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, September 28, 2015

OK, I give up.

This blog keeps deleting my pictures and requests for help have gone unanswered.  Googling for an answer hasn't helped, either, so I've started another blog at:
www.ladyelewys.wordpress.com.  Some of my entries here will be duplicated and updated at the new site.  Eventually I may move it to its own domain, but in the meantime, please visit the new location.

Best regards,

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Lampworkers Guild stuff & Lampwork 101

Here are the finished sets of beads for the Lampworker's Guild to be given as gifts to various Royals at Pennsic.  I will need to mail these to the appropriate person soon...

While I was making beads, I got a little silly and made this little bee.

I also tested a few combinations for fun and to see if some colors were happy working with one another.  Green and yellow is very tricky.

These were sets that I was putting together for largesse, however, due to the Lampworker's Guild needing more beads made, they got re-allocated to that project.  Just means I need to make MORE BEADS!

I'm looking forward to teaching my beginner's class in a couple weeks!  I think it's going to be very popular and my co-teacher and I are going to have to try to get many people to work the torches, and hopefully they'll be able to make at least one bead each.  In a conversation tonight, I thought I'd put a little bit of my Beginner's Lampwork information here for you to peruse.

Equipment:  Here's a list of the things you will need to start bead making.

1.  Blue tank of propane.  Not only is it portable and clean, but it also is the right size for clamping down.  If you have the know-how, you can also refill these from the propane tank on your BBQ...
2.  Hot Head torch.  This piece is necessary for melting the glass at the right temperature.  Craft torches and things you get at those home hardware places will burn your glass and turn it grey and gross looking.
3.  3" C-clamp
4.  6" L bracket
5.  3" hose clamp (the circle thing)
6. SAFETY GLASSES (most bead makers will recommend tinted lenses to save your eyes from damage staring at the bright flame)
7.  Flathead screwdriver
8.  A cookie sheet with a lip on it.
9.  Pliers
10.  Lighter (I recommend a long lighter--the kind you use to light your BBQ)

11.  1 gallon bucket.  An ice cream bucket is the perfect size.  Just what you needed--an excuse to buy a bucket of ice cream!  Go ahead...eat it while you read.
12.  Fine grain vermiculite.  Found in your local garden department.  You can get a small bag of it and share it between a couple lampworkers.
13.  Bead release.  This jar of goodness will keep the glass from sticking to the metal rods.  I recommend the Frantz Bead Separator; it runs $7 or $8 for a 4 oz. jar which will help you make several hundred beads.  It's also flame-dry or air dry; some air-dry types will pop if you put it into the flame when it's still damp, which means you have to scrape it off and re-dip.  (Also, you will have to add a bit of water from time to time--it tends to get really thick or completely dried out.)
14.  Mandrils.  These are the metal rods that you need to dip into the Bead Separator.  I would start with small ones, like 1/16".
15.  Glass rods.  It's VERY important that you get glass that has the same COE (coefficient of expansion) or you will end up with broken and cracked beads.  Most lampworkers use 104 COE.

It seems like an extensive list, but a lot of it is little things that you might even have kicking around your garage.  The rest you can mail order or pick up at your local hardware store.

Where to order glass and torch heads:
www.Frantzartglass.com.  They're located in Shelton, WA, will pack up your order quickly and bubble wrap the heck out of it!  If you have questions or concerns, they get back to you fast to help you.  I can't say enough nice things about them!
http://www.devardiglass.com is another company my husband ordered from a couple times.  They're also a good place, but I haven't worked with them myself, so I recommend Frantz. :)

If you are looking for heraldic colors to make beads, here are some part numbers for glass that I have found to work really well (they're also all 104 COE, so you'll KNOW that it's right!):
White 591204
Black Tuxedo 511872
Red Dark Effetre 591436
Yellow Lemon Medium 591408
Green Grass 591216 (although this can be hit-and-miss with other colors--work with lower temperatures to make sure it doesn't bleed into others, and/or use a blob of clear between layers)
Blue Lapis Cobalt Pastel 591246
Purple -- this is a tricky one...there really isn't a *good* purple, but you can get pretty good results from Grape Ape 511654 or Thai Orchid 511632
Clear:  591004

Other part numbers to look for:
Hot Head:  110137
Mandrels:  1/16" 324316 or 3/32" 324332
Fusion Bead Separator:  332104
Graphite Paddle (a shaping tool):  301212 or 301302
Marvers, Probes, Picks and Rakes:  other tools you can search for that can help you make fun shapes and manipulate glass.  This is for the 201 class, however...  You can pick up a cheap set of dental tools that you can start with--just remember that the metal has to stay cool or the glass will stick to it.
You can find videos on YouTube on how to make glass beads.  

