Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flemish and Egil's in Review

So, Egil's is over and done. Merchanting went okay...not great, but I didn't loose money going, which was very important.

I finished my flemish outfit just in time for the event, and even took 1st place in the costuming contest! So, here are pictures of the finished outfit:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Egil's and Craziness

Egil's Prep work is going full steam. I feel like I have a gajillion things to do, and can't quite bring myself to work on them this evening. My to do list for Egil's:
1) Finish sleeves for my Flemish (see previous post). These are going to be awesome! The are the same plum colored linen as the kirtle, but...they are lined in Orange!
2) Possibly Finish my 2nd Jacobean Jacket (in teal and pink brocade, you will be able to spot me anywhere). I have to attach the sleeves and hem.
3) Make two more Caps for the booth, as well as finish a bunch of other small projects I have been hoping to have for the tailor's shop.
4) Make a new shift! I have decided I need a new light-weight shift. It is all cut out, I just am not in the mood for machine sewing right now. I sat down at the machine and realized I needed to change the thread. That was the end of that for the evening.
5) I want a new hood! Maybe if I cut one out I can hand sew it at Egil's.

In lieu of anything else exciting picture wise, I got a new hat! It is very cute, and I will have pictures at some point of me actually wearing it. Isn't it pretty? And I have the perfect ribbon to affix it to my head!
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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Flemish Working Women's Outfit

Did I mention that I have costuming ADD? No? Well...I do. Majorly. It's a bit of a problem considering all the free time I have on my hands right now.

Well, two weeks ago, after doing some research on flemish 16th century lower class for a friend of mine who is having me help her make garb, I decided to have a stab at making one myself. I have also drooled for a long time over Drea Leed's site and the flemish information she has there. I also have, at various points in the past, stumbled on dress diaries for the time period and drooled over them.

I haven't done enough research at this point to enter anything, but I think I will have a new outfit for Egil's. Yay!

The kirtle (underdress) is the linen/rayon from Joann's (it's okay...) and only the bodice is lined. I used knife pleats because those work the best in an underdress. Cartridge pleats are lovely but not for a kirtle. The kirtle is side lacing, and surprisingly easy to get into.

I will take more pictures later. It's really hard to take pictures of yourself wearing a dress I might add. And I am horrible at the self timer thingy.

The outer layer is wool lined with a linen/cotton. Both are striped, and I really like the effect. The colors aren't normally what I would associate with Flemish stuff, but both fabrics are from my stash.

I am currently on round 4 of pleating the skirt. In the picture you can see round 2. Frustration!!

Cartridge Pleat Attempt #1: Everything was going brilliantly, I love cartridge pleats by the way, when I realized that the end of my pleating thread had come unsecured and all my pleats fell out. Curses! $%$@$

Cartridge Pleat Attempt #2: Got the skirt all attached (as pictured above), and I realized that my bodice was too long and not hitting me right. Plus, after looking at other peoples overgowns, I realized that I liked the look of the overgown better with a flat front. I had angled the two fronts down like my kirtle initially. So, off came the pleats and I chopped off bits of the bodice.

Box Pleat Attempt #1: I decided at this point that I was going to try box pleats. From the backs of the gowns I have looked at, it doesn't appear to stand out quite as much as cartridge pleats do. And, box pleats make more sense for a lower class gown as they use less fabric to achieve fullness. Not that I am making a definitive statement on what they used. So, I pinned the sides and center back of my skirt to my bodice, pinned half the pleats and started sewing. My luck was not with me. I got to the middle of the back and realized it wasn't the middle of the back. I had pinned the center back of the skirt to the side of my kirtle. So I had half the skirt left to pleat into only 1/3 of my bodice. Oops, back up.

