I noted in my working sketchbook that currently around five excavation sites have yielded fragments of Viking-age embroidery.

This one, from Gokstad, seems to be worked in something like chain stitch. I’m not sure what size it would have been. My reworking of it is about 2″ or so in diameter.

The page is 8″ square, like all the others in this series. The embroidery is worked in space-dyed cotton thread on Pima cotton fabric, which is very crisp with a tight weave. The fragment is attached to the layered paper background with the little brads you can get for card-making, and reinforced by a few overcast and running stitches.

I didn’t intend the background to look a bit like a map, but I quite like the effect.

I think there’s only one more page to complete after this one, and then it will be ready to assemble into book form. When you embark on a cloth book project, you need to think about how you’re going to put it all together before you start. This is so that you can plan for a wider margin on the side that pages will be bound, or so you can at least plan where the holes will be when you stitch the pages together. I was going to just tie the pages together through holes on the left-hand side, with loose 8″ square covers front and back. Now I’m thinking of a slightly different way, which will involve a bit of a re-think. Should have had a Plan B from the start!

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3 Responses to Gokstad

  1. Eeek! Good luck with planning Plan B!

    I agree, the “map-like” look works well, and the stitched motif is charming.

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