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24 April 2012

Crochet Cushion Back Tutorial (part 2)



 ★★☆ - Improver

If you were here yesterday and read Part One of 'Making a Crochet Cushion Back', you now know how to go about crocheting the back directly onto your cushion.  But, what if your cushion isn't a standard granny square, what if you've done some other pattern for your front?

Well, I'm going to try and help you figure that out!


Tips for making your cushion back fit just right....

I'm using UK terms again, but here's the translation:

UK (US)
dc - Double Crochet (Single Crochet)
tr - Treble Crochet (Double Crochet)
dtr - Double Treble Crochet (Treble Crochet)

I'm afraid it isn't so much a tutorial with a set of instructions for you to follow.  It's more of an explanation of how I make my cushion backs fit, based on my experience so far.  I've often needed a little bit of trial and error to get it right and you may do too, but hopefully this will get you on the right track.

Stitches

First of all you need to make sure that you have the right number of stitches across the starting row.  Too many stitches and the back becomes too baggy and it doesn't fit the cushion pad nice and snugly.  Too few stitches and it starts pull the front of the cushion round to the back and it'll stretch your crochet too tightly across the cushion pad. 

In part one of this tutorial I instructed you to make a treble crochet into each stitch of the granny square.  Now this should work out perfectly and the back should lie nice and flat along the front of the cushion.  It did for me on the small sample cushion I made for the tutorial.  But, when I came to do my full size granny cushion, Comfy Granny, I found that making a treble in every stitch made the back too baggy.  I ended up making a decrease stitch after every other cluster.



You can see the pink arrows pointing to my decrease stitches.  Just reducing the number of stitches like this meant I got a nice flat back. (You may not need to do this it you don't chain 1 between each of your granny square clusters as I do.)

When I made Elmer The Cushion, the front was constructed out of little squares.  This one was nice and easy, I did just made one treble into each stitch and it worked out fine.

It's hard to see as I added a border round this cushion at the end, but the arrows are showing how each treble of the back lines up with a stitch in the small square.

Then for my Diagonally cushion, on some clusters I was able to work into the stitches, but on others the cluster was on it's side, so I had to make it up as I went along.



As you can see from the picture above, it ended up roughly working out with a three stitches in the up-right clusters (one treble into each stitch) and two into each sideways cluster.

How do you know if you've got it right?

Basically, you'll easily be able to tell after you've done a few rows.  Lay your work out nice and flat on a table or the floor.  Smooth it out nicely, but don't pull it and try to force it into shape.  Look at it from the front and then turn over and look at it from the back.

If you have too many stitches, the back with gape and will start to show at the sides of the front, like this:


If you don't have enough stitches in that first row, the front will start to be pulled around to the back and curl up, like this:


If you've got about the right amount of stitches your front will nice and flat without the sides disappearing round the back and you only just see the edges of the back when looking from the front, like this:


Don't worry if you have too many or not enough, just rip back and try again adjusting the number of stitches in your first row.

Top Tip:  You can also try putting your cushion pad into the pocket you've made so far and seeing if it 'looks' right.  I tend to do this a couple of times as I work the first half of the back, just to make sure I'm on the track and the fit looks how I want it to.

Rows

The next thing to consider is the number of rows you'll need to work your cushion back.  As with stitches, too many rows and your cushion back will be all baggy.  Not enough rows and you won't be able to cover the cushion back and do it up.

In reality, you'll figure the number of stitches and the number of rows you need at the same time as you make you cushion back but it's easier for me to talk about them separately.

In part one of the tutorial, we made two rows for each one cluster going up the side of our cushion.  This worked out great on my mini sample and it worked out perfectly on the full size cushion too.


So it's easy to see that the rule here is two rows to each cluster. 

On Elmer the Cushion, again it was easy, each square consisted of 2 rounds of trebles, which equals 4 rows of trebles.

You can see from the picture how the rows on the back line up with the rounds of the small squares.

Then there was my diagonal cushion.  This one was tricky as the clusters are worked in two different directions the stitch height varied.  After trying a few difference methods, I hit on something that worked.

I decided to alternate rows of trebles with rows of double-trebles.  Can you see in the photo the treble rows are shorter and the double-trebles make fatter rows?  This worked out perfectly.

How do you know if you've got it right?

As before, you've be able to see if you're on the right track by laying the cushion out somewhere flat.

If you don't have enough rows the back of the cushion will pull up at the sides and leave you with a big curve in the back, like this:


If this is happening, there's two things you can do:
  1. You need to increase the number of rows to match the pattern on the front of the cushion.  In other words, you need to make your rows more frequently.  (So if you were making a slip stitch for the end of each row on every fourth stitch in the side your front pattern, you should try making it in every third stitch instead.)
  2. Or you can adjust the height of your stitch, like I did when I used the taller double trebles.
If you've got too many rows in your cushion back, it will pretty soon start to look all baggy and not lay flat, and bow upwards, like this:


Again, you'll need to adjust the rows by one of the two methods above:
  1. Make your rows less frequently compared to the front pattern.  (Attach your end of row slip stitches every third stitch instead of every second stitch, for example.)
  2. Or you can make you rows shorter.  I've never made a cushion back from double crochet but I suppose you could!
Again, if you've got it about right, it'll lay nice and flat, like this:




That's all there is to it really.  Just don't forget to test it out on the cushion pad as you go along.  If it looks about right, then you're fine.



Again, I fear that I've made it sound so complicated.  It's really not so exacting as it sounds here, you won't need to be very, very precise with this.  Yarn is stretchy and cushion pads are squishy and can be slightly more squashed up or spread out.

Mostly, It's about getting it looking how you want it to look.  The idea of this is to show you how you can adapt the basic idea to fit whatever it is you're doing.  It's flexible, that's what I'm trying to say!

Good luck cushion making everyone.
(And if you have any questions, just ask.)


S x


Click here for Part One of the Crochet Cushion Back Tutorial

Why not come and share your creations with us in Cherry Heart's Cozy Corner, my Ravelry group.  It's a great place to go if you've got any questions too!



5 comments:

  1. This is really useful... thanks so much, Jill x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another wonderful tutorial Sandra.....so helpful.
    Thanx again for sharing your ideas/experiences :-)
    Carole x

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  3. Thank you so much Sandra!! Have a great day!! xo Heather

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amazing explanation.
    You made it much easy to understand with the graphics.
    Thank you so much!!!
    Ana BC

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you so much - it's really helpful!
    Now I feel all inspired to go and make endless numbers of pillows :-)
    (love the blog!)

    ReplyDelete

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