Friday, December 30, 2011


I've been meaning to make myself a pair of stockings for quite a while. I even have the yardage set aside: a lightweight soft blue-grey wool. One of my inspirations, Racaire ( ), mentioned on Facebook the other day that she was making new hosen and posted some pics. Since I had just finished my boar haversack, I was ready for a new project and this one seemed like the perfect one, something small and quick.

Racaire made her pattern by fitting a muslin to her leg and foot. I tried that and quickly discovered that I suck at poking straight pins through fabric at the back of my leg -- although I'm super good at poking pins through my leg. Ow. So out came the duct tape. I made my pattern and cut it out of some poly-wool blend that came in a bulk stash I got at a yard sale. It's a pretty green color, but it looks kinda like astroturf when you get up close. Anyway, here's the end result:

There's an obvious issue around the ankle, and the top of the thigh is really loose. So it's back to the fitting room for more pins and then round two. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Hat-mas!

I made Dave this hat for Christmas, and it's been killing me that I haven't been able to post a picture of it for you all to see. The pin looks like a little wreath in this pic, but it isn't. It's a gold pin with a red stone in the middle, very classy, and not wreath-y at all in real life.

It's based off this picture from the 1500s.

I used some 1/4 inch thick Italian wool cloth I got at the Olympia Artists Sale last summer. The results are terrifically pleasing to me! Dave says it's really warm. Too bad the average daytime temperature here has been like 45 degrees lately. I think both Dave and I would like a drop into the 20s (at least) so we can show off our wool finery in comfort.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's not ALL sewing...

It's time-consuming, but delicious. This year's loaves of Marzipanstollen came out of the oven last night, and made a terrific breakfast this morning. Raisins, dried apricots, apples, cranberries -- all soaked in brandy for a day or two, then kneaded into the sweet dough and rolled up with a ribbon of marzipan swirled through. Also incredibly good toasted.

(I put a link to the recipe I use in the comments. One thing, though -- I soak the fruit for 24 hours, sometimes more, not just the hour they recommend. I like my fruit absolutely bombed.)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Window Wonderland

You know, Washington state is a very nice place to live, but sadly, we hardly ever get snow until after the holidays. In the 20-some years I've lived here, I can only remember one or two white Christmases.

Hooray! I hear you think. Because snow is a pain. Shoveling it, driving in it, slipping in it -- plus it's cold! Let's all move to Washington!

Ah, but no, my friends. I love the snow. Growing up in North Dakota, snow was as much a part of Christmas as cookies and reindeer. If I look outside my window and see green, it feels like I'm being lied to. December? Christmas? I think. Heavens to Betsy, no -- why, it can't be any later in the year than October, surely!

So this year, to cover up the view of the lawn (and to minimize the habit of the dog to sit and watch out the window for things to bark at) I created a miniature snowscape using parchment paper. Spray adhesive sticks the whole thing to the window, yet the paper still lets light in.

Here we have a polar bear making his way through the snow to a cluster of pines. I'm not sure if there are pine forests up on the tundra where polar bears live, but in my winter wonderland, that bear likes a few douglas firs around.

The middle window is the playground of a troop of happy penguins. There are even two in the middle there holding flippers; so in love. Awwww...

And on the other side a reindeer keeps watch for jolly fat men in red suits who might try to toss jingle bells over his back and make him pull a sleigh. Or maybe he's just nervous about that polar bear he heard was hanging around. Don't worry, little reindeer -- the bear will have to eat his way through all those penguins before he gets to you, and by then, he's bound to be full.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Locally Famous for Cloaks

Apparently my GoT cloak is inspiring jealousy all over the place. Thank you all; I shall take a bow.

But remember my cloak? The one for me? The red one? Scoot back a few entries and you'll find it. Red wool, and I'm stitching a black applique border onto it. Well, as I've mostly gotten my holiday projects done, I finally have time to get back to it, and that is very pleasing to me!

I'll have the border done in another night or two, and then comes the part that's been giving me fits: how to hide the non-period-style slash pockets on the front. I can't just sew them shut and brush the wool to felt them over; they're too obvious for that. The only real option I've been able to come up with is to cover them, and I'm thinking more applique is the way to go.

At first I thought of using rampant stags. It's the holiday season and apparently I have reindeer on my mind. I figured if they were posed rampant, the diagonal stance would just gloss right over those slash pockets, and ta-dah!

(<<< thank you, Hungary, for your example of a rampant stag.)

But then I started worrying about things like "Is this going to be appropriate to my persona?" and "Wait, aren't stags reserved for royalty or something? Or is that unicorns?" And then I start wondering if anyone would ask why there were stags ramping on my cloak, would I be able to offer a better defense than "Deer are cute! Yay reindeer!" I mean, I've heard intimidating tales of SCA garb-cattiness. I don't want to make a fool of myself.

Finally I landed on my usual attitude-adjuster of doing what pleases me and if anyone has a problem with it, they can pick up a needle and make me a cloak. So I printed out some of the rampiest stags I could Google, and tried fitting them for size on my cloak.

And they looked all wrong, skinny legs flying all over, and equally frail antlers... they just didn't fill the space well. Those stags looked spindly and tiny and alone. Then I remembered the family blazon, and the majestic boar's head. Perfect.

Wait til you see this cloak, you guys. It's gonna be terrific!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


There are so many fun ideas percolating around in my brain these days, but they're going to have to wait until after the holidays before I can start playing. Besides work, I have gifts I'm committed to make before the scissors come out for personal projects. The gift projects are going well, but of course I can't show them here or it'd ruin the surprise!

We're not going to be making it to Glymm Mere (SCA) Yule Feast this year (filled up before we made reservations, oh no!) so there's no rush for me to put the finishing touches on our winter gear, but I would still like to get my stockings made, plus a pair of woolen pants to keep Dave warm. Maybe I can find a little spare time for that. Maybe.

I need to applique the rest of my cloak border. I'm thinking a fur collar would be a nice addition, too, and I have a black faux-fur coat that I could fashion one from.

Anyway, I haven't forgotten about you all. I'll have to see if I can get some pictures of things I'm working on, or maybe some older projects I haven't shown you yet. Stay tuned!