Aug 012007
 

A friend in England got married, so I decided to knit her a cushion. Herewith the pictures, and the pattern, for those readers of my blog interested in my knitting posts.

I really must figure out how to take decent photos of my knitted articles; I never seem to be able to get the colour just right. This cushion, for example, is in a soft lilac; Sirdar Pure Cotton Double Knitting colour 30 to be precise. But then I look at online colour charts and they’re not much (if any) better.

The cushion is knitted in two pieces, at a slightly firmer tension (since it’s for a cushion) than you’d use for a garment. I used the cable cast-on to give a firmer edge as well, though if you’re more comfortable with another cast-on, use that. I used 5 skeins of yarn (double-knitting; 185 yds/169 m per 100g skein; 100% cotton; recommended gauge 21 st x 28 r on 4 mm needles) for both sides, with enough for swatching and seaming, and with some left over. It’s machine-washable, but should be dried flat. It blocked out nicely to a little over 43 cm (17 in) to fit an 46 cm (18 in) cushion insert.

Side 1: a standard almost-plaited cable stitch using 4.5 mm needles. You may want to try out cabling without using a cable needle for this one. My gauge over the pattern stitch: 36 st x 29 rows to 10.5 x 10.5 cm (4.1 in).

Cast on 146 stitches.
Row 1: k all st
Row 2: p all st
Row 3: k1, *6 st right cable (hold st to back so the stitches cross from left to right), repeat from * until 1 st left, k1
Row 4: p all st
Row 5: k all st
Row 6: p all st
Row 7: k4, *6 st left cable (hold st to front so the stitches cross from right to left), repeat from * until 4 st left, k4
Row 8: p all st
Repeat these 8 rows for 132 rows total or until the cushion length matches the width; for me that was (unblocked) 42.5 x 42.5 cm (16.7 in), with 16.5 repeats of the pattern. Bind off.

The result looks like this: Lilac_Cushion

Side 2: a traditional Aran pattern flanked by cables, knitted on 3.25 mm needles. My gauge for stocking stitch on these needles was 22 st per 10 cm (4 in). “Cable 3 to right” means put 3 stitches on the cable needle, put the needle behind the work, knit the next 3 stitches, knit the 3 from the cable needle. “Cable 3 to left” means put 3 stitches on cable needle, put the cable needle in front of the work, knit the next 3 stitches, knit the stitches from the cable needle.

Cast on 99 stitches.
Row 1: k16, p1, k6, p1, k15, p3, k7, p1, k7, p3, k15, p1, k6, p1, k16
Row 2: p16, k1, p6, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p6, k1, p1, k1, p6, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p6, k1, p16
Row 3: k16, p1, k6, p1, k15, p3, k5, p1, k3, p1, k5, p3, k15, p1, k6, p1, k16
Row 4: p16, k1, p6, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p4, k1, p2, k1, p2, k1, p4, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p6, k1, p16
Row 5: k16, p1, k6, p1, k15, p3, k3, p1, k2, p1, k1, p1, k2, p1, k3, p3, k15, p1, k6, p1, k16
Row 6: p16, k1, p6, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p2, k1, p2. k1, p3, k1, p2, k1, p2, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p6, k1, p16
Row 7: k16, p1, k6, p1, k15, p3, k1, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k1, p3, k15, p1, k6, p1, k16
Row 8: p16, k1, p6, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p3, k1, p2, k1, p1, k1, p2, k1, p3, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p6, k1, p16
Row 9: k16, p1, cable 3 to right, p1, k15, p3, k2, p1, k2, p1, k3, p1, k2, p1, k2, p3, k15, p1, cable 3 to left, p1, k16
Row 10: p16, k1, p6, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p4, k1, p2, k1, p2, k1, p4, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p6, k1, p16
Row 11: k16, p1, k6, p1, k15, p3, k3, p1, k2, p1, k1, p1, k2, p1, k3, p3, k15, p1, k6, p1, k16
Row 12: p16, k1, p6, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p5, k1, p3, k1, p5, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p6, k1, p16
Row 13: k16, p1, k6, p1, k15, p3, k4, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k4, p3, k15, p1, k6, p1, k16
Row 14: p16, k1, p6, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p6, k1, p1, k1, p6, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p6, k1, p16
Row 15: k16, p1, k6, p1, k15, p3, k5, p1, k3, p1, k5, p3, k15, p1, k6, p1, k16
Row 16: p16, k1, p6, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p7, k1, p7, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p6, k1, p16
Row 17: k16, p1, k6, p1, k15, p3, k6, p1, k1, p1, k6, p3, k15, p1, k6, p1, k16
Row 18: p16, k1, p6, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p6, k1, p16
Row 19: k16, p1, k6, p1, k15, p3, k7, p1, k7, p3, k15, p1, k6, p1, k16
Row 20: p16, k1, p6, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p1, k1, p15, k1, p6, k1, p16

