Book of Kells - Small Celtic Cables

Updated: Jan 25, 2019

Difficulty: Advanced ✦✦✦✦✦


There are many different types of braided columns in the Book of Kells. You can almost follow the progress of the artist's mood or perhaps different artists through the pages. This pattern for small closed cables are a little different than most found in the manusctipt.

The pieces are designed to be modular so you can customize your piece with different length horizontal and vertical segments.


Update 3 March 2018:

If you are having trouble with this pattern, I highly recommend looking at my Celtic Heart Square. It is a much simpler Celtic knot and the pattern includes not only a chart, but also written instructions and a video showing how to stitch the complex relief stitches.


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Illustration from the Book of Kells where this knot is borrowed from.


These modules are made with Vanna's Choice yarn and a 5 mm (H) hook.


Their measurements are (height x width):


Short Vertical: 9" x 2.5" Tall Vertical: ~15" x 2.5" Short Horizontal: 2.5" x 6" Medium Short Horizontal: 2.5" x ~8.5"

Medium Long Horizontal: 2.5" x ~10.5" Long Horizontal: 2.5" x 16"


These patterns consist of relief double, treble, and double-treble crochet stitches. These are made just like normal dc, tc, and dtc stitches, but are looped around the designated stitch in a row below rather than through the top of the stitch directly below. In most cases, the relief stitch is made 2 rows down and several stitches to the right or the left of the starting position. The pattern alternates rows of grey and blue single crochet (represented by a X). Each blue row is stitched on the "right side" (RS) of the project. Each grey row is stitched on the "wrong side" (WS) of the project. The relief stitches are made in the blue rows on the RS. Always stitch a sc for any X in the pattern, even if there is a relief stitch on top of it. Relief stitches are always made from in order right to left side of the diagram row. When looking at the diagram, the top of each stitch looks like a T. There is never a blue X beneath a T because this is the beginning of a relief stitch rather than a single crochet place holder. The number of hash marks through the stitch indicate the number of yarn overs (YOs) to make before looping around a stitch.

The open circle indicates where to loop around a stitch in a row below to create the relief stitch.

For a more detailed explanation, please refer to the instructions in my Book of Kells square pattern.

Each module pattern gives the number of stitches across and rows tall for the pattern. As diagramed, the first 4 rows are sc across. At the end of each row, chain 1 to turn. Vertical modules:


Horizontal modules:


Each module is a made of 2 closed loops wound together. It is recommended to add 1 stitch or 1 row between each pair of horizontal or vertical modules, respectively.



These patterns look great when stitched in two colors. To make a 2-color knot with the post stitches in contrast, use standard tapestry crochet techniques.


On the last stitch before the color change, complete the stitch until you are to pull the last loop through all loops on the hook. Pick up the new color and pull a loop of that color through all loops on the hook to change colors seamlessly. You can carry the contrasting color loosely on the back of the work (this will lead to a messy back) or stitch over the contrasting yarn when you stitch the white stitches in the background (as I have done in this picture).

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Suvi's Crochet!

I'm Suvi, a crochet designer, biology teacher, and mother to an adorable little boy.  If I'm not stitching, you can find me in the garden or the kitchen.

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