Flora the Gardener : Free Crochet Pattern

Flora the Gardener

Hello there! I hope you’re doing ok. I’ve had some really lovely feedback since I first shared Flora with the big wide world a few weeks ago. A very good friend of mine who is a super talented artist even illustrated her for me!

‘Flora’ by Emma Davies

Isn’t she a beauty?! I love her! Thank you Emma! (There are details to find Emma’s work at the end of this pattern).

I’ve been wanting to have a bash at designing crochet patterns for a while, so here is my first ‘proper’ one (I did a tiny bumble bee for a yarn bomb ages ago, but that doesn’t really count!). Please be gentle with me (I have checked for mistakes and don’t think there are any), and if you make a Flora of your own, I’d love to see yours. Please tag her on Instagram with #florathegardener or #postcardfromgibcrochet

Here goes…

Before you begin:

  • Please read through the complete pattern before you begin.
  • Flora measures approximately 34cm tall.
  • This toy is suitable for children to play with, however if you are planning on giving her to a small child please embroider them with black yarn or embroidery cotton instead.
  • Flora is made using the amigurumi technique of crocheting in the round. You will need to use a stitch marker to mark the first stitch of every row.

What you will need:

I created Flora using DK weight cotton yarns as I prefer the effect of the cotton yarns and they are pretty hardwearing for toys however standard synthetic DK yarn would work up fine for this project. 

I used: 

Face & hands – beige cotton yarn

Shoes – orange & black cotton yarn 

Trousers – blue cotton yarn 

Coat – green cotton yarn

Jumper – Sirdar Snuggly Smiley Stripes 80% bamboo 20% wool in ‘Razzmatazz’

Hat – Scheepjes River Washed No 941 ‘Colorado’

Basket – Scheepjes River Washed No 822 ‘Brown Agate’

You will also need some soft toy filling – I used Recycled Polyester Craft Filling from Phoenix Fibres which is made from recycled plastic bottles.

You will also need some safety eyes – I used 7mm but a larger size would work fine. Alternatively you can embroider her eyes on using embroidery thread or yarn.

Stitch Markers to keep track of where you are in the pattern.

A darning needle to sew in your yarn tails.

Skill Level: This is suitable for anyone with experience of double crochet stitches, magic circles, making chains and slip stitches. There are plenty of useful videos online which illustrate how to create a magic circle if you haven’t come across one before.

Stitches & Abbreviations:

This pattern is written in UK terms

Ch = chain

Dc = Double crochet

Dc2tog = Double crochet 2 together (US single crochet 2 together) If you prefer a neater finish you can use an invisible decrease rather than Sc2tog. To make an invisible decrease  you put your hook through the front loop only of the next two stitches, yarn over hook and pull it back through.

MC = Magic Circle

Slst = Slip Stitch

St(s) = Stitch(es)

YO = Yarn Over

Hook size:

Most amigurumists choose a hook size which is smaller than the one recommended on the yarn ball band eg DK yarns often suggest a hook size of 4mm. By using a smaller hook your fabric is tighter and stops any filling material from being visible through the holes. Whatever hook you choose to use, make sure you use the same size for the whole doll. I used a 3mm hook for this project but you could go even smaller and get a much tighter fabric if you wish.

THE PATTERN

As Flora is crocheted together as you go, you will need to make her head, arms and legs first before attempting the body. The figure in brackets at the end of each row indicates how many stitches there are in that round eg (6). Please remember to use a stitch marker in the first stitch of every round so you can keep track of where you are. 

HEAD 

Round 1 with beige yarn, work 6 Dc into a MC and pull tight (6)

Round 2 2Dc into each st around (12)

Round 3 (2Dc in next st, 1Dc in next st) repeat around (18)

Round 4 (2Dc in next st, 1 Dc in next 2 sts) repeat around (24)

Round 5 (2Dc in next st, 1 Dc in next 3 sts) repeat around (30)

Round 6 (2Dc in next st, 1 Dc in next 4 sts) repeat around (36)

Round 7 (2Dc in next st, 1 Dc in next 5 sts) repeat around (42)

Round 8 (2Dc in next st, 1 Dc in next 6 sts) repeat around (48)

Rounds 9-16 1Dc in every stitch around (48)

Round 17 (Dc2tog (or Invisible Decrease as detailed above), 1 Dc in next 6 sts) repeat around (42)

Round 18 (Dc2tog, 1 Dc in next 5 sts) repeat around (36)

Round 19 (Dc2tog, 1 Dc in next 4 sts) repeat around (30)

Round 20 (Dc2tog, 1 Dc in next 3 sts) repeat around (24)

Round 21 (Dc2tog, 1 Dc in next 2 sts) repeat around (20) 

Fasten off and break yarn leaving a long tail to sew head to body later on. Place safety eyes between rows 10 & 11 approximately 4 stitches apart. Stuff head firmly.

ARMS (Make 2)

Round 1 With beige yarn work 6 Dc into a MC and pull tight (6)

Round 2 (2Dc into each st) repeat around (12)

Round 3 – 6 Dc into every stitch, in YO of final Dc change yarn to the colour of the coat (green) (12)

Round 7 – 25 1 Dc into every stitch (12)

Fasten off and break yarn. Darn in yarn tail and stuff firmly. 

LEGS (Make 2)

Round 1 (In black for soles of the shoes) 6Dc into a MC and pull tight (6)

Round 2 2Dc into every st (12)

Round 3 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc) repeat around (18)

Round 4 (2Dc into next st, 1Dc into next 2 st) repeat around, but change colour in the YO of the final st to orange for Flora’s boots (24)

Round 5 (In orange) 1Dc into the back loop only of each stitch around (this will give the look of the edge of the sole). (24)

Rounds 6 – 8 1Dc into every st around (24)

Round 9 (Dc2tog, 1Dc into next two st) repeat around and change colour in YO of final st to blue (for Flora’s trousers) (18)

Rounds 10 – 40 1Dc in every st around. (18)

Fasten off and break yarn.

BODY

At this point you need to look at your legs and decide at which part of the top round (Leg Round 40) you want to begin your Body Round 1. Ideally the colour change stitches between black to orange on the shoes and orange to blue of the trousers should be at the back of the doll so they aren’t as noticeable. It is directly above these colour changes where you need to join your blue (trouser coloured) yarn to begin joining the legs together and forming the body (see photo 1 below).

Photo 1

Photo 2

Round 1 Join yarn in appropriate st as described above and ch 1 (this does not count as a st) then 1Dc into the same st, 1 Dc into the next 3 sts, chain 1, then take the second leg, assess which is the back of the leg and squish the top of the leg to fold it flat with the back in the centre, at the stitch nearest the right side (3 or 4 st to the right of the colour joins – see photo 2 above). This is the point at which you need to begin 1Dc in every st around the top of the second leg, once you have gone all the way round, Dc into the side of the Ch nearest to you (see photo 3 below) and continue to Dc around the remaining 14 st of the first leg. (38 stitches – 18 x2 from both legs plus chain and Dc into chain on return)

Photo 3

Round 2 1Dc into every st (38)

Round 3 1Dc into next 15 st, 2Dc into next 2 st, 1Dc into next 16 st, 2Dc into next 2 st, 1Dc into next 3 st (42)

Round 4-5 1Dc into every st (42)  

Round 6 1Dc into every st, in YO of final Dc change to yarn for Flora’s jumper (photo above) (42)

Round 7-24 1Dc into every st (42)

At this point, flatten out the body so you can clearly see the two sides where the arms should go, mark the two sides with stitch markers to show the midpoint of each arm position (see photo above) – we will be attaching the arms in Round 25.

Round 25 1Dc in next 15 st, (this should bring you to within 3 st in front of the stitch marker) then squash the top of the first arm flat and put your hook through the first stitch on the right hand side of the top of the arm and through the mirrored stitch behind it – ie in one side and out of the other of the arm (see above) – then 1Dc into the next st on the body, continue like this through both sides of the arm for the next 5 stitches of the arm and the body (this will securely fix the arm to the body and remove the need to sew it on later). Then Dc across the next 15 stitches and repeat the arm attaching process again with 6Dc in the next 6 st. (42)

Round 26 Dc into next 15 st, Dc2tog, Dc into next 2 st, Dc2tog, Dc into next 15 st, Dc2tog, Dc into next 2 st, Dc2tog (38)

Round 27 Dc into next 14 st, Dc2tog, Dc into next st, Dc2tog, Dc into next 14 st, Dc2tog, Dc into next st, Dc2tog. (34)

Round 28 Dc into next 14 st, Dc2tog, Dc2tog, Dc into next 12 st, Dc2tog, Dc2tog (30)

Round 29 (Dc into next st, Dc2tog) repeat to end of round (20)

Round 30 Dc into every stitch (20)

Fasten off and break yarn.

At this point, you should sew the head in place on top of the neck making sure the eyes are facing front!

L-R Head with eyes, hair cap & bobble hat

HAT

This is made (in blue) to the same pattern as the head finishing at the end of round 16. I added a small pompom made out of the same yarn wound round the prongs of a fork to the top of the hat. 

