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Archive for February, 2010

Practicum is my favourite SCA event. It’s a local A&S teaching day that has now been running for over 20 years. As usual, I ended up with new things to try. I did another inkle weaving class, and started a pair of the dagged garters shown in the Museum of London book. I also took a class in transferring patterns to cloth for embroidery. I no longer have an excuse to avoid dealing with the do-it-bayeux-self embroidery project that has been sitting in my basement for the last decade or more.

I bought a nice piece of hickory to turn into a long bow. Edhan will run a bow-making day some time in the spring so I can actually shape it properly. In the meantime, I’ll remove the bark and set it to season some more. I also received a bag of woad for a dye project, and some wine bottles for the mead that I have yet to start. My list of things to do keeps growing and I am surrounded by enablers…

I taught sausage making. It was a one hour class, which was just about perfect. Although I have made sausages a few times before, this was the first try with my meat grinder instead of store-bought ground meat. It worked really well. I will be stopping off at the sausage kitchen for more casings this week, as I still have a piece of pork to use up. I also did a one hour class with the children, making sausage hedgehogs. It was so much fun, I think I’ll offer another children’s class next year.

I may have sourced some soapstone for net weights.

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naalbinding horsehair

I have been saving horsehairs from grooming sessions at the stable, so that I could try naalbinding horsehair for a strainer. I have no idea what I would actually do with one, although I suspect it would make a dandy drink cover to keep the bugs out in summer. It would not be useful for straining milk before making cheese, as I just use milk from the grocery store for that. Maybe for draining off the whey?

I always have a bit of trouble starting a new piece of naalbinding. Horsehair being quite wiry, is not forgiving. I did manage to get one dircle done, but the loops were too big. When I started the next row in the circle, it immediately bunched up to nothing. This may take a bit of work….

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In a burst of enthusiasm last night, I cut out a merovingian coat. I was going to make it to fit ShuLing, but she is getting so big that she can just borrow it from me. I decided, in the end, not to bother lining it. Instead, I will use the burgundy flannel that used to line the coat to make an undertunic. It won’t be particularly period, but it should be warm. I also cut up a piece of black wool into an apron dress. I have some rather nice plaid linen-y fabric that I’ll use for trim on the coat (and around the collar to avoid itchy neck), as well as to make straps for the apron dress.

I spent some time looking at patterns for viking clothing, mostly based on Birka finds. I still don’t know how to manage the pleated linen look. I do like the idea of a second tunic under the apron dress.

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In the great decluttering that is my life (and which inspired this A&S 50 Challenge), I have finished a needlepoint picture purchased for my daughter. It has absolutely nothing to do with the SCA, but I found it fairly difficult and slow to complete because of the blending of very similar colours. I still have a needlepoint picture that I want to finish for my mother’s birthday in late February, and then I am done with all mundane projects for a while.

In the meantime, I will be continuing with the mitten project. I am nearly half-way finished the second mitten. My new big challenge is that I have accidentally started spinning really fine wool. I need to produce something slightly bulkier for naalbinding, at least on this project. There is lots of hockey scheduled for this week. Hopefully, I have enough wool already spun to finish the mitten during games and practices.

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