Friday, 22 August 2014

I am back, and things might return to normal now.

I am back home after the long, long trip - one and a half days spent in the car to come back, well, with a ferry break after the first third of the first day.

It was a wonderful, wonderful time, both the holidays and the LonCon trip. Now normalcy beckons - back to work it is, answering emails, getting laundry done, watching the cat sleep. Oh, and sorting all the newly-bought books into shelves.

I have not sorted out all the bits and paper pieces yet that I brought from the Con, and a good amount of them is still in the car (which is not yet completely emptied out), but there are lots of interesting things, and I promise to link them all.

For now, I can tell you that it is utterly awesome to receive a ninja gig right in front of one's stall in the Dealer's room! Talis Kimberley sang us a knitting shanty (and then another knitting shanty). A few of her songs are on youtube, so I can share with you:



We had been to her concert the evening before, and it was wonderful - just the mix of serious political stuff, tongue-in-cheek humour and lightness that I love. Seeing (and hearing) her live is even better, but you can also get some of her songs via her webshop and her bandcamp site.

More tomorrow!

Monday, 11 August 2014

LonCon, we're coming!

Here's the more-or-lesss promised short break in the blog hiatus...

I've had a very busy few days, finishing the preparations for LonCon - writing lists, preparing goods, packing up stuff, and playing with Powerpoint - and I will start traveling into the rough direction of London tomorrow.

In case you are visiting LonCon, or plan to, or need another excuse to go there, I will be at table F16 in the Dealer's Hall together with Margit from Ancient Arts.

In addition to that, I am part of the programme and will be giving a presentation belonging to the Academic Track, a conference about Diversity in Science Fiction and Fantasy. I've been granted a special session for this - and it will include a spinning technique demonstration, among other fun things to see and learn about textile techniques. Sounds interesting? I will be in the Capital Suite 6 (Level 3), 8pm - 9:30pm, and the presentation title is Spin A Yarn, Add a Twist, Weave A Tale: Textile Crafts in Medieval London.

The pattern for Dread Pirate Roberts' Favourite Winter Hat has also been finished and printed in time for LonCon, and it will have its release there. I'm very, very happy with it!
The pattern is printed in colour, contains clear illustrated instructions for the special moves that are necessary for the lace part, and is exactly 13 pages long - very fitting for a pirate-y knitting pattern. After I return from LonCon, it will also be available via my webshop and Ravelry.

If you are at LonCon, please drop by and say hello - I'd love to see you there!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Summer break.

It's the time of year when everyone is on summer holiday, or travelling, or caught up in stuff that needs to be done, urgently, before or after holidays or travels or whatever. And I am, of course, no exception...

The next few weeks, for me, will be a wild mix of preparation for LonCon with a smattering of vacation thrown in. Which means it's time for a summer blog hiatus here.

Though I might post an update before LonCon, regular blogging will be taking its summer vacation until August 21. Go read the rest of the internet during that time - and I hope you will be back here in August!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A study group is being planned!

Sarah Goslee, together with a friend, is proposing a new study group about archaeological textiles in the Complex Weaver's group. That does sound interesting - I've read a few of the newsletters from the Medieval Textiles group, but being no proper weaver myself, I never joined or participated. The new group will have a much broader focus, and I will definitely keep an eye on its development.

It's all still in the planning stages, but you can read more about it on her blog.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Avocado, anyone?

Avocado, to me, is a weird fruit. It doesn't taste fruity, it has a taste that I find very, very bland (up to "this tastes like nothing", but I like the texture it has. I got into first contact with them quite, quite late, and I think my first taste where I really liked them was as avocado sushi roll. (Texture, you see? That weird crumbly-melty mouthfeel in with the rice and the wasabi and soy sauce tastes, something like a cool melting blandness on the tongue.)

Recently, though, I have been experimenting in the kitchen, and in my quest for new (new to me, at least) recipes I have stumbled across avocado pudding. Yes, avocado pudding.

Basically, you take an avocado and puree it, adding something for sweetness (like a banana that you puree right along with it, or a few dates, or honey, or cold baked sweet potato, or fine sugar) and something for taste in addition to the banana or whatever - such as vanilla, cocoa, or berries. (Or not, depending on your preferences.) Plus maybe some liquid - water, milk, almond milk, whatever, to give it a slightly softer texture and have some more of it. It seems to be a thing out there, in the raw/vegan/"paleo" scene. I thought it weird at first (possibly not least because I am sceptic about things praised as "soooo good" and "even better than the original version" by vegans) and sort of stalked the basic idea for a while, not knowing whether I should or not. Then I tried it.

I don't much care for the taste of sweet potato in there, but with banana and strawberries? Really nice. Especially if you add in some chunks of fresh fruit, too. The most patient husband of them all tried the sweet potato version and found it rather... well... very much not to his taste, but then I haven't warmed to his favourite avocado version either (he likes it with some mustard, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper as sauce).

So if you are feeling adventurous and have an avocado and a banana to spare - you might want to try it. I'm not regretting that I did! (In case you want more of a recipe than I have given, any search engine will inundate you with recipes, and probably also with praise of the oh-best-thing-ever.)

Monday, 7 July 2014

Back home!

I am back home from a very sunny and very relaxed long weekend at Herzberg Reunion. That was a not-public little medieval event where I had so much fun last year that I wanted to come back this year, even though it's not much of a sales event for me.

Still, I brought the little market stall - and some work to take care of. Including a stack of newly-made spindle whorls in need of firing. I did a modified pit firing procedure, just like the last time I fired spindle whorls, and I had really good success with next to no losses (no loss at all if you don't count the one small chip that broke off of one whorl's surface). Spindle whorls in various sizes, forms and weights are now, finally, back in stock!

I also brought some knitting for detail photographs for the options in the pirate hat pattern and some sewing work, all of which got done as far as I had planned. Plus wonderful time with friends that I see way too seldom, and lots and lots of delicious food. And did I mention the sunny weather?

I got a non-sun scare when packing up, though - I was just about to fold my tent when a single raindrop hit me in the face. Which led to a very hasty finish in packing (also known as "There are only the soft lightweight things left so I will just toss them into the back of the car RIGHT NOW never mind their order or good packing") - one of the colleagues called it "an alternative packing approach" or something like that. Well, that single raindrop was the only raindrop that fell in about two hours. But at least all my stuff was in the car very quickly - and all dry!

Now the car needs to be unloaded and all the dirty things want to see the insides of the washing machine, and the heaps of other stuff have to be stowed away... the usual, after an event.


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Linkfest!

Again assorted links for your convenience and delectation!

A Commonplace Book has compiled pictures of late medieval felt hats from illuminations.

Powered by Osteons hosts the Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival. With cool links (where did Roman babies poop?)

There's a German online course about the Hanse, Lübeck, and Archaeology - ten videos, made with archaeologists, all free.

Finally, ancient flatbread recipes reconstructed from burial site evidence.

That's it for now - and actually also for the next few days, since I will be at Herzberg from tomorrow until Sunday. Regular blogging will resume on Monday.