Looped Fabric

Viking knitting close up

When I blogged about the Cuerdale Hoard yesterday, I had no expectation of seeing it right under my nose today. In the interim, I had visited the Gold Room at the Swedish History Museum, which is as close to an encyclopedic exhibition of Viking metal art as can be. There was a tubular silver chain there that appeared to be twisted-stitch knitting. This got me thinking about the extent to which pulling the tube through a drawplate to reduce its size and even out its surface (a normal step in this form of wirework) might alter the appearance of the knitted structure. The force of that action can shift the position of the legs of the stitches, potentially both giving twisted-stitch knitting a flatter appearance and open-stitch knitting a crossed appearance. I’ll explain the technical and structural nuance of all this in another post.

Anyway — when I was again confronting an overwhelming amount of material, today, all I had at hand was a cellphone for dealing with an unanticipated photo op that deserved more appropriate equipment. I’ll be better prepared next time, but here is one shot of the knitted tube yesterday’s post includes a drawing of, showing it from the other side.


The full tube is significantly longer than Hawkins’s truncated illustration suggests and it’s misleading to describe the wire as hair fine.


Other photos illustrate several points I intend to make in the post promised above. This is already in gestation and the photos will appear with it.

I obviously knew that I’d be traveling to the British Museum this morning but was doing so for an unrelated bit of loopery — another tale to be told — and was surprised to see material from the Cuerdale Hoard on display. To my greater embarrassment, although I knew that at least some of it was in the museum’s collections, I hadn’t checked beforehand if anything was on exhibit, to say nothing of it jogging a memory of having seen the display on an earlier visit without registering its significance.

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