Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Beginning of Patterns, er, Charts

Now we begin in earnest. This means making blankets for friends. And this also means continuing to make patterns. (I have since learned that these are called Charts.)

This is what is left of my original p
attern book:

The book has been through a lot since I began using it over thirty years ago. Nowadays I create patterns and graphs on the computer.

Fans of my work may recognize the third pattern in brown and yellow. It is a variation of a Finnish pattern, Hannun Vaakuna, or Saint John's Arms.

It is used in a lot of ways by many peoples, but in my usage it denotes an eternity symbol.

And when it is added to a blanket in the colors of Black and Gold, well, it is clearly a reference to the Steelers.

This pattern is another variation of that same eternity symbol, this time being tipped into a diamond. With this symbol begins my fascination with celtic knots and borders. This symbol, in various sizes, appears on many blankets. It is done in one color, with the stitches, not the colors, creating the pattern.

Here is one last page from the book, with some examples of Grecian keys. Working with these symbols has led me to do some research into their meaning. Grecian keys are an offshoot of the labyrinth, which in its true meaning was a one way path that meandered around so that it felt like a maze. But if one kept one's wits about them, proceeding at a steady pace, one would eventually emerge from the labyrinth. The Grecian key simply is a more orderly depiction of the concept.
Grecian key patterns can be found everywhere in architecture. Floor tiles, wall trim, window decoration, etc contain numerous examples of this type of ornamentation. Here is one example from wallpaper.
Both of these types of patterns are very painstaking to do, since one stitch in the wrong place makes it all come out wrong.

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