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Mystery Cushion Club 2018: post 3, August

HELLO AND A WARM WELCOME TO THE THIRD INSTALMENT OF THE MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB!  It’s been a busy month so far with the launch of the 2019 Mystery Blanket Club applications. Plus I have been looking forward to next year’s Mystery Cushion Club design and browsing through the themes for Spring/Summer 2019. I have found a lovely theme to base the cushion design on and am in the process of gathering together visuals for inspiration and a colour palette. So it’s a very exciting time at the moment in the Design Studio with several new projects on the go!!!

Now on with this month’s Mystery Cushion Club news, starting with…

…THE THIRD SET OF PATTERNS WHICH WERE EMAILED TO ALL THE MEMBERS ON 15TH AUGUST. For the members who opted for printed patterns, the overseas were posted on the 9th August and the UK were posted on the 14th August, so if they have not arrived with you yet, they are definitely on their way. So watch out for your postie!

MEMBERSHIPS FOR THE 2019 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB GOT OFF TO A FABULOUS START THIS MONTH, with over half of the places selling within the first two weeks. I am offering an Earlybird discount if you sign up before the 31st August, so this is a great opportunity to get some money off your 2019 Club membership. Simply enter EARLYBIRD19 after clicking “Checkout” and a 5% discount will be applied to the base price of your package.

This is a reminder of what I have in store for you for the 2019 Mystery Blanket…

After a very colourful and vibrant 2018 Mystery Blanket design, I have decided to go in the opposite direction next year with a design that has a much softer and quieter colour palette. So, for those of who have been waiting for something more serene and calm to come along, this could be the Mystery Blanket for you! I am returning to wool-based yarns with an emphasis on soft, cosy fibres, and I have selected some gorgeous yarns from the Rowan collection to work with, including their brand new Alpaca Classic, Felted Tweed and Alpaca Soft DK. And of course there will be plenty of beads in it too as this design needs a ton of sparkle! I am not going to say too much else about it at this point, apart from that there will be lots of fairisle patterns in the design as well as stripes, textures and embellishments. So if you haven’t tried the fairisle technique before, this blanket would be a fabulous introduction to it. But remember that there is always that second option offered on colour-work squares which gives you the opportunity opt out and knit something a bit easier.

(Above: a previous Mystery Blanket design from 2013).

(Below: another design from the Mystery Blanket collection, from 2014).

The Club will run exactly the same way as this year, with patterns spread across ten months and the knitting kit split into two parcels, posted in February and May. As memberships are limited, the patterns will only be available to those who have signed up to it. So if you want to be part of next year’s very exciting new Mystery Blanket, don’t forget to secure your place today by visiting the web-shop on my website. You will find memberships with various options for UK, Europe and World Zones 1 and 2 to purchase in my online shop.

Every year my Mystery Blanket Club has sold out, and next year I expect it do the same. There is a signing up deadline of 31st December 2018, however, the Club will close if the memberships sell out before this. 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/

THERE ARE THREE SQUARES TO KNIT THIS MONTH…

FRONT PANEL, Square 7: Souk – striped and beaded pattern with knitted-in decorative braids

FRONT PANEL, Square 8: Macrame #2 – eyelet cables with slipped stitches and hooked-in beads

FRONT PANEL, Square 9: Back To The Bazaar – striped and beaded pattern with knitted-in decorative braids

SQUARE 7, SOUK, IS A VARIATION ON SQUARE 1, BAZAAR, and has knitted in braids and beads. However, the braids are different this time and use the same technique which was used for the cast-on and edging in the Upper Back Panel in last month’s mail out. So if you need guidance on this you can use the video film from the July blog to help you. Also, be aware of the needle size changes throughout this square which are hi-lighted in bold type in the pattern instructions. These changes are important to maintain the width of the knitting.

SQUARE 8, MACRAME, IS SIMILAR TO SQUARE 2 FROM MAIL OUT 1, however, be aware that the cabled stitches twist in the opposite direction – that is to the left (c6ftog) rather than to the right (c6btog).  You may remember from the previous Macrame square that the stitches become very tight after you have hooked-in two beads onto one stitch. However, Mystery Cushion member Anne McClure found a cunning way to make the row after the hooking-in of the beads easier to do. This is what she did when she knitted her first Macrame square and her Medina square:

Says Anne: “I’ve found a quick and easy way of knitting the rows in this square more easily. I used a small gauge metal circular needle and lifted and hooked all stitches from the right-hand needle, (the normal needle) onto the left-hand needle (the circular needle). Then I pushed the stitches to the end of the circular needle and knitted the row as normal. It saved a lot of messing around and I ended up with a neat row!”

