the mismeasure of Gloria

I finished Gloria’s leine but it’s too difficult to get it on her.


It happened because I used French seams. They take up approximately twice as much fabric as normal seams when you are a novice like myself, which means they ate up a good inch and a half to inch and three quarters of fabric. I likely didn’t allow enough ease to begin with either.

Lesson learned. It sure looks cute.

holding pattern

I got some of the fabric for our garb yesterday, and three penannular brooches to hold our brats. Brats being the cloaks we’ll wear, not the children themselves. It’s said “braht”, I’m told.

The ones I got for the girls are similar, just a little smaller.

I’d show you the pins in our cloaks, but the fabric that came yesterday is the linen and cotton I purchased for our leinte. I’m supposed to get the wool on Monday.

This is meshing so well with our homeschool studies. Faith has already picked an SCA name and Abby is pretty excited about making our garb. Now to get that machine threaded… I think I’ll make a little test leine for a teddy bear this weekend.

British Museum on penannular brooches

Random Shoes, or It Begins

How exciting! I got the first piece of Official SCA Garb today – shoes!

Not authentic in the least! But they Look Okay, and they’re cheap.


Kung Fu shoes. Got a pair for me, for Faith and for Abby. I bought them from Natasha’s Cafe, in hypocritical fashion because we try* not to buy from China. As soon as I know we’re in this for a long haul I’ll make our own shoes or purchase some made domestically. Ahem.

Getting this first burst of garb is an expensive endeavor. The great thing about medieval clothing, however, is that it was made to utilize fabric as efficiently as possible. I’ve found several schematics (not quite patterns) that describe a T tunic by the numbers approach. I have a pretty extensive background in knitting clothing from body measurements, so I’m not afraid to do the same thing with sewn clothes.

I am a little afraid of my sewing machine, which I have never used. It’s a Janome Sew Mini, which I’m told is a nice machine to start with. I hope so! I like how tiny and easy to store it is. I’ll have to put it away every time I’m done sewing, as leaving it out with the kids around is not an option. Insert mental image of Bede sewing Warner Brothers logos into our clothing.

*for certain values of ‘try’, apparently.

Natasha’s Cafe

T-tunic the period way

Janome Sew Mini

getting carried away

I’m getting back into the SCA. That’s the Society for Creative Anachronism,
>*…an international living history group with the aim of studying and recreating mainly Medieval European cultures and their histories before the 17th century.*


Those guys.

I used to be in the SCA as a teen. I have thought about it for a few years but decided against it because the kids were too young. They keep growing up, these kids, so I’m going to take the plunge.

The two things that tipped me over the edge were S.M. Stirling’s novels of The Change – most particularly the first three, Dies the Fire, The Protector’s War and A Meeting at Corvallis – and the plan of study for the Gleeschool this year: the Middle Ages.

So I want things like this (hold the rayon, please)

Linen Fabrics at Dharma Trading Co.

and perhaps a pair of these, with decidedly non-period soles, thanks.

Soft Star Shoes for Grown-Ups

Of course we’ll need some outerwear from this

Denver Fabrics 100% wool

or this

Wool Blankets

The plan is for me, Faith and Abby to get set up first. Then, we can see whether we like it before going all-in as a family. Bede, while very appropriately named for a historical reenactor, is maybe not so much the fan. We’ll see.

I’m glad that the period I’m interested in has nice, simple clothing. I’m leaning toward ninth century Ireland. And at this point that means everyone gets ninth century Ireland.

This is completely insane.

warshin’ with homemade laundry soap

I made laundry soap today. I don’t think I’ve blogged about that here.

One to one and a half cups grated (non-moisurizing) bar soap (any kind)

One cup Borax or other powdered boric acid

One cup baking soda

Use one to two heaping tablespoons per load, depending on water level. I hope to make our own bar soap soon too and be completely old skool.

My name is feebeeglee and I’m a Facebook addict.

I’ve given up Facebook. When I gave it up for Lent I got so much more done during the day. Coming back to it the last few weeks has shown me that I really can’t moderate it, so I’m cutting it out entirely. I read an article a while back about the addictive nature of Facebook and how each new update primes your brain to seek more, like a hit off a pipe. Yeah, that’s me. So, no more!

But that means I’ll be blogging more! Yay! I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been waffling about photo storage and haven’t wanted to upload pictures. And I feel like endless text is boring. But I’m going to soldier through that and just blog, pictureless, until I decide what to do.

We’re building a new playset with some of our tax refund. Well, by “we” I mean “Sean”. It’s the biggest carpentry project Sean’s ever attempted. It will look a lot like this:

Only with different kids playing on it, you know. I assume. Need to ask Sean.

my best birthday present

was the O’Melays, who were the visiting friends! I didn’t want to out them until they got back to their lovely farm. It was such a delight to finally meet Tabitha who I have known for almost seven years. The kids all got along swimmingly. Tabitha’s children are generally between my kids in age: Tristan is one year younger than Abby, Kassi is nine months older than Gilbert, Toly is nine months younger than Trixie, and Rome is nine months younger than Gloria. This meant that there were multiple playmates for each O’Melay. Tristan flitted between the older girls and Gilbert and Kassi played with Gloria and Faith. Toly and Bede wrestled with each other like puppies, and Rome floated around the edges.

Everyone got a mild cold and stuffy nose but the only one really sidelined by it was Tristan, who spiked a fever too. Poor dude!

Overall the visit was wonderful. They came down so Karl could build a wall in our new garage to partition it off for Sean’s office, and that was accomplished. Karl is amazing. Tabitha and I made food, as previously noted.

I also got other gifts: Sean got me The Complete Sherlock Holmes and Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, both of which are great.

So all told, a Very Happy Birthday!

Gilbert Gleeson, Sam Wiggle.

Gilbert’s favorite Wiggle is Sam Wiggle. (He is also partial to Greg.)

So I knit him this Sam Wiggle Sweater, which is to say, a taxicab yellow sweater.


He likes it very much!


Better shot of the actual sweater, vs. the boy in the sweater.


Our eyes are the same color, me and Gil.


Look, two little sisters as well!


Sweater pattern is the raglan from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, which is just an awesome book to have. The yarn is America’s own Peaches & Crème in Number 10, Yellow.

taco taco!

I made taco meat tonight without a little plastic packet of taco seasoning. For the first time I made my own. And dang, it was goooood. I modified a recipe from AllRecipes as follows:

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon minced dried onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

I used 2 tablespoons of the seasoning mix to 1 pound of meat. I also added a can of diced tomato and green chili. It’s pretty heated, but not painfully so. If you don’t add the can of tomatoes you’d want to add a half-cup or so of water. Very good! Next time a little less salt and a little more cumin. We used ground venison but I expect it would be great with pork or beef or turkey, too.

Peak Oil!

I’ve been reading these Peak Oil bloggers lately and getting nervous. Tabitha tells me not to read them because I’m already doing everything I should be so why make myself fret, and Sean just mocks them, but I can’t stop! Sigh.

Reading about [Cuba’s Special Period](

adventures in breadmaking

I made bread dough tonight. I’ve started making it at night, then putting it in the refrigerator to rise overnight. In the morning I take it out and punch it down and put it in loaf pans for a second rise and poof! Easy peasy bread.

Speaking of pans I found some I love. I had been using Pyrex loaf pans, but I only had two and two loaves of bread last a day around here. So I make three loaves worth, but the third loaf was always a problem. Sometimes I just free-formed it and baked it in an 8×8 Pyrex dish, sometimes I turned it into sixteen small round rolls in the 8×8 dish, and sometimes I put 1/3 of the dough back in the fridge to wait its turn for one of the loaf pans. The obvious solution to this problem would have been to buy another Pyrex loaf pan but I couldn’t find one shaped right. So, I bought this kind instead. It’s made by Simax, a Czech company, out of borosilicate glass, just like Pyrex. But the shape is so much better for bread, long and skinny. I make loaves that are about 25 ounces and they are perfect in these pans. I have two and I want another. Nice little discovery!

My bread recipe:

– 2.5 cups warm water
– 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
– 1 tablespoon salt
– 4 tablespoons oil
– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
– 2 eggs
– 3 cups whole wheat flour
– 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

I mix everything but the flour together in a large bowl. Then I dump in 8 cups of flour, keeping a half-cup of all-purpose back to knead with. Mix the dough in the bowl with a big wooden spoon until you just can’t, then dump it out on a table and work in that last half-cup of flour with your hands. You should knead it for ten minutes or so, it’ll get very silky and smooth. Plop it back in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning it will be very, very risen. Take it out, punch it down, and shape it into loaves and put them in oiled loaf pans. Cover them up with plastic wrap and let them rise til they’re about twice as big. Take off the wrap, put them in a 350 degree oven and bake until they’re a nice deep brown, about 40-45 minutes. Makes 3 one and a half pound loaves of bread.