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Bond Buzz, Issue #18
January 18, 2005
Free from Bond America!

Welcome to another issue of Bond Buzz!

Now that the holidays are behind us, even with spring seemingly much too far in the distant future, you can still think of—and knit—flowers. And even though It’s been snowing in Vermont, all the shops have been selling flowers—the knitted and crocheted kind that have "sprouted" pinbacks.

New Technique

The Perfect Rose
With everyone focusing on accessories (scarves, wristlets, brooches and, of course, knitted or crocheted posy pins), I thought it would be the ideal time to share with you how to create knitted roses.

These are perfect for wearing (complementing them with stems knitted on the Embellish-Knit!), applying to knitted purses – or for embellishing your gifts.  They’re so easy to do and look so effective!

The secret is in getting the right shape in number of stitches and rows:  make your rose too big and it doesn’t look like a rose; make it too small and it barely looks like a bud.

I used Simply Soft to get the right hand, color, sheen and curl (yes, for these roses you do want the edges to curl over a bit).  You can get lots of flowers from one skein – and Simply Soft just “sings” on the machine (to use our friend, John Lachett’s description).  Check out the full color line for Simply Soft and Simply Soft Brites.

In addition to your Ultimate Sweater Machine, you’ll also need a tapestry needle for this project.  So here goes:

Put the #2 keyplate in the carriage.

1. Leaving a 12” length of yarn, e-wrap cast-on 55 stitches.  COR.
Knit 2 rows.  COR.
Dec 1 st on carriage side & knit across.  COL.
4. Dec 1 st on opposite side of carriage & knit across.  COR.
5. Repeat Steps 3 & 4 until you have knitted 12 rows total.  COR.
6. Bind off across (I used a chain-stitch, but you can use any simple bind-off you like).

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7.  Slightly steam the rose to relax it (do NOT press on the knitting).



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8.  Thread the tapestry needle with the cast-on end of yarn and weave it in and out of the cast-on stitches.

9.  Gather the stitches slightly, but do not secure the yarn.

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10.  Starting with the narrow, straight end (the inside of the rose), roll the knitting so it is shaped like a rose. 


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11. Secure the base of the rose by weaving the tapestry needle through the base of the rose as you roll


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12.  Secure the end to finish.  For a pin, sew a 1 1/4" pinback to the base of the flower.

  Adding Flower Stems
If you’d like to add stems, use Embellish-Knit! and Simply Soft in Dark Sage.  Cast on and knit a couple stitches, then insert a chenille stem into the top of the Embellish Knit and let it enclose the stem completely.  Bind off, weave the ends in, and bend the stem however you wish! 
Online Store News
For the crochet and latch hook enthusiasts among you, check out these new Caron kits in our online store. 
Rwanda Update
And, while flowers are not blooming in Vermont, they certainly are in Rwanda. I just returned from that wonderful country this past weekend, having worked on expanding the knitting project there. As an update, the knitters at the Kiziba refugee camp have recently created their own business, knitting sweaters and sewing clothes that they sell in the local market. Now at least 100 women are earning an income where, prior to receiving the machines, they had none. And the Rwandan knitters are making and selling sweaters for school uniforms.

I'm also working with sewers there (they use the non-electrical, treadle-type machines) to make knitting bags and woven banana-leaf needle cases. Keep watching the Buzz for information on these new products.

I’ll be sharing some great photos with you in the next Buzz (as soon as I figure out how to download the pictures from my new camera!). Be sure to check out the website of my friend, Liz Wald, who imports the finished goods made in Rwanda: And be sure to see the new movie, Hotel Rwanda, which is about Hotel Milles Collines, the hotel I stayed at my first two trips to Rwanda.

Until next time, here’s wishing all of you a very happy New Year!!

Cari Clement


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