Pretty Patterns

by maggie

Recently I had a look at ‘A Map of Hyper Space’ whicht has rather fallen behind with all the other grand projects I have in hand. The design process is all set up now, with a good supply of colours and a big pile of geometric patterns. Theoretically I could draw out the whole Map on graph paper and then read off the chart as all the patterns used on the map at counted. But that would be the heat death of the universe in terms of creativity.

So I would like to share with you some of my resources and designing I have em massed along the way. I need 99 separate patterns to complete the Map.
So I raided the bookshelves for some relevant books.
So some of these books are full of essays and the history behind different design traditions and some of them are catalogues of patterns.
Some of them are linked specific textile practices. If left off the crewel work book, because it’s mainly linear, curving designs. Often the same design turned up in a variety of contexts. There are only so many ways you can organise basic geometric shapes.
I’ve decided to limit my designs to the straight line, the 45 degree angle and the circle. I do mis the equilateral triangle, but it’s impossible to give it a straight edge in this medium. Of course I reserve the right to break my own rules at any time.

So this is the kind of thing I do when there is no telly and no books to read. I find it relaxing and I’ve been making designs for over 15 years. They tend to be related and elaborations on previous patterns rather than new ideas. here is a small selection.

The top figure is apparently a Fibonacci word fractal. I found in on the internet. And was suitable to include in the Map. The others are simple knots. As I’m no mathematician I couldn’t tell you very much more about them. Except I like them.


You can either have one continuous loop that either interweaves with itself or not, or you can have a number do loops interweaving (loops can be similar or not).

a successful knot has a good balance of density and space so that you can read it.  I’ve tended to colour in the surfaces where they appear continuous rather than the simple loops.

IMG_0582 So here is a loop that got very loopy – maybe it was telephone cable in previous life. If you twist the little loops in the other direction you get a different distribution of continuous surfaces.

And then there are circles. I do circles too.IMG_0581

I saw this pattern of circles and interlaced triangles at an exhibition, and wanted to see if I could successfully pixelate it. Actually I saw the circle pattern in the previous images at an exhibition for the first time too. That one is widely used in Buddhist decoration.

being able to divide a circle in to four or six is useful too. Although I’m not totally satisfied with this solution – bigger scale. I keep having to remind myself that the stitches are smaller than the graph paper.

and finally here are some pages out of my pattern compendium where I note down possible patterns for the Map. The selection it potentially very large.

exept ill post them later as i have already wasted to much of my life on this post


its taken 3 hours to post this. I really must speak to my provider and try and get a connection  that doesn’t cut over five minutes.