jauncourt: (historical costume)
Hello to any new folks who have come by to see what I have to offer! You will find that this is a strange mix of a personal journal and a blog. A great deal of my early thoughts on costuming and craft stuff does percolate through here, but a lot of what I say here is friends only or private. All of my costuming info is public, and will be duplicated, eventually on my public blog. Please feel free to friend me, read for a bit, comment if you like, and if we seem to be doing well as a acquaintances, I might friend you back.

If you are looking for my costuming handouts, they are freely available for download at Scribd, and I have a lot of additional content elsewhere. Please see the links list for where you can find my public web content.

Social networking: I'd be honored if you'd follow me on blogger, Scribd or twitter. I'm going to be adding more handouts and updating old ones, as well as bringing all my old sites' various content over to the blog and updating it, so that would be the best way to find out what's new.

Regarding Facebook: While I am on facebook, I try to keep that personal, for keeping up with IRL friends and family. If you do find me on facebook, I may not accept your request unless I have a good idea of who you are. My twitter is much more public, so I'll be posting costume and other public stuff there.

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jauncourt: (Default)
A wonderful friend gave me my own set of the DVDs. Between that, and our dvd player and tv, I have an updated list of things I've observed about the shawl. A lot of this post is aggregated from a couple of posts on the thread over at BDK on Ravelry.

I had little success the last time (I have a whole card full of photos that really don’t give me much info), and having the DVD set (I had it on my DVR which isn’t really HD) and an okay little DVD player with digital upconvert and a really good ZOOM made a huge difference. I also put a fresh projector bulb in my digital projector tv, and that helped a lot.

I took a whole bunch of photos with my phone, because, of course, the battery was dead in BOTH decent cameras. Between fiddling with brightness/contrast on the tv and saturation on the phone, I got a couple of really decent shots of the back of the shawl. For blurry phone pictures of highly zoomed almost pixelated paused DVD video.. Argh.
I’ve spent hours pausing and zooming and inspecting the still images of the first 15-20 minutes of the ep and I’m pretty sure of several things about it.

  • it is for sure a top-down traditional (starts from the center of the long edge) mitred triangle
  • it has a double-eyelet border knit on or into the long edge
  • the pattern is a vertical open-chevrons-in-stripes pattern, with repeats of three chevrons and a wider solid chevron marking the ends of the repeats
  • there is a solid “stripe” between the chevron motifs that is 2-4 stitches wide
  • the chevrons point down and echo the border points
  • the openwork chevrons are made with 7 eyelets, with one at the point
  • the angle of the pattern when viewed from the back is not 45 degrees, so it’s probably a slightly shaped triangle/butterfly if laid out flat
  • it has a knitted on bottom border that is in pattern (the points of the border line up with the points of the chevron motifs creating an illusion that the border is not knit on)
  • there appear to be 15 21 points, including the three points of the triangle
  • that means there are 15 21 tassels or fringes (since there are so few, I am calling them tassels)
  • the tassels are tied on and appear to be made with 2 or 3 strands doubled over, and the length is not equal (or they are very worn and have attenuated and been torn over time)
  • it is made with a large singleply (like lamb’s pride worsted) or a very smooth/worn multi-ply
  • it is probably a wool or wool blend yarn, because the shawl looks like it has fulled a little bit due to age/wear or possibly deliberately during washing/blocking to stabilize the pattern (since it is so large)

I’ve ordered 2 different wool yarns from Webs to make the shawl. One of them is bound to be a better fit than the other: Nashua Handkints Creative Focus Chunky in Copper Carmine and Nashua Handkints Creative Focus Worsted in Brick.

Hope this makes things that I think I’m seeing clearer, I scanned some of my notes (not nearly all, just the most relevant ones).

Overview of my notes:

This is the scarf I made for the firefly-themed swap I was in recently, and which really helped with working out the borders and she spacing of the motifs:

Here’s an incomplete (doesn’t include the foundation row that the two halves point out from - it’s grafted in the middle) chart for the scarf above:

and rough charted notes from making the scarf (NOT the shawl!) for the corner of the sideways worked border (purl rows aren’t shown):

SO, that's where we are at this point.
jauncourt: (Default)
I think I know what I need to do to get this percolating properly in my head to make a real story of it.

I'm going to rewrite it, from memory, as it might have been told in may times and places, with and without Christianization, with and without Victorian santizing, with and without fairies or demons or angels. With both the spindle and the wheel, perhaps without a spindle entirely, if I write a version set in a country that reels silk. As if I were collecting all the versions of the story, like a folklorist.

