Blog

Rise again

Whew I am so gald to have the site back up and running, I've been doing a lot of weaving and spinning, but I need to get all the extant textiles up to date before I add any other new content, but keep an eye out here for what I've been weaving! Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I'm weaving.

Cloth Reflections

I recently finsihed weaving 4 meters of commissioned cloth for a friend. Although she does intend to use it for re-enactment, she was not particularly concerned with an authentic weave structure. She had seen what I can only really describe as a tabard on a website and really liked the cloth, which was listed as jacquard. Over the course of many months, I drafted a cloth in a similar style, which resulted in an undulating point twill. I originally used 8 shafts,  then was able to take it to 4 shafts, which  Medieval weavers used.

AS 50 Challenge

Although I don't post about it often, I am working on the AS 50 Challenge. If you are not in the SCA, next year marks the 50th anniversary/birthday of the Society. A challenge was issue many years ago for artisans to complete 50 projects, parameters of their choosing, by the 50th anniversary event. I challenged myself to weave 50 things. Today, I am taking stock of my progress.
Here is a list of what I have woven since taking up the challenge.
1.Belt for Magdalaina

Progress for the sake of accomplishment.

As a working mother, I have to plan the time my son sleeps carefully. I spend every one of his waking minutes with him, unless I'm at work, there's an emergency, or a rare opportunity. Recently, I've been using GTasks to do this. But that's the boring big. My two main weaving goals right now are weaving the cloth bought by a friend and a research paper on cloth in Europe and the Middle East from the 1st to the 14th C.

Dyeing to colour

I have log admired those fibre artists who only buy white or natural coloured yarns and dey all the colours they use. I have long said I would never be one of those people...well that might just change. We had to cancel the second half of our spring break plans, after our son was accidentally exposed to a child who had chicken pox. So rather than being out and about this spring break we have been homebound. I have been promising the students from my Raglan dye class 2 other colours and the webmaster of the Cambridge Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers Guild photos of dyeing for the website.

Silk and cotton a comparison

A friend asked me recently if I ever weave with silk, my initial answer was no. Then I remembered a number of years ago I had woven a set of silk garters (lefg) for a friend and a silk belt on my rigid heddle loom, but it was not fine silk. I have seen a number of lovely silk weavings posted on Weavolution, which inspired me to order some more silk and in a smaller size. Around the same time, I noticed my notes on cotton cloth in the Middle Ages and began looking into organic cotton.

Cotton

This blog entry is by no means a comprehensive research paper on the use of cotton in any time period. It is a compilation of my recent thoughts on the use of cotton in period and a possible explanation for the common misconception that cotton fabric was not in use in the Middle Ages. I was also recently met with surpise when I discussed cotton as a yarn which was available to some weavers in the Middle Ages.

The Perfect Shed

Weaving has a lot of jargon, so for readers who are unfamiliar with these terms I'll define shed, so you don't think I'm talking about a building to store things in. :) The Shed  is created by raising some shafts/threads and not raising (or in some cases lowering) others. I weave primarily on countermarche looms, so for the rest of this entry I will refer to raising and lowering shafts.

Check one off the list

Whew, I've finished the hoods for Thorvaldr and Fiona. My goal is to have these, a pair of robes (for Elgrimr and I), a sew of embroidered gloves and perhaps a headpiece done for Coronet in just a few weeks. If I complete 1 project per week, which is fairly reasonable for the robes but not as reasonable for the embroidery, it can be done! We'll see how that goes. For now I'm just so happy to have one this off the list! :)

Web Work

Hello everyone,

I have been fairly busy with the wedding this week. However, I took part of today off to work on this website. I'm working on more efficient ways to get photos into posts and pages. I hope this will help me provide you the reader with even more information!

Please forgive me if I'm quiet again over the next few weeks, but look back after the wedding and the Insulae Draconis Raglan event for more updates.

Fibre East

I attended Fibre East yesterday! This was the first year for Fibre East, so it was still small. Despite it's modest beginnings, the event proved go have many great vendors. I dis not significantly increase my stash, but did make some nice purchases. I bought a few gorgeous yarns from Yarnscape.co.uk I also picked up brochures from many other venders to keep for reference. This is very important for me as I work through my UK WSD Certificate of Achievement.

Teaching on Weavolution!