Monday, June 1, 2015


13th century Pleated Fillet
13th century Piecrust Fillet
As you can see, I did a little hat making over the last couple of days.

I am now making upgrades to a mustard-yellow tunic, adding a chocolate brown panel at the bottom and finishing the seams.  I will need to make a few more tunics in upcoming weeks, should the Baronial coronets be offered to us.  More waiting...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Costume Repairs & Plans

After attending May Crown a couple weeks ago, it came to my attention that a few of my garments needed some repairs and upgrades.  One shift needed a longer neckline--it was cutting me off at the throat.  One shift had a couple of seams that had popped--one on the arm and one in the armpit.  Then the apron dress...linen...gorgeous color...entirely sewn by hand...and the thread was not strong enough, so it snapped in a couple places.

After making all those repairs, I decided to beef up my 12th century outfit, just in case I have occasion to wear it in the near future.  I usually do something in the Viking sphere or something a little later period, like Flemish peasant.  Since we just finished the polling two days ago, and my coronet candidate partner is 12th century, I am trying to keep a positive attitude for the outcome and be prepared for the season.  I wanted us to dress in matching eras, although my garments might lean a little toward the 13th century instead of 12th.

I took the mustard-yellow gown that I made a couple years ago.  It had shrunk horribly in the wash, so what was a floor-length gown was suddenly...very short.  After a short debate, I decided to add gores to the front and back to add fullness.  Then I added 8" of brown fabric to the bottom...I may add some embroidery at some point, although that may be some time from now.

Here are a couple things that I want to aim for.  The overgown is a sideless surcoat that can cover up all manner of sins.  Especially a love for second helpings and dessert.  I also love the hats....

Cyclas (over tunic), barbette (under chin strap) & fillet ('pie crust' hat)Isabella of Hainault (Valenciennes,[1] 5 April 1170 – 15 March 1190, Paris) was queen consort of France as the first wife of King Philip II of France.

And more hats:
13th Century Toque over barbette over snood (or caul). Lid? Toque vs. fillet?Barbette & snood set, ruffled filletMedieval Snoods -

I have several bits of linen scraps that I can use to make some of these hats.  I'm not sure I agree with the shape of the "barbette", the layer under the hat and chin strap; I think it might have simply been a coif.  I'll have to make some pieces and see how it looks.

I also want to learn how to make netting for a snood, like the lady in the purple on the far right.  It reminds me of some of the hairnets that were in fashion off an on through the 1950s...but I need to make a barbette to go with it.  By the way, if you Google "Barbette" you come up with a drag queen from the 1920s.  Just...FYI.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Baronial Candidates: Our Vision

HL Elewys and HL Aenor - Our Vision for Aquaterra

We, Elewys Cuylter of Finchingfield and Aenor de Pessac, have a multi-faceted vision for Aquaterra, which can be summarized into two categories:
1. Action for improvement
2. Listen and learn

Action and improvement
For this first stage we want to do the following:
  • We want to encourage education in Aquaterra.  The people of Aquaterra have a great passion for knowledge.  At the end of 2013, Elewys proposed the start of classes for Ithra credit at Aquaterra’s monthly socials.  Working with Emma Compton, Aquaterra’s A&S champion, these classes have been immensely popular.  We want to continue in this vein by supporting more workshops and classes.  We’d like to welcome dance classes and more hands-on activities at our socials, utilizing the knowledge of the members of the populace and embracing the interest expressed through increased attendance at the socials.

  • We also want to support Art of War and its new rapier track. This is a great opportunity for Art of War to grow and include more members of the Kingdom population. Perhaps by this support we will be able to increase rapier interest in the Aquaterra populace and improve the participation at the rapier championship.

  • We would like Aquaterra to work more collaboratively with the Canton of Bearwood.  The Canton is comprised of a small group of talented, warm, welcoming people that have created a community of kindness and inclusion. Yet the relationship between Aquaterra and Bearwood hasn’t been very collaborative in several years. We would like to build that relationship, which would benefit both communities.

