New tunic for a hard working dad-to-be, part 1

The work-tunic Einarr is wearing here needed a new collar so I've started a new piece of embroidery again :)

This is what it looks like so far. I'm on maternity leave at the moment so might as well finish those projects that have been lying around for too long...


Not much news

Dear Folks!
Well, there is not much news these days, maybe only that my belly is growing bigger and bigger. We are getting our 'longhus' ready for the baby, that's all really, so not much Viking-stuff.
Last weekend we enjoyed our Vinter Natten weekend together with the rest of the Tjursläkter members. The weather was great, with fabulous autumn colours :)


Pink socks are done!

The pink socks I started eons ago are now finally done! I will wear them in my Iron Age shoes. The pink is cochenill, the yellow is onion dye and the blue is woad. The colours are very very bright and I had some doubts about the authenticity at first but apparently these are the real authentic Viking colours!


A bit of news...

Well, folks, this might be a surprise to you as much as it was to us... we are going to have a new member in our group somewhere in January!! Yup!!

So, I am naalbinding and sewing some mini-Viking clothes as we speak. We've ordered some authentic looking shoes as well for the new Baby Viking at Celtic Sheepskin

Here's a photo, aren't these shoes cute? The lace is modern so I plan to replace those but other than that I think nobody will complain about these booties.


Cool guys

Well, Einarr's rusvik hat is done and as you can see I also embellished Lars' hat. Don't they look cool?


New Rusvik hat for Einarr; part 2

I've made some progress on the bird for Einarr's hat. This Wednesday I will go to our downtown market to buy some rough looking linen, as wool is too warm for him. I hope to show you the finished hat soon!


New Rusvik hat for Einarr; part 1

The Hudud al-'Alam describes how the Rus "wear woolen bonnets with tails let down behind their necks". See here: http://www.kroraina.com/hudud/index.html and click on item 44. Or see here: http://www.kroraina.com/hudud/hud_44_c.html.

Also, finds from two Birka graves show the presence of 'conical silver terminal mounts' (Arbman 1940-3; Geijer 1938; Roesdahl & Wilson 1992). One of these hats, in grave Bj644, had a 'passement' band fastened from brow to peak (Hägg 1986).

So, there: my short research on the famous Rusvik hat which is so popular amongst Vikings.

I've started on the band which will go from tip to head, and you won't be surprised this is again a bird. Hey, I can't help it, I love birds... I used to be a volunteer bird doctor.

This is what the bird looks like so far, the burgundy outline and the dark yellow stitches make a good body on the green linen. I'll finish the head of the bird first before I decide on the wing colours.

The silver hat-end which is normally used (also known as the Birka end) was too big for Einarr's fancy so we found a smaller one, which is originally from a silver necklace but no doubt it'll make a nice tip on Einarr's new hat.

We have yet to find fabric for the hat itself, but together with the embroidered bird and the fox fur we bought in May this won't be a challenge.

I will keep you posted on further developments.
Best, Arda


Weaver's cottage

This past Sunday Einarr and I were invited to liven up the Bayeux exhibition at the Leiden Weaver's Cottage museum. It was great fun! There were quite a few visitors and we had plenty of nice conversations with most of them.

The artist who made the replicas of the Bayeux Tapestry, Marloes Keereweer, is also known to us as a fellow Archeon volunteer and her work is sublime!


Great photos from Eindhoven

Dear Folks,

Photographer Martijn Splithof made some FABULOUS photos of the Eindhoven Market, check out his site: http://www.inaeternum.eu/vf2008.htm


Game board

Einarr made a new leather game board during the Eindhoven weekend and I just wanted to show you this great photo. It can be used for Tafl and Fox & Geese.

The runes on the bottom of the board say "sit in friendship side by side".


Eindhoven Pentecoste market 2008

I can be brief folks, the market in Eindhoven was GREAT!
It started with a very small lavender plant which our viking-son Lars gave to me. "It is for Mother's Day" he explained "because you are my Viking-mum". Hey, I'm proud!!

Lars played a lot of Kubb with Einarr. The weather was great, perhaps a bit too hot, so our spot in the shade was perfect and on Friday there was still enough room to play.

Here's our tent and the beads and other thingies we sold

I did a lot of naalbinding....

And Einarr made a horn cup with a leather lid for bone die. What a happy weekend!!


Banner is done!!

Well, folks, here it is finally! The bird banner is DONE!

It took me a looong time to finish, mainly because I had so much fun making it that I didn't want that to end... and also the socks to complete all those costumes seemed more important.

The wind in my tiny garden makes the banner look slightly off but I'm sure your expert eyes know the banner is straight ;)



Socks for Lars are finished

Not much to write these days, we are busy preparing for the Vikingmarket in Eindhoven which will start this coming Friday. I was able to finish Lars' new socks on time, here they are! The heel is done in the Oslo stitch, there was no particular reason for that only that I liked the variation.

cheerio, Arda


Nut & honey cake

This weekend I finally had some time again to try out a new recipe. Two years ago I bought the Viking Cookbook (isbn 82-04-06495-0) at the Ribe Viking Museum and we've tried several recipes since then, all of which turned out to be fabulous.

