Progress has been made. I picked up stitches all along the twelve beaded leaves, and began working upward in the English Diamond Quilting Pattern, p. 102 in Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns.
Here is progress, folded in half:
As an aside, I own all four of Walker’s treasuries and enjoy them very much, particularly the first three. The photographs of the stitch patterns, however, are incredibly awful– small, black and white and poorly lit. For this reason, you should run, not walk, to the Walker Treasury Project, a communal blog where knitters work up swatches of the Walker stitch patterns and take better photos of them. Absolutely a fantastic, well-documented resource.
I’m about 6″ into the quilting. I plan to quilt for at least 12″ total, if not 18″ or 24″– it depends on how things look. I want the quilting to have a significant presence in the overall balance of motifs. Since I’m working this wrap in fingering-weight yarn on size 4 needles, it’s not exactly ripping by, but it goes fairly well. I like the flow from the quilting to the leaves, which you can see here:
I am hoping the icky edge from the picked-up stitches will smooth out in blocking.
I chose the quilting pattern after an enormous amount of Sturm und Drang. I wanted a twisted, intertwining pattern that was one-stitch wide, to match the stems of the knitted leaves. My hope was to give the effect of a thicket or the inside branches of a tree, all tangled together and culminating in the leaves. Cabling seemed too heavy, but the quilting floats above the stockinette background in a lovely airy way like branches buoyed on a breeze. It’s a more poetic (read: loose) interpretation of a thicket or tree branches than the cabling would have been, but I think in some cases it’s better to mimic an object less precisely when trying to evoke it.
The plan, after I feel I’ve quilted sufficiently, is to move to some kind of round and plump wave-like stitch, again with beads– a motif somewhat like the one on Grumperina’s Tretta hat, only with less reverse-stockinette.
Why am I avoiding reverse-stockinette? Because I’m knitting fingering weight yarn on size 4 needles, my stitches are actually fairly loose. This looks good in stockinette, but in my experience, purl stitches look terrible when they’re worked loosely. They always seem sloppy to me, at least in my own projects. As a result, a priority for this project is maintaining a mostly-stockinette surface on the right side of the work.
A gently curving wrap flowing from leaves to a thicket to the ocean and back again– can anybody name the book I’m using for inspiration? I have a specific scene in mind that’s driving my design here.
A final interesting feature: The more advertent among you may have already noticed that my wrap appears to have stockinette borders that don’t curl.
Any guesses as to how I did that? I’ll give more info on the process and the brainwave that led to it next post.