Stash-​buster cushion

By Suzie Blackman

Free online knitting pattern

Published 6 October 2008
Yarn weight:   Skill level:

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Stash-buster cushion © Suzie Blackman

Stash-buster cushion © Suzie Blackman

A cusion cover with knitted front and fabric back in a slip-stitch pattern in several colours. I have used a a zip fastening. If you really like stocking stitch you could knit the back and fasten it with buttons.

This is a great way to use up leftovers from other projects. Each coloured row used no more than 5g of yarn. I used nine different shades of a variety of aran weight wool – Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Aran in Jet for the main colour and Debbie Bliss Merino Aran, Rowan Pure Wool Aran, Noro Cash Iroha and assorted mohair for the contrast colours.

I discovered the stitch pattern by accident; I was looking up mosaic garter stitch when I came accross a brick pattern on I added extra rows to to give a more honeycombed effect.

I went for a rainbow effect because my stash tends to be full of bright colours, but this pattern would work equally well with muted colours, and would look great with a lighter shade replacing black as the maincolour.

Size information

This pattern makes a cushion cover to fit a 45 x 45cm (18 x 18 inch) pad.


Yarn & notions

  • Approx. 85 m (93 yards) (1 x 50g ball) Aran weight yarn for main colour (MC)
  • Approx. 170 m (186 yards) assorted aran weight yarn for contrast colours (CC1, CC2, etc.)
  • 51 x 48 cm (20 x 19 in.) stiff backing fabric (corduroy is ideal)
  • 1 x 45 cm (18 inch) zip
  • Sewing thread

Needles & equipment

  • 5 mm knitting needles
  • Yarn needle
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing needles


20 sts 28 rows over 10 cm (4 in.) square in slip-stitch pattern. Tension is not critical as the knitted front of the cushion is stretched to fit.


Knitted cushion front

CO 80 sts in MC

Next row (rs): Knit
Next row (ws): Purl
Repeat last two rows once more

Slip-stitch pattern

Rows 1 & 3: In CC1, [k5, sl1p] to last 2 sts, k2
Row 2 & 4: CC1 p2, [sl1p, p5] to end
Row 5: K in MC
Row 6: P in MC
Rows 7 & 9: In CC2 k2 [sl1p k5] to end
Row 8 & 10: In CC2 [p5, sl1p] to last 2 sts, p2
Row 11: K in MC
Row 12: P in MC

Work in pattern, using each contrast colour in turn, until work measures 45  cm (18 in.), ending with row 4 or row 10 of pattern.

Change to MC
Next row (rs): Knit
Next row (ws): Purl
Repeat last two rows once more
Cast off.

Fabric backing

Attaching the zip to the fabric backing

Attaching the zip to the fabric backing

Cut the fabric into two pieces so one measures 48 x 45 cm (19 x 17 1/2 in.) and the other strip measures 48 x 6 cm (19 x 2 1/2 in.).

Fold over and press 1.5 cm (5/8 in.) seam allowance along one of the 48 cm (19 in.) edges of each piece.

With right sides up, place the pressed edge of the large piece along the length of the zip, so that the pressed edge meets the centre of the zip teeth. Tack into place 5 mm (1/4 in.) from edge. Do the same with the smaller piece of fabric along the other side of the zip. Stitch along tacking.

Partly open the zip. With right-sides facing, pin the front of the cushion to the back, stretching the knitted side so that the edges match up. Tack with a 1.5 cm (5/8 in.) seam, stitch.


  1. Debbie Bourque says:

    I have meant to keep coming over here this week, but, now that I am here, I can totally see what the fuss is about@ What great, articulate and at times humorous articles….Glad to have finally “met” you.

  2. Donna says:

    What a helpful, colorful pattern!! I stumbled upon you through a friend on Ravelry. I am a fairly new knitter and your presentation is clear and refreshing. I will be returning. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your work on this web site.

  3. Theresa says:

    Starting to knit again after 30 years and found this fabulous pillow cover
    I have to try to complete.
    Thank you so much. I’ll be coming back for some children’s raglan
    sleeve sweaters.

  4. Daisy Rogers says:

    This is a perfect idea to make the use of left over yarn too. Thanks for sharing this well illustrative pattern as one can easily try with different colors.

  5. Kim says:

    I LOVE THIS PATTERN!! I have been searching for something (stashbuster) for an afghan! But, can you tell me what stitch multiple this is. I would love to make a pillow and afghan to match. Thank you so much for any help!!

  6. Kerstin says:

    Can I please have these translated in to Swedish.

  7. jill says:

    Came across this pattern on ravelry and just fell in love with it! – would it be possible to knit this in the round ?

  8. Patricia Dunn says:

    Hello from England. Love this pattern. So useful to have something to use up all the bits and pieces us knitters hoard. Making this colourful cushion is on my New Year’s To Do list.

  9. jill says:

    Thanks Suzie – for both your beautiful pattern and speedy reply!

  10. Kathy says:

    I have eleven different colors of worsted weight yarn left over from an afghan that I crocheted. Could this pattern be adjusted for worsted weight and using a size 7 or 8 knitting needles?

    • Suzie says:

      Hi Kathy,
      The ‘aran’ weight we have in the UK is very similar to the US worsted weight so you can use it without adjustment. If you want to use smaller needles, I recommend knitting a swatch in pattern to calculate whether you need more or fewer repeats.
      Best of luck!

  11. Rachael says:

    As a beginner knitter I am not sure how you get the black stitching inbetween the coloured that is not mentioned in the pattern is it?

  12. suzie says:

    Hi Rachael, the black stitches between the colours are formed by slipping them. The instructions are in the pattern. Do let me know if anything else is unclear! Suzie

  13. Pam Adams says:

    I love this pattern. However, when I looked up the “Brick stitch” it said to wrap the yarn twice around the needle at each stitch which will become a sl1p.
    Your instructions don’t say to do this. What should I do?
    Thankyou very much for your help

    • suzie says:

      Hi Pam,
      What you describe is a different stitch, that would give more rectangular ‘bricks’. In this pattern the slipped stitch is a regular stitch, which makes the ‘bricks’ pop out nicely and they’re a little more rounded.

  14. KatzKnitter says:

    I’m doing it in worsted on a US8, with 6 colors, repeated 3 times. Each stripe + 2 rows of MC are about 1″ high. It’s coming out great. Did you buy a pre-made form for the pillow, or stuff it with fiberfill?

  15. Sarah Carvey says:

    Hi Suzie, such a fabulous stash buster. My husband is very happy! Please post more stash buster patterns. Thank you.

    • Thanks for your lovely comment! The irony of becoming a full-time dyer is that I have so much less time for knitting than when I had a regular job, but I intend to do more scrap-buster patterns.

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