11th c. Finnish Masku Humikkala

This is a lovely 11th century piece with some half-turns included, which are indicated by the ovals inside the ovals.

· Humikkala is a little town about 20 minutes northwest of Turku, Finland. Built around 1490-1510, the Masku Church and surroundings represents one of the oldest parishes in Western Finland.  dedicated to John the Baptist and St. Ursula. Next to the church is the Masku Museum, founded in 1974, which has a collection of finds from the local area.  Near the church, researchers found an Iron Age burial ground. The Humikkala cemetery, called the “hill of corpses” is on a hillside next to the Masku church.  There were 49 inhumation graves found here, and this fragment came from grave 32. Like others, this find is dated to 1000-1100.

· A note about the identification of finds at these anthropological digs.  While I couldn’t find the specific item number for THIS piece, I did find one for another one in the neighboring grave.  This item was given the code KM 8656: H32:18 ; KM is Kansallismuseo = National Museum of Finland; the number 8656 identifies the dig site for the Humikkala findings, H means hauta = grave, 31 is the number of the grave, and 18 is the object number in that grave.  Having these identifying numbers helps a great deal when you are looking for more information from the museums that store these finds.  This piece was actually found in grave 32 (H32), so we know that the item code would start KM 8656: H32… I’m still looking for the item number on this guy…but having that much information narrows down the search tremendously.

Seija Sarkki researched it in the 1970´s publishing a book in 1979 called “Suomen ristiretkiaikaiset nauhat” or The Finnish Crusades.
Volume 18 of Helsingin Yliopiston arkeologian Laitos. Moniste
Moniste (Helsingin Yliopiston Arkeologian Laitos)
Volume 18 of Moniste / Helsingin yliopiston arkeologian laitos, ISSN 0355-1881 ISBN 9514516281, 9789514516283

Sarkki, S. (1979). Suomen Ristiretkiaikaiset Nauhat. Arkeologian Laitos. Helsinki, Helsingin Yliopisto.

Sarkki was not a weaver and had a unique way to translating the textiles by trying to figure out how they were woven, and Maikki Karisto, co author of Tablet-Woven Treasures and Applesies and Fox Noses, took her drawings and created patterns from them.  This proved to be challenging for Maikki and Mervi Pasanen; the pattern above is the result of that reconstruction.

I hope you enjoy weaving this piece as much as I did! It’s got a lovely texture to it and will be a gorgeous addition to your medieval kit!

April Update

I’ve been doing a bit more weaving lately. Risking repeating myself (although, duh, I can edit it later), here’s what I’ve done recently.

Back in February, I finished the green “bees feet” weave that I did in really fine thread. It took me about two years to finish all of it.  What was I thinking? I dunno, but it turned out really great!

Then I warped up a couple pieces in blue and yellow in the Snartemo II pattern.  This is the period skip-hole weave that goes together really fast and is beginner-level EASY!  I really like this one.

After that, I did a woven piece for Baron Evrard in the Birka 22 pattern. I still need to get that to him.  This one is a more advanced level piece that requires following a particular order of turning cards in opposite directions.  It’s easy to get yourself turned around (get it…turned around?)

And I did another piece in WSU Cougar colorway…

Then I warped up a new piece (after I found my Applesies book again!), pattern #11.  This is listed as “challenging”.  This one has 50 steps to the repeat.

Fifty steps.


I’m not memorizing this ever.

The one thing I really need to do is make new kirtles for the camping season.  I need someone to measure me because doing it yourself is difficult/nigh impossible.


Recapping Weaving

OK…now we are at a current post.  For the moment, I’m going to stop going back and adding posts that are 2-3 (or more) years old.  So many of the photos are missing now that I don’t know what it was I was doing at the time when it says “Saxon weave” since I did a half dozen of them.  So what I’m going to do is post pictures of stuff I’ve done without all the blah-blah-blah that went with it them, but just grouping them together into styles with a brief description.  Now that I look at it, I did a lot of weaving in the last five years.

Skip hole weave


I really like this one.  I believe that it’s period (I’ll have to find the documentation again).  Super easy and looks great.  It was a test piece so it’s only a couple yards.

Threaded in Weaves



This one I did as a commission in 2012.  Unfortunately, she never picked it up and never paid me for it.


BUNNIES!  I made this for the Shire of Shittimwoode to put in their prize box.  This was from the Robin & Russ Handweavers’ book.


