Friday, February 6, 2009

New Computer, Disasters and Braiding...

Thanks to the BF, and Aldi, I now have a New Computer. I'm just finding my way round, getting used to the feel of Vista. My old computer, which was a Lidl baby, served me well, I think 6 years, so I have faith in these mass made, sold in cheap retail outlets machines...Unfortunately, my blog looks different, and I cant figure out is it just me or is it the blog. Its been playing up on the fonts swopping from FONT to ARIAL willy nilly. Or maybe its me, no its probably me....


Anyway, that's the New Computer news, here's the Disaster... Some years ago, on a whim at the Knitting and Stitching Show, I bought a few of these...
I got a few small skeins of metallic thread. OK, I know it was the magpie tendencies taking over but I genuinely had plans to do some nice embroidery...or something like it...
After I got them home, I went about un-winding them into nice little balls of metallic thread, but then this happened...

The Gold thread you see is me being restrained and patient, trying to slowly unravel the thread. The Silver skein is the result of a frustrated, Damn you to hell attempt...We all have had those moments and mementos of that sheer knotted frustration. So, rather than throw these lovely tangled threads out, they remained hidden in the deepest hole that is my have to do/fix/make bag, until this week, I decided to have another go. 2 long nights, and crap TV later, I managed to produce this...

The thread kept breaking on my, so I just wound each length separately onto card, to be put back into the have-to-do/fix/make bag. The reason I got them out in the first place, is because I finally dug out another Knit and Stitch purchase of some years, my lucet. This is a plastic jobbie I got from Ziggy, Luceteer extraordinaire. (Anyone who has passed by the Braiding stand at the K&S will have had to have met Ziggy..). Last year while talking to him, I mentioned I had one of his lucets, and he reprimanded me for not having any braids on my person. So, out with the Lucet, its time to get busy braiding...I had planned on making braids out of the lovely metallic thread, but that idea was now out the window.

Historically, there is much debate about the Lucet. It has the feel and look of a medieval, even of a viking tool, but there is debate on whether it actually is or not. There is archaeological finds that look like a lucet, can be used as a lucet, but very little actually braids have been found. The Braid is very strong, so its hard to imagine it not being used in some way. I had plans to try get quite fast at it, and use it as a bartering tool with re-enactors...I'd love to get one carved from wood, or bone..and also to get one with longer prongs. So, to test the Lucet out, I tried a few different fibres.

From Left to right they are Thick linen, thin linen, wool, cotton. Now I know we didn't have much cotton in viking times, but I just did that for practise. I is much smoother, therefore, easier and faster than linen. But the linen has a lovely look about it, I suppose Au natural..

Ziggy sells his lucet with a great little pamphlet on how to use the tool, and it also had instructions on how to do frogging. This technique creates a ruffle effect, not unlike the decoration you would see on uniforms and the like. You can also add beads as I did in this bracelet

I really enjoyed using the lucet, and its a very simple, portable tool, something I always look out for. I've always had this grandiose notion, that if the world became a disaster area, all technology and machines gone, it is us, the ones who know how to make tools and farm, that will rule the earth.. I could be a queen....

1 comment:

Lauria @ Brackenbury Lane said...

I would have dumped that thread into the garbage. I think it's great that you had the patience to sort through it. I certainly wouldn't.

But I worry about it breaking so much. Will it actually be strong enough to use for a craft?

I saw this post shortly after I saw laughingpurplegoldfish's post about how she mixed metallic thread with fishing wire to imitate wire. I thought that was pretty cool!

And a lucet is cool, too. And the one you have is very pretty. Is that what Victorian's used to do their hair work? Or is that something else? I read an article about it months ago!