poniedziałek, 27 stycznia 2014

The Queen Mary II art work

I love spinning but sometimes I don’t know what to do with all my spinned wool. I just can’t learn knit or crochet. Long time ago one of my friend lent me a Dutch book about macramé. That was a hit the jackpot! Macrame is a form of textile-making using knotting orginated with Arab weawers in 13th century. Macrame was very popular in Victorian era and among American hippies in the 1970.. I fell in love with macramé although everything was written in Dutch (and I of course don’t know this language except several words which I learned studying this book). So it’s easy to guess that I made some macramé of my spinned wool.
My favourite spindle
Two years ago I spinned by my favourite very heavy (180 g) spindle Polish mixed wool. Then I asked my friend Rosamar to dye it in rainbow colours. The result was absolutely gorgeous. But it was only the beginning of a long, log trip. Next I had to count the length of yarns. It was important if I wanted to knot them in The Rainbow Shawl I dreamed of.
Cut yarns prepared to knot
And the work of knotting started.
The begining of knotting
The shawl in progress
 It took me one week of work but the result was very satisfying. That’s it. The Rainbow Shawl.
Almost done
Last summer it found it’s fan who fell in love with this beautiful shawl.
The Rainbow Shawl

Last year I decided to buy some camel wool. I wanted to use it for some Kipchak staff (a bag or a hat) but this wool was so soft and delicate and tempted me so much that I couldn’t resist and I spinned it using my heavy spindle. Then I knotted it in a special kind of shawl (it looks rather like scarf: very narrow and long).
Knots of a camel scarf
The camel scarf in it's magnificence
 My last finished work is little pouch made of cotton-wool in beautiful lilac colour.
A lilac pouch
Now I'm working with another pouch. This time it looks like a lace. It will be a pouch for a bride.
A bride pouch in progress
Doesn't it look like a lace?
In 17th century Mary II - the Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland saw macrame. She learned making it and then taught her ladies-in-waiting. Who else has fallen in love with this kind of work as Queen Mary and me?

poniedziałek, 20 stycznia 2014

To catch a golden fish?

And coming back to laces. This time it will be filet lace. It is one of the oldest kind of lace. Filet lace becomes from nets used to fish. 
Tools for preparing a net

It is known that in 1295 there was some 'cushion of net work' in St. Paul's Cathedral. This kind of lace was used to do curtain, tableclothing, clothes... In Middle Ages it was also used as an elegant hair cloth.
I'd like to introduce a napkin I made for my sister some time ago.
First of all I had to prepare a knotted net as a background for this present.
A net in progress
To create the ground I use a netting shuttle  and a gauge. Because I wanted to make in very delicate, I took a quite narrow gauge.
A small netting shuttle
A rectangle net is made starting one corner and adding one mesh on each row, then making suitable number of rows with this number of meshes and decreasing in the end. After preparing 80 cm long and 40 cm wide net I could start embroider it in hardanger style.
 In the middle there are 56 squares made like canvas.
Canvas squares
It is surrounded by circles looking like chain links.
Chain links
And the borders are hardanger embroidered and cut in triangle shape.
Hardanger embroidery
It took me almost two months to create this napkin.
The whole napkin
The napkin is very delicate and looks really gorgeous.

wtorek, 14 stycznia 2014

The Necklace for Blood Countess

She was one of ten greatest criminal in the history. For some people she is the tenth one. However, she was also the niece of Polish king, the Hungarian countess, very well educated, unusually beautiful and she had quite extraordinary passion. She is remembered as Blood Countess and Vampire. She tortured her servants, she is supposed to murder about 650 people. She is believed to take baths in blood to be forever young. Because all of these she was immured in her own castle to her death.
The portrait of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory from 1585
This winter I decided to create The Necklace for Elizabeth Bathory.
The whole set: necklace and earrings
It is made of red thread and light orange pearls. The shape of each link resembles gouts of blood.
Links of the necklace
Some of gouts are flowing down a neck.
Gouts flowing down the neck
And there are some in ears.
The blood earrings
The bali clasp if made of silver-like metal. Vampires are reportedly afraid of silver. This metal can imprison a vampire and this Necklace may seize power over some lady as beautiful as Blood Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed.
The silver-like clasp
Today some historians believe all these accusations was Habsburgians' collusion to take Hungary without any trouble. There were some concerns in Viena that Countess could support her cousin in his way to Hungarian throne. But I prefer a legend.

poniedziałek, 6 stycznia 2014

Let's be Kipchak!

Last year my friend and ultimate guru in reenactment Rosamar encouraged me to engage in her nomadic project. We started preparing clothes and equipment. The choice was Kipchak tribal confederation.
Kipchak, Cumans, Polovtsy came to our part of Europe in 10th century. Some scientist believe that they were blond and blue-eyed, so I can reenact a woman from this tribe.
They left a lot of remainings and sculptures so we have got quite many materials to reconstruct clothes and equipment. For more informations look here, here and here.
My first 'item' I'd like to show is a caftan. So far I have made two caftans: one for my friend Klaryssa and one for myself. Here they are.

First caftan I’ve ever sewn was mine. I always start doing my things to be sure that I won't spoil things for my clients. The pattern for this caftan contains three panels, gussets on sides, long sleeves also with gussets. Because it is quite short there's no placket at the back.

Carmine Kipchak caftan
 I used carmine wool mixed with silk. For seams I used two kind of threads, both hand spinned: grey Gotland wool and dyed in walnut shells Polish mixed wool. I decided for so called triple stitch as very decorative and useful.
Gussets and two colours of seams
The triple stitch
  Then I had to sew hems. I owned an old scarf made of decorated with a pattern silk in black and gold. It seemed perfect for my purpose.
Silk hems
I used tin buttons and woollen loops.
A button and a loop
First time I wore this caftan last June during reenactment of Battle of Cedynia.
During last Christmas I made another caftan. The pattern for this caftan was almost the same as mine, but I resigned from the seams on the shoulder so there were only two long panels. It was also a little longer than mine so I made a placket at the back. This time it was made of pure wool in malachite colour. (All pictures below made by Klaryssa).
The back of Klaryssa's caftan
 For seams I used machine spinned Polish wool in maroon colour (although it seems red in the pictures). Of course also triple stitch.
The triple stitch
For hems I decided to use two-tone silk taffeta in blue and ruby pink colours. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to show this silk in pictures.
Embridered hems of Klaryssa's caftan
Because hems were without patterns I embroidered them using quite simply pattern popular on Chinese silk.

For loops I used the same wool as for seams. Buttons are made from brass.
A brass button and a loop
Klaryssa's caftan in all it's magnificence

 Of course this is not my last creation in The Kipchak Project!