Granny Square Crochet Cushion Cover: Ta-da

This cushion cover was my New Year project. I needed something to replace the very old and threadbare original cover.

IMG_9053To my surprise, I realised that very few of my previous projects have required joining so I had to think quite carefully about how I was going to do it. I don’t really like sewing crochet together, I think it probably has a greater tendency to work loose and this cushion is going to get some rough treatment from my children. In the end I decided to make four strips of four squares and then join each strip together. I placed the squares right sides together and used a slip stitch through the back loops only to join everything together. Although this creates a slight ridge, it’s barely noticeable once the front and back are joined.

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I felt that it would be a good idea to create an edge to the whole thing so I did a row of treble clusters in the deliciously named ‘pomegranate’ (pink) colour and completed the front with a row of trebles in ‘sherbet’ worked singly.

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Then I had to think about how I was going to make the back. I enjoyed doing the row of single trebles so much that it seemed like a good idea to keep going in the same style. Before long I had decided to work the back in random, stripy rows using the same colours as the front. It also wasn’t long before I realised that I was going to like the back better than the front.

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As much as I don’t like sewing crochet together it was the best option for the edges. I left a tail of yarn at each end of the row and used this to sew the stripy back to the square patterned front. The opening for the cushion pad is about a third of the way down and the flaps are overlapping slightly.

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This picture was taken in artificial light so the colours don’t show up so well but you can see that I was trying to work out how to place my buttons. The final stripy row that I did included some gaps made of chains to use as button holes.

IMG_9271Here is the finished product: the stripy back and the granny square front. Or is that the other way around? A stripy front and a square patterned back.

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So, only another two of these giant covers to create. Maybe I’ll have finished them by next New Year.

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So far this February…

The garden has begun to wake up and I have even planted some seeds….

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IMG_9187and finally got round to harvesting the last of the potatoes and a few more leeks.

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IMG_9182I made my first ever rough-puff pastry. It was delicious considering how hastily I made it. Lemon, leek and goats cheese tart, courtesy of this recipe. A bit too lemony for me but still enjoyable.

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IMG_9136Look how well it puffed up! It was slightly disconcerting to work out how much fat and how many calories were in it. Never mind, I’m still running.

Trying to enforce some ‘screen free’ time. This was the surprise hit of last weekend. It is a good game and easy to play too. Even babykins could get involved.

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Of course I have no problem entertaining myself. I have been working on the back of my cushion cover. Random stripes made up of trebles. Typically I ran out of several colours. Just when I was hoping that this might use them up for good I had to go and buy more.

IMG_9149The weather has been mostly dull, wet, cold and windy but there have been occasional days when the sun has shone. Then it has only been cold and windy. It’s been a time for staying inside with a cup of tea and a nice bun (or two).

IMG_9190At least we are not flooded in this part of the country. Fingers crossed that this stormy season will be over soon. Spring is definitely on the way, the days are lengthening, only two weeks of February to get through.

 

New Year – New Project: Granny Square Cushion Covers

If you read my self-indulgent Christmas wish list you will know that I was after some newer, larger cushions. In the end, I was able to get some plain cushion inserts in the size I wanted but there was nothing available (ready made) that I wanted to cover them with. So, I bit the bullet and bought some fabric. Goodness knows why because I’m not really much of a sewer. Here it is – quite floral and chintzy but I liked the colours in it. I’ve shown it next to our checked curtains and our ancient leather sofa.

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IMG_4380I only bought enough fabric to cover the two new cushions that I bought but I already had an old, threadbare cushion that, being the biggest on the sofa, is the one the children fight over like the most. I decided that the quickest and easiest way to cover it would be to crochet something. I also had it in mind to use up some of my acrylic yarn stash.

IMG_4365Because I wanted this to be a quick and easy make I thought simple granny squares would be a good idea. I’m also hoping that good old fashioned grannies will be in keeping with the slightly vintage floral feel of the print.

But, it’s always worth having a wander around the internet to see what ideas other people have had. I had a good look around on Pinterest, searching for ‘Granny Squares’ and I found lots of lovely projects. I also found that the term ‘Granny Square’ covers a multitude of stitches and patterns. If you want to look at some of the things I pinned, you can visit my board ‘cushion inspiration’ by clicking here. For me though, a granny square should only be made up of trebles (double crochet in US terms) clustered together, with each cluster usually separated by a chain stitch. Something like this in fact.

IMG_4368This is the first test square that I made. If you look carefully, you might be able to see that some of the rows have clusters of four trebles together while some only have the traditional three. What you might not be able to tell is that there are no chains separating the clusters, except at the corners, where there are two. I want my squares to be as dense as possible so that eventually, the plain white cotton underneath doesn’t show too much so I pinched the ‘no chains’ idea from here. I am also using a 3.5mm hook. I like the fact that it contains all the matching colours I found in my stash. I also like the fact that the last row is a similar colour to the sofa. What’s more, I found that making 16 of these should be just the right size for one side of my cushion.

IMG_4382I was pretty happy about the colour combinations but not too sure that I had enough of the two central turquoises. I attempted to find out by weighing my yarn and weighing a tiny square made just from the first two colours. I wasn’t going to have enough of the second, lighter colour so I bit the bullet and bought a new ball of Stylecraft Special 100% acrylic in ‘sherbet’.

IMG_4366It is a lovely colour so I have no regrets. I’m already mentally covering my other old cushions in this yarn.

So, I had to start making another test square, slightly different this time and ending in the bright red in preparation for the ‘join as you go’ technique. This time I made all the clusters of four trebles, just as an experiment and it seemed to work quite well.

IMG_4369Off I went, making 15 more new squares, one colour at a time.

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IMG_4370When I got to this stage I  started to thing that I should have made the whole cushion from a much more limited colour palette. And, there was something bugging me about that bright red. I photographed a few new combinations and I think I am going to replace it with this pinker shade. I’m not entirely sure what it is called. It’s definitely another Stylecraft Special dk, I think it’s ‘Pomegranate’.

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IMG_4385Progress has slowed somewhat this week as I have been working on a commission – a  garland of rainbow coloured stars. Normally they don’t take too long but I decided to try a new joining method. It turns out my method was a very bad idea, it takes forever. I’m hoping that by this time next week I will have finished the garland and finished at least a few of my squares so I can really see how this new colour combination works.