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Mystery Cushion Club 2021: post 5, October - the final instalment!

HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE FINAL INSTALMENT OF THE 2021 MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB! And what an exciting time it is with the completed cushion finally revealed and the last set of instructions ready for you to start work on! And if you are up to date with your knitting then it shouldn’t take you too long. There’s just one panel left to knit and it’s the Lower Back Panel.

 

This month as well as the reveal of the cushion title, there is also some advice on assembling the cushion-cover. And if you have not yet signed up to the 2022 Mystery Blanket Club, there’s a reminder of what I have I store for you next year…are you ready to take another ‘mystery’ challenge?!?

SO HERE IT IS, MY INTRO VIDEO IN WHICH I REVEAL THE TITLE OF THE MYSTERY CUSHION AND TALK ABOUT ITS INSPIRATION - simply click on the link below to reveal the ‘mystery’! 

INDEX OF VLOGS BY SUBJECT AND MONTH, to enable you to locate them more easily as and when you need them:

How to cast on using the intarsia technique JUNE

The intarsia technique JUNE

c10b on a wrong side row JUNE

How to make a marshmallow JUNE

How to hook in a bead JUNE

How to pick up stitches to knit Square 2 JULY

Square 2, Treats: how to knit rows 3 and 4 JULY

Mattress stitch SEPTEMBER

How to chain stitch SEPTEMBER

Picking up stitches to knit the Upper Back Panel SEPTEMBER

How to knit a neat buttonhole SEPTEMBER

How to Swiss darn SEPTEMBER

How to sew down the picot edge hem SEPTEMBER

THE FIFTH AND FINAL SET OF PATTERNS WERE EMAILED TO ALL THE MEMBERS ON 15TH OCTOBER, so you can get going straight away on your last panel today! The printed patterns (for those who paid for them), were posted to overseas members on the 6th October and to the UK members on the 13th October.

You can also download your pattern files from your account on our website.

THIS IS THE FINAL PANEL TO KNIT:

LOWER BACK PANEL: Caramel Latte – three-colour striped slip-stitch pattern with slip-stitch beads:

Here’s some advice to help you with your knitting this month:

This panel is knitted by picking up stitches along the cast-on edge of the completed Front Panel. To assist you with this you can use the vlog from September which shows you how to pick up stitches along the cast-off edge of the Front Panel. You use this same method but this time you are putting your needle through the very first stitch you can see above the cast-on edge. To do this you will be holding the Front Panel upside down with the cast-on edge at the top. So just remember that the stitches will be the wrong way up (an inverted ‘V’).

The stitch itself is pretty straightforward – it’s an all-over repeat slip-stitch pattern which involves moving the yarn back and forth between the needles to create a textured stitch. And once Milky, Dolly and Mushy have been joined in you carry them up the sides of the work, only breaking off Mushy when instructed to thread on more beads. There are 12 rows in the pattern repeat knitted on one metric size larger needle than the suggested main needle size of 3.75mm. So if you are knitting to tension, that’s 4.00mm needles. And then you move down one needle size to 3.75mm to complete the final 4cm. The change of needle size will ensure that this edge, when tucked under the Upper Back Panel, is slightly firmer.

FINISHING INSTRUCTIONS! Before sewing the Lower Back Panel into place you will need to sew the side seams of the Upper Back Panel to the Front Panel. I’ve only just realised that this instruction was not included in the previous mail out – and it’s not been mentioned in the November mail out either. So this does need to be done before you sew down the Lower Back Panel.

I began sewing the Upper Back Panel to the Front Panel beginning at the top (where it has been picked up from the Front Panel), finishing at the picot edge. The buttonholes should line up (or be very close to) the centre of the Front Panel, so that’s the middle of Squares 2 and 7. This image shows where the buttonhole-band meets the Front Panel to give you some guidance:

I used Mattress stitch to sew together all my side seams, however I can’t remember which colour yarn I used. But it doesn’t actually matter which colour you use as Mattress stitch is an invisible seam and it won’t be seen – that’s the beauty of it! The Cotton Wool yarn is pretty strong, but if you would prefer to use something more robust than this, choose a suitable yarn in a matching colour to any of the shades in the cushion, and that will work just fine. I did use the Cotton Wool for all my sewing up, but I remember being conscious of it wearing a bit thin towards the end of a seam.

