Monday, July 18, 2011

A Viking Cloak.. I guess.

Everyone needs a good warm cloak, right? And it so happened that I scored this awesome wool blanket that had been donated to Goodwill because it had been washed incorrectly and had felted up tight and thick. At least, I assume that's why the original owner ditched it. Some folks don't see that as a desirable thing, I guess, for bedding. But it makes one fantastic cloak: warm, sturdy, and practically windproof.

The blue binding on the edges is a much better color match in real life. I have no idea why my camera phone insists on playing fast-n-loose with color tones, but whatever. I'm not particularly happy with the binding anyway, but wool makes me itch, and I wanted something along the back of the neck to protect me from the wool. I may make changes to this in the future, but for now, it stands. Not terribly period, but... *shrug*

I chose a dog design from a book of Viking art that I found in the library. I stitched him on before I put on the binding or decided to make the herringbone border, so that's why he's so close to the edge, and the border stops and starts on either side of him. I think looks fine, but I'd not do it that way again.

At the bottom of this pic, you can see the half-inch guide threads I basted in to make sure that my line was straight.

Originally it was just to be a yellow wool herringbone stitch, but then I thought a little accent would look nice, so I tacked each x with a + in blue that matched the background. Meant to be a little touch of fancy, it ended up looking like butterflies, or flowers -- not my intention! But from more than talking distance away, it's not noticeable. Maybe I'm just being weird.

Research shows plain wool cloaks were the norm for vikings, with a pin at the shoulder and maybe a thin woven band along the edge for the particularly wealthy or for a special garment. But Vikings were a very colorful people, and they loved decorative stitching, and there are exceedingly few surviving extant garments in existance, so I say there's no reason to think that a cloak decorated like this might not have been worn and appreciated.

Well, except for the binding on the edge. ...Dangit, now I want to go tear that off.

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