janewilliams20: (Default)
One for the knitters and reenactors among my friends.
I'm working with an ACW knitting pattern for gloves. 
"For a lady's size use black Penelope yarn and four steel knitting needles, No, 17
For a gentleman's glove, Balmoral yan or fingering wool will be suitable, and No 16 needles."

It has me cast on 56 stitches and do some rows of k2p2 rib, then continue plain for 12 rounds.

I want to do gloves for a man. I'm trying the rib in DK and 3.5mm needles, after doing some sums to work out probable gauge and resulting probable size, but the resulting rib looks a bit big to me (and to Dave). Does anyone know what size those needles would actually be?

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A quick post over lunch, then the afternoon off to drive up to Bridlington this afternoon - Dave is packing the car as I type, I hope. ACWS but as motel militia, staying in a B&B called "Bluebells". Dave tells me it has WIFI.

Last time we were up there we did Fredricksburg and Maryse Heights - this time it's the Union's turn to win, and it's Pickett's Charge. I am so glad I'm artillery not infantry... we get to do the massive Conferderate artillery barrage just before the charge, the one that was meant to get rid of the Union artillery, and appeared to do so. Our orders are to chuck as much powder down the field as we can, so let's see what we can do to that 4 shots a minute record!

The Washington Artillery having folded as a reenactment unit and turned into a social club, we're with the Rockbridge this time - and Dave is a Sergeant. I have sewn stripes onto his new grey jacket, and will sew more onto his Washington green one as he drives up.

The laptop is going with me, because I need to put the finishing touches to the article and story for Newt over this weekend.
janewilliams20: (RK Marya)
We're making the most of two bank holidays to have a long weekend city-break, in which we can also hand over some re-enactment kit to a friend.

So, why the RK icon, you ask? The city in question is Liverpool. Read more... )
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Saturday: Bloxham Steam Fair, nr. Banbury. Visited some ACW people, both ACWS and SOSKAN. Handed over powder to ACWS, loaned a flag to the Louisiana Tigers. Looked at and listened to pretty fairground organs, met some ferrets, did a little shopping (second-hand books, wooden bucket, cheap cloth tape), dodged the rain. Got the photos to finish off MSH for this month. And stopped of at an Italian in MK on the way back - salad, risotto, all fairly diet-friencly stuff.

Sunday: lie-in, then 5 hours of sword workshop. Well, swords, quarterstaffs, and daggers.
geeky stuff under here )

Meanwhile, Dave has finished the extra wiring and painting in the lounge and kitchen. Tonight, we can put the bookshelves back up and fill them.
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A day in Gettysburg, shopping and dodging rain, plus History.
Read more... )


May. 15th, 2007 09:46 pm
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Oh good grief, it's Tuesday evening...

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday )

And now we're back from town and a meal at "the pub". Nice salad.
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It's now Thursday night, and I'm having trouble remembering what I did on Tuesday.
Stones River battlefield. More about the battle here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Stones_River

Back to Blockade Runner, got some new Union sack coats. Then the long drive to Knoxville, and after some navigational and communication troubles, a Mexican meal in good company. We didn't even start looking for accomodation till after that.
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We started early, having found that the places we wanted to do opened at 8. A lovely fresh morning, clear skies, not too hot (yet). So off to Rock City, which is beautiful, if not as big as we'd been led to believe. We took lots of photos, but they'll need a bit of work before they go public. Then Ruby Falls - fairly small and basic cave system, with a spectacular underground waterfall at the end. Excellent guide (he's called Daniel, if Ruby Falls management are listening). Fast-food lunch there.

And then off to find the Jack Daniels distillery: and that's where sat-nav got interesting. You see, the flyer gave us a zipcode, but no more detail besides the town. So we fed it a zip code, then had to pick a street by guesswork. "JD Lane" sounded like a good guess. Well, no. It turns out that American zip codes cover a HUGE area, and this took us to some little country lane miles from where we wanted to be, via a very interesting and scenic route - all very nice, but when you're in a hurry and trying to squash a lot into one day, not what you need. The distillery was.... well, we've been round them before, in Scotland. Much the same, with added charcoal and weird local laws on alcohol (it's in a "dry" area).

Then to a sutler Dave had seen on the web, noting that if they closed at 5, we were going to get there about 5 min too late. And we did, but they were still open, and happy to see us, and friendly, and helpful, and we're going back this morning... "Blockade Runner". Have a free advert. We like them.

The plan had been to get all the way over to Knoxville Monday night, to meet a friend I met on KnightFight (he's account sitting two of my knights at the moment), but what with the delays and the new mobile phone having run out of battery without us realising it, this wasn't going to happen. Instead, we're in a Wingate Inn outside Murfreesboro, next to a Cracker Barrel, and with the Stones River battlefield next door. And, we discovered, we'd shifted a timezone during the day - that's why Blockade Runner were still open!

It's now Tuesday morning - back to Blockade Runner, then the battlefield (or other way round), then head over towards Knoxville. That'll be a base for the Smokey Mountains, we expect.
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Morning - a lie-in, a late breakfast, and a visit to "the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw" to find out about "The Great Locomotive Chase" and other things rail-roady. The Chase is a great spy story that happens to be true.

