Brocade with Red Vines and Golden Cats

This belt was a CHALLENGE. Let me tell you it’s story.

For the Trillium Exchange: Death Theme my recipient said one of the things she wanted was a belt, so I thought that was the perfect chance for me to up my tablet weaving game to the next level. After debating for a bit I decided to go with Brocade instead of double-face. Both of these options would let me get interesting with the pattern.

My recipient’s persona has evolved from Anglo-Saxon to something of a later period, so I had some trouble finding historical evidence that tablet weaving fit into her time period.. but she also said HA wasn’t super important so I decided to go with it anyway.

The pattern is a modified version of the band found here: http://aisling.biz/index.php/galerie/historisch/hochmittelalter/74-bluetenranke (this site is a great resource! Definitely check it out if you’re interested in tablet weaving)

Version 1 of this band I was weaving using cotton only, which showed me why it’s recommended that the patterning thread wants to be a fluffier/thicker thread. The gaps between the rows were way too wide, so I wound it back (I only got into maybe the first vine circle) and decided to try and find a yarn more appropriate.

Version 1.5: I found a wool-like acrylic yarn (allergy issues meant wool itself was out) and this looked much better than just using the cotton.

However, I still was very not happy with how it was turning out.. I did not like how I could see the pattern threads at the sides. The first part of the band before the pattern started was much looser than the rest of it, and worst of all I looked at the cats and realized that the back leg that was in the middle of the cat was way too far forward, so it looked like it was coming out of the belly of the cat. So after doing almost a full set of the pattern I decided to tear it out and start over.

I spent a couple of days on this, and I was not happy at all with how it was turning out.

The last bit of the band actually started looking really good. I figured out how to make sure the sides of the pattern thread weren’t showing at the sides (make sure to put the thread to the back between turns) and also managed to get the width of the band much neater…

So with just under a week left before this project needed to be finished. I decided to rip the whole thing out and start fresh!

I figured doing this would also give me the chance to re-work the cat’s legs a little bit so they didn’t look as wonky

This was only mildly terrifying!

Version 2: much much better!! I had to work on this thing pretty much every night in order to get it finished, but I think it was totally worth it

So overall I’m pleased with the results and even though brocade takes a bit more time I like the look of it. I will likely do another (plus finished the one I had to pause in order to do this one)

Materials

  • Weft: Black DMC cotton size 12
  • Warp: Black & Red Maurice Brassard Cotton 8/2
  • Pattern Threads: Red & Yellow Woolike Yarn 3.5oz 100g
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