Handicap Ballet (NSFW)

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I am not a fan of modern dance, but it's nice to see paragons of physical ability empathize with the struggles that differently-abled folk have to go through.

Veil Part II

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The veil came out kinda crappy, but I am still posting pictures so that you can see that I wasn’t exaggerating about my lack of sewing skills. I can do design and draping, however.
The scrap that came from the first cut was approximately 13x36” and looked perfect for a wimple. I measured my head from under my chin to the top of my head, which was 25 inches. I trimmed off the excess ten inches of length, leaving an extra one for seam allowance. I sewed the short ends together so I could slip it on rather than dealing with even more pins on the top of my head, but at least this time it was all straight lines.
I will wear the braids coiled around my ears for the appropriate silhouette, so I can pin through both the veil and wimple into the fake hair pieces.

Rosary Revamped

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The rosary recitations I previously posted were a bit unwieldy, grammatically incorrect in places, and difficult to memorize. So I came up with my own following a basic formula that will aid in memory retention. Hopefully, with a little bit of creativity, it can be used for other Deities.
On the Charm
"Lady of the Silver Wheel,
She who turns the circle of heaven,
Virgin Queen of life, death, and rebirth
We entreat Your protection for our loved ones.
O, Weaver goddess,
Bless our prayers, our workings, our beloved.”
On the five beads I simply recite the English translation because I am not familiar enough with the pronunciation of Gaelic.
The Medal
“Blessed Be, O Highest and Holiest Ladies!
Hail, our beloved Queens of the Celts,
We honor and worship,
In the Old ways, when the Mother was revered,
You are the Creatrices
Your temples of worship well laid.”
I changed that because there is no proof that ancient Celtic societies were matriarchal, but Goddesses were worshipped before Christianity came along. Even then the Virgin Mary had an elevated status to compensate for the lack of the divine feminine. The last two lines of that one still bug me, but I’m working on it. “Your temples of worship well laid” makes no sense, if it was “Your temples of worship are well laid” then it would be logical.
"Blessed be the Flower Bride,
Blodeuwedd, Born of nine blossoms,
Beloved of the owl,
Teach me the initiation of growth.
Be with me as I spread my wings."
I am ashamed to say that I am not overly familiar with Blodeuwedd, but the only Celtic Maiden Goddess of which I know.
"Blessed be the Fiery Arrow,
Brigid, Bright One
Guardian of the sacred wells,
Teach me to bear the furnace that makes me strong.
Be with me as I blaze my trail."
Brigid could arguably be a Maiden Goddess, but I am skeptical because of how Christianized she was.
"Blessed be the Queen of Wisdom,
Rhiannon, the White Mare,
Ferrier of the dead,
Teach me the enchantments of the shifting moon.
Be with me as I transform."
I switched from the Gaulish Epona aspect to the Welsh Rhiannon because I am more familiar with the latter and is in keeping with Blodeuwedd and Cerridwen (both Welsh). Brigid and Morrigan were originally Irish. I believe, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Brigid’s worship was so widespread that I never bothered to pinpoint her origin, shameful considering She’s my patron Goddess.
"Blessed be the Battle Raven,
Morrigan, the Phantom Queen,
Washer at the ford,
Teach me to walk the gloom of war with the light of my strength,
Be with me as I fight my battle."

"Blessed be the Keeper of Souls,
Cerridwen, the White Sow,
She of the cauldron of rebirth,
Teach me to see through the darkness of the unknown,
Be with me as I am reborn."
Again, I’m not quite happy with the last two lines. Any suggestions are more than welcome… that is, as long as they’re polite. If it involves a goat-spoon and an orifice, no thank you.
On the Medal
“Hail, our beloved Ladies of the Celts,
We honor and worship You,
In the Old ways when the mother was revered,
You are the Creatrices
Our hearts in Your hands, our will is Yours
Keep and protect us as you do all Your children,
So Mote It Be!”
I changed that one because the original was a bit too Anglo-centric for my tastes, not to mention the fact that Their worship is no longer confined to the United Kingdom.