Maybe, somewhere, in all of that, i might find the larger story I intend to write about the Glass Wheel.
jauncourt: (Default)
This is part of a larger story, inspired by this incredible glass spinning wheel I saw online several years ago. The larger story is not anywhere near complete, and even the names of the characters and the time I want to set it in are in flux. I have descended into research. As I quite like research, I tend to wallow in it and thus avoid the actual work of assembling anything from it.

It is set in a fictional town in Occitania, some time in a nearly 500 year period. Right now it's sitting in the early Renaissance. Kind of. Maybe it needs to be in a sort of dreamtime. I'm not sure. Right now all I really have is a mass of notes, historical, cultural and linguistic research, a small note I found about a spinning Madonna in Catalunya, a picture of the glass spinning wheel and this fragment. This is really a manufactured fairy tale with heavy Christian influences, befitting the location and time.

Story below the cut. Critique welcome, I'm kind of at an impasse.Read more )
jauncourt: (Default)
Today is already a day that can only be improved by setting my own hair on fire.

Camping In

Sep. 26th, 2010 01:27 pm
jauncourt: (Default)
Today, it is hot. It is a Lying Around sort of day. Husband is out, doing Star Wars Geeky things up in the LA area and I am home with the Monkeys.

So: Wading pool is filled, beach balls are filled up, patio is clean (did that yesterday), and our 10x10ish hexagonal dome tent is set up in the living room with pillows and a small table in it, for the boys to watch movies from and play in.

I am doing Other Things, but I plan to get out the campstove and cook hotdogs on it on the patio for dinner.
jauncourt: (red)
I was awakened this morning at about 8:45 by the emergency notification PA system broadcasting Taps, followed by a pause (moment of silence, I have to assume), and a man's voice saying "So. Here we are."

This is a new development in the observation of a national day of mourning, as the PA system in question wasn't used for this last year, and did not exist before that.

Instead of making me think of the tragedy in question, this instead made me think of other, similar, tragedies and how they were affected by the available news coverage of their relative times/places. The Lusitania, Pearl Harbor (most similar ideology-wise), the Hindenburg (probably closest in character, news-coverage-wise), the Titanic, the 1906 earthquake, Loma Prieta, the Tsunami. All of which are horrible either in body count or sheer destruction, and all of which were watched as closely as possible by the news.

Hindenburg is most similar, coverage-wise, because it was covered almost-live on the radio. People who heard it broadcast felt as though they were there, with all the horror and helplessness that came with it. I have also thought on Pearl Harbor, and how we have long since stopped widely observing a day of mourning for that event. I have to wonder if it is not so much the freshness of the currently mourned tragedy as the fact that nearly everyone with a television in this hemisphere watched it as it happened, and many throughout the world did as well. And that every year, for week surrounding the official day of mourning, we collectively reopen the wound by rebroadcasting all the footage available, with more retrospective coverage tacked one for good measure.

I don't think it's that we won't let it become history, or I hope it's not that. I think it's awful to keep it SO fresh for so long. It disrupts the healing process. Human beings are capable of healing and going on, and we tell stories, but never before in our history has it been possible to completely relive a collective traumatic experience (however vicarious) of this magnitude. For most of us, what we need to heal is the acute sense that we witnessed a horror and did not a single thing to save all those people. The fact that we could not have, any of us, even if we had been right beside the EMS personnel who died trying to do exactly that, means nothing. The distance that seperated all of us from the event means nothing.

We still feel the guilt. We still feel the sorrow. We still feel the helplessness. We keep peeling the scab and it will never heal in a good way if we do that. The intolerance that is rampant currently, the fetishization of a mythical Other and a mythical Us, are the largest symptoms of this emotional scar we keep working at. Knowledge is good. This? This isn't. This is propaganda. It cheapens the memory, by preventing it from becoming one.

My point, I suppose, is that I don't think rebroadcasting the crashes and the collapse to those who already saw them too many times is good for any of us. A better memorial would be a reading of names, a showing of faces, a memorial service with representatives of all faiths and perhaps eulogies for those who died who chose not to practice a faith.

And maybe, just maybe, stop trying to make it a scar on all of our psyches. It's there, we will never forget. The honorable, sensitive thing to do is to stop hurting everyone annually for ratings.
jauncourt: (Default)
Today was the first of hopefully many days of working out with my new exercise partner. We mostly stretched and did some time on the bikes.

Things to note:

I have forgotten how to use the weight machines I used to use regularly. Sigh.

I also am more flabby after a year and more of recovering from an awful ankle thingy than I had hoped, even with my yoga and crunches that I sporadically commit to. Must work on that.

My heart rate wasn't too terribly bad during the bike ride, for having turned into a bucket of shapeless ooze while recuperating, so there's hope.

jauncourt: (Default)
...but you want to watch SOMETHING, then it's always fun to heckle it.