This pattern I think I found on the Loomy Bin.

tablet-8b  Variation of the Loomy Bin pattern

tablet-12a  From EQoS on Deviant Art

I love this pattern.  tablet-15a

I’m not kidding.  tablet-5b

Seriously.  tablet-4a

I really love this pattern.  tablet-12b

Really…really….  tablet-14a

tablet-11b Gorgeous in RED!

I love it even more with really fine thread.


Simplified version


And another one…


And another…


Yet another version…


tablet-13a  I think I made this one up.  Meh.


Anchors Aweigh!  This was for a high school buddy to be made into suspenders.


I drafted this “Tyr” pattern for Tyrssen of the Midrealm.  He was a middle school friend who I discovered was also in the SCA. 😀


Super wide band for Molly McGurn!  This was also my design, although to be honest, I kind of strung this up at random.


I think this one got donated to the Barony…An Tir and Aquaterra colors.

tablet-aq-2  A better pattern of An Tir and AQ colors.

an-tir-weave-1  Another with An Tir colors only


Prototype of a surfboard loom for teaching a class.  Mostly worked.


So I made a whole stack of surfboards for the class!


Got some six-hole cards.  Mostly didn’t work on the inkle loom.  I bet they’d work fine on a backstrap or Osburg type loom with a much longer working space.  I’ll have to try that sometime.

Egyptian Diagonals


This was assigned to me as a challenge by Master Fiacha.  This is super ugly, but I learned how the colors moved with the cards.


This piece was what I worked on after a failed attempt at a Dragon Head weave.  I gave up on the dragon heads and made more Egyptian Diagonals instead.  I love the dark blue and silver-grey together.

Ram’s Horn Pattern

tablet-10b 20141206_844

Not a period design, but very cool-looking and popular among the Historic Tablet Weaving folks!

20141206_773  Small test piece….just a bookmark.

Brocade Card Weaving


Didn’t like doing it.  That’s as far as I got before I decided it wasn’t for me.

Saxon Weaves

This next group has a few documentable pieces and are all double-sided patterns.  I want to get back to making more of these now that I have translated the GTT patterns onto a more easily-accessible Excel spreadsheet.

Saxon weave, 5-6th century, Cambridge.


Anglo-Saxon #8


Anglo Saxon 6a:  anglo-saxon-2

weaving-anglo-saxon-6b  Anglo-Saxon 6d


Tried using fishing spinners….with little success.

Snartemo weave


6th century Norwegian and really easy to make.  25 turns forward, 25 turns back.

Birka weaves






Birka 6 end-of-nov-2015-353

Applesies & Fox Noses








Still working on this one.  It’s also made of really fine thread and I’ve been working on it for about a year.

Applesies and Fox Noses!

(Originally posted 20 Jan 2015)

Happy new year, all!

All I wanted for Christmas was a copy of Applesies and Fox Noses…and a bike helmet.  Lucky me–I got both!

Applesies and Fox Noses - Finnish Tabletwoven Bands

This is the new go-to book for tablet weaving historians this year (it’s a bigger genre than you’d think!).  Several of these patterns (not all) are based on historical finds from the Karelian iron age in a graveyard just a short drive north of Helsinki.

This book has some seriously complex patterns in it, but the first few look simple enough, so I started there.  The first pattern wasn’t quite so inspiring, so I turned a couple more pages and decided on pattern #5, the S Sign.

Now, because this is in a book, I’m not sure if this is something I can publish in its entirety, so to avoid a problem with the authors, I’ll just show you the turning sequence, which seems different than how the pattern is laid out*.

1.  With A-D at the top of the pack, (my cards are colored blue on that side), turn all the cards back for five quarter-turns (toward the weaver).
2.  Split deck:  cards 1-6:  turn four quarter-turns back; cards 7-12: turn four quarter-turns forward.
3.  Turn all cards five quarter-turns forward
4.  Turn all cards five quarter-turns back
5.  Split deck:  cards 1-6:  turn four quarter-turns forward; cards 7-12:  turn four quarter-turns back
6.  Turn all cards five quarter-turns forward

*All cards have to face right, and there may be some adjustments in the future since I threaded it backwards to begin with…

Applesies at Ursulmas

(Originally posted 27 January 2015)

It was Event Weekend last weekend!  We had our Barony’s big demo at the Fairgrounds that had record-breaking numbers.  This was my view for the weekend.  Not as Regal and Medieval as one might like.  It is the grandstands of the racetrack.  Most of the action was held in the big building next door.

I finished up the “S” pattern rather quickly in anticipation for a demo at the Fairgrounds last weekend.  Since I couldn’t exactly take an empty loom for display, I warped up the first pattern in Applesies & Fox Noses, which is another Iron Age find from Finland.  It almost looks like it was getting warped up and they ran out of thread…or cards…so they just went with what they had.


