Rowan’s Martin Storey KAL 2

Rowan have recently announced their second KAL designed by Martin Storey. After it took me so long to finish the last one, I was leaning towards not taking part this time, but when I saw the suggested colourways I just had to get involved! You may recall that I posted last year about knitting an ottoman cover to match our new sofas, well I also bought some yarn at the same time for cushion covers. I posted earlier in the month that I was working on one of the cushions while on the train:

The three shades I bought for the ottoman cover and the cushion covers were Umber, Moonstone (pictured above) and Almond all from Rowan’s Pure Wool Worsted range. Well it just so happens that all three of those shades are in the Calm colourway! Along with lots of other shades that will look gorgeous in our living room. So yes, I’m sold! The other colourways are Blues, Evergreen and Spice. Personally I really like Spice as well, but Calm is a much better match for our decor. If you want to jump straight to the juicy details, the shopping list can be downloaded here.

The first clue will be released on 28th January with subsequent clues being released every two weeks. The KAL closes towards the end of May when there will be a competition for completed projects in which you could win a £100 yarn hamper. If that’s not exciting enough, you can also enter on Facebook to win the yarn for the colourway of your choice for the KAL. Fantastic!

I’m all ready to get going, here you can see my colourway along with my footstool and in progress cushion cover. I’m so excited, I think it’s going to look great!

Martin Storey KAL - Calm colourway

Will you be taking part? If so, what colourway do you like?

Rowan Mystery Afghan KAL – Finally finished!

So I’m back with a bang! Can you believe it’s been almost 2 years since Rowan first launched their Martin Storey Mystery Afghan KAL? If it’s been so long that you’ve forgotten, you can see my other blog posts here. And I have finally finished the huge amount of sewing required just in time (OK, a little bit late) to gift the blanket to my brother and new sister-in-law on their wedding. I think it looks absolutely amazing and I’m so pleased that they like it too.

Here are some photos of the finished Afghan spread out in our guest room. It’s a dark winter’s day here today so the lighting wasn’t great, but I think the colours still came out reasonably well.

PWW Afghan Complete

PWW Afghan TopPWW Afghan Bottom Left

PWW Afghan Bottom RightPWW Afghan Middle

What an epic project. I stopped and started so many times that it’s taken me 1 year and 8 months to finish. Yikes! But what a fantastic sense of satisfaction now it’s done. I hope this will inspire you to pick up one of your long term languishing projects over the Christmas period.

Project – Cabled Ottoman Cover

Pattern: Cabled Ottoman Cover
Designer: Julie Farmer

Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool Worsted
Shade: Umber (110)
Pure Wool Worsted - Umber 110

Ravelry: Cabled Ottoman Cover

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may recall that a couple of months ago the brand new sofas arrived for our new home. I was very excited!

As predicted, I went straight to looking for things I could knit to go with them and this project is the first. I have an old ottoman footstool that I bought from IKEA when I was a student, it’s just a plywood cube with a small cushion that straps on top and it was very useful at the time. As you do when you’re a student, I bought one with a bright purple fabric cover and of course it just doesn’t match anything any more. So I wanted to knit a nice new cover that would match our forever furniture. A search on Ravelry brought back just the perfect pattern, it was almost exactly what I’d imagined I might want and it was a free download too!

I knew that for a footstool the I chose yarn would need to be hard-wearing and ideally machine washable so I could easily clean any grubby marks it ends up with in the future. For that reason, I picked Pure Wool Worsted. I’ve worked with it before and I know it’s great for all those things! Plus the range of shades is huge so I knew I’d find one that would match. I decided to go for one as close as possible to the colour of the sofa side/base so it would look like it matched. After pulling threads out of my shade card for half an hour or so, Umber seemed like a great match.

Ottoman Top

Having downloaded and read through the pattern, the first change I made was to knit it in the round. There’s no need to knit four separate sides and a separate top and it was very easy to convert. I subtracted two stitches from the amount needed for one side piece (they would have been the one on each end sewn into the seams) and multiplied that by four to get the total number of stitches. I cast on and put markers to denote the end of each side, with a different colour for the fourth one that marked the end of the round. To account for the reduced stitches at each end, the first rib repeat on each side was k1 p2, the following were k2 p2 as per the pattern, then the final was k2 p1.

