The hibiscus, a member of the mallow family Malvaceae, is an exquisite flower. Not only are the flowers beautiful, with an astonishing array of colors and color variations, but all parts of the flower are also edible. Petals make a sweet tea, leaves a more tannic one. The blossoms can also be found in exotic drinks, jams, and jellies, and as a sculptural addition to beverages.
In this knitted version of the tropical beauty, I dissected actual flowers in order to represent the architecture of the blossoms as accurately as possible. The result is a flower that is as bold as it is beautiful and almost perfectly actual size when worked in worsted weight wool or silk. It is stunning on the front of a handbag such as 6, 8, 10 or Grace Kelly's Overnight Bag, spectacular on a cloche hat, unexpected on the wide lapel of a winter coat.
The flower pictured here has been wired so as to hold its life-like shape. If you love this flower and would like to make more of less or similar complexity, see 40 more knitted flowers and 6 projects in my book, Noni Flowers.
Click the Additional Details tab below for information about gauge, needed yardage, and other necessary materials.
While this flower requires a certain level of commitment and resolution, the skills required are known by most knitters. Your dedication will be rewarded with the resulting beautiful, life-like hibiscus flower. Intrepid knitters should know how to knit and purl, increase and decrease using several methods, be comfortable working in the round on double-pointed needles, and be able to execute the simple sewing techniques required to weave-in ends, wire petals, bead the finished flower by hand if desired, and sew the flower to a bag or other item.
While gauge is not exactly important for this pattern. To make the flowers in the size pictured, use the recommended needle size(s) and yarn weight. For smaller or larger flowers, change your gauge by going down in yarn gauge and needle size, or up, respectively.
250 yds (228.5m) each Spring Green, Fuchsia, Christmas Red or Red, and Spring Chick Yellow or Christmas Red
10 yds (9m) Crystal Palace Fizz in bright red or dark red
Size 6 (4mm) double-pointed needles (set of 5)
Seed beads and nylon beading thread (optional)
Sharp sewing needle to hand-bead and sew your flower onto a bag or other item.
Sharp needle with large eye for weaving in ends and wiring
26 gauge beading wire for wiring petals (optional)
The pictured sample was created using Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool in Spring Green and Spring Chick Yellow, Tilli Tomas Flurries in Raspberry (unfortunately, no longer available), and Crystal Palace Fuzz in Hibiscus