Veil

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I picked up a yard of cream Silk Essence at Joann Fabrics, it’s not true silk but I feel that it will pass the ten foot rule. Fine silk, not dupioni or noile, is fairly difficult to find in stores and I am highly averse to ordering online. You want the chosen fabric to be slippery so it won’t create friction with your clothes and catch, trying to tug your head back and the whole thing off your head. And the finer it is, the better the silhouette.
I measured across my head to about where I wanted it to hang, which ended up being about shoulder-length. Then I measured to where I wanted it to fall down my back. My measurements were 26x31”, and after seam allowance they came out to be 27x31”. I cut out a rectangle this size, which I folded into quarters. Starting at the short end of the rectangle I cut a curve to the long side to form an oval when unfolded.
Now comes my least favourite part. I folded the hem under, which is damn frustrating with curves. Hand-stitching looks best, even with my horrendous handiwork. I used a whipstitch so that the least amount of thread showed on the top, hiding the majority of my atrocious sewing. I started on one of the long edges because it was easier to get the feel for it before the shorter and therefore more complicated curve.

Rosary Redux

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I visited a bead shop while in town for an interview and picked up some little silver rose beads for the first five and spacers. At home I found a couple beads that I had forgotten about. The charm is now a silver disk with a Celtic knot on it and surrounded on either side by the rosettes, indicating the first through five beads. I added the second set for symmetry to appease my touch of OCD. The medals are vaguely tube-shaped, also with Celtic knots. I rather like the final result, although the knot this time didn’t hold so I had to cut another
length and re-string.

Today's Project: Hosen!

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So the skirt has been dissected, the wool dyed, and I finally mustered the courage to take scissors to it. I did a little online research, and used Racaire's blog as a general overview before diving in with a flat sheet picked up at Goodwill. Draping is difficult to do on yourself, but I have had experience tailoring clothes on others.
First, I draped it over my leg along the bias and then went to town with some pins, following the curve of my calf. Where it began to bunch up over my instep, I cut to correspond more or less to hers. Then I did the same for my actual foot. Be careful of the pins when you bend your leg! That is, unless you are lucky enough to have an assistant.
I trimmed the excess fabric away, accounting for seam allowance. Then I used that as a pattern to cut out the wool, again on the bias. I took the resulting wool pieces and pinned them around my leg, trimming as necessary. The final pieces were traced out on more of the cotton sheet to be used as a master pattern for the other leg and in the future. If you do this, make sure to mark them with a permanent marker so you don’t mistake them for scraps.
I was too lazy to make lining, and the wool didn’t really need it. If I need to, I’ll cheat and use knee-high socks underneath. If you want to then just use the master pattern with whatever material you’re going to use. Naturally, linen was originally used, but I personally would cheat with some of that cotton sheet, albeit in an appropriate colour.
I got as far as making the pattern and cutting today, I will post again once I get to actual construction. I will post pictures, most likely tomorrow. By the way, can you tell that I got a camera for Yule?

Rosary

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I made myself a very simple white, brown, and black rosary. This is my first beading project (you get to follow me along as I lose my virginity to all sorts of crafts!) I picked up a cheap pack of 8 mm wooden beads for $4 and $2 for a lot of hemp at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I wished I had done more research into rosaries beforehand, and waited until I found a store with better bead selections. I would have added charms and medals at the appropriate points, used different sized spacer beads, and used precious stones to magickally correspond (suggestions for this are with the prayer below).
At this point you’re probably thinking, “Wait, this is Witchy Woman! What gives?” Prayer beads have been used in different cultures throughout the world. I was raised vaguely Catholic, and occasionally cross myself, calling on the four elements instead of the Lord. Not to mention the fact that the Virgin Mary is a Mother aspect of the Goddess. Borrowing the tool is my way of paying homage to my family’s culture, history, and my own faith. And it can serve double duty as part of my garb, especially since the early Christian church in Western Europe adopted Pagan practices in order to accommodate the existing culture.
Somewhere I had gleaned a rosary recitation for Celtic goddesses for my Book of Shadows, which I will include below. I used the knot to indicate where to begin and alternated bead colours somewhat randomly for the charm, first through fifth beads, the medals, and divider beads. The first decade is white for the Maiden (Blodeuwedd), second and third brown for the Mother, and fourth and fifth for the Crone. The rosary ended up being just long enough to loop around a finger and then my wrist, but I also have “man hands.”

