Sunday, January 07, 2018

Keeping Warm in Revena's World

Revena lives in Castle House, built for battle and protection. It's made of the local Nagelfluh stone quarried from the glacial lakes created during various ice ages. A combination of limestone, sandstone, gneiss, amphibolite schist, dolerite and quartz, with a surface that looks like it's dotted with nail heads. It hardens upon contact with the air and resists deterioration, weathering and erosion. Buildings made with this material last for centuries and are perfect for resisting sieges and attacks.

Unfortunately, it makes for a cold and drafty living space, especially when located on a ridgeline surrounded by the rushing Salt River, fed by alpine snow melt, on the north and west and the High King mountain range (elevation 3,000 m) on the south and east. While the hilltop has been occupied for over 4,000 years by the time Revena was born in the year a.i. 883, (ab initio, from the beginning of the Principatus) the fortress was begun in a.i. 866, by her father, The Margrave.

To keep occupied and warm during the Winter months, Revena spends her time creating woolen clothing. She uses a technique, thousands of years old, called needle-binding or knotless-netting. Unlike knitting and crocheting which won't be invented for another 700 or 800 years, needle-binding is made using short lengths of yarn and one single-eyed, flat needle. This form of fabric making is used across the world. With this technique, Revena makes socks, mittens and scarves.

By layering clothing, indoors and on the rare occasions when she ventures out to get a bit of sun and to combat boredom, Revena keeps warm. She knows that covering feet, hands and head will prevent the chills and prevent cold weather ailments.

If you are interested in learning Nålebinding and working on a piece this month with me and Revena, here's a video tutorial to get you started.

Mittens, hat and scarf pictured above crocheted by vvk.

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