Box Pleat Attempt #2: Keeping fingers crossed that this one will work. I have half of my skirt pinned and it looks great! I have three knife pleats in the very front, and then double box pleats across in order to accomodate the amount of fabric I have. I did knife pleats in the very front so that it would lie flat and flow into the double box pleats which are very thick. Please Please Please, let this work.
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Two Recently Finished Outfits

I have been working the past year on developing an SCA persona. For the non-SCA people out there, I have been developing a character for those crazy medieval reinactments I do. This means, at this point, picking a time period I like and choosing a name appropriate to the time and place as well as starting to construct a wardrobe. Up until this point, I have been trying out outfits from all different areas of SCA time frame. I have tried a Greek Peplos (early period), Norse apron dresses (also early period) which come in and out of Vogue in the SCA, Basic T-Tunics, generic gowns, Italian Renaissance (yay! late period), Tudor and Gothic.

Gothic, for me, has the best clothes, the best art, best architecture, and cool history, so I decided to go with that.

I have finally chosen and submitted a name. And in all fairness, I have had the name picked out for a year, I just hadn't sent in the forms. My old name had been something I chose on a whim which stuck - Hildegarde - and had used for 4 years, but I honestly didn't think it was me. And since I want my persona to be English, also doesn't work. I went with a pretty name from one of the name books (I think it opened to the page randomly) - Idonia - and then chose one of my family names as a last name - Sherwood. Sounds like it will pass the submition process, and then it shall be mine forever.

I have been working on fleshing out my SCA wardrobe with gothic fitted gowns which my housemate D has been helping me fit. I now have two, and have plans for a third for 12th night this coming winter. Here are two very silly pictures of my new dress (finally finished all the seams, eyelets and hem!) and a bucket. Awesome bucket for taking to events.

Details: 3 yards medium weight Linen (purchased from Fabric store.com) in red, and three in white for the lining.
This is a front laced dress with eyelets spaced 2 cm apart. The hem is not all the way to the ground as this dress is for tourney wear, and I dont want the skirt dragging through the mud and grass. This is a short sleeved version for now, but the short sleeve is based on peasant dress in Les Tres Riches Heures de Duke de Berry.

I have also taken a detour into later period with my Tudor gown. And now I have fallen in love with the so called "Jabobean Jackets." My friend Karis is a bad influence. Here is my latest from the back. The cap is one Karis made, patterned from Tudor Tailor, but it is too small for her, so I can wear it.
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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Knitted Coaster Pattern

This Christmas I had a quick, easy idea for Christmas presents. Something everybody needs. Something small and good for giving to the people in my life who I want to give something hand made to, but not something super time intensive. My solution was felted coasters with needle felted designs. And since coasters are entirely too easy to loose, I decided to make them in as bright colors as I could manage.

There were many test runs with this pattern, I think I knitted it 3 or 4 times before I came up with a pattern I am happy with. The end result fits most cups/mugs and has an attractive raised rim around the edge.

Since then, a few people have asked for the pattern. This is a fairly easy make, but I haven't found this patterns out there in exactly this permutation, so here it is.

Edit: I have gone back and added an option for a larger coaster, as some people felt (no pun there!) they were smallish.

Knitted Coaster Sets

By the Sinister Spinster


  1. Lamb's Pride Worsted from Brown Sheep Co. (one skein will make about 6 individual coasters, this works great with left overs since it doesn't take very much yarn)
  2. US 10.5 double pointed needles (If you want you can do this on 2 circs or magic loop, but it does start from the center)
Finished Size Felted - 4 (5)" in diameter

With double pointed needles cast on 8 stitches and divide onto 4 needles. You will have two stitches on each needle. Join in the round and knit first rows as follows:

Row 1: KFB (Knit into the front and back of the stitch), mark as begining of the round and KFB to the end of the round.
Row 2 (and all even rounds): Knit around
Row 3: *KFB, k1* repeat around
Row 5: *KFB, k2* repeat around
Row 7: *KFB, k3*
Row 9: *KFB, k4*
Row 11: *KFB, k5*
Optional Row for a larger coaster:
Row 13: *KFB, k6*

Row 13 (15 for larger size): Join a second strand of yarn as the bind off is worked with two strands. P2tog, *take this stitch and place it back on the left hand needle and p2tog with next stitch* Repeat until all stitches have been bound off.

