Things Made: A Fluffer Pillow

Things Made / Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

So this pillow has a bit of a story to it, though maybe it’s not interesting to anyone other than me.

It actually starts with bunting! A couple summers ago, I wanted to make a string of pennants to hang up over my window, and I picked up a few skeins of the Loops & Thread Colorwheel yarn that was available in Michaels at the time. I loved this yarn, especially that it was available in small skeins of in a huge variety of colors, not something that is so easy to find in the US. But as it turned out, the worsted weight yarn was heavier than I really wanted for bunting…so what to do with this yarn I had?

My decision was rather impulsively to make a blanket…which is maybe not the best solution when you only have five 100-yard skeins of yarn to start with. I headed back to Michaels in search of more and, let me tell you, 100-yard skeins are maybe not the most practical way to buy yarn for a blanket. But I was lucky…the yarn happened to go on clearance, so I was able pick up all I needed at a cut rate price, I had more than enough to finish my blanket, which I did in about a month of intense, mid-summer crochet.

I called it my YOLO blanket, because it was all done on impulse, with no planning at all, and I just love it! It’s made with the Skittles pattern by Felted Button, though I mixed up my colors in a random fashion.

It turns out, though, I had actually bought way more yarn than I needed for the blanket. WAY more…probably enough for another blanket, in fact, but after thinking about it for a few months, I decided to try something a little different. I plunged into what was probably my most complicated project up until that point in time: Making a pillow using Dedri Uys’s Sophie’s Garden pattern, with the instructions by Wilma Westenberg to turn it into a 24-inch pillow.

I love-love-loved this project. Such a dream! I chose my colors randomly again, and when I was finished, attached it to a white linen pillow cover to display on my bed.

But guess what? I still had a LOT of yarn left. I began casting around for a second large mandala pattern, figuring a second, 24-inch pillow–not matching, but similar–would look keen. About that time, Iman van der Kraan announced her Jacaranda CAL, which was just lovely and would suit my needs perfectly. I dived in with my hook and leftover yarn. But things didn’t go exactly as planned.

Let me say first that this is a great pattern! I might tackle it again someday, with deliberately chosen yarn instead of just what I had leftover from two previous projects. The problem I had was SIZE! The Jacaranda pattern is written for fingering weight yarn, and I was using worsted, so I really had no idea how big this sucker was going to be. And the result of that ignorance is that, by the time I got through the second part of the CAL, I was already at 23″ in diameter and a looooong way from squaring off.

The Jacaranda CAL a year ago, after finishing Part 2.

There was no (easy) way to make this into a 24″ pillow to match my Sophie’s. If I was clever at math and patterns, I might have figured out a way to square it off on my own. But I am not, so my solution was to shove the project in a box for a year and go write a novel.

Okay, it wasn’t quite a year. I finally hauled it last month to finish up in the only way I could figure out. I decided to keep going with the pattern until it was large enough to fold envelope style around the pillow, and stitch it up the back. The result:

The result is…OK. It’s much squishier than its Sophie cousin, with rounded corners instead of the crisp edges of the first, so it’s less of a “matched set” than I was hoping for. I should have stopped a couple rounds sooner, I think, so the cover hugged the pillow form a little more closely, too…it is going to slide around a bit I think, and have to be rearranged. But it’s much floofier and more comfortable to lie on than Sophie, so I’m calling that a definite win! All in all, I’m pleased with it, and especially pleased to have it finished after all this time. And in the end, they do make a pretty good pair:

Sophie and Jacaranda side by side, brightening up my bedroom!

So, that is the story of a pillow made with twice-leftover yarn, that took a year to complete! I’ve still got a wee bit of that Colorwheel yarn left too…I think I’m going to use it to make some bunting.

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