This pattern was inspired by my memory of the sunflowers my sister and I planted one year in an abandoned lot next to a house where we lived in Baltimore City. We planted great tall yellow ones, smaller golden ones, ones with brilliant ocher petals and rusty centers, and ones with striated petals and red centers. By mid- to late-summer the lot was a cacophony of gold finches; the flowers themselves seemed to be alive.
These knitted versions were also inspired by a photograph my grandmother had (and I now have on my desk in my studio) of her father's sunflowers. In the picture you can see Old Man (what everyone called him. . . his wife, my grandmother's mother was called simply Lady) and he is positively small next to the towering plants. He was almost six feet tall, so the sunflower stalks must be at least 15 feet. Sun-Towers my friend Sue called them. They are magnificent (Old Man could make anything grow bigger then you thought possible. . . maybe it was the cotton seed husks he used as mulch. You should have seen his green beans!) and I have never seen their like in person.
In order to create these knitted versions, I treated myself to a bouquet of sunflowers in the middle of a cold snap and studied their structure to bring you a flower that is as beautiful on the back as the front, as botanically correct as I could make it. And maybe, just maybe, they would even fool the gold finches. I'm going to see. . . I'll let you know.
If you love sunflowers, look for another version of this beautiful flower and more flowers in my book, Noni Flowers.
Look at Additional Details for information about yarn, needles, and other necessary materials.
Intermediate: Requires knowledge of knitting, purling, increasing and decreasing, working on circular and double-pointed needles, and some simple seaming and hand-sewing.
4 yds (380m)(A) stem
4 yds (380m) (B) sunflower center
4 yds (380m) (C) petals
1 ball col 4 Crystal Palace Fizz in mink (7342) or black (7321)
Size 11 (8mm) 7 (4.5mm) , or 5 (4mm) double-pointed needles (smaller needles & a single strand of yarn = smaller flowers) NOTE: 2 skeins/balls each color using a double-strand of worsted weight feltable yarn on US11/8 mm needles makes 1 large and 1 small flower
Scrap yarn or 3 16" (40cm) circular needles smaller than Size 11 (8mm)
Locking stitch markers in two colors to use as holders
Nylon sewing thread
The samples pictured were created using Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool in Sage stems, Brown centers, and Orange petals with Crystal Palace Fizz in mink in the center.
No errors have been reported for this pattern.