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Flowers are fabulous fun to knit. In a short amount of time, with a small amount of yarn you can have instant gratification.

Beginning knitters can practice their skills; more advanced knitters can enjoy a brief interlude to break up the monotony of a large project. Bring out your oddballs, your leftovers and rejects. Knit, felt and embellish.

What will you do with them? Since I've started knitting flowers, I catch myself thinking: "Now that could use a nice flower!" Embellish a knitted hat or bag or blanket, add a few at the ends of a scarf, put one on at collar of your sweater/coat/whatever, knit a dozen to cover a throw pillow. They can be chokers, wristlets, key chains, barrettes, and scrunchies; embellish a collar for your favorite furry friend. No green thumb required. All flowers can be made smaller or larger by using finer or thicker yarn and needles.

L-R, top down:
1: cast-on/cast-off
2: knit in the round
3: felted rose and leaf
4: basic felted petal

model: Adaylia photos: Stephanie Shiman


1. 3 by 3 inches
2. 3.25 by 3.25 inches
3. 3 by 3 inches after felting
4. 5 1/4 by 5 1/4; inches after felting



1. Debbie Bliss Cotton Silk Aran [80% Cotton, 20% Silk; 70yds/63m per 50g ball]
[MC] Color: 13507; 1 ball
[CC] Color: 13510; 1 ball

1 set US # 7/ 4.5mm needles
Tapestry needle
Removable stitch markers to equal number of petals desired (Safety pins or 4-inch pieces of yarn work great)

2. I used bit of worsted weight handpainted wool -- use anything!

16 inch US 8/5mm circular needle
An additional US size 8 circular needle or set of 8 double point needles
Tapestry needle
Beads, buttons, etc for center.

3. [MC] Cascade 220 [100% Highland Peruvian Wool; 220yds/198m per 100g skein]; Color: 7802; 1 skein
[CC] Cascade 220 Quatro [100% Highland Peruvian Wool; 220yds/198m per 100g skein]; Color: 9440; 1 skein

1 set US #10.5/6.5mm straight or circular needles
Tapestry needle
Rubber band

4. Cascade 220 [100% Highland Peruvian Wool; 220 yds/198m per 100g skein]; Color: 7802; 1 skein (Note: white and some light colors may not felt well)

1 set US #10.5/6.5mm straight or circular needles
Tapestry needle
Leftover bit of nameless mohair or broach or beads, etc for center


1. 18 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch
2. 20sts/28 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
3. 16-20 sts/28 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch
4. 16-20 sts/28 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch



[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations can be found here]

1. A super simple flower; as the name says it is cast on and then cast off with no other knitting required! This technique creates sort of a lazy knitter's I-cord which can then be shaped into any number of petals to create a lovely, open flower. Note: Debbie Bliss has discontinued the Cotton Silk Aran. Almost any yarn can be used in its place. This flower works well when knit with a heavier yarn to create nice stiff petals that will hold their shape. A softer, fuzzy yarn could also make a lovely flower when used with the smaller petal formula. Try twelve petals or more to create a peony type of flower.

2. Get out your 16" circulars. Like a hat gone wrong; this flower is created by knitting a few rows in the round and gathering in the middle. Lovely with any yarn, knit smaller versions to layer, or add buttons or beads to the center.

3. This elegant rose is very simple to make. Knit in one strip, it is then gathered across the bottom, tacked into place and tossed in the wash to felt.

4. This pattern is for a basic petal which, like a building block, can then be layered with varying numbers of other petals to create different looks. The example pictured is knit with worsted weight wool then felted; use thinner yarn and needles to create smaller petals. Instructions for a more pointed tip petal are below. Try layering petals knit with different colored and textured yarns; use beads or buttons for a center, or knitted bobbles.

Note: Because this pattern is designed for felted petals the shape is very round before felting. The petal will shrink more in width than length.

1. Flower
Once you've chosen your yarn, decide how many petals you'd like your flower to have. For the example, I chose six. My gauge was approximately 5 stitches to the inch.
So, I took this number (5) and multiplied it by how many petals I wanted (6), then multiplied this number (30) by 3 (circumference of petal in inches for a smaller petal - try 4 inches for a medium petal and 5 inches for large petal), to get 90.

So basically:
[Stitches per inch] x [Number of petals desired] x [Circumference if each petal in inches] = Number of sts to CO

The pattern for my flower would read like this:
Using MC and leaving a 15-inch tail, CO 90 sts, placing a removable marker every 15 stitches.
BO all sts.

Shape flower by bringing together ends of piece and points designated by markers, and stitching them together, shaping as desired.

Using CC, CO 5 stitches
Rows 1 & 2: K all sts.
Row 3: K1, kf&b, k1, kf&b, k1. 7 sts
Rows 4 & 5: K all sts.
Row 6: Kf&b, K to last st, kf&b. 9 sts
Rows 7, 8 and 9: K all sts.
Row 10: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog. 7 sts
Row 11: K all sts.
Row 12: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog. 5 sts
Rows 13 & 14: K all sts.
Row 15: K1, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k1. 3 sts
Row 16: Sl1, k2tog, psso. Pull yarn through loop to bind off, weave in ends.

