Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawlย is on through Sunday, September 25.

Let’s Do It (Let’s Make a Cushion)

Old sloths who hang down from twigs do it,
Though the effort is great,
Sweet guinea-pigs do it,
Buy a couple and wait.
–from Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love)
Dear Kay,
I’m all in a swivet over my imminent Beach Knitting Opportunity. I must make amends for all the pointless knitting of my last trip. What I’m shooting for is Knitting for the Ages, Timeless Knitting, Knitting That Will Be Around At Least A Week After I Finish It.
Here’s what’s on my mind right now: Big Daddy’s piano. As you know, Hubbo’s grandfather Albert passed away a month ago, after 96 years of large living. I have been thinking about him often in the past weeks, trying to figure out how to have as much fun in life as he and his Mary Jane had. Not easy, lemme tell you.
Albert loved to fish. Here he is, circa July 1963. This photograph gave me a ferocious crush on him.
He loved to play the piano, and one of the great tragedies is that I never got to hear him in his prime. Hubbo says he was fantastic–loose, swingy, infectious. The best.
While we were out of town, Big Daddy’s piano landed at our house. It is the piano that played the music at our wedding back in 1990, at Albert and Mary Jane’s house. It was the rainiest day in meterological history, but I mostly remember dancing, and the Cole Porter that came out of this piano. So sophisticated! I think Hubbo and I had as much fun as Mary Jane and Albert, at least on that one night.
My second thought upon seeing the piano in our living room (the first being “Hey! It fits!”) was “Gee, that bench sure could use a cushion.”
I have been wishing for a living room knitting project for some time, but nothing has seemed right for that room. I’m hoping this cushion will feel sort of like the needlepoint cushion you might expect on a piano bench: I’m using US 3’s, and Mason-Dixon Knitting’s Yarn of the Month, Euroflax, so it won’t stretch or sag. It needs to be sturdy enough to withstand the hurricane force of the eight year old refusing to practice.
Linen has a bit of a sheen to it, too, which is nice.
So here we go, back for another foray into upholstery. I’m swatching up pattern stitches at the moment, and surely will need some advice.




  1. Oh Ann – that will be gorgeous ! I love those colours. Are you going for some incredibly complex intarsia to emulate tapestry or are we talking textured blocks of colour ?
    Incidentally, you’ve got my rug under that piano, except ours has the navy as the main colour and the red as an accent.What fabulous taste we have !

  2. Now I have a ferocious crush on Albert too.
    Aara xoxo

  3. A man after my own heart… Where’d he catch that fish?
    I love the idea of a the piano seat cover, I might have to do one myself!

  4. The Louet linen is a marvelous yarn, though I do recommend copious amounts of that hand cream from Blue Sky Alpaca as you go. Are you thinking of something along the Kaffe Fassett line or more like something from Knitting the New Classics or More Knitting the New Classics? (I think by Kristen Nicholas) I have gotten it from the library many times and one of them has a bunch of traditional patterns from around the world and some resemble Persian carpets.

  5. Coincidence! I’ve just been winding up some skeins of Euroflax. It’s lovely stuff. Difficult to wind though. My patent method of hanging it off the arm of the sofa while winding just didn’t cut it. I ended up with the worlds most tangled mess – took me about an hour (per skein) to sort out! Your colours look fabby. Are you making a cushion to rest on the stool or actually upholstering the top of the stool?

  6. What a handsome guy — and a fisherman too! That picture is priceless.
    Those colors ar gorgeous…and that piano looks gorgeous too. I’m currently using a makeup stool for my piano bench, but when I grow up and actually get a real bench, I’m calling you for cushion ideas. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Heather–Too funny about our twin rugs. I adore old rugs, am totally addicted to them.
    I think I would go insane trying to do intarsia with this linen yarn. I’m not very accomplished at intarsia, and the linen is pretty unforgiving–absolutely no elasticity, ya know.
    I’m shooting for a pattern that uses at least four colors, and I’ll show you what I’m swatching.
    Robin–I would indeed love to do something that draws on Persian carpet motifs. I’ll go check out the books you suggest–very intriguing.
    Michelle–I wish I knew where Albert caught that fish. He and Mary Jane fished wherever they travelled, so there’s no telling. Definitely does not look like a Tennessee fish.
    Sarah–Ironically, a win(d)sor chair has proved to be my best helper. I don’t have a swift, so I verrrry carefully untie the skein, drape it reverently over the chair, and try to wind the ball tightly. Of course, the minute I take it off the winder, it collapses like a bad souffle. My only hope is to put the balls into ziploc bags and hope for the best. I had one tangle that made me say bad words.

  8. Ann, what is a swivet?
    (I like the word. I think I need to add it to my repertoire.)
    This will be a fun project to watch…

  9. Maybe I need to get myself a win(d)sor chair!!! I must confess to uttering the odd bad word too. Still, I was proud that the one thing I did not do was have a tantrum and chuck the yarn across the room (and maybe stamp on it for good measure). It does happen you know. Not often, but it does.

  10. What a lovely idea, doing the piano stool. If you wanted to you could add his initials, dates, etc.? Swiss darned after? Swivet is a new word to me too – we would probably say ‘in a tizzy’ or as my Mum used to say ‘all of a doo-dah” but that is rather out-of-date now!

  11. Jill, How funny the Olde English wert. Glad you are back from your travels; ADORED the historic postcard. xoxoxoKay

  12. there is a knitted/beaded piano bench cushion in, um, oh god, I think it is knitter’s stash…good lord, of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most. Stripey, though, I remember that much…and I bought the book because of it…having a fabulous upright piano myself (the music that emanates from it is FAR from upright….) gotta love a guy with a big fish!

  13. oooh, a cushion is such a great use for the Euroflax! I’m making a little girl’s skirt from Euroflax now and found that if you wash the skeins and tumble them dry in the dryer the yarn gets softer and easier to work with.


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