Monday, 31 March 2014

Monday Monday.

The most patient husband of them all has accumulated enough overtime hours that he has the day off today. As opposed to myself, who has a (thankfully diminishing) heap of clothing to sew.

There's only one last piece to be adapted (the man's hose), and they are comparatively quick to sew... so I'm hoping to make good progress on the remaining stuff today.

Thusly, not much for the blog today - as a little consolation for this, I point you to this gratuitous cat picture from a medieval manuscript. There is green cloth to sew. I shall be where the cloth is.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Something I have learned.

A few years ago, while I was still quite new at that freelancing stuff that I do, I was beating myself up because I felt that I was not getting enough work done during any given day. I chatted about that with a very good friend, lamenting my laziness and inefficiency and my general ineptness. And then she did something that changed my life - she told me about a study that had found out that in every normal day job, with its eight hours nominal work-time, the actual hours of actual work done every day, on average.... was four.

Four. That's about... half.

The rest? Lost in checking emails, nonessential phone calls, getting coffee, catching up with colleagues, whatever. (Possibly in nonessential, nonproductive meetings too.) Four hours, folks.

I took a deep breath and readjusted the expectations I had on myself to a healthier level, and one much more congruent with actual reality than before. I've thought of that ever since whenever there was a day that did not go as I had planned, and it has saved my sanity oh, uncountable times.

Some time later I heard about a study that had tested work times too, and found out that yes, you could make people work longer hours... but if you set them to work 40 or 42 hours per week, there was actually not getting more done than with 35 hours per week, because efficiency declined quickly enough to cancel the extra time out. Completely. (That's one of the reasons I try very hard not to work on weekends.)

Now, with the current project, I think I have found out what my personal ceiling on hours of actual work per day still sustainable over the medium-to-long run is. I will not share the exact number over the blog, as that's too personal and too much a part of my internal business reckonings, but you can probably guess that it is more than four and less than eight (I have .

Mind you - I am not saying that it is impossible to work much, much more for a day or a few days (that is called "managing a crisis" or "putting in an extra effort when necessary", or as another of my friends likes to call it "getting the cow off the ice"). I am also not saying that these four hours of average are the thing valid for every person, everywhere, every time. As the most patient of all husbands rightly pointed out to me, you can probably do more non-brainy, mildly taxing physical work in a day than deep thinking or stuff that requires much concentration.

What I try to say is that if you are a freelancer, do not think you will be able to work eight billable hours per day, any day and every day. You, too, will have a sustainable work hour ceiling, and it will most probably be less than eight (if not, you might be superhuman, and I might not want to know you). It's normal, and you are not alone. In fact, you are joined in this by the rest of humanity.
Of course you will be able to push through that ceiling when necessary (putting in an extra effort, see above). You might also be able to work more for a while. (That, however, is called "working too much", which should be followed by "getting some well-earned rest" and "doing normal hours again", or it will gradually slide over to being called "working yourself sick" and, if you really won't back off and care for yourself, "working yourself to death". I know people who worked themselves sick, more than one. You don't want that. Trust me.)

That's it. Now I will get coffee and try to hit my sustainable maximum number of work hours per day again, today. Chances are good.

Oh, and dear friend who once gave me that life-changing bit of information (and who also supplies me with socks sometimes, but probably does not read this blog)? Thank you. Thank you so much.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Isn't it Friday yet?

I'm simultaneously wishing it were Friday and wishing it were Tuesday - I am really looking forward to having a nice weekend and a bit of time off, but there's also still a lot to do, with too little time, as usual.

While I am trying to decide whether I would prefer it to be earlier or later this week, here are some links for you that you hopefully find interesting:

The Yarn Harlot writes about the importance of blocking. (For the non-knitters among you, that's finishing a completely knitted piece so it looks its best.)

On a similar note, here's a piece about why fabrics shrink when they get wet. It seems to mostly be about cotton, and the pdf linked in the post does not mention different materials (or material at all), but it might still be interesting.

Kristina asks who needs an osteologist. (Hint: If you are going to say stuff about bones, ask  someone who knows their way around them first.)

There's an exhibition about Tudor and Stuart clothing as shown in portraiture, in Edinburg. It will run until July 20.

And for those of you who read German, Archaeologik has an article about archaeological publications and censoring due to political reasons.

That's it for today... see you tomorrow, on the real Friday. (Can't wait. Oh no, wait, Friday already? Can I have Wednesday instead, please?)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

It's dead, Jim.

