Completed: December 2007
Pattern: Buddha Pillow, Knit1, Spring '07
Notes: This was my first intarsia project and was a lot of fun. I learned a lot and really love the resulting pillow. I was so tempted to keep it for myself! The project calls for the front to be knit using this chart, which is beautiful. However, it is 140 stitches by 140 rows. Since a knit stitch is not exactly square, it results in a piece that is wider than it is tall. So, you could eliminate about 6 stitches on either side of the chart. That doesn't sound like much, but over the course of 140 rows, you'd be saving yourself 1,680 stitches!
The original project includes a back knit in stripes. Well, I messed up and did not order enough yarn to do the back (plus, I would have run out of time!), but I was lucky enough to find some lovely suiting fabric that has a nice soft brown herringbone with orange flecks that perfectly coordinated with the yarns. I did add 4 rows of knitting to the top and to the bottom to allow for a "seam allowance," since I knew I was going to be stitching it up on the machine.
I sewed a layer of fabric to line the knitting. I kept the knitting on top as I did this, and used a narrow zig-zag basting stitch in contrasting thread, so that I could be sure that the machine stitching would be square with the knitting and not cause too much distortion. I then sewed another piece of fabric on to form the pillow, following the guide of the basting stitches. The resulting pillow was 22" x 22", which is bigger than the largest pillow form I could find. Rather than stuffing the pillow with fiberfill, which I find gets lumpy quickly, I bought a nice 20" x 20" pillow form and wrapped a twin-size piece of quilt batting around it to get the right size. It worked perfectly!