I’ve started teaching classes on Weavolution! This is a great venue for teachers and students. Weavolution uses WebEx to allow teachers and students around the world, literally, to come together for weaving classes! I’ve joined a few classes and they have worked quit well! Anyone with an internet connection now has access to a myriad of classes via Weavolution. Weavolution costs nothing to join. The classes are on a fee basis, but are very reasonably priced, usually about $30/hour. My next class is Color and Weave.

Weaving Update

Wow! It has obviously been a long time since I blogged! That’s partially been because I’ve been so busy weaving! I have finished two samples for my Certificate of Achievement (photos to follow once they are wet finished). I’ve completed a plain weave sample and a colour and weave sample.


I also finished the plain weave, random stripes baby blanket for a friend.

Certificate of Achievement Update

I am still diligently pursuing my UKWSD Certificate of Achievement. I as of yet have not completed any samples. However, I have learned how to do all facets of Double Weave with Melanie, my tutor! When working with Melanie on double weave she pointed out that I can maximize my warps by weaving several structures on one warp! This should really help me complete the CoA on time. I'm still shooting for 5 years, but would be pleased if I could do it in less!

Commitment to Certificate of Achievement

Many of you will know that I took some weaving tuition with Melanie Venes a few months back. You probably also know that I was working on my PhD in Education. Well as happens with many candidates, I've lost my passion for pursuing my PhD! I'm actually not that sad about it, my goal used to be to eventually teach others how to teach. Since then I've had several experiences with student teachers and mentoring younger teachers, the truth of the matter is teaching is not something you can really teach!

6 months of Projects

OK I'm going to attempt to remember all the projects I've completed/started in the last six months!

Completed

Sewing

Purple Linen Dress
Purple Linen Shawl
Matching Blue Wool Silk Lined Robes

Embroidery
Vicountess  Aerigunner's Neckline (right)
Cuff's for Eldgrimr's Viking Tunic

Weaving
2/1 Lozenge Twill wool for Viking Hood, 1 section

In Progress

William Jefferies Tapestry Workshop!

Well it's been a while since I've posted anything here. I've been busy with many other things. I did finally take some time out for weaving related things!
I traveled to London to participate in a William Jefferies Tapestry Workshop hosted by the Handweavers Studio!
This was a very exciting trip, because this was my first time taking a Jefferies workshop and my first visit to the new HWS locale!. The new shop space is fantastic. It's got most of the same great products we've come to expect from HWS, but in a more spacious and well lit environment.

Taquete Binding

Today I wound my next warp and cut off my damask sampling warp. I am setting up , my drawloom to learn taquete. I know most weavers use standard looms for this now, but I will be basing my taquete on historical examples, which are believed to have been woven on a drawloom. Plus, all the designs I plan to userequire more shafts than I have on any other loom.

Taquete Todo!

Ok I admit, sometimes I blog to keep myself organized. Hopefully you have seen my damask samples and 13th C Alms Purse. Damask is woven in a drawloom, but is quite a bit later in period. So now my next adventure in drawloom weaving is taquete then samitum.
So here's where I'm at and where I'm going.
I've wound my warp and beamed it. I have added 4 drawcords to my drawbridge, yes that really is what it's called! I now have 14 pattern shafts.
Here's what I still need to do:

Ohh Ebay!!!

Ebay is a harsh mistress, a blessing and a curse. I should say I rarely visit Ebay or buy things there anymore.
At a recent Cambridge Guild Meeting, a few members were discussing buying looms. One member pointed out that, in the UK, floor looms often go unsold and folks can make offers for them after the auction ends and thus get great deals! I think this is good advice for weavers loking for a floor loom.

The Importance of Sampling.

As I am enjoying a wonderful holiday break from work. I have more time to spend in my studio, aka afternoon nap time. I am working on my son's cloth, but I am also working on the sample for my next mundane project. This project is inspired by Van Gogh's Wheatfields. I have chosen many possible warp colours, but obviously must also decide on the weft colour(s) and finalize other design elements. Enter sampling!

Fibre Interest Group Banner Project

For those who don't know HL Isabella Maria came to me a few years ago with a wonderful idea for the Insulae Draconis fibre artists! Her idea was for us to design a banner which would commemorate Fayre Raglan, one of the Principality's most loved events and sites, and would also allow a variety of people to participate in the project and show a variety of fibre arts.
I agreed to organize the project and was lucky enough to find Lady Agatha and Lord Kit, who agreed to work together on a design.

