Saturday, November 12, 2016

How to knit a cozy autumn pillow in no time

A quick look at the recent trends shows that knitted and crochet items are very hot this season. Both for clothing and home décor, the knit is everywhere.  There is no surprise then that I also found myself diving in all kinds of knit (or crochet) goods. It seems I can’t get enough of them. Now it’s time to move on something bigger – let’s make a buttoned pillow case.

For this project you need thick yarn. Any type of yarn will do, but the wool or wool blend will give you the ultimate autumn/winter cozy look. It is warm, durable and easy to work with.


I chose yarn in 3 colors that go well together – dark blue (C1), light grey (C2) and teal (C3). You can choose whatever suits your home or preferences. The yarn is a 60% wool/40% acrylic blend, 100 g/100 m (around 110 yards).

10 ½ US size needles or cable needle

3 wooden buttons

18 x 18 in Ikea pillow for insert

A big tapestry needle


I knit rather lose and my gauge was 10 sts x 16 rows. To save your time check your gauge before you start your project!

Let’s begin!

First, decide the order of your yarns for the front and back of the pillow. Label your yarns for an easy reference later. 


Cast on 40 sts with C1.

Row 1: k1, *k2, p2*, repeat ** till the last st, k 1

Row 2: k1, *p2, k2*, repeat ** till the last st, k 1

Row 3: repeat 2nd row

Row 4: repeat 1st row

Repeat rows 1-4th eleven more times (12 in).

Then change to C2 and knit 11 rows in st st.

Change to C3 and pp all sts on the next row (wrong side). Then work rows 1-4th five times. Cast off.

At this point the knitted piece will look as a rectangular and not as a square. This is normal, it will spread out nicely on the pillow.


Bottom part (with buttons) - Using C3 cast on 40 sts. Repeat rows 1-4th twelve times (12 in). Cast off.

Upper part (with button holes) - Using C2 cast on 40 sts.

Repeat 1st and 2nd row. On the next row you will create the button holes.

Row 3: K1, p2, k2, p2, k2, yo, p2tog, k2, p2, k2, p2, yo, k2tog, p2, k2, p2, k2, yo, p2tog, k2, p2, k2, p2, k1.

Row 4: k1, work all sts as they appear, yo are worked in a manner which allow you to keep the 2p x 2k pattern, k the last st.

Row 5 and 6: k1, work all sts at they appear, k1. 

Row 7 and all the next: work in garter stitch for 8 in. Cast off.

At this point you have all the three parts of the pillow ready. Bring them to the ironing board. With your iron set on maximum steam, slightly block the pieces so the tension on the yarn is released a bit. Don’t touch the pillow piece with the iron, just run the iron above it and let the steam do its job.

Place your pieces on a flat surface and prepare to sew them together. You can sew them as you like, but I recommend the following way. Put pieces with the right side up. Sew the ends tight together and continue working in the space between the last and the cast off row. Go slowly one stitch at the time. The needle goes out from one side, grabs a stitch from the other side and goes back in into the same place of the first side, grabs a stitch and goes out. Continue like this (see the picture). Tighten the thread form time to time to get an even and nice edge.  It is really an easy method to do once you get the basics.

When you sew the whole side tighten the thread but don’t make it too tight. Keep it around 17-18 inches. When you put the insert pillow inside the edge will not stretch out as much as the other parts of the case.

Sew the other side. Now you have a long rectangular. Fold the pillow case and put the back pieces at place. Be sure to overlap the pieces so you can sew the buttons under the button holes later. Fix the sides. Sew the sides of the pillow case. The needle goes in the space between the last two stitches. Sew the buttons at place. Insert the pillow into the case.

Voilà! Your new pillow is ready!

And you are ready to sit and read by the fire.


k – knit

p – purl

k2tog – knit two stitches together

p2tog – pur two stitches together

st, sts – stitch, stitches

st st – stockinet stitch

yo – yarn over

garter stitch (back and forth) – k all sts

I am off to my next pillow. Come back soon to see a knitted pillow case with a fabric back. 

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