May flowers...

Hellooooo!...remember me?  Forgive me dear reader, it has been a whole month since my last post.  Many, many apologies for my disappearing act.  I wish I could say that I had some wonderfully dramatic story as an excuse, but the sad reality of it is that I don't.  Real life, some big decisions, and just day to day stuff has gotten in the way of my normal day to day.  I guess you could say that I took a trip down the rabbit hole, because that's sort of how it feels.  Does that ever happen to you?...where the days fill up with big and little things, where mind and body are totally preoccupied with worries and joys, with mundane errands and big decisions, with coming to terms with the here and now as well as with what's around the corner and the all changes that are part and parcel of this journey.

So after all of that, I think we all need a little pick-me-up, bit of color...some May flowers!...

This wreath is made of knitted and felted flowers.  It's an idea that has been rolling around in my brain for a while and one that I have been anxious to share with you.  I am planning to write this pattern up and to possible sell it or offer it on Ravelry, but I thought I would include the directions for one of the flowers here right now {call it a peace offering}.  I made the flowers out of some Cascade 220 and Patons Classic Wool that I had hanging around.  I used a double strand of yarn for most of the flowers and worked them with a size US 11 needle.  This gives a really dense felt—one that really holds its shape.  After the knitting was done, I popped the flowers in a pillow case and threw them in the washer and ran them with hot water and a little detergent.  After they were felted the way I wanted them, I used the spin cycle to remove the excess water, formed the flowers to the shape I wanted, and let them air dry.  I wanted to use only things that I had on hand for this project, so I raided my button box to embellish the flowers.
The directions that follow are for the roses {red and purple} on the wreath.  They are the same flowers that I used on the Flower Fairy Coat and Cloche in my book Fairy Tale Knits
 ...the only difference is that I felted them for the wreath.
 CO 10 sts
Row 1:  Knit
Row 2 and all even rows through Row 8:  Purl
Row 3:  Knit front and back in each stitch—20 sts.
Row 5:  Repeat Row 3—40 sts.
Row 7:  Repeat Row 5—80 sts
Bind off after Row 8, leaving a 10" tail, cut the yarn and fasten the last stitch off.  Use the tail of the bound off edge to sew the flower together.  To sew the flower, first roll it up like a cinnamon roll and sew the bottom edge of the flower so that it maintains its shape.  Weave in ends.

For inquiring minds...What initiated my trip down the rabbit hole?...nothing bad...actually some really good stuff.  We {well honestly, my oldest child, but the rest of us have been along for the ride} have been in the midst of some decision making.  Please indulge me in a mama moment {this is the part where I go on about my kids, so if you're just here for the knitting, you might want to skip this part}.  My girl applied to and got into 10 colleges...YaY!...a good thing, right?  Well, yes!...terrific!...the only down side is that we are not quick deciders...our lot agonizes over decisions...we weigh...we talk...we avoid thinking about it...we distract ourselves...we panic...we think...we research...we surf...we talk...we make lists...we talk some more...we decide...we rethink...we talk...and then we start all over again...until the last...possible...moment...and then we usually end up at the place where we started, where our first choice, the decision we thought we were going to make is, in fact, the decision we do make.   There have been many twists and turns on this road during the last month, and I admit to a brief emotional detour of my own {oh how I will miss my sweet girl and at the same time am so happy for her}.  But she/we made it through and have come to the other side. I'm proud of her—it's a big decision and a difficult one, choosing between such good things.  And that's where we are now, on the other side of this first really big decision, at last happy and excited, looking forward with much time for graduation, just as it should be.

Thank you for indulging me and for being there.  I am truly happy to be back among my friends in blogland.  I hope each of you are enjoying a wonderful spring and that things are good in your neck of the woods.  Things here will be pretty chaotic for a bit, with end of the year festivities, family coming in for graduation and what-not, but I will try to pop in before too long to share some knitting, maybe another flower and to catch up.