Friday, November 23, 2012

Shoe planning

Almost 2 months since last post and not a lot to report.  I've just started a new project but it's not going to be a quick one.  I'm going to make 12th century "Pontifical shoes" with tablet woven bands on them.  The bands and their layout will be inspired by the shoes of Philipp von Schwaben and the construction of the shoes will be similar to a number of other pairs from around the same time or slightly earlier.  Some of these shoes are pretty bling, with silk coverings, tablet weaving, embroidery (mostly chain stitch and wire embroidery), gilt leather, decorative rivets, precious stones and cutouts (I don't think any of them have *all* of those things but some have most).  Here are some links if you're interested:

Photo of shoes of Bishop Bernhard of Hildesheim (d. 1153)

Fabulous beasts—leather, silk and gold: recent research on and conservation of 12th century footwear from the episcopal tombs in Trèves Cathedral 2005 article on restoration of one of the blingiest pairs

Geschichte der liturgischen Gewänder des Mittelalters  - book from 1859 with a lot of detail on this style of shoe on pages 400-416.

Deadline on this project is Canterbury Faire at the end of January; by then I hope to have a pair of shoes with tablet weaving on them, which can accrete additional decoration over time.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chasuble of St Wolfgang Motif 5


 Yes, I have completely given up on naming these things.  Maybe it's a flower?  Anyway, here it is, the last of the 5 motifs.


I took the photo below, which unusually for me managed to be in focus, and straight away noticed the knot (centre right, in red).  The knot is gone now but I'm glad nobody but the camera is looking that closely! 

 Here's another photo I thought I'd share.  When I finished the first of the two bands, the cards were a wreck, and when I swapped them all out for new ones I thought I'd try to improve the situation by making the cards a bit stiffer, so I painted nail polish around the edges of all of them.  Well, that worked, as far as making the cards stiffer went.  Not a one of them gave out. On the other hand, it didn't have a great effect on the warp.  This picture is of what greeted me when I moved the cards down about 10cm into the second band.  Threads dying all over the place.  Over the following 10cm I replaced almost all the warp threads.  Again. After just doing between the first and second band.
 And here's a photo of the entire two bands.  You can see the lion in the second band looks a bit hairy, well, that's a byproduct of all those warp threads getting replaced, unfortunately.
 
So what now?  At the moment I'm making a practice run at the Germanic Bliaut these bands are going on, to make sure I get the fit right before I cut into that pretty, pretty fabric.  Then I'll make the real deal. So probably no weaving at least through October- if I can help myself!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chasuble of Wolfgang motif... umm... 2? 4?

 This is the second motif I wove, but the first time I did it it was about 40% longer than this and I wasn't very happy with the outcome.  So here's my second attempt.

I don't really have much more to say at this point other than that I'm about ready to finish this project and am very glad to have only about 5cm to go!

Oh! and also, I bought brocade for the bliaut these bands will be going on and it is very pretty.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Chasuble of St Wolfgang Candlestick



Here's another figure from the Chasuble of St Wolfgang: the candlestick. I assume.  It might be a flower, I guess.

This is the first figure after I re-strung all the cards.  Most of the many, many knots I tied in my warp threads are hidden on the back of the cards, but some of them slipped into the front while I wasn't looking.

For this figure I tried doing as the original seems to have done and making some of the pattern in the ground colour (the blue parts).  It looks OK here, but from many angles the blue rather fades into the background.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Historic Tablet Weaving Facebook Group

Yesterday, Aldygtha created a new Historic Tablet Weaving Facebook group, and it is already filling up with interesting discussions and beautiful photos of members' work.  If you like historical tablet weaving (and you don't hate Facebook!) you should join!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Embroidery Interlude

Well I reached the first milestone in my distracting embroidery, and managed to put it aside.  Got back to the weaving and managed to finish the first bicep band. Half way there!  Things were really going downhill near the end in terms of the integrity of the cards and the warp. So I've decided to re-string everything with new cards.  Woohoo.  That should keep me occupied far another week or so.

Anyway, here's a picture of the embroidery  I've been working on.  It's going to be a buskin, based on the ones of Walter de Cantelupe.  The lion is from some manuscript I cunningly didn't write down the name of (Will have to trawl back through the University Library to find it again)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chasuble of St Wolfgang Bird

Sorry for the long break between posts, I've had 3 weekends in a row swallowed up by events, and also I may have got a ... little bit ... distracted ... by an embroidery project. OK, so I haven't done any weaving for the last 3 weeks.  And probably won't for another 2 or so, when I finish the first figure in the embroidery and hopefully get it out of my system.

