As I wrote about here, I loved the challenge of taking an image from a sixteenth century book and recreating it in cross stitch. The geometry and the math of this knot work piece was just fascinating to me. However, I just couldn’t leave it at that. No. Since the original in that book was actually made up of words (in Latin), I wondered if I could challenge myself to do something similar. And so I did.
I took the Knot Your Needle in Cross Stitch pattern and doubled its dimensions, which ends up quadrupling the area. It also meant that the one stitch wide path was now two stitches wide. And that is wide enough for a simple backstitch alphabet.
What to write there? Well, I returned to a famous poem that I used for an earlier pattern, “The Praise of the Needle” by John Taylor, published in 1631. I used the first ten lines of that poem in a design early in my WorksByABC career…but the poem is actually 138 lines long. I had no sense of how many words and lines it would take to fill the meandering path of the knot, but I just begin charting and seeing where it lead me. I didn’t begin at the start of the poem, partially because I had used those words before, but also because there was so much substance to the entirety of the work, I needed to start and end in good places. There was an element of holding my breath as I worked on that chart, wondering if I would indeed find a way to end on a good line of the poem when I ran out of space on that knot. Frankly, I think I did just fine, even managing to get in the poet’s name, after charting a total of 56 lines.
I absolutely loved this project, loved designing it, loved stitching it.