67) The day after

I found the coif; it was in the Pile Of Stuff on the stairs, official status 'waiting to be put away', where it had been for the last fortnight.

The day went awesomely.  I finished pretty much *everything*, except the lacing holes in my sleeves.  The lack of this half-hour job meant that my sleeves were falling down all day, and, by the end of the afternoon, had pulled my shift sleeves down with them, so I was sporting the off-the-shoulder wench look.  Not my favourite, but I don't think many other people noticed.

I talked myself hoarse, and still have a badly sore throat.  This means I did my job well, and I am Pleased.

I have but a single photograph, snagged from Bob and Katy's photostream (I used to work with Bob!  Thanks, Bob!):


Yes, my sleeves are falling down.  I am knackered.  More to follow.

66) Losing it

It's Saturday morning; the event is tomorrow.  Everything is running smoothly.  Today will be full, but not crazy, and I should even be able to take the evening off.

Except I've lost my coif.  It's linen, white, completely handstitched, and quite small.  I have the pieces to make another – but I think they're vacationing along with the finished one.

I don't think I have enough linen left to make another.  Not in the right weight/colour, anyway.


65) The Thursday Tudor: photo updates

Here's the kirtle (the main dress) so far, on the dress dummy:


It doesn't really fit the dummy, despite being set to the same measurements as mine, because I'm squishable and the dummy isn't.  In that photo, the shoulder straps have been finished and the skirt cut to length (but not yet hemmed); to contrast, here's a shot of me in the dress when I was fitting the straps:


It laces a bit more closed on me, eh?  That's not the shirt I plan to wear under the dress, by the way; it's just the one I happened to have hanging around…

And a back view, again when the straps were being fitted:


I really like this shot!  I think the fit of the bodice is pretty good, the strap placement is great, and the pleats of the skirt look fab (or will once the fabric is ironed, anyway).  The one thing I'm not enamoured of is the big, horizontal wrinkle you can see above the waist.  I *think* I've sorted that one out by shortening the straps a bit, but only time will really tell…

I'm also really proud of the waist closure on the petticoat:


The cord is just a piece of finger-braiding (learned from here), but for some reason, I think the whole thing just *works*.

And I'm sure you'll also be glad to hear that I've not been neglecting the demo itself.  I want to be able to show spinning wool, flax and silk, and I've finally got the distaff fitted to my wheel and dressed:


Not the neatest job in the world, perhaps, but it's done.  And I can spin from it, which is a definite bonus. 

As for my day-by-day plan?  Well, that went a bit wonky.  For a start, it didn't include the whole 'sleeves' issue (yes – the fabric arrived yesterday).  Secondly, I had an evening off yesterday, and went out for dinner and drinks with friends.  So the progress stands as follows, with items in italics being things that I forgot to account for the first time round:


  • Cut hem of dress to final length – done!
  • Finish cone distaff, and dress it – done!
  • Attach cuffs to shift – half done.


  • Finish partlet – nearly there – needs ironing and a hook/eye closure
  • Hem shift
  • Mark neckline for shift
  • Wash sleeve fabric – done


  • Hem shift neckline
  • Attach ties to shift cuffs and coif
  • Dye sleeve fabric


  • Hem skirt and lining
  • Warp loom
  • Finish getting all demo materials together
  • Make sleeves
  • Stockings??


  • Anything left over…

64) The Tuesday Tudor – Always blame the medication

OK, feeling much better about this whole thing now.  And I think my mini-meltdown on Thursday can be blamed, at least in part, on some weird and freaky antibiotics that I've been prescribed.  The listed possible side-effects include various mood disturbances, including 'an urge to self harm'.  Although I haven't suffered that particular kind of fun, I was certainly withdrawn, cranky and very much on edge for the six hours after taking a dose for the first few days.  I seem to be tolerating the stuff better now, which is just as well as I have another ten days of the course to go, and I've also shifted the times I take the meds, so that I'm asleep for one of the two unpleasant periods per day, and at work for the other.

