My aim for 2014 was to make the half-marathon, but alas. Life came in between and instead ended up with ten challenges done. I would have been eleven, hadn't it been for Christmas interfering with deliveries all over.
Anyways, despite that I really appreciated the Menswear challenge the actual gentlemen of my aquintance are for the most part perfectly able to cater for themselves in the clothes' department. And/or live a bit to far away for ambitious project that requires fitting. I figured, however, that garters are needed for ladies and gentlemen alike, and as this was the year when I finally got round to learn basic tablet weaving, I thought I'd combine the two. Silk yarn would have been awesome, but is not easily found in shops round here. I did, however, find a silk-alpaca yarn which felt a lot nicer than pure wool. I know alpaca isn't exactly HA, but at least it's an animal...
So, armed with notes from the tablet weaving workshop and some copied patterns to adapt to what I hoped would be a nice width of band finally tried to tablet-weave from scratch all by myself.
The setup: Table, chairs, books to keep the chairs from tipping over.
Tools of the trade. Yarn, rubber bands and bag clips. Bag clips are such clever things...
The yarn wasn't available in the colours I was really looking for. There was however a very nice blue and I can change my mind, right?
The warp is finished. (2 x the desired length of each garter) x 1,3 + gap in between + a little extra in both ends + a little extra extra because I forgot that stopping one leg earlier would have been enough... ahem. And people say I'm organised?
Look at the pretty, pretty shed!
(Nevermind that I messed up when adding the tablets so that I had to manually reorganise it not once, not twice but thrice before the pattern actually behaved. Let's not talk about it, ok? I should have been able to add the tablets and just start weaving, because look how tidy it is! All threads in the right place, I double-checked several times with the pattern. I honestly don't know what I did after this, but it certainly wasn't right. And no, I wasn't in the mood to take a photo of the failure. Use your imagination.)
This is where the bag clips come in really, really handy, securing not only the shed but the length of warp so that it doesn't tangle when removed from the chairs and the tablets are added.
A pieces of string is added to the part of the warp furthes from the shed and is then attached to a door handle or table or whatever is heavy and/or secure enough to pull for tension when weaving.
I have no photos of the actual weaving, since is was done at a friend's in rather poor light. I should have turned the tablets every sixth thread of weft, but I think I read the pattern wrong. Insted of 1,2,3,4,5,turn I did 1,2,3,4,5,6,turn, which accounts for the little dot in the middle of the design. Especially in the beginning of the first garter, there are some rather annoying mistakes in the weave, but I think I got the hang of it eventually.
The colour-combination really called for silver-plated buckles, HA or not, and the project was stalled for six(!) weeks while I waited for a little parcel with buckles to arrive from Lorifactor. Christmas got in the way of their deliveries, apparently.
The finished garters with buckles and all.
Close-up of the finished garters. I used the "self-edge" of the ends (I used a needle to secure the end of the weft-thread), but also added a little piece of black wool fabrick to cover all raw edges. The end of the garter has a secured weft as well, but there I didn't add anything but tied the warp into as small tassels as possible.
I was quite happy with the overall result. Next set might be shorter, though surplus ends can be secured on the inside of the garter. The garters have now a found a new home with a friend who just happens to have an outfit in just the right colours to match them, and I await the report about how they stand the test of some wear and tear.
The Challenge: #22, "Menswear" Fabric: Silk/alpaca yarn Pattern: Not really. Year: 1300'-1600's or so. Not 100% of the accuracy of woven garters for a man, but when I squint at portraits they look about right. Notions: Buckles from Lorifactor, small scraps of black wool fabric. How historically accurate is it? Alpaca - no. Apart from that... haven't the references for this project, but as a good plausible guess - maybe 70%, with minus for alpaca fiber. Hours to complete: Perhaps ten. First worn: Not yet.
Forester with all sorts of geeky interests, among them historical clothing and larping. I was one of those who'd never do silly slashed garments and poofy Renaissance, proof that one should never say "never"!
I have HA ambitions which mostly have to stand back for time, money and sanity issues - which means that I have a wardrobe of not-quite-good-enough dresses.
Other interests include drawing, reading, (forest) history and dancing.