Susanna IC, whose work was previously profiled in “Nature’s own green shawls, scarves and cowls,” has created a Celtic knot cabled shawl pattern or scarf, she calls a “sharf”. Using her knitting design talent, she developed the short row lacey crescent shaping and integrated it with cables to knit the Aran “Caireen”. It’s a free knitting pattern, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the link is below.
Celtic symbols honor the kinship of the Irish not just on St. Patrick’s Day but all year round. Whether borne from the “Old Sod” or not, dedicated knitters of traditional knitting master the historical stitch combinations that tell a story in their shawl patterns, blankets, and sweaters. What is most familiar is the intricate knot work created by the Irish Christian monks ca 800; when trying to convert pagan Celts to Christianity, they wrote manuscripts of the Gospels, using the Celtic knot design to illustrate the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, enhanced by the eternal union of wisdom and compassion. The Book of Kells resides at Trinity College of Dublin and is said to be Ireland’s finest national treasure.
While the origins of all handwork reflect a purpose for survival and necessity, as inherent story-tellers, the Irish have for generations woven the details of their lives into their knitting and at the same time recorded family history in their knitted stitches. Even if you don’t have Irish, Welsh or Scottish heritage,
“if you honor Mother Earth and believe in the spiritual connection between all living things, then you definitely have a Celtic soul and should follow your heart.”
Susanna explains her inspiration for the cabled Celtic knot shawl pattern:
“Inspired by beautiful Celtic knot work, I adapted this Saxon Braid pattern from Barbara Walker’s Third Treasury.”
You’ll need 5 skeins of yarn, about 550 yards, 500 m. Susanna’s knit with Blue Sky Alpacas Melange color: #802 Pesto; 5 skeins, sport weight yarn on a size 7 circular needle. She explains the use of sport weight with a larger needle:
“larger needle gives the wrap lovely drape while maintaining the warmth inherent to the baby alpaca fiber.”
This beautiful shawl pattern was published in Knitty’s Fall 2010 issue and is available as a free print out or download pattern.
The beauty of Susanna’s knitting creations lies in their drape and grace when worn. Unencumbered by pins or buttons, the scarves wrap beautifully and stay in place with longer ends, which can be comfortably tied or placed for a natural flowing effect. All are knitted in one piece from the outside edge, the most difficult part being the initial cast on and counting of stitches.
Susanna IC has been published in Knit Circus, Interweave, Twist Collective, and Knitty. You will find Susanna IC’s knitting designs for shawls, scarves, fingerless gloves, hats, and more on ArtQualia.com, many of them are free patterns.
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Nature’s own green shawls, scarves, and cowls
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Entrelac scarf pattern and video instruction
All photos property of Susanna IC and ArtQualia.com used with permission. Susanna IC currently lives in Germany with her husband and two sons.
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