Thursday, December 17, 2009

Brain Freeze

Look at all the pretty colours. I looked in my fabric stash yesterday and realized just how much of my fabric is in gold/red/blue. Poor me. So sad. Now I just need to finish all my current projects so I can move on to other things.

I was working on garb for the current Prince and Princess of Summits (do not ask me to spell their names). I made a light green linen undertunic, Persian. No, not the cat, the culture. Good experience, it was fun learning a new construction technique for the gown. I did have to finish all of the seams by hand, so it took a little while to do. Then, at the last minute, it was decided to add buttons...but that was okay. Alas, I did not get a photo...

In other news, it is almost Christmas and I am getting close to finished with Christmas presents, still have socks to make for Dad, clogs to make for R and other assorted brick-a-brack.

All is well on this front, I will survive the Christmas madness.

D is making chex-mix tonight, so I must go and smell the heavenly odors as they waft through the house.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

14th Century Cap/Coif

Update 11/21/13: I have completed a new tutorial and posted it here. Also, if you are interested in Italian versions of this cap, check this post out.

For Egil's this summer I decided to start trying to make myself period head gear. I had been reading the Medeival Silkwork blog and saw her information on the cap of St. Brigit and I decided that I had to have one to go with my 14-15th century persona.

The visual sources for the cap are the Maciejowski Bible of the mid 13th century, of which, if you are interested, pictures can be found here. This source has several caps with ties looping several times over the head and the body of the cap.

Another source is the Tacuina Sanitatis of Vienna from the late 14th century. Images of the Tacuina can be found through Wikapedia here at the bottom of the page.

There are several other images of such caps which are discussed at Medieval Silkwork, but the two I have listed are the most pertinant to my persona.

There is also and there is an extant cap that looks like the pictured caps, the Cap of St. Brigit which is extensively discussed in Medieval Clothing and Textiles IV and is discussed more briefly (but very helpfully) at Medieval Silkwork.

The feature that I find so appealing as opposed to other types of caps is the bands that loop over the head and crisscross to hold the cap in place, rather than tying the strings under the chin.

My first prototype worked wonderfully for Egil's and I have made several since as gifts (and as a nicer linen one for me.

I cut my linen to fit my head (one side of the square to equal half my head measurement with no seam allowance). I later made a bigger cap out of linen, and you want a nice snug cap because the linen will warm up and stretch as you wear it.

After I rounded the two halves and hemmed all edges I did an embroidery insertion to connect the. To save time, this cap has a modified embroidery insertion, I did a simple double herringbone instead of the interlaced herringbone stitch of the original cap. I like the way this looks, but I have also done the cap with a seam connecting the halves and like it as well.

The pleating I used was cartridge pleating because I recently learned how, and I have found that it creates nice even pleats with little effort. Also I have found that it is the best way to gather a lot of fabric into a small amount of space.

In the extant cap, the binding over the edges and the ties for the cap were done in a different fabric than the original (both are linen, but the thread counts are different for the cap and the ties) so I had a little fun and put some inkle woven trim on my cap. None of the caps I have found images of indicate that this was done in period. I did this partly because I wanted a pretty cap with a nice edging and partly because I was out of the linen I had used for the body of the cap. Plus I had just made some inkle woven trim. The inkle is sewn to the brim and then I pleated the bottom of the one side of the cap (that goes at the neck) into the trim which then also forms the ties.

And voila! I have a nice cap to keep my hair clean (or pin a veil to) at events. This is me at Festival of the Roses in Caid knitting a medieval pouch. This is not the cap pictured so far, this was my first attempt with out embroidery and with just a plain linen band for the ties.

I have since been able to read the article from Medieval Clothing and Textiles IV, which has a wonderful article on this style of cap and have a few adjustments that I will be making to future caps. In the extant cap it looks as if the back seam wasn't sewn up/embroidered all the way down to the neck (pictured in other people's reconstructions and the diagrams in medieval clothing and textiles IV).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Knitting Humor

So, someone just sent me this through one of my knitting lists, you should watch it too. It think it contains humor approachable even by the non-knitter.
Just a happy little break from a hectic day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

End of Days

Well, work continues apace. I will have pictures to amuse people with soon, but not yet. I have explained my lack of posts by: A picture is worth 1,000 words, and since I have no pictures, I have no words. Therefore, no posts to regale people with.