Celtic Goddess Rosary Prayer
It is recommended that you make the sign of the pentagram (or your personal symbol) before and after this rosary prayer. Memorization, of course, is preferred. You may, however, choose to alternate your rosary prayers based upon need or whim. In which case, memorization may be difficult until lengthy practice is employed.
To make the pentagram: start with the first two fingers touching the forehead, then proceed to the left breast, the right shoulder, the left shoulder, down to the right breast, and ending again at the forehead.
To use your own symbol, it is recommended that you include your third eye, heart and womb if possible.
On the Charm (a silver wheel or star would be appropriate)



“In Arianrhod's [pronounced ahr-ee-AHN-hrod] Caer Sidi, magickal realm of the north,
Your castle in the stars of Caer Arianrhod
[the Milky Way],
Queen of the Silver Wheel, the Celt’s Ariadne.
The stellar goddess of time, space and energy.
We entreat Your protection for our loved ones.
O, Weaver goddess of the land of Erin, Rose of the World.
Bless our prayers, our workings, our beloved.”



1-5th Beads (silver corresponds to the Goddess in general):



“Bandia, Bbantlarna, Banrion, Mathair”


(In English, "Goddess, lady, queen, mother".)


The Medal


“Blessed Be, O Highest and Holiest Ladies!
Hail, our beloved Ladies of the Celts,
To You, we honor and worship,
In the Old ways, when Woman was the Center
Woman was the Creatress and the World
Your temples of worship well laid.”



First Decade, repeat once per bead for a total of nine (Amazonite, carnelian, chrysocolla, citrine, epidote would be appropriate):



“Blodeuwedd [pronounced bluh DIE weth ("th" as in "weather")], the Welsh Flower Bride
Born of blossoms of Gwydion and Math
Lover of Gronw Pebr, denier of Llew
Beloved of the owl with the flower face.
Bride Blodeuwedd of the sacred flower."



Dividing Bead, All Praise:



“All praise Yours, our Ladies.”



Second Decade, repeat once per bead for a total of nine (Gold, angelite, lapis lazuli, sodalite):



“Brighid, Lady of Bright Inspiration
Inspiring muse of bards, Patroness of smithcraft Fire,
Illumination of the Celts,
The Roman Minerva.
Illuminating Brighid, inspirer of the bard”


Dividing Bead:


“All praise Yours, our Ladies.”


Third Decade, repeat once per bead for a total of nine (Rhiannon’s stones are cat's-eye, ruby and moonstone, danburite, sapphire, howlite, jade):


“Epona, Queen of Horses and Fruitfulness
Gaulish Epona, Irish Macha, or Welsh Rhiannon
Corn, fruits and serpents are yours
Fertility and nourishment your gifts.
Fruitfal Epona, Herdswoman of the horses”


Dividing Bead, the All Praise:


“All praise Yours, our ladies.”


Fourth Decade, repeat once per bead for a total of nine (Scapolite, Amber, Kunzite, Obsidian, Morganite):


“Morrigan, Irish Phantom Queen of Death with crow
Sexuality, Conflict and procreation under your red brow
Three-fold goddess of life, death and sensuality The Washer, Nemhain,
Bradhbh, Queen Mebdh in mortal form.
Warrior Morrigan, Queen of the cycle.”


Dividing Bead, The All Praise:


“All praise Yours, our Ladies.”


Fifth Decade, repeat once per bead for a total of nine (Aquamarine, alexandrite, charoite, unakite):




“Cerridwen, keeper of the Cauldron and Underworld
Inspiration and divine knowledge brewed in your pot
The sow, your holiest totem, Welsh crone of fecundity
Mother of Gwion and Taliesin, most gifted of the Welsh poets
Mother Cerridwen, of the divine cauldron.”



