Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mammoth Sunflowers and Tahki Donegal Tweed Giveaway!

It's starting to feel like gardening season. Actually - we are still a long way away from putting seeds in the ground but having spring rains, temperatures above freezing and the pastures starting to show a tinge of green, I know planting our garden is coming soon. Must start thinking about ordering sunflower and zinnia seeds soon. Sunflower Selections is where I buy many of my sunflower seeds. I also buy sunflower and zinnia seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds here.

When we first started growing sunflowers in our big field many years ago, we didn't know they came in so many shapes, sizes, and colors. I quickly got hooked into growing over 15 varieties each season. We experimented - some we planted the next year - some were disappointing. Picking seeds out of a catalog is a lot like buying yarn when you can't touch, feel and smell it. (Yes, I wrote smell. Do you smell a skein of yarn when you are at a yarn store? I always do!)

The photo below is one year's varieties of sunflowers. Are they not stunning? 


One of the fun experiences I had when I was writing 50 Sunflowers to Knit, Crochet and Felt was sourcing the yarns I would use. Because we had grown so many different varieties of sunflowers in our field for years, I had intimate knowledge of their textures. Because I had had my own yarn (Julia), I had been out of the yarn sourcing market for a while. I hadn't yet inked my deal with Classic Elite so I felt free to source all kinds of yarns from any yarn company. I was going for textures and colors that would help me replicate the sunflowers in our field into knit and crochet stitches. It was a really fun part of the book project.

One sunflower variety I knew I had to capture was the Mammoth Sunflower. They are sometimes called Gray Stripe because the seeds are striped. These are the common sunflowers grown for eating seeds. There really is nothing that compares to this plant. To put a teeny seed in the ground and grow something 12 feet tall topped with a flower that is over a foot wide is one of the joys in life. It is an amazing feat of nature. Beauty and bounty in a plant.


For my book 50 Sunflowers to Knit, Crochet and Felt, I chose Tahki's Donegal Tweed to crochet my Mammoth Sunflower. Why Tahki's Donegal Tweed? It just felt right. It has always been a favorite yarn of mine and if I wasn't affiliated with Classic Elite Yarns, I might knit a sweater with it. Diane Friedman, co-owner of Tahki Stacy Charles has been a longtime friend of mine through the yarn biz. Luckily the color range for Donegal Tweed had some sunflower looking shades. It is a single spun yarn and it is rich with gorgeous different colored wool neps and a slightly thick and thin texture. It feels of the earth and I knew it would be the perfect choice.


Here's an orange Mammoth Sunflower. For this design, I crocheted the front in brown, then changed to green for the backside. I crocheted the petals and leaves separately and sewed them on. This sunflower is stuffed so that it is looks just like a real Mammoth Sunflower.


For the yellow sunflower, I decided to mimic the look of the Mammoth Sunflower when it is getting ripe and different circle shapes start forming on the head. This center was two-toned - beginning with a lovely celery, then turning brown. The petals are a pretty soft yellow.


The back of the sunflower is a lovely green with specks of purple and orange in it. You can see the stem protruding. That stem is worked in the round and could be made very long. You could stick a dowel in it and place it in a vase.


It helps to have friends in high places as they say. As I was working on this post the other day - being swarmed by the ladybugs in my studio - I thought I would call Diane and see what she thought about donating some of her beautiful Tahki Donegal Tweed to one lucky reader of my blog. She said yes and so here's what I have for one of you.

One skein each of the following colors of Donegal Wool Tweed: Burnt Orange, Goldenrod, Dark Taupe, Bright Olive and Light Olive - WOW!

Here's how you enter......
Leave a note in the comments section of this post answering the following question:
Do you have a favorite sunflower memory? Is there another flower you lust over or like to grow in your garden and why? 

Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday evening April 14th. U.S. addresses only please.
AS ALWAYS PLEASE LEAVE AN EASY WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU - EMAIL, RAVELRY ID, OR BLOG ADDRESS.

Sunflower luck everyone! And thanks to Diane and Stacy and all the fine folks at Tahki Stacy Charles for sending one of you the Donegal Tweed.

96 comments:

Corina Sahlin said...

