Lace, Celtic Knotwork, and Weights and Measures Resources All Online

Aoife offers an eclectic blend this week with annotated resources for: "Lace, Celtic Knotwork, and Weights and Measures."

Greetings everyone. This week's Links list covers a few topics I've been interested in lately: Lace, Celtic Knotwork, and Weights and Measures, all Medieval or Renaissance in nature. I hope you enjoy this list and will pass it along to others who may be interested.


Celtic Knotwork:
(Site Excerpt) Acknowledgments: The material for this handout is from a class taught at Pennsic by Aidan ni Leir (mka Helen Pinto), developed from workshops with Mark van Stone.
Celtic knotwork--fascinating, intricate ... and overwhelming. Impossible, right? Well, I've got good news and I've got bad news. The good news is that Celtic knotwork can be very simple to master; the bad news is that it is tedious and exacting to draw. Still interested? Read on then, and learn the secrets of the Irish monks. If you can draw a short, straight line and fairly smooth small curves, you can do Celtic knotwork using the grid method. Oh yes, if you have trouble with the straight lines, use a small ruler! No matter how large the overall panel, it is made up of cells consisting of five dots shaped like this: (Dot patterns deleted for this Links List).

Celtic Knotwork: the Ultimate Tutorial
(Site Excerpt) In less than one hour, you will learn how to draw knotwork, in the celtic or the arabic manner, like those in illuminated bibles or corans such as the Book of Kells or the nice tribal tatoos.

2 Ways to Draw Celtic Knotwork
A side-by-side tutorial comparing two different methods!
(Site Excerpt) I've been drawing Celtic Knotwork for years and I have developed several techniques and my own methods. These tutorials demonstrate those methods. The first (left side of the page) is similar in some ways to the methods of George Bain, his son Iain Bain and many of the artists that preceded them. The biggest difference between my method and the traditional methods is that I use computer graphics programs, but the instructions below are applicable to pencil and paper as well. The second method illustrated here uses the Celtic Knot Font. This font is based on the same forms that can be created using the first method, but the knotwork has been cut apart into separate reusable pieces.

Celtic Knotwork Construction Class by Rolin Thurmundsson
(Site Excerpt) This information should be considered introductory in nature, and assumes no experience in Celtic design, just a fascination with it! It does not cover what I would call art or design as such, but is more "technical" in nature. It will cover basic interlacing techniques, simple border and panel construction and analysis, how to do corners, doubled knots, and will provide links to other, advanced sources for your further research. Techniques learned can be (and have been) applied to both hand-drawn and computer-generated knots. The techniques described in this class did not originate with me. I only use them, felt that they were not well known, and hoped that the class (and this web site) would help them gain wider appreciation. (See also Celtic Art: )

Lace: Sample Fingerlooped Braids from a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript 1997-2000 Carolyn Priest-Dorman
(Site Excerpt) This document began as a set of samples I began for myself in 1997 based on E.G. Stanley's edition of Harleian ms. 2320, article 4, "Directions for Making Many Sorts of Laces," dating to the early fifteenth century. Since then I've been keeping an annotated bibliography of sources on fingerlooping; a few of those sources are listed below. But there are not very many photographs of these braids (or "laces") out there, and fewer still are explicitly tied to the specific set of historical instructions for producing them. Accordingly, I have scanned these samples so they can serve as a sort of visual catalogue of the single-worker braids from Harleian 2320.

Lace and Needlework Links, Costumer's Manifesto


Lace Identification Photos
This page offers link pages to photos of various types of lace.

The Structures of Antique Lace
A Personal Collection Marla Mallett
(Site Excerpt) As both a fiber artist and student of historic ethnographic textiles, my textile interests have most often focused on the ways that techniques and structures shape designs. How fascinating, then, are the mysterious attractions of antique lace! On the following pages I have posted about 100 pieces that illustrate ingenious structural designing in a rich variety of enchanting lace styles. Intimate details reveal their construction. Welcome to both lacemakers and antique lace collectors!

