Friday, December 07, 2007

Poinsettia on the knitting loom

The poinsettia, or flower of the Holy night, is based on a Mexican legend which you can read about here. While technically not a flower, its beauty rivals that of any flower I know. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know of my love for creating flowers on the knitting looms and since it is the holiday season I just had to experiment with creating a poinsettia. I've not formally written the pattern, because I really don't know how much interest there is making these. Instead, I will give a description of how I made my poinsettia in this blog post.

The red leaf of the poinsettia began with a drawstring cast on (see Easter Egg pattern for drawstring cast on directions) on the little pink Knifty Knitter long loom using the first 12 pegs as a round loom.

Drawstring cast on: beginning and completed

After casting on, I knitted (flat knit stitch) for nine rows. The gap between the two rows of pegs creates a loose tension that constantly needs to be adjusted. When about seven rows have been completed, cinch the cast on edge shut.

Closing the cast on edge

Before beginning the tenth row, decrease the stitches at each corner by lifting the outer corner loop and placing it on the neighboring peg. You now have eight pegs with loops (four pegs on each side of the loom). The bottom loop on the four corner pegs is knitted over the decreased loop to give the illusion of a little spike edge on the leaf.

Decreasing at the corners and knitting the decreased peg

After the first decrease, knit five more rows and decrease as before. This will leave four pegs with stitches. Knit four more rounds on the four remaining pegs then do a gathered bind off. Be sure and adjust the tension on the loops prior to binding off. Cut the working yarn leaving an eight inch tail. Use a crochet hook to work the yarn tail around one side of the leaf all the way to the base. Tie a square knot using the yarn tail and the cast on tail, then trim the tails. The completed leaf should look similar to this:

Completed red leaf

When six red leaves have been completed, use a yarn needle, pinch the leaves at the bottom and join all six leaves at the base like this:

Completed leaves shaped and joined

The cyathium, or yellow center, is formed using one strand of yellow yarn and fifteen yellow beads. Thread the fifteen beads on the strand of yarn prior to knitting. Using the five peg end of the pink Knifty Knitter spool loom, do a drawstring cast on. Knit two rounds adding a bead to each stitch. Do a flat panel bind off, adding a bead to each bind off stitch. Cinch the cast on edge shut then whip stitch the cyathium where the red leaves are joined at the center of the flower.

Make six green leaves by increasing the rows from the red leaf instructions as follows:

  • Knit ten rows on twelve pegs; then decrease to six pegs
  • Knit eight rows on the six pegs; then decrease to four pegs
  • Knit six rows on the four pegs; then bind off.
The green leaves are joined by overlapping the edges instead of pinch pleating as you did with the red leaves. The joined green leaves should look similar to this:

Joined green leaves

Complete the poinsettia by placing the red leaves on top of the green leaves so the green leaves show between each pair of red leaves and whip stitch in place. The finished poinsettia is approximately eight inches in diameter.


Jenny said...

Very pretty, Brenda! Thanks for sharing it with us : )

Stacie said...

I just love it. They would make any present or decoration look great.

Sorka said...

A bunch of these would make a great wreath!
very cool!

Lee Ann said...

I love it! I would love to make some, but I am so new to looming that I am not sure I could figure it out. Thanks for sharing with us though!

Gladiolus said...

I would love to have the full directions on this! They would make great ornaments for the tree. And I love the idea of using them on a package. Please try to post the instuctions soon. I'd love to make them this year.

Christi said...

Oh Brenda! Gorgeous!!! I'd love to have written directions on this one! This would make a perfect sweater embellishment, pillow applique, etc. etc. etc... Gorgeous!

Pam said...

Brenda you are the most creative loomer out there!! You are always coming up with some great creations!!
Your poinsettia would also make a great snowflake if done in a very light pastel blue & white yarn.
Simply beautiful!!

Brenda GA, Dome-Dweller said...

Thank you for all the wonderful comments! Originally, I wanted to make these in wool so they could be felted and do a wreath like Denise mentioned. I had seen one on the Lion Brand site that I really liked. However, I didn't have the red wool and just couldn't justify buying more yarn right now. So, I'll have to wait on the felted version.

As for the full directions, the blog post is fairly descriptive. If anyone has specific questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

Pam, I had thought about the snowflake idea when I was putting the six leaves together. However, it would probably need to be a bit smaller. I made several small red leaves that would form a four inch diameter flower instead of the large eight inch one. That would be about the right size for the snowflake.

Laura said...

That is so pretty - you are very talented! I love pointsettias, but won't buy any real ones, because I have a cat, and I heard pointsettias are poisonous to cats if they eat them. Never know when my cat might decide to eat a house plant, LOL!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!! I cant wait to make one, thanks for sharing the pattern with us, you are so creative. I love everything you make.


Nadine said...

Wow! That is beautiful. the felted wreath sounds like an excellent idea. But like you, I really can't justify more yarn at this point. Maybe if I make knitted/loomed/crocheted presents for everyone I know, I can make more room. And these poinsettia's would make some lovely gifts.

american girl in italy said...

wbhbgFAN-TAB-U-LOUS! I can't wait to make one. I want to make dozens of them! Love it, thanks for sharing.

Kate said...

Exquisite, Brenda. You just keep getting better and better.


Kelly said...

Brenda, I'm just in awe of your creativity. All of your projects are so lovely. I'm stopping but the store on my way home to pick up the supplies for this project. I'm new to loom knitting and finding your blog was one of my treasured finds. Thank you for all of your creative inspartaion and for sharing with us all. I can't wait for your next lovely creation.

Happy Holidays

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing :-)