Down the Garden Path by Michele DuNaier

Down the Garden Path

August 2012
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
17 stitches = 4 inches
in dc
5.0 mm (H)
880 - 950 yards (805 - 869 m)
17" deep, 50" across
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Alas, My Pretties, for me the design process is like a journey through a Garden Maze. In the beginning I may have a vague idea of what I want to design. I usually have an inspiration that propelled me into the maze, which may or may not make it through to the finished pattern. As in wanting to portray the delicate pendulous hearts on my Bleeding Heart plant in a shawl.

I know that many (most?) designers know exactly what they intend to design when there’s merely a neuron or two firing in their creative minds. I’ve seen how pattern submissions are typically done; 6-12 months ahead of the season, the designer submits a sketch and/or test swatch of their “proposed” design. If approved, the designer (or their army of test knitters/crocheters) works up the model as proposed, then submits the finished pattern, model and/or photos and: Voila! A lovely finished design! So planned, so professional! So NOT ME!

Imagine me then, merrily skipping Down the Garden Path, dazzled by the array of flowers (i.e. stitch choices). Watch me as I pick and discard flowers, deciding at each turn in the maze (Row) which path to follow. Sometimes the decision is obvious, but more often it’s an agonizing series of choices, all of which I might love, but which might also ruin the beauty of the bouquet I’m creating.

How to decide? Let’s just say there is much frogging, pulling of hair, gnashing of teeth, tears, and beatings of breast - you get the idea…

Always I wonder, “what would have happened had I chosen differently?” And so every design can spawn subsequent designs, to both satisfy my curiosity and quench a thirst to follow the path not taken.

The inspiration for this design was my Bleeding Heart. I meant
to design a shawl based on the flowers but became obsessed with the leaves. And so instead we have this lovely bouquet of leaves… (See “Hearts Desire” for the shawl with the Hearts!)

Come, My Pretties, follow me Down the Garden Path.

Thanks to EffinEffie, once again, for her editing and testing!
Now with gorgeous charts - courtesy of Nemosuke!