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Mystery Cushion Club 2018: post 5, October - the last instalment!

HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE FIFTH AND FINAL INSTALMENT OF THE 2018 MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB! After five months of fun and adventure we are here at the end of this year’s project, with just the final panel to knit and the finishing touches to add to it. In this month’s patterns you are guided through the finishing process - including instructions on how to use that pom-pom maker (yes, it’s time to get pom-pom making!). And of course for those of you who are still guessing the theme, I will reveal the title of the Mystery Cushion in this blog. Any final guesses before you read on?!?...

THE FINAL SET OF PATTERNS WERE EMAILED TO ALL THE MEMBERS ON 15TH OCTOBER. And for the members who opted for printed patterns, the overseas were posted on the 11th October and the UK were posted on the 13th October, so if you have not already received them then they are on their way to you. And if in the meantime you are keen to get going then you can always take a look at the emailed file.

SO NOW IN THIS FINAL INSTALMENT, IT’S TIME TO REVEAL THE THEME OF THE MYSTERY CUSHION! And this year it’s been quite a hard one for you to guess with just a small minority of the members guessing it correctly…

The title is: “EASTERN PROMISE”

The design for the Mystery Cushion was inspired by this vibrant, colourful theme which dominated the Spring/Summer trends this year, influencing fashion and homeware in all the high street shops. The bright colours, stripes, textures and embellishments lent themselves perfectly to handknitting, and enabled me to combine all my favourite techniques together in one project.

Above and below: mood boards for Eastern Promise which were the starting -point for my Mystery cushion design.

I chose to work with Kaffe Fassett’s fabulous colours in Handknit Cotton – a palette which he designed especially for Rowan, and a heavier weight yarn than I usually use in my cushion designs. And I added in one ball of the luxuriously soft and cosy Alpaca Soft DK, which makes the most gorgeous pom-poms.

The focal point of the Front Panel is the decorative knitted braids which were inspired by the colourful costumes and fabrics found in North African and Arabic market places. These bright colours create a pleasing contrast with the neutral shade of Linen adding a cooler tone to the palette. 

The textured stitch patterns on the Front Panel in Linen yarn were inspired by ethnic hand-woven baskets and textiles.

I wanted the design to be rich in pattern, colour and texture and to be vibrant and exciting, so I added extra embellishments to the design – shell buttons, shisha mirrors and pom-poms.

I know that many of you were curious as to how the Pom-Pom Maker would be used in the design, but hopefully now in the final reveal you can appreciate its’ relevance to the design inspiration. Plus they are fun to make, aren’t they!?!

Now all you need to do is complete your cushion-cover and then you can bring a little bit of Eastern Promise into your own home!

THE FINAL PANEL TO KNIT THIS MONTH IS…

LOWER BACK PANEL, Oasis – striped cable pattern with eyelets

"OASIS" USES THE SAME CABLE PATTERN THAT YOU KNITTED FOR SQUARES 2 AND 7 – "MACRAME" - so this is a pattern which is already familiar to you. But in this panel it is knitted in a rolling three colour stripe, which means that once you have joined in all the yarns there is no need to cut them off until you have cast off. It’s a nice easy piece of knitting to finish off the cushion-cover, and when you have completed this panel there’s just the finishing off to do… so you’re nearly there!...

YOU WILL FIND INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO JOIN THE FRONT PANEL TO THE UPPER BACK PANEL, HOW TO SEW THE FRONT AND BACK PANELS TOGETHER, AND HOW TO MAKE THE POM-POMS on page 8 of the pattern instructions. Also on this page there is a link to a video on the internet which shows you how to use your Clover Pom-Pom Maker, and I have included some extra tips as well to help you perfect them. They are fun to make and I am sure you will find the Pom-Pom Maker useful for many other of your craft projects too!

TO COMPLETE YOUR CUSHION-COVER YOU WILL NEED SIX MEDIUM-SIZED SHELL BUTTONS AND A CUSHION PAD. It is advisable to take your completed cushion-cover to the shop when you purchase both your pad and buttons to check that you choose the right size. I used a 40cm x 40cm (16in x 16in) cushion-pad for my cushion-cover, however, if you did not match the given tension in the pattern instructions then you might find that you need either a bigger or smaller pad than this. But that won’t matter – your cushion-cover will look stunning whatever size pad you use!

