Atlantia’s Kingdom Arts and Sciences Festival was last weekend. I entered the Inter-baronial competition as Dun Carraig’s A&S champion, with the knitted cross bottony bag I had been working on since December. I still need to line it before I present it to the baronage.
Here it is on the needles, right after I’d finished knitting.
Here’s the three-needle bind-off, which creates a nice straight bottom for the bag. (The link goes to a video tutorial at knitting.help com, which I learned this bind-off from.)
The method I used for the tassels, which comes from Phyllis Anne DesMoines’ Knitting Pouches Reliquary Style, was to wrap the yarn a bunch of times around a DVD box. (I did 15 for each color.) Of course, it was The Princess Bride.
This is a single one of my finished tassels. I’d have liked to get the ends more even, but I didn’t want to make it too short by cutting them all to match. Next time, I think I’ll cut the yarn longer than I need so I can get a more even final product.
So, I made a pretty impressive mistake when selecting yarn. I misread the expected gauge, and it’s actually 8 stitches per inch (which about matches what I did with my sample). I’m going to drop down a needle size or two, but I will not be getting anything like period gauge with this yarn. I could put it away for something else and buy finer for this project, but I like the color and feel of this particular yarn a lot. Besides that, the idea of a heavier gauge has its advantages–like finishing faster.
I’ve completed my pattern, and I can still make it work. I’m going for 152 stitches, which should give me a finished width of eight or nine inches. That’s in the range of the Sion pouches, and generally seems like a good size.
This is my pattern. I had originally planned to include a bunch of little crosses in the background, to make the colorwork easier. But I think that will make the pattern too busy, and I really like this as-is. It does mean that I’ll have to switch colors frequently to avoid having giant floats. I’ll probably use stranding for the top and bottom of the cross, and a more intarsia-like method for the middle.
Based on this article, the original Sion pouches ranged from 6″ x 8″ to 10″ x 13″. If I achieve the same gauge I did on my last knit pouch, 17 stitches to the inch, that gives me roughly 102 to 170 stitches to play with in width and 137 to 221 in height (for each side). The pattern I have for a large cross bottony is 51 by 51 stitches. So, I should be able to use about 200 total stitches and center the cross bottony on each side, with a semy of little crosses around it.
Back in November, I entered a pair of knitted stockings in the A&S competition at Dun Carraig’s birthday. And Their Excellencies asked me to be their A&S champion. I’m very psyched about this, but also nervous about entering KASF representing the barony.
Today, I’m starting on my project for that. I have two skeins of lace weight silk. It’s 100% spun silk, hand-dyed, from Treenway. The name of the silk, so I can find it again, is Yasulyn. It’s extremely soft and pettable, and the gauge is listed as 32+ stitches per inch, on size 00-2 needles. A 100-gram skein cost $40, and I need to talk with Molly, our friendly neighborhood crack enabler weaving Laurel about whether that was a reasonable price or not.
I’m using one undyed skein and one deep red skein, for baronial red and white. The finished product will be a pouch based (very loosely) on the Sion relic pouches, using barional heraldry.
Because it’s such fine silk, I’m going to actually follow the appropriate steps like winding balls of yarn and knitting a gauge swatch. Frequently, I just knit from the skein and wing the measurements, but between fine, easily tangled (and expensive) silk and the desire to get this right, I’m going to take the extra time and effort on prep.
Pictures to follow just as soon as I find the cord to connect my camera to my computer.
Back in February, I displayed a knitted pouch at KASF. It’s based loosely on the Sion pouches (full documentation). I’m currently sad, because I can’t find my pictures of it.
I did manage to get almost the period gauge. The period examples are 18 stitches to the inch, and I got 17 stitches to the inch with 10/2 perle cotton and 0000 needles. Sadly, after pulling that off, I then forgot something fairly basic–I didn’t block it. So, I had some unevenness where it was narrower at the bottom than at the top.
I lined it in white linen, and on the next pouch, I will definitely 1) use silk in a color that matches the top row of the bag and 2) get some pictures of the inside before I line it.
I made a color chart for a cross bottony. (That’s the style of cross with 3 round balls on each end of the cross, and it’s also part of my SCA barony’s heraldry.) So, yay! Now to actually knit something with it.
I based the chart on on Nancy Spies’ color chart of a 13th century border from an altar embroidery, in her book Here Be Wyverns. (This book is a really awesome resource for medieval and Renaissance patterns. There are borders, animals, people–all sorts of things charted onto nice graphs.) The original is a leafy vine border, and each leaf has the “club” shape that’s also found on the ends of a cross bottony. So, I used that leaf as a guide for the exact sizing and spacing of each part of the cross.
I’m posting this because it may be useful to other knitters (and weavers, cross-stitchers, and anybody else who would find a pattern in grid form helpful) in and out of the SCA. It’s a fairly common heraldic item that I haven’t seen color charts for. It’s also on the Maryland flag (which is actually where my group’s heraldry comes from) and is used in religious contexts (where it’s also called a budded cross or an Apostles’ Cross.)
Anyone who wants to use this chart to make anything, in any medium, for profit or not, has my full permission to do so. (Technically, I don’t think I have any legal standing to tell you that you *can’t*; it’s my understanding that the creator of a pattern has legal rights over the pattern itself, not over things made with that pattern.). The only use of this pattern that I expressly do not permit is claim credit for or resell the chart itself. (Feel free to post it on your own site with credit and a link back here or to my Ravelry page.)
Nancy Spies gave permission for the patterns in Here Be Wyverns to be used non-commercially. She expressly forbids any commercial use of her patterns without prior permission. Since my pattern is based on one of hers, but is not a copy, I don’t *think* you would need her permission to use this pattern for any commercial purpose. But, I’m neither a copyright lawyer nor a professional crafter, so don’t mistake my best understanding for an expert opinion. (If I ever choose to make something for sale from this pattern, I will ask her as a courtesy. What you technically have to do and what you should do aren’t necessarily the same thing.)
This is a small dishcloth, since my mom liked the one I made her, but it was a bit too big and got obnoxiously heavy when wet. It was done for the Diplomatic Mission for Ravelry’s Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps group.
It’s done in a variation on seed stitch (K2P2, repeat, using a number of stitches that’s divisible by 2, but not by 4–22 in this case).