Mystery Cushion Club 2023: post 2, July

Mystery Cushion Club 2023: post 2, July

HELLO EVERYONE AND WELCOME TO THE JULY INSTALMENT OF THE 2023 MYSTERY CUSHION CLUB! Thanks for joining me today and for taking the time to catch up with all the latest Mystery Cushion news! With the summer here in the UK trying very hard to get going, Wimbledon almost over and the long school holidays about to begin, your Mystery Cushion knitting is the perfect knitting companion to tuck away in your bag and keep you busy this summer!

Your three July squares are for the front panel - there are two that you will recognise and one new one. But before you make a start on them, let’s begin by taking a look at my intro and having a read of my blog, both of which have important information and tips and advice that will help you to knit your squares.

The new tech vid this month is:

  • Square 7: Knotted Rug (how to knit Row 1) (It says Row 2 in the title, but it is actually Row 1).

THIS IS THE 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, and can be accessed at any time throughout the duration of the project (and beyond!):

  • How to cast on using several colours
  • Square 1, Summer Cable: how to cross the yarns over when changing colour
  • How to cable
  • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (to knit the next square)
  • How to thread beads onto your yarn
  • How to bead, the slip-stitch method
  • How to carry yarns up the side of the work
  • Square 2, Pavlova: how to knit the frill
  • How to bead, the hooking-in method

THE SECOND SET OF PATTERNS WERE EMAILED TO ALL THE MEMBERS ON 15TH JULY, 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 first before contacting us as this is 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 5th July and to the UK members on the 13th July.

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

I HAVE HAD A QUESTION ABOUT WHERE TO PURCHASE THE 45CM X 35CM PAD INSERT FOR THE COMPLETED CUSHION COVER. They are available from many places in the UK including John Lewis, Dunelm or from online retailers Amazon, Ebay and Etsy.

However, I have little information I can give you about buying them outside of the UK. So if anyone knows of a company overseas that sells these size cushion pads, please write in and let me know and I will share it in the next blog. We have a lot of members in the US, and that is where the initial query came from. So a contact in the USA would be very helpful - plus anywhere else in Europe or the World, thank you!

SO FAR NO ERRORS HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN THE MYSTERY CUSHION PATTERNS (phew!), (apart from the typo about the number of balls of White and Fuchsia in your kit - is everyone aware of this now?). However, this is a quick reminder to check out the Addendum page on our website before you start knitting each square just in case there are any corrections, and then you can make a note of them on your own set of patterns. Unfortunately they do sometimes occur, but as soon as they are reported and verified we add them to the Addendum page on our website. Doing this quick check before you make a start on each square could save you valuable time, so it’s well worth doing. You can access the Addendum page by scrolling to the bottom of the Homepage and clicking on the link.

AND THIS IS ANOTHER REMINDER, THIS TIME ABOUT OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS, which can be hugely beneficial if you want to keep up to date with all my latest news or join a Debbie Abrahams group:

Ravelry: Debbie Abrahams Handknits

Facebook: Debbie Abrahams Mystery Knitters

Facebook: Debbie Abrahams Handknits (our own FB page)

Instagram: debbieabrahams_knitting

Pinterest: debbieabrahams@debbieabrahamsk

The Facebook and Ravelry groups are great communities to be part of, especially if you are out there knitting on your own and need a bit of advice or encouragement. They are brilliant for technical support too and there are many very experienced knitters in both groups who are only too happy to help with queries about the projects. They are both free to join and a lot of fun to be part of, so why not join today!?!

YARN LOFT IN CARRINGTON, NOTTINGHAM, HOLDS MONTHLY ‘MYSTERY’ MEETINGS. Doreen first opened the doors of her lovely knitting shop and welcomed in Mystery Blanket members in April, and since then we have had several very enjoyable meetings. And now the Mystery Cushion Club has begun, she is inviting you too to join us if you can. Our most recent meeting was on the 12th July and a report about that meeting will be included in the August Mystery Blanket blog. So make sure you check it out when it is live to hear what went on - it was, as always a very fun couple of hours!

