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Still working on class materials (which means converting some of my web articles to PDFs to use as handouts), and realized last night that I need to get a shorter table for my table loom as I cannot comfortably throw the shuttle with it on such a tall table. After that I will fashion tensioning devices for both the table loom and my countermarche loom and start winding new warps for both. The table loom will be set up with some red wool to weave material for Hedeby purses and the countermarche will get the very, very fine dark blue wool for both a tunic for my boyfriend and an aprondress for myself. It could take me a year to weave the amount of yardage that I need, but I think it will be worth it in the end.
Beyond that, it is new garb that I am planning so that I can retire some of my overwrought pieces to become Pennsic night or rainy day garb. Despite that I do not much enjoy sewing, I am very looking foward to the wardrobe upgrade. I need to figure out how much time I reasonably have to do this (as I do not want to take time away from research and working on the new class) so that I can prioritize the pieces I need to make.
This weekend, I did take the weekend off. I slept. A lot. It was pretty amazing. We had our vet appt Friday and got the AMAZING news that the mass in my kitty's head is half the size it was in September. The relief was so profound that I think I just, finally, was able to catch up on some of the sleep that I have missed over the last year. Yay!
One of the most interesting things about learning about historic costumes is that the base of knowledge is forever changing. There is always more that we do not know about something than there is about what we do actually know.
A recent article about how aging paint affect the color items in portraits really emphasizes this well. The image in the left is the portrait as it is today and to the right is how they believe it looked before it aged. (Photo is from a a story in Whim magazine that can be found here: http://www.ruwhim.com/?p=46076 .)
One of the key things to consider, when working to recreate a look from the past is that every few years you might need to evaluate what you know, or what you think you knew. Yes, this means it will be entirely possible that you might need to rework areas of costumes you have already spent countless hours on. Yes, this means that papers you have written or that classes you have taught might need to have edits done.
Honestly, I think this is part of the fun of what I do. It keeps things alive, dynamic. New discoveries or new light on old discoveries keeps me motivated and allows me to explore and try new things.
It looks like 2016 could be a year of interesting new information for those exploring Viking costume and I am very much looking forward to it. A book on the Gokstad textiles is due out this year. And two books that cover costuming are already available for pre-order.
Textilien und Tracht in Haithabu und Schleswig. Die Ausgrabungen in Haithabu 18 is already available from Amazon in Germany. http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/3529014184?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages00
And Iconic Costumes: Scandinavian Late Iron Age Costume Iconography is available for pre-order via Oxbow books: http://www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/iconic-costumes.html
(I have to add in here the caveat that I still personally avoid the Shoulda/Coulda/Woulda approach to reenacting. Yes, what we know is forever changing, but I base my work on what we do know now, and not what we might, possibly, find in the future.)
2015 was certainly... interesting. There were many good things, however, among the surprises and sorrow that life chose to impart, so my plan is to focus on those and move onward into 2016 with a smile.
Good things include meeting amazing people at events, teaching my Viking Wool class several times, participating in the Pennsic A&S Champions competition, being inducted into the Order of the Fleur, learning to naalbind, getting my Viking swatchbook project off the ground, and writing several articles on Viking textiles or costume that have gotten some good feedback and that have been extensively shared online.
The holidays were too short, but lovely. I got some wonderful SCA items for gifts. My mother bought me NESAT 12 and the book about the Hallstatt textiles (both are pretty amazing). And my BF got me a wonderful Norwegian bentwood box to use as a sewing kit at events (currently my sewing materials are in a small tupperware bin, lol). It is beautiful and I have already dug into my handwoven scraps to make a pincushion to keep in it and will be making a pouch for my period scissors as well.
I did manage, over the break, to finish the rug I have been working on for my tent at Pennsic. I need to finish up the warp with some smaller rugs, but I can start to measure the warp out for a wool tunic for my boyfriend and another aprondress for myself. It will be set at approximately 40 threads per inch, so I have ordered more heddles so that my loom can accommodate the fine weaving.
For sewing, I am finishing up some changes I am making to my green handwoven dress. I have replaced the poofy, stretchy straps with linen straps and have make wool cord that I have stitched to the top of the dress. I am almost done with a cobalt blue pleated aprondress that will be worn under it (as was suggested by one of the grave costumes from Kaupang). I am looking forward to wearing these dresses in pairs, as there are many examples that show this as a possibility, but it is something one rarely sees among reenactors.
And of course, I am already planning on the things I will be working on this year.
I am very much looking forward to attending events, even though things at home have not changed much and I will only be able to be there for the morning/afternoon. I have had a great time in 2015 with the variety of events I have attended and the new things I have tried in the SCA.
I will be at AEthelmearc 12th Night this coming weekend, and then hopefully can stop by Sylcan Glen Shire 12th Night next weekend. Following that will be (possibly) Atlantia's KASF event in early February and I will be teaching Spinning 101 in Dun Carraig (my Laurel's home group) at the end of February. Absolutely planning on War Practice this year and, if all goes well, several additional events before that!
Below is a photo of the reworked aprondress and my beloved Nimar (which was my best Christmas present of all). I am overjoyed that he is acting very much his crazy self again and that we had another wonderful Christmas with him.
I dance, race cars, play video games and am on a fantastic journey to recreate the past via costume, textiles, dance and food.
Blogroll of SCA & Costume Bloggers
Below is a collection of some of my favorite places online to look for SCA and historic costuming information.
More Amie Sparrow - 16th Century German Costuming
Gianetta Veronese - SCA and Costuming Blog
Grazia Morgano - 16th Century A&S
Mistress Sahra -Dress From Medieval Turku
Loose Threads: Cathy's Costume Blog
Mistress Mathilde Bourrette - By My Measure: 14th and 15th Century Costuming
More than Cod: Exploring Medieval Norway
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