Planes, trains, automobiles. My life is chock fulla these modes of transportation, many of which reside on my living room floor.
Ah, the joys of toddlerhood. I know I’ll miss these days someday, especially when someone shows up to knitting night with a huge bruise saying they got it from tripping over their toddler’s trains, or a scrape on their arm from having a toy car repeatedly driven into it… I’ll nod my head sagely and give them some advice on how to avoid such accidents. But for now, I’m on the receiving end of these injuries, planes, trains and automobiles are in the laundry basket, in the bed, on the kitchen table, sometimes in the dishwasher, under the comfortable chair and usually sandwiched between the couch cushions. It’s an occupational hazard when you are the mom of a two-year-old boy. I roll with it.
We recently acquired a large wooden train table, containing most of the toy mess to its surface. I still dodge the occasional matchbox car or Thomas the Train on the floor, but this table has helped immensely. The only problem with the table is while my kid will play at it for hours, he gets tired standing and walking around it for so long. Thus, an idea was hatched. You know those cool floor pillows for kids at the fancy shops that cost an arm and a leg? I’m a knitter! I’ll make my own!
Using 2 hanks in two colors of Cascade’s amazingly popular 100% Peruvian Highland wool, Cascade 220 (aptly named for it’s generous 220 yards per hank), I found some great cushions online (for wheelchairs, of all things) and got knitting. I can’t say enough good things about Cascade 220. The yardage is fantastic on this workhorse yarn, the great ply ensures no splitting, the sheer amount of colors it comes in makes it easy to choose colors to match a child’s bedroom or playroom and the price point is what I – a frugal mom – looks for and loves. It comes in various weights, superwashes, and multicolors.
Starting with my favorite trusty provisional cast on, I knit a striped tube (using the jogless stripe method – so clever), then simply kitchenered the top together, slipped in the pillow, then kitchenered the bottom closed. I made a second cushion with different colors for when we have play dates. I hit it lightly with the steam setting of my iron and left them in my office. Not long after, my son found the pillows, dragged them over to his train table and went about his work building tracks and pushing trains. Mission accomplished? I’d like to think so.
The thing about these pillows is kids can use them for sitting at low tables yes, but I noticed my son dragging them over to his books for some reading time, then over to the window to watch Daddy mow the lawn, then over to the Duplos to build a tower, then by the air conditioning vent for a little nap. You could take these anywhere – to a soccer game, a picnic, a sleepover, the beach… Another great thing about Cascade 220 is it holds up. It’s the yarn I have most in my stash for this reason – it’s perfect for so many things. No doubt these cushions will be brought along to all sorts of events over the coming years and I know that they’ll stay bright and well made.
If only these magical cushions would clean my house for me…
Download the free Playtime Floor Pillows pattern here.