Book of Kells Square Knot

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

Difficulty: Advanced ✦✦✦✦✦

Celtic knots have always intrigued me. Ever since I made the open Celitc knot square, I have been mulling around with the idea of making a solid knot using something like cabling found in Knitting.


With a little experimenting, I found a technique of using relief stitches (front-post tc and dtc) worked over rows of sc to create a similar look. In fact, I think it works better than knitted cables in capturing the essence of the Celtic knot



This is a new 2018 post with written instructions for making my Book of Kells Square Knot.

If you are looking for my original post, it's here.


Here is the stitch diagram for this pattern.


These instructions use the same terminology as my Celtic Heart Square. This pattern has a video showing how to stitch the complex relief stitches in addition to written and charted directions. If you have difficulties figuring out how to stitch this square knot pattern, I recommend taking a look at that video.


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purchase a downloadable printer-friendly PDF of this pattern,

CLICK HERE.


For my inspiration, I went directly to source: the Book of Kells online from Trinity College Dublin. I found many gorgeous examples of intricately woven knots among the pages of the illuminated manuscript, and settled on a corner motif for my first Book of Kells pattern.


To begin, I traced the knot pattern in Inkscape to work out the details of the knot. I modified the corner square section to be a complete, closed, one-stranded loop rather than two that continue to the top and right motifs. From there, it was relatively easy (for me) to translate into crochet stitches.



Dimensions:

When the square is made with worsted weight yarn (I used Vanna's Choice) and a 5 mm (H) hook, it measures 10 inches x 10 inches (which happens to be the perfect size for an iPad cozy).


Special Stitches:

Front post double treble crochet (fpdtc): YO 3 times, pull a loop around the designated stitch 2 rows below, (pull a loop through 2 loops on the hook) 3 times.


Left-on-top Cross: fpdtc around each of the 2 post stitches 2 rows below and 2 stitches to the left, sc in the next st, fpdtc around each of the 2 post stitches 2 rows below and 2 stitches to the right.


Note: The post stitches can also be stitched around the sc 2 rows below if no post stitch exists yet in that location, especially when combined with a horizontal row.


Right-on-top Cross: fpdtc around each of the 2 post stitches 2 rows below and 2 stitches to the left, sc in the next st, inserting your hook under the 2 post stitches just created: fpdtc around each of the 2 post stitches 2 rows below and 2 stitches to the right. (The second set of fpdtc should be under the first set of fpdtc created.)



“FPDTC and Short Horizontal Relief Row” to the Right: YO 3 times, pull a loop around the stitch down 2 rows and to the right 3 stitches, YO, skip 1 stitch, pull a loop around the next relief stitch to the right, pull a loop through 2 loops on the hook and continue until you have 1 loop left.


“FPDTC and XX- anchor Horizontal Relief Row” to the Right: YO 3 times, pull a loop around the stitch down 2 rows and to the right 3 stitches, (YO, skip 1 stitch, pull a loop around the next stitch) repeat XX times (the number of anchor points), YO, skip 1 stitch, pull a loop around the next relief stitch to the right, pull a loop through 2 loops on the hook and continue until you have 1 loop left.

  • These can also be stitched to the left (simply replace right with left in the instructions above).

  • The horizontal relief rows can also be stitched at the beginning of a more complex stitch, for example: “1-anchor horizontal relief row and fpdtc”. In this case, the horizontal row is stitched first over the sc just stitched rather than on a row below then the fpdtc is stitched before completing the return of the stitch.



Note:When I write "repeat XX times", I intend for you to stitch the sequence in the parentheses or brackets XX times.

  • For instance, "(ch 3, sc) repeat 3 times" means stitch "ch 3, sc" a total of 3 times (i.e. stitch ch 3, sc, ch 3, sc, ch 3, sc).




My original Book of Kells Square Knot is made with each return row (even numbered rows) with single crochet. This gives a square that is 8x10 inches.


