Jane, from Transitions Stroud – Edible Open Gardens, recently asked for volunteers to create a knitted garden to be used this summer when she has a booth at a few different venues. The idea was to make something fun and whimsical to catch people’s attention and get them talking about growing their own vegetables.
A perfect project for me since I am a knitter, a vegetarian and try to grow a few vegetables. Confession – I get most of my vegetables from Riverford (weekly home delivery!) and only grow the easiest things – runner beans, zucchini (courgettes) and herbs.
Knitted Vegetables, Twenty to Make by Susie Johns gives knitting patterns for twenty vegetables. I went with an easy one, the carrot, a vegetable that we eat nearly every day. After that I branched out to radishes, a vegetable that we eat occasionally, and was requested by a friend in Italy who probably liked it because it has the colors of the Italian flag. (Divina Cucina, your carrot and radish are going out in the mail this week!)
Materials: DMC Natura Just Cotton, 50g Ball, 100% Cotton
Needle Size: 3mm (recommended needle size: 2.5mm – 3.5mm)
Colors: Safran (orange) and Chartreuse (green) for carrots
Passion (red), Ivory and Chartreuse (green) for radishes
I knitted nine carrots from one ball of cotton. I started with the small and large version from the book, but ended up doing the rest with a medium size version that I made from the pattern.
For both the carrots and radishes I knitted flat instead of in the round. To convert the patterns to flat, add an extra stitch on each end and always K (RS) or P (WS) for the seam. Then seam up the vegetable starting at the bottom and stuffing it along the way. I stuffed them with cotton batting used to make quilts – cut up into small squares.
I used a very nice natural, un-dyed DK wool from British Sheep to create the soil. This I knitted using two strands from different brown colors on large needles (10mm I think) in garter stitch, making button holes to push the carrots into.
Seems like an odd thing to write a blog post about, but it was a fun project that I wanted to share.