We moved house about six months ago, and four months after that I finally managed to get around to finding a home for the several boxes of books that still hadn’t been unpacked. Loading them onto the shelves, I came across one of my partner’s books that I’d never really sat and looked at properly before – Celtic Design: Maze Patterns, by Aidan Meehan. I put it to one side, and looking through it later that day formed the beginnings of an idea which culminated in the design I’ve been working on for the last two months.
The maze motif used in this pattern is an extended version of a design from a stone discovered in the village of Aberlady, in East Lothian. The stone is a fragment of an 8th century Celtic high cross which would, in its original, complete form, have stood around 17 feet high, and the sculptural designs it bears are in a style similar to that of the illuminations in the Lindisfarne Gospels, a unique combination of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon artistic styles.
(This is one of the simpler maze designs in the book – Aidan Meehan is an expert in this field and a supremely talented artist, if you’d like to see some of his work he has a blog, which contains a wealth of beautiful things, along with fascinating insights into their creation.)
Study of the other details worked on this fragment directed my choice of edging, a variation of the Shetland lace pattern ‘Print o’ the Wave’. There is an optional decorative element to the edging, using either knitted nupps (for which instructions are given), or beads.
The pattern gives explicit instructions for 2 different widths, 19″ and 23″, and 2 lengths, 66″ and 82″, plus detailed comments on calculating at least 5 further lengths ranging between these two. The Print o’ the Wave and maze patterns are described both in written and charted form.
The stole is knit in 2ply laceweight yarn using 4mm needles. It is constructed simply, by knitting up from the bottom border until the main section is complete and then grafting to an identical top border – the grafting technique is described within the pattern.
This pattern is available as a PDF download supplied by Ravelry – you do not need a Ravelry account to purchase. Payment is via Paypal, price £4.00 GBP (Paypal will convert other currencies automatically).
I have ideas in the works for further labyrinthine lace pieces – this was challenging, and fun, and I’m certain it can only get more interesting from here. Looking into the knotwork designs that appear alongside the mazes in much of the art I’ve been looking at has also piqued my interest re cables – I expect a few knotwork pieces may appear too.
In researching the stone discovered at Aberlady, I discovered that there is a reconstruction currently being worked on by the Aberlady Conservation Society, due to be erected some time this year.