- colourful bunting,
Nicki is an author, designer, writer and editor in home crafts. She runs Nicki’s Craft Clubs as well as workshops in East Sussex. nickitrench.com
Knitting for family and friends is one of life’s great pleasures. I always find it hard to give knitted garments as gifts. Guessed-at measurements can all too often be embarrassingly wrong: necks that are too wide or too tight, sleeves too short or lengths too long.
Knitting an accessory or something for the home is a far safer bet. But what to knit? Blankets are great, but can take months, cushions are good, but take a sneaky look to check out the colour scheme of the home first. In the winter, scarves, gloves and hats are great things to give and they don’t take up too much time.
There seem to be a lot of young men in my extended family at the moment, the advantages of having a mainly female, large family means that my daughters’ and nieces’ boyfriends come along who invariably need a last-minute present and a homemade gift is now almost always expected of me. At Christmas I knitted about 15 bobble hats with a different coloured pompom for each one. It made for a very quirky Christmas family photo. I think the only member of the family without one was Cocoa, the cat.
Now I’m thinking spring and summer, so hats, gloves and scarves are out. I once gave a pair of knitted swimming shorts as a joke to my friend’s husband one summer. Only because I wanted to see him model them, which he gratefully did at parties for years after.
But this season I’m going to be making bunting for everyone. How can bunting not make you happy? It evokes celebration, summer and parties and can be hung around the kitchen, bedroom, or draped over a picnic table. So this month’s project is a pretty floral bunting design. It’s made using a garter stitch (knit only), which means it’s easy, quick and suits all levels of ability. Don’t make bunting using a stocking stitch as it will curl up at the edges. There is an easy picot edging on the bunting too and if you don’t want to stick with one colour, use up scraps of wool and make some of the flags in stripes or make each one a different colour. Enjoy!
Any double knit (DK) or Aran weight yarn, such as Debbie Bliss Rialto x 4 balls in green (A)
Needle size: 4.5mm
Edging, flowers and ties
Any double knit (DK) yarn 1 ball each in each of purple-red (B), purple (C) dark red (D), pink (E), deep pink (F),yellow (G)
Needle size: 4.5mm
Yarn sewing needle
Bunting: 180cm long, excluding ties
Each flag: 19 x 22.5cm
22 sts and 30 rows over 4in. (10cm) square using stocking stitch.
Change needles if required to achieve the right tension.
Using yarn A, cast on 41 sts
Rows 1–2: Knit
Row 3: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog. (39 sts)
Rep Rows 1–3 until 3 sts remain.
Next row: K3tog.
Using yarns B, C, or E
With RS facing and starting from top left hand edge, pick up and knit 32 sts evenly along one side of flag.
Next row: K1, cast on 1 st, *cast off 3 sts, slip next st off right hand needle onto left hand needle, cast on 1 st; rep from * until there is 1 st left on right hand needle.
Repeat on other side of flag.
At end of last picot, join picots from both sides at the tip by slipping right hand needle into the first picot stitch from first side, knit the stitch, turn, k2tog.
TOP EDGING AND JOINING FLAGS
Using yarn E and with RS facing, pick up and knit into each st across top of each flag, also knitting into top of last picot st of edging on each side.
When all flags are on right hand needle, turn and knit one row.
TIP: You will either need long needles to be able to pick up the stitches for the top edging or use a long circular needle.
LARGE ROSES (MAKE 3)
Using yarns D, E, F, or G, cast on 10 sts.
Row 1: (right side) Knit.
Rows 2: Purl.
Row 3: K into front and back of every st. (20 sts)
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: K into front and back of every st. (40 sts)
Row 6: Purl
Row 7 K into front and back of every st. (80 sts)
Row 8: Purl.
SMALL ROSES (MAKE 21)
Rows 1–3: Knit.
Pass all sts one at a time over first st, until only first st remains on needle.
PICOT FLOWERS (MAKE 3)
Using yarns B, C, D, E, F, or G, cast on 5 sts.
Row 1: K into front and back of each st. (10 sts)
Rows 2: Purl.
Row 3: K into front and back of each st. (20 sts)
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Cast off 1 st, * slip next st off. Right hand needle onto left hand needle, cast on 3 sts, Cast off 5 sts; rep from * until 1 st is left on right hand needle.
On large and small roses, twist rose into a spiral and sew at back to hold in place. On picot flowers, sew up seam to join petals. Using a contrasting colour yarn, thread the yarn sewing needle and sew 3 or 5 French knots into the centre of flower. Place and pin the roses on each flag. Sew in place. Sew in all ends neatly at the back.
TIES (MAKE TWO)
Measure and cut six strands of yarns E each 150cm long. Knot three strands at one end and then plait. Knot the other end and trim strands to neaten. Rep with other three strands. Thread a tie into the top edge on each side of bunting.