Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sweater to dye for...

I've been dyeing yesterday. *^v^*

(doesn't it look like a proper witch's cauldron? *^v^*)

No, unfortunately not my plaid fabric for the cape, because I thought about it and it's 100% wool, so it may shrink or felt badly while being in a piping hot water for an hour. I decided that it may stay as it is, and I may add some violet accessories, like a brooch or buttons.
I was dyeing two sweaters my mom knitted for me a long time ago (sorry, mom!...), because they were the wrong shape (red potato sack...) or colour and shape (dark blue boxy square lacy potato sack with butterflies, well...). I have some nice sweaters that my mom made for me, but she often doesn't ask about my chosen design and she chooses it herself, along with the yarn...

Anyway, I decided that either I do something with the yarn or they should go, because I don't have a space in my tiny flat for any unwanted sweaters!
So, I prepared the violet dye and processed both of them for an hour, together with some pieces of other yarns from my stash that I wanted to dye but to test first.

Here are the results:

Exhibit A: bright red sweater of unknown yarn (soft and a bit fuzzy) - the result is a nice dark red (darker than in this photo), which I'm going to turn into some nice sweater. ^^

Exhibit B: dark blue sweater of unknown yarn (probably acrylic blend, soft) - no, it's not even worth photographing, it didn't change at all... Well, bye bye!

Exhibit C: a piece of orange cotton - not too bad, but the result is a very dark violet, I may try to dye it with amaranth dye.

Exhibit D: a piece of mix green cotton - it turned out violet with some lighter spots where the lighter threads were, not too bad, considering the previous colour - light green with yellow and pink spots... But it's very coarse after a hot bath, not scratchy but looks very ragged, hm...

Exhibit E: a piece of mix fuchsia cotton - that's the best result! nice violet, not too dark, even colour, but it was light fuchsia at the beginning, so I could expect this. ^^ Although it's the same yarn as the green one above, it stayed soft.

Exhibit F: a piece of brown wool - turned out almost black,well... I'm not going to be dyeing this, either. I believe I'll just sell the yarn at the on-line auction and buy myself something else. The red spots you can see remained under a knot and didn't catch that much dye (which is a pity the whole piece of this yarn didn't turn like this, really...)

I've seen many sweaters that I really liked but there are a few that grabbed my heart and I thought that I really really must knit them, or else I'd burst like a bubble!...
Purple Belle was the first one like that, and here is the second one that I'm definitely going to knit: Kimono Styled Sweater from the old pattern by KnitPicks.

I don't have the pattern but that's not a problem - I have both of those cables in my "200 Aran Designs" book, I can measure myself and do some swatching, and I've already started to plan the knitting, with as little sewing as possible. ^^

One thing I really don't like about it (apart from the gray colour, but that's obvious in my case! ^^), is the yarn that was used here - I can see this sweater only in some light, soft, luster silk (which I cannot buy in Poland, bleh...), linen or mercerized cotton, not wool. I've seen some other knitters' versions on the Web and I just don't feel it in wool. But that's just me. *^v^*

Today's SFTC is not about cooking a specific meal, but about the ingredient that I find necessary in most soups: celery leaves.

And I'm not talking about the fancy schmancy leaf celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce), I'm talking about the ordinary root celery (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum). Now is the best time in Poland to harvest them, and whereas the root is very delicious and can be eaten in many ways, the leaves are also very important (this vegetable is also veeeeeery cheap and full of vitamins, mind you! ^^).
Add a small twig at the beginning of cooking your tomato soup or broth and you will enjoy an immensely great taste and smell when eating the cooked meal!

