kareina: (Default)
Still feeling not entirely healthy, though also not really showing much in the way of symptoms, either (slight hint of discomfort in my throat if I swallow, but other than that nothing). With luck I will just get over it without ever feeling worse, but to be certain, I have taken it easy today.

Project #1 was making a template for decorating my hammer dulcimer. I think I have mentioned before that in an attempt to learn to read music I am trying to colour-code it (A=red, B=purple, C=blue, D=green, E=yellow, F=orange, G=brown). At first I was doing the colouring of the music in a drawing program, but it turns out that the uni printers are calibrated way too differently from my monitor, so that the colours which are easy to distinguish on the screen are hard to tell apart when printed (especially the brown-purple-blue-green and the red-orange). Therefore I have given up on that and am instead just using colour pencils to write on printouts of the sheet music. I had had little coloured dots, printed from the computer, that I glued down to the bridges of the dulcimer, but the quality of glue stick is variable, and some dots were coming off, and see above about the difficulties in telling the colours apart. I could mostly manage anyway, since I know the sequence, so the one just above the yellow has to be the orange, but that sequence of several in a row that look nearly the same makes it harder.

Therefore I have decided to invest in some paint and do decorative little swirly bits on the bridges in the colours, and, while I am at it, make the ones that are sharp or flat look different from the ones that are natural. The first step was to order the paint. The other day I checked the Swedish art supply store that David orders from, and noticed they had some sets of acrylic paint, but none of them seemed to contain all of the colours I needed. Therefore I sent them an email explaining what I wanted, and why it was important to be able to tell the colours apart, and could they recommend to me which sets and/or individual colours I should order? I wrote in English, but included a sentence in Swedish at the end saying they were welcome to reply in Swedish if they like, as I have no problems reading it. Not much more than 24 hours later I got a reply, in English (the writer confessed that it is his native language) stating that since none of their sets actually contains purple, I would be better off ordering individual colours, and he gave me the list of product numbers to get the full set I need. As soon as I placed my order I also filled in their contact form thanking them for awesome customer service, and naming the guy who had written.

Since the paint has been ordered, it was time to decide exactly what I will be doing with the paint, so opened up an old drawing of my dulcimer, with strings labeled as to which is which, and added a new layer to actually draw the bridges (which I measured). Then I added another layer to design the swirly bits to paint onto the bridges, and coloured them on screen to see how it would look. I decided to go with making the sharps and flats have only a thin line connecting the top and bottom swirls, but the naturals have a wide bit in the middle, too. Easy to tell them apart, but not distracting, either.

Then I printed a black and white version of the bridges and swirls, coloured them in with my coloured pencils (which I can easily tell apart), and tried sliding them under the strings and onto the bridges. It turns out that my spacing of the bridges wasn't quite right, so I needed to print and colour a couple of times before I managed to have a perfectly sized strip to label the strings (I also had to scrape away the remaining old glued on dots). I have tried playing from sheet music with these swirls under the strings, and it works. It will look much better when I have replaced that paper with the painted swirls, though I am not looking forward to having to loosen all of the strings enough to push them off of the bridges to do the painting and then tightening them again to the correct note. I will need to do them only a few at a time, I think.

Once that was done I spent an hour curled up on the couch reading, took a nap, read some more, and then was inspired to do a long-procrastinated project. Back in about 1989 or so my then-boyfriend, George, had a pair of wool dress trouser that he didn't want any more (shrunk in the wash? wearing out? tired of them? I don't recall why, but he gave them to me). They were much too big in the waist (even in those days, when I was much chubbier than I am today), but with a safety pin to hold them on they did just fine as a layer over silk or wool tights for cross country skiing. I have used them for many years, and over time the fabric in the crotch wore thin and then gone. At some point, years ago, I kinda patched them from the inside with scraps of some other wool, but that wasn't working so well anymore, since the holes had grown. They got stuck into the mending closet some unknown amount of time back, and largely forgotten.

Till late this summer, when I wanted something to wear on my legs while working outside on a cool, rainy day. Then I remembered them, checked my clothes cupboard and couldn't find them, checked the mending cupboard, and there they were. Still too big, still with holes in the crotch, but over wool tights they were just fine for working outside in not so nice weather. This time as I overlapped the waist huge amounts before pinning them on it occurred to me that it might be possible to cut away fabric from the inside of the thighs to get rid of the holes and take them in to actually fit.

Today I remembered that, and thought I would give it a try. Sure enough, looking closely at the legs, the damage was concentrated in the crotch such that a straight line up the back of the leg, from the ankel to the waist would just miss the damaged area, and the part below the holes, but between that line and the original inner leg seam looked wide enough to make some triangle gores for the crotch. So I gave it a try, and three hours later I have a pair of trousers that fit. I might have liked the thighs to be a little looser, but that wasn't possible given the fabric I was starting with, and they aren't exactly tight. Much to my delight I was able to do the entire project on the treadle sewing machine. I had expected that I wouldn't be able to do the second pass of the flat-fled seams on the legs, but I managed it.

Thinking that I couldn't do the finishing of the legs, I decided to try part of it anyway, to reduce the amount of hand-sewing that would be needed, so I first finished the back seam from the waist to the crotch (I didn't do anything to the front seam--it still has the original zipper), then sewed shut both legs, the opened it up and, starting from mid-upper thigh, started finishing that flat-felled seam, expecting that I would be able to manage from there, across the crotch, and down to about the same spot on the other leg.

However when I reached that point I realized that I could managed to crumple up the fabric behind the sewing machine foot and smooth out the fabric in the path of the seam and do another couple of cm more. Then I realized I could smooth out the next 2 cm, and so on, right down to the ankel. Since that worked, I returned to the other leg, and gave it a try from the ankel up, and sure enough managed to smooth out and fold under about 2 cm of seam at a time till I reached the part that I had already done. This won't be at all surprising to those of you who sew by machine regularly, but for so many years I sewed only Medieval costumes, and then only by hand, so I didn't think I would manage.

Now it is 22:25, so I should go to my yoga, take another hot shower, and get some sleep.
kareina: (Default)
Last night I tried sewing a single garnet bead in the center of a square on the beautiful 3-in-1 wool twill fabric. Today I decided that I hadn't managed to get it perfectly centered, and that the only way to do that would be to baste diagonal lines from point to point on all the squares, and while I was at it, around the outline of the neck facing.

Luckily for me, today at work my Master's student wanted to try driving the laser for this, her final lab session of her project, so I got to spend several hours basting lines while she did all the data collecting, and I only needed to remind her which task needed to happen when, and how.

lines basted

close up

Now the neckline is ready for beads (which will be *much* easier to center in those squares now that there is an X to mark the spot), and, while I am at it, some red embroidery around the beads, since I have remembered some lovely wool yarn that is the same colour as the garnets. I have also done the math and worked out that I have exactly enough of the white to edge the sleeves, hem and neck of the tunic I want to do. Looking forward to making progress on this project while on the Norway trip this weekend. There is enough embroidery and beading to do that I need bring only the white fabric, yarn, and beads. The blue can stay home and wait till the trim is ready to attach.

Now to finish packing, do my yoga, get a shower, and then leave for the bus in 7.5 hours. Plenty of time...

skokurs!

Mar. 12th, 2017 09:57 pm
kareina: (Default)
Today we were out the door just after 08:30, and at the home of the shire's other Laurel by 09:00 for a shoe course he was running. There were at least 17 of us present, all working on shoes. I opted to make a pair of 12th century shoes to go with my bliaut. My inspiration was the photo on page 99 of this paper about silk embroidered leather shoes. The shoe in question was embroidered in Runes, but in Latin, with the phrase "Omnia uincit Amor et.", and I decided that I have to have a pair.

