Pōhutukawa square

This week I'm releasing a new pattern - Pōhutukawa square. This pattern is for a 10" square inspired by the native pōhutukawa tree flowers. There are also two 5" variations included in the pattern that were designed so that you can mix and match the three squares. To purchase the pattern click here. To read more about my inspiration and what I've made with these squares read below.

 

It may still be 2 months until Christmas but, Christmas things are already starting to be on display in some places. Here in New Zealand, Christmas is in the middle of summer. One of the things we associate with a New Zealand Christmas is the pōhutukawa tree. This tree has bright red flowers that come out in summer and the tree is sometimes referred to as the New Zealand Christmas tree.

 

 

I wanted to create a square that went with two other "bird's eye view" squares that I had previously created (my Ponga tree square and my Kōwhai square). Like my Kōwhai square, this square comes in two different sizes (5" and 10") and the final stitch counts for the pōhutukawa squares match those of the Kōwhai squares. Unlike the Kōwhai square, there are two variations of the smaller square rather than just one. I thought it would be fun to have 2 different ways to place your flowers in the square - either in the sides like the larger square or in the corners. 

I am really happy with how my squares turned out, so much so, that I have created a few things with it and have even changed the colour scheme in a couple of different ways. The first project that I made with the squares was similar to what I did with my kōwhai squares - I made a bag. I lined the bag with 2 layers of fabric - plain green right next to the squares and pōhutukawa themed fabric for the inside. I also added an outside pocket on one of the shorter sides. This meant that I left a gap between two of the smaller squares on the sides so that I could have a pocket opening. I made the bag as a gift for a friend who was expecting her 4th child. However, I fully intend to make myself a project bag with this same fabric and same squares once I have decided exactly what I want in a new project bag.

 

 

 

The other project I have made with these squares is a series of ponchos using different combinations of the squares. For these squares, I used a smaller hook than my pattern states so that I could make the ponchos fit pre-schoolers.

The style is based on one that my grandmother made for me when I was a child. It is a traditional granny square poncho that I still own but it currently too big for my youngest to wear. 

The first pōhutukawa poncho that I made (using traditional pōhutukawa colours) was given to a friend’s daughter as a birthday gift. For that poncho, I chose to only use the smaller squares so that it was more like the one that my grandmother had made for me.

 

 

For the second poncho, I decided to mix things up a bit and replaced the lime green with a dark purple and used a lighter purple for the flowers. It still works really well and I kind of like the colour placement in this square even though it is not traditional pōhutukawa colours. This was the simplest poncho to make as I used just 4 of the large squares joined together. This one is going to be a birthday gift for my niece.

The third poncho that I made was for my youngest child and used a mixture of big and small squares. I think I like this way of placing the squares the best since the bigger squares are front and centre (and back and centre) while they are flanked quite nicely by the smaller squares that go over the shoulders. I mixed up the colours a bit again with this one and used blue for the flowers and replaced the lime green with the same green as the main green colour. 

 

 

I’ve also started making a larger poncho using the same hook size as the pattern states. This one uses a mixture of larger and smaller squares and not only does it have a bigger opening (due to larger squares), it is also longer because of the addition of an extra row all round of the smaller squares. When finished it should be a similar size (or slightly bigger) than the original one that my grandmother made for me.