Saturday, May 12, 2007

A rose like no other

Due to illness, it's been over a month since my last post. Most of April was spent battling some sort of upper respiratory infection that was the direct results of trimming dead and molded blooms from the shrubs surrounding my deck. Just when I was recovering, I brought took two of my grandchildren home with me for an extended visit only to discover they both had some sort of nasty viral infection which I promptly caught. This only lasted about four days, but most of that time was spent in bed and left me weak from the high fever and dehydration. My granddaughter continued to stay with me, since it took her even longer to recover.

The next project I had wanted to do prior to my month long illness, was a loom knitted rose. Occasionally, I would pick up the loom and try out an idea, but things just didn't seem to click. After a number of failed attempts (approximately six to be exact), I was curled up in the recliner and just happened to notice an experimental piece that I had made laying in the scrap heap. The little brown circular piece was made using short row shaping when I was trying to figure out a way to make a flat bottom for the Loomy-licious Cupcake, but was discarded mainly because I didn't like the way it curled around the outer edges. I noticed that when I twisted the little "C-shaped" disc into a cone that the curled edges closely resembled the "petals" of Nicky Epstein's needle knitted roses. Now all I had to do was the math (number of strands, stitches & increases) to polish the ugly little brown disc into a full blooming rose.

So far I've only used Patons Merino Wool Yarn since I want to felt the finished roses. The first short row rose was done with two strands of the red yarn using eleven pegs on the 24-peg round blue Knifty Knitter. The resulting rose (first on the left pictured above) seemed too bulky to suit me. The next two roses were done with a single strand of yarn using nine pegs on the 10 inch pink long Knifty Knitter long loom. Of these two roses, the white one (pictured in the middle above) has 14 wedges or sections formed by the short rows and the red one (pictured on the right above) has 18 wedges. These were closer to what I had in mind. The fourth rose, still on the loom (pictured below), is made similar to the second and third rose, but the sequence in the short row shaping was varied to create a fuller rose with a smaller base. When completed, it will have ten or twelve sections, but the sections will be wider on the outer edge. If you look closely at the picture, you can see the wedge shaped sections.
The next step will be to felt the roses. This shouldn't be too difficult since I'm experienced - I've felted several of mine and my husband's sweaters over the past years by accident when they went from an XL to a child's size 6. (I currently have one of his sweaters hid in the laundry room that is slated to become a handbag in it's next incarnation.) I will continue this post in a couple of days when the current rose is off the loom and all of the roses have been felted. At that time I will have a detailed pattern. Until then, "Happy Mother's Day" - these roses are my gift to you.