Onwards, stopping at a Cracker Barrel for lunch, and there buying cheap Tshirts (mine proclaims that I haven't lost my mind, just temporarily mislaid it, Dave's is secret till Xmas) and the Cracker Barrel Puzzle.

I've been reading as Dave drives, and have now finished "Edge of the Wood". Need to think about it and mail comments to [livejournal.com profile] telynor.

Visited our first battlefield of the trip: Chickamauga. An interesting battle. Lessons to be learnt (Union):
1) if someone says there's a hole in the centre of your line, verify the report before shifting units to fill it
2) do not make mistakes when Longstreet is around to exploit them
and for the Confederates, if a subordinate has just won you a major victory and the enemy, including their general, is routing, follow up!

We're at the Hampton Inn in Chattanooga tonight and tomorrow night. Dinner was at the Big River Grill. Plans for tomorrow include Lookout Mountain, and the aquarium. We've discovered that it has penguins. It looks as if the zoo has Snow Leopards, so we'll have to visit them, too. After all, as I realised back when I was doing a sponsored walk to save them, Snow Leopards are really alynxes.
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So I'll be away for much of the weekend. Going back to the 1860s and the American Civil War. Neither of us are really recovered enough for camping as yet, so we're going motel-militia. And Dave's working Monday, so we'll be back Sunday night.

Now, does the uniform still fit? In fact, can I find it?
janewilliams20: (Default)
Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. We went to the re-enactors fair yesterday, and a few other places Read more... )

Today I'm feeling happy, moderately bouncy (slight backache) and ready to start Doing Things again. Last night I managed a fun post to a Glorantha list in which I may have solved an interesting puzzle, and also blamed Argrath for it. Today I'm back to planning three things while doing two others and cooking an experimental breakfast (toasted sarnie with bacon and mushrooms and brie - yum!) A Numbers Job that seemed impossible last week, I think I just solved in my head.

But I am not allowed to play with the new toys I bought yesterday until I've done some more tidying. Well, I can't. I can't get the sewing machine out while the table's still covered in books.
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What with Dave's back, we didn't camp this time. Took it easy, played motel militia, staying 4 miles down the road in Lutterworth - a pub/hotel called the Greyhound. Nice, grade II listed. Took one tent with us for changing, storage, and filling the line. I was a bit migrainey and tired to start with, so I didn't go on the gun - heavy wool uniform is not what I wanted. Work dress Saturday, full hoops and the new blue dress from Gettysburg Sunday. I need to add a hook or two to make sure bodice and skirt stay together, and possibly a few adjustments at the top - I've lost weight, enough for even corseted shape to change.

We didn't even cook - Tescos sandwiches Saturday lunch, general Washington pub meet Saturday night, packed lunch Sunday provided by hotel (yes, they can do sandwiches at short notice, but only from things out for breakfast. Bacon and tomato, help yourself to fruit).

And we strolled around, Dave getting admiring glances (and derisive yells from the Rockbridge). He does look good in waistcoat, cravat, frockcoat and top hat, and the silver-topped cane makes it.

Did some sewing on the second uniform blouse (fitting cuffs to gathered sleeves). Looked round the house - Stanford Hall itself is lovely! Picked up a few bits from the craft shop. Generally relaxed. It was good.
janewilliams20: (Default)
Well, actually at Sewerby Hall, near Bridlington, with the ACWS. For once, we were trying to represent a real battle not just a "might have been" scenario, and it was one where the Washington Artillery were actually present. And, what's more, I'd visited the real site last autumn. So there will be lots of photos under the cut tag )
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Sorted my ACW uniform skirt last night. After a careful look at how the side join worked, took the waistband off the front, re-pleated, put it back on again. Same length waistband, but the last four inches has no skirt attached and is pure overlap. Made buttonhole, attached button (as the little hooks and eyes it came supplied with were a joke). So that's another job sorted for the weekend - we're off to Bridlington with the ACWS and I really hope the weather improves. Our "acquire and keep" licences turned up, too, so we can take home the black powder we'll need for Blaenau Ffestiniog (we're the only two going from the Washington). Dave is making boxes to store it in. If I get the time, I'm going to cut out the next blouse and do the main seams on the machine, then I can take it with me to hand-finish while I'm there. Also want to run up a bag for my hoops...

Caught up on the various PBeMs I'm in (though the Swords one is on to the next "scenario", and I now have to plan how a vampire will attack a nomad camp, and how the nomads would have attempted to defend it were it not for PC assistance). Warning - Swords players - please do not read replies, as they contain tactical advice!

Continued to discover the joys of home-made soup - until this week, my memories of recipes had included "now simmer for five hours stirring continuously". Looks like reality is more like "chop any veg you want shot of, simmer until softish while ignoring, put the result through the blender." Last night's effort was mainly celery and mushroom. Yum.

This morning I need to leave early to get to the post-office on the way, there's an important birthday present to post. Oh, and it's bin day, and I bet Dave hasn't...? no, he hasn't. Also I have a washing machine full of washing, and a dishwasher that needs running.