But, on to the exiting news from LA and Mirm.

This weekend is crown, we will be traveling to Fresno (4 or more hours I hear) and I am frantically trying to work on my outfit. Yes, I know, how frantically can I be working if I am typing on my computer? But I have fixed my shift so that the arms are no longer skin tight and I can actually move. I am quite impressed with the results, I added gores into the cuff of the sleeves.

My Gothic Fitted Dress needs work on the sleeves. I was unhappy with how my inset sleeves worked out the first time through, so I am attempting sleeves version 2. The sleeve caps were just a little too poofy, so I am taking off a little of the sleeve caps so they wont have to be eased in so much. Also, the dress needs to be hemmed. Doubt I will get around to actually hemming it by the event...My plan is to make my sleeves lace up too, wont get to that by the event. I might have enough time by crown labour day weekend.

Yes, I will be going to Caid Crown, and then 2 weeks later, attending Antir Crown. I am well traveled. For those of you who dont know, Caid is the SCA kingdom of Southern California, and Antir would be Oregon/Washington (and some other bits).

We have one week left in work before I head back to Eugene, we are not going to finish the tapestry (we really were hoping to) as there just isn't time. I did finish 3 areas in the past two days, so I am feeling good about that. We had a party today at work at a lovely restaurant called Samosa House that has wonderful food. And I got prezzies for my birthday! The first was a beautiful book on cheese types (a conosieurs guide) for my kitchen and the second was:

A magnetic wand!!!! So excited. I am going to go back to Eugene and D will be so incredibly jealos of me. It is the coolest for picking up pins and needles and makes an awesome noise when it extends. It makes me happy.

See you all in September.

By magnetic wand...I mean a wand with a magnet on the end. It is teh awesome. I can use it to pick up the multitude of pins and needles that I have dropped over the past 6 months in our house.

Monday, June 22, 2009

If I told you I would have to kill you

And by that I mean that I don't have much to say with the job front. The studio is fun and awesome and I adore the people I work with (all except for Kim of course). We are putting patches on the back of a textile and I am helping to stitch them down. The excitement of our days is when we get to make off a section as done. I am on a large patch so that may be awhile.

One of my coworkers' birthdays is tomorrow, so we shall be celebrating with a "green" birthday. My contribution is an apple pie, fresh out of the oven (okay it is fresh right now, wont be tomorrow). The "green" part will be green food coloring in whip cream if P & B have food coloring in their cupboard. I may fail and have to bring ordinary food coloring.

Am trying an experiment, I will wait to see how edible the pie is before I tell you the secret ingredient. It looks pretty though. No pictures as I do not have picture capabilities currently.

I was bored and made a batch of whipped cream (even without food coloring) and so tonight we will be having strawberry shortcake.

Everything is good, I am missing my kitchen though, P &B's kitchen is tiny.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


So, in crazy news, I may be going to LA for the next couple of weeks. Haven't finalized details, but I did get the okay from work (and there will be a job when I come back to town if I wants). Don't have tickets yet, or know when I am leaving, but it will probably be in the next week or so.

I will miss D (my housemate) because this is the sort of thing we do if we have too much fruit on our hands:

And now, since I don't have any pictures of cute puppies, you get pictures of bears:

This is a pouch I made with the baronial crest:
see Jane, see two headed bear, hear two headed bear tummy Jane, Run!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Another Egil's has come and gone. This is the primary reason for my lack of up-to-date posts recently - that, and I'm lazy.

D and I decided that we needed new outfits for Egil's. Well, I decided I needed a new outfit, D decided she needed a new outfit for her friend L, and her fellow. Her fella' ended up in a hand-me-down of mine, go figure. This dress was somehow made with 14" of ease on me about 6 years ago. For some -bizarre - reason, I never finished the outfit. When D first moved in, her fella' was on a pink kick. And so, she thought it would be fun to see if my enormous dress would fit him, since the dress is pink.