They can be frozen for later and I tend to prepare a batch for all my late Autumn/Winter soups so we can enjoy this extraordinary taste when there is rain and snow outside! *^v^*
Look at this bags - I have ten twigs ready to go to the freezer, which means ten delicious soups over the cold months, out of only one celery! *^v^*

Now I'm off to frog the red sweater, and later we are having dinner with my friend Anna - I'm cooking a leek tart. ^^
Happy Wednesday! *^v^*

Monday, August 27, 2007

Walking, and talking, and painting, and knitting

I got a blister on my left heel, blast!... But I should have known better than to wear uncomfortable shoes for a long walk! Even if it's just a walk around my residential district. I walked almost 3 km this morning and I've come to an important conclusion: I absolutely hate jogging, I love love love walking! *^v^* I can walk for a long time and distance, with the language course on my MuVo (Hej, hur star det till? *^v^*) and tomorrow I'm planning on a longer walk with my camera. And the big plus of my walks is that I get to know the surroundings and this morning I've found a good baker with fresh bread rolls! ^^

BTW, Hege, thank you for visiting my blog, yours is a great learning aid for me! And I was gobsmacked when I read your Norwegian dialect greeting!... Such a difference, but that's what the dialects are for, right? ^^ There are dialects in Poland, too, in the mountain regions, in the Silesia region, in the Great Lake Mazury region, where I wouldn't be able to understand a word! *^v^*

I've been knitting and journaling last weekend, here are the results:
I finished two spreads in my journal, the first one is the realization of the Live, Laugh, Love subject at Inspire Me Thursday - I wanted the strong colours and strong black definition on them (I should have used acrylics, not watercolours, hm...)

The second one is my submission to the prompt on D'Blogala's Art Journal Friday

"Journal some motivational thoughts to yourself. It's easy once you get going...tell yourself to love yourself, respect yourself, to create until pigs get the gist. You can use your favorite colors, maybe doodle a little, use some positive images. Make it a POSITIVE page. A source of all that is good. Use this page as something to look at when you're feeling down. You can always keep adding to it. You can use quotes from others that you find inspirational...Just little affirmations for yourself."

So, this is my affirmation, containing two symbols of my sport activities: bubbles of water from the swimming pool and a shoe from my walks. ^^

Now, knitting!
I've just joined the Silver Belle KAL that is starting this September, hosted by two ladies, Liz and Stacey. *^v^*
I know that I may have finished my Belle before the KAL even starts but I want to see all the other versions. ^^
(the Alien green background is my balcony table. ^^)
I've passed the middle point of the sleeves last night ( I'm knitting them both simultaneously) and I'll probably skip the last two increases because the sleeve is already the right circumference for my upper hand size. I'm getting spiritually ready for the cast on for the yoke part, yikes! *^v^*

I love the middle section of the sleeve - a beautiful surface of little cute roses! (at least that's what I see here! ^^).
And here is a whole sleeve with great stitch definition - Sally's version. I wish my cables were so defined, but I think it's the yarn's fault (or maybe my knitting's too loose, or maybe washing and blocking could do the trick? We'll see.). I was a bit worried about the sizing but here is
Sally's sleeve sewn with peplum and her sizing concerns revealed. It seems I have nothing to worry about! *^v^*

Saturday, August 25, 2007

God dag!

Hvordan har du det? Jeg har det bra. *^v^*

I decided to revive an old initiative of Kimberly's and put myself back into a proper shape, because I definitely put on some weight this Summer. (okay, Robert made me... I hate sports!...)
I'm starting to attend a swimming pool regularly and walk. Last night I swam 1 km and this morning I walked about 2,5 km, listening to my Norwegian course (so people passing me by could hear some strange sentences repeated one by one while I was marching along the street, yikes! *^v^*). I'm also going back to drinking juices and eating lots of fruit and vegetables.

, you're a star! *^v^* Have you seen that link, guys? It's a long list of all the terms used in knitting and crocheting patterns from Dropsdesign, in English, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish! (and German, Spanish and French, if you prefer those). It's a gem for crafters! ^^

I was sitting on the door sill of my balcony yesterday afternoon, on a pillow, seeing only the tree tops above the balcony rail and hearing some street noises but mostly the birds, brushes and water for dissolving the paints were placed on the table beside me, sun was shining into my white journal pages and followed the pencil strokes. Blissful! *^v^*
I wish I cleaned my balcony at the beginning of Spring, when I had so many warm months ahead of me to enjoy spending time there! Well, there will be another Spring after all, right? ^^ And September and October days can also be sunny and warm!

