How to: Knit Pillow

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We had a pillow form an odd size and I wasn't a huge fan of the original cover so after seeing all the inspiration for knitted pillows I decided to give it a shot myself. I originally wanted this to be in a grey (and still might do it) but couldn't find the yarn and desired to go with a mustard yellow since it is a universally pleasing color as a pillow and compliments most of my bedding.

I tried to make this pillow a couple different ways before just settling on the easiest. 

First try- I used giant knitting needles (size US 35- 19mm) with the yarn (Patons Wool Roving Yarn) and it produced too much of an open knit and any tug on the case would make it not look neat. I still want to use those needles to knit something beautiful but I need to find much larger yarn or roving to to so. 

Second try- I decided to knit the first long side and link the ends as I worked my way knitting the second long side (potentially eliminating the need to close the seems and producing a case by the end of all my knitting). This sounds confusing just typing it and it just didn't work- I don't recommend trying it. 

Third try-  I undid the attempt to link the side together and kept the first long piece I knitted. This piece measured to be one side of the length of the pillow. I then decided to switch things up (to keep the project interesting) and created a different pattern for the second half (or other side of the pillow). I did a knit, purl, knit, purl etc. to create this cross shape pattern shown below. I found that you had to keep track a bit, because when you got to the end of the row, you had to start with that same stitch you finished off with. For example, if my row ended on purl, I had to start with the purl stitch for my new row to keep the pattern looking right.  Once the second half was the same length as the first I finished it off and added four monkey fists/ sailor's knot to close the pillow. These were pretty difficult to make with this yarn, don't hold up well and probably wouldn't do them again but it was fun to learn something new (and, well, as you can see I used them anyways). 

In the end, I used two skeins of the yellow Patons Wool Roving Yarn with a set of size 13 or 9mm knitting needles to make a pillow measuring 22 inches by 15 inches. For any pillow project, I find the easiest way to knit a rectangle twice as long as your pillow so all you have to do is fold it in half and close up the three sides. Of course you can do it in two squares or rectangles, too, and close up the four sides. 
If you have any questions or try it let me know!

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