In another direction, I was thinking of an intarsia, with something like a Hollie Hobby design. This
design is for cross stitch, or tunisian stitch, but I know for sure I have a similar one for my knitting machine. When I get time, I can scan it for you. They aren't manufactured any more, and I've seen them posted all over the Yahoo groups with no copyright infringement. Or I could point you to one of those group's pattern pages. The pattern works for hand knitting, as the stitches are still wider than they are tall, so they can be used for hand knitting.