Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Lagore Crannog Band: Final Thoughts

After a year, I've finally made another attempt to complete a piece of tablet weaving based upon the Lagore Crannog find.  This time, I took better care to keep a good level of tension on the warp threads and to avoid letting any of the tablets flip.

I believe I have finally managed a consistent, tight, and (fairly) even weave, using a turning sequence of four turns forward, four turns back.  The photograph shows the best section of the finished band.   This band is still full of flaws, (mostly because I kept forgetting where I was in the turning sequence), but I believe I have finally produced a work product that gives the viewer some idea of what pattern the weave formula was intended to produce, and looks (barely) good enough that I'm willing to try to find a way to use it.  At any rate, I'm sufficiently satisfied that I won't be trying to weave another such band for a long time.

The best two-inches of the 15-inch band!
To me, this pattern looks a lot like a modern lanyard, or perhaps like one of those two-toned woven shoelaces that used to be sold here in the US to wear with "saddle shoes" (a kind of two-toned lace-up shoe, mostly white or cream in color with a navy, brown or black section across the instep where the shoe laced). Given the coarse wools used in the original band, the original band might have served such a utilitarian purpose--as a shoelace or a hairtie, rather than as trim for clothing.  I will probably use the band I made as a hairtie for when I'm wearing one of my early period costumes, since it's not long enough for anything else.

I'm glad I used a sturdy wool for this project; more fragile threads probably would have snapped with the strain imposed by my repeated do-overs, as well as the strain imposed by my repeated combing of the cards and pulling on the threads to try to make the tension tighter and more even.

Now I'm ready for a new tablet-weaving experiment.  One thing I've considered is attempting to adapt the Lagore Crannog pattern to triangular tablets.  This may not be as difficult as it sounds, since only one of the tablets is threaded with yarn in all four holes.  Or I may just start experimenting with one of the Snartemo patterns. Shelagh Lewins provides directions here for the Snartemo II pattern that look fairly simple, and I wanted such a band to use as trim for my proposed Vendel costume.   Hopefully, I can start one or the other soon.

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