31 March 2004
On the stitching front. It was really hot yesterday and when I got home from the gym I just didn't feel like sewing. Too hot and sweaty. So basically just watched TV.
30 March 2004
1. When did you first start stitching?
My Nan taught me to stitch when I was about 8 years old.
2. How long have you been stitching?
Although I learnt when I was young, I stopped embroidery for years and years. I started doing patchwork for a while but I have only seriously gotten back into embroidery in the last 18 months. I am enjoying it more now and doing more work now that I have a focus and use for it.
3. Did someone teach you or did you teach yourself?
My Nan taught me the basics (chain and stem stitch) and from that I have pretty much taught myself. I have a tendency to like hobbies or sports that no one else does, so I have learnt to be self relient when it comes to teaching myself new skills. And I have found that with the right book or website, its possible to learn just about anything.
4. Describe your first project (if you can remember!).
I'm sure it was one of the those pre-printed linen things, either a doily or napkin.
5. When did you first realise that stitching was for you?
Really, since I have started up again in the last 18 months, I have really enjoyed it. I have the type of personality where anything I do much have some sort of practical application. And my apologies to the cross-stitchers here but putting things on the wall when finished isn't really something that appeals to me. So doing embroidery in the contaxt of the SCA gives me the chance to make stuff that will actually be used (clothing, accessories, purses etc) and I find that particularly rewarding.
29 March 2004
So if you have a copy of this laying around and would like to swap it for our world famous Australian chocolate, drop me a line.
28 March 2004
But late last year, we went looking for a sauce making tool. I'd seen this on a cooking show. Basically, you put the tomatoes (or vegetable on choice) in the top, turn the handle, and get lovely puree out one side and all the yucky stuff (skins, seeds etc) out the other. We went to the main cooking shop in town, asked if they had anything like this and they said no. We were disappointed but kept looking around the shop.
Then we found it, tucked right up the back on the bottom shelf, two lovely red boxes with lots of Italian on it, under a nice layer of dust. I don't speak Italian but the pictures on the front were pretty self explanitory. The dodgy translation was no help but I was willing to risk it. Now the only obstacle was the price. It has a sticker with $69 on it. Now, I was pretty sure this was what I wanted but I didn't want to blow that much if I could avoid it. So when I got the counter I asked if this machine would do what I wanted. They had no idea. I said I didn't want to risk the price if it might not do what I wanted. The girl at the checkout said fair enough, I could have it for $10!!!!! So trying not to seem to eager, I paid and got out of the shop.
Today we used it for the first time. I can't believe what a difference it made. In 15 mins I'd done the whole 10kg of tomatoes. So I am now up to the stage of adding the sauce making mix, sugar and apples. Then boil for an hour or two. With a bit of luck, by the time we go to bed tonight we should have a nice stock of a couple of dozen bottles of sauce.
Below is a picture of me using my favourite piece of kitchen equipment:
On the stitching front, I manage to get my goldwork pattern transfered today. I should've just done it this way last week. Teach me for being lazy. I tried using the tailors carbon paper - what a waste of time and money!! So I can now start on that. I was going to try and get my LOG pouch finished today but the sauce making got in the way.
27 March 2004
I plan on finishing off my cloak. And putting hooks and eyes on my chemises, that should get the last of the clothing jobs out of the way.
26 March 2004
Anyway, here is a progress scan of the current blackwork caul I am working on, this is at about 2 hours work. This is my own design based on period design elements. Anyone got any ideas about the diamonds at the intersections of the lattice?? Do they need something inside? If yes, what? I want to keep it simple ie quick!
25 March 2004
23 March 2004
1. Where do you stitch? - describe your stitching area.
I sit at one end of our lounge. There is a small coffee table at the end where I keep materials for the project being worked. It also holds my magnifying light. I only use the magnifying glass for certain types of projects (usually fine work like split stitch), but I use the light all the time (except when Adam borrows it to do his new hobby of Lord of the Rings minitures!)
2. What time of the day do you usually stitch?
During the week I stitch in the evening after dinner. On the weekends, it can be any time during the day or evening.
3. Do you stitch by yourself or with someone else?
99% of the time I stitch by myself. I go irregularly to Guild meetings where I will work on something.
