The Beauty of Celtic Knots

When I think about the month of March, I always think about St. Patrick’s Day. And since I am a crocheter, St Patrick’s Day doesn’t have me thinking about wearing green or corned beef; I think about Celtic knot crochet and my friend, Jennifer Ryan!

Jennifer’s Celtic knot designs are works of art and I recently asked her to share with us how she began designing her beautiful Celtic knot creations.

Féileacán Shawl
Crochet! Magazine, Summer 2015

Crochet World: Jennifer you have designed some beautiful Celtic knot projects in the last few years. Some of my favorites include the Kerry Shrug, Clare Beauty top and the Féileacán Shawl. Tell us what inspired you?

Jennifer: I love the patterns and intertwining pathways of Celtic knots so I spend time looking through books of knot designs and Celtic-themed catalogs. Often a particular knot design will jump out at me and I can see in its shape a particular project come to life.

Celtic Knot Pin
Free Pattern

CW: How did you develop your Celtic knot technique in crochet?

Jennifer: About 10 years ago I came across a couple of how-to books on decorative knots. I had a great time learning from these books how to weave a variety of knots with a variety of mediums (but not crochet yet!).  Then about 7 years ago when I wanted to send in some of my ideas for the first time to a crochet magazine, I thought that creating something with crochet and Celtic knots would stand-out from the rest and increase my chances of having my designs accepted.  It worked!  Later that year I used the same thinking to create my first entry into the CGOA’s Design Competition – it worked again! I won 2nd prize for my Glendalough Shrug and later created the Kerry Shrug as a simpler version that was published in Crochet! magazine.  I was thrilled that my new technique was recognized and have been doing ‘Celtic knot crochet’ ever since.

Kerry Shrug, Crochet! Magazine, Spring 2013

How do you plan a Celtic knot design? Does the garment shape come first or the knot design?

When I am planning out a garment (or any project), it can go both ways! Sometimes I love a knot design so much that I will want to create a garment around it. So, I list all the garment shapes that would work with it and pick the one garment I would like to add to my wardrobe. J

Other times I want to make a certain garment and then I browse my ‘inspiration folders’ for a knot that will fit well within the garment’s shape.

Clare Beauty
Crochet! Magazine, Autumn 2014

Any advice for beginners who want to try your beautiful technique?

Many people want to make the Kerry Shrug or the Clare Beauty as their first project but I usually recommend they try some of my smaller and simpler designs that are available for free in my Ravelry store. Picking projects that use Size 3 or larger yarn is better, too for your first project. Don’t give up! Sometimes you need to put a project down for a few hours or days to give your mind a rest. That’s okay. I also have several step-by-step photo tutorials on my website to take you through the process of weaving several knots.

If you had the all the time and resources needed, what would be the one Celtic knot design you would love to create?

Crocheters are artists that get to wear their artwork on their person while grocery shopping, going for a walk or sipping coffee at their local café – I love that! So, I would love to create a garment full of Celtic knot flowers and vines in a variety of bright and eye-catching colors that is a piece of art in itself. It would require several hours and skeins of pretty yarn, but that is just one of my dream projects to create.

Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing with us today!

Just in time for St. Patrick’s day, try your hand at crocheting Celtic knots by making one of Jennifer’s free patterns. And look for more beautiful Celtic knot crochet designs from Jennifer in upcoming issues of Crochet World.

Celtic Knot Bracelet
Free Pattern

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Marvelous Crochet Motifs

If you are like most crocheters one of the first things you learned to make after mastering the basics was a granny square motif. Always a perennial favorite, the granny square is often the first motif we fall in love with, but certainly not our last.

 

Now on the newsstands, Marvelous Crochet Motifs is filled with over 35 motif projects, including a few variations on our favorite granny square. Here are a few highlights from this special edition.

You’ll find join-as-you-go projects like the Gradient Granny Top with its variation on the granny square made by off-setting the center of the motif. Cute as a top, crochet more motifs and add to the length for a fun beach cover-up too!

I love the Squaring the Circle purse. It’s a fun way to use up small bits of leftover floss and size 10 thread. The bright pastel color range is perfect for spring, but you can make it your own by using black thread and bright primary colors of floss. Or how about one in neutrals tans, beige, creams, grey and black?

Some projects require just a few motifs like the pretty Spring Star Flowers Shawl crocheted in a beautiful hand-paint look alpaca blend yarn.

And who can resist our cute model, Scarlet looking over the Peekaboo Quiet Book! You’ll have fun making the 6 motifs that make up the project. Each page has a fun activity to keep little hands busy. There is a page with a funny frog catching flies with his tongue, a peekaboo bear, flowers to button on and off, and more!

There are also plenty of projects for your home including several thread pieces to crochet. This beautiful Trefoil Doily uses an unusual triangular motif. And the possibilities are endless; make it as the pattern suggests or keep adding more motifs for a runner or even a tablecloth!

Add a pretty touch of sunshine to your home with the Sunny Garden Throw. Using the motifs only in the border, keeps the focus on the motifs and the pretty lace edging.

Make sure you pick up this special edition soon at your local craft store or Walmart. Or go here to order your copy today.

Happy Crocheting!

