How a Walled Garden grows

I could also have called today’s post "From shape to name to colour", because that is very much how Walled Garden, my latest design, came into being. It all started out with a shape that kept coming to my mind – as it happened a most unsuitable shape for Hardanger, being one of those diamonds with their sides pushed in, all steeply sloping lines:

Walled Garden Mono

So I started a new canvas, put in some grey Kloster blocks and started pushing them around to see if I could create anything like that. I couldn’t, of course; the shape is just impossible to create in Kloster blocks unless you make it huge and look at it from several metres’ distance. But I managed to get a shape that I found pleasing, and which did have the four points and indented sides. I experimented a bit with which bits would be cut and which wouldn’t, what the filling stitches would be, and what sort of satin stitch shapes I’d use to embellish it. The first shapes I drew, inside the Kloster blocks, were a bit like leaves (tulip leaves perhaps?) and that suggested flowers, so flower shapes with rounded petals followed, plus some ribbony bits. I thought of adding more of the same flowers, but as I was drawing some basic Hardanger satin stitch shapes, the ones that make up a star, I noticed that if you use four in a sort of windmill pattern, they look vaguely like periwinkle flowers. Very vagueley, as they lack a petal, but close enough. Finally a border of Pekinese stitch, a bit like a fence, and I had a monochrome (well, light and dark grey) design with a strong Kloster block frame and several floral shapes. To save this version of the chart I needed a name, and it looked rather like walls and flowers, so I called it Walled Garden.

Walled Garden Mono

But a grey walled garden isn’t much fun. What if I made the "walls" brown? Preferably shaded brown, not solid … a Caron shade perhaps, like one of the two browns in Vienna … and greens of course for the leaf and ribbon shapes, and brown and green for the Pekinese "fence" … red and blue or pink and blue for the flowers; blue for the periwinkle shape of course, pink for the rounder flowers … not quite there yet; what about some yellow? The French knots and some of the filling stitches, and perhaps the centre of the periwinkles. Not botanically correct, but then it’s not a textbook … filling stitches – two colours in every cut area, like flower beds … and that was the chart done.

Walled Garden

Now for the colours. Nothing solid, but not too variegated either. Shaded colours. The dark brown from Vienna, the pink from Cross My Heart … or perhaps the red … a light blue or a dark … and what greens does Caron do? I haven’t decided on all of them yet, but that’s the next step, and a very enjoyable one so I may take some time over it!