Diamond twill shawl

Selfie wearing my new diamond twill style shawl with other elements of my Viking Age reenactment kit

Selfie wearing my new diamond twill style shawl with other elements of my Viking Age reenactment kit

A while back I picked up some “diamond twill” fabric at the Grandmother’s fabric sale. It’s not the right kind of fabric to do a full garment with (not enough fabric either) so I was kind of torn. I wanted to use it for my Viking Age costume kit – but wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.

I decided to leave the fabric uncut… and just finish the edges to make a shawl… at least until I figure what else I might want to use it for.  Continue reading

Hedeby/Haithabu bag handles

Hedeby style handles before staining.

Hedeby style handles before staining.

A Hedeby-style of bag has been on my wish-list for quite some time. I’ve used small totes to carry around my things, because I can’t do without my phone and other necessities on my person when at a costumed event. However, there are a few period-informed/speculated bags… and the (commonly called) Hedeby (or Haithabu) bag is one of them…

Of course, no actual bag survived… and there are no depictions clearly of the bag – but several objects in similar designs did survive in wood and bone, from multiple areas in the Viking world (not just Hedeby) – theorised to be handles to this bag style.

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Natural dyeing – Iron dye modifier

Wool, silk, and linen pre-mordanted with oak galls, and then modified with iron

Wool, silk, and linen pre-mordanted with oak galls, and then modified with iron

Iron as a pre-mordant

In all of the natural dyeing I’ve been doing (or hoping to do!) in the last little while, I read a little about using iron as a pre-mordant instead of alum. In Rebecca Burgess’ Harvesting Colour: How to find plants and make natural dyes, she notes that while alum is used for most of recipes in her book, iron is useful in several.

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Natural dyeing – Oak Galls

Green oak galls

Green oak galls

I’ve read about oak galls and their place in dyeing and ink-making a little, and didn’t think too much of them – I don’t really think of oak trees in Calgary (compared to trips to Louisiana!) but while out for a walk (playing PokemonGo!) I noticed that one of the parks near me had cute little (young) oak trees. A closer look… and there were the weird clustered balls.

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