A woolly wedding present

Last December, one of Jim’s best friends, Kevin, got married. He and his wife-to-be, Joanna, requested that instead of wedding presents, people donate money to their honeymoon fund. Like true annoying friends, we ignored this request, because we felt that we had to MAKE them something unique that would remind them of their special day forever.

We thought long and hard about what we could make…a blanket, maybe? But I had already made one for my friend Penny when she got married. Matching waistcoats? Bit weird. Ooh, how about a knitted cushion with their faces on it!?


We set to work scouring Facebook for a photograph of Kevin and Joanna that was both cute and flattering, and settled on this one:

Jim then worked his magic on Photoshop; zooming in, making the photo monochrome and putting it into a grid for me to knit. Kevin and Joanna suddenly became strange pixelly versions of themselves. But if you have ever tried knitting a picture straight from a grid, you’ll know that the image will distort slightly, becoming wider. This is because in a grid the squares are, well, square, but knitted stitches are wider than they are tall. I was quite worried about giving Kevin and Joanna a wedding present that made them look fat, but luckily Jim again worked his magic, stretching the grid to give them nice tall heads:

Then it was over to me for the knitting part. I thought it would be wise to stick to two colours so there wouldn’t be too much going on. As it was a Christmas wedding, I plumped for red and cream in the end. Nice and festive, and fairly safe just in case Kevin and Joanna weren’t fans of insane neon colours.

So I began to work through the grid, bottom up, knitting the grey squares in cream wool and the black ones in red…

Once I got going, it didn’t take too long to knit. It was so fun seeing Kevin and Joanna’s little faces appear in the wool, and before long, the front was done! We also threw a cute little heart in there for good measure.

As for the back, I thought it would be nice to include the date of the wedding, and maybe some more hearts. And stripes! Stripes are good. Basically I wanted Kevin and Joanna to have the option of turning the cushion around in case they got sick of looking at their own knitted faces. So I drew out their initials, some hearts and the date of the wedding on graph paper, and freestyled some stripes.

I decided to make the back as an envelope closure so Kevin and Joanna could take the cover of the cushion off to wash it. I found some nice big wooden buttons for this. Once the front and back were knitted, it was time to block them, sew them up…

…and voilà! A cushion fit for a lovely couple. This project was lots of fun, and Kevin and Joanna assured us that they loved it. Hooray! As a bonus, I now know how to take my friends’ faces and convert them into wool-based homewares. And that is a most excellent life skill, right?

3 thoughts on “A woolly wedding present

  1. My goodness this is amazing! I wish my knitting skills were anywhere near as good as this! Which stitch did you use and how do I learn to get up to this standard?! xxxx

  2. Oh thank you both! I just knit a LOT Sophie 🙂 Lots of practise and looking at good knitting books. Have you seen ‘Stitch and Bitch’ by Debbie Stoller? It’s perfect for learning new techniques (including colourwork) and has some great patterns! x

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