About This Blog

My current research obsession is centered around purses and pouches from the European Middle Ages, and the accompanying hardware and passementerie. It is my hope to not only study extant items but also learn via reconstructive experiments; these will be limited for the most part to the textile components, however in the future I hope to explore the production of the metal frames.

17 January 2013

Tools of the trade

In related news, I've also been slowly acquiring a small collection reproduction medieval tools. Here are some, below:

Pictured above are a pair of brass needles from Gaukler Medieval Wares, Canada; a bone awl and one ()of the two that I have currently) thread reels from Historic Enterprises, USA; and a very nice brass thimble from Lorifactor, Poland.

Before too long I'd like to add to this kit a nice pair of steel sheers, a metal awl, and perhaps a metal or leather needlecase. And a small decorative box to put it all in.

Progress all around

So it appears that long swaths of time between posts are just going to have to be the norm. But, dear readers, I have been making progress (albeit slowly) on a few things:

First, the blue lattice-work purse, the embroidery portion of which I had finished late in August of 2010 (post here), is now three-dimensional! All that's left to do are add the drawstrings (not pictured, but they're a brilliant red), and finish the tassels (tassel heads will most likely also be red).

Secondly, the white, gold, and red pattern that I had interpreted from the 14th century altar hanging in the Cloisters (post here) is well on its way; roughly half done with the embroidery. A portion of that is shown below.

And finally, I've just begun working on another piece of embroidery to turn into a purse. The pattern for this one can be seen in this post. I think this will be the last bit of Germanic brick-stitch I do for a while. I need to branch out with my embroidery, and I also have a few other non-embroidery projects that need my attention as well.

03 July 2012

Blog hiatus over / Gambeson

My deepest apologies to all of my readers and followers; it's been over a year since I've posted anything of substance here. School, work, and of course my ever-increasing involvement in historical European martial arts (shameless plug: NY Historical Fencing Association / NYHFA Blog) have all conspired to keep my embroidery progress slower than a snail's pace.

I have nearly completed a rather large project, however: a gambeson based on an extant 14th century piece, but with modern amenities such as zipper and velcro closures. I say nearly complete, because it is actually functionally complete (and I've already worn it for the 2012 Longpoint longsword tournament) but there's some detail work I have left to do. The most significant of these is a hand-embroidered "TZ" monogram that will be appliquéd on the back, between the shoulder blades.

I have to give a great deal of credit and thanks to Tasha Kelly McGann of La Cotte Simple, who got me started by tailoring a pattern for me. Besides her research into grande assiette sleeves, she's also got an interest in aumônières and has pictures of a wonderfully embroidered one on her site. Just go check out her website, it's full of interesting things!

Inspiration: The Charles de Blois pourpoint
As I work on, and certainly after I finish, the embroidery for the back of my gambeson I will post new pictures! Stay tuned, and be well!

30 July 2011

Hello, Readers!

After quite a long time, I'm embroidering again! Stay tuned for new updates on some rather old projects.

19 November 2010

Hello, All

As you have probably assumed, I've been rather busy this semester. I've noticed that my number of "followers" has steadily increased in spite of my inactivity; I promise, more content is on the way!

Until then, I hope everyone is well, and finds joy in their own hobbies, interests, and pursuits!


26 August 2010

Latticework purse - embroidery complete!

120 hrs 50 min later, here's the complete embroidered rectangle that will become a purse sometime soon. There are 545 (count 'em!) eyelets. Also included in the picture is a sample for the suspension loop. The side-stitching will be worked in the crimson color as well. Looking forward to seeing this finished!

23 August 2010

Latticework purse progress: 116 hrs

No pictures today, just a quick update. I'm getting to the end of the surface embroidery; I'm guessing maybe 6 to 8 more hours to go on that. And then of course the side-stitching, and all the little tassels and other bits and pieces...

10 August 2010

New brickstitch patterns for your enjoyment

Redacted from the 14th C. altar frontal at the Cloisters Museum in NYC (which I recently re-visited). This time I've included photos of the original along with my patterns:

Cushions - almost finished

Here are a pair of cushions that I'd been working on in my spare time. I call these 'functional experiments' because they were made quickly and relatively easily, using cheap materials (i.e. cotton thread), and not really meant to be portfolio pieces. Even if I did have a portfolio. Anyway, I had wanted to try out these patterns, and decided to make little cushions to rest my longsword upon. I will finish the seams like I do my purses. I haven't decided whether or not to add tassels to the corners yet.

If anyone wants to know, the sword is by Albion Swords, the Crecy.

The cushion under the tip of the sword you may recognize as being based on the Westphalian cushion (see images of original here). The other is based on an ecclesiastical stole. See some similar work at Marta's blog Acus et filium, particularly this post and this post. She does some lovely work!

18 May 2010

A little bit of progress

The blue latticework purse, at 91 hrs 40 minutes:

Work has been slow on this piece for a few reasons. The biggest culprit is all the little eyelets; not only are they time consuming, but all the embroidery is so tight that the needle often needs extra encouragement to pierce the holes in the ground fabric. I've broken at least a half-dozen needles so far. Modern needles, mind you. I shudder to think about how I'd fare using some hand-made needles.

One of the other reasons progress has been slow is due to this little side-project: I'd decided that, after my class on German counted work, I should really have some examples that use the 2/1 stitch slope (sometimes referred to as Gobelin stitch). The patterns are from Richard Wymarc's A Stitch Out Of Time (patterns 6 & 10 on that page). Both will become small cushions: