Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Holidays should be celebrated...

... when it's time for the holidays, right?
Here is what I mean by the sentence above: it really makes me crazy when just after the All Saint's Day (1st Nov, widely celebrated by the Polish catholics, who visit all their relatives' graves) you spot Christmas decorations, Christmas sales, Christmas trees, Christmas events, Christmas gifts, ect, ect, ect all over the city.
Being pagan I don't celebrate Christmas (I celebrate Yule a few days before 25th Dec), but I visit my and Robert's families on 24th and 25th Dec. This is the holiday time for us, from around 19th Dec, with decorating the flat, cooking Yule dishes, meditations connected with the season of the year, then the festive atmosphere at the family dinners.
There should be time and place for everything - and celebrating Yule/Christmas should start closer to the exact dates, not two months before! If you are exposed to all the holiday symbols for too long I think you can get used to it too much and become bored with it when the proper time comes, because you've seen it all and it became part of the everyday surroundings.

What are your opinions? ^^

Off to crafts...
I finished eight cellpnone cases today and tomorrow I'm taking them to the folk gallery I'm selling my stuff in. ^^

You can also see a small movement on the right hand sidebar of my blog, "On the needles" section.
Yes! ^^ I knitted last night, progressed on the second Opal sock and on the Emelia choker for my friend Anna. Good for me, ne? *^v^*

And I want to show you another view from my balcony, this time it's "Magical" - a thick fog has covered Warsaw for two days now...

(it's not the unstable camera, it's the fog that blurred the view from 1 metre from the observer...)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

After the battle

Oh boy, yesterday we had fun!... ^^
Unfortunatle our side didn't win - we besieged the small wooden fortified structure but they managed to hold it and defend it. Well, next time then! *^v^* (probably in January).
Here are some photos:

Me and Jarogniewa.

Hazine and Anna.

We are preparing the tent and the table.

Boys before the attack:

Lothar, Prince Wszebor, Orel, my hubby Robert aka Daeris, Ciech, Przemek and Izbor at the back

This is the fortification that they were attacking.

In between fighting:

Borut, Robert, me and Orel, our thrall at the back

At the table.

Hazine and Jarogniewa.

My husband in his armour. *^v^*

Enjoy! ^^

Friday, November 24, 2006

Just pictures

I took pictures of some naalbinding I've been doing lately:

Socks for one friend.

Socks and mittens for the other friend.

And some merchandise for the next year Viking markets (I'm collecting it already! ^^)

And some medieval cords:

Tomorrow we are off to a battle reenactment, I promise lots of pictures! ^^
(I have to get up at 5:30, blah...)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

My shawl had a mishap...

And I'm not talking about the cut across it, because I've done that myself, on purpose.
It all was going quite well from the beginning - okay, I lost several stitches on the edges but it was more or less even, and then, (just where I marked it with a blue line) - a disaster!... I suddenly lost a lot of stitches and it started to look really akward. I don't know what happened - maybe I just watched some interesting movie and didn't concentrate enough on the naalbinding in my hands... Anyway, I tried to patch it up, adding more stitches in the reds and oranges, planning to add stitches in the dark reds and browns later, but then I thought that it wouldn't do.
So, I took my scissors and solved the problem in a brutal way. *sigh* (No, I did't think about unwinding all the stitches back to the brown row!...)

(terrible flash photo not showing the purples and maroons properly...)

I'm going to sew the small bit of naalbinded fabric into a purse and felt it, and I'll try to continue the shawl properly counting the stitches and not loosing them again! ^^
Which means, I'm probably not going to wear it on Saturday, during the battle event we are attending (I'll definitely take pictures and have some pictures taken of myself in my Viking outfit, girls! ^^).

And have I told you what I got as a birthday present from my friend, who owns a printing company? ^^
He printed two of my photos in a huge format on a special rubber paper, so my husband decided to frame them and put them on our living-room wall...

Not that we have space for such big pictures, and I thought they would be overwhelming in such a small room (even half a room, the other half is a kitchen...), but apart from the fact that I look at myself all day (*^O^*) they really fit nicely. I may change them into posters with other views but similar in size, now when I know how such huge pictures fit. ^^

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Punk rock knitting

Do you remember my Whiplash prize - the skein of funky pink&black yarn called "Punk Rock" I got from Natasha Fialkov, to be exact? ^^
I decided to knit something out of it last night and I made these:

These are my new crazy wristwarmers! *^v^*
I cast on 20 sts, the pattern was [k2, p2], and then I added one row of a crocheted fringe 2 sts into 1 st. To finish off, I decided to add a metal D-ring and some decorations I made.
And I still have some of the yarn left, most probably I'll make a cordout of it, embelish it somehow and use it as a belt. ^^

And last weekend I worked on this:

This is the Winter hat I'm going to use for my Viking events - once a month off season we attend staged battles and even during the Winter months we have to be dressed properly from the historical point of view. I have one hat already, but it's a Spring/Autumn hat as I call it, because it's rather small and not very warm. This one is made of thick wool, with a linnen lining, and some fur around the brim. I also embroidered it freehand a bit, using linnen threads and small pieces of mother-of-pearl.

