Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Endless sewing

I must have been out of my mind to think I could outfit the whole family in a week. Still, some semblance of Viking-hood has been created. Miles to go before I sleep, though.

Just a few quick notes:

* Fabulous guides exist on the web. In particular, Hefdharfru Vidgis Vestfirzka's underdress page and accompanying apron dress page (doesn't show diagrams in Firefox, works fine in IE) are what I've used for Charlotte's & my outfits. For the guys, I've relied heavily on this overview, Christina Krupp's guide and Cynthia Virtue's tunic worksheet.

* One garment a day is ambitious but doable. Two a day is madness.

* There appears to be no limit to the number of times I can sew seams wrong side out.

* As a corollary to that, the real secret behind the Damendorf Trousers is clearly someone who cuts fabric like me: cut it too small, sew bits and pieces onto it to make it bigger, cut it again, repeat.

Time to put dinner on. After dinner: pajama style pants for Dean.

Tally sheet:
Charlotte's dress: done
My dress: done except for sleeve hems
Dean's tunic: done
George's tunic: done except for sleeve hems
George's pants: may be able to use existing pair
Dean's pants: not started
Charlotte's apron: not started
My apron: not started

We plan to be at the fair in approximately 70 hours.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I don't think these sleeves are going to fit!

Maybe if she just keeps her arms inside ....

Friday, March 13, 2009

In case you were wondering ...

... the maximum length of an inkle band I can weave on my Ashford inkle loom appears to be 3 yds., 5 inches. (Minifigs included for scale.)

I assume my crummy selvages will improve with practice.

5/2 pearl cotton, 106 threads, about 2 1/4 inches. This will probably be George's belt / sword belt, but I might cut it up to trim our outfits.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More about weaving.

Here is my scarf, hanging to dry. It is Rowan Botany in two lights, one dark. You can see that a) I did not record how many dark rows I did at the beginning, and so didn't match it at the end, and b) there's a spot where I did two rows of light instead of four. But I like it anyways.

This shot was taken outside, and shows the colors better. It also shows the problematic selvedges. I'm thinking about using a two color blanket stitch around the edge to neaten it up some -- what do you think?

Here is my temporary weaving studio:

Charlotte was weaving just where her loom is sitting now, which gave her a pretty good view of the mechanics of the floor loom.

Here are some closeups of the loom (since you asked, Caroline). It makes more sense when it is threaded but that's some days off yet. Looking from the front:

and from the back:

There are some pictures of the loom threaded here and especially here.
But I am on a different tangent right now, having just realized that the Medieval Fair is only 10 days after we return from next week's vacation. We are planning on going as a Viking family but nothing more than planning has occurred to make this happen.

Some fast research has revealed that the most distinctive thing about Viking dress is a lot of decorative banding around wrists and neck openings. So I have warped up my inkle loom:

and started weaving:

This long band ought to be enough to make George a belt & sword belt, if he wants one. I'm going to take some tablet weaving on vacation with us. Then I can sew like crazy after we get back & with luck get it all done in time. I'm trying to forget that last year's "fast research" got me to the fair dressed as a barmaid instead of a merchant's wife.

A totally unrelated picture:

Who on earth would offer a disposable (manual) razor as an incentive for buying batteries? This makes no sense to me at all. The batteries were on sale, so I bought them, but I am very puzzled.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Weaving has occurred ...

... not that I can prove it, given the mysterious lack of all AA batteries in the house. But I have woven a nice houndstooth scarf. Well -- nearly houndstooth, at any rate. More about that when I have pictures.

I spent much of my weaving time planning my next warp, and hope to spend time at the warping board today. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few knitting pictures.

Here are the two pairs of mittens that I sent off to Akkol (two pairs on right) and a pair I knitted many years ago, to reassure me that the lumpy tips will even out. The far right pair is my favorite Chipman's block. The middle pair is Salt & Pepper, i.e. two colors, alternated. I was in love with this while knitting because the fabric is very smooth and dense, but once I looked at the finished object I was bothered by the way every little variation in tension shows up. Perhaps it will even out over time.

The yellow pair was worn by my nephew K. when he was about Charlotte's age (and size). He loved them and wore them years after they actually fit. They appear to have been run through the washing machine but I haven't asked. Aside from the perpetually wide ribbing, they've survived just fine, and Charlotte wears them now. They are in Mattie Owl's Patch (or Compass) which is an 8 stitch variation of Fox & Geese & Fences. I like it much better, although it's more trouble to knit.

Hmm. It appears I don't actually have the knitting pictures I thought I did, so here's my one weaving photo:

These are the ends after I wound on the warp. Look at the differences! I think I need a raddle, so I can warp back to front. Front to back on such a stretchy warp (Rowan Botany) seems problematic. It worked out fine in the scarf but I hate to see it so uneven here.

And giving up all pretense of fiber content, here is Charlotte's portrait of her best friend:

Let me tell you, the hair and the smile are pretty accurate!

Here's hoping your Monday is going well. I had better get mine underway.