Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day 2012

Today started with snow!  We had an inch and a half when I took Brandon to work this morning. We had several hours of continued snowfall along with rain. A friend mentioned walking out of the house to snow, rain, hail, wind and sun all in the skies above. Yup!  That's Oregon!

I'm behind on some of my 12 goals, but I was able to get one more done today. I brazenly started it Monday and did stay up late each night working on it. I had started to do the bind off before going to bed Tuesday night and finished it up this afternoon. Then I popped it into a dye pot. The yarn had been given to me by Rachel back at the World Wide Spin in Public. She didn't like the pink and so I scooped it up and put it aside with the thought of making a shawl for her and over-dyeing.

The shawl was still damp when I headed out to knit night at Whole Foods, but I wanted to get it in Rachel's hands. She's been having difficulty with a now former friend and not a happy girl. I thought the shawl in a pretty green might help cheer her up a little. I also had said I would help with some illumination painting, so once she set her dinner down asked if she could help with photos. She of course cheerfully put on a smile and posed in the shawl and then I told her that it was hers. :-)

Still pink and just done, ends still need to be woven in.

Smiling Rachel

Nice size to keep the shoulders warm, you can also see by the color variations how it was kettle dyed

Showing how wide it is

This is my first illumination painting. Its a little note card that can be given as largess. I got to keep my paintbrush so I can do more future painting. Thankfully, Veronica can do whitework to fix some of the brush boo-boos. I tried to clean where I went onto the black lines and got most of them, but I'm sure she'll make it better. ;-) This is a once a month event, so I'll give up part of a knit night to help paint.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Gagiana Barett

This year I'm trying to get more SCA knitting done if you haven't noticed a bit of a trend yet. ;-) This is the first hat. Its the Gagiana Barett based upon extant pieces found from a shipwreck off the coast of Croatia. The ship had been there undisturbed for 350 years.

I had started the barett with a nice olive green and realized I was going to be short to finish my hat. So I frogged it and started over with a periwinkle blue that I thought would be enough, because I hadn't noticed that others who had knit the barett went over the 200 yards.....

I love how the brim is constructed. You increase, then you do your increases and she has you use a crochet hook to join the working yarn to the cast on edge and then you repeat the increases again to work the top.
Here's my blue:
You can see where I ran out of the periwinkle and had to switch to the baby blue

Showing the brim

Felted top

Felting closeup
I had planned to over-dye the blue, but once I had to add in the baby blue, it was a sure thing. I knew I didn't have the Kool-aid, food colors or icing colors to make a darker blue, but I gave it a whirl. I think I had it, but I was using a very large pyrex measuring cup and things were a bit squished in there. I tried moving things around but there were areas between the two layers that weren't dyed enough. So I found the dye crock pot (should have started there to begin with!) and re-did the process that I had for the first time. Imagine my surprise to find a very coal black!

I let Brandon position the hat on me and went directly outside. It was kind of raining. It needs a feather or two to be in the German style. Might also get some other decorations as I learn more.  Think that I'll go back to that olive green and another green I have in stash to make a second one. I'll have to over-dye it, but worst case is I end up with a brown or black.

Embellisher's Grand Accademia 2012

Last weekend the Canton of Kaldorness hosted the Embellisher's Grand Accademia and since it was in Scappoose we couldn't not go. I had three classes that I was initially interested in - How to embellish wood projects, these are things that are already made that you do wood chips and carving into. Paternoster or Rosaries - the different forms of them and how to make them for your persona and period. Lampworked beads, but I didn't get into that class. Brandon the Acanthus, Mantling and Floral Borders class first. Its normally an embroidery class, but he was sitting in to get the patterns to use in wood working. He had fun keeping the ink off his clothes and on the practice cloth in his Woodblock Printing on Cloth class. Some cool wood blocks were made for the students to use. I think he'd like to learn how to make the blocks. Then he had The Craft of Leather Carving. Many of the same principles can be applied to wood working, but he also had fun doing it in the leather. He wasn't planning to attend the Pyrography class but when your Master and Apprentice tell you to attend, you attend. The last class he did was Bi-Colored Tunic better known as a Parti-colored Tunic. He was the only student to attend, so he and the instructor were able to cover a wide variety of topics regarding garment construction.

My first class the Wood Embellishing was very interesting and now I know if I get bored, I could embellish some of the wood salad bowls we have in our camp box. ;-) Might even try embellishing other items in the future. The library had a lot of the books that the instructor suggested so we'll both be going through those! Since this didn't have us actually doing anything, this was a free class and had a handout with reference information. Didn't take a picture of that for you. ;-)

Since I just had the one class on Saturday, I had investigated the schedule and was able to get into the Japanese side-stitch book binding class. There were four of us in the class and I was the only one to get wild and put lots of holes in to practice the stitch. We were given a great handout so that we'll be able to refer to it in the future to make more. 

The class was only $2 and it included the nice cover paper, filler paper, along with the thread and needle with the hand out!

Close up to see the side stitch and my leftover thread and needle
Sunday I had again only one class so was going to try to get into a Two-Color Basket Weaving class, but it was full enough and looked messy enough that I opted not to get into that one. Instead I was able to get into the Portuguese Rug Making class. It uses something called long-arm cross stitch techniques. Here's two pictorials that show you how its done, if you're wondering what the difference it from the cross stitch you may do, or have done in the past.

This was $5 for the class and Mestra Rafaella also provided the Aida cloth, lots of yarn and the needle along with a huge packet of papers.  Here's the start of the pattern and a close up of the braiding that the long arm does:
On the left you can see my practice stitches for 'traveling'

Close-up of the pattern, kind of some of the squares could be confusing if you hadn't seen the  intended end result

Can you see the braiding? 

Finished project. The green is Lion Brand Wool-Ease and the yellow I think is Lamb's Pride Worsted. I like the LP.
I had started filling in the bottom left inner square area and noticed that it was very directional so I did the upper left going up and then planned to do the other side flipped. Not sure if I was supposed to do it kind of circular like the outer edges but I like how it came out. I've soaked and blocked. I just need to finish the edges of the Aida cloth and then find something to sew it to. I was thinking of a little pouch and maybe having it be the flap? 

My last class of the day on Sunday was the Paternoster class, also taught by Mestra Rafaella and also a $5 class. She has tons   of scans of rosaries or their previously known name of paternosters that she shared along with samples that she has made. Surprisingly, there's lots of German examples available. Surprising because they were kind of the leaders of the Reformation and Lutheranism. We then got to make our own. I had some beads that I picked p from Pastiche (awesome vendor that I get my rings for sewing onto my sleeves) and then went through the beads that were available and picked out more. Then had to figure out how I was going to put them all together. Then it came down to not having the right thread to put them all together, so another trip over to Pastiche to get some linen thread. I still need to put them together but have been busy with other projects this week. 
Paternoster packet and my beads
Our next SCA event is the upcoming Carnivale di Venezia. I have my mask supplies and need to start painting it so its all ready. I'm still deciding if I want feathers or not, depends upon the 'will they drive me crazy' or not? I also need to make sleeves and a hair covering. I'm using this as my inspiration. I'm going to use my green dress that I wore in December for the Yule events as the main part. I don't have the green so my sleeves would be a dark blue like my gores. I had also planned to do similar sleeves but had planned for a yellow satin to be the fabric coming out of the slashes. I need to get a couple of print outs and talk with Andrea about that. I'm not a stickler for following exactly but more going with the feel of it. 

For example, I want to do an Augsberg dress, but I have no desire to do it in orange. Another person has done it in pink. Notice the difference in how the dress is on the shoulders? The pink one goes with what many of us think of as a portrait look where the dress is off the shoulders, but isn't practical for everyday wear. I've seen another person that took this interpretation when we were up at Ursulmas, I think I posted those pics of the dress? The red dress with black/navy blue. Crazy huh? I want this as an everyday dress that I can wear at events and specifically for camping and the off the shoulder thing is just insane! From doing more research today, I'll also need to make petticoats and may have to switch out my planned Eleanor di Toledeo stockings to striped stockings (of course now I can't find that picture or reference!) I found this, they are a Landsknecht group so they are pretty thorough in their research and representation, but are also a military group. From there I found this photo, a Texas kingdom has this page that also shows the lady in the Cranach gown that I found the painting she used as her inspiration. 

I really need this new dress by Faire in the Grove the first weekend of May. The end of May is Grand Thing and then we roll into June Faire, Honey War, take a break and then its July and An Tir - West War, Dragon's Mist Champions Tourney, July Coronation. August rolls around and we'll have Trygvy's War and Acorn War. (Lot of wars in there!) All of them are pretty much camping events, except Faire in the Grove. I'm not counting that Brandon has said he's going to put up our pavilion and stay overnight. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Lorajean asked if I would help her out with a couple of samples for Stitches West and I said sure! Michele had written her Thrumbelina slippers pattern and since I had not yet done thrums, thought it would be fun.

Thrums first showed up on hats
"By the eighteenth century, the woollen cap worn by the ordinary sailors in the British Navy had changed to the Welsh Wig which was described as a round knitted cap which may have originally been the "Monmouth cap". It was often knitted of thruns, where the multiple broken ends were left outside the cap and may have helped to make the cap warmer and at the same time given it a hairy appearance, probably giving rise to the nick-name "Welsh wig". These caps seem to have been used in military and naval hospitals even up to the present century. The name that survived to be used again on a cap that was developed for the rigorous climate of the Crimea and which was only slightly different from the "Balaclava" cap, which was developed at that period."

(I do have plans to make a Monmouth cap in the future.)

Back to the Thrumbelinas! (They're on sale thru the end of February, in case you're interested in making your own.) The upfront work of making the thrums is a bit time consuming. I needed 122 for the regular and I think 142 for the large. That's for one slipper! I know that the method that Michele used is different from what Sheila is used to seeing, so no right or wrong way to make them I guess. I took the large one to an SCA event I was attending last weekend and they received LOTS of interest and thoughts that they would make excellent camp slippers. So I'm going to be dipping into my leftover Lamb's Pride yarns and some of the sample rovings I still have from the World Wide Spin in Public and making a few pairs for us and friends I think. There was also the discussion of adding leather to the bottom if they were camp slippers. 

Here's what they look like on the inside:

The regular felt a little short for my 9 inch long foot, not sure if once the thrums have been squished down by my foot that this would change or not. The large was a bit too big for my foot, so something in between I think. 

I also changed the way I added the thrums from the way of adding with the knitted stitch to just the thrum. This makes a more definite v look to the added thrum, but I had a hard time keeping that look without a foot being in the slipper. ;-)

These are awesome slippers if you have a circulatory issue where you always have cold feet, or keep the house colder to save money. 

These are knit flat with an i-cord along the sides then you join in the round to complete the toe with a quick mattress stitch seam up the back to complete the slipper. If you leave a long enough cast on tail, you'll have plenty to do your seaming! 

Spring may be coming, but its still cold enough for slipper wear around here until at least mid June. If you make a pair, please let me know! I'd love to see the different color combinations people come up with.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gunnister Purse and a Onesy and some spinning

I used Chris Laning's pattern for the Gunnister Purse replica to make my own. I didn't have US 00 needles, so I went with using some nice Sport weight yarn in my stash and knitting them on US 3s. So instead of a 3-1/2 x 5 inch bag, ended up with a 6-1/2 x 7-1/4 inch bag. There's no eyelet row, you just shove your drawstring in and go. I really like what the pom poms add to the look. It looked okay, but I think they just complete the project. Overall, happy with this little bag, such that I think one or two more will be made.
Without drawstring and pom poms
The red I dyed from the yellow I used in my other SCA bag. The white is what the original yarn looked like before any dyeing.