And do you know the Andersen's fairytale called "Cat in boots"?
This is my local version:

This is my Barbi curled upon the new medieval Russian boots my husband was making for himself over the weekend... ^^

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Last Friday me and my crafty friend Kate went to a lecture in the Archeological Museum of Warsaw. It was about the medieval Scandinavian shamanic witches called volvas (in fact they had many names, but this one is most common) and the art of seid. Very interesting, especially when the lecturer explained the possible connections of the magic staff they carried to a spindle (they were often very spindle like shaped), and the symbolism of a loom as the tool to weave peoples' lives on it.

And people around us were staring at me and Kate throughout the lecture (although they pretended they weren't interested at all!... ^^) because... as soon as we sat down in our chairs we took out our naalbinding and continued our pieces (kate - a pouch, me - a commisioned socks).

And it seems like another Japanese rock band is comming to Warsaw in December! ^^
On 16th Dec EUTHANASIE will be playing here and we still haven't decided whether we want to go to their concert or not, because we never heard of them and don't know their music at all. But there's still plenty of time to make up our minds. ^^

Happy weekend! ^^

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Last night we had our Wednesday girls meeting (only three of us this time) and I took some photos:

Anna nad Kate

Anna, me and Kate

We learnt 5 naalbinding stitches up till now: Oslo, York, Finish, Turned Finish and Russian, and we know how to make a sock and a mitten. Kate even made a hat (but forgot to bring it with her ...). We are going to naalbind till the end of November and then move on to band weaving - heddle weaving first and then in January - card weaving. I teach the Warsaw girls and occasionally we meet with the other part of our group - people who live in a town 50 kms from Warsaw, and I teach the other girls then, so all ten of us practice the same crafts more or less at the same time and pace (with some on-line materials help).
I'm very happy that girls are eager to take part in the meetings, that they want to learn all those crafts - I hope we will have more "household" photos on our website next season - for now there are mainly military photos of our boys!...
BTW, if you want to visit our site, here is the address: www.draconia.pl, chose the English verion button in the upper right corner.

Off to other crafts...
I have a very cunning plan (I almost feel like Black Adders's sister, wow! ^^):
- I thought that maybe I would try and finish all the UFO's I have till the end of this year, and if I won't manage to finish some items, I'd just get rid of them one way or the other.
Because what's the use of half sewn skirts or half knitted scarves?

How old are your oldest UFOs? ^^

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's here!

Yes, my Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom is here!!! *^v^*

Not very impressive at the moment, still living in the box, because now I have to buy the wax polish and paint it (it's a raw wood), and assemble it, of course. I bought two reeds with it - 40 threads/10 cm and 30 threads/10 cm. I've already learnt how to warp this thing and I cannot wait to start weaving! ^^
It's the biggest available - 80 cm wide, because my original intention was to try and make my own linen fabric, and then sew a medieval shirt or dress out of it. Does it sound like fun? To me definitely! *^v^*

Now, the only thing to figure out is where I can keep it in my teene tiny flat... Well...

Happy Wednesday, guys! ^^

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Creating, creating!

I caught a cleaning bug recently and started to clean different random areas of my flat. ^^
Last night, for example, I washed all the glasses I have - and the cupboards they were in. I also decided to get rid of some old ones - not old enough to be valuable, definitely too old to use anymore! ^^
I love cleaning - not the process of doing it, but the result when it turns out that I threw away some stuff and I have space for nice clean usable items in my cupboards. *^-^*

I spent last week under the blanket on my sofa, because I cought some nasty flu, but I'm regaining my strenght now and last Sunday we even went out of town to meet our friends from the historical group - I held a naalbinding workshop there. ^^

Today I've been adding items to my gothic shop - not that many I wanted to add but I didn't finish them all because of the flu (and procrastination bug, let's be honest...).

Some belts I've made.

I'll be making bags next week, because of the popular demand (it's lovely when I get an e-mail from somebody asking about some merchandise that it's sold, and it's something I've created, it's a great feeling! ^^), also a neck-warmer (a prototype, I hope to make more like this but from different fabrics) , headdresses, chockers, one Elegant Lolita skirt (almost finished, needs six ribbons...) and one Gothic Lolita dress.

And tonight is a big night...
Because my mystery item arrives (together with our friend from Czech Republic, who is coming to visit his family for a few days).
*^v^* Happy! Happy! Happy! *^v^*

I promise some photos tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Crazy day! ^^

I had a really crazy day today, running around Warsaw and buying different stuff (I bought myself a lipstick colour named "Goddess", wow!... ^^), and meeting people, and visiting beautician's, wow! ^^ The weather is really cold right now in Poland and you can feel the Winter approaching.