  • We believe that we need to streamline Aquaterra’s events to revitalize our community.  Aquaterra is struggling with a problem many SCA communities face at some point: the participant pool has diminished, and the same small number of people shuffle around the officer and event steward positions. This leads to burnout, and cycles between the group further diminishing and reliance upon a smaller participant pool. In order to face this challenge, we believe that an analysis and streamlining of Aquaterra’s events is necessary. There is great love for each of the events Aquaterra hosts, yet we have an unusual task of taking on an imposing public event annually. Ursulmas draws upon a pool of participants for six to 12 months to organize this massive tournament, which can limit the energy and ability of those participants for other events, both within and outside of our borders. Additionally, the average barony in An Tir hosts 4 annual events. Aquaterra hosts six annual events, supports the Canton’s three annual events, plus is a crucial participant in the Shire of Shittimwoode’s Warren War. We believe a full and frank discussion is necessary with the populace. We, as a community, need to identify our priorities, strengths, needs, and how we’ve been faring the last few years, in terms of volunteerism, participation, and financial viability. We don’t want to dictate to the community what events to discontinue - we believe that if the decision is made, it needs to be made by the people of Aquaterra.

  • We want to improve the event steward process to build a community of knowledge.Each year, event stewards face a challenge of trying to glean lessons from previous event reports and event bids. Frequently knowledge is lost from year to year. In the past, there was a team of event stewards working on Ursulmas that created a ‘master and apprentice’ relationship for each role. This was a helpful and sustaining method. We think an amalgamation of the event bid process and the ‘master and apprentice’ process could create a stronger event steward team. We would like to have our event steward teams to utilize learning notebooks which contain all the materials from the bid sheet to the final event report, which can be passed on to the next year’s event team to learn from and digitized to prevent loss. We also want to create an ‘expectation of education’, in which the previous year’s event stewards are resources to the current year’s event stewards.We would like to build stronger relationships with other Baronies in An Tir.

  • Aquaterra is blessed to be geographically close to so many incredible Baronies. And we, Elewys and Aenor, would like Aquaterra be known as an active friend to those around us. The North Sound Sergeantry trials have been a wonderful step in that direction, but we could do more. We would like to build treaties with our neighbors, in which we support each other with volunteers for events - large or small. One of the problems our barony has faced is that we are an insular crowd. By stepping out of our comfort zone and building stronger ties with the communities around us we can expose ourselves to greater ideas. This could do so much to grow and better our community and ourselves.

  • We would like to promote service to the Kingdom, participation at the Kingdom-level events, and at events throughout the Kingdom.Aquaterra is just a fraction of the greater community of An Tir. We would like to recognize this and do what we can to allow Aquaterra and members of our populace to be more active throughout all of An Tir. There are many ways we can do this:
 We can host Kingdom guild competitions at Kingdom-wide events, such as the Kingdom Costumer’s Guild, Kingdom Embellishers Guild, or the new Kingdom Apothecary Guild.
 We could have Kingdom largess-making competitions and parties to help spread the skills of Aquaterra artisans across the Kingdom, as well as replenish the diminished largesse coffers.
 We would like to help Aquaterrans have a ‘home away from home’ at events hosted outside our lands. We want to promote the Aquaterra camping area with a fire hosted by the Baronesses, in which anyone, Aquaterran or not, can join the circle. We can also foster a larger community by hosting a potluck breakfast or Stone Soup lunch at ‘away events’ for anyone wanting company or a meal to join.
 Some populace members miss out on events outside Aquaterra because of the limitation caused by distance. We could create ‘get to know you’ opportunities at the monthly socials for people looking for a ride to an event (or people to camp with) to meet others attending said events that are willing to open their camps and transports. This would allow attendees to connect and build relationships before hitting the road.

  • We also would like to have the Barony recognize the accomplishments Aquaterrans made outside the barony. We would like to publically recognize these accomplishments, such as winning competitions, teaching at events, and awards given by Their Majesties and other branches. We could accomplish this in the Murmurs newsletter, the Aquaterra web site, and other social media.

  • We would like to improve Aquaterra’s presence in the greater Snohomish County community.  Just as Aquaterra is part of the larger Kingdom community, we are part of the larger Snohomish County community. There is an interest and a compassion in our people for the community of the modern world. In December 2014, Aenor organized with Baroness Sineadin a toy and food drive for HelpLink of Snohomish County. The outpouring of donations demonstrates how much interest is present. Additionally, in July 2014, Aenor worked with United Way of Snohomish County to create a donation station at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual employee picnic for victims of the Oso mudslide. With the connections we have in our modern communities, there is a lot of good we Aquaterrans could do for our neighbors. We, Aenor and Elewys, have discussed opportunities for toy and game drives for Seattle Children’s Hospital and other fundraisers.

