WELCOME TO THE AUGUST INSTALMENT OF THE MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB! This month you have been sent your third set of patterns which means we are just over halfway through the project. And if you’ve managed to keep up, after this month’s squares you will have completed the front panel, so well done!
In this month’s blog there are no new technical videos, but there is an intro from me in which I talk about various things including the August squares and the forthcoming launch of the 2022 Mystery Blanket Club. If you do need any technical assistance with your knitting then you can take a look at some of the previous demos in the June and July blogs. They are always there for your perusal!
THE THIRD SET OF PATTERNS WERE EMAILED TO ALL THE MEMBERS ON 15TH AUGUST, so you should find them in your inbox. The printed patterns (for those who paid for them), were posted to overseas members on the 27th July and to the UK members on the 11th August.
You can also download your pattern files from your account on our website.
MEMBERSHIPS FOR THE 2022 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB WILL BE ON SALE FROM SATURDAY 28th AUGUST. And if you sign up before the 30th September then you will be given the choice of one of three special gifts which will be included in your first Mystery Blanket parcel in February. In addition to this, Earlybirds will also receive a 10% discount that can be used in our online shop.
Above: Mystery Blanket 2018, Casa Battlo.
This is a reminder of what I have in store for you – without giving too much away, of course!
For next year’s design, 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: Mystery Blanket Club 2012: A Celebration of Sport.
From 28th August 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 2021, however, the Club will close if the memberships sell out before this.
Fancy another mystery knitting adventure? Come and join me!
I HAVE BEEN BUSY IN THE DESIGN STUDIO GETTING NEW KITS AND PROJECTS DESIGNED, SO HERE ARE SOME DATES THAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO POP IN YOUR DIARY:
- Saturday 28th August: Mystery Blanket 2022 launch!
- Friday 3rd September: Seashell Purse kit – a textured and beaded purse using Rowan Summerlite DK and Soft Yak, inspired by the seashore. Kit includes yarn, beads, a ceramic handmade button and Kaffe Fassett lining fabric.
- Friday 1st October: Festive Mystery Knit Boxes – the perfect idea for a gift or a treat for yourself. Debbie’s Mystery Box includes over 8 mystery gifts including a brand new festive knitting kit. The contents are different to the 2020 boxes.
- Friday 1st October: Twinkle Twinkle Festive Stocking kit – a fairisle and beaded design using the ultra-soft and luxurious Rowan Alpaca Soft DK in shades of Teal and White. This was the kit that was included in the 2020 Festive Mystery Knit Box.
- Friday 29th October: Lavish Cushion Cover kit –a fairisle and beaded design knitted in the round using Rowan Kid Classic and Debbie’s Merino Light DK, inspired by the 2021 Mystery Blanket.
THERE ARE THREE MYSTERY CUSHION SQUARES TO KNIT THIS MONTH:
FRONT PANEL, Square 6 : Marshmallows – textured pattern in three colours with hooked-in beads:
FRONT PANEL, Square 8 : More Treats – striped pattern with textured stitches and slip-stitch beads:
FRONT PANEL, Square 9 : Another Cappuccino – cable pattern in two colours:
Here’s some extra advice on these squares to help you with your knitting this month:
SQUARE 6, MARSHMALLOWS: this is an exact repeat of Square 4 from Mail Out 1, so if you cast your mind back to that first instalment and can remember what you did, you will be fine. But if you do need a reminder then you can scroll back to the June blog and watch my video demo for this square.
SQUARE 8, MORE TREATS: you knitted Treats last month, so this square is the same but the colours have been swapped - you will be using Dolly where you used Cuddle, and Cuddle where you used Dolly. The beads are the same colours and are threaded on in the same sequence.
