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Still alive

If just barely for a bit. But home, recovering, starting to think about fiber arts again.

Prompted by this, in part, courtesy of a group of fabulous friends.


What to do with two skeins of qiviut? (And science qiviut too, from the Large Animal Research Station!). Something wonderful, a lace scarf almost certainly, just as soon as I figure out what. My urge to make something incredibly complicated is at war with my realization that I’m not really up to complicated yet. Meanwhile I’ll just pet it. A lot.

I also have some lovely Habu weaving yarn from another friend, but I’m too lazy to go get it so I can take its picture. (What? You think I was joking about petting the qiviut?) And I need to do a bit of weaving before my FFF class

But one thing at a time, and right now I’m trying to close some tabs.

Vikings in Ireland, a series of videos produced by the National Museum of Ireland.

Christina Petty has prepared a thesis on warp-weighted looms for the University of Manchester: “Warp Weighted Looms: Then and Now Anglo-Saxon and Viking Archaeological Evidence and Modern Practitioners.”

How to Be a Hedgehog“, according to manuscripts in the British Library. You MUST watch the video.

Trygvi is taking his role as Supervisor of Recuperation and Snuggling very seriously.


Free Norse clothing book

Via Katrin Kania:

Aarhus University Press is doing a free ebook of the month series, it seems, and this month’s book is Medieval Garments Reconstructed: Norse Clothing Patterns by Lilli Fransen, Anna Nørgård and Else Østergård.

Moving right along

The Archaeological Textiles group has the rudiments of a website now. If you are interested, please head over there to get information on how to sign up for the email list. While some parts of the study group will be restricted to Complex Weavers members, the email list is open to all.

Our first plans involve making the website prettier, and starting to pull together resource lists. Please be thinking about your favorite books, websites, museums with online collections, etc. I’ll be cannibalizing the lists on this site to give AT a good start, but there are lots of resources I’m not familiar with.

I need to close some tabs, so here’s a link round-up:

Currency collages
. Nothing to do with fiber arts, but I thought they were neat (via Nick).

Farming with 11th-century tools.

Laura sent me a couple links on a Bronze Age find in Dartmoor with preserved textiles, including a basket and a braided bracelet I’d like to see a structure diagram for, or at least a better photo.

Knitted sensors
: an interface linking fiber arts and technology.


I had fully intended to take good pictures of the new resident of my household, but Cawti nosebumping and marking the iron chicken was far too cute to ignore no matter HOW bad the lighting was.



No, I am not entirely certain why the chicken was in the bedroom. Honest.

Miss Chicken needs a name. I’ve already gotten some excellent suggestions, but am soliciting more. If you had a frilly Rhode Island Rust, what would you call her?

Archaeological Textiles

Laura Thode and I are proposing a new study group on archaeological textiles for Complex Weavers. And when I say “Laura and I,” I mean that she has done all of the work.

The announcement appears in the current CW newsletter.

The medieval textiles study group has been defunct for many years now, and we’d like to replace it with something slightly broader, and thus hopefully more likely to persist.

Here’s the information from the newsletter:

We are proposing a new study group to be called Archaeological Textiles, which will cover everything from textile impressions in prehistoric ceramics to relics in cathedral treasuries. This group will have an online presence, and members will submit contributions for a newsletter. If enough people are interested in a sample exchange, that can be considered as well. Dues will be based on costs for web hosting or mailing printed copies of the newsletter. We will be at Seminars in June and would love input; otherwise, feel free to e-mail questions or suggestions to Laura Thode at at gmail dot com Please put Complex Weavers in the subject to be sure I see it.

I was incredibly disappointed to have to cancel my CW attendance this year. Getting a new study group off the ground should keep me busy until next time (2016, somewhere in the middle of the US).

Weekend reads

Need something to read? The online archive of the Textile Society of America Proceedings goes back to 1988, and includes all sorts of fascinating information on textile technology, culture, trade, symbolism, and much more. 

How about an odd intersection of entomology and history? Fly larvae in the sarcophagus of Isabella of Aragon tell us something interesting.

Too much reading? How about something to watch instead: The League of Extraordinary Dancers, a free online serial. I’m totally enthralled.

If even that is too much for a Saturday, let me present Trygvi’s new feature, “Boxers Destroying Things.” I expect the Velocikittenraptors will be making occasional guest appearances.

Naalbinding speed?

I received an email question recently about the relative efficiency of naalbinding and knitting.

Many of the very experienced naalbinders I know find it as fast as knitting, but all of the novice naalbinders find it much slower.

I don’t know of any formal study of the subject, but how about an informal survey? If you both naalbind and knit, please leave a comment here (at, please, even if you normally read the LJ feed), and tell me:

How long you’ve been knitting?
How long you’ve been naalbinding?
Your thoughts about the relative speed as you practice them.
Any other comments.

I’m curious!

Smell like a Viking

York Visitor Centre created a Viking-scented body spray. No really: I’m not making this up, and it isn’t April 1. Mead, blood, smoke, seawater and so much more.

Not only that, you can get a Smell-o-vision travel guide.

I’m… amazed. Or something. I wonder how I can find a decant of the body spray for Thora…

Utterly unrelated: take a look at this lovely 898-page Dutch watercolor mixing guide from 1692. Such patience! Every time I start something like that, I end up closer to 9 pages than 900.

Odds and ends

A link I’ve been meaning to pass along: samples of 18th century dyed felt. Pretty!

Instead of doing fiber arts (or rather, fiber arts I can talk about), I’ve been learning how to do some photo manipulation. I have a lot to learn, but I’m having fun.




Actually, that’s not entirely true: I have been doing some fiber arts. I have a pair of socks finished except for grafting the toes, and I’ve been working on a pair of socks two at a time on two circulars. But I decided they weren’t quite right, pulled them out, and completely couldn’t remember how to get them started on two needles again. I tried several things unsuccessfully; I need to sit down with the directions.

Beyond that, I’ve been reading, writing, researching 10th c. al-Andalus, working a lot, sick a lot. You know, my usual busy self, even given the sick a lot.

Nasca art

The Paracas Textile is online!

Brooklyn Museum: Mantle (

This is one of my favorite textiles ever, and is both beautiful and enormously complex. The needle-looped borders… oh my!

Brooklyn Museum: Mantle (

Not bad for something that’s closing in on two millenia old.

Brooklyn Museum: Mantle (

Go look for yourself!