Saturday, March 24, 2007

Free Cable Stitch Patterns featured at the Celtic Knot Project!

Note: if you just want to see charts and pictures, scroll down.

Okay, I know you're thinking 'What is the Celtic Knot project'? Well, after discussing at length
with Kara my frustration at the lack of celtic knot cable stitch pattern sources out there, the idea was born. The main sources of celtic knots I did find were Alice Starmore's work, dispersed among many of her books, notably Aran Knitting. Check out this photo of St. Brigid, for example. But this is a very hard to find book, as it is out of print, and is extraordinarily expensive if you do find a copy on eBay. Another great source of knotwork is Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Patterns for Knitting, which I adore and use heavily (as I'm sure some of you have noticed), but my use of her stitch patterns limits my ability to share the instructions for the finished pieces (like Ingrid, Eva, and the mittens I made last year for Christmas presents), as the Copyright Notice at the front of the book states "No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior permission of the publisher." This is very common copyright language which can be found on many stitch dictionaries, such as the Vogue Knitting Stitchionaries, etc... I find it odd, they are selling us instructions for stitches to encourage or spark our creativity, but we cannot share garment patterns using the charts or instructions, and I personally find it irritating to refer someone to book X, page Y instead of just providing a chart from a book. But I will not break copyright law either. Note that modifying something in a stitch dictionary makes the piece a derivative work, and is this safe, as are really old patterns, such as the "saxon braid" pattern found in numerous books, feather and fan lace, etc..., and no single author could ever claim to be the intellectual property holder of such works. I believe Barbara Walker's work falls into this category as well, because her work came from numerous (credited) sources, rooted in tradition. I think that's part of why so many designers draw from her treasuries directly, without making modifications.

So... what's a girl to do? Kara suggested that I make up my own cables based upon celtic art works, so I did just that. I chose an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License. All that means is that the work that I have compiled is free to use, free to copy and share, and free to modify for non-commercial uses. Credit must be given to me, ivanovaknits, and if someone would like to use it for a commercial purpose, say to be incorporated in a garment pattern for sale, they just have to ask me first. I think this is much more flexible than what is offered by some stitch dictionaries. Now for the project details...

This is a derivative work of Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Patterns for Knitting. I use her techniques, as well as most of her notation. Without this book, I probably would not have been able to turn the pictures of celtic knotwork into cable panels. This work is not a substitute for Lavold's book, and I will not reproduce her work here. This is also a derivative work of Sheila
Sturrock's Celtic Knotwork Handbook. For the time being, all of the knotwork shown here will come from images in the book, or will be variations of those images. I will refer to the page number of the image I used in her book, but I will not scan images of the book, or draw these pictures, simply because I can't draw. This book teaches you how to draw celtic knots, and while I now know how to draw them, I still can't draw well.
So here's the first installment:

Small Hearts Connected By Ribs

I have charted and knitted panel 1 from chapter 3 of Sheila
Sturrock's Celtic Knotwork Handbook, page 27. It is a panel which consists of 12 cast-on stitches, which grows to 20 using directional increases, and then is reduced to 12 on the final row. While I have included instructions for making left-leaning and right-leaning increases that make sense to me, if you're confused, look it up in a techniques book, or refer to Viking Patterns for knitting, where Lavold includes pictures of how to make these increases. I had done them before reading her book, to make assymetrical thumb gussets on a set of mittens.
The pictures of the swatch:

These samples were knit out of Wolle Roedel's Soft Merino, a very soft and elastic superwash worsted weight merino wool on US 8 (5 mm) needles.
Here's the chart in jpg format, save it to your own computer, and fiddle with the sizing for ease of printing and reading.

And the legend... I intend to chart and swatch several knots, and they will all use this legend, so if you're interested, you might as well print out a copy and keep it with all the charts.

Happy cabling,


Friday, March 23, 2007

An appropriate quiz... (part 2)

I just took the quiz Ivanova posted. The results aren't a huge surprise.

What Battlestar Galactica Character Are You?!

You're Starbuck! She may look like a little girl, but she is the toughest SOB on the Galactica. She's the best pilot on the Galactica and fiercly independent.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

An appropriate quiz...

considering the sci-fi theme we've got going on here! Happy clicking...


What Battlestar Galactica Character Are You?!

You're Apollo! Loyal to his father and the President, his concerns run towards the people and the survival of mankind. Often butting heads with his father, he does what he thinks is right in his heart, while still kicking some Cylon ass
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Eva is done!

Well, here she is!
I am quite pleased with the results, even though I'd make a couple of small changes if I were to make her again.
Pattern: Eva, my own design
Cable panels from Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elsebeth Lavold, instructions adapted from the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd, for a set-in sleeve sweater.
Yarn: Cuffs, hem, button bands and collar: Noro Silk Garden color 201. The rest: Kilcarra of Donegal Irish Tweed, in a blue color (two blues spun together) with cranberry flecks.
What would I do differently, seeing as this was my own experiment? I would have made the sleeves a touch longer. Like 1/2 an inch, or 3 or 4 rows. I'm sure I can block them a bit longer in the next washing though. I think it still looks acceptable though. I would have also made the shawl collar a touch wider. It creeps up a bit, and I keep on pulling it down in place. I guess I'll have to tack it down with the leftovers of the Silk Garden. But this is a flattering fitting sweater, and had none of the sleeve cap issues that Ingrid had. I guess we do learn from our mistakes! Here's the modelled shot.
Not a great shot, but you get the picture. I'll arrange for a better one when I'm feeling less sick, and when my husband isin't out running my errands. Now in a fit of indicisiveness over which project to plow through and finish, and which one to start next, I made a hat out of some of the leftovers from Eva.
This is the Ragna Cap from Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Patterns for Knitting.
Modifications: My row gauge was way off, and there was no way 5 cable panel repeats would fit around my head, so I knit 8 repeats before casting off and grafting the panel ends together. Then I knit the hat in the round, where the instructions say to knit it flat and seam it up. But I kept the same number of stitches and rows for the crown (minus the 2 selvedge stitches) so maybe I should have looked up the errata for this one. Either way, it fits my head pretty well!
Now I have a sort of matching sweater and hat set!


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm baaack!

Well, I was MIA for a while, but now I'm back. My advisor decided to go here on sabbatical for two months:

Ahhh... Berkeley! Sadly I was too busy eating pizza at the Cheeseboard Collective to post to the blog. Oh, yeah... I was also pretty busy working on the big, bad thesis. Wherever did the time go?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If the sweater fits...

That's me, holding the little one in his new sweater. Doesn't he look spiffy?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Yarn diet begets stash management

Whenever the end of February rolls around, the nice people at Costco and American Express reward me for all my hard work swiping plastic the rest of the year. Note: I only advocate responsible use of credit. Anyways, back to the shopping: I spent some of my rebate on this to help with yarn management. Perhaps a jumbo ball winder is overkill, but I like the idea of making really big yarn cakes now and then.

Knitting continues and I'll post pictures soon. In the meanwhile, I'll distract with Dalek sightings on the internets.