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Tree of Life Knit-Along #4 – Flower Garden

June 18th, 2008

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I love this pattern, and this project reminded me that I had come across a similar flower stitch in a vintage knitting book from the 1930’s years ago and used it as an accent pattern for a baby sweater.

It’s a really great stitch that has a thousand uses.

The Flower Garden is one of those patterns that is really simple, but hard to wrap your mind around at first. Because of this, I have included step by step pictures of the stitch.

#1 #2 #3
Step #1 Step #2 Step #3
#4 #5 #6
Step #4 Step #5 Step #6

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  • Judith Lasker

    I stared and puzzled at the pictures of the flower garden stitch and sort of get the concept. I could never knit it, however, from those pictures.

    How about written directions for the stitch?

    Judith

    Zontee says: Hi Judith, Corinna is explaining a stitch from the Tree of Life Afghan pattern that we are doing as a knit-along. To see previous posts, please click on the “Related Links” listed above. You can purchase the pattern or see more information here.

  • http://mozilla Erika Ornouski

    Thanks Corrina. Glad to see I was doing it correctly. I’ve gotten to the point where t is coming along nicely, but … aaarrrghhh!!! still one set of flowers to go???!!! – Erika

  • Denise

    I would like an easy pattern for making socks, the heel seems to be the hardest to comprehend for me, any help is greatly apreciated.thank you and keep up the great work.

    Zontee says: Hi Denise, we have a great Basic Socks pattern in Sock-Ease you may want to try, and you can always search our Pattern Finder for patterns by category, yarn, user and more. In the future, please keep in mind that comments on the blog should relate to the post on which you’ve left your comment. If you have other questions, please e-mail support@lionbrand.com.

  • Kaye

    I know what you mean about the Whew –an easy part! But I was really surprised when I started the second set of Trees! I felt like it was “Old Home Week”. It was familiar and fairly comfortable. By the time I got to the 3rd set–I could even watch TV while I did it! How Fun! – Kaye

  • http://knittingmama-crazyblog.blogspot.com knittingmama

    I love the flower garden section! I am almost finished with the second flower garden section. Then, just the trees to go!!! The border has me a bit puzzled, but I’m sure I’ll work it out when I get there. This is definitely the biggest thing I have ever made!

  • Rosie Lee

    Got throught the trees ok & feeling pretty chuffed with myself. I found that the holes on the sides of the trunks from the m1 stitches disappeared once the trees took shape – great! Now I’m stuck on the flower garden. I can do the loop stitches ok, but like others am getting the extra loop at the top of the main loop. I’ve searched other posts but can’t find a clue as to why this is happening – can anyone advise?

  • http://blog.lionbrand.com/2008/05/07/tree-of-life-knit-along-1/ Lois

    Thanks. It is interesting that you leave the leaves with twisted loops. When I did mine, after I pulled up the yarn and got the knit stitch ready, I straightened the “pull through” so that it was flat, rather than crossed.

    Also, it would be helpful if you showed the flower a few rows past the leaves pull through. I know many of us were concerned that the knit stitch that contained the loop left a small loop.

    Thanks

  • MsMcDLT

    I echo Lois 7 on the leaf part! I’ve started my second flower garden. I was going to make this a baby gift, but I think it’s too sophisticated for a baby so I’m going to give it to my niece who’s getting married in August.

  • BarbLKlein`

    I too am glad to see this post. I thought I was doing it wrong, but now that I see the visual, I know I’m on the right track. I used a crochet hook instead of the needle to make the loops.

  • Karen

    I just finished the first seven rows of flower garden and am approaching the ‘leaves’. Ahhh. It never occurred to me that I had a choice to twist them or keep them flat! If I hadn’t read the posts I would have likely made them flat.

  • Rosita

    Hi, I was wondering if the k1b stitch mentioned means knit in the row below or knit through the back loop?
    I’m starting the afghan today and wanted to have all the stitches undestood before starting.
    Thanks,

    Zontee says: Hi Rosita, it means knit through the back loop. Hope that helps!

  • http://caribbeanbest.com Tahra Richardson

    Caribbean Tahra checking in………
    Well it is time to cross the old eyes again. I am on the second set of trees.

