This cushion has been such a happy project to work on, a quick and spontaneous make which I used to test out my new Raindrops stitch pattern. I also wanted to try using chunky yarn for the first time, so the combination of the new stitch and the new yarn was a whole new experience for me.
I've used Stylecraft Special Chunky yarn, worked on a 6mm hook, in eight colours as follows ::
♥ Raspberry ♥ Lipstick ♥ Fondant ♥ Camel ♥ Meadow ♥ Aspen ♥ Lavender ♥ Denim
There is enough yarn here to make two of these cushions, you only actually need 4 x 100g balls of chunky to make a 45cm cushion in this pattern.
Unusually for me, I chose to order these colours into a repeating stripe (you know I usually go for random, so this was yet another new experience for me). I deliberately went for a rainbow effect, I think I might have been subconsciously trying to counter balance the extreme drabness of the weather we've been having! It's rainy and grey, lets make yarn rainbows!!
The very rainbowyness of this project really did lift my spirits and the very chunkyness of the yarn made the rainbow stripes grow satisfyingly fast. I have to say, I did find this chunky yarn quite physical to work with. The Stylecraft Speical chunky is a lovely yarn, very soft and squidgy and bouncy, but with a 6mm hook it did take quite a bit of "working", if you understand what I mean, and that made it quite slow going. I found I could only work in quite short bursts before my fingers and hands began to ache a little, so this would put me off using chunky yarn for a blanket project. It is GREAT cushion yarn though, as the resulting fabric is so soft, dense, and well, chunky!
I tried hard to deal with my tail ends methodically as I went along. With this pattern, you change colours every other row, so there are a LOT of ends for a reasonably compact project. My method is to crochet over the tail ends as I work the first 8-10 stitches, then pick the ends up with a darning needle and weave them back on themselves right to the outside edge.....
....like so. You can then just snip them off at this point. It's a secure way of dealing with tail ends, plus you don't get the yarn ends poking out in the middle of a row this way, as they sit neatly at the edge of the work. I use this method for all stripy crochet (including the ripple).
The Raindrops pattern is a great success I think. I struggled with it a little at first (I had trouble keeping the edges straight), but after adjusting the pattern I managed to put that right. I love the textural look of it, and the way it allows the colours to dance around with each other.
I made this cushion cover in one long piece, which allowed for a front, a back and a bit extra for an envelope style button flap thingy. The finished length needs to be twice that of your cushion, plus an extra third of the cushion depth. So if you are making a 45cm cushion, your crochet needs to measure 45cm wide, and 105cm deep (45+45+15).
The button hole strip was easy to make, worked in four rows as follows ::
Row 1 this is still part of the Raindrops pattern, the row with long and short half trebles (this will become clear when you read the pattern!)
Row 2 this is a row of double crochet
Row 3 this is the button hole row....I wanted to make 8 button holes, so with 50 stitches I did some maths. I worked dc three times, then a chain-2, skip-2 to make the button hole, then dc 4 times to make the space between the button holes, then another chain-2, skip-2 button hole, then dc 4 times etc etc.
Row 4 this is the final dc row. Work dc's into each dc from the previous row, putting 2dc's into each ch-2 button hole loop.
The button holes look quite small, but I did test them out with my 23mm buttons and they were fine. Crochet stretches remember, so don't make your button hole loops too big.
Shall we take a look?
Seven colour repeats in total. I worked out that three repeats fit the 45cm cushion perfectly, so I would need 6 repeats to cover the front and back. The seventh extra repeat (which measures about 15cm) will form the envelope flap.
You can see above that the bottom of the crochet is very skewed! This shows where I had trouble with the pattern in the beginning (remember this was me sampling the raindrops stitch from scratch), I had to adjust the way I started and ended each row in order to make it grow straight. So please if you don't mind, can you just overlook that wonky bit? Ta.
This is my method of constructing this type of cushion. It's a bit rough and ready (basically fold, stitch and turn outside-in), but it works.
1. Lay out your crochet piece, with the button flap sitting at the top. Right side facing uppermost, wrong side facing the floor.
2. Fold over the top button flap. My top flap measures 15cm and is approx a third of the total cushion height.
3. Fold up the bottom edge so that it meets the top (folded) edge. You should now be looking at something roughly square in shape, with the wrong side facing you uppermost.
If you look at it from the side view, you can see that the button flap is sandwiched between the front and back. Rights sides are facing in together, wrong sides are on the outside. The bottom edge sits neatly lined up with the top (folded) edge.
I decided that due to the thickness of the layers of chunky crochet that I would stitch instead of crochet the edges together. I picked yarn the same colour as the button flap. Hold all three layers at the top of your cushion firmly together and begin stitching (over-sew), starting from the top edge and working your way down. Keep stitches close together and as neat as possible, make sure they pass through all three layers of crochet.
Keep going, making small over-sew stitches. Once you pass the end of the button flap sandwiched in there, you'll only be sewing through the two front and back layers. Work all the way down to the bottom, then fasten off securely.
Now do the same on the other side. Start at the top fold, stitching through the three layers, working all the way down to the bottom edge. Now it's time to Turn!
You have worked your stitching up on the wrong side, so now all you have to do is turn the whole thing the right way out. Push your fingers into the corners to poke them out and make them neat. Your stitches will be visible, but hopefully the seam should look neat enough. Homespun, remember? You can't really be too much of a perfectionist here.
Your button flap should now be sitting neatly on top of your cushion back, overlapping it by about 15 cm or so. Time to sew on your buttons! I went for 23mm resin buttons in rainbow colours, which I bought from Wool Warehouse HERE (you have to select/buy them as individual buttons, all the colours should be there if you look through the list). I have to say I LOVE these buttons very, very much. They are Happy buttons!
I stitched my buttons using normal sewing thread.
Oh, beautifully buttony! You can see the stitched up side seam there, it's not too untidy I don't think.
I think we might be pretty much needing a swift Ta-dah now.......
One gloriously bright and bouncy Rainbow Raindrops cushion.
And this is the buttoned-up back, which I love rather much more than the front, oh that row of happy buttons really makes me smile☺!
This rainbow cushion is very much at home here in the Attic, already being used on a daily basis for important snuggle activity.
It's unashamedly jolly, bright, bouncy and happy.
And squidgy. Did I already mention how squidgy this chunky yarn is? Mmmm, yes it really is.
Now then, about the pattern, this Raindrops Stitch I've been going on about. Would you like to give it a go? Fancy working up some stripy, textural rows of dancing colour? I've been working very hard this past week working on the tutorial for you, and I am very happy to let you know that it is all ready to go. YEs! It really is.
Happy, happy hooky my friends....have fun!