Saturday, April 22, 2006

Viking life

This is the reason I haven't posted for a while:

A couple of months ago, I agreed to set up and take a warp-weighted loom to the biennial Easter gathering hosted by the New England Medieval Arts Society (NEMAS), which is held in a wonderful pine forest setting about 10kms from Armidale. Several huundred reenactors come from all over Australia (and some from New Zealand) and camp out in an authentic setting for 4 days. I didn't camp out, but I was there all day Saturday and Sunday, setting up and demonstrating the loom, and also showing and teaching spinning on a drop spindle.

Preparing for the event took a lot of time. A friend and I built the loom, and then had to work out how to use it. I also had to make a costume for me, and adapt one for my niece, who came with her family from Canberra so that she could come to the event with me. (My costume is a rush job; one day I'll make a better, better fitting one!)

This weekend NEMAS had an open day for members of the public to come and see the long house and various demonstrations, so I took the loom out there again. As our first warp - which took us 3 hours to wind - didn't work too well at Easter, I wound another one with less hairy yarn during the week, and then my friend and I had to get that warp onto the loom this morning.

The whole experience was fun, although quite tiring; at least we have two years to recover and prepare for the next one!

I'll post some photos on my photoblog in the next day or so.