Friday, April 13, 2012

Free Knitted Flower Pattern

Today I thought I would share with you how I made the knitted flower for this Monkey Hat.

Knitted Flower Pattern:

Tools:  you can use any size needles, keep in mind small needles make small flowers and big needles make big flowers.  (The sample was knitted with 4mm needles)  Also, for the petals it is easiest to use the magic loop method, for which you will need the longest circular needles you have.  The longer your circulars are the easier it will be.  If you are not familiar with the Magic Loop method for knitting small diameter tubes in the round, you can find lots of videos that demonstrate it on You Tube. You will also need a set of straight needles that are the same size as your circulars, a yarn needle for sewing, and Clothes Pin style stitch markers. 

Yarn:  Any yarn will work, keep in mind the heavier your yarn the bigger your flower will be. (The sample was knitted with Vanna's Glamor yarn and worsted weight yarn knitted together)

CO - cast on          st - stitch          K - knit          M1L - make one left        

K2tog  - Knit two together             BO - bind off  M1R - make one right

SSK - slip slip Knit                         ST - Stockinette

Petals: (make 5 petals)
CO 10 sts onto long circular needles and divide them evenly, so you have 5 sts on each needle. Leave a long tail for sewing your CO edge closed.  Join for knitting in the round.

R1:  K
R2:  *K2, M1L, K1, M1R, K2* Repeat 1x  = 14 sts
R3:  K
R4:  *K3, M1L, K1, M1R, K3* Repeat 1x  = 18 sts
R5:  K
R6:  *K2, SSK, K1, K2tog, K2* Repeat 1x = 14sts
R7:  K
R8:  *K1, SSK, K1, K2tog, K1*  Repeat 1x = 10
R9:  K
R10:  *SSK, K1, K2tog*  Repeat 1x = 6
R11: K

Sew the CO edge closed. Weave in all ends, including the tail of the live stitches (except you may want to leave a long tail on the last petal for sewing later) Use clothes pin style stitch markers to secure the live stitches while you turn your petal right side out.  I used one marker for 3 stitches on each side.  Place the live stitches of each petal on a holder or spare needle, alternating 1 stitch from each side of the petal.

 Flower Center:
CO 10 sts onto straight needles
K 15 rows in ST st
cut yarn, leaving a very long tail
string tail through all edge sts
pull tail tight, forming a ball,
tie off, leave tail for sewing to flower.

With either the long tail of the last petal or a separate long strand of yarn, string the live stitches of the petals.

Pull Strand tight, bunching the base of the petals together.

Tie off and weave in end.

sew flower center to flower.

And that's it!  You now have a flower!  You can easily change the size and look of this basic flower to match any garment you are embellishing by choosing different yarn, stitch pattern, or needle size.  And, because the petals are thick and have two right sides, these flowers can also stand alone by simply adding a stem.  Another great use for knitted flowers is as decoration for gift wrapping, hair bands, etc.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The most meaningful handmade gift

I was browsing Facebook and I came across a question posed by Lion Brand Yarn Company.  They asked their fans, "What is the most meaningful handmade gift you have ever given or received?"   

Here is my answer to the question:

The most meaningful handmade gift that I have ever had the opportunity to give was something I had made for an amazing young artist whose life was unfairly cut short. Kayleen was 25 years old when she lost her 6 year long battle with cancer. A few months before she passed away, before we knew the finality of her diagnosis, my husband and I went to visit her in the hospital. I was heartbroken upon leaving her that day, not just for her and those around her, but because she was a talented soul slipping through our fingers and there was nothing that anyone could do but wait. My thoughts led me to a drawing she had done of a group of playful Baby Dragons. I was impressed by this drawing; inspired by her usage of color and her ability to give unique personalities to each one of these adorable little creatures borne from her own imagination. I remembered that the caption she had written to go with her artwork had said that she had an affinity for fat little creatures, especially Baby Dragons. I decided to crochet dolls of her Dragons, studying every detail to get them to match as exactly as I could. My goal was to make her drawing come to life. By the time I finished Kayleen was having fewer good days, so I sent them with her immediate family members to give to her. Later, I got a phone call telling me that Kayleen loved them and began shedding tears of joy and gratitude upon receiving them, as she had understood the compliment that they were meant to be. I was told that she had been having a rough go of it that day but it was turned around for the better after receiving my gift; that she was energized and proceeded to have, what would be one of her last, joyful evenings with those closest to her. I was speechless when I heard this news, my eyes instantly welled up with tears. I feel honored and grateful to have played a small part in that special night and that I had the chance to let her know how much I appreciated her as an artist. It was her art that inspired mine. On Christmas Eve 2011, we suffered a great loss. Kayleen Mann was a beautiful young woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a gifted artist.

I wanted to share my story because the person and the experience had a positive effect on my life and my art and I am forever grateful.  To read the many other wonderful stories that others have shared or to share your own story go to Lion Brand Yarn's Story Contest page .