This project has been particularly interesting, as I not only had fun knitting Intarsia , Armenian knitting and Fair Isle, but I also was able to combine three different types of yarns in this design. The border was done in fingering yarn with lace weight wool and silk strands of free floating chains riding over the top.
The chicks were especially fun to do with a combination of Aloft mohair, added to a ply of fingering yarn. Their 3D look was accomplished by adding an additional two strands of the black mohair to the belly and wing area. Adding these extra strands automatically increased the gauge without changing the stitch count. I was able to restore the gauge around the area by filling the void with poly fill stuffing, then running a few strands of lace weight across the back, side to side, and top to bottom. Taking up the slack with these strands, allowed me to contract the surrounding stitches back to their proper gauge. The next move after blocking the top was covering the back with nylon net, (great stuff, by the way) and stitching around the expanded portion of the chicks,so that it would remain securely in place.
The combination of the Mohair and the 3 D affect made my chicks look like the little “fuzz balls” they really are. They are the first thing people touch when they pick up the pillow and comment, ” Oh my gosh! They look so real!” And so they do.
The details on the legs, feet, and beak were done with duplicate stitches and crocheted chains of one and two plies of the various yarns. The various shades on the hen are yarns that have been blended, using of one ply of each color that have been hand spun back together. Check out my post on blending yarns if you are interested .
So….the most clarifying statement I can make about this pillow is that I was never bored knitting it. It definitely was a challenge to my adventurous knitting spirit.
I also loved working with the free floating chains on the frame of the picture. Of course as I looked at it more closely I realized this free floating chain pattern would look great on the bottom of a tunic, or the cuff area of a sleeve, or…….. Hummm???? Maybe? …….
I have included a tutorial describing the entire process with this pattern. I even included charts for practicing the process. This tutorial is also on my “Fun Stuff”page. It includes a sample swatch chart of the border for you to practice with. Enjoy!
Again, it was an extremely fun knit.