I grow a lot of organic food in my garden, as well as culinary and medicinal herbs. I also grow some of my goats' feed... some of which has black sunflower seeds in it. They milk so well on it!
One of my favorite memories of sunflowers is every year in August and September, when their bright heads stick out of my vegetable garden. I interplant veggies with sunflowers, because - really? Can you ever have too many sunflowers??? I have three children, and this year, I want to take some awesome pictures of them and the sunflowers. Here is a picture of our house and the sunflowers:
http://www.marblemounthomestead.com/

Val Reaves said...

Thank you for the opportunity! My grandfather was from Norway and had a marvelous garden, in which he grew Sunflowers... To remember him, is to remember his garden as well, since it was truly a part of him... I also like to grown Mexican Sunflowers..I can't remember what their formal name is, but they have a vibrant orange petal... Thanks for bringing forth the memory...
Val in Kansas

Anne said...

I love driving through the countryside and coming across a field of sunflowers. So breathtaking. We tried to grow some sunflowers in our garden one year - we planted the seeds in a ring around our birdbath. They all came up nicely and just when they started to look promising something - a bird or bunny I suppose - came and ate them all!! As far as lusting over flowers, I particularly love to have zinnias and nasturtiums growing.
Anne paulsons4@arvig.net

Sunrise Knitter said...

I love to grow--well should say attempt to grow---Lupines. I love how the colors vary on each flower.

Lois

Knittersgetaway on Ravelry

Sheri said...

I don't have a favorite sunflower, I love them all!;) Pansy's are my favorite flowers. Just love all the pretty "faces."

jcwnorfolk said...

Hi Kristin! I love all the flowers in my garden! My hubby does a great job as he is a horticulturist. One of my faves is the vibrant Cabernet colored triple peony! They must be staked as they bloom they are so large. And the poppies that come up are so pretty and delicate. I would love adding a few sunflowers this year, maybe as competition for the Machlia that overtakes everything by the end of summer!
Joanne

Savannagal said...

My sunflower memories are not happy ones. I've tried to grow them many times, but every time I try some critter comes and chews them off to the ground. I've had to give up on them. Pasque Flower and Pale Purple Coneflower are a couple of my favorites in my yard. But I have many others.

Anonymous said...

not at all exotic, but I love zinnias and always want more than I have. I am not a fan of hot weather, so a big jar full of zinnias helps me make peace with the heat. gorgeous, gorgeous sunflowers. they are at the top of my son's list to grow this summer. nancywalters44@hotmail.com

Debbie said...

I like sunflowers but my favorite flower is tulips. It always says Spring is finally here to me!

C2 said...

I like sunflowers, but have had no success in growing them. My all time favorites are dahlias.

Lisa Viviano said...

When I was a kid of about 12, my mom let me plant a (only 1) sunflower seed in her rose bed. Low and behold it grew to over 12 feet. Stunningly proud surrounded by roses. To this day I scatter sunflower seed among my rose bushes. vivianos3@aol.com

stephigordon said...

I plant a row of Sunflowers, cosmos, and sweet peas along my white garage wall - they are gorgeous when we sit out in our backyard in the later summer! Thanks! Love the knit/crocheted beauties!!! Stephanie (stephi_gordon@yahoo.com)

Karen Dubrinsky said...

Hi there! My favorite sunflower memory is that they remind me of my Grandma's (may she rest in peace)huge garden in Kansas. I remember big, happy sunflowers, along with cosmos, black-eyed Susans, and the like. Actually, sunflowers remind me of her--always sunny, with a big happy face smiling at me.

In my gardens, I love growing lavender and calendula. I also love the sight of bright pink dianthus and the delicate, waving stems of heuchera Palace Purple, the blossoms appearing to float in mid-air. I love my gardens!

Thank you for the opportunity to win these excellent yarns!

Karen Dubrinsky

Anonymous said...

While both my grandmothers grew sunflowers and I have many sunny memories playing in their gardens while those bright huge yellow petaled beauties smiling down through the late summer, my favorite flower memories are around lilacs. They have always been my favorite not only for their lucious smell, but for their many shades of purple. Once again both my grandmothers grew them, as well as my mother and hopefully someday I'll be able to plant them at my own house.

Ravelry ID- HillyDilly
Couponhilly@yahoo.com

stufenzumgericht said...

