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Developing a Knot, Irish Style

One of the more enjoyable aspects of my job is creating custom orders for people as they come in. The most recent one I have done to date was a Celtic Clover for Kelley's Deli in Westerly, RI. 

The owner of Kelley's Deli commissioned this project from us almost by chance. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak with him when he came to pick it up, and he was explaining that he had thought his logo would look good done up in rope, but had no idea how this would become a reality. Mere days later, he found himself in Mystic, walking past our shop. Call it fate or serendipity, but by the end of the day the project was born. Bonus: the logo was developed by his wife. This became a completely local project with deep roots in small, family-owned businesses. 

Step One: The Logo
Kelley's Deli Logo

Now, looking at this logo, it is easy to see how it could emulate rope work. It is not quite there, though. There are a few places where one rope would have to become two, or two into one, and there are some that work perfectly on paper, but not in the three dimensional world. This is where I actually have to admit that I came into the project somewhere around step three. (I should also admit that I am just making up these "steps" as I go along right now. They have as much value as the points on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?") At first, Haley was challenged with the task of making a knot that could emulate this design. Here was the first pass:

Step Two: The First Pattern
Haley's Clover Pattern

Looks great on paper, and it translates into a very functional knot, but once done up in rope, it looks entirely different. This is where I came in. I tied this version, and here was the result of that...

Step Three: Our Seuss-ian Clover
Seuss-ian Clover

Okay - very cool knot. But not one that particularly resembles the logo. So it was back to the drawing board. Quite literally. I used the window as a light box, and started off by tracing the logo out a few times to follow the direction of the "rope."

Step Four: At the Beginning With You
Instagram Knot Development

Step Five, Six, Seven: Try, Try, Try Again
Pattern Progression for Celtic Clover

You can see, there was a lot of working my way through this knot. I played with using a heart knot as a base for each petal (seen drawn in sharpie), but ultimately created something entirely new. Here were the final two iterations of my pattern:

Pattern 1Pattern 2
Ultimately a few final changes were made to even that last pattern, and I transferred it to a larger poster board, then tied the knot! 

Instagram 2 - Progression
Here's the final product for Kelley's Deli:
Step Eight: Is It Really a Step If I Am Just Done?
Celtic Clover

Hooray! Happy customer, excessively proud employee, good day.

Then, of course, we had to make one for the shop as well. So, FINALLY, now that I have finished the one for the shop, I think I am done. Haley has more to do; she will finish sketching out these patterns in a more permanent fashion for the shop. (I can't wait to update this article with a photo of that - her pattern boards are constantly making my job more fun!) So I'm out, until the next person sees our wreath, this blog post, the multiple Instagram pictures, or the knot at Kelley's Deli, and comes in asking for one as well!

Step Nine: Make Our Own
Clover Wreath

My brief plug for all of the related stuff going on: 

  • The 13th Annual Mystic Irish Parade is this Sunday, March 20th at 1 pm.
  • Kelley's Deli is open for dinner on St. Patrick's Day! They will be busy...
  • Happy St. Patrick's Day! Have fun and stay safe. ☺ 



Rachael Kokomoor
Rachael Kokomoor

Author



2 Responses

Linda Grew
Linda Grew

May 21, 2016

That was the greatest story to read and watch evolve!
Envy that tenacity, but would not have expected anything less from Matt and crew at Mystick Knotwork!

Elaine Fitzgerald
Elaine Fitzgerald

April 19, 2016

Loved finding out my barrettes are made right up in Mystic! I visited there as a girl scout when our family hailed from Manhasset, Long Island. With all my Irish heritage, I was fascinated to read about the birth of Kelli’s knot! Great job, guys!!!
Elaine

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