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Knit Decor

Jan 28, 2013

I live in a mid-century home, and I've tried to furnish it with pieces actually manufactured during the 40s, 50s, and 60s. We have a wonderful mid-century modern furniture store that's run on consignment, so the prices are fabulous.

    
Cabled Footstool from Knits at Home
Bolster Pillow from Knits at Home
Over the years, I've purchased the occasional cheaply made, thought fairly expensive to buy, pieces of furniture. I've almost always regretted it. My coffee table, purchased last year at a certain giant Swedish store, has recently become bowed in the middle for some mysterious reason. My china cabinet, which was made in the 1940s, is solid and perfect. Even the glass sliding doors are in great shape.

Our world is full of particle board and veneer, and I'm not a fan. I've realized that you really do get what you pay for, and by buying (or making) high-quality items, I actually save money in the log run because I don't have to replace things so often.

This is one of the reasons I've become interested in knitting for my home. Sometimes my consignment-purchased furniture needs new cushions or pillows, and of course, I can knit those!

In her new book Knits at Home, designer Ruth Cross presents patterns that really appeal to me. Her projects are earthy with a modern twist—just my style—and they're the perfect way to update a classic piece.

Here's some advice from Ruth about choosing a pattern for your home:

    
Geometric Cable Throw, Intarsia Blanket, and Round Pouffe
X Pattern Pillow Cover
There is something very comforting about interiors with knitted details. They add a certain warmth and charm so welcome in a home. However it is likely that most things you have already will not be knitted, so it's really important you consider how your lovely knit will fit in to your existing space so it works as a whole.

Luckily it's really easy to work out how to cover something with a bit of measuring and some simple maths. The key now though is proper planning and thought for the design of your piece—if you're covering a chair, for example, it will take a long time, use a lot of yarn and you will have to live with it when it's finished.

I strongly recommend taking time to consider how the color, texture and pattern will work within the room. Using your samples try your ideas out in the space before getting started. Remember, if you're doing something big, a strong design will be far more dominant on that scale instead of the small swatch you have in your hand, so imagination and vision are vital at this point.

Sometimes photographs of your space can help reduce the scale and show more easily how your new design will fit in scale-wise. You can use whatever technique you find helpful to visualize the finished result—just go for it.

—Ruth Cross, from Knits at Home

I've been wanting to change the pillow covers on my couch, and I think the X Pattern Pillow Cover, pictured at right, is perfect. It looks like an easy knitting pattern that I'll be able to memorize after a couple of repeats.

Because I usually knit in the same color family, I think I have plenty of yarn to knit coordinating pillows for my couch.

That bolster pillow, pictured above left, is pretty neat, too. My mom has a chair almost exactly like the one in the photo, and I'm sure she'd love a bolster for it.

As you can see, I have lots of plans for the projects from Knits at Home! Get your copy today; I'm sure you'll be inspired to knit for your home, too.

Cheers,

P.S. Have you knit for your home? Tell us about it in the comments!


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Knits at Home: Rustic Designs for the Modern Nest

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Add personality and interest to any room with beautifully designed and handcrafted knitted pieces from Ruth Cross's Knits at Home.

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Comments

lbwestphilly wrote
on Jun 8, 2013 4:00 PM

Does anyone know of any knitted lace curtains? I've never seen a knitted curtain pattern, but it seems pretty doable. I'm thinking of trying it.

elyan wrote
on Apr 16, 2013 6:37 AM

I recently purchased the book "Knits at Home from Ruth Cross, and have been knitting for eighteen years, and tried the Xpattern pillow pattern, and can not get it to work. Don't know if there is erratta in her patterns. Very frustrating, tried different patterns, and even asked my local yarn shop personel to try the pattern.

nliedel wrote
on Feb 4, 2013 10:36 AM

My dad just blessed me with the dining room table and chairs I grew up with. They are all post modern 60's pieces. I was wondering what to do with the rest of our combination living/dining area and this is it!  Post modern knit pillow covers would tie it all together well. Thank you for the idea. I'm now imagining black and white chevron designs that will compliment the teak table (Danish) and the lovely piano from my childhood he also gifted me with. I want to honor these wonderful memories and yet, allow my home to be hands on and kid friendly. As my eldest son says, "Mom, you grew up in the, 'Hands Off' museum. Can we not do that with grandpas stuff and protect it somehow?  I think knit pieces with a Danish flair would be decorative and draw the kids attention. Perfect!

sally sega wrote
on Feb 4, 2013 7:49 AM

I knit 2 pillows for a loveseat from Prism Cool Stuff Mojave, a novelty yarn with many types and colors of yarn.  They are quite cool and very different.  Sally

on Jan 29, 2013 8:23 AM

How about taking those inherited afghans and giving them and your furniture new life?   Uploster a chair with its own knitwear. I have posted an image of an IKEA chair all decked out in cablework here:  yarnleftovers.wordpress.com/.../heirloom-reborn   Anyone else try turning your knitting into upolstery? I'd love to see more.

