|Love Knots Old & New (a.k.a. Lover's Knots, Solomon's Knots, Knot Stitches)
[Note to subscribers: Speaking of crochet inspirations, it turns out that turning my local crochet classes into national-level classes has been so inspiring that it eclipsed my newsletter publishing schedule!]
Turns out that what’s “old” and “new” about Love Knots is switched for me!
For years I’ve quietly been exploring their, ah, eccentric side. It’s one heck of a unique crochet stitch
. I started out avoiding the classic version
, so for me, the earliest
Love Knots I've known are the strangest
, not the most familiar or classic.
Ever wondered, for example, 'what happens if I felt Love knots?' (next 2 experiments at left)
When I’ve swatched Love Knot experiments over the years, I label them with design notes and store in a Love Knot Heap. I've been using that heap o’ love to create my ideal class on Love Knots.
I’m still uploading photos of them, finishing designs of them, etc. You can see a starter photo set here http://bit.ly/Jw1WuH. (By the way, I'm growing other stitch heaps too so stay tuned…)
The Love Knot has an especially well-established tradition
. It's powerful, and sometimes I wonder if it is has also been limiting to a more 'out of the box' use of Love Knots. I'm reliving how people traditionally learn the stitch over the centuries, such as by crocheting one of those classic mesh stoles or triangular shawls. For me it’s the odd side
of Love Knots. See how I’m all turned around?
By now I should expect to be overwhelmed by what I uncover when I start scratching the surface of a crochet tradition. This time I searched 75 books in my library to get clear on the Love Knot’s names, history, and existing creative range. Palestrina Lace and Nakshatra Wrap pictured in the right column are inspired by studying Love Knot traditions.
Hot pink at left: classic Love Knot mesh in Alchemy Silken Straw.
Remember in issue #18, "Deep Crochet Research"
), when I described my system of combing my entire crochet library for a range of answers to a specific question? When I did this for Love Knots, I learned enough to fill a book.
One of the most helpful things I did
was to actually use the same sizes of crochet hooks & threads listed in the 19th century patterns, and swatch the traditional stitch variations that existed even then
. As a result, I suspect that the birth of this distinctly dainty, ethereal stitch in teeny-tiny thread--not yarn--is a primary factor in explaining which variations developed early (and which didn’t).
At left, stitch pattern for my Waterlily Layer, with Love Knots taking the place of chain strands! (Original Waterlily Layer: http://bit.ly/n7gRSq)
I’m still looking for some missing information. If you can find pre-1891 crochet Love Knots
(always called “Knot Stitch,” except “Hail Stone” on occasion), or if you can find a pre-1961 occurrence of the stitch being called “Lover’s Knot” or “Solomon’s Knot,”
please leave a comment on the newsletter’s Facebook page http://on.fb.me/xh2ll2
or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
. Thanks for your help! (My collection is pretty thin from the 1920’s - 1950’s.)
One of my early Love Knot favorites at left: a 2005 design proposal for "Ripped Jeans Scarf"
For my Love Knot classes and patterns I'm aiming for a multi-faceted Love Spectrum — from old to new, simple to fancy, familiar to odd. I also scoured the internet to see what people are doing with them. You can see what I bookmarked in Flickr, Ravelry, and Etsy:
That's it for now! If you know someone who would enjoy this kind of newsletter, please forward this to them so that they can subscribe. (Click here to subscribe: ) If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me. Thanks! --Vashti
|Love Knot Love!
Sweet: Rosebriar Mesh (finer one is ShetlandCobweb wool) I'm excited about this new look for classic Love Knot mesh!
Bejewelled: Love-Latched Convertible Jewelry. I developed new strategies for locking the beads into place in slippery metallic Love Knots like these! (scroll down for another view)
Freeform Stitch 'Game': Can you spot the Love Knots? They helped me deal with the siver tinsel sequences spun into this Karabella mohair yarn. (This will be a funky floaty layer worn with the rows running horizontally.)
Links I Enjoyed This Week
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Irish Crochet http://bit.ly/IWnFue
Doris Chan's blog post on "crobotics" and "cromance": http://bit.ly/IrjEgq
Vogue Knitting's Crochet 2012 special issue http://bit.ly/IfEjku
You can now subscribe to the newsletter format of Crochet Insider so that you don't miss anything: http://bit.ly/Irls9e
Also see Doris' blog post today about her design in this magazine! http://bit.ly/Irkmu2
In Finland, 3,800 blankets on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral! http://t.co/ffJHr5lV
Well holy cow! The big news this week is that 3 out of 4 of my crochet classes sold out in less than a week after registration opened for the June Chain Link conference in Manchester, NH! The only other class of mine that still has openings as of today is Love Knot Adventures, scheduled for Friday, June 29, 2-5pm: (Deadline: June 11) http://www.knitandcrochetshow.com/
Doris Chan's Spirals Seamless Top launched 2012 with a bang at the DesigningVashti site! To those of you who purchased a copy already, Doris and I thank you for your support of indie crochet designers.
I'll be switching gears back to pattern writing: I have a few to complete from 2011(!) and the following new designs are in development: Palestrina Lace (above).
Love-Latched Convertible Jewelry.
Nakshatra (above as scarf, but will become a type of wrap; both inspired by my Love Knot classes), Slipsox, and
Blogged the Minecraft Creeper transformation from 2-D to 3-D tapestry crochet head: http://bit.ly/IfECfd