HAIR CAP

This is made in a russet coloured yarn to the same patter as the head ending at the end of round 16. I then used yarn in 3 different shades of orange/russet/red to add hair to the edge of the hair cap. I measured lengths of approximately 30cm and folded them in half then fed them though stitches around the edge of the hair cap using my hook and knotted them securely in place. As my version of Flora is wearing a hat (which is permanently attached) I didn’t need to add any more hair, however if you would like your hat to be removable, you will need to cover the hair cap with strands of hair. I then sewed the hair cap in place and then sewed the hat in place on top of the hair cap, then plaited the hair before trimming it to neaten it up at the back.

COAT

Row 1 Using the same green yarn as you used to make the sleeves on the arms, ch 41, then 1Dc into the second ch from the hook and continue along the ch with 1Dc into every ch to the end, ch1 and turn. (40)

Rows 2 – 21 Remembering not to work into the turning chain, 1Dc into every stitch along the row, ch 1 and turn. (40)

Row 22 (This is where you begin shaping for arm holes – see photo below) 1Dc into next 7 st, ch 6 and miss the next 6 st, 1Dc into the next 14 st, ch 6 and miss the next 6 st, 1Dc into next 7 st, ch1 and turn. (40 including the 12 chs)

Arm hole loops
Photo shows Dcs in to chain spaces

Row 23 1Dc into next 7 st, 6Dc into the chain space from Row 22 (as shown in photo above), 1Dc into next 14 st, 6Dc into the second chain space from row 22, 1Dc into next 7 st, ch1 and turn. (40) (Work should like photo below)

Row 24 1Dc into every st, ch1 and turn work at right angles to you with the same side facing you to work along the front edge of the coat. (40) Then 1Dc into the edge of every row down to the bottom of the front of the coat (24) then 1ch & turn (see photo below)

Row 25 1Dc into the next 23 st along the front edge of the coat (see photo above), but you will need to 4Dc into the top st which will automatically turn the corner (photo below) and the jacket for you to allow you to 1Dc into the next 7 st along the top of the coat, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 2 st, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 15 st, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 2 st, Dc2tog, 1Dc into next 7 st, ch1, then turn the coat so that you can 1Dc into the edge of every row down to the bottom of the front of the coat (24 down the front edge), ch1 and turn. (Grand total of 88 st in all on row 25)

Turning the corner on the jacket

Row 26 1Dc into next 23 st, in the top stitch of the front of the coat, you will again need to 4Dc into this in order to make a corner, sl st into the next st, break yarn and sew in the end.

If you put the coat onto Flora at this point, you will notice that there is some gaping around the shoulders and neck, so another row with decreases in is required to neaten the fit of the coat.

Row 27 Put a stitch marker on each end of the top row of the coat 5 stitches in from the edge (see photo above) – this is where the row will begin and end to allow you to form a lapel. There should be 21 stitches between the two stitch markers. With the wrong side (inside) facing you, join the yarn at the right hand stitch marker and ch1, 1Dc into the same st, pull the yarn tail tight to shrink the ch so it’s practically invisible and there isn’t an obvious lump next to the Dc as this will be the first st on display in the upper lapel, 1Dc into the next 3 st, Dc2tog 3 times (ie next 6 st become 3), 1Dc into next 13 st, then Dc2tog 3 times (ie 6 st become 3), 1Dc into next 4 st, ch1 and turn. (27)

Rows 28 – 29 1Dc into every st, ch1 and turn. (27) 

Row 30 1Dc into every st, finish off, break yarn and sew in the end. (27)

Row 31 Join yarn into the stitch where you fastened off the edge if the lower lapel (see picture above), 1Dc along the edge of the collar, up the side of the top lapel and 4Dc into the corner st (1st photo below) continue with 1Dc along the top of the top lapel in the next 25 st, 4Dc into the final st on the top lapel to turn the corner, work 1Dc into the edge of each row along the side of the top lapel and fasten off into the corner (see 2nd picture below), break yarn and sew in the end.

The coat is now complete, you can stitch the lapel down if desired. You can also stitch the jacket into place around the arm holes onto the top of Flora’s arms or leave unattached if you would prefer it to be removable.

