Friday, 26 April 2013

English Daisies, Flower Looms & King Henry VIII...

This week the sky has been more blue, the clouds fluffy and white and, it seems,  the sun has been getting his hat on judging by the glowing red bits on peoples arms & faces! We appear to be having a few traditional style 'April showers' too -  what joy... does it mean Spring finally here (shhh.... I don't want to jinx it!)

And at last our daffodils are out in the garden  (I thought they were going to stay closed forever)  -  along with the forsythia &  'soldiers buttons' so everything is beginning to look how it should, albeit a little later than expected. Huzb has been out and about tidying the garden, trying to remember what perennials we put in last year and basically filling in any gaps with yet more plants (expect LOTS of flowery pics as we head towards summer!)  Of course, I don't mind at all as the colours, shapes and textures of the flowers never cease to inspire me and yet again I have had a crafting idea brought on by a bit of natural loveliness... namely these beautiful 'English Daisies'...

english daisy

These little delights are more like pom-poms than flowers and utterly gorgeous.  I also think their discovery is quite timely given their name and the fact it was St George's Day earlier this week - what better for an English country garden?!

english daisies
Oh look.... mini garden Pom-Poms!
Bellis Perennis

'Bellis perennis' 

There is much folklore surrounding the humble daisy - I bet most of us remember sitting plucking the petals off the white ones chanting 'he loves me, he loves me not'  and one tale is that King Henry VIII used to eat them to help ease his stomach ulcer pain (I'm certainly not recommending you try this!) But this particular type of daisy, well... aren't they just so frou-frou?  And the colour is so bright and very, VERY pink and ooooh... soooo girly  - how can you not just FALL IN LOVE with them....they are like little ballerina tutus! 

Ok, sorry - I think I was 'gushing' a bit just then. I guess that's what months of horticultural colour deprivation has led me to.   I mean I love the reds & greens  of winter and so on but I am SO ready to move on.   So let's make something shall we....

I have, in my possession, several flower looms - two of which are vintage and were given to me by my Mum and one pretty neat 'set' of differing shapes & sizes...

vintage flower loom
My vintage flower looms

flower loom set
My modern flower loom set

The set splits out in to several different shape & size looms
I actually used one of the older ones to do a project for a magazine back in 2011 which was primarily raffia flowers around a gorgeous floppy brimmed hat (very 70s retro!) and I do find that having a loom around is a very useful bit of kit as you never know when you need to wind a quick flower!  I thought the flower looms would be great for making a crafted version of the English Daisies and here's how I went about it..

I started out by selecting a few suitably colourful cotton DK yarns and, in addition, you only really need scissors & a bodkin along with the loom.  

I wanted a small flower so used the smallest size loom I had which is pushed onto the base as shown above.

Attach the first, lighter shade of pink to the base by tying a knot in the yarn and sliding it into one of the side gaps to secure it.

how to use a flower loom
 Pull the thread across the top of the loom, horizontally from peg to peg.

how to use a flower loom
 Then begin to wind the yarn in a 'figure of eight' around the pegs.

instructions on how to use a flower loom
Keep the tension of the yarn as you work - it helps to hold it with a finger or thumb while winding with the other hand.

 Wind the yarn around each peg about 4 times.

 When ready, pull the end of the yarn into one of the side gaps....

 ...then trim and knot or, as I find easier, use a bit of tape to secure the thread while you continue to work.

 Now grab your second, darker shade of pink yarn and attach to the loom as before...

 Again, pulling the thread across the loom horizontally, begin to wind the yarn around the pegs..

 Keep working in a 'figure of eight' pattern as before.

how to use a flower loom
Aim to wind about 3 lots of the darker pink yarn around each peg.

 Once that's done, secure the cut end at the back and thread up your bodkin with some yellow yarn.  Begin 'sewing' from the bottom through to the top, between the gaps in the pegs..

pink and yellow yarn flower
If you work the stitches across from one side to the other you will get a 'star' type centre (there are other ways you can sew the centre if you prefer)

pink flower loom daisy
When you are done winding the darker pink thread, trim it and then cut all the other 'holding' threads so you can remove the small loom from the frame.

how to use a flower loom
 Once you have removed the loom it is easier to tie the yellow threads at the back.

flower loom crafts
Now you can begin to push the loops off the pegs...

flower loom daisy in pink
And once it's removed you have a 'traditional' looped style loom flower.  

However, we want more of a pom-pom look so...

 ... get your scissors and cut through all the loops!

You will then have a 'string petal' daisy flower and there's one or two last adjustments to make...

 Trim the inner (darker pink) yarn slightly shorter than the outer colour.

 Then use the tip of the bodkin to 'fluff' up the petals (which has the effect of slightly unravelling the yarn strands - cotton yarn is great for this!)

English Daisy made with a flower loom

...............and there's your first little  'English Daisy'.  Now you can begin all over again and make some more.

flower loom daisy
I'll leave it up to you are to what you might do with them... but to get you could pop them on pipe cleaners to make a little posy, add  some felt or crochet backing & leaves to make brooch, attach one to a hair clip or hairband, stitch a button on the back and use them on a summery cardigan, embellish cushion covers or granny squares...

granny square with flower you can imagine - they have lots & lots & LOTS of uses!  

Happy Making xxx

(c) All photos and texts copyright of Addicted to Making Blog 2013


  1. I think these are beautiful! One of my favourite flowers, I was cooing over some in the park only a week ago. :-)

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one getting excited about them - LOL !

  2. What a lovely Post - so enjoyed reading it. I think the pompom flower looks fabulous on the Granny square. Cheers.