Monday, May 17, 2010

Baby Sunflower

Don't have enough time to make a huge sunflower like the one I posted earlier? Here's one that may be a little more manageable for you, 11 inches high:

Made with 1 over 1 stitches, unless noted. Here's the back:

You will need: green, yellow, and brown yarn (I used Red Heart Paddy Green, yellow, and Homespun Wild Fire), spool loom, pink loom, a dowel or a sturdy drinking straw (like from Wendy's or McDonalds), batting.
For the flower head: On the flower loom I did a drawstring cast on with the Homespun wildfire yarn and knit off 7 rows. Cinch the drawstring closed, then knit off 5 more rows and sew off. Pull the working yarn tail to cinch the opening closed. Pull working yarn through center hole to the other side and knot. Repeat for the tail on the other side. Then poke your yarn needle (threaded with the working yarn tail) inside the flower head and out through the edge of the flower head. With your scissors, snip the tail close to the edge of the flower head. Repeat this for the tail on the other side.

Sunflower petals: On the pink loom using the yellow yarn, I created 3 peg I-cords with a 1 over 2 stitch. I used the standard I-cord cast on, then I e-wrapped and knit off 16 rows. After row 16 the pulled one loop of yarn from peg 1 and put it onto peg 2 and knit off. Then I pulled one loop of yarn from peg 3 and put it onto peg 2 and knit off. I continued until all the loops from pegs 1 and 3 were on peg 2 and knitted off. Then I sewed off the yarn from peg 2 leaving a 5 inch tail, knotted it and wove it back down through the petal to the base of the petal. Repeat 14 more times. Use the petal tails to attach the petals to the edge of the flower head. Use more yellow yarn to attach the petals to each other, side by side, about halfway up the side of the petal. I purposefully did not make the petals all exactly the same.

For the stem cup (the part that attaches the flower head to the stem): With the green yarn I did a drawstring cast on, using the 8 peg end of the spool loom. Cast on 1 over 1, then knit off 18 rows using 1 over 2 stitch. Cinch the drawstring but not tightly, leaving a 1 inch opening.Stuff the stem cup with a little batting. Let the batting "puff out" of the top of the stem cup a little bit; when you attach it to the back of the flower head it will puff the flower head out nicely. Line up the edge of the top of the stem cup to the back of the top of the flower head (you decide what the top of the flower and stem cup should be) and sew it on with green yarn. Take care that you don't accidentally sew through the flower petals and the green yarn is seen on the front of the flower!

For the stem: Using the 5 peg end of the spool loom, I cast on with green yarn (1 over 2 stitch)and knit off 30 rows. Insert your straw or dowel through the center of the stem. Knit off 25 more rows or to the length desired and bind off. If needed, clip the top of the straw with your scissors so it is level with the top of your stem. Next insert the stem just inside the stem cup and sew the stem cup to the stem, allowing it to "flop over" slightly, like a real sunflower would. But take care not to let it flop too much or it won't stand up. Once your stem cup is attached to your stem, you should be able to position your sunflower head up or down, depending on how much of the straw you push through the stem into the stem cup.

For the flowerpot:

Simply purchase a small flowerpot from your local craft store. To jazz it up a bit, I added a few stripes made of fuzzy green contact paper. This particlular flowerpot has moss and styrofoam underneath the moss. I measured the circumference of the stem and dug a hole into the flowerpot styrofoam to the desired dwpth. Put glue into the hole and gently squeeze our sunflower stem through the hole. Set it aside to dry. And you're done!

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