I was all set, yesterday, for finishing the woman's overgarment before ending my day... and then my current favourite needle broke. To be more precise, it's eye broke. (I'm always tempted to write "ear" of the needle, since the German word for the needle's eye, "Öhr", is close to the German word for ear, "Ohr".) I took that for a sign, heaved a sigh, and got some chocolate.

Over time, I've killed quite a few needles - they have a limited life-span, after all. I had the classic broken needle (shaft snapping in two), I also had needles bent so badly that I did not really like working with them anymore, but I think this is about the first time the end of the eye snapped off.

Over time, I've also learned that what my favourite needle is depends on the fabric I'm working with, the thread I'm using, and my current state of mind. Quite a few of my needles had that position for a while, and it's also quite possible for them to re-gain it one day.

Fortunately, I have found another needle quite like the one that broke in my stash. (Needle stash. Good thing. Good thing.) The surcot is almost done... whew.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Blog Carnival, the last month.

"Next month is the SAA session on blogging so this will be the final question for #blogarch. Learning from my mistakes this will be an actual question this time.
The last question is where are you/we going with blogging or would you it like to go? I leave it up to you to choose between reflecting on you and your blog personally or all of archaeology blogging/bloggers or both. Tells us your goals for blogging. Or if you have none why that is? Tell us the direction that you hope blogging takes in archaeology."

It's the final installment of the BlogArch Carnival... and yes, of course I'll participate again - won't miss this! So... Where do I want to go with blogging? Hm.

There's dreams and wishes when I think about my blog, and then there's my realistic brain which tells me things about the dreams and wishes. If I dream wildly, I would love my blog to be as well-read as the Yarn Harlot's, or Scalzi's blog, and feature actual scientific-ish content with lots of pictures and new insights and information about clothes and techniques. My realistic brain, when it catches me dreaming thusly, tells me that I would need to devote much more time to the blog in that case. And if I had so many comments, it would suck all my time to read them. (Also, many comments come with much spam.)

I would like to blog more about actual archaeological stuff, and do more reseach-esque posts on the blog, but I know this is more like a dream than an actual goal I can realistically achieve. Writing a proper post about some piece of garment (or some other research subject) takes an astonishing amount of time, and that won't fit in with my schedule most days. Ironically, it's especially when I am doing more research than usual that I have even less time to spend on the blog...
I've thought about this from time to time, but after a while of almost beating myself up about it I realised that most of the blogs that do research-type articles don't update that often. I know myself, though - if I would switch to posting occasionally aiming for longer pieces, that's when I would start posting not at all. (So these short uninspired blog posts that come up from time to time are the price I make you pay for keeping blogging. Sorry.)

My hope for this blog is that I can keep going with enough variation and enough interesting posts that I can gain more readers than I lose. I'm well aware that blogs are not something you read forever - interests change as do priorities and styles of writing, and if you blog about a certain topic you are bound to repeat yourself sooner or later. There's quite a list of blogs these days that I used to read, but stopped after a while - because the blog's focus changed, because my interest in the topic waned, because I felt that I got no new input, or because I was annoyed by the much too infrequent updates. Some blogs fell silent, and I missed them a lot for a while.

In retrospective, most of the blogs that fell silent after a while or that I stopped reading because it felt like repetition of the same, the same were those relatively restrictive in their topics. Which seems to make sense to me - the more variety you have, the less you need to repeat. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.)

With the mix of topics I have, I'm still far from the big-player territory like IT stuff, so my blog will probably never become a huge blog with gazillions of readers; but if enough people read something like a Call for Papers or a heads-up to a free access week or something like that to make a difference for a few of you, I'm quite happy.

Otherwise, I'm not planning to go anywhere with this blog. I plan to stay right here, writing something every weekday, keeping my favourite second language polished and making the occasional weird mistake with it, posting too few pics and bombarding you with links that you might find helpful, or amusing, or none of both.

As for blogging in archaeology in general - I'd love to have more textile archaeology blogs around. (If you know of any, please let me know!) I also love to hear about current developments in excavations, or finds of dress accessories. Getting more people to know about the actual work in the dirt, not just the spectacular finds, would surely be a good thing for all of us archies.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Uh, Monday? Already?

Seems like the much-needed weekend is over, since my calendar and everything else with a date on tells me it's Monday. Oh well. I shall get to work then, right?

While I finish the last seam on the lady's surcot (getting it into a state where I can mark out hems and neck opening) and cut the middle gores for the tunic (getting this into a similar state, plus some sewing and neatening), you could check out this post about books of remarkable women.

