Snartemo - Phiala's demo pattern

Warp: Red, yellow, green and blue wool (fibreholics)
Weft: same as above (varying colour)
Pattern: Phiala's demo Snartemo pattern
Cards: 18
Width: 1.6cm
Length: 60cm

The name "Snartemo" is given to a technique where each hole in a tablet is threaded with a different colour, and tablets are offset a quarter turn from each other so that turning them as a pack produces diagonal lines. Sometimes a card is turned repreatedly backward and forward, forming "floats" where a single colour appears on the top for several passes of the weft. The canonical Snartemo band is Snartemo V, from 7th century Snartemo, Norway. Hansen lists three other bands in a similar technique.

This is the band I warped up while demonstrating how to do a Continuous Warp. It is the demonstration pattern (Excel format) Phiala gives showing how to construct a Snartemo pattern, with the green and blue warps swapped because that's how I absentmindedly warped it up. I've also marked the reversals on the pattern because I find that helpful. I made a mistake swapping the blue and the green in the pattern and spent several repeats of the pattern wondering why I kept making the same mistake every time.

Due to the aforementioned absentmindedness, I failed to start weaving at the same point in the warp as where I tied the ends of the warps together, and therefore had to deal with knots in my warp partway through the process. I found that if you just cheerfully keep weaving, it's easy to make sure the tails of the knot end up on the back of the band rather than the front. It helps if the tails are long enough to grab hold of, but not long enough to tangle around adjacent warp threads. 1-2cm is good.

I don't really know what I'm going to do with this band. It has quite a few mistakes in it in the section I did first. I don't know if it's known what the Snartemo V fragments or any of the related finds were used for. If anyone out there can convince me that they're making 7th century Norwegian Viking garb, you can have it.

I will have a go at Snartemo V soon.


  1. I can't say I've made any 7th-8th Norwegian costume thus far, but I've made a lot of Viking period Scandinavian garb, and lately I've been seeking out information about Vendel period costume, such as Martin Rundkvist's article about tortoise brooch finds of the Vendel period.

    In short, if I had your Snartemo piece, I would make a nice wool tunic and would use your piece to decorate it. And if I made such a tunic (though it may take me quite a while, as you'll see if you look through my blog), I would definitely post pictures of it and credit you with having woven the band.

    You have every right to keep the piece, of course, or give it out elsewhere. But if you would like to send it to a good home sooner rather than later, feel free to e-mail me; my e-mail address is cathy at thyrsus dot com. I'd be willing to pay postage.


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