diameter) you want by the number of sts per inch, ensuring that the number you cast on can be divided by 3.

The rainbow cushion is worked slightly differently: after casting on the first colour, work 2 rows across all sts then reduce by 3 sts per 2 rows as before until 3 are left. Change colours at this point, starting the next colour by working 2 rows across all sts.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


I may have mentioned our three dogs, Jodie, Jake and Harley. Unfortunately Jodie, the eldest at about 15 (we never knew her age for sure) passed away at the beginning of October. She was the Daddy's girl of the three, going with my husband to his shops every day for the past 12 years, so since neither of the other two are temperamentally suited to dealing with customers, and since we had a gap to fill, we set about searching for a new dog. We eventually found Maisie, a lovely little lurcher girl about 5 years old, at Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary, where Jake came from 12 years ago. Here she is, lounging on the sofa with her new Dad.

Being basically a small greyhound she feels the cold rather more than the others (they are both collie crosses, Jake with a springer and Harley with a labrador), so I've been knitting for her. I struggled to find dog coat patterns in DK, rather than aran/worsted weight - most free patterns online are from the US, and worsted seems to be the preferred weight there, whereas I like something a little lighter for most projects.

I came up with this fairly simple design, using a mock rib stitch which gives some stretch without being clingy, is quick to knit, and permits clean colour changes for stripes. I've also made a couple in the larger size for the "Old Woofs" at Bleakholt - they have a number of older dogs (and other animals) who will probably never be rehomed because of their age, but who will live out their remaining years at the sanctuary.

If you want to use this pattern to knit coats for your own or friends' dogs, or for your local dogs' home, feel free - but please don't use it to make coats to sell for personal profit.

You can download a pdf file from my Ravelry page here.

Maisie dog coat free pattern


200g ball Jarol New Arrival DK
Pair UK8/4 mm needles
Pair UK9/3.75 mm needles
3.75 mm circular needle or set of long dpns (for edging)
3.75 mm dpns for leg edging


To fit 24” to 26” (27” to 29”) chest, back length 23” (25”) excluding neck ribbing (adjustable).


21 sts and 28 rows to 4”/10 cm over mock rib stitch


K knit inc increase by working into front and back of same st
P purl
st(s) stitch(es) dec decrease by working 2 sts tog
rem remaining alt alternate
foll following patt pattern
dpns double pointed needles RS right side
tog together WS wrong side


Using smaller straight needles, cast on 96 (104) sts and work in double rib as follows:
1st rib row: K1, (P2, K2) to last 3 sts. P2, K1.
2nd rib row: K3, (P2, K2) to last st, K1.
Work 2” rib (or desired neck rib length – more for a greyhound or similar long-necked dog), inc 1 st at each end of last row - 98 (106) sts.
Change to larger needles and work mock rib as follows:
Next row: K to end.
Next row: (K2, P6) to last 2 sts, K2.
Cont in patt, inc 1 st at each end of next and each alt (RS) row until there are 130 (146) sts, ensuring continuity of patt and bringing extra sts into patt as you work them.
Work 1 (WS) row.
Divide for leg openings: K18 (21), cast off 6, K82 (92), cast off 6, K18 (21).
Working on last 18 (21) sts only and continuing in patt, patt 1 row.
Dec 1 st at start of next (RS) and foll 2 alt rows - 15 (18) sts. Work 15(19) rows straight. Inc 1 st at start of next (RS) and foll 2 alt rows - 18 (21) sts. Work 1 row, thus ending with a WS row. Cut yarn.
Rejoin yarn to centre group of 82 (92) sts and work 1 row. Dec 1 st at each end of next (RS) and 2 foll alt rows - 76 (86) sts. Work 1 row straight. Inc 1 st at each end of next (RS) and foll 2 alt rows – 82 (92) sts. Work 1 row. Cut yarn.
Rejoin yarn to last group of 18 (21) sts and work 1 row. Dec 1 st at end of next (RS) and foll 2 alt rows - 15 (18) sts. Work 15 (19)rows straight. Inc 1 st at end of next (RS) and foll 2 alt rows - 18 (21) sts. Work 1 row.
Joining row: K 18 (21), turn and cast on 6 sts, turn, K82 (92), turn, cast on 6 sts, turn, K18 (21) - 130 (146) sts.
Work straight until work measures 11” (12”) from end of neck ribbing.
Shape back: Next 2 rows: Work 15 (18) sts, place these sts on a large safety pin, work to end - 100 (110) sts.
Dec 1 st at each end of next row (RS) and each alt row until there are 80 (88) sts left.
Work straight until work measures 20” (22”) from end of neck ribbing (or 3” less than desired finished length).
Dec 1 st at each end of next and foll alt (RS) 4 rows - 70 (78) sts.
Dec 1 st at each end of next and foll 4 rows - 60 (68) sts. Leave sts on needle for edging.
Edging: With RS facing and using circular needle (or long dpns), place 15 (18) sts from 1st safety pin onto left hand needle and work across them as follows:
Smaller size: (K3, K2 tog) 3 times (12 sts).
Larger size: (K4, K2 tog) 3 times (15 sts).
Both sizes: Pick up and K 66 (77) sts along edge, K across 60 (68) sts from needle, pick up and K 66 (77) sts along other edge, and lastly place sts from 2nd safety pin onto left hand needle and work across them as follows:
Smaller size: (K2 tog, K3) 3 times (reducing from 15 to 12 sts)
Larger size: (K2 tog, K4) 3 times (reducing from 18 to 15 sts)
On these 216 (252) sts work 7 rows double rib as for neck. Cast off loosely – use a larger needle.
Leg edging: Using dpns, pick up and K 54 (64) sts around opening. Join into round and work 1” to 2½” double rib as desired. Cast off loosely using larger needle.
If you prefer, you can work 1 row of double crochet (US: single crochet) around each leg opening, using a 4 mm crochet hook (the coat at the top of the pattern is worked like this).
Making up: Press work lightly on WS under a dry cloth, avoiding neck and leg ribbing, to ensure that edging lies flat.
Stitch centre front seam from start of neck ribbing to end of edging ribbing. Weave in and secure any remaining ends. Press seam lightly under a dry cloth.
Detail of mock rib stitch pattern


Use a contrasting colour for the neck and edge ribbing – you will need about 50 g.
Use up odd part balls of yarn in a striped version – this one used about 70 g of each of three colours.
Coat with contrast edging
Striped coat