PEDUNCLE (MAIN STEM) With A, cast on 3 stitches. I-Cord Round: Knit across; without turning your work, slip the row to the other end of the needle; pull the yarn across the back to begin the next round. Repeat the I-cord round for 36 rounds or desired length.
RECEPTACLE (FLOWER FOUNDATION) Round 1: Kfb, k1, kfb—5 stitches. Round 2: Knit around. Round 3: Join a strand of C; with A and C held together, knit around. Do not cut the yarns. Round 4: Slip the 5 A stitches onto 2 needles held to the outside to continue the receptacle (below); transfer the 5 C stitches to a single needle held to the center for the pistil. PISTIL Work pistil stitches as an I-cord: Rounds 1 and 2: With C, knit around—5 stitches. Cut the yarn and draw the tail through the 5 stitches on the needle, pulling tight. Weave in the end down the center of the flower pistil and peduncle so that the strand of C does not show. RECEPTACLE (CONTINUED) Round 5: Join a strand of B; with A and B held together, knit around. Do not cut the yarns. Round 6: Transfer the 5 B stitches to holders held to the center for the inte- rior petals, keeping the 5 A stitches on the 2 parallel working needles. Round 7: With A, kfb in each stitch—10 stitches. Round 8: Knit around. Round 9: Join a strand of B; with A and B held together, knit around. Do not cut the yarns. Keep the first 2 A stitches worked during round 9 on a needle; transfer the remaining 8 A stitches to 2 hold- ers held to the outside for the sepal leaves; transfer the 10 B stitches to holders held between the A stitches and the center B stitches.
1ST SEPAL LEAF Position the flower so that the peduncle is facing toward you and the center is facing away—this orients the sepal leaves so that the wrong side is facing the petal undersides. Row 1 (RS): K1, M1, k1—3 stitches. Rows 2–4: Work in stockinette stitch. Row 5: Sk2p—1 stitch. Weave in the ends along the wrong- side edge of the sepal. 2ND–5TH SEPAL LEAVES Transfer the 2 stitches to the left of the petal just completed to a needle. Join a new strand of A and work as for 1st sepal.
INTERIOR PETALS Transfer the 5 B stitches held in the center to 2 needles. Row 1 (RS): Using the live strand of B, kfb in each stitch, turn—10 stitches. Bind-off Row: Using the backwards loop cast-on method, *cast on 7 stitches, then bind off 8 stitches; slip the remaining stitch from the right to the left-hand needle and repeat from * until all 10 stitches have been bound off. Cut the yarn and weave in the end.
EXTERIOR PETALS Divide the 10 B stitches held at center between 2 or more needles. Join a new strand of B and work in rows, adding more double-pointed needles when it is comfortable to do so. Row 1 (WS): P10. Row 2 (RS): Kfb in each stitch—20 stitches. Row 3: Kfbf in each stitch—60 stitches. Bind-off Row: Using the backwards- loop cast-on method, *cast on 12 stitches, then bind off 13 stitches; slip the remaining stitch from the right- to the left-hand needle; repeat from * until all 60 stitches are bound off. Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail. Use the tail to join the first petal to the last at the base of the receptacle. Weave in the ends.
This free knitting pattern for a Dahlia flower was excerpted with permission from "Noni Flowers" (Potter Craft) by Nora J. Bellows.