Who Am I? And Why Am I Here?

Elewys of Finchingefeld, GdS, JdL
Barony of Aquaterra, Kingdom of An Tir

This is a place to which I may post my research, my experiments, my successes...and yes, my failures...for medieval re-creation and research on my never-ending quest to learn and revel in knowledge and experiences.

I am a lady of many times and many places. Currently using a 15th century English name, dressing in a 10th century Danish dress, and camping in a Mongolian round house. "Lost" doesn't even begin to describe my persona.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Turkish Delights

I'm working on putting together a new Turkish outfit for the upcoming 12th Night Coronation to be held in Portland.  I made a new pattern with some muslin (went out to buy it for the purpose) and pulled out some fabrics that I bought many months back to create new outfits.  This garment is the entari, an over-dress, which is generally only worn in the privacy of the home, not out on the streets to the market.  There are several layers typically worn when going out, which can best be demonstrated by Mistress Agnes Creswyke, my former apprentice sister.

She posted these on her LiveJournal page some time back, so with great admiration for her skill (and with her permission, which you can view more photos at her flicker site here), I post these little thumbnails here:
First, the underdress--the pirihan, and the pants--the salwar.

Then the chirka, or short jacket...

Then an entari...

And another entari.

So there is a brief overview of the layers, and where I am starting from.  I also consulted with Mistress Laurellen's page of Turkish clothing construction. This generally gives directions for a loose overcoat, but the right measurements can also create this series of garments.

I already had the bottom layer, the long gauzy tunic, and I have actually made a chirka, the orange layer, but I wanted to start making the top-most layers.

I chose a thin, striped cotton fabric for the coat, lined with red linen.  I have enough of the striped green fabric, but barely enough of the red linen...I had to flip pieces sideways and squeeze it in, and I'm hoping that it won't have any negative effects on the wearing, like sagging and stretching.

I pulled out the muslin, a piece of paper and measuring tape, and spent a couple of hours getting things measured, drawn up, and cut out.  Then I sewed the first draft together.  After several attempts, I finally got the pieces the right size and shape...I think.  I measured, tried it on, measured again, took it apart, cut bigger sleeves, sewed it together, tried it on again, took it apart, trimmed the armpit gussets...several times...eventually, I think I got it to the point where it's going to work.

Then I laid out the fabrics and started cutting.  First the "outside" fabrics, a green and red stripe, then the red linen liner.  If this works as well as I hope it does, I can use this pattern for more garments.

And now...the sewing begins!

PS.  Finished the jacket!  Now it just needs some buttons and loops for closures on the front.  Crazy Pumpkin Head man in the background is actually cheering me on, tipping his boot at me.  Honest.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Quilting

Penguins for Nephews!  Just did an all over 3 and E pattern.  I love the colors on this--very Antarctic!

Joy for quilting!  Another original design from Joy using random blocks and her own layout.  Fantastic!  I can see her winning contests and writing books someday...

Cougars for Judy J.  Since she owns a company that sells thread, she asked me to use particular threads on this quilt top.  I gotta say, I hate the metallic stuff.  I had quite a few issues using it--I had to reduce the tension and the quilting speed significantly and I still had some breakage issues.

Hearts for Laura...from Lauri.

Sampler in Christmas hues for Kathy

Arrowheads for baby...but which baby??  There are several babies that have been announced recently...

Waterfalls for Donna

Waterfall detail...river and rocks free-form pattern

I have a few more quilts in line:  the Christmas tree skirt up for raffle from the quilt guild, an angel quilt from Tara, and another friendship quilt from Tara.  Then I have a few in line to do for myself!  More pictures will be up soon!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Last Few Months of Stuff

It's been quite a while since I posted anything, but I actually have been working on a few things.  This month I'm doing the "Costuming Olympics"...an event I made up modeled after the Knitting Olympics that are held during the Winter Olympics.  I really needed to update my SCA wardrobe and this was the perfect opportunity to do so...by creating an incentive!  My plan is to make garments for my family to wear at September Crown.  The rules are that they don't have to be FANCY or SHOW QUALITY, but finished & wearable.

Since I noticed a distinct lack, I decided to start with some base garments for everyone.

Making Salwar pants for SCA undergarments.  I have two new ones for myself, a pair for my husband, and a pair for each of two kids.  The third kid will have to get some made from another material...I ran out.

After that, I have fabric to make a few lightweight tunics and a couple of warm surcoats for the men in my life--husband Kellach and son Benno, and I've been promising to make a pretty dress for the big girl, Ophelia, who wants something 15th century.  Lottie got a couple of tunics made last year, but I think she wants to have a pretty overdress that laces up as well.

Coif made for Tyrssen to go with his newest tunic.  I will have to make this more rounded at the top of the head...it was a little pointy.  Ah well.