Listen and Learn

We, Elewys and Aenor, believe that every person deserves to have their voice heard. In that vein, for the listen and learn stage, we would like to do the following:

  • Communicate with former members and members not currently active in the barony.  
Aquaterra has suffered, over the last few years, a ‘mass exodus’ of a large portion of our Sergeants and other members of the populace. We know that some wounds cannot be healed, but we, Elewys and Aenor, want to reach out to these people and learn from past mistakes. Every person in Aquaterra deserves the chance to be heard, whether they currently play in the Barony or not. We want to hear their grievances, hear their advice, and ask them what would make them consider coming back. There is also a greater group of SCA participants that don’t play on the baronial level. This ranges from knights to merchants to people interested in larger events. We would like to ask what they, too, want from the SCA, and if Aquaterra could possibly provide it.

  • We want to provide ‘market research’ for Aquaterra.  
We want to hear the thoughts and ideas and criticisms of the people, and use those to build and shape the Aquaterra that they want to be in. What have people liked over the past few years? What have they not liked? What do they miss? What do they see in other branches that they would like to see here? At the core of the job, the Baronet of Aquaterra is a servant to the populace. Though we have our own ideas and visions, we want to respect the visions of our people. We want to help each person build the community that will continue on, long after we have stepped down.

  • We want to create a community of open communication.
A coronet is an intimidating thing. It is a symbol of office and responsibility, but it is also a barrier that often prevents honest dialogue. With this in mind, we would like to host quarterly Parliaments--open discussions-- with the people. These “bare-head” nights will be in a public area, so each person feels like they are on equal ground. And on these nights, we, Aenor and Elewys, will literally and symbolically remove our coronets and hear the voices of the people. It’s a night in which people can feel free of the intimidation of the headgear and can speak to us as equals, with no fear of reprisal. Any populace member wanting to discuss a topic can decide if they want the discussion to be public or private. And the topics can range from issues with the coronets to mediations between populace members. This is an opportunity for the populace to drive the conversation, not rely on an agenda compiled in advance. We want to hear the populaces’ criticisms as well as accolades. It’s only through this open and honest dialogue can we keep our community healthy and strong.

  • We want to learn from other communities in An Tir and the Known World.
We aren’t experts, and we aren’t all-knowing. But there are skills and experience in so many people across An Tir. We want to go to Madrone’s curia and just sit in the back and learn from what we see and hear. We want to ask other coronets their opinions on Aquaterra and what solutions and ideas they think would be good to bring home to our branch. We also want to build dialogue with contacts outside An Tir. We would like to contact Baronets from across the Knowne Worlde; from the Kingdom of the West to the Kingdom of Drachenwald. We want to bring their fresh ideas to liven our community, and share with other branches of An Tir.

We are servants of our Kingdom and our Barony, no matter our titles and achievements. Each person has the power to impact the health and life of our Kingdom and branch. But with the opportunities provided by the Baronet, we, Aenor and Elewys, could help Aquaterra achieve great changes and great growth. With this vision of our path, we could certainly do amazing things.

In Service,
HL Elewys Cuylter of Finchingefeld
HL Aenor de Passac

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Six Weeks Later...

I guess it's been a while since I posted!  The Easter-to-June part of the year is always supremely hectic with Tourney Season ramping up and the school year winding down.  A few things I've done in that time...

I bought a spinning wheel, a Lendrum single treadle, and finally started in ernest to wash the fleece given to me by HL Godith from her flock.  It was shorn 9 years ago and I have been happily turning fluffy stuff into yarn over the past few weeks.


The last spool of white is not pictured...it was on the wheel.  I unspooled the pink, got it wet, and am blocking it now (by hanging a 20 oz. bottle of Gatorade on it), so I can start spinning spool #7.  After that, I'll have to skein up the spools so I can spin some more.  All this spun yarn is destined to become a piece of cloth to be made into a garment--my first sheep-to-shawl project (not that it'll be a shawl, but some wearable garment, probably an overtunic.

For the Perfectly Period Feast in An Tir, I made this ensemble (left) for the 1470s era Italian Renaissance Feast.  Pictured with me is my bestie, Aenor, who is running as my Sister-Baroness for our Barony.  We won't be the first girl-girl pairing, but the first in our Kingdom.  Not only is this an exciting prospect for us, but for Inspirational Equality.  Not that we're in that kind of relationship--we are both very happily involved with our respective men (who, I swear, must have been separated at birth!)--we're just friends.

