Celebration- Giornea belt

The complete "Celebration" Italian outfit from the front, holding the over-dress open to show the silk skirt under it.

The complete “Celebration” Italian outfit from the front, holding the over-dress open to show the silk skirt under it.

Finally, to finish off the teal figured velvet giornea (overdress), I needed a “belt” and a closure.

For the belt I used two strips of the same teal fabric that I used for the binding, and two strips of copper-coloured silk as flat piping. I interfaced one of the teal strips with iron-on interfacing for lightweight stability, and sewed on copper metallic lace. (I started sewing this on by machine but it snagged the metallic lace, so I had to switch to hand sewing it with teal silk thread.)

For the closure I used a pair of large hooks and eyes which are pretty much hidden when the belt is closed, and used two jewellery sliders from Michaels to imitate a front clasp, since I couldn’t find any clasps in the three places I looked – or my own stash – that actually suited this costume.

Work-in-progress photo collage of making the belt for my teal overdress.

Work-in-progress photo collage of making the belt for my teal overdress.

A&S challenge at 12th Night

Design a medallion!

Rose appliqué on the bag I made

Rose appliqué on the bag I made

Have you noticed – the only Montengarde champion who doesn’t have a pretty medallion is our A&S Champion?

Would you like to design a medallion for future champions to wear – and for others to admire?

This challenge is open to all artisans, working in any suitable medium. Prepare a design in any format that suits your needs (sketch, schematic, CAD, etc) that will represent the kind of medallion you would be able to make for future A&S champions. You may also include photographs of previous work, mock-ups, samples, etc – anything you need to get your idea across. You will have a small display space; a large presentation is not required. No documentation is needed beyond the required entry elements. You will not need to personally present your ideas to the judges – though they may ask you personally for more information.


  • Medium must be durable – enough to be worn by multiple champions over the years with due care and appreciation of your work.
  • Design can reflect the title of our A&S champion. This is currently “Emerald Rose” but will likely be changing to “Emerald Flower” or “Emerald Blossom” shortly. It does not have to reflect the title, but this might guide your design.
  • Your entry must include:
    • Your society name, and contact information
    • A time frame of when you could complete the medallion if your design is the winner
    • A cost for creating the medallion
    • Description of your design including size, materials proposed, etc.


Appliqued flower on a green wool apron panel

Appliqued flower on a green wool apron panel

In a fun reversal… the competitors vying to BE the next A&S champion will be judging the medallion design they love the best. With this in mind, it might be a good idea to chat with past and future champions for ideas regarding materials, colour, size, weight, etc…

Judges will be asked to excuse themselves from judging if there is a significant conflict.  (Spouse, Laurel/Apprentice, etc)

In the chance that all entrants need to excuse themselves, I reserve the right to select a judge from event guests.


  • All SCA members and non-members may enter
  • Participants can be from anywhere in Avacal; not just Montengarde
  • Youth are welcome to enter WITH their parent/guardian who should supervise the process, and should be prepared to supervise youth should their design be selected in the completion of the medallion to meet timeline and budget.
  • Group submissions are welcome AND encouraged! Share your skills with one another!
  • Entrants vying to be Montengarde’s A&S Champion are eligible to enter to design the medallion, but must excuse themselves from judging.
  • Distance entries are welcome – please send your proposal with a trusted friend who might be able to answer questions if needed, if you are unable to attend the event.


This competition will take place at Twelfth Night in Montengarde.

Town & Country Centre
#103 275 Jensen Dr NE,
Airdrie, Alberta
January 22, 2017

Schedule is currently unknown. It is my intention to set up a display space first thing in the morning to show off your work throughout the day, have judges select the winner, and allow you to pick up your display before feast begins. Please check the schedule at: https://sites.google.com/site/montengardetwelfthnight2017/schedule for more information closer to the event date.

Istanbul: Accessories

Completed Istanbul outfit

Completed Istanbul outfit

To compliment my Istanbul outfit, I made a simple belt and a necklace.


I really wanted a contrasting belt, but I also wanted it fairly long…

I had a navy blue silk skirt that I was given which I cut out for the main belt fabric, and then lined it with the same pink linen as the coat – I would have done it all in silk, but there wasn’t enough fabric.

The images show a fairly wide belt with a big knot – so I think that this is a good compromise.


Complete Tarpus with the Hirka and my necklace

Complete Tarpus with the Hirka and my necklace

Most of the images don’t show much in the way of jewelry – but I really wanted to make a necklace to go with this outfit that would “feel” right even if it’s not especially documentable.

I might do more research later into extant jewelry, but this felt like the right style…

It’s made with three large pendants from Bead Landing’s “India” line, and two packages of earrings from the same line – the small earrings are very similar in style to the pendants. I bought five pendants, but when I strung them on the chain they didn’t hang correctly.

Components to make my Istanbul-feel necklace

Components to make my Istanbul-feel necklace


Trichinopoly (Viking Knit) class

There are a few people who indicated that they’d like to learn how to do Trichinopoly, and so I offered to teach a class/workshop.

