A Knitted Pillowcase is a great way to customize your space and add some color to your décor.
I was recently gifted some pillowcases for my couch throw pillows and my mind started to turn. Our current pillows are nice, but they are the same all year round. What if I made more pillowcases to customize the space for other occasions?
Or what if I could show some of my board game love through these pillowcases? And thus, the idea of making a pillowcase dedicated to the Lizard Cult (from Root) was born. I was truly curious how making this pillowcase would go because I did not have anything to go off. I mean, I could have googled it but where it the fun in that. Plus making a tricked-out square should not be that hard.
I did not need much for this project. All I needed was:
- Medium Thickness Yellow Yarn, for the body of the project
- Medium Thickness Black Yarn, for the embroidery
- A Yarn Embroidery Needle
- US Size 10 Knitting Needles, both straight and circular
I had originally spec’d this project for a 16 by 16-inch pillow but it ended up being a 20 by 20-inch pillowcase instead. I guess my yarn measurements are not where they are supposed to be at yet.
Bulk Knitting – The First Time Around
Because I am using a knitting in the round method, there is a lot of knitting continuously for long stretches of time to make the pillowcase. I call this bulk knitting. And that is how we are going to start off. First, I cast on 140 stitches. This means that 70 stiches are devoted to each side. This turned out to be 20 inches because I could not do the calculations right.
And then I began to knit, and knit, and knit some more! I felt like I was knitting in a continuous loop. Because I was. My aim was to knit until I had reached 8 inches (this was when I still thought I was working with a 16-inch pillow). Then I could make the back opening for the pillowcase.
The Back Opening
I really like having pillowcases when their openings are on the back rather than on one side. I feel like this keeps the pillowcase on better than if it is on the side. So, when I reached the halfway point of knitting the pillow, I stopped and switched tactic.
I knitted 70 stitches onto a straight needle and did a back-and-forth stitch to create the flap. Basically, knitting one row and purling one row. I did this on repeat until I had about two inches of material made for the flap. A part of me wished I had made the flap bigger.
Bulk Knitting – The Second Time
With the flap made, I turned my attention back to the main body of the pillowcase. I was missing half of the stitches that I needed so I cast on 70 stitches. This process was hard for me. Casting on stitches in the middle of a project is not my forte. Definitely something that I want to work on.
Once my stitch count on the circular needles was back up to 140, I was back to knitting at infinitum. This was the point where I realized that the width of my project was a little bigger than I was expecting. Seeing that it was at 20 inches, I decided that the length should match the width.
I ended up doing a lot of knitting. But, after what felt like weeks, I got the project to 20 inches in length. The final bind off was combining the two sides of the pillowcase. I tried to keep the front 70 stitches on one side and the back 70 stitches on the other. Then I put the needle through two stitches and knit them together before binding them off.
With the knitting for the pillowcase finished, it was time to close all the loose ends. First, I ended up addressing the opening in the back. The edges were not attached to anything, so I ended up using the string around the edge to sew the flap to the side. This gave the back more stability.
Then it was time to close the opening at the one end of the pillowcase. This is where I originally started the project. To close the opening, I used a crochet hook to attach the two sides together. This was easy where the yarn was cooperative, which is not always the case.
But all I had at this point was a plain yellow pillowcase. Which honestly could have been a great stopping point. It looked good but I wanted to make it better. And what way to be better than to represent the Lizard Cult?
I grabbed some black yarn and a needle that could handle the yarn and got started. There was a general pattern that I was using but I wanted to make it bigger to handle the size of the pillowcase. And I did this as I was embroidering. Sometimes, I really think that I should have a plan ahead of time.
But the pattern turned out well! I really loved the way that the final pillowcase looked! And below is the pattern I used (made after I did it).
This was a fun and easy project. I really enjoyed being able to knit mindlessly and create something awesome. Knitting in the round is good for knitting without thinking and I found the whole process kind of soothing in a way.
Embroidery proved to be a little more challenge that I was originally anticipating. Creating a pattern on the fly was not something I was completely comfortable with, but it worked out well. I did the embroidery over two sessions and dear lord did my fingers hurt after I was done. I think using the embroidery needle for a long period of continuous time had a major impact on my hands.
Embroidering on Knitting
When I embroider onto a knitted project, I like to follow the stitches to make the embroidery mimic the look of knitted stitches. To do this, I basically do two movement, one is following the stich going up and the other is following the stitch going down.
Embroidered Knitted Pillowcase
- US Size 10 Knitting Needles both straight and circular
- 1 Yarn Embroidery Needle
- 1 Skein Yellow Yarn medium thickness, for the body of the project
- 1 Skein Black Yarn medium thickness, for the embroidery
- CO140 on to US 10 circular needles.
- Continue to knit until the project has reached 10 inches.
- Knit 70 stitches on to a straight US 10 needle.
- Alternate purl rows and knit rows on the straight needles until the flap reaches 3 inches.
- Going back to the circular needles, cast on 70 stitches. Continue knitting the project until the total project length (excluding the flap) is at 20 inches.
- K2tog from the front and back, BO
- Sew the flap edges along the parallel edges of the pillow.
- Using a crochet hook, crochet the bottom of the pillow together.
- Embroider with black threads following the above pattern or any pattern you desire.