4. How long do you usually stitch for?
When I am working on something in particular I try to get a couple of hours at a time in. If I have a big project with a tight deadline, I can do 8 or 10 hour sittings.
5. Do you listen to music or watch TV/DVDs when stitching or do you prefer quiet?
Complete silence freaks me out so I usually have the TV on in the background. Generally the History Channel or Discovery Channel etc
22 March 2004
Anyway, while we were looking around we found a guy who made hand made swords. They were quite a nice design and very cheap so I told Adam he should buy one. Which he did. Its a very cool sword (for display purposes only, and maybe the odd embarassing photo!).
We went home and I crashed, didn't wake up for hours. But it was that really warm great afternoon sleeping weather. And Cleo came and slept beside me, purring her head off. How could I resist.
When I woke up later that night I got around to trying to get my goldwork design onto the velveteen. This is where I struck trouble. My usual method of tracing and using chalk didn't seem to work. Not sure if it was the technique or just me. Anyway, that was abandoned in favour of working up a lattice pattern for another blackwork caul. This week along really well. Once the lattice was done, I put individual motifs into the frames.
On Sunday we had a heraldry collegia so I had to go to Barony meeting early. On the way, I stopped at Spotlight and picked up some of the dress makers carbon paper. My plan is to use some of this to try and get the goldwork pattern onto the material. I will do that tonight and let you guys know how it went.
It was overcast all day but the rain held off. The collegia went well and in the afternoon we had our Newcomers Tourney. We had a really great turnout. I didn't take a camera (too much other stuff to carry) but I'm sure there were some photos taken. I worked on the blackwork caul. This one will work up alot faster, I left alot more white space!!
Unfortunately, I grabbed the wrong glasses when I left in the morning and by the time I got home I had a raging headache, took me all night to get rid of it, so now sewing.
19 March 2004
I decided to start a small split stitch project last night. I need to have it done by Festival and estimated about 8 hours work (but it will take more than that). I was worried that I didn't have a fine enough needle and after working on element of the design, I was right. I used the two finest needles from my pack of Piecemakers on the last split stitch project. I have been trying to buy another pack but have had real problems as its not stocked in many places. I am going to have to try and track some down cause the next size up, while still very fine, is just two big when working with one strand of silk thread. So hopefully I will be able to track down a packet in the next week or so. I will post progress pictures when available (the bit I have done is white on white, can't see much!).
17 March 2004
My plan is to work it with twist on red velveteen. I will probably only get about half of it done, to use as a work in progress. If I do this will a couple of other items, I should have enough to show at Festival.
On the more day to day front, I am still sewing hooks and eyes on dresses. Nearly finished that, which will have the dresses at a useable stage. Then I can do embroidery! Yah!!
16 March 2004
1. What is your favourite fabric to use? (e.g. aida, evenweave, linen etc)
Linen, both counted weave and normal.
2. What is your favourite count (e.g. 14, 28, 32 etc)
3. Do you collect fabric "just to have" or do you buy it with a design in mind?
Nope, don't collect fabric.
4. What is your favourite colour for fabric?
White or natural.
5. If you were heading for a desert island, and you only had one choice of fabric to take with you, what would you take?
Linen. Not sure if I would take counted or plain. Can I take one piece of both?
15 March 2004
Sorry for the long delay between posts but I have been shackled to the sewing machine for the last 7 days. In that time I managed to make the following:
- 1 x High necked chemise, no ruffle
- 1 x High necked chemis, with ruffles
- 1 x Browny/Maroon Elizabethan Working Class Square Neck Bodice Dress, Black Trim
- 1 x Black Elizabethan Middle Class Square Neck Bodice Dress
- 1 x Red Working Class Square Neck Bodice Dress, Black Trim
- 1 x Brown Plaid Early Period Tunic
I am now heartily sick of the site of the sewing machine, but I don't feel nearly as guilty about buying the overlocker because I used it heaps. I am even thinking of putting it in for a clean and service!!
I now have enough clothes to wear at Festival, with enough to take a couple of backup outfits if the rain comes. I now have to get other Festival related things under control, like getting camping gear organised (I put up my new camp bed for a trial run on the weekend, Cleo says its very comfortable!!). I will be posting pictures as they finishing touches are put on the dresses. They are basically done, just need the hooks and eyes down the front to keep them closed.