Tyrssen's Salmon tunic...hanging next to a RED tiny tunic for an American Girl Doll.  I need to finish the red one yet.  The pink washcloth on the left was just to show that the tunic wasn't pink... :)

All seams were hand finished and was sent out to Tyrssen's work place in Ohio in preparation for his trip to Pennsic.  He was so excited to get them that he put them on at work.

Did I show this before?  The Pile o Yurt.  I'll have to build up my Turkish clothes a bit to go with the Turkish kinda ger.  I also need to make a blue tono cover...

 Beads made for Pennsic for Northshield and Middle Kingdoms.  I got a new hot head to make these beads and the scorching problem pretty much went away.  I may try to wash the old torch to see if I can remove some sediment that may be causing the problem.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weaving and Tunic in Progress

I finished several (six) pieces of the weaving to make lanyards for season ticket holders for the Sounders.  I still have to finish putting the clips on them, but the weaving portion is done.  Horray!  Not terribly period, but it was fun to make them.  I also really love the colors, which are both for our barony and for the Seattle Sounders.  

After finishing that, I warped up this piece in baronial and kingdom colors, although I'm not entirely happy with the way it's turned out.  The black threads in the outside area isn't showing up well and would do better to be added as a border or not at all.  I've been able to add six or 12 inches on it each night over the last few nights, so I hope to get it done in a couple more days.  I think I'll add this to the bin of sellables for the next Kingdom event--July Coronation, perhaps.  Maybe June Faire, if we decide to go and if the fabric merchant is going as well since he is my sales connection.  

I have also started working on a tunic for Tyrssen, the 4th of the four commissioned pieces.  I cut the pieces out but have yet to assemble them.  Maybe I'll get a chance to work on it tomorrow.  It's a fairly simple pattern with no armpit gussets, so it should go together pretty quickly.  Then I just have to finish all the seams for washability and durability.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

More new weavings

Just a couple quick things.

A commissioned piece for a lady wanting a weave in "watermelon" colors, dark green, light green, pink and black.  This is to match an outfit that she already owns.  The dark green looks very dark in the photo, but it's not quite as black as it looks here.  She's seen photos and she's very excited about getting it!  It measures about 3 cm wide and 4 yards long.  I'd like to do this pattern again, but I think I'll make it a little wider or a little narrower, and very likely in different colors.  I tried to base it on another weave that I did earlier, but this one has sharper angles in it, looking like diamonds rather than waves.

This is the project I'm working on for a group of friends--I'm hoping that I can get 3 or even 4 lanyards out of each 4 yard piece of weaving, and I need to make six pieces...or eight.  It's a mundane project, but a medieval technique, so I'm not sure I should count this as one of my 50 in AS 50.  Probably not.  I have a couple years to finish five more medieval projects.  I think I'll start working on some other areas of interest for a while.  Maybe I'll try making a paperback book.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Sales & Experience

I went to the Ursulmas Faire this weekend and got a bit of weaving done, visited with many friends, and taught someone how to weave!

I worked on and finished the Ithra weave, pictured left.  As you can see, the big puff of knots is at the top of the loom; this pic was taken just a few minutes before I took it off the loom and tied up the ends.  Then my Emergency Back Up Laurel assigned a new project, Egyptian Diagonals.

I had warped up the loom that evening and played with it a little.  The directions in the Collingwood book were vague and confusing...I didn't have any idea how to progress, although I did make some attempts.  After un-weaving a few times, I finally decided to give up for the night and let it percolate overnight...see if it would make more sense when I woke up.

No such luck.  The next morning, I hadn't quite gotten the hang of it and was going bald scratching my head, so HL Kassandra fetched HL Hroswitha who helped me with the hands-on and interpretation of the directions.  She pointed me in the right direction and got me started with experimenting with making diagonals and lots of fun patterns.  It's not what I would call a "repeating pattern", but it's funky!  (Of course, the top level of weaving is the "wrong" side, and the next level down, the smooth waves, is the "right" side.)

On Friday, as I was finishing the Ithra weave, I helped teach Avelyn how to start card weaving!  A new generation of weavers!  She got the loom warped up and began throwing the shuttle, making some progress on her first card woven band!

Because I had been doing a bunch of weaving and not knowing what I'd do with them, I decided I would take them over to the fabric merchant to sell on commission.  It was a great symbiotic relationship--I was able to sell a couple pieces and he said it helped bring more traffic into the shop, and that I was welcome to bring more to sell at any time.  He's such a great guy!  It also brought me one commissioned piece--a lady asked if I could make a piece just like one that was for sale but with a different color combination.  I also gave a couple of calling cards to some other people (I don't think I would call them "business" cards since they contain mostly just my personal info and contact information) who are considering commissions, lessons on weaving, or other questions.