This is another seriously fast weave.  I have about a yard done already.  I’m looking forward to doing some more out of the book!  This is #1:  Colorful Small Applesies

Here are the pieces that I had on display.  I was next to my weaving buddy, Emma, so I loaned my weaving stuff for her display.  She then won the prize for best display.  Again.  Glad I could help…no, I’m not upset–she puts together a great display!

I also warped up the rigid heddle loom, although I really should have used a smaller yarn; the heddle is too small for this thick yarn.  But hey, it was an experiment.

And finally, I set up and made some progress on the warp-weighted loom.  Although I don’t know if you can legitimately call it a “warp-weighted” loom if the warps are not yet weighted.  I was talking with a couple of other weavers there, and they gave me some really great advise on how to proceed and tips on how to prevent issues.  You can’t see it very well in the display (below) so I took a picture of it set up in my living room.

My artsy-friend and I set up a Lampworking area in the demo hall at the event.  We have great ideas for improvements…although my kiddo is pretty awesome as part of the backdrop.  She very carefully strung 10 feet worth of beads to help reduce the loss (we had a few things disappear from the table…sadly).

I made a few beads on commission for a braid-bearded man…unfortunately, I can’t find the photo now. 🙁


I also made sets of beads for Kingdom largesse.  They are running really low, so they asked for sets of 3–one large and two smaller beads.  I only got 3 sets done, but I hope to make more in the upcoming weeks and deliver them at Kingdom A&S in March.

I don’t know if I can make quick and easy weaving for largesse–maybe I can do some smaller “test” pieces that I will donate.

Applesies & Fox Noses #7: Tree Climbers

(Originally published Feb 2015)

After finishing up the #1 band, Colorful Small Applesies, I started a new project for my dear friend, Bekah.  She chose #7:  Tree Climbers.  It’s a four-color band (could be done with 3, but the edging has a two similar light colors that alternate).

This one is a bit more tricky, but not impossible…after some studying the pattern and experimentation, this is what I came up with:

Turn back all cards – 5 turns

Then turn card numbers:

1-4 back; 5-8 forward; 9-14 back – two turns

1-4 back; 5-10 forward; 11-14 back – 5 turns

1-4 back; 5-6 forward; 7-14 back – 2 turns

When twist is too tight on the outside cards, you can reverse the directions of those cards to untwist…

1-4 forward; 5-10 back; 11-14 forward – 5 turns

1-8 forward, 9-10 back, 11-14 forward – 2 turns

All forward – 5 turns

1-6 forward; 7-10 back; 11-4 forward – 2 turns

The twist on 5, 6, 9, and 10 will continue to build up, so you can either put spinners on those cards or untie and untwist those cards when the twist becomes unmanageable.

If, instead of untwisting, you want to simply reverse the pattern, you can get a mirror image of the pattern.  If you want to try this, you would use:

Turn back all cards – 5 turns

1-4 back; 5-8 forward; 9-14 back – two turns

1-4 back; 5-10 forward; 11-14 back – 5 turns

1-4 back; 5-6 forward; 7-14 back – 2 turns

(just like in the first part…but then…)

1-4 forward; 5-6 back; 7-14 forward – 2 turns

1-4 forward; 5-10 back; 11-14 forward – 5 turns

1-4 forward; 5-8 back; 9-14 forward – 2 turns

All forward – 5 turns

Have fun!

Colorful Small Applesies

(Originally published 2 Feb 2015)

The first pattern in the Applesies book is a fairly simple one-and-a-half pattern…I find this curious.  Did the maker run out of cards?  Or threads?  Or just goof?  Or was this one-and-a-half diamond pattern deliberate?  We’ll never know.

The pattern is easy enough.  After threading with the cards facing right–and remember, because this is a book that is currently being printed and sold, you need to buy the book to get the threading directions (I am only providing a little extra help reading the pattern)–make sure the cards are in the A-D position on top.

There are 11 cards in this little weave, and the turning sequence is quite simple.  The outside cards (three on the left, and two on the right) will continue to turn in the same direction–forward.  The rest of the cards will turn three quarter-turns forward, three quarter-turns backward.  Repeat!  Easy as that.

When the twist gets too much on the outside cards, reverse the direction to turn back instead of forward to untwist.  After another yard or so, you may need to switch back to turning forward again.  When you change directions, there will be a little lump of weft on the edges.  It’s normal.  Don’t worry.  Keep on weaving!

