I have finished making my way up again on the first side of the Cushing Isle front part, and now I’m about to fix the mistake selvedge on the armhole side. Thankfully, it’s not as many rows to fix, and not as many decreases.

cushing_fronts

While it was theoretically absolutely clear to me what I had to do, it turned out to be more of a brainbendy thing to do than I had expected, and there are a few irregularities where the repeat at the edge is only half there due to the stitch count. Plus I sometimes had to go a few rows down with the decrease stitch, too, in order to make the proper cable crossing.

So the result is not perfect, but it’s okay for me, and since this all takes place right at the button band edge (which is looming ever nearer in the future)I figure nobody will notice after blocking and finishing.

So. Next steps: Sleeve knitting, blocking of the fronts, and figuring out the button band details. I’m not sure yet if I’m not going to add an extra button, and whether the buttonholes as described are what I will actually use, so there’s a bit of testing in my near future…

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I’ve been working on the new things, and they are successfully finished and in the shop – you can now get a sample package of the carded wools as well as a sample package of the washed wool to prep yourself.

To celebrate all this newness, there’s even more new things – I can now make coupons for the shop. Such as a coupon to get 10% off all the spinning fibres, for example. And though it’s not May anymore (there’s a German saying that goes “Alles neu macht der Mai”, May makes everything anew), in the spirit of all new things I have done exactly that.

So if you order spinning fibres (including the sample packages, of course) before July 7, you can get 10% off their price if you use the coupon code ichglaubichspinn (which is German, obviously, as it allows this delightful double-entendre. It both means “I think I am spinning” and “I think I am crazy”). The end date for the coupon is just before the start of my summer break, which will run from July 9 to August 12, by the way – consider yourselves forewarned, as there will also be no blogging during this time.

Even more other newness is coming up behind the scenes, where I am working on getting new info leaflets for my shop, with the very kind help of one of my friends. It will take a bit, though, before they are done completely.

I also have some progress on the wood stuff research going on low-key (but still going on) behind the scenes, too. There were gorgeously helpful finds in Schleswig, dated to the 11th century, which should make for good models for yarnwinder reproductions.

Still more, but smaller newness: I have found a way to tweak the blog’s typography a little bit, and hopefully the text now is a tad easier to read than before, when the letters were running just a little bit too densely. Let me know what you think of it in the comments, please!

 

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I spent yesterday doing research stuff in the library, and today is earmarked for getting things finished – things like getting the fibre sample packs into the shop.

This is how the almost-done stage of that task is looking:

tuetenhaufen

A huge heap of bags, ready to go into even more bags (so I have the sets nicely held together for direct sale) or boxes (if you buy it in the online shop).

In other status news: One of my backup disks in the RAID is failing, so there’s IT stuff to be taken care of. I’ve finished knitting the right front of my Cushing Isle, which means there’s currently nothing on the needles until I get to cast on for the first sleeve. (Which will happen, at the latest, on Saturday.) There was rain during the last days, which means I can go on with my wool-washing spree. I’ll have two friends visiting, one after the other, during the next week… and a summer break is coming up, and I’m so, so much looking forward to that!

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We have a small red currant bush in our garden, and now is the time when the fruits are ripe… so it’s glorious, glorious custard time!

I love red currants best in two ways: As jelly sandwiched between Christmas cookies, where there is just no replacement for their taste, and buried under hot vanilla custard in the summer. This is one of the childhood tastes that just lingers with me, even though I am making it with different custard today… but it still is a comfort food for me. And it’s utterly delicious (or at least I think so). And easy to make to boot:

Pick (or buy) ripe red currants. Make custard according to the instructions on your vanilla custard mix packet, or however else you prefer to make your vanilla custard. While it is cooking, wash the currants, shake them dry-ish, strip them from their stems, and place them into a bowl. If you like your sweet dishes sweet, sprinkle a little sugar on top of them.

Gently pour the hot custard on top of the fruit and let it sit for a bit. That’s it. Enjoy.

currant_custard

It’s not looking spectacular, I know… but the taste is wonderful.

I like it best when still warm, but it’s also delicious when cold. Currant season. I love it.

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If you’re interested in medieval cooking, here’s something new and exciting for you: Prospect Books is publishing “Zinziber: Sauces from Poitou. Twelfth century culinary recipes from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, MS 51“.

The book is featuring recipes found on a single sheet contained within a manuscript with medical recipes, and it dates to the middle of the 12th century. This makes is a very, very early document about medieval food and cooking.

The book contains a transcript and translation of the recipes plus an attempt to recreate the dishes, a discussion of culinary traditions and flavourings, and modern recipes to try yourself… and it definitely sounds very, very interesting.

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It’s hot around here – incredibly hot, with the months’ temperatures more like those we’re supposed to have in July, and a warm one to boot. I’ve used up the water in the rainwater tank for washing wool, so I don’t even have the opportunity to go bathe my arms in cold (if sheepy and slightly dirty water) several times a day…

I won’t complain, though. Just hang in here and drink lots of water and iced coffee and tea (hot tea, mind you, somehow hot English tea is something I love both when it’s cold and hot outside).

Speaking of tea – if you read German, you might be interested in Christa’s article about tea in the Middle Ages. (Spoiler: It was not consumed as a normal beverage like it is today.) I always think it’s rather funny how many people hanging out in the Living History scene have a very deep fondness for coffee and chocolate… even though both are obviously very much out of place for medieval kitchens!

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I have bags! Paper bags!

They are white. They are cheap. They are flimsy. They are not very large… and they come in large quantities only.

tuetenpack

Those large quantities are subdivided into packs of 100 each, neatly threaded onto a bit of string…

and they are just the right size for wool samples.

tueten_offen

Which is exactly what they are going to hold.

Because, you see, I have all those wonderful rare sheep breed fibres, and I have them in packages of 100 grams, which is a nice amount if you want to spin a little or felt a small item, and it’s also a good base amount to order multiples of, if you have a slightly larger project. But maybe you don’t want to have a full hundred grams but still are curious about the fibres, or you would like to have just a handful of locks for some small projects, or you are not sure which one to take and would like to try a little bit of them all first, or you would love to have a sample of different ones to see (or show others) how very different the wool from various breeds can be.

tueten_zu

And now I have the solution for that – sample packs of the fibres I have in the shop, a handful of each, which is enough to get you a taste (or rather a feel) of how the fibre will work and behave.

The actual sample set will have one more bag, but the Walliser Landschaf fleece (another dark one) is not dry yet, so no stuffing in bags of samples of that one at the moment. If the weather holds, though, next week should see these sample packs in the shop – and I plan to do a second set of sample packs with carded fibres, too.

So yay for these white paper bags!

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