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[personal profile] kareina
Last weekend was one of those "full-on" weekends that keep one too busy to even look at a computer, let alone check in with the world.

Friday, walking home from work with [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar, he asked me what I planned to wear the next day at our Folk Dance performance. This is when I realized that I really should have made arrangements to borrow a skirt. Oops. However, this performance wasn't one of the major performances of our group, where we all wear the same matching costume with the skirt of hand-woven fabric patterned after one from the Luleå area in the 1800's (as seen in this costume I borrowed for last year's performances). Therefore, rather than doing last minute scrambling we looked into our fabric stash to see what we had that might work.

Some of the other ladies in the folk dance guild have plain grey wool skirts (in addition to, or instead of, the striped skirt in the above link). Therefore, of all of the wool we had in the house, the one that seemed best suited to making such a skirt was the heavy grey wool twill we picked up at Double Wars (which we had thought would make either some nice Viking trousers or perhaps a heavy tunic).

Friday night was also a visit from [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar's eldest brother, his wife, and three young daughters. They have come up from southern Sweden for a visit to their parents in Piteå (about 45 minutes south of here), and since they were this close then had to come see us, too. So before we looked at fabric, and before the guests arrived, we mixed up a banana-nut bread and got it into the oven, and then started some cookie dough. (However, since the bread took a full hour to bake, we ran out of time, and just put the cookie dough into the fridge to bake later.)

We had a fun time visiting with his family that evening, and they didn't think it at all odd that after enjoying the banana-nut bread with them I got out fabric and started pleating it to a waist band. I made a couple of attempts at folding the fabric into even sized pleats using the twill stripes of the fabric as a guide, but soon gave up at trying to figure out which number of stripes would reduce two full widths of fabric to the size of my waist. Instead I took a sturdy linen thread, ran it through the edge of the fabric, and pulled to draw it in to the size of the waist band.

Once it was the correct length I pinned the waistband into place, and [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar stitched it down (this was just after his brother and company went back to their parent's house for the night). After the first side of the waist band was sewn down we realized that I had pinned it on such that if he sewed the second side with a machine it would show through to the outside, so I started sewing the second side of the waist band by hand, and he did the first pass of attaching a narrow woven band to the hem of the skirt. That band was then folded to the inside, and the far side of it hand-stitched down to keep the raw edge of the wool sealed, but not do a full rolled hem in fabric that thick.

The hand sewing on the waist took as long to do as the machine sewing of the hem, plus about 1/4 of the hand sewing of the hem. Once I got the waist done I joined him on the hand sewing of the hem, and we managed to finish the job by midnight. There is a photo of it over here

Saturday we got up nice and early, and went down to Piteå, where we spent all day at a fair. We did a few dance demos for the public, hung out near the Folk Federation's booth (and costume display), and even wandered a bit to see some of the other displays. Toward's the end of the day [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar finally got out his violin, which he had been carrying all day, and joined his fellow musicians in playing some tunes. When one of the other musicians took a break from playing I talked him into dancing with me, which was quite fun.

From there we went over to his parent's house (about a 5 minute drive from the fair grounds) to join the family for dinner. In addition to the eldest brother and his family visiting from down south, the youngest brother (who lives only another hour south of their parents) and his wife were there, so it was quite the party. It is probably a good thing that I didn't discover that the strawberries in the garden were ripe until after dinner. It would have been a shame to have missed out on all that good food just because I was too full of strawberries to eat any more. Ok, I admit it, even though I was quite full of berries already, when they brought out the cake covered with whipped cream and more strawberries, I did take a small piece. Yum!

Sunday morning we got up bright and early to drive down to Umeå (another 2.5 hours south of Piteå), where we helped our friend L with some of her packing, and loaded up our car with parts of her collection of fabric, yarn, scrap leather, and fur. The deal is that we will store it for her while she is in France for her PhD, and she can have back later whatever we don't use in the mean time. We are also borrowing/storing her bicycle. (This is a good thing--his last bike was stolen some time before I met him, and he has been doing without. But now that his work has moved to a new office only a 15 minute walk from home, it is good to have a bike to ride to work.)

In addition to helping her pack we also got to meet her mother, who was up visiting from Southern Sweden to help with packing and to take some of her other stuff home to store for her there. The four of us went for a long walk in the forest near her house, and ate wild blueberries. Yum!

We had so much fun visiting that we didn't get in the car for the drive home till 23:00, which meant we didn't get home till about 03:00. Gee, Monday morning sure felt early when that alarm went off. Despite the tired start to the work week, I have still managed to accomplish a fair bit, and it is only Wednesday. One task I have completed, a full week before the deadline to turn it in, is a talk about my research, to be presented at the Department's "Kick-off Retreat" later this month.

So, that was this past weekend's travel. Next weekend, on the other hand, is not going to have the travel we had expected. Due to delays in getting the paperwork we needed a group of us from work will not be going to Russia next week after all. However, [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar will be traveling. His work has been talking of sending him away to a training session "somewhere" in Europe the last week of August. However, at the last minute, they decided this week that instead of the last week in August it should be next week. Therefore he is flying to Scotland on Sunday and will return the following Friday. With luck he will get to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] sismith42 and [livejournal.com profile] loupblanc while he is there. He may also get to see [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t. If he does he will pick up the cloak I started for [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t years ago--a heavy blue wool that doesn't fray, to which I was tablet weaving on a very thin (two cards, two threads each) border. It would be nice to get that project back and finish it up. Not that I will touch it till I finish up my my own sexy cloak in progress.

(I don't recall if I have posted about that cloak here yet. The main fabric is a blue/grey wool twill, lightly felted. It is fully lined with a much lighter black wool twill, and the tablet woven band is bein attached such thar it shows on both sides, with the raw edges of the fabric turn to the inside. There will be a couple more rows of blue running stitch along the edge to hold it all together. Once I get the edge finished (I am getting there--two of the four sides are done, and the trim is attached to the blue on the other two sides, so only the black and the running embroidery stitching left to do) I will applique decoration to the central bit, and then I will be able to take out the basting stitches that hold the fabric together.

(Note: I found out the hard way that one really does have to baste the fabric together and sew each fabric layer to the trim one at a time (not counting the first seam--that one can be stitched through all three layers at once, inside out). If one tries to sew the whole thing inside out the two layers of fabric don't stretch the same amount, and when one turns them right side out again they don't lay smoothly. Learn from my mistakes!)

Since I am not going anywhere this weekend, I said yes to a couch surfing request. I couldn't resist, actually, the couple is from Slovakia and they are musicians traveling around Scandinavia playing music on street corners.

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