RAM Vikings – Textile tools

Viking age needles, spindle whorls, and loom weights from the RAM exhibit

Viking age needles, spindle whorls, and loom weights from the RAM exhibit

In May 2019 I visited Edmonton and the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) to see the touring Viking Exhibit from Denmark.

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Favour spinning

JodisWool2

Lightweight hand spun 2 ply wool yarn for a friend’s Arts & Sciences experiment.

A while ago a friend posted in a Facebook group – asking if there were any volunteers for her Arts & Sciences project. She was looking for volunteer spinners to take a small amount of wool, and create yarn. Her plan is to look at how different types of spinning (woolen vs worsted, plied vs unplied) would impact dye take-up.

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Spinning hemp

The amount of processed hemp fibre I processed from the stalks. I wanted to spin this into yarn for the experience.

The amount of processed hemp fibre I had to be able to spin.

In mid-September I posted about learning how to process hemp for fibre in a SCA TUA class. This is a similar process to processing flax for linen, and I found it very interesting! Once I had the fibre though, I really wanted to see about spinning it as well. I didn’t have very much fibre from the large bundle of hemp stalks so I didn’t anticipate the opportunity to MAKE anything with the hemp yarn, but I still wanted to give it a whirl (har har) since I had the material.

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Medieval Suspended Spinning using Distaffs

Master spinner demonstrates how to dress a medieval-style cone distaff with flax (linen)

Dressing a cone-shaped distaff with flax

While at Avacal September Crown (a SCA event) I took a class on using a distaff for suspended spinning. I didn’t quite get the idea behind suspended spinning (it kind of made my hand hurt pretty quickly) but I did enjoy using the distaff to control the fibre for spinning.

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