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Category: Early Period

Steps Backward: Viking Acanthus Collar

Steps Backward: Viking Acanthus Collar

So remember that pretty embroidered collar I had all planned out yesterday? Well…. It’s had some setbacks.

Master Alden and I had decided on blue lines for this lovely design. And seeing how much fun I’d had with pearl cotton on the Cantigas pouches, I thought I’d use it again. I had some beautiful robin’s egg Pearl Cotton 5 (I’d thought about using silk, but these are knock-about tunics that need to be super washable) that I wanted to use. I thought that chain stitch would yield a line too wide even for this large graphic a design so I started in on split stitch.

Acanthus Collar

It looks great! The color pops on the brown! Everything is dandy! So I kept going.Got about a quarter of the way done… Aaaaand start to not like the way it looks.


Acanthus Collar

The pearl cotton is round and, for lack of a better term, bouncy. It wants to stand up from the linen as I stitch it. Until it collapses on its side around the curves. See how it’s sort of falling over up there on the top curve of the vine? And again in the curves of the leaf shapes at the bottom and left? It looks terrible.
Acanthus Collar

I cut all the top of the embroidery off. Luckily the tall, bouncy nature of the embroidery makes this very easy.
Acanthus Collar

Taken off the fabric, this is what’s left of the yesterday’s embroidery. It’s important to document the screw ups as well as the successes, right?!
Acanthus Collar

I started again with four strands of DMC cotton floss in a slightly bluer color (which I and Master Alden both agree looks better, and will look better against the green tunic fabric). It lays much more nicely, and is still linear and graphic in the way we were hoping for.
Acanthus Collar

 

New Project: Viking Collar

New Project: Viking Collar

I started another project today, a quick viking collar for a tunic with a damaged neckline. The inside of the tunic will be patched, and the outside will be hidden by this collar. It will be embroidered in blue DMC cotton for washability, and the tunic is forest green linen. I’ll add some matching blue embroidery on the cuffs of the tunic to make it coordinate.

Viking Collar

The design is based on one of the Mammen embroideries, an acanthus vine that’s small and solidly embroidered in various colors. However, I found this tunic on pinterest, and loved the spare, graphic outline of the same design.

Fox Embroidery Pattern

Fox Embroidery Pattern

Remember that fox embroidery I did, back in the day? The one, I uh, apparently never posted finished pictures of? Huh. I should do that. Only three years late…

This was for a Sable Swap a couple years ago. The recipient was an embroiderer and had a Kievan Rus persona. I know what it’s like to never have pretty things for oneself, after giving them all away. So I wanted to make a little kit that was relevant and useful and pretty. It consists of a pouch, a needle roll, and a scissors fob.

 

Rus Embroidery Project

The design for the pouch was taken from Kievan temple-brooches from the relevant period. Most of them show animals or saints mirrored. I went with foxes, since the recipient listed those as favorites. Embroidered in split and chain stitch with DMC cotton floss. Rus Embroidery Project The needle roll was embroidered with a dragonfly (also a favorite) and some Kievan motifs to tie them in together, with a blanket stitch in varying long and short lengths to be a decorative finish. Rus Embroidery Project The scissors fob echoes the shape of the temple brooches, and has a lucet cord loop to attach to the scissors.  Rus Embroidery Project So. Now that that’s done, even though I didn’t necessarily intend to do a project recap in this post, let me show you why I DID want to write today. I finally cleaned up the fox brooch motif. A few people have asked for it, and I’ve forgotten about it multiple times. So here it is! Enjoy! fox-embroidery-1

Tablut Game

Tablut Game

Last year, I participated in the Sable Swap, a kingdom-wide secret gift exchange. You may remember that I made an embroiderer’s kit for my assigned giftee. It was easy to decide what to do because, as an embroiderer, I know what I would love to receive.

This time, though, I got a gentleman with an Icelandic persona, who is into medieval artillery and archery. Uh…
Super secret project.

So I decided to make him an embroidered game bag that folds up into a pouch for easy carrying. I did some research on variations of a game called Tafl, which was played ll over the Scandinavian world.

Super secret project: all the green is finished!

Despite it being a Laplandic variant, I chose to go with a version of the game called Tablut, since it was the best documented. Lapland and Iceland aren’t that far apart, in the grand scheme of the Viking reach.
Tablut Board

The board consists of a 9×9 grid, with the central cross being one color, and the Ts at the end of the arms in a different color. The squares are embroidered in chain stitch, and the lines are stem stitch. Everything is stitched in DMC cotton, because you never know when you’re going to have to wash out a spill. (As an aside, I’m not sure what prompted me to choose baby food or 70s appliance colors, but he did say he liked earth colors.)

Tablut Board The defending army starts off in the center blocks, with the king on the middle square. The attacking arms starts on the T shaped areas on the ends. The goal is to either get the king to a corner, or to capture him, depending on which side you’re playing. All pieces can only move orthogonally, or in straight lines.

Tafl Game

Traditionally, the king is a taller piece, but I only had these glass pebbles and no time to make a different marker for the king, so I just included a different color instead. I love the way they look all lined up and ready to go. Tafl Game And when you’re done, the strings pull tight…
Tafl Game …and make a neat little pouch for carrying. Tafl Game I made the strings long enough to stay in the eyelets when the game is laid out flat, and that means that they wrap around the pouch neck a few times to insure that none of the pebbles fall out. It would tie onto a belt quite nicely, too. I am always glad of diversions during the longest bit of an event, which seems to be between the end of fighting and the beginning of feast or court. I hope Karl likes playing his Tablut game as much as I enjoyed making it! Tafl Game

Celtic Snake Cup Cover

Celtic Snake Cup Cover

As promised, here’s the other cup cover I’ve been working on. It wasn’t for the largess competition, so I wanted to post it separately. I had a cup cover that I was using, and two of the Queens (well the Queen and a former Queen) started play- fighting over it. So I gave it to one of them, and promised to make another for the ‘loser,’ too. And since then, I’ve tried to make pretty cup covers for all the Queens that have come. So this is the most recent. Her colors are gold, purple, and green, and her persona is something Celtic. Ish.