    Zontee!!! I just got Nicky Epstein’s book “Cover Up” in the mail. Thanks much for the referral.
    The designs are breathtaking and make the tree of life design look like a beginners scarf.

    I love the sun pattern and the English Garden. When I finish the tree of life I will choose one to try. Hopefully Lionbrand can substitute in some of the yarns. One of the patterns has over 20 colors!!!

    Zontee says: Hi Tahra, good to hear from you! Glad you like the book. Check out our yarn substitution guide to figure out which Lion Brand yarns you can sub into the patterns. Enjoy!

  • http://www.bearchele.com Michèle Girard

    Ditto on the little hole on top of the big loop, I get it too, is that normal or is there a way to fix this?

  • Jan – Florida

    I used a crochet hook to pull the loops thru to the front and found it much easier than trying to do it with the needle…

    All of my leaves (loops) are untwisted and flat – front and back… Everything is starting to shapeup and look good – I’m very please with it so far – can’t wait to finish it… I’ve already done a test swatch of the border and it’s really nice…

    To #11 Rosita – the k1b is knit thru back loop in this pattern…

  • http://blog.lionbrand.com/2008/05/07/tree-of-life-knit-along-1/ Lois

    Regarding the leaves as to whether they should be flat or twisted (posts #7 & 10:

    Corinna’s pictures on the flower garden above are not consistent with the photos LionBrand posted on: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23263095@N07/2495548972/in/pool-kal-treeoflife

    Perhaps Corinna could explain why she did them differently. I am now finished all but the final Tree section. I did my Flower Garden based on the original Lion Flickr post. They look fine although if you look closely there is that darn little loop above the big loop. However, if you read Zontee’s post on the main knitalong, she says the fluffier the yarn, the less noticeable the little loop is.

    Lois

  • Judy

    Just getting started with my first trees. At first was really hard to concentrate unless I was alone in quiet. But now getting easier. I am using a circular needle instead of two long needles…seems easier to me. It’s gorgeous! (so far)

  • ginny g

    I have the main part of the afghan done, it’s going to be beautiful. I am concerned about the edges though, after I have added the border, working on it now, will it help it to lay flat?

    Zontee says: Hi Ginny, yes the border will help with any curling around the edge, but blocking will also help to make the afghan lie flat.

  • Terry Valentine

    I put my project aside last week until the pictures of the tree were posted (and I had a baby blanket to finish anyway). Thanks so much for posting them.

    The discussion about the 2nd loop vs. no loop (I have a 2nd loop also) reminds me of a baby sweater I once knit. When I was almost finished with it, I discovered I had done the cable pattern incorrectly according to the directions and the pictures. But, I was consistant throughout the project, so who, besides me, knew? It looked terrific! The same goes for the loop on the stem. As long as you’re consistent, it will look just fine in the finished project, and who would know that maybe it didn’t quite follow the original pattern. Besides, knitting is an art form. If we say this is the way it should be, we’re right, because we’re the artist, and we said so.

    In other words, enjoy the project, and don’t get hung up on the second little loop, just like I did. It could be just another leaf!

    Hope all is well!

  • Yetta

    I am just finishing up the first row of trees. I had to stop knitting for 3 weeks to sew for a friends wedding. I hope you will keep this notebook available online after you have finished your afghan because I don’t anticipate finishing until fall since I plan to divide my time between knitting and cross stitch.

    Zontee says: Hi Yetta, yes, the Lion Brand Notebook posts will be available. Just bookmark the page and you can come back later.

  • Beth

    I am finally through the first set of trees and on looking ahead how do i make 7 stitches out of one???? as required in the flower section.

  • Rosie Lee

    Terry, I love your attitude & you are sooo right – I had allowed myself to get hung up on those irritating second loops. I have now resolved to accept them as quirky little additions & press on regardless – thanks for your encouragement.

  • MsMcDLT

    Terry, Thank you for putting into words what I have been thinking. We are all truly artists, giving a personal flare/touch to pattern. And the love that is put into a knitted project is what makes a gift so important.

  • Mary Jo

    OK, you are really inspiring me to complete my first set of trees, so that I can try the flower garden…I’m being rather absent minded about this (does anyone else want to spell it aphaghan???) afghan and now I’m very curious about the flower garden…

    Thanks!

