Posts tagged ‘pouch’

Checking back in…

It’s been quite some time since I blogged here, and I haven’t been going to many events due (mostly) to time constraints, but that doesn’t mean that all has been silent on the A&S front. This being AS 49, I decided I need to get up and moving on my 50 things project, and to do this, I need to get up to date with my list. I previously was at Breadth challenge #27, so here’s my list continuing on:

28. My songbook has now expanded to include 55 songs, some of which are period and some not. This has been a depth challenge for me (and will continue to be ongoing… there are a lot of songs available  and a lot of pages in my songbook which are yet to be filled in.) I’ve got a YouTube channel where I’m gradually adding content. Due in part to bad speakers, another part to poor microphones, and a third part to the fallibility of my vocal cords, the sound is not always the best, but I believe it’s probably sufficient for other bards to pick up a tune from what I’ve posted. You can listen to me on this channel:

29. My wedding dress. You’ve already seen the fabric, here and here… the final product was entirely hand stitched to my own design. It didn’t entirely work the way I wanted, due majorly to my weight (and size) jumping all over the place while I was making the dress. However, I’m (mostly) satisfied with what I made, and apart from some minor freakouts on the day and the groom having a broken leg (that’s a story unto itself), the wedding went well. I’ve since used the dress at an event, and now that I am fatter, it fits me a lot better.

My wedding dress, from my own design.

My wedding dress, from my own design.

30. My wedding cake. This was made entirely of gingerbrede with marzipan icing. I will admit to buying the pink flowers on the cake, but am particularly proud of my own marzipan roses.

Wedding cake made on gingerbrede and marzipan

Wedding Cake

31. A painted buckler. I carried it into the wedding. For those who are curious, the text on the buckler is not period. It is, instead, made of Tengwar and written in Sindarin (one of the Elvish languages from J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth stories). The text reads “loving twin souls” and “eternity”. Note: I did not make the buckler (which was rehomed to us from a heavy fighter who could no longer fight due to chronic shoulder injury), I simply painted it.



A painted buckler

A painted buckler

32. My wedding jewellery. Namely a strand of  black pearls, strung on silk, using a  toggle clasp.

A photo of me which displays my wedding jewellery

A photo of me which displays my wedding jewellery




33. A naalbinded phone pouch.

Naalbinded pouch

Naalbinded pouch for my love’s phone

34. Turks-head knot balls. I gifted these to Stegby a while back so the canton can build a children’s play box. I don’t currently have a photo.

35. Naalbinded bag. I make a lot of bags and pouches, it seems. This one became my token display area.

36. Bone pendant. This was a wedding gift for a couple of friends. This pendant was quite challenging due to the intricacy of the design.

Bone pendant featuring knotwork

37. Cider. My dear husband has taken to brewing his own cider, and so I have dabbled alongside him. Chief among my accomplishments is a dry pomegranate cider (yum).

38. Mead. I managed to find a period recipe for “weak mead”, which I have used, drank, then used further as a base for…

39. I am unsure what to name this drink. It may be considered a melomel, or it may be considered an ale: I used a weak mead recipe as a base and added barley. The result was dry, with a lemony flavour and a lingering but not unpleasant aftertaste in the back of the throat. I may try it again sometime.

40. Sekanjabin. This is a period Middle Eastern drink of  vinegar and sugar, heated until it becomes syrupy, and used as a cordial. I use red wine vinegar, but my father tells me it’s quite nice using apple cider vineger.

41. Embroidered handkerchiefs. Carrying tissues around at an event is (while convenient) something that detracts from authenticity. To this end, I have embroidered some handkerchiefs so that I’m not dropping tissues whenever I happen to have a runny nose at an event.

42. Illumination.  This was the product of an A&S class at this year’s Great Northern War.



43. Pilgrim bag for my father. Having at some stage read about Elizabethan era stitching techniques, and having a father who is about ready to entrust himself to the SCA and who accompanied me to Great Northern War, I decided he needed a pilgrim bag to put his feasting gear into. You can see the bag in the background of the below image. All fabric edges have been folded into a hem and secured with a running stitch, then seams have been whipstitched. I decided that, as the fabric I was using was unbleached calico and the stitches would be visible anyway, I would make the stitches become a feature of the bag. All stitching has been done in blue. I also followed this pattern with the strap, making the strap a long tube and placing the seam for the strap uppermost and in the middle rather than on one of the edges. I think this will probably add long term strength to the strap also.


My father. Note the bag on the table next to him.

That’s it for the moment. I’m so close to my 50! I do have a few projects on the go at the moment… one crewel work embroidery, a splitstitch embroidery, a blackwork collar, a girdlebook, and a carved spoon, which means that once they’re done, I have only two more items to manage for my list.


Breadth Challenge #25: A wee little baggie!

It’s some sort of strange thing, I always seem to end up making pouches/bags/other things-to-contain-stuff-in, etc., as my first piece of anything textile related.  And so it is in this case.

I’m not sure what the technique I used is called.  I came upon it in a dream, as many of my varied ideas do.  At first I was convinced it was a type of naalbinding.  Then, after reading up some more on naalbinding, my certainty wavered, even though it shares many hallmarks of said technique.  Having only attempted naalbinding once, and remembering only a mass of tangles from the attempt, all I can do is show what I have done and let other, more knowledgeable people work out what I’ve accomplished.