We are currently watching and MST3K-style heckling Conan the Destroyer and his shiny silver leather underpants.

"You can tell I'm in charge because I'm wearing the Most Exceedingly Uncomfortable and Awkward Hat. Also, I have a cape, that looks like I bought it off a folding table at a Grateful Dead show."

"I hump this statue when nobody is looking. Watch me rub it for dramatic effect!"

There has been some "I has a Stik!" in reference to Grace Jones, as well.
jauncourt: (Default)
Unexpected crossover of the day - Something*Positive/Curious George. REALLY.

I am watching an episode of Curious George (I didn't turn off the tv after the kids went to school) in which George carries around, then eats, a pink, melty, ice cream sculpture that looks EXACTLY like ChooChooBear. At the end of it everyone is eating big lumps of pink choochoobear icecream while the head smiles away on a plate.


I'm afraid.
jauncourt: (Default)
Account ported, please comment over at dreamwidth as all future comments will be disabled at lj.


WTF lj?

Aug. 31st, 2010 11:31 pm
jauncourt: (red)
No, REALLY. Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot? DO NOT WANT.

I'll probably be making all freinds-only posts, or just plain taking them down for now. I have everything archived up until very recently. I have a dreamwidth account, I just have to go poke it and get it ported. Too late, too tired.

Geez, LJ. WHY?
jauncourt: (Default)
So, watching it. Late, as usual.

Hrm. Not nearly as "OMG! SO ACCURATE!" as everyone had been raving about.

Now, it's a good story, of course, just as the Cadfael books/television series are (they are vastly different stories). The costuming is ... okay. It's not quite The Dirt Ages, but there are all kinds of "WUT?!?" moments. There's an equal amount of Random Burlap and Silly Court Clothes, and some bizarre hair, and the Mandatory Vaguely Hippie-Dreadlock Witchy person. At least it's not so heavy on the Giant Blanket Stitches like the costumes in Cadfael, or TOO heavy on the Dirt Ages aesthetic.

It seems like a decent story, I'll give it a chance, but I dread seeing clothes made after this series.

ETA: Looking at the costumes again, I think it's the idea that everyone below Baronial level was unable to have their clothes hemmed that makes me go "gah!" I hate the Ragged Raw Edges look. Almost more than the Giant Blanket Stitch look.
jauncourt: (Default)
Okay, if anyone tried that swatch with me last night, they most likely came to the same conclusions:

1) Design is WAY too small. Might be good for a mini version, but SO not for the real thing.
2) Rib separating the stripes was FAR TOO WIDE. it needs to be maybe 4 stitches wide.
3) I need to proofread.

So, I got about halfway through the swatch last night, thought all these things, made a grumpy face and frogged back to the eyelet border. Then I had a Moment of Inspiration and just played around with the yarn for a bit. I'm going to wing a full repeat, while making notes, and then I'll put together a one-width scarf pattern for those who want it, just to tide folks over until I can produce a pattern that makes sense.

At this point I'm thinking it's a double YO (that's purled/knit on the ws row, not treated as a single stitch), because I tried that last night with good effect. It looks almost exactly right. BUT... I haven't done a whole repeat yet, and I don't know if it's shallow enough or wide enough.

what I got out of the swatching process so far, though, is a better idea of what I need to do to reproduce the stitch pattern used in the shawl.

I have some spinning to do, so it's time to get off the computer :)
jauncourt: (dress diary)
Huston, we have Swatching!

Right now I'm only concerned with recreating the pattern on the straight grain and testing my theory on the border. If you want to knit along with the crazy woman, here's my test swatch pattern #1:

There are a total of seven eyelets in each openwork chevron, and the scale is VERY large, given the size of the strands you can see between them. I have two theories on this: larger needle than would normally be used for the size of yarn used, OR double YO that are treated as single YO in the next row. I'm thinking full size it's sport or worsted on fat needles. I have some 11s and some really fat ones that I can try for actual size with after I figure out the pattern. For the moment, though, I'm swatching for structure.

I'm making two swatches, and one will have a simple yarn/needle size discrepancy (fingering and size 9 needles) and the other will be sock yarn, 9 needles and double YO.

Swatch one:

This has two full repeats of the chevron pattern, straight grain, so that I can figure out how deep to make the solid chevron between open repeats. it starts with the double-eyelet foundation row like the shawl.

