To tell you that I meant to do this project would be a complete lie. I embarked to do a completely different project and I started off really well, confident of what I was doing, but I forgot one important characteristic of knitting and as a result what I wanted to be a square ended up not being a square. As I dropped my swatch on my side bed and went off to do something else and to think about my project that I needed to get done, I was kicking myself for forgetting that a project completed with all knit rows is “taller” than a project completed with garter stitch. But, as I got back to keep on swatching, I saw my project sitting on the side of the bed, and it looked quite a bit like one of my favorite flowers, a Calla Lilly. I couldn’t believe my luck, my “ooops” had become a beautiful project, all it needed was a stem and a pistil. I went off to work, digging for appropriate colors and by the end of the day, I had a beautiful flower. The next step was to find a way for the flower to stay up. It was simple, it needed some sort of wire, so I made another and felted it and then tried to put the wire through it. Nope. It didn’t work. As hard I tried, I couldn’t get the wire through the stem or pistil. Again, I forgot the characteristics of my knitting–felted items are very hard and there was no way I was going to get a wire through the length of the i-cord. Another test knitting was needed, this time with the wire integrated while the knitting was unfelted. Two whole days later, and I had success!!!
These felted calla lilies came from a “ooops” project. I was trying to create something else and when I finished the project didn’t turn out, so I just dropped the swatch and left it there while I went downstairs. When I came back, the swatch had rolled up and it looked exactly like a calla lily, all it needed was a stem and the pistil.
I haven’t been this excited about a project in a very long time, I hope you enjoy making them too.
Loom: Sock Loom 2, used 50 pegs.
Yarn: 65 yards of worsted weight wool. Knit Picks Chroma in Natural (approx 50 yds), Lamb’s Pride in Lime Sorbet (approx 10 yds), Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Golden Heather(approx 5 yds).
Notions: Knitting tool, needles, 20 Gauge Jewelry Wire (About 24 inches per flower).
MC=Main color (Natural)
CC=Contrasting color (Lime Sorbet)
SCC=Second contrasting color (Golden Heather)
Pattern notes: The body of the Calla Lilly is worked as a miter square. Set up your knitting loom to its largest configuration (sliders all the way to the end). To make it easier to decrease for the miter square, set up the knitting loom as to have the middle 25th peg at one of the corners where the slider and one of the long rails meet.
Color changes: The first 38 rows are worked in Main Color (MC), at row 37 (There will be 14 sts on the loom), we will cut MC and join the CC.
Using MC, cast on 50 sts, prepare to knit a flat panel.
Row 1: (Going clockwise or from right to left). K23, k2tog, k2tog, k23. Slide the slider inwards.
Row 2: K to the end of the row
Row 3: k22, k2tog, k2tog, k22. Slide the slider inwards.
Row 4: k to the end of the row.
Continue repeating these last two rows, decreasing two stitches on every ODD row, until you have 4 sts left on the knitting loom. (On every ODD row, the numbers will go down from k22, k21, k20, k19, k18, k17, k16, k15, k14, k13, k12, k11, k10, k9, k8, k7, k6, k5, k4, k3, k2, k1).
At this point, we will work the stem on the remaining 4 sts. We will work a 4 stitch I-cord.
While you work the i-cord you will place the Wire inside the cord as follows:
Move the 4 sts remaining to the center of one of the long rails. Working yarn should be at the LEFT side (on the last peg of the 4 sts).
Place the wire behind the pegs, against the work, take working yarn behind the pegs (the wire should be between/sandwiched between the work and the yarn), take yarn to first peg and knit it. Knit to the end of row. *Take the working yarn behind the pegs (the wire again should be between the work and the working yarn), take yarn in front of the first peg. K4. Repeat from * until stem measures about 14 inches. BO with gather removal method. Make sure the wire stays inside the i-cord. Weave ends in.
The Wire should be protruding from the opposite side, near the base of the square. Using SCC, cast on 4 sts. Work a 4 st i-cord, sandwiching the Wire inside the i-cord. If the Wire is too long, trim it so it ends inside the i-cord. BO with gather removal method. Make sure the wire stays inside the i-cord. Weave ends in.
Your flower should resemble the picture below (except with wire coming from the green stem to the yellow pistil)
The last thing we need to do is close the flower, this is where the miter becomes a flower. Over lap the two sides over the pistil. Using MC, seam the flower close, leaving the corners of the sides open so they become part of the outer lip of the Lily. Weave all ends in.
Due to the wire inside the flower, I recommend to use a zippered pillow case to felt your item. It will keep the flower inside the pillow case and if the wire sticks out of the stem and pistil it won’t damage the inside of your washer. (Flower below shows flower unfelted).
- Place 1 tsp of Eucalan woolwash in your washer.
- Set washer to Hot and Small load.
- Throw a pair of jeans for extra agitation.
- Place your zippered pillow case in the wash (with your flower inside the pillow case).
- Let it go through the wash cycle.
Remove and inspect the felting process. If the flower is felted to your liking, remove from the washer. Squeeze as much water as you can out by placing the flower between two towels and with your hands pressing down. Do not wring the water out, this will create wrinkles.
Form the flower by shaping the petals down, it will naturally want to do that, but still shape it to your liking, straighten the pistil and stem so the flower stands up straight. Allow to air dry. If any of the wire sticks out, cut it down to size so that it stays hidden inside the pistil and stem.