Thanks for that super advice Anne, I am sure it will help a lot of the members who are struggling to work those beaded rows!

SQUARE 9, BACK TO THE BAZAAR IS A RETURN TO SQUARE 1 FROM MAIL OUT 1, however, the colours in this square have been swapped around to give the square a different look. Just make sure that you use the right colours on the right place!

I ONLY HAVE ONE MEMBER STORY THIS MONTH, AND THAT’S FROM ALI WADSLEY FROM MEXICO, who was absolutely thrilled to receive her Mystery Blanket kit only very recently after a very long journey to her doorstep. After waiting so long for her kit to arrive she was eager to get started on the project straight away. And she was so pleased with all her efforts that she sent me some photos of her progress. This is what she had to say:

“I thought you might like to see my first square!!! I am very pleased - the video you uploaded for part two showed me how to cast on using my thumb ... I’ve never done that before, and have now managed it for all five pieces! Also I’ve never knitted with beads before, so I learnt how to thread them onto the wool and how to knit with them. Thank you very much for this project ... I am sure I am going to learn lots from it!” 

Then Ali sent me another update on her progress…

Ali says: “Well, I am slowly catching up. I managed to finish Square 4 today, so now I can start part 2, July’s edition, hopefully finishing it before the August edition comes out!”

It must have been very difficult for Ali to watch all of the Mystery Cushion knitting going on around her without having her own knitting kit to make a start on. However, the great thing is that she has managed to catch up and has learnt so many new techniques in the process. So hopefully it was worth the wait Ali!

YARN IN BEESTON, NOTTINGHAM, ARE HOLDING MONTHLY MEETINGS FOR MYSTERY CUSHION AND MYSTERY BLANKET MEMBERS, so why not come and join us?!? The meetings are usually 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. We didn’t have a meeting in August because of the summer holidays. However, there will be a meeting next month on Wednesday 5th September. Yarn is at 55 Chilwell Road, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1EN, tel: 0115 9253606. And 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. I do hope that you can come and join us at the next meeting!

I AM RUNNING A FEW WORKSHOPS THIS YEAR IN THE UK WHICH YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN COMING ALONG TO (new date in pink):

  • Saturday 1st September, Mystery Blanket Purse Project: The Knitting Corner, Curborough Hall Farm, Lichfield WS13 8ES, tel: 01543 415837 (contact Doreen Humphries)
  • Saturday 8th September, Mystery Blanket Purse Project: The Kast Off Group, Barnham Broom Village Hall, Norwich Road, email: j.gosling4dt@btinternet.com (contact Jean Gosling)
  • 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 the individual shops.

See you there?!?...

I MENTIONED IN MY LAST CUSHION BLOG ABOUT THE ROWAN GLACE COTTON COLOURS THAT I HAVE FOR SALE - and if you want some but have not got round to ordering it yet, then it is still available. Place your order before the end of August and you can take advantage of a 25% discount off the cost of your purchase. So this means that you can purchase it for £3.71 per ball (plus shipping) instead of the usual RRP of £4.95. At the moment it is only available to Mystery Club members and is not in my web-shop for general sale. So to place your order simply email Sue with the list of colours and quantities you would like to order and she will sort out your payment with you. Payment can be taken using the following options:

  • Paypal: we will send you a Paypal invoice
  • BACS: bank account 29364260 / sort code 77-22-08

Cheque (UK only): made payable to Debbie Abrahams Ltd and posted to: 26 Church Drive, Carrington, Nottingham NG5 2BA

These are the colours that are available:

Moss Green (281)

Spring Green (260)

Emerald (230)

Lime (256)

Jade (187)

Sky (140)

Heather (871)

Lilac (869)

Candy (066)

Jaffa (316)

Rich Red (1006)

Please note that you won’t find these on the Rowan shades cards as they are my own colours.

AND FINALLY FOR THIS MONTH … THE THEME OF THE MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB! We are in the third month of the Mystery Cushion, so this means you get a third letter to help you guess the theme. And this month the letter I am giving you is “N”…
_  A  _  T  _  _  N  / _  _  _  _  _  _  _

It’s only a bit of fun! But if you have any ideas as to what the theme is then email Sue at sue@debbieabrahams.com and if you are right we will give you a mention in the next blog.

Thanks for reading my August Mystery Cushion blog, and I hope that you have found the contents of it helpful. We always love to hear from our members, so if you have a story to tell or a photo to share, please send them in to us (debbie@debbieabrahams.com) and with your permission we will include them in the next Mystery Cushion blog. I wish you all happy knitting this month and look forward to seeing you back here in another four weeks’ time. Until then, take care, Debbie x


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