I’m not dead, I’m dyeing!

I know it’s been a while since an update, once again I’ve been busy.

At work I’m seconding in a position I hope to one day become permanent in (I work full time).

Our home business is growing in leaps and bounds, as is the time it requires. We’ve taken the shop to a few events recently too which is always a lot of work (but generally a lot of fun too!)

We have 5 and a half acres to maintain. We’re working on renovating our home, getting it up to the building code and extending it (land is huge, house is the size of a postage stamp and built in the 1950s with a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to building safety. We’re talking stairs with no railings and doors that open into mid-air two stories up people.)

I’ve been growing and doing some exciting work concerning 15th century spinning and my presence at events.

Apparently I still have other hobbies and a life outside all of this- like family birthdays and my parents love me and want to spend time with me and how is it almost June already?

You’ll notice I didn’t mention housework anywhere in the above list. I’m also not inviting you over to my house any time soon unless you’re here to clean. Just saying.

Bu today’s blog post is about the point I glossed over above and referenced partially in the title- growing 15th century spinning.

Last year at Abbey Medieval Festival I had a little 15th century spinning display.

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It was a partial success, but room for improvement. One issue is I was really sick at Abbey and not up to talking all day. Another issue was I couldn’t be there all the time and couldn’t see the display when I wasn’t there, which meant every time I left it I had to pack down and set up again.

This year I will have a bigger tent that can be closed, meaning I can leave it. I also have some friends helping me so that there will always be someone there. I’ll have more crafts… including dyeing!

I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of natural dyes, some medieval, some not so, and have been dyeing up a storm.

Which brings me to the title of the post.

I’ve bought a large range of different dyes and am having a lot of fun.

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I’ve dyed a bit with cochineal, I have an extract as the shop I bought it from idn’t have the whole bugs.

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I’ve managed to get some really red reds from it, some slightly orange reds and some nice pinks.

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I’ve yet to get purple. I’ve ordered some actual cochineal bugs and am looking forward to seeing the difference in colour.

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I’ve really enjoyed the colours I’ve got from madder and want to order more.

You can see me talking about my results with madder and cochineal in my video.

I’ve also dyed a range of yellows and blues and greens, which I talk about in part two of my video.

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Something else which I’ve done recently is attended my first LARP event. I only went for one day (there was a three-way clash that weekend, so I managed to go to two out of three events). I really enjoyed it, it was interesting seeing the role-playing and quests. Some of the costumes were just fantastic. I only spend 15 minutes in the afternoon taking photos so I missed some fabulous ones. For example, there was one group dressed as cats and they had prosthetics on their nose and mouths to make them more cat-like and painted their whole face to look like cats! Just really awesome. So I thought I might share some photos of the LARP below.

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So that’s all for today, I know I have some lovley messages and comments to catch up on- I feel bad when I can’t reply to them all so I tend to leave them until I have time to reply to them all… You know how it goes.

But look out for future dyeing posts as I have lots of yarn left to dye and lots of dyes to try!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Video ‘Wednesday’- New Spindles!

How many spindles does a medieval lady need?

Answer, five more than she has!

Yes, I ordered a few (ok five) spindles from Niddy Noddy

When I first started spinning I couldn’t find many places selling medieval style spindles or spindle shafts, now I can find a lot. I think there is a lot more opportunity for small sellers to set up shop online these days. Maybe there are more people interested in spinning with appropriate tools at re-enactment events too? Whatever the reason, there are spindles out there that I don’t have and I thought I should change that.

I have a few other spindles on my wish list, but if you see anything you think I should buy… enable me!

One thing I find with my current spindles is that I buy the spindles and whorls separately (though both sellers sell whorls to match their spindles) and many of my whorls don’t fit my spindles as low as I would like.  Nothing wrong with the spindles, they are fantastic, but I do love my whorls too. So I talked to Neil first about my needs and he came up with a few ideas.

I bought two medieval spindle sticks (one with a spiral notch, one without), two medieval style spindle sticks which Neil shaped to my specifications (one with a spiral notch, one without) and a Dealgan just because I wanted to.

I’ve done a series of videos covering each spindle, but the below is just me chatting about the spindles I got and talking about what I got and why and how they fit my whorls.

I tried to upload this yesterday, but the internet was too slow, so I had to finish uploading it today, hence why video ‘Wednesday’ is on Thursday.

Abbey Medieval Festival- Sunday

Things started slow on Sunday morning. While I got to bed at a reasonable hour some of our group got to bed at 4am! It’s not unusual for people to be getting UP at about 4:30am. And no, it wasn’t just the young ones! Lol.
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I had a little more time on Sunday as we didn’t have the tournament and I was feeling a little better.

I managed to visit the 14th century encampment where I took a few videos.
Here is my friend tablet weaving:

The other videos I’m yet to edit, but I took some in the fantastic Historia encampment where they had a lot of artefacts on display. You can see some snippets of these videos in my highlights video here:

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I also had time to watch (and video) my group running the Tournament of Strength and Skill, which I’m still editing the individual videos for but you can see the overview here.

Once again I had my fingerloop and spinning demos.