Exciting times!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Weaving and Recuperating

It's been a little while since I did any posts, so I guess I have some catching up to do!

Most recently, I did a commission piece for my old friend, Don Miguel.  He's constructing a new Elizabethan outfit and wanted a little something to add to the garment--something hand made by a friend is always better than factory made by a stranger.

This is a 2 yard piece and I hope to get it to him soon!

After finishing up a couple quilt projects and helping the middle kid with Girl Scout cookie sales, I started this very tiny, delicate trim from Applesies and Fox Noses.  This one is called "Bee Feet" and will be 4 yards long when complete.  It's made from size 10 perle cotton--the kind you can get by the spool at any craft store (Michael's, Joann's, etc.).  I ended up using 2 spools of each color for the 16 cards.  The weaving itself is only 1/2" wide, is very silky and flexible.  This will be great for trim for a tunic.

I have a great desire to work on some beads or some spinning on my new wheel...and of course, I'm laid up with an infection on my leg.  I'm supposed to keep my leg elevated and I'm taking some serious antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and it's difficult to do any kind of arts with my feet up.  Knitting...but I'm not really feeling like knitting, and keeping a pattern nearby...never mind.  I'll blog and check Facebook.

 Hopefully I'll be back to normal in a few days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Applesies #10: Diamond Applesies

This is one of those patterns that I will need to follow the pattern, step by step, all the way to the end.  This is not an easy repeating pattern that can be memorized...at least by me.  It's the last of the "easy" patterns...I'm thinking this probably should have been included in the next section.

I had a lot of difficulty choosing colors for this one, but finally settled on navy blue with a blue-grey background and a border of red and rust-orange.

So once you warp up your loom, you will start rotating your cards starting from the BC position.  Your cards will be facing right.

Cards 1-3 and 20-22 will always be turning forward.
Turning sequence is:
First:  1-3 F; 4 B; 5-6 F; 7-9 B; 10-13 F; 14-16 B; 17-18 F; 19 B; 20-22 F
Second:  1-5 F; 6-8 B; 9-14 F; 15-17 B; 18-22 F
Third:  1-4 F; 5-6 B; 7-16 F; 17-18 B; 19-22 F
Fourth:  1-3 F; 4-5 B; 6-17 F; 18-19 B; 20-22 F
Fifth:  1-3 F; 4 B; 5-6 F; 7-16 B; 17-18 F; 19 B; 20-22 F
Sixth:  1-5 F; 6-17 B; 18-22 F
Seventh:  1-4 F; 5-18 B; 19-22 F
Eighth:  1-3 F; 4-19 B; 20-22 F
Ninth:  1-3 F; 4-19 B; 20-22 F
Tenth:  All forward
Eleventh:  All forward
Twelfth:  1-3 F; 4 B; 5-18 F; 19 B; 20-22 F
Thirteenth:  1-3 F; 4-5 B; 6-17 F; 18-19 B; 20-22 F
Fourteenth:  1-4 F; 5-6 B; 7-16 F; 17-18 B; 19-22 F
Fifteenth:  1-5 F; 6-17 B; 18-22 F
Sixteenth:  1-3 F; 4 B; 5-6 F; 7-16 B; 17-18 F19 B; 20-22 F
Seventeenth:  1-3 F; 4-5 B; 6-8 F; 9-14 B; 15-17 F; 18-19 B; 20-22 F
Eighteenth:  1-4 F; 5-6 B; 7-9 F; 10-13 B; 14-16 F; 17-18 B; 19-22 F

See what I mean?  I can't memorize this.  I was told that you look at the pattern and that will tell you how to turn the cards...it's a lovely pattern...it's just going to take some extra time.

The back is EXTRA cool!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Applesies #8

Took a step back (or turned a page back) and started Applesies #8 while visiting with my delightful MIL on Valentine's Day.  Hubby and his dad went out to the movies, and the ladies stayed behind...I didn't have any need to see Jupiter Ascending.  This one is called Fine Crooked Knees with Small Applesies.  Maybe it loses something in the translation from Finnish.  I liked the color combination from the sample in the book so much that I decided to copy it...although I used Navy blue instead of black, but otherwise it's the same.