It fit. And he adored it, so it went to a good home, with a few alterations. The sleeves were admittedly short, and the hem was long for a guys tunic, so D took the extra from the hem and added it to the sleeves with some piecing.

We wont even go into the horrors of the other outfit D decided to make for Egil's. Which, by the way, turned out beautifully, just took way too much brain power trying to make it at 5 am the night before we left.

On to my outfit. Here is me at the event trying to stand still as L (out of frame) bastes the hem so the safety pins don't show. This is a gothic fitted dress (gfd) based on Robin Netherton's notes on the construction in Medieval Clothing and Textiles I. D helped me fit it - and did a splendid job of it. The second and third pics are of my new pretty cap for my GFD. This is also based upon an article in Medieval Clothing and Textiles IV on the cap of St. Brigit. The cap is quite easy to construct. I had fun figuring it out, with very few instructions in English, but it is such a simple construction. I would like to make another with my handwoven fabric at somepoint and try the herringbone embroidery used to connect the two halves of the cap.

On another note: Things are growing in our garden!!!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Of Dancing and Sewing

A quick summary of my weekend. Saturday was spent sewing in preparation for The Regency Spring Ball here in town. Sunday was spent sewing and in fun at the Arts & Sciences Social/Baronial Birthday Bash.

Above are two pictures of my finished Regency Gown. Last time I wore it (in winter), I hadn't finished any lacing for the dress, and it was held together by safety pins. D was awesome though, and came home early and finished my eyelets for me this time! And look! They are spiral laced. This is my new favorite technique. For it is awesome, and totally period.

I then took that finished dress and went to a ball. See the dancing and merriment? We danced for 4 hours, and I didn't sit out any sets. So much fun to be had.

Sunday's picture (right) was me teaching 5 people how to fingerloop braid. Which is wonderful. I was so happy so many people wanted to learn. What is fingerloop braiding you ask? Fingerloop braiding is a totally period way of making trim/laces. They have extant period instruction manuals for this technique. Again, wonderful.

I have to work in the morning, so it is off to bed for me.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shrugs and Stuff

Well, I survived week one of hell. Next week, round 2. Last week was a 6 day work week for me. Saturday was supposed to be 2 hours of work, and turned into 7 instead, so I had a nice full week. This coming weekend is looking very nice.

Not much knitting has happended this week, so I have to content myself with pictures of two shrugs I knit in the past two months that I recently took pictures of.

The first is a little purple shrug I made for a shop sample:
Knitting Pure and Simple #288
2 skeins Touche from Berroco
Size 6 needles

The Second is round two of the same pattern made for my cousin A (pictured here grinning like a maniac)

Knitting Pure and Simple #288
2 skeins Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Death by Yarn

Actually, currently it looks like death by too many hours. Over the past several months I have had to contend with too few hours at work (as anyone out there who has listened to my woes knows) but the next two weeks I am working 40 hour weeks. Wahoo? Let me just say, that being receptionist at my office is one of my most hated jobs. And the receptionist is away for the next two weeks, and guess who gets her job on top of mine? A scooby snack to the first person to guess. I may have to do some serious yarn/fabric therapy next month to compensate. At least I will be getting monies.

In other news, I finished this cool project:
a medieval bag with charts based on those in Rutts History of Knitting. I had a lot of fun knitting it, and I think that I will make several more based on Rutts charts and other medieval charts for gifts and such. The fabric you see will be the lining. It is all that is left over from lining the skirt of my Tudor Gown. The braid is a cotton that I used a basic 5 loop fingerloop braid. And now, because I want to show off my pretty project, come more photos:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Pi(e) day!

Happy Pi(e) day all! okay, I'm a little bit late. But Saturday was officially pi(e) day. There was much pie to be had. We had a bunch of people over who all brought pies (of one sort or another). Dorothy and I made Spanikopita, and a Berry Pie (I supervised as I was sick) and D made Quiche (Woot! my spelling is correct on that one). Her fella brought inverted pie in the form of bread pudding. C S and S brought cheese pie, aka cheese cake. Other peoples provided our stomachs with pizza pie, vinager pie, Greek tomato pie, and a pear claufourt (sp?) pie courtesy of K from Monday knitting. There may have been more pies, but the details are a little fuzzy (no, there was no alchohol involved this time).
There was much yumminess to be had. And L provided back rubs for the sick feeling cook.

