Monday, June 30, 2014

The Peace Pillow Knitting Pattern

I designed and knit "The Peace Pillow" for dear family friends who we have known for years.  The word "peace" has a special significance in their family.  I'm going to deliver the finished pillow to them today!

The Peace Pillow by Fifty Four Ten Studio
 The yarn colors I used fit their family home perfectly.  They love all shades of soft browns and light sand colors.  I picked the light tan colored yarn to go with the soft ivory yarn I've used many times.  Specifically, I used Loops & Threads "Cozy Wool" in the colors 'Mushroom' and 'Fleece'.  I bought this yarn at Michael's Craft Store in the U.S. and I really like knitting with it.  I used about 170 yards of the main color and approximately 30 yards for the letters.

Knit on big needles with super bulky yarn using intarsia technique.
This pattern uses the intarsia knitting technique for the letter pattern.  I highly recommend that you have experience with intarsia knitting before using this pattern.  I changed back and forth from one color to the other about 60 times!  I like to weave in the yarn ends after I finish knitting the design as it is a good way to tighten up any loose stitches.  Also, I wove in the ends before binding I would get a good measurement on how the knitting fits the pillow form.

Knit too many rows!  Knitting was too long for pillow form.
However, when I was knitting the plain, back side of the pillow I got a little carried away with the easy stockinette stitch.  When I wrapped the knitting around my pillow form I realized I had knit a few too many rows.  If the knitting overlaps before binding off it will be loose and baggy on the pillow form.  This pillow is designed to have the knitting fit close and tight to the pillow form.  So, I ripped out about 3 or 4 rows and measured again....

Before binding off wrap, knitting around pillow form.  This is desired length.
This is how you want the knitting to fit around the pillow form before you bind off.  See how the cast on end and the edge still on the needle just barely meet up when I stretch the knitting around the pillow form....this is the desired length.  I bound off on the next row and then sewed up the back seam.

Detailed finishing instructions included in pattern with lots of tutorial photos such as this.
There are detailed instructions in the pattern reminding you how to measure your knitting around your pillow form and explaining how to sew up the seams of the pillow. Lots of close-up photos are included in the pattern!

The Peace Pillow Knitting Pattern is available in my Etsy shop.
This pillow would look great knit in any number of color combinations.  I think it would be fun to knit it in red and white for the holidays!

This pattern is available in my Etsy shop and in my Fifty Four Ten Studio Ravelry shop.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Making Strawberry Jam

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is make jam with fresh picked fruit.  The other day we were lucky to pick some beautiful, delicious strawberries.  I picked enough to make two batches of strawberry jam (it takes about 2 1/2 quarts to make a batch of jam using Sure Jell).

Fresh picked strawberries.

Hot, cooked jam in the jars.

Old lids.  Ready to process.

I've collected an assortment of jar designs over the years.
I'm working on two new pillow knitting patterns that I hope to have finished and ready to share soon.

Thanks for stopping by!