I usually bring my loom to SCA events, which makes a great conversation starter. As an introvert, I find it easy to talk about my hobbies, but not always easy to broach the topic with someone new unless they say something first. At River War last year, someone approached me while I was weaving and we got to talking about me possibly weaving for Their Majesties. I was given the name of their garb coordinator and I sent her a message on facebook, thinking nothing would come of it.
Little did I know I would end up working on one of the most complicated weaving patterns I’d come across.
I had trouble from the start. I warped the pattern according to the directions, but when I started weaving, it all came out wrong. Aside from the pattern showing up on the underside of the warp, when I followed the pattern exactly, the design simply would not come out right. I tried everything I could think of… triple checked my warp to make sure it was correct, turned the cards slowly and marked each line as I went… Nothing would work. It was late. I was tired. I decided, “You know what? I’m just going to switch the turning pattern. Everything that says ‘forwards’ is now going backwards. What harm could it do at this point?”
Well, it actually worked. As bizarre as I thought it would be, turning the cards in the opposite directions fixed the pattern. I blame this on the fact that I was watching Stranger Things while warping the pattern, and my loom decided it wanted to live in the Upside Down. But that’s another story.
I wove and wove and wove. And when my hands wouldn’t grip and my arms hurt too much to lift, I wove at a slightly slower pace. Battling chronic illness while crafting makes for some interesting innovation when your hands suddenly give out.
Finally, after two hard months of weaving, I had enough trim to send to their Majesties’ garb coordinator. But I didn’t have enough for them *and* their kids and time was running out. With a week left before my deadline, I warped up a quick and easy pattern, using the same diamond motif and colors, for the kids’ garb. It looked great next to the more complicated pattern but took way less time and offered me no problems.
I was not able to attend A Market Day at Birka, where their Majesties would be wearing the trim I made, but I was able to find a few pictures online from a couple amazing SCAdian photographers.