Tangle Saxon Runes Again

Part of a continuing personal challenge; see the previous entries here, here, and here

12. ᛄ Ger [j], “year, harvest”

Tangle Saxon Rune Ger

I admit I’m cheating on this one a bit phonetically. The “ger” rune represents the sound [j], represented in English by the consonant “y.” But there isn’t a “j” rune, or at least not one representing the “j” sound [dʒ]. The sound itself is relatively common in Old English, but it is typically represented with the combination “cg.” Interestingly, many of the words containing this cluster have survived into modern English basically unchanged other than in spelling, with “dge” taking the place of “cg” — ecg/edge, ricg/ridge, hecg/hedge. In the Anglo-Saxon alphabet, “g” was usually used to represent [j], although it also could be the same “g” we use now as well as a horrible voiced velar spirant which I have mentioned previously and that fortunately evolved into a “w”, which is why we say “own” and not “o[horrible Gollum-like sound]n.”

TL;DR, there are a lot of good “J” tangles and it’s my challenge so I get to do what I want.

Tangles used:






Jujubeedze It’s funny how the little beads in this ended up making eyeballs for weird little faces in the Jajazz…

13. ᛇ Eoh [eo], “Yew”


Tangle Saxon Runes E:oh

This is a bad picture and I realize now that the ZIA itself isn’t really complete — I should have shaded it. Oh well, I can always update it later.

There should really be a line over the “E” in “eoh” here, since it’s a long e — that’s long in quantity, not quality: think of the difference in the vowel of “mate” (short) and “made” (long). This is important since there is also an “eoh” rune with a short “e.” Confused? Well, you’re not alone. The original Germanic rune from which this is descended is “Eihwaz,”  and if that sounds familiar, maybe you’ve read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

I mistranslated ‘ehwaz,’” said Hermione furiously. “It means ‘partnership,’ not ‘defense,’ I mixed it up with ‘eihwaz.’

In this case it means “Yew,” not partnership or defense. And it represents the diphthong “eo,” the vowel in the first syllable of “Beowulf” as well as “mayonnaise” depending on how you pronounce it (I’ve always pronounced it “MAN-aze” or “MAY-oh” though really I try to avoid pronouncing it at all since I detest the stuff.) Regardless, there aren’t any “Eo” tangles that I know of, and since there is an “E” rune that I’ll be posting eventually, I went with “Y” as in “yew” as in the letter I should have used for “ger.”

Tangles yew-sed (see what I did there?)

Y-Ful Power


Yew Dee which is just a great grid tangle. There are a lot of ways you can vary it, too, and I’ve used the grid seed as a string. I might do a monotangle of it at some point.

Yincut The grid’s kind of wonky on this, but I like it.

14. ᛈ Peorth [p], meaning unknown

Tangle Saxon Runes: Peorth

The name of this rune is “peorth” which is not, so far as anyone can tell, a word in Old English. Per Wikipedia:

The name is not comprehensible from Old English, i.e. no word similar to peorð is known in this language. According to a 9th-century manuscript of Alcuin (Codex Vindobonensis 795), written in Britain, in the Gothic alphabet, the letters 𐍀p (based on a Greek Π) and 𐌵q (an inverted Π) are called “pairþra” and “qairþra”, respectively. One of these names clearly is derived from the other. However, the names are not comprehensible in Gothic either, and it is not clear which is derived from which, except that we know that the Elder Futhark had a p, but no q rune. In any case, it seems evident that peorð is related to pairþra. The Anglo-Saxonfuthorc adopted exactly the same approach for the addition of a labiovelar rune, cweorð, in both shape and name based on peorð, but unfortunately, we do not know if the Gothic runes already had a similar variant rune of p, or if the labiovelar letter was a 4th-century creation of Ulfilas.

So it appears that what we have here is rune representing an unknown word in a dead West Germanic language that may or may not have been derived from a rune representing an unknown word in a dead East Germanic language, both of which had similarly unknown variants. Good times! Really, a “p” rune” wouldn’t have been all that useful to the Anglo-Saxons, as the sound “p” was fairly uncommon and rarely if ever appeared at the beginning of the word. One possible meaning is “pear.” I like pears, and I can draw a pear shape, so that influenced my framing of this.

Tangles used:

Palrevo: It took me a long time to figure this one out, both its design and its name, which Linda Farmer insists is so funny (by the way, you should hear my kids say “so funny!” It’s so… uh, humorous). It wasn’t until I put the clues together that I realized what was so special about the name and the pattern both. I don’t want to spoil it though…

Pand: This is another wonderfully versatile grid patterns. If you haven’t used it, you really should.

Paradox or should I say Pear-adox? No I shouldn’t. This is absolutely my favorite tangle ever. What I love is how it can make the original frame you put it in disappear completely. My only problem is that I like to alternate clockwise/counterclockwise Paradox shapes, only I forget which way I went last. The last time I did this, I actually drew faint arrows in each shape to remind me of which way I’d be going.

Pea-nuckle My dad taught me how to play Pinochle when I was a kid, but it’s been so long ago that I have no clue how to play it now. I mostly remember that it used a weird deck (two of each face card, I think, and no cards below nine?) and that he told me he used to play it with friends in the Baptist Student Union building (yes, there are Baptists who play cards. I was raised Baptist and it was there that I learned to play Spades) and that passersby who tried to follow what they were playing would be hopelessly confused.

That has nothing to do with this tangle other than the name. It’s a good pattern.


