Where Did the Idea Come From?
The Skull and Crossbones Cushion, possibly the longest running custom project ever. It was originally ordered in March 2009 and the path from then to now has been strewn with obstacles and distractions. I had to improve my intarsia technique, have my wisdom teeth removed, prepare for my first craft show, run Monster Big Brother and wait for there to be enough sunshine to get it blocked, but the cushion cover is finally ready and so are the photos for the pattern.
Is it Difficult to Knit?
The pattern is pretty simple if you’re good at intarsia/colour knitting. But even if you’re not so good, the design could just be knitted in relief in one colour and still look piratical. Instructions for how to do that are included in the pattern. Getting the zip sewn in might also cause some frustration, but you could always just stuff the cushion with batting and sew it up if you don’t want to mess around with the zip.
What Yarn Should I Use?
I used Debbie Bliss Como, because it comes in exactly the colours I was asked to find and it’s incredibly soft without being the most expensive. Good alternatives would be Plymouth Yukon, which is a bit scratchy because of the mohair, but otherwise considerably cheaper or if you have the money, try the Blue Sky Alpaca Super Chunky. Check if your LYS or regular online store has any discounted super bulky yarn.
Other Hints and Tips
In order to get the top seam on the cushion I recommend using a 3 needle bind off, however that does require 3 needles. Not many people have 3 size 10mm needles lying around. But if you have a pair of needles and a long circular needle that will work just as well, even better because there’s less chance that the stitches will slip off a circular needle whilst you knit the other side .
Side 1 and Side 2
The two sides of the cushion I knitted make the design in two different ways, intarsia and in relief. Of course you could knit your cushion in any combination of styles, including leaving one side blank.
I’ve blogged about tips for intarsia before http://nattyknitter.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/advanced-intarsia-tips/
I hope it’s helpful.
3 Needle Bind Off
The 3 Needle Bind Off is a great way of making a secure and neat seam, it works very well as a seaming method for the shoulders for sweaters. Although it is bulky and creates a ridge.. It’s very simple to master.
Take the two needles with stitches on them and hold them next to one another in your left hand, knit together two stitches, one from each needle and then when you have two stitches on the right hand needle cast off as you would normally by leapfrogging the first stitch over the second.
Here’s a really clear video tutorial from knittinghelp.com, scroll down to the bottom for the video of the 3 needle bind off
This is the method I used to block the knitting for this cushion. The spray method explained here on the crochetme website:
Adding the Zipper
Unfortunately I am no expert at sewing, but this is how I sewed the zipper in. I did not fold back the bottom seam, but sewed the zip into the inside of the cushion. I kept it pinned to ensure it was straight and sewed it by hand using a backstitch.
As always, let me know if you have any trouble with the pattern and I’ll try my best to help you out. Happy knitting!