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Nora Bellows of Noni shares how she was inspired to create her
Field of Sunflowers. "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, 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
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."
Intermediate. Requires knowledge of
knitting, purling, increasing and decreasing, working on circular and
double-pointed needles, and some simple seaming and hand-sewing.
US 11 (8mm), 7 (4.5mm), or 5 (4mm) dpn (smaller
needles & a single strand of yarn = smaller flowers) NOTE: Our skein/ball ~210
yds; 2 skeins/balls each color using a double-strand of worsted weight feltable
yarn on US11 (8mm) needles makes 1 large and 1 small flower
2 skeins/balls col 1 Stem, green
2 skeins/balls col 2 Sunflower center, chocolate brown
2 skeins/balls col 3 Petals, bright yellow, yellow-orange,
1 ball col 4 Crystal Palace Fizz in mink (7342) or black
Scrap yarn or 3 16"/40 cm circular needles smaller than US
Split ring or clip stitch markers in two colors to use as
Tapestry needle, sewing needle, and sewing or beading
Pictured Sunflowers were made with the following. Stems:
Plymouth Galway Heather in 754 Turtle and 748 Pistachio and Louet Riverstone in
55 Willow. Petals: Louet Riverstone in 33 Kumquat and 61 Gold Leaf. Flower
centers: Chocolate Fizz held with Plymouth Galway 757 Bark or Punta Yarns'
Merisoft Solid 317.