So here they are in finished glory:
Pattern: Florentine Pillow by Lisa B. Evans from Interweave Knits Spring 2007
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, 85% wool 15% mohair, chocolate souffle, 3 skeins
ggh soft kid, 70% super kid mohair 25% nylon 5% new wool, red blue orange, 2 balls each, held double
Needles: size 9
Notes: I did the pattern basically as written, except for the yarn. I don't know why I didn't do the whole thing in mohair, but for some reason I thought this would be a bad idea. As it is I enjoy the big block of mohair in the middle, nice and soft compared to the Lamb's Pride. I worked the big blocks of color in intarsia and duplicate stitched the filigree on later.
I had to block all the parts of this project very severely to get them to the 16" square that the pattern calls for. I could have probably used a 14"x14" pillow and not have the somewhat overstretched look I have. As it is though I think most of my problems with these pillows are ones that only I notice as their creator. My brother and his fiancee will probably not notice any of the things I do.
If I were to do these again I would either use a larger gauge yarn or not block as severely, I had to cover the pillow forms with dark brown fabric to keep the white from showing through. This was my first time knitting with mohair in any real amount and I was a bit nervous about how it would go. I don't know why, but sometimes you just get ideas in your head. Anyway, I have since worked with mohair more and I am kind of in love. I want to make everything mohair and only knit things with a lovely mohair halo making it warm and fuzzy.
My favorite is the one with the red border, followed by the orange border with the blue border coming in last. I started with the red border, and then when I realized I would have enough yarn to make three I rotated all the colors through. I think the problem with the blue border is that there isn't enough contrast within the pillow itself, the red and orange blend together and the blue diamond sticks out. Alas, what can you do and still preserve the color rotation?