Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The weaving - so far, at least

Here's a picture of the weaving. I like the color combo - it doesn't scream 'turquoise' which is good. The pattern doesn't look quite the same as the Excel mockup - but that's okay. It's relatively easy to weave, but looks more complex, which is nice.

I can still change the design (I give myself about 3 inches to change it) - but I think this will work.

The silk for the Ribbons

We're going to see how adding pictures work on here:

I've chosen to do 3 colors for the ribbons: navy blue, a turquoise, and then white. The pattern will be navy, with a stripe of turquoise between the white as the background.

Here is a color sample:

I've found that the navy really tones down the turquoise in weaving, so it should look fairly even 'blue' rather than 'green'.

I'm using silk from Goodwill sweaters as my source - it's all an even dye lot, there is TONS of string, and it's usually 2 ply, which gives a great thickness for TW weaving.

More pictures when the weaving has commenced - but first to unknit some more silk!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Synopsis of the Plot so far - or what I'm currently working on.

I just finished attending Laurel's Prize Tourney over the weekend, and had a lot of fun demonstrating how to make salt and flour using Iron Age technology.

If things work out with the spelt sourdough culture, I'll probably do a supported research paper on 'A Simple Loaf of Bread'. If the sourdough doesn't work out, I can still write the paper, but displaying it at a venue like Gulf Wars becomes problematic if I can't make good bread. Not so much at Kingdom A&S, since the paper is judged ahead of time - but still better to have the finished product for display and tasting.

Next on the docket is to make the cords for the Champions for our Fall Event. I need 8 ribbons, approx. 1 yard each (to go over armor/big guys heads). I want to play with a variation of Egyptian Diagonals for it, and I'll be pulling out the silk, I think - the Light blue looks really good with the navy borders, which will tie in with the Baronial Colors. While I have til the middle of October - I want to get the pattern down, and then this will be my movie watching project.

After the ribbon, I -MAY- think about an A&S Entry for the event. The theme is 'Lions' - and I have a few ideas, although nothing has 'gelled' yet. I could do a leather satchel with Celtic motifs that would include a Lion - I just need a Celtic Lion that would tie in with the other knotwork. I've been meaning to make a satchel in this style, so it would be a good exercise in leatherwork, which I haven't done in awhile. I could also do a small tapestry piece with a Heraldic Lion on it - but the charge is restricted in Ansteorra, so if I made one that was specifically a 'Lion of Ansteorra' - I couldn't use the pouch. Other than that - I've got nothing, in terms of a Lion project.

Pretty soon, I need to start the process of making my Static Entry for Kingdom A&S. I need a bit more information on the spices used, and then my goal will be to make Garum. For the uninitiated, Garum is the Roman Fish Sauce of choice - they put it in EVERYTHING, including fruit deserts, appetizers, meat dishes, etc. It's commonly thought of as 'Rotting fish sauce' - but really is fermented fish enzymes in a salt brine that create MSG, or 'umami' taste - a flavor enhancer similar to Soy Sauce, Worcestershire sauce (which has fish in it, too!) and the Asian fish sauces. The process is relatively simple: layer whole fish, fish guts, or chunks of fish (it needs the parts removed during gutting, but doesn't have to be in one piece) - with salt and herbs/spices. Put it in a container in the sun. The vast quantity of salt prevents bacterial action (rotting) while the enzymes in the guts start dissolving the fish from the inside. Eventually (about a week, although it can sit longer) - a clear liquid forms, which is strained off and decanted, and used as a condiment like soy sauce. Wine, vinegar, and other things were also added, but that isn't my plan. If I choose the right fish, it's even Kosher, which was a thriving trade in the Roman era.

Yes, it sounds gross. If it works, I plan on making a replica of a Garum pitcher found at Pompeii for display purposes, and set it out with some bread. I won't put it out unless it tastes palatable - can't scare off the judges, you know: freak them out, yes, scare them off, no. If it doesn't work, it may also become a supported research paper, with a section on 'This is how the first attempt failed'.

After that - who knows. I have the fishing net finished, but I still need to play with spinning cowhair for the foot-rope. I also need to play with lead and wood/cork for the weights and floats. Once that's done, the next project will be to go fishing in a coracle with net. Talk about a BIG project: I made the boat, made the net, cooked the fish, and ground the flour for the loaves of bread. 'An Iron Age Meal' :)

So I think that's it for now. Things can change quickly, however - I watched a YouTube video on tanning, and now I want to try that project again, using the new information I have. Luckily, I still have 5 dried cowhides in my backyard (Lucky?!?!) to experiment with. So that may be the next project on the list, once it cools down below 100 every day.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The First Post

Okay - let's see what happens when I push this button ...

I'll start posting stuff here soon - but not tonight.