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Ikat Designs


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 extra variations for colourways and short floats.  Each design comes with two versions suitable for 24st.or 40st punchcard machines and owners of electronic machines can knit both.  As usual, I have tried to keep float length as short as possible, and most of the designs have floats not longer than 6 stitches.  For designs with longer floats I have provided a variation with shorter floats for the 24 stitch design

  Ikat designs for knitting
Available as a printed booklet, a downloadable PDF file or a collection of Designaknit files
ikat bedouin knitted jerkin Ikat sweater
Ikat knitted surf design Ikat knitted nomad design  
    ikat zizag knitting design
Ikat surf design
Glorious colour for a bedouin look, this design can be used for sideways knitted jerkins and overjackets
    ikat bedouin jerkin back    
A selection of the 21 designs in the collection
Handknitting version also available
Ikat knitted furnishing design
Ikat knitted pyramid design  
ikat lantern knitting design

A simple ikat theme for knitting interior fabrics with a contemporary edge.
Ikat Interiors design

  Ikat tapestry knitted design Ikat sycamore knitted design 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.
Ikat Collection is now available to download as a PDF file  

Ikat tapestry design
A typical knitted ikat with the shadow of a second design crossing the surface tapestry. Longest float 6 st.

Sycamore monochrome Ikat knitted design
No need to change colours to achieve this edgy design