Posts tagged ‘braid’

#47 Lucet

Some time ago, I came across an online image of a Viking line winder. You can find an image of the specific find here: Falling somewhat in love with the image, I decided to make lucet with similar markings. So I prepared a nice piece of beef bone and here’s the finished product at roughly half the size of the original find.

Bone lucet based on a linewinder found at Sømhovd, Norway

Bone lucet based on a linewinder found at Sømhovd, Norway


Breadth Challenge #25: A wee little baggie!

It’s some sort of strange thing, I always seem to end up making pouches/bags/other things-to-contain-stuff-in, etc., as my first piece of anything textile related.  And so it is in this case.

I’m not sure what the technique I used is called.  I came upon it in a dream, as many of my varied ideas do.  At first I was convinced it was a type of naalbinding.  Then, after reading up some more on naalbinding, my certainty wavered, even though it shares many hallmarks of said technique.  Having only attempted naalbinding once, and remembering only a mass of tangles from the attempt, all I can do is show what I have done and let other, more knowledgeable people work out what I’ve accomplished.

Starting position

Start by taking your piece of wool and wrapping it around your finger.  Add a half twist as shown.

Second step

Next, you want to run your long end under the loop on your finger, but over the long trailing end of your wool, as shown.

Pull the loop snug

This should make a single loop, which you should pull nice and snug.

A run of loops

Continue a run of loops, going under the finger loop and over the long length of wool, roughly 7 or 8 times.

Making your starting circle

Slip the loop off your finger.  Pulling on the short piece of wool that you originally started with will pull the loops into a circle.  From here on in, you will be forming a spiral.

Stitch into each progressive loop

Instead of stitching directly onto the finger loop, you’ll now be stitching into each of the loops you’ve already made.  To expand in a circle, add a second stitch to each second loop.  To make a tube, make only one stitch for each loop.

My stripes were made simply by alternating the colour of the wool I used, as this is a technique that requires you use short lengths.  I found any length longer than my arm span was too difficult to manage.

A quick eye will notice that I’ve added eyelets.  I thought for quite some time on how to do this.  In the end, I worked each one by skipping 4 loops, then stitching 4, then skipping four, etc., whilst only pulling the running thread tight enough to span the length of the four skipped loops.  When the spiral reached the skipped parts, I continued to loop onto the straight piece of thread as if it were the original finger loop, for four loops, then stitching normally for four loops, etc.

The drawstring is a simple four strand braid, as I covered here.

The resulting fabric is thick, springy and stiff.  It feels fabulously durable.  Note in the first picture that the bag (which is empty) is standing unaided, which should give an indication how stiff this fabric is.

If anyone knows if this is naalbinding or some other form of textile, please let me know, as I’d like to be able to put a name to what I’m doing.

Breadth Challenge #24: Trichinopoly

So, something new for my breadth challenge.  I first saw trichinopoly last year at Rowany where, alas, I only saw about 2 minutes of the tutorial on said subject, and that two minutes was without any form of comprehension as I was just waiting for my next collegia to start in the adjacent tent.  I’ve been wanting to try it ever since, but haven’t had any idea how to start.

For those who are left completely at sea by the five syllable word that sounds like a prehistoric sea creature or something, trichinopoly is also known as Viking or Norse wire weaving, or Viking chain knit.

Yesterday, I came across the Viking Knit tutorial on the Tangible Daydreams blog.  I immediately set to trying it, but ended in a puddle of disappointment and horrendous knots.  Knowing that it was my understanding that was at fault rather than the tutorial, I set out to find similar tutorials that put things into slightly different formats.  A couple of searches later, I found this tutorial.  The two tutorials together got me knitting in no time.

I am rather proud of myself for going the extra step and using my man’s drill press, which I am somewhat terrified of, to drill myself a drawplate.  Eight different gauges of drill bit gave me eight successive holes to draw down, and produced a very even finish.

Alas, my camera is pretty much dead, however I’ve managed to snag some photos with my i-Pad.  Sadly, the quality is bad, but you’ll get the idea.

Weaving in action

Necklace once it's been drawn through the drawplate

My only hassle has been with the clasps at the ends.  This, I think, will require some practice.

A last note:  In one of the tutorial links the writer made a note about the chain becoming two times longer.  This is not necessarily accurate.  I stopped my knit at 15cm, expecting a choker sized length.  Instead, my completed length of chain is 55cm.



A two-fer: 22, Make a lucet, and 23, make a lucet braid

I’ve never tried lucet cord braiding before, but I’ve seen it done, I’ve hung out with people talking about it, it’s something you really can’t escape in the SCA.

For those who don’t know, a lucet  is a two (or more) pronged thingie with a hole in the middle, for the making of braid with.  Prior to today, I actually thought the cord was called a lucet, but it turns out that I was wrong, the tool is the lucet, and the cord is simply named after the tool that made it.

I actually made two lucets today.  The first was from bone, which broke while I was polishing it.  I was thinking of sticking it back together with superglue, but it’s going to have to deal with a fair amount of tension from the cording, so I may simply transform the remnants into naalbinding needles.  The second is from cedar, and took me much less time.

A note to anyone who’s never worked in wood but intends to at some point:  stay away from cedar.  It’s a crap wood.  I have a bunch of it because it was cheap and I was ignorant.  It’s too soft to be of use for anything, so I’m using it on stuff I don’t mind breaking.  That includes this lucet.  Leave it to pencils and pretty panelling, it’s no good for anything else.

Lucet + cord

The braid is produced by first running the thread through the hole, then wind the thread around the prongs twice in a figure 8 pattern.  The lower loops get pulled off the prongs over the upper loops, then another figure 8 loop gets added, tightening as you go.  It forms a square braid.  I’m still working on getting the tension right, but I think I’ll be right as rain by this time tomorrow!

Breadth Challenge #19: Four strand flat braid

This particular post was always supposed to be me crowing about the fact that I’ve taught my first class, but I’ve decided that doesn’t need to be counted in my challenge.  I did teach my first class, I’ve given away many small bottles of the resulting brew, but the challenge was all in the documentation rather than anything else.

I did not, however, come away from the Feast of Friendship with nothing to add to my challenge.  The wonderful thing about the SCA is the learning, and I’ve learned quite a lot this weekend.  I’ve learned that I can cobble together (barely) passable documentation in half an hour, even when I’ve lost my original resource notes (I will post up said documentation and my treasure necklace tomorrow).  I’ve watched fingerloop braiding, and will be searching for resources online to learn how to do it.  I’ve sat with Dimitri and gone over hat-making techniques, which I shall be attempting at some point in the near future.  And, springing from a dream I had the night before we left for the Feast, I’ve made my very first four-strand braid.

Four Strand Braid

I am in the process of making Mouse Pouches for our Mouse Guard recipients.  Of course, pouches need to be tied somehow, so I’ve been pondering on learning braid techniques for the past couple of weeks, but haven’t had the time to sit down and research.  So, of course, my brain has been ticking over it all for a while, and came up with a solution while I had my back turned.

I dreamt of threads that were attached to my fingers, three to each hand, where the threads from the index finger were moved to the threads on the opposing pinkie finger, then moved along.  The imagery was perfect for showing me where the strands needed to go.  The dream version would make a six-strand flat braid.  It’s easy enough to simplify that to four-strand, which is what I did, in the car, on the 2 1/2 hour drive to Warwick.  I worked a starting position with two strands of red on the interior, and a strand of white either side on the exterior, to produce that consistent arrow formation you can see on the photograph.

Four strand braid instructions


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