The course ran till 16:00, after which I walked across the street and stitched for two more hours while listening to the musicians of the Luelå Hembygdsgille practice some lovely Swedish Folk music, and then I participated in our normal Sunday folk dance session (which I have missed all too often this winter). I knew that if I had followed D & C home after the class I wouldn't have come back out for dance, and I am so glad that I stayed. Folk dance is so much fun! And that extra two hours of stitching meant that I got one of my shoes stitched all the way around the sole and ready to turn, and the other is more than half way 'round.

shoes in progress
kareina: (me)
Back in December C. was placing an order from an on-line store for some stuff for herself, and in the process talked me into ordering a sweater for myself. A kind of Norwegian looking thing in dark blue with white pattern and red edging. It arrived and I word it a couple of times before noticing that some of the white near the bottom had snagged on something and pulled out, leaving little holes in the blue where the white dots should have been. The rest of the threads where still there though--less than half the length of the yarn was out and hanging. So I folded the sweater and set it on my desk awaiting a day when I felt motivated to try to deal with it.

Today was the day, so I sat on the couch for a while this morning with a crochet hook and worked the hanging white threads back into (more or less) their places, and then used a needle and sewing thread to further anchor them where they should be. Then I got out the rest of the nice, soft, wool twill fabric from which I recently made another pair of Thorsbjerg trousers, and started using it to line the sweater, so that the long loose bits of white on the inside won't snag on anything again.

In four hours time I managed to get both sleeves lined, and the right front panel. Now the sweater is once again sitting on my desk awaiting time for me to be motivated to line the other front panel and the back panel. Therefore I am calling it half done, though it may be more than half way done. I am really liking how it is turning out, and once it is done this will make a nice summer jacket (it is a zip up sweater).

I have no idea when I will get back to this project though. Tomorrow is a shoe making course, and next weekend I head to an SCA event. The week in between is likely to be busy, and I have lots of SCA projects on going already.
kareina: (Default)
I managed to finish the apron and pocket I started a week ago (links to the folk costume I was inspired by in the older post):


Förklädet

32 hours of hand sewing, and perhaps one hour of using the treadle sewing machine, which we final got around to fixing (the leather band that drives the machine had broken back in 2014, and it took some years to get around to acquiring more leather in an appropriate weight/size, and then a few more weeks to get around to attaching it). I only used the machine for the first pass of attaching the trim around the edges of the apron, and the waist band to the top, but that hour (give or take) probably saved me quite a few hours of hand sewing.

In other news, my exercise log for the year is looking pretty good, since not only have I managed a workout each day & longer than normal yoga sessions, today I started the day by going skiing in the forest by our house (it has finally snowed a bit of light fluffy snow to cover the ice formed by melting over last weekend), then this evening I went for a two hour walk L., who is up visiting from Umeå. Originally she had planed to come over here and hang out, but yesterday C. got sick, and we now probably know the answer to the question "was it food poisoning or virus which made D. so ill on Friday?" Therefore we decided that rather than coming inside where one is mostly recovered and the other only just starting to recover, we could just as easily talk and walk at the same time.

However, such a long walk means that I did only the prep for making the filled bread pockets that I want to take with us when we head south for a friend's wedding on the weekend, I will actually bake them tomorrow. I think they will be yummy--the bread dough contains wheat, oats, barley, and rye flours, and the filling is a mix of walnuts, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and egg (ground together in the food processor with spices) mixed with grated zucchini, carrot, plus broccoli, and spinach, silverbeet, and kale that I had steamed before running through the food processor. Since I ran out of time to shape and bake them tonight I did mix a couple of spoons of the filling with some cous cous for dinner, and enjoyed that.
kareina: (stitched)
I have been wanting a "pocket" like the ones in the Norrbotten folk costumes from 1912 for a while now. Tonight I realized that I need something semi formal to wear to K&H's wedding in not quite two weeks. Since folk costume counts as semi-formal or formal wear, I am using the excuse to make myself one. However, since I don't actually come from anywhere in Sweden, I am free to do my own style of embroidery, and I used as inspiration an ancient Pictish pattern that my erstwhile apprentice in Tasmania once showed me.

