Saturday, 2 June 2012

Crochet a Sunny Pin Cushion {Tutorial}

This tutorial was part of the Sew Far Sew Good and House of Pinheiro Pin Cushion Swap and was originally posted here and here.  You can also read a very short blurb about me over there!  Isn't it horrible trying to introduce yourself to complete strangers?  Trying to convey your essence and what makes you tick in a few sentences...

Anyhow, over to the pin cushion.  I figure you need something to keep your fingers busy this you probably don't have enough other stuff to be busy with...

Ok, so this isn't really all that tricky, and is easy enough to do while being bugged by amusing a baby and small person...i.e. not much concentration is required! But, maybe you are like me - and Like Instructions for Anything and Everything? Well, then it is your lucky lucky day!

I am using UK crochet terms and my abbreviations are:
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet

All the supplies I used were bits that I had already.  The yarn is Rico Creative Cotton Aran.  Colours I used are: Fuschia (13), Tangerine (76), Orange (74), Natural (60), Pistachio (41).  The colours in this yarn are so very bold and pretty - but it can be a real pain in the butt to crochet with as it is very splitty.  The label says to use a 4-5mm hook, I used a 3.5mm to make the stitches a little tighter, to minimise the gaps.

This pattern is my own and you are welcome to do what you like with it.  A little nod of recognition in my direction would be much appreciated.

Righty-oh...let's get on with this busy-ness...

Start with crocheting 4 chain stitches.  sl st into the 1st chain to form a loop.
ch-3, then tr-11 {it will make life so much easier if you weave your tail in as you crochet}.
You are aiming for 12 spokes in your circle.

{You are correct...that IS a chopping board as the backdrop!  Well spotted!}

sl st into the 3rd ch of your 1st ch-3.

Fasten off.
If you wove your tail end in as you did your trebles, then pull that end snug (so it is nicely hidden inside the stitches and not pulling the circle tight) and snip it off.

Join your 2nd colour into your 12 spoke circle.

In this round your are working into the spoke gaps rather than the wheel stitches.  {I like to make a slip knot and pull that through and go straight into my first set of chain stitches.  But, you do what you prefer}

ch-3, then tr-1 into the same space as your chain.  Again, weave your tail as you go.
tr-2 into each space.
You are aiming for 12x tr-2 clusters around your circle.
sl st into the 3rd ch of your 1st ch-3.

Fasten off.  Snip your tail end as before.

Join your 3rd colour into your circle.  Again, we are working into the cluster gaps in this round.
ch-3, then tr-2 into the same space as your chain.  Weaving your tail as you go.
tr-3 into each space.
You are aiming for 12x tr-3 clusters around your circle.
sl st into the 3rd ch of your 1st ch-3.

Fasten off.  Snip your tail end as before.

Join your 4th colour into your circle, in any cluster gap.
ch-3, then all still into the same space tr-2, ch-2, tr-3.  You have a corner!
tr-3 into each of the next 2 spaces.
Making another corner: tr-3, ch-2, tr-3 into the next space.
tr-3 into each of the next 2 spaces.
Continue until your have made your square.
sl st into the 3rd ch of your 1st ch-3.  Don't cut your thread!

For the next round we work in the cluster gaps and cluster stitches.

ch-3 - this stitch is acting as a tr-1 into the cluster space.

tr into the next 2 stitches.

All into the cluster corner space: tr-3, ch-2, tr-3.
tr into the next 2 stitches.
tr into the cluster space.
Continue in this way until your have made your square.
sl st into the 3rd ch of your 1st ch-3.
Fasten off.

One side done!  Make another of the same or different - depending on how funky nuts your mood is.

Now that you know how big your pillowcase is you can make a little cushion.  I made mine of white wool mix felt and filled it with rice.  Make sure that whatever fabric you use is pretty behind your pillowcase.  You will see it through the gaps.  You could use a contrasting colour - play with your supplies until you are happy with your choice.

So, measure the size of your crochet square.  Mine was 10cm (4").  I cut out 2x 11cm (4.3") squares.

With the fabric wrong sides together, sew around 3 edges with a narrow seam.  You are aiming for your cushion to be a smidge smaller than your pillowcase.  Snip the 2 sewn corners and turn the cushion right side out.  Fill your cushion with your filling of choice.  I chose rice (at my mothers suggestion - thanks Mum!) because I wanted something a bit heavier than toy stuffing.  I like the idea of emery sand a lot, but a bit of googling resulted in only USA finds...and I wasn't prepared to pay the nutty postage prices.  Rice was in the cupboard, so it was used!

I wanted a nice plump pincushion, so filled my cushion until there were 2 fingers of empty fabric left.  As I didn't feel like fighting with escapee rice and my sewing machine, I just did a small running hand-stitch across the opening to close it all up...checking that rice could not escape my stitches...

Back to the hook and yarn.  Place your 2 squares wrong sides together, so that the corners line up.  We are going to dc the 2 squares together.  I used a contrasting green against the cream for a bit of extra colour pop.  When joining, only hook through the back loops.  This adds a little ridged detail line between your square and the dc edging.

On your squares, at your corners, you have a corner space.  These corner spaces are made of 2 chain stitches.  When you are doing your joining, dc-2 into each of these chain stitches.

So...Hook through both squares into the 1st corner chain stitch to join in your yarn. {I used my slip knot method here again}

ch-1 (only 1 of your dc-2 here, we will add the 2nd one at the end)

Into your next corner chain dc-2

dc into all the stitches until you get to the next lot of corner chain stitches.
dc-2 into the 2x corner chain stitches

Continue until 3 sides are joined together.

Wriggle your cushion into the pillowcase, making sure that all the corners are nicely filled.  Tuck your cushion down so that you can close up the opening.

Continue with your dc until your reach your starting chain.

dc into this same stitch and then sl st into your starting chain.
Fasten off and weave in any remaining loose ends.

Go banana's pushing your pins into your new pin cushion.  {you have been spared my boring yellow-ball pin heads}  
....oooooh, so pretty and sunflowery in the lovely bright sunshine....Or, make a bunch more for juggling or for your kids to steal....I have to hide mine from Chloe...I am not sure if it is the weight or bright colours or texture that attract her to it, but she likes it a who-o-o-o-le bunch!!

Rats!  This whole pincushion-y business is addictive.  My brain is rattling away with more pincushion-y goodness...crochet top, fabric bottom - hmmm....pretty :: crochet doily stitched to pretty fabric cushion....oooooh :: scrappy crochet stripes with pretty hand embroidered something....oh dear...

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