Garter stitch….it’s generally the first knitting stitch we all learn, but it can sometimes be overlooked when skills progress. However, simple can not only be fun and relaxing to knit, but really be beautiful as well! You don’t need to be an expert knitter to make polished and pretty looking objects, if you know how to knit the knit stitch, and can handle a little sewing you can make this. The sewing doesn’t need to be too perfect as most of it is hidden by the trims.
Here’s how to make my small squidgy squares trimmed cushion. It measures approximately 25 x 25 cm (10 x 10 inches) square.
You’ll need to make 5 garter stitch (all knit stitch) squares, 4 small ones and 1 large one, all different colours, plus some trim pieces to decorate.
For this project I used up various brands of some pure wool DK yarns. I used some Blacker DK, New Lanark DK and Scappa DK, they are all pure wool in slightly heathered shades, all knit up to pretty much the same tension and have similar properties.
To knit my squares I used 3.75 mm (US 5) needles. The gauge is 22 sts and 44 rows in 10 x 10 cm (4 x 4 inches) in garter stitch.
For each small square, I cast on 32 stitches and worked for 60 rows. Make four squares of different colours (or whatever colour combos you like!).
The goal is simply to make a square and your tension may not be the same as mine, so measure your work from time to time to get it as square as you can as you work the piece, before binding off. Each of my small squares measure approximately 12.5 x 12.5 cm (5 x 5 inches).
For this project it really helps to assemble it as you go, particularly if you are planning to upsize it or just want to use your own measurements to match your yarn choice.
So next, sew the four small squares together to make one large one (refer to the diagram below if needed).
The next stage is to make the trim. The trim is made simply by casting on a width of stitches in a contrast colour and then binding them off on the next row. It’s quite a nice way to make a knitted trimming.
For my cushion I made four trim pieces. Cast on 27 stitches. Then bind them off. Make four (in total) the same. Arrange each of the trim pieces along the seam lines, with the four pieces meeting in the middle of the cushion front. Stitch into place. It doesn’t matter if your trim comes out a bit too long, any extra length can be stuffed inside the cushion when you sew the back and front together.
Next make one large square in garter stitch. For mine I cast on 55 sts.
The reason that the stitch count is not simply the cast on number from the small square doubled is because the small squares contain more seam allowance than the large one, as they are seamed on all sides. Also the larger piece is a bit more stretchy as it does not have the seams running across it like the finished front piece will have.
It helps to assemble and trim the entire front piece before casting on for the back, so you can really judge how wide you need your back piece to be. For my back piece I knitted for 110 rows, but again the goal is to produce a square, so measure from time to time. My back square measures approximately 25 x 25 cm (10 x 10 inches).
All that is now left to do is sew the back and front together and stuff the cushion. Arrange the pieces so that the ridges in the garter stitch run opposite to each other (see diagram below) then sew the pieces together, leaving a little gap for stuffing. Fill the cushion firmly with fibre fill, then sew up the gap. Stuffing firmly gives it a cute “cuddled” shape where the firmness of the trim pulls it in a little.
You can make this cushion from squares using the same principles and any weight yarn you like. Just make sure to pick a needle size that ensures the tension is tight enough not to let the stuffing show through the finished fabric, and remember to keep measuring…to keep your squares relatively square!