Video Wednesday- Norwegian Crafts

Today I share an old film showing Norwegian crafts. There is weaving, spinning, and other historic crafts you don’t often see in films such as fingerloop braiding and naalbinding.

Of interest is the spinnin technique uses a hook in place of a distaff. It also shows the plying technique which Norman Kennedy speaks about, where the yarn is run through a hook in the ceiling.


Picture Friday- Weaving and Warping Board

Today I share a picture from Milan (not sure of the date).

Here we see a six shaft loom, winding multiple threads at a time onto a warping board and squished to the right is a spinning wheel.


I love the corrections in the writing underneath the minature!

Video Wednesday- Busy Not Spinning

I’ve been pretty busy these past few weeks.

First I got married.


Then this past weekend I attended History Alive, a multi-period re-enactment event that sadly got mudded out on the Sunday due to excessive rain on Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The rain eased early but the mud was there to stay and the mud made the entrance to the grounds and the car parks unsafe.

I did manage to enjoy myself on the Saturday though, and had the best time I’ve ever actually had at this event. The morning I spent helping with our shop, Make Your Own Medieval. The afternoon I spent visiting some other re-enactment groups and talking to them about their crafts and activities.

I visited my friend Rosalie from Rosalie’s Medieval women and saw her display of artifacts.


The ladies of my re-enactment group had a go at fabric stamping at the encampment of Karvan-saray and now have plans for fabric stamped wall hangings.



I took a short video of the fabric stamping.

My friend and I then decided to attend a shoe making workshop, but took a wrong turn and as we walked past a display of coloured wool we stopped to ask if it was naturally dyed. Well, it was and the group spent almost half an hour talking to us about their crafts- it was like a private show.


I took some video of this as well.

My friend is also interested in researching 15th century dyes and doing some dyeing of our own, so I’ll see if we can get something happening at our reenactment group’s den after the reenactment season.

After this we watched a woodworking display, which I videoed but haven’t yet put up (I might not, there were a lot of people in front of me so the video might not have come out too good and an inkle weaving workshop done on modern inkle looms. The looms were for sale and I was very tempted, as I was last time, but I don’t think I have room or time for another modern loom. I’d rather a box loom I can use at home and take to events.


I planned on spending Sunday doing some spinning videos but due to the cancelation I had to pack down the stall in four inches of mud instead.

My schedule is pretty jam-packed for the next few weeks, but I hope I might be able to get some video at Abbey Medieval Festival in July- we’ll see, I’ve got a couple of shows planned each day and things can get pretty crazy at Abbey.

New Loom!

So my young man (who is very attentive and observant) thought up a wonderful surprise for my Christmas present, only he is a)bad at keeping surprise secret and b) didn’t want to get the wrong sort. So he told me he wanted to get me a new “weaving thing to do my looming on”

My little spears loom has been ok for working out the basics and getting a hang of things but already I’m wanting to use double heddles which is do-able but tricky when they’re the wrong length and have nowhere to actually sit.

I’ve chosen an ashford knitter’s loom in the 50 cm width mainly because of the ease of getting it (buying something available locally means cheaper postage) and the versatile width, not too wide but wide enough for most uses.



Well I’ve read about a few people trying out the spear’s weaving look size 4 as a cheap but still useful loom. I’ve been keeping an eye out for a good six months for one and bid on a fe. Often I see the prices going over $100 which is a lot of money for an old child’s toy. If I was going to spend that much I might as well save up and get a new loom such as an Ashford rigid heddle.

But the other day I was on ebay and saw one for sale! It only had 55 minutes to go and was still at a low price. It was also located in Australia which is good because postage for this loom from overseas (where I often see them being sold from) can be very, very expensive. Well, I waited until the last-minute to put my bid on it, placed my bid and my internet went down! NOOOO! Then when my internet came back up I saw the bid had gone through just in time and I’d won! Yay. Cost me around $30. Not bad! And if I hate it there is good resale value on these things.

It arrived today and I’ve sat down and am warping it up with some wool I have lying around just to give it a try.



When the Fibre Stash Turns into Thread, What Then?

I figure that if I spin for long enough that my stash of fibre is going to turn into a stash of thread. What to do with said thread? Well, I figure I can weave it into something. I don’t own a loom of course… Looking at looms I keep coming across the ashford rigid heddle looms.

These appeal for three reasons. One is cost, at around $200 they’re 1/3 or half the price of a small floor or table loom. Second is size, theyre pretty small and I don’t have much room to store it or to weave with it. The third is width, they come in a variety of widths so I can choose the width I think I’ll need.

But what to make? I’ve thought of a few things.

Tea towels never go astray at an event, especially when it’s raining as we usually hang them over the rope around our fire to dry (we need to rope off our fire for safety reasons. Sad, but true. The amount of parents that tell their children “Oh yes little Johnny, you can touch that, that’s not real fire, that would be too dangerous for them to have real fire” is… lets just say the number is too high.  We want to teach the public about what it was like to live back then but we’d rather do it without burning kid’s hands.) and when it’s raining they just stay wet so we’ve learnt to take a big stash of them in the first place.

A table runner is another thing I could make. That’s a lot longer than a tea towel but doesn’t need to be any wider, unlike an actual table cloth.

I was also thinking a partlet, which is similar to a modern dicky. It’s a piece of fabric that goes over your chest and can keep the sun off and help keep you warm when it’s cold. These are both good things. BUT for my persona I should have a beautiful fine one and any fabric I make… well, I don’t think it’s going to be too beautiful. I just like the idea of a partlet because it is so visible. What? I can’t be a teeny bit vain?

There’s a lot of things to think about and choose from, but at least I’ve got a long time to do it! At least as long as it takes for me to spin enough thread to make something at any rate!