Ok, so it's been awhile. I've decided I need to post the projects I begin and finish as a way to keep track of them. So, here's the first two.
First off, I learned what was called the Coptic naalbinding stitch at a class at Gulf Wars this year. It is almost stupid easy once you figure it out, and I made a very nice pouch with it. I'm quite please. Interestingly enough, it's the exact same technique for basic wire-weaving, it just starts out a little differently. The first photo is a close-up of the stitches (it looks knitted!), the second of the finished pouch, with a penny as scale reference.
Also, I made a basket a Gulf Wars this year. It's quite cute. It started out easy, then became interesting, then "oh-my-gosh-why-am-I-doing-this difficult." Luckily that stage didn't last very long, and it then became just "interesting" again! I like "interesting." Anyway, I'd like to acquire some more period materials for making more of them sometime. I was carrying the basket in the merchants that evening (for date night), and the man from the really awesome uber-period viking merchant shop, the name of which I cannot remember (any help???), said that it looked exactly like the ones that friends of his from Poland make, which are supposedly replicas of early medieval Norse baskets. How they tell that, I don't know, since I doubt any of them survived, and at least in Saxon England, precious few decent artistic renditions seem to exist. But I was pleased, and it is certainly a plausible design. Mine is made of rattan; he said they make theirs from the bark of pine root, which is supposed to be dug up at a certain time in the spring. Oh, the woman who taught the class did say that archaeologists have found slabs of clay with basketry patterns on them...as though baskets were lined with clay to make them waterproof. I'll have to look into this, as it sounds like a really cool idea, and a good way to deduce weaving patterns. Anyway, enough of my poorly-written blather (it's late, I'm hurrying)--here's the picture of my very first basket!!