Finished piece–4 yards, about 1/2″ wide

Applesies #9

(Originally published Feb 10, 2015)

United Chicken Runs is weave #9 and while I wanted to do #8, I saw this one and went…oooo!

SO, again, while I can’t disclose the threading because it’s *in the book* (which, if you are still reading my blog with interest, you should *totally buy*!), I will explain the turning sequence.

Cards 1-3 and 16-18 need to turn forward all the way through…or switch to turning backwards after it gets too twisted up.
While that’s going on, cards 4-15 will turn back for six turns.
Then 1-3 forward, 4-7 will turn back, 8-11 forward, 12-15 back, 16-18 forward for two turns.
1-3 forward, 4-5 back, 6-13 forward, 14-15 back, 16-18 forward for two turns.
Then mirror…
1-5 forward, 6-13 back, 14-18 forward for two turns.
1-7 forward, 8-15 back, 16-18 forward for two turns.
All forward for 6 turns.

That’s the whole turning sequence!

3 1/2 yards finished.

Applesies #8

(Originally published Feb 15, 2015)

Took a step back (or turned a page back) and started Applesies #8 while visiting with my delightful MIL on Valentine’s Day.  Hubby and his dad went out to the movies, and the ladies stayed behind…I didn’t have any need to see Jupiter Ascending.  This one is called Fine Crooked Knees with Small Applesies.  Maybe it loses something in the translation from Finnish.  I liked the color combination from the sample in the book so much that I decided to copy it…although I used Navy blue instead of black, but otherwise it’s the same.

The turning sequence is as follows:
* with cards A-D on the top, cards 1-9 back, 10-14 forward (x 3)
* all cards back one quarter-turn
* cards 1-5 forward, 6-14 back (x 3)
* cards 1-5 back, 6-14 forward (x 3)
* all cards forward one quarter-turn
* cards 1-9 forward, 10-14 back (x 3)

Now, if you want to have lovely, tidy edges, you could turn cards 1, 2, 13, 14 forward always, then reverse direction when it gets over-twisted.

Applesies #10: Diamond Applesies

(Originally published Feb 17, 2015)

This is one of those patterns that I will need to follow the pattern, step by step, all the way to the end.  This is not an easy repeating pattern that can be memorized…at least by me.  It’s the last of the “easy” patterns…I’m thinking this probably should have been included in the next section.

I had a lot of difficulty choosing colors for this one, but finally settled on navy blue with a blue-grey background and a border of red and rust-orange.

So once you warp up your loom, you will start rotating your cards starting from the BC position.  Your cards will be facing right.

Cards 1-3 and 20-22 will always be turning forward.
Turning sequence is:
First:  1-3 F; 4 B; 5-6 F; 7-9 B; 10-13 F; 14-16 B; 17-18 F; 19 B; 20-22 F
Second:  1-5 F; 6-8 B; 9-14 F; 15-17 B; 18-22 F
Third:  1-4 F; 5-6 B; 7-16 F; 17-18 B; 19-22 F
Fourth:  1-3 F; 4-5 B; 6-17 F; 18-19 B; 20-22 F
Fifth:  1-3 F; 4 B; 5-6 F; 7-16 B; 17-18 F; 19 B; 20-22 F
Sixth:  1-5 F; 6-17 B; 18-22 F
Seventh:  1-4 F; 5-18 B; 19-22 F
Eighth:  1-3 F; 4-19 B; 20-22 F
Ninth:  1-3 F; 4-19 B; 20-22 F
Tenth:  All forward
Eleventh:  All forward
Twelfth:  1-3 F; 4 B; 5-18 F; 19 B; 20-22 F
Thirteenth:  1-3 F; 4-5 B; 6-17 F; 18-19 B; 20-22 F
Fourteenth:  1-4 F; 5-6 B; 7-16 F; 17-18 B; 19-22 F
Fifteenth:  1-5 F; 6-17 B; 18-22 F
Sixteenth:  1-3 F; 4 B; 5-6 F; 7-16 B; 17-18 F19 B; 20-22 F
Seventeenth:  1-3 F; 4-5 B; 6-8 F; 9-14 B; 15-17 F; 18-19 B; 20-22 F
Eighteenth:  1-4 F; 5-6 B; 7-9 F; 10-13 B; 14-16 F; 17-18 B; 19-22 F

See what I mean?  I can’t memorize this.  I was told that you look at the pattern and that will tell you how to turn the cards…it’s a lovely pattern…it’s just going to take some extra time.

The back is EXTRA cool!