Thursday, February 23, 2006

book meme

Cyndy at Riverrim tagged me with this meme (my first tag!).

Now, because I work in a library, I've added a bit of information so you can easily find these books. If you choose to go to your library rather then buy, the call number should be very similar there as well because most North American libraries use the Library of Congress call number system these days.

Name Five of your Favourite Books

1. Title: Fugitive information : essays from a feminist hothead
Author: Hagan, Kay Leigh.
Publisher: [San Francisco] : Pandora, c1993.
Subject(s): Feminism, Patriarchy
Call Number: HQ1150.H34 1993

Kay has a deeply poetical and personal way of writing, and I have an affinity with hotheaded feminists. :) One of the interesting things about her writing is that she passes it before a wide net of women, and includes some of their comments on the essays in this book as well. I've also met Kay several times at the Michigan Womyns' Music Festival.

2. Title: When the wind blew /
Author: Brown, Margaret Wise, 1910-1952.
Publisher: New York : Harper & Row, [1977],c1937.
Call Number: PZ102.R74W49 1977

This is a children's book - makes me tear up with warmth at the end.

3. Title: S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men) manifesto, with an introduction by Vivian Gornick
Author: Solanas, Valerie.
Publisher: [New York] Olympia Press [c1970]
Subject(s): Women--History.
Call Number: HQ1420 .S64x 1970

This book is... challenging. Valerie Solanas is most famous for shooting Andy Warhol in the 60s and writing this book. I don't know enough about her life yet to set this book in it's proper context, but I'm exploring. The late 60s and early 70s were a time of deeply radical feminism that often resembled misandry, and this book is the most pronounced example of that time. If you can get past the reactionary rhetoric, the point that most of the radical feminists of the time were making is still valid today.

4. Title: Woman and nature : the roaring inside her /
Author: Griffin, Susan.
Publisher: New York : Harper & Row, c1978.
Description: 1st ed. -
xvii, 263 p. ; 24 cm.
Call Number: PS3557.R48913W6 1978

Susan writes a very moving, and poetic connection between the subjection of women and the environment under patriarchy.

5. The Dragonsword Trilogy
Dragonsword, Duel of Dragons, Dragon Death


The Strands Series
Strands of Starlight, Maze of Moonlight, Shroud of Shadow, Strands of Sunlight, Spires of Spirit

Okay, I'm cheating. These are two series, not just one more book, but they really do bear mentioning. These two series are written by a lady named Gael Baudino, who has since described herself as having lost her faith. I found that revelation quite sad. The series are scifi/fantasy, and on the surface - good stories. But I find both series transformative and moving, about sacrifice and compassion and change. I don't have the words to describe the impact these series have had on my life.

The first four books have a greater library oriented description, because I copy/pasted from the library catalogue. :) The academic library that I work for doesn't tend to collect scifi/fantasy.

What was the last book that you bought?

To Light a Candle, by Mercedes Lackey

This is mind fluff of the most excellent calibre. Intelligent books are all well and good, but I have a secret passion for scifi/fantasy novels. :)

What was the last book that you read?

Title: Baghdad burning : girl blog from Iraq /
Author: Riverbend.
Publisher: New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2005.
Subject(s): Iraq War, 2003--Personal narratives, Iraqi. Insurgency--Iraq--Weblogs.
Call Number: DS79.76 .R587 2005

This book publishes the first year of River's blog, called Baghdad Burning, which still continues today. This is just one ordinary voice of a young Iraqi woman living through her country's turmoil.

Five books that have been particularily meaningful to you?

Same as #1. It's because they've had some particular meaning to me that they are my favourites.

Five books that you're dying to read but just haven't gotten to?

I have a rather long list of books that I want to read someday, but I guess these few stand out. Although I can't really describe any of them as something I'm 'dying to read'. I've been rather focused on archaeological textiles for the past few years - more specifically the techniques then the end product.

1. North European Textiles until 1000 AD.
Lise Bender Jorgensen
ISBN: 8772884169

Originally published by the York Archaeological Trust, but now out of print:

2. Textiles, Cordage and Raw Fibre from 16-22 Coppergate
Penelope Walton (1989)
ISBN: 0 906780 79 9


3. Textile Production at 16-22 Coppergate
Penelope Walton Rogers (1997)
ISBN: 1 872414 76 1

I think I want these two mostly because they are out of print and completely unfindable anymore, except through InterLibrary Loan, of course.

4. Schrödinger's kittens and the search for reality: solving the quantum mysteries
John Gribbin

I've had this book around for a few years, and just need to get through it. Quantum Physics fascinates me but I'm not really of a scientific enough mind to grasp it easily.

5. Book 7, as yet unnamed and unpublished, by JR Rowling.

Yep, I'm a Harry Potter fan. :)

Whew, that took a bit to figure out. If any of these resonate with you, please feel free to recommend similiar books or authors to me.



Monday, February 20, 2006

The week that was

So, it seems that I can only manage to blog once a week these days.

To catch everyone up then... spent most of the week combing out the black fleece, slowly developing a comfortable rythym with it. So far, I estimate 1/3rd tog to 2/3rd thel, to very little waste.

But I'm not done with it yet, and as I said in the last post, the thel desperately needs another wash.

I started spinning with it ---- and it only gets more black as a spun thread.

