kareina: (me)
Last year I took the hair that my knight sent me when he cut off his pony tail and quickly attached it as two braids to a strip of cloth which could be quickly wrapped around my head and pinned on. When combined with a head scarf, as in this folk dance costume, it worked just fine, and took very little of my time to set it up in the first place, and even less to put on. However, the head scarf is very necessary to cover the brown cloth to which the braids were attached, and the lump at the base of the neck where they attached, and my own hair, which is, sadly, too short to make decent braids anymore (these days they reach only past my collar bones without help).

This year's folk dancing performances we are doing things a bit differently than in past years--we are doing it as a story--two young ladies in Norrbotten have decided to travel and see a bit of Sweden, stopping in various places and learning the local folk dances. Therefore, to give the effect of having arrived somewhere new we are doing quick "costume" changes in between each dance. By "quick", I mean changing from one head scarf to another, or taking off a head scarf and putting on a shawl, or changing from one shawl to another--each new shawl or headscarf in typical colours/patterns for the new area.

Therefore my hasty braid additions simply won't work--taking off and putting on scarves would likely cause the headband to also come off, and it wouldn't look good for the dances where our heads are (scandalously) bare. Therefore I have decided to modify the braids to make them work without a head cover.

The hair had, years ago, been divided into many small clumps, each of which were glued together at one end, and I hand bundled half of them into each braid for the quick extension. Today I unbundled them, divided them into six piles of more or less the same number of clumps of hair (10 to 12 per pile). I carefully trimmed off part of the stiff glued end (taking care to leave enough of the glue to keep the clump holding together, and then begin sewing each clump individually onto a small scrap of dark brown linen, each slightly offset from the one before so that the lumpy bit where the glue is winds up as narrow as possible.

Once the glued end of each batch of 10/12 hair clumps was totally covered with the brown linen and holding together securely I then sewed them to some blue and white hair ribbons, which I had previously sewn together at one end in sets of three.

I had enough time tonight to complete one full set of braids--three strands of the blue and white ribbon, from which three batches of hair hang. Now I can braid this into my hair and I once again have waist length braids, which looks ever so much better with my folk dance costume.

With luck I will get the second braid done tomorrow, so I can test the braids on Sunday's rehearsal, and then our first performance will be on Nationaldag, on Tuesday.

edited to add: I never did remember to get a photo, but one of my friends got one of me dancing, where one can kinda see the braids.
kareina: (me)
Years ago, my boyfriend from when I lived in Oregon (to whom I am still squired in the SCA, never mind that he is inactive, and I haven't seen him in person since I visited on my way to Italy in 2009) sent me his ponytail when he cut it off, since he had only started growing his hair out because I liked it.

These days, probably due to the dry climate here, my hair has gotten so short that my braids are no longer visible when wearing my head scarf from my Swedish folk dance costume.

Therefore, I just got out his hair from the drawer in which it was stored, braided it and sewed it to a band of fabric. Now I can wrap the band around my head and pin it into place, then cover my head with the folk dance costume scarf, and the braids hang out long enough to show.

To make it even more fun, his hair is a fairly typical Swedish dark blond colour. Therefore, when I am getting my Swedish pin on Monday (National Dag) to commemorate my becoming a Swedish Citizen last year, I will look more Swedish than I do without his braids. :-)

Would I rather my hair were still long enough to show under the scarf? Yes, of course I do. But since it isn't, I may as well borrow his, he isn't using it anyway.
kareina: (stitched)
Not quite one year ago (8 more days) I let C and [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar talk me into trimming my hair--they cut it level with the bottom of my bra strap, which was the shortest it has been since I was 18. At 18 I was delighted that it had finally gotten that long, but a year ago I was sad to have lost so much length--it used to be mostly waist length, with a some of the longer strands reaching to my hips. They both assured me that cutting it is good for it, and helps it to grow. Yah, right. Now most of my hair only reaches to 5 cm above the bottom of the bra strap, and some of it barely reaches my shoulders at all. I have no idea why it is getting shorter, and I want it back. No, let's be honest. I want it more than back. I want it long. I have wanted long hair since I was a child, but have never achieved it. Give me long hair, really long--at least to the bottom of my hips, but knee length or better would be even nicer. If you can't give me that, can I please have waist-length hair again?
kareina: (stitched)
This week I have been at the Medeltidsdagar held at Hängnan, the open-air museum located a 7 minute drive from my house. This is a fun event that is an interesting mix between an SCA event and a public demo, and it is put on by both the SCA and LARP groups in the region, who join forces to provide lots of entertainment for the visiting public during the days, followed by our own stuff in the evenings. (Note that the membership lists for the SCA and the LARP groups up here have a very large overlap, so it can be hard to tell that there really are multiple groups involved in this event.)
the four-day event was lots of fun, despite the heat )
While we were sitting at the feasting table Saturday night the conversation somehow turned a direction that caused me to say "I want a minion!", whereupon the 19 year old across the table said something to the effect of "I could do that", and I happily sent him to fetch and carry stuff the rest of the event. Of course, being me, I am not just taking advantage of his youth, energy, and enthusiasm to accomplish stuff, but I am also taking care of him. He had had a minor eye injury some time back that has resulted in his eye getting tired and sore towards the end of the day, so that he has to close his eye (which gives him a somewhat silly resemblance to Odin). This caused me to remember making eye patches for the pirate-themed birthday we attended the first year I was in Sweden, and to further remember that I had tucked mine into my SCA jewelry box.

Since it was right about the time of transition between too hot out to wear wool, to cooler temps and the advent of the evening mosquitoes I went back to the tent to add some more clothes and while there checked the box. Sure enough, I still had the eye patch, so I brought it back to the feast and gave it to my minion. However, making it fit him involved needing to send him back to my tent to get the sewing bag, so that I could use a needle to thread a new, longer, piece of yarn through the wool patch (my head is much smaller than his), and then sending him back to the tent afterwards to put the bag away. He hadn't thought of using an eye patch before, but was pleased to report that his eye felt better fairly quickly after using it, since the eye could truly relax.

Since he is a good minion, and eager to be useful I decided that I need to be a good master and provide him useful SCA stuff too. Luckily he is short and slender, so I was able to provide the next minion perk straight away after the event. I hadn't brought one of my older tunics (seen in this photo) to the event, since I don't wear it often anymore, since it is so loose on me. It is made of a lovely linen twill, and the embroidery (which doesn't really show in that photo) on the neckline is a knot-work Viking style dragon in green split stitch.

I thought it would probably fit my minion, so I asked his driver if he would be willing to do the short detour to my house to see if it would fit. Since they had a three hour drive to get home the driver was perfectly willing to do a 7 minute detour, and they followed us home after the event, where I cooked up a quick pot of soup for everyone (and the driver lay down in the guest bed for a nap while it was cooking). It turns out the tunic fits my minion as though it had been made for him, and I am pleased to give it to him. However, I did attach a catch--if he ever cuts his hair off, he has to give back the tunic.

This is because over the course of the weekend the topic of him contemplating cutting off his hair had come up on a number of occasions, and every time it did everyone present said "No!!" (especially me). The boy has incredibly thick curly beautiful long brown hair that is even thicker and nicer than [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t's hair was when I first met him. (I compared--I divided the minion's hair in half, and half again, and it wasn't till it was in sixths that all of my hair combines to a thicker rope than just one section of his.) He is, of course, welcome to do what he wants, but there will be more consequences than just getting short hair (which, in my world, is quite a bit of punishment already) if he does cut it.

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