Medal:


“Hail, our beloved Ladies of the Celts,
To You, we honor and worship,
In the Old ways when Woman was the Center
Woman was the Creatress and the World
And Ireland, Gaul, Wales Your own,
Our hearts in Your hands, our will is Yours
Keep and protect our children as you do all Celts,
Your chosen people, in Your prayers.
So Mote It Be!”

How to Make Fake Hair into Braids

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My hair is shoulder length. While you can disguise a modern haircut with a veil, sometimes you need a little more to keep it from looking, well, deflated. Some looks, such as a bliaut or an early period Nordic persona, look best with long braids. You can fudge it with braid covers, but they still need a bit of hair peeking out the bottom to make it look convincing. Women used pieces made from flax, horse hair, and even hair from the deceased to supplement what nature gave them.
Since this is my first experiment I picked up the cheapest fake hair available at Sally Beauty Supply, I believe it was Jumbo Yaki-Pony. I paid less than $7 for two packs and some hairpins. While I would have loved some of the real hair, the cheapest one I saw was $70 a pack. I relied on the advice of the saleswoman and the colour is a bit too dark, now I wish I had gone with the lighter one.
It comes doubled over in the middle and tied with a rubber band. I brushed it out carefully, trying not to pull one side longer than the other, and then looped the rubber band around the knob on my computer desk to anchor it while I worked. Again first time working with fake hair, so I just went with two simple braids. Armed with a spray bottle and hairbrush I went to work. I stopped periodically to spray with water or brush one of the three strands to keep the hair smooth. I held the other two with my left hand, spread the third over my thigh, and brushed with my right hand.
I tied the ends with modern hair ties. Just like with real hair, there were fly-aways along it. I sprayed it lightly with water all over, ran my hand along to smooth it as much as possible, followed up with a light misting of hairspray to set it, and smoothed by hand again. To hide the elastic at the ends I wrapped black ribbons several times before tying bows.
The end of the hair was a little scraggly looking as you can see on the braid on the left, so I took my good fabric scissors to them. You can cut straight across, but the result is too blunt to look natural. Hair that is braided tapers at the end, which is what I went for as best I could with the one on the right.
When I am gearing up for an event, I will coil them over my ears a la Princess Leia and top it with a veil. I am not certain what I’ll do with my real hair, probably just braid it up out of the way so that it doesn’t contrast too strongly against the fake.

Dye Monkey, That Funky Monkey

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One year in college while in the theatre department, I earned the nickname of “Dye Monkey.” I was the head costumer on Victor/Victoria, and one of the characters was dressed entirely in vomit-inducing pink throughout. One of her costumes was a pin-striped suit, but the fabric they sourced for it was white. I spent days in the tiny laundry room hunched over a hotplate with strips of polyester and various packets of dye trying to find the perfect combination of red, orange, and yellow to make Barbie pink.
Grey was typically used by religious orders, as well as brown and white. While the grey wool with a touch of spandex is perfect for hosen, I preferred black. Black as a dye was more expensive, but I think it would have been just fine for accessories. The problem is predicting how the blend will take the dye.
I have a tiny pot that I use for making soap and other non-food purposes. (Yes, that is my cauldron on the back burner). Popped that on the stove and heated some water and black Rit dye to a light boil. You really don’t need hardly any for test strips. I highly recommend using rubber gloves because dye is related to glitter, being the herpes simplex of the textiles world. I was lazy and didn’t, which in hindsight was playing with fire because I have a job interview on Wednesday. I took the waistband pieces and draped it over the edge into the dye for a couple minutes.
Rinse thoroughly and let dry. A hairdryer can facilitate the process for the impatient. Wait until it is dry before you begin assessing the colour because it will change.
My wool came out more of a charcoal, but I’m fine with that. Natural black dyes, such as from walnut, would easily fade. If I had, had more dye then it would have been darker; see aforementioned impatience.

Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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The following is from the official website.

"In more than 80 countries around the world, homosexual acts are still illegal. Sometimes the law dictates life imprisonment. In seven countries the death penalty may be applied. Even in countries where homosexuality is not illegal, discrimination and physical assault is more than frequent. It is even worse for trans people who are particularly exposed, and for lesbians, who are particularly made invisible. In some countries, there is a positive progress, but it is fragile. In others, the situation is worse every year.
Each year, for May 17th, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia reminds everybody there is a need for action. It is celebrated through actions (exhibitions, screenings, debates, shows, TV or radio programs, etc.), and promoted by individuals, organizations, institutions, cities, governments in more than 60 countries, on every continent, from Albania to Zimbabwe.
Today, for May 17th, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we ask:
• all political leaders to fight by any means against violence and discrimination related
to sexual orientation and gender identity;
• all citizens to use this day to encourage hope, diversity and peace in the world, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity."

Fabric on a Dime

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Wool and linen out of season can easily cost $25 a yard. With a bit of patience and a little research you can glean thrift stores for material. Wool skirt with a touch of spandex from Goodwill: $6.99. Pure linen skirt: $6.99. Black leather jacket: $9.99. I was even eyeing a gorgeous fur coat of hideous design for $14.99; since the warm weather has set in I decided to hold off. Add a seam-ripper and an afternoon of NCIS episodes later you have raw materials. Seam-rippers have a bad reputation. But you are not undoing hours of your own hard work, you are rescuing precious fabric! (Pre-serged edges are another bonus).

True, you are unlikely to get a 45” wide expanse of untouched fabric, but don’t let that stop you. Since materials were expensive and labour was cheap, old clothing was repurposed whenever possible; often multiple times. Their looms were not very wide to begin with, resulting in garments that used fabrics conservatively. For example, the wool used in the Bocksten cloak was woven on a loom 23.6 inches (60 cm) wide.

It’s best to start out with some projects in mind so you don’t stand around wondering what you could make out of that wool skirt. An idea will inevitably occur to you and you’ll end up spending more money than you originally intended, defeating the purpose entirely. Unbelievable as it may be, I have little to no garb. So I was looking for some contrasting linen for edging on a T-tunic or possibly side-less gown, wool for a chaperone or ideally a pair of hosen, and leather for turn-shoes.

Ideal clothes for this are plus-sized with as few seams as possible in colours appropriate to your persona. I start off in the dress section and run my hand along the rack, stopping if I see or feel something that might work. I do this to cut time because finding the fiddly little tags can be annoying, if they are even intact. With some experience you can identify wool, linen, and leather by sight, feel, and even scent. (Just don’t try sniffing those boots to see if they’re really leather). Remember that you will not be wearing the product as is; so while you may not wear that coral dress cut like a potato sack, it’s perfect for your needs.

The bedding section is worth a look, but don’t get your hopes up. It’s mostly cotton. Unless your persona is Middle Eastern, it was late period, rare, and expensive. White cotton sheets are perfect for undergarments if they are thin enough, and no one should be seeing your underwear, anyway. If you make your own patterns, then they are indispensable for muslin mockups.

Do not feel guilty about dissecting your finds because you will be giving them a home whereas they might have languished indefinitely between the polyester bellbottoms and the scary acrylic ‘80’s sweater. When I purchased my most recent haul I told the cashier that a bag was not necessary as I was just going to cut them up. She was surprised until I elaborated upon their destiny. Then I pointed out the worn seams on the leather jacket and told her not to mourn it.

Save the zippers, buttons, and other notions for modern projects. If you are especially ambitious, save every scrap for appliqué work and/or stuffing pillows. After tedious seam-ripping, wash and dry the separated pieces according to the tag’s instructions. Just because they were pre-owned does not mean that they have been pre-shrunk, I have seen many clothes in thrift stores with the original tags attached. After that you can start laying out your pattern, just watch your grain-lines.


