Wooly Morning Glory Pillow

My throw pillows at home have mostly been of the plain square variety - since I’ve never been terribly good friends with my sewing machine, I had to come up with something different and fun to add a bright splash of color and uniqueness to my home - thus the Red Poppy Pillow was born! Urged to design a knit version of the Red Poppy Pillow by my non-crocheting friends, I picked up more yarn and was inspired to create this knit version. I'm pleased to present the Wooly Morning Glory!

This flower shaped pillow is very similar in construction as the Red Poppy Pillow which I designed for the online Magazine, For the Love of Yarn. The Red Poppy Pillow pattern can be viewed here and provides good reference and photos for guidance in the completion of this knit version.

Color #1 (Main Flower Color): Southwest Trading Co Gianna (91 yards / 3.5oz (83 m / 100g)), Fiber Content: 50% Soysilk, 50% Wool, Color: #039, Falling Rain, 2 balls, bulky weight yarn

Color #2 (Contrasting Color for flower center): Southwest Trading Co Gianna (91 yards / 3.5oz (83 m / 100g)), Fiber Content: 50% Soysilk, 50% Wool, Color: #038, Eclectic Plum (though it would look wonderful also in color #044, Treasure Chest), 1 ball, bulky weight yarn (actually, it takes less than 50 grams of yarn, so if you've another bulky yarn that knits at a similar gauge, you can feel free to substitute!)

Optional: Make certain that your yarn can withstand a fair amount of pulling without breaking - if it is prone to breaking, you should select another matching color yarn to use to form the "petals" of your pillow.

 Yarn Substitutes: Any bulky weight yarn with even thickness – some that come to mind include:
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Super Chunky (82 yards / 100g), Fiber content: Wool, Microfiber, Cashmere. The palette for this yarn is more muted and earthy, so bright eye-popping flowers may not be possible with this yarn -but the softness would be wonderful! Because it’s slightly more bulky, an extra ball or two of yarn may be in order.

Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky (110 yards / 100g), Fiber content: 100% Wool. Brown Sheep has a fantastic palette to choose from to customize your pillows to match your décor. Two balls of master color and one ball of contrasting color.

Knit Picks Sierra (110 yards / 100g), Fiber content: 70% wool, 30% superfine alpaca. A slightly limited palette, you could always opt to dye your own ;) Two balls of master color and one ball of contrasting color.

Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky (153 yards / 5 oz (140 m / 140 g)), Fiber Content: 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool. Two balls master color, one ball of contrasting color.

Patons Shetland Chunky (148 yards / 3.5 oz (136 m / 100g)), Fiber Content: 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool. Paton’s Shetland has a wider color palette than Lion Wool Ease Chunky. Two balls of master color and one ball of contrasting color.

Knitting Needles: US7 / 4.5 mm*
*I prefer to use a smaller sized needles than recommended to create a tighter and firmer fabric – all the better to not see the pillow form through!

As with socks, I work all diameters of circular knitting on a long circular knitting needle, you may prefer to use double pointed needles and then switch to a circular needle when it becomes more convenient to do so.

Because the two halves of the pillow cover are joined with three needle bind off, it helps to have 2 circular knitting needles. If you are not comfortable with three needle bind off, you may opt to simply seam them together using a different method.

Notions and Accessories:
-Pillow Form – I used a 14in round pillow form
-Stitchmarkers, for marking beginning of rounds and the beginning of the petal segments
-Tapestry Needle, for seaming
-Long doll needle, optional to assist in finishing
-Large Buttons, 2 (mine were 1.25” diameter), optional

Finished Product Measurements:
Approximate Diameter of pillow: 14 inches
Approximate Thickness: 4 inches

(pm) Place Marker
(k) Knit
(p) Purl
(kkbk) Double increase by knitting first into the front of the stitch, then the back of the stitch, then the front of the stitch again
(CDI) Centered Double Increase, work by completing a Make 1 increase by picking up the bar between stitches from the front and knitting through the back of the stitch, then Knit the next stitch, then do another Make 1 increase, this time by picking up the bar between the stitches from the back and knitting through the front of the stitch.
(M1) Make 1 increase
(K2tog) Decrease by knitting two stitches together
(ssk) Decrease by slipping one stitch knitwise, then the next stich knitwise, then knitting the two together by inserting your left needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches and knitting them together from this position (through the back loops).

Skills Required:
Knitting in the round, increasing and decreasing, three needle bind off.

Approximately 4 stitches / rows per inch.

Design Notes:
I typically do not measure gauge when making stuffed goods, as it is more important for the fabric to be reasonably tight and firm, so it does not stretch over much when stuffing.

Pillow Cover, Make 2:
Cast on six stitches, place a stitch marker on your needle, ensure that stitches are not twisted and join your round.

Round 1 and all odd number rounds: Knit evenly around.

