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Mystery Cushion Club 2022: post 2, July

WELCOME TO THE JULY INSTALMENT OF THE 2022 MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB! This month I have three more front panel squares for you to knit which are a mixture of vibrant fairisle patterns and cheerful rainbow stripes.

There are no new knitting techniques this month, but with a bit of help, if needed from last month’s tech vids, you should be absolutely fine with what I have got in store for you!

Let’s begin with my intro vlog which has lots of helpful tips about the squares you are knitting this month. Got ten minutes? Then stick on the kettle, make yourself a cuppa and enjoy!...

THIS IS A REMINDER OF THE TECH VIDS THAT ARE IN THE JUNE BLOG. They are a really helpful resource if you need assistance with any of the techniques that are used in the July Squares:

  • How to thread beads onto your yarn
  • How to bead, the slip-stitch method
  • How to bead, the hooking-in method
  • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (to knit the next square)
  • Square 1, Hearts & Flowers: the fairisle technique
  • Square 1, Hearts & Flowers: how to work rows 12-17
  • Square 4, Crazy Cable: intarsia cast-on
  • Square 4, Crazy Cable: how to cross yarns over on a right side row (with increases) and a wrong side row
  • Square 4, Crazy Cable: intarsia cables (c7b) on a right side row
  • Square 4, Crazy Cable: intarsia cables (c7b) on a wrong side row

IN NEXT MONTH’S BLOG I WILL INCLUDE SOME MORE TECH VIDS, including how to sew up using Mattress stitch for both horizontal and vertical seams.

THE SECOND SET OF PATTERNS WERE EMAILED TO ALL THE MEMBERS ON 15TH AUGUST, so you should find an email from us in your inbox with a link to the July file. If it has not arrived then it is advisable to check your Spam folder as that’s where our emails tend to end up if they don’t make it to your inbox.

The printed patterns (for those who paid for them), were posted to overseas members on the 8th July and to the UK members on the 12th July.

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

THERE’S ONE VERY IMPORTANT DATE TO PENCIL IN ON YOUR CALENDAR AND THAT’S FRIDAY 26TH AUGUST WHEN WE WILL BE LAUNCHING SIGN-UPS FOR THE 2023 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB! There will be an Early Bird special offer for everyone who signs up before 1st September, and with memberships limited to 500, it would be wise to book your place early to secure your place.

Above: Mystery Blanket 2017, Retrospective

At the moment the yarns are still in the planning stage so I will tell you more about them in next month’s blog, along with a few (just a few!) tips about the theme and the colour palette. All I will say for now is that it is very different to this year’s Mystery Blanket project in both theme and colour, with a much bolder, vibrant colour palette, some intarsia squares (pictorial knits), as well as lots of exciting stitch patterns, stripes, and of course oodles of sparkling beads.

Above: Mystery Blanket 2009, Arabian Nights

Sounds intriguing? Visit the August Mystery Blanket blog on the 1st August or the next Mystery Cushion blog on the 15th August to find out more!

THERE ARE THREE FRONT PANEL SQUARES TO KNIT THIS MONTH:

FRONT PANEL, Square 7: Butterflies and Leaves – fairisle butterfly and leaf motifs with hooked-in beads:

FRONT PANEL, Square 8: Rainbow 2 – textured stripes with slip-stitch beads:

FRONT PANEL, Square 9: Flowers and Hearts – fairisle heart and flower motifs with hooked-in beads:

And here are some extra tips to help you with your knitting this month:

SQUARE 7, BUTTERFLIES AND LEAVES: this square uses the fairisle technique and has rows of a slip-stitch stripe pattern between the bands of butterfly and leaf motifs.

Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

  • How to bead, the hooking-in method (JUNE blog)
  • Square 1: Hearts and Flowers, the fairisle technique (JUNE blog)
  • Square 1: Hearts and Flowers, how to work rows 12-17 (JUNE blog)

The fairisle video from last month show the Hearts & Flowers square being knitted. However, the techniques of stranding and weaving that I demonstrate are exactly the same as the techniques you will need for this square – it’s just the motifs that are different. So if you need a reminder of the fairisle technique, be sure to check out the video before you start knitting.

On page 5 of your July mail out, the 4th bullet point of the Pattern notes and tips advises you to watch out for a variable stitch count within this square. I talk about this in my intro vid, but in case you didn’t catch it, you need to be aware of a stitch decrease and a stitch increase on rows 18 and 29, respectively. This is because the leaves section of the square has 38 stitches in comparison to the butterflies which has 39 stitches. You will find an explanation of ‘skpo’ (a single stitch decrease) and ‘m1’ (a single stitch increase) on page 15 of your July mail out.

SQUARE 8, RAINBOW 2: this square is similar to Square 2 from the June mail out, but if you look closely at it the colours of the stripes are knitted in reverse order.  

Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

  • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (to knit the next square) (JUNE blog)
  • How to thread beads onto your yarn (JUNE blog)
  • How to bead, the slip-stitch method (JUNE blog)

There are changes in needle size throughout this square which are essential to keep the width the same all the way up to the top (garter stitch elongates the width of a stitch). And remember also that you can carry Garnet up the side edge to avoid extra loose ends.

SQUARE 9, FLOWERS AND HEARTS: it’s back to fairisle again for the final square this month. It’s similar to Square 1, but the heart and flower motifs have switched places so it begins and ends with hearts with flowers in the centre.

Videos to watch for assistance with this square:

  • How to bead, the hooking-in method (JUNE blog)
  • Square 1: Hearts and Flowers, the fairisle technique (JUNE blog)
  • Square 1: Hearts and Flowers, how to work rows 12-17 (JUNE blog)

This square completes the whole ‘strip’ for the right-hand side of the front panel. If you have not picked up stitches to knit on the squares and have knitted them separately, you will need to sew them together.

There are many ways you can do this, but I would suggest that you use horizontal Mattress stitch. If you know how to do this, or you know of another suitable technique, it would be a good idea to get them sewn together now – it’s always beneficial to get ahead if you can with the finishing. However, if you need some assistance with sewing them together, in next month’s blog I will include a tech vid for horizontal mattress stitch, so hold tight until then and I’ll be back! 

BEFORE I SIGN OFF THIS MONTH IT’S TIME TO HAVE A GUESS AT THE TITLE OF THE MYSTERY CUSHION! And with no correct guesses so far, it looks like you are all in need of another letter. So here goes…

This month the letter I am giving you this month is ‘O:
_  _  R  _  / _  O  _  _  _  _  _

The theme is linked to a 2022 Spring/Summer theme, so it might be worth having a good look around you when you next go to the shops. Are there any clues in the shop windows or shop displays? The title is a bit of an unusual one, but it will all make sense as the cushion progresses…think positivity, energy and new beginnings….

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 then with your permission we will include you in the list of correct guessers in the August blog. Good luck everyone!

As our colourful journey progresses and more of the mystery is revealed, I hope that you continue to enjoy the bright, vibrant squares and patterns. Next month you will get the patterns for the last three front panel squares, and then we are onto the back of the cushion cover –there is so much more to come! In the meantime, do keep in touch and send in any stories or photos that you have of your Mystery Cushion knitting – it is always such a joy to hear from you! And don’t forget to send in your Mystery Cushion guesses too – any ideas!?! See you next month, Debbie, x


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