I was looking at my sad-looking throw pillows on my hideous futon sofa. They have clearly seen better days. I wanted to purchase new throw pillows with lovely pillow covers, but the prices were way above my budget. So, I decided to knit a throw pillow cover.
I purchased the pillow insert along with bulky yarn in red, white and blue with the anticipation of completing the project in time for Independence Day (July 4th) in the United States. Unfortunately, I did not finish it until a couple of weeks later. I guess red, white and blue never goes out of style, so I added it to the other pillows on the sofa.
I used a garter stitch pattern (i.e. all knit stitches) because it is very simple to do and it has a great texture.
You could use this throw pillow anywhere in your home that needs a little “pop” of color or texture. Just pick three colors of a bulky yarn that you like and knit away!
So, if you are ready to try knitting a throw pillow cover, here are the instructions:
Lion Brand Lion’s Pride Woolspun (80% acrylic, 20% wool; 3.5g/100g; 127 yd/116m/skein) in the following colors:
Tomato (color A – 2 skeins)
Fisherman (color B – 2 skeins)
Navy Heather (color C – 2 skeins)
(this yarn has been discontinued, but you can find a substitute here)
1 US 10.5 (6.5mm) 24” circular needle (to hold all those stitches)
1 tapestry needle
20” x 20” pillow insert
gauge: 7 stitches/2″ (6 rows/2”)
Note: The Woolspun yarn has 12 plies, so it has a very soft drape. Any item knitted with this yarn will expand a few inches after washing and blocking. Therefore, please keep this in mind when you are knitting the pillow cover.
Knit the cover
Cast on 70 stitches with color A using the cable cast-on method
Row 1 (rights side (RS)): slip the first stitch, knit every stitch until the end
Row 2 (wrong side (WS)): slip the first stitch, knit every stitch until the end
Rows 3-6: repeat Rows 1 and 2 with color A
Row 7: change to color B, repeat pattern for Rows 1-6
Row 13: change to color C, repeat pattern for Rows 1-6
Row 19: change to color A, repeat pattern for Rows 1-6
Continue in the pattern, changing colors after every sixth row, until you are able to wrap the rectangle around the pillow insert in an envelope shape (i.e. with extra material folded over from the top to approximately the middle of the pillow, forming an envelope shape). Bind off on the wrong side.
Wash and sew the cover
Wash the rectangle fabric by hand in a tub of cold water. You may either let rectangle dry on its own on a flat surface or you may block the rectangle before allowing it to dry (i.e. pin it onto a flat, mat-like material with T-pins).
You will notice that the rectangle has expanded a couple of inches after blocking.
Place the rectangle on a flat surface with RS facing up.
Place the pillow insert in the center of the rectangle.
Fold bottom end of the rectangle over the pillow insert. Pin the sides together.
Fold the top end of the rectangle over the pillow insert and the bottom end of the pillow cover, forming a flap. Pin the sides together.
Remove the pillow and turn the pillow cover right side up. Place the pillow into the pinned pillow cover. Make certain that it slides in and out without any problems. Turn the pillow cover inside out and sew the pinned sides together.
Your pillow cover should look something like this:
If your pillow cover is sagging toward the ground like mine, you may want to attach a velcro fastener. I chose a red sew-on style because 1) it matches one of the colors of my pillow cover and 2) it was the only style available in red.
Add the velcro
Cut the hook (“teeth-looking” surface) and loop (hairy surface) of the velcro into 5″ strips.
Pin the hook strips evenly spaced across the bottom underside edge of the top section and loop strips across the top edge of the bottom section of the pillow cover.
Make certain that each hook is evenly matched with its corresponding loop.
Insert the pillow and close the pillow cover. If the pillowcase fastens in the right places, then you are ready for the final step.
Remove the pillow. Sew each strip of velcro into place.
Here is the new throw pillow:
I could have made the rectangle a little longer so that the flap would cover more of the back. Also, I could have made the rectangle a little narrower (i.e. using fewer stitches per row) to reduce the sags across the pillow cover. Otherwise, I really like the feel and look of the pillow cover.
I decided to keep the throw pillow on the hideous futon sofa for now. However, I’ll probably make another pillow cover with more neutral colors to complement the pattern of the sofa.
Do you have any questions, comments or suggestions? Please share them in the comments section below.
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