Friday, August 24, 2007

This and that

Look at the crazy woman - she just learned how to say "I understand a little Norwegian." and she attempts to read a Norwegian blog in original!... *^v^*
Well, in fact I just read bilingual Hege's blog last night and tried to compare English and Norwegian sentences in order to see if I can distinguish words and match them. And I believe I could! Some of them, of course. I know which words mean "yarn" and "to knit", and these are essentials, right? *^v^* (and several more, I think I shall start my own theme dictionary, like craft vocabulary, food vocabulary, ect).

Thank you, Helene, and yes, please, keep on correcting me, guys!!! I may learn a lot that way! *^v^* I think at this stage I'll stay with the word "lite". *^v^*
(it's good this isn't an audio blog, you would have so much fun listening to my Norwegian and Swedish pronunciations... *"o"*)

Look what I bought today while grocery shopping in the close-by supermarket - a small Polish-Swedish thesaurus with some grammar and helpful everyday sentences. ^^ There weren't any Norwegian learning aids though, I'll have to visit a linguistic bookstore soon.
Oceansheep, about the similarities between Norwegian and Danish - funny you should say that because when last night I said a sentence in Norwegian to Robert, he said that it sounded exactly like Yvonne Jensen talking to Kjeld... But maybe it was just me... ^^ (btw, "Olsen-banden" was a great hit in Poland and we are big admirers of this tv series! *^v^*).

Okay, this is becoming a linguistic blog, and we have some knitting to report after all! *'-'*

Purple Belle's sleeves are growing everyday, which cannot be said about the MS3... I'm so eager to wear the Belle already that I don't touch any other knitting project. ^^ But it will be finished, I love what I see on my friend's blogs: see Myriam's and Kimberly's ones! Stunning!
What I'm not sure of are all those increases on the sleeves... It seems that the sleeve is going to be quite wide at the top, well... I must count it and measure it properly and decided whether I should add less stitches after all. I don't want a sack for potatoes! ^^

Doing shopping this morning I also bought two purple things - a September issue of Burda sewing magazine, where they highly promote purple as a new black for this Autumn, and two purple pillows for our bed, yikes! *^v^*

One project I found especially interesting - the cape, for which I already have w fabric in my stash! ^^ Although I'm thinking about over dyeing it with some violet, what do you think?

And why, oh why, there are millions of great sweaters out there when I have only 2 hands and 24 hours per day?!... I've recently found tons of inspiring sweaters from several funky designers, find them in my flickr set.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Unnskyld, forstår du norsk?

Ja, jeg forstår lite norsk.


Can you tell I'm making a linguistic progress? ^^

I love the fact that Swedish and Norwegian are so similar (up to this point, at least), and that I can compare them and learn simultaneously, although Norwegian pronunciation is more difficult, not that intuitive. BTW, Pimsleur is teaching me Bokmal. ^^

My next linguistic question is: is it good to learn a language from lyrics of a favorite band? (Otyg, Hedningarna and Garmarna in this case! *^v^* I must find some Norwegian bands, too, maybe Dimmu Borgir? ^^)

Therese, I'll be glad to help you with Polish! I'll genuinely admire you if you start learning Polish because I think it is a difficult language, in many aspects (pronunciation, grammar, ect). But I'll try my best to help in any way possible, Madame Krzywinska! *^v^*

Straight From The Cauldron strikes back! ^^
Today is a simple bread recipe:

- 1 kg of plain wheat flour
- 0,5 kg of wholemeal rye flour
- a pinch of salt
- 100 g of fresh yeast
- 1/2 glass of warm water
- 1 tsp of sugar

First put the yeast into a glass of warm (not boiling!) water (filled in half), add a tsp of sugar and a Tsp of plain flour, stir well. Leave for a couple of minutes to start working but keep an eye on them because they can grow out of the glass! *^v^*

Place all the flour into a big bowl, add yeast solution and a pinch of salt, and knead well (I mean, really well!) *^v^* You may need to add some water as you go.

Form a sphere of a dough and leave it in a bowl to grow for about 30 minutes, under a piece of cloth.

Take a grown dough out of the bowl onto a flat surface and knead once more thoroughly. Divide it into two loaves, place it on a baking tray not very close to each other and leave them for another 20 minutes to grow again. Switch on the oven (temperature 180 degree Celsjus).

When the oven is hot and the loaves have grown substantially, place them into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. You may cover the loaves with a piece of tin foil to avoid burnt crust.

