A few years ago baa ram ewe asked me to design some stranded Christmas tree baubles using a shade of Titus called ‘Wesley Bob’ that they were about to introduce. It was an interesting challenge, because there are already many patterns for Christmas tree baubles available. What could I do that would be sufficiently different to these whilst remaining Christmassy, be in keeping with my style, and also please my strong aesthetic sensibility?
All the bauble designs I have seen only have stranded pattern in the middle section of the bauble, with the top and bottom of the bauble being entirely plain. This got me thinking about how it would be possible to place pattern in the top and bottom areas. I remembered the contrast colour vertical stripes I have put into other stranded designs, eg Thomasina, Pemberley, and the Lovely Socks. Could I make these work on a sphere?
I charted a design, combining the lovely flower I had used in Field Study with a dotted stripe. It looked great in the chart, so I got out my needles and the yarn baa ram ewe had given me, Wesley Bob and Yorkshire Rose, and knitted my first Wesley Bob. It took very little time, less than a couple of hours, and I loved the result:
Using the same yarn and the strong visual feature of the dotted vertical stripes, I went on to design other baubles that would, together with the first, make a cohesive set. The designs delighted me, and since I published the pattern they have delighted many other knitters too. I’ve often displayed Wesley Bobs at Yarndale, where they attract a lot of attention, with folk rushing into the stall to ooh and aah over them!
*Wesley Bob is an old Yorkshire term for Christmas tree ornaments, derived from ‘Wassail’.