Weave Structures

I am working on a research paper which discusses Medieval Textiles. I have a 13 page outline of notes prepared and am beginning to draft the paper. I believe I will be taking a post out of Tien Chu's blog and am considering blogging this paper. The intent of this method is to write longer items, papers/books, by working in chunks, or one blog post at a time. Assuming I continue in this manner, here is my first chunk, which is not at all the introduction to the paper. Please feel free to give me feedback by commenting on this post.

Dyeing to colour

I have log admired those fibre artists who only buy white or natural coloured yarns and dey all the colours they use. I have long said I would never be one of those people...well that might just change. We had to cancel the second half of our spring break plans, after our son was accidentally exposed to a child who had chicken pox. So rather than being out and about this spring break we have been homebound. I have been promising the students from my Raglan dye class 2 other colours and the webmaster of the Cambridge Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers Guild photos of dyeing for the website.

Silk and cotton a comparison

A friend asked me recently if I ever weave with silk, my initial answer was no. Then I remembered a number of years ago I had woven a set of silk garters (lefg) for a friend and a silk belt on my rigid heddle loom, but it was not fine silk. I have seen a number of lovely silk weavings posted on Weavolution, which inspired me to order some more silk and in a smaller size. Around the same time, I noticed my notes on cotton cloth in the Middle Ages and began looking into organic cotton.

Cotton

This blog entry is by no means a comprehensive research paper on the use of cotton in any time period. It is a compilation of my recent thoughts on the use of cotton in period and a possible explanation for the common misconception that cotton fabric was not in use in the Middle Ages. I was also recently met with surpise when I discussed cotton as a yarn which was available to some weavers in the Middle Ages.

The Perfect Shed

Weaving has a lot of jargon, so for readers who are unfamiliar with these terms I'll define shed, so you don't think I'm talking about a building to store things in. :) The Shed is created by raising some shafts/threads and not raising (or in some cases lowering) others. I weave primarily on countermarche looms, so for the rest of this entry I will refer to raising and lowering shafts.

Sampling Procedures

  1. Fill out Record Sheet from the start! Record:
    1. Warp Yarn size, brand, and color.
    2. Sett
    3. Length Warped
    4. Width Warped
    5. Width in Reed
    6. Draft
  2. Sample 2" each of each possible weft colour, weave at least 2 samples, or plan to cut the sample into 3-4 pieces. This will allow you to also sample finishing techniques.
  3. Sample at a finer sett, just to see if the drape is better for the end product.
  4. Sample at a looser sett, again to see how this effects the drape of the final cloth.

The Importance of Sampling.

As I am enjoying a wonderful holiday break from work. I have more time to spend in my studio, aka afternoon nap time. I am working on my son's cloth, but I am also working on the sample for my next mundane project. This project is inspired by Van Gogh's Wheatfields. I have chosen many possible warp colours, but obviously must also decide on the weft colour(s) and finalize other design elements. Enter sampling!I admit about 10 years ago, I was one of those weavers who would make disparaging remarks about sampling. However many years ago, I was shown the value of sampling.

Fibre Interest Group Banner Project

For those who don't know HL Isabella Maria came to me a few years ago with a wonderful idea for the Insulae Draconis fibre artists! Her idea was for us to design a banner which would commemorate Fayre Raglan, one of the Principality's most loved events and sites, and would also allow a variety of people to participate in the project and show a variety of fibre arts.I agreed to organize the project and was lucky enough to find Lady Agatha and Lord Kit, who agreed to work together on a design.Agatha and Kit came up with a wonderful design.

Royal Artisan

I am pleased to announce that at Drachenwald's Kingdom University, I was invested as Drachenwald's Royal Artisan. I obtained this new position by completing the yearlong Royal Artisan Competition. I would like to share my experience entering the competition with you.The Royal Artisan Competition is a rigorous competition. I had to enter items in at least 3 broad categories over at least 2 events.

AS 50 Challenge

Although I don't post about it often, I am working on the AS 50 Challenge. If you are not in the SCA, next year marks the 50th anniversary/birthday of the Society. A challenge was issue many years ago for artisans to complete 50 projects, parameters of their choosing, by the 50th anniversary event. I challenged myself to weave 50 things. Today, I am taking stock of my progress.Here is a list of what I have woven since taking up the challenge.1.Belt for Magdalaina2- 3. Lattice work garters for Comtesse Margarette de St. Martin-sur-le-Mer (2)4. -11.

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