Autumn Window Box

So many of you have liked the “Window Box” idea in my latest book that buoyed up by your enthusiasm I have designed one for this time of year and especially  to put on the table for Thanksgiving  (which is this Monday in Canada).

Inspired by all the pink hydrangeas that abound in my neighbourhood at this time of year,  all growing a darker deep fuchsia pink by the day, the spiders busily their casting webs and the acorns underfoot on my  daily walk  I came up with this…..

 

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I used cardboard inside and so it can easily be bent to stand alone or you could prop it up against a window as its name implies.

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If you would like a free copy of this design please e mail me (deborahkemball@gmail.com) and I will send you the PDF.  You will need a copy of my book “Euphoria Tapestry Quilts” for Window Box construction and/or “Beautiful Botanicals for my appliqué and embroidery techniques but if you are well versed in my appliqué you won’t find this difficult.  The spider is new to my repertoire but is constructed similarly to the butterflies in “Euphoria Tapestry Quilts”.  It measures 36″ x 8.75″

 

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Remembrance Poppy Brooch

A knitting blog today but a quilting blog to follow soon!  Some of you do both and it seems timely to start thinking about knitting a Remembrance Poppy.  I have just written this pattern which is perfect for a poppy but is also lovely for other flowers.  img_3358

 

When I was in the UK last November I was stopped in my tracks by the number of original poppies I saw pinned to people’s coats. So many variations – in a wide variety of yarns and fabrics. There were felted, knitted, sewn, crotchet versions, all immediately identifiable as a poppy worn to commemorate those who died in war. Already trying to recycle my plastic poppy from year to year (if not lost to poor pinning) this seemed such a good idea to make a donation but wear a unique poppy. I resolved to make my own this year and promised a few friends that I would make them one too. A quick search on Ravelry revealed quite a few patterns and I was most drawn to Art Yarn’s version.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/remembrance-poppy-to-knit

With the right yarn in my stash I made the “Knitted Remembrance Poppy”. I am not going to lie – at first I found the centre with all of its bobbles and whatnot knit in black in poor light almost too impossible and it took three attempts to get it right. The double frill flower petals were easier but still fiddly. I like the result but it doesn’t sum up the simple beauty of a remembrance poppy to me so I have considerably adapted their pattern and added a few tips to make it easier to make. Here is my own pattern but with a big shout out to Art Yarn’s Poppy for their original.

You will need 5 double pointed needles. I like 2.25 mm best with sock yarn. This is made with Ravelry Red Malabrigo sock yarn and Artifil’s onyx Belle. You could of course use any yarn or gauge needles suitable for your chosen yarn. I think this would look great in cotton too. This project takes between 2 – 3 hours to complete beginning to end.

We’ll start with the centre which is the harder part of the flower. Don’t be put off by the first five rows which are very fiddly but it gets easier quickly. Instead of the bobbles I have tried to give the centre my signature picot edge which works rather well I think. The result has the look of an old fashioned button and it occurred to me that with a circle of plastic inside before drawing up the thread on the reverser this would make the most amazing button for a handknit. It’s also easier to knit if you have the really short little DPNs. I wouldn’t buy them especially but I had some in my needle bag and found them easier to work with.

kfb = knit into front and back of stitch
YO = Yarn over (the same thing as YRN = yarn round needle)
K2tog = knit two stitches together
k2togtbl = knit two stitches together through back of loop
p2togtbl = purl through back of loop

POPPY CENTER
Cast on 4 stitches and work the first three rows as an i-cord – i e knit across stitches, don’t turn the needle but slide stitches back to the other end and knit again drawing yarn taught across the back as you do – i.e. you are knitting a tube.

Row 1 Knit
Row 2 Knit
Row 3 (Now called round 3) kfb into all four stitches and distribute over three needles as you do so. TIP In order to know where the round starts I like to kfb into two stitches on the first needle and kfb into one stitch for needles 2 and 3. I find that by having a larger number of stitches on needle 1 I always know where the round starts. (8 stitches) Continue by working in the round.

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Round 4 Knit (making sure your stitches aren’t twisted from one needle to the other)

Round 5. kfb into all stitches again (this means you will have 8 stitches on needle one and four each on needles 2 and 3) (16 stitches)

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Rounds 6 and 7 purl
Round 8 kfb all stitches (32 stitches)
Round 9 knit

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Round 10 (YO K2Tog) for whole round
Rounds 11 and 12 knit
Round 13 (k2 tog) 16 times
Round 14 (k2 tog) 8 times

Draw thread through remaining 8 stitches. Gather them up on reverse and press into shape.

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To finish off with a darning needle take the cast on tail through to the back of the flower, and tie it with the thread gathering the 8 stitches into the round.

POPPY PETALS

Cast on 4 stitches and work as an i-cord as poppy centre

Row 1 Knit
Row 2 kfb all stitches distributing on needles as before, i.e. there will be four stitches on needle 1, two on needle 2 and two on needle 3
Round 3 knit
Round 4 kfb all stitches (16 stitches)
Round 5 knit
Round 6 kfb all stitches (32 stitches)
Round 7 and 8 Knit
Round 9 kfb all stitches (64 stitches)

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Rounds 11 and 12 k1p1 rib
Now distribute your stitches evenly over four needles, i.e. 16 stitches on each needle

 

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Rounds 13 continue in k1p1 rib but kfb in first and last stitch on each needle. Make sure you keep ribbing correct.
Round 14 as round 13 You will now have 20 stitches on each needle and will work each needle (petal) separately.

Petal 1

Row 1 *(k1,yo) 19 times, K1 Turn
Row 2 p39 Turn
Row 3 k2togtbl, k to last 2 stitches k2 tog turn (37 stitches)
Row 4 p2 tog, p33, p2togtbl turn (35 stitches)
cast off remaining 35 stitches.

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Rejoin yarn and work remaining three petals.
When you cast off the last petal you will be left with a curly mess like this…..

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Press it into shape with a steam iron….Sew in all the loose ends and press again.

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Sew centre to flower. I use a fine sewing cotton and make sure that I sew each point of the picot edge to the flower for maximum impact. Sew a brooch bar onto the reverse. (For those in Canada I chose the 45 mm bar from http://www.crystalbeadshop.com (2$ for 10))

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