Archive for November, 2010

Mitten update

I am getting better at starting new pieces of asle stitch naalbinding, but I am still terrible at making the thumbs large enough. The current mittens have very snug thumbs, but they are now attached to the mittens, so I’m happy. I didn’t get as much done today as I had hoped, thanks to horrible traffic, confused instructions, and a head injury.

I only do naalbinding when I go to watch my son play hockey. Today, we got caught in construction so were late to the arena. Technically, we were late to the wrong arena, and had to drive to a different arena. Then, part-way through the game, my son got hit and landed hard on his head. He was too dizzy to play and got sent to the dressing room after a while. It turns out he is fine, but I missed the last part of the game waiting outside the dressing room and fussing. Tomorrow he has two games, so hopefully I will get a little more done.


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Project 77 – necklaces

The necklaces on the left and centre are made with beads I bought in India several years ago. The one on the right is made with beads I made myself at a class. The dangly bit on the necklace to the left was made by Darrell Markewitz, who is a professional blacksmith and Viking (main organizer of the Dark Ages Recreation Company). The one in the centre was made by Brenda Roy, a jeweller in Alliston Ontario. The one on the right was made by Ann Graham. The cords are all hemp.

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Candles and necklaces

I bought some wicking today, and my daughter says she would like to try making candles with me. Yay!

I also bought some hemp cord so I can string a bunch of beads I bought in India about 5 years ago. I will mix in the beads I made at a bead making course about 3 years ago. The beads are a bit big for truly period necklaces, but that’s okay. The overall look is fairly good. I may also end up wearing them to the office. Once those are done, I will string up a little necklace of very appropriate beads for my Merovingian persona, made by someone in the East Kingdom.

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A few days ago, I tripped over some of the parrafin in my basement. It has been there for years. Acquiring (for free) it seemed like a good idea at the time. At the time, I remember thinking that candles might be a nice 12th night gift, or possibly something I could offer for use as largesse. Tonight, by pure serendipity, a friend living in India posted that she had just had candle moulds made to order. If they work to her satisfaction, she is willing to have more made for me. A quick internet search seems to indicate that candles in moulds were known by th 15th C. I can also do dipped candles. My candles will be a mix of beeswax and paraffin; I know it’s not period, but I want to get rid of the paraffin.

I need to do some more research on candle-making history.

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I was sorting though the fabric box this morning and realized I have enough of a green brocade fabric for another sleeveless kirtle. I think I have some yellow brocade in a trunk in the basement too. Really, this is getting ridiculous!

I am running out of ideas for clothing I want. Maybe I can use some of it for Landesknecht? I have been fascinated by the over-the-top nouveau riche Fugger family (German moneylenders to popes and kings) since university. Somewhere, I have a woodcut of a really ugly female member of the Fugger family, and her clothing is the 16th C equivalent of Eurotrash. Hmmm, this is starting to feel like fun.

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Messing up the Mead

I tried to rack the mead last night and was reminded of why people should read instructions.   To start with, I probably should have racked the stuff a week or more ago, but I remembered reading that I should wait 30 days after starting the process. What I had actually read was 14-30 days.

Then I realized that I had not purchased the right size of siphon tubing to work with my pump. It was far too large, so impossible to get the liquid up and through. Sucking up the liquid the way I used to do to clean my goldfish tank turned out to be a very bad plan. I didn’t get a mouthful of goldfish water, but the mead fumes were enough to curl my hair!

I raced home from work tonight and picked up the right sized tubing and managed to rack it when I got home.

For the next time, I now know that I should have smaller carboys and/or larger batches of mead. The carboy I started with is huge, which means the small amount of liquid is spread over a large area at the bottom. If I am to leave the bottom inch or so of liquid with all the dead yeast, this means a lot of wasted mead in a small batch. The new carboy is much smaller. I think I’ll get at least one more.

It turns out the only wine supply store I can get to after work also carries beer making supplies. Seeing as how I only started the mead because I didn’t have any beer making stuff aside from the equipment, I am starting to itch to take on another challenge.

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The mead is being transferred to the new carboy tonight.

I promise I will work on my fibulae next, but pork was on sale this week so I have stocked up in anticipation of making lucanian sausage next weekend, or the weekend after, depending on a friend’s availability.

In the meantime, here is a picture of the saucisse sec. You will notice that there are fewer sausages than in the original picture. They are delicious. I will definitely be making more of them.

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