Free knitting patterns

Luckenbooth medallion

The luckenbooth was a Scottish token once used to ward off witches. Later, it became a love token given by a groom-to-be to his betrothed. The luckenbooth would then be pinned to the blanket of the first-born child. They were sold from shops, or "locked booths", in Edinburgh--hence the name, "luckenbooth".

The design of a luckenbooth can range from quite simple to ornate, but all are based on a double heart design with a crown perched on top, similar to a claddagh design. This particular cable medallion is based on a pewter pendant that I've owned for more than fifteen years, which I purchased in Edinburgh--not from a locked booth, but from the Edinburgh Castle gift shop. It was, in fact, the simplest luckenbooth design I could find, and in this design I've eliminated the crown altogether.

When knitted up, the medallion charted here results in a rectangular swatch with a thin border of two reverse stockinette stitches on the left and right, two rows of reverse stockinette at the bottom, and three rows of reverse stockinette at the top. The surrounding reverse stockinette border can be easily extended, or itself surrounded by another border of textured stitches, to create an afghan square.

The chart begins with 15 stitches, expands to 27, then reduces to 15 stitches again at the crown. If you are trying to estimate the finished size of the chart in your chosen yarn, begin with the rough estimate that the finished width will be close to whatever 15 stitches will yield in your yarn using stockinette stitch. Thus, in an aran-weight yarn that knits at 18 stitches to 4 inches, you can expect that the width of this chart alone will be around 3 inches. This chart will therefore produce something quite close to a square if your yarn's row gauge is about 24 rows to 4 inches.

This chart eliminates the blank squares of the other Celtic-style cable charts on this site, and instead the number of squares on each row reflects (more or less) the number of stitches in that row. If the width of a row is unequal to the width of the previous row, this is a sign that something either happened on the previous row or is going to happen on the current row to change the stitch count. The steps that will cause the stitch count to change are incorporated into the chart; you don't have to work any separate increases or decreases yourself for the chart to work. For example, row 21 in this chart is four stitches longer than row 20 because there are four increases within the row. It doesn't mean you start following the chart "earlier" in your knitting.

This sample was knitted in Mission Falls 1824 Cotton on 4.5 mm needles.

Legend

knit

knit on RS, purl on WS

purl

purl on RS, knit on WS

make 2

k1b, k1 into the same stitch; then pick up the vertical strand running downwards between these two stitches just made, twist and knit

make 2

k1, p1, k1 into the same stitch

lifted increase towards left

with left needle, lift the left leg of the stitch that is now two rows below the stitch that was just knit (which is currently on the right needle); knit into this left leg to produce an untwisted knit stitch

lifted increase towards right

with right needle, lift the right leg of the stitch below the next stitch on the left needle; place this right leg on the left needle and knit into it to produce an untwisted knit stitch

twist 3 right

place next st on cable needle, hold to back; knit next 2 sts from left needle; purl st from cable needle

twist 3 left

place next 2 sts on cable needle, hold to front; purl next st from left needle; knit 2 sts from cable needle

twist 4 right

place next 2 sts on cable needle, hold to back; knit next 2 sts from left needle; purl 2 sts from cable needle

twist 4 left

place next 2 sts on cable needle, hold to front; purl next 2 sts from left needle; knit 2 sts from cable needle

cable 5 right

put the first 3 sts on cable needle, hold to back; knit next 2 sts from left needle; slip purl st from cable needle back to left needle and purl it; knit 2 sts from cable needle

decrease 4

slip next three sts to right needle; pass second slipped st over first slipped st and off needle; pass one slipped st from right needle back to left needle; slip second st on left needle over first st on left needle and off left needle; slip one st from left needle to right needle; pass first slipped st on right needle over newly slipped st and off needle; pass remaining slipped st on right needle back to left needle; slip second st on left needle over first st on left needle and off left needle; knit the remaining st on left needle.