I love sunflowers, they remind me of the holydays in France, where you can find great fields of "Tournesol" as they are called in French (turning to the sun ;-)But I also love Sweet Peas, they are so old fashioned, my mother used to seed them in our garden every year! And, by the way, I love your book about knitted, crocheted and felted sunflowers. It came 2 days ago and now I'm planning what flower to crochet first! Martina

phaedra96 said...

My daughter and I plant tons of sunflowers around our yard in the spring....love the mammoth and the sunny colored ones. We were just talking about planting our seeds for this year's crop. We leave them to dry out and feed the birds all winter, them gather the trunks and start again. It was what drew me to order the book and I would love to knit or crochet a garden for this winter! bonnieanne@omnicityusa.com

Bonnie said...

We tried sunflowers last year, but the drought was too much for them. We're going to try them from seeds again this year. I love love love hellebores (Lenten roses). They're so cheery this time of year!

Susan said...

I simply love most flowers. My favorite spring flower is the daffodil. I have grown sunflowers and love to watch how the blooms follow the sun. I am most impressed with your book. Isimply have always been attracted to floral prints on anything from clothing to tableware. thank you for this opportunity.

Chppie said...

I've planted sunflowers this year and hope to have at least a few. We don't have hot summers so it's a risky venture.

I'm always trying to get a nice blue hydrangea going but no luck yet.

I think all of your sunflower photos over the years has increased my appreciation for the flower. I might begin to plant some more interesting varieties.

f6cf9abc-a2e7-11e2-a513-000f20980440 said...

I lived in North Dakota for awhile. My favorite memory from that time was the fields of sunflowers swaying in the breeze.

Angoramanagement said...

Over 22 years ago, when our oldest daughter was a toddler, we lived up in the hills in a tiny little two room 'shack' (the bathroom was the 2nd room!). We were young and only had one child at that point so, even though space was limited, it was alright.


What really makes it a great memory was the time we spent in our garden. It was enormous: 6'-8' fence all around (hungry deer!), corn, countless mounds of potatoes, tomatoes, and pumpkins, plenty of marigolds to ward off pests and the biggest sunflowers I've ever seen in my life.


I remember the day we planted them- our daughter's chubby little hands dumping in too many seeds in each hole then carefully plucking the extras out one by one. It took forever- but it felt like we HAD forever so there was no rush.


Every day she would toodle around the garden, watching for the baby "tunfwowuh" to sprout, squealing with delight every time a new weed popped up!


Those sunflowers grew and grew and didn't stop until their gorgeous faces could reach the sun over the TOP of that incredibly high fence.


When I think of that garden the first thing I think of isn't the countless hours we spent watering and weeding or even the months worth of wonderful food it put on our plates...


What comes to mind are those enormous sunflowers; how beautiful they looked with their faces turned up to the sun and, just below them, our daughter's face turned up toward their colossal golden blooms.


In her little world those sunflowers WERE the sun!

Jane said...

I always loved driving by a field of sunflowers. We bought our farm six years ago and now have our own Sunflowers. I also planted Black-eyed Susans. We have 9 sheep. Four ewes will lamb soon. We are just a small hobby farm. I love reading your blog and seeing your farm life. Thank you.








Suzanne said...

We have about 3 sunflowers that grow in our backyard but that's it. I wish more would grow. I love tulips and luckily we have a few different colors that come up in the flower garden.

Willow said...

Like you, I always smell the yarn I'm touching. Silk blends smell and feel wonderful!

My grandmother used to grow sunflowers in her coastal Oregon garden. She always had a row of what I assume was giant sunflowers (of course I was a small child). Her other favorite summer flower was the dahlia. I can't look at a dahlia without remembering Grandma.

Roses! Roses are my summer love.

Willow
willowknits@yahoo.com

Kim said...

My grandmother used to grow the big yellow sunflowers and I remember waiting for them to mature so that we could eat the seeds. You inspired me to buy sunflower seeds this year, I am getting ready to plant them in my vegetable garden. I don't usually grow many flowers other than daffodils and tulips, but this year I'm looking forward to seeing them grow.

Kounting Sheep said...

My sister, who passed away 4 years ago this month, loved sunflowers. Whenever I see them, I always think of her! I would love to win this so that I could make some for her grave, as well as to put in my house so they will last forever and be a reminder of her.

joheintz@hotmail.com said...