Felted Version
Knit worsted weight wool on 10.5 needles to make a felted version of the flower, just be sure to add 15-20% more CO stitches to accommodate shrinkage.
For a felted leaf, use the pointy-tip variation of the Basic Petal pattern (flower 4 below).

2. Main Flower
CO 87 sts. Join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.K until work measures approx. 2 inches (about 1 inch past the point where work stops curling).
Next Row: [P2tog, p1] around, switching to two circulars or double points as needed.
Cut yarn, leaving a 12-inch tail. Draw yarn through all sts. Pull tail tight to gather stitches and close center.
Using the same technique as above, smaller flowers can be created to layer over the larger one.

Smaller Circle for Layering

Using double point needles or two circulars, CO 66 sts. Join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.
K until work measures approx. 1.5 inches (about 0.5 inch past the point where work stops curling).
Next Row: P2tog around.
Cut yarn, leaving a 12-inch tail. Draw yarn through all sts. Pull tail tight to gather stitches and close center.

3. Flower
Using MC, CO 78 stitches.
Rows 1-4: K all sts.
Row 5: BO 12, k to end.
Row 6: K to last st, sl1.
Row 7: Sl 2, pass first slipped st over second, BO 17 st, k to end.
Row 8: K to last st, sl1.
Row 9: Sl 2, pass first slipped st over second, BO 23 st, k to end.
Rows 10 & 11: K all sts.
Row 12: K to last st, sl1.
Row 13: Sl 2, pass first slipped st over second, BO rem 23 st, pull yarn through last loop and break yarn, leaving a 15 inch tail.

Using CC, CO 1 st.
Row 1: Kf&b. 2 sts
Row 2: Kf&b, kf&b. 4 sts
Row 3: Kf&b, k2, kf&b. 6 sts
Row 4 and foll even-numbered rows, except Rows 16 & 22: K all sts.
Row 5: Kf&b, k4, kf&b. 8 sts
Row 7: Kf&b, k6, kf&b. 10 sts
Row 9 & 11: K all sts.
Row 13: Kf&b, k8, kf&b. 12 sts
Row 15: Kf&b, k10, kf&b. 14 sts
Row 16: K2tog, k10, ktog. 12 sts
Row 17: K2tog, k8, k2tog. 10 sts
Row 19: K2tog, k6, k2tog. 8 sts
Row 21: K2tog, k4, k2tog. 6 sts
Row 22: K2tog, k2, k2tog. 4 sts
BO rem 4 sts.

4. Petal (Make as many as desired):
CO 7 stitches.
(This will be the outer edge of the petal.)
Rows 1, 2 & 4: K all sts.
Row 3: K1, kf&b, k3, kf&b, k1.
Row 5
: K1, kf&b, k5, kf&b, k1.
Rows 6-10
: K all sts.
Row 11
: [K2tog, k1] to last 2 sts, k1. 7 sts rem.
Rows 12, 13 & 14
: K all sts.
Row 15
: K2tog, sl 1 kwise, k2tog, psso, k2tog. 3 sts rem.
Row 16
: Sl 1 kwise, k1, psso, sl st on right needle to left needle, pass last st over this st.
Break yarn, draw yarn through loop and pull tight.

Note: To create a petal with more pointed tip, knit the following set up rows and continue as above.
CO 1 st.
Row A: Kf&b. 2 sts
Row B: Kf&b, m1, kf&b. 5 sts
Row C: Kf&b, k3, kf&b. 7 sts
Cont as above, beg with Row 2.


1. Stitch flower to leaf.

2. Sew layers together st center. Shape folds to look like petals and tack in place if desired. Add center if desired.

3. Thread tail yarn from flower strip on darning needle. Starting at the smaller end, use the needle to loosely stitch in and out every inch or so along the BO edge of the flower (see example). Pull yarn to gather half of the strip tightly for the center, then very loosely gather the remaining half to wrap around center. Shape as desired and tack in place to hold folds. Sew on leaf if desired.
Place inside of tied pillowcase or zipped lingerie bag and toss into washer full of hot, soapy water. Felt until desired size. Remove when desired and roll in a towel to remove excess water. Shape and fold petals and wrap tightly with rubber band to dry. Remove rubber band when petal feels mostly dry and allow to completely dry. (I cheated here and tossed mine, rubber band and all, into the dryer on low for fifteen minutes.)

4. Once you have knit the desired number of petals, arrange and layer them to achieve the look you like best. Stitch them together, taking care to sew the sides to each other about halfway up the petals. If you planned a felted center, add it now. Put the flower into a tied pillowcase or zipped lingerie bag and toss it into a washer full of hot, soapy water. Allow it to felt to desired size, roll into a towel to remove excess water, shape and allow to dry. Once dry, add buttons, beads, knit bobbles, etc. The bobble shown was actually a leaf knit in smaller gauge mohair and sewn down to look round. Any bobble technique will work. The spiral is wire that is twisted into a spiral and "screwed" into the bobble.




Right about now Stephanie and family are somewhere between Richmond, Virginia (where they've been for 4 years) and the Berkshires in Massachusetts (where they hope they'll like it enough to stay forever).

When she's not busy packing or chasing three-year-old daughter Adaylia; she spends her time knitting, spinning, sewing and dabbling in other fiber related activities. Stephanie's newest fiber adventure is importing a plethora of recycled silk yarn from Nepal; you can read more about that at her website.