Chronicles of a Creative Life – Rainbow Flower Garland for the NHS

Everywhere we go at the moment we are seeing rainbows in appreciation of the NHS and all the associated care workers who are supporting us through this time of medical crisis.

We wanted to create something that showed our appreciation and also allowed a little bit of mindful relaxation and creativity, and all the mental health benefits that have been shown to come from crafting something with your hands.

There’s something very pleasing about creating small projects, and crochet flowers can be perfect for this. Completing each flower gives a sense of achievement and can be the perfect thing to make when time is short, or when the attention span that a larger project  requires is in short supply. By creating an array of brightly coloured flowers and joining them together on a crochet chain we made a rainbow garland of spring flowers to brighten a window, hang across a mantelpiece or drape below a shelf.

We have written this blog post with all the flower patterns and instructions so that you can make a garland too. Ours are crocheted from 8 Yeavering Bell aran mini skeins, which (like all our yarn) are 20% offat the moment, but this is a perfect stash buster too 🙂

I chose a rainbow palette and Alice chose a pastel one, with the plan to create something that will eventually  decorate the studio extension .

Yeavering bell Aran mini skeins. 5mm crochet hook. 

Rainbow Palette. Shepherds’s Delight, Solstice, Broadsword, Sheep’s Chomp, Tranquil, Edwin’s Cloak, Natural, Goat’s Breakfast.

Pastel Palette. Joyful, Merlin’s Claw, Cuthbert’s Rest, Goat’s Breakfast, Causeway, Cherry Mallow, Bog Orchid, Sheep’s Chomp.

Florence 

Magic loop, ch 2, work 11 dc into the loop, join with sl st in 2nd st of chain. 12 sts

*ch 2, 1 tr 1 htr in first st, sl st*  

Repeat between ** 5 more times. 

Fasten off by pulling working yarn through. Cut yarn. 

Marie

Magic loop, ch 2,  work 4 dc in loop, join with sl st in 2nd st of chain. 5 sts

*sl st; ch 1; 2 tr; 1 dtr; 2 tr; ch 1; sl st*  in first st. 

Repeat between ** 4 more times to create 5 petals in total. 

Fasten off by pulling working yarn through. Cut yarn.

Gertie  

ch 16, start in 2nd chain from hook, dc to end. Turn.

Starting in 2nd chain from hook

*tr, tr, dtr, dtr, tr, tr all in next st, sl st in next st*

Repeat between ** 6 more times. 

Fasten off, leaving a long tail end for sewing up. Curl one end inwards and catching a few stitches underneath, continue to wrap round and sew the petals into a spiral shape. Finish off.

Frances

Magic loop, ch 3, work 11tr into loop, join with sl st in 2nd st of chain. 12sts.

*5tr in next st, 1 dc in next st* 

Repeat between ** 5 more times.

Finish with sl st and fasten off by pulling working yarn through. Cut yarn leaving a tail.

Elizabeth

Magic loop, ch3, work 11 tr into the loop, join with sl st in 2nd st of chain. 12 sts

2 dc in each stitch, join with sl st. 24 sts 

ch4, 2dtr in next st, 2 dtr in next st, Ch3, 1 sl in next st.

*sl in next st, ch4, 2dtr in next st, 2dtr in next st, ch3, sl in next st*  

repeat ** 4 more times.

Make one of each flower in each colour but not the greens.  If you want to make multi coloured flowers then change colour before final round.

Finish off each flower by threading a darning needle and weaving in the ends.

Leaves

Ch 6. Turn. 

Start in 2nd ch from hook.

sl st in next, 1 dc in next st, 1 htr in next st, 1 tr, 4 tr in next st.

Turn back down foundation chain.

3tr in next st, 1 tr in next, 1 htr in next st, 1 dc in next st, sl in next st.

Fasten off, leaving one long thread.

Leaves make as many as you can, from one of the greens, and use long thread to attach the leaf to a flower with a few small stitches on the reverse as required.

If you have any additional yarn make extra of the smallest flowers, and combine into a cluster with a few leaves, one for each end of the garland.

To create garland chain 10, attach cluster of flowers to chain by inserting hook into a stitch on the edge of a flower, then make a slip stitch, chain 10, attach next flower and continue.

Arrange the flowers how you would like them. I went with the rainbow sequence and arranged the colours by size from large to small, but a random arrangement would be very pretty. Where I made two colour flowers I attached these in between the two colours, but again, you can decide.

When I reached the end of the chain I had some of the yarn left so plan to make a few extra leaves and  attach them at random for extra leafiness.

We named the flowers after women who were hugely influential in medicine, there are of course many others, but we could only name a few. Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Gerty Cori, Frances Hoggan and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.

UK Crochet Terms [US Crochet Terms]

sl st. (slip stitch) [ss] insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch, then through the loop on hook.

dc. (double crochet) [sc] insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (2 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through both loops on hook.

htr. (half treble) [hdc] yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (3 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on hook.

tr. (treble) [dc] yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (three loops on hook), yarn over and pull through two loops on hook (two loops left on hook), yarn over and pull through remaining two loops.

dtr (double treble) [tr]  yarn over twice, insert hook, yarn over, pull loop back through stitch (four loops on hook). Yarn over and pull through two loops (three loops left on hook), yarn over and pull through two loops (2 loops left on hook), yarn over and pull through remaining two loops

st – stitch

ch – chain

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