I HAVE ONE LAST MEMBER STORY TO SHARE WITH YOU IN THIS FINAL MYSTERY CUSHION POST AND IT’S FROM ALI WADSLEY IN MEXICO, who you might remember had to wait a couple of months for her Mystery Cushion kit to arrive due to Mexican postal difficulties. But when it did finally arrive she sped on with the project and sent in photos to show her progress . Well now she has completed more of her squares and wanted to share these new photos with us:

Above: Ali's Front Panel squares...

Below:...and her Upper Back Panel. Well done Ali!

Ali says: “I really enjoyed knitting two squares today - just one more square until the front is complete! My Mexican friend made this comment last week when she saw the back panel of my cushion: “I love it and would love to have that design for a sweater!” She was impressed with what I had achieved and thought I had done some crochet - I assured her it was 100% knitted!”

Thanks for letting us know how well you have got on with the project Ali. You should feel very proud of what you have achieved and I am sure you will enjoy the finished result when you complete your cushion-cover!

NOW FOR SOME EXCITING NEWS FROM THE BEADYKNITS STUDIO! Jenny has been hard at work designing some gorgeous Christmas Bag kits which she will have ready for sale from the 28th October. Jenny's kits are perfect for learning new knitting techniques, and this time she has focused on fairisle, intarsia and bead knitting. They would make a lovely gift for a special friend or relative, or perhaps you might decide to give yourself a treat. Here are her three designs, showing both colorways for each design:

This is what Jenny has to say about her lovely little kits:

“The festive scent of cloves has been filling the BeadyKnits Studio! I have designed a set of three different  clove-scented Christmas Bag kits, each having a reverse colourway option. They are ideal to hang around your home this season. The kit contains Rowan Glace Cotton yarns, size 6 Debbie Abrahams glass beads, silk ribbon, a bag of cloves (UK only, due to export restrictions) and full-colour pattern instructions. Due for release October 28th.

Don’t forget to place your order when Jenny sends out a newsletter about her Christmas kits to her mailing list. If you would like to join Jenny’s mailing list then you can email her directly at jenny@beadyknits.com and Jenny will assist you with your requirements.

MEMBERSHIPS FOR THE 2019 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB ARE STILL AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE IN THE ONLINE SHOP ON MY WEBSITE, so if you have not signed up to the Club yet and want to do so, there is still time. The closing date for signing up is the 31st December, however, if we sell out of memberships before that date the Club will close and no more memberships will be available. In the previous eleven years that the Mystery Blanket Club has been running the memberships have all sold out, and we expect this Club to do the same. So don't delay!

If you want to find out more about next years Mystery Blanket, it would be a good idea to visit the FAQ page on my website where you will find more information: http://www.debbieabrahams.com/mystery-clubs/mystery-blanket/

AND IF YOU ARE UP FOR ANOTHER MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB ADVENTURE NEXT YEAR, APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2019 MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB open in March 2019. You will all be notified when the signing up begins via an emailed newsletter. I am not going to reveal anything about the theme and the yarn yet, but I will give you some pointers in the newsletter that we will send out in March. And don’t forget that if you have signed up for the 2019 Mystery Blanket Club, you will get a discount on your Mystery Cushion Club membership. The discount code to be used at checkout will be given to all Mystery Blanket members when the new Club begins in February.

YARN IN BEESTON, NOTTINGHAM, HELD THEIR MOST RECENT MYSTERY CLUB MEETING ON 10th OCTOBER, however, due to illness I was unable to attend the meeting. The next and final Club meeting is on 7th November between 4.00-6.00pm and all being well I will be there. Yarn is at 55 Chilwell Road, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1EN, tel: 0115 9253606. If you want to contact Sarah to be added to her mailing list then you can email her at the following address: info@yarn-in-notts.co.uk. It would be great to see you at the next  and last meeting for this year!

I AM RUNNING ONE MORE WORKSHOP THIS YEAR IN THE UK WHICH YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN COMING ALONG TO:

  • Saturday 1st December, Festive Project (half-day): Yarn Loft, 118 Hucknall Rd, Nottingham NG5 1AD, tel: 07825 702433, website: www.yarnloft.co.uk (contact Doreen)

To book your place, and for further information please contact Doreen at the Yarn Loft.

So here we are at the end of the eighth Mystery Cushion Club and if you have kept up with the monthly patterns then very soon you will be able to sit back and enjoy your Eastern Promise cushion-cover. I am busy in the Design Studio working on all the very exciting new projects for 2019, so if you fancy another “Mystery” knitting adventure next year, perhaps you will decide to join me again? Thank you for all the wonderful emails and photos that you have sent to me this year, which have been a joy to receive. Until next time, keep busy and keep knitting, Debbie x


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