Thinking ahead, I grabbed one of my Barbara Walker stitch treasuries (volume 2) some needles, and some leftover yarn and began to swatch an idea that I had.
I love the Frost Flowers pattern (it's on the cover of volume 2) but I don't like that it appears to run in one direction. Could I rearrange the upper part of the pattern so that the leaves grow down instead of up, thus eliminating the top and bottom look?
The first step was to chart out the original pattern. The only shortcoming to the BW books is the lack of charts. Then I recharted the upper portion, inverting the direction of the leaf motif. Finally, I swatched the results.
Um, no. I guess the lesson is that leaves won't grow down, or at least I can't figure out how to make them do it. The reason has something to do with the way that the decreases create relief in the pattern. It's why Annie Modesitt's Backyard Leaves scarf is knit in two parts and seamed at the top. There's no way to make the leaves change direction mid-pattern.
So much for my idea!