Although attempt #1 at designing a woodland fairy doll was a failure, working on her got me thinking about leaves and foliage, and what kinds of stitches I could use to make them. A couple of days of musing and playful experimentation later, I came up with this:

Spear-shaped leaves and heart-shaped petals.

I’m quite excited by this line of experimentation. Recombining the stitch techniques that I used for this plant in new ways -like the row of knit stitches on a background of purls that you can see on the leaves, or the slipped stitches that form the basis of the purple petals- will open up a whole world of plant life to my knitting needles. I’m sure this wont be the last flower I make.

This particular knit flower arrangement is currently looking beautiful as our kitchen table centerpiece. It lends a subtle air of Valentines Day festivity to the room. But I’m also envisioning how smaller leaves, or maybe just one heart-shaped petal would look excellent on a headband or a pin. A whole bunch of them would string up nicely into a garland… like I said: a whole world of plant-y possibilities.

I’m sharing the pattern here, and sincerely hope that you take these ideas and run with them. Will you knit one for Valentines Day? I’d love to see what gorgeous plant decorations you come up with.

Knit your own decorative plant
abbreviations used: 
BO = bind off
CO = cast on
k = knit
kfb = knit into the front and back of a stitch. An increase stitch
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together. a decrease stitch
p = purl
ssk = slip two stitches from the left to the right needle. Reinsert left needle from below into both stitches and knit them together. A decrease stitch
sl1 = slip one stitch from the left to the right needle without knitting or purling it.

Spear-Shaped Leaves

CO 5 stitches
Row 1 (wrong side): k2 p1 k2
Row 2 (and all even numbered rows through row 28): p the purl stitches and k the knit stitches
Row 3: kfb k1 p1 kfb k1
Row 5: kfb k2 p1 k1 kfb k1
Row 7: kfb k3 p1 k2 kfb k1
Row 9: kfb k4 p1 k3 kfb k1
Row 11: k6 p1 k6
Row 13: ssk k4 p1 k4 k2tog
Row 15: k5 p1 k5
Row 17: ssk k3 p1 k3 k2tog
Row 19: k4 p1 k4
Row 21: ssk k2 p1 k2 k2tog
Row 23: k3 p1 k3
Row 25: ssk k1 p1 k1 k2tog
Row 27: k2 p1 k2
Row 29: ssk p1 k2tog
Row 30: ssk p1
Row 31: ssk
Heart-Shaped Petals

CO 15 stitches
Row 1: k
Row 2: p7 sl1 p7
Row 3: ssk k5 sl1 k5 k2tog
Row 4: p6 sl1 p6
Row 5: ssk k4 sl1 k4 k2tog
Row 6: p5 sl1 p5
Row 7: ssk k3 sl1 k3 k2tog
Row 8: p
Row 9: ssk k2 sl1 k2 k2tog
Row 10: p3 sl1 p3
Row 11: ssk k1 sl1 k1 k2tog
Row 12: p2 sl1 p2
Row 13: ssk sl1 k2tog

Your leaves and petals are probably pretty curly. Block them flat either using by a steam iron, or, my favorite way, by wetting them completely in the sink and then pinning them flat onto a bulletin board until they dry.

*if you like knitting flowers, you might want to check out my knit crocus pattern here.