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I was also really happy to see my first ever medieval dress worn again. This dress is about 13 years old and still has a lot of life left in it:

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Actually, a few of my dresses were worn by people other than me. The tally over the weekend also included:

My green and gold silk cioppa (you may have spotted it on my friend in the first photo of this post.
My gold silk sleeves
My green sleeves
My jaffa dress (orange gironea)
and
My pink wool kirtle

I have a friend who has borrowed my brown giornea for the past few events but she had a new kirtle of her own for this event

I was really planning on doing some videos of me spinning, but unfortunately I was too sick on Thursday and Friday (also it was raining on Friday) to get them done. At my demo on Sunday I did manage to give and film an impromptu spinning lesson.

Now things are finally settling down from Abbey. Taking the shop is a lot of work. I had the event itself off from helping on the shop, but am still involved of course in the pre and post work which is significant.  But I hope really truly to do some more videos soon. My husband bought me a bunch of spindles from a new (to me) shop so I hope to do a video review of each of them.

Abbey Medieval Festival Wrap-up

I know it’s been over a month, but I have finally gotten around to blogging about Abbey Medieval Festival 2017. Sadly a few days before I came down sick so my experience and participation was somewhat diminished this year. That, and the rain on Friday resulted in my not being able to do my planned videos, but I hope to take some more soon.
This year we packed the truck on Wednesday (thanks to my fantastic friend Amy who not only came over to help pack but also cleaned my kitchen for me because I felt too sick for packing or cleaning!) and drove up on the Thursday and started setting up. Fortunately we got all our tents set up on Thursday, because Friday was raining.

I was feeling pretty sick on Friday but still managed to ‘make an appearance’ for my friend’s knighting ceremony by throwing my gown over my modern clothes… then went to bed pretty early.

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Saturday

 

Saturday was a busy day. First we had parade, then we hung out at the castle as we only had a short break between parade and our show. (well, everyone else hung out while I ran back to get my camera). I did manage to film our show

 

Then it was back to the encampment for lunch, then to go straight into the fingerloop demonstration and my spinning demonstration was the last of the day.

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(please excuse the crappy veil in the photo, my coif which I spent a long time ironing fell out of my suitcase when I was packing and it was too hot for me to tolerate my red wool hood)

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Saturday afternoon a friend from a neighbouring group was knighted. This year my group decided not to have a feast on Saturday night, so the other groups around us brought the feast to us!

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Of course, Saturday night is the night for shenanigans. First of all us ladies held the court of love, which is where we typically talk about all the horrible things the menfolk have done and come up with a punishment for them. Horrible things can include stepping on a lady’s dress, accidently swearing in front of a crowd or losing their hat (one year every time we found a hat or hood not on a head or put away us ladies picked it up and stowed it in a safe place then presented this as evidence for their carelessness. We were accused of ‘stealing’ their hats, lol!). Punishments vary but my favourite was when we asked them to perform swan lake for us. They gave us a dance from the Nutcracker with the music provided by themselves singing ‘da da da da da but I was so impressed they knew some ballet.

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In this year’s court of love we decided that we couldn’t fault our men, and came back with praise, and asked they honoured us by giving us a performance of their choosing. Unfortunately for us, the court of chivalry had something to say about us ladies, which you can see in this video…

Following this the boys gave us a presentation of the movie ‘The Terminator’ and as our punishment we ladies were asked to give a presentation of the ‘The Termanitor 2’. Unfortunately none of us ladies new the plot so we improvised. We had one lady play the fire (by waving candles around), one lady play The Termanator (complete with terrible accent performed with gusto), me playing John Connor, another lady playing Sarah Connor and finally two ladies playing a pot and one lady playing a spoon.

The plot went that Sarah was at home cooking and the terminator came home declaring he was ‘soo tired from being at work all day doing noooothing’ that she had to drop what she was doing right away and get him some water. Unfortunately while he attended to his needs the spoon caught fire and burnt and he was angry. The next day the same thing happened, but Sarah remembering the day before did not abandon her cooking, and the terminator died from dehydration.

I really wish I had videoed our performance because I’ve never laughed so hard, but I was busy playing John Connor (who was too busy playing video games to help the terminator or Sarah)

After this we played some games and enjoyed some recitations and generally had a really good time.

The court of love and chivalry are all in good fun and do kick the evening off and encourage people to get up and contribute to the enjoyment of the evening.

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And because this is a long post already, I’ll do Sunday in a separate post…

15th Century Spinning Will be at Abbey Medieval Festival 2017

Once again I’ll be at Abbey, so if you’re in QLD, Australia, come and visit on the 8th and 9th of July! The official program isn’t out yet but I should be on at 3:45pm each day. I’ll also be doing fingerloop braiding around 1:15pm each day.

 

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Once the official program is out I’ll link it and show you on the map where I’ll be.

I really hope to be able to get some more vidos of me spinning at the event, with any luck I will actually have some time on Friday after we’re set up and I also hope to get some during the event. I’ve had a request to do one on different types of grasped spinning and I’ll try to get a friend to video my shows, but if there’s anything else you’d like me to do a video on, please ask.