After about 20 minutes check the bread with a long thin wooden toothpick - if the toothpick is dry, the bread is baked and can be removed from the oven. Leave the loaves for about half an hour to rest.

Smacznego! *^v^*

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Knitting problem resolved!

Wow, it's so good to look outside the window through a clean glass!... (although my cat already sneezed at it in some places, well...). My balcony has been emptied of all the clutter, some of it went to the bin, some of it - to the basement storage (I'll have to deal with this place one day, OMGs!...), some of it stayed (like two old cupboards full of flower pots, an old table, historical tent poles and a tent, historical wooden bed, two shields of Robert's, my dyeing pot (which I'll be using soon, so stay tuned! ^^), wooden folding table and two flower baskets from IKEA (I'm planning to hang them one day...) and a stack of blue storage boxes full of stuff I cannot keep inside my flat anymore because there's no space for it!).

Now, I can sit there and knit or read a book, or put my laundry on a line. ^^ In about a month's time, we are going to have it closed with a row of windows at the front of the building, it will be safer, warmer, cleaner, quieter in the flat, and it'll give us a small storage room, always precious when you live on 42 square metres! *^v^*

Carol and Lillysmuul, thank you for the stitch links, that's exactly what I needed, Purple Belle's sleeves are officially in progress again! *^v^*

Helene and Helene, I am totally confused now, let's see just learn what it says in my Pimsleur Norwegian language course! ^^

Oceansheep, please don't tempt me with Danish, I might have a go at that language, too, one day. *^v^*

In fact, I checked my bloglines, and among others, I have 8 Norwegian blogs, 2 Swedish blogs and 5 Finnish blogs. And no, it doesn't mean I'm going to try to learn Finnish because it's a totally different language type from what I've tried up to this point and I find it difficult even when I look at it. ^^

Thank you for the nameday wishes, it really was a special day! *^v^*

Monday, August 20, 2007

A linguistic question, a knitting question!

I got scolded by Helene for learning Swedish before the Norwegian, and she's got the point, I have more Norwegian blogs on my bloglines than Swedish ones, and some of them are only in Norwegian. That settles the matter: I'm starting to learn both of the languages at the same time - it will give me an opportunity to compare them since they seem to be similar. *^v^* Be warned, I'll be asking linguistic questions and maybe even write some sentences in those languages on my blog! ^^

All right, Norwegian bloggers, first question: I've just found out that there are two official languages in Norway: Bokmaal and Nynorsk, so which one do you speak, and which one should I learn?!... (and let's not talk about Sami in the far north, I'm not considering learning this language in the near future...)

Today a new portion of my journal pages - I finished them last weekend.
This one was inspired when I was going on a bus and a little girl with her mother were sitting behind me. They were talking about this and that and sudenly the girl saw a huge flock of crows in the street, and exclaimed with joy and astonishment "Wow! Mum! Birds!". Which left me thinking about the child's ability to be astonished on every step, no matter what, no matter how many times that girl saw birds before, she would still shout it out. ^^

One day at the cottage I got into melancholic mood. I quoted here a poem called "Melancholy" by Krzysztof Baczynski, famous Polish poet.

That's an evening inspiration, with a full moon, starry sky and a poem called "Night" by Polish poet Boleslaw Lesmian (I love his poetry! ^^ Watercolors and white acrylic.
That's the belated reaction to Inspire Me Thursday's topic DNA. I printed out my recent photo, glued it onto a page, then worked with watercolors and pencil crayons.

This is a reminder that sometimes I talk too much, without thinking first... Well, I must learn to keep my mouths shut. ^^

That's the second part of the "Wow, Mum, birds" page - this is a quotation from Marillion's "Childhood's End?", my teenager's favourite band, which I dug out recently. I've been listening to this song when I heard the little girl shout on the bus! *^v^* In fact I think I may choose this song as my theme song (remember theme songs from "Ally McBeal"? ^^).
Funny thing, when I painted the magpie, I forgot these are the very runny watery watercolors, and white and black places intermixed with splashes of water, yuk...
But then I kicked the perfectionist in me in the butt and said, that it's my magpie and I made it that way, and it stays that way! Period!
It would have been so easy to rip out this page and try again on another, but it's just my journal and nobody will measure the magpie's white and black areas with a ruler or something! ^^ It's just for fun!