Here's what the wool skirt looks like deconstructed:

How to Train Your Dragon

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First off, it fails the Bechtel test. And before anyone says, “It was the Dark Ages, they were all misogynist pigs” not necessarily. These were the same people of the Valkyries, Freya, and the Norns. However, Astrid and the female twin were two of the best warriors. The strong female element was presented, but one of the few times that the two directly interacted was at the end when the twin hits on Hiccup and Astrid puts her in her place. Naturally, both being female they must be attracted to the strongest male and compete for his affections. On the other hand, they did have a wisewoman who would have been ubiquitous in that culture.
Just a quick rant: Vikings did NOT wear horned helmets. While it was nice to see the women running around in armour next to the men, I would have loved to have seen apron dresses. And the general untidiness and slovenly state of the characters was another misconception perpetuated. In fact, the Ango-Saxons found them to be rather fastidious because they bathed every week.

I do have to hand it to them: they certainly did their homework. The sigils on the shields, architecture, and other artistic touches were true to the time and culture. The runes were a nice touch, I believe elder futhark, but don’t quote me on that. But it has never been determined for certain whether or not they were a proper alphabet in addition to their role as a divination tool.

I absolutely loved the non-ablism aspects. As the twins noted at the start of training, scars and other marks of battle were considered heroic. While originally the loss of a limb would have severely curtailed the life and trade of a Viking, in the movie their status was not diminished. The blacksmith was not treated any differently because of his prosthetic limbs, if anything, he was respected even more for his courage in battle. Toothless was able to fly just as well as before once he and Hiccup settled into their symbiotic relationship. And naturally Hiccup was just as much a hero after losing his foot, his new prosthetic meshing even better than before with Toothless’ new tail piece.

And they get +10 geek points for the nerdy kid rattling off Dungeons and Dragons stats.

How to Make a Cloak Out of an Army Blanket Part I

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The cloak that I came up with may not be exactly considered “period” by authenticity nuts. I may be nuts and I may have a penchant for accuracy, but I am not the garb police. Luckily, I live in An Tir. Here, most folks are concerned that you are dressed for the weather first and history second. Hypothermia is a possibility when it’s 50°F and overcast, which describes our typical weather patterns year-round. In fact, hypothermia is a greater risk than at 35° because you’re prepared for the temperature, 50 or above is practically shorts weather around here. Many people simply aren’t prepared or overestimate the weather.

Enough with the safety lecture. In summary: wool is not only period, but your friend. Unfortunately, I did not think to take pictures until the cloak was nearly finished. So I am going to give what I call “Idiot Directions.” I assume that anyone reading this has as much experience as I do, if not less. And I can barely operate my sewing machine, Arachne.

As all SCAdians know, thrift stores are a godsend. I picked up an old, green, wool Army blanket and a full, black, flat sheet at Goodwill last year. According to the tag on the blanket it was 3 ¾ pounds, olive green, 66”x84”, 100% shrink resistant wool. Don’t remember how much I paid, but obviously it could not have been much.

I tossed them in the washer on gentle and regular cycles, respectively, and hung the blanket up to dry. There was no fulling, which can happen even on cold. Your mileage may vary. Ironing is recommended, but I was lazy.

I laid down on the blanket lengthwise and marked about where I wanted it to fall, accounting for seam allowance. I am short, so the remainder cut off the bottom was more than enough for a hood. The big piece will be gathered into the body later on. Keep the small section (if you’re tall, there may not be any left over) for a hood, if you desire. If not, you might be able to make hosen out it.

Many (if not most) sheets are sewn off-grain, or crooked. Since they’re woven, you can snip and rip to prepare them. Maybe I’m just destructive, but I like this part. Make a horizontal snip just below the top seam and rip all the way across. Do the same with any remaining seams. You will want to leave any selvage edges. You can do the same instead of cutting to make it the same length and width of the wool. This will be your lining. Don’t forget to leave some aside for the hood, if you want one.

