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Mystery Cushion Club 2020: post 2, July

WELCOME TO THE JULY INSTALMENT OF THE 2020 MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB!

This month I am giving you another three squares of the Front panel to knit up. And with two-thirds of it now revealed, you might have more of an idea about what the theme is. Besides the cushion there’s lots of other things to keep you busy too, including new kits in my web-shop and a glimpse at the new 2021 Mystery Blanket Club which launches at the end of this month. So let’s get going and see what this month has in store for you…

AS FAR AS WE ARE AWARE, MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE KITS FOR THIS PROJECT HAVE BEEN RECEIVED. However, if you are still waiting for your kit and have not contacted us about it, please email Sue at sue@debbieabrahams.com so that we can look into it for you. In the current situation our parcels are taking a lot longer to arrive at their destinations than usual, however, we expect all of them to arrive safely, if not a little later than anticipated.

THE SECOND SET OF PATTERNS WERE EMAILED TO ALL THE MEMBERS ON 15TH JULY, so if you haven't seen them yet, please check your inbox. The printed patterns (for those who paid for them), were posted to overseas members on the 6th July and to the UK members on the 10th July.

Don’t forget that you can also download your pattern files from your account on our website.

YOU CAN NOW ACCESS PATTERN ADDENDUMS ON OUR WEBSITE. So it’s a good idea to check out this page before you start knitting a new square. You can access them by scrolling down to the bottom of the Home page where you will see a link called ‘Addendum’. On this page you will find addendums for the 2020 Mystery Blanket and Mystery Cushion, as well as my published books.

We check our patterns very carefully. However, despite a thorough test knit and several pairs of eyes scanning the pattern instructions, some errors do unfortunately still occur. However, with this handy page now at your fingertips you can find out whether there are any amendments and knit on with confidence!

MEMBERSHIPS FOR THE 2021 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB WILL BE ON SALE FROM FRIDAY 31ST JULY. So if you are enjoying the Mystery Cushion Club and think that you might want to treat yourself to another knitting adventure with me next year, then we would delighted to have you on board!

Below: Mystery Blanket 2012, Celebration of Sport.

We are excited to announce that we have a very special offer for members who sign up within the first month. You will receive an exclusive Debbie Abrahams knitting pattern and the beads to knit up a sparkly accessory, plus a 15% voucher to spend in our online shop. The knitting pattern will be emailed to you and the beads will be included with your first yarn parcel. When you purchase your membership we will email you a code for the discount voucher which can be used once in our online shop at anytime with no expiry date. It can be used for any purchases excluding Mystery Clubs.

Below: Mystery Blanket Club 2009, Arabian Nights.

The previous two Mystery Blankets (2019 and 2020), have focused on a soft colour palette, with cosy yarns to match. However, next year sees a return to a strong, vibrant colour palette, combining together several gorgeous yarns from the Rowan Autumn/Winter collection including Felted Tweed, Softyak, Alpaca Soft DK and Alpaca Classic. And I am thrilled to be able to tell you that also included in the kit are some bespoke shades of Pure Wool DK which have been dyed up exclusively for this project. These shades will only be available to buy in the blanket kit, so they really are super special! And of course there are plenty of beads in it too to add oodles of sparkle! Techniques include fairisle and intarsia as well as textured stitches, cables, beads and stripes. Two options will be offered on some of the more tricky squares which will enable knitters of all skill levels to take part.

We are going to offer a longer instalment plan for this project, so that you can spread your payments over several months rather than paying in one go. There will be no administration fee for this so you will pay the same amount as those who make a single payment.

Below: Mystery Blanket 2011, House of Aphrodite.

With many people around the world anticipating a prolonged period of keeping safe and staying at home, a Mystery Blanket knitting kit is the perfect project to keep you busy and focused through the months ahead. We are expecting a high demand for memberships, and with the Club limited to five hundred members, it would be wise to secure your place early to make sure that you don’t miss out.

From 31st July you will find in our web-shop memberships to purchase with various options for UK, Europe and the World. There is a signing up deadline of 31st December 2020, however, the Club will close if the memberships sell out before this. The Mystery Blanket Club begins on 1st February 2021.