This is a very simple cake with only 4 ingredients, so easy enough to make in camp if you have a stone oven. Of course I don't have a stone oven at home, so I used a modern oven but the end result should be the same of course!

Ingredients: 100 gr hazelnuts; 50 gr dried apples; 150 ml honey; 4 eggs

Finely chop the hazelnuts and apples. Mix the nuts, apple and honey in a bowl. Whisk in the eggs.

the batter before it goes into the oven

Spread the mixture into a greased baking tray. Bake in the middle of the oven for approx. 15 minutes.

The final result!

We decided to add some blueberry jam to make it a bit more festive! Trust me, we ENJOYED this!!
greetings, Arda



Einarr made a pair of new leather vambraces a few days ago and thought they were a bit boring...
So he got his carving kit and carved two fabulous dogs on the leather. After the carving the coloured the drawings with wax!
Aren't they fabulous?



Einarr has had this spear for a while and only uses it in battle practise. Recently, he secured a new spear tip at the end and made a protective leather 'sleeve' on the spear as well.

First, he carved the design and then darkened it with a bit of brown shoe polish. Great, huh?!


New socks!

I've started on two pairs of new socks during the Nord Setur weekend and I would like to show them to you here, eventhough they are not finished yet.

The first pair you see on the left is for our nephew Lars. I don't have to tell you how fast kids grow and the naalbound socks he bought at the Pentecoste Market last year are becoming too small, so I've started on a new pair for him. I'm using two strands of wool, cream and dark green. It makes the socks thick and warm. I'm making these a bit too big so that he can grow into them. I bought this wool in the shop, so the dye and such is 'modern'; but I love the authentic look of the mix of two colours!

The pink pair of socks is for me, aren't they perfectly girlie? :D
I ordered the wool last week from Liesbeth Slegh in Sweden who makes fabulous home spun and home dyed wool [see also their link on the right]. The pink you see is what she made from Värmland sheep wool dyed in Cochenill! The colour is wonderfully bright.
The blue is a bit of wool I bought from Marlies the Weaver in Archeon and is dyed with woad. The yellow is dyed with onion.


Fried parsnips

Thanks to Annemiek S. for this great photo

One of the easiest ways to prepare parsnips in camp is simply to fry them! Chop them into cubes, put butter or oil in the skillet and fry until the parsnips are golden brown.

You need about one big parsnip per person.

Of course you can do this at home as well, you'll love the taste because they taste like fried potatoes or french fries but are HEALTHIER!!



Nord Setur

The weekend of 12 and 13 April we went to the north of our country to have the first Vikingweekend of 2008 and it was FABULOUS! The weather was great, and although it was cold at night, the accomodation was authentic Bronze Age so not really Viking but really very cozy.

I did a lot of naalbinding and Einarr and Lars played a lot of Kubb.
Saturday evening there was a bit of rain, but that was it. The food was great as usual!

Here the two guys are waiting for dinner to be ready!

We also had a guest, Thorfinn's girlfriend, and as you can see cooking on open fire was not really a problem for her. We don't have a Viking name for her yet! Hopefully she will come up with something soon.
greetz, Arda


Archeon Easter Photo

Thanks to Hans S. for taking this great photo at Archeon!



Einarr spends a lot of time abroad for his job and so for the last few months you've seen most my crafts and finished items... and that is becoming a tad bit boring I know... ;)

He has experimented with leather carving, as you might remember, and last weekend he finished this lovely pouch with the famous Tjursläkter bull.


New winter tunic for Lars

Little vikings grow up ...

Lars is our 'adopted viking' as you might remember and each time we see our nephew it is a miracle to see how much this guy grows! Last winter I made him a kaftan, and of course it doesn't fit him anymore. One of Einarr's aunts found some great molton in her attic which was perfect for a warm tunic for Lars.

The molton was white initially, so with the help of some Dylon I dyed it a lovely soft green. Molton is a very thick wool and you don't have to hem it since it does not fray. I love that stuff because it gives you the opportunity to make a quick tunic for children who grow up fast... you can make a new piece of clothing in no-time this way!

I made the tunic in children's size 158 which should be big enough for Lars to use until December of this year at least, but you never know ...

When the garment was finished I used some threads of embroidery wool to embellish the collar. I hope he likes it!

Lars can test his tunic next month when we will have an early spring weekend in the north of our country. We've named the weekend Nord Setur, which means 'settlement in the north'.
I'm sure though that Lars won't be cold in this!

greetings, Arda


Instructions on YouTube

Dear All,

Naalbinding is a great craft, but I [like many others] have had some difficulty in learning to master the skill.

I found several great instruction clips on YouTube, so hopefully this is something you'll find useful.

