Til árs ok friðar 🔥 24

Dear reader—I wish you and your family a wonderful Yule, and thank you for visiting my blog in 2019! Longer and brighter days are ahead, and I look forward to keep posting in the new year (I already have some posts planned). ^^

🍂 Til árs ok friðar - For a good year and peace 🍂

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A Long-expected Party 16

The Lord of the Rings...a world I will never get tired of! It has been a big part of my life since I was a teenager, and I found my mother's old copies of the Hobbit and LotR in the bookshelf with pencil-written notes in the margins. And the LotR-movies—with their beautiful aesthetics and music by Howard Shore—have brought it to life in such a wondrous way that they have been my favorite films since I first saw them.

I am so lucky to have friends who are also Tolkien-enthusiasts, and this past weekend it was time for the annual LotR-movie marathon. Christian and I invited our Folkvangr-group over, and we made it into a feast and sleepover. We spent the Saturday night and Sunday morning watching (the extended versions of course), while enjoying lots of food and snacks with various ale and meads, warm mulled wine and tea.

"I am so full..."

"Oh look, LC's homemade lembas bread!"

Do you also enjoy Tolkien's world? 🌿

Music: Howard Shore - Concerning Hobbits

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Yule market in Gudvangen 🌲🐏  1

I have been looking so much forward to winter and Yule lately, and when I woke up Saturday morning and looked outside, everything was white. ^^ Oh, the joy!

There was a Yule market in the viking town in Gudvangen this weekend, and Christian, LC and I decided to take a day-trip. Even though the drive is a couple of hours north-east, there was much less snow up there, but it was cold enough. ^^ My wool hat and Birka-coat came to good use! We met our friends Anja and Claus who were staying in one of the houses in the village, and spent the evening by their fire.

It gets dark so early these days that I didn't get the chance to take as many photos as I'd like, but I snapped a few. :)

A beautiful eagle was circling the area, and Christian caught a photo of it as it disappeared up to the mountains.

I have some work-related travelling back and forth for the next few weeks, and after that I'm looking forward to some Yule festivities with our Folkvangr group! We will also have our annual midwinter blót in January, so there will be several more occations to wear our viking garb this season. ^^

Do you have any fun stuff planned for December?


Music: Daemonia Nymphe - Deo’s Erotas

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A Viking Age Grave 🍂  3

In Viking reenactment we aim to make our clothing and personal equipment based on interpretations of archeological findings from the Viking Age. I find it interesting to think about how these sources are commonly in the form of grave findings—we are dressing based on what our ancestors wore when they were being prepared for and sent off to the afterlife. Funeral practices in the Viking Age varied between different regions and periods, including cremation or inhumation, and in some cases more extravagant ship burials. The dead were often sent off with offerings and goods that signified social status, animals, food, equipment and personal belongings that they would need on their travel to the next world.

For Halloween this year I dressed up as a corpse from the Viking Age. But before adding lots of blood and a huge 3D transfer wound to my throat (which looked quite ghastly), Christian took a more peaceful photo inspired by the photo series "We are dead-serious about reenactment" by the Swedish reenactment group Andrimners Hemtagare.

Is she being cremated, or buried in a mound? And how did she die—by fever, or age? Or perhaps she is positioned this way in order to hide a wound to the head?

And where might she be going? Perhaps to the underworld, where she will walk over the golden bridge Gjallarbrú on her way to Hel... Or will she be travelling to the fields of Fólkvangr, to dine with Freyja and sit beside her ancestors in the hall of Sessrúmnir?


For the record, I'm alive and well, and as we speak
I'm sitting here munching on one of the apples from the photo ;)

Music: Eldrim - Attergangar

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Beige heather 🍁🐌🌾 27

Since my last post, Christian and I have been on vacation to celebrate my new degree, and we have enjoyed some time in the warmer regions of Europe (a much-delayed summer vacation). Coming back home, it looks and feels like fall has really set in... ^^

The area where we live is now all wonderfully orange, yellow and brown, I have been out collecting leaves for decorations and enjoying the crisp and fresh October air.

Wearing more new needle-bound stuff, this time bound in light "beige heather" Icelandic wool!

My bunny Embla is all set for the season in her new and thicker furry coat. Here she is inspecting a pumpkin we just bought, probably wondering whether or not she can manage to eat it. She may however have to settle for the pumpkin seeds, as we are planning to carve this one out...

(I can't promise any photos though, I have a feeling it might turn out looking more funny than scary) :D

I hope you are enjoying the end of October—finally time for those dark, cold and rainy nights, with wool blankets, tea, and movie marathons! ;)

Music: Almune - Bourrée d'Erasme

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Haustmánuðr 🍂🌿  9

"Haustmánuðr heitir inn næsti fyrir vetr."
(Skaldskáparmál, Younger Edda)

Haustmánuðr (literally "autumn month") is the last month of the summer half-year according to the Old Icelandic calendar. The month to make preparations for winter.

Haustmánuður byrjast næst jafndægrum en sólin gengur um þann tíma í vigtarmerki. Líka var þessi mánuður kallaður garðlagsmánuður því þessi þótti hentugur tími að bæta túngarða, engigarða, haga- eða skjólgarða og grannagarða... Nú er tími að velta landi því, sem sáð skal í einhverju fræi að vori. Vatnsveitingaskurði á nú að stinga svo ekkert vatn geti staðið yfir landi á vetrum heldur að það súra vatn fái gott afrennsli. Jarðarávexti, sem menn vilja geyma niðurgrafna úti eða inni, skal nú upp taka og láta nokkuð þorrna, grafa þá síðan niður hvar frost má ei að þeim koma. Um þessa tíma fellir melur fræ, má nú safna því áður og sá strax í sendið land og breiða mold yfir, kemur upp næsta vor. Hvannafræi og kúmeni má nú líka sá þar sem menn vilja þær jurtir vaxi síðan.

The text above is from the 1780 manuscript "Atli", by Björn Halldórsson in Sauðlauksdal. Halldórsson describes how this month was also called Garðlagsmánuður, garðlag meaning walls or fences made of turf or stone. This points to how it was a good month for repairing such enclosures around houses, fields or shelters—A great illustration of what I love about the old calendar; it's practical and descriptive nature, adapted to the Nordic climate of the time. It was described as the time to turn the soil that will be used for sowing next spring, and to create trenches or canals to prevent water from flooding the fields. Root vegetables that you wish to preserve inside or outside, should be harvested now, dried, and dug down in a place that will not freeze during winter. It's also the time to collect and sow seeds from e.g. melgresi/lime grass, hvönn/angelica, and kúmen/caraway.

In the photo below you'll see redcurrant jelly, made from fresh berries from my parents' garden, preserved for winter. It's sweet and sour, and perfect as a spread on crackers or bread, with cheeses, or to be served with e.g. venison or other game. (The jars are decorated with leftover linen from previous sewing projects, such as the dress in the photo above.) ^^

I've also been spending my evenings needlebinding more Icelandic wool hats in various sizes, like these dark olive ones. If I keep this going it looks like I'll have enough to start selling some of these things at markets next year, which is something I've never done before! I am working in 120% positions and would only be doing this as a pastime now and then, and on a small scale, but it would be fun to take on the role as a vendor at a market or two.

What do you think, would you have been interested if you stumbled upon these things at a historical market? :)

Snorri Sturluson "Skáldskaparmál"
Björn Halldórsson "Atli edr Raadagiørdir Yngismañs um Bwnad sinn"

Music: Wardruna - Ehwar

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Philosophiae Doctor 🎓🌱 22

Friday last week was a big highlight for me, and I am proud to say that my trial lecture and thesis defense went well, and that I now officially have my PhD title! ^^

My PhD project was a randomized controlled trial of vocational rehabilitation of young adults at risk of early disability. It's been a lot of work since I've been involved from the planning of the project and applying for funding, to coordinating the trial, performing the recruitment and data collection, before finally having data to analyze. But it has definitely been worth it.

And although the thesis doesn't have much to do with the Viking Age it still starts with Old Norse etymology and ends with two very relevant verses from Hávamál (yes it's true, haha!). ^^

Er-at maðr alls vesall,
þótt hann sé illa heill;
sumr er af sonum sæll,
sumr af frændum,
sumr af fé ærnu,
sumr af verkum vel.

Haltr ríðr hrossi,
hjörð rekr handar vanr,
daufr vegr ok dugir,
blindr er betri
en brenndr séi,
nýtr manngi nás.
A man is not bereaved of all,
although he is ill of health;
some are blessed with sons,
some with friends,
some with wealth,
some in working well.

The halt rides on horseback,
the one-handed drives a herd,
the deaf fights and is useful,
to be blind is better
than to be burnt on the pyre,
there is nothing the dead can do.

Here in Norway the whole procedure is a public event, and quite formal. Ten working days before the defense I was given a topic for which to prepare a 45-minute trial lecture. I presented the trial lecture in the morning of the thesis defense, and during the defense itself I presented my own research and published papers. This was followed by the first and later second opponent (from the international committee that evaluated my thesis) coming forward to discuss with me for a few hours. Despite the time I had spent fearing that moment before, I ended up being in some sort of happy bubble the whole time (despite some technical issues with my microphone and screen).

After the event there was a formal reception at the university, and later in the evening we had a big dinner party with family, friends and colleagues. Our Viking group Folkvangr were of course invited:

Don't let that formal attire fool you, earlier in the day they decided to turn up in full Viking warrior gear to guard the entry door! It was such a fun surprise and I think my colleagues enjoyed it as much as me.

I still feel like I am walking on air when thinking back and remembering the speeches and various entertainment from that night. Now our house is full of flowers, and while they have started to wither and I have picked up new tasks and projects that have awaited me, I still feel like I'm in that happy bubble and I think I'll stay here a bit longer. It feels really strange now to have a whole weekend with no work, and being able to sit and relax with a cup of tea without thinking that I "should" get up and do something.

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday! 🌿

Music: Songleikr - Mann og mening

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Askøy Viking Market & Folkvangr-gathering 🍃 25

A wonderful weekend is coming to an end. Saturday morning we went on a day-trip to the Askøy Viking Market which is just outside of Bergen. It was a bit strange to visit a market without spending the night, but as always it was great to meet and chat with people again, many of whom we will probably not get to see again until next years' market season.

And I had my camera with me, of course. ^^

The Kutchera's, from the Past time family.

It was a windy day! 😆

Helena, the foxy lady 🦊

This was probably my last Viking market this summer, which is a pity! But the upcoming months will be exciting, with my thesis defense coming up in mid-September followed by a long vacation. Looking forward to enjoy darker evenings, lighting candles, reading books and needlebinding by the fireplace... Autumn is not all that bad! ;)

Since Christian and I moved into our new house we have lots of room for guests, and we hosted a dinner party and sleepover for our Folkvangr group after our trip to the market. We had a proper feast with venison stew and lots of snacks, mead and wine into the wee hours, and a big breakfast this morning. Such a lovely bunch of people ♥ And just what I needed now to charge my batteries for the upcoming weeks!

Music: Kaunan - Dansen Ungdom

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Needlebinding (with video tutorial) 18

Needlebinding (or nålebinding in Norwegian), is an ancient technique and one of the oldest known to produce textile from fibers.

I was introduced to needlebinding by a friend during a market at Karmøy many years ago, then forgot how to get started, went to a needlebinding class at the museum, only to forget the process again (how on earth did I manage to finish my thesis with that kind of attention span?). This summer I finally decided it was time to learn it once and for all, and I brought lots of good, thick Icelandic yarn home with me. My mamma also brought back a bunch more from her trip a few weeks ago, replenishing my stock with new beautiful colors to work with. ^^

When needlebinding you work in loops, and pull the whole working thread through each loop continuosly (joining in new pieces of yarn as you go). The increasing and decreasing which is required to make various garments is not difficult, but when learning and getting used to the technique I found simple wrist warmers to be a good place to start, and I've recently moved on to making a few hats as well.

Looks like I will have no problems staying warm this winter!

The oldest findings of needlebound fragments in Scandinavia are from Tybrind Vig in Denmark, dated to 4200 BCE. When looking beyond Europe, however, needlebound fragments as old as 8000-6500 BCE have been found in Israel using plant fibers and possibly human hair, followed by findings from e.g. ancient Egypt and South-America. As pointed out by in Claßen-Büttner's book from 2015, "the technique is so old that its roots are hidden deep in the mists of prehistory". It is unlikely to have a single origin, and was more likely developed independently in different parts of the world. Needlebinding is done using a single needle made from e.g. horn or bone, and comparable needles have been dated as far as 30 millennia back in time.

Findings of more complete garments in Scandinavia have been dated from the late Iron Age and appear to have been more common during the Medieval period. Below are a couple of examples: A mitten found in Arnheiðarstaðir, Iceland (dated to 900-1000 CE, photo: Þjóðminjasafn Íslands), and a sock found in Uppsala, Denmark (medieval period, photo: Upplandsmuseet).

