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At some point, I may learn that I am going to by physically strained by demo'ing knitting two days in a row, but I'm too stubborn to give it up yet.  I've already given up a lot, so I will fight this.  A couple of days of lidocaine patches, some meds and some extra sleep, and I'll be fine.

Sheep and Wool was fun, though work.  But mostly fun.  One thing that was less than fun was the whole "I will touch all the stuff you have on display without asking" thing, but it only got really irritating when people either tried to rip my knitting off the board it was pinned to, or children with sticky hands grabbed things (and stuff out of my basket, which was not part of the display) while their parents smiled indulgently.  Precisely two sets of parents asked their children not to touch.  

I wonder if they'd feel similarly sanguine about me banging an ice-cream covered spoon on their really nice clothes.

Otherwise, it was good - I saw lots of people - chargirlgenius, I know you don't think so, but you are smokin' hot, and I'm happy for people to think we're sisters any day - and talked to people, most of whom were absolutely mesmerized by my ability to talk and knit at the same time.

I got my mitten done (pic courtesy of pinkleader):

(The grey thing in front is one mitten, the other is in my hands)

...and the lacing?  Worked like a dream.  I got lots and lots of compliments on my outfit all day, and one guy even took a picture and gave me a copy on Sunday:

A bunch of people were fascinated by my shoulder points - they worked well, so well that I'm putting point holes in my red bodies so I can wear the blue sleeves with them.  I also ended up talking to a lot of 17th century museum/historic farm volunteers from all over; I tried to help a couple of them with costuming questions (I was grilled!  Grilled, I tells ya!), and mostly did okay.  I handed out my personal card to a number of people (who will probably be very confused by the Attack Laurel pages).

I had a couple of down moments (extra from the touchy-touchy, which is something I deal with at J'town too); one woman got really, really angry at me (in a restrained, but hostile way) because I didn't have the patterns for any of the pieces I was displaying - to be honest, I don't know how to write patterns.  I guessed, and made notes to myself.  I think she might have been a little confused about the purpose of the display, and I found out later that there was a central repository for free patterns, so maybe she was hoping I had them.  Honestly, though - a mitten is a mitten, and a sock is a sock.  I told her about the Plimoth pattern book.

The other one was a knitter who does 17th century stuff, and I was just chatting amiably about the knitting machine, and she cut me off with a "yes, I know all about knitting machines".  I just wanted to enthuse with someone who would get the cool economic effects of knitting in the 16th century - I wasn't trying to demo to her.  *sigh*  I felt dissed.

But never mind - I got to discuss economic theory with several interested tourists who enjoyed it a lot, and said it really made the past come alive.

And I discussed my clothes almost more than I discussed knitting!  People were all about the clothes, and I didn't mind showing off my new sleeves.  :)

The petticoat/bodies lacing technique worked so well I'm doing it with all my bodies - I used the spacing of the Pfaltzgrafina bodies (with adjustment for boning), and got no gappage and a rock solid setup all weekend (I even stepped on my skirt twice, with no movement).  ETA:  The key point I was looking for with this project was not that the points need to be in - we were mostly talking about how and where, since we knew points were used, but the fastening of the opening of the skirt to the opening in the bodies - with them laced together, the whole outfit had a strength and solidity that pointing alone (which I've done before, once) didn't give me.  It's all in the front.  

(I just thought I should clarify, since a number of you will be going "what's new about points?  I've done them for years".  :)  )

A couple of pics of the setup (I'll put the full set up when I write the article, but that may be a couple of months):



I also impressed a number of people with my apron setup - I tucked the ends into the waistband (like you do) and made a pocket for my wool, so I could knit while standing.  Several people asked about my "pocket apron", and were flatteringly amazed when I simply pulled out one corner and showed them it was just an apron.  I had Caemfind doing it by the end of Saturday - it's so convenient! - and a couple of other people saying they were going to do it, too, after I explained it was a correct usage of the apron.

Starting a new fashion (mind you, a bunch of you lot have probably done this for years) trend locally, yay me.

Caemfind was a delightful knitting/demo companion - we already have plans for improving our display if we're invited back next year (I have no idea).   pinkleadercame shopping with me, and (singsong voice) weeeee have something for theblueleader(/singsong voice)!  I also bought hemp thread (thick; perfect for braiding cords) from a great shop, www.flyingfibers.com, who also carry rare breed and organic wools from the UK in gorgeous colours.  They have long-wool breeds, which produce a sheeny, gorgeous yarn.  I highly recommend them, and they're super-nice people (she's American, he's British).

And, since it turns out we might not be supposed to accept money personally for the demo, if I get a cheque, I'm probably going to donate it to the Kingdom Travel Fund (or something).

Jamestown next weekend - I have to put lacing holes in my blue linen skirt and my red bodies.  *excitement*


May. 5th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
There aren't enough pics out there of pregnant women in real garb/clothing, IMHO.

“Pregnancy garb” is one of my big pet peeves. Almost anything can hike up over the belly or be left a little unlaced. I wore my regular 15th century clothes all the way through my pregnancy – it was just a little shorter in the front. I think we took pics around 8 months.
May. 5th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
I talked about this this morning in my own LJ - at a recent demo at a middle school everyone who asked was amazed that I didn't make up garb for the pregnancy. I explained that the concept of maternity clothing that we have modernly was an alien concept in the Renaissance and the jaws dropped. Entirely understandable when you're talking to people who are used to buying clothes as modern Americans do. As you say, with garb you largely just lace looser, and now of course, there's this lovely little concept which will keep the front hemline from dipping either too low OR too high.

The closest that modern folk have to adapting everyday clothes for maternity usage is the belly bands which will cover gappage between the bottoms of tops and the waistband, or keep an unbuttoned waistband in place. It's actually a fairly recent sort of "innovation."

ETA: I'm currently 34 weeks along.

Edited at 2008-05-05 04:46 pm (UTC)
May. 6th, 2008 12:09 pm (UTC)
Maybe it isn't really relevant for such a late period, but most folks I see making earlier period garb don't make it for a lifetime of wear (including pregnancy), but for them at that specific time of their life; if that is skinny 20 something, all fitted and formed, it just isn't going to fit pregnant.

I also think a lot of it has to do with how one carries; I get Just. Plain. Big. and carry high to boot. Add to that my carrying twins last time, and -nope- my garb, even though I like wearing it loose and baggy *anyway* was no where near a match for my belly. I'm only 27 weeks with a singleton now, but I'm 'measuring' in my mid-30's, so, yeah, I'm making a lightweight Anglo-Saxon shift (I was huge in the winter last time) that will accommodate my girth.

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