The other main preparations I have for Festival is to get more embroidery done. The Laurels run a Token Tourney at Festival. It is a chance for those who do Arts and Sciences to display their work and get comments and feedback from the Laurels. I only have four completed pieces as alot of the stuff I did last year was given away. So I plan to start three or four projects to take with me for display. That should be enough to work with. I was thinking of a couple of blackwork projects, maybe even my sleeves, some goldwork and polychrome silk, maybe a night cap.
Finally, on the SCA front, at Barony meeting yesterday, I got my target arrows! Yay. Now to get the blunts. I was hoping for blunts to do the Agincourt Run at Festival but I don't think they will be ready by then, which is a shame. Ah well, there is always next year.
I didn't make it to the big craft show on the weekend, no one to get a lift with, which is a bummer cause I always like the variety they have at the Maitland Craft A Fair.
Our neighbour made it home from the hospital last week. His cats were very glad to see him, then they decided to ignore him in punishment for leaving! Cleo was abusing me all the time for hanging out with those hussy cats from next door. But I think she is over that now. She has managed to scrape a big bit of fur from her inner thigh. I think she must have stacked it in the cat run. The wound is clean, so we aren't taking her to the vet, just keeping an eye on it. She isn't worried about it, still jumping around like mad. She is a bit like me, gets bumps and bruises all the time and doesn't notice them.
That is about it. Pretty boring holiday really but achieved my main objective of getting clothes done.
In the mean time, there has been a major fire at work, a major section of the Student Union building just had a huge fire. The Fire Brigade are still putting it out as we speak. My office is just over a small court yard from the bit that is one fire. Looks like it may have started in one of the kitchens. Luckily, its been rainy and overcast the last couple of weeks. If the fire had've been a month or two ago, the whole campus may have gone up, cause of the trees. More later if I find out anything.
4 March 2004
I also bought another scroll frame yesterday for working on a couple of pre-printed DMC needlepoint canvases I bought. They had been in a the shop for ages and I'd been looking at them for about 2 years before I finally caved. They are a matching pair of quasi-medieval hunting scenes, well sort of. One has a dog and the other a deer, running acoss a field. They are quite small only about 20cm long. I figure I can make them into a wall hanging or something like that. They are going to be backup projects, something that takes very little thought and that I can just drag around when needed. I will put up a photo tonight.
3 March 2004
On a more positive note, I got a bit more prep work done on the chemises I have to get finished. It was only grunt work but its all got to be done.
I am also in the bad books with my cats. Our next door neighbour had to go into hospital for tests and asked us to feed his cats. Our cats put up with next doors cats but they aren't friends. So when I was in next door feeding them, Cleo was sitting in the cat run (which runs along the fence with next door) and was crying her little heart out, not at all happy that I was consorting with THOSE cats!! Apparently she went inside and dobbed me into Adam, who told her he couldn't help and she would have to complain at me. At which point she ran outside and started up at me again!!
Poor next door kitties, they are missing their Dad very much. I hope things go well at hospital.
2 March 2004
1 March 2004
I had a fairly productive weekend. I really wanted to get one chemise made up this weekend. Luckily, when I had white cotton on the overlocker, I'd cut out and overlocked three chemises, so all I had to do was sew them up. I got a bit done on Saturday but really just didn't have the energy for anything that required thought. So I made up an apron instead. I'm pleased with it cause its practical but will also finish off my working class outfits.
On Sunday I finally got motivated and was able to finish the chemise. I love the low necked chemise, they are so quick to make up. Now I have to do a couple of high necked ones. They will take a bit more work but shouldn't be too hard. If I do a bit each night I should get them done fairly quickly. If I can get them done before my holidays, then I can work on dresses. I plan on making up a couple of really basic early period stuff for backup clothes. If I can get more material I should be able to make three Elizabethans. And if I am feeling really motivated, I want to make up a couple of surcotes, a Manesse Codex type and a Gates of Hell type (heraldic).
We had quite a few new people at our Baronial meeting yesterday, lots of new Uni students and one person who contacted me over the internet. So Newcomers Feast is looking like fun. Now to decide what to wear, Byzantine outfit or Sari?