There is no meeting scheduled for August, so our next gathering is on Wednesday 6th September between 4-6pm at Yarn Loft, 118 Hucknall Road, Carrington, Nottingham, tel number 07825 702433, website: To cover the costs of hosting the meeting there is a small sub to pay (£3.00), which can be paid to Doreen on the day.

Just send a quick email to me at to let me know you are coming and we will make sure that we have a cup of tea and a cake ready for you!

IF YOU FANCY TREATING YOURSELF TO A YARN PURCHASE, MY OWN BRANDED MERINO LIGHT DK YARN IS ON SALE FOR A WEEK. But our special discounted offer ends on the 21st July, so you will need to nip over to our online shop before then if you want to take advantage of it. For a limited time we are selling it for just £2.90 a ball (rrp: £4.50). So that’s a huge saving and beats the price of our special offer packs of 5 and 10 balls.

This is the yarn that was used in the 2021 Mystery Blanket, One Thousand & One Nights. It’s a lightweight double-knitting yarn (23 sts and 32 rows to 10cm) and knits up on 3.75mm needles. It knits up beautifully with Rowan Felted Tweed as it is the same gauge, and can be used for Felted Tweed patterns or any others that have a similar gauge.

You can choose any combination of any number of balls from the seven vibrant colours we have on offer:

Happy yarn buying everyone!

THERE’S NOT LONG TO GO BEFORE THE START OF THE 2023 MYSTERY BABY BLANKET CLUB, AND IF YOU HAVE NOT SIGNED UP TO IT YET, THERE IS STILL TIME. Memberships are on sale in our online shop, but with the closing date fast approaching (the 31st August), you will need to make your decision soon.

This is a reminder of what I have in store for you if you decide to take on the challenge and join me…

The project is knitted in Rowan Baby Cashsoft Merino, which is a mixture of merino wool, acrylic microfiber and cashmere. It is beautifully soft and has a luxurious handle, making it the perfect choice for a baby blanket. It is machine washable.

There are two colour options to choose from. The base palette includes soft green, camel, butter yellow, taupe, cream and faded denim, and to complete it there is a choice of either:

  • Grey/Silver


  • Rose/Candy

The kit for this blanket will be available to buy in our online shop from 1st June 2024 when the Club has finished, but there are lots of reasons to sign up now and grab yourself a membership. By joining the club you will benefit from:

  • 10% off the cost of the membership (£139.50 + shipping after discount)
  • 10% discount voucher for a single transaction in our online shop*
  • Free fabric gift bag (by Paper Mirchi)
  • A dedicated blog and technical support throughout the project
  • The opportunity to knit the blanket before anyone else!

*excludes Mystery products.

Each member will receive a knitting kit which includes over fifteen balls of Rowan Baby Cashsoft Merino yarn, seven sets of emailed patterns (with the option to purchase additional printed patterns), a fabric gift bag and a woven label. The finished size of the blanket is approximately 72cm x 98cm.

Mystery Baby Blanket 2023

Above: the 2020 Mystery Baby Blanket Club, Love you to the Moon & Back.

The blanket design includes the techniques of intarsia, fairisle, lace, textured stitches and stripes, offering you an exciting variety of squares to knit up over seven months. (There will be no beads or embellishments in this blanket).

If you would prefer to pay in instalments you can use our online payment system Splitit, which enables you to make your payment over two, three or four months - you choose what suits you best. Simply select this option at checkout when you make your first payment and then your remaining payments will be taken automatically from your account. It’s that easy!

You have until the end of August to get yourself signed up to the Mystery Baby Blanket Club before it begins on 1st October. We are signing up members from all over the world, so wherever you are, why not come and join me!

GET YOUR CALENDARS AT THE READY AS THERE’S ONE VERY IMPORTANT DATE TO PENCIL IN, AND THAT’S FRIDAY 26TH AUGUST WHEN WE WILL BE OPENING SIGN-UPS FOR THE 2024 MYSTERY BLANKET CLUB! There will be an Early Bird special offer for everyone who signs up before 30th September, and with limited memberships, it would be wise to book your place early to secure your place. To date we have sold out every Mystery Blanket Club since we began way back in 2008!