Took some time out from that project on thursday, when the Region decided to have a Snow Day, in fear of a freezing rain warning that didn't come until the middle of the night, making friday hellish to drive in. Think they picked the wrong day and then couldn't do it twice in a row without losing face? The coworker who fell on the ice friday morning, and had to be rushed into surgery for two major breaks in her leg probably thinks so...

So on my Snow Day then, I dyed some stuffs with a logwood exhaust bath, that a friend had given me. She said she didn't have anything else left in the house to dye! I used it right up until the last thing in the bath came out light gray instead of purplish.

Neil and I went to Ottawa this past weekend, to attend an SCA event called Practicum, which features some classes on various SCA and history related topics. Not as big an event as Forward Into the Past, but quite educational and fun.

As a bonus, we got to sleep in a Sleep Number bed at a Radisson for our two nights up there, and were quite pleased with it. We're thinking about replacing the waterbed, and we're trying out other alternatives. Next on the list is the Tempurpedic beds - there are a few hotels in Ontario, and one particular one in Rhode Island that have the Tempurpedic beds.

If you have any opinions on these top two contenders, let me know!

While at Practicum, I almost got this hat completely done by the end of the day, only just adding the last row at lunch today.

It's done with a craft called naalbinding, sometimes referred to single-needle knitting. Naalbinding is being taught at Forward Into The Past (FITP) this year. :)

And speaking of classes at FITP - if you were interested in learning something medieval, what would it be? Particularily textile-related - I'm trying to decide what I'm going to teach this year. :)

I have in the past taught Weaving on the Warp-Weighted Loom, Women's Roles in Old Norse Society, a Textile Overview from the Viking Age, and two different types of courses in natural dyeing - one a round table with other dyers, and one an introduction to the craft, in a Viking Period context.

I'm loath to drag my loom in again. Frankly, I'm loath to drag it anywhere, it's so big and akward and heavy as all hell. So that kinda lets weaving out, unless there's a big demand.

Thoughts that go through my head are.... Dyeing with Woad (but I'm not sure I know enough yet to teach it), Fleece Prep in the Viking Age... *sigh* I'm so undecided.

Any opinions?


Monday, February 13, 2006

Combing, revisited with pictures

Hi all,

I figure I'm missing just one picture to make this almost a picture perfect lesson in "how to comb a fleece".

Not that I have any experience or claim to be any good at it. But the picture sequence that the hubby took is pretty good.

I'm not at all sure that I'm not tossing out an awful lot of tog with the thel.

But I suppose I should back up a bit. Icelandic fleece comes in two coats. The longer outer coat can be anywhere from 4-6 inches long, and is called the Tog. The shorter and more fluffy inner coat is called Thel.

Spun together as a single, the yarn produced is called Lopi.

When they are seperated, and the tog is combed out and aligned, it can produce a very strong worsted yarn. This is often used for weaving, and sometimes for embrodiery. The thel would be used for knits, and felting.

I'm not a knitter, I'm a weaver. And a spinner. I'm hoping someday to produce enough worsted Tog yarn to weave a largish piece of fabric. But since I'm still at the combing out the first fleece stage, this goal is very far away. Very very far away.

Especially when I'd much rather spin for pleasure from commercially prepared roving. Perhaps if I didn't have a day job....

From the looks of it, I'm going to have to give the thel another wash to get more of the lanolin out.

Pulling out the locks from the fleece, hanging on the edge of the warp-weighted loom.

The locks loaded on one of the combs. That missing picture that I mentioned is a picture of just one lock of fleece.

Take the second comb and swipe at the locks of fleece several times. Most of what will transfer will be tog.

Here I'm pulling the remaining tog out of the first comb. I've been using the dog comb for a finer filter then I'm getting with the viking combs. Some of the thel comes out with the tog and this can help separate it just that little bit faster.

Tog, ready to be spun.

And close-up, just 'cause I'm in love with the macro feature. :)

Thel, needing another wash before spinning.

You may or may not be able to see that need, even up close, but trust me, it needs it.



Sunday, February 12, 2006

combing black fleece

Let's just say that combing this black Icelandic fleece has only re-confirmed that I like the entirely modern preparation calling 'roving' or 'top'.

Spinning = good.

Prep work = bad.

Pictures later.


Monday, February 6, 2006

Snow and Fleece

I don't mean to have an entire week between posts but ...well, things happen.

Snow, snow happens.

Remember last week, I mentioned getting a chance to do a bit of yard cleanup?

Well, this is the yard today.


I washed my first fleece on saturday. Look at the yard behind me - two days ago it was green(ish).


To date, all my fleece experiences have started with the shepherd washing the fleece before she sent it to me. This time around, I was present for the sheering, and claimed the fleece as it came off. That was last spring, and it's only taken me the better part of the year to get around to washing it. It's a black Icelandic.

And yes, those are the famed freshly pink walls behind me.

It was.... dirtier then expected. Having no idea what to expect and all.

I'll post pictures once it's dry and combed. And again later, when some of it's been spun.

Today, I'm working on the Forward Into the Past website. We're just getting started on this year's organization, so the courses available are still sparse, compared to what we will have, but feel free to check it out.

Neil and I run this thing, a day long set of classes in medieval history, every year. It's quite a lot of fun, and totally exhausting. At least for the organizers. :) If you're in the Kitchener-Waterloo area of southwestern Ontario on the first of April, come and check it out. No fooling!