View Full Version : Supreme Celtic Challenge Blanket

02-07-2011, 09:23 AM
Some background:

A long time ago, I wanted to make a quilt from scratch, with the help of my boyfriends mom. While at the fabric store flipping through books to find one I could make, I came across a Celtic quilt book. (Here is the link, if you are curious. (http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Fantasy-Rhapsody-Quilts-Companion-Full-Size/dp/B003H4RB5S/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297083496&sr=1-7)) I totally fell in love with the idea of making a Celtic quilt. I am Irish and very proud of it, so the book just hit my soft spot. Anyways, I made a simpler, plain quilt first, and decided that I HATED sewing/quilting. Furthermore, even after buying the book and reading how to make the designs, I still have no earthy idea how they did it. I tried a few different ways, and failed.

Somewhere in this I actually bought a bunch of Celtic Design books and did lots of looking and scanning and manipulating in photoshop until I designed my perfect blanket, and every time I look at it, I fall in love all over again, even though its only in black and white.

My next crafty project was a cross stitch, and as I was working on it, I thought, "I can make my blanket in cross stitch!" and I got really excited about being able to make my blanket after all... until I worked on my cross stitch for about 10 HOURS and had little progress to show. Cross stitch is very slow, and boring, and I dislike it.

Then by a random chance I picked up knitting. I swear it was honestly totally random, I was at the craft store and found yarn I thought was pretty and wanted a hat made out of it. So youtube and I became friends, and I discovered knitting is my life's calling. That was back in August, and I am still in love.

The Challenge:
This is my MOST AMAZING design, that took a VERY LONG TIME to come up with. For some reason this picture wants to be pixally, but the originally is not.

1. How in the hell can I knit this? I love knitting, and anything I don't know how to do, I have found I like anyways, so any ideas? Even a wild idea? Should it be knit in pieces with fair isle and grafted together or knit as a blanket with LOTS OF INTARSIA going on? I plan on dyeing my own yarn, that way it is the exact colors I want (which need to be decided, see #2) and the whole thing is the exact same yarn, that way I don't have to deal with gauge problems. (Or like a billion other things that could go wrong with multiple yarns!) Also, I am assuming to get enough detail and for the blanket to not be the size of a house, I will be using sock or lace weight yarn on some tiny needles. I will definatly be using a superwash of some sort, because felting = NOT ideal. As for the back, well I'm thinking of sewing a solid color back onto it once its all finished, to take away the possibility of floats getting ripped out and such.

2. I need it colored. If you want to have a go at it, be my guest. My rules for the coloring so far are: Everything is to be in a SLIGHTLY variegated color, as in, almost a solid. (I can dye my own, so HOORAY!) Those blank bits I think I want to be a dark brown or black. Each "strand" is to have its own color. The stands that interlock I want to be similar, but different. (Such as, on the outer edge, there are 2 strands if you follow them, maybe one blue one turquoise?) Anything that is the same color, I want a good reason for it to be. Its very challenging because there are SO MANY parts to this pattern, but I know I will find the most amazing coloring eventually.

PHEW! So, please add your input!

02-07-2011, 10:21 AM
That is a lovely design - although it would certainly be a very difficult project to be knit by hand! You would have to chart out each separate design element ... :think:

It's not something that I would have the patience to undertake, but if you have the passion for it then by all means give it a try!

If you're looking for advice on how to go about it, at first glance I personally would:

1) Use fair isle, NOT intarsia;
2) Knit the larger centre section as one piece, and knit each of the 4border pieces separately, then seam the 5 pieces together; and
3) I agree that varying shades of the same color will look lovely, just make sure that you choose shades with enough contrast for your design to pop ... a lot of work would go into something like this, so you don't want the design to fade into the background!

I'm sure that others will likely have more opinions for you! Good luck with your project ... it sounds like you have a real passion for it, so I'm sure you'll find a way to do it somehow! :knitting:

02-07-2011, 03:08 PM
Actually, I'm wondering if you're going to have to knit the corner diamonds separate from the other parts of the border. However, yeah, the border is EASY when knitted on its own... you just work the longer edge as the length and shorter as the width. If you're doing this solely intarsia and not a textured pattern, you can work the entire thing in one piece no problem... just get the designs onto a graph and try to figure out how many stitches you'll need for each square. Cabled... yeah, I go to my first sentence... you'll have to break that puppy up a little. I personally would feel like doing an intarsia cabled design, so the cables are the second color... this would make it more difficult, however, especially in the tension. Omg, your picture makes me want to knit cabled celtic designs now, darnit! Oh, as for the sides, that celtic rope (not in the corners) there's a pattern already out somewhere... I've found it before... most likely for free, as well. I'll have to find it again...

02-07-2011, 05:32 PM
There are a couple parts I would be able to actually use cables, but most of it I would have no earthly idea, so I was just planning on fake cables using color. Also, I want it to lay prefectly flat. =)

I plan on using darker shades for the backgrounds, and bright ones for the design, so it will "pop" alot =)

02-08-2011, 07:17 PM
I'd love to have the center, second, and third parts of it as a tattoo, but wouldn't have any idea of how to knit it. It's beautiful though.

02-13-2011, 02:05 PM
That is a challenge all right!! It would be nice to be able to use real cables in the middle and the border, or maybe just the border. Here is an article about designing cables (trees) but I think it may help. Knitty article (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall05/FEATdesigningtrees.html)

Also there are some books that like wonderful knit Celtic knot type things like this. See if you can find some of Elsebeth Lavold's books at a library. I think that is the name.

Good luck.

02-15-2011, 05:26 PM
Personally, I don't think this beautiful design can be translated to a chart and then knit by anyone, with the exception of MAYBE Elsebeth Lavold, the Swedish designer (author of Viking Knits (http://www.amazon.com/Viking-Patterns-Knitting-Inspiration-Projects/dp/157076137X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297804951&sr=8-1))

02-15-2011, 07:28 PM
Wow! I admire your ambition! If I were doing this, I'd do it all in natural white wool cables and embroider or overstitch the intricate designs. Maybe make a sample in white before trying it in colors.
Be patient with yourself, too - even if it doesn't match your paper design exactly, it can still be very beautiful!