Archive for July, 2009

Inkle Weaving

I know the inkle loom isn’t period for the SCA, but it is convenient and the narrow wares are identical to what can be produced using more accurate looms. I learned to use on earlier this year and have finally finished my beginner piece, leaving the loom free to begin working on projects 26 and 27 (garters and belt).  I wanted to post a picture but the first try didn’t work out so well since Max decided he wanted to help.

Max with weaving

Here is a better picture. It’s simple cotton thread, the colours aren’t quite what I would like, and I need more practice to get the edges perfectly even all the time, but my daughter will be happy to have a little belt.

inkle weaving

I spent some time yesterday trying to find out more about spinning for weaving. It appears I need to use a short draw, which is what I have always done, so I spent some time last night and this morning practicing with some of my newly carded wool and one of my drop spindles. The recommendation also seems to be that the wool should be well combed to have the fibres aligned. That didn’t work quite as well with my little dog comb. Nevertheless, I did manage to get a fairly nice even thread that seems reasonably sturdy. I’m not sure whether it needs to be plied (I suspect not) and I want to look at some wool spun for weaving to compare with how I’m doing. I have asked a friend to bring some nice samples when she comes to visit next week.

I think the spinning would work even better if I were to run the wool through the drum carder a second time, or build myself a pair of norse carding combs. I looked at various examples on the web yesterday and have decided how I will build mine, when I get to that stage in my project list.


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I taught myself to make lace back in the ’80’s and by the early ’90’s had gotten to the point of designing my own patterns. This is a design I developed in the style of the renaissance Italian bobbin laces. I have incorporated gold thread into the design, which was a new skill for me.

I started this piece about the time my son was born, but haven’t worked on it since he was a toddler (he is now 15). I figure this may still be fair game for the A&S challenge because I have completed less than 6 inches of lace, but calculate that I need at least 6 feet to have a credible tablecloth edging. It would be enough for an end table, at least. This is project number 18 on my list.

tablecloth edging

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Approximately one fleece worth. I have three more to go, in addition to this pile, plus a bag of llama wool.

Approximately one fleece worth. I have three more to go, in addition to this pile, plus a bag of llama wool.

It has been a challenge just to get this stuff washed and dried. Our summer has been very wet. I have two fleeces drying, and two to wash. I have finished one fleece, thanks to Enid, who loaned me her drum carder. This is project number 8 on my list.

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I have been asked to cook for Feast of the Hare XXX, the main event in our Barony. I am playing around with several possible themes. As it is the 30th event, we could have 30 dishes. We could do 10 each from different time periods, for three different removes. We could do 30 dishes from previous events, or at least 30 dishes consistent with the themes of those events where actual menus are no longer available. Either way, this may be a quick opportunity to do up to five redactions.

The five redactions would fulfill the requirements for challenge number 39 on my list.

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Wool update

It turns out I had six bags of wool (although one is llama wool). I have now washed all but two bags, and carded two bags worth. It is proving very difficult to wash and dry the wool in our rainy summer, but I am perservering.

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I have started this blog to keep me honest as I try to complete the Society for Creative Anachronism’s 50th Anniversary Arts and Sciences challenge.

You can read more about the challenge at artsandsciences50.org.

Some people are doing amazing things, whether it is producing 50 items to perfect their skills, or a single, mindblowingly complex project. I decided I would clean out my basement. Let me explain: I am Siglinde Harfnerstochter, OL from Ealdormere, and have been in the SCA for 26 years. Siglinde started out being from 14th C Metz, but is now from 7th C Metz. I also play with another group, the Dark Ages Recreation Company, that focuses on the Viking world, and I love to make lace. This has meant that, over the years, I have accumulated materials for many projects. Some have been started, some have not. My A&S 50 project is to complete at least 50 of the projects already sitting in my basement.

Here’s what I have so far:

  1. naalbinding socks for ShuLing (that’s my daughter)
  2. naalbinding mittens for me
  3. merovingian coat
  4. merovingian fibulae (radiate-headed brooches)
  5. viking shoes for me
  6. viking or bog shoes for ShuLing
  7. cotehardie for ShuLing
  8. wash, card and spin or otherwise use all the wool in the basement (4-5 garbage bags full)
  9. felt hats
  10. lace for Italian Ren camisa
  11. bayeux tapestry embroidery project
  12. fishing net with weights and floats
  13. triangular comb
  14. knife handle for viking blade
  15. carved ecclesiastical comb
  16. hinged boxwood comb
  17. two-sided bone comb with double hinged case
  18. finish tablecloth edging
  19. filet lace piece
  20. dyeing project (details tbd)
  21. make mead or methyglin
  22. felt shoe liners
  23. tablet woven belt or trim
  24. inkle woven belt or trim using wool I have spun
  25. inkle woven garters
  26. bone garter buckles
  27. build a really good mud oven at Bonfield (larger than the current one)
  28. rework tent to a viking A frame
  29. write an article on early medieval bedding for TI
  30. painting of St. Hieronymous in the desert
  31. painting of St. Chad’s miraculous rescue from a boat wreck
  32. finish vegetable ivory buttons and make Greenland dress to put them on
  33. hog’s back comb
  34. bone tablets for tablet weaving
  35. bone whistle
  36. figa in ivory
  37. jet cross (like the one from York)
  38. organize all my recipe redactions and post them
  39. redact at least 5 new recipes
  40. finish the Merovingian antler amulet
  41. make the Merovingian crystal amulet
  42. make the “hair of the virgin” reliquary in crystal
  43. Merovingian coat for ShuLing
  44. undertunics for ShuLing
  45. figure out specific costume for Norse one time period and location, eg. 1000 in Hedby, and make
  46. read some of my period story sources and tell at least five different stories at events
  47. start playing the recorder again – learn some of the music I have collected and perform at five or more events
  48. weave a basket
  49. make a straw hat
  50. organize a period marbles competition for Bonfield (including a master’s tournament, and make a green tunic as a prize)
  51. fingerloop braiding to suspend all my personal ornaments
  52. figure out whipcording and a use for it
  53. apprentice belts for everyone
  54. renaissance dress and camisa for ShuLing
  55. soapstone pot
  56. leather bottle
  57. viking wool combs
  58. viking apron dress for ShuLing
  59. chemises for ShuLing (at least one for cotehardie, plus one for viking)
  60. wooden dishes (spoons, plates/trenchers, bowls, cups depending on what is possible with the wood I have, and whether I can get my friend Aelfwyn to show me how to use her pole lathe)
  61. more soapstone spindles (I found two more pieces of soapstone)
  62. adapt purchased decorative ladles to look more like period norse
  63. reticulated headdress
  64. 14th C shoes
  65. Viking bone lucet
  66. cutwork lace
  67. naalbinding milk strainer made from horsehair
  68. food preservation (deepen skills in drying, smoking, sausage making, jugging)
  69. wool tunic/dress
  70. wool apron dress
  71. Viking lyre
  72. bone comb for Jhone

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