Sunday, 12 September 2021

Photos from the silver smelting plant in Falun

 Today I worked with guiding and lecturing at the silver smelting plant that is still intact in Falun. Well I also went there an hour before I needed so that I could take some fun photos in a really exciting location.

I used a variation of my jedi, with black pants and visible boots instead of the long skirt. It was hard with a phone and selftimer to work with the light, with the lightsabre, so it was more fun to play around outside of the slmeting plant.

I'm thinking that I should return and take some photos from the other side of the wall as well, to make a sequence that looks like I'm jumping over the wall.

I've also realized that I only have photos of myself in costume, so I decided to take some of myself in more regular clothes, that I can use when people want photos of me.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Jedi librarian photos

 Time flies, and I realized that if I wanted to have my jedi approved before Stockholm Comic-Con I needed to send in photos quite soon. I haven't done the jedi librarian tools that should hang in the belt, but they are not needed for a generic librarian. So I got dressed up and went outside my house together with a small tripod and my phone. All photos are taken with self time, I had to delete quite a few where I was not in the photo.

The one thing I'm worried about is that the standards call for a brown pouch, and maybe this beige is too light. We will see what the Rebel Legion judges have to say about it.

Fingerloop braid vs. lucet cord

 I was in need of a string and since I didn't have anything better to do I decided to do a comparison between making a fingerloop braid and a lucet cord.

They are both techniques that have been used historically to make strings. Lucet forks have been found from the viking age. Fingerloop braiding can be seen in medieval manuscripts and there are extant fingerloop braids from the 15th century and onwards. I have definitely seen discussions on which kind of cord is the most accurate for a specific time period, but I don't know enough of it myself. I have used both kinds of cords, especially for lacing my kirtles.

To learn how to fingerbraid I watched this video from Morgan Donner. 

Here is a video tutorial on how to make lucet cord. To make a lucet cord you must have a tool. Lucet forks can be bought, and they are pretty common at viking/medieval markets, but you can make do with something as simple as a plastic fork that you remove the middle parts of so you end up with just the two outer pegs.

I used the same yarn for both strings, a wool yarn I picked up in Visby when I had to cut off the lacing to my kirtle and needed to make a new lacing cord.

I first made the fingerloop braid and it took me around 40 minutes, I then made a lucet cord for 40 minutes to see how long it would get.

As you can see I'm much faster with the fingerloop braid than the lucet. The fingerloop braid ended up 66 cm and the lucet cord 18 cm. The fingerloop is thicker at 3 mm while the lucet cord is just 1,5 mm. They have about the same stretch in them, the lucet cord is a bit more springy but it's not a big difference.

For me the main difference is how long I want the cord to be. With fingerloop braiding you worked with fixed loops, and for myself I can't make make a braid that is longer than my arms can stretch it out while braiding. The 66 cm is how long I can make it comfortably. In Visby me and Emma worked a braid together and then we could make a lot longer cord, but it also took quite some time. The lucet cord can be worked continously until I have a cord that is exactly how long I want it. I can also put down the lucet and pick it up later, while with the fingerloop braiding I have to finish the braid in one session. That's not really a problem nowadays when I've gotten quite fast with the braiding. 

There is also a difference if the yarn or string that is used breaks. With fingerloop braiding it is possible to tie the ends together and continue, even if it will be a bit uncomfortable with one loop being smaller than the other. If the string for the lucet breaks I can't do that. On the other hand I can just unravel the lucet cord without a problem and restart. 

So there you have a comparison. I prefer to make fingerloop braids nowadays, unless I need a really long cord. I have been nown to bring the lucet with me when doing other stuff though so if I want something to just keep my hands busy that's a simple craft too bring along.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

HSM2021 challenge 4 - The costumer's new look


Challenge 4, April 2021 - The Costumer’s New Look: Give an old costume a new look, either by creating a new accessory or piece which expands or changes the aesthetic and use of an outfit, re-fashioning something into a costume item, or re-making an old costume.

In January 2020 I made a new 16th century shift. It was made of a quite coarse unbleached linen with a lot of smocking around the neckline and cuffs.

 I was really happy with the result, especially the smocking pattern around the cuffs.

I wore it once though and realized that it was quite uncomfortable. The coarse linen made it really bulky and itchy under my tight kirtles. The more I thought about the more I was unsure about the smocking. I felt that if a person couldn't afford a fabric other than unbleached, coarse linen, then they would not have afforded using so much fabric, I think it was more than four meters, and also they wouldn't have spent so much time on the smocking either. 

For Medieval Week I needed more shifts, and instead of buying fabric and making a new one, I decided to remake this one. It definitely hurt a bit unripping all the smocking embroidery, but I feel that it is better to do this and actually use the shift than just keeping it in storage.

I unripped the shifts, and these are the new parts. I used the old front piece and cut it in two to make a new front and back piece. The shift was a bit too tight over the hips, so one of the old sleeves was cut into a gore that I added to the front. I also made the sleeve gussets from an old sleeves, and I cut new sleeves from the old back piece. After all the new pieces were cut out I have almost 2 m of linen left over that I can use for other things.

The front gore was sewn on from the front.

This was the new shift. I saved a lot of time by keeping the hem from the old shift, so I didn't have to rehem it all.

