Difficulty: Advanced ✦✦✦✦✦
This post includes a full diagram for making my Book of Kells Square Knot.
This is a new 2018 post describing the stitches using the language of my Celtic Heart Square. If you are looking for my original post, it's here.
These instructions use the same terminology as my Celtic Heart Square. The heart 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.
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.
When the square is made with worsted weight yarn (I used Vanna's Choice) and a 5 mm (H) hook, it measures 8 inches x 10 inches (which happens to be the perfect size for an iPad cozy).
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, shown above with a 3-anchor row and 4-anchor row on top and bottom, respectively), 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.
This pattern ends up being slightly rectangular.
If you want this pattern to be more square,
replace each return row (the even numbered rows) with hdc across
like in the Celtic Heart Square pattern.
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.
Update March 2017:
Many people have had difficulties in Row 13, the center where the knot turns a sharp corner and a horizontal row is created at the top of a relief stitch. Pay attention to where the bar is at the top of the stitch to indicate which stitches are connected together.
First, stitch the sc that are "hidden" behind the relief stitches.
These are the stitches that you will anchor the horizontal row onto in the next step. Do not stitch the diagonal dtc relief stitches (going down to the right) as they are connected to the horizontal row.
Second, stitch the horizontal row on top of the sc just made, anchored to them, and continue with the diagonal relief stitch anchored two rows below. Finish with the vertical fptc before completing the stitch.
For the opposing right angle corner of the same row, start with the two vertical fptc as their own stitches. Then stitch sc across and finally the horizontal row (anchored around the sc and fptc just stitched) finishing with the diagonal relief stitches down to the left in one connected stitch.
You can see this type of stitch at the very end of the Celtic Heart Square video.