Anyway, here's another figure from the Chasuble of St Wolfgang band.  It's actually the 3rd one I wove; the second one doesn't look so great so I'm going to see how it comes out the second time through before posting it.  But this bird looks pretty much like I was hoping.  Here's the link to the photo of the original on Kopert.  Not sure why this bird is holding a boot.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chasuble of St Wolfgang Lion

 Right.  Here are some pictures of my lion from the Chasuble of St Wolfgang.  This is the pattern from pages 120-121 of EPAC. The pattern in EPAC is 125 tablets wide, although the description of the band says it has 132 tablets.  Not sure if any "lost" tablets are in the border or the pattern.

There's one obvious way that this pattern differs from regular 3/1 broken twill: The vertical (lengthways) cross-sections of the regions where the red is up are not multiples of 2 passes long.  In fact to counteract the difference in warp density and weft density, the lines across the band are usually 1 weft pass wide while the lines down the band are usually 2 tablets (8 warp threads) wide.  When I started, I wasn't sure how to approach this- maybe there should be half turns to bring the red up and down at the right point? Or maybe the red should be brought up early or down late, with the brocade obscuring the jagged edges?  I couldn't tell from the photos of the original band (not even the one where the brocade is worn away).  So I tried both.

The half-turns plan was not successful.  The areas not covered by brocade did not end up solid blocks of red.  However Plan B, with the red coming up early and hiding behind the brocade where necessary, worked fine.  The brocade hides the extra red very effectively. For example, if you look at the picture of the back of the band at right, you can see that the regions of the band showing the lion's toes are solid blue (ie red on the front), but you can't tell this by looking at the front of the band.

Of course you might then be asking the question "Why don't you just turn the cards as a pack for the ground section if you won't be able to tell that red is up?  Well, one reason is that the band would develop twist. But that's not that important, because I'm going to be sewing this band onto fabric.  The "real" reason is that. I can tell from that picture where the brocade is worn away that the original didn't do that.

I arranged the tablets so that at every line, the brocade tiedowns were under the blue thread on a tablet whose upwards holes show blue nearest me and red further away.  This gives an easy way to double-check you've turned the cards the right way.  Nevertheless this first pattern is full of tiedown errors.  The border pattern got out of sync with the central pattern and for the whole lion the the tiedowns did not line up with where they are in the EPAC pattern. Turned out to be more of a hassle than I expected :( I made sure they were lining up when I moved onto the next pattern.

There are also "errors" in the pattern but since the lions on the original don't exactly look identical, I'm fine with that.

You can see on the photo of the back of the band that it has a bit of a fluff problem.  OK, not just a bit. The threads I am using are so delicate that they leave bits of themselves behind at every opportunity.  They snag on everything, including the sides of the cards, and rough spots on my fingers. Picking the worst of the fluff off is no big deal, but there is quite a bit of woven-in fuzz over the whole thing.  I'm leaving the decision of how meticulously I try to fix it until I'm finished.  The worst of the fluff problem comes down where the threads touch and twist at the opposite end to the pattern (especially in the borders since the other cards aren't building up much twist). Each card ends up with a fluff-ball that stops the warps from untwisting once the card reverses.  I attack them periodically with a sharp needle and try to break them up, but fairly often I end up breaking a warp thread instead. The situation doesn't quite seem to be sliding into an incremental mess of doom, fortunately.




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hmm, it's been a month

Well, it's been a month since my last post, and I've been travelling, and sick, and lazy, so I haven't got around to writing anything up yet.  So here's a somewhat blurry and out-of-date photo of the first couple of centimetres of the St Wolfgang pattern, just to prove I've done something!  There are several mistakes just in this little section of the band but it still manages to look quite pretty.

Hopefully I will get  real blog post together soon!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Band from Chasuble of St Wolfgang

I have a new project.  It is the band on the Chasuble of St Wolfgang (or rather, one of them).  You may have seen the pattern in EPAC on page 120, or plate 179 in Collingwood.  There are photos of the original at Kopert -taken by someone who knows it's useful to show the part of the band where the brocade has worn away!  You can see Nancy's version here but it is not 3/1 broken twill

The band is approximately 3cm wide, has over 120 tablets, and is woven in brocaded 3/1 broken twill.  This is the first time I am combining both techniques so it is a bit of an adventure.  To make things even more exciting, I am weaving it using very thin (120 denier) red and blue filament silk from Devere.  For the brocade I am using real gold thread I bought from John Marshall. I'll be weaving on my inkle loom because there's no way I'll be able to keep things neat otherwise.