IF YOU FANCY A NEW KNITTING KIT SOONER RATHER THAN LATER, THEN THERE ARE MORE NEW KITS IN THE PIPELINE, beginning with the launch this week of…

Neon Rainbow – a third colourway in the Rainbow purse collection, knitted in Rowan Glace Cotton with seven colours of Debbie Abrahams Beads. Launch date from 17th July 2020. See image below.

Autumn Bag – a beaded drawstring bag in rich Autumnal shades of Chestnut, Moss Green and Purple, knitted in Rowan Glace Cotton. Launch date from 7th August 2020.

Festive Mystery Knit Boxes – a box full of treats for you or a great gift for a friend or relative. Includes a brand new festive knitting kit designed by Debbie as well as a minimum of six other mystery gifts. Launch date from 1st September 2020.

Silent Night Wall-Hanging - a sparkling accessory for the festive season knitted in Rowan Baby Cashsoft Merino and Felted Tweed with Debbie Abrahams beads and rhinestone studs. Launch date from 15th September 2020. See image below.

Let It Snow Mitts (green colourway) - a second colourway in this popular fairisle accessory which combines Rowan Alpaca Soft DK, Felted Tweed, Baby Silk Merino DK and Softyak with sparkling beads. Launch date from 15th September 2020.

These dates are approximate and may be subject to change. However, we will let you know by email as soon as each new product is live in our shop and available to buy.

THERE ARE THREE MYSTERY CUSHION SQUARES TO KNIT THIS MONTH:
FRONT PANEL, Square 3:
Bento Box – textured stitch pattern with hooked-in beads:

FRONT PANEL, Square 4: Lanterns – striped pattern with fairisle, slipped stitches and chain stitch:

FRONT PANEL, Square 4: More Sushi – striped pattern with hooked-in beads:

Here’s some extra advice on these blocks to help you with your knitting this month…

SQUARE 3, BENTO BOX: this is a repeat of Square 7 from Mail Out 1, so it’s a nice easy start to this month’s squares. Just remember to change needle size when instructed to maintain a neat and even tension.

SQUARE 4, LANTERNS: in contrast to Square 3, this square is colourful and busy with several different techniques to tackle in one go. There are two sections of fairisle which are worked from the chart on page 9, a slip stitch pattern in the centre of the square, and horizontal chain stitch lines which are embroidered onto the square after it has been knitted.

Twice in the pattern you are instructed to transfer the stitches to the other end of the needle. This means that Row 11 becomes a wrong side row, so you should read Row 1 of the fairisle chart from right to left, and Row 2 of the chart from left to right - the usual way to read a chart is from left to right for right side rows, and right to left for wrong side rows. However, as the chart is symmetrical it actually does not matter which way you read it – the pattern will knit up the same whichever way you read it.

There is one single decrease on Row 23 which needs to be knitted tightly to keep the stitches looking neat.

It is advisable to use a blunt ended needle to do the chain stitch embroidery as this will reduce the risk of splitting the stitches or the yarn as you work along the row. I embroidered one chain stitch over each knitted stitch and followed the same row of stitches all the way across the knitting for each horizontal line.

SQUARE 8, MORE SUSHI: this is almost a repeat of Square 2 from Mail Out 1, but watch out for the garter stitch stripes as the colours swap around!

AND FINALLY FOR THIS MONTH, IT’S TIME TO HAVE ANOTHER GO AT GUESSING THE TITLE OF THE MYSTERY CUSHION! We have not had any correct answers so far, so here's another clue to help you. This month it’s the letter ‘N’:
_   _  I  _  N  _ / _  _  _  _  _  _  _  

If you think you might know what it is, please email your answer to Sue at sue@debbieabrahams.com to see if you are right. And if you are not, then the guessing game continues on for another month!...

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and I hope that this month’s squares keep you busy and motivated for the next few weeks. If you have a good tip to pass on, a story to tell or a photo to share about your latest knitting achievement, please send them in and I will include them in the next blog. I have a very busy month ahead of me with the new Mystery Blanket design in full swing and lots of new kits for the web-shop in the pipeline. And if that sun can keep shining then I might just get to knit ‘al fresco’ – now wouldn’t that be nice! Until then, take care and I will see you back here in four weeks time, Debbie x


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