I have chosen colours that go well with the Nederluleå folk dance costume I have, so that I can just dress that one up a little.

This is how far I managed to get in 2.75 hours tonight, I think it will be possible to finish it on time:

embroidery

closeup

The colours are not a decent match--the light at 02:20 isn't really suitable for photography. The blue is bluer than this, and the bit that looks almost yellow in the circle outlines is actually an indigo.
kareina: (stitched)
Yesterday was the first nyckleharpa night of the autumn, and, as always, it was ever so much fun. Seven people playing nyckleharpa, while I worked on my sewing project. I so love living in Sweden!

Today was my first day back in the office after my week of at-home vacation, and I can't claim to have accomplished much, other than battling my way through the pile of email that had accumulated. Then I went home and took a nearly 2 hour nap. But this evening was the first choir meeting of the autumn, and it was much fun. Even though we hadn't done much advertizment, we still had ten or so people, and it felt good to sing again. One of the new girls sings really well. At one point we were doing a round, and our conductor put that new girl and one of the boys into a group of their own, and the other two groups had 4 of us each, and I had to struggle to sing with my own group instead of following the group of two, since they were so loud and clear behind me.
kareina: (stitched)
I don't recall if I mentioned the sprang workshop I took part in at Cudgel War--it was just to do a simple little pair of garters, but the "frame" we were using was clamping a couple of sticks to the table, and the table was long, so I wound up making a pair of belts, both of which were immediately put into service to hold up trousers. Both my poofy wool viking trousers, and the striped Thorsberg trousers I was wearing in the video I linked to yesterday need a draw string/belt to hold them up, and the tabby woven bands I had been using for them were never very comfortable. Sprang, on the other hand, being made by twisting warp threads around one another with no weft at all, is very elastic in nature, and is really comfortable when tied around a body part. Therefore I switched them into those trousers.

Then, when I got home from Hägnan I decided that I could also use some thinner drawstrings. The belts I made at Cudgel were done in a lovely wool, in two colours (maroon and white) in a diamond sort of pattern, done by using 4 threads of white, then 8 red, then 4 more white, and interlocking the threads by first exchanging the first two underside threads with one another and pushing what had been the second to the top and what had been the first to the bottom, then interlocking in a simple down-up-down-up repeating pattern till there are only two threads left (both from the top), at which point I pushed the first one I came to up and over the other and around to the back, leaving the hopped over on in front.

The new drawstrings, on the other hand, are made from a white cotton yarn, with only 8 strands total. When she taught the workshop she said that it was important to work from both ends--first do the interlocking from right to left on the left end of the table, then, when you push the second stick to the other end of the warp, while there do the interlocking there from right to left as well. Repeat, alternating sides. She said that if one does this than the resultant belt will lie flat, but if one works from one end only the belt will twist into a spiral. Curious about this, I, of course, had to try it. Since we need our table for other projects, rather than setting up the sprang warp on the table, I opted to clamp it to the upright logs that remain where the corner of the wall used to be between the office and the hallway when we took out the wall. This means that my threads, instead of running horizontally are now running vertically, which meant that it would actually be bothersome to switch back and forth which end I was working from. So I worked from the upper end only, and, sure enough, when the project was done and taken off the clamps, it did spiral, in a very pretty manner, and the drawstring is quite soft.

