mightyjesse: (Default)
( Apr. 6th, 2009 10:54 am)
I finished a block on Sunday, but due to planning for Coronation and the number of projects that entailed (A hood for HRM Stephen, a White Scarf for [livejournal.com profile] fencert, and 12 drop spindle "kits" for my class.) I didn't finish any blocks on Friday or Saturday. I'll try to catch back up again over the course of this week!

This block incorporated a new stitch called a chevron stitch.

I went to a different JoAnn to get more thread and found another fabric that matches my swatches, so I picked it up on a whim and added it to this block.
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Mar. 27th, 2009 03:10 pm)
I'm always pro-duck. Especially the rubber kind that hangs out in my bathroom from time to time, before being summarily devoured by an enthusiastic little dog. That aside, I'm having trouble being productive lately.

I'm grinding my way through making Stephen's Coronation garb. (Thank God, [livejournal.com profile] devikat is coming by to help me tonight!!!) And I've ordered the parts I need for my class at Coronation.

Did I mention I was teaching a drop-spinning class at Coronation?

I'm teaching a drop-spinning class for beginners at Coronation. I will go over the 3 basic types of spindles: Top whorl, bottom whorl, and supported spindle. I will briefly touch on what each type of spindle is good for and who used it. And then I will teach the basics of making wool into string with a drop spindle. There are a zillion ways to make this work. I'm going to teach the spinning-against-pant method that seems to work best for most beginners. Someone who is good enough to suspend the spindle and draft in the air will be welcome to attend and demonstrate for the class, but this is mainly for people who've never tried spinning before.

To that end, I'm assuming that many people who have never spun before, have not tried it because they don't have the right equipment. I found a way to provide kits for my class that will include solid wooden drop-spindles that are perfectly period AND don't suck, and a bit of nice wool to start for only $3. Considering that most drop spindles are in the neighborhood of $9-$25, I think this is MADE OF WIN. Someone pat me on the back. Then attend my class and save me from myself. I have more enthusiasm and book learnin' than I do physical expertise with a spindle. I may not be able to troubleshoot EVERY beginner mistake...
I didn't even bother to post my Thing-a-Day for Friday, because you've already seen pictures of the similar Thing I did earlier in the Month. I made 2 more skeins of 3 ply chocolate brown yarn for Dad's Future Sweater.

My Thing for yesterday was to finish up the hemming and the facing tacking on HRH Stephen's cotehardie. I have pictures in my phone, but as usual, you won't be able to see them until Monday. The cote was constructed of brown and white wool, broken herringbone twill, and lined with brown linen. The buttons on the sleeves were all hand made (as seen here) and all the button holes were finished by hand as well. The long seams were constructed using a sewing machine, but all the "fussy bits" were sewn by hand. In all I think I worked on the cote off and on for about two weeks. (More off than on, really.) Now that we have established a working pattern, copies can be made and sent out for construction by the ladies of the house, so that Stephen will have more than one outfit.

Elizabeth will make the blue brocade one.
Abbey will make the Red brocade one.
I will make the Black brocade one (coronation.)

The time of button making is near... I'll send out swatches soon.
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Feb. 20th, 2009 09:51 am)
My Thing for last night was to spin the Kool-aid dyed wool into a single and set the twist so that I can use it to knit a pair of socks. I think it's funny how the newly skeined yarn springs up into a frilly wreath until you wet it and weight it to set the twist.
Before and after pictures of setting the twist: )
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Feb. 18th, 2009 09:16 am)
My thing for last night was a case for all my lower gauge DPN's.

The outside of the case is hand-woven wool made with commercial warp and hand-spun weft. It is sewn together with natural colored linen twine and held closed with a button.
Apparently some of you are still rockin' out with the dial-up connections: )
But now I have a nice needle case to keep all my knitting needles tidy... They *were* in a zip-lock baggie that just wasn't doing it for me aesthetically. Now I can pull them out of my work basket without being embarrassed.
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Feb. 9th, 2009 09:12 am)
The thing-of-the-day yesterday was more dying... I dyed some more roving gold with turmeric this time... 3 TBSP turmeric to 1 gallon of water and 5 oz of roving... I had to leave them in the crock pot on high for about 3 hours before the color developed the way I wanted it to... The wool is still rather light in color in the middle... I think I need to use less wool/batch.

The turmeric was added directly to the dye bath and never filtered... This resulted in gold "crust" on some parts of the wool which will have to be carded out... The carding will also help even out the color. The next batch, I think I'll heat the dye and filter it (with a coffee filter or something) before adding the wool... This should lessen the cook time and MAYBE even out the color... We'll see...

(I also splurged at La Target Boutique and got a drying rack with which to process the large-ish quantities of wet wool I seem to have lying around the house recently...)