Continue the pattern until the cushion is square, for me that was 135 rows. Bind off, then block to match the size of the other side. Pin together right side out, and either crochet around the edges, or stitch them together. Don’t forget to put the cushion pad in before you close the last side! I used the Armenian stitch (a variation on buttonhole stitch) from Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook : A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting (a very good reference book, BTW, but probably a bit scary for beginning knitters); you can also find instructions on the web.

Lilac_Cushion_Reverse

Feel free to use the pattern to make items, even for sale, but I do require attribution. Please don’t repost the pattern on any website; link to it instead. Thanks!

  7 Responses to “Knitted Cushion”

  1. You’re not making the claim that this kind of thing can be copyrighted, I presume? It’s just a “be nice” request?

  2. Of course it’s copyrightable, as copyrightable as a computer program, which indeed it is if you are broadminded about what counts as a computer.

    If you wanted to look at a finished piece and reverse engineer the pattern, that you can do, but otherwise you are bound by the copyright license.

  3. Indeed, an algorithm such as this has first precedence as a computer program – a set of instructions for one who computes.

    Lovely cushion and great instructions – even I can follow them, albeit slowly!

    Color rendition is a complicated matter for everyone. If your digital camera supports it you can adjust the light temperature and that may help or hinder. You could also try placing the item in diffused sunlight, like through a thin sheet. Best of luck there.

  4. Mark, John and Ethan are correct; you could reverse-engineer the pattern from the picture (I don’t go so far as to claim it’s a work of art that deserves copyright in its expression) but the way in which I described the pattern is copyrightable and in fact under the laws of the country in which I live (and many others) copyrighted (as is the rest of the original content on this site). So I put up the license terms for anyone who may wish to use the pattern, or who was thinking of reproducing it somewhere.

  5. A more convincing answer would be of the form, “Yes, see Jones v. Smith, 1996, Wis App, 235, 15” or the like.

    This seems pretty similar to sewing patterns, which cannot be copyrighted (and yes, I’m aware of the internet urban legends to the contrary; cite case law if you want to disagree). When John mentions reverse engineering, what he may be getting at is the distinction that although the particular sequence of words and letters in the post is copyrighted, the actual “pattern” is not protected.

    This makes a certain amount of sense. For instance, the inventor of the Roller Derby tried to prevent competing promoters from staging roller derby meets, by writing a short story describing the rules. Of course, he was held to own the copyright to the short story, but, without a patent, not to the rules of roller derby.

    However, even the document itself may end up not being able to be copyrighted. Another case concerned a cereal company that had a contest that it promoted on the back of its cereal boxes. A competitor copied it. This was held not to be a copyright violation on the basis that there are only so many ways to describe the rules of a contest. If you give person A the right to exclusivity for version 1, and person B the right to version 2, sooner or later you run out of significantly different ways of describing the rules. In effect, persons A through Z (or whatever) collectively have a monopoly over that type of a contest, which is only permitted if it is patented. Result: no copyright even for the first version. This would seem to apply for knitting: you can’t copyright the design and stitches, so you can’t have exclusivity over the straightforward description of the stitches — without a patent or design patent.

    To ethan: computer programs can be copyrighted; algorithms must be patented (cf. roller derby). If algorithms could be copyrighted, then the whole software patent brouhaha would not exist (there’d be a software copyright brouhaha in its place).

  6. Mark, you’re correct in that the arrangement of stitches (i.e., the plain k and p) cannot be copyrighted for traditional stitches, although if I created my own that might be a different story. (IANAL) What I can assert copyright over is the way I describe the process to knit that cushion, or, as you say, the particular sequence of words and letters in the post. I have read up a bit on copyright law and knitting; I’ll pull together a post on that subject in the next couple of days and hope you can comment then.
    [Update: hmm, the arrangement of the stitches to form the complete pattern may also be copyrightable as it’s original and therefore potentially unique. Not the traditional stitch patterns that make up the components, of course, but the way they’ve been put together. More when I write this up in a new post.]

  7. “Most importantly, under current U. S. copyright law, anything given expression in a tangible form, as described above, and published after March 1, 1989 is protected by copyright law whether the copyright holder has included a copyright notice or not.”
    source: https://yarnaholic.wordpress.com/the-copyright-faq-for-knitters/

    May your life and your yarn supply be limitless!

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