I, like many people, occaisionally find my mind wandering during those long lectures. Doodling can be a great way to pass the time during these periods of boredom, and doing Celtic Knot doodles can give you some nice pictures at the end, making yourself somewhat productive even in the face of a monotone professor. Parts of this instructable were inspired by MLC30303 and their instructable here.
Fair warning, I am by no means an artist, I am simply sharing a way to make decent looking doodles that can be rewarding to those lie myself who can;t really draw that well.
Step 1: Four Strand Knots
Some of the easiest, yet still very nice looking, knots are four strand knots.These are great for putting in margins and on the bottoms and tops of pages. The two easiest kinds are twists, and plaits.
Step 2: Twists
Both twists and plaits start the same way, using a diamond grid. Once you get confident enough, freehanding is very possible, but to start, stick with the grid.
To draw a twist, you basically follow the pattern displayed in the pictures above. You can continue this pattern for as long as your page allows, and you can cut it off anywhere in the pattern. After outlining, go over the lines in a dark pen or marker, to make them stand out more. Then you can color the knot, either coloring all of the strands the same color, or following the strands and coloring each its own color.
Step 3: Plaits
Plaits start with the same grid pattern. Again, follow the pattern, and go over the outline in pen or marker. Plaits look very good if you color each strand its own color, as the four colors will alternate as the center plait in the design.
Step 4: Knotwork Designs Pt. 1
While four strand knots are fun to do, there is very little creativity in them, it's more just following a prescribed pattern. If you want to spend a little mre time, and stretc your artsy muscles a bit you can create more traditional knotwork designs. I like to do these on graph paper, but they can also be done without if you practice a bit.
Step 5: Knotwork Designs Pt. 2
Start by creating the outline of your design. I usualy do rectangles, but feel free to experiment. Crosses, hearts, and many other shapes are all possible. Create the outline using curves at regular intervals. This is the outline of the strand making up your knotwork. Then, you will create the corners. Put little triangles in the corners, with the led curving a bit to match the outside curve, and the hypoteneuse lining up with the curve of the outside.These corners create the first strands of the design.
Step 6: Knotwork Designs Pt.3
Now it's time to actually fill in your design. As you create your design, you want to keep a few things in mind.
1. Always make sure the strand has soewhere to go. You never want to finish a design and realize that part of it just disappears.
2. Keep the strand sides in mind. You want to avoid having your strands change sizes. Keep to straigt, parallel lines and curves, so everything stays nice and consistent.
3. Feel free to play around. Try some new things every time you do a new doodle. Who cares if you mess up or it doesn't look right? It's a doodle!
Step 7: Knotwork Designs Pt. 3
Now it's time to create the weave in your knot. I like to start in the upper left hand corner. Just pick a strand and follow it. Alternate over and under at every junction of the strand. This is also a great time to adjust an egregious misalignment in your knots. Just shift things over a bit until the strands line up just right. Once all of the overs have been overed and the unders undered, it's time to go over the knot with your pen / marker. This makes it pop a bit and better emphasizes the weave of the knot. When the outlining is done, I like to shade the background a bit wit pencil. I like the look of this a bit more, but you should do whatever you like best. They're your doodles!
Step 8: Go Forth and Doodle
I hope you enjoyed this instructable. Always try new things in your knots. Even the four strand knots can be pllayed around with a bit. Hopefully I can help a few people get through their boring classes a bit easier and have something nice to look at afterwards.