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In the Loop

April Showers bring May Flowers

Is there anything more beautiful and enjoyable than a spring flower newly bloomed in the warming sunlight? Keep that feeling of new growth going with some adorable knitted flowers; they are simple to create and are perfect for using leftover bits of yarn. Try adding them to a sweater, hat, bag, headband or whatever strikes your fancy!

Flower 1: Using curling stockinette to your advantage.

This flower is a simple strip of stockinette allowed to curl around on itself and gathered with the active yarn to form a rosette. Try working this type with less stitches and thinner yarn for a flower bud and more stitches in a thicker yarn for a fully opened bloom. This technique works best with a wool or wool blend worked at a tighter gauge for a nice curl to the knitting.

Sample Pattern

Cast on 25 sts leaving a 5-inch tail (this cast-on number can be any number you desire; if you want a bud cast on less sts, if you want a bloom cast on more -- try experimenting to see what you like best).

Row 1 (RS): Knit across.

Row 2 (WS): Purl across.

Rep last 2 rows for desired length.

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Cut yarn leaving an 810-inch tail, using a Tapestry needle thread yarn tail through all the sts on the needle.

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Using a Tapestry needle and tail rem from cast on, secure cast-on corner to halfway down the vertical side of the piece; this helps the center of the flower to fold in on itself instead of springing out.

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Allow the flower to curl in on itself, helping it along the way if necessary, pull the yarn tail to tighten the sts into a small circle. Use a tapestry needle to secure the yarn end and keep the flower closed. Leave the ends attached and use them to secure the flower to your desired knit item, or work them in for a freestanding bloom.

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Flower 2: Using dropped stitches in stockinette to sculpt a flower.

This flower also begins with a strip of stockinette, but with a difference -- the shaping row is worked by allowing a single dropped stitch to unravel down to the cast on and then gathering the dropped stitch ladder rungs into a single stitch. The final flower requires a small seamed edge but the effect (especially in a striping yarn) is well worth it.

Sample Pattern

Cast on 51 sts (you can alter this number but you will need to make sure you can easily divide the cast on by about an inch-worth of sts).

Row 1: Knit across.

Row 2 (WS): Purl across.

Row 3 (RS): Knit across.

Rep Rows 2-3 until desired depth (approx 2 1/2 inches for the sample shown).

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Now for the Shaping

1. Knit 5 sts, drop the following st and allow it to unravel down all the way to and including the cast on.

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2. Reach the right needle tip down in front of the dropped stitch ladders.

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3. Bring the right needle underneath the work and back up to work by the active yarn.

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4. Wrap the active yarn around the needle and bring the st you just created down and around the bottom of the work to the front. The piece will look all cinched up with a single st.

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K10 sts and rep Steps 1-4 4 more times; k5 sts to finish the row.

Next row (WS): *P3tog; rep from * across -- 17 sts.

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Cut yarn, using Tapestry needle thread yarn through all rem sts, tighten to pull center of flower together, fasten off and work in end.

Using the tail rem from the cast on, stitch the flower closed to create the last petal.

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