Giant Cuddly Beaded Cushion: Free Rowan Pattern!

It’s done! My Martin Storey’s Knit Along giant beaded cushion!

Esther and Martin Storey KAL Beaded Cushion

Me standing at the bottom of my back garden with my finished cushion and sheep!

With this latest Rowan KAL, which you can still do by the way, you have a choice of knitting a throw or a cushion, beaded or not beaded.

KAL Martin Storey Beaded and Cushion Throw

Yes, I made the cushion which I actually finished over a month ago now and it has become part of my bedroom, well positioned at the head end of my bed.

Martin Storey KAL Cushion

I thought a cushion of this size might be a bit of a waste but no, I was wrong to think that! It’s great if you like to sit up in bed and read (or knit!) because it fits from your lower back all the way up to your head…very comfy, very supportive!

I knitted my cushion using the yarn and beads recommended for the pattern, Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted in shade Windsor and beads by Debbie Abrahams in Metallic Gold. I chose the colour Windsor because it would go with the decor in my bedroom and gold beads as I wanted a high contrast between the yarn and the beads.

Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted

The cushion is made up of 9 squares for the front and one large stocking stitch square for the back. Here’s the back… lots of stocking stitch…it took me a while to get there…

Martin Storey beaded cushion KAL back

The 9 front squares consist of 4 different cable patterns: one Bead Coin Cable square (centre); two Bead Diamond Cable squares (middle row left and right), two Bead Small Diamond Cable squares (top middle and bottom middle); and four Bead Twig squares (the four corners).

Martin Storey KAL Cushion close up

There are actually five different designs for the cushion and this is really just switching around where the different squares are positioned. I made cushion C which means the Bead Coin Cable square ends up in the centre which, as it is my favourite square and, in my opinion, the most beautiful square, it in the correct place…centre stage!

Bead Coin Cable SquareYou just have to decide which of the cable squares you like to knit most or like the look of most or which design you prefer the look of and then start knitting, with or without beads.

The most tricky square I found to knit was the Bead Twig square and this was mainly because I had to concentrate and look at the pattern nearly every row. Maybe it was because I was on holiday at the time and I had left my brain at home that I found it more difficult. With the other patterns I found that once you had done a few rows and the actual design started to appear you could just about memorise what to do each row with a brief look at the pattern to confirm.

Rowan Martin Storey KAL Twig Square

Bead Twig Square

When all the knitting was almost done (I’ll explain this later) I sewed the squares together using slip stitch as advised by the pattern instructions as this gives a lovely flat seem that you will want for the face of the cushion. You don’t want anything bumpy and lumpy as you will be lying on it.

What I mean by ‘when all the knitting was almost done’ I didn’t cast off the large stocking stitch square until I had sewn the top and most of the two sides of the cushion together. This way I could tell if I needed to knit a few more rows or maybe had knit too many rows. In doing this I was able to get the size of the back to perfectly match the size of the front. When I was within a few stitches of sewing the two sides together I then cast off the stocking stitch square. I used mattress stitch to sew the front and back covers together, leaving the fourth open until I had bought my cushion pad.

Waiting to buy the cushion pad until the very end is a good idea. Even though we all knit to the same tension (don’t we?) and we all knit a tension square to make sure we are knitting to the correct tension as stipulated by the pattern (we do, we do!) you’ll want to measure your finished cushion cover when you are ready to sew the very last side together. I bought a 62 x 62 cm (24.5 x 24.5 inch) duck feather cushion pad from Dunelm for £9.00. (For readers who don’t live in the UK Dunelm sells home furnishings, a bit like JOANN in the US).

Dunelm Duck Feather Cushion Pad

I actually prefer feather pillows and cushions as I find synthetic padding to be either hard or lumpy or both! I am more than pleased with this cushion pad. It has given the right kind of luxurious weight and feel to a knitted cushion cover that deserves this sort of treatment!

If you’d like to make the beaded cushion or the throw click here for the free Rowan pattern on the Rowan website and click here for the pattern on Ravelry, which gives you lots of information about yarn and bead amounts for each different design. Or read one of my earlier posts about knitting Martin Storey’s Beaded Cushion:
Who’s Ready for a Knit Along?
Martin Storey’s Knit Along or Kim Hargreaves Trunk Show?

I really do love my cushion. I can’t believe how incredibly cuddly it is!

Martin Storey KAL Beaded Cushion and Esther Hartley

Have you knitted this Beaded Cushion or Throw? Please do let me know by scrolling down to “Leave a Reply” below.

Esther x


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