Basket   

Row 1 Using Brown yarn Ch 7, 1Dc into the top loop of second chain from hook and continue into the top loop of the next 4 chains, 3Dc in final chain. Work 1 Dc into the bottom loop of next 4 chains and 2dc into the last one. Sl St into the 1st Dc to close the round (14)

Row 2 Ch1, 2Dc into same st, 1 Dc into next 5 st, 2Dc, 2Dc, 1Dc into next 5 st, 2Dc, then Sl St into top of 1st ch of that round (18)

Row 3 Ch 1, 1Dc into same st, 2Dc into next st, 1Dc in next 6 st, 2Dc, 1Dc, 2Dc, 1Dc into next 6 st, 2Dc, Sl St into top of 1st ch (22)

Row 4 Ch1, 1Dc into the back loop only of each sit around the oval.

Row 5 1Dc into every st through both loops as normal. Fasten off and weave ends in.

Look at your basket and figure out where the middle of the long sides are to position the handle, mark where the handle should go with stitch markers. Join the yarn on one side and chain 10 (or longer if you prefer), sl st into opposite side of basket where the marker is placed making sure you don’t twist the chain. Weave in ends.

Carrots (Make 3)

Using orange yarn, ch 6. 1Dc in second chain from hook, then 1Dc in every other chain, ch1 and turn.(5)

Work the following stitches into the 5 st from the previous row; 1htr, 1htr, 1Dc, 1Dc, 1slst. (5)

Fasten off and sew carrot along the side. Add some greenery to the top using lengths of green yarn or embroidery cotton tied on.

And there you have it, a Flora of your own! I hope you enjoy making her.

If you would like to see my very talented artist friend Emma’s work (who illustrated Flora for me), check out Emma’s work on Instagram @emmadavies_art or Emma Davies – Art & Illustration on Facebook or visit her website.

Please remember that if you make your own Flora, I’d love to see her! Please tag her with #florathegardener or #postcardfromgibcrochet

If you have any feedback about the pattern, please be gentle, but I would love to hear it!

Enjoy!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #21 14.2.21

Hello there, happy Sunday to you. Sorry I went missing in action last week with no postcard. It’s been a bit full on with home schooling and everything else so I took a week off.

I’m very pleased to say that we have survived six weeks of home schooling relatively unscathed (apart from my blood pressure and sanity) and we are now at the beginning of a week of half term holiday. Ooh what shall we do? A trip to the seaside? A walk in the country? A trip to the shops? No, no and no, we will mostly be staying home, walking round the block and eating too much – no change there then!

I will though, hopefully be spending a lot more time on my crochet. I am within touching distance of publishing a pattern for Flora my amigurumi gardener, and I’m trying to get some more podcast episodes sorted so Making Stitches can return for a new series before too much longer and I have a few other bits and bobs going on behind the scenes – oh so much to do and so little time!

Anyway, here’s a brief peek at what I’ve been up to during the past 2 weeks – warning – it’s not that riveting!!

Work moves on apace with pattern writing

So I have started remaking Flora and taking pictures as I go so that hopefully I can publish a pattern.

A trip to the waterside

Last Sunday we took a half hour walk from our house to…. the Manchester Ship canal! We used to be able to walk to the Bay of Gibraltar from our home… how times have changed! 🤣 It may look a bit bleak, and it was bitterly cold, but we saw lots of wildlife, it was late in the afternoon and we saw a murmuration of starlings coming in to roost near by, there were also lots of seagulls and even a heron. Plus there was a rather dramatic whirl pool on the opposite side of the lock gates to where we were standing…

More snow ❄️

We had a couple of days early this week when it seemed to snow off and on all day, I stopped counting at the ninth snow shower. It was lovely to glance out of the window in the midst of improper fractions or history and drift away watching the flakes float down. Unfortunately none of our showers came to anything unlike elsewhere in the UK this week, but we did have our snow over Christmas and New Year so I’m not complaining!

Happy post

In amongst the lessons this week, there was a knock at the door and the postman had a parcel for me. It was a kit for an amigurumi Harry Potter sent by my lovely friend Nikki in Liverpool. Thank you Nikki, I will be starting on this very soon!!

Snowdrops

I have been seeing some beautiful photos of banks of snowdrops over on Instagram lately, and I have to say I think they are my favourite post-Christmas plant (I can’t say spring because it isn’t spring yet is it?!). They always herald the beginning of the gardening year and hope of what is to come. I have hardly seen any on my walks around our neighbourhood but spied this rather weedy clump in our local municipal gardens. I will try to do better for the next postcard!!

More crochet

Flora now has carrots in her basket. I’m bursting to show you something else I’ve been working on but want to share my Flora pattern first so I’m biding my time. Flora #2 had an unfortunate accident with a cup of coffee and a young man’s foot this week which didn’t help progress, so she had to have a rather drastic plunge into a washing up bowl and a toast on the radiator which added to the delay… But suffice to say, I’m so enjoying my crochet at the moment, it’s what’s giving me focus and a reward to my day to day lockdown drudge.