Lottie Blacksmith (middle daughter) came with me and spent the whole time running about with other girls and taking turns at the quern or the fire pit or the forge.  She's been called a "fire bug" after showing her interest in hanging out with the cooks and iron workers.  Today she ground grains, made dough, and cooked Viking flat bread in a brick oven built on site.  It was very cool!

Sunday's activities were much more subdued--the attendance for both the medieval and modern people was significantly reduced.  Even on Saturday there seemed to be fewer people and it wouldn't surprise me to find out that the attendance was half of that of last year.  Hopefully my estimation is way off and that the event made money, mostly because I know how much it costs to rent that big arena.  Yikes!  We finished up by about 3:00, packed up and after a stop at the store, were home by 5:00.  Long weekend, fun, but it's always good to be home, having a hot steak and potatoes!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Two new pieces

Going great guns on the weaving still.  Decided to try a fun weave from Robin & Russ's book--BUNNIES!  I will donate this to the Shire of Shittimwoode for their annual championship tourney.  I don't know who will receive this--heavy, rapier, or light weapons, or maybe the A&S champion, but I'm happy to have tried this and successfully made it.

Next I warped up another pattern from R&R, #23.  I was terribly disappointed with the directions--there are some flaws with the way it was drafted.  I believe that half of the warp threads were incorrectly labeled (in terms of Z or S warping), and I think the turning pattern should be six or eight quarter turns, not four.  I'm doing six quarter-turns for this one, although it's not exactly like the picture.  I'm going to continue this as-is and then go back and try again with another colorway.  Of course, I have the cards facing the wrong way on this one, so the whole piece is upside down.

This is the correct side of the weaving.  It looks much more smooth and elegant here.  I don't think I like the placement of the black, however.  I think I should have done green or white instead.  One of my fellows in the Barony expressed an interest in a piece woven in her colors.  I don't know if she'll like this one, but if not, I'll put it in the pile of things to sell.

Not a lot more going on here.  I have a lot to do...hoping for a snow day tomorrow to see if I can catch up.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another Post on Weaving

Finished the Khabeelah weave for Molly, which will find its home with her at Ursulmas.  I'm quite excited for selling my first commissioned piece, but am not quite sure how to price these things.  The materials are not greatly expensive, but merely time consuming.  While I could charge an hourly rate, no one would be able to afford the minimum wage set by our state, so instead I shall just take a stab at it.  I checked the offerings available on Etsy and decided that their prices are too high.  $45 and up for 2 yard pieces...I can't imagine spending that much on a belt or trim.

Once I removed Molly's trim, I began a new one for my daughter.  She chose the colors (red, black and white) and after receiving new spools of warp in the mail, I set about to find a pattern to use for her.  I wanted it to be pretty and yet bold.  I had to consult someone's patterns to make it since I am not yet able to create my own, at least not confidently.  Luckily, along with the new yarns came new books!

I pulled a pattern from the smaller Robin & Russ Handweavers' book, pattern #6.  While I like the wide variety of patterns in it, the book is a black and white photocopy (an "original" but still very grainy) and lacks many of the details that one would be able to get from crisp color pictures.  I may embark on a mission to make many of these bands and post them for later reference.  I have yet to look through much of Collingwood's book--just a cursory glance so far--but it is a hefty book with lots of patterns and images.  I'm quite impressed so far and hope to learn a lot from it.  There is still a lot of jargon and weaving techniques that I am not familiar with.

Still have to work some more on the Spring Ithra!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More and More Weaving

Finished the Birka weave.  I've read other people say, "It was fun, but I'm never doing it again."  This is likely due to the constant twisting of the threads that need to be untied every yard or two.  I heard that there is a thingy called a "spinner" that you can use to tie to the ends that will untwist the threads as you go.  I'm totally up for that!  I'll have to see what I can find so I can do more of these in different colors.  I thought I'd start with my Baronial colors (also my favorite--green--and my husband's favorite--blue).

When I finished that one, I warped up a new band, just for fun.  I used a pattern I found on the Loomy Bin.  I thought it had a rather Southwest or even an African feel to the design.  I also saw X and O, so I called it "Kisses & Hugs".  Emma said she liked the combination with red, white and black, so I'll have to make some kind of band for her to use with her costumes.  Since she was away at a friend's house when I finished it and was anxious to start a new one, I started one for another friend.

Molly sent me a text over Facebook saying that she'd pay me for a piece of weaving, so after a few questions back & forth, decided on this pattern and color combination.  I made it wider than I anticipated, which measures 4 cm and uses 32 cards.  It's about the maximum I could do comfortably on this loom, I think.  Kelly is going to build me a box loom so I may be able to do bigger, wider, and longer weaves.  It'll be interesting to find out what I can do... :)