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.

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... :)