Now pin both main pieces together on three sides and sew. I used a ¾” seam throughout. There really is no “right-side” or “wrong-side,” unless your sheet has one then you’ll want to take that into account. Leave one of the width edges open. Turn the main piece right-side out. If your corners aren’t crisp enough, take a pencil and poke them out. Here is the sewn and turned main piece on my living room floor, thread bits and fuzzballs for that authentic "I'm in the midst of several projects that need to be finished in 2 and a half weeks for Egil's."

For the hood, you will want to start with 32”x18” pieces of both the wool and lining. You may need more, especially if you have a lot of hair. Put them together so you can cut both out at the same time. Fold both over in half length-wise or hamburger style for those of us who never left grade school. Measure out 12” along the long cut edge and mark it. Since I had mine spread out on the floor, I just marked it by pinning through all layers and the carpet. Mark out a gently curving line to the corner of the folded edge. Your two pieces should resemble something like this, the bottom edge will be sewn to the main body. The lining peeking out of the right side is the opening. This piece hasn't been ironed and the peak hasn't been poked out yet.I say sloped because if you go straight it might resemble a KKK hood, especially with the stiff wool. Mine turned out rather pointy. Please excuse the bra straps and the gigantic cold sores that are currently my bottom lip (lots of stress), and these were taken first thing in the morning. In other words, I don't always look so disheveled.



If you want less of a peak, then I would suggest fiddling with scraps of the sheet to experiment until you find a look you prefer.

The folded edge will end up being the top of the hood, the straight cut edge will be your facial opening, and the short 12” sides will be the neck. Pin the curved edges of the wool together and sew. Repeat for the lining. Put both pieces together and pin along the opening. I forget which side goes to which. I simply put them on top of my head and arranged them so that all the wrong sides would end up on the inside and all the right sides on the outside. Sew and turn right-side out. I put a couple of stitches by hand at the peak of the hood by hand to keep them together.

Like You're Listening

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I am contributing to a blog by and for Chronic Bitches, a group of chronically-ill yarn crafters who nonetheless refuse to become bland, stereotypical sick people. I have mostly tried to keep my health problems out of Witchy Woman, partially due to the social convention that people who are sick are not supposed to discuss their health in order to not make others uncomfortable.
The sad fact of it is, chronic health problems take up much of our daily lives. Everything we do has to take our conditions into consideration. What we eat, when we eat, when we sleep, how long we sleep, if we can get out of the house and for how long, and even how and when we bathe. If we acknowledge our situation, then we are often punished for opening up with accusations of attention-seeking.
Therefore, we are unapologetic for who we are and how we live our lives. That is why we are Chronic Bitches.

Strawberry Spice Cake Recipe

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I made this for Beltane, along with a quiche, but this was the better of the two.
A package of Dr. Oetker’s White Cake Mix with an applesauce cup, some lemon juice, and some cinnamon thrown in. Since I didn’t replace the oil with the applesauce (never done it before and was afraid to try), I added a bit more flour to compensate.

I baked it in two layers. I made the cream cheese frosting from a recipe inside the Organic Valley package, it involved maple syrup (I was lucky enough to have the real thing on hand) and I tossed in some more lemon juice. Frosted the bottom layer with it and stuck sliced strawberries all over. Repeated with the top layer.
I ran up to the Portland area to meet with a couple of Ravelers and shared it (seriously, an entire cake? I may be fluffy, but not that fluffy). There wasn't any left, and now they're threatening to keep me locked up in a kitchen. Evidently the trick is to let it sit overnight and then bounce it around in a car for about an hour.

Blessed Beltane!

11:23 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
My doctor gave me a list of daily tasks along with an “out” for my holy days. That got me to thinking, while I do not have a weekly sabbath, there are various ones that the majority of our community does share.

Since personal work and growth has such an emphasis on our path, I was wondering what your personal practices are on these days. Are you more likely to celebrate and relax or work on yourself to get things done?

In my case, at least, I am more likely to work harder on Full Moons, my cill for Brigid, etc. For example, there’s my garden, my house, and looking for a job.