Simple Board Loom

She who dies with the most looms wins. At this point I think I have 5 looms. The simplest looms I have is this board loom. Aside from the backstrap method I believe it’s probably the simplest loom to build at home.

My husband made my board loom from a 1×6 of quilted birch. The base is 5.5″ x 18″. The blocks at the end are each 2″ x 5.5″. The ends each use two carriage bolts long enough to go through all three pieces of wood, two washers and two wingnuts. Because of the width of the blocks on the end (ie, the warp sits at about 2 inches above the base board) this loom works best with fairly small tablet weaving cards. I use the wooden cards I purchased from the Etsy merchant Ampstrike. The cards are about 2.2 inches square.

Each end has wood/wing nut clamps. I add additional temporary tension to the warp by inserting small wooden blocks under the warp on either end.

I use a separate warping board to measure out my warp and to add large white cord to maintain the crossover(helps to keep the strings in order).
If my tablet weaving pattern builds even tension (ie, 4 forwards/4 back) then I will chain up the excess warp and simply pull out more warp as I advance the weaving.
If my tablet weaving pattern builds uneven tension I will butterfly up each individual card and then spin the butterflies to relieve tension as I advance the weaving.

Wooden cards: Wooden Tablet weaving cards I love the size and feel of the wooden cards from the seller Ampstrike on Etsy. Well worth the cost. I have purchased these in Walnut(2 sets), Padouk and Oak. The different colors make them easy to setup on the loom to make counting out a pattern very easy. The wood is very smooth and working on them is a total pleasure.

Making Butterflies

Making Butterflies

Butterflying:
Starting at one end of the warp, wrap the warp threads for one card around your fingers until you get to the place where you want the bundle to hang(upper left).
Then pinch a loop from the warp thread, twist it twice(upper right).. and put this loop around the center of the bundle of threads you just made of the rest of the warp (lower left). Tighten the loop down until the bundle of threads looks like a butterfly handing from the end of the warp. (lower right)

With the double-twisted loop I’ve found this to be fairly secure.. and fairly easy to remove the loop, carefully pull more warp out of the butterfly and then re-secure the loop.

This works for securing the excess.. but not for providing tension. If you need tension you may need to add weights to the butterflies and treat the loom like a warp weighted loom.

Side-Laced Cotehardies as maternity wear

Well now.. I wish I’d seen this 4 months ago.

http://maniacalmedievalist.wordpress.com/category/cotehardie/

At this point (7-ish weeks from due date) I won’t be altering any of my cotehardies.. but if I’d seen this a while ago I’d've added side lacings to my cotehardies and continued to use them as maternity wear.

As it is there’s really only one event I’m planning to possibly attend before the baby’s birth.. so it seems silly to alter a dress now (silly but if I’m bored and can’t come up with anything else to do I might do it.. we’ll see).

[Edited to add]
Interesting.
On a whim I just shimmied into my black waisted cotehardie which I made a year and a half (and 50 lbs) ago.

I am currently 34 weeks pregnant. I was able to get the dress on. I’ve gained about a cup size in my breasts so there was a bit of spill over at the top. I could tame it all into the dress and the dress is still supportive but it looks like the bodice is flattening my breasts more than cupping them (Though honestly, looking at the pictures from when I first made the dress I see indications of the same flattening.. so the issue here could be the fit of my bodice pattern, not the added weight from pregnancy).



Normally, when I’m not pregnant, when I wear the dress the hem is just barely touching the ground. Right now over all the hem is now about 5 inches off the ground. In the front it’s probably more like 8-10 inches off the ground. If I’d added the “ruffle” that you see in period illustrations I could have probably let it out to get the hem down to ground level.

January 25, 2014. After splitting the front and adding eyelets and a lace.

January 25, 2014. After splitting the front and adding eyelets and a lace.

My belly is causing the dress to ride-up in the front (probably part of where those additional 3-5 inches went). This puts some pretty serious wrinkles under my breasts, but it’s not terribly uncomfortable. I could probably wear the dress just as it is without adding side laces. But if I added side laces it would allow the dress to not ride-up so much.. and would minimize the amount of ankle showing at the hem. Then again.. I was pretty big before I got pregnant.. and although I’m “showing” it’s not as dramatic a big pregnant belly like some of the skinnier gals will get.

BUT: as for a long-term wear.. since I made the dress without a lace this will NOT work for breastfeeding. If I want to use this dress after the birth I’d need to alter it by at least adding a lace to the center front.

Considering I fit the dress to myself over 50 lbs ago.. I’m kind of pleased at how well it fits.

Edited to add:
In Januray 2014, just after I gave birth to my son, I updated this dress so that it would be open down the front with eyelets so it could be closed with a lace. This turns out to be fantastic breastfeeding garb.

Patsy’s Grey Velvet Cotehardie with Tippets

Photo by Joel the Brewer

Photo by Joel the Brewer

Photo by Joel the Brewer

Photo by Joel the Brewer

On September 12, 2013 Her Majesty Patricia contacted me to ask if I could make a Cotehardie for her to wear at October Crown (October 5). She would supply the pattern and the fabric and other materials. I agreed to make the dress for her but warned that there may not be enough time to finish the eyelets for the lace.
Continue reading Patsy’s Grey Velvet Cotehardie with Tippets

“Extant” does not mean a good example for everywhere and everytime

Medieval Garments Reconstructed: Norse Clothing Patterns
This is a book of patterns for the garments found in Greenland which have been dated to the 14th century. It has an interesting introduction with some helpful sewing hints. It leaves out some details which are crucial in the path from a picture of a pattern of the garment to an as-close-as-I-can-get-it-reproduction of the garment.. but it’s better than a bare line drawing.