We love to look at the row of sunflowers out our front window--bluebirds and more sit on them and feast away. I also love hydrangeas and lilies all varieties.
Your patterns are great.
JoAnne

Cozy Knitting said...

I would like to plant some Hopi dye sunflower seeds. Last year my regular seeds didn't germinate well and what few I had died in the drought. I think the Hopi ones would be more drought tolerant and I can use them for dyes.

Sheila said...

I adore sunflowers and tried to grow some last year. Unfortunately my yard doesn't get enough sun so only two got big enough to bloom. My nasturtiums did better with the added benefit that they're edible - a yummy peppery addition to a mixed greens salad.

Anonymous said...

Sunflowers are my favorite because they can pop up any where and like seeing one jump out of a crevice in a barrier on the free way in Chicago... So I had them incorporated in my bouquet for my wedding ravid berrygal

nancy said...

My favorite memory of sunflowers is captured in a photo of my son at the age of 5 standing in front of some sunflowers that we had grown in our yard. He's squinting into the sun and looks adorable. He's almost 21 now.

Laura T said...

We grow a garden each year. One of my favorite flowers are the Dahlias. I've also had donated sunflowers and they are fun because they are so surprising when they grow. I always look forward to your blog posts and pictures! You have inspired me to plant sunflowers this year and to try some really different ones:)
LauraT
lauratawney7 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

My husband is the gardener in our house and has had some success with sunflowers in the past. I have a favorite photo of my two children standing in front of one much taller than them when they were about six and four. It seems like yesterday but it truly about 12 years ago!! You realize how quickly time is flying when you revisit these memories!
Lee (mamagiff on ravelry)

billicummings said...

Hello!
I love sunflowers! They are so beautiful and bountiful.
My father=in=law used to grow them. The giant yellow flowers were more like flower people!

Theres a small flower that grows like a grass with violet petals at the blade tip. It is so delicate and elusive because its only open for a short time during the day.

Thanks for the contest because I love your stuff!

Beth said...

I haven't grown sunflowers because I don't have a spot with enough sun! So much shade in my yard. But this year, after trees were cut down for a sewer line on the back of our property, I have a large area with more sun. Hooray. Sunflowers are going in. Can't wait. I've also always wanted to grow sweet peas and am trying them this year. Thanks for the giveaway!

Chelsea @ Garden-Me.com said...

I remember growing gigantic sunflowers as a child and sitting at the table with the huge head in front of us, eating the seeds straight out of it!

I would lurve to have more Hellebores! They flower so early and last a long time.

Thanks for the chance :-)

MicheleinMaine said...

I try to grow sunflowers every year, but the deer usually get to them before I can really enjoy their blooms. They become my 'sacrificial crop.'

My favorite flower combination is purple lupines with orange poppies. They grow wild in this area and the site simply takes my breath away!

I love your book and would really enjoy knitting with some of those yarns! Thanks for the opportunity!

Robin said...

My favorite flower to grow is the morning glory.I love to look out at the arbor in the morning and see that vibrant purply-blue happy flower ! Robcroknit on Rav

Louise Cady-Fernandes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louise Cady-Fernandes said...

So fun! You are very inspirational my dear.

Grand View Farm said...

My favorite sunflower memory is from 16 years ago when I used to plant "sunflower houses" in my garden for my children to play in. Many tea parties were held beneath the towering sunflowers!

Julia (mb at diegesis dot net) said...

Several years ago I grew sunflowers and the goldfinches loved them. I looked out one day at noon to see a sunflower with a goldfinch upside down clinging to the flower, the whole thing bobbing with the weight of the bird. The finch matched the color of the flower exactly (black and yellow) and it was just perfect.

Your flower designs are very ingenious! I love the way the textures and stitches work.

SpringSplndr said...

The year that we had our backyard redone, I had plenty of "dirt" areas to plant. I bought roll out mats with sunflower seeds. The sunflowers were all shapes and sizes like your picture above. I couldn't believe how many flowers we had when everything started to bloom. Everyone got bouquets and our backyard was a colorful paradise. I was in the grocery store yesterday and the Burpee seed packets were in stock. I went right to the sunflowers and hope to recreate my garden this summer.

