The tree of life is an enduring and powerful symbol that has inspired artists since ancient times. Though it is prevalent in most mythologies, I particularly associate it with Celtic traditions, and have worked to embody that in the Woodkirk design, which I added to the Cabled Knits ebook last week.
This design involved such a wide-ranging creative process that I have previously written two blog posts about aspects of that design process; here about forming the leaves that are an essential feature of both the tree and the trailng vines on the front of the cardigan; and here about the overall plan for the tree that is the cardigan’s main feature.
I have named all the patterns in Cabled Knits after Yorkshire’s medieval Priories and Abbeys. The ruins of some of these, eg Rievaulax and Byland, are major tourist destinations. However, many of them are quite obscure, with very little trace of them remaining on the ground, and with a similarly obscure history, eg Esholt and Rosedale. Woodkirk mostly belongs to the latter group. However, the tower of the priory church survives intact as part of St Mary’s church, which is still in use as a church to this day. Their website gives a brief bit of the church’s monastic history as a cell of the Augustinion priory at Nostell.
I have listed the Woodkirk cardigan pattern on Ravelry, where you can find details about the knitting techniques used for it, as well as the construction, fit, tension, and yarn requirements.