Queen's Champion prep Queen's Champion prep Queen's Champion prep Celtic knotwork cup cover

Early and Late period Cup covers

Early and Late period Cup covers

So, I’ve been a little silent lately. It wasn’t on purpose, I’ve just been working on a lot of stuff lately, and it’s sometimes hard for me to balance the things I like to do (this blog) and the things I’ve committed to doing (the things I’m going to be posting about this week). It’s not you, it’s me. Or rather, my non-existant time-management skills.

We had a big to-do this weekend. It was an SCA event called Queen’s champion. The rapier fighters (guys who fight with light metal swords, all Princess Bride style, instead of big rattan swords, in roughly the style of Braveheart) get together and compete to be the one who fights for the Queen’s honor during her reign. There’s a King’s champion, too, but they’re the rattan fighters, and don’t feature in this story. Usually, all that happens at a QC event is the fighting, but this time, they held an Arts and Sciences competition as well. The items that were put in would then be donated to the basket of gifts that the Royals hand out as largess during their reign.

I made two embroidered cup covers. Although they’re not strictly period, they’re a nice visual touch that can conceal a soda can, and keep bugs and leaves out of one’s drink. I made one early period, based on Anglo-Saxon brooches.

Anglo-Saxon Cup cover Anglo-Saxon Cup cover Anglo-Saxon Cup cover Anglo-Saxon Cup cover

The other one is a later period design, with an Tudor Rose and an Ansteorran star, and the shading created by the use of blackwork fill patterns. I think they came out nicely. I’ve got one more cup cover, a ton of calligraphy, and pictures of the actual event coming up this week. And then, hopefully, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging. Blackwork Rose and Star cup cover
Blackwork Rose and Star cup cover Blackwork Rose and Star cup cover Blackwork Rose and Star cup cover

Scattered Embroidery News

Scattered Embroidery News

I finished my smocked apron! It’s fantastically beautiful, and I love it. It’s really a perfect low-effort, high-impact object. It’s made of weaver’s cloth and DMC floss, so I’m not overly precious about getting it messy. It only took a yard, so the materials aren’t expensive. I made it in less than a week, working on it in the evenings, so the time investment isn’t very large either. And the smocking was totally easy. I’m seriously considering making some more to give out as largesse.

Finished smocked apron.

I went to the Austin Stitchery Guild’s event, Stitchin’ Happy, with a friend. I got this adorably macabre needle keeper there. I totally want to make my own now; it’s terribly useful.

Picked up a needle keeper at a needlework show on Sunday.

And I started work on a new pretty project. It’s the latest in my attempt to give all the Queens of Ansteorra a pretty cup-cover.

New portable embroidery project.

 

New Garb for Poppet!

New Garb for Poppet!

The answer to yesterday’s question is “nothing.” There’s nothing cuter than a baby sleeping. Unless it’s two babies sleeping. Together. In garb.

Poppet outgrew her last garb, the green with pink trim between the last event and this one. Originally, before I started taking hallucinogenic drugs, I thought maybe I could make us all new garb by Candlemas. Yeah, that was the first thing to drop off the to-do list. But Poppet really, really needed some new clothes, so I pulled out some fabric I’ve been saving up and went to town.

Bebe's new garb.

The underdress is a simple t-tunic cut all in one piece because I’m lazy and would rather deal with just one seam down the side than have to fiddle with separate sleeves and an under-arm gore on a 2T sized dress. And honestly, Her clothes take up so little fabric any way, that it’s not so much of a waste of fabric. It’s a subtle white and tan and brown stripe, all on the cool side. The fabric is rayon, I think. Maybe polyester. It’s light and breathes well, though, and aside from a pretty subtle sheen, looks like a cotton fabric. The hems and facing are sewn down in a decorative red running stitch.

Bebe IN her new garb.

The outer apron dress is a rough-weave 100% wool that I’ve had in my stash approximately forever. It’s a little (a lot) scratchy for next-to-the-skin wear, but as an outer layer, it’s perfect. Even though it’s a little heavy for Austin (certainly a medium weight), Poppet ran around in it all day with no signs of being too warm. It just goes to show that wool is magical. It’s trimmed at the top with a line of white chain stitch to hide the machine stitching. I don’t usually bother on her clothes (and didn’t along the bottom), but it was really noticeable and jarring at the top.

Candlemas 2013

The straps are some tablet-woven trim I’ve also had forever. I attached it to the back in such a way that when she outgrows the dress, I can reclaim the trim to use on something else. The whole outfit is still just a little big, but I’m hoping that means I’ll get four or five events out of it. As it gets hotter, I’ll leave off the apron dress and just let her run around in the belted tunic instead.

Candlemas 2013

Embroidery Pattern: 6-point star

Embroidery Pattern: 6-point star

Six-pointed Star

Time for another embroidery pattern! This one is based on a purportedly Byzantine brooch design I came across during a long-ago Google image search. I have yet to find that picture again, or anything corroborating it’s provenance or authenticity. That said, it’s a pretty design! I modified it from the one I used on my cup cover.  As before, share if you like, with credit and a link back here. Enjoy!