This will be the seventeenth design in my Mystery Blanket collection and looking back at the past sixteen years there have been a variety of subjects covered from the Basilicas in Assisi to the Olympic Games! I always choose a completely different theme to the previous year, which in turn gives you a whole new set of challenges, as well as an exciting new colour palette to work with. So what do you think might be in store for 2024? Any ideas?!?...


Above: the 2020 Mystery Blanket Club, Our Precious Earth.

I am always very secretive about the new Mystery Blanket - it is a ‘mystery’ after all! But what I can tell you is that I am absolutely buzzing about what I have in store for you next year! At the moment I am consulting with a UK spinner as to what he can make for me. This is always such an exciting part of the process, especially when we start putting colour palettes together. I am going to use my own branded yarn which will be 100% wool, combined with some of Rowan’s most popular yarns from their collection, including Felted Tweed and Kidsilk Haze. As always it is a ‘mystery’, but in next month’s blog I will give you a few clues as to the theme and colour palette, just to get you thinking…

Sign-ups will begin on the 26th August with a special Early Bird offer which will run for the first month. So you’ve got plenty of time to make up your mind, but if you secure your membership before the end of September you can take advantage of our fabulous Early Bird offer, the details of which will be released when the memberships are on sale.

If you would prefer to spread the cost of your membership then you can opt for our instalment plan and spread your payment over several months. Or you can simply pay in one go, the decision is up to you. But everyone who signs up within the first month will be entitled to the Early Bird offer, so whatever you choose to do, you won’t miss out.

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

THESE ARE THE SQUARES YOU ARE KNITTING THIS MONTH. There are three front panel squares, two are variations of previous squares and there's one new one...

FRONT PANEL, Square 7: Knotted Rug – striped textured stitch with eyelets:

FRONT PANEL, Square 8: Pavlova 2 – beaded stripes with knitted-in frills:

FRONT PANEL, Square 9: Summer Cable 2 – intarsia cable:

These useful tips are worth a read before you begin…

SQUARE 7, KNOTTED RUG: this is a brand new square, and it’s a lovely one to knit - interesting, colourful but easy to do once you get the hang of the 4-row pattern repeat. And there’s tech vids to help you too:

  • Square 7: Knotted Rug (how to knit Row 1) (NEW TECH VID!)
  • How to carry yarns up the side of the work (JUNE blog)

The first thing I am going to point out is the change to the main needle size for this square. It uses a larger needle than the usual one, which is one metric size bigger (3.25mm instead of 3.00mm). So make sure that after casting on and working the first wrong side row, you change to those larger needles to knit the rest of the square (or until the last row).

The tech vid guides you through the trickiest row, which is Row 1. And once you’ve knitted this row, the only other row that has stitch interest is Row 3 - and this is simply a repeat of what you did on Row 1, with a slight adjustment to the position of the pattern repeat. All wrong side rows are purled.

It always seems the more natural thing to do to change colour at the beginning of a right-side row. However, in this square all the colour changes happen at the beginning of wrong side rows. This might seem a bit weird at first - it took me some time to get used to it! But once you’re in the swing of it, it just flows. All you’ve got to make sure is that you pick up the correct colour each time. The three colours rotate in the same order, Blushes, Pear, Summer, Blushes, Pear, Summer, and so on. So just keep your eye on this as you work your way up the square.

The only other thing that I think is worth mentioning is to remember that on Row 1 the bracketed instruction begins with a ‘yf’ (which by the way, is the same as ‘yo’), and there is no ‘yf’ at the end of the bracket:

But on Row 3 there is no ‘yf’ at the beginning of the bracketed instruction, however there is one at the end. So they swap round:

This might seem pretty straightforward to follow, but I did catch myself a couple of times doing an extra ‘yf’ that I then had to go back and undo.  So this is something to keep a close eye on. Maybe count your stitches at the end of Rows 1 and 3 and their subsequent repeats to keep a check on it.

SQUARE 8, PAVLOVA 2: you knitted a variation of this square last month, but in this version there is a change to the colour of the yarns - Pear is swapped out for Fav Denims.