As a time-consuming technique that requires relatively much yarn, needlebinding was later effectively replaced by knitting, but it holds many advantages over such more modern techniques. It is much thicker, warmer, and more durable. If you get a hole in a needlebound garment, it won't rip, and you can easily close it with a few stitches.

Needlebinding is a technique that is red listed and threatened by extinction, so perhaps I may inspire some of you to pick up a needle and try for yourself? ^^

I've made a video below to guide you through the process!

Do you do any historical handicraft? 🌿

Music: Loreena McKennitt - La Serenissima

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Gudvangen Viking Market 2019! 🌿 25

Ah, the Gudvangen Viking Market is one of the highlights of my year. I usually attend markets for a weekend or so, but when travelling here we take the whole week off and have the time to really get into the feeling...

As I'm sure many of you already know the market has been arranged in the same place for many years, but during the last three years it has become a village called Njardarheimr with permanent buildings, wattle fences and little roads, sheep and chickens, a smithy, a chieftain's hall, and many smaller sleeping houses. The village hosts visitors all year around, with reenactors, blacksmiths and other craftspeople living and working there throughout the year.

I've finally gotten a hold of learning needlebinding ("nålebinding") and brought lots of Icelandic wool yarn with me back from my last trip to Iceland to work with during the market.

Our market-neighbor LC. ^^ As you can see here, he is helping me with my needlebinding.

Breakfast in our camp...

Due to the authenticity rules in Njardarheimr one is asked to change to modern clothing in order to use a camera during the opening hours, which I did in order to document some of the pretty things for sale around the village: :)

Silje by the chieftain's hall

Handwoven wool fabrics from handspun threads.. *drool*

The weather was mostly warm and sunny, and we used the opportunity to hike to the top of the mountains along the fjord, to "Bakkanosi" which is 1398 meters above sea level. The view was breathtaking! Considering the overload of photos I took during the market I think I'll save these for another blog post, but here is a little preview:

Glíma & combat training

I found the little red riding hood!

Working, playing, sharing food, mead, and songs by the campfire. ♥

We spent the last night at the market in the more modern food hall, where an open microphone had been set up for those who wanted to sing or play, and we enjoyed an evening with such a warm and joyful atmosphere.

The chieftain Georg may have said it best himself; In Njardarheimr everyone is welcome, except for those who think that someone else shouldn't be.

Thank you so much for now Gudvangen, see you again next year!


Music: Alasdair Fraser - Wooden Whale, Leaps & Bounds, Skye Barbecue

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Packing & preparations... 🏕🔥 15

Tomorrow morning we will be on our way to Gudvangen, to spend the rest of the week at the market there! We have spent almost all day today preparing and packing and we did not exactly pack light.

Getting it all to fit into the car is an activity that I like to call "viking-tetris"...

I also made crispbread to bring along, or what I call "frøbrød" in Norwegian. It is a very simple recipe; just mix 5 eggs with 1 liter of various seeds (e.g. flax and pumpkin seeds, perhaps some grinded nuts or almonds), add salt or any other spices if you'd like, spread it evenly over a baking pan and bake for 10 minutes on 190°C. Cut it into pieces as soon as you take it out of the oven, and let them cool. Voilà, a perfect breakfast to be enjoyed with butter, cheese, or any other spreads.

I hope to see some of you there, and to those of you who are not going, you'll find
my blog post with photos from the market here next week! :)
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Iceland 2019 🇮🇸  7

My brother and I spent last week in Iceland!

One week was way too short... When I was a child I would spend the entire summer vacation there, and I really miss it. Being so closely bound to two countries means that I always carry a longing within me. 💙

Endless fields of blue...

We stayed in our cabin by our family farm on the west coast.

View from the livingroom and my bedroom window late at night:

There are four bottle lambs at the farm this year, and they are actually not fed by bottle anymore but by an artificial lamb feeder that allows them to get warm milk whenever they like. This means that they are not associating us with milk, and only come over asking for cuddles. So sweet! ^^

The Icelandic sheep breed was brought by the first settlers and are kept isolated, much like the Icelandic horse. They are characterized by their hardiness, large variety of colors, beautiful curled horns, and the wool is especially warm and light.

Did you know there are more sheep than people in Iceland? XD

Þoka and Soldán

The "mountain that looks like an arrowhead" - Sandor Clegane

During our time there we went to our cousin's wedding, so even though our stay was short I got to meet most of my big Icelandic family! The unpredictable weather was luckily on its good behavior for the occasion and it was such a beautiful day.

I hope to be back soon! ♥

Music: Sigur Rós - Svefn-g-englar

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Yellow ochre 🌾 12

In my previous post I mentioned something about a few seams and details missing on a dress that I made during the Bjørgvin market... Well, when it comes to hand stitching, a few details may sometimes take a few days.

But here it is!

Like most of my other apron dresses it is based on interpretations of the findings from Haithabu, with one front and two back panels. In contrast to some of my previous versions I didn't add the darts and braids on the back, and I added a gore on each side for extra width. While the original findings do not reveal the lower part of the dress, I have made the back a bit longer than the front to create sort of long train look seen in Valkyrie pendants.

(When speaking of these Valkyrie pendants, you may spot reconstructions of them hanging amongst the beads between my brooches.)

Some years ago, I would have used my Singer and finished a dress in a day. It would be made using modern measuring tape, and all seams would have been surgically straight. But although I do not aspire to do everything historically accurate (after all I buy my fabrics, and do not produce the threads, color or weave myself, and the items I wear are from various locations and periods within the Viking Age), I have grown to dread the thought of having machine-sewn stiches or threads with modern materials in my Viking clothing.

It feels truly different to wear something that took me days on end to create by hand, after searching and reading about interpretations of historical findings and different sewing techniques. Something that I hope could actually have been worn during the Viking Age, without too many raised eyebrows.

So apart from sewing my new clothing properly by hand, I also keep splitting up my old machine-sewn ones and re-sewing them.

I suppose this is part of the different phases that everyone who stays in this game for some years experiences, a journey that has been much more eloquently described by others. ^^

I still have a lot to learn—and while this is something I do as a hobby and not as a full-time activity—I will continue to strive to develop and become better for every season. And during my sewing-practice, I realize that I am getting close to having an apron dress in every color... Oh, the luxuries of a modern Viking...

Music: Eldrim - Heimkomst

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Bjørgvin Viking & Medieval Market, 2019  3

Back from the lovely Bjørgvin Market, on the beautiful grounds of the Hordamuseum (which is only a short drive from our home). It felt so good to be back in my historical clothing and living outside, surrounded by the smell of bonfires, the sound of blackbirds chirping, and flutes playing cheerful music!

We had some sunny weather during the daytime but the nights were wet and chilly, and I don't suppose sleeping in a tent helped my cold and sore throat much (not to mention singing around the fire, and breathing in lots of smoke). :-) But it was worth it! Hoping for a warmer and drier experience at our next market. Meanwhile, here are some photos from the weekend.


Our camp (all nice and clean, before the rain turned the ground into a mud bath)!

Behold my lovely breakfast! Crisp bread with spelt and flax seeds, eggs, cured ham, cheese, carrots, spinach, and apple juice... 🧀🥚🍏🍖

Wearing the Skjoldehamn hood from my previous post..

My sweet Silje

Anja & Claus

And Lars Christian!

During the market I made a new apron dress in a yellow ocher color. It's however not quite ready yet, as some stitching and details remain. More photos to come later. :-)

Cheers and thanks for now BM, we'll see you again next year! ^^

Music: Kjell Braaten - Olavs party

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The Skjoldehamn hood 🌲 27

The Skjoldehamn hood is probably one of the most commonly observed garments at Viking markets—which is not surprising as it is practical in the Scandinavian climate, and very easy to make (it only consists of three pieces).

About the original finding

Dated to the late Viking to early Medieval period, the Skjoldehamn bog finding was a unique discovery of a complete outfit consisting of a hood, kirtle, inner shirt/tunic, breeches, belt, tablet woven ankle bands, ankle wraps, socks and shoes. The body had been wrapped in a carpet with bands and leather straps, laid on a reindeer skin over birch rods, and the grave had been covered with bark.

Photo from Løvlid 2009, showing the left (and best preserved) side of the hood.

The original was in brown wool, and sewn with dark brown/grey thread. In addition to this it had a few seams in red and golden colors, and several rows of seams that created a "mohawk effect" on top of the head.

There were also braids with olive green tassels attached to each side, which may have been used to tighten the hood.

You can read more about the finding in the links provided at the end of the post, including a great master's thesis by D. H. Løvlid whose analyses contributed to the current dating of the finding, which was previously believed to be much younger.

My version of the hood

I decided to make myself a new hood based on this finding, using leftover fabric from previous projects.

Flowers, "Jonsokblom", that grow outside our house... ^^

All seams are handsewn with brown/grey 100% wool thread. The braids and tassels are made with brown/grey and olive wool threads, and should have approximately the same thickness, length, and location as the original.

Although the bottom/hem on the original was not folded, I chose to fold in and stich down all edges. I also chose to line my hood with leftover linen, as the Shetland wool I used has a quite coarse structure.

Supposedly, the word lining comes from the common use of a linen layer worn underneath wool, in order to protect the outer layer as well as to avoid wearing wool directly the skin. (I suppose not even our tough ancestors liked itching!)

In addition to minimizing waste, the extra advantage in using leftover materials for little projects like these is that the different items in my wardrobe match each other pretty well, such as this Heiðabý-bag that I made a while ago.

In a few days we will be off to our first market this season, and it looks like the hood may come to good use according to the weather forecast... At least that means we can light fires this year (last year was too dry to allow any open flames)! I look forward to set camp with my Folkvangr-friends and enjoy the market life again, and I'll make sure to take lots of photos to share here.

Music: Danheim - Holmgang

Sources and further reading:

Hügel, V. 2005. Paa en Stang Struden efter hannem bære. Forskning på hetter og struthetter fra Nordens middelalder. Master's thesis in archeology (Norwegian). The Arctic University of Norway.

Løvlid, D. H. 2009. Nye tanker om Skjoldehamnfunnet. Master's thesis in archeology (Norwegian), University of Bergen.

Løvlid, D. H. 2010. The Skjoldehamn find in the light of new knowledge. A discussion of the burial, the ethnic affiliation of the outfit, and the person's gender and social status. English Translation of article published at http://lofotr.no (translation by by Carol Lynn, 2011).
A couple of tutorials:

Risberg, K. 2016. Skjoldehamn Hood Tutorial.

Carletti, F. 2016. Skjolehamn Hood Handout.

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A warm wool coat... 🍂 12

Some years ago, I made an attempt at sewing a warm wool coat inspired by findings from Birka (neckline) and Herjolfsnes (gores). Unfortunately, it turned out so large and wide that it made me, 182cm tall, look like a little child stumbling around in her mother's cloak... ^^

I finally got around to fixing it, by detaching all the parts and cutting them back quite a bit before stitching them back together by hand.

The fabric is really thick and warm uncolored wool, and is sewn with waxed woolen thread.

In addition to the back and two front panels, it has five gores for extra hem width, underarm gussets, and three parallel lines of seam for each length. I also added two darts on the lower back to get a better fit.

Needless to say, my fingers hurt... I also bent two needles in the process, aand on one occasion I accidentally sewed the coat stuck to the pants I was wearing while watching GoT... XD

Ah, the struggles!

Square underarm gussets.

It is open in the front and can be closed with a brooch or clasp.

The low neckline is shaped so that the brooches and beads on the apron dress beneath can be visible.

I think it fits quite well now! This will definitely be a practical garment for Viking events during fall and winter, and probably on chilly Norwegian summer nights as well. ^^

Music: Cesair - Erda
Photos and editing: Valkyrja.com, with background stockphotos from Colourbox.com

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Vor í lofti 🌱 24

There is definitely "vor í lofti" (spring in the air) here in Bergen. The birds are chirping non-stop, my little bunny Embla is bouncing around the lawn, the spring sun is shining and the flowers that I’ve the planted in the little garden of our new home have sprouted...

But the surest sign of spring of all is that I’ve picked up my sewing projects that I was supposed to do this winter... ^^

And the reason why I have finally gotten around to it now, is that I handed in my doctoral thesis earlier this month! I am so excited.

While I still have other projects to attend to at work, I will have more normal work days ahead while the committee is evaluating my thesis before the trial lecture and public defense will take place (presumably in the early fall). Meanwhile, I have been making use of some of my vacation days, and I am looking forward to the wonderful historical markets this summer. The first one will be at Bjørgvin Marknad in the end of May, and I hope to have some finished sewing projects to share here before that. :)

And if you are reading this, I thank you for following my blog despite my absence on social media and irregular posting! If you would like to get notifications about new posts, you can use this RSS feed, or follow my blog with Bloglovin.

I look forward to post more Viking-related stuff during the upcoming months! 🌿

Music: Emian - La Giga del Lupo

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Velkomin sértu, góa mín... 23

Tomorrow (Sunday) we enter Góa, the fifth and penultimate month of winter in the Old Icelandic calendar.

According to Orkneyinga saga, an Icelandic manuscript in Flateyjarbók from about 1200, Góa or Gói was the daughter of king Þorri