I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got for you this week, sorry it’s been a dull one, but I guess that’s the same for everyone at the moment.

Have a good week and stay safe!

Lindsay x

Introducing: Flora my crochet gardening alter-ego

Please excuse this flight of fancy, it may be lockdown isolation which is getting to me, or perhaps the home-schooling but my mind has wandered off into a fantasy land where my alter-ego Flora lives.

Flora lives for her plants and adores her garden…

She has all the gear (and no idea) and can’t wait for the spring flowers to fully appear once the snow and frosts have passed. Flora is like a tightly coiled spring ready to burst into action once winter loosens its grip on her new garden.

After years spent living abroad without a proper garden to call her own and all that time spent watching Gardeners World from afar and dreaming of having a huge garden like Monty’s she now finds herself living in the suburbs with a rather smaller plot than ‘Long Meadow’ but it’s hers nonetheless.

What will this year have in store for her as she sees shoots of new life appear in her new plot?

Watch this space…

Sunday Postcard #19 17.1.21

Hello there, sorry I didn’t get round to posting last weekend, there wasn’t the time! Here’s a double dose of Sunday Postcards for two weeks, although, please be warned – it’s not very exciting – life has suddenly become rather restricted!!

Here goes:

Snowy walk

Two weeks ago today, we still had some remnants of snow from our snow fall on New Year’s Eve. As the Little Postcards hadn’t been out much we headed out for a walk across some open land close to where we live. This is part of the Mersey valley which is about 15 mins walk from our home.

It’s land which I used to play on as a child. There was much den building, hide-and-seeking and adventuring which happened here many years ago. I love that I can share it with my children now.

The fishing lake was frozen – there were some ducks doing a spot of ice skating at one point!

A new project

Now my Christmas blanket is done, I started a new project on New Year’s Eve. I’m trying a bit of amigurumi this time as it’s been quite a while since I’ve done any. Plus I’m having a go at designing it myself. Watch this space… it may be an utter disaster!!

Cake anyone?

Last Friday I had a sweet tooth so dug out the cake cases and made chocolate fairy cakes. They were rather nice, even though I say so myself!

Saturday mist

Other than a short walk round the block we hadn’t all been out of the house since the previous Sunday so last Saturday morning before too many people were about, we headed out to our local playing fields and park for a misty walk.

It was very atmospheric. I do like a bit of mist (if I’m not trying to drive in it!!).

While out and about we took a different route to normal and spotted this chap for the first time. He’s super!

Au revoir Robert

I have unfortunate news about Robert the snowman… This was him on 28th December…

…and this was him last Saturday. I’m afraid by the start of this week, he was no more.

Podcast news

Over on Making Stitches, last Friday saw the release of the latest episode of the podcast. This one features Sara Huntington, Editor of Simply Crochet Magazine.

I was thrilled when Sara agreed to speak to me. She had a fascinating story to tell about how she got to her current job situation and is really worth a listen. You can hear the episode via this link.

Home schooling

I have to hold my hands up and say home schooling is hard work. I have really struggled with managing to keep up with what has needed to be done by the Little Postcards. We have kept up but it’s not been easy. In fact it’s been rather all consuming. However towards the end of this week, we got into enough of a rhythm that I was able to squeeze a bit of amigurumi in between the long multiplication. We are getting there!

Amongst the home schooling has been food tech. So one evening we had a rather tasty chilli cooked by Middle Postcard. I believe it’s carrot cake next… yum!

Birthday fun

It was my birthday this week, so I have joined the lockdown birthday club. Inside this beautifully wrapped parcel from my little brother was this gorgeous book:

I can’t wait to get started on some of the projects inside. He knows me so well! As do my Little Postcards who got me this…

I’ve been looking at this for a while, without telling anyone, so I was thrilled that they had chosen it for me. Well done boys!

Another lovely birthday surprise was the fact that my latest issue of Simply Crochet arrived on my birthday and it featured a write-up about Making Stitches!!

Here’s the full page it was on

I am feeling very chuffed with everything that came my way!

Apart from that, it’s been a rather quiet week of trying to complete schooling tasks and keep on top of running a house. I have done lots of little bits of crochet in between and I’m almost finished. I’m looking forward to sharing what I have made with you very soon.

Wherever you are I hope you are ok. We had some positive news recently about people we know who slowly recovering from serious hospital-stay bouts of Covid and also some very sad news too. This truly is a very difficult time for everyone. I’m sending my very best wishes to you and hope that things are going ok for you even if it’s challenging.

Until next time, stay safe.

Lindsay x