That’s enough for now; I’ll post more later.


Joey and Diva’s Weekly Challenges

Okay, so I finally got to the fancy scanning machine and I’m ready to share my challenge attempts for the week. First, Diva’s.

The challenge this week was to use the tangle “Rautyflex”:

Diva's Weekly Challenge 258
Diva Weekly Challenge #258

Okay, “challenge” was right. Based on what else I’ve seen from the other entries, this tangle confounded a lot of people. But a challenge I wanted and a challenge I accepted. I chose to do this as a Zendala, divided sort of like the first steps of the tangle — the circle is quartered and the top left and bottom right quarters are divided horizontally again. In each section, I tried a variation on the basic tangle. Going counterclockwise from the bottom left:

  1. For this I used a sort of radial grid. That sort of angular S shape is the one that came out the most to me, so that’s what I colored in.
  2. I did the least with this section, and it came out (I think) the best. Maybe there’s a lesson in that somewhere? I just did a more or less straight take on the pattern then colored in alternating cells, Knightsbridge style. Looking at it now, it seems like I got the 3d pop that I was going for in other sections without really trying to. If I ever use this tangle again, I think I’ll stick to this varietal. Also, I filled in the shapes with an extra-fine tip Sharpie from a set I got for Christmas and I like how it came out.
  3. This was my attempt at a ribbon/border version of the tangle. I’m not altogether displeased with how it turned out, although I’d probably do it much smaller given the chance.
  4. This was my first idea with the tangle. I was trying to get the Q*Bert style steps that I saw in this pattern when I first took a look at it, but I don’t feel like they really came out the way I wanted.
  5. This one is a lot like section 2, but with different coloring, and now that I think of it I’m not a hundred percent sure I remember what pattern I was doing.
  6. When I drew this, the hatchmarks were supposed to be lining the front of some steps. But now when I look at it, all I can see is the hatchmarks as the back of the steps. It’s hurting my head to think about it.

Okay, now Joey’s Challenge, which this week was Roman numeral III:

Made By Joey Roman Numeral Challenge III
Made By Joey Weekly Challenge #103

I will freely admit that I had a lot more fun with this one. Again Joey assigned tangles I probably wouldn’t have chosen on my own: Tipple, Fescu, and Buttercup and again I found a way to enjoy them. I tried out a negative-image thing with the Fescu and I’m pleased with how it turned out — the ones on the right were drawn with Sharpie; the left side was outlined with my regular pens then filled around with the Sharpie. I had the most fun with Buttercup, which I decided to draw in a crazy warped grid thing. Pretty wild, right?

The other sections include three patterns suggested by the number “3”: the triangle-based Phroze and Tringle, and the number-3-containing-in-name 63y. I intentionally did 63y “wrong” — you’ll notice that the cells don’t line up into hexagons. I like it this way.

In the middle is JaJazz, in disguise: Instead of filling in the rounded triangles as usual, I filled around them in alternating cells. I like it a lot. The ribbon across the top is a kind-of original tangle I’m calling “Just Lala.” I suppose it’s really just a sort of tangleation of Eke.

But where, you might ask, is the Tipple? Well, I guess I kind of cheated — I used it as filler around the corners of the JaJazz, in some of the cells in 63y and in some of the triangles in Tringle.

Overall, I feel good about this one.



Joey’s Weekly Challenge 102: Roman Numeral II

Tangles used: Japonicas, HiCs, Flux (Rick's and Maria's with a Purk that snuck in somehow), and Jajazz
Et Two?

For the second week, I’ve tackled Joey’s Zentangle challenge. And hey, this one was also great fun! This time, the numeral was strung askew, which makes for good practice disrupting the normal sense of up and down and giving room for some productive chaos.

Here was my creative thought process (and what follows is probably way overthinking it, but it helps me to write stuff like this out):

Like pretty much everything I’ve done, this is ZIA, not “real” Zentangle — mainly I’m not sticking to the tile size: I like being able to work all over the page.

The three challenge tangles this week were Japonica (the one in the middle), Hi Cs (on the left, the flowerdy things), and Flux (top and bottom — er, above and below — um, the apostrophe things and the leaf things). I really dig Hi Cs and I want to use it again sometime soon. I had originally intended to do them all in the star/flower pattern at the top of that section, but I got thrown off somehow and ended up going for an allover chaos pattern. I kind of wish I’d managed to stick with the pattern, but to tell the truth I kind of like the wildness. I decided to just pencil in the grid lines for this one, and I think it comes out looking better for it.

Japonica, a ribbon-type pattern, seemed a natural for the space within the II. I didn’t have quite enough space to set up a full grid pattern, but it seemed too wide to just do a single column. So instead, I put two side by side, then realized I could get a pretty cool looking “reverse” pattern by putting Xs in the middle. Some black-and-white alternation (which I have decided to call “Harlequinning”) felt right for it, and when I added some diagonal lines to some of the inner circles, I realized it created little cones, which I hopefully managed to bring out with some shading (when I get time and money to take in some real Zentangle training, I know I need to work on shading technique).

Flux is given in two varieties, and I definitely like the plain leaf/teardrop shape (Rick’s version) better. The filigree things are just never came out looking right to me. But I’m glad that these challenges are pulling me out of my comfort zone a bit.

The other grid pattern I used was JaJazz. I honestly have no idea what’s going on at the edge there. I guess a couple of the grid seeds broke loose and decided to go for a dive and fell into a portable hole or something.