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What the World Needs Now (Is a Piano Bench Cushion)

Dear Kay,
Well, the tribe has spoken, and the choice for Side One of Big Daddy’s Piano Bench Cushion is:
Big Dot.
This is a slip stitch pattern, which means that I’m knitting only one color per row, yet it creates this illusion that there’s more going on. Berrry clever. If you ever want to do color work without actually doing any color work, slip stitch patterns are the way to go.
Doing a slip stitch pattern using Euroflax linen yarn means that you get a puckery fabric. Slipping stitches demands a lot of a stitch: in this pattern the slipped stitch carries over six rows of stockinette, so by the time the slipped stitch is knitted again, it’s stretching pretty far. In a wool yarn, this would not be a problem–bouncy, resilient wool can handle a lot of abuse. In this case, the linen is not stretching a bit, so the result is Extreme Texture. Kind of a seersuckery deal, see? I like it, but wonder how it will block out. My swatch flattened considerably, but it was small.
This pattern also creates THE curliest fabric ever. I’m counting on the cushion and corner ties to make this thing behave. That and the endless bottoms that will be sitting on it.
Speaking of music, that’s our good friend Mr. Burt Bacharach holding down the knitting. He’s modeling the latest sweater from his 1989 collection, The Burt Bacharach Anthology. He seems to be influenced by Sasha Kagan, or the early Kim Hargreaves.
Still debating what to do on the backside of this cushion. All these dots have me craving something larger scaled.
Yarn Snack
Went to the Haus of Yarn the other day swearing not to buy a thing and of course ended up with
Fiesta Kokopelli, a worsted 60% mohair/40% wool that is the lurvliest handyed stuff. As you know, I’m always loving yarns that are allegedly one color but kind of veer off the chart. Not variegated, but monogated.
Has anybody made anything with this? Kay, I know even a picture of a wool/mohair blend is giving you hives–sorry.
What does Kokopelli mean? Well, go have a look.




  1. Love the big dot. You could make a couple bucket hats with the new yarn or if you have enough a boxy cardi/jacket. It’just doesn’t look like it has all that much drape in it.

  2. What a fun blog: We get Burt Bachrach and Sqeaky, all in one sitting!

  3. That yarn doesn’t give me the hives, but the picture of Burt does. He looks very smarmy in that photo. The Kokopelli looks a little in weight and hand like Peace Fleece. Now you’ve done it, I’ll have to go buy some.

  4. Wow, it’s going to be beautiful. But not as beautiful as Burt’s sweater….

  5. If those slipped stitches get too tight, try wrapping the yarn around twice when knitting them, thus creating a larger loop, that stretches further.

  6. I improvised a tam using one skein of Kokopelli and Elizabeth Zimmerman’s indications (not really a pattern) from Knitting Without Tears. In last summer’s issue of Interweave Knits there’s a fabulous Teva Durham bag in Kokopelli. And then there’s a Shirley Paden rib and wrapped cable sweater in a more recent IK. I love that yarn–it’s buttah.

  7. That slip stitch pattern kicks butt! I love the illusion of colorwork without actually doing the colorwork. Brilliant!

  8. I love the piano bench cover and the Kokopelli (both the yarn and the character). I have a wrought iron Kokopelli figure on my porch post. Already having 7 kids, I prefer to keep both the fertility and the mischief from entering the house!

  9. Big dot is looking COOL. Wish I could say the same about Bert. But. Well. Hhhhmmm.
    For the back of the cushion how about large squares of colour like a sort of nine patch or… go mad and entice Kay into making a psychedelic rectangle!

  10. I think you should refer to the piano bench as “Big Dotty”. I’m crazy about that pattern. As for Kokopelli, I’ve seen it featured on a sweater in Vogue last fall – a really beautiful cabled cardigan – deep blue. You should check it out. I’m guessing that it works up similaly to Lamb’s Pride since the fabric content is almost identical – just a bit more mohair.

  11. Fab, fab, fab,fab, fab ! That piano seat really works ! Love the new yarn too, especially the one on the left.

  12. I hope you have in mind a pianist worthy of such honors to warm his/her buns on such a fabulous bench cushion. Burt himself might qualify.

  13. I had a chuckle at the stick insect. A teacher-friend of mine prefers them as pets for her class for several reasons: Few needs re. habitat and food; weird enough to be interesting, but not cuddly (she has had hamster bite and territorial marking spray issues with other pets); finally it is very hard to see whether dead or alive and thus ‘Herbie (Mk.1) recently deceased’, can easily be replaced with ‘Herbie (Mk.2) recently purchased’ without class noticing.

  14. I have never made anything with Kokopelli, but I have coveted it for YEARS. Maybe I should finally get some. Do keep us posted on how you like knitting it, will you?

  15. Pleases could you tell me where you got the stitch pattern for “Big Dot”, the winner of the piano seat cover quest?
    It is beautiful!
    I thought you had said it came from a Reader’s Digest book, but when I went to the library and asked about a Compendium of Stitches from Reader’s Digest … there was not one to be found.
    I’m quite fascinated by the look of the pattern, as someone said previously – “the illusion of colorwork”.
    As a not-experienced knitter, I need all the illusion I can get!

  16. Hi! I, too would like to find that pattern. Nancy


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