Round 2: work double increases into each stitch (kkbk) all the way around (18 stitches)
Round 4: *k CDI k pm*, repeat from * all the way around (30 stitches)
Round 6: *k2 CDI k2*, repeat from * (42 stitches)
Round 8: *k3 CDI k3*, repeat from * (54 stitches)
Round 10: *k4 CDI k4*, repeat from * (66 stitches)
Round 12: *k5 CDI k5*, repeat from * (78 stitches)
Round 14: *k6 CDI k6*, repeat from * (90 stitches)
Round 16: *k7 CDI k7*, repeat from * (102 stitches)
Round 18: *k8 CDI k8*, repeat from * (114 stitches)
Round 20: *k9 CDI k9*, repeat from * (126 stitches)
Round 22: *k10 CDI k10*, repeat from * (138 stitches)
Round 24: *k11 CDI k11*, repeat from * (150 stitches)
Round 26: *k12 CDI K12*, repeat from * (162 stitches)
Round 28: *k13 CDI K13*, repeat from * (174 stitches)
Round 30: *k14 CDI k14*, repeat from * (186 stitches)
Round 32: *k15 CDI k15*, repeat from * (198 stitches)
Round 34: *k16 CDI k16*, repeat from * (210 stitches)

Check to make sure that the diameter of your knitting is about the same as your pillow form, for a good fit, you will actually want the your knitted diameter to be a little bit smaller than that of the pillow form. If your knitting is more than one-inch smaller than the diameter of your pillow form, then continue to increase 12 stitches across each round as above. Finish by knitting one row all the way around. If you wish to seam the two pillow covers together using three needle bind off, leave this pillow cover on your needles. If you haven't another pair of properly sized needles, you can transfer your knitting to another circular knitting needle with smaller sized needle points.

Flower Center, make 2 (or not, depending on your preference for using buttons to finish the pillow):

The flower centers are worked flat.

With Color #2, cast on 6 stitches and knit one row.

Row 1 and all odd numbered rows: Purl all stitches.

Row 2: increase at the beginning and end of the row as follows: k1 M1 k4 M1 k1 (8 stitches)
Row 4: k1 M1 k6 M1 k1 (10 stitches)
Row 6: k1 M1 k8 M1 k1 (12 stitches)
Row 8: decrease at the beginning and end of each row as follows: k1 ssk k6 K2tog k1 (10 stitches)
Row 10: k1 ssk k4 K2tog k1 (8 stitches)
Row 12: k1 ssk k2 K2tog k1 (6 stitches)
Row 13: purl all stitches
Row 14: bind off all stitches, leaving a long enough tail to seam around the edge of the flower center.

At this point, you should have two hexagonal shaped pillow covers and two small hexagonal flower centers. In addition, you should have your pillow form (yes, it is possible to use a square pillow form, though I highly recommend using a round one) and your optional buttons.

Begin assembly by marking the center of your pillow form on both sides with a pen or other marking device. This will aid you in positioning the yarn that will form the petal segments on the pillow.

Once the pillow is marked, measure off six lengths of yarn that are long enough to wrap around the pillow while leaving long enough tails to knot the yarn securely. Be certain that your yarn is not prone to breaking while pulled on firmly or you may become frustrated during the finishing process. Yarn lengths of approximately twenty-five inches should more than suffice.

Prepare the pillow form by threading either a long doll needle or your tapestry needle with a pre-cut piece of yarn – you will want to pass the pieces of yarn through the pillow form while spacing them evenly around the center of the pillow (you may wish to refer to the Red Poppy Pillow Pattern for photos).

Begin assembling your pillow covering by joining the two pillow covers using a three needle bind off (with the two wrong sides facing each other and the "right sides" facing out). Once you have the cover seamed half way around, slip it over the pillow form by lining up a straight seamed edge of the pillow cover with one of the edges of the pillow form. Once the pillow form is tucked inside the pillow cover, carefully pull the pieces of yarn that will form the petal segments through the pillow cover by either using a crochet hook or your tapestry needle.

Once the petal segment yarns are pulled through the pillow cover on both sides, finish seaming the pillow cover closed in the same manner in which you began.

You’re almost there – now we transform this oddly shaped semi-round, semi-hexagonal pillow into a flower! Start with one piece of yarn – make sure you grab the same piece of yarn on both top and bottom or you may inadvertently yank one of the strands of yarn out in this process. You will want to pull the yarn tightly around the pillow by either bisecting the “straight” sections of the hexagon – or by aiming for the one of the corners of the hexagon – I opted for bisecting the straight sections, leaving the slightly pointy corners of the hexagon to stick out (also allowing people to admire the fancy detail of the centered double increases!). You will want to pull the yarn tightly enough to indent the edge of the pillow – knot it securely close to the center of the pillow so that the knot will not be visible on the finished pillow. Work around the pillow securing each of the six strands of yarn in this fashion.

Once you get all the strands secured, you may attach the optional buttons to assist in pulling the pillow down in the center – pass some of your tails of yarn through the buttons and then back through the pillow, being careful to keep the button centered. Pull tightly to secure and make a satisfying divot in the center of the pillow.

I personally did not like the pillow with just the button in the center, though if you have found a nice pair of buttons, it is perfectly appropriate to leave the pillow finished at this stage if you so wish. To complete the pillow, center your knitted button centers over your buttons (or the center of the pillow of you chose not to use buttons) and attach it to the pillow using tapestry needle and the attached tail of yarn. Be sure to adjust your petal segment lines as you complete your seaming as it may be more difficult to do so once the flower center is sewn in place.

Once the flower center is attached, you may wish to secure your petal segment lines by tieing them in place at the edges of the pillow to prevent them from shifting around. Give your pillow a good fluff and enjoy!

Copyright © 2006, all rights reserved by Stephanie Martin
For Personal, Non-Commercial use only.
Reproduction of this pattern or products from it for sale are prohibited.

Copyright © 2020 Spritely Goods.