June 16, 2011

Knitted Flower Tutorial & Pattern

As I mentioned earlier this week (Monday's post), I came up with my own flower pattern on the fly because I just couldn't find one on the Internet that spoke to me for the yarn bombing.  In knitting this pattern again and again, I did discover that the size of the needle changes the shape of the petals for this pattern--the smaller the needle size, the more pointy the petal.  The following tutorial is done on worsted weight Plymouth wool with a bamboo size US 10 circular needle (24" cable used, but yours can be shorter).  This is a great way to use up remnants in your stash, and a much more attractive flower, I think, than those that you can make with a flower tool, which involves no knitting or skill whatsoever.

Okay, so let's get started because the world could use more knitted flowers. ;)

Step 1:  Using a long-tail cast-on, CO 2 stitches.  Knit back across these stitches (row 2). 

Step 2:  In both of the 2 stitches on the needle, knit back-to-front (kbtf)--now you have 4 stitches.  Knit back across these 4 stitches (row 4).

Step 3:  For rows 5-7, k1, kbtf, knit middle stitches (rows 6 & 7 have middle stitches), kbtf, k1.

Step 4:  For rows 8 & 9, knit across all 10 stitches.

Step 5:  (Decrease rows 10-14) K1, k2tog, knit middle stitches, k2tog, k1. End with 3 stitches on the needle.  Cut the working yarn, leaving about a 4-inch tail.  Slide the petal onto the cable and leave it there. 

Step 6:  Repeat the pattern until you have five completed petals; but DON'T CUT THE WORKING YARN ON THE 5TH PETAL!!!!  You will need that yarn to join the petals.

Step 7:  Slide all of the petals together onto the needle so that their tails hang down and the working yarn is on the right.  With the working yarn, knit across all of the petal stitches.  Pearl back across the stitches.  They are now joined by two rows of knitting.  Cut the working yarn, leaving a tail of about 6 inches.

Step 8:  Finishing up requires a darning needle.  Thread the tail of the working yarn you just cut through the needle, then thread the needle through the stitches that are still sitting on your knitting needle.  Pull tight and thread the yarn back through a few of those center stitches for extra security and tie off.  I use the remaining strand to stitch together two petals--on set of petals won't have a loose tail to use to stitch them together. 

Step 9:  Weave in the tails that are at the tips of the petals and cut excess yarn.  Using whatever stitch you like (I use a mutated matress stitch), stitch the sides of the petals together from the back side.  The back side doesn't have this lovely center (see picture below); that's how you can tell the front from the back.  Weave in and cut ends. 


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