My must-do list now looks like this:

  • Hem petticoat – done!;
  • Add fastening to petticoat – done!;
  • Sew shoulder straps on dress – done!;
  • Hem dress – hem is hanging;
  • Make lacing for dress – in progress, and I've also found an alternative;
  • Organise equipment and materials for the actual demo – in progress.

Which, I think you'll agree, is much, much more sane that it was on Thursday.  In addition, the partlet is nearly done, and all the machine sewing is complete on the shift.

Unfortunately, the fabric I ordered for the sleeves has not (yet) arrived, which is cutting things really fine for Sunday's demo, especially since I'll have to dye it.  I might have to go for an alternative, or try adapting some that I already have.  I'm going to go for a day-by-day list today, just to see how my remaining time is likely to block out:


  • Cut hem of dress to final length
  • Finish cone distaff, and dress it
  • Attach cuffs to shift


  • Finish partlet
  • Hem shift
  • Mark neckline for shift


  • Hem shift neckline
  • Attach ties to shift cuffs and coif


  • Hem skirt and lining
  • Warp loom
  • Finish getting all demo materials together
  • Stockings??

Phew.  That all looks rather achievable.  It doesn't include anything about the sleeves, of course, but there should be enough wiggle-room around the edges to fit that in, as long as the fabric shows up today or tomorrow…

63) Even I’m getting sick of the Tudor thing now.

Right.  It's Friday again – and I have another three-day weekend.  I've booked off this coming Monday (for sewing and other preparations), and next Monday (for recuperation).  I've been working my socks off on the Tudor outfit, and I don't feel like I've made all that much headway on the to-do list.

In fact, last night was the first time that anxiety and stress has made a significant appearance, and I felt like I was slogging on with the work, rather than launching myself at it with energy and enthusiasm.  I was scaling up a pattern for a partlet, and nothing – nothing – seemed to be going right.

I got there in the end, and even cut out the fabric and pinned it together.  It looks good.  But it wasn't fun.

I think the problem is that nothing is actually finished.  The petticoat needs hemming.  The kirtle (the main dress bit) needs its shoulder straps finishing, and its skirt needs to be cut to length and hemmed.  The coif needs ties attached.

And then there's the actual demo materials.  None of those have been sorted yet.

So.  I'm going to update the list that I've been using all along, then try some prioritising.

  • Stockings (optional) – not started;
  • A shift (optional) – cut out;
  • A petticoat – machine sewing complete, waistband attached;
  • A dress – skirt and bodice attached;
  • Sleeves – not started.  Fabric has been ordered, but it hasn't arrived;
  • A partlet – cut out;
  • A coif – just ties remain to be done;
  • A hat;
  • Shoes;
  • Belt, pouch and other accessories, like a knife.

So, that's what has been done.  What still needs to be done?

Absolutely must:

  • Hem petticoat;
  • Add fastening to petticoat;
  • Sew shoulder straps on dress;
  • Hem dress;
  • Make lacing for dress;
  • Organise equipment and materials for the actual demo.

Would really, really like to:

  • Finish the partlet;
  • Finish the shift;
  • Make sleeves;

Nice, but not crucial:

  • Make stockings;
  • Make ties for the coif

So, this weekend. Priority: Make the lace for the dress.  Without that, I can't try it on properly, so can't finish the bodice/shoulder straps to the right length.  Second priority: equipment and materials.  I have a choice of some or all of the following:

  • My Saxony wheel, which keeps throwing its driveband and is loud and clunky.
  • My Traveller wheel, which also has a distaff.  But I've never spun flax before.
  • Various spindles.
  • Naturally dyed wools.
  • Naturally coloured wools.
  • A four-shaft loom with handspun, naturally dyed wool on it.
  • Various wool prep tools.

Tomorrow, I'm due to go to Rampton for a spinning day.  I'm thinking about taking the Saxony, which I haven't really spun on since getting my Traveller.  I've been playing with it tonight, and frankly, I'm amazed I ever managed to spin anything on it at all.  Maybe some of the good folks there can offer some help and advice, so I can get it in fine fettle for next weekend.