These are in English about the York stitch:

These are in Swedish:

Enjoy it!!

Greetz, Arda


Archeon Easter Viking weekend 2008, day 3

Easter Monday was already the last day at Archeon for this year. We look back on a great event where we saw most of our Viking friends again. We hope to see them again soon.

Look at how beautiful the Dorestad barn looks. The layers of clothing both Einarr and I were wearing made us look like 1000 pounds, but nobody could take away our fun!

Archeon Easter Viking weekend 2008, day 2

The second day at Archeon, Easter Sunday, started as any normal day, a bit cold in March but for the rest rather uneventful. We lived in the Dorestad barn again, doing our crafts and for lunch Einarr made a lovely vegetable soup.

The audience was very nice this day, and we got some really nice guests in our house. But then... at about 2 pm, it began to snow...

It was fabulous!! The picture you see hereabove is right across the pond from the Dorestad barn, the view is the 15th century houses and the two oxen.

Then some more snow fell... it was getting better and better! Bad weather was expected, yes, but in our opinion this was not bad weather!! Sitting by the fire this was quite romantic. Re-enactment bliss!

This is another view from one of the Dorestad windows, on the Iron age farms. Oh yeah, and I managed to finish Einarr's socks.

Archeon Easter Viking weekend 2008, day 1

Initially, Einarr and I wanted to go to Archeon with our tent but since he had some back troubles we decided to leave our tent at home and see if we could use the Dorestad barn for ourselves during the Easter training weekend. It was a long shot, since we hadn't made any reservations of some sorts. Not that you can make reservations in Archeon, but okay...

Luckily, we bumped into the inhabitant of the barn that weekend, archeo-interpreter Bart, and he was most happy to have us co-habit the place. Not long after, a cozy fire was burning and we went on happily crafting.

Einarr's socks are done as well

This weekend, during the Archeon Easter weekend, I managed to finish Einarr's socks. Whilst sitting by the fire in the Dorestad barn, I finished all of the socks but the heels on Saturday.

It is quite 'annoying' when museum visitors call this beautiful craft crochet, but hey, who I am to enlighten the ignorant? No, seriously, I always diligently explain to them that it is not crochet, but the ancient craft of naalbinding. But I can't help but feel like the proverbial broken record when telling this for the zillionth time...

As I said, I finished Einarr's socks without the heel on Saturday as you can see hereunder.

The rest of the Sunday, I managed to finish the rest of the socks, i.e. the heel parts. Einarr wore the socks all day on Monday and found it difficult to part with them when we got home Monday evening ;). Here he is wearing them with the leg straps he has for the Rusvik pants.

Einarr said they socks are indeed as comfortable as they look!


Socks for Einarr

Well, I've started on Einarr's socks as you can see. I've used Larry Schmitt's Simple Sock pattern again, but I've started at the toe, because somehow I wasn't entirely pleased with how the rough edges at the beginning of the sock looked.

I prefer to have those 'rough edges' at the toe end, since they end up inside the shoe and you can't see those! I hope to finish the socks soon, so will keep you posted!
greetings, Arda


Socks are DONE!

Boy, am I PROUD!!! The socks are done and they turned out really well, no, GREAT!

They are warm and comfortable too! On to pair two, because I intend to make socks for Einarr as well =).

Last night I had a hard time falling asleep because I have so much (non-authentic) wool at home I can make socks for decades to come and I am really inspired to make more, so keep an eye on this section of the blog.
greetz, Arda


More sock news

Well, here's a bit of sock news for you!

I managed to finish the toe-part of the sock in just one evening. It is incredible how easy Larry Schmitt's 'Simple Sock' is and with the wool being so thick it is really great fun to learn this craft of naalbinding!

All that is left to do is the heel-part of the sock and I can start making sock number two. It is important, I have noticed, to keep careful track of any alterations that you make whilst making the sock. The pattern in Schmitt's book is excellent, yet for a perfect fit you need to make a few changes. Make sure you write those down otherwise the second sock of the pair will be different and we won't want that of course.

I have it on good authority that this really thick Coda Merinho wool is not authentic enough. Be that as it may, I am very much enjoying making these socks!

Apparently, excavated socks were made of a less bulky yarn and very often the threads were not even twined. Okay, so noted, but I'm going to use these socks in camp nonetheless.

When it is done I intend to use a nice blue or brown for a decorative edge, but let's finish the pair first!


Fresh start

Everything I've done so far where naalbinding is concerned, was a try... Trial and error I guess.

The pouch was the first project I was able to finish without setting the house on fire with my endless whining about how difficult naalbinding is...

A few days ago I bought some super bulky yarn and with Larry Schmitt's booklet "Lots of Socks" I am starting again with the Simple Sock in Danish Stitch. Here's the first bit that goes around the ankle.

Not bad, huh? The wool is so thick that this is quite a quickie sock to make so, so far the item honours it's name for being simple.

Will keep you posted on the sock development!
greets, Arda