Then, just for good measure, I did another 8 strand drawstring clamped to a bench, so I could work from both ends, and, indeed, this one lies flat. The spiral one, however, I thought would make lovely ribbons to braid into my hair, so I have started yet another project, this time with the silk yarn I bought at Cudgel War--four strands of brown, and four of white, worked from only one end to court that lovely spiral (which would probably look dreadful in a wider project, but is an asset in one so narrow). Much to my surprise, even though I wound up with lozenges when working with 16 strands of the red and white for the first pair of belts, doing only 4 strands each of the brown and white working from one end only has resulted in a band that, while still under tension, is white on the right half, and brown on the other, with an interesting wavy border between. I think that when I take it down and it is free to spiral this will result in a pretty pattern to the twist.

However I am not ready to do that yet. Once I got the interlocking worked all the way to the center of the band I took more of the yarn and worked it through the warp the same way that the holding sticks would have been, had there still been room for them. Now I have that yarn pulled out to a clamp on the other wall, and I am interlinking it in the same way as the first (though it is only half as long). In theory, when it is done, I will have three spiral silk hair ribbons conjoined at one end that I will be able to braid into my hair. Of course, if I like how they came out, I will need to do another set of three, so I can have two braids.
kareina: (stitched)
I actually finished this project in April, but it took till now to get the photos off my camera. The case itself was 3-D printed by [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar, and we both worked on the design till it was as small as it could be and still hold all four pairs at once (driving glasses, sun glasses, computer glasses, and sewing/lecture room glasses). I sewed the cloth cover, My apprentice did the tablet woven carrying strap, and the clasp is an old broken hard drive magnet.
photos )
I really, really, love this case. It is strong enough to stand on, so I needn't fear damaging the glasses. It is light enough that I leave it hanging on my shoulder most of the day like a baldric, so they are in easy reach to change back and forth to the pair I need just now. It is bothersome to need so many pairs, but, since I do, I am glad we were able to make it easy to have them with me.
kareina: (stitched)
So far we have done 58 hours of stitching on the cloak. This is about 14.5 meters of embroidery. I just measured, the northern lights, instrument, and cloak hem together comprise about 41.3 meters of embroidery, so we are about 35% done.

It has been 31 days since I started, which means that the cloak has seen an average of 1.9 hours a day of stitching.

There are 51 days left before the event, which means it will need 2.1 hours a day between now and then to be done. Good thing more than one person can work on it at once.

By "done" I mean the minimum, not the ideal--these numbers don't include a third colour of lights that would be nice to add on top (I have the fabric). They also don't include the stitching around the hem to keep the lining from poofing out (as well as looking nice itself) or the letters around the hem saying that the cloak is for the Norrskensbard.
kareina: (stitched)
Some weeks back I got a FB message from a lady in the Shire of Gyllangran (Sundsvall, Sweden) asking if I would like to teach an embroidery class at their Glöta event in October. They are only six hours drive south of us, yet, somehow I have never made it to an event in that shire, so, of course, I said yes. The event happens while my mother will be here, so it is also a good excuse to take her on a road trip to see the prettiest part of the Swedish coast, which is between Umeå and Sundsvall.

Today I got another message from her, asking if I would be interested in seeing the Högom find while I was in town--apparently it is at the museum there. YES! Of course I am. I first read the book about it back when I was still living in Fairbanks (late 1990's). At the time I was working on my Master's in Geology, and found it difficult to read the published geology papers I needed for my own research, as they always put me to sleep. This book, on the other hand, I read cover to cover when I took it out from the Uni library, because it was so fascinating.

That year the university offered a Medieval History class for the first time in ages, and I signed up for it, since I had already completed all of my required geology courses for my degree. The class, of course, required that we write a paper, so I did mine on clothing, and this book was one of my main sources. I was so fascinated by the really complicated seams (two rows each of tailor's stitch and blanket stitch) depicted in the book that I did a small example seam on some scrap fabric, and sewed it to one of the pages of my paper as a figure. My teacher liked the paper so much, she asked if she could keep it (I said yes).