Thanks for hosting this wonderful giveaway. Now we can have sunflowers year round!

Sue Smith said...

What a nifty give-away! Although I've planted sunflower seeds before, the squirrels and raccoons always get to them before they grow! So, I have to enjoy them vicariously. There are two fields on Rt. 365 in Central NY State where the owners grow sunflowers. When they bloom, you see nothing but acres and acres of "sunshine". It's difficult not to laugh and smile when you see all those nodding sunflower heads. I often detour that way just to see them, especially on days that I know will be challenging. They're a real day brightener.

My name on Ravelry is shlomadina!

Susan Smith

Judy said...

Dear Kristin, We used to grow flowers and sell at the local farmer's market, always had a large planting of sunflowers. One year they were near the kitchen. When I walked past them on the way to the big garden I could see baby frogs taking naps on their big leaves. You had to look close, they blended into the foliage. The frogs were just darling and I always think of that when I see a sunflower.

Casey said...

My favorite memory of sunflowers, is driving across Manitoba and seeing sunflower fields in full bloom as far as the eye could see.Absolutely beautiful! One of my favorites to grow are Giant Cosmos, the way they sway in the breeze just gets me.
ashefamily(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sandy C. said...

As a Kindergarten teacher I always enjoyed reading the book where the children planted sunflower seeds in a circle and that was their favorite place to be through the summer. I am sure that would be interesting to watch the birds feed on them during the fall and winter.

Jeanne said...

A fantastic give away, beautiful yarn. I bought your book, it is lovely, charming and has me excited about creating sunflowers.
Happy Spring.

Anonymous said...

During a vacation when I was a teenager, I was struck by a giant field of sunflowers along the highway north of Denver. I had never seen so many sunflowers. It was magnificent.
Every year when I try to grow sunflowers, something comes along and eats the new growth and then my seedlings die. It's very sad and disheartening. But I am trying again this year....
Lisaj@ravelry

Joy in OR said...

Really love all the sunflowers. So interesting the way they turn their faces toward the sun. Like to dry them for the birds.

Lila B said...

Sunflowers have always reminded me of sunshine! The first time I saw a field of them on a family vacation I thought it was such a wonderful happy sight. Now I grow them every summer for the birds in our yard (although I'm sure our chipmunks get their fair share of the seeds as well.
(cryla1009 on Rav)

Denise said...

My sister's fave is the sunflower, but mine is the crocus. I just moved to AZ, so no crocus. I'll have to pick a new fave!
flgirl1987 AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

A few years ago I bought a pack of Johnny's mixed sunflower seeds and it was fun seeing all the wonderful variety of sunflowers. I guess I had beginner's luck that year because I haven't had much luck since then planting sunflower. They may come up but then they disappear. However I do have volunteers! Thank goodness for the volunteers. So I have a few sunflowers that pop up in random places. Last year I had a super tall sunflower that was a sight to see.
My garden can be seen from the road and I am always surprised by comments from people who think I must have an amazing green thumb. My tomatoes might be blighted, the green beans barely hang on, and the zucchini plants dead but no one see that. What they see are a few volunteer sunflowers!
Thank you sunflowers. Thank you for having this giveaway, Kristin gnlmutti at gmail dot com

Teresa said...

I come from a long line of green thumbs. Mine seems to be a pale shade of green but I try.
Being from Kansas I am surrounded by sunflowers, wild and cultivated, in gardens and road ditches. My favorite story is of an encounter between my mom and a sunflower.
Mom was walking to the garden,stopped and looked up at a very tall sunflower on the edge of her garden. Even as far away as I was it was obvious she was talking to the sunflower! Later when asked about the conversation she responded immediately with "I was not talking to the sunflower, I was talking to the bee that was visiting the sunflower".
Thanks for reminding me of childhood days on the farm.

Ana said...

First of all, I love your new flower-y header...beautiful. I do have a flower memory. I do not have a "green thumb" but love flowers.....One late winter, I was expecting a visit from a friend. When she arrived, she told me she had something to do outside and that she would be in soon. I prepared lunch while she did her mysterious thing outside.

