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Mystery Cushion Club 2017: post 2, August

WELCOME TO THE SECOND INSTALMENT OF THE 2017 MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB!  The weather has been very up and down here in Nottingham, but I suppose that's given me a good excuse to stay in and get some serious knitting done! Whereas last year little Seth was enjoying some naps "al fresco" in the warm sunshine, this year he has spent a lot of time napping on the sofa instead. Here he is, fast asleep in the land of nod at his nan and grandad's house. And while he sleeps on, I will get on with this month's Mystery Cushion Club news...

THE SECOND SET OF PATTERNS WERE EMAILED TO ALL THE MEMBERS ON 1ST AUGUST, so hopefully you all received them ok. The printed patterns (for those who paid for them), are also on their way, with both overseas and UK being posted out last week. Please remember that the yarn and bead kit for this project was sent to you in one parcel when the Club began on the 1st July, so please note that there are no further yarn parcels to be sent out and you have all of the materials you need for the cushion.

MEMBERSHIPS FOR THE 2018 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB ARE SELLING WELL, with over a third of the places sold already! But if you have not signed up yet, there is still time. I am limiting the number of memberships for next year to 600, which is 100 less than last year. So it might be a good idea to get your membership sorted out as soon as you can if you want to be part of next year's brand new project.  If you want to find out more about the Club before you sign up, then there is a list of FAQ's on the website: https://debbieabrahams.com/pages/faq#mysteryfaq

You can buy your membership in the online shop on my website now, using all major credit and debit cards or Paypal. http://www.debbieabrahams.com/mystery-clubs/mystery-blanket/

I hope you decide to join me!

PLEASE NOTE THAT 2017 MYSTERY CUSHION MEMBERS DO NOT GET A DISCOUNT ON THE 2018 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB, however, if you join the 2018 Mystery Blanket Club you will get a discount on the 2018 Mystery Cushion Club.

MYSTERY CUSHION BLOCKS TO KNIT THIS MONTH ARE:
FRONT PANEL, Block 5:
Savoy – cabled pattern with beads, buttons and swiss-darning

FRONT PANEL, Block 8: Jazzy – garter stitch stripes

FRONT PANEL, Block 9: Rockefeller – lace and textured stitches with beads

FRONT PANEL, Block 10: Manhattan – beaded pattern

BLOCK 5, SAVOY, IS A CABLED PATTERN, WITH BRIGHT PINK SWISS-DARNING, LIPSTICK BEADS AND SHELL BUTTONS. I have given you the pattern instructions in two formats - written and as a chart - so you can choose to work from whichever one suits you best. If you have not worked a cable pattern from a chart before, then it might be a good idea to start with this one - it really is quite easy once you get your head round the symbols and what they mean. I would advise that before you make a start on it, read through the key so that you understand what all those crosses and lines mean, and then give it a go! And if you do get stuck, you can always refer to the written instructions as both patterns correspond with each other row by row.

BLOCK 8, JAZZY, IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS BLOCK 4 FROM MAIL OUT 1, so this is a nice easy one to kick off strip number 3 of the Front Panel. It's basicaly garter stitch stripes, which means that you knit every row - so you'll whizz through this one! Just make sure that you note the smaller needle size - it is recommended that you use 2.25mm needles as garter stitch loosens the stitch tension.

BLOCK 9, ROCKEFELLER, COMBINES LACE AND TEXTURED STITCHES WITH BEADS, and uses size 8 Lime beads - the smaller ones - so make sure that you pick up the correct ones! Also note that the needle size used is smaller than the suggested needle size for the project of 2.75mm, it is the smaller size of 2.25mm. This is because lace stitches open up and loosen the fabric so the smaller size needle will help to maintain a better tension and achieve neater stitches. As with Block 5, you have been given this pattern in two formats, charted and worded, so you can choose to work from whichever one you prefer. What I said about Block 5 and knitting from a chart goes for this pattern too. If knitting lace from a chart is new to you, perhaps give it a go - you always have the worded instructions to back you up if you get stuck.

