Saturday, May 7, 2011

Last Minute Mom's Day Gifts!

Oh, no! It's the night before Mother's Day, and you waited until the last minute to get something for dear Mom! You really ought to know better, but instead of heap guilt on you, I'm going to help you out with a couple of last minute crafty knits you can give Mom. They are both air fresheners you can hang in your car (rather, she can hang them in her car!). Just be aware that there may be some fading due to sun exposure. I knitted I-cords for each one, but you may decide to use a single strand of yarn, or a piece of elastic cord. Each project will take you 3-6 hours, depending on your level of skill.

The first one is a sunflower:

You will need: yellow yarn (I used Red Heart Bright Yellow), and brown yarn (I used Lion Brand Homespun Wild Fire), and air freshener (4 large cotton balls sprayed with Mom's favorite perfume, air freshener pellets, cedar balls (if using in the closet), potpourri, lavender sachets, something of that sort).

To make the flower head: Cast on your flower loom with the brown yarn using the drawstring method. After you have completed the cast on row, you will knit 1 over 2 stockinette stitch for 6 rows, then cinch the flower head shut and knot. Do not cut the tail. Then knit 7 more rows and cast off. Do not cinch. Set aside.

Petals: On your pink straight loom, cast on 3 pegs with a 5"-6" tail, 1 over 2 stockinette stitch, to create a 3-peg I-cord, and knit for 16 rows. *Move bottom strand of yarn from peg 1 onto the middle peg and knit off. Move bottom strand of yarn from peg 3 onto middle peg and knit off. Repeat from *. Then cast off with a 5"-6" tail, tugging the yarn to snug the stitches together (this is the pointy top of the petal). Using your yarn needle threaded with the tail from the top end of the petal, poke the needle through the outer 6 stitch loops on one side of the petal. Pull the threaded yarn needle out just before the 7th stitch loop, and snug tail, pulling yarn through loops, taking care to keep the top of the petal pointy and straight. Make 16 petals. With your yarn needle, thread the bottom tail of one of the finished petals and set aside.

Gently cinch other end of the flower head (but not completely shut). Using your thumb and first finger, pinch flower head flat (as below)

and sew petal with yarn needle onto the outer edge stitches of the flower head, taking note of the side you are sewing the petal on (the side with the tail sticking out from the side middle of the petal is the back).

Do not knot the petals onto the flower head yet; sew each petal onto the flower head side by side until you reach the petal you first sewed onto the flower head. If you have petals left over that is fine; if there are wide gaps, sew on an extra petal to close the gap.

Once you have sewed all the petals on and facing the same direction, sew each one firmly into place, knot and poke the tail through to the inside of the flower head (using your threaded yarn needle). You may choose to knot them from the inside and snip the tail; I did not.

Next, using your yarn needle, thread one of the tails from the side of a petal, and sew it to the petal next to it.

Sew the petals together down to the flower head, knot, and poke the yarn through to the inside of the flower head (if needed). Repeat for each petal.

Add the air freshener to the inside of the flower head, using additional batting if needed. Cinch the flower head shut and knot, or cinch and tie the tail if you want to replace the stale air freshener at some point in the future.

Using your straight pink loom, knit a 2 peg 12" I-cord using 1 over 2 stockinette stitch and sew the I-cord to the top of one of the petals. You're done!

The second project: roses on a ball ornament. Will require nimble fingers and braiding techniques. I used some white yarn I had in my stash (gauge 4), Red Heart Paddy Green, Lion Brand Homespun Candy Apple Red.

Ornament ball: Cast on your blue round loom with the white yarn using the drawstring technique. After completing the cast on row, knit 1 over 2 stockinette stitches for 25 rows, cinch shut and knot, cast off, and turn ornament ball inside out. Set aside.

Flower stems: measure an 11" strand of green yarn. Fold it in two pieces, leaving a 2" tail, as below.
Carefully tie the tail around the bottom of the yarn, leaving a tiny loop, and knot. Cut the loop at the opposite end, so that you now have 3 strands, knotted together at the bottom.

Tightly braid the strands together, knotting near the top end of the braid.

Make 6 stems.

Rose Heads: Repeat the same process as the stems, leaving a 4 inch tail instead of a 2" one. Braid LIGHTLY, not tightly. Thread your yarn needle with the 4" tail. Coil the braid in a spiral, and use the threaded yarn needle to sew the coil together. (If you want roses of varying sizes, don't measure how much yarn you use; wing it after measuring out the first rose, always making sure you have a 4" tail.) Then knot the rose head to the stem by passing the yarn needle through the loop at the bottom of a stem and knotting the flower head to the stem.

Repeat until each stem has one flower head knotted to it.

Sew the roses onto the ball ornament in an asterisk pattern; i.e., one vertical stem with two diagonal stems crossing over each other, crossing the vertical stem. Do this on both sides of the ornament, taking care that the roses on side one are equidistant to the roses on side 2. Even if it isn't perfect, make sure it is aesthetically pleasing.

Knot the top of the rose to the inside of the ornament, and knot the bottom of the stem to the inside of the ornament.

Snip the excess yarn tails (otherwise, if you leave the long tails without snipping them, when you stuff the ornament, the red and green tails will show through.)

Add air freshener inside the ball, (4 large cotton balls sprayed with Mom's favorite perfume, air freshener pellets, cedar balls (if using in the closet), potpourri, lavender sachets, something of that sort). Stuff with batting, add more air freshener. Shape the ball and add batting as needed, cinch and knot the ball at the top (or tie instead of knotting so you can replace stale air freshener at some point in the future), then set aside.

At this point you may choose to create your I-cord, or you may choose to add ribbon around the rose stems and knot it to create a bow. I already had pre-assembled tiny knotted bows, so I glued them on to the stems.

Using your straight pink loom, on two pegs knit off a 12" 1 over 2 stockinette stitch I-cord, and sew onto the top of the ornament. And you're done!

You may decide to arrange your roses differently on the ornament, or add more roses also.

Let me know if you make them. Happy Mother's Day!!


  1. man, you are awesome!! sadly, my mother is no longer with us, but i love these ideas and with two small kiddos i am always looking for something quick and fun to get my crafty fix in for the day and if it is a project i can finish in one day, that makes it even better. thanks for sharing your passion and talent with us!

  2. Super ideas! Thanks for sharing your talent!

  3. Thanks for your compliments! If any of you decide to make the crafts, I'd love to see pictures of how they came out! : )

  4. Thanks for your great compliments! Awesome idea!! Corporate Gifts

  5. Its really something innovative idea. Last minute gift making idea :). Gift Basket is one of the best way to express your feelings. Its really nice way to treat for your loved ones.