Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mother's Day floral projects

What follows swill be a series of posts regarding making loom knit flowers for Mother's Day (or for springtime in general). I had a lot of fun making these flowers, and even sold one before I was finished with it! Best of all, you won't develop any allergies to these beauties!

The first one is a daffodil. I made 3 different ones. The first one is the standard yellow:

Here is the back:

I took a little liberty with how I made the flower versus how the flower actually looks in nature. In nature, the daffodil has 6 petals; I made mine with 4 because it looked right and was less crowded that way.

You will need: the Knifty Knitter spool loom, the flower loom, the pink loom, scissors, yarn needle, yellow yarn, (I used red heart yellow for the flower and another brand of thinner weight yellow for the stamen), and green yarn (I used red heart paddy green). You will also need a drinking straw to insert inside the stem to make it stand up. I used ones from McDonalds and Wendys fast food restaurants because their straws are wider. You may also want to use an exacto knife, a small flower pot with styrofoam in it, glue, and I also used some fuzzy green contact paper to cover the pot, though you could just as well paint it green or some other color.
For the daffodil cup: On the flower loom I used the yellow yarn to make a drawstring cast on. After I knit off the cast on row, I e-wrapped the pegs and knit 1 over 1 for 15 rows. After binding off (don't pull the drawstring closed yet) you will find that the bind off side will curl up on it's own; though you may need to help it a little if you bind off too tight. Set it aside.
For the petals: Using the pink loom I cast on the two center pegs to start a flat panel. I knit 1 over 1 for 2 rows. Then I increased by one peg on both sides of the two center pegs to knit off 5 rows on 4 pegs. Then I increased by one peg on both sides of the 4 pegs to knit off 7 rows on 6 pegs. After binding off I pulled the bottom tail until the outer edges of the bottom of the petal pulled together. I reinforced that by sewing the edges close together in the center. Then I pulled the tail at the top of the petal so that it would come to a point, knotted the tail, then wove the tail down through the petal until I reached the bottom tail on the petal and tied the two tails together. Repeat this process 3 more times to make 4 petals total.

For the stamen: I made three 2 peg I-cords 2 inches in length and then tied the three I-cords together at one end.

Assembling the flower: First I put the stamen inside the daffodil cup until the stamen tails hung out the bottom. Then I pulled the drawstring tail on the daffodil cup tight and knotted the daffodil cup tail with the stamen tails. Next I positioned the petals around the daffodil cup in a way that looked good to me and, using the individual petal tails, I sewed each one onto the bottom of the cup. I had a little bit from each petal tail left, so I sewed the edges of the petals to each other. You may find that the petals tend to curl up at the tips once you have assembled the flower. If you wish you may want to use a little fabric stiffener to correct this problem; I did not.
For the stem: I used the 5 peg end of the spool loom and the green yarn, casting on 1 over 1. I knit off 20 rows. Then I carefully inserted the straw down through the center of the stem, with the straw sticking up through the top of the spool loom and the bottom of the straw meeting the edge of the bottom of the stem. I knit off 8 more rows, adjusted the straw inside the stem and then bind off. After binding off I adjusted the straw inside the stem again and cut the straw so that it was just under the top of the stem. (For my first daffodil (the one in the picture above) I cut the straw way too short because I wanted the daffodil to flop over like a real daffodil. It just wound up flopping over too much and looking wilted.) Then sew the top of the stem onto the bottom of the flower. Next, pull the tail on the bottom of the stem to close it up and sew it closed. And you're done!

I just repeated the process for the pink and white daffodil below:

I only made 2 stamen for the pink and white daffodil because I felt that three looked a little crowded in the yellow daffodil.
For the "leaves" I used the pink loom and cast on 4 pegs 1 over 1 to create a flat panel. I knit off until the leaves were 3.5 to 4 inches long. FOr the tip of the leaves I decreased the outer 2 pegs to the center two pegs and knit off 1 to 2 rows and bind off. Pull the tail to create the pointy look, knot it and, using the yarn needle, weave the tail back down through the leaf to hide it. I used the bottom leaf tail to sew the leaf onto the stem, but only after I had inserted the stem into the styrofoam in the flower pot to see where the leaves should be attached.

The pot I used already had moss and styrofoam in it; I just used the fuzzy green contact paper to resurface it. I used the exacto knife to cut a circular hole into the styrofoam, enlarging and deepening the hole as needed. You may want to glue the flower into the styrofoam so it will stay put, especially if you made the hole a bit too wide. I didn't, and I didn't glue it yet.

My last daffodil: a baby daff:

For the daffodil cup: I used the larger end of the spool loom, casting on 1 over 1 and knitting off 7 rows.
For the petals: I used the pink loom to create a flat panel, casting on 1 over 1 on 2 pegs and knitting off 2 rows. Then I increased on both sides of the pegs by one peg to knit off 7 rows on 4 pegs. Bind off.
For the stamen: I just tightly braided the thin yellow yarn to the desired length. I made two stamen and tied them together as I described above with the first daffodil, but as I think about it now you may want to braid just one long stamen and then you can tie a piece of yellow yarn around the center of the stamen to pull through the bottom of the daffodil cup. It will look like you braided 2 separate stamens. (Or is the plural of stamen stamii? I don't know.) Assemble the baby daff as above.

If you make the daffodils, let me know! I'd love to see what yours look like!

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