EPAC graphs the first figure from the band, the lion (or aardvark pushing a lion mask, as it appears), but there are several more as you can see from the photos of the original linked above.  I will need to graph these myself.

For once I know what the band will be for.  I intend to make a Germanic tunic similar to the one that Teffania is wearing in this post.This band will be made into bicep bands for the garment so I will need about 60cm.

This band is going to take several months so I am not waiting until I am done to write about it.  I have already started weaving and things are going OK at the moment although I am a little nervous it will all go pear shaped at some point.

Sorry, no photos of the pattern section of the band yet so here is one of the part of the band where I was getting up and running (click to enlarge).  Hopefully it give you an idea of what I'm getting myself into!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nancy Spies selling off her books

Nancy Spies posted the following message to SCA-Card-Weaving yesterday:

"I don't mean to do a "business" message here, but I did want to let folks know that I am liquidating all remaining stock of "Anna Neuper's Modelbuch" and "Here Be Drolleries" by the end of April. "Here Be Wyverns" is now out-of-print, but copies of "Ecclesiastical Pomp" will still be available until sold out."

Ecclesiastical Pomp and Circumstance is THE book for brocaded tablet weaving and Anna Neuper's Modelbuch is also a great little book.  Get in quick!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Siksälä Shawl- 13th-14th century Estonia

Update: I had the shawl incorrectly dated to the 11th century-it's a bit later than that!

Maikki Karisto and the Tallinn University Institute of History have given me permission to share some photos she took last year of a shawl from Siksälä and specifically its tablet woven border.

This shawl can be found in the Tallinn University Institute of History archaeological collection under the major number AI 5100.  It dates to around the 13th-14th century. The tablet weaving is about 1cm in width.  It is in Baltic two-hole technique, or Hochdorf technique, depending on how you look at it.

More information on the finds from Siksälä can be found in the book Siksälä, a community at the frontiers, Iron Age and Medieval by Silvia Laul & Heiki Valk.







Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hallstatt 2 hole


Warp: White and green silk 
Weft: Green silk
Pattern: Hallstatt Inv.Nr. 89.870
Cards: 12 pattern + 1 and 3 border
Width: 9mm
Length: Approx. 75cm

This band is covered in Bunte Tuche & Gleissendes Metall, Frühe Kelten der Hallstattzeit, and also "Tablet-woven Ribbons from the prehistoric Salt-mines at Hallstatt, Austria" - results of some experiments in Hallstatt Textiles. The former describes it as being in Hochdorf technique and the latter as being regular 3/1 broken twill.

I wove the pattern in Hochdorf structure, but rather than the alternating pairs of SS and ZZ I oriented the tablets all Z on the left and S on the right. This allowed the tablets to turn as a pack 2/3 of the time (border excluded).

Sorry the photo is a little blurry, but the end result is quite snappy in person especially considering its simplicity.

If you're wondering about the uneven border, this was present on the original.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hochdorf

Warp: White and blue wool
Weft: White wool
Pattern: Hochdorf find no. 39
Cards: 32 pattern + 4x2 border
Width:1.8cm
Length: Approx. 1m

This is my first go at the technique sometimes referred to as "pebble weave" due to the sort of dimples or "pebbles" of the contrasting colour that appear in the ground areas.  "Pebble weave" can also refer to an Andean technique which is not the same thing.

Excluding the border tablets, tablets are threaded in two holes, alternating in pairs of SS and ZZ. Each pair is turned as a unit.  To get the background area (white with blue dimples in my version), all rows do a quarter turn twice in one direction and then twice in the other.  To bring the other colour to the front, do not reverse the turning direction of a pair.

In the pattern above right, each B or F represents 2 tablets turning backward or forward for 2 quarter turns.  Originally I just had a "pattern" showing what the finished band looks like but I found it necessary to construct a pattern in this format because it  was breaking my brain a bit having a warp where not all tablets were threaded the same way.  Once I had worked out my own pattern, the weaving was easy going.

This pattern is "find no. 39" from the burial chamber of the Celtic Chieftain from Hochdorf.  It was a decorative edge on a wall hanging, woven of hemp and badger hair (!)  Find no. 44 is in the same technique.  The band is covered in Lise Raeder Knudsen's article in NESAT V and in Johanna Banck-Burgess's Hochdorf IV. This grave site dates to the 6th century BC and contains several tablet woven bands including a variety of sophisticated techniques.

This is my 3rd band for my camping mattress but since Canterbury Faire is next week I guess I won't be making a 4th.

Check out Micky Schoelzke's version of this band, which I think is much prettier than mine!