The turning sequence is as follows:
* with cards A-D on the top, cards 1-9 back, 10-14 forward (x 3)
* all cards back one quarter-turn
* cards 1-5 forward, 6-14 back (x 3)
* cards 1-5 back, 6-14 forward (x 3)
* all cards forward one quarter-turn
* cards 1-9 forward, 10-14 back (x 3)

Now, if you want to have lovely, tidy edges, you could turn cards 1, 2, 13, 14 forward always, then reverse direction when it gets over-twisted.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Applesies #9

United Chicken Runs is weave #9 and while I wanted to do #8, I saw this one and went...oooo!

SO, again, while I can't disclose the threading because it's *in the book* (which, if you are still reading my blog with interest, you should *totally buy*!), I will explain the turning sequence.

Cards 1-3 and 16-18 need to turn forward all the way through...or switch to turning backwards after it gets too twisted up.
While that's going on, cards 4-15 will turn back for six turns.
Then 1-3 forward, 4-7 will turn back, 8-11 forward, 12-15 back, 16-18 forward for two turns.
1-3 forward, 4-5 back, 6-13 forward, 14-15 back, 16-18 forward for two turns.
Then mirror...
1-5 forward, 6-13 back, 14-18 forward for two turns.
1-7 forward, 8-15 back, 16-18 forward for two turns.
All forward for 6 turns.

That's the whole turning sequence!

3 1/2 yards finished.

Diagonals....Defeated by Dragons

This is a moment of sincere frustration.  I found a very cool Dragon Heads pattern called "Dragehoveder" on the Historic Tablet Weaving Facebook page, but despite several attempts, verifying the threading, varying the turning sequences, and a lot of cussing, I finally decided that this was not going to happen.

The threading isn't very difficult...it's all dark-light-medium-light...

I struggled with it for hours...literally...weaving, unweaving, cutting it off, trying again.

I didn't like having the orange-brown in it, either, so I replaced it with white (or rather shifted the grey to the "medium" color and made white the "light" color).  After nearly throwing the loom across the room a few times, I abandoned the idea and made Egyptian Diagonals instead.

It came up to just under 3 yards, which is a yard shorter than my usual trim lengths.  That's how much loss I had in attempting to make the dragon heads work.  Grrrrr...

Now, if you want to do Egyptian Diagonals, it's fairly easy!  So here's now it's done...

First, thread your cards (I used 14 in the project above)
Egyptian Diagonals
 Navy  White  Grey  White  Navy  White  Grey  White  Navy  White  Grey  White  Grey

OK...Now that it's all warped up, get your weft anchored and turn a few passes forward to get the tension all good.  Sorry...all my words went away and I'm brain.  

Each turn is a quarter-turn.  After each quarter turn, throw the shuttle.  Each turning sequence will be done twice.

So, turn all cards back and throw the shuttle.  Repeat. 
Turn cards 1 and 2 forward, 3-14 back a quarter turn.  Repeat.
Turn cards 1-4 forward, 5-14 back a quarter turn. Repeat.
Turn cards 1-6 forward, 7-14 back.  Repeat
Turn cards 1-8 forward, 9-14 back.  Repeat.
Turn cards 1-10 forward, 11-14 back.  Repeat.
Turn cards 1-12 forward, 13-14 back.  Repeat.
Turn all cards forward.  

Now you'll reverse stuff...
Turn cards 1-12 forward, 13-14 back.  Repeat.
Turn cards 1-10 forward, 11-14 back.  Repeat.
Turn cards 1-8 forward, 9-14 back.  Repeat.
Turn cards 1-6 forward, 7-14 back.  Repeat.
Turn cards 1-4 forward, 5-14 back.  Repeat.
Turn cards 1-2 forward, 3-14 back.  Repeat.
Turn all cards back.  Repeat.

The problem with this pattern is that the outside cards will be twisted up terribly and the middle cards will twist and untwist evenly.  If you have fishing spinners, this would be the pattern to use them on, otherwise, you will have to untwist your warp several times during your weaving.  Of course, I couldn't find my spinners and had to untwist four or five times.  Time consuming, for sure.

Easy enough?  You can do it!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Colorful Small Applesies

The first pattern in the Applesies book is a fairly simple one-and-a-half pattern...I find this curious.  Did the maker run out of cards?  Or threads?  Or just goof?  Or was this one-and-a-half diamond pattern deliberate?  We'll never know.

The pattern is easy enough.  After threading with the cards facing right--and remember, because this is a book that is currently being printed and sold, you need to buy the book to get the threading directions (I am only providing a little extra help reading the pattern)--make sure the cards are in the A-D position on top.

