Kitty Cushion

kitty cushion front etsy

Kitty Cushion front

Just to prove to you folks that it isn’t always about dogs with me, here is the front of the Kitty Cushion I designed for Harrogate Knit and Stitch Show. It got lots of admirers and the pattern proved to be popular enough that I had to get an emergency reprint done during the show (thank goodness the wonderful husband was there to deal with such emergencies).

The front is worked from a knitting chart (my version was done using double knitting but intarsia would work just as well) and the back is a simple but effective two colour slip stitch with a rib top. I did mine in two aran weight yarns. The grey is Rowan Kid Classic to give it a little fluff, and the cream is the super smooth Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran as a contrast.

Kitty cushion back etsy

Kitty Cushion back

I think this cushion would look great teamed with it’s inverse on the other side of the sofa so I plan to be making its opposite over Christmas. If you fancy having a go yourself I have listed the pattern in my Etsy shop. Happy knitting 🙂

Dog Blanket: Hints and Tips for making up

A number of you lovely people who have bought the set of dog portrait knitting charts have asked me for some guidance on how I made up my blanket.  So if that is you, please read on for hints and tips on how I put the portraits together.

I used four balls of Rowan Creative Focus worsted (100g) (black) and seven Rowan Kid Classic (50g) (shade 885, cloudy).  Using 4mm needles and working on 48sts and 61 rows my portraits came out at 26cm square.

Please note that most of the charts are 48sts wide by 61 rows high. However when working out your tension be aware that the Retriever and Spaniel charts as printed are 49sts wide (61 rows high) and the Greyhound is 62 rows high.

My cable bit was worked separately on 12 sts as follows using 4mm needles:

Row 1: P1, k1, p1, k6, p1, k1, p1

Row 2: K1, p1, k1, p6, k1, p1, k1

Row 3: P1, k1, p1, C6F, p1, k1, p1

Row 4: K1, p1, k1, p6, k1, p1, k1

Row 5: P1, k1, p1, k6, p1, k1, p1

Row 6: K1, p1, k1, p6, k1, p1, k1

Repeating the above, I created six cable lengths that fitted the height of the portraits and attached them to the inside borders of the edge portraits and to either side of the central portraits.

I then made two more long cable borders to fit the entire inside width of the blanket and attached them.

I put a moss stitch external border around the whole blanket as follows: using 4mm needles and the black by picking up and knitting 48 sts per square and 7sts per cable band along the top and bottom of the blanket.  I worked 4cm in moss stitch, knitted a garter stitch turning row on the WS, changed to the grey and continued in stocking stitch for 9 more rows.  The side edges of the blanket were then picked up and knitted as per the top and bottom, adding in an extra 6sts at either end for the top and bottom border bands and completed in the same way.

Hope this helps, and I’ll leave you with the latest double knitting portrait: Kitty Cushion. Who says I don’t listen to feedback 😉

Kitty Cushion header low res

Coastal Inspirations

Living on the south coast of the UK it is difficult not to be inspired by the wonderful coast line.  I particularly like the wilder, less visited areas where you can look down from windy cliff tops onto a lively sea (I am a Pisces so I guess this is the Romantic in me).

"Lee on Solent"

Lee on Solent

It was easy therefore to use this wonderful scenery to inspire three hand knitted cushion designs (recently exhibited at Rum’s Eg Gallery in their “Out of the Blue” exhibition).

"Nicky Barfoot One of a Kind cushion"

Nicky Barfoot One of a Kind “Blue Cable” cushion

The Blue Cable cushion uses a lovely variegated wool yarn in a simple cable pattern and is bordered with more cables to give it a frame.

"Nicky Barfoot One of a Kind hand knitted cushion"

Nicky Barfoot One of a Kind “Beaded Zig Zag” cushion

The Zig Zag cushion uses glass beads and moss stitch zig zags, separated by garter stitch stripes for its textural interest.  Knitted in Pima cotton and wool-cotton blend yarns, it also feels fabulous to the touch.

"Nicky Barfoot hand knitted cushion"

Nicky Barfoot One of a Kind “Blue Bead” cushion

And once I’d got my bead stash out (Debbie Abrahams beads are wonderful for knitted projects) I couldn’t help myself with this one.  I love mixing yarns and textures, and beads just add another dimension to the fabric (and OK I admit it, perhaps a little Bling to satisfy the Girl within).

I have just added these three cushion covers to my shop, so do have a look if you have the perfect chair to complement them.


Pretty in Pink (and green!)

OK last cushion post for a while (I promise!) as Christmas is now officially over (back to the day job tomorrow) and I have a new Exhibition deadline to meet so arty stuff it is for the next few months.  Got to say though that I have throughly enjoyed working with beautifully tactile yarns in pretty colour combinations.  Thanks Mum x

"Nicky Barfoot knitted cushion"

hand knitted design in fine merino and cashmere merino silk yarns

My “One of a Kind” cushions can be found at Rum’s Eg Gallery in Romsey, Hampshire.

Holiday Knitting

I love Christmas!  Not for the presents, food or family time (although they are an added bonus) but for the guilt free hours of knitting that time off the day job and poor weather allow.  A whole day in the armchair with an audio book for company (I am half way through Jim Butcher’s witty Dresden Files series, read by the silky smooth James Marsters aka Spike from Buffy) is my idea of Heaven and I must admit to having indulged in a few of these recently.  The result of these extreme knitting days has been a series of colourful cushions using up some of my Mum’s stash which I dutifully relieved her of on Christmas Eve (having mistimed the project which I had taken with me to my parents house for the holidays).  The colours reminded me of the pretty cushions that my Nanna used to have in her bedroom and inspired the feminine and vintage feel to the series.  So with just the backs to go, here is a taster of the patterns and colour schemes.  Pretty eh?

"Nicky Barfoot cushions, work in progress"

Hand knitted cushion fronts in Sublime baby cashmere merino silk, and merino wool


Pink Poodles

I have just put the finishing touches to a new cushion.  Pink Poodles is hand knitted in a mixture of luxury yarns including cotton and bamboo wool blends, and linen.  Available to buy in my shop it would make a perfect Christmas present for a doggy person.  Tres Chic?

"Nicky Barfoot pink poodle cushion"

Hand knitted cushion in luxury yarns, including cotton, bamboo, wool and linen.



Prowling Wolf Cushion

I have just put the finishing touches (amazing how long it takes me to sew on fasteners!) to this cushion.  It started life as a picture but needed more form so inspired by the recent trend for knitted home accessories a cushion it became.  The front is hand knitted in Rowan Fine Tweed and the back is a reinvention of a UFO in Rowan Felted Tweed  keeping as much of the sense of a sweater as possible as a nod to its original intentions.

"Nicky Barfoot prowling wolf cushion"

Hand knitted cushion in Rowan Fine Tweed


"Nicky Barfoot prowling wolf cushion: back"

Hand knitted cushion back in Rowan Felted Tweed DK