So, today she writes to me and says that she knows one of the archaeologists at the museum, and she can ask if we can get a behind the scenes tour and actually look at the find. I so hope that the archaeologist says yes! Of course, even if they don't have time/energy to deal with textile geeks who want a closer look, even seeing the "for the public" display sounds really really cool. Now I need only convince [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar that he wants to take that Friday off of work, so we can drive south on Thursday, so that we have Friday available for museum stuff without any stress or worry...

In other cool news--I have made a good start on the Norrskensbard Cloak, and [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar cut some grass from our field with a scythe to make an archery target, because he thought we needed one.
kareina: (stitched)
Ok, so I am rounding by 1.5 years years yet, but the photo taken of me at the event this weekend doesn't look to my eyes that I am really as old as the calendar claims I am:

me

This, not surprisingly, pleases me.

I also like how the dress came out. Still needs a few more beads on the sleeves, but other than that it is done.

Photo credits: Uladzislau Iwanou, who bought a camera good enough to take photos of spiders, but it works well for people, too.
kareina: (stitched)
This evening, after putting [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar on a train to Göteborg, I sat down to play with the new loom and see if I would have any better luck weaving the northern lights than I had yesterday, when I determined several approaches I didn't like.

When I warped the loom I set it up with alternating the cards alternating their direction one S, one Z, repeat. I used two threads per card in a heavy dark blue cotton yarn, one thread per card in a lighter weight linen-cotton turquoise yarn, and the final thread in an unknown fiber type variegated pink that ranges from almost white to very pink. Originally all cards had the same colors in the same position. However, after playing with it I decided that it would look better if all the cards were leaning in the same direction, so I flipped every other one to make them all S direction. Of course, this resulted in every other card having pink where its neighbours have turquoise and vice versa.

I decided that could be an advantage, and set the cards up in sets of three--the first three with the brights colours in positions A & B, the next three with the bright colours in B & C, then in C & D, and finally D & A, at which point I was out of cards. This means that on any given pass of the weft I will have at least one set of three with bright colours up--either in pink-turquoise-pink or in turquoise-pink-turquoise, and the next pass, if I turn the tablets only one quarter turn, will give another set of three, just offset from the last, with the opposite pattern.

The effect in the below photo was achieved by turning the cards inconsistently. Often I do several 1/4 turns in a row, passing the weft after each before changing directions, but sometimes I do half or three quarter turns before passing the weft.

weaving


Not a perfect match to the northern lights, but to my eye it gives the impression of them, anyway. I am happy with it as a first draft. Now to decide if I am happy enough with it that it is worth trying to buy some yarn to make a wider version with which to trim the Norrskens bard cloak. The yarn warped for this one used up the last of the variegated pink (which, let me state for the record, I have no idea where it came from and what it was doing in our yarn drawer--it isn't a colour that I would expect either of us to buy in the normal course of things--perhaps it was in a bag of mixed yarn obtained at a second hand store, and the other colours in the bag were interesting?).

Or perhaps I can just forget the tablet woven trim idea?
kareina: (stitched)
This morning was too rainy for earth cellar work, so we took the opportunity to warp the loom we made last night. Of course it has been years since I had access to in inkel loom to warp, and the one and only time I saw a demo of how to do the continuous warp method would have been somewhere in the late 1980's or early 1990's, so, of course, we thought of all kinds of things we should have done in the first place, AFTER doing it slightly differently than ideal. Therefore it took nearly three hours to get the thread onto the loom in the first place, and another three to untangle threads and sort the cards back out into the order they should have remained, if we had only been smart enough to keep them fastened to one another while we worked. But now I have everything ready to start trying to weave. Wish me luck that it goes more smoothly than the warping...

all warped
kareina: (stitched)
I think I have mentioned that I am the person running the Norrskensfest event in November. I decided early on that I wanted to run it much like Mist Bardic is run--with the feast during the day. Then, after so enjoying all of the singing at the Umamedeltids event earlier this month, I decided why not go all out and run a Bardic competition as well, with the rounds interspersed between the feast courses? So we will be doing a Norrskensbard competition, with the winner serving the four shires of northern Nordmark as their bard. And a bard needs regalia.

