Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pattern #10

This pattern is also taken from Plate 333 (see pattern #9)

Stitched example:


Monday, November 17, 2008

Pattern #9

I finished stitching the next pattern. This is the most simple pattern visually, but it seemed like it was the hardest to stitch. Also, use the pattern not the example since there are a couple of small errors in the stitching on this one.

Stitched Example:


I charted this pattern from Plate 333 in the Kroos book. I've got a few more patterns from this panel to stitch up.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fingerloop braiding fun

I started looking at fingerloop braiding to make my drawstring and handle. I've been having fun with it. I have this cone of Kreinik Japan #7 which begs to be used, so I pulled out some of my Splenda silk and made a cord using this pattern. I forgot to factor in the fact that Japan thread stretches, so it got hard to work with near the end since the silver loops were getting significantly longer than the silk ones. The pattern still worked though, I just had to go really slow and be careful.

I think it turned out really nice. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I really don't have a strong since of style, so I usually end up giving stuff away. Its nice because people usually enjoy hand made stuff and then I'm so pleased when they come up with some pretty way to use it. So here's my random cord of blue silk and silver thread:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Pouch Progress

Some more pouch progress-

I've seamed up the sides using Machteld's instructions ( and I really like the results.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pouch progress

I liked pattern #5 so much that I started a pouch a while back. Life has been a bit hectic lately, but I finally got some more blue and have finished the stitching. I am very pleased with the results. I will try to finish it sometime soon. I've also started stitching my next pattern as well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pattern #8

** Pictures of design upside down :)

Stitched sample:

Charted pattern:

I charted this from panel found in plate 334 from the Kroos book. I'm going to keep working on charts from this particular piece (whole tapestries shown in plates 328 and 329) for a while. I'm going to skip the swastika designs though, for obvious reasons. Their modern context outweighs their historical interest for me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pattern #7

This pattern is from the same tapestry as the previous. I charted it from a close up picture of one of the panels in Lady Sabine Berard's web page at

Stitched sample:


Monday, October 6, 2008

Pattern #6

This pattern is from plate 330 (see the post from pattern 5)

Stitched sample:


Monday, May 26, 2008

Source book

I've had a few requests for more information on the source book that I'm using. Its Niedersächsiche Bildstickereien des Mittelalters by Renate Kroos, published by Berlin, Deutscher Verl. f. Kunstwissenschaft in 1970. The book is based on Renate Kroos' dissertation on embroidery in Lower Saxony. The book in German, so I have been using the pictures of the pieces and then translating snippets of the information as I need them. There aren't a lot of copies floating around the US, but you can see WorldCat's listing at http://www.worldcat.or/oclc/176343&referer=brief_results to find your nearest copy. Many universities have some allowances for allowing public access to books (though they many not let you check it out). Just take care of the copy that you use, since there aren't that many around :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pattern #5

Pattern chart:

Stitched sample:

The source panel is plate 330 in the Roos book. I have a couple other patterns from this plate charted but not stitched. Hopefully I'll get those done sometime soon.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pattern #4

Here is my fourth sample. The pattern is a little different from some of the previous because it's horizontal stripes.



And the source for this pattern is Plate 201 from the Kroos book. The pattern is used for fill for a camel. For those reading at home, the catalogue number is 117 on page 154 and camel is Dromedar in German. The piece is listed at 14th century.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Finished moving!

I have finally finished moving from Meridies to Ansteorra, and now have internet again :) I finished another sample in transit, so I will get that up soon. Also, I managed to get some more scans of my favorite source book, so I have plenty to keep me busy for a while. I'll try to start including more information with the patterns about the sources, now that I've got copies of the correct pages. Thanks for the comments and feedback, I enjoy reading them :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Brickwork in clothing

I found an example of someone who charted some brickwork from the Anna Meyer dress from Holbein’s Darmstadt Madonna (painted between 1526-1528). Very cool. Up to this point I had mostly seen wall hangings and pouches, and trim on a priest's stole.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Along the way I thought that I'd post some references pieces in the embroidery genre that I am working on. Unfortunately most of the pictures that I can find are black and white, though the color pictures that I find show brightly colored embroidery with a pretty good variety of colors. In cases where I can get color pictures, I have stitched the patterns in matching colors.

Master Wymarc's web page got me started on this and I found the book "Niedersächsiche Bildstickereien des Mittelalters" by Renate Kroos. It was dumb luck that the book was available through the Georgia library system, since there aren't that many copies. The book has tons of black and white plates of brickwork examples from Germany and information on them. It is in German though, so its been slow going for me. Many of the patterns charted are coming from plates in this book.

The New York Met has a large piece in the Cloisters:
Altar Frontal, late 14th century
German; Silk on linen; 63 x 62 1/2 in. (160 x 158.8 cm)

Lady Sabine Berard has taken lovely detail pictures of the piece which can be found here:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pattern #3

Pattern #2

Pattern #2:

Pattern #1

I've started charting and stitching some of the patterns, so I'll try to post them as I get them done. For now, I'm playing catch-up since I have a few done already. Historically, these were silk on linen. In general, these are stitched on 28 count DMC Linen using Rainbow Gallery's Splendor silks. These are a 12-ply silk that split into 3 chunks of 4 ply each. I've been using the 4 ply chunks for the stitching.

Here is pattern #1 and a stitched sample:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


My name is Helene and I currently live in the Barony of South Downs in the SCA Kingdom of Meridies. This blog is to track my progress in the A&S 50 challenge. For more information on the challenge, check out the web page at and the yahoo group at

I am taking the depth challenge for the A&S 50 with a focus on embroidery. A while back I found "A Stitch Out of Time" and made a small project from it. The article is by Master Richard Wymarc and is a fantastic piece. Since then I've gotten into a style of 14th and 15th Century German counted thread embroidery which uses the brick stitch.

Though Master Richard Wymarc found few examples of this type of embroidery at the V&A, I have found a copy of " Niedersächsiche Bildstickereien des Mittelalters" by Renate Kroos, which has several nice examples. I have decided to begin the challenge by charting and stitching samplers of the geometric patterns used as fill in these pieces. After I get a number of the patterns done, I plan to move on to stitching up several of the full pieces.