Here is the koolaid dye that I did as my Thing a Day for Saturday:

The colors are uneven again, but much more pleasing and deliberate looking than what happened with the turmeric. This lead to me looking at my morning Tang in an entirely different light... "Hmmm... I bet that would make a pretty color!"

Of course, the Tang is pre-sweetened, so if I DO experiment with it, my wool will be all sticky and need an extra rinse... I think I want to experiment with putting the roving into a delicates bag before dumping it into the crock pot... That'll make it easier to drain, and may make rinsing a much easier prospect. [livejournal.com profile] eithni has an EEEEBIL Plan (tm) that may or may not come to fruition if this whole dying thing gets any more out-of-hand.

My other Thing for yesterday was making 26 cloth buttons for HRH Cotte Simple.

Soon the time of the button hole making will be at hand... And after that, the true test of Saturday's Pattern Making stint: Setting the sleeve!
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Feb. 5th, 2009 10:41 am)
My thing yesterday was a straight worsted weight yarn in chocolate brown wool. Normally I only do 2 ply yarns, which, with the way I spin results in a sport weight yarn suitable for #2-4 needles. Last Sunday, I got a new lazy kate that allows me to use 3 bobbins at once, so I decided to ply 3 strands and make a worsted weight yarn.

It looks pretty even, despite the fact that my wheel probably needs to be oiled AGAIN, and I think I may need to add some kind of tensioning element to my lazy Kate...

My Papa has requested a heavy wool cardigan, so once I've knocked out enough, this is the yarn that I will use for that project.
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Feb. 4th, 2009 09:10 am)
Here is yesterday's thing:

They are flax seed and lavender hand-warmers for Zig's Mommy. She has three dogs to walk and it's COLD out. So I made little muslin bean-bags full of flax seed and lavender and then wool cases for the beanbags. The wool is hand-spun weft, and hand-woven/hand-stitched by moi. Because I am a big fat nerd with too much time on my hands...

For those of you who don't know the bliss of these little "warmers," you stick them in the microwave to heat up for like a minute (and your kitchen will smell FANTASTIC), then you put them in your pocketses before going out in the OMGWTFCOLD!!! and they keep your little paws warm! (I, personally, love nuking them and then putting them in the kangaroo pocket of my hoodie... Then I have warm hands AND a warm tummy!) Eithni says she's going to make a big one to put in her bed to keep her footies warm, since she doesn't have a couple of giant dogs to do that job. Yay for WARM!
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Feb. 2nd, 2009 10:22 am)
For my thing yesterday, I taught myself how to navajo-ply a single into a three ply worsted weight yarn...

I'm not sure I'll use this method all that often, as I'm not sure I like the little knobs created by the joins:

Nonetheless, it's a useful skill to have in my string-handling arsenal, as it allows a girl to make a three-ply yarn off of only one spool... It requires half the spools that a normal 3 ply yarn would require... Here is my end result:

I had a devil of a time with my first skein of this type - my wheel was making the most horrendous screeching noises and jolting, which was creating tangles and slubs all over the place. I eventually gave up and took my wheel apart, and covered every metal piece in it (and myself) with a good portion of cooking oil. Re-assembled, it ran much more smoothly and what had been a slow, maddening, messy process became smooth like butter.

So, the lesson in this and the loom incident is that I need to remember to maintain my equipment better... Just because it's made of wood and metal doesn't mean that it doesn't need attention every now and again...
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Jan. 30th, 2009 01:14 pm)
For those of you who like to keep score (or use the flower-posts as a reminder to be good to your own S.O.), Zig is still sweetest ever. Here is photographic proof:

In other news, I finished the side seams on the left side of my new tunic last night and should be on schedule for finishing the seams on the right side of the tunic tonight before the event... AFTER I spend a couple minutes finding all the "sleep-over" niceties that I should get together for Ms. Teffan who will be crashing in our catless-home.

I was hoping that the drop spindles I ordered from ebay would arrive in time to take to the event with me this weekend so that I could offer some impromptu spinning lessons, but I since they were only shipped yesterday, I don't think they're likely to make it.... At least I'll have them for TOC. Instead, I think I'll work on making some socks for myself with the naalbinding technique I learned for Miss Eithni's B-day socks!

As you can see, they seem to fit the birthday girl just fine! Yay!
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Jan. 29th, 2009 10:23 am)
I'm working on my first woolen tunic EVAR. I'm hand sewing it (of course) and it's such wriggley joyous fun to handle.

Linen is good for some things. It's not got out of control static, and it keeps you cool in the summer...