When it came to the cuffs and neck opening I decided to do simple drawstrings. On church paintings in my region, from the period, you see quite a few very simple shifts without any fancy embroidery or smocking.
This is from Vika church outside Falun
For the neckline I used a string for the drawstring, but for the cuffs I used a sturdier piece of linen tape to give them a bit more body.

I closed the cuffs with a cloth button and button loops.

This shift was my go to shift in Visby. That it was unbleached meant that I could walk around in just the shift, and not feeling undressed. I could even go washing in the sea and getting wet without it turning transparent or too clingy. I usually spent the mornings doing the washing up and preparing food in the kitchen, before switching to a nicer shift and kirtle after lunch. I am actually thinking about using the leftover fabric to make a sleeveless bathing shift or Lengberg shift to use for bust support.

Me wearing the new shift, with rolled up sleeves under my mustard kirtle. This was so much more comfortable than the old bulky one.

What the item is: A simple 16th century shift
How it fits the challenge: It's a total remake from an older, smocked shift
Material: The old shift had around 4 m of fabric, this one is around 2 m.
Pattern: A classic square pieces with gores medieval shift
Year: early 16th century
Notions: linen thread
How historically accurate is it? I am unsure about the drawstring I would say something like 70%
Hours to complete: 6
First worn: at Medieval week in Visby
Total cost: All the fabric was from the old shift, and the linen thread was from my stash. Bought new it would probably cost around $40

Monday, 16 August 2021

Medieval Week in Visby

 After more than a year of cancelled events it was so great to finally be able to get away. The traditional Medieval Week in Visby did go through, but of course with restrictions in place. I was really happy to have gotten in contact with the group Stockholmsfänikan, which is a group that reenacts the early 15th century landsknechts. So I stayed in their camp the whole week.

I went there with my a friend Emma, whom I've helped to make a 1520s outfit over the last year. Here we are waiting to board the ferry to Gotland.
Visby is a gorgeous place, and a world heirtage site, with it's preserved ring wall and inner town centre.

Our camp was situated right next to the wall.
This is the tent were we spent the week, based on a 16th century tent and made from impregnated linen. 
It was pretty warm, but not a heat wave, so my standard outfit was to wear my mustard kirtle, without sleeves, and a shift with rolled up sleeves.
Just a beautiful silhouette of three ladies walking the streets of Visby.

Karolina and Linus built an oven, so we could actually bake bread, and pies (and pizza)
There were two party nights, and on one of them I managed to cook cabbage, mash and carrots for more than 40 people.

The sunsets in Visby are amazing.

It was great being at an event were so many people were dressed up.

Me in my best trossfrau outfit.
We tried to catch some of the beautiful light in the evening.

Just resting up on the wall

After a whole week I have quite a few ideas on what I want to make next. I want to finished my new cap with blackwork. I also need a new "pretty" dress. I have worked so much in these two gowns that I don't feel pretty and nice in them anymore. I like that they are starting to look lived in, but I also want to be pretty. My apron is also totally covered in stains so I need a new pretty apron as well.

I have more photos of the cooking and food over at Kullan's historical food

Thursday, 5 August 2021

What I've been working on

 This summer I knew that I was going to go to Medieval Week in Visby, and that I needed some stuff. I'm leaving on Saturday, and to be honest I have not finished anything, but I have things that are in various states of completion.

The most finished thing is this simple kirtle. It's a standard square pieces with gores, and I'm mostly using the 14th century as inspiration. I have not had time to fell the seams or hem it though, I'm still bringing it with me to use as a nightgown so I don't have to worry about freezing.

I wanted a new hood to wear over my wulsthaube, but I also found an embroidery challenge that I wanted to do. I have a long way to go until I have finished the blackwork, but I'm bringing it with me to work on during the week. I will have to stick with my old hood or just a a veil over the wulst.

I have also cut up an old shift that I'm hoping to sew together in a new version. This one I'm actually hoping to finish until I leave on Saturday.

I will also try to make separate posts about all the projects once they are totally finished.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

A viking day

 Just like last summer my friends at Ingvara have set up a viking camp outside of Rättvik. Yesterday me and the regular group from the 16th century guild decided to go up there and be vikings for a day. With all bigger events still being cancelled we were all longing for some historical living. The weather forecasts looked really grim, basically rain all day, but we still decided to go through with the planned visit.

This year the camp was situated a bit further down the meadow, and they had built an two additional wooden houses, so not just tents. The location meant that it was in sheep and horse meadow, but unfortunately the chicken stayed closer to the modern houses and didn't run around in the camp.

There was plenty of crafting going on, with Kål-Henrik and Marlein made it showing and teaching sprang weaving. I had a new gown that I worked on, and I'm going to make a post about it soon.

I love the chance of cooking though, so I was really happy to be in the kitchen. We were making an ale-elk (ale-älg in Swedish) stew and a root vegetable stew with three different kinds of onions. I had also brought with me a sourdough from rye and spelt wheat. Unfortunately this is where the weather gods decided that they had given us enough good weather despite the forecast. When we had the pots going on the fire the heavens just opened up. We couldn't make bread, because the skillets we used go too wet, and the stews also got really watered down from the rain. The meat was still ok. We huddled for a while in the more permanent house and when the weather cleared up again I packed up and went home.

The last few times that I have worn my apron dress I have been annoyed that it feels too tight and long. So when I went home I simply chopped off 15 cm of it and rehemmed it.