Turkish Delight Bolster Cushion

Hello friends, I hope you are well.

Maybe you have been able to extract yourself from lockdown in small steps, enjoying some more freedom of movements again. Maybe, like me, you are still not allowed to break free from the constraints and are meant to stay put for some time to come. Whatever the case may be, I hope you are keeping your spirits up enjoying life as best as you can.

In today’s post I would like to introduce you to my colourful crochet Bolster Cushion. Some of you might remember it from a few years ago when it was a crochet along organised by myself and a friend.

I had never really thought about putting it together as a single pattern, until recently that is. In recent weeks I have been asked repeatedly about purchasing the pattern and this got me thinking. So today is the day that I can release this cushion as a single download in both my Ravelry and Lovecrafts stores.

The bolster cushion was inspired by my love of design, architecture and colours found in North Africa and the Middle East. Having extensively travelled in those countries, taking endless photos, my work is often influenced by impressions gathered. This design shows off these influences by incorporating texture and colour in equal measure.

Bolsters are usually firm for back or arm support or for decorative application and have been in use since the 12th century. They are not a standard size or shape and commonly have a button or zip closure. A foam insert is used for additional support. Also referred to as a cushion, in western countries a bolster is usually placed at the head of one’s bed and functions as head or lower back support, or as an arm support on furniture with high rigid sides.

With this bolster cushion you have the opportunity to own a beautiful and useful homeware item inspired by the colours and designs of North Africa and the Middle East.

The cushion incorporates various crochet techniques and by choosing either bold and striking, or more subtle colours you can tailor it to suit your own home.

For my sample I used beautiful Vinnis Colours Nikkim, a soft 100% cotton yarn from South Africa. The yarn is hand-dyed and is available in a huge array of colours. You can of course substitute with any yarn of your choice, however, I recommend that you do not use acrylic yarns.

Wishing you many happy crochet or knitting hours, until soon.

Take care and be safe. xo

Going Green – a free pattern

I think it is fair to say that we have all got a pretty good idea on how we are polluting our planet and that each and every one of us needs to wise up and do more to help save it. In today’s throwaway society we all need to start thinking about how we can make a difference in our everyday lives to minimise the pollution of our land and seas by cutting down on landfill rubbish. Everyone can do their bit, there are lots of ways to help and no matter how small, everything counts.

One area that has a huge impact on the amount of rubbish ending up in landfill and our waterways is the personal care industry. Most items are sold in plastic containers that are often non-recyclable and most wipes and cleansing pads contain polyester, polypropylene, wood pulp and a cocktail of plastics, making them non-biodegradable.

Swapping your single-use, disposable wipes and cotton pads for a more sustainable alternative will mean you are making a difference, both to your skin and the planet. Isn’t it time that we cared for the planet as much as we do for our skin. 

You can of course purchase some reusable cleansing pads; they are becoming more and more available at a cost. If you are reading this likelihood is you are a crafter, in which case you can easily make some by following my easy instructions for these crochet pads using organically grown cotton. Of course you would want to store them somewhere too, so why not make the storage pouch at the same time.

All you need is some DK cotton yarn, knitting needles for the pouch, crochet hook for the pads and some of your time. A small amount of your time that will make a big difference to the beautiful planet that we call home.

Enjoy 🙂

Materials:

50g Eco Cotton DK for the bag (I used Nurturing Fibres Eco Cotton DK)

Small amount of cotton fabric for the lining

15cm Zip

4mm knitting needles

Matching size cable needle

Small amounts of Eco Cotton DK for each of the crochet pads (UK terms)

4mm crochet hook

Darning needle

Simple Pad

Ch5, ss to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch1 (does not count as st), 12dc into ring, ss to join.

Rnd 2: Ch2 (counts as htr), htr in same st, 2htr in each st around, ss to join. (24htr)

Rnd 3: Ch2 (counts as htr), htr in same st, *2htr in next st, 1htr in next st; rep. from * around, ss to join. (36htr)

Rnd 4: Ch2 (counts as htr), 1htr in each st around, ss to join. (36htr)

Rnd 5: Ch1 (counts as dc), 1dc in same st, 1dc in each of next 2sts, *2dc in next st, 1dc in each of next 2sts; rep. from * around, ss to join. (48dc)

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Puff Pad

Ch5, ss to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch1 (does not count as st), 12dc into ring, ss to join.

