Saturday, 26 September 2015

Stylecraft Special DK Blog Tour - Making Waves on your Sofa with a Ripple Stitch Cushion!


It has been such a treat for me to be able to get a sneak preview of the limited edition yarn pack of Stylecraft Special DK yarns and play with all the gorgeous colours. A delicious secret that I've been itching to share with you, but one that I've had to hug close to myself until now! If you've been following Stylecraft's social media pages, you'll know that all 10 colours in the pack were the finalists picked out from around 350 entries to choose a new colour for the Stylecraft Special DK range of yarn. When I first heard about the competition, my initial thought was 'Impossible! Stylecraft already has every shade under the sun in their range!' But it would appear not as these 10 beauties show. If you're reading this blog, you probably already know just how fabulous the Stylecraft Special DK yarn is - soft, lovely to knit and crochet with, available in loads of colours, easy to look after and great value too. What is there not to like about that?! When my squishy parcel arrived, I almost snatched it out of the hands of my postie, I was so keen to open it! I wasn't disappointed, as the bright jewel-like colours just invited me to start creating.  The beauty of the colours stood out, making me think of a Persian bazaar with elaborately decorated rugs and pottery. Deep pinks, vivid greens, striking blues and a truly fabulous mustard colour complemented by a couple of very pretty paler colours. It's hard to pick a favourite, although if pushed, I'd probably settle on the glorious bluey-purple Lobelia. The runaway winner in the online vote was Duck Egg, which is a very delicate colour.




Here's my take on them, starting off with a couple of 'seaside' blues, Duck Egg and Empire ...




No problem eating your greens here! Look at what's popped up in the garden - Pistachio, Grass Green, Cypress and Kelly Green ...





Nothing like a traditional English condiment to add a little punch to your knitting - Mustard ...




Some beautiful 'flowers' too - Lobelia and Fuchsia ...





and last but not least, a deep berry shade which reminds me of the Echinacea blooming in my garden - Boysenberry ...




I knew straight away that I wanted to make a cushion cover from the yarns. Cushions just add that touch of 'home' to a house, and to me, a sofa bursting with colourful, squishy cushions is an inviting and cosy place to be. Somewhere to snuggle on an autumn afternoon watching an old film on TV. A place to relax with loved ones. A comfortable haven to hunker down on with a mug of steaming hot tea and a couple of biscuits. Yes, a cushion was the perfect project for me!  I have a bit of a stripe 'thing' going on right now with my knitting and so I made myself some little yarn pegs to have a play with the colours! There were LOTS of photos taken, each with a slightly different order of colours! It's amazing how changing the position of just one colour can alter how some of the others look. There's even a rainbow hidden in there...





I have never been a big fan of yellow and thought that I would find it hard to like the mustard colour. But to my surprise, it ended up being one of my favourites, partly because of the way it works so well with the others. It makes colours pop, just take a look at how the Empire and Lobelia seem to glow when next to the Mustard...




Here's the order I finally settled on... happy days!!





With my colour order chosen, I began knitting. I love the ripple stitch effect that you can get with crochet, and wanted to achieve something similar with knitting. I knitted away while Mr JK was driving us around Germany and by the time I came home, my cushion cover was complete! It was the perfect distraction from the German autobahns where the lack of speed limit is quite frankly terrifying! I find knitting stripes very addictive; there's the compulsion to knit 'just one more row' to see the new colour emerging. Add to that the wavy effect and there was just no stopping me!

The cushion is knitted in one piece, and the sides are joined using mattress stitch afterwards. There's a cute button flap to close it too. Florence was most miffed that she had missed out on the knitting and immediately came to lend a paw and test the squishability of the yarn while I was seaming. Regular readers will know that Flo cannot resist anything knitted and just assumes it has been made especially for her! Her 'assistance and advice' on stripe matching was second to none!!




Once the seaming was done, there was the button dilemma! I decided to  use buttons all the same colour and picked out the Pistachio colour. I think that the contrast with the Lobelia is gorgeous! It brings a bit of zing to the button flap.




I added a feather pad to plump out the cushion nicely and then it was ready to take pride of place on the sofa. I love it and I hope you do too! I've written up the pattern and you can find it ready to download on Ravelry here. It's my first ever published pattern, so I'm feeling more than a little nervous that I've done it all properly as well as rather excited and a teensy bit proud too! If you're not on Ravelry and you'd like a copy of the pattern, you can get in touch with me via email at josiekitten123 at gmail dot com and I'll send you a pdf version. If I work out a way of adding a downloadable pdf to my blog, I'll do so! I'll stop jabbering on for now and let you see the finished cushion! I hope you have fun knitting it!
















As you can see, wherever I put the cushion to take a photo, Florence claimed ownership! She's a cat with great taste, that's all I can say! I think I'm going to admit defeat and let Flo win the battle of this particular cushion! Far easier to cast on another one! And that one will be mine, all mine! All I need to do is to work out the colour order of the ripples. I think a rainbow one might just be perfect!

Now how would you like to win a pack of this gorgeousness all of your very own?! Silly question, of course you would! Three cheers for the lovely folk at Stylecraft, because they have 10 packs up for grabs, one for each day of the Blog Tour. All you have to do is to click on this link here and enter your details. Good Luck one and all!! But if you're not lucky, these special packs will be launched at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace from October 7th-11th. I reckon those packs will be flying off the shelves, don't you?! Thank you so much to everyone at Stylecraft for asking me to be part of this amazing Blog Tour. I cannot wait to see what all the other bloggers have come up with. Tomorrow, check out Emma Varnam's blog to see what she's been creating with these lovely yarns. I do believe she has not one but two patterns for your delight and delectation! xxx

14 comments:

KrisW said...

Lovely! Such wonderful descriptions of the colorways, and I adore the photos, especially of your feline assistant ;)

gilly said...

Oh wow! Your cushion, pattern and colour choices are just gorgeous - well done :-)
I love the ripples and the way it looks when you join in the new colours too, you should indeed be really proud.
And of course Flo shows it off just beautifully too!
xx

Una said...

Thanks for the pattern link. I find knitted ripples easier than crochet ripples. Florence always makes me laugh when I read your posts. She is such a character.

snoopydog said...

Love the cushion! Well done you!!! :-) xx

marie poole said...

love the way you have worked the colours....the cat approves as well x

VeggieMummy said...

I love Flo's cushion! Gorgeous new colours and I've never thought of knitting ripples before; I'll have to add that to my 'learn how to' list! xx

Suzi Barnes said...

Looks great! Flo looks very happy.

Judy said...

Wonderful, Helen. Love how your cushion turned out, and so happy to see that Flo, your official tester of anything "yarny," approves!

TT in MD said...

great post - love the cushion! and Flo is super adorable - she deserves a soft cushion 😄

Kim Redford said...

Very nice Helen; and Flo is such a sexy model . . . . .

Evelyn Hender said...

brilliant mix of colours, I love all the greens as that's an area where stylecraft colours have been lacking a bit for me. Your cushion looks wonderful, and Flo has modelled it perfectly lol

Lynne said...

Your cushion is gorgeous! Congratulations on your first published pattern, and it was very good of Flo to give up her time to help model it!! :)

Kathryn Senior said...

Your cushion is gorgeous - I am not much of a knitter but it inspires me to use the colours to make a crochet ripple cushion as they look so good together xxxx

Susan Pinner said...

Love the cushion Josie, I see you have a tester like me....4 in this house all want a go lol x