We had a wonderful visit. Weeks later, she received the shocking news that she had breast cancer. She had a short, hard fight and passed away. We were all stunned. Later that spring, I walked out of my front door to see small rain lilies lining my front walk. I wept as I realized that these lilies were what Cheryl had planted that day! Her mysterious job was a blessing for me. Each spring those lilies make their appearance and she's been gone now several years and each time I see their delicate shade of purple, I think of her.
Love that! Ana - anahuron@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I love sunflowers and roses. Growing up in the city I have no idea what I'm doing in my garden but managed to grow beautiful roses last year. Hoping to plan a few sunflowers this year. Thanks for the opportunity!
Lisa (ravelry purple1207)

Anonymous said...

have never had any luck with sunflowers, I do have beautful roses, In a pot on my front porch i tossed a blub for a naked lady it now produces three stems, each with three blossoms it is not in bloom and i love it each spring,

Fracksmom

love your blog so much.

Anonymous said...

Judy
My neighbors grew sunflowers a few years back., I will always remember the day that a flock of green parrots came screeching out of the sky and made a feast of the big black centers. My favorite flower is the Peaone but I have never lived anyplace they will grow. jdrob@verizon.net

Anonymous said...

I haven't had much look with sunflowers, I'm motivated to try again!
I live in California and with flowers year round you would think I would get jaded. No way! I relish the budding and blossoms of each season. I think Wisteria and roses would be my favorites. The wisteria blossoms on the bare vines before the leaves and has a fleeting, but sweet, bloom.The vine is 50-60 years old, and kind of an invasive pest the rest of the year, but that two week bloom keeps it in the garden. Roses are much better behaved. With minimal care they blossom from April to December, a stunning variety of colors and scent.

Anonymous said...

Kristin
This is anonymous who loves Wisteria and roses above. forgot my ravelry name: Razzledays. thanks

stitchesbymom said...

My childen loved to grow sunflowers and sit in the shade during the hot summers. We would save the seed to grow more the next year. Some of the heads were dried and left the birds during the winter

Wildaisy said...

What I love most about sunflowers is how they follow the sun. You can see this very clearly in this timelapse video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8mr0R3ibPU

I love all the flowers in my garden, but if I had to choose one, it would be the roses. The ones I have take no special care, are very hardy and bloom continually--year after year. They have a great scent which cheers me every time a breeze blows it my way.

Thanks for stimulating such nice memories, Kristen.

Patricia
Ravelry name: Wildaisy

grammynan said...

The last row in my vegetable garden is ALWAYs a row of sunflowers. Also, though I live in Ohio I was born in Kansas, thus my tribute to my Home state. I do love them but runners up are Cosmos and zinnias.

p2jwhatley@cybermesa.com said...

I grew sunflowers in my front yard for the kids, cars would slow Dow, some even stopped to talk about them. The kids loved watching them turn their heads toward the sun. My other favorite flowers are Iris since I'm originally from Tenn.

tjf said...

I can't say that I have a favorite sunflower memory. I've not managed to get them to grow much. I do remember when my children went to visit school in the spring before they were to start kindergarten, they were given a packet of sunflower seeds. They were to plant them and when the sunflowers were grown, they would know that it was time to start kindergarten. I love seeing fields of lavender - does that count as a 'flower'?

Tricia - thefankells@mesanetworks.net

Barb T. said...

I loved seeing vast fields of sunflowers back in the 80's when vacationing in Door County, Wisconsin. I love them, and I would love to make some!
barblt99@yahoo.com

Mrs. H said...

I remember the moment that I discovered red and pastel yellow sunflowers...was buying Martha Stewart flower seeds at Kmart years ago. I still have some of those seeds (been in freezer) and am starting to garden again this year. Looking forward to those cheerful flower faces!

I still like the design of those seed packets.

.....Mrs. H
belleisforbeautiful (at) hotmail (dot) com

Unknown said...

Lovely give away. Tahki Donegal Tweed has long been one of my favorite yarns and those autumn colors are my favorites. I have a lovely memory of stopping by your farm, Kristin, and buying some sunflowers to take to my daughter at Hampshire College. My husband took a great photo of me in front of your sunflower farm stand. Thanks for connecting knitting and the beauties of nature for us all. Persimmontree on Ravelry

Pamela Graham said...