I wanted to put together a short post for those interested to pick up supplies/etc.

Class description

Introduction to Trichinopoly (Viking Knit)
Drífa at lækjamoti

A hands-on introduction to Trichinopoly, sometimes called wire weaving, wire knitting, or Viking Knit. This technique produces beautiful chains documented to multiple ages and cultures, useful for necklaces, adorning clothing, and for practical use. Students will learn how to start, loop, add additional wires, and finishing options.

In a 2-hour class, students should be able to finish a length of chain suitable for a bracelet.

In a 1-hour class, students will be introduced to the technique, but will complete their projects after class.

Class limit: 2-8
Cost: Free to attend, but supplies will be needed (below)
Age limit: adults


The wire packaging

The wire packaging

  • Wire – I recommend copper wire, easily available through craft stores, bead stores, etc. I have purchased mine through Beads & Plenty More. If there’s time, you can also order online; I’ve shopped with Fire Mountain Beads and Etsy as well.

You should be able to make a necklace in any style from one 30-yard roll, however the amount of wire needed greatly depends on the style you make.

Avoid stainless steel wire, silver wire, brass wire or gold wire for your first project. Silver-plated copper wire is ok, but plain copper (available in a variety of colours, including silver-colour and gold-colour) is cheaper for your first project.

(As pretty as it is, avoid the Artistic Wire in turquoise colour.)

I recommend 24 gauge wire for your first project, however 26 gauge also makes a nice chain (though it takes a bit more wire).

  • Jig wire – You will also need a length of wire for the jig. This should be at least 24 gauge,  (22 gauge is also fine) and you can use the same wire as above. I recommend inexpensive wire – this won’t be part of your project. A contrast colour is nice to see what you’re making. If doing this in a group, you could just use a length traded with someone else. I recommend copper wire for this as well.


Joining a new wire into the chain

Looping the wire onto the dowel

Dowel – you’ll need a dowel, approximately 1/2″ in diameter, by approximately 12″ long. The length isn’t totally important – you just need a part to work on and a part to hold. Shorter is fine, longer might get in the way, but it’s up to you. The diameter is a bit more important – 1/2″ will allow for enough room to work, though you can adapt with narrower and wider.

I’ve always used wood, but theoretically you could also try using any smooth, long rod with an even diameter along the length.

  • Wire snips – These are vital.
  • Very fine needle-nose pliers – These are totally optional.
  • Nylon-head broad pliers – These are optional but very useful.
  • Masking tape – you’ll just need a small strip.
  • Straight pin – This is optional but useful. An alternative is a small sewing awl, or a sturdy sewing needle.
  • Ruler – or measuring tape
  • Fine-tip felt pen – totally optional
  • Pen/pencil, notebook – optional

You may also wish to bring (scent-free if possible) hand lotion (I find my hands get sore after a while) & glasses (if you need them for close work like reading or embroidery). If you have difficulty working with small needles (etc.) you may also find the optional pliers & straight pin more useful for grabbing & manipulating the wire.


Once you’ve learned the technique, you’ll need a few items for finishing.

  • Pliers – these are just to grasp the wire to pull it through the drawplate.
After going through the smallest drawplate hole, (approx 6 cm) the chain is 24 cm

My drawplate and fine needle-nose pliers

  • Drawplate – this is just a piece of wood (hardwood if you have it) with a series of holes in it. The largest hole should be the same diameter as your dowel, and the holes can get smaller from there.If you don’t have (or don’t want to make) a draw plate, you can also use (non-precious) plastic household objects with gradually reduced hole sizes to reduce your chain width. The chain may damage these items; so don’t use anything that isn’t ultimately disposable. Don’t use anything too hard like metal, as it could damage your wire.Below is a photo of some of the things I’ve used for draw plates before – two thread spools, one spool for elastic thread, and a spool for bridal elastic/trim.
  • 8-row Viking Knit red copper wire 'chain'.

    8-row Viking Knit red copper wire ‘chain’& the make-shift draw plates I used

  • Chain ends/jewellery components – these are totally up to you, you can use jump rings, end caps, bead caps, more wire, ribbon, cord… etc. I’ll show a few options in the class/workshop/demo, so you won’t need to get these until you’ve completed your chain.

Some examples of ways to finish off the ends of chain:

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Optional design elements

You can also add leather cord, mix your chain with other chains or cords, beads, pendants, etc…

For more…

For more inspiration, instructions, and ideas, you can also check out my other Viking Knit posts here.


Alternate description submitted for Yule 2015

Introduction to Trichinopoly
Aka Viking Knit / Viking Wire Weaving, this technique produces beautiful chains documented to multiple ages and cultures, useful for jewellery, adorning clothing, and for practical use. Students will learn how to start, loop, add additional wires, and finishing options. Attendees should have time to finish a small project or start a larger one in class.

With Drífa at lækjamoti

Maximum 6 students

Cost: $10.00

1 hour block

Digital hand-out only, no paper copy provided.