Tangled Web wrote
on Jan 28, 2013 5:45 PM

Afghans and pillows are just the beginning. I have seen some lovely knit pieces frames and hung as pictures. A friend of mine has a lovely lace scarf mounted over a colored mat hanging in her bedroom. I have seen framed knit pieces in antique shops, too (albeit not as much as embroidered and tatted pieces).

lypeters wrote
on Jan 28, 2013 4:59 PM

i have knit a lovely soft afghan knitted on large needles in garter stitch. It was in 2 shades of green and a cream.  Its so lovely and cuddly.  I have just knit my first washcloth with some left over cotton and it is so lovely and soft I will do more.

This post has reminded me that I purchased some yarn to knit a cushion from a one skein wonder book. Must get it out and get knitting,

I love the look of this new book.  Will it be available digitally. I have recently purchased an ipad and I just love it. Already purchased Knit Scene and Jane Austen 3.  So easy to store and use and the pages don't get all dog eared.

Sue Barton wrote
on Jan 28, 2013 4:18 PM

We have discovered the pleasure of  hand knitted towels and washcloths for the bathroom.  It isn't very exotic or fancy, but  those towels are a great way to try out different effects or stitches.  Right now, I'm making a handtowel with a moss stitch border and windowpane design of stockinette squares with 2 purl stitches for the cross bars.  My husband is really happy about it & encourages me when I get a bit bored.  Also, I love "easy care".  I'm retired and I just don't want to be bothered with something fussy.

on Jan 28, 2013 4:18 PM

How can a house be a home without a cozy afghan or two in every room?

MaryF@11 wrote
on Jan 28, 2013 2:24 PM

I have made many afghans for my home, however  I finally got around to making a pillow out of leftover yarn, in a fair isle pattern.

Advice:  Be sure to use a tight stitch ( Fair Isle is a good one) and when you're done and ready to assemble the pillow, be sure to use a mid to heavy weight fusible interfacing on the back of the knitting.  

This will keep any loose stitches or ends from coming undone and give the piece the needed support to last through the wear and tear of family living.

Also, don't use yarns that pill!

Alice wrote
on Jan 28, 2013 1:31 PM

Hi Kathleen, I've knit mostly afgans for my family, they are still in use for the grandkids!  I think the neatest thing I've made for the home is a beaded curtain for a small window, I don't have the proper sized window to use it at my present home so am keeping it in reserve.

bonini wrote
on Jan 28, 2013 12:54 PM

I hope you live in a cat-free home, else your gorgeous knits will be in  tatters.

Skipper3 wrote
on Jan 28, 2013 12:45 PM

Yes! On Dec. 26th every year, until whenever-in-January, I knit for my home -- at the very least, I replenish my dishcloth supply. But this year I added a lampshade cover (a la Mason-Dixon Knitting) I'd been wanting to do for a long time, a bathmat I figured out on my own for our ensuite, and a Pi throw/blanket for the back of the loveseat from some handspun that was gifted to me. THEN I got around to some dishcloths. :-) I live in a very small space (a 40' boat) so it really does look and feel cozy with handknits everywhere -- I always have a shawl or two flung over the back of my computer chair, and my hubby has the alpaca lap blanket I knit for him on the back of his recliner.

ClareH@8 wrote
on Jan 28, 2013 11:55 AM

Kathleen,

 I knitted pillow covers for my motor home sofa and they were darling, BUT, I discovered that the gauge needs to be quite tight so that the finished product will retain its shape with use.  Be sure to use a yarn that will resist showing wear (like pilling and soil) and will be easy to clean.  I love the chair cover pictured with your article, but that chair would have to be totally decorative in my house -- white??!!  ...  Thanks for the  wonderful information you impart.  FYI: I am a big fan of Interweave Knits and Piecework!

Clarene Haynie

Odessa, WA

dancejunky wrote
on Jan 28, 2013 11:51 AM

I'm with you on saving old furniture with knitting. I have a rather sad-looking antique typing table I use for an end table. I knitted a lace table runner to cover the top and sides; it looks so much better. I also knit a set of lace placemats for my daughter's home and a welcome sign for my front door (hung from 2 straight wooden knitting needles). I'll probably knit more home decor, but right now I'm busy knitting a sock wardrobe.