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,



thraceknits said...

Looks good! I've updated the copyright statement to use a Creative Commons license for the blog and added the license you chose for the project.

Knitted Gems said...

Great project! I really like your latest addition.

Anonymous said...

you star! just what I was searching for here in the UK. I am always looking for interesting celtic cables to incorporate in knitting with locally spun wool here in Devon and I will happily keep in touch with your site. Thank you - much appreciated

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful patterns with us!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for charting these cables! I used this one (with a few modifications) on a sweater, and it's so lovely! I hope that I'll get to work some more of these patterns in the future! Thanks again!

Project link:

Unknown said...

May you be blessed by creative muses everywhere! And may your generosity be returned to you manyfold.

I have grown very tired of all the knitting intellectual property going around these days, especially as it is ALL ultimately derived from generation upon generation of knitters, is it not?

Unknown said...

May you be often blessed by countless creative muses! And may your generosity be returned to you manyfold.

I have grown quite weary of all the claims of knitting intellectual property these days, especially as it is ALL ultimately derived from generation upon generation of knitters, is it not? (My goodness, I was using two circulars all by my lonesome before I ever knew other people did it! Necessity is indeed often the mother of invention...)

Anonymous said...

I am so stuck with reading this pattern. I.e. I cannot get past the first line. I'm reading it as cast on 16 stitches but then once I add the stitches in the increases I have 20 in total by the second row. Please someone help!