Viking Wool and Sails
I saw a wonderful article yesterday from Hakai Magazine on Viking woolen sails that is definitely worth sharing. http://www.hakaimagazine.com/article-long/no-wool-no-vikings
I got my copy of Refashioning Viking Age Garments in the mail last week. The book is a publication of a seminar that happened in Denmark in collaboration with Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhagen. The book is short, but was relatively inexpensive (around $40 after shipping to the US) and it arrived very quickly after I ordered it.
I was honestly iffy when I placed the order as I had encountered one of the individuals who showed a costume at the conference online. The project was interesting, but had no real connection to any of the archaeological finds of textiles or costume. I have to admit that it put me off.
Later, I heard (from someone who attended) that the actual conference was very good, and when I saw the list of presenters I had to purchase the book.
What I was not expecting with the book, is that many of the articles really focus on reenactors, as well as others who reconstruct historic costume, and how we present items from the past. It gives a great deal of food for thought on several topics (such as the use of tablet woven bands). I have only skimmed it thus far, but I look forward to digging deeper.
The costumes that were shown are all in photos at the end. There are some that are quite nice but there are also a few others that really make me wonder how they ended up there. For example, there is an 8th Cent coat from Moschevaja Balka with Bayeux tapestry embroidery. I find it very interesting that a book that has articles about better reproductions would have such an item included. If anything, it could be very, very confusing for a newcomer to Viking clothing. (The embroidery itself is stunning work, and the coat itself looks to be well crafted, but the entire concept is out of place and confusing.)
I plan to do a more in-depth review once I have read the book in its entirety. (I did notice as well that a couple of years ago there was a seminar on Viking Aristocracy and I believe a book is in the works from that event as well.)
If you are interested, you can purchase this book from the publisher here:
I am reworking my Dish of Apples and Wheat food item, so that I can make it a part of my KASF Pentathlon entry. Instead of using commercially bought butter this time, I am excited to be using hand churned, cultured butter! Thanks very much to THL Reyni-Hrefna from the Midrealm for her advice in culturing and working this product. I am more than pleased with my results!
For my dairy I used both whole, non-homogenized milk and heavy cream from South Mountain Creamery in Maryland. I added Siggi's skyr to it to culture it and left it sit out, covered with a linen cloth, for a little more than a day in a room that was close to 70 degrees. Everything I read said that you would know when it is cultured because it will thicken and smell slightly sour, but not "bad". I approached this tentatively, as I have this almost-fear of spoiled dairy (I wont even use milk once it has been open for a few days, even if the expiration date is no where in site). Once I went through the process, however, I completely understood that statement. The cultured dairy indeed thickened, but it also smelled exactly like the yogurt that I had added to the milk. It smelled fantastic.
I then put it in the refrigerator to drop the temperature closer to 60 degrees and then added it to the churn. The time and effort needed to get the fat to separate from the liquid was more than I anticipated, but with my boyfriend's help, we finally got to that point.
After that I strained out the solids and spent a considerable amount of time pressing the butter and adding ice cold water to help clean the remaining buttermilk out of the butter. Finally, I ended up with a bowl of wonderful, flavorful cultured butter!
Last year around this time I was working on weaving lightweight wool scarves based on those from Viking Age Dublin. I fashioned two of them on a rigid heddle loom with two shafts. The first is the one I often wear, and the second is nearly identical except that I worked to get the weaving more even and correct the amount of draw-in I had by the end of the piece.
I do not, however, often make The Thing just to have and then be done with The Thing for good. The first is always an exploration and a learning experience. Each further iteration is either and improvement on my technique or a deeper exploration into a period practice.
Tonight I started sampling an even more fine wool single on my table loom. Eventually I will weave a veil of this type of cloth. After that, I plan to use an old TV tray stand I found and convert it to an Oseberg style loom an weave another cap or scarf on using a loom that functions as one did in period. Finally, sometime down the road, the plan is to spin my own yarn to weave one. I look forward to each step in this process.
The original wool scarves that I did have been written up here. http://awanderingelf.weebly.com/blog-my-journey/dublin-scarf-finished
I loved paper dolls when I was growing up and had quite an extensive collection of them (my favorite being Star Princess and Pluta, because the outfits were AMAZING). When I recently saw this set of Viking paper dolls from PaperThinPersonas shared on Facebook I not only had to reshare, but I thought it more than appropriate to post here.
The artist is Rachel Cohen and she really does a lovely work on her diverse set of paper dolls.
This particular set has some nice research that went into it and I think they do a great job to illustrate period costuming! She even includes period shoes and accessories. This doll has both a color print out and a black and white one that little Vikings can color themselves.
I also recommend checking out some of her other historic paperdolls. The Saxon set is particularly lovely as is the Medieval and Cranach Gown! I can seen many a young SCAdian being enchanted with these. (Some of her fantasy dolls even remind me of my beloved sets of Star Princess paperdolls from the 80s!)
I am mother to a billion cats and am on journey to recreate the past via costume, textiles, culture and food.
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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