Finnish band- Egyptian Diagonals

Note: This pattern doesn't match exactly what's in Hansen; you can see an updated version here

White and light green silk
Pattern: Kaukola 'S' motif
Cards: 15
Width: 1cm
Length: 1.1m

I wanted to try a non-brocaded pattern at Canterbury Faire and this seemed like a pretty gentle introduction. This is the band from Kaukola mentioned on page 109 of Collingwood. It is from 11th-13th century Finland. It is covered in Hansen, pattern included. This is the first time I've tried to follow a non-brocade pattern out of Hansen. People had warned me that Hansen's patterns are not the clearest but this was my first personal encounter with them (It didn't help that I was working from the Danish version of the book). In the end I abandoned the pattern and just worked it out from the picture of the reconstruction. The pattern is only 7 tablets wide so it wasn't too hard to work out and would have been trivial if I'd done any patterns with Egyptian diagonals before. Here is my diagram of the pattern, a la Phiala's Snartemo patterns. The red and blue horizontal lines indicate flipping the cards, or changing the direction in which they turn, if that's your preference- but I think flipping them is much easier to keep track of with this sort of pattern.

Once I'd worked out what I was doing the band went quickly at about 20cm per hour. I didn't know what I was going to do with it at the time.

Near the end of the event, I was wearing my blue T-tunic. It's the oldest piece of garb I still possess (so old it's machine sewn!) and it also happens to feature my very first piece of tablet weaving. It was an 8-card chevron pattern just like I was teaching at Canterbury Faire this year, and I didn't have a clue what I was doing, and consequently screwed it up quite regularly (I don't think I even had it threaded properly now I look at it). When I came to sew it on to the tunic I didn't quite have enough where the pattern wasn't a complete disaster so at the back of the neck I tried to piece the shorter better-looking pieces together. Here's a picture of the shameful result. I always do my best to cover up the back with my veil or headrail, but a comment from a certain gentle at Canterbury Faire about how she "liked the way" I had hidden the dodgy areas finally alerted me to the fact that this wasn't working very well.

The tunic is still doing fine so it now bears this new band. In terms of authenticity I'm not really sure whether a band in a technique only documented to the Baltic region is an improvement on the chevron that was there before, but it looks much prettier.


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