So now I am planning on making a cloak for the Norrskensbard, embellished with Norrsken (northern lights). I asked on the Drachenwald A&S group if anyone knew of a period depiction of the northern lights, and got a couple of suggestions from the 1500's. One involves candles in the sky, the other is a bit more useful.

When I saw that second link I realized that the sharp angles it involves would lend itself really well to tablet weaving, and a cloak with a nice wide tablet woven border with northern lights on it would make spiffy regalia. Therefore I asked on the Historic Tablet weaving group if anyone has seen a pattern with northern lights on it, or if anyone would be willing to design me one. I got a few suggestions as to how I might do my own design, but so far no one has pointed out any patterns that are ready to go for such a project.

However, going to that group reminded me that, back in November, a lady from that group had sent me an article she had written about an unusual tablet weaving technique. The lady is normally a Swedish speaker, and had written two versions of the article, one in each language. After I read the English version I asked her if she would like me to do some editing of that version of the article for her, and she replied yes. However, life has been so busy ever since I hadn't gotten to it. So, yesterday, I opened the articles again, and did the edits, in the process learning the theory of how the technique works (it involves turning the tablets onto their points, so that there are two sheds, then weaving from left to right through the upper shed, then, before turning the cards, going back from right to left through the lower shed (and, in the process, also going through a single shed made up of several border cards in the traditional horizontal position, but skipping the shed in the first and last cards on the left to right pass, so that when you do the right to left pass you can go through that shed without the work coming undone). As she explains it, with this technique the colour in the top point of the card is the one that is visible, so one can weave any pattern by simply turning the correct colour point uppermost.

It occurred to me that this technique might lend itself well to experiments for a northern lights motif, so I checked my yarn stash to see if we have anything useful. I don't have any weaving weight black, but we have a cotton yarn in very dark blue, some slightly thinner yarn in a really bright turquoise sort of colour, and some variegated red/pink in the same weight as the turquoise. I have no idea where these latter two came from, since they are not colours I would normally use, but they contrast well with the blue and are not too far off from colours the northern lights actually takes, so I will run with them.

I went to thread the yarn onto the cards, and remembered a friend showing me the continuous warp technique many years ago, wherein one takes four spools of yarn, shoves the end of each spool through the holes in the full stack of cards, then ties the end to one end of an inkle loom before drawing the first card in the pile through enough length of the yarn to thread that length onto the loom, then repeating the procedure for each card in turn, until the loom is fully warped. No tangles, no fuss. Works great if one uses the same threading pattern on every card.

There was only one problem with this idea. We didn't have an inkle loom. heck, [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar had never even seen one before. So we consulted Google Image, found one we liked the look of, adapted the design to work with the materials we had on hand, and a faster sort of construction, and set to work. Four hours after deciding that I needed it, it was ready to go. However, it now being well after midnight, I decided that it would be smarter to record the adventure for posterity, do yoga, and go to bed, and try warping the loom tomorrow, when I am more rested.

loom
kareina: (stitched)
Back in 1999 [livejournal.com profile] khevron and I took a trip to Ireland, during which I purchased a beautiful hand-woven shall in a soft blue and black twill. I loved (and still do!) that fabric very much, but I am not in the habit of wearing a shawl, so I have rarely used it over the years. In recent years I have thought that I should make something else out of the fabric, and in April I finally decided to do so. The shawl was exactly big enough to do a hood and matching belt pouch. I believe that I have mentioned the project here before, but this time I have photos:

One of me wearing them, taken, with permission from a friend's blog:

my new hood

and another that shows a close up of the trim, made by another friend:

hood close up
kareina: (stitched)
I finally saw a link to a photo of me in my new dress--a tad blurry, since we were dancing at the time, but it gives the general impression...
kareina: (me)
I think I mentioned that our friend C came up for a visit just before Easter. It was lovely to have her here--much progress was made on sewing projects, plenty of time spent relaxing and cuddling, and lots of yummy cooking happened. [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar and I had a four day weekend over Easter itself, of course, but even the following week felt like a week off, even thought I went to work on the other days, since our normal weekly activities didn't happen because of the holiday, so we were free to stay home and work on projects.