After completing the Lower Back Panel, you then need to move onto putting the final touches to your cushion-cover, instructions for which you will find on page 7. This includes marking out the position of the buttons on the Lower Back Panel and joining the sides seams of the Lower Back Panel to the Front Panel, before finally sewing on the six buttons.

You will need six buttons for the fastenings. I chose medium-sized (22mm/23mm) shell buttons that have two holes. But you can have fun choosing whatever you want to complete your Mystery Cushion!

Finally, you need to stuff your cushion-cover with a pad. It is advisable to take your completed cushion-cover to the shop when you purchase your pad to check that you choose the right size. I used a 40cm x 40cm (16in x 16in) cushion-pad for mine, 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!

After you’ve completed all these steps your 2021 Mystery Cushion is finished and ready to snuggle up to and enjoy!

NEXT, A REMINDER THAT MEMBERSHIPS FOR THE 2022 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB ARE STILL AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE IN OUR ONLINE SHOP!

The Mystery Blanket is a much bigger project than the Mystery Cushion and patterns are sent to the members in ten instalments, beginning in February and ending in November. After finishing your Mystery Cushion, you might want to have a go at a longer project, so this could be the one for you!

Here is a glimpse of what I have in store for you next year…

For the 2022 Mystery Blanket, luxury, elegance and sophistication are key elements, so I have chosen to use the beautifully soft Rowan Baby Cashsoft Merino, which is combined with two shades of Kidsilk Haze. The yarns will include four bespoke shades of Baby Cashsoft Merino which have been dyed specifically for this project. Plus, there is plenty of sparkle going on with a touch of shimmering lurex, glittering rhinestones and lots of Debbie Abrahams beads!

 

Techniques will include some fairisle and intarsia, but the emphasis is on texture with cable, Iace and intricate stitch structures combined with relaxed stripe patterns.  And as with my previous Mystery Blankets, two options will be offered on some of the trickier squares which will enable knitters of all skill levels to take part.

The colour palette is a collection of the most beautiful shades ranging from soft green, blush pink and silver, to royal navy, gold and ochre. There are other shades in it too, but I am going to keep them a mystery!

If preferred you can choose to spread your payments over several months rather than paying in one go by opting for our Splitit payment plan. There will be no administration or interest fees for this so you will pay the same amount as those who make a single payment.

Above: 2019 Mystery Blanket, Winter Wonderland.

You can sign up today in our online shop with various options to choose from for UK, Europe and the World. There is a signing up deadline of 31st December 2021, however, the Club will close if the memberships sell out before this.

MEMBERSHIPS FOR THE 2022 MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB OPEN IN MARCH. So, if you enjoyed your Mystery Cushion knitting adventure this year, you might want to join me again next year when I will have a very exciting new project for you to enjoy. I am not going to reveal anything about the theme or 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 are a member of this year’s Mystery Blanket Club, you will get a discount on your 2022 Mystery Cushion Club membership.

Above: Mystery Cushion 2019: Classical Ornament.

MEMBER GALLERY! As in previous years I will be creating a Gallery of the member’s work on my website which gives you the chance to showcase your completed projects. I welcome all ‘Debbie ‘ Mystery’ projects (old and new!) plus any other projects of mine that you have made this year. I plan to put it live on my blog at the beginning of January, so that gives you a few months to get them finished and photographed. Please send your photos and comments (a few words – or a lot! – would be lovely!) directly to me at: debbie@debbieabrahams.com and with your permission I will include your work in the Gallery.

Well, what an amazing five months it’s been, and hopefully an enjoyable one too! It’s been an absolute pleasure to have you all on board and I want to thank you for all your emails, photos and stories which have made me gasp, giggle and laugh every month. My ‘mystery’ knitting adventures are my most favourite thing in the world to work on, but without your support they would not exist. So I’m sending out an enormous thank you to everyone who took part, it’s been a lot of fun! And who knows, you might be back again next year for another ‘mystery’ adventure!?! In the meantime, have a super Autumn/Winter, keep those needles clicking, and above all, keep safe and well, Debbie x

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