Revamp a pincushion using Cordial yarn

How to revamp a pincushion

Doing some research about pincushions, I came across the technique of putting pins into a bar of soap. Not being an avid seamstress, I had never heard of this practice. My mother, an enthusiastic quilter, confirmed that sticking your pins into a bar of soap makes the tips slippery, which makes them easier to slide into fabric. It has the added benefit of smelling pleasant. So today we’ll look at a great way to knit and revamp a pincushion using Cordial yarn.

Pincushion in the color Sprout

1 ball of Red Heart’s Cordial in Sprout
1 set of US 10.5 [6mm] double pointed needles
1 tapestry needle
1 bar of soap or old pincushion if you don’t want to use the soap

Note: You may also use Magic Loop or Two Circular Needles technique for this project. The version of circular knitting you are most comfortable with would be the best. 

Judy’s Magic Cast on!

Cast on 6 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast On. This technique is usually intended for the toe of toe-up socks, but it suits this purpose just as well! With all 16 stitches knit one round in plain stockinette stitch and adjust your stitches to set up for the increase round. I put 8 stitches on one dpn and 4 on each of the other two. Begin the decrease rows as follows.

Row 1: Knit 1, knit in front and back (KFB), knit 4, KFB, knit 2, KFB, knit 4, KFB, knit 1.
Row 2: Knit all (20 stitches)
Row 3: Knit 1, KFB, knit 6, KFB, knit 2, KFB, knit 6, KFB, knit 1.
Row 4: Knit all (24 stitches)

With just enough length to cover the cushion

Now this part will depend on if you’re knitting for a soap pincushion or to cover an old tomato pincushion. The sample was knit to cover a bar of soap and ten rows left the pincushion ¾” shorter than the bar.

Since the average pincushion is round, you may only need to knit one or two rounds (depending on your gauge). You want the cover to be slightly stretched out so your knitting will wrap around the soap or tomato and be form fitting.

Squeeze the cushion inside

When you are confident about the length of your cover, do the decrease rows as follows.

Row 1: Knit 1, knit 2 together (K2TOG), knit 6, K2TOG, knit 2, K2TOG, knit 6, K2TOG, knit 1.
Row 2: Knit all (20 stitches)
Row 3: Knit 1, K2TOG, knit 4, K2TOG, knit 2, K2TOG, knit 4, K2TOG, knit 1.
Row 4: Knit all (16 stitches)

Ready for the kitchener stitch

Now, take your bar of soap, or other pincushion and squeeze it inside of the knitted cover. It helps to spread your stitches out across your needles. If you’ve chosen to work with circulars, this will be very easy for you. With your chosen pincushion inside, you just need to Kitchener stitch the opening closed, and weave in your ends.

The Kitchener Stitch can be like a mantra when you memorize it. The words front and back refer to the knitting needle that holds the stitch your working on; the purl and knit words refer to how to insert your tapestry needle into the stitch – purl (wise), knit (wise). You’re not knitting the stitches, just seaming them together with the tapestry needle. Lastly, on and off are the instructions as to whether you’re leaving the stitch on the knitting needle or slipping it off the knitting needle after you inserted the tapestry needle through it.

Set Up

  1. FRONT: purl, on
  2. BACK: knit, on


  1. FRONT: knit, off
  2. FRONT: purl, on
  3. BACK: purl, off
  4. BACK: knit, on

Never again will your pincushion be unsightly! When the mood strikes to change up the color and freshen the look, you can simply knit another layer on top, or cut and knit another cover for your pincushion. Who knew that to revamp a pincushion using Cordial yarn was so much fun?!

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