Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chakra Can! A Free Pattern for a Lovely Pillow Set

Hi Y’all,

We are just thrilled—both the Monhegan Island Knitting and Yoga Retreat and the Vermont Retreat are just about full. We can’t wait to see you and the way this year is whizzing by, it won’t be long now before we join forces to knit and stretch and hike and eat amazing food together.

In the meanwhile, because you can never have enough knitting projects, Lisa has a gift for you—a free pattern for her Chakra Pillow Set. The pattern is below. Please note that you can use any yarn that offers rainbow color choices, just remember to adjust to the proper needle size. Depending on if you bump up or down, of course the pillows will follow suit, winding up a little bigger or smaller. But that’s the lovely thing about knitting pillows vs. a fitted garment—pillows are great fit no matter the size.

See ya soonish!


Chakra Pillow Set

Seven stackable pillows in graduated sizes

Nashua Handknits Julia, 50 gr balls

A Geranium (6085) - red

B Orange (0121) - orange

C Golden Honey (2163) - yellow

D Spring Green (5185) - green

E Bright Blue (4037) - blue

F Midnight Blue (6416) - indigo

G Purple Basil (3158) - violet


Size 7 (4.5mm) needles.

Tapestry needle

Cable needle

Sewing needle


½ yd cotton fine weave muslin, natural color

Flax seed

Various herbs and crystals (see below for ingredients), optional

Sewing thread to match fabric


20 sts and 24 rows to 4 inches (10cm)

Special Instructions

Wrap & turn (w&t):

RS: Slip next stitch purlwise, yf, slip st back to lefthand needle, yb; turn work over and work row.

WS: Slip next stitch purlwise, yb, slip st back to lefthand needle, yf; turn work over and work row.

Note on yarns:

Any natural fiber yarn can be used for this project as long as it coordinates with the indicated colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Needle size would be determined by yarn choice and actual pillow sizes would vary depending upon the gauge of the chosen yarn.


Beginning with the red pillow working in color A, read pattern instructions thus to coordinate each individually sized pillow with its special color:

A (B, C, D, E, F, G).

Work the following repeat 5 times for each size pillow. Repeat is complete when * is reached in instructions. At this point begin a new repeat.

Cast on 17(15, 14, 12, 11, 9, 8) stitches.

Row 1 P12(11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6) sts, K5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts,

cast-on 12(11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6) sts.

Row 2 K12(11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6) sts, P5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts, K2, w&t.

Row 3 P2 sts, K5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts, P2 sts, w&t.

Row 4 K2 sts, P5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts, K3 sts, w&t.

Row 5 P3 sts, K5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts, P3 sts, w&t.

Row 6 K3 sts, P5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts, K4 sts, w&t.

Row 7 P4 sts, K5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts sts, P4, w&t.

Row 8 K4 sts, P5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts, K5 sts, w&t.

Row 9 P5 sts, K5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts, P5 sts, w&t.

Row 10 K5 sts, P5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts, K6 sts, w&t.

Row 11 P6 sts, K5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2) sts, P6 sts, w&t.

Row 12 K6 sts, P5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, *) sts, K7 sts, w&t.

Row 13 P7 sts, K5(4, 4, 3, 3, 2, *) sts, P7 sts, w&t.

Row 14 K7 sts, P5(4, 4, 3, 3, *, *) sts, K8 sts, w&t.

Row 15 P8 sts, K5(4, 4, 3, 3, *, *) sts, P8 sts, w&t.

Row 16 K8 sts, P5(4, 4, 3, *, *, *) sts, K9 sts, w&t.

Row 17 P9 sts, K5(4, 4, 3, *, *, *) sts, P9 sts, w&t.

Row 18 K9 sts, P5(4, 4, *, *, *, *) sts, K10 sts, w&t.

Row 19 P10 sts, K5(4, 4, *, *, *, *) sts, P10 sts, w&t.

Row 20 K10 sts, P5(4, *, *, *, *, *) sts, K11 sts, w&t.

Row 21 P11 sts, K5(*, *, *, *, *, *) sts, P11 sts, w&t.

Row 22 K11 sts, P5(*, *, *, *, *, *) sts.