She now has a new dress nearly done, and has worked out a hood pattern that fits her very narrow shoulders comfortably. I finished my bliaut! I also accidentally started a new hood of my own.

Many years ago, when [livejournal.com profile] khevron and I traveled to Ireland together I bought a lovely wool shawl in a large scale blue/black herringbone twill that is deliciously soft and really stunningly beautiful. However, in the (17?) years since I have only rarely worn the shawl, because I am just not in the habit of wearing them. Usually if I am cold enough to want one more layer, what I want is sleeves, or a hat, not just my shoulders covered. Last time I noticed the shawl, some months ago, I thought that it would make a lovely hood and mantel, but had several other sewing projects in progress, and set the thought aside. But then C was working on modifying the pattern from a friend's hood, and it inspired me to look at the shawl again.

Yup, it still looks like it would be a lovely hood, especially if lined with the wonderfully soft white linen herringbone twill I have left after making my Viking undertunic. So while they played with pattern modifying I took scissors to the pattern fabric and made a rectangle the same size as the shawl, and started experimenting to determine the best way to cut it apart and re-assemble it to make a hood. After four different approaches I finally decided on dividing the length into five equal sized pieces, sewing three of them together along their selvage edges to make the main hood rectangle, and then cutting four squares out of the remaining two/fifths of the fabric for gores (which leaves a rectangle appropriately sized to make a matching pouch later).

Of course, doing this with the twill was time consuming, as I first did a blanket stitch along the lines where I intended to cut, to be certain it wouldn't fray at all, because the fabric is really too pretty to be willing to lose any of it. Then I basted it to the lining fabric and assembled it. I decided to edge the hood with some pretty tablet woven trim that we bought from the same lady who did the trim for my bliaut, which, coincidentally, is the same colours as the bliaut trim. All that is left to do to finish the hood is the final 3/4ths of the trim around the bottom hem, I should be able to finish it at Nyckleharpa tonight. I love small projects--they are so quick and satisfying.
kareina: (stitched)
Tonight, at our normal Sunday evening folk dance session, I got to fly (like this) for the first time in a long time! That is just so much fun. I was enjoying dance before that moment, but adding that into the mix has me home after dance bouncing and full of energy! There are actually four of us in the group who want to fly, but only two these days with the strength to be the supports, and one of them is shorter than I am, so our dance teacher thinks it looks better if the shorter girls fly instead. We so need more tall, strong, dancers in the group. Know anyone you can send our way?

In other news, today we got the forge out and we made a tool for tuning the piano. I get to say  )

Now he is happily tuning the new piano (did I remember to mention the new piano? His sister called a week or three back to say that one of her colleagues had an old walnut piano they wanted to be rid of, and did we want it, free. Well, plus the cost of shipping it here, but that is close enough to free for such a nice instrument) while I bounce happily to you guys about my day.

The day also started nicely, with delightful -6 C temps, so I went skiing. Not that one actually needs skis just now--the hard packed ice we have left from all the beautiful snow we got at the end of January is more than firm enough to support my weight if I wanted to walk on it, but skiing is better exercise, because it uses arms too, so I should do it as often as I can before that nasty spring weather we have been having ever since I got back from Australia finishes killing off my poor ailing winter. Seriously--it has gotten above zero every single day since I have been home. There was a time when March was one of the the coldest times of the year, but not this year. Not last year either. Oh, wait, no complaining--the day has been too fun for that...

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