Archive for February, 2011

Practicum Classes Done

The Viking flatbread class was very short. I had four kids, ranging in age from about four to eight. They were very cute and actually turned out a few flatbreads. I used up the rest of the flour they had played in, and still had time to clean up. Here is one of the students:

The naalbinding class went quite well, all things considered. I find it really difficult to teach but was comforted when Eluned came to help out and confessed she had found it extremely difficult to learn the first time. Between the two of us, we managed to get five people making a little progress. They could start a piece, make the basic stitch, and some could do a join. One was interested enough to take a needle so she could keep trying. I haven’t taught naalbinding since 1997, as I was so frustrated with my last experience.

I am counting both classes as successful completions, since I got rid of a container of rye flour and one bone needle (I also have a stock of spares for myself as a bonus).


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Practicum Classes

Teaching a class on naalbinding was not on my list of A&S 50 challenge projects, but it does fit in with my naalbinding experiments, so I think I will add it as a new item. For the class, I have made four naalbinding needles (in case people don’t have their own). If there is time tomorrow, I will make a fifth that I have got partly done.

My other class will be on Viking flatbreads, offered to the children. I will bring some hangikjot so they can make sandwiches (or possibly set up a smorgasboard?). I will upload the class notes for each to the pages section.

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I have not been working very hard at my A&S 50 challenge for the last six weeks as I have been “recuperating” from surgery. In reality, I felt just fine after the first week, but my Mom decided that this was a perfect opportunity to teach me to knit and help me make up a large stack of fabric into work clothes. As a result, I was very busy being crafty, but did almost nothing on my challenge.

Today, however, a group of friends came over for a visit and I got busy again. While they did research, sewed, experimented with tablet weaving, and carved wax for jewelry, I felt compelled to work too. I made significant progress on carving the wax for my second fibula, and puttered a bit on another naalbinding needle. After they left, I started another batch of mead.

For this mead, I used some grape tannin, mixed acids, and a Campden tablet. These were all recommended in the book Honey Wines and Beers, by Clara Furness. I have had a copy of the book for ages, but found it difficult to follow when reading it in the past. For me, the problem was that Furness gives a lot of useful general information but few concrete recipes; I wasn’t brave enough to dive in without adult supervision. Therefore, for my first batch of mead, I used the Storm The Castle Guide to a successful first batch of mead (Will Kalif and StormTheCastle.com).¬† This was easier to follow, but I fear the resulting mead may not have the range of flavour that might be desired. After trying a batch though, I found the Furness book much easier to use. I have about 1 1/2 gallons on the go now, complete with tannins and acids.

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I have been home on leave for the past four weeks, and my mom decided this was the perfect time for me to sew up all the fabric in my basement (into work clothes) and to learn to knit. Mom is rather enthusiastic, so I haven’t gotten much done on my A&S challenge as a result.

I have made a little progress, though. I made three naalbinding needles, cooked up a pot of green soup with almonds, have almost finished my first Coppergate construction sock (naalbinding sock in the colours of a work sock that I love using as a sock puppet),

and worked a bit on my radiate-headed brooches (well, one of them). This picture shows the approximate size of brooch I should be ending up with. I will need to carve two. Hopefully, I will have better luck than the first time, when it snapped in half.

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