62) Autumn beckons (July recap; August lists)

Well, it's the first of September, and it's been feeling autumnal around here for the last week or so.  I've been denying it, but it's true.  That's not to say it's particularly dreary; August was a pretty much literal washout around here, but the last few days have been bright and sunny.  But the air has *that* feel – the one that makes you think of apples and woodsmoke and frosts to come.  The dew on the grass the last two mornings has been spectacularly, breath-takingly beautiful, but my little camera has finally broken completely, so no pictures.

I love this time of year.  I think the changing seasons are my favourites: Spring and Autumn.  And whichever one we are in is my favourite right now.  It does make me homesick for the moors and coastline of North Yorkshire, though.  This is perfect walking weather, and, however hard I try, the Fens just don't compare.

So.  Last month's list:

  1. At least four shop updates – No.  One, I think.
  2. Significant progress on the Peacock shawl – No.  Haven't even cast on.  This is partly due to losing the pattern and having to wait for a replacement to arrive, and partly due to Project Tudor.  I did start and finish the Pretty Thing cowl in (my own, hand-dyed) silk, though.
  3. Write up one design for give away or sale – No…
  4. *Finish the spindle-spun silks – No…  These are getting very close to done, though.  It's mostly plying that's left now – which I might use as part of my Tudor demo.
  5. Keep up with the gardening! – Not really, though it's not completely neglected.
  6. Sew a Tudor costume – Not finished, but getting there.
  7. Keep up with the physio.  Add Pilates if possible. – Physio yes, Pilates not so much.  Last week, my osteopath said she didn't want to see me again until I'd seen my GP.  Despite doing all the right things, my hip isn't improving very much, and she thinks I may have a labral tear – which is difficult to diagnose, and may require an operation.  In good news, she's given me permission to start running again, even if it hurts 'moderately'.

Pants!!  It's pretty clear that Project Tudor has been taking up nearly all my time.  Yet again, I am reminded that however inspired I am, I will still only have the same 24 hours in every day, and a lot of those are already spoken for.  Unsurprisingly, September's list is going to look a lot like August's:

  1. *Yarnscape: At least four shop updates
  2. *Significant progress on the Peacock shawl
  3. *Write up one design for give away or sale
  4. **Finish the spindle-spun silks
  5. *Keep up with the gardening!
  6. Finish Project Tudor
  7. Hip permitting, get out and run twice a week.

In Tudor news, I did get the pleats sewn and half the skirt attached to the bodice last night.  Just before going to bed, I realised that, actually, the alignment was half a pleat out.  Which doesn't sound like a lot, but would actually have looked completely wonky in the finished garment.  So I slept on it (just in case I was wrong, or it would magically fix itself overnight), but I wasn't, and it didn't.  So I undid the half-done waist seam and redid it this morning.  An annoying, silly mistake, but it's only cost me an hour.  I can live with that.  Oh – and I've brought my lucet to work with me today, so I can make some cord for my coif and shift.

In Yarnscape news, I'm considering merging my Yarnscape blog with this one.  I think it will be possible to publish separate feeds for each, so anyone who isn't interested in shop updates and the like can ignore them, and anyone who isn't interested in quilts, dogs and my personal projects can subscribe to Yarnscape-only news.  I'd originally intended to keep them separate, because I hate (hate!!) it when a previously-enjoyable blog just turns into a pimp-my-Etsy vehicle.  Looking forwards, though, I think a lot of my personal projects will be using my own yarns, or I will be knitting my own designs which I might later offer through Yarnscape.  It will get increasingly difficult to decide what I should post here, and what there.  Additionally, I know that a lot of my Yarnscape followers also read this blog, so the separation is really a bit artificial.  And, as a final point, I actually find it really difficult to pimp my Etsy shop even on my shop blog, so perhaps I'm being a bit daft about the whole thing.

I'd be really interested in hearing what you think, though.  Would you find it off-putting if I included product announcements or shop update notices here?

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