Monday, December 04, 2006

Knitted Pillow Patterns Now Available for DOWNLOAD!

Quite a few years ago, I made some pillows for my home. I was into my "every pillow on every couch should be handmade" phase. (Not much here has changed.) I wanted a relatively quick project that I could carry around with me but it had to be interesting enough so as not to bore me. I cast on and waited to see what would happen.

The first pillow I knit was a "Field Of Diamonds" pillow in Fair Isle in spring green and navy in an easy to remember diamond chart. After it was all done, I used up bits of odd colors of Julia to work duplicate stitch on top of the navy Fair Isle. The duplicate stitch made it possible to end up with a kaleidoscope looking project with a relative amount of ease. I like doing duplicate stitch because it is similar to needlepoint - using the knitted fabric as the canvas.

The second pillow which I made I called "Turkish Leaves." It is larger and more complicated. It begins with some oversize Fair Isle leaves, moves on to a checked pattern, then to a diamond design similar to the "Field of Diamonds" pillow, then finishes up with diamond and diagonal design. All of these patterns are split up with rows of reverse stockinette stitch. I did a whole bunch of duplicate stitch on top of the designs, some fun embroidery stitches, and added different colored bobbles that are sewn on after the whole thing is complete (they could also be knit in).

Both of the pillows have a mitered border in reverse stockinette stitch that really sets off the designs nicely. I backed them both in coordinating silk fabric which I hand sewed onto the backs of the knit pieces. I made these pillows for fun and for my own personal use.

After Knitting for Baby came out and I was desperate for a little publicity, I produced a homemade press release. I sent it off to a bunch of shelter magazines. The press release featured my home which I had just recently decorated with murals, fake wallpaper done with paint, stamping, and colorwashed walls. I hoped that one magazine might be interested in a knitting author who also liked to decorate and paint. I figured the chance of the idea getting picked up was slim to none, but why not try.

About six months later, I got a call from an editorial assistant at House and Garden. They had kept the press release and they were doing a story on knitting for the home. They asked me if the pillows that were on my couch were available for sale. I told them "no" but they are available as patterns for someone to knit themselves (of course at this point there was no pattern). They wanted to borrow them for photography. I washed them, packed them into a box along with some pretty balls of yarn and knitting needles, and sent them on their way to a NYC photo shoot. I crossed my fingers that the story would run.

To say I was excited would be putting it mildly. I have always loved House and Garden Magazine and to think that my pillows would be in it was just too good to be true. The article came out in the January 2003 issue. My friend Lori whipped the pattern into shape and my friend Linda (who owned Great Yarns in Raleigh, NC) took care of the kit and pattern fulfillment with my Julia yarn.

Fast forward almost four years later. My "Julia" yarn is now available nationally at your favorite local yarn store. The House and Garden pillow patterns had fallen into oblivion. After several e-mails from many of you, I was encouraged to try to bring the pillow patterns back into circulation. But how could I do it efficiently with the least amount of trouble. Once again, my technological genius web guru Lori figured it out. She told me about some designers who were selling downloaded patterns via the net including Leigh Radford and Pink Lemon Twist. (I know I should know this kind of stuff but I'm embarassed to say I am a bit lacking on all that is available on the internet.) Lori thought this would be a perfect solution for the wayward pillow patterns. She has guided the patterns back into the realms of the web and I am so thankful. What would I do without her? I don't even want to think about that.

You'll find the "Buy Now" buttons about half way down the Julia webpage. Click a couple times, pay a little cash, and there they will be on your computer in a PDF file ready to knit up for your home. If this goes well, I may design some more patterns for the web. I hope you like!


maryse said...

i love these two pillows! and am very happy that you've made the patterns available.

i'll definitely order the field of diamonds, and possibly the turkish leaves.

Joy said...

Kristin, Thank you for making these patterns available. I have admired these pillows for years. I learned to knit with Knitting for Baby and saw them on your site while browsing around for other books by you or Melanie. Can't wait to cast on after the holidays.

Joy said...

Another Joy here: I am *delighted* to see these patterns available! Thank you. I'm going to order them right now.

Brigitte said...

Oh how beautiful they are! Love them very much!!! Kristin, wouldn't you like to collect your pillow designs in a book, like Colorful Stitchery??!! Would be fantastic!

Anonymous said...

you know, KN, that is a great idea, think about those Glorafilia and other wonderful needlepoint compendiums that are done in big hardcover glossy. Not necessarily the next step, but very Erica Wilson. Hmmmm.....

Linda (back from Charlotte - home today)