I met my friend Astarise, who is so wonderful and I am soooooo happy that we met about two years ago! ^^ She is very creative, has her unique Elegant Gothic Victorian style in everything she does - clothing, accessories, ect, she is crazy about Japanese j-rock (as I am! ^^) - I am really thankful that such people exist and that such person entered my life at some stage, because it would be incomplete without her! We may not meet too often, but whenever we do, we talk and talk and cannot part! *^-^*
Today she also gave me a birthday present - a cameo she's made herself, just look at that!

And I sell some of her creations in Atelier Bizarre - painted cameos and other gothic accessories.

Another news of the day: some time ago I ordered something on-line from Czech Republic (it was the closest shop with this produce I could find) but it was difficult for me to pay them so I asked my friend (who lives there and travels to Poland once a month) to go directly to the shop and pay for my item and bring it to Poland for me.
So, he went there today and my mystery item is already at his place!!! ^^
He's travelling to Poland on 14th November and I cannot wait to get my hands on what I bought myself! ^^
What is it?
Well, for now I'll just tell you that it's big and made of wood.
Any guesses? *^v^*
(Astarise, you cannot say a word because I already told you what it was!... ^^)

I've been making a lot of things recently but didn't have time to blog about them, so let's talk about some of them now.
First, several days ago I received a Stitch-and-Bitch calendar from Veronica, and it's great! ^^ I can't wait till January to start flipping page after page and read all the interesting stuff about knitting (but I will, I promise! ^^).

Then, I've been working on the update for my gothic on-line shop, but more about it soon (with pictures!).

I've done some naalbinding - my shawl is progressing and I really would like to have finished it till 25th November, because we are attending a battle event that day and it would be a great addition to my outfit (a very warm addition!). I also made a pair of socks for myself, and two pairs of mittens - we decided to visit Viking markets in Sweden (Foteviken and Malmo) or maybe even in Norway next Summer and I've started to prepare some merchandise! ^^
And I got my first naalbinding commision - a pair od socks for a friend from my group!

I'm also working now on two pouches, one is finished, just needs a lucet cord to close it with. ^^

I haven't told you yet but in the middle of October I started to host in my flat regular Wednesday meetings for the girls from my historical group - I called it The Town Housekeepers Circle. ^^ In short, we meet to craft-and-bitch, and we started with naalbinding classes. I want to learn and practice with them many historical crafts, and also bond more as if creating the female circle to remind us who we are in the historical context as well as in the contemporary world. I think the girls like it, and I definitely enjoy our meeting! ^^
There are four of us including myself, occasionally five (not all of the girls can visit me because they live in a town 50 km outside Warsaw). I like those meetings also because I have a practice of craft teaching - I'm going to host a basic naalbinding workshops in January.

On my first class I had:
- a girl who caught everything really quickly and was way ahead of the rest, so was waiting for me to show her the next steps while the other girls struggled with the basics (my friend Kate)
- a girl who was late and had to catch up, and then demanded a full undivided attention in the moments she got stuck on something, like "please, take a look at my sock right now!" (my friend Karolina)
- a girl who is right-handed in everything apart from handcrafts... so I had to try and teach her the Oslo stitch mirrored - in the end she decided to switch hands (my best friend Anna)

So, I had three different pupils and I got the hang of the teacher's job - I think that four people for my group will be enough - for me to be able to divide my attention properly and for the students to gain as much as possible from my knowledge and practice.

Now, on to things I haven't done...
Sadly, I didn't have time to finish my second OPAL sock, and even joining the Socktoberfest didn't help. Well, the weather is really chilly right now and I really could do with a pair of OPAL socks, but they just must wait till I have some free time (after the Atelier Bizarre's and folk gallery's updates).
I haven't finished birthday choker for Anna, but she has forgiven me and is now patiently waiting for it to be finished! ^^I haven't been knitting for about a week now, like... at all!... Weird, and I can feel the tingling in my fingers, so I expect to take up knitting any time soon! (as soon as I step away from my sewing machine! ^^)
Sadly also, I didn't knit a wonderful October bag in Bag Me KAL. I put this
pattern on my "to knit" pile and I will make it some time in the future.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Can you believe it?!...

Winter has begun. Today, at 10:30...
At least in Warsaw. *^v^*
This is the view from my balcony:

And it's very cold today, I went shopping without a hat and gloves and felt the chilly air crawling all over me, brrrrrr..... Time to dig out all the winter warmers - hats, gloves, scarves! ^^

On days like today I feel this veil between our world and The Other Side to be very thin, but for the first time in years I don't feel uneasy about it. I think I found some inner balance and this gives me the ability to understand the necessity of light and dark sides in our lives.