Rnd 2: Ch1 (does not count as st), work 1 3tr-puff in each dc around, ss to join. (12 puffs)

Rnd 3: Ch1 (does not count as st), *1dc on top of puff, 1dc in space between puffs; rep. from * around, ss to join. (24dc)

Rnd 4: Ch1 (does not count as st), work 1 3tr-puff in each dc around, ss to join. (24 puffs)

Rnd 5: as rnd 3 (48dc)

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Note: 3tr Puff = (yarn over hook, insert hook into stitch, yarn over hook, pull up a loop) 3 times into same stitch. You have 7 loops on hook. Yarn over hook again and pull through all 7 loops. Ch1 to secure stitch.

Front Post Pad

Ch5, ss to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch3 (counts as tr), work 11tr into ring, ss to join. (12tr)

Rnd 2: Ch3 (counts as tr), 1Fptr in same st, work 1tr and 1Fptr into each st around, ss to join. (12tr +12Fptr)

Rnd 3: Ch3 (counts as tr), 1tr in same st, 1Fptr around Fptr from prev rnd, *2tr in next st, 1Fptr around Fptr from prev rnd; rep. from * around, ss to join. (24tr + 12Fptr)

Rnd 4: Ch1 (counts as dc), 1dc in next st, 2dc in next st, *1dc in each of next 2sts, 2dc in next st; rep. from * around, ss to join.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

The Bag

Cast on 41 stitches and work in Moss stitch for approx. 14cm – incr. 1 stitch in last row.

Next: Work 13sts in moss stitch, 16sts in stocking stitch, 13sts in moss stitch for 8 rows.

Next row cable row (RS): Work 13sts moss stitch, slip 4sts to cable needle (cn) to front, k4, k4 from cn, slip 4sts to cn to back, k4, k4 from cn, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next row: Work 13sts in moss stitch, P16, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next: Work 13sts in moss stitch, 16sts in stocking stitch, 13sts in moss stitch for 10 rows.

Next row cable row (RS): Work 13sts in moss stitch, K4, slip 2sts to cn to back, k2, k2 from cn, slip 2sts to cn to front, k2, k2 from cn, k4, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next row: Work 13sts in moss stitch, P16, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next: Work 13sts in moss stitch, 16sts in stocking stitch, 13sts in moss stitch for 8 rows.

Next row cable row (RS): Work 13sts in moss stitch, K4, slip 2sts to cn to front, k2, k2 from cn, slip 2sts to cn to back, k2, k2 from cn, k4, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next row: Work 13sts in moss stitch, P16, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next: Work 13sts in moss stitch, 16sts in stocking stitch, 13sts in moss stitch for 10 rows.

Next row cable row (RS): Work 13sts in moss stitch, slip 4sts to cn to back, k4, k4 from cn, slip 4sts to cn to front, k4, k4 from cn, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next row: Work 13sts in moss stitch, P16, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next: Work 13sts in moss stitch, 16sts in stocking stitch, 13sts in moss stitch for 7 rows.

Next row (WS): Cast off.

Weave in all ends. Sew in the lining and the zip.

If you prefer to print a PDF document containing all these patterns you can do so. For a small fee to cover the cost of my time writing out the pattern it is available in my Ravelry store HERE.

Happy making! xo.

Crochet Nordic Wrist-Warmers

With Advent season in full swing and Christmas just around the corner, I have been busy getting ready, just like most of you.

Earlier in September my good friend Emma of The Little Grey Sheep invited me to take part in her Christmas open weekend from 6th to 8th December at her Farm in Hampshire. As many of you know, Emma and I have worked on a number of collaborations together and it’s is always a pleasure to visit the farm, so when Emma asked me to teach some crochet, I said yes immediately.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on some workshop preparation using Emma’s beautiful Hampshire 4ply yarn and I am looking forward to teaching this weekend, having fun meeting lots of yarn-lovers, eating delicious cake and getting into the festive spirit.

There is the option of learning how to crochet a traditional granny square or my variation on the African Square, as well as hearts and snowflakes.