But wool... Oh the sheepy goodness! It is pure GLEE to work with, even if it makes all my hair stand on end like a crackley-electric-medusa. Maggie is DYING to wear my tunic, even if it's only the end draped over her while I sew. I may not be able to wear it in the summer time, but I KNOW I'm going to love the hell out of this tunic! And I will finally be WARM.

And this weekend, I'll have new garb! Hooray for new garb!
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Dec. 8th, 2008 10:55 am)
Yesterday's sweatshop was a grand success and we finished that which we set out to do! TRH are all set to wear Japanese for Boar's Head, and their outfits are darn pretty, if I do say so myself.

Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] arebekah, [livejournal.com profile] devikat, [livejournal.com profile] lostvirtue, Moira, [livejournal.com profile] cass_lee, Tatiana, and Nagamochi! You all really helped keep things moving along, and as a result, TRH will not be naked for Boar's Head!
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Nov. 5th, 2008 10:54 am)
I'm making my sister a version of this sweater for her birthday. I'm modifying it to have a picture of Jack Skellington instead of the bobbles. The sleeves will be dk grey and white stripes just like all the Lovecraft-ian snake things that Tim Burton is so fond of.

You can all thank my sister and [livejournal.com profile] zarhooie for guilting me into knitting instead of copping out and sending cash. And now I leave you with some knitting humor...

I finished Dad's hat last night, while I tried to call him for his birthday... With four kids and a living parent and a niece in the hospital, Dad probably got lots of calls last night, which would be why I only TRIED to call him for his birthday... Over a 2 hour period, I didn't get anything but a busy signal on the home phone.

But that's OK, because the hat is done and will be mailed over the weekend: Pics behind the cut. )

I figured a research chemist could appreciate a heterocyclic molecule hat if anyone could... Yay hat!

Now if I can just get through the rest of today in this stupid outfit. Wednesday Adams was cute, but her outfits didn't have nearly enough pocketses.
So. My Dad's birthday is tomorrow. I am knitting him a hat. (I just got it on the needles last night.) My sister's birthday is NEXT Thursday. I'll likely just send her $$$ (She's gonna be 22, so cash will be of more value to her than hand knitted goods.) and the Thursday AFTER THAT is my Mom's birthday. I just finished knitting Mom a hand spun, hand knitted sweater out of some rhubarb dyed super-wash merino, based on a picture she sent me...

It's not EXACTLY what the picture looked like, but it's roughly the same style of garment. I hope she likes it... I hope it fits... She never sent me her measurements, so I just knit it to fit myself. Thank goodness knitted goods are stretchy! (She's a little shorter and a little bustier than I am...)

The plan is to finish Dad's hat this weekend and mail the whole pile of gifts to the folks house in time to arrive for the sister's bday with notes saying: "Happy birthday Dad! Sorry it's late!" and "Happy Birthday, Sis! I'm on time for once!" and "Happy Birthday, Mom! It's early, but postage was cheaper this way! Hope it fits!"


Do any of you baking types know what I could get for my OTHER sister who's birthday was 2 weeks ago? She likes to bake fancy cakes.... She's currently qualified to do wedding cakes with the fondant and everything, so it's a little out of my league. I know there's equipment she'd appreciate, but I've no idea what it would be... Or is there a nice book I can get her on uber-advanced cake technique? Suggestions plz?
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Oct. 28th, 2008 09:36 am)
For anyone who was wondering what I did last night, I was at TRH home teaching them all about making messes!

(I had so much fun explaining this at work... "DAY ONE! RESIST! DAY TWO! DYE!" "Resistance is futile?" "No, actually, it works quite well!" "Then why are people dying?" "No, not DIE! DYE!" *maniacal laughter*)

We were making Kimonos for them for Boar's Head and experimenting with a rice paste resist technique for dying called tsutsugaki. Sunday night, HrRH and I squeezed rice paste out of a cake decorating tube onto the fabric, which was stretched over frames that were ethnically engineered for me by HRH and Kegslayer. We let our resists dry over night and then EVERYONE, HrRH, HRH, their son Daniel, and I painted the dye onto the fabric within the "coloring book outlines" that HrRH and I had layed out the night before. And here are the resulting messes and successes! )
Well, I DESPERATELY need to go to the grocery store... The cupboard is down to "weird condiments" and I'm out of every vegetable except frozen spinach and every starch except 1/2 cup frozen hash browns.

So last night's dinner was an experiment in "What do we have that goes with stewed tomatoes with chilies and and pork tenderlion?" (My only remaining option is now "What do we have that goes with walnuts and worcestershire sauce?") I pureed the stewed tomatoes and added onion powder, brown sugar, and white wine and ended up with a really yummy bbq sauce. So we had spinach rice and pork bbq for the win last night. (I love it when my kitchen experiments taste "exotic" instead of "you were missing 5 ingredients, weren't you???")

