Norma Companion Pillow

I finished the Norma blanket from the First Fall 2012 issue of Knitty at the end of last summer and cast on for a matching pillow not long after that. But for some reason I didn’t finish the matching bolster pillow until last week.

I think it’s just a case of having forgot about the project. I was about halfway through when I put it in the basket on my bookshelf. Not a good place for things – that basket in particular is like a project black hole.


When I was thinking about how to construct the pillow case, it seemed logical, since this is decorative and permanent rather than a pillow case that will get washed, that it could be knit in the round around the pillow form. Basically, this pillow was constructed by casting on 4 stitches and increasing over 8 wedges as though making the crown of a hat to  reach the pillow’s circumference, then the length of the pillow was then knit in the round, and the stitches then decreased until closed around the other end of the pillow.

I used a portion of the Norma pattern for the length of the pillow; specifically stitches 11-29 of Chart 1 Right and did ten repeats of rows 77 through 84 for the length of the bolster.

Casting on and knitting the pillow’s length was really easy; the only difficult part was knitting the top of the pillow around the end.  After decreasing a couple of times, I switched from my 16″ circular to double-pointed needles and crammed the pillow form into the knitting. The top of the pillow was knit with the pillow inside so there was no seaming or anything at the end. It was a little awkward to turn the knitting with the pillow inside, but not really any more difficult than knitting a sleeve from the shoulder down with the whole sweater connected to the sleeve you’re working on.


Because the two ends were knit differently, they look slightly different. Here’s a picture showing the ends side-by-side:

Norma Pillow Ends

The left picture, labeled ‘increases’, is the bottom of the pillow that was knit from four cast on stitches and the right picture, labeled ‘decreases’, is the top of the pillow knit by decreasing from 108 to 4 stitches.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the outcome of this project. I like the Jojoland Tonic yarn a lot and the Norma pattern itself was easy to follow, both as a blanket and for this pillow, once the stitch pattern and increases were understood.

Plus,I ended up with an untouched skein of the Jojoland Tonic yarn left over. Which is actually not a bad thing because I’m casting on soon for a baby cardigan to gift to an expectant parent and this color will go really well with a skein of gray I have leftover from the matrimonio bolero I made last year. I think the burgundy from the Norma project will look lovely striped with the gray in a cardigan.


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