Or you could go over here and read about Eastern Uncrossed knitting and yarn tension.

Me, now, I will go fix myself a coffee... because coffee always helps. Well, almost always, anyways.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Same old, same old. But with pics.

Okay, here's the deal: You are getting pics today, but they are of the "quick-snap" variety, with colours slightly off and quality not as good as it could be. Plus you're not getting much text with them.

But hey, pics!

The surcot for the lady in progress:

There's a lot of basting going on for this one. A lot.

The purple tunic for the man, also in progress (still missing two gores):

The sleeve is done, though.

This one's finished. Whew. (That's a decorative silk facing on the neck opening that tried to eat all my patience, and all my sanity.)


And partly finished hose for the lady, in a night blue. (The foot part is not yet done, and I'll need a final fitting for this.)

  • Plus a gratuitous cat pic.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Today's blog post brought to you by Random Ramblings.

I'm still sewing (a lot), and I'm still behind on what I had intended to keep as a schedule (mostly due to a much-needed desk day, taking care of some paperwork stuff inbetween). There is progress... but not yet enough to make me breathe freely again.

It was clear from the beginning that this project would be a tight schedule, so at least I'm not surprised. The therefore also unsurprising lack of photos which I promised you, repeatedly, is to blame on the lack of time that I have. Taking photos doesn't take long, basically - but usually turns out to take longer than intended, and I currently don't feel like taking that "risk".

While I am sewing happily along, I'm listening to stuff. To be more precise: to podcasts. Especially nice, in my opinion: I get to listen to stories, in addition to listening to all that other stuff that I have (from Kickstarters, for example) and never gotten around to immersing myself into it. If you are looking for stories, you might want to check out EscapePod and PodCastle, both posting stories every week or so. I'm also thinking about checking out one or a few knitting podcasts, but haven't gotten around to checking these out yet.

For those of you more interested in medieval cooking, two cookbooks (the oldest ones in Britain so far) are mentioned over on the Medieval Manuscripts blog (the catalogue is updated again).

I am really looking forward to having this project all off my hands some time around Easter - the next sewing project in line comes, fortunately, with a kinder schedule, and I will have some time inbetween to take care of the other (not less exciting things) that are piling up here. (There will be hand-made needles in my shop, some day in the future. And beautiful, carbon-steel scissors without the ubiquitous nickel-plating, and closely resembling medieval finds in their shape.)

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Knitty stuff.

The new knitty is out, and while most of the patterns are not what I would utterly want to knit, there's a lure to a blog called Knitting Nuances that sounds really interesting. (In a similar yet different way to TechKnitting, in case you don't know that one yet.) Unluckily for me, I have a purple tunic calling, very loudly, to me from the living room table... which is where I shall speed directly to get some work done.

One day, though, when I have some time again and all the urgent stuff has been dealt with, I will really need to knit a "show-all-the-different-stitches" swatch. You know... increases, decreases, twists, slips, that stuff. I have a pattern swatch with different stitch, hem and seam types for sewing work, and that has been a very helpful explanation and teaching tool, as well as a nice reference. Soon. Soon. (Well. Soon-ish.)

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Medieval Calendar. And books.

Since it's very much March, and I am very much in need of some tea and some sewing time, here's your link of the day: A Calendar Page for March.

Also for those of you wishing to be tempted to buy some books - I have restocked the "Ancient Textiles, Modern Science" in my webshop, and they brought some friends, too. Take a look here...

And now I shall go and cut a lovely purple gore, or two, so that the lovely purple tunic becomes a bit more like a tunic!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Oh really? Well. If you say so.

During our last crafty evening, there was some need for craft knowledge input - the kind that you'd expect to find in the Encyclopaedia of Needlework. So we turned to that book, the necessary input was more or less gained, and the book stayed on the table for a while.

And a bit later, the most patient husband of them all picked it up and looked into the section on knitting. He read me the very beginning of it... the section starts out telling you that there is nothing more to be developed or invented in knitting, as it's all been done already and we know everything.

(That's the German version - the English just states that it "would be difficult to invent new stitches or patterns", not impossible. Unless "difficult" in the 1880s meant "impossible" in the same way that "selten" in middle high german epics meant "never", though technically it's only "rarely".)

Seeing that my current creative outlet is the invention of such a thing, this was hilarious. And now, having found that the English text is less sure of the impossibility to invent new stitches, I do wonder in which language Ms de Dillmont originally wrote her book.