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)
  • Square 2, Pavlova: how to knit the frill (JUNE blog)
  • How to thread beads onto your yarn (JUNE blog)
  • How to bead, the slip-stitch method (JUNE blog)
  • How to carry yarns up the side of the work (JUNE blog)

This square begins with the knitting of three separate frills which are knitted in on rows 15 and its two subsequent repeats. These are identical to the frills that you knitted for Square 2.

Watch out for all the needle size changes - they swap from 2.25mm to 3.00mm and are essential to maintain the width of the square. Garter stitch (knit on right side and wrong side rows) elongates stitch tension widthways, so these rows will not sit as neatly if you don’t use the smaller needle size for them. Garter stitch does the opposite to row tension though, it condenses it down, so that is why there are more rows in this square compared to others in the front panel.

SQUARE 9, SUMMER CABLE: this is a variation of a square that you also knitted last month but there is a change to both the colours and the cable stitch - Fav Denims is swapped out for Pear, and the cables twist to the right instead of to the left.

These tech vids from the June blog will assist you with knitting this square:

  • How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge (to knit the next square) (JUNE blog)
  • Square 1, Summer Cable: how to cross the yarns over when changing colour (JUNE blog)
  • How to cable (JUNE blog)

This square can be either picked up from the cast-off edge of Square 8, or it can be cast on and knitted separately. If you opt for picking up the stitches then you need to pick them up in the colour sequence as instructed on page 10. Use the same technique as shown in the June tech vid, How to pick up stitches along a cast-off edge, but you will need to adapt it to pick up stitches rather than casting them on. The yarns are joined in using exactly the same technique that I demonstrate in that vid - ie, laying them across the needle and catching them in on the stitch before they are needed. You’ll probably find it easier to do this rather than casting on a separate square as you have a firm edge to pick up along which I found enabled me to keep better control of the bobbins - so it’s much less stressful!

Remember that the yarns are crossed over at each colour change on the RS of the work to create those vertical dotted lines. This is the opposite to how you would usually cross them over in intarsia. And if you need a bit of guidance with this there is a tech vid in the June blog which shows you how to do this. To get a neat colour change, pull each of the yarns firmly as you cross them over and give them an extra tug after they have been worked.

Above: Mary's Summer Cable 2 square with the markers in place.

Mary who test knits the Mystery Cushion found it helpful to insert a balloon marker into the work on the cable rows. This way she could keep a check on how many rows she had knitted between the cables - there’s nothing more disheartening than cabling on the wrong row! This might be something that you find helpful too. The markers that Mary used are especially good as they are fine and slip through the knitting easily, but any markers can be used for this as long as they are the clip type that can be opened and added to the knitting.

Having knitted this pattern before you should find it fairly easy to do. It’s a great way to practice two techniques at the same time - intarsia and cables. Have fun!

AND FINALLY FOR THIS MONTH, IT’S TIME TO HAVE ANOTHER GUESS AT THE TITLE OF THE MYSTERY CUSHION! We’ve had a few correct guesses, but not many so far. The second word seems to be the easier of the two to guess  - many of you have got this right. But it’s the first word that is proving to be the tricky one. For Graham Cossons (the recently retired husband of Alison who was thrilled to get it right!), Tania Ashton-Jones, Lyn Fitzsimons and Maria Wilkinson, the guessing game is over, so well done to all four of you for getting it right within the first month. But for the rest of you, here is another clue in the letter puzzle. This month the letter I am giving you is ‘N’:
_  _  _  N  _  _  / _  A  _  _  _

If you think you know what it is, please email your answer to Sue at 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. And if you are not, then it’s time to guess again!

Maybe after knitting this month’s squares, you will have that light bulb moment and guess the title of the cushion! And if you think you know what it is, be sure to write in and let us know. We always love to hear from you, so any stories and pics of you and your ‘mystery’ knitting are always welcome! You’ve got four weeks to knit up this month’s squares before part three is revealed, so that should give you plenty of time to get them completed and might leave you with some hours to spare to get on with other projects too. And if you fancy starting something new, don’t forget about our special yarn offer which ends on the 21st July. You could grab yourself a bargain if you’re quick! Until next month, take care and very happy knitting to you all! Debbie, x
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