Sunday, February 22, 2009

Garden Lanterns! Think Spring!

Knitted/felted garden lanterns in a variety of shapes can make an evening magical!
What do you think?
Here is the front of the lantern. I used duplicate stitch (or swiss darning) to make the colored areas before felting.

Here is the side view ...

A small, battery-operated votive tea-light candle illuminates the lantern. No worries about fires! The little candle remains cool!

Remember those paper lanterns we'd all make at school during the fall ... usually they were for Halloween, for some reason, and they'd be made from orange and black construction paper. (Okay, I'm probably showing my age, but that's all right! I don't mind!) I loved the smell of paste and construction paper. Even the words "construction paper" roll off the tongue in a pleasant, festive sort of way, don't they?
Well, lately I've been revisiting a lot of paper trimmings and ornaments and realizing that they all can be recreated in knitting for more lasting decorations. By now, it's probably no secret that I have always loved nostalgic toys and decorations, particularly those from the 1920s when people really knew how to party! I have been pondering over lots of decorations and favors and decided to knit/felt a garden lantern. So, here is my first attempt. I will be making these in different shapes.
By adding duplicate-stitched areas of color, either in definite patterns or just color splotches, before felting, the garden lantern really looks beautiful when it comes out! I was amazed at how easy this technique is for the results you get!!!
I put a little, battery-operated, votive tea-light candle inside. These are terrific because they stay cool and flicker slightly, to give the impression of a real candle. They come in several different sizes. I purchased the mid-sized one, but there is even a bit bigger one especially made for pumpkins. I think this one would work very well, too.
You could make these lanterns for any occasion ... hanging them on shepherd's hooks like you would a bird feeder ... or from the branches of trees or even your outdoor, patio-table umbrella. In fact, as I think about it, you could also hang them inside during the colder months of the year. I think they would be beautiful done in white wool yarn with red poinsettia motifs duplicate stitched on top. They could also be done in black or orange with contrasting pumpkins, leaves, etc. I could go on and on ... (but, thankfully, I won't!) ... I mean, really, the possiblities are endless. Just vary the yarn colors and you have a lantern to fit any occasion at all! Watch for the free pattern coming soon to The Pattern Box!

1 comment:

Little Scarf Girl said...

Those are really cute! :) Very creative, I love the possibilities with the designs.