There are 11 cards in this little weave, and the turning sequence is quite simple.  The outside cards (three on the left, and two on the right) will continue to turn in the same direction--forward.  The rest of the cards will turn three quarter-turns forward, three quarter-turns backward.  Repeat!  Easy as that.

When the twist gets too much on the outside cards, reverse the direction to turn back instead of forward to untwist.  After another yard or so, you may need to switch back to turning forward again.  When you change directions, there will be a little lump of weft on the edges.  It's normal.  Don't worry.  Keep on weaving!

Finished piece--4 yards, about 1/2" wide

Applesies & Fox Noses #7: Tree Climbers

After finishing up the #1 band, Colorful Small Applesies, I started a new project for my dear friend, Bekah.  She chose #7:  Tree Climbers.  It's a four-color band (could be done with 3, but the edging has a two similar light colors that alternate).  

This one is a bit more tricky, but not impossible...after some studying the pattern and experimentation, this is what I came up with:
Turn back all cards – 5 turns
Then turn card numbers:
1-4 back; 5-8 forward; 9-14 back – two turns
1-4 back; 5-10 forward; 11-14 back – 5 turns
1-4 back; 5-6 forward; 7-14 back – 2 turns

When twist is too tight on the outside cards, you can reverse the directions of those cards to untwist…

1-4 forward; 5-10 back; 11-14 forward – 5 turns
1-8 forward, 9-10 back, 11-14 forward – 2 turns
All forward – 5 turns
1-6 forward; 7-10 back; 11-4 forward – 2 turns

The twist on 5, 6, 9, and 10 will continue to build up, so you can either put spinners on those cards or untie and untwist those cards when the twist becomes unmanageable. 

If, instead of untwisting, you want to simply reverse the pattern, you can get a mirror image of the pattern.  If you want to try this, you would use: 

Turn back all cards - 5 turns
1-4 back; 5-8 forward; 9-14 back – two turns
1-4 back; 5-10 forward; 11-14 back – 5 turns
1-4 back; 5-6 forward; 7-14 back – 2 turns
(just like in the first part…but then…)

1-4 forward; 5-6 back; 7-14 forward – 2 turns
1-4 forward; 5-10 back; 11-14 forward – 5 turns
1-4 forward; 5-8 back; 9-14 forward – 2 turns
All forward – 5 turns

Have fun!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Applesies at Ursulmas

It was Event Weekend last weekend!  We had our Barony's big demo at the Fairgrounds that had record-breaking numbers.  This was my view for the weekend.  Not as Regal and Medieval as one might like.  It is the grandstands of the racetrack.  Most of the action was held in the big building next door.

I finished up the "S" pattern rather quickly in anticipation for a demo at the Fairgrounds last weekend.  Since I couldn't exactly take an empty loom for display, I warped up the first pattern in Applesies & Fox Noses, which is another Iron Age find from Finland.  It almost looks like it was getting warped up and they ran out of thread...or cards...so they just went with what they had.

This is another seriously fast weave.  I have about a yard done already.  I'm looking forward to doing some more out of the book!  This is #1:  Colorful Small Applesies

Here are the pieces that I had on display.  I was next to my weaving buddy, Emma, so I loaned my weaving stuff for her display.  She then won the prize for best display.  Again.  Glad I could help...no, I'm not upset--she puts together a great display!

I also warped up the rigid heddle loom, although I really should have used a smaller yarn; the heddle is too small for this thick yarn.  But hey, it was an experiment.

And finally, I set up and made some progress on the warp-weighted loom.  Although I don't know if you can legitimately call it a "warp-weighted" loom if the warps are not yet weighted.  I was talking with a couple of other weavers there, and they gave me some really great advise on how to proceed and tips on how to prevent issues.  You can't see it very well in the display (below) so I took a picture of it set up in my living room.

My artsy-friend and I set up a Lampworking area in the demo hall at the event.  We have great ideas for improvements...although my kiddo is pretty awesome as part of the backdrop.  She very carefully strung 10 feet worth of beads to help reduce the loss (we had a few things disappear from the table...sadly).

I made a few beads on commission for a braid-bearded man...

I also made sets of beads for Kingdom largesse.  They are running really low, so they asked for sets of 3--one large and two smaller beads.  I only got 3 sets done, but I hope to make more in the upcoming weeks and deliver them at Kingdom A&S in March.

