An exploration of pattern and color
These two pillows were designed to make playing with the infinite options of color and pattern available to Fair Isle knitters even more fun. The first pillow is, quite simply, a large swatch. The second pillow makes the predominantly horizontal effect of two-color stranded knitting bend around a central square.
16” Sampler Pillow
Using a 16” circular needle and Shetland jumperweight wool yarn, cast on 118 stitches (109 for the pillowcase + 9 for the steek). This number of stitches should result in a 16” pillow at approximately 7 stitches per inch. If you know that your gauge is different, recalculate the cast on number. And see the note on Needle Size if you aren’t sure what size needle to use. Join, being careful not to twist. Pull out all your knitting books and bookmark the charts that have always interested you. Choose one, set out some colors that you think might look good, and start knitting! Step back to take a look—did that one turn out the way you had hoped? Be sure to keep records of what you did—you will probably fall in love with at least one of your colorways and want to design a garment around it. Now try another pattern. It’s a good idea to alternate pattern sizes and colors, and maybe find a very large one for the center, but the overall effect we are aiming for is one of folkloric exuberance. Try not to get too judgmental or worried. When the knitting measures about 15.5”, cast off. Stabilize your Needle Size steek by machine stitching or crocheting, cut it open, and block your pillow cover to 16” square (not counting the steek stitches). You can now add a decorative IThe issue of gauge and needle cord trim or any other edging you’d like. size can be confusing. Gauge Attach to a pillow cover (I sewed mine is the number of stitches and by hand using sewing thread—there rows per inch in the knitted are many ways to construct a pillow, fabric. Some knitters need an though!). American size 4 needle to knit The patterns I used came from Shetland jumperweight yarn at Co Spinhoven’s Celtic Charted 7 stitches per inch. Others Designs and Joyce Williams’ need an American size 1. The Latvian Dreams. I used the colors important thing is that you find listed in the Mitered Celtic Pillow out through experimentation directions. what gauge results from which needle in your hands. Keep good notes! If you have never tried stranded knitting with Shetland jumperweight yarn before, I suggest that you start with an American size 3 needle. And remember, pay attention to your knitting! Gauge can change, seemingly without notice.
Don’t be put off by the number of colors I used—inspired by the reproduction of a Japanese print in Kaffe’s Classics and tempted by a wall of irresistable colors, well, I went wild. You could make a lovely pillow in as few as two colors. Use this opportunity to try something new.
Mitered Celtic Pillow
Yarn: Jamieson Spindrift, Shetland jumperweight wool, 25g/hank. One hank each of the following colors: 135 820 821 425 429 578 760 Surf Bottle Rosemary Mustard Old Gold Rust Caspian 766 769 770 772 1010 1020 1290 Sage Willow Mint Verdigris Seabright Nighthawk Loganberry
Gauge: 7 stitches per inch; row gauge nearly the same. Needles: 16” and 24” circular needle in size that produces this gauge (see note on Needle Size); a double-point needle in the same size. Notions: 16” square pillow form; cover for pillow form in color to complement your knitting; place markers. Center Squares You will be making 2 similar squares at one time. Using any cast on you prefer, cast on 112 stitches (two patterns @ 47 stitches + 2 steeks @ 9 stitches). Join, being careful not to twist. Start Chart A at the point where it says “Start here.” When you reach the end of that row continue along the fraternal twin chart where it says “Continue here.” • Note on color changes: Change your colors in the middle of the steek (which is the start point of Chart...