I must say that I am so very flattered and happy with all your comments on my journal pages, keep them coming, please! This is a new way of expressing myself and I'm learning how to do it, any words of encouragement is very welcome! *^v^*

I also have an urgent knitting question (to those knitting Silver Belle or anybody who can help me! ) - I'm stuck! I cast on for sleeves last night and I don't know how to knit one stitch, the one highlighted in green , which is described as "k1, p1, k1 into next stitch". I tried many combinations and I'm several stitches short at the end of the 16 stitches sequence (the next direction after this stitch is "k 3 tog"). i know I have to make three stitches out of the one, but I don't know how!...
Please, help!!!

And because it's my nameday today, I'm spending it fruitfully - my best friend Anna came this morning to help me clean our balcony, and then we took her to the train station (she was going outside Warsaw to get a second tattoo done, yikes! ^^), Robert took a day off, we went to the art bookstore to buy me a present (but it was closed, wrrrr...), then we went to the swimming pool and sauna and then for a lovely fried fish dinner. Now we are home, with some bubbly in the fridge! *^v^*
Happy nameday to all Joannas! *^v^*

Jag forsta inte engelska.

Jag forsta svenska.

No, that's not entirely true, I haven't lost my ability to speak English, I've just started to learn Swedish from a Pimsleur audio course! *^v^*

This course has been designed to be listened to and repeated, but no written material was added, but I have to have the words I pronounce in front of my eyes with pronunciation transcription, so I took my other notebook I bought recently (the one with the flowers on the cover, if that piece of information matters here... ^^), and I put down all the words, using a dictionary.

Swedish is not the only language I'm planning to learn, Norwegian is in the queue! I thought that if I made the first step towards my dream come true - I announced to the world that I want to live in Scandinavia one day, I might as well make a second step and learn the languages to make my relocation easier! *^v^*

Now, let's talk about knitting (in English! ^^):
I can't help it! - I love cables! *^v^*
Cables and colorwork are currently my new black! I said to Robert last night that I'd rather knit an all-over-cables sweater than the stockinette one (which, in fact, I'm knitting at the moment! ^^)

(OMGs, my camera did something to the colour, it's dark violet, not fuchsia... ^^)

My Purple Belle has the finished peplum and as you are reading this I'm starting the sleeves. I love everything about it up till now and I'll be wearing it even if the size's not okay (which I cannot tell because I cannot try it on for the construction of this sweater, yikes!... I mean, I can see now that the peplum is a bit too wide, I should have made it in S size, but I still can take it in while sewing together with the sleeves/yokes). (I hope!... ^^)

I noticed that with my first knitted sweater (Tomato) I entered a brand new world - I no longer look at the sweaters/tops/cardigans/... and think "Well, nice shape/colour/drape...", I think "What a beauty! I must knit this one day!". Which is terrifying because I would have to exist in several people at the same time in order to knit all sweaters that I liked (and to wear them in one lifetime...).
And I'm looking for all the bizarre shapes and solutions, no simple stockinette cardi for me (maybe it's the first OMGs-I-can-knit-sweaters phase?... *^v^*).

Anyway, there is still the biggest fear of knitting sweaters ahead of me - sewing all the knitted parts together, yikes!... I simply have no idea how to do it nicely, I did it once with my first green vest and it sucked, really... Lots to learn, lots to learn. *^v^*

Question to a long time sweater knitters: when do you knit Autumn/Winter sweaters? During hot Summer afternoons, to be ready for the first chilly evenings or throughout Autumn/Winter nights? What about the Spring and Summer tops - when to knit them to have them ready for the proper hot season? I'm a bit confused here... ^^

One more thing, in Poland, when somebody wears something inside out by mistake, we say that he/she will get drunk the same evening. But it didn't happen to me, well... *^v^*

Friday, August 17, 2007

For granted

First of all, thank you so much for the compliments on my journal, I had no idea it would bring such a positive response! I'm especially glad I could be inspiring and some of you decided to start filling those white pages of your notebooks, good for you, guys! *^v^*

