It’s all about the transition stitches. When we switch from S to Z stitches we work transition stitches on either two back threads or two front threads. When that transition occurs along a diagonal line in subsequent rows, one side of the cloth is higher and the other side is lower. In the final cloth, this 3D texture often overwhelms the direction of the stitches, so one sees this pattern of diagonals rather than the diamonds with a different lean.
So any time we work diamonds, or any diagonals of this sort, in S&Z we will create textured cloth. This is one of places Carol James talks about, where sprang logic deviates from what we expect. (There IS a logical explanation to this, but when I tried putting it into words the complexity overwhelmed me. Maybe I’ll try again in a later post.)
Here’s another example. I love this pattern from Carol’s James’ Sprang Lace Patterns and decided to try it as double cloth and in S&Z. The yellow in the double cloth clearly follows the lace, at least until I reached the middle and couldn't complete the last third of the design. But what happens in the S&Z? The areas that were lace have been replaced by opposite-leaning stitches but the winding pathway is almost invisible. Our eyes focus on the texture differences caused by the transitions between S and Z and we have to concentrate mightily to follow the path defined by the lean of the stitches. When going one direction that path forms a valley, and in another direction it forms a ridge. My brain has a hard time accepting that the ridge is a continuation of the valley.
What makes this even MORE confusing is that sometimes our eyes shift so that what once appeared as low areas now look like high areas. This has been happening to me as I look at this S&Z image. At first glance it looks like a mess of diagonal lines with not much of a pattern. Then my brain shifts and the stitch directions dominate and OF COURSE it’s the same as the other patterns. Then, when I least expect it, the pattern goes back to its original mess. So maybe you're seeing first what I saw second. Maybe the pattern in S&Z does look like the other patterns and you have no idea what I'm talking about. That's OK, just more proof that we don't always see the same things when we look at the same picture. Such is life...
One last example. I developed a pattern for a labyrinth in lace, double cloth, and S&Z. The three examples are shown together here. In the lace and double cloth it’s easy to follow the path, but in S&Z it takes great concentration to find the path as our eyes want to connect valley to valley and ridge to ridge.
I am a sprang designer, creating new patterns in this ancient textile art form.