This new version of the square uses half double crochet (HDC) for the return row, giving a 10x10 inch square.



Pattern:

Chain 40.


Starting from the second chain on the hook:

Row 1: sc 39. Turn.

Row 2: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 3: ch, sc 39. Mark the 3rd, 15th, 27th, and 37th stitches. Turn.

Row 4: ch, hdc 39. Turn.


Row 5: ch, sc 2, fptc 2 around the 3rd (marked) and 4th stitches of Row 3, sc 7, fpdtc around the 15th stitch from Row 3 (marked), fpdtc around the 16th stitch from Row 3, sc, fpdtc around the 12th stitch from Row 3 (3 sts before the fpdtc pair just made) and 3-anchor horizontal relief row to the right ending around the 2nd fptc made earlier, fpdtc around the 13th stitch from Row 3 and 4-anchor horizontal relief row to the right ending around the 1st fptc made earlier,



Note: the second horizontal relief row is ALWAYS stitched under the previous horizontal row unless otherwise noted.


sc 7, (fpdtc around the 27th stitch from Row 3 and 5-anchor horizontal relief row ending in the 37th stitch (marked)) together, (fpdtc around the 28th stitch from Row 3 and 4-anchor horizontal relief row (on top of the previous horizontal row) ending in the 36th stitch) together, sc, fpdtc around the 24th stitch from Row 3 (3 sts before the first fpdtc of the pair just made) and 3-anchor horizontal relief row to the right ending around the 2nd fptc of the free pair made earlier, fpdtc around the 25th stitch from Row 3 and 4-anchor horizontal relief row to the right ending around the 1st fpdtc of the free pair made earlier,


sc 7, fptc around the 36th st from Row 3 (the same stitch as the end of the 3-anchor row just made, directly below), fptc around the 37th stitch from Row 3 (the same stitch as the end of the 4-anchor row just made), sc 2. Turn.


Row 6: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 7: ch, sc 2, [right-on-top cross, sc in the next st, (fpdtc around the next relief stitch down 2 rows to the left) twice, sc, fpdtc and short row to the right, fpdtc and 1-anchor short row to the right, sc in the next st] repeat 3 times. Turn.


Left: Don't forget to insert your hook under the previous FPDTC pair when making a right-on-top cross. Right: Sometimes it is easier to bring a working loop of yarn under the FPDTC pair to make the stitches (here: (FPDTC and short row) together).


Row 8: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 9: ch, sc 2, (fptc around the post stitch 2 rows below) twice, (sc, left-on-top cross) repeat 3 times, [sc, (fptc around the post stitch 2 rows below) twice] twice, sc, left-on-top cross, sc, (fptc around the post stitch 2 rows below) twice, sc 2. Turn.


Row 10: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 11: ch, sc 2, [(fptc around the post stitch 2 rows below) twice, sc] twice, (right-on-top cross, sc) repeat 5 times, sc. Turn.


Row 12: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 13: ch, sc 2, (fptc around the post stitch 2 rows below) twice, sc, left-on-top cross, sc, (fpdtc around the next relief stitch down 2 rows to the left) twice, sc 4, ((short row to the right and fpdtc around the first post stitch of the pair down and to the right) and fptc around the post stitch below) together , [(1-anchor horizontal row to the right and fpdtc around the post stitch down and to the right) and fpdtc around the post stitch below]together,


sc, (fptc around the post stitch below) twice, sc, (short row to the right and fpdtc around the second (closest) post stitch of the pair down and to the left) together, (1-anchor row to the second fptc to the right and fpdtc around the post stitch down and to the left) together, sc, (fpdtc around the next post stitch down and to the right) twice, sc, left-on-top cross, sc, (fptc around the post stitch below) twice, sc 2. Turn.


looking at the sc just made and working to the right: YO, skip 1 st, pull a loop around the next st (short horizontal relief row made), YO 3 times, pull a loop around the 1st (closest) post stitch of the pair of relief stitches below to the right, pull a loop through 2 loops on the hook and every 2 loops until there are 2 loops left (short row and fpdtc made), YO twice, pull a loop around the post stitch directly below, (pull a loop through 2 loops on the hook) twice (fptc made), pull a loop through the remaining 3 loops on the hook ((short row and fpdtc) and fptc together made).