Trying to collect some sweaters for Leeloo for the upcoming camping season. Also need them to take her for walks while its cold out. They also count in my sweater count for the year. ;-) This was a pretty simple design, that should have been done quicker, but there was something about it that just slowed me down. The One Piece Dog Sweater. Along the way I needed to make adjustments to the pattern, lengthening here, shortening there, but forgot to add in button holes (not part of the design either, they planned for velcro and a side tab):
I have some spinning finally done! A couple of small ones that I had spun on Miss Molly, but plied on the Lendrum. Just a couple of samples that were part of a set of threes from the World Wide Spin in Public event.
71.5 yards 2ply lace weight (not including the smidge of white seen)
69.33 yards 2ply lace weight
Both are from Opulent Fibers and nice to spin.  

I started spinning the Abstract Fibers Blackberry colorway yak-merino-silk roving in December, but holiday knitting impacted a few knit days so I didn't finish spinning it until this month and finally able to ply it. I really wanted to try to keep the lovely color blocks so chain plied the four ounces. I'll have to find a project for the 446.3 yards to really show it off. Not a shawlette though. Any suggestions?

Cindy had given me a bunch of samples that she'd gotten from different events that she knew she wasn't going to spin. I've given some to other people to try out and a few I kept to try out. One of them was a bit of merino still in the grease. Since this is something that I've never tried, spinning in the grease, gave it a whirl. It wasn't overly greasy, so that made it easier. to spin. 11 grams and 54.2 yards:
For some reason it came out blurry. It softened up after washing.

Currently, I'm spinning 3 ounces of pygora I had gotten from Foggybottom Pygoras back in 2009 at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. Its very soft, but I bought it before I really knew much about it and didn't notice that it was full of vegetable matter and had tons of guard hair and I paid $10 an ounce for it! So to spin a bit of it, I have to spend twenty minutes picking out all the grass bits and even worse, the clean dead bodies of fleas, before I can spin it. My shirt gets all hairy from the guard hairs falling out, or I pull out. Hopefully it will come out as soft as it is now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


My friend, Greta is a local dog trainer and her helper dog, Mellie a very smart border collie needs to have knee surgery on one of her back legs. Unfortunately, Greta has had some personal expenses that have drained her savings, so she doesn't have the $4000 needed to get Mellie back to being a functioning dog. Currently, Mellie is forced to stay in her crate so she doesn't cause further injury to her knee. Many of her dog friends and students wanted a way to help out so they requested that she create a Chip In account for Mellie. This account is in Mellie's name and will only be used for the surgery. If you feel like helping her out, great!  If not, I totally understand! Things are tough all over. I know my donation was a pittance to what I would have liked to donate, but every single dollar will help, so I gave what I could.

Greta's dog training web site. You can learn a bit about Mellie here on her Flyball Team page.  See Mellie running Flyball at a Trail Blazer half time show:

She's first at 1:24 and see her tug with Greta at 2:08, she's in there briefly, I think the video was done by a Muddy Paw person. So she's back about the 4:00 minute mark and again at 4:48.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Started in January, finished in February

I had gotten the front and back pieces of Leeloo's Little Black Dress with Pearls and then for some reason set it aside. I finally got the two pieces mattress stitched together and added on some white beads I had in my bead stash for the pearls. Once I on, I realized that it was kind of short and that I might really want to do the single crochet around things.

 So off it came and I picked up stitches at the bottom under the ruffle and added a one inch 2x2 ribbing for some length. Then picked a corner and did a 3 stitch i-cord for eleven inches and then binded it back to the corner. Repeat on the other side and I had two back leg loops.  Then there was the single crochet on the ruffles back on it went:

I think it fits her much better! Her leg hair hides the loops too. The fluffy butt hair also makes it look shorter than it is. It stops just about her hips. 