My brother Timmy died in the Fall of 1997. After returning from South Carolina to Texas from his funeral, I planted Mammoth Sunflower seeds in his memory up by my fence. It was a particular warm winter but January and February was bitter cold but Timmy's sunflower rose above everything and never died back. I was given a beautiful sight each morning seeing that beautiful huge sunflower head and reminding me of my precious brother. Thanks for the memory. Yesterday was his birthday. I know he still shines in heaven brightly with sunflowers all around him. Thanks for the opportunity! I plant them every year in his honor!

Sandra said...

When I was a small child my father planted these giant sun flowers in the back boarder of his garden. The flowers were the size of dinner plates and we dried and roasted the seeds.

My favorite flower is the Japanese Iris. I'm a potter and I make ikebana vases and iris are so beautiful in them.

Anonymous said...

~ Beautiful ~ the Donegal Wool Tweed is so perfect for sunflower knitting. ~ Fantastic colors.
I've grown a variety of sunflowers for years. I attended an exhibit years ago of Van Gogh's Sunflowers at the MET or MOMA in N.Y. while in art college in Phila. Stunning & so beautiful, very inspiring.
My favorite sunflower ? I do loVe them all, but one especially nice is the Italian White, which has light yellow petals & a dark brown center. This year, I will also grow Zulu Prince Daisies with the Sunflowers. A new flower I wish to add are lupines in all colors. The story of the Lupine Lady, Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is a well known classic. I feel like planting lupines will bring a wee bit of ocean to the MidWest, if I can get them to grow ! I must say that hollyhocks are one of my favorites too, especially with sunflower friends.
Two years ago, I planted a Sunflower house with at least eight types of sunflowers, quite grand & cheerful ! Children loVed it !
Best to all in the growing season.
Shell ~
YarnSoup@yahoo.com

cockney blonde said...

WOW! I too hadn't realised there were so many different types of sunflowers. My fondest memories of these flowers has to be from my childhood and then also when my son's were children and growing them for brownies/cub competitions.
Personally I just love poppies. We inherited some in a garden many years ago and I took great please in seeing them resurface every spring. Fabulous flower heads to them. Our new gardening is being dedicated to fruit and veg growing at the moment although I have some border flowers to go in.
Thanks for sharing your ideas, x

Anonymous said...

Hello Kristin, Love the patterns. My favorite sunflowers would be last years in the garden. The FFA students sold little pots of them last spring, different varieties. They turned out great. Until the city deer came back to town at the end of summer and ate them. Who knew! d_karen@hotmail.com

Patti said...

"...I'm a sunflower from the sunflower state":
I''m from Kansas, need I say more?! Besides growing sunflowers, I try to always have wood violets in our landscape - my grandmother always had them, and I love how they bring back memories of being with her in her garden.

Cathy E said...

Your sunflowers...both yarn and real....are beautiful! I have always loved daisies, but they do not do well in my yard. Most of my other favorites work well in the southern part of the US and I live in PA. Haven't given up though. I am still looking for a variety of hydrangea that might work.

Anonymous said...

There are several flowers in the sunflower family I like from the giant sunflowers as in the country fairs to the little black eyed Susan's. My mom loved all the simple easy to grow flowers- from daisys to queen Anne's lace including sunflowers- I am reminded of her when I see these flowers.
Johalley on RAV

ravelry: newbietoknits said...

My father passed away four years ago. We had just managed to become wonderful friends. To celebrate his life my wonderful step mother suggested we go to Tuscany the following summer. Everywhere we drove while there had acres upon acres of sunflowers lining the highways, in people's yards, in front of store fronts. Now every time I see sunflowers I am grateful for the work we put in to fully understand and believe in each other.
Loving flowers has always been a part of who I am but of all, I adore lupines. As a new teacher I fell in love with the book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (this was way back in 1988) and I dreamed of having the life Miss Rumphius led in the book. So far I have traveled to far away places, I don't live by the sea but I do live on the shores of Lake Ontario and I am a children's librarian. The only thing left is to successfully plant fields of lupines. I will keep trying :-) until finally I look out my window and there they are.

schwip said...

My daughter-in-law is in love with sunflowers. When we did a local paper route there was one house that had sunflowers that were up to 10 feet tall. She just loved it. They rent now but when they get a house she will plant them. As for me, I am an absolute lilac fanatic.

schwip said...

