Yes, Caught Knitting has finally got round to doing some knitting again.... The impetus was that I was part of the teaching team for a workshop on Horst Schulz's knitting techniques (if you follow the link, you'll need to scroll down a couple of entries: it's worth it!) and I'd volunteered to cover Horst's rather wonderful way of combining short row wedges with slip stitch stripes.
I had huge fun raiding the stash (and also treating myself to a couple of wonderful indlugences from Rowan's autumn colours: kid classic in a burgundy melange and a tweedy DK in teal) and decided to make a cover to fit the smallest cushion pad that I could find: 35cmx35cm from John Lewis. Much happy knitting later:
There's no seaming at all on the front of the cushion. After working one patch, I picked up stitches from its side tow ork the next. For the final patch I also worked a purlwise join at the lefthand side (onto the base of the first patch)
By the time I came to work the back of the cover, I was running short of time, so decided that the simplest way forward would be a giant mitered square, picking up stitches from two sides of the cushion and keying into a third side with a purlwise join (thus leaving me with just one seam to sew: result). Horst works his mitered squares by alternating two rows (ie one ridge) of garter stitch, with 2 rows of stocking stitch and always decreases on wrong side rows. Since each of the four patches was 45 stitches wide, I picked up 180 stitches (on the assumpton that each sdie was 90 stitches wide). I worked a few inches without any qualm but then began to feel that it was all looking rather too saggy. And few things are more disappointing than a saggy cushion cover. It was too late for me to rip everything out and start again (my preferred option)but then I realised that I had a few tricks up my sleeve. I used slip stitch bands (another Horst favourite) and garter stitch to change the tension and I reduced the stitch count very slightly by working an occasional decrease on a right side row. And it worked:
I completed the knitting at 1am on Friday, sewed the seam between 6.40 and 6.50am, took the bus to work at 8am, worked to 4pm, then went to Marlow by train. In Marlow, I stayed with Jill, who organises the Patchwork Knitters workshops. The workshop ran from 9.30-4.30 yesterday and I was back in Cambridge by 8.30pm. I slept 10.5 hours last night!
The course was huge fun, not least due to Jill's marvellous and meticiulous planning and organising and fellow-tutor Heather's knowledge and enthusiasm.