Using fingering yarn sock yarn, cast on 31 sts on a size 9 needle.
Purl all sts first row and every odd row.
Row 2: K2, (YO,K2tog) 13 times, YO, K2.
Row 4: K2, (YO,K2tog) 13 times, YO, K2.
Row 6: Knit all sts.
Row 8: K4, *SSK, YO, K5, YO, K2tog*, K5, repeat *to*, K4
Row 10: K5, *SSK, YO, K3, YO, K2tog*, K7, repeat *to*, K5
Row 12: K6, *SSK, YO, K1, YO, K2tog*, K9, repeat *to*, K6
Row 14: K4, *SSK, YO, K1, SSK, YO, K2, YO, K2tog*, K5, repeat *to*, K4
Row 16: Repeat row 10
Row 17: Repeat row 12
Row 18: Repeat row 14
Row 20: Repeat row 10
Row 22: Repeat row 12
Row 24: Repeat row 14
Row 26: K7, SSK, YO, K13, SSK, YO, K7
Row 28: Knit all sts (not sure about this row - may be too much for the solid chevron!)
Even numbered rows 30-50: repeat rows 8-26
Row 52: Knit all sts
Bind off, wash and block with pins. I think it might block out to a non-rectangular shape.

ETA: It may be a flattened version of this, too, with double YOs and 2x as many stitches width, but I haven't charted that yet.
jauncourt: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Seriously? Nothing much. A temporary secretary hardly has time to learn how to do things in a day. Nothing worth mentioning can get done in government in less than a few weeks.

Presidents and Prime Ministers merely GUIDE the governments they administrate. They have limited direct power. It's like steering a hot air balloon, not driving a car.

You must be thinking of Dictators, or Emperors, or Kings. Those whose power is supposed to be absolute.
jauncourt: (Default)
So, I've got this wild hair ... to redact the shawl worn by the character who uses the alias Saffron in the "Our Mrs Reynolds" episode of Firefly.

Things I've figured out, so far:

Definitely knitted. some variation on Triple Chevron Lace (one version, another version). Most likely a top-down knit, from the stitch pattern. Scale suggests it either uses big needles or multiple YO to make the big eyelets in the openwork chevrons.

There is a 2-5 stitch rib between the vertical pattern repeats (on the "up" points), but no rib on the "down" points.

I think there are 15 tassels, but there may be as many as 17. I have to figure out how many repeats are in the shawl. Each vertical repeat = one tassel.

It has an edging/foundation of two rows of eyelets, possibly all the way around the shawl. I have to get crazy with the remotes and the zoom to be sure, but it looks like there are either two rows of eyelets OR a partial pattern repeat at the bottom (two chevrons instead of three).

Likewise, I need to examine the shots of the shawl to see if anything suggests a center rib, because right now I am thinking not. Even though it would make sense with this pattern. Hmmm.

Possibly not a pure triangle, just going on the stitch pattern and how it fits into the pure-triangle sketch I have made. Need to make another.

This promises to take ages, BTW. Suggestions welcome for what you see in the shawl, if you have any ideas!

hot water!

Aug. 3rd, 2010 05:48 pm
jauncourt: (Default)
Well, less awful than I first thought. The hot water heater was off because the gas went off overnight sometime, and they shut off or something when the pilot goes off. A guy just came by to re-light it.
jauncourt: (historical costume)
I decided to just put them up, since it is so much easier to manage them over at Scribd.

Here is the widget from Scribd with an auto-updating list:

ETA ARGH. It's invisible. Awesome. It's not blocked by adblock, I checked (really, lj? Why are you trying to sell houses to me?). Hang on.

Until I get this worked out, here's the direct link to my Scribd profile:

ETA again. Deleted the widget. It uses javascript, and Scribd doesn't have any other option for linking to the set of handouts. I'm annoyed at both sites now! Yay!
jauncourt: (medieval)
So, today I am putting out a call for questions regarding bliauts, handout requests (a few are available online, but I have to mail or fileshare the rest), etc.

If anyone needs or wants copies of my handouts (these are the same ones from KWCS a few years back), pleasego download from Lulu.com (free, may ask you to register) or convince me to post them at Scribd (I have an account and have not yet posted anything). If you have the handouts and want to pick my brains for stuff not in them, please ask!

Direct links to the lulu.com pages:
Introduction to 12th century Western European Clothing for Women and Men
Serpentine Braids or Straight as a Scabbard: Women's Court Hairdressing in 12th Century Europe

I have a couple more that are not yet online, and one that is a handout version of the Adventures In Dagging project, done for a workshop. I will hunt those up and mail out copies on request.

I am also considering reworking my old "bliaut handout" into a more updated version, with the cheats (shortcuts in girdle making, mostly) as a separate section. Any interest?

I am duplicating this post over at my blog, so if you subscribe to it as well as here, ask in one place or I might get confused ;)


jauncourt: (Default)

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