I wrote the previous comment and didn't leave my info.

Suzanne Shattuck
schwipknits@gmail.com
schwip on rav

Lexi said...

Hi Kristin! Hope this doesn't post twice. My favorite sunflower memories are of my daughter playing in the garden with the sunflowers. Other flowers I love are hollyhocks and bleeding hearts. Love them!!! Happy gardening! Lisa lisaandrod.mims1@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristin! Thank you for sharing your creativity. I love your blog, yarn, and books!

Childhood memories of planting sunflower seeds, looking each day to see if they have sprouted, then one day seeing them burst out of the ground and grow to such magnificent flowers. Nature is amazing!

Ravelry = handmadejoy

Anonymous said...

My all time favorite flower is a gardenia. I am seduced by the scent.
Sunflowers represent being young at heart in my mind.
Nancy Paris
nparis62050@gmail.com

antg said...

I guess the love of sunflowers is in our DNA, as my great grand daughter has chosen to have them for her out door wedding this summer. Makes me happy.

My favorite flower is the lily of the valley. I grew up living next door to my maternal grand parents and in the yard in the spring on the north side of their house there was always a sea of them. I picked bouquet after bouquet through the years and that memory immediately transports me back to my neighborhood in Des Moines, Iowa.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago I moved from Chicago to San Francisco. One of my going away presents was a beautiful ceramic vase. At the SF farmer's market I encountered a sea of beautiful sunflowers of different varities. I bought my first bouquet of sunflowers and put them in my new vase. It transformed my dining room and the way I began thinking about and keeping fresh cut flowers in my home.
I love lilly of the valley flowers. They were my mother's favorite and bring back wonderful memories of my mother.

Thanks for the great giveaway.

Bordergirl on Ravelry

ctubbs2 said...

My best sunflower memory is from Alaska of all places. I never really thought about the great things that can grow there. When visiting my Sis, I saw the biggest sunflowers I have ever seen in her backyard. They have so much daylight in the summer, the sunflowers grow VERY quickly, and are huge. It's one of their favorite items to grow, and they grow them bigger every year. I don't see my Sis as often as I would like. Sunflowers, however, remind me of her!

ctubbs2 said...

Sorry, contact info for ctubbs2 is knitnspinr1 on Ravelry. Thanx!

Jeanne Klockers said...

My favorite memory of a sunflower is seeing them in my best friend's yard when I was a little girl. Her mom was from the mid-west and grew them to remind herself of home. I loved how tall they grew and the gorgeous vibrant color.
My favorite flower is the hyacinth because of the gorgeous colors and the heavenly scent!

Jazzyjklo on Ravelry.

beth said...

I love sunflowers. One of my favorite memories is driving in southern Spain, passing fields of sunflowers- they were just gorgeous!
Thanks for the generous giveaway!

Beth
Ravelry ID bethanna2769

Magi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have always admired sunflowers from afar. I do remember trying as a kid to grow some but we never had enough sun out back. Your incredible book has prompted me to buy seeds for this year and try once again!
Thanks for the opportunity to create some with such a very fine yarn I enjoy working with!
Mary Ellen
Rxqueen314@msn.com

Magi said...

Majestic, strong, uplifting sunflowers.

Magi is Magifox on Ravelry

Wanda said...

My favorite memories of giant sunflowers was at a cousins wedding. Their neighbor grew a field of sunflowers to decorate their outside wedding reception that included bales of hay, patchwork quilts, and buckets of sunflowers everywhere !! The groom sells Massey Ferguson tractors in bright red so his bride had a secret pair of matching bright red cowboy boots on underneath her beautiful white gown! Photos were taken on the tractor! what fun!!!!

I love the peonies in my garden that are from my great grandmother. They always bring a smile to both my face and heart!

Mae Knowles said...

Been savoring the pictures in your new book - trying to spread the warmth by showing people your beautiful flowers. Please pick this spring challenged midwesterner!
maeven@charter.net

Teresa said...

My favorite memory of sunflowers is driving thru fields of them in the south of France - they seemed to be never ending.

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Terry said...

The sunflowers in SW France of course! Watching them come up in spring, and the final harvest in Fall. The Helibores in my California garden in winter also remind me of seasonal chane.