Lindisfarne Gospels

Once a month we spend a day in Archeon, an archeological themepark only 10 minutes from our house. Naturally, we "live" in the house from Dorestad and it dates from the years 800.
We go there to work... well, work... that is not really the correct word for this hobby. Yesterday I spent a lot of time on my Lindisfarne embroidery. This bird I am making here is one of the decorative celtic birds in this Gospel book and although it's not Viking, it is the same era.
Of course you remember how the Vikings raided Lindisfarne in 793....

again: click on the photos to get a bigger picture

Einarr made me this frame for Christmas and it is a miniature Viking tent! Cute huh?! It is very easy to fasten a project to the frame.

Initially I wanted to make a nice hand bag to use in camp but it's quite a lot of work and I guess it's a bit too fragile for a bag. A banner is probably better. Oh, btw, this is the Bayeux Stitch of course ;)

When it's finished I'll post a photo of the completed project.


More humble beginnings

The thing with me and crafts is that, although I am quick to understand the THEORY, it is difficult and sometimes impossible for me to master that same theory in practise....

Take naalbinding for instance. I've read a dozen books and tried even more often to make a decent sock or a pouch even. Nothing worked!

Earlier this year I took two "classes" with my friend Geeske, who is quite a genius when it comes to Naalbinding and now I am finally (Finalmente as they say in Italy...) beginning to see the lighthouse which is guiding me through the naalbinding storm...

This is the start of a sock, I used a pattern from Larry Schmitt's book "Lots of Socks" and yes in my opinion it is starting to look like a sock as well. Again, I have used very cheap wool until I feel I am good enough to use expense (and beautiful!!) handspun wool.

Oh well, I guess I only like things when they are difficult. Now, where have I heard that before?

greetz, Arda

Pattern of tablet woven trim

This is the pattern of the green/light green tablet woven trim. I am using cheap wool, simply because I think it's a waste of good handspun wool if you are just beginning to learn a craft, but hey that's my humble opinion :)


Humble beginnings

I took a course in Tablet weaving last year but haven't started any new projects since, simply because I have been too busy with other things.

In the past few days I flipped through the hand-out again and I decided to take just 6 cards and make a small band in a very simple pattern.

Even with only 6 cards and a year between instruction and action the art of table weaving proves to be difficult, as you can see by the start of this trim on the left... yes I messed up there, but after wrecking my brains a bit more I finally got the hang of it again. Yay!!

Einar made me this weaving loom, I'm sure you will recognise this from the Oseberg find and this is the "table version" including my name in runes.

I will post the pattern later this week, greetz, Arda

Trim on purple tunic

Here's the pattern for the trim on the purple tunic... click on the image to get a bigger version and feel free to use this

Purple tunic

Our group's treasurer Leif made this purple tunic for himself and then after a few years decided to sell it to me. It was too big for me, so after downsizing the sleeves and neckline I 'decorated' the tunic with yellow and light brown stitches as you can vaguely see hereunder. Leif started calling me 'lordess' after this, haha!

One important note: I don't know if the Vikings used purple. We know that in Medieval Europe purple was reserved for royalty but the Vikings were a breed apart in that sense. I've included this piece of costume therefore with a certain "poetic licence" and rest assured: I never wear this tunic when there is an audience.

You may not know this, but I can be a really foolish Viking sometimes. After a weekend of happy re-enacting I tossed this tunic in the laundry.... BIG mistake!! The yellow and light brown wool almost disappeared and what was left was about ten times smaller, leaving the neckline, bottom hem and sleeves looking ruffled and awful. Okay... now what?
Tape weave something nice? Ok, why not? I have gotten quite good at that and so I decided to buy some real wool (pre-shrunk!) in a lovely dark green and beige and I made the trim you see hereunder.

You can find the pattern for this trim in the next post =0)


Early pieces...

Here are some photos of embroidered trims I made on costumes I made in 2004, when our group first started:

Grey flanel (yes Vikings had flanel) underdress with woolen orange hem. Green overtunic with backstitch in burgundy, dark grey and light pink flanel stitch.

Same green overtunic and Einar's dark green woolen tunic, embroidered with yellow and dark red back stitch.

More on the purple tunic can be found under "tape weaving"


Our group Tjursläkter uses red and yellow as group colours. They work really well on shields, banners and flags and such. The original of this Bull is Pictish and it was found in a cave in Scotland and it is old enough for Vikings to have used it.

I made this banner for my husband Einar's birthday on June 20th but he had such a rough day last week that I decided to give it to him early. You should've seen his smile...

The fabric is red linen and the yellow thread (I used a back stitch) is pure linen as well. To give the banner a bit more "body" I've lined it with dark red canvas on the back.

A small kaftan

Lars' mum-in-real-life, my sister in law :), made him some excellent Viking clothes. Together with some authentic shoes and a hat he looks everything a real Viking should look.

Next to the dark brown cloak he already has, I am making him this Rus Kaftan. Ssssht, don't say anything, he doesn't know yet ;) but I couldn't resist showing this to you now. It is a really thick wool and I am hand-sewing the hem with red linen thread.

You can see the gussets and the extra panels on the side to make the kaftan wider.


Decoration for a small cloak

Our nephew joined our Viking group Tjursläkter last year and ever since he plays "our son" and has named himself Lars Einarrson.

This shy little guy, who is 9 at the moment I am writing this, has a dark brown cloak. It's quite warm, yes absolutely, but from a Viking point of view rather plain.

So, not to worry, it's time to make some decoration...

I used cream, burgundy, yellow and dark yellow wool. Real wool yes, but sadly not handspun. Pictures of the finished cloak will be posted soon.

greetz, Arda

Tape weaving

Dear all,

Well, it has finally come to this...: Arda has started her own blog as well. Many people have asked me to make pamphlets about the crafts I do, but in all honesty the only thing I do really well is cook, tape weave and sew... the rest is just plain awful. You see, I am good at explaining things, at understanding the theory but this does by no means mean I can MAKE things myself. Hey... I can't help it, I'm a teacher...
My nalbound socks are hideous and don't look like socks and my tablet woven trim is non-existent till this day...ahem! My spinning... well don't get me started on that.

No, no, this is not lack of self-esteem, this is knowing yourself!

So, if you keep track of this blog you will be able to read all about me trying these crafts. Because that is what I will do, TRY. No promises about the results.

Tape weaving is called "band weven" in Dutch and here's a great link:

I'll be posting more here soon.

best, Arda