Friday, June 22, 2012

Washing wool

Travis' cousin Toby gave me a bunch of wool from his wife, Sheila's, sheep. It's from the tails and bellies, so it is short, so if I can't spin with it, I will have to learn how to felt properly. Planning to wash it tonight using directions on this site:

It seems to have good information, similar to that which I've heard from people who know what they are doing, so hopefully it turns out well! Updates later!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Experimenting in the kitchen

This post doesn't really have anything to do with food, though yes, I was in the kitchen.  I made lip balm last night, kinda sorta following this recipe:

I used the top recipe, only I used coconut oil instead of almond/jojoba/olive, and only used 3 ingredients...the oil, beeswax, and honey.  It turned out nicely, and as of today at least, it seems to be working quite well.  Better than the crappy chapstick stuff I had.

Also started some eucalyptus oil.  All of the tutorials I read said to use freshly cut eucalyptus.  As we don't have fresh eucalyptus in these parts, I used some dried stuff that I've literally just had in a vase for years.  (I decided I wanted it to be more useful than decorative.)  So, I put some in a jar, crushed the leaves up, and poured some olive oil on.  Then closed the lid, and put it in a sunny windowsill.  I need to add some more oil tonight, as I only had about 1/3 a cup.  It's supposed to be good for your skin, and soothe aches, so we'll see.

Next projects:  I need to make Travis linen pants, linen tunic, wool tunic, and my cotehardie.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crafty things

Ok, so it's been awhile. I've decided I need to post the projects I begin and finish as a way to keep track of them. So, here's the first two.

First off, I learned what was called the Coptic naalbinding stitch at a class at Gulf Wars this year. It is almost stupid easy once you figure it out, and I made a very nice pouch with it. I'm quite please. Interestingly enough, it's the exact same technique for basic wire-weaving, it just starts out a little differently. The first photo is a close-up of the stitches (it looks knitted!), the second of the finished pouch, with a penny as scale reference.

Also, I made a basket a Gulf Wars this year. It's quite cute. It started out easy, then became interesting, then "oh-my-gosh-why-am-I-doing-this difficult." Luckily that stage didn't last very long, and it then became just "interesting" again! I like "interesting." Anyway, I'd like to acquire some more period materials for making more of them sometime. I was carrying the basket in the merchants that evening (for date night), and the man from the really awesome uber-period viking merchant shop, the name of which I cannot remember (any help???), said that it looked exactly like the ones that friends of his from Poland make, which are supposedly replicas of early medieval Norse baskets. How they tell that, I don't know, since I doubt any of them survived, and at least in Saxon England, precious few decent artistic renditions seem to exist. But I was pleased, and it is certainly a plausible design. Mine is made of rattan; he said they make theirs from the bark of pine root, which is supposed to be dug up at a certain time in the spring. Oh, the woman who taught the class did say that archaeologists have found slabs of clay with basketry patterns on though baskets were lined with clay to make them waterproof. I'll have to look into this, as it sounds like a really cool idea, and a good way to deduce weaving patterns. Anyway, enough of my poorly-written blather (it's late, I'm hurrying)--here's the picture of my very first basket!!

Those are the most recent projects that I'm proudest of. Hooray for learning fun, new things!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It only makes it worse...

I need to remember to stop trying to fix things. It's far better to work with what is available, than to "fix" things that I have no right to try to fix. To change the nature of things to try to make it more "useful" to myself.

And I'm not talking about darning socks.