There has been a bit more knitting going on here – some on the train, some in the café, and some at home… which means my current project #1, Vodka Lemonade, does have almost two sleeves now:

I’ve opted to do the sleeves earlier than the pattern states (which, as usual, lets you knit the sleeves once the body is finished), as I was so annoyed about having the large, heavy rest of the thing hanging around when I was knitting the sleeves on Moyen Age. There’s still a bit of residual annoyance with this now, but it’s not as bad by far – and I’ll find out how much the sleeves will annoy me when I knit the rest of the body.

The brioche stitch travel knitting needs some loving attention with an awake brain at the moment, as I have managed to drop a stitch and now need to figure out how to get it back up into line again… which is not as straightforward in two-colour brioche as it is in normal knitting.

While we’re at the topic of knitting, here’s the record of train delays as documented in a scarf by a woman commuting in Germany.

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It’s time for a link roundup again – here you go:

In German: Why a bicycle manufacturer sends his bicycles in cartons with a TV printed on them.

There’s a knitting card game on Kickstarter – where you can knit (virtually, and thus much faster than in real life) objects based on actual existing patterns, with actual existing yarns. The video doesn’t show much about how the game is played, but if you are into knitting and card games, it might be interesting for you.

Medieval Histories has an article about Viking dress, more specifically: about royal Viking dress.

BBC has an article about women explorers in the 19th century craze for getting mummies and related artefacts out of Egypt and into museums and collections… and modern researchers as well.

Anne Marie Decker has put her presentation about “Charting the Nalbinding of the Nile” online. If you’re interested at all in nalbinding, do take a look at this – if only for the pictures!

Posted in knitting, textile techniques and tools, togs from bogs | 2 Comments

With the bonus warp, I’ve done some playing around – one thing I wanted to test was using a warp spreader (also known, in this testing instance, as “common comb”) and see how this would work for me. Another thing on my list of stuff I’m itching to do was to play around with diagonals – when the ladies in the weekend weaving workshop in Belgium were in the diagonals stage, this desire suddenly jumped into my brain, and there it stayed.

So I spent a little time just fooling around – and I have some more ideas for the next bits.

I’m half pleased with some of the patterns and quite pleased with some others – and the overall impression would probably have been nicer with a purple weft thread instead of the white one, but ah, well, there’s a few more metres to come…

… so I can fiddle with these eyes and peacock eyes and slanty bits some more.

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Today is earmarked for finally, finally sitting down and getting the book-keeping up to date. Tax day is coming up, and I’m woefully behind with the keeping of the bureaucratic side of things, so it’s paying bills today, marking bills with little numbers, matching the little numbers in my software, and then (with a very happy sigh) putting away a stack of paper at the end, sending off the tax report and after it, sending money to the Finanzamt (who kindly expects to hear something from me every quarter of the year, plus twice more for the main taxes and for the final version of my VAT balances).

To my great surprise, it actually feels good to sit and do this stuff – a job I usually don’t like very much. I’m still not over the moon about it, because it always means some amount of searching for this receipt or that email, and checking stuff, and occasionally doing some research on the ‘net on how and where to book something, and much of this feels like a waste of time. However, I’ve had so many other (and time-critical) things to do and prepare in the last weeks that this time around, sitting down for this calculated waste of time means that all these nice, exciting, but also exhausting things are over for now, and I can get back to breathing calmly and get into “normal mode” again… which also, hopefully, means I get to whittle down the to-do-list some, and get re-started on a bunch of projects which had to fall off the list for a while.

Other inhabitants of this lair here, of course, have never left normal mode:

Which, in this case, means a lot of napping, especially now that there is quite a bit of snow on the ground – which Madame does not appreciate a lot…

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Bruce’s comment about the multi-spouted pot being maybe used as a lamp (thank you, Bruce!) was, it seems, not the first one. There’s a German article about special forms, though, that comes to the conclusion that these multi-spout pots generally do not work well as a lamp. (See “Lampen im Barbaricum”, p. 222, in Armbruester, Tanya, and Morten Hegewisch. Studien zur Archäologie Europas, edited by Joachim Henning, Achim Leube and Felix Biermann, vol. 11, Bonn 2010).

So… the spouty pot is probably not a lamp. Though it may have been used for some kind of drinking games, the one in Pfakofen was found in context with a spindle whorl, and there were cochineal lice inside the pot – placing it nicely in a textile work context.

When we were in Eindhoven with the first Textile Forum, there was also one of these pots replicated – and Viktoria Holmqvist mentioned that she’d always wanted to try one as a warping helper for tablet weaving. And so she did – with very good success.

It works like this: You thread the yarn ends through the spouts into the pot and out the middle hole, and then thread your tablets with them.

Then you place the balls of yarn into bowls or similar containers, so they don’t roll about the floor like crazy, and you can start warping.

The trick is to pull upwards – if you do that, you will get a really smooth, evenly-tensioned flow of yarn from your spouty pot. I’ve tried this with a 5 m stretch between the warp end posts, and it still worked nicely, provided you pulled up (or as up as possible); for an even longer warp, I’d set a zigzag course instead of a straight line for warping, and then more length would not be an issue at all.

I’ve made quite a few warps, and pulling up is always a good idea, but using the pot makes things just… smoother, more evenly tensioned, and much, much more fun.

Bonus feature: It looks like dancing.

Second bonus feature: I now have a 5 metre warp with 20 tablets to play with…

Posted in all the gory details, tablet weaving, textile techniques and tools | 2 Comments

Yesterday was a day for taking photos – because, well, the Newsletter for January was still to go out, and I actually had an exciting new thing for that one, which unfortunately had to be put into the shop before I was able to link to it…

so there I was, having to take product photos. I’m sure I have complained in the past about how hard it is to take good product photos. Usually, I try to go for a nice, bright day and set up the photo equipment in the wintergarden, but yesterday, I missed the time of bright sunshine… so I was very, very glad that the photo tent thingie came with suitable lamps:

So… who knows what this is, and what it can be used for?

Posted in all the gory details, behind the (website) scenes | 2 Comments

One of the things about archaeological experiments is that they always take longer than expected… and then, in the aftermath, there’s… the aftermath.

Which, in the case of the Pompeii Dyeing Experiment, involves making reference cards for the different dyeing results. Which means labeling sheets of cardboard, punching holes next to the labels, and then winding off tiny skeins of yarn which are in turn pulled through these holes and fastened.

If you have never done something of the sort, let me tell you: it takes a ridiculous amount of time, and it is stunningly boring work, and I can totally, utterly understand if a dyer does not do yarn colour reference cards (which are only an indication of what colours are possible anyways) and even better why they are not handed out to customers.

Work in progress – I’m less than halfway through here. Altogether, it’s four sets of three cards with five skeins each, so it’s sixty samples to wind and attach. Can you feel the boredom oozing through the picture?

Now, though, it’s finally done, and I can send off the cards to their respective owners (among them the Lab for Experimental Archaeology, for their archive of experiments done at their place). And then, some samples will go into a different lab for testing – so there’s a post office run in my near future, which will be followed by a deep, heart-felt sigh of having finally finished that part of the Textile Forum Aftermath!

Posted in experimental archaeology, Textilforum | 1 Comment