Friday, July 31, 2009

Ode to the Sharp and Pointy

Only in this case it isn't rapiers. For once. Though I like them too. No, this time, it's needles. A friend of mine showed me the Viking-period needles that a friend had given her, and it's been stuck in my head since then that I want to make some. Have been doing some research, and have decided that while I'm at it, I might as well make pins as well. Seems to be quite simple a process--in concept.

I went down to Vermillion last night to hang out at the milk barn for the weekly SCA meeting, and brought it up with Hagan. So he scrounged around for practice material. First attempt was iron baling wire. He put a point on with the grinder (we cheated on the practice ones), heated the end, flattened it with a hammer. Success so far. Then we attempted to put the hole in the needle head. Not so much success. Even heating it red hot, we still flattened the tip of several nails in the attempt. We're hoping with a copper alloy, aka softer metal, we'll have more sucess. However, I'm thinking that the iron prototype will have a nice, sharp, dainty-yet-tough point for perhaps using as a punch to put the holes in future, smaller needles of copper-alloy. This is actually a really good process for me, because simple as it is, and though I did little more than watch and hold the nail and pound the hammer, I'm learning more about metal working. If I had a torch/forge, I think at this point, I'd probably be able to manage a decent one on my own with time. Anyway, we tried a brass one next, with a much larger still gauge wire (think larger than your typical yarn needle!), and still had no luck with getting a hole in it. We really just need to find a decent punch, I think. Keeping said hypothetical punch centered on the needle head might also be a challenge.

Anyway, I'm having a lot of fun in the experimentation process. Will keep you updated! I'm so excited to be able to make my linen fabric into handsewn, Anglo-Saxon dresses with handmade needles and pins!!! Hopefully before Cecil's Siege in September!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Annoyed, Angry, and Antsy

And I can't help but wonder if anyone would really notice if I played hooky today. Or for the rest of the week.

FYI, in case you didn't know this little fact: we don't really do archaeology at archaeology labs. In fact, I'm not sure what we do. But it's too nice outside to be washing artifacts that are just going to be shoved into boxes and never seen again. To be honest, I would just as soon dump them in the flower bed. At least maybe the maintenance guys would be able to see them there.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I want to do this:

and this:

and this:

I was going to put up pictures, but links will have to do, because I'm using a stupid Mac.

So yes. That's what I want to do. Interestingly enough, shortly after deciding I wanted to do two of them, I discovered opportunities to actually make it happen. I've only just decided I wanted to do a third of them...let's see what happens. Can you guess which ones are which?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Free Now

I am not in control.
I will not be in control.
I cannot be in control.
God is in control.

So everything is okay.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Up and Down

This roller coaster ride is making me nauseous. How do I get off this thing, anyway?