Weave in your ends, using the center end to close up the hole and then make a bunch more.

Felt in your washer on hot (felt a bunch at the same time to save energy and water please, also felting them in a zipper bag or drawstring bag will help keep fuzzies from harming your dryer). One cycle is usually enough to felt the coasters enough. Take them out and lay flat to dry. The coasters usually come out a little wonky from the washer, but when you lay them to dry, stretch them a little bit all the way around, and that will help them lay flat and be nice and circular.

Be warned, different yarns felt differently and at different rates if you use a different yarn. If you do use a different yarn, felt one first to make sure you are happy with the size (as the pattern is easy to make smaller or bigger if needed).

Final note on finishing: Needle felting is a great way to personalize these and you can use the left overs from other coasters to make designs on these.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010


At Midwinters last month, I got this new pretty:

In other news, this means that I finally have a camera charger. I am sure that now I will find my old one. It is inevitable.

The pretty is a "Fern and Quill" which is an arts award. Yay. I now have a pretty. This is my first award in the SCA, so I am pretty excited. Notice that it was signed in September last year...that was an event I was not able to attend sadly, so this pretty thing had been waiting to go home with me all that time.

Court was fun because I got to go up twice (and under two different names even!). Once for the Fern and Quill and the second time as A & S Champion. Now I just have to find pictures...

In other news, I have a new pattern that is up for sale in the knit shop for fingerless gloves


Materials: 1 skein Willow Tweed by Louisa Harding (DK weight) and size US 5s

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saga of the camera charger part deux


Tuesday: Not surprisingly, the camera charger I wanted was out of stock, and is apparently back ordered from the company. I got a call at 7:30 this morning (I was planning on sleeping till 8) to tell me this and to offer to let me buy the newer charger at a discount. The newer, more expensive charger. Which charges my camera faster...I just want my old charger back.

Well, its ordered. So hopefully this one will ship and will work. I'm not holding my breath. Hopefully I wont have to buy a new battery to go with this new charger cause my old one is outdated or something. Grrrrr.

Coming soon: My week in review, or how my basement flooded, also to be known as why we need a new water heater.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saga of the Camera Charger

So, at some point this autumn I misplaced my camera charger. I looked and looked and cleaned and cleaned, and I finally managed to find the cord to the charger. Now, as this charger requires a little black box to actually place my battery in, the cord alone does me no good.

"It will be fine," I told myself. It will turn up while you are cleaning someday. So I cleaned some more, and looked some more, and I have come to the conclusion that either my fabric, or my yarn, ate it.

The last straw was Midwinters last weekend (a local SCA event) that I went to. Surprisingly, I won A & S champion for the barony and also received a feather and quill. Yay! A great event, and I wore my new Jacobean jacket and cartridge pleated skirt. I, by the way, received several compliments on my new outfit (as well as the critique that I wasn't wearing a hat or coif). At the end I regreted that I did not have my camera (as I have run the batteries down since loosing said charger).

So, I came home and decided I would go find/buy myself a new charger to replace the old one. I have a beautiful camera and I want to use it!

Wednesday: I went to Office Max as it is close to my work and I know they carry Olympus cameras (mine is an Olympus FE 280). Unfortunately they don't really carry the chargers seperately. And well I understand that, it was slightly disapointing. They didn't really even have a universal charger that would work. Which is what I was hoping for.

Thursday: Thursday I helped Karis set up her new sewing room. We went out to Lowe's and bought shelving then went to Malwort to pick up printer cartridges. While there I decided to check out the camera chargers and they had a bunch. I found one that looked promising as a universal charger that stated on the label that it worked for Olympus cameras and had a million different attachments. $40 I walked out of the store happy in the knowledge that my camera would now work.