17th Century Dutch Chrysanthemum Lace
(Note: Turn Pop-up stoppin gprograms off to see close-ups of the items puctures. Site Excerpt) The reason for naming it Dutch lace is simple: the lace was made in the Flandres province for export to Holland. Dutch lace is also called Cauliflower or Chrysanthemum lace because of the pattern. In the many portraits of that period, we can see that Dutch lace was a thick, closely worked, strong lace. It formed a nice effect and contrast on their costumes. Dutch laces became famous because of the quality of its flax thread.The Flemish thread was bleached in Harlem (Holland) and was considered the best flaxthread in the world.

Lace, a brief History
(excerpted, in large part, from George Leland Hunter's Decorative Textiles, pub. 1918 by Lippincott, Philadelphia.)
(Site Excerpt) There exist hair and breast nets that have been safely preserved in the graves of ancient Egypt since over a thousand years before the time of Rameses the Great, who was Pharaoh in the thirteenth century B.C. There are also many plain and fancy nets of the Greek-Roman-Egyptian type known as Coptic, dating from the third to the seventh centuries A.D., as well as ancient nets made in America, some of them on the loom, with interrupted or irregular weft, which have been preserved in Peruvian graves since the time of Columbus and before. However, true lace, meaning an openwork fabric made by tatting, crochet, needlework or bobbin, twisting, knotting or braiding individual threads, to be distinguished from cutwork made by cutting or decorating a fabric after weaving, is universally acknowledged to be a European invention.

Bobbin Lace
(Site Excerpt) What is bobbin lace? It is an open fabric created by crossing and twisting threads over each other. The threads are wound on bobbins and are worked on a pillow, a feature that distinguishes it from laces such as tatting, crochet, hairpin and needlelaces which are done with tools and threads held in the hand.
The variations on the simple cross and twist that have been developed by lacemakers in different regions at different times have produced an immensely rich heritage which we can use as much or as little as we want today for traditional lace or modern interpretations.

Introduction to Bobbin Lace By: THL Gweniver Kenwyn of Roseveth
(Site Excerpt) Bobbin lacemaking is thought to have started in the fifteenth century in Italy and Flanders but there was little use of any type of lace in portraits or mention in records until after the first half of the sixteenth century. R.M., the author of the bobbin lace pattern book titled Nw Modelbuch, does mention in the pattern book that bobbin laces where brought into Germany in 1536 by merchants from Venice and Italy so it seems that bobbin lace was made prior to the first half of the sixteen century, but was not widely used. Not until the third quarter of the sixteenth century did portraits and records begin to show clear, if small, examples of lace.

Basic Reticella (Needle) Lace
(Site Excerpt) Made entirely with needle and thread, as opposed to bobbins, hooks and shuttles, this is truly an embroiderer's art called "Needle Lace". While other laces are edges and borders with rounded and flowing patterns, Reticella motifs are always square in shape, are singly inserted into fabrics, or are fastened together to make larger and more complex patterns.

Weights and Measures: A Dictionary of Units
(Site Excerpt) This provides a summary of most of the units of measurement to be found in use around the world today (and a few of historical interest), together with the appropriate conversion factors needed to change them into a 'standard' unit of the SI.

English weights and measures: History
(Site Excerpt) ~732 - reign of Ethelbert II (king of Kent) The 'acre' is in common use. ~960 - reign of Edgar the peaceful It was decreed that all measures must agree with standards kept in London and Winchester
1215 - reign of King John (lackland) An agreement to have a national standard of weights and measures was incorporated into the magna carta.

A History of Measurement and Metrics ory.html
(Site Excerpt) When the Roman Empire passed into history about six hundred years after the time of Christ, Europe then drifted into the Dark Ages. For six or seven hundred years mankind generally made little progress with regard to standardizing measurement. Sometime after the Magna Charta was signed in the Thirteenth Century, King Edward I of England took a step forward. He ordered a permanent measuring stick made of iron to serve as a master standard yardstick for the entire kingdom. This master yardstick was called the "iron ulna", after the bone of the forearm, and it was standardized as the length of a yard, very close to the length of our present-day yard. King Edward realized that constancy and permanence were the key to any standard. He also decreed that the foot measure should be one-third the length of the yard, and the inch one thirty-sixth.

A History of Measures by Livio C. Stecchini
A series of articles regarding a great many units of measure