But, good bit, the Organic Veg box came yesterday, and had asparagus in it, and I just had some for breakfast. With smoked salmon, on rye bread. Mmmmmmm.

Work carries on with a major upgrade to a system I manage, and going by the last few days, we will continue to discover problems, and fix the problems, and the people who are meant to be assisting will be too busy with other projects to help. But I could really do with getting out early on Friday, so I need to make up the time today, so....

Then tonight we can sort out what needs packing for the weekend. I think ready-meals may be involved.
janewilliams20: (Default)
First ACW event of the season, over at Doddington, near Ely.

Details and pics under here )
janewilliams20: (Default)
This is supposed to be the first event of the ACWS season: over at Doddington, near Ely.

But I've been knackered all week, and today the not-quite-a-cold has turned into really-a-cold. I'm home. I'm doped. I'm dithering. I still haven't finished the blouse that's part of the new uniform (button holes, bottom hem). I tried the work dress for round the campfire, and discovered that while I can now get into it sans corset (four inches off the waist is good!) the comparative lack of curves for it to hang from means it's about 4 inches too long. Round a fire, that's not good.

I should be finishing the blouse, turning up the dress, working out what to do about the latest turn in the Swords game I run, and dealing with any emails that come in. But my ability to do three things at once, or even one thing at once, seems to have gone to sleep. Well, sleep, I can do that...

right, if I look through the last dozen Swords posts and combine them into one file, I can mull over that while turning up the dress. With a CD on. Might work. I'd wondered about watching one of the DVD stack while sewing, but not sure I've got the brain-power for that level of multi-tasking.

Coffee. That would help. If I can remember to drink it this time.

Update: drank the coffee. Dress pinned up, half seam hemmed. Swords posts combined, read, mulling got nowhere, creativity switched off. Off to bed.
janewilliams20: (Default)
My ACW appearance will change this year - I've come to the conclusion that there is no way I can disguise myself as a bloke. At best, I looks scruffy, and the Washington Artillery does not do "scruffy". So, this year I'll still be on the gun, but in Vivandiere uniform.

I got West Point to do me the jacket (because it's hard) and the skirt (because they've got the Washington fabric, and they were charging about a fiver for labour) just before Xmas. I'm making the Zoauve trousers and the blouse.

Well, having pulled the skirt out of storage, I find it's now 4" too big round the waist. Not that I'm complaining, you understand.

And as of tonight, I've got the trousers done. Since they're going under a heavy wool skirt, I'm using a linen/cotton mix, not wool, but they're still bright red. I went for the Algerian pattern rather than the one with a fly (what would I do with a fly?) thus saving much hassle. Had to shorten a bit (must have been designed for a bloke?), but it's looking good.

Next, the blouse. Next time I have some sewing time, that is. Away for most of this weekend (talk/demo on dressing game, the Leeds Food Symposium, and a Wulfingas feast), and not too sure when my next free weekend is - after the start of the season, I think.

This should look good, when done, anyway. I've got most of the rest of the kit already, but I would like one of the proper vivandiere canteens at some point.
janewilliams20: (Default)
Well, that went OK in the end.
To spare your Friends page... )
janewilliams20: (Default)
Washington Artillery Regimental Dinner on Saturday, and while we've got the hall, the garb, and the food (who, me, cook?), the crockery is a little... well, it's on loan from the church hall. I've been trying to build up a stock of Willow Pattern tea cups so that at least part of the meal can look vaguely Victorian, but it takes time.

Ebay, and a Willow Pattern teapot to add to the collection - seller in Luton, so I can save postage by picking it up while over seeing my parents and signing Far Isles cheques (yes, CtG, that means you). Nice teapot. Marked "dishwasher and microwave proof" on the base, which may not be period but is very useful.

Anyway, I don't see my parents anything like often enough, and as we were chatting about teapots, my mum remembered that her aunt had left her some teacups and things. Apparently won by my great-grandfather in a fishing competition. She looked them out while I went to collect my teapot, and had them boxed up by the time I got back.

Got home, unpacked, read label on bottom, Googled.
And found, among other stuff, this. Alfred Meakins, and a pattern called Kelvin. 1891. We have 12 tea plates, 12 saucers, 10 whole cups and one without a handle, sugar bowl and cream jug. A bit more Googling didn't give me a valuation as such, but it gave me enough of a feel that I won't be using them until I know more. At least, not by dragging them down a hall in a crate and letting them loose on people who by then will have been drinking for a few hours. Individual pieces seem to go at about $9 a plate, but a set of cup, saucer and plate went for $200. This is an almost-complete set of 12...

Anyway, dating from 1891, it's far too modern for us in 1864! No way I could use such an anachronism! :)
janewilliams20: (Default)
I had an idea I'd have problems keeping this up to date...

Camcairdndryth AGM went well, Read more... )

Since then - working bits at weekends, not much time involved but I do need to connect to the work servers every morning and evening. Three days off in the middle of this week, general relaxing and shopping. And a trip up to West Point to be measured for that new vivandiere uniform. Jayne will do me the jacket and skirt in Washington Grey wool, I'll do the blouse and the pantaloons (once she's sent me a pattern!)


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