Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lemons to Lemonade: Scrappy Non-Afghan Floor Pillow

You know when everything seems to be going along a little too well?

I had knit all five panels for my scrappy afghan.  The length looked to be good and I had figured that it would shrink up about 30% from cast-on to bind-off edges, and about 15% from side to side when I felted it. The measurements seemed like they would provide a decent-sized throw afghan.

This is what FOUR panels looked like:
Seemed about 5' square.  Nope.

Then I sewed the panels together.

Oops.  I'm not sure what happened - maybe the seams pulled the panels shorter than intended? Maybe the same thing caused them to expand the other way?  Who knows...  But I ended up with a knitted beast of a  piece of fabric about 9 feet long and 4 feet wide.  Yeah.  That's not a great afghan size.  Unless you need a stadium blanket for 6 people. Honestly, I had no idea until I'd sewn all the seams and stretched it out.  And then, I just about fell over with laughter.

To heck with it, I decided.  I'll felt it and worse comes to wear, I have a ton of colourful homemade felt from which to sew things.... Into the washing machine and three hot water cycles!

It felted beautifully.  Far nicer than anything I've felted before.  But it was far too thick to cut apart for a patchwork afghan, and not the right size to leave it as it.  Solution?  Floor cushion!
I made myself a template and shaved the corners down so I wouldn't get that weird pointy corner cushion thing happening.  I cut, clipped and sewed.  Let me tell you, hauling all that thick fabric through my machine wasn't super-fun.  Might have gone better if I'd remembered to reduce the foot pressure but hey, you live, you learn.  I used a knit stitch to reinforce it in case of sudden impact.  (In my neck of the woods, children love to flop on over-sized cushions.)
3/4" seam allowance.  Just to be safe.

It was sewn together for a couple of weeks while I tried to figure out what to stuff it with.  I wanted foam chips but nowhere in town had them. I wasn't going to pay to have that volume of stuffing shipped to me.  This was supposed to be a scrap project costing me exactly ZERO dollars and only leisure time.  Eventually, I bit the bullet and opted for polyfil.  I'm not a fan of the less than smooth way it distributes itself, though I tried to minimize the lumpiness by lining the inside of the cushion with a woollen quilt batt that I'd never use because it was hand-wash only.  There's about 8 lbs of stuffing in there so when it comes to a certain nephew rough-housing on it, it won't be sliding around...

Scrappy Afghan Floor Pillow
Knit from Patons Classic and Lion Brand Fisherman's wool leftovers and felted
approx 36" square, 8" high

All in all, I'm calling it a win.


  1. what great floor cushions! And I would just tell people that I planned it that way !!

  2. If you hadn't told us, we wouldn't have known!! It looks perfect as a floor cushion!

  3. That's an awesome solution! But I'm sitting here afraid for your washer after that huge thing. Did you trap all the fuzz?!

  4. That is so cool. I haven,t ever felted before but have seen some amazing things. Also, congrats on the book win ; )

  5. This is one of the top 10 coolest projects I've ever seen. I *love* it.

  6. Lemonade indeed! Very pretty :)

  7. Perfect! This seems like you found some vodka for that lemonade! *wink* Sometimes, the mishaps are better than the original plan. I think you pulled this off beautifully.

  8. Um, yeah? That is a TOTAL win! And you knitmitnwith scrap yarn? God, if I could manage to knit something with my scrap yarn I would likely have something similar. And throw pillows are fun, especially for nephews.

  9. Thanks for telling us the story. It looks great as a pillow.


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