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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.


New Viking-style swag

New Viking-style swag

New Viking-style swag

Not too long ago, I placed an order for some sweet new swag for my Viking-Age kit.

It all started when I gave away my favourite Icelandic wolf-head Thor’s Hammer at an event to someone who admired it and mourned the loss of one of his own. I had a few, though when I got home I realized they were a bit different… and I felt a bit uneasy about no longer having the one I really liked.

This meant… I needed to order another one.

…and that led… to shopping!

I picked up three bracelets/cuffs in a torc/torque style with animal heads (wolves and a dragon) and a number of pendants in bronze and pewter.

torc / torque-style animal-head bracelets/cuffs

torc / torque-style animal-head bracelets/cuffs

Two of the bracelets are ‘mens’ sized – and are quite thick. The other is a ‘female’ bracelet, and is much lighter and more delicate. I couldn’t decide between the wolf-head terminal cuff and the dragon-head, so I bought the wolf in ‘male’ and ‘female’, and the dragon in ‘male’.

Viking-style pendants

Viking-style pendants

I haven’t yet looked into the design these two pendants are based on, though I think the round one is similar to the Pitney Brooch. More research is needed here – though if you happen to see this and know… and can save me a step – that would be awesome – please leave a comment below!

Close up of some of the pendants

Close up of some of the pendants

Along with the Icelandic wolf-head hammer, I picked up a hammer in the style of the Gotland eagle/bird head hammer, a figure of Freyr, two Freya pendants, and two different ravens (one of which I recognize… but again I need more research here to see which ones these are based off.)

Now – I just need to find some beads and things to string these up on!

Master Arks purchases @ the Brooks Medieval Faire

Purchases from Master Ark

Purchases from Master Ark

August 8 I went to the Brooks Medieval Faire (in Brooks, Alberta). It’s not a SCA event, though there were a few people and displays by folks from the SCA, both from the local area, as well as people who travelled from other Baronies and Shires.

I started checking out the Living Backwards area, as well as three other encampment areas on the north side of the grounds. There were a few demonstrations going on, but either I didn’t see much in the way of signage – or there wasn’t any – so I think I might have missed a bit. From there we went to the Fighting Eric and Kids Eric, watched some jousting, and then headed to the food court area.

Brooks Medieval Faire 2015

There was a huge selection of food trucks and stands at the Faire this year – which was awesome – so much to choose from. The person I went with chose a Salted Caramel Gelato from Cravings Artisan Gelato, while I had  a shaved ice from Cool Beans.

After food, we went to the artisan’s hall to look at drawings, paintings, and pottery (as well as a small stand of beaded jewellery). Most of the art work was modern in theme/design, though the pencil drawings were largely of “medieval” themes; dragons, knights, etc.

From there, we headed into a shady spot, and my companion sat down with a good book in the grass while I went into the Artisan’s Marketplace. There were a few interesting shops (including a number of merchants that I recognize from other events) and I ended up picking up some lovely things from Master Ark.

Miniature version of the Gotland quartz sphere

Miniature version of the Gotland quartz sphere

The first thing that caught my eye is this miniature replica of one of the crystal spheres from Gotland. I made my own DIY crafted version a while back, but this is really lovely. I would like a larger version… but this was too pretty to leave behind! I might add it to my Trichinopoly Finnish necklace, or save it for a beaded necklace when I get a few more period-appropriate beads.

This is sterling silver with a quartz crystal sphere. Similar spheres apparently have also been found in Saxon graves, and other areas as well. The seller mentioned that flat discs (lenses) have also been found (they had a pair of earrings in that style available too) and I’ve also seen long ‘capsule’ like ovals as well online.

Roman fibulae

Roman fibulae

So many of the ladies have opted to go Roman for the super-warm weather events, and while my Norse Viking Age costumes are quite comfortable (at least more so than the later-period things!) I have held off making my own not because of that – but because I needed the jewellery!

The next thing I purchased were the small, simple Roman bow fibulae above. (Bronze with a stainless steel pin.)

Brooks Medieval Faire 2015

The next item, were this pair of Roman bird (Raven in this case) fibulae.

Bird fibulae

Bird fibulae

These are so wonderfully cute.. (Bronze with a stainless steel pin.)

Bird fibulae

Bird fibulae

See the rest of my photos from the Faire on my Flickr account: