Eight Basic Knotwork Patterns

Most knotwork patterns boil down to these eight identified patterns.

J. Romilly Allen says:

There are eight elementary knots which form the basis of nearly all the interlaced patterns in Celtic decorative art...Two of the elementary knots are derived from a three-cord plait, and the remaining six from a four-cord plait.

You can find Allen's book listed in the bibliography.

I have reproduced the eight basic knotwork patterns here, along with the three- and four-cord plait from which they're derived. My knotwork page tells how to draw these knots. Of special interest are Iain Bain's methods for drawing four-cord knots and three-cord knots.

3 cord plait The three-cord plait
3 cord plait Knot #1
3 cord plait Knot #2
4 cord plait The four-cord plait
Knot #3 Knot #3
Knot #4 Knot #4
Knot #5 Knot #5
Knot #6 Knot #6
Knot #7 Knot #7
Knot #8 Knot #8

Obviously, it's possible to make more patterns from the three- and four-cord plaits than just these eight. However, these are the patterns most frequently used by the Celtic artists. Therefore, I recommend sticking with these basic patterns in your projects to enhance the authenticity.


local documentKnotwork Main Page

local documentCeltic Bibliography Page

local documentKnotwork's General Properties

local documentJ. Romilly Allen's 8 Basic Knots

local documentMeaning of Knotwork  (popular!)

local documentIain Bain's Method: 4-cord Knotwork

local documentIain Bain's Method: 3-cord Knotwork

local documentAndy Sloss' Method

local documentMarc Wallace's Method

local documentChristian Mercat's Method

local documentDouble Interlacing

local documentMy Celtic Cross  (popular!)

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