Sorry this post is a bit late this week, exams got in the way!
I thought I would make this post about Celtic designs, as I think they're beautiful and really interesting things.
The first Celtic themed design I ever made was this cross stitch of a Celtic horse:
Anyway, I started to look into the meaning of Celtic knots and other Celtic designs. There is a lot of discrepancy in agreement about the meanings, and little documentation, although some meanings are more well accepted than others. In my opinion, there is very little set meaning to the intricately entwined designs, and people can place there own interpretations on what they stand for. There are of course, any different elements to Celtic designs, including knots, animals, crosses, spirals and religious iconography, but the one that really interests me is the Celtic knot.
In particular, I like the description of a Celtic knot as symbolising "no beginning, no ending, the continuity of everlasting love and binding together or intertwining of two soul or spirits." as well as "eternity...the eternity of life, the eternity of nature, and the eternity of love." Any Celtic knot which has a continuous or unbroken path is in fact termed an Eternity knot. They seem to show us how we are all part of a never ending cycle of life, but add our own twists and turns individually to that cycle. To me they symbolise the connectedness and continuity of life.
Obviously, there are some knots that have more apparent meanings, such as the triquetra, or Trinity knot, which is made from a single strand to give a three part design. This can be use to symbolized the connection of the mind, body, and spirit, or in a more Christian viewpoint, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The picture here shows it in its simplest form, but it can be much more complicated than this
Another is the Lover's Knot which it shows two continuous, unbroken strands that are intertwined and inseparable from each other. to me, the very definition of true love. The hearts that we see today in Celtic imagery are a modern addition to these beautiful designs, which are ever evolving. The image on the left shows a traditional Lover's knot, whilst the image on the right shows 2 strands travelling separate, intertwined paths, then merging to become one before splitting again to become intertwined. To me that separation and yet still unity symbolises true love as closely as anything can.
Now where I am going with this, is that I recently heard of the death of a lady I know's husband, and Ravelry has banded together to make her a remembrance blanket. I couldn't think of anything better to symbolise the love she and her husband felt for each other and the fact that they are still connected and will be for eternity then a Celtic knot. So here is my interpretation for her, and I hope that her blanket brings her comfort through this difficult time.
Celtic Renegades which is committed to charting 1001 Celtic Motifs for knitting, and already has about half of those done, with the patterns all up on Ravelry.