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.


Lyn Cash said...

oooh - how interesting! Bron, how long did it take you to learn spinning...a in beginner stuff? - lol. I had the chance to get a spindle and loom once and didn't, but...ya never know.

Kate R said...

way cool. You look gorgeous, too.

valerie said...

Wonderful effort, Bron. Your costume is great, too. I'm assuming that Mrs. Viking busied herself with the loom while Mr. Viking was out looting, pillaging and whatnot. Still not sure how they managed to weave the horns for the helmets.