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Tricornu by Jody Pirrello

On a recent trip to my local quilt shop I picked up a large pack of fat eighths.  I wanted to find a fun way to use them with coordinating yarn.  The idea of a knitted biscornu (offset-square) pincushion seemed like a great way to combine knitting with something functional for sewing.

The pincushion barely uses any materials at all and the whole thing can be made in an afternoon.

If you don't enjoy sewing, knit 2 counterpane tops and ask a sewing friend to sew 2 fabric biscornu "inserts".  Stuff one with fiber fill and the other with lavender.  Your sewing friend gets a pincushion and you get a moth deterrent for you WIP basket.



Approx 6" around


Lily Sugar 'n Cream Stripes (100% cotton; 200 yards [184 meters]/4 oz): Color Lime Stripes, 1/4 ball


2 fat eighths - 1 in a coordinating fabric for the bottom and 1 in a matching fabric for the top.


US #6 (4.0 mm) or size to get gauge: 24" circular or 5 DPNs


20 sts and 24 rows = 4" in St st


Tapestry needle; fiberfill; 2 buttons, button and carpet thread; machine sewing thread


Please see our standard list of abbreviations.

Pattern Notes

The counterpane is knitted first, then the fabric portion is cut to fit the counterpane -- gauge is not important!

All seam allowances are 1/4".


CO 8 sts evenly onto 4 DPN (2 sts per DPN).  Join for working in the rnd being careful not to twist.

Begin working Tricornu chart, working 4 reps per rnd.  Work entire chart once and then BO knitwise using the decrease BO.

Decrease BO

Knit 2, sl sts back onto left needle, knit them tog tbl, *k1, sl 2 sts onto left needle, knit them tog tbl*

Biscornu Lining / Bottom

Measure counterpane stretching slightly.  Cut 2 fabric squares to this measurement plus 1/2" for seam allowances.

Note: We've added a step-by-step tutorial of sewing the biscornu.  {view the tutorial}

Make scant 1/4" snips halfway up each edge (see gray lines in below diagram).  Place squares right sides together as per diagram and starting at top sew seam matching red stitching on diagram.

tricornu sewing diagram

Rotate top fabric 90°and and sew second half of seam along the bottom panel.  Repeat for other 3 panels, leaving a 1.5" gap in the final panel.

Turn biscornu right side out.  Firmly stuff with fiber fill and hand sew gap shut.

Hand sew counterpane to top.  Attach buttons to center of both sides of cushion using button thread.  To attach buttons tightly, sew through each button once and then pinch buttons together with thumb and middle finger of one hand while pulling thread taut with other hand.  Sew through both button a few more times while pinching.  Push needle through slowly so you can avoid sticking yourself.

About the Designer: Jody Pirrello

Jody PirrelloJody is a lifelong knitter, long-time knit blogger, and the founder of Knotions.  She learned to sew even before she learned how to knit and enjoyed designed these combo projects more than she ever imagined.  She lives in New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia, and can't wait for the day she can call Philly her home again.

Pattern and images © 2009 Jody Pirrello. Contact .

Webs Spring 2009


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