Starting position

Start by taking your piece of wool and wrapping it around your finger.  Add a half twist as shown.

Second step

Next, you want to run your long end under the loop on your finger, but over the long trailing end of your wool, as shown.

Pull the loop snug

This should make a single loop, which you should pull nice and snug.

A run of loops

Continue a run of loops, going under the finger loop and over the long length of wool, roughly 7 or 8 times.

Making your starting circle

Slip the loop off your finger.  Pulling on the short piece of wool that you originally started with will pull the loops into a circle.  From here on in, you will be forming a spiral.

Stitch into each progressive loop

Instead of stitching directly onto the finger loop, you’ll now be stitching into each of the loops you’ve already made.  To expand in a circle, add a second stitch to each second loop.  To make a tube, make only one stitch for each loop.

My stripes were made simply by alternating the colour of the wool I used, as this is a technique that requires you use short lengths.  I found any length longer than my arm span was too difficult to manage.

A quick eye will notice that I’ve added eyelets.  I thought for quite some time on how to do this.  In the end, I worked each one by skipping 4 loops, then stitching 4, then skipping four, etc., whilst only pulling the running thread tight enough to span the length of the four skipped loops.  When the spiral reached the skipped parts, I continued to loop onto the straight piece of thread as if it were the original finger loop, for four loops, then stitching normally for four loops, etc.

The drawstring is a simple four strand braid, as I covered here.

The resulting fabric is thick, springy and stiff.  It feels fabulously durable.  Note in the first picture that the bag (which is empty) is standing unaided, which should give an indication how stiff this fabric is.

If anyone knows if this is naalbinding or some other form of textile, please let me know, as I’d like to be able to put a name to what I’m doing.

Breadth Challenge #21: Mouse Pouch

I completed my first mouse pouch today.

Actually, amend that to almost completed.  There’s a story there.

I spent the day at The Battle of Bottony Cross, an annual event held by the Barony of St Florian De La Riviere.  The current king, King Cornelius III, made a presentation to the newest member of the Mouseguard.  Unfortunately, he had left some items at home, including the mouse pouch he had intended to give out.  So I watched King Cornelius III give out his own belt pouch in lieu of a mouse pouch.

While the battle was going on, I had been keeping my hands busy with a mouse pouch, and had, only 20 minutes prior to court, just sewn in the lining.  I was terribly proud of my work:  a white felt mouse appliquéd onto a red felt pouch with blanket stitched white silk, his tail stitched in chain stitch, the cords of woollen braid I had finished on my trip to Stegby passing through eyelets stitched in red silk, and the cotton lining, stitched separately and added at the last so that it could be turned out easily (kids do tend to accumulate nasties in the corners of pouches, if my childhood is anything to go by).  The only thing it lacked was a means to attach it to the child… either a shoulder strap or a belt loop.

Immediately as court was finished, I went to my bag to retrieve the (almost) completed pouch.  It would not do to have our king losing his valuables for lack of a belt pouch.  It seemed almost to be fate.  So I presented it to him, sans belt loop, and explained the situation.  Luckily the lady next to him happened to be the mother of the boy who had just received his new commission, and she readily agreed to adding the necessary attachment.  I do believe our king was extremely grateful to be able to retrieve his pouch, especially as it seemed to be a rather exquisite (and sturdy) pouch.

This does leave me with the unfortunate situation of not having taken a photograph of the finished item.  However, good things come in threes, and I have another two pouches on the way.  The photograph below (taken from an angle, I’m afraid) is one of the upcoming pouches, as yet incomplete, but which can give a reasonable idea of how the first looks.

Mouseguard pouch #2, nearing completion

Breadth Challenge #19: Four strand flat braid

This particular post was always supposed to be me crowing about the fact that I’ve taught my first class, but I’ve decided that doesn’t need to be counted in my challenge.  I did teach my first class, I’ve given away many small bottles of the resulting brew, but the challenge was all in the documentation rather than anything else.

I did not, however, come away from the Feast of Friendship with nothing to add to my challenge.  The wonderful thing about the SCA is the learning, and I’ve learned quite a lot this weekend.  I’ve learned that I can cobble together (barely) passable documentation in half an hour, even when I’ve lost my original resource notes (I will post up said documentation and my treasure necklace tomorrow).  I’ve watched fingerloop braiding, and will be searching for resources online to learn how to do it.  I’ve sat with Dimitri and gone over hat-making techniques, which I shall be attempting at some point in the near future.  And, springing from a dream I had the night before we left for the Feast, I’ve made my very first four-strand braid.

Four Strand Braid

I am in the process of making Mouse Pouches for our Mouse Guard recipients.  Of course, pouches need to be tied somehow, so I’ve been pondering on learning braid techniques for the past couple of weeks, but haven’t had the time to sit down and research.  So, of course, my brain has been ticking over it all for a while, and came up with a solution while I had my back turned.

I dreamt of threads that were attached to my fingers, three to each hand, where the threads from the index finger were moved to the threads on the opposing pinkie finger, then moved along.  The imagery was perfect for showing me where the strands needed to go.  The dream version would make a six-strand flat braid.  It’s easy enough to simplify that to four-strand, which is what I did, in the car, on the 2 1/2 hour drive to Warwick.  I worked a starting position with two strands of red on the interior, and a strand of white either side on the exterior, to produce that consistent arrow formation you can see on the photograph.

Four strand braid instructions


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