On the other hand, my shibori experiment was EPIC FAIL.

By fail, I mean the color differential between the dyed places and the TIED places was minimal. I guess my knots just weren't tight enough. Also, I used a painted dye as a pot dye before I realized that I can't HEAT a painted dye enough to get it to set without creating loads of poison from the urea... Which means that the resulting fabric once dipped would have to be wrung out and dried... only I had NO GLOVES. And drip-drying dye is... I have 2 dogs. Can you IMAGINE the mess?



I'll try a couple of new techniques tonight with a RIT dye bath instead of my expensive Jacquard dye and see what happens. Also, I will remember to steal some gloves from one of the labs...
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Oct. 20th, 2008 10:28 am)
Great googley moogley! What a busy weekend!

On Friday I got to meet [livejournal.com profile] sirzig's Aunt and Uncle at his mother's retirement dinner at Porta Bella. Dinner was excellent, and the stories they told about his mighty-Mommy were touching and hilarious.

Saturday night, we (His Mother, Aunt, both Uncles, and he and I.) all went for breakfast at Lazy Jane's and then for ice cream at the Memorial Union. It ended up being too cold for ice cream, but we did enjoy the view of the lake. The had a crane out on the dock and were pulling all the boats out of the water for fall de-barnacling (or whatever one does to clean off the hull of a boat before winter).

Then, Saturday evening, I went over to the Kegslayer residence and Gunther helped me build a giant tapestry loom and 2 dying frames. I'm very excited about all this new equipment, but need to re-organize my studio *yet again* to accommodate all the new stuff.

Sunday, I had my MamaDog for the day. She's acting like a very old dog, and is gimpy. Her front, right leg seems to be bothering her a good bit, so I called Mr. Karl and asked him if there are any pain relievers I can give her until she can get in to see the vet. He has recommended the low-dose aspirin (80 mg) to keep her comfortable until the vet can prescribe something for her arthritis.

I finished spinning some dark grey and white skeins to add to my pile of weaving yarns. I mailed [livejournal.com profile] cyano the string she wanted for her seester's Christmas present this morning, as well as sending out the deposit check for the new windows for the living room.

Lots and lots of stuff going on! This evening I may run by JoAnn fabric for a couple of items and work on laying out the design for their highness' kimonos.
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Oct. 16th, 2008 09:57 am)


I have been asked to be their Highness' "Wardrobe Mistress." I'm not entirely sure what this entails, but I've been given permission to make it up as I go. So at this point, I'm taking it as standing permission to play "Prince and Princess Barbie" with Stephen and Ailleanne. Would anyone like to play too? (HALP!)


I'm not saying that either one of them is poorly dressed or has bad taste... It's just that they probably don't have enough garb to get through the reign - but then, unless you've been royalty before, who does? (I have like... the one good tunic and a bunch of crap that I wear at Pennsic.) 


Tonight, I have plans to get their measurements, and next week, I'll go through their exiting garb to 1.) see what they have and then calculate what they will NEED and 2.) steal all their "super comfy garb" and trace it for patterns. 


After that it's ON, and I'll be looking for volunteers to help hand-sew, cut, EMBROIDER, make buttons, provide morale support, make coffee and tell me to stop taking myself seriously. And for the love of GOD, someone volunteer to provide fashion advice, because while I can make a tunic, and even fabric, I am NOT the person to ask for fashion advice. I still think a black t-shirt and combat boots are essential to any girl's mundane wardrobe. You do NOT need to know how to do any of the above things in order to help me. I would be DELIGHTED to teach you what you need to know! (OK... everything but the fashion. That's talent, and something I haven't got.) You don't have to be local to play! If you want to make them a nice thing, they'd love 14th cent. English (his period) or 10th century Irish (her period) garb in Kingdom colors. Very shortly I'll be able to mail you paper patterns of their existing garb or their measurements upon request.  So.... Who's in? 



Eithni requests permission to make a presentation to HrRM. Permission is warily granted.
Eithni explains that it is a good and right thing that apprenti learn to support the Crown and Kingdom with their arts, and explains that I took a soap-making class at Pennsic.
Presenting a handmade soap that I made and the scrubby bag made from the same fabric as the dress. (Aesa gets more soap than a person can use in a LIFETIME every time she's Queen.) Aesa is nonplussed.
Eithni explains that despite what people may think, Queens are rarely ever STINKY. So perhaps she will find THIS more useful as Queens DO sometimes need to be DRESSED.
Aesa realizes she's been had.
Aesa tells the story of Stinky Queens and the need for soap.
Aesa admires the OMG! Northshield! dress!