We take so many things for granted, the sun rising in the morning, or, for example, our computers working every time we press the 'switch on' button...
My hard drive died yesterday afternoon, and in the evening Robert was working on replacing it with a new one and retrieving the data from the old drive, phew...
All's well that end's well, and I'm fully operational again, with access to all my favourite blogs, Gimp brushes and Firefox bookmarks, thank Gods! *^v^*

We watched a great film on Thursday night - Polish old timer from 1966 called "Sublokator" = "A Lodger". The story was set in a beautiful 1920's villa and there were the most amazing Art Nouveau (Secesja in Polish) decorations on all doors and some walls! I love this period in art and I decided that I (would love to) am going to to live in a house like this one day! *^v^*
Look at the pattern on the door behind the lady, wow! ^^

One more thing - I dressed up Friday morning and went shopping, and on my way back I realized I was wearing my blouse inside out!... *^v^* Nobody told me anything, of course...

Art journalling

Yeah, yeah, I've tried yet another craft recently, (and I'm afraid that's not the last one in my life... *^v^*) - I fought my "fear of the white piece of paper" and started to write in one of the notebooks I bought not so long ago.

My first impression was that it's SO EASY to create an art journal! ^^
No, I'm not saying that I'm so very talented and it's easy for me - I believe it's easy for ANYBODY (if I could do it, everybody can! ^^), so if you have an empty notebook and you don't use it because you don't want to spoil it, just fight your fears and START (just like I fought my notebook demons - "I don't know, what to write...", 'I'm not sure, which technique to use...", "I'm scared it won't be good enough...", ect, ect, ect)!

Make the first step, place the first splash of colour, write the first word, you cannot go wrong with anything you do on the white page. ^^ You can't go wrong because it's your journal, nobody's going to judge the final result. Everything that you'll put on a single page comes from your inner self - so it's beautiful, and true, and artful, and yours so it's different from any other journal other people may create.

You don't know where to start? Create the first page around the theme of not knowing where to start, and you'll see that the ideas, the choice of means, the colours will start to fill your head very soon! ^^

In fact I feel I may create a journal page with what I said above! *^v^*

Now, my first art journal pages (my media - pencil, watercolour pencils, watercolour paints, ink, coloured markers): I started with some thoughts on journaling itself, I wrote about pouring ourselves onto a piece of paper, thoughts flowing like a river. (Look, I couldn't really draw the figure of a person with a jug like I had her in my mind, so I sketched her roughly! ^^)

Then I was soooo busy just before leaving for the cottage, so I felt I needed to stop for a minute (or for eternity...) and grow the roots like a tree, so I wouldn't have to rush so much and meet so many deadlines, phew...

Second day at the cottage - I felt the big NOW, so I wrote all the things that were happening to me at that very moment.

This is the quotation from the Stitch'n'Bitch calendar page, "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going" by Beverly Sills. I think choosing some sentence or even a word and working around its theme is a good journal subject. ^^

This is the page inspired by something that happened to me in the morning on the second day at the cottage - I got up, took a shower, washed my hair, and so very clean and fresh I went outside and picked up an apple from a tree, delicious! *^v^*

Here I wanted to try a new technique - I collected various leaves on my way from the grocery shopping (walking through the woods and fields, yikes! *^v^*), and then used them as stamps, covering them with watercolour paints - I think acrylic paints would make a better job here, but I also like the result I achieved.

This page says "I overslept!...", and I did one day... We were supposed to get up early and pick up our friend from the nearby town, and we slept very long... Fortunately he left home later then expected so we were there just in time! *^v^*

When the sun didn't shine, we had some periods of very heavy rains, and the outside looked like that:

I still have some blank pages in my journal among the painted ones, because I had some ideas coming but they haven't formed properly yet in my head, and with the feast coming I didn't have enough time for journaling, but I hope to fill them soon.

