I’m currently working on a design that will feature a tree, most of which will be worked in cables. I plan to include a few embossed leaves in the the tree motif, but the only embossed leaf patterns I can find are for leaves that point straight upwards. I think you’ll agree that a tree with leaves that all point straight upwards would look rather strange. So, I needed to come up with a way of making embossed leaves lean. How?

Luckily I have some experience of making a vertical pattern lean. One of my earliest and most popular patterns, Pemberley, features stripes of colourwork that climb up the front in elegant curves, framing the centre panel:


I used the same technique for the Thomasina cowl from Stranded Knits:


Would the strategy I use for travelling colourwork also make embossed leaves lean? There’s only one way to find out. Swatch!

Embossed leaf

To make the leaf lean I placed decreases before it and increases after it. The decreases create a directional pull, and the increases create a directional push. Repeated over the full length of the leaf, this makes it lean to the right, so the leaf point ends up several stitches to the right of the leaf’s beginning. Reversing the order of the increase and decrease placement, with increases before the leaf and decreases after it will create a mirrored result, a left-leaning leaf. With randomly placed vertical, left-leaning and right-leaning leaves, I’m trusting my tree will look great!


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