Also, if you are a sock knitter, check out the different heels and toes she describes for all your sock-knitting needs. There's forms that I have not seen yet - she does not give the shortrow heel, though, or the sweet tomato heel. (But, as you well know, there's nothing new in knitting. No no.)

For the moment, though, I will not turn to socks (especially not cuff-down ones, I prefer the no-maths toe-up approach) but stay with my hat and shawl...

Friday, 14 March 2014

Basting while basking.

We still have gloriously wonderful weather, and though that also means I'm sniffling a lot, (thank-you-hay-fever...NOT), I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Yesterday I spent a lot of the time allotted for sewing (which was most of the day, basically, to get things back on track where they are supposed to be) not exactly sewing, but basting. You know, those temporary stitches?

Turns out that the seam construction I chose for the lady's surcot works really well, but in order to have the fabric layers of the outer fabric and the lining lie nice and flat on each other, they need basting. Extensive basting. So that's what I did. For today, I still have one piece left to baste, left side of the lining, right side of the lining, left side of the upper fabric, right side of the upper fabric. (Yes, I tried using less baste lines. No, it won't work as well.) The upside of it - I got to bask in the sun while I was doing it.

And the worst bit about that surcot? I am totally in love with that gorgeous splendid brilliant blue, and the contrast it forms with the orange lining, and it feels so nice and squishy and warm that I totally want to keep it. Good thing it won't fit me. Still... this is going to be hard to let go.

Pics soon. Promise.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Those embellishments.

I have the situation almost under control again - I managed to battle the obstinate embellishment successfully yesterday.

Let me bring you up to speed. The red dress (of which you've seen the buttons) is supposed to have a silk trimming, in a nicely contrasting colour (bright yellow, in this case) around the neck opening. Now... narrow trimmings are no problem, but this one, inspired by the artwork in the Manesse codex, should rather be a wide one. And the silk, being not stiff (as most modern silks are), was putting on a bit of a fight.

Add to this the other minor delays due to other things, my being quite tired when I was first trying to tackle it, and you have something like "I won't get finished in time" panic. (The schedule for this project is very, very tight anyways.)

Now... I know that embellishments take an unnaturally long time (just like rows of buttons). That's their nature - they just do it. Sewing silk is slower work than wool, too. There's always the effect that when you are doing textile work that is more than just a tiny little bit of work, something crops up and stuff takes longer than foreseen, or is suddenly more complicated. (All the textile crafters I know agree on this. We try to figure this in best we can... but it won't always work.) So I had planned accordingly.

However, when the thing did not want to lie flat, as it was supposed to... well. Let's say the worst thing about stuff like that happening, when you are working on your own, is not the fact that something will take a bit longer, or that you might have to re-do a bit of the work. The worst thing is that you can start doubting yourself, and your planning, and start to slide into the gentle onset of not-so-gentle panic... which is, ironically, not a good state of mind to tackle a problematic piece of work. (Jim C. Hines, coincidentally, has the perfect accompanying blog post about this today.)

So I did what I had to do: took a deep breath, tried to be gentle with myself yesterday, and worked on another piece for a bit. And then, when I revisited that facing... it wasn't that bad and hopeless after all. A little tweaking here, a little finagling there, a bit of trimming, some coffee and a few sighs (and using way, way more pins that I usually do!), and it turned out okay.

Which means that I'm feeling a lot better today, and that things are starting to feel back under control. Whew. I shall now proceed back to the lovely surcot I'm working on and get things completely back under control (or something close enough) so I can also catch up on my desk work a bit today.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

It happens.

Yesterday was one of those days. You know those days - they are the ones where nothing goes exactly as planned.

Today should be better - or so I hope. And I shall put it to the test right away, by getting to work and getting things done, hopefully without further complications and ados.

Meanwhile, here's a link to a book review of a new book about natural dyes.

And a translation table so you know what a Brit means when they say something polite.

Now... off to make some bits of fabric stay together...

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Chili.

As promised, here is the recipe for the vegan low-carb (well, relatively - this obviously will contain carbohydrates) chili... with tofu brought to within an inch of its life. I will give you a more normal amount of ingredients than what I made, though.