  • Beth K

    Better late than never — I’ve finally started this beautiful afghan. It will be a wedding present for my step-son. The advantage of being a late starter is that I get the benefit of everyone’s experience up to now. I’ve carefully read all the posts and so far things are going pretty smoothly. I’m on row 26 and so excited to see the trees start to take shape!

  • http://knittingmama-crazyblog.blogspot.com knittingmama

    Beth: When you have to make 7 stitches out of 1, put your needle into the stitch to knit, wrap the yarn around, pull the needle away (but don’t take the stitch off the needle), yarn over, go back into the stitch as if to knit, pull away, yarn over, etc., until you have the 7 you need. The first set I did was really tight, but I got into the rhythm of it and I think the flowers look really cool.

  • Kelly

    I’m knitting a lot slower now. Living in Texas with the heat waaaaay up in the upper 90’s it’s been hard to sit still with a throw in my lap! lol
    That and I’ve been out in the garden. :)

    Seems to me that there are people at all different stages here so no one should feel alone in their endeavors!

    About the edging, I’ve actually done this same pattern as a lace edging on hand towels. Not a difficult pattern and knits up quickly.

    I’ll post more pictures once I’ve completed the last set of trees and before I start the edging.

  • http://notebookknitalong char buechner

    I am stuck on the 1st row of the flower garden..the pattern says: Row 1(RS):Inc 1 in first st, p10,*k1b(twisted knit st),p11; rep from*, end,p1………..this count does not come out right, I end up with 2 extra stiches and I just can’t figure it out………Help please…..char

  • http://blog.lionbrand.com/2008/05/07/tree-of-life-knit-along-1/ Lois

    Char: First, have you counted all your stitches on your last dividing row just before you start the flower garden. You should have 180. Each flower multiple is made of of 12 stitches. Therefore, doing the math:
    incr 1 in first stitch, p 10 (1 time)
    K1b + 11 = 14 times (12 x 14 = 168 stitches
    p 1 (1 time)
    So at the end of row 1 of the flower garden, you would have 181 stitches: 12 + 168 + 1

    I can only think that you had more than 180 stitches on last row of the dividing pattern.

    If you had 181 stitches, then you could not make the additional stitch at the beginning of the row.

    If you had 182 stitches, then you would not make the additional stitch increase at the beginning of the row AND decrease a stitch at the end of the row by pearling 2 stitches together.

    More than 182 stitches, you would have to make further stitch decreases. Adjusting at the beginning of the row and the end of the row are not very noticeable. More than that? Well that depends on how much of a perfectionist you are.

    I hope I didn’t confuse you further.

    Lois

  • http://notebookknitalong char buechner

    I did figure it out..yeh!….I was not looking at the numbers right, but I did have 180 sts. I was just doing the math wrong so it wouldn’t come out right. But thanks for your help. It is great to know help is only an email away thanks again. By the way it is looking really cool!!!! …char

  • Janet

    I was intrigued with the idea of a knit-along. After much mental debate I finally decided to join in this activity. The TofL pattern is really pretty and my three girls are very encouraging. I am still on my first row of trees – I do not knit very fast because I find it difficult to do things involving fine motor skills. However, I find it to be good therapy. I made a mistake on one of my tree sections and had to tear it out – actually I back-tracked one row to where the mistake occurred. I’ve started using stitch markers not just for repeat of the tree pattern but wherever I have to change from k to p. It makes the ws rows go so much easier. I’m anxious to get to the flower section after having read all of the comments. Maybe I’ll be there by the #5 post.

  • MsMcDLT

    Oh My Goodness!!! Last night around 11:00 pm I cast off the final row of the afghan, laid out my work for a little self patting on the back only to realize I knit the last tree pattern section on the wrong side! It won’t be the first time (nor the last)that I have to rip out. But for today, I’m going to start the boarder. Merrily we knit along.

  • Beth K

    MsMcDLT, that must have been such a shock! But I can see how easy it is to do. The pattern doesn’t take right side/wrong side into account all of the time. I went through (based on some of the earlier posts) and double-checked, adding extra rows where needed to make sure I was always going to start a pattern in the right place.