Yes, for Saturday was full of plague. I feel mostly better today, after having slept most of Sunday. I decided to be a lump and sleep and read Goblin Hero, sequel to Goblin Quest. Funny series by the way for those in search of creative silly writing with a runt of a goblin as the reluctant hero (very reluctant). Recommended by a friend in Salem. Sick days are perfect for catching up on reading.

In work news, I finally have more hours at the Law Office. The next two weeks I even have almost full time as the receptionist is going to be out of town. I can't make up my mind whether to be thrilled or to want to run screaming. Being receptionist isn't the most thrilling esp. with an impatient boss. Who according to the mother unit, might want someone (i.e. me) to work on his website. Because I'm young, so of course I know how websites go together. On the other hand, it would be something to do when our clients don't bother to bring me the paperwork I need. Grumble grumble...

I have been knitting quite a bit while having little to no hours last month. I know have a pattern I am selling at The Knit Shop, where I work.

It takes one skein of kid silk haze. And it took me forever. This was initially going to be a camisole for the shop. Hahahahaha. Why did I decide to do a camisole out of a lace weight mohair? Someone should have shot me then and there. Anyways, after frogging that (oh, 6 months ago...) I decided to make a scarf as the only viable thing to do with the yarn. Then I ripped this pattern out like three times because I was unhappy with the width of the repeat. It is a ruffle scarf (I know, lots of them out right now) but I added a simple lace to the edging because I didn't like how the stockinette of other ruffle scarves curls. Plus, when you do it in a lace weight it is so much more. Here is a close up:I have a skein left over (as the camisole was going to take two skeins) so I am planning on making the Ice Queen Cowl out of the remainder. How much pink do I need again?

If you would like to buy it (support my yarn habbit!): 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Farthinglae: Take 1, 2 and 3

I have been much remiss in telling all of my adventures in costuming of late. As I am sure everyone is dying to hear about the stages of my dress (the good, the bad and the really ugly). My plan is to post information on each step (we'll see how many I skip) in order to document the work that went into this the past three months or so. I made the following layers: Smock, corset, farthingale (hoopskirt), Petticoat/underskirt, dress, partlet, false sleeves and hat.

Today's post is about the trials and tribulation of my farthingale. A Spanish Farthingale is a shaped hoop skirt work in Tudor england. The effect is to turn your dress into a hover car. And when you wear it you can't navigate around your house for the fittings if its messy (as mine is most frequently).

For the farthingale I used fabric that Mom gave me ages ago (since no one sees it anyways) in red with white hoop casing (on the inside I am a candy cane). I used directions from Alcega's 1589 farthingale pattern as interpreted in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion with help from the Elizabethan Costuming Page for interpretation. The hoops are plastic tubing (.19 a foot) from the local hardware store. Review: it kinks...a lot. Yeah, first I tried steaming the plastic to get it to unkink, in the kitchen sink this time. I then placed it in front of the heater with boxes on top of it. It looked unkinked, so I cut lengths and started feeding them to my fabric. No biscuit. As soon as I tried this, the plastic decided it wanted to be a flamanco skirt:

After Dorothy and I laughed ourselves silly, (and tried it on multiple times) I tried the bathtub. I put the tubing in the bathtub and poured hot water on the tubes. I let them sit until they relaxed, took the farthingale out, and let it hang dry. This was moderately sucessful:
But still, my skirt had definite flamanco aspects. And was bathtub shaped.

Next, I tried my shower, seeing as my shower is square and not rectangular as is a bathtub. Again I let the farthingale hang dry so the weight of the skirt would help the hoops hold their shapes. Sucess!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy New Year

A Post! And my first of the new year (and in several months as well).
I have been sewing frantically for practically the past 3 months so that can explain my lack of posting. I really will post some pictures of my newest project soon. I swear.
Here is the finished product in any case:

This is the finished product: My 1530's Henrican Court Gown. (For those non-historic geeks out there, that would be Henry VIII). More notes on the trials and tribulations of said costume to come.