Zodiac, Sagittarius

Hmmm…even though I double checked the spelling, sagittarius still looks like I spelled it wrong.


I would have posted pics of this last Thursday were it not for the fact that I had the devil of a job getting a decent photo of him. In the end Gareth had to take this with a proper camera.

The shirt keeps throwing me. I’m just not used to seeing centaurs in shirts. I think beshirtedness must be the mark of a medieval centaur, as I’ve never seen a classical one wearing anything more than a dodgy chest toupee. (speaking of classical, was Mary Beard’s lecture on BBC4 the other night excellent or what). Perhaps centaurs evolved somewhat in the post classical world, or perhaps Sagittarius here, being a bit ginger, needs to protect himself from sunburn.

I also gave him brown skin because I always think centaurs should be tanned. I did consider altering his face a bit to make him a bit less Mr Punch, but in the end I decided he doesn’t need to look altogether human and left him as he was.

I realised last week that I’ve made something of a cock-up. I took great care to veg dye all the threads and then forgot that the blue and red tweeds I intended to use for the fire and water signs weren’t veg dyed. Oh well, I’ll chalk that up to idiocy and leave it at that. I am seriously considering comissioning a whole bolt of the Manx tweed in white because it’s so nice to work on (they dont weave it as standard, the bit I got was a freak) so in future I can throw bits in the dye pot. I’ll have to do a lot of embroidery to use up 20 metres though.

The way the colours work together is always interesting though. I’m not sure how well it will show up in pictures, but in reality the naturally dyed blue really pops against the red. The white, normally a sort of unbleached wool colour, went rather brilliant, in a sort of” this centaurs mum uses new whiter Daz” kind of way against the red.

It also occured to me that I’ve never psoted a link to the original source for this, so there you go. As you can see the manuscript is pretty much a line drawing with little flashes of red here and there, so the colours are very much my interpretation. I’m trying to use a limited palette for each element, and I’m taking the book I have about the zodiac as a guide to which colours to use.

Of course the only book on the zodiac I have is fritz Wegner’s “Heaven and earth” purchased because it’s a pop up book and I like pop up books. Not that my inner toddler gets over excited in bookshops or anything…

Anyway, who says pop up books can’t be well researched and scholarly?

In other news I found some cloth which I think looks very pretty with the collar I’m working on
green twill

Hobbes was feeling helpful this morning, but I think you can still see how nicely the colours work together. The fabric is a little coarser than I would have liked, being a shetland wool rather than the lambswool I’ve had this diamond twill in previously, but it will be warm at least.

~ by opusanglicanum on March 18, 2014.

8 Responses to “Zodiac, Sagittarius”

  1. You might find other embroiderers interested in some of the Manx tweed when you’ve dyed it – but then, storing a 20 metre bolt may be a bit tricky…!
    Maybe the centaur’s wearing a shirt because being a Mediterranean fellow he doesn’t like our northern weather!

    • you think the poor ickle diddums is cold? pah! southerners!

      I did think maybe people doing classes might be interested in pieces, maybe fat quarters. storage isn’t a problem though, since my smallest bedroom is entirely devoted to fabric and costume storage and there are already several large rolls of wool, linen, satin and silk velvet lurking up there waiting to be played with, not to mention the smaller bits. I dont even let people into that room anymore cos my stash is truly disgraceful – I found 5 m of lovely purple wool suiting in there the other day and I have no idea why I even bought it.

  2. He’s utterly gorgeous. Mary Beard was wonderful. And the cheque’s in the post.

  3. He’s great!

    (And how do you always manage to have such gorgeous wool!?

    • by wool do you mean the ground fabric or the thread. the thread is just knitting yarn I veg dyed, the ground fabric was bought from lindy pickard many years ago, I’ve been meaning to manke a dress for me and a tunic for john, but in the mean time I keep nibbling bits off it for embroidery. probably by the time I get round to trying to make a garment there will be none left!

      • I mostly meant ground fabric, though the threads are awesome too. (I know how you get such gorgeous yarn. *bows down to the dye-master*)

      • I’ve been getting some nice tweeds lately from the laxey woollen mills on the isle of man (that’s who I’m negotiating with for the white tweed), not cheap but very nice for split stitch, substantial but with enough of an open weave that it deosn’t drag on thread – pm me if you’d like the lady’s email adress, she takes paypal and its nice stuff for costume as well. The tabby I’ve been using for lutrell sstuff is virtually identical to voltaire from whaleys in bradford, but mosstly it’s jsut a question of buying stuff when you see it at a good price (or in some cases at any price at all) from the reenactment traders, I’ve always favoured lindy pickard cos if she does have anything with an artificial fibre content she will always tell you, whereas the others don’t necessarily so you have to be able to tell – like those Italians at the market this weekend who had stuff they were selling as wool, but as soon as I touched it I could tell it was mixed fibres.

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