I have also designed these wrist-warmers ready for the cold season. This is my little Christmas gift to you for being such lovely and loyal followers of my blog and other social media channels.

Keeping your wrists warm gives you warm hands and I hope you enjoy making them 🙂

They take not much yarn and can easily be made during a weekend. You can download the FREE PDF pattern by clicking this link HERE.

Wishing you all a very calm and relaxing advent season.

Until soon, Heike xo

golden times

You may have noticed a distinct absence of mine here over the last few weeks and I am not going to dwell too long on the reasons why. Let me just say that, even at my ripe old golden age, I still question my ability to judge people’s character. I believe I go the extra mile for anyone in my family and circle of friends, as well as putting in extra hours and hard work for anyone I collaborate with in my working environment. Being let down by people I thought very highly of feels twice as bad and like a huge kick in the stomach. Having taken a step back for a while I think that the best way forward is to scale back and concentrate on what is good for me and if that means going it alone…so be it.

Please do not think that it has been all doom and gloom here as I have also had some wonderful times exploring new places.

At the beginning of September we visited the beautiful West Wales Coast. These places had been on my wish list for so long and I am so grateful that I was able to visit at long last. The incredible and awe inspiring Cathedral at St. David, traditional Welsh weaving at Melin Tregwynt Woollen Mill, Tenby with its colourful houses and glorious beaches and, as special treat, The Boathouse and Writing shed at Laugharne, where one of my favourite writers, Dylan Thomas, penned many of is well known and loved words.

I feel so blessed that I was also able to visit the island of Fanø in Denmark for this years Strikkefestival. My friends and I had a stop-over in Copenhagen before going on to Fanø, visiting the wonderful Tante Groen shop in Odense on the way. The festival can only be described as an amazing place of friendship and Christel Seyfarth, the organiser, gave us three days of exuberant exhibitions full of colour, texture, music and much laughter. It was evident at every corner how much hard work had been put into this to make it a happy experience for everyone.

My hands have not been idle either and I managed to fit in quite a bit of knitting and crochet. The Nightshift Shawl by Andrea Mowry turned out better than I imagined and I am quietly in love with my Penguono, another super clever construction by Stephen West. I have also finished the Gwyrdd Jumper since this photo was taken, but more about that in another post.

Autumn has arrived here in Wales, with leaves slowly turning in colour and the air filled with chill first and last thing of the day. Evenings are drawing in earlier every day, the air is crisp and the light is golden.

My favourite time of year.

Many blessings, Heike xo

Hello March

Hello March! The month when we welcome spring and also celebrate St. David, the patron saint of Wales. The first of March sees celebrations of his life here in Wales, where I live, with flags, decorations and good wishes abound. Daffodils, the national flower of Wales, are bringing joy to our homes and soon there will be fields of yellow everywhere.

I had a colourful start to the month too. Firstly I got my colour report from the lovely peeps @yearofcolour over on Instagram

I get one every month and love this way of keeping track of which colours I have used throughout the year. The report is absolutely free, all you need to do is visit their profile page on Instagram and request one.

I also started my Memory Cushion a couple of days ago.

This is a crochet along hosted by my friend Carle of Nurturing Fibres in South Africa. The pattern is absolutely free and can be downloaded HERE 

The crochet along is called The secret Garden CAL and I have chosen colours that remind me of my childhood in Germany and flowers I picked with my dad when I was a little girl. This will become my memory cushion (my dad passed away just before Christmas last year) and will live in my studio.

Using Nurturing Fibres Eco Cotton Yarn I so enjoyed starting and working on this that I have finished Part one already and now eagerly await the next part to be published.

I am also making good progress on my Jumper that has still No Name! (Any ideas please let me know).

My aim is to finish the jumper in time and ready to wear to Edinburgh Yarn Festival in just over two weeks – fingers crossed.

One last thing I want to share is this painting which I absolutely love:

Many of you know my husband is a very talented artist in his spare time. He doesn’t get much time for his creative hobby, but from time to time he creates art works that make my heart sing and his latest watercolour painting of Snowdonia’s Mountain Range is one of those. This is a keeper!

Wishing you all a colourful creative week!

Heike xo

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