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my latest project - when you don't know what to do...
do the next thing
my latest project
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Operation Fix Wolfie's Cloak.

I was very distressed to see that my beloved's cloak got moth eaten while I was away in Kuwait (it was in the basement -- thus far, no damage has been found to any fiber, yarn, or woolens kept upstairs, so it may actually have been mice, but anyway).  There are a great many holes, at any rate, from the hem upwards about 4", and taking up about 10" of width along the hem.  And of course, whatever creature that chewed on it couldn't be arsed to eat at the corner, oh no.  The damage is about 12" back from the leading edge of the hem.  I was just going to shorten it, but Himself likes the length, so I did what any good SCA girl would do when faced with such a dilemma: I went sniffling to my Laurel.  (Well, not really, but it sounds good.)

She told me to do pretty much what my second idea was: appliqué a strip of fabric over the damage, all the way around the hem.  And since such a repair is an opportunity in disguise, and since I try to take to heart Duchess Anna's First Rule of Costuming ("Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!"), I came up with the bright idea of embroidering said strip.  I'm so glad I committed to the idea before I measured the hem, because the damn thing is 200 inches around.  5.5 yards.  Of embroidery.  I am clearly insane. 

On the other hand, I did not commit to embroidering gripping beasts, or other such knotty goodness, though such things would be within his idiom.  I thought on it, and thought, and thought a little more, and then I remembered the Mammen cloak.  (For the uninformed, the Mammen cloak was found in a 10th century burial in the Mammen parish of Denmark.)  I found the above webpage, which had a lovely tracing of an acanthus leaf pattern from the Mammen embroideries, and then I found this page, about drawing leafy borders.  I sat down with my trusty sketch pad, and a few hours and a lot of erasing later, came up with a workable design that Himself actually likes and would be willing to wear.

I redrew it today, and when I did the math to figure out how many repeats I needed, I discovered that one repeat is three inches.  Six repeats is 36".  33 repeats is 5.5 yards, and since it's actually a little bit more than 5.5 yards, there's room for the finials.  Ladies and gentlemen, I had not done the math when I redrew the design.  I winged it.  I used the clickwheel hole from my iPod case as the template for the circles around which I drew the curves of the vine, for Pete's sake.  Can we say "blind luck"?

I started out drawing the design on water-soluble embroidery stabilizer, but I quickly got irritated with it -- it's very subject to humidity, it really does dissolve as easily as they claim (so even condensation from a can of soda dripping on your work is a disaster), and it stretches.  So I stopped off at Joann Fabrics of the way home and grabbed some tear-away stabilizer, and that's behaving much, much better than the Solvy. I'm glad I got the roll I did; it has 11 yards on it.  The other one I picked up only had five -- I wouldn't have had enough!

So far, I have seven repeats drawn.  They go pretty fast, and I'm watching/listening to Henry V while I work.  Twenty-six more to go.  Photos of the drawn-out design, design on the stabilizer, the holes, and the progress will follow as time and my sanity permit.

i feel: crazy crazy

shoot the rapids