SQUARE 9, ANOTHER CAPPUCCINO: you knitted Cappuccino in Mail Out 1, so it is revisited here but in this version the cables twist the other way – so that’s to the left (c10f) instead of to the right (c10b). Just remember to try and keep the yarns pulled nice and tightly as you change colour from Mushy to Nutkin, then back to Mushy again. And pull firmly too when you change from purl to knit, and knit to purl for the cables - these are large cables so you need to try and avoid gaps from forming when you cross the yarns over.
WITH ALL NINE PANELS COMPLETED FOR THE FRONT PANEL, you could get ahead and sew them together. I have not included instructions for this in the August mail out or a video demo in the August blog, but I will do so next month. So, you could wait and hang on until then, or if you feel confident enough you could crack on and get it done this month. I’ll leave that decision to you…
If you do decide to get cracking, here is a brief guideline as to what you need to do.
I would recommend using Mattress stitch for sewing together your strips. Here are some tips on the technique if you have not tried it before.
Before you start sewing together the three strips for the Front Panel, it is advisable to make a note of the number of rows in each square. Then you will be able to work out where you need to ease in rows if one square has more rows in it than another
This is how Mattress stitch works vertically:
Vertical (to sew together your strips): with right sides facing and with two strips sitting next to each other, take the needle from the back to the front of the work under two bars at a time, inserting the needle under the bar between the edge stitch and the next stitch in. To keep the edges level at the bottom, begin by taking the needle under the first bar of the first square (the one on the left), then take the needle under the first bar and the next one up (two bars) of the second square (the one on the right). After this take the needle under two bars on each side, zig-zagging back and forth between the two strips, and making sure that your needle always goes back into the same gap between the bars each time you take it under the bars.
So how do you ease in rows? You can do this quite simply using Mattress stitch by taking the needle under one bar instead of two whenever you need to ease. If there is just one row to be eased, I would advise that you do this in the middle of the square. However, if with other squares there are more rows to ease in then you can repeat this as many times as required along the edge that needs to be eased in, dividing the number of easings as equally as possible along the seam.
I HAVE ONE CUSHION STORY TO SHARE WITH YOU FROM THE MEMBERS THIS MONTH, AND IT’S FROM VALERIE MCNULTY FROM PINNER IN MIDDLESEX, UK. Valerie has been keeping herself extra busy with knitting bespoke cushions for her grandsons. These two have been sent all the way to the Highlands in Scotland where I am sure they are very much appreciated by Rory and Euan! She used squares from my Blankets & Throws To Knit book, choosing Picnic and Stars & Stripes for her two projects.
Above: cushion for Rory inspired by Picnic blanket.
Below: cushion for Euan inspired by Stars & Stripes blanket.
Valerie says: “As promised here are the photographs of the finished cushions you so kindly helped me with. They are now wending their way to the Highlands, and I am hoping that the boys will be pleased with them too. On the Stars and Stripes cushion I followed your advice for the back, but on the Picnic one I changed the bottom panel to the two blue stripes. Thank you again Debbie for all your advice and help I couldn’t have done it without you!”
I love to see my squares being used for other projects and these cushions are two fabulous examples of that. I am sure that they will very much treasured by your grandsons Valerie, they are a lovely keepsake. I love the personalisations too!
AND FINALLY, IT’S TIME TO HAVE ANOTHER GO AT GUESSING THE TITLE OF THE MYSTERY CUSHION! We have had a couple more correct guesses this month, so Felicity Miller and Catherine Pope deserve a big pat on the back for getting it right! However, if you are still not sure what it is, here is another letter to help you, and this month it’s a ‘T’:
_ _ S T O _ _
If you think you might know what it is, please email your answer to Sue at email@example.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 September blog.So that’s it for another month. I will leave you to get on with your August squares while I crack on with packing my bags for my forthcoming trip to the Isle of Wight. It’s my first workshop event in over eighteen months and some of you will be on that trip with me so I look forward to meeting you and spending some quality knitting time together. In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine (if you are lucky enough to have any!) and keep safe and well while enjoying your knitting this month, and I will see you back here on the 15th September – my, how time flies! Debbie x