Sunday, 27 July 2008

Cloak progress

I have finished the outlining of the design on Lutr's cloak. See the other entry under the label Siubhan for pictures of the partially completed cloak. Once I find a way to connect my camera to my computer again, I will post pictures.
The decision has yet to be made as to whether I will fill the design with colour or leave it with just the outlining. I think either will look fine. The plan is to do a test piece to see what the filled pattern will look like.

Since the weather has been warm, I haven't felt like keeping the cloak on my lap to work on, so I've started my next project which is a pair of embroidered cuffs to go on another of my Persian robes. The fabric is a lovely blue wool. I'm using a fine silk for the embroidery. The design is actually a Turkish design, but I like it enough, that I'm not going to worry about putting a Turkish design on a Persian robe. Again, pictures to come.

To weave or unweave, an important lesson!

I recently got back to a long term project, weaving cloth for Odo's cloak, I had lost my copy of the weaving draft. This was not a big problem, as I had gotten it out of a book. In my mild frustration and excitement to get back to the project, I copied down to tie down, but not the order in which they were to be woven. I wove about 3 inches and noticed it was not looking right. I thought this was a result of improper beating and slogged on another 3 inches. It still did not look right. I went back to the book to check that I had copied the tie down correctly. I saw that the tie down was correct, and it was then that I realized my mistake!

I then had a very important decision to make, to weave or unweave. The part of me that did not relish redoing about 4 hours of work, said continue weaving, and tell people I had left it as a reminder of my mistake. However an important piece of advice Master Terafan had given me came to mind. This advice, when faced with the decision to go back and correct your work or not, you need to ask yourself, what is the more accurate representation of your skill a piece with an obvious error, or a piece without. Well obviously, I wish this piece to not have 6 horrible looking inches. So I have decided to unweave this section and continue weaving from the previous point. I think it will only take me a few hours to unweave this section. (Note: it actually took less than an hour!) This may seem like a lot, but since I have well over 40 hours already invested in the project, and hundreds more hours to go, it is but a small sacrifice.

The lesson here is to not rush things, particularly long term projects! The weaving specific lesson, is to always make sure you have the tie down and the pick order! I don't think I'll be repeating this mistake anytime soon. As a small aside, the draft copy is now taped to the loom, where I can work from it, so it is unlikely that this problem will arise again!

Lessons learned,

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Greetings from Julian

Thank you for inviting me to join this group!

Currently I have lots of unfinished projects, all textile, some costume sewing, some mundane cross stitch.

On the fibre arts side....

At the very beginning of the month I spent a week at Kentwell Hall in Suffolk, spinning on the great wheel. Some of the yarn I spun was dyed at Kentwell and some I brought home and dyed with madder (alum mordant).

I am currently preparing some fleece as I am going to offer spinning tuition at Raglan in the A&S tent this year. (For people taking part in the event and for members of the public). In the evenings I hope to be able to do some natural dying too.

I have an ambition to spin enough yarn to weave a piece of cloth big enough to make a Tudor bodice out of. I have a small Ashford table top loom that I bought second hand a couple of years ago and I spun several large skeins of yarn but when I tried weaving with them I found that they were too fine for the purpose.

When I discovered this I decided to use the yarn for experimenting with natural dyes and Ed used some of it to embroider his tunic for Hastings 2006.

Left - some of my natural dyed balls of hand and wheel spun wool .

Left to right - Turmeric, Logwood, Sage, Madder, Brazilwood and stronger Madder, all with Alum.

Maredudd (Ed's) Anglosaxon Tunic.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Greetings from Genevieve

Jahanarabanu has graciously extended an invitation to me, so I'm taking her up on it! Good idea to have a blog where you can post photos, as well as talk about projects.

My current interests are sewing and knitting. I learned to knit a couple of years ago (with able advice from HE Sagadis). I finished some knitted pouches over the winter, inspired by an article in the TI, and am slowly puttering on a pattern for the Eleanora of Toledo stockings.

On the sewing front, I finished a 16th c. German kirtle, suitable for a working woman, that I wore at Winchester. It's the undergown of a 'Cranach' gown I've been (slowly) working on for awhile. Photos of the pieces on LJ. Still have to tackle the top layer. Just learned this weekend how to make the cool floppy hat! :-)

Overall, my 'theme' is learning to reduce, reuse and recycle: this is partly an enviro-greenie concern about reducing my consumption, and partly of necessity while on a tight budget.

So I'm resolved to 'work from my stash' of fabric, yarn, raw materials and tools for the duration, until it's significantly reduced (like I have unloved empty boxes lurking under the bed!). I have allowed myself some leeway, though - charity shop yarn is fine, for instance.

I'm also interested in reworking existing clothes - I recut and refitted a 10-year-old wool cote this winter, that worked out beautifully with a new (pieced) lining, and new sleeves. I think 'making new' and 'freshening', as worded in Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd, is a very practical medieval skill, one that every sempstress or tailor would know.

I'm on LJ, and I post most of my projects there - look for '3Rs' as a tag to identify recycled items.


Sunday, 20 July 2008

Summer Projects

I kept myself fairly busy this summer with two weaving projects and one embroidery project. While I was at Lilies War, I finished three weaving projects. I was able to weave to garters (right) for my Laurel, Comtesse Magaret de Saint Martin-sur-Mer.

I also met a relatively new member of the Barony of Forgotten Sea. She is dating a very good friend of mine. She is so new that she has very little garb and no belt. When I finished Maggie's garters, I warped up a simple belt for Magdelaina (below).

I also made some progress on embroidering Odo's hood. I have the outline of one roundel and the Calon Cross completed. I am not 100% pleased with how this looks so far, but it will be the back of the hood and I hope to make it look a bit better once the entire roundel is complete. I will post a picture of this when it is done!

Friday, 18 July 2008


It is intended for the first A&S display by members of the Interest Group to be held at the coming Raglan Fair.

So it would be wonderful to see all your great works, finished or unfinished that the populace (and even members of the public!) can gasp at. This is a wonderful opportunity to attract more members to the group and to show off the skills of the many artisans we have in Insulae Draconis.

A tent for A&S purposes is being kindly provided within which we will be able to display the works.

This is very exciting as it is the first chance for this interest group to collectively show off its talent and achievements. Therefore please consider planning a project and bringing it to Raglan, it would be wonderful to see everyone enter something.

Yours in Service,

Group Leader

P.S. if you know of any talented artisans who are not yet aware of this blog, or of the interest group, please feel free to invite them along.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Teaching Opportunities

Greetings everyone!
There are several opportunities to teach and further Arts & Sciences in Insulae Draconis coming up. Fortunately you can volunteer for one or more of these opportunities by contacting me! I an coordinating A&S classes at War of the Roses and the first combined Protectors & University! If you are willing to take up Melisende's challenge to teach you may contact me via this blog, or the ID MOAS e-mail.

I am also asking for volunteers to run an A&S tent at Raglan. Dafydd, the autocrat, has been so kind as to arrange for a tent and very visible space for such a tent. I would like to have two volunteers, at least, for the public hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I am asking all volunteers for a mere 2 hours of their time. All you have to do is sit in the tent, craft, watch the items on display (perhaps have some of your own work on display) and chat with anyone who shows interest! Again please volunteer with me via this blog of the ID MoAS e-mail.

Yours in Service,
Jahanarabanu Vivana, ID Minister of Arts & Sciences

Monday, 14 July 2008

Regalia so far.....

Dear All,

I thought you might like to see the first stage of the Hall Decorating kit that was given its first airing at Midsummer Coronation just passed. With the helping of Thamesreach whose members wielded their paint brushes with admirable dexterity, these 5 banners, representing the larger groups within our Kingdom, were able to be hoisted aloft in the feast hall.

By the end of the year, the plan is to have made similar banners for all the Shires in ID, so that come the next big event, we will truly be able to put on a good show during feast/court.

If you have any other ideas about Regalia for ID, other decorations or panoply for the Viceregal couple etc. please feel free to share and to make. Anything that will increase the pomp and ceremony of ID courts, and show off the skills of our artisans at the same time, can only be good.

Yours in Service,

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Show off your Skills

Dear All,

As most of you are probably aware, ID will have an embarassment of learning opportunities in the next 12 months. Not only is Kingdom University being hosted on our shores, but the first Insulae Draconis University will be held in the Spring of next year.

I would therefore urge you all to take a look at the wonderful work that you have been doing and consider stepping up and running a class on what you think is your best A&S. The thought of teaching at Kingdom University may be daunting, but consider that many of the teachers are not necessarily scary experts themselves. The main aim of the event is to impart and share knowledge and get other people excited about what excites you. All of us know at least one thing well enough to be able to teach it to half a dozen others, be it drop-spindle technique, finger-loop braiding or the best way to sew eyelets. The subject matter can be as broad or as narrow as you please.

Most of all though, please consider teaching a class at ID University. This event is less likely to attract folk from the rest of the Kingdom and will be relying on people like you to make it a successful event.

So no excuses - you have plenty of time to prepare yourselves. In the meantime keep up the good work and keep on showing it off wherever you can!