The Blog of Ruth

Random Wisdom & Stuff that Matters to Me

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Way to Knit a Moravian Lovefeast Candle! December 12, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Patterns — SuperTitan @ 9:43 pm

My mom, Joy, has the most beautiful felt Moravian candles on her Christmas tree, sewn years ago for a church display tree (You can see them to the left). For Moravians, it’s just not Christmas until we pull out the lovefeast candles, beeswax creations wrapped in a red trim, and use during our Christmas Eve lovefeast to declare that yes, Christ IS the light of the world.  Lots of Moravian Churches trim their own candles each year in anticipation of their special candlelight services. I’d admired my mother’s candles at the start of Advent, wondering aloud if one could knit such a candle. The short answer, my friends, is “yes.” The long answer appears below in the form of a rather convoluted pattern.

Knitted Moravian Lovefeast Candle

Finished Dimensions
About 8″ tall and 1″ in diameter (the trim is approx 4″ in diameter)
See adaptation for 5″ version below.

Materials

  • Small amounts of off-white, red, and yellow yarn (I used a combination of a merino wool (white), a variegated wool (red), and cotton (yellow) and it worked just fine.) This is a good way to get rid of stash yarn.
  • 42″ circular needles, sizes #3 and #6 (this is what I had – I would bet you could use 3 and 5 or 2 and 4…) You could also use dp needles or 2 circulars but magic loop seems easiest to me.
  • darning needle
  • scissors
  • small amount of polyester or other stuffing (I don’t stuff the 5″ version)

Instructions

*Candle Body

  • Cast on 13 stitches using smaller needle. Divide onto two needles (magic loop), with 6 stitches on front needle and 5 on back.
  • Knit approximately 1 1/2″ from bottom.
  • Switch to larger needle.
  • Knit 1 round.

*Red Trim

  • Switch to red yarn.
  • Knit 1 round.
  • Increase 4 stitches (at beginning and end of each “row”) to 17 sts. (9 front/8 back) - I use the bar increase for this (K1 f&b).
  • Begin loop pattern.

Double Loop Stitch:

Here’s a quick tutorial on the loop stitch, in words and pics and in video. Note the video shows very clearly how to do a double loop stitch, which is what I recommend, especially if your yarn is a worsted weight or lighter. Experiment with what works best for you.

Candle Trim Loop Pattern:

Round 1: *K1, loop 1*, repeat, end with knit stitch
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: *Loop 1, K1*, repeat, end with loop stitch
Round 4: Knit

Continue in loop pattern for 2-3″ or when it looks right!

  • Knit 1 round, decreasing by knitting 2 together four times (at beginning and end of each “row”) to 13 stitches. (For 5″ version, I switched back to 0ff-white yarn before decreasing – I think I like that better.)

*Candle Body

  • Switch to off-white yarn and smaller needle. Knit 1 round.
  • Knit approximately 3″
  • Knit round, decreasing by knitting 2 together at first stitch (leaves 12 stitches)
  • Knit round, knitting 2 together until 6 stitches remain.
  • Knit 1 round.
  • Next round – knit 1, knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together (leaves 4 stitches)

*Flame

  • Switch to yellow yarn.
  • K 1 round.
  • Knit round, increasing 2 stitches (k1fb end of each “row”) to 6 sts.
  • Knit 4-5 rounds.
  • Begin decrease – k2tog, k, k2tog, k (leaves 4 stitches)
  • Knit 1 round.
  • K 2tog to 2 sts.
  • K2tog – leaves one stitch.
  • Cut and weave in yarn.

Finishing

  • With a pencil, stuff candle from bottom with stuffing until desired thickness.

Add a yarn or monofilament loop for hanging on the tree or use with a candle holder. Enjoy!

Update December 18:

I perfected the 5″ version! This size is perfect as an ornament. This version assumes a worsted or DK-weight yarn, but I am also experimenting with fingering weights. The Reader’s Digest version:

  • With Size 2 circular and off-white yarn, cast on 10 stitches. Divide evenly. (I’ve also done this with just one needle size and added a couple more stitches when I get to the red trim.)
  • Knit 1-1/2″
  • Switch to size 4 needle (I used size 5s on sample, but only b/c my 4s were on another project). Switch to red yarn.
  • Knit one round.
  • Knit another round, increasing to 13 sts.
  • Begin double loop stitch (see above for tutorial) – here’s the short candle version of the loop pattern:

R1: K, Loop (repeat – end with K)
R2: Loop, K (repeat – end with Loop)
Repeat pattern twice more (for total of 6 rounds)

  • Switch back to size 2′s, switch to off-white yarn, and knit one  round, decreasing to 10 sts.
  • Knit until desired height (approx 2-2 1/2″) from red trim.
  • Decrease to 8 sts, then to 6, and then 4 sts.
  • Switch to yellow yarn – knit one round.
  • Increase to 6 sts.
  • Knit 2 rounds.
  • Decrease to 4 sts, then 2.
  • K2tog – bind off.
 

 
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