And as for time i discovered that you don't have to finish a page at one go. In fact, it's even impossible to do that - I put gesso first and it has to dry, then I put paints and they have to dry, and then there is a more or less final stage, when I put words, details, ect, but even then I may leave it for while and look for some inspiration or just let it rest and get back to it later. ^^

My favourite medium so far are the watercolour paints - I can add more and more layers of different colours, dip the brush in water and smudge them into many shades, yummy! *^v^* And what a coincidence - this week's subject on Inspire Me Thursday are watercolours! *^v^*

I'm still hesitant about adding some scraps, but I have no fear of writing in different colours and directions, yikes! ^^

It's fun each evening to cover the notebook pages with a gesso layer, so it's ready for the next morning to be filled with new colours and ideas! ^^

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Annual Medieval Feast

Before I start talking about the feast, let me show you another crafty thing I made last week - on Sunday I sat at the loom and made a stool seat for my friend. ^^ It was a last minute work just before we went to the cottage on Monday, it's red and yellow wool (scratchy, yikes...) from my tangled supplies.

And now the main subject of this post - the feast.
Last Saturday we held our annual medieval feast, the style was in line with our main medieval reenactment project - the Prince's Court of the X-XI th c. with the Slavs, the Rus and the Viking inhabitants.

It all started with our Prince leading the ting, which means the gathering, where he collected the taxes (we made him an embroidered shirt - photos when it's finished, because Robert didn't quite make it on time ^^, a pair of naalbinded socks and some braided straps), raised some slaves to a higher half-slave rank, judged any quarrels, etc.

Robert read out our laws.

Any free Draconian wanting to speak would step up onto the whalebone and shake the staff with bells, so everyone could pay their attention to him. Free noble men would stand close to the Prince with their spears and shields.

Among others, two of our people (mine and Robert's) were raised from the slave status to the half-slave rank - Osk (Anna) and Izbor (Peter).

Then the Prince paid homage to our god Skwarowit thanking him for another good, fruitful year.

Here is Osk (Anna) and Hazine (Kate) with Anna's promotion gift from me - a drop spindle, some roving and a pair of Finnish buckles.

Here is Izbor (Peter) with his present - a drinking horn. can you tell that he's pleased with his gift? *^v^*

And then there was much eating and rejoicing - here I was giving some culinary instructions to my brand new slave Radochna (Marta), she just joined our group two weeks before the feast and managed to make herself a set of basic clothes, so she could be with us, triple arm pump for her! *^v^*

Our Prince at the table.

And here is our youngest draconian - Janna with her 6 month old daughter Zosia. ^^
Unfortunately the weather wasn't that good all day, at one point we had rain and even hail... But we managed to eat a lot, sing a bit (me and my girls! ^^), listen to some great Viking poetry written by Izbor (written by him, mind you! of course in Polish, but it really sounded like a piece from the Poetic Edda, he's gifted!), some of us tried some archery and swam in the river.

We (me and Robert) didn't prepare any new clothes for this feast, and I decided that my Russian outfit, although spectacular, will go to the bottom of the clothes chest for a while, because this year I'll be working on a proper Norwegian and Finish sets of clothes.
What's next on our reenactment events list? There are two XIII c. meetings in September and Robert will probably go to one of them, but I don't have a finished outfit so I'll pass on these ones. Then when the Spring/Summer season is over, we'll have one-day battle events in Autumn and Winter until the first warm Spring days and first market events of the next year.
(I've been thinking veeeeeeery briefly about the possibility of going to Foteviken, Sweden, for a Winter market, but we'll see about that later).

EDIT: Helene asked me about my Norwegian outfit plans.
Well, I should've written "Viking outfit", but I chose a Norwegian persona for my reenactment (married to a Rus persona, a Varangian, hence my Russian clothes as a gift from my husband! *^v^*).
I have some old Viking clothes, but I decided I desperately need a new set, so I started in May, when I made a new linen dress and started to embroider it (in progress). Then I'm going to make a woolen apron dress and another long-sleeved dress out of wool for Winter events, all of which will be embellished with tablet woven bands and embroidery (hopefully! *^v^*). And also, I need to change the lining in my long-sleeved coat, because it's cotton and should be linen, and add the tablet woven bands to it.
Seems like a lot of work, but hand sewing is not a problem. I hope to put together the inkle loom soon, which should help me in making all those planned tablet woven bands (when I figure out how to warp this thing...). I'm lucky I've got lots of Viking jewelery, in the Finish project I'm going to start from the very beginning... *^v^*