Spool knitting with wire

After going through the smallest drawplate hole, (approx 6 cm) the chain is 24 cm

After going through the smallest drawplate hole, (approx 6 cm) the chain is 24 cm

Today I have another sample I made for the A&S competition project I’ll blog about soon. This time I gave spool knitting with wire a try.

It’s possible that instead of the looping done by the Trichinopoly technique, that some of the extant Viking Age finds typically called Trichinopoly are actually made by spool knitting. Since I’ve never done spool knitting before, I thought I’d give it a try and compare the results.

The spool-knit wire before going through the draw plate is only about 14 cm long

The spool-knit wire before going through the draw plate is only about 14 cm long

First off, since it was a first attempt, I am sure that there’s a great deal of technique that could be improved upon. Nonetheless I wanted to try the technique, not master it for my sample, so I am not terribly concerned about the little flaws in the finished result.

“Knitting” the chain on the jig was very challenging, and in fact the chain is the length it is because my wires broke as I was trying to work with them. All the same I likely wouldn’t have “knit” up much more than this anyways.

The finished length when I was done working with the wire (24 gauge coloured copper wire) was 14 cm long, and about as wide as most of the Viking Knit I have made up on my normal dowel.

A closer photo of the spool knit wire

A closer photo of the spool knit wire

The chain before the draw plate was very ugly – lumpy and oddly shaped.

The spool-knit wire, after going through the largest hole in my draw plate (approx 9 cm diameter) is 22 cm long

The spool-knit wire, after going through the largest hole in my draw plate (approx 9 mm diameter) is 22 cm long

Once through the draw plate though, the chain improved significantly.

I pulled it through the largest hole in my draw plate, (approx. 9 mm diameter) and the resulting chain is 22 cm long. The chain has it’s flaws, as a result of the new technique for me I’m sure more than anything else, but other than that, the resulting chain looks very similar to my finished Trichinopoly chain.

Stay tuned… I’ll have at least one more sample post for you, before the “big reveal” of my A&S competition work.

Viking Knit in brass & silver

My display of brass and silver chains

My display of brass and silver chains

This is another post showing samples from the ‘big project’ I mentioned earlier… This time around I wanted to try two different materials for making Viking Knit (Trichinopoly) chain that I haven’t used before, but are perhaps somewhat closer to what was used in period.

The brass (and silver) chain before pulling through the draw-plate

The brass (and silver) chain before pulling through the draw-plate

This time I used brass (instead of bronze) and silver wire.

Before going through the draw-plate, the silver chain was about 11.5 cm long, while the brass chain was about 12.5 cm long.

Both of these were ‘looped’ up in single-knit, because I wanted the chain to loop up quickly because these were just for samples, and wanted the chain to be flexible.

After going through the draw-plate, the silver chain was 22.5 cm, while the brass chain was about 19.5 cm. The draw-plate size was the smaller of the ones I have, at a diameter of about 6 cm.

The brass (and silver) chain after pulling through the draw-plate

The brass (and silver) chain after pulling through the draw-plate

For my display, I just curled the ends of the silver wire and looped them together and pinned it to the display frame.  I may keep this as-is, or perhaps make up the chain into a finished piece of jewellery.

For the brass chain, I made a loop with brass wire for one end,and attached the other to a makeshift brass needlecase. I stuffed the needlecase with undyed wool as I’ve seen done by others attempting to re-create period needlecases.

Oh.. yes.. display…
If you’ve noted the tags on this, the ‘big project’ was part of an A&S competition for my local SCA barony.  More about that coming soon!

Viking Knit on fabric

The chain on the fabric, after the dowel was removed

The chain on the fabric, after the dowel was removed

I have a rather large project to share with you soon, but in the meantime I’m going to post a few photos about samples I made leading up to that project…

The chain on the dowel

The chain on the dowel

One example of Viking Knit from the 10th Century is a silk cuff with Trichinopoly chain / Viking Knit on it. I wanted to give a try to the technique…
I did this in single-knit with 26 gauge silver-plated copper wire with a smaller dowel than I usually use for my chains (since it wouldn’t be going through the draw plate). I did this as a three-rib knit rather than my normal 5, because I was told that was how the original had been constructed.
I used a scrap of heavy coat-weight wool and pulled the wire through on one side.

The chain on the dowel

The chain on the dowel

The resulting chain after I removed the dowel (top) is a lot larger and more fragile-feeling than I think the original would be.  My next step after this is to use a smaller dowel, and try double-knit instead of single-knit to see if that improves the result.

Stay tuned.. my “big project” is coming soon, but some more samples first!

Viking Age name and persona development

After making my post about Viking Age names in Iceland from a museum exhibit, I started thinking about names for a persona while I play in the SCA. I started collecting a few ideas on that page, but then it all became very long and off-topic from the original post, so I’ve moved that information over here now…

I’m going to consider most of this a work-in-progress, as I’m sure to change things as I learn more.

Persona background:

Family

  • Icelandic-born
  • Parents originally from Norway, who came to “Ísland” from Norway prior to 930 – when the ‘settlement age’ for Iceland ended, but after the intentional settlement by
    Ingólfur Arnarson & his wife Hallveig circa 870.
    (Source: “The age of settlement is considered to have ended in the year 930 with the establishment of Alþingi, when almost all land in the country had been claimed by settlers.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_of_Iceland & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ing%C3%B3lfr_Arnarson

    • (Starting point of parents coming to Iceland in 910, making the current year about 950)
  • Parents would have arrived on knörr,  a Viking cargo ship which would have held livestock, grains, tools, and other materials needed for intentional settlement. The voyage from Norway to Iceland would have taken one to two weeks by sea. (Source: http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/society/text/settlement_of_iceland.htm)

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Viking embellishment – whipcord / 4-strand braid

My first strand of whipcord

My first strand of whipcord

For one of the projects I’m working on,wanted to make whipcord for the trim. I hadn’t ever made whipcord before, nor did I know how to make it… so I figured this would be  a good time to gather some resources – first to see if whipcord is even ‘period’, and next to learn how to make it! Continue reading