Contemporary Celtic Crochet

What do you like most about crochet? Are you someone who loves the textures that you can make in crochet with a solid color of yarn? I definitely do! One of the crochet techniques that uses a lot of crochet stitches with texture is Celtic crochet.


I’d like to share some information about a book that I recently got by Bonnie Barker, who I met at the CGOA Conference this year in July. Bonnie is a sweet person and has a lot of talent, both in crochet and in music. Bonnie wrote the lyrics for a song called “Ripping Out is Hard to Do” that she, Jennifer Ryan (another crochet designer) and Terri Mitchell (Bonnie’s neighbor) performed at the conference this year. Here’s a photo of the 3 of them performing this song:


From left to right: Terri, Jennifer and Bonnie

From left to right: Terri, Jennifer and Bonnie


The song was a “riot”!!! Bonnie wrote the parody lyrics, which were sung to the tune of “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” by Neil Sedaka. As you can see in the photo, Bonnie played the guitar, Jennifer sang the song and Terri did the silly acting out of the words. What a hoot!!!


Now back to some crochet seriousness! Bonnie has a new crochet book this year called “Contemporary Celtic Crochet”, published by Fons & Porter Books (an imprint of F&W). Here’s a photo of the front cover of the book:


Contemporary Celtic Crochet front cover

This 128 page book retails for $24.99 in the US and contains 24 designs, from scarves to sweaters, vests, baby blankets, sweater wraps and much more. I’ve never seen a sweater wrap before and perhaps you haven’t, either. I’ll explain what a sweater wrap is later on in this blog post. But for now, I’d like to tell you a little about this book and share photos of my favorite designs in it with you so you can decide if this book is something you’d like to add to your crochet library.


One of my favorite projects in this book is the Kells Cabled Sweater. It’s a V-neck sweater with a beautiful edging along the bottom of the sleeves and sweater. The sleeves are loose and comfortable looking in the photo. See for yourself:


Kells Cabled Sweater 2Kells Cabled Sweater close up



Doesn’t this look like a comfortable sweater? It definitely does to me!









Here are a few photos of another one of my favorite projects in this book:


Baby Feet Baby BlanketBaby Feet Baby Blanket close upThis is the Baby Feet Baby Blanket. Aren’t these baby feet adorable? I don’t think I’ve ever seen baby feet on a baby blanket like this before! This is a pattern that I’ll definitely be looking closer at when my grandchildren start arriving (hint, hint!).



Okay, so what is a sweater wrap? According to Bonnie’s book, she first saw this style of garment while visiting the west coast of Ireland. Bonnie says in the book, “A sweater wrap is a wrap that thinks and acts like a sweater. It is a practical choice when you don’t want to wear a sweater, yet a stole alone is just not quite warm enough. The added back panel attached to the stole keeps you just as warm as you want to be.” Here are some photos of one of the 4 sweater wraps in the book, modeled by one of Bonnie’s daughters:


Doolin Delight Sweater Wrap frontDoolin Delight Sweater Wrap backDoolin Delight Sweater Wrap edging










I think the bottom edging on this sweater wrap is really nice! Each of the 4 sweater wraps is made with different Celtic Crochet stitches. They’re all very nice and don’t require any shaping, like sweaters do, so they’d be much easier to crochet.


Here’s the other baby blanket in this book:


Hialeah Honey Baby BlanketHialeah Honey Baby Blanket close upThis is the Hialeah Honey Baby Blanket. It sure has LOTS of texture!!!








And here is the backpack and purse, which I really like, too:


Celtic purse & backpack

The backpack and purse have a basket weave pattern to them.


Bonnie even included a Celtic Cross Afghan in the book. Here is a photo of that afghan (and a coordinating pillow right above it) with a lot of texture, as well:


Celtic Cross Afghan 1This is a really nice looking afghan and I love the edging on it, too! Since I’m a Christian, this afghan has a lot of meaning to me.




Unfortunately, I can’t show you photos of all the projects in this book. But I can tell you that there are 36 pages of instructions and step-by-step photos of how to crochet the special stitches and Celtic stitches in this book. These stitches include the arrow, baby feet toe popcorns, back post and front post double crochet, back post and front post treble crochet, basket weave, braided cable, buttonholes, cable, Celtic cross, Celtic weave, diamond, honeycomb, knotted fringe, knurl, low back ridge, low front ridge, popcorn, front post and back post ribbing, shadow box, shell with picot, single crochet ribbing, wheat, woven and more! These stitch instructions are fabulous!!!


Bonnie and her husband, Craig, traveled to Ireland on a business trip in 2012. The inspiration for Bonnie’s designs in this book came from that trip. Here is a photo of Bonnie and Craig in Ireland:


Bonnie Barker and Craig

Bonnie also included some photos in her Celtic Crochet book of places in Ireland that she and Craig visited on their trip. It looks like a beautiful country!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at “Contemporary Celtic Crochet”. You can see and purchase the book on Amazon here or through Interweave here. To read about Bonnie and follow her designing career, check out her website here.


Happy crocheting,


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