During the winter season this year, I plan to work on getting a basic ensemble for my secondary persona of an Iron Age Karelian Finn. Over the past year, I’ve been lurking on the Finnish Iron Age Facebook page and trying to work through the suggested links and examples of regional varieties within Finnish clothing, and decided that overall I like the silhouette and accessories of the Karelian best. Especially since I can consider using the oval brooches from Bronzehammer that I bought myself for a birthday present years ago with it. 🙂 Plus, the Petite Tzarina (my daughter) has been seduced to the Norse side by my Baron, Baroness and Knight and would rather wear Scandinavian type clothing than my usual 14th century Welsh clothing.
On the bright side, the offcuts of shorter lengths of plain and twill weave wool and linen that have been languishing in my hoard fit nicely into the yardages needed for a shift, undergown, peplos, apron, veil and mantle. My color choices may be a bit more vivid and geared towards royal/cobalt blue, deep forest green and a vibrant purple, but they will lighten with usage and they also delight the girl child, which makes keeping her in medieval clothing at events much easier!
So this weekend after getting a refresher on which wools were what weave for my untrained eye, I cut out lengths for the both of us – tagging each length so that I don’t forget mid-project which goes to what outfit. Then I sat down and began playing with a coiling jig to make coils for the apron and mantle embellishment.
First I took a scrap piece of 22 gauge florist wire to practice coiling, then compared it to the 22 gauge half hard round bronze that I picked up online. The bronze ones in the photo are much smaller in diameter and I don’t know if I’ll be able to get finger-looped yarn through them to apply to the aprons. I’ll be trying a few variations in aprons – with colors and the intricacy of the embellishments. Generally the outer coils would be a bit larger in gauge (16-20g) versus the interior ones (20-24g). I will be trying 18 gauge to begin with on the first apron, along with learning to do tubular tablet weaving to edge the wool.
These are the three colors of wool that I will be using, with 50′ worth of 18g wire coiled up and cut into (mostly) 2cm length coils, and a length of 21 g wire wound up in the center. I need to order more 18g wire to begin with, the amount I coiled yesterday doesn’t quite go around one apron. Not sure why the second photo is as blurry, but you can see I can get down to where I intend to fringe the hem of the apron and across one short side with the 18g coils I was able to do yesterday.