Before going up to Ursulmas I cast on the provisional cast on for Ice Queen, but wasn't able to get started on it while up there and then a migraine on Monday. So getting it done in time for the month, just didn't happen. Its a nice easy knit and doing the Version A went quickly even with the beads. The slow down was the picot bind off. I had to start it three or four times because of not reading things correctly. Reading - it is a skill! The provisional cast on came off easily and I decided to do the beaded picot bind off just to make it a little more interesting. 

I haven't been happy with the green from the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Lace I got from Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival back in 2009. I used it for the dragon shawl and I still want to over-dye it too.  The Kool-Aid over-dyeing worked for this, but the shawl is significantly larger and I want a more even dye job. So with the cowl I first tried using the lemonade for yellow to work with any blues and brighten the green. Well it brightened it but with more of a yellow tone, so back to the mixing. I added in a Blue Raspberry but added some blue food coloring and Wilton's cake dye. This is what I ended up with with what it looked like before I did the over-dye:

Think this would look better if I were wearing my hair up. I have been thinking it might be something to use at outdoor events in the evening.
What it looks like as a cowl. Might need another wash though because it kind of felt scratchy, and I don't think it was the beads.

Friday must have meant dye day because I rolled right into over-dyeing some already Kool-Aid dyed yellow yarn. I was attempting for a more red tone. I used Black Cherry and it made it kind of a dark red-orange. I wanted to try for darker so pulled out some Grape and ended up with this:

Its going to be part of a Gunnister bag that I'm going to do this month.  

In further effort to wrap things up, I wound off the samples that I had on a bobbin from Yule spinning on Miss Molly the Ashford Traditional. Then the merino wool locks in the grease I spun up after finishing the Abstract Fiber Arts Blackberry yak-merino-silk at Wednesday spinning. I plied the samples up while at Revels and started the chain playing of the Blackberry today. I'm about halfway done with that and plan to finish it up on Sunday. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ursulmas 2012

Friday afternoon we drove up to Snohomish to spend the night with my sister, Tanya, and her family. We had a lovely dinner and spent the evening socializing. Saturday we were up and out of the house to drive to Monroe to the fairgrounds for Ursulmas.

Next year if we go, I'm going to try to do a bear to take along. We brought rugs, chairs, my spinning wheel, a table and food, so it took a few trips to get settled in. We were set up next to the Baron and Baroness so that Brandon and Andrea could attend them. I helped organize the layout of things and readjusted our layout a couple of times before settling on a setup.

We had been warned that it can be cold, so we were all wearing out warm clothing, I even came with flannel pants on! Thankfully, I was either running warm or the building was warmer than previously, because I was able to take off the flannels. Andrea put up my hair for me and I was able to try out these cool pearl pieces my mom had gotten me for Christmas.
I put up Andrea's hair in return, but Brandon didn't take a picture of that. Once we were all done with grooming we took a walk around the building to take a look at the different displays and booths.
Looking off towards the rapier area

Archery supplies

Woven leather - very cool!

Red Wolf - circlets, hair holders, pins, brooches and clasps - awesome metal work!

Armored ferret

Duchess Miranda and one of her boys in a crocheted  Viking hat

knives and swords

The circlet that came home with me. Like the amber!

These are hat dangles that Andrea and I wanted a picture of  so we can make some

Looking down the hall

Loom display. I have a small table loom that I could use like this!

Spoon carving

Working brick oven

Food display - spices and legumes

Fresh food display

Working cooking pit - awesome design! When we went back around with my sister and her husband John, they had flat bread and a yummy raisin sauce as samples. 

Grain grinder

Sword making

Back of a German dress and hat I want to make a similar dress and hat for myself!

Brandon and Andrea goofing around

Front of the German dress. Don't think I'll make the shoulders so low, that would just drive me nuts!!

Side view of the dress

Eoghan was 'cadeted' in rapier at the event, hence the red tie on his sleeve. We just missed the ceremony!

Poor Jose! Four women trying to make his back feel better. Don't worry, his wife is the one with her hands on his head. 
We had a fun time and since we were assured of a place to sleep in the future, I can see us going up again next year.