Introduction: Plant Pillows
These are instructions for knitting and planting something that we call a Plant Pillow. When planted, you can hang it in your garden or elsewhere for an extra bit of colour. The Plant Pillow is a slight variation on the open top Plant Pocket . In this version, the front and back are the same length with window where you’ll insert a few succulent cuttings.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Yarn — I decided to use acrylic yarn for our plant pillows. Given how damp San Francisco can be, we wanted something that would be less likely to rot. For this pillow, I’ve used Red Heart Blue Tones Super Saver Economy Yarn.
Needles — Size 8 US. I have both bamboo and plastic needles in this size and I’ve found the plastic ones easier to knit with the Red Heart yarn.
Darning or tapestry needle
Soil — we used succulent potting mix.
Plants — three or four succulent cuttings.
Rooting powder (optional) — makes for happy plants.
Step 1: Knitting the Body of the Pillow
Cast on 17 stitches, leaving a tail of yarn that you’ll weave in. (The final pillow will be approx. 4 inches wide.)
The main body of the pillow is stockinette stitch. Knit the 1st row and then purl the 2nd row. Repeat this until you have 32 rows. I like to mark the 24th row with a stitch counter marker as this will be where we make the bottom fold.
We’ll start creating the window on the 33rd row. Knit 5 stitches, purl the next 7, and then knit the last 5 stitches. On the next row, purl 5 stitches, knit 7, and then purl the last 5 stitches. Repeat this for a total of 8 rows. You’ll see your “window” being created.
Return to stockinette stitch for the last 6 rows.
Cast off — you’re done knitting the body of your plant pillow. Woot!
Step 2: Weave in the Ends
Use the darning needle to weave the casting on and off ends into the purl side of the pillow. It’s best to run them down the inside edge of the pillow so it won’t be too visible in the finished pillow.
Step 3: Creating the Ties
The next step involves creating the bottom tie. Cut 6 pieces of yarn that are approx. 30 inches long. You can adjust the length of the ties to be longer or shorter if you know the circumference of where you’re going to tie your plant pillow. Put three pieces of the yarn aside for the top tie. Take the body of the plant pillow that you knit in the first step and fold it with the purl side inwards — this should be the 24th row. Take one of the pieces of the yarn and thread the darning needle. You want to loosely stitch three of the pieces of yarns through the width of the body pillow at the bottom fold. You can use the stitches themselves if you want an even look — I weave the yarn in and out every two stitches.
Make sure that you’ve got even “tails” of yarn on either side. Braid the three pieces of yarn together on either side and secure the ends with a tight knot. I’ve found that it helps to put something heavy on the plant pillow to hold it in place while I braid. Once you’ve tied the knot, you can clip the lose ends for a cleaner look.
Step 4: Sewing the Sides
We’ll stitch the sides next. Cut a length of yarn and make a big knot on one end. Thread the yarn through your needle and push the darning needle through from the inside to the outside, starting from the base of the pillow where you created the bottom tie. Holding the pieces together stitch the front to the back moving up towards the top of the pillow. If you want a tidier look, you can use the rows of yarn as your guide, creating a stitch at every row. Repeat this step, sewing the other side of the pillow.
We’ll use the three remaining lengths of yarn that you cut previously to create the top tie. You’ll weave the three lengths through the back flap and then braid the extra length on either side as in step no. 3.
Step 5: Fill You Pocket
Fill the pillow with succulent mix.
Step 6: Sew the Top
Take another length of the yarn and stitch the top of the pillow closed. I use the stitches as a guide for an even look.
Step 7: Ready for Planting
The pillow’s complete and ready for planting.
Step 8: Prepare Your Plant
Step 9: Dip in Rooting Powder (optional Step)
The freshly cut stems take a dip in rooting powder. This isn’t required, but it seems to help roots develop faster.
Step 10: Begin Insterting Cuttings
Gently – gently! – poke the stem through the pillow and into the soil inside. The most important thing is not to damage the rosette. Remember you can scrunch up the pillow to clear the way for the stem.
Step 11: Continue Inserting Cuttings
Place a few more cuttings. Whatever you think looks good.
Step 12: You're Finished Planting
Step 13: Water
Rinse off any excess soil and dampen the soil inside.
Step 14: That's It!
Let the pillow sit for a while horizontally for the cuttings to root. Hang when ready.
For more planting tips, visit Plantgasm.