Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hearts and Flowers


“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”  Henri Matisse

Years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, I was preparing to give a dinner party, and my mother-in-law offered some camellias from her many bushes to use to make arrangements for my table.  Recently relocated from New Jersey to North Carolina, I found the idea of picking flowers outside in February to be both a novelty and a revelation.  The blooms were a vibrant pink color and I remember that I stuck the stems into blocks of oasis to create large globe-like arrangements for two tables.  (Note:  At this time, I was young and naïve and believed that I was capable of working full-time, raising a family, and maintaining an adult social life that included hosting fancy dinner parties and arranging flowers.  Older and wiser now, I can count on one hand the number of dinner parties I’ve given over the last decade or so, but the trips to football games, the pediatrician, the emergency room, the grocery store, and other places related to domestic life seem incalculable.) 


Image used with permission of Creative Commons:  Camellia x williamsii 'La Sonnambula'. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid, España.  March 2009.  A.  Barra.

Of course, I digress.  This post is about camellias, the shade-loving, cold-sensitive blooms that thrive in abundance when planted in the proper places here in the South, and it is also about a knitting pattern I recently created.  My knitted blooms are a bit simple (nowhere as detailed and beautiful as those of Nicky Epstein), but I learned a great deal as I calculated their shapes and knit them, and I’ll probably add beads or change the garter stitch to something more intricate in future attempts to knit them. 

The petals do not really need to be heart shaped to create the flower; the knitter can omit the first few rows of each heart and begin with flat-bottomed petals that sit neatly on the leaves, but I liked the sentimental concept of creating a blossom made out of hearts.   The mohair-silk blend is so pliable, too, that the little points at the bottom of each heart aren’t really much bother and can be folded a bit before sewing on the bar pin. 
Click here to access the pattern, which can be quickly knit up in time for Valentine's Day. 

2 comments:

  1. Lovely flower! Thanks for sharing your pattern :)

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  2. I love your knitted camellia - absolutely beautiful in that soft gossamer yarn. You did make me laugh about the dinner party, work, family juggling thing - I too cherished dreams of being able to keep too many balls past and present in the air but quickly realised my mistake! And I know what you mean about what replaces the more glamourous stuff too! But what a happy reminder your beautiful camellia corsage is of all the creativity that despite all the other calls on time and attention still flourishes! Floreant flores so to speak! E x

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