I don't know if I can make quick and easy weaving for largesse--maybe I can do some smaller "test" pieces that I will donate.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Applesies and Fox Noses!

Happy new year, all!

All I wanted for Christmas was a copy of Applesies and Fox Noses...and a bike helmet.  Lucky me--I got both!

Applesies and Fox Noses - Finnish Tabletwoven Bands

This is the new go-to book for tablet weaving historians this year (it's a bigger genre than you'd think!).  Several of these patterns (not all) are based on historical finds from the Karelian iron age in a graveyard just a short drive north of Helsinki.

This book has some seriously complex patterns in it, but the first few look simple enough, so I started there.  The first pattern wasn't quite so inspiring, so I turned a couple more pages and decided on pattern #5, the S Sign.

Now, because this is in a book, I'm not sure if this is something I can publish in its entirety, so to avoid a problem with the authors, I'll just show you the turning sequence, which seems different than how the pattern is laid out*.

1.  With A-D at the top of the pack, (my cards are colored blue on that side), turn all the cards back for five quarter-turns (toward the weaver).
2.  Split deck:  cards 1-6:  turn four quarter-turns back; cards 7-12: turn four quarter-turns forward.
3.  Turn all cards five quarter-turns forward
4.  Turn all cards five quarter-turns back
5.  Split deck:  cards 1-6:  turn four quarter-turns forward; cards 7-12:  turn four quarter-turns back
6.  Turn all cards five quarter-turns forward

*All cards have to face right, and there may be some adjustments in the future since I threaded it backwards to begin with...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

So I'm Weaving Along...

...on this pattern, that weirdly, doesn't look anything like the image...which is quite possibly a threading issue--I'll have to try this again when I get to the end.  You know what they say--it's not a mistake, it's a new pattern!

...and something goes wrong.

The tension bar on the inkle loom that I've been using for 20 years finally died...the threading inside the wooden bit was not lined with a metal fitting; it's just wood.  So after 1000 yards of trim or so, it stripped out.

I tried to use my cheap-n-scuzzy "surfboard" loom but the tension was unreliable and the bolt chewed through one of my threads.  It was time to move ahead to the next plan.

Not wanting to waste time, I went ahead and built this in two days:

While it's not quite finished, it might work well enough for both tablet weaving and rigid heddle weaving with a few minor alterations.  In fact, I have an idea for a temporary improvement...ooooo....

In the process of building, I had a few set backs during the build...was locked out of some areas of the wood shop...

...but hand-held power tools were available and I made full use of them!

And on the third day...

...I added the front and back bars (only one pictured here, along with, for some inexplicable reason, the broken tension bar from the inkle loom).  I attempted to warp up the card weaving on the loom but didn't have any luck doing so.  Eventually, I gave up because the tension was not consistent.

My dear husband went to the hardware store and in about 90 minutes had fixed the tension bar for the inkle loom, so now I am back in business!  It took a couple hours to re-warp the card weaving onto the loom, then had to take it apart again to adjust the tension again to accommodate the shortened length--this loom really needs TWO tension bars for card weaving.

I still have a quilt commission to finish and a bunch of uniforms to repair, but...you know... I'd rather be weaving. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Advanced Card Weaving: Birka 12

Here's another fun pattern for you history buffs!  This is Birka find #12
Ткачество на дощечках - Szukaj w Google
This person (Russian, if I figure it correctly) has already mapped out this pattern pretty clearly, it's just a matter of knowing how to read the thing.

Warp your cards like it shows above.  Turn your cards to the AD "home" position.

Turn all the cards four quarter-turns forward, passing the shuttle between each turn.

When you have returned to the home position, you will split the deck.  Turn cards 1, 8-13 forward (away from you); 2-7 back (toward you).  You will do this for three quarter-turns.

Then...reverse!  Turn cards 1-7 forward; 8-12 back; and 13 forward.  You will do this for three quarter-turns, back to the home position.

Repeat the pattern--four quarter-turns forward, then the split pack.

As you can see, this means that the 1 and 13 cards are always turning forward...the rest of the cards will be turning four quarter turns forward at the end of every pattern.  This results in a great deal of twist in the threads, which you will have to eventually deal with.  About every yard and a half of completed weaving, I will untie the knots (one card at a time) and untwist.  It's just the way this pattern works.  I often will turn the 1 and 13 cards with the cards adjacent to them, which still builds up a twist, but not at twice the speed.

Here's mine, in progress...

And finished!