I feel that I have been a rather dull little blogger of late. It’s because I’m doing some very boring stuff, like this…


Single ply wool tablet weave in one colour, and even the colour is a deeply dull brown. It needs to be done becuase it’s part of finishing the labours hanging. Actaully it’s not quite as bad as it sounds – all the cards turn in one direction, and theres no pattern to keep an eye on, so I prop a book up on the table and read whilst I weave. Branston and I have been working our way through a stack of collected papers from the last few years of the Leeds food Symposium – he was fascinated by “the rise and fall of the herring”

Possibly there will be pictures soon once I’ve sewn it on – also once I’ve watched downton, that bbc4 thing about embroidery, and a host of other rubbish I’ve taped over the last fortnight.

I’ve decided that because I have surcotes to finish for Nottingham in a few weeks time (need to make new ones because the old ones look filthy and my attempts to wash them were…er…useless – whatever they grease chainmail with really doesn’t come out of wool) and I want to make a few other things for the king, that I will put the plain tablet weave onto the Labours to tidy the joins, but then I will put a plain linen border around it for now. I was going to put the plain linen around the edge anyway, and then slap the lettered tablet weave on top (my name, the date, and a statement of intent in latin), and I still will, but if I try and do that as well as the other things I need to do for Notingham I will stress myself out too much, I’ve done it before – because Nottingham is my favourite event of the year, and the last one as well, I sort of get into my head that I need to make it the grande finale, and then push myself too hard so I can’t enjoy myself when I get there due to extreme knackeredness. Also, Torm is three weeks after Nottingham and it would be nice to have some weaving to sell there, so for now I’m making that my weavng priority, and I’ll set the lettering up to weave at leisure afterwards.

Even though I know I’ll spend the weekend at Nottingham apologising for the fact that there will be no lettered ablet weave around the edge of the labours…

…the hazards of being a perfectionist!

I’ve also decided to elave the blue/green dyebath until late November after torm – again, stress management. I am getting older and hopefully wiser, and realising that there is actaully a limit to what I can do with finite time. That or I’m just getting older – now there’s a depressing thought to go to bed on. nighty night.

~ by opusanglicanum on October 9, 2013.

28 Responses to “apologies”

  1. It’s when you are working on something like this that the old idea of having a member of the family read to you while you work suddenly comes into its’ own, isn’t it!

  2. I love traveling with you on your various journeys! … you always brighten my days. I’m a fan, and am in awe of your processes! I always learn from you and I love what you do. Keep posting … you do amazing work. Thanks for sharing! Some of the things that you are working on (that you consider boring) are completely new to me (and I suspect others) and I’m always grateful for your insightful posts. — Cindy

  3. that BBC thing about embroidery was pretty good, I thought of you when I was watching it. I guess for you it might be a bit lacking in detail but for me it was an interesting introduction to the era. I think the strongest aspect was the fact that the film-makers got into sections of museums and exhibits not available to everyone (or abroad) and showed quite a bit of up close embroidery which was truly incredible and also inspiring.

    Good luck with the brown!!

    • I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t have a tv at home, I just have a pile of dvds and a laptop (I’ve never tried the downloading tv off the net thing) but gareth saves things on his v+ for my weekends at his, so I can sit and sew, and msot of what he tapes is from bbc4. bbc4 is just fantastic

  4. You get so much done! I wish I was prolific as you are. I’ve been doing mostly math homework lately and not as much embroidery as I’d like. Pedro seems to enjoy math, though, as he spends a lot of time ‘hitting the books’ aka sleeping on the page I’m trying to read.

    • what are you doing maths for? I must admit maths is one of my stress tics, cos when I’m stressed I like to sit and add up long series of numbers – it calms me.

      branston has been very good this week about sharing my lap with my sewing

      Gareth got all stressed about his maths earleir this year when he was trying to design the conservatory he’s currently building, cos he couldn;t remember his o level geometry. I suggested he ask his friened roger for help, since roger has a phd in maths, but gareth said roger would laugh at him for being a thicky. boys are pecuiar

      • I’m working towards a physics degree at the local university and need the math to take the physics. I enjoy it – most of the time. I wish Pedro would sit on my lap more. He is just usually nearby.

        I need to go to Roger for help!

      • I don’t think I could cope with the precision needed for a science degree, which was why I did history – nice and vague.

