I hope you are all ready to begin punching these pillows. Whether you're a planner or a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person, it's time to begin.
I found that this time around I planned out the colors more than I normally do. Actually, my 7 year old planned out the colors. Using an app on my ipad we had fun coming up with different color placements before my son picked the winning one. I also planned out which needle sizes I wanted to use and where, as did Cotey, since we wanted to use all 5 of the fine Oxford Punch Needle sizes.
Now, if you're punching with the yarn packs we curated to go with this project, here is are great words of advice: punch looser.
When Heidi was punching her first pillow, she found that her loop heights were all over the place - they were very uneven. It was driving her nuts! Now Heidi is more than a seasoned puncher. She is an Advanced Certified Oxford Instructor, so she REALLY knows her stuff. This type of thing isn't something that happens often to Heidi, like it does to me, a more novice puncher. She tried steam pressing to see if that would help even out the loop heights and unfortunately, it didn't. (Steam pressing helps to relax the loops, allowing them to bloom and will sometimes even out the heights.) When she began to punch her pillow in her second color-way, she adjusted the spacing of her punching. She found that with stiff wool yarn, like what we are using, overpacking will show as uneven spots on the front. With this yarn, overpacking will happen even when punching every hole, every other row (our standard approach for working with fine or worsted yarns.) She and Cotey each found that by punching every hole, every row and a half, the loop heights were much more even. It's ok to split the threads on the monk's cloth to achieve this and to punch a little looser then you normally would.
I began by punching all the outline lines on my Tile Pillow. I wanted it to look like grout between the tiles. I also didn't want the white to be that line, I wanted to give it a bit of punch, so I used the rusty red color that is in the palette. After that came the basic sculpting. When you sculpt you want to work your way up. Cotey and I each began with the shortest needle size (#14 fine Oxford Punch Needle) on the outside of the shape, working our way up to the tallest needle size (#8 fine Oxford Punch Needle) as we got to the center of the shape. This gave the sculpted areas nice definition. Cotey also recommends having your free hand on the other side of your frame, gently holding the punched loops to the side to help avoid loop-overs.
I did this for each of the "tiles" within the design, as well as color by color, working my way out from center.
Cotey did the majority of her sculpting on the circles in the Huckleberry pattern. She added definition around the plants by using the #13 fine Oxford Punch Needle as an outline and the background being further recessed with the #14 fine Oxford Punch Needle.
Christy and Heidi kept their pillow patterns much simpler. They both used exclusively the #13 and #14 fine Oxford Punch Needles. They added simple definition that was enhanced by their color placement.
Do you have any questions on simple sculpting? If you do please email us, post a comment, or send us a DM. We are more than happy to answer them!
See you back here next week!