That said:

Please pardon the rant.
Continue reading “Extant” does not mean a good example for everywhere and everytime

Kentish Anglo-Saxon “button loops”

I’m currently researching 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon women’s clothing with a huge focus on what Penelope Walton Rogers refers to as Dress Style III and Dress Style IV.

Dress Style III(picture here) is described as “a garment with a vertical front opening clasped by two brooches, one at the throat the other centre-chest, and worn with a buckled belt.” For ease of reference I’m referring to this at “the tunic”.

'Button loops' from Buckland Dover, Parfitt, p. 201.

‘Button loops’ from Buckland Dover, Parfitt, p. 201.

In researching the tunic layer I’ve come across a couple of references to some truly spiffy button loops used to hold the button brooches on either side of the front opening (at the collar and bust level).
Continue reading Kentish Anglo-Saxon “button loops”

Tabletweaving Technique: Weft management

This past weekend I ended up doing some tabletweaving in the park during our weekly fighter practice. Someone watched me for a while and then commented that although they’d done tabletweaving before they hadn’t dealt with the weft the same way that I do..so I figured it might be worthwhile to document how I deal with my weft.

I honestly don’t remember where I originally learned about this method. I’ve been using it for the last 9-10 years. This is what I do to keep my band width consistent and to keep my weft from peeking out too much at the edges.

Sylvie’s conjectural 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon tunic

Kentish_dress_style_IIII’m currently researching 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon women’s clothing with a huge focus on what Penelope Walton Rogers refers to as Dress Style III and Dress Style IV.

Dress Style III(in the picture) is described as “a garment with a vertical front opening clasped by two brooches, one at the throat the other centre-chest, and worn with a buckled belt.” For ease of reference I’m referring to this at “the tunic”.

The image shown left is from page 190 of “Cloth and Clothing in Early Anglo-Saxon England”. It is a bit misleading since it seems to show some kind of trim along the front opening of the garment and at the wrists. So far evidence points to this not being the case. Or rather I cannot find any evidence of tablet weaving (or other trim) at the neck/front opening.. and I can’t find any evidence of anything at the wrists.

Details to include:
– Gold linen (because it’s what I have set aside in my stash)
– No shoulder seams
– Longer than floor length. I’ve decided I don’t like the look of my tunics which are 3-4 inches above floor length (which usually happens when I cut them from selvedge to selvedge and add a shoulder seam).
– Split down the front with a 1/4″ rolled hem on each side of the front opening.
– Buttonloops as seen on Kentish finds (more on this in another post once I get to work on them)
– ~1/4″ rolled hem at wrists and neck opening
– Gore in center front and center back (for symmetry) as well as split gores on the sides.
– Sleeves loose enough to push up to my elbow.
Continue reading Sylvie’s conjectural 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon tunic

Simple Diamonds.. err Chevrons

IMG_20130716_173705_578simple_chevron_threading_diagramOn Friday my love reminded me that on Sunday we would be helping with a demo in town.. and that “people really like to see things being woven on a loom” and asked me to have a project ready for the demo. I needed something quick (so it would be warped up and ready-to-weave in less than a day), simple (I expect to have to start/stop a lot in the middle of weaving as I explained things and I also expect to let children and parents try it out so simpler is better) and beautiful (Well duh, beautiful weaving is more alluring then f-ugly weaving).

Project Summary:
Thread is size 10 cotton crochet yarn. This used 8 pattern cards (yellow, black, black, black) and 3 border cards on each side (solid black, solid white, solid black) setup according to threading diagram to the right. For a total of 14 cards used to weave this.

The weft is size 10 cotton crochet thread in black.

This was woven on my simple board loom.

Turning Sequence:
All cards are turned forward for the whole band.

GTT file
Continue reading Simple Diamonds.. err Chevrons

The curious lack of evidence for 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon chemise

I’m currently researching 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon women’s clothing with a huge focus on what Penelope Walton Rogers refers to as Dress Style III and Dress Style IV.

kentish_dress_stylesDress Style III(a in the picture) is described as “a garment with a vertical front opening clasped by two brooches, one at the throat the other centre-chest, and worn with a buckled belt.” For ease of reference I’m referring to this at “the tunic”.

And Dress Style IV(b and c in the picture) is described as “the same as Dress Style III but with the addition of a front-opening coat or jacket on top. The coat/jacket was fastened by a pair of crossways bow brooches, either at the waist or immediately below, the jacket being worn outside the belt. The women used both imported and Kentish-made brooches to fasten these garments and bordered the front edges of the jacket with their Jutish-style tablet weaves.” In some sources this is refered to as a “Frankish coat” and since that’s simpler I think I’ll stick to that as shorthand.

See.. now here’s where I admit to what I suppose is a modern bias.
Continue reading The curious lack of evidence for 6th century Kentish Anglo-Saxon chemise

Fearghus MacAirt Vigil and Meadhall

fearghus_in_armor

Be it known to all who should read this missive that Fearghus MacAirt, my right and worthy Lord, having been invited to become a knight of the realm by the late King Obidiah will sit Vigil on this Friday night, June 21 the first day of Summer. With all humility he begs a boon of all that they should come and visit with him during this Vigil with private words of wisdom and well wishes for him to contemplate before his knighting on Saturday during the morning court of King Thorfinn and Queen Etaine.

He does further wish it to be known that after his knighting, on Saturday evening, he will host a mead hall and will further ask all to come partake in food and drink and to offer public words of wisdom and well wishes in the form of a toast so that all may learn from the words offered and celebrate the fellowship found in a rousing mead hall.

Yours in service,
Sylvie la chardonniere