Row 14: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 15: ch, sc 2, (right-on-top cross, sc) twice, sc 13, right-on-top cross, [sc, (fptc around the post stitch below) twice] twice, sc 2. Turn.


Row 16: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 17: ch, sc 2, (fptc around the post stitch below) twice, sc, left-on-top cross, sc, (fpdtc around the stitch down 2 rows and 4 stitches to the left (the 2nd sc made in that row) and 2-anchor horizontal row to the left) together, (fpdtc around the next sc 2 rows below and 1-anchor row to the left) together, sc, (fpdtc around the post stitch down and to the right) twice, sc, fptc around the same stitch as the 1-anchor row below, fptc around the same stitch as the 2-anchor horizontal row below, sc,


(fptc around the stitch 2 rows below) twice, sc, (fpdtc around the post stitch down and to the left) twice, sc, (fpdtc around the third sc down and to the right and short row to the same stitch as the first (closest) fptc to the right) together, (fpdtc around the 2nd sc down and to the right and 1-anchor row to the same stitch as the second fptc to the right) together, sc, left-on-top cross, sc, (fptc around the post stitch below) twice, sc 2.


Row 18: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 19: ch, sc 2, [(fptc around the post stitch below) twice, sc] twice, (right-on-top cross, sc) repeat 5 times, sc 2. Turn.


Row 20: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 21: ch, sc 2, (fptc around the post stitch below) twice, sc, (left-on-top cross, sc) repeat 3 times, [(fptc around the post stitch below) twice, sc] twice, left-on-top cross, sc, (fptc around the post stitch below) twice, sc 2. Turn.


Row 22: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 23: ch, sc 2, [skip the post stitches directly below, fpdtc around the first of the pair of post stitches down and to the left, fpdtc around the next post stitch down and to the left, sc 4, [(short horizontal row and fpdtc around the closest post stitch down and to the right underneath the previously made pair of post stitches) and fpdtc around the first post stitch of the pair down and to the left] together, [(1-anchor horizontal row and fpdtc around the next post stitch down and to the right underneath the previous pair of post stitches) and fpdtc around the next post stitch of the pair down and to the left] together, sc, (fpdtc around the post stitch down and to the right underneath the previously made pair of post stitches) twice, sc] repeat 3 times, sc. Turn.


Row 24: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 25: ch, sc 2, (fptc around the post stitch below) twice, sc 7, (3-anchor horizontal row to the closest fptc just made to the right and fpdtc around the first post stitch down and to the left) together, (4-anchor horizontal row to the first of the fptc just made to the right and fpdtc around the next post stitch down and to the left) together,


sc 10, [(4-anchor horizontal row to the right and fpdtc around the post stitch down and to the right) and fpdtc around the first post stitch down and to the left] together, [(5-anchor horizontal row to the right and fpdtc around the post stitch down and to the right) and fpdtc around the first post stitch down and to the left] together,


sc 10, [(4-anchor horizontal row to the right and fpdtc around the post stitch down and to the right) and fptc around the post stitch below] together, [(5-anchor horizontal row to the right and fpdtc around the post stitch down and to the right) and fptc around the post stitch below] together, sc 2. Turn.


Row 26: ch, hdc 39. Turn.

Row 27: ch, sc 39. Tie off or continue to the border.



Border:

ch, sc in the same stitch, sc in the end of each row and in each stitch around with (sc, hdc, sc) in the corner stitches, and (sc, hdc) in the last stitch then slip stitch to join.



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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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