•August 13, 2019 • 5 Comments

I did a stock check yesterday of all the embrodiery thread I have dyed up, because I need to make a lot of things over the next few months, so was planning a dye-a thon over the next few weeks.

It all looked quite pretty spread over the floor, but there are definitely gaps that need filling

something old

•August 12, 2019 • 2 Comments

It occured to me that although those who come to class might be familiar wiht one of these pieces, I don’t thing I’ve ever blogged either of them because they’re so old.

I think they’re worth showing because they were really the first things I did in split stitch.

Like a lot of people I think I struggled to get the hang of split stitch, and these two pieces were where I first “got” the stitch. I’d struggled with it for years, and then it just clicked.

The first if one of four identical dragons on the neck and shoulders of a Saxon dress, they’re based on a Saxon book mount. they’re a plied silk rather than a floss, just done with what was around at the time, the dress itself is a wierd mix of wool, silk and linen, which I suspect is not an authentic blend, but it is a lovely fabric to wear, and tbh no-one ever notices that it’s not just a twill wool. The colours have faded a bit, but it’s wearing well considering that it gets a fair bit of use.

I did this a good twenty years ago, over the course of a week where I was ill and bored – reactive arthiritis due to a cold virus, the return of which I’ve dreaded ever since. Every joint swelled painfully, and my hands looked like bunches of sausages, just about the only part of my body I could move without pain was my thumb and forefinger, so I could hold a needle and that was about all, so this was the result.

that one got me the hang of the stitch, the second got me starting to thing about how it should be used in terms of flow, direction, and modelling.

This was also my very first “handbag” embroidery, carried in my bag to do at work. St michael adn the dragon, based on a woven tapestry of the c12th

It’s also before I started veg dyeing all my own threads, so this is appletons crewel wool. The weird eye is true to the original, and I’ve always been rather fond of this piece. Although I have been meaning to turn it into a cushion for about twenty years. It’s about twelve inches square.

Bonus random idiot photo. This is his “How you doin?” pose


•August 5, 2019 • 2 Comments

Evesham was hot and humid, but it went well.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time watering people – myself, john, our chamberlains, random passing re-enactors, dogs. Luckily my stock of ice mostly held out, so the water was chilled. I felt like I barely stopped drinking all weekend, yet I hardly peed at all. Both my undershifts are a bit toxic now, tbh, but over tunics don’t smell so bad because I sprayed them with vodka every night.

possibly too much information. Here, allow me to distract you with shiny things

King with Chamberlains – Sam, Lewis and James of de caversham household, who handed out chocolate coins to assorted peasants all weekend.

John, as Henry 3, posing. he did a lot of posing.

I’m posting this as a reminder to myself to make more silver vessels for display (once I get my back better, It’s been too iffy to sit at my workbench lately). I am not boasting when I say our royal display is the best, I’m simply stating fact, but I still want more bling. There cannot ever be enough bling. People often comment that the tent has an impression of overwhelming splendour with too much detail going on, this is quite flattering, but until they start actaully passing out from overwhelming splendour I won’t be satisfied.

The bling situation would be helped if the price of silver bullion would come down a bit though.

And I very much want a pair silver gemellion for the ritual washing of the royal handsies, which is a very big chunk of silver.

Then again, I think I have a few enammeled coper panels under the bench that could maybe used as mounts for another box, maybe I’ll dig them out.

Lunch table. Not very interesting, but note that I kept the flies of the homemade biscuits.
also, handy zodiac chart so you can consult the stars and find out whether or not shortbread balances your humours. (It does, because it has sugar, and sugar is very good for balancing the humours)

I need a better kneeling cushion for the church. We had to have a hire van this weekend due to car issues, so there was no trailer to be converted into a bed, so I used the lovely silk bed curtains to demarkate the church area (and made sure it was at the east end of the tent). I also need to start thinking ahead, because the lillies bought on friday were only just starting to open by Sunday.

There was also a medeival fashion show which I compered, but didn’t photograph because I was too busy talking. The models were well fed and watered when the royal tent doubled as green room. Thanks to all who participated, especially my two brave lingerie models. One of my models left his briaes lying around, if he want them back…


really not too sure

•August 2, 2019 • 12 Comments

So I want to wear my new dress for evesham this weekend, because as preiously stated my other dresses are either too old fashioned for c13th, or match the curtains in the kings tent.

But it needed something at the neck and cuffs. I really wanted to do something very elaborate that would take weeks, but didn’t have the time, so instead I decided to go for the quick and dirty option of embellishing the pattern of the brocade itself, with the plan to replace it later because I really do want to do the embrodiery I had in mind for it, and it really is time that’s the problem right now.

I didn’t have time to do anything with the cuffs, so I dealt with the neck. I used one of the big brocade circles. my original plan ahd been to cut the centre from one of the patterns, but I hadn’t been sure about what to do with the quarter medallions. Instead I just used the circular border, omitting the medallions.

ANd I’m really not sure about the results.

As you can see I haven’t embellished the very ends of the collar, as it’s meant to be fastened by the big heavy brooch shown, and I didn’t want that sliding around on the pearls – I’ve also started making my dresses with eyelets for brooches since mine are all quite heavy, so this saves wear and tear on the fabric. Basically all I did was outline each tiny circle with surface couching, sew a pearl in the centre, and outline the results with some gilt twist.

At first I thought it looked quite 1950s

Now I think it looks a bit 50s, but via Bombay stores (the big shop in Bradford where you go to buy Indian wedding clothes).

I’m not sure it looks very medeival at all, despite following the pattern of a medieval brocade.

It sort of reminds me of those eighteenth century prints that at first glance look like 1960s.

I’m really not sure I like it but it will have to do for the weekend.

different priorities

•July 29, 2019 • 4 Comments

I have ten kilos of wool to dye up for embroidery kits

and a cat who wants to know what all this white crap is doing in his new box?


•July 26, 2019 • 4 Comments

It’s been too hot to do much this week, and I have nothing interesting to talk about.

Instead have some weld

and the wool I dyed wiith it

It’s not the most interesting yellow, but it was free. I sometimes get quite sulky when I see people harvesting free weld on the dyeing groups, because it never seems to grow round here, so I feel like I’m missing out. Then last week I was driving to my mum’s and there was a huge patch of it by the A66 near West Auckland, so I nabbed some. It made the van smell decidedly agricultural all the way home, but it was worth it for free yellow.

I shall endeavour to be more interesting next week.

peasant cartoon

•July 21, 2019 • 12 Comments

I know I haven’t posted the finished music fantasy yet, but, having finished one luttrell fantasy, I start another,. This time it’s peasants – I was going to do angels and demons, but tbh the exact way to frame a modern reference on that one is eluding me, so it may well end up being the last, as I think I have a handle on the princes fantasy as well.

Anyway, I’m happy with how densely packed the cartoon is, and there are several little modern bits. This was three solid days of drawing, btw.

it amused me whilst I was drawing this section to hold my reference pic in place with bumblebee pins – they look quite medeival?

(you can sort of tell where I switched to a new fabric pen there)

best get cracking then

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