Last week several people around the gardens stopped me and mentioned reading about the Floral Carpet scarf on my blog. At each encounter two thoughts struck me: 1) "Oh, crap! Now I really have to make it" and 2) "People are reading my blog!?"
Well, for those of you who are reading, yes, I have plans to knit a scarf in the pattern of the Floral Carpet currently on display in the conservatory Exhibition Hall. I know - crazy! "WHAT was I thinking!?" is a recurring question especially since I have a knitting queue rivaling the 85-foot floral carpet in length and Christmas is NEXT WEEK!
So, between the hats, neck warmers, and miscellaneous other projects, I started swatching to see what stitch patterns I liked for which colors on the scarf. I transferred the design to a large sheet of graph vellum to aid me in counting out the number of stitches in each element and decided that the scarf would be 100 stitches wide. That's a lot of stitches! Depending on the yarn used and the needle size, it could end up wide enough and long enough to carpet Rhode Island or it could be made into something a little more wearable. Since I'm definitely going for wearable, I decided on US 5 needles with the yarn from Michael's and started trawling stitch patterns on the web and in books.
Conveniently, there is a stitch called 'moss stitch' that I decided to use for the light green, which is the moss covered Fleur-de-lis in the design. For the red (Begonias in the real carpet), I decided on a pattern based on a seed stitch diamond. The red lines on either side of the Fleur-de-lis will be 4-stitch cables. For the white (Poinsettias) I settled on a nice smooth stockinette with a few knots for texture, called 'knot stitch' (I don't name them, I only knit them). The gold required a nice nubbly stitch to echo the painted pine cones in the real thing so I decided on a good seed stitch for that. And the dark green ivy on the edges will be done in garter stitch or maybe just a purl stitch.
In case you're not a knitter and none of what I just said makes any sense whatsoever, allow me to draw your attention to these pretty pictures:
This is what I mean when I say I've been swatching! In the closeup down on bottom, you can get a better look at the stitch detail. All I have to do now is write out the pattern and cast on (that's Knit-Speak for 'start making the darn thing already')! Lucky for me I found a chart generator on the web which will - hopefully - make my knitting life much, much easier! And with a full week of leisure at my parent's house over Christmas break I should be able to get, oh say, a couple inches done!