Sunday, October 30, 2011

12th Century Latvian Band

Warp: Wool (fibreholics)
Weft: Wool (fibreholics)
Pattern: from Latviesu Jostas
Cards: 20 pattern + 2x3 border
Width: 1.5cm
Length: 55cm
This technique came up on the SCA-Card-Weaving list recently and I was inspired to give it a go.  The pattern is from Latviesu Jostas by Aleksandra Dzérvítis & Lilija Treimanis.  Wonder of wonders, this book was in the National Library of New Zealand (Finding a book I'm looking for domestically is a minor miracle).  The book is in Latvian and English.  Mostly it covers traditional patterns but it also has some 12th century patterns, although information from an archaeological perspective is lacking.  This one is described as "Stameriene, blue wrap".

The book is pretty emphatic about getting the colours to have the characteristic greenish tinge of local dyes.  I gave this a crack by overdying my blue, red and yellow wools with green dye.  It didn't really result in the right colours, but they are still quite striking together.
This technique is quite similar to that of the Swiss band I did recently.  Both feature a two-hole weave where the weft sometimes passes above both threads in a card to form a brocade.  This is the green in the pattern (with the exception of the green cards in the border).  The main difference is that this band has warp twining, although not as sharply as in a four-hole pattern.  Here's the back, where it's easier to see this effect.
If I was doing this again I'd make the green border tablet be on the outside, where it would mask the "blips" where the weft turns.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Evebo Band

Warp: Blue (fibreholics) and white (Anna Gratton) wool
Weft: white wool
Pattern: Evebo band, pattern by Maikki Karisto
Cards: 22 pattern + 2x1 border (original has a wide border)
Width: 1.5cm
Length: 76cm (43 cm for 1 full repeat of pattern)

I had just strung up my inkle loom with the intent of weaving the Evebo band using this pattern - which I believe is based on Lise Raeder Knudsen's pattern which is the one in Hansen- when Maikki Karisto coincidentally emailed me with suggestions of bands I might like to try- including this one, which she offered to share her pattern for. 

Maikki's pattern has 22 pattern tablets as opposed to the 23 in the GTT pattern.  It also includes the partial 6th figure from the edge of the band.  

The GTT pattern also does not include the zigzag region which occurs twice in the pattern.  This region is particularly interesting because the tablets lose their offset to one another so that the zigzag is symmetrical.

This band was a lot more fun to weave than the Mammen 3/1 twill band I did earlier in the year, presumably because the figures are so much cuter!  I had some trouble controlling the width of the band- it tended to inflate when I entered the plain areas.

I will use this band as the second of my straps for my straw mattress.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Two-Hole Plain Weave and Warp Floats

Warp: Red, white, yellow and green silk (fibreholics) (original in wool)
Weft: White silk (fibreholics) (original in linen)
Pattern: St Maurice monestary, 8-10th century (Collingwood p. 156)
Cards: 18 pattern + 2x2 border (2x3 in original).  2 holes per pattern card
Width: 7mm (original 11mm)
Length: 78cm

This band is quite different to any I have done before.  The pattern area is woven with 9 pairs of 2 tablets, each threaded in two holes.  One tablet carries a red and a white warp thread, and the other a yellow and a green (note: these are the colours I used; discussion on the colours of the original below).  The tablets are manipulated individually to form the pattern.  The interesting point is that there is no warp twining: tablets "rock" from one colour to another but never complete a full rotation.  In the pattern to the right, the coloured squares show the colour that is up.  In the squares with the grey line through them, no colour is up, and the white warp thread passes on top of the band, as though it is a brocade thread.

The original band had a border on each side of 2 white and 1 red cards threaded in all 4 holes and alternately S and Z threaded; I somehow managed to misread this completely so mine has a 2-card white border (threaded in all 4 holes) threaded S on one side and Z on the other.

The pattern I used is from page 156 of Collingwood (2002 edition). Collingwood reconstructed the pattern himself. I flubbed a couple of squares but they don't make a difference to the appearance. Collingwood says the band has black where I have green.  This band is also covered on page 171 of Brigitte Schmedding's Mittelalterliche Texitilien in Kirchen und Klöstern der Schweiz but there the colours are given as red, yellow, orange and dark blue wool, and white linen.  The dark blue is definitely in place of the black (the text refers to "St Andrews Crosses) and I'm going to guess that the white linen takes the place of the white wool (Collingwood does say the weft is white linen).  Not sure where the orange comes into it though.

(Aside: Look at that lovely clear photograph!  I've worked out I can take detailed photos with my camera, I just need direct sunlight)

To weave this bands I punched holes in the middle of the top and bottom edges of playing cards.  This gives a much greater stability to the orientation of your cards than having opposite diagonal corners threaded.  When the weft passed over both threads in a card, I turned the card on its side.  This made for a vey clear shed.

I think I wove this band a lot tighter than it should have been since the patterns were elongated.

One thing that was interesting (also, super annoying) about this band is that because the edge tablets were warp twined and the pattern tablets were not, the takeup on the edge tablets was way greater (about 10cm over the length of the band).  I was weaving on my inkle loom and I had to keep resorting to ever more elaborate techniques to mitigate the effect.  Would have been worse on the Oseberg loom though I suppose.

Also interesting is the back of the band. It appears as long floats of yellow and white, but if you "peel back" the floats you can see there are further floats of red behind the yellow and green behind the white.