For those who have mastered the Bling Flower and would like a little more of a challenge, or the intrepid knitter who likes what she sees and will stop at nothing to knit it, the Sunset Over Chaco Canyon Cactus Flower is stunning.
I designed the cactus flower with the ephemeral beauty of actual cactus flowers in mind. Because cactuses live in such extreme conditions, and because making a flower is such a labor intensive process for a plant, most cactuses only flower once every few years. In days gone by, and perhaps even in some households inhabited by lovers of flowers and succulents, vacation and dinner plans were cancelled if it looked like rare plants might bloom. The blooms of the Night Blooming Cereus are said to be scarcely rivaled and their scents intoxicating. They bloom once a year if you are lucky.
The pictured flowers were worked in a specially “flower-dyed” variegated Silk Pearl by ArtYarns. What this specially dyed yarn allows is for a flower petal that grades through several colors without a repeat. The way to get this glorious effect?: simply start each petal at the same moment in the variegation. The results are spectacular.
I have plans for strappy summer or evening party sandals and these flowers. I just need to try out one of these new-fangled products that stiffens fabric. I already wire the petals with beading wire – this is how they keep the lovely shapes you see in the photograph – but the wired petals are still soft and pliable. For sandal decoration, the flowers need a greater stiffness. I’ll report back with results.
In the meantime, a single flower also makes a lovely ring, hair decoration, brooch (thanks to flower clips – ask your LYS to order them from Noni!) . . . or sew flat to the bodice of a fancy party sweater for a dazzling lace-work of blossoms.