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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Saint Birgitta’s cap

St. Birgitta’s cap - worn well too far back on my head.

St. Birgitta’s cap

This post is incredibly long in the making – I started working on a St. Birgitta’s cap several years ago, when one of the people in the SCA (Coryn of the Wode) taught a class on how to make the cap.

Unfortunately, the cap wasn’t finished in class… so I took it in parts home, and then promptly forgot all about it. Then, for the February edition of the Historical Sew Monthly, the topic is “linen”, and while there are more elaborate linen items on my to-do list, this seemed like an accomplishable project given how few projects I was able to accomplish in 2018.

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Pyrography box – medieval spinning

Wood burned box with a medieval woodcut image of three women in the process of producing yarn on the lid.

Wood burned box with a medieval woodcut image of three women in the process of producing yarn on the lid.

After my first round of wood-burned bling boxes, I decided I really wanted to make more – some as bling boxes for my various costumes, but some as sewing/gear boxes to hold various things particularly for my SCA play.

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Third inspired-by-Midgaard hood

Photo credit ©Mysticus Photography - Me in my steel grey wool hood, along with other elements of my Viking Age Norse costume. These include my red and black coat, my plaid apron dress (hangerock), my green wool dress (serk) and my hand-spun naalbound wool mittens.

Photo credit ©Mysticus Photography – Me in my steel grey wool hood, along with other elements of my Viking Age Norse costume.

Steel charcoal grey wool hood

Once I had the black and grey wool-blend hood finished, I liked the results so much that I went to my stash of other fabrics from the Grandmother’s Fabric Sale and found another piece of wool, also with less than two meters. This fabric is a charcoal grey with a slight steel blue tinge to it. In sewing it I found it very spongy – it did not want to hold a press at all. (It is a tabby weave, not a crepe weave though.) You can see in the photo below my pattern – and the number of adjustments that were made before I got something I really liked.

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Second inspired-by-Midgaard hood

Grey and black wool-blend hood

Sewing a second Midgaarb-inspired hooded capelet in black and grey wool-blend.

Sewing a second Midgaarb-inspired hood

Although I really liked the plaid hood I blogged about the other day, I thought that it was a bit short, and thought that it would be nicer with a longer, fuller capelet. I had some black-and-grey wool-blend fabric with an interesting square weave left over from another project, and so opted to cut out a second hood from this leftover, with a much longer capelet.

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