New additions to the library last month

July 4, 2013
Stack o books

Its no secret; I love books.  I love books best when they belong to me.  Nothing beats the feeling of pulling out a reference for some obscure grave find or textile technique on a whim. My guess is that I am not alone in my quest to possess ALL THE BOOKS.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that you, too, have a mighty fine personal library.  You might even think of bibliographies like shopping lists the…

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Iron age Finnish Mantle – Weaving the cloth

July 3, 2013
2/2 twill weave for the body of the mantle

The iron age Finnish mantle is such an interesting project; rich in texture and steeped in history.   The mantle is just one part of much larger effort to make a complete female Finnish costume.  I am grateful to work with a group of passionate artists who really care about history and the quality of their work.     In this post, I’m going to talk about the process of weaving the mantle cloth.

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Iron Age Finnish Mantle – Pattern draft and warping the loom

June 13, 2013
A close-up of the reed and the sleyed warp ends.

The Finnish mantle warp is on the loom and I’m ready to start weaving!  Here are all the details on that process or you can skip over that part and go straight for the weaving eye candy as I have a largish gallery of photos documenting the process.

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Taming the Savage Selvage.

June 8, 2013
Pulled. - I pull until the new weft thread is even with the left side. If you pull too tight, the side will dimple inward. If you don't pull tight enough, you'll see space between the side warp threads.

I wrote this tutorial back in 2008 and thought  that I should share this trick for weaving nice selvages on narrow woven bands, whether inkle or tablet with all of you.  I was shown this method by a good friend and it instantly improved the look of my woven products.

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Loom waste

June 2, 2013
20130602-140135.jpg

One of the things you should probably do when you get a new loom is figure out how much loom waste it generates. Loom waste, also called “thrums” is the unwoven yarn left over from a weaving project. It is the yarn used to tie the project to both the front and back beams, as well as the portion of yarn its simply impossible to weave due to the shed being too small through which…

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Iron age Finnish Mantle – Warp Calculations

May 30, 2013
Pile of yarn

In my last post, I introduced you to my latest project, weaving a shawl inspired by an iron age Finnish mantle.  Now that you have the background, its time to get down to some specifics.  I am making changes to size, color, and fiber content, as well as making guesses to some of the construction details where they are not known.  If I was hard core, I would be doing this on a warp weighted…

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Starting A New Project – Iron Age Finnish Mantle

May 29, 2013
Perniö mantle grave find in the Finnish National Museum.  ©2010 Zoe McDonnell.  Used by permission.

I am starting a new project with a hard deadline of the third weekend in July.  This project, an iron-age Finnish mantle, combines cloth weaving, tablet weaving and coiled wire work.   I fully expect the next six weeks to be filled with insanity, frustration, ah-ha moments and, hopefully, joyous triumph.  I’m looking forward to it!

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Broken Diamond Twill Leg Wraps completed

April 22, 2013
IMG_3032

This weekend  I wet-finished and hemmed the blue/yellow leg wraps I had recently taken off the loom.  Very pleased with how they look.  

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New weaving project – broken diamond twill leg wraps

April 2, 2013
New weaving project – broken diamond twill leg wraps

Its been four months since I finished the cloth for the Rus kaftan and, this past Sunday, I finally made time to beam a new weaving project on my floor loom – a pair of leg wraps (wicklebanders or winningas) in dark blue and yellow for a viking reenactor friend.

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Beginning Landsknecht – Blue Trossfrau

March 30, 2013
Trossfrau sketch

In January of 2013, I decided to branch out from my usual early period research and crafts.  I have several friends who do Landknecht really well and I though it would be interesting to give it a shot.

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