BLOCK 10, MANHATTAN, IS AN ALL OVER BEADED PATTERN - but watch out as both slip stitch beading and hooking-in are used in this block. It is noted in the Pattern notes and tips on page 10 that Bronze and Lipstick beads are knitted in using the slip-stitch method, and the Lime beads (size 6 - the larger ones) are knitted in using the hooking-in method. It is important that you use the correct method as and when instructed as it will affect the way that the beads look on the knitted fabric. Also with this block, just a quick note about the needle size. You are advised to use a larger needle than the suggested needle size for the project of 2.75mm, you use 3.00mm instead. This is because of the yarn you are using for it, which is  Pure New Wool, and it needs a slightly larger needle to maintain the tension of the rest of the blocks.

IN CASE THE SWISS-DARNING IN BLOCK 5, SAVOY, IS WORRYING YOU, HERE ARE SOME TIPS ABOUT THE TECHNIQUE...

  • always use a blunt ended needle so that you avoid splitting the stitches and the yarn
  • if possible, begin at the bottom of a motif and work towards the top, rather than top to bottom
  • when working stitches in a vertical column, swiss-darn them in the opposite direction to the last stitch. For example, if you swiss-darned the first stitch from left to right, swiss-darn the second stitch from right to left
  • don’t pull too tightly or quickly on the yarn as you pull it through the stitches. The tension on the yarn needs to be as close as possible to the tension of the knitting so that it lays flat and covers the stitches properly, not too loose or too tight
  • when swiss-darning an outline (ie, the lozenge shapes in Savoy), fold the yarn in half and start it in the middle so that you can use both ends to embroider the shape

AND IF YOU ALSO NEED A BIT OF HELP WITH THREADING BEADS ONTO YARN AND THE SLIP-STITCH TECHNIQUE, you will find a helpful couple of video demonstrations on the Debbie Abrahams Beads website: http://www.debbieabrahamsbeads.co.uk/knitting-beading-tips/

At the moment there is no video of the hooking-in technique, but it is something we are working on!

IF YOU LIVE IN THE NOTTINGHAM AREA THEN YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED TO KNOW THAT YARN IN BEESTON HOLD MONTHLY MEETINGS - for both the Mystery Cushion and Blanket. The meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month between 4-6pm in Sarah's lovely shop, where members meet up for a bit of knit-chat over a hot drink and a biscuit. There is no meeting in August because of the summer holidays, so the next meeting is on Wednesday 6th September. Yarn is at 55 Chilwell Road, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1EN, tel: 0115 9253606, email: info@yarn-in-notts.co.uk. I do hope that you can come and join us!

YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW THAT I AM CURRENTLY OFFERING A 10% DISCOUNT ON THREE NEW KITS IN MY WEB-SHOP- for a limited period only! You can choose from Snowflake Mitts, Summer Pines Bag and Wiggle Lavender Bag. You can use the discount code once but buy multiple kits if desired. It might be a good way to start your Christmas shopping (dare I say it!!!), or get yourself ready for the Autumn season! It's easy to get your discount, simply input the code "SUMMER10" into the coupon box at checkout to receive your 10% off. Offer expires on 15th August.

Snowflake Mitts

Summer Pines Bag

Wiggle Lavender Bag

AND FINALLY FOR THIS MONTH … THE THEME OF THE MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB! We've only had one correct answer so far for the title of this year's Mystery Cushion, so well done to Catherine from Denbigh in Wales, UK! Which means that many of you are still trying to guess what it is. So here's another letter to give you a clue...the letter I am giving you this  month is “R”…
_  E  _  R  _  _  _  _  _  _

I hope that you enjoy knitting up your four blocks this month. And remember that if you get stuck or need some advice, you can contact us here at sue@debbieabrahams.com, or visit the Debbie Abrahams group on Ravelry who are always happy to help. And if you have anything you would like to share with me and the other members, don't forget to send in your Mystery Cushon stories and photos - we love to hear what you've been up to!  So until next time, take care and…happy knitting! Debbie x


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