Knitted and felted flower pillow

Bring some colour into your home with this easy-to-make flower cushion.

By Maggie Pace

Felted flower pillow: Knitting the pattern
No shaping and some very simple colour changes make this project a great candidate for a beginning knitter. The pillow stands alone as an elegant silhouette, or it can be jazzed up with this trio of five-petal flowers, formed using short rows.

If you're a new knitter and find the colour work daunting, skip it, and make three Simple Flowers instead.

Finished measurements
Before felting: 14" (35.5 cm) x 16" (41 cm)
After felting: 13-1/2" (34 cm) x 11-1/2" (29 cm)

Yarn
Peruvian Collection Highland Silk, 80% Highland wool/20% silk, 122 yards (112 m)/1-3/4 oz (50 g)
MC: Mesa Teal 1112, 3 balls
CC: Celadon 2117, 1 ball (divided into 2 balls)

Needles
US #10 (6 mm) straight needles

Gauge
Any worsted-weight wool should yield the correct proportions, no matter your tension.

Other supplies
• 100% polyester fibrefill, 2-4 oz (available at any craft or fabric store)
• Yarn needle
• Sewing needle
• Matching thread
• Straight pins

Plan of action
The pillow is knit in two separate pieces in straight stockinette stitch. The pieces are seamed prior to felting. The short-row flowers are a fast and fun way for a beginner to learn the short-row technique.

Knitting the pillow front
Note: Be sure to wrap the new yarn around the old when changing colours across the rows.

Set up: Using CC, cast on 60 stitches.
Row 1: Knit to end of row.
Row 2: Purl to end of row.
Rows 3 and 4: Repeat Rows 1 and 2 (stockinette stitch).
Row 5: K4 CC, change to MC without breaking CC and K52 MC; change to second ball of CC without breaking MC and K4 CC.
Row 6: P4 CC, P52 MC, P4 CC.
Rows 7: 84: Repeat Rows 5 and 6.
Row 85: Change to CC and knit to end of row.
Row 86: Purl to end of row.
Rows 87 and 88: Repeat Rows 1 and 2.
Bind off.

Knitting the pillow back
Repeat Rows 1-88 as for front.

Knitting the simple flower
Note: The petal shaping on this simple flower is achieved through short-row shaping.

Set up: Using CC, cast on 50 stitches.
Short rows: K8, *turn, P5, turn, K6, turn, P7, turn, K16; repeat from * 4 more times. On the last repeat, end by knitting to the end of the row instead of K16.
Row 1: *P3, P2tog; repeat from * to end of row. You now have 40 stitches.
Row 2: *K2tog, K2; repeat from * to end of row. You now have 30 stitches.
Row 3: *P1, P2tog; repeat from * to end of row. You now have 20 stitches.
Row 4: K2tog to end of row. You now have 10 stitches.
Break yarn, leaving long tail, thread the yarn through a yarn needle, then draw the yarn back through stitches. Remove stitches from needle, and pull tail tight to close (like a purse string). Use the tail to seam flower along side edge to make centre into a circle. Weave in all ends.

Knitting the striped flower
Note: When knitting the two striped flowers, be sure to wrap the new yarn around the old when changing colours across the rows.

Set up: Using MC, cast on 50 stitches.
Repeat Short rows and Rows 1-4 for Knitting the simple flower, with this exception: Use CC for every knit stitch and MC for every purl stitch, even when you are working the short rows. Carry the colour not in use across the back as you work.
Finish as for Knitting the simple flower.

Knitting the striped petal flower
Set up: Using MC, cast on 50 stitches.
Short rows: Repeat Short rows for Knitting the simple flower, with this exception: Work 2 stitches in MC, then work 2 stitches in CC. Continue alternating MC and CC, working all MC with MC and all CC with CC until you complete the short rows.
Rows 1-4: Change to CC and repeat Rows 1-4 for Knitting the simple flower.
Finish as for Knitting the simple flower.

Finishing the flowers
If desired, add French knots to the centres of the flowers. You can pile them up or place one in the middle.

Seaming the pillow
Place the front and back of the pillow together with right sides facing each other, and use matching thread to seam along all four edges, leaving a 3" (7.5 cm) opening at any corner for filling.

Page 1 of 2 -- Find out how to add the finishing touches to your felted flower pillow on page 2


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