Looking for more crochet inspiration and design ideas? Try a free issue of Crochet World magazine on us! Click here.

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Crochet World April 2017

The April issue of Crochet World is now available digitally and will soon be on the newsstands. You’ll find lots of fun springtime projects to crochet including a variety of afghans for you and your favorite little ones.

Every time I see this cute Down on the Farm throw for kids I just have to smile! Of course our pint-sized model, Scarlet certainly helps make this project all the more adorably cute!

Our Spring Flowers Afghan, designed by Rena V. Stevens will bring the beauty of spring right into your home! Covered with yellow tulips and pink crocus, not only is this one fun to crochet, you’ll be proud to show it off too!

Our log Cabin Scrapghan is perfect for using up left over bits of worsted-weight yarn. You’ll have so much fun choosing your colors, you might just be sad to finish this one!There are 2 more beautiful afghans in this issue along with 4 gorgeous pieces crocheted with thread!

Our Designer Spotlight features Joyce Geisler’s beautiful Motif Medley Table Runner in stunning shades of French Rose, orchid pink and mint green for a pretty springtime look. Of course, no matter what colors you choose, you’ll have fun crocheting this join-as-you-go runner. And it would make a stunning tablecloth or set of place mats too!

You’ll also find some quick projects in this issue including our cute Best Buddies set perfect for springtime holiday gift baskets or a new baby!

Or you may want to crochet our useful Messenger Bag which is not only roomy enough to hold most tablets and a few essentials, but also makes a stylish purse too. This is our Beginner’s Luck feature and we hope you’ll use this pattern to share your love of crochet by passing along the tradition and teaching a friend, neighbor or relative.

You’ll find lots more designs here guaranteed to keep your crochet hooks flying all spring long!

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Annie’s Signature Designs – Spring Breeze Collection, Spring 2017

Annie’s Signature Designs has launched Spring Breeze, a stunning upscale collection of knit and crochet patterns for the discerning yarn crafter. The collection was envisioned by Lead Designer Lena Skvagerson, who brings a wealth of experience from the European and Scandinavian fashion markets. Along with Lena, a team of talented individuals collaborated to create a collection that includes the hottest trends in yarn, crochet, knitting and color.

Lena understands how to attract an audience of yarn crafters with a variety of tastes and aesthetics. “I can see how a collection of pieces can fit into a woman’s wardrobe that’s not fussy or complicated, but rather clean and minimal. The designs I envision are timeless, just like my own sense of style,” says Skvagerson.

 

Collection contributors include a host of prolific crochet and knit designers, such as Robyn Chachula, Lisa Gentry and Melissa Leapman.

Designs include tanks, tees, pullovers, wraps and other wearables that span the spring and summer seasons and are practical for everyday wear. The projects are attainable for enthusiasts of all skill levels and are made with a range of high-quality, weather-friendly fibers to keep you cool when the temperatures soar!

Click here to view all the beautiful designs in this collection.

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It’s A New Year! Learn Something New!

Happy New Year! I know we’re a few weeks into 2017, but now that you have had a chance to settle into your day-to-day routine after the holidays, I thought I would take a moment to remind you to learn something new this year!

If you are like me, your crochet list is long with new projects you want to make. We often spend a good part of our crochet time making gifts for others or crocheting for charity; all worthwhile, but I hope you take time to learn something new this year.

Annie’s has over 30 great video classes on all things crochet to inspire you! I find I learn things quicker when I can see someone demonstrate a stitch or new technique. With Annie’s video classes, not only can you repeat a step over and over, you can watch the class anytime, on any device.

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You might want to learn to crochet cables this year! Instructor Jennifer Pionk has 3 new classes for all skill levels. If you are new to crochet cables start with Jennifer’s Learn to Crochet Cable class.

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Or one of Jennifer’s awesome project workshop video classes may appeal to you. I know I have the In-Style Cabled Shoulder Bag on my list! This project is only available in this digital class, and with over 90 minutes of instruction, you find yourself making more than one of these stylish bags. How about one in denim yarn for summer?

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You may have recently noticed a lot of interest in C2C crochet. Corner-to-corner crochet is a way to make afghans, pillows and other home decor items following a color chart to create lots of colorful designs. Learn the basics of this fun technique with expert instructor, Sarah Zimmerman as you make the cutest baby blanket complete with a monkey, lion, elephant and panda! What an adorable shower gift for some special baby!

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After you’ve mastered C2C, you’ll want to check out Sarah’s new pattern book with 5 cute throws!

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If you love motifs, like most crocheters, you may want to take Ellen Gormley’s, Learn to Join Crocheted Motifs video class. With 3 exclusive projects in this 5-star class you’ll learn how to expertly join motifs in several different ways. As you gain confidence, you’ll find yourself using your new skills over and over again.

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And last , but not least, if you or a friend struggle with crochet because you are left-handed, this might be the year to learn! Left-handed crochet expert Kathy Lashley will teach you how to crochet step-by-step in this crystal-clear video as you make the 4 easy projects included with the class.

I hope I have encouraged you to add a new technique or project to your list. Go here to see all the video classes and get inspired to try something new in 2017!

Happy Crocheting!

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