Fabric Filler pillows

After completing each individual pillow, place the flattened knitted piece on top of cotton fabric and trace outline of pillow onto fabric with a pencil. Cut out 2 traced circular shapes. With matching cotton thread sew fabric pieces together with a stitch small enough to prevent flax seed from slipping through seams. Leave a ¼” seam allowance and a 1” opening for filling fabric pouch.

Fill fabric pouch with flax seed until it is firm but not hard packed. Optional filler items such as herbs, crystals, or essential oils (see list below) can be added now if desired. Carefully sew closed opening to pouch and trim loose threads.


After creating fabric filler pillow, carefully stuff inside knitted pillow covering and close seam using a Mattress or reversed Kitchener stitch, tapestry needle and matching yarn.

Additional, optional Pillow Fillings: Each pillow is designed to coordinate with each of the 7 chakras in both size and color. In addition to the flax seed filling, there are other ingredients that may be added to the fillings of each pillow which are also associated with the various chakras.

Below is a list with its special significance and coordinating crystals, and herbs or oils. Select any or all of the items listed below to personalize your own pillow set.

Crown chakra (violet): Connection and alignment with source, sense of being guided in life. Amethyst, diamond; lotus, lavender, rosewood

Third eye chakra (indigo): Intuition, inner knowing, vision of desire. Lapis, blue sapphire; star anise, camphor, patchouli

Throat chakra (blue): Individuality, manifesting the voice and ones personal truth. Turquoise, lapis lazuli; frankincence, tea tree, cypress

Heart chakra (green): Self love, wholeness, love of the heart.emerald. Rose quartz; lavender, rose, eucalyptus

Solar plexus chakra (yellow): Self will, boundaries, self reliance. Amber, topaz; peppermint, lemon grass

Sacral chakra (orange):. Creativity, self acceptance. Carnelian, coral; gardenia, rose, jasmine, bergamont

Root chakra (red): Strengthen presence in the world, grounding, soothing anxieties. Ruby, garnet; cedar, clary sage, rosemary


  1. This looks great, but as a new knitter, i seem lost. Are there in progress photos? Am I knitting this in the round? Where does the repeat begin? It reads like when i complete the instructions, i get a hollow pita bread, but where does the cable around the edge come from?

  2. Barbara VickersMay 1, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Thanks for the lovely pattern and instructions!

  3. Hello, I have two questions. First, although the image shows a cable in the middle of each repeat the instructions only produce a straight row (the purl 5/knit 5 in the middle of each round.

    Also, the instructions say to repeat 5x for each pillow. If I repeat per instructions it has me cast on another 17 stitches along with the 29 that are already unfinished on the needles. This does not seem correct to me.

    Please advise, a friend and I are both attempting this set of pillows and neither of us can figure out where to go after the first 2 rows. Thanks so much!

  4. Good Morning All,
    The little pillows appear to be tricky, but once you figure out the first one you will see how simple they really are!

    First, the pillows are all knitted as 1 piece and will have an opening to slip the pillow inside at the end. I used double pointed needles because they are easy to manage on such small work. The cable is worked right along with the sides.

    The instructions are the same for each pillow, only each uses fewer and fewer stitches. The pattern shows this much like a pattern would show sizes. The key to this pattern is 'wrapping and turning'. This short rowing technique is what creates the pouch. Just like Anonymous mentioned above, it is similar to an open pita. At the end there will be an opening left to be sewn closed.


  5. OK,so if we want the cable as shown we have to figure that out for ourselves? The instructions have no detail for cables.

    I do apologize, but I truly cannot figure out where to go after finishing Row 22. Could you please either post more pics of the work in progress or clarify your above reply? Does the repeat start from casting on an additional 17 stitches or does it repeat from Row 1? Sorry to be such a pain if I'm simply missing something, but I've been over and over this pattern, and started the pattern over no less than 6 times, trying different variations of the beginning few instructions. Nothing seems to be working for me. I would consider myself more of an intermediate knitter, and I'm lost (as is my friend). Sorry again to be a pain!

  6. there is no explanation of the cable.

    I understand short rows---however there are parts of this pattern that are simply missing such as Jenny Goat notes---you have stitches live on the needle when you are suggesting casting on more.

    I get the first triangle done---and then what??