Thursday, 25 April 2013

Sashiko Part II (cushion)

It's spring! Here in the north of England, spring is very late this year, but finally things are starting to grow.  Here's my rhubarb, unfurling its leaves at last.


Where was I?
Sashiko.  Inspired by how many people liked my sashiko drawstring bag, I went bigger with my next project - a cushion cover.  Like the bag, this is also based on a pattern in Susan Briscoe's book, although I did make it to fit a slightly different sized cushion.


I used the same navy linen as before (this was from Celtic fusion fabrics), and white, red and dark yellow thread.  To begin with I marked out a grid of rectangles, each 3/4 inch wide and 3/8 inch high. This took ages! I used a white dressmaking pencil and it did tend to rub off, so I had to remark as I worked my way up the cushion.

The patterns are all based on hexagons, which is why they all fit together.  From the bottom they are Tsuno kikko (horned tortoiseshell - the large hexagons), Arare kikko (hailstone or segmented tortoiseshell), Juji kikko (cross tortoiseshell) and Kasane kikko (layered tortoiseshell - the tall hexagons).


It was only when I came to make the sashiko into a cushion cover that I thought red piping would finish the whole thing off really well, and luckily I had some red fabric with a linen-y texture that was perfect for the job. I even found piping cord and a navy zip stashed away, so no waiting till I could get to the shops to complete this cushion, which is a birthday present for my mum. It has to go in the post tomorrow, so it was fortunate we had a little bit of sun this evening and I could get these photos in natural light.



I'm hoping to finish off several other sewing and knitting projects next, so possibly no more sashiko for a while. But having completed the bag and this cushion I have lots more ideas for ways to use these beautiful, ancient patterns on my projects.
(I finally ordered the wool I need to finish off the right hand mitten to match my Snawheid hat, although in the meantime the 2.5mm needles seem to have got involved in another project...)

Back soon x

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Snawheid mash-up!

A while ago I downloaded Kate Davies' Snawheid knitting pattern, ordered some Jamieson & Smith jumper weight yarn, and knitted this lovely hat:



My head seems to be bigger than average (!), so I added in a couple of extra snowflakes to the straight rounds and did a bit more decreasing before I started on the mega-flake on the crown.
It was a great pattern, easy to follow, and the snowflake motif is truly lovely.  So lovely in fact that I was inspired to use it again, combined with another pattern, to knit some fingerless mittens.

I based the mittens on Mary Rourke's Lusekofte-sque mitts pattern, available as a free download from Ravelry, mashing up her border motif with the snawheid motif to make my design.  I also (after reading a tip from someone else on Ravelry) moved the end of the round onto the palm (which I'm leaving plain), thus hiding the pattern discontinuity on a less obvious piece of the mitten.

This was my first attempt at working out how to fit a pattern motif onto a piece of knitting and it took a few attempts to get everything sorted.  The double cuff and double edge look like they're going to make these really cosy!
Watch out for some photos of my new mittens soon!
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