Hooked on Needles

Friday, August 15, 2008

Great Book of Celtic Patterns

Since seeing my recent articles about Irish Step Dancing Embroidery, and working on her own Celtic cross stitch piece, my daughter has become quite excited about doing some more Celtic embroidery of her own. She is at that age where she is thinking about a day in the not too distant future when she leaves home and makes a home for herself somewhere else. Naturally she wants nice things to bring along so she is busy designing and stitching and thinking about all sorts of wonderful domestic type things.

She was looking for some interesting Celtic knot patterns to use for pillow case embroidery or wallhanging embroidery, and she came upon a book by Lora S. Irish (interesting last name!) called Great Book of Celtic Patterns. In it are dozens of original designs of Celtic knots, lines, finials, corners, Viking animals, religious symbols, fantasy, circles, squares and motifs. She also includes a fascinating history of Celtic knots and lines, a section on layout ideas and line enhancements.

Each section includes clear pictures and many variations of each design. The author takes a simple twist or braid design and shows how it can be made to look like branches with leaves, a rope, a stencil or several lines from thick to thin and so many other variations. She renders some of the patterns in color with lots of interesting details such as birds nests or tendrils.

She shows how the designs can be used on notecards, frames, a chessboard and other creative uses. She even has a whole section on plotting and graphing knots so you can take a knot you like and really make it your own using graph paper, colored pencils and an eraser.

The book itself is paperback, but substantial with each page thick and glossy. I would recommend it to anyone looking for some new and interesting Celtic designs for embroidery or any other kind of artwork. Elizabeth has already traced many designs from the book and has wonderful ideas of how she wants to use them. I'll share them with you once they become a reality!

You can click on the button below to take a look inside the book on Amazon and see some of the beautiful Celtic designs.

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