The Solar

In the medieval hall the solar was where the women sat and did their sewing and other handcrafts in a room well positioned for good sunlight. This section features some of the crafts that I enjoy (see the wardrobe section for costume & shoes).

Tapestry Weaving

Tapestry is a really neat artform. Lots of people think that it is like embroidery or needlepoint but it isn't. Real tapestry is woven on a loom or frame. I haven't made many tapestries yet because each one takes quite some time to do but I have a picture of my first real tapestry.

Sigurd tapestry in July 2003 - click here for larger imageThe tapestry that I am currently working on (on right) is based on a rock carving of the Norse legend of Sigurd. It is being woven on a floor loom and will measure around 60cm x 100cm. I am using a mix of wools that I have been given or bought, and those that I have spun and dyed myself.

Tapestry Pages

Needlework / Embroidery

I also really enjoy needlework of all kinds. I do blackwork, counted cross-stitch, tent stitch, laid and couched work and have done a little gold work.

Elizabethan coif

Emroidered coifMy most recent peice of embroidery is this embroidered and beaded coif that I made as a gift for her Excellency Baroness Chretienne. It was originally just going to be a gift, maybe for 12th Night but as things worked out I was able to present it to her on her stepping down as Baroness of Southron Gaard at Canterbury Faire 2005.

More hats and headwear.

Embroidered kercheif

Blackwork kerchiefA while ago I completed this blackwork kerchief (right). I realised afterwards that I had done the design much finer than the original but I really do like it at this size.

Embroidery Pages

Spinning and Dyeing

As well as weaving I've been practising spinning and dyeing for some time. You can see the results of some of my experiments below. I have some notes about dyeing as well as a couple of recipes.

Rainbow of dyed wools

I have also experimented with growing and processing linen (flax) for spinning. You can see my notes about processing linen (pdf).