After helping Karis set up her sewing room, I returned home and immediately tore open the package (does anyone else hate plastic packaging that requires a hacksaw to open?) and all the little bits fell out. But that was okay, it was going to work and everything would be okay, right? I found the plug bit that fit my camera and realized that although it fit, that was a data transfer cable. The package included data transfer cables as a "bonus" inside the package. So I looked at the bits that actually worked with the charger. No luck, not a single one of them actually fit in my camera.

Are they serious? They included a data transfer cable as an extra in this package, but not a battery charger for my camera?

Turns out my camera was not on the included list (hidden deep inside this stupid thing I will have you know) and you have to have them send you an appropriate plug thing. Grrrrrrrrrrr. D was nice enough at this point to tell me "It's okay, you can return that," and to put all the little stupid bits back in the packaging. Needless to say that went straight back from whence it had come.

Friday: I called Dot Dotson's camera place and they said "no" and told me to check with Batteries Plus in Coburg. I called them and was told they had a universal for $38 that would work with my camera. When I explained my worry that my camera apparently is not "universal" the nice man on the phone said that I could try it out in the store before I bought it.

Sunday: Today I looked on the internet before heading out to Batteries Plus and found my original charger for $21 and not some universal that will not like me. So I ordered that and have my fingers crossed that they will not steal my identity or send me something not what I want at all and then refuse to take it back.

The moral of the story being: Do not loose your camera charger, and clean your room more often.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A review of the year

Last year had its ups and downs. I knitted a large amount of the year, but I did not make nearly as many sweaters as last year (probably a good idea for my hands and wrists).

New Year's Resolutions:
  1. Find new job (as a subitem of said list: work on Resume)
  2. Eat healthy and cook more
  3. Make a pretty GFD for 12th night next year (I just ordered the lining)
  4. Read more edifying material than my usual silly Sci-Fi
As a part of my year in review, I thought I would post pictures highlighting my year:

The pictures are:
  1. My first GFD with l putting on my hem at Egil's
  2. My Tudor gown I made for 12th Night in January '09
  3. A shrug I made for my cousin A (she can still wear it, yay!)
  4. A and I at a Regency Ball in my 1st attempt at a Regency costume
  5. My first SCA knitted pouch based on designs from Rutt's History of Handknitting
  6. My second SCA pouch made for the Baroness of Adiantum featuring my own chart (based off of a cross stitch chart) of a bicranial bear
  7. Koolhas by Jared Flood made in Malabrigo Worsted (made in January '09 I think)
  8. Me'n Dad in Maine at the 2009 family reunion
  9. My 3rd SCA pouch made for Brenda in LA as a thank you.
  10. Spinning on the train (at the train station rather) on the way to LA. Hint *If you spin on the train, no one sits next to you...it worked out great.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Hat

Happy New Year to all! In celebration of no longer knitting Christmas presents, I have been designing a couple of hat patterns for the shop where I work. I was inspired by the currently all popular "slouch hat," which several people have come in recently looking for patterns for. As my hair is getting longer, and I am sick of not being able to wear a hat because my hair is up, I decided to make a pattern for myself. The result is my arrow head lace hat. It has too be lace, because, quite honestly, stockinette is too darn boring to bother with. I am quite happy with the results, and the pattern is now available at the knit shop. I am also working on a smaller size now, because this one is a little large on me (I have a small head).

Materials: 2 skeins Rowan Felted Tweed DK
Needles: 16" US 4s and 5s and US 5dpns

Mom was kind enough to take pictures for me, and they turned out really well. As a bonus, I also got pictures of two sweaters I made a year ago and have no pictures of:

The first is the Katherine Hepburn Cardigan from Lace Style out of Tiur from Dalegarn, the second is "Honey" from Elspeth Lavold's patterns made in the Kashmir DK from Louisa Harding. Both were made about a year ago.

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