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Cactus Flower Pattern

Difficulty: Easy

Walking along a dry creek bed in Colorado, the plants you find are different than the ones I'm used to on the East Coast. Foliage can be spare, shades of silver, leggy. Flowers are sparse and often a surprise. Delicate blossoms atop slender stalks swaying with the wind. Now and again there is a cactus, its bold spiky branches stark contrast to the lacy leaves and flowers of the wild poppy and chicory. The cactus blooms are as confrontational as their beefy arms: fuchsia, fire-engine red, bright orange, startling white, dandelion yellow. The petals are as delicate as the poppy's ephemeral ones. Only when the sun hits them do they open, bright translucent halo around solid yellow stamens. Bumble bees, solitary bees, and honey bees flock to their centers.

These particular cactus flowers can be made in hand-dyed silk that reminds us of the subtle earthy colors of the desert, as you see them here, or in worsted or fingering merino and then felted for a more rounded version of themselves. They can also be wired and left unfelted. Adorn the centers with sparkle rivets or make stamens out of lace weight yarn. Whatever you decide, these lovely desert-inspired beauties look wonderful tucked behind the ear of a flower-girl, decorating the Little Gems purse of a girl going to prom, or several in a spray across a sleeveless T.

Close your eyes, picture desert sunsets, and find the perfect place for these flowers.

Delivery Method:
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  • Seed beads and thread

    Seed Beads and Thread



    Using Shepherd's Wool yarn colors as the organizing principle, I have created color-matched packages that include a 1 gram package of no. 8 seed beads, and an 80yd (73m) bobbin of nylon beading thread. Each beads and thread combination is packaged in a re-useable, screw-top tin.

    There are enough beads in this combination package to finish any tiny - medium-sized purse that requires a purse frame and still have some beads left over for embellishment.

    Read more...

  • Tuileries in Butter Yellow Silk

    Les Tuileries


    Delivery Method:

    The day was spent in the gardens, walking along avenues, under arched trellises, past espalier pear trees so laden with pears you wanted to step over the fence and pick one when no one was looking.

    Later, you grabbed that little bag you made just for this trip. Dinner in Paris.

    The bag sits on the table like a pastry or still life. The marble of the tables feels cool to the touch. It feels lovely to be watching the people walk past, lingering over a baguette, cheeses that amaze, and wine with notes of flowers, honey, fresh raspberries.

    Read more...

Pattern Difficulty

Intrepid Intermediate: Requires knowledge of knitting and purling, increasing and decreasing, working in the round on double-pointed needles, and some simple hand-sewing


24 stitches and 32 rounds = 4" (10cm) on a size 6 (4mm) needle or needle size to obtain gauge. Larger gauge yarn and larger needles create larger flowers.

Yarn Requirements

Per flower: 16 yds (14.5m) of worsted weight yarn

Needles and Other Materials

Size 6 (4mm) double-pointed needles (3) for flowers or size needed to obtain gauge 
Noni Sparkle Rivets to decorate flower centers
Locking stitch markers used as stitch holders
Sharp, large-eyed darning needle to weave in ends
Sewing needle to sew flowers to bags, shoe clips, etc.
Seed beads and Nylon Beading Thread
28 gauge beading wire
Noni Flower clips  to attach flowers to shoes, bags, necklines, and gifts

Pictured Samples

The samples pictured were created using ArtYarns Beaded Pearl & Sequins (worsted weight; 100" silk with glass beads & sequins; 80 yds [73m] per 13/4 oz [50g] skein) #142 with pink Sparkle Rivets. For a bag that features these flowers, see Les Tuileries.

No errors have been reported for this pattern.