    I copied the directions for the afghan onto index cards (like I do for lace knitting) so it is easy to flip a card and always know exactly where I am. I used 5 different colors: one for the overall directions (i.e., work the twin trees pattern, purl 1 R, work the dividing pattern, work the flower garden, etc…), then different colors for the 3 major patterns and the border. The different colors make it easy to find which set of cards I need to use, depending on which pattern I am working on.

    So far, so good on my afghan. Monday I spent most of the day in the hospital waiting room and the good news is that I got a lot done. So I’m now halfway through the first flower garden. At first I thought those leaves would drive me crazy! I still find them a bit fussy. I need to adjust the stitch tension after I have done a few rows above the leaves. But the end result seems to be good and my speed is picking up.

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  • Maggie McLoughlin

    When I started the Tree of Life Afghan, I thought it would be for myself, but later I met my nephew’s fiancee, and decided it would be the perfect wedding gift for them. I am using a “green” thick and thin yarn in a natural ecru color, which is working very well. I’m nearly finished with the second flower pattern, and will be doing the final tree pattern soon. I love this pattern, and I think they will love the gift. Everyone at my LYS Green Planet Yarns, in Campbell CA, is in love with it, as well.

    Thanks for the idea!

    Maggie McLoughlin
    San Jose, CA

  • Pat Meyer

    I got a late start on this KAL, had somethings that had to be finished first. I am making this for my goddaughter and her fiance as a wedding present. I was glad to see the comment about making the pillow, because I will make a couple of pillows to go with the afghan. I knit fairly quickly, and have almost a two hour commute each way from my home to my office, so get lots of knitting done on the train and bus. When the pattern is simple enough, I even knit while walking down the street. Right now, I am up to the dividing rows pattern and am so glad I read about the problem with an incorrect number of rows. I will probably add one row to the dividing rows, rather than changing the Tree pattern.

    I love this as a wedding gift because of the symbolism. Two trees with intertwining branches reminds me of the couple joining their lives. Flowers are a frequent symbol of fertility. And both my goddaughter and I are very concious of symbols, so I know that will be appreciated by her as well.

    I am so glad you made the pattern available free for the KAL. I use many Lion brand patterns, and feel that the ones you sell on the web site are overpriced. I am not saying you should make every pattern free, but it costs so much more to buy a single pattern from the web than to buy one of your books on a per pattern basis. This is particularly true looking at the fact that web downloads do not cost Lion brand anything on a per pattern basis.

  • Stephanie

    #15 Knitting mama had explained where I am stuck at, on the flower garden row 9, I still am not sure what it is asking; “((K1,yo) 3 times, k1) all in same st making 7 sts from one”
    Could someone give more explanation or better yet, illustration of this?

  • Beth K

    Stephanie, I can’t illustrate, but you do exactly what it says. Bring your right needle into the stitch on the left needle, yo, and draw it through — just like any normal k st. But don’t slide the old stitch off the left needle yet. Instead, yo, then bring the right needle back into the same st on the left needle and bring a loop through, STILL KEEPING THE OLD ST ON THE LEFT NEEDLE. You now have the old st still on the left needle and 2 sts separated by a yo on the right. Repeat the yo, then k (leaving st on the left needle) two more times and finally slide the st off the left needle. On the right needle you’ll have a k st, yo, k st, yo, k st, yo, k st all from that one previous st — in other words 7 sts from one.

    On the next row you will purl into each of these new sts. These mega-increases are what are going to give substance to the bobble/flower. On future rows you will decrease, finishing the bobble, to get back to your 180 sts.

  • Sally W

    Knittingmama (25)
    Thank you for explaining the 7 in 1 st. You have made my day as I have been having trouble trying to figure out how to do it. Thanks, Sally W

  • http://knittingmama-crazyblog.blogspot.com knittingmama

    Glad to help, Sally W. I was wondering if anyone had considered knitting the border on as they go? I am just about finished with the body of the afghan, and I am not looking forward to sewing on the border. Just wondering.