Three-and-a-half-bean vegan Chili

soak dry beans over night:
65 g kidney beans,
65 g white beans,
65 g pinto beans,
30 g chickpeas

For the tofu crumbles:
400 g tofu, finely crumbled

for the marinade:
2 tblsp ground ginger (dried)
1 tblsp garlic, finely chopped
cayenne pepper
6 tblsp. tahini
2-3 tblsp. maple syrup
50 ml soy sauce
water as needed

olive oil

and the rest:

20 g dried tomatoes
1 small onion
2-3 packets of tomato puree or tomato pieces (finely chopped)
1 small bell pepper, cut into small pieces
1 can of corn

salt, cinnamon, cocoa (the dark unsweetened stuff for baking), maple syrup, chili

Mix marinade together and mix in the tofu; let sit for about 2 hrs (or longer). Soak dried tomatoes in water. Boil the soaked beans until done, about 45 min to 1 hr should do the job (do not add salt!).
Place tofu onto a baking sheet with generous amounts of olive oil and put into the oven (fan assisted, 170°C). Turn every 10-15 mins, until tofu is really brown and crisp.
Fry the onion in olive oil until nicely browned, add tomato puree. Cut dried tomatoes into small pieces, add together with their bath water.  Add salt, cinnamon, about 1 tblsp cocoa powder, about 2 tblsp maple syrup, and chili to taste. Let simmer for at least one hour. (For the large batch, I simmered the chili in one packet of tomato, on the side - that allowed to add in as much of the spicy tomato stuff as needed later on, and avoided accidental too-hot-ness.)

Drain the cooked beans, add drained beans and tofu to the tomato sauce, add drained corn and the bell pepper. Mix well, re-heat, enjoy.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Spring is coming! Lace knitting time!

We've had the nicest weather during the weekend, perfect for sitting in the sun and drinking coffee and knitting. Also perfect, and the right time of the year, for pulling out all the seed packets and getting started on sowing - there shall be tomatoes again this summer, and mini-cucumbers, and chili plants, and also some pumpkins and zucchini.

I've also been hit by a creative bug during the weekend - it all started with the comment of a friend that knitted lace has a tendency to be quite feminine in look. Well. Well... I have worked a bit on the most un-feminine lace I have yet managed to see. It's not quite finished its development, but I'm close, oh so close. (I'm itching to show you pics, but I think I should keep it mum for a little while longer...)

The pattern is begging to be incorporated into a hat pattern that will probably end up slightly weird, due to topological reasons. I hope to have it done and finished in time for LonCon - it would fit in nicely there, and probably delight a few geeky knitters no end.

So hopefully I will be searching for a few adventurous test knitters soon... for now, though, I shall go back to finishing my computer work before the morning runs out.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Aaaaand.... go!

The sun has come out, which means the winter garden will very, very soon be warm enough to sit and sew. Diverse things and happenings have conspired this week to throw me back from the point I wanted to be at today, sewing-wise, so I am equipped with a thermos full of tea and one of my favourite mugs (I accumulate those, it seems) and I still have a few last gruesome chapters of the Nibelungenlied left.

So... I shall take my cup and leave the cat sleeping here, keeping my desk company. While I shall sit in the sun and listen to how Ruedeger, the most tragic figure in the whole of the Nibelungen song, finds his bloody end.

How fitting that the lady's dress is a deep, deep red.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Stuff that you may find relevant. Or at least amusing.

I owe you a chili recipe, and there's actually a sizeable stack of other stuff that I could blog about, but I have the strong urge to blog other stuff today. You will know why in a moment:

Maybe you've heard of Juan de Alcega's "Tailor's Pattern Book" - it's basically a book with instructions how to place your patterns on fabric so that there's as little waste as possible. There seem to be three similar books, also from the 16th century, from Austria - and they are being published as a Kickstarter campaign. (Kickstarter is a really cool thing.)

Also, the Blogging Archaeology Carnival roundup for February is over at Doug's place. It's not that big, this time; a lot of participants seem to have had the same problem with the open question as I had. There's also the last question for the carnival - I'm a bit sad it's already over, I was enjoying this!

Also: Meet a finished sleeve with cloth buttons.

The only thing left to do on this sleeve is pull out the marker basting thread (on the back, for marking where the edge should fall) and the basting thread for making the hem. And I will pull these once the second sleeve is hemmed, too.

Cloth buttons are a lot of work - each time I make these, I think to myself "I so know why buttons were considered a chic thing". But they are also so beautiful... and having a finished piece with buttons, such as that sleeve, that is something really, really nice.

(Just in case you wonder: the white sewing thread used to attach the buttons is invisible when they are closed. They sit smack on the fabric with their little bottoms.)

I will now leave you with a riot of colours. Colours, I might mention, that all live on wool. Except one, who lives on silk. And I am allowed to cut into each of them. Muahahaha.