Ottoman Side

The pattern for the sides is pretty easy to follow, the only difficulty is that the two cables have a different number of rows in their repeats (6 and 8). I used the two digits on a row counter to count the 6 and 8 respectively, to make sure I knew when I needed to cable for each one. Then just keep knitting till it’s tall enough, which is extra easy to check when working in the round. My circular needle cable wasn’t as long as it could have been, so I had to use some spare needles to hold some stitches in order to get the work over the stool when checking the length, but that was OK.

Once I got the sides long enough, I then worked this round:

  1. Knit side 1 as per pattern
  2. Cast off side 2
  3. Put side 3 on waste yarn
  4. Cast off side 4

Then I worked side 1 back and forth until it was long enough for the top of the stool. Once done, I worked a three needle bind-off with the end of the top and the stitches saved from side 3. Finally, I sewed the seams between the top and sides 2 and 4. Et voilá! Much less sewing and faff than working it flat.

Ottoman

The only disappointment for me is that because of the dark yarn I chose and how tightly the cover fits, you can see the white cushion cover and the pale plywood through the cables in some places. At some point I make take the time to dye the cushion cover a darker colour and maybe even paint the plywood too, although the cushion is a bigger problem. That aside, I’m really pleased with how it’s come out. Next in the Great Interior Decorating Plan – cushion covers!

Rowan’s Kaffe Fassett Mystery KAL – Complete!

Can you believe it? The KAL is finally done! In case you hadn’t spotted the links from Rowan yet, the making up directions are available here.

My Ravelry project page is here: http://ravel.me/angelsasha/kfmkal

For the small cushion version that I’ve made, I needed a cushion pad. A quick trip to my local Dunelm Mill provided just what I needed, a 56cm pad. Now I just needed to decide how to finish the cushion off. I’m not a fan of zips in knitwear and I also didn’t want to sew the cushion closed as I wanted to be able to easily wash the cover and replace/clean the pad if needed in the future.

During an evening at my knitting group, I mentioned my quandary about how to complete the project. Luckily my fellow knitters are a wonderfully clever and helpful lot, who gave me a whole range of suggestions to think over. In the end I decided to make an internal flap like you get in a pillowcase so that I could tuck the cushion pad inside and remove it easily if needed.

To achieve this, I first needed to get sewing. After sewing all the squares together using the long cast on and cast off tail ends that I’d intentionally left, I had the front and the back of the cushion completed. Next I decided which way up I wanted to sew the panels together (in the end I inverted them) so that I knew which edge of the back panel would be the “bottom”. I picked a needle size smaller than I’d used for the squares, grabbed three shades of yarn for which I had plenty leftover and with the first one I picked up stitches all along the bottom edge of the back panel. I then knit in 2×2 rib until I had about one third of the height of a square. Switch to shade 2 and repeat, then shade 3. I now had a ribbed panel in three stripes that was as long as one square.

The next step was to sew the side seams, and when I got towards the bottom I made sure to sew the edge of the ribbed panel in with the front and back panels. That way the pillowcase flap was formed. Obviously the bottom seam was left open to fit the cushion in.

So here it is! I’m really happy with the final result, the colours are divine and it’s a great size. The cushion pad is just right too, squashy enough for comfort but with enough substance for decent support. Having long-standing lower back issues, this is the perfect cushion for when I’m sat on the sofa and need something extra to prop me up.

DSC01448DSC01453

Is yours finished yet? I’d love to see photos of your cushion, bolster or Afghan.

Rowan’s Kaffe Fassett Mystery KAL – Clue 9

Better late than never… Can you believe it? We’re finally there!

Download Clue 9
Ravelry Discussion Thread
Full KAL details & download links

And if you are making the Afghan then you will also want to download Clue 10 which is the border.

Knit Along Week 9

Updated cheat sheet chart for this week:
Clue 9 Chart

As always, if you are making one of the other colourways then Anja has Clue 9 charts for all three over on her blog.

And if you’re just catching up with the KAL, you can check out these posts for my previous clue charts:
Clue 8
Clue 7
Clue 6
Clue 5
Clue 4
Clue 3
Clue 2
Clue 1

I’m so happy that Damson is a big feature in the final square – in case you hadn’t noticed yet I really love that shade 😉 Again it looks gorgeous with Raspberry and I’m glad to see that featured so prominently as well. The only downside for me on this square is that Damson doesn’t really stand out very well against Black. But otherwise I really love this one!

Clue 9 Blocking

Here we are, 8 out of 9 clues completed and just waiting for their final friend!

Clues 1-8

I’ll be back soon with a making up post. Will you be ready to make up after this week? If you’re making the small cushion, are you adding a zip or just sewing it shut? I can’t decide!

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