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Handsome Cushion

Vintage cushion cover knit in hexagonal and square motifs

Knitted from octagonal blocks

This pretty octagon shaped block is quickly knitted and may be used for many purposes, such as woollen afghans, cushions, or cotton counterpanes. For the afghans and cushions, oddments of wool may be used or, if purchasing same, 1 skein of 4-ply wool and No 12 needles will complete four blocks about 6 inches in diameter.

For wool work the ring in the centre may be eyeleted in contrasting color on completion of block (note from Sarah: this means to oversew around the centre hole in contrasting colour). All-white counterpanes, knitted in cotton, will always be popular on account of their durability, but novel schemes in color made from this block are delightful; for instance, pale blue with a border of the blocks in primrose yellow and many other combinations in knitting cotton or wool are equally pretty.

For the cushion illustrated here 6 blocks, 7 wedge shaped pieces, and 2 small triangles for the corners will be required.

Using 4-ply wool and No 12 (2.75mm or US 2) or No 10 (3.25mm or US 3) needles.


K = knit plain

P = purl

O = yarn over

K2tog = Knit 2 together.

5 Steel Needles No 10 or 12 with points each end will be required.


Hexagonal and square knitted couterpane motifs

The Block

Cast on 8 sts, 2 on each of four needles; or the easier way is to cast on but 3 needles, 3 sts on the first, 2 sts on the second and 3 sts on the third needle. After a few rounds the fourth needle may be used and the sts divided evenly on the four; but the beginning of round must be carefully observed.

Free knitting pattern chart

1st Round (and all odd rounds): Knit

2nd Round: * O, K1; repeat from * around

4th Round: * O, K2; repeat from *

6th Round: * O, K3; repeat from *

8th Round: * O, K4; repeat from *

10th Round: * O, K5; repeat from *

12th Round: * O, K1, O, K3, K2tog, repeat from *

14th Round: * O, K3, O, K2, K2tog, repeat from *

16th Round: * O, K5, O, K1, K2tog, repeat from *

18th Round: * O, K7, O, K2tog, repeat from *

20th Round: * O, K1, O, K5, K2tog, O, K2tog, repeat from *

22nd Round: * O, K2tog, O, K1, O, K4, K2tog, O, K2tog, repeat from *

24th Round: * (O, K2tog) twice, O, K1, O, K3, K2tog, O, K2tog, repeat from *

26th Round: * (O, K2tog) 3 times, O, K1, O, K2, K2tog, O, K2tog, repeat from *

28th Round: * (O, K2tog) 4 times, O, K1, O, K1, K2tog, O, K2tog, repeat from *

30th Round: * (O, K2tog) 5 times, O, K1, (O, K2tog) twice, repeat from *

32nd Round: Bind off rather loosely all around except the last 18 sts, which are to be knit back and forth to form the square. This square may be knit in contrasting colour if desired.

End Block

Free knitting pattern chart

When there are 17 sts on the left-hand needle and one on the right-hand needle, K2, P3, K3, P3, K3, P3.

2nd Row:(K3, P3) 3 times.

3rd and 4th Rows: Like 2nd row.

5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Rows: (P3, K3) 3 times.

9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Rows: (K3, P3) 3 times.

13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th Rows: (P3, K3) 3 times.

17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th Rows: (K3, P3) 3 times.

21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th Rows: (P3, K3) 3 times. Cast off loosely.

Another plan for the square is to leave 17 sts (having one on the right-hand needle), P1, * K1, P1; repeat from *. Repeat the first row until it is square.

Sew the blocks together in strips the required length, placing the strips so they alternate, one beginning with a star and the next with a square, it will be seen that they fit nicely together for overcasting. (See diagram.)

Free knitting pattern chart

The outer edge may be left with the blocks forming a scallop, or a straight edge may be obtained by knitting the wedge-shaped pieces.

To make the wedge-shaped pieces, cast on 17 sts

Free knitting pattern chart

1st and all odd Rows: Purl.

2nd Row: K1, (O, K2tog) 7 times, O, K1, O, K1.

4th Row: K1, (O, K2tog) 8 times, O, K1, O, K1.

6th Row: K1, (O, K2tog) 9 times, O, K1, O, K1.

8th Row: K1, (O, K2tog) 10 times, O, K1, O, K1

10th Row: K1, (O, K2tog) 11 times, O, K1, O, K1

12th Row: K1, (o, K2tog) 12 times, O, K1, O, K1

14th Row: K1, (O, K2tog) 13 times, O, K1, O, K1

15th Row: Purl. Cast off loosely.

When joining the blocks for cushions or any article where a square corner is required a small triangle is needed to complete two of the corners.

Work as follows:

Cast on 17 sts

Free knitting pattern chart

1st Row: Purl.

2nd Row: (K2tog, O) 8 times, K1.

3rd and all odd Rows: P2tog, P to 2nd last st, P2tog

4th Row:(K2tog, O) 7 times, K1.

6th Row:(K2tog, O) 6 times, K1.

8th Row:(K2tog, O) 5 times, K1.

10th Row:(K2tog, O) 4 times, K1.

12th Row:(K2tog, O) 3 times, K1.

14th Row:(K2tog, O) twice, K1.

15th Row: P2tog, P 1, P2tog Cast off.

After slipstitching the blocks together finish the edge with cord as illustration.

The original version of this pattern is in the public domain, however this digital version and the charts included are copyright Sarah Bradberry, May 18th 2012. All rights reserved.