The picture does not do them justice - they are lovely, and brilliant, and totally awesomely beautiful. At the moment, they make a fluffy stack of joy in our living-room and draw my eye every time I go past them. There's one almost-black and one black to the right, on different cloths; these will become legwear. And the darker orange shade you see to the left? That's a piece of cloth 1.5 m wide and 5 m long. Dyed in one piece. Spotless. No better dyer than Sabine, I tell you.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Moar stuff.

I didn't get around to working on the exact stuff I was planning on yesterday (there's a last fitting control needed, and that did not happen), but I did get a good bit of stuff done. This included some refresher research about the development of trousers from hose, and puzzling over how that happened, and when.

And what the guys in the Manesse Codex probably wore underneath. You see, normally you don't see that. And the codex is dated to the early 14th century, but it depicts clothes that are seemingly more in the traditional style, with long tunics for the men.
So the big question for me is... would they wear something more like the traditional wide underpants, and hose that go only to the middle of the thigh in the back? Or already the shorter, tighter underpants and hose that go up higher? Both would be possible for the early 14th century.

I'm still not decided on this. I have made, however, both an old-style wide "bruoch" and a younger-style shorter one, roughly resembling the underwear shown in the Tacuinum Sanitatis:

Threshing scene from the Tacuinum Sanitatis, c 1365. Picture source: BRUNNER, K. & DAIM, F. (2002) Ritter Knappen Edelfrauen. Das Rittertum im Mittelalter, Frechen, Komet.
As you can see, the underwear is short - both the shirt and the pants, and he's not wearing anything else since he's threshing (thank goodness that was such an itchy and sweaty job, it makes for a good number of pics of guys in deshabillé).

I've based the shirt I made for the Manesse garments roughly on this - the sleeves on my version are a bit longer, and it's cut with a little more ease, and it has no shoulder seams, but the type is the same. So at the moment I'm leaning towards the short version for the pants... but I'm not completely decided yet. I am planning to cut the man's hose tonight, and until then, I have time to think. (Ideas from you, dear readers, or other input are, as always, very welcome.)

Oh, and on a completely different note? There's the smell of damp wool in our bathroom - I finished my socks yesterday, and now am waiting until they are done drying after their inaugural soak. (There was no proper blocking after the soak. There is no proper blocking necessary - the fabric is so firm that nothing happens when they are soaked, except they feel even firmer.)

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Stuff on the Intarwebz!

First of all, thanks to a hint from Gillian, here's a link to Palgrave McMillan, who are making their journals - all of their journals - free access during the whole of March.

Also online, with free access, is the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 1977-2005. (That site might yield other interesting stuff too - I haven't dug around yet.)

Also online: Codex Falkensteiniensis, dated to 1166-1196 (with a few later arms depictions strewn in). It includes a pic of someone fishing out of the window.

For those of you who are still here after that, said Gillian is doing a series of guest blog posts for Women's History Month. I did enjoy today's post - very interesting woman.

And Amalie has tried to trace warp transition in tablet weaving - unsuccessfully (yet).

That's it. If you are still here... I have nothing more for you. Come back tomorrow ; )

Monday, 3 March 2014

Spring, and knitting.

The many hours of sewing, it seems, make me want to increase my knitting time as well... and there's two just-for-fun projects on needles, currently: The socks that I sort of blogged about a while ago are almost finished (just a few more rounds before bind-off):

Also, I have started knitting my very first lace scarf... because of the yarn I spun, oh, back in 2011. It had a run-in with an indigo dye vat last Textile Forum, resulting in blue yarn. 595 m (or 571 m, the second time I measured) and weighing 64.9 grams. What do you do with that? I can tell you what I did: I scoured Ravelry's pattern database until I found a shawl pattern that I liked and that uses about this amount of yarn.

I got that pattern as a present for my birthday, and yesterday I couldn't resist any longer (I had planned to wait until the socks were finished) and cast on.

It's the Renaissance Shawl (here's its ravelry page). The designer, smart woman, is giving percentages of yarn left throughout the pattern, so you can see whether your gauge is fine for the amount of yarn you have.

Speaking of Ravelry and patterns and socks, by the way, there are a bunch of really cool socks designed by General Hogbuffer. If you like socks that are not just plain vanilla, check out his design page!

Finally... since the sock yarn I spun gave me so much pleasure, I have this:

which, one day in the medium-far off future, will spend some quality time with my spinning wheel.

So as you can see, there's a lot lined up as fun knitting for the evenings and my breaks!