  • Brenda

    So I have finished my first set of twin trees and dividing row. I understood everything and it looks exactly like the picture. I love it. I can’t however figure out the first row of the flower garden. How silly that something so easy has thrown me. I read #27 and #28. I have 180 st. What kind of increase? Is it a M1 or knit in the front and back loop. Thanks in advance for any help.

  • Beth K

    Knittingmama, I was thinking about picking up stitches to knit the border onto the afghan and asked the same question as you, but on a different blog entry. Zontee cautioned me against doing that because the gauge for the border is different from that of the afghan. So I will knit it separately. I am considering doing a provisional cast on to try to make where it joins less visible.

    Brenda, you need the extra stitch to make the pattern come out perfectly symmetrical. I think any kind of increase will do. Since it is in the first stitch, it will hardly be noticeable, especially when you add the border.

  • Leslie Curran

    I am working the border on the tree of life afghan and I don’t know whether I should wait until it is completed to sew on, or as I go along. I have already blocked the afghan – should I also block the border?

  • Beth K

    Leslie, I’m not that far along, so can’t answer with confidence. But I think that block an enormously long strip of border would be a pain. Instead, I’d probably just sew it on, unblocked, and then re-block the finished afghan if I felt it needed it.

    A funny thing happened: this week I finished my second flower garden and dived right into the dividing section. I was looking over the garden, patting myself on the back for getting through it, when I realized that on the very first row of flowers I had missed one leaf. Yup, there is one flower, all the way down, with just one leaf.

    So now I’m thinking — do I embroider on a leaf, or just leave it as is? I’m leaning towards leaving it as is, sort of like the Persian weavers who (deliberately?) make a mistake and say that only Allah can create perfection. That missing leaf is just the way it is. No flower garden is 100% perfect and all the flowers are never identical. I’m giving this afghan to my step-son as a wedding/housewarming gift. Maybe in the years to come the children will have fun finding the flower that is different? :)

  • http://knittingmama-crazyblog.blogspot.com knittingmama

    This might be a silly question, but do I bind of in purl on row 58, or do I purl that row and then bind off in knit?

  • Leslie

    Beth,

    Thanks for the reply about the border. I think I will reblock the entire piece when I finish.

    As for your missing petal, I’d leave it…it makes the afghan uniquely yours…and you are right it shows that not everything needs to be perfect.

    People will be so overwhelmed with the beauty of the piece, they won’t even notice it! :)

  • Amy

    I am just now at the flower garden- the trees were a little difficult, but the next section should go easier, now that I know what I’m doing. Question- the K1b is knit in the stitch below? or-K in back of stitch? rather confusing? thanks-amy

  • Beth K

    Amy, the k1b means to stitch in the BACK of the stitch, not below.

    Leslie, I’m catching up to you! Now that I’ve started working on the border, I see that there is a beautiful dimensionality to it that makes me wonder if it would be better not to block it. I love the way the leaves (tulip buds?) puff out and I would hate to accidentally flatten them. So my current plan is to block the body of the afghan separately and then sew on the border. Hopefully I’ll be done after that, but I’ll reblock if I think it would benefit from it.

  • Leslie

    Beth,

    I think that is a good idea – I agree, the border is beautiful and I would hate to flatten it.

    Are you going to wait until the entire border is done or sew as you go? I am about 3/4 done with the border now.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Leslie

  • Leslie

    Amy,

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with Beth on the K1b question. I reviewed the directions and there is both a P1b, and a K1b.

    The directions state that the P1b is pearl in the back, but that the K1b is knit into the row below which will produce a twisted stitch, which makes the stems of the flowers. I did it this way and it came out great.

    Leslie

  • Beth K

    Leslie, that is too funny. I just reviewed my directions and the k1b is clearly knitting in the back of the loop! It twists the loop (just like the p1b does) so the stems of the flowers pop out. It just goes to show how much room for individual creativity there is! Amy, do whatever you want to do. :)

    I haven’t decided whether I will sew the border on as I go or not. Like Corinna, I like the idea of sewing as I go in principle, but in actual fact I am enjoying the portability of the border. I also am very happy to not have the full weight of the afghan on my lap in this heat! So I think I will do the border separately. But I’m not sure how much I’ll need to ease the border fabric as I sew. So I may not actually cast off until I’ve sewn it on and know that I’m done.

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