Fibre Flowers for my Favourite Friend

Stew (co-author of this blog) got married this month as she mentioned in her last post. I had promised her long ago that I would knit her bouquet. But as the wedding preparations began in earnest I was incredibly busy with my PhD and had to  tell Stew I couldn’t do it. I’m not sure quite what happened but somehow after my major deadline in late January, with another looming on the horizon, I managed to knit two shawls for the bridesmaids and the bride’s bouquet. Thanks to some great friends and family.In a fit of whimsy, seeing the perfect yarn in the LYS for the flowers and shawls, I bought the yarn and got started. Unfortunately the hard cotton really hurt my wrist so I had to pause the flower making. I kept chipping away at the shawl knitting though. Knitting a row or two in my study breaks. With one week to go I had one shawl knit, one still on the needles and a bare handful of flowers and leaves. The shawl still needed the border knit and to be blocked and dry for flying. Pitying my plight as they saw my frantic shawl knitting at the UCD knit group, these wonderful generous knitters stepped in and offered to knit some flowers. We met up the day before I flew and everyone had a flower or two to offer. Most of them were patterns from `100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet’ by Lesley Stanfield, a Christmas gift from my lovely sister in law. With only a few hours left before flying I had to figure how to put it all together. Eep!

I went to my parents to borrow florist wire. Several hours later, in the wee hours of the morning a creation emerged. My mum had taken charge. She directed my dad to acquire and create supplies – everything from sawing a hard plastic tube and drilling holes in it, to requisitioning a hand-grip from my badminton-mad brother. I stitched and finished the flowers already made. Mum patiently, artistically and ever-so-speedily sewed the existing flowers onto a chamois sponge sturdily attached to the tube. Dad took over the leaves- lining them with wire and making ribbon-leaves under mum’s direction. Meanwhile I crocheted flowers for all I was worth – finishing each one just as it was needed for sewing on!

I had great fun travelling with the flowers. They needed to be carried by hand and elicited much comment – and even free drinks! Thankfully they seemed to go down well and added a pop of colour to the wedding. The lovely pictures are due to the talented Evin O’Keefe of


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