I find one of the easiest ways to build nice, consistent Celtic knots is to use graph paper. This gives you an even guide to follow as you plot out your knot. I usually use graph paper where every second dot is slightly bigger, going both up and down. This leaves you with one regular dot, and then an emphasised dot, then another regular dot, and so on. You can bold every second dot yourself on regular graph paper by just using a different colored pen or marker to touch them up (see panel below for dot marking).

In each panel I will show you step by step how to create a Knotwork Corner. Each new step will be in red. As you go through the panels, old steps will turn gold, and there will be a new step highlighted, again in red.

To make a Basic Knot go around a corner, first mark off the area. I have marked off a small portion here, but if you were doing a border that continues all around your page, you would have marked off an area that was three big dots wide all the way around. Much like what I've done here, only it would continue all the way around until it joined up with itself again. Here I've marked off my area and then went and crossed an "X" over all the little dots that fall within it.

Add your elbows to the knot, and the single corner that falls exactly on the outer corner of your knot. My knot here has corners capping the ends on it as well, because I can't show it going all the way around (not without a two hour download!), but yours would only have a corner on the outer corner of the knot, and elbows all the way around the inside and the outside so that all the ends are used up.

Now you go through and erase your overs and unders at all your intersections. You can do this either by picking a point of intersection and erasing it, and then following that strand around, making it weave through all the other strands it encounters. Or you can use what we learned in the border section, and erase an over in one intersection, and then erase all the intersections that fall in line with it (vertically or horizontally) the same way.

Next, Knotting Around Unusual Corners...

If you're enjoying these tutorials, you need to get a copy of my book Creating Celtic Knotwork: A Fresh Approach to Traditional Design, Published by Dover Publications, the book has much more information than these online tutorials have, more explanations, examples, exercises to work through... become a Celtic art master!

All tutorials copyright Cari Buziak, 1995-current