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.


To reply, remove "spam-me-not." from the return address.

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: )

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

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

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
(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