April 15, 2013

Patchy Blog Forecast Next Few Weeks

Just to let you know, I am going to give the blog a rest for the next few weeks.

Deadlines are brilliant.  I find deadlines good motivation for getting my thoughts together and making things with yarn instead of sitting around mulling about what has been and what could be.

I have a deadline coming up, one I'm looking forward to because when the day arrives, I get to make a presentation to interested people about a particular fibre art dear to my heart.  It's also the season for festivals and spinning in public at events, and I'll be participating in those sorts of activities too.  Normally I like to blog as I spin yarn, do research, go places, and make things.  However, I need to focus and confine my writing to the presentation.  There may or may not be blog posts for the next while.  Will pick up again in May.

April 13, 2013

Some Things Get Made, Some Don't

I finished weaving the hem of my linen Ms and Os bath towel, cut it off the loom, and showed it to someone.  As yet unwashed and unhemmed, it looks like a big glossy sheet of white with a raised pattern all over and long thrums dangling at the ends.  "Will you hang it on the wall?"  Right on the towel rod, I said.

I selected my next project.  It is partly dictated by the yarn available and partly by my need to gain some experience with more kinds of weaving.  I'll be doing cotton sampler placemats in variations on rosepath twill.

I started and abandoned the brim of a knitted hat in sock yarn because I could not get a sufficiently tight gauge with the needles I have.

I tried to learn pure intertwined språng and could not even figure out how to start.  That's dispiriting, I was hoping to show a sample to someone at the end of the month.

April 12, 2013

Twill-like Språng

A wee bag and a how-to video for interlaced språng with threads running over two, under two threads to give horizontal ribs. 

I quite like the result.

April 11, 2013

Trying to Suss Out Tegle

I tried to learn the Tegle pattern in språng, just the interlinking without the tablet-woven borders.  My bit of practice went smoothly at first.  There is a peculiar arrangement of the warp at every junction of S and Z twists and that means that the edges of the triangles present themselves in an obvious fashion and indicate what to do.

I got muddled where the upward-pointing triangle is as wide as its going to be and you need to reverse twist and start an up-side down triangle.

Moreover, I discovered that I was merely making something similar to Tegle.  I was following Collingwood's directions in The Techniques of Sprang for a triangle of S twist interlinking on a background of Z twist, modified to include more triangles.  I peered at the picture of the Tegle stocking in Hald's Old Danish Textiles (which is clearer than Hoffann's picture in The Warp-weighted Loom but still not easy to analyze) and realized that while Collingwood's direction are a good start, Tegle is actually is Z on S.  I used too few warp threads in each triangle and I started the points too far to the left.

Since the points are too far to the left, the working row's first few twists at the edge are slanting the wrong way, and therefore the strands are not regularly arranged in the shed one up and one down.  It's noticeable in the gap where the bone sword shows through.  (It's actually a nalbinding needle used for a sword.)  That's why I can't get started with upside-down triangles.  I'm sure there's a way out, probably involving a row of Z twist, but the arrangement isn't working for me and I'd rather start again.

At least the embossed look appeals to my taste, despite being done in cotton yarn which I dislike.

April 10, 2013

Image of Språng Cap on the Louvre's website

There is an image of a red wool Coptic språng cap, item E 29484 on the Louvre's website, www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/sprang-cap, along with information about språng.  The writer believes that the Copts were influenced by the ancient Greeks' språng head coverings.

I was on the Louvre's website trying, without success, to look up a piece of Greek pottery in their collection that shows a woman holding a trapezoidal språng frame.

April 09, 2013


There is a beautiful image of a pyxis, a piece of ancient Greek pottery, on the British Museum website.  I believe its name translates as compass box.  [Correction: its name is the same as a constellation whose name translates as compass box but a pyxis is a container with a lid.]  Its design shows a språng loom with a partially-completed piece of språng.  It is museum number 1907,0519.1.  The description notes that it's a "sprang frame, used for making hairnets."

You can get a sense of the loom's size by comparing it to the women shown.  The frame's ratio of width to height, excluding the bit at the top, is 1:1.5, very close to phi, the golden ratio.

April 08, 2013

Twine to the Left

I managed to learn how to twine a pair of threads to the left on a background of interlinked språng.  Here's a video I made, if you would like to do it too.

And I made a wee bag.  Here it is still at the flat stage, where I've just taken it off the frame.

The idea is to combine twining threads going to the right and threads going to the left to imitate certain Coptic textiles.  I doubt that I will do much in the way of reproductions or pieces inspired by Coptic interlinked pieces with intertwined patterns, but it's good to have at least done the technique.

April 05, 2013

Språng Images on the Kelsey Museum Website

There are many online entries for very old pieces of språng on the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology's website, and many of the images show the collections to be in fragments.

Here is a språng bag that is mostly intact, record number 0000.01.3532
It is in three colours.  The pattern is described as having been "made using sprang and twining," or what Collingwood would call intertwined språng on a background of interlinking.

Be sure to increase the image size using the drop-down menu.  You'll want to use a computer monitor, not a mobile screen.  Also be sure to click the description tab in the left menu.  This museum offers the most comprehensive analysis I've seen for the structure of a språng piece and the yarn types in it.

April 04, 2013

Språng Images on the Smithsonian Website

19th century Swedish sampler in off-white silk with patterns of holes, accession number 1981-28-199

20th century Tunisian headress, wool, tie-dyed, accession number 2007-8-2; also, an explanation of språng in general.
I think it's worth repeating, this piece is tie-dyed.  It looks different from any picture of språng I've seen so far.

another Tunisian headress, accession number 2007-2-2

5th century Coptic bag or bonnet with patterns of both holes and stripes, accession number 1971-50-482

Mexican fragment of knotless netting, accession number 374960

April 03, 2013

The Book Was There For Me

Fortunately, the book was there for me and I was able to pick up the technique again in order to make a how-to video about the way threads (and colours) move diagonally in double-twist språng.

I made the video to be thorough and cover the possibilities.  I don't think this technique will find its way into projects, as I find the play of colour rather ugly.  (It's okay if you like it, people have different tastes.)

Also swotted in order to learn a different technique, one that I've never done.  So far, the words are not translating into the proper actions on my part.  I'll try again.

April 02, 2013

Books, Memory, and Making Stuff

I went to do some double-twist interlinked språng to get diagonal lines of colour and forgot how.  Had to re-read a small part of the book to pick it up again.  There's a little thing you have to do with the edges in the plait row.

April 01, 2013

språng name tag strap

I cut a commercial strap off a name tag and made a new strap in linen interlaced sprang.  I needed a new name tag to wear at guild meetings.

I have a "hello, my name is" Ravelry button with my user name and it pins easily on the strap, a nice feature.

The warp is circular and uncut.  I wove the last inch of warp in plain weave; that's the part in the lark's head where the strap is attached to the tag's finding.