        I’ve been upstairs in my studio all day making rings, so branny has avoided me cos he deosn’t like the banging. every time I come down he bites me – he’s a little wierdo and thinks he’s being affectionate

        mind you, gareth reckons all the people who got firsts in his year at cambridge were the ones who went drinking with the lecturers – luckily gareth likes a pint or two

      • I’ve taken some history as well. But realized that I love the sciences. I’d like to see these rings. Silver?

        Pedro rarely bites. Once in a while he forgets himself and gives me a gentle nip.

        I wish I was going to get a first! (I assume that means a good grade.) I just muddle through.

      • your mind must be more logical than mine -english university degree in descending order go first, two-one, two-two, third, fail.

        branny sees biting as the ultimate form of affection, he has been known to bite my bum from time to time, which never goes down well.

        the rings are silver at the moment, but they’re really quite theatrical because they’re for john to wear as king, so I’m sneding them off to be gold plated for extra flash, and the stones are all somewhat carbuncular. one of these days I will do a basic ring tutorial for all the non-silversmiths who read my blog

      • Not sure about the logic. It doesn’t seem that way at times. We have a ‘grade point average,’ usually out of 4 or 4.5 and the higher the better.

        I never put my bum anywhere near where Pedro can get at it!

        I would love to see the tutorial. I’ve made a few wire wrap rings for myself, but always want more bling.

      • I will get round to it eventually, its just that I’m normally too preoccupied to take pics.

        branston has a habit of sitting on the chair behind me when I weave (I stand to weave) and he reaches over for a nip now and then. shouting at him makes no difference and I dont have anywhere else to put the chair

      • lOL! That’s very funny. I’m sure he means it in a loving way

  5. Are these events open to the public as it were? I would love to come and have a look – is that possible?

    • yes, it’s the annual robin hood festival at nottingham castle on the 25th and 26th of this month. long way from bristol though!

      the original re enactors market is also on at ryton near dunsmoor near coventry on the weekend of the 15th Nov, its a big shopping thing and you have to pay to get in, but its not like they make you show you’re a re enactor to get in. gareth and I go for the sunday, saturday we’re going for a day out in oxford

  6. Thought for a minute there were going to be pictures of “the rise and fall of the herring”, lol! Work has fried my brain today 😉

  7. I love it when blogger comments turn into a conversation, and totally irrelevant to the original post!!
    I wish I lived nearer so I could visit such Fairs and I’ve wanted to go see re-enactments since I first heard about them- really interesting…or really nerdy???
    I used to sew historical costumes for theatre, which is vastly different I know, but I tried to be either as accurate as poss to the period, or to get the grand sweep of an era across- depending on the budget. So costumes, sewing, history- yup! does it for me!
    Good luck with the fairs to yourself anyhow.

  8. I have been doing some research on medieval linens. Some examples of embroidery on linen suggest that the linen used is a herringbone weave. Is this typical? Was linen woven in any special way so that embroidery could be attached more easily? One of those questions that it is hard to find the answer to!

    • i hadn’t really looked into linens that cllosely, but a lot of the linens woven historically were twill rather than tabby. One of the things I keep trying to stress to historical embroiderers is that there was no equivalet back then to the evenweaves we use today, and no specialist embrodiery shops – a lot of what they used , esp in places like iceland, was homespun, homewoven and whatever they had to hand – I do most of my embroidery, things like the antependium, with weaving wool that I dye myself, and I in no way restrict myself to “proper” embroidery wools and silks. In fact I often avoid them for being exploitatively overpriced. If you want a twill linen to try sewing on, Anwar from Herts fabrics (just google herts fabrics or come along to TORM) sells it in the uk for about £7 per metre

      • Thank you. I am not a weaver myself, rather a historian who is working on some medieval relic issues and am working on some surviving linen cloths and the different weaves and the contexts in which they were used. I think they probably used twills as a base for embroideries but I would love to know more. I shall work on it!

      • I know there some silk twills used for embrodiery, but I’ve only recently started paying attention to linen myself. I think if you embrodier now you’re sort of inculcated with this idea that embroidery should be done on evenweave linen, and it can be hard to see past that assumption – a couple of years ago I did a large peice on linen and only halfway thorugh realised that the original had been done on wool.

      • Please, let me know if you come across anything. It always fascinates me that there are some questions that you would think were obvious but no one, even the experts, seem to have thought about!

      • It’s not something I’m actively researching at the moment, but if I stumble across anything I’ll bear you in mind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: