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Ikat Designs

      Ordering: Ikat Designs for Handknitters is available in printed book form by post (£7 plus postage), or in a PDF document file to download (£7). To order contact me.
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Ikat designs for knitting        

The Ikat tradition
Every contemporary design collection seems to include textile designs with an Ikat look and feel and the mystery of traditional Ikat fabrics continues to entrance us.  Ikat designs seem to incorporate a shadow of a second design below the surface and have a distinct fuzziness to their borders because of the imperceptible merging of  different layers of pattern.  

Ikat fabrics are woven designs which have a distinctive appearance due to the fuzziness of the outlines on the shapes and because they sometimes seem to incorporate a shadow of another design just below the surface.  This style of weaving is one where either the warp or the weft, or both, undergo a custom tie-dye style process so that there is an underlying design on the threads of the fabric before weaving begins.  The loom is threaded up, then dye resistant markers are arranged in a pattern,  then the threads removed, dyed, and replaced in the same arrangement so that there is a tie-dyed pattern over the threads before weaving.  Not a process for the time challenged!   A double ikat is when both the warp and the weft are tie-dyed before weaving.

About this collection of knitted Ikat fabrics
Obviously since ikat is a weaving technique, a knitted fabric cannot be an ikat fabric, but it can echo the distinctive appearance for which Ikats are known. Unlike some design traditions, which can be difficult to translate into knitted form, the distinctive ikat appearance fits comfortably with the horizontal lines which are naturally produced in knitted fabrics. I have had fun with these designs and included many with a horizontal pattern, some where the patterning is vertical, and a few with diagonal patterning.  The horizontal designs can be infinitely varied by imaginative use of colour, and in the design notes for the stitchpatterns  I have included ideas for colour alongside the designs.

There are 21 basic designs in the Ikat collection with additonal variations and alternative colourways.  Each design comes with its own chart, showing the different colourways if applicable, and hints and tips for knitting and experimenting with further colour and yarn variations.

Ikat knitted surf design Ikat knitted nomad design
              ikat zizag knitting design Ikat sweater
Ikat knitted pyramid design
Ikat surf design
Glorious colour for a bedouin look, this design can be used for sideways knitted jerkins and overjackets
Ikat nomad design
Ikat Zigzag knitting design - optical slanting effect
A selection of the 21 designs in the collection
Machine knitting version also available
Ikat knitted furnishing design
Ikat tapestry knitted design
    Ikat sycamore knitted design
      Ikat Pyramids
accent on the vertical
      ikat lantern knitting design  

A simple ikat theme for knitting party bags or totes, or interior fabrics with a contemporary edge.
Ikat Interiors design


Ikat tapestry design
A typical knitted ikat with the shadow of a second design crossing the surface tapestry.


Monochrome Ikat knitted designs
Ikat Sycamore (left) and Ikat Lanterns (right)

No need to add additional colours to achieve this edgy design (Sycamore), or a more traditional one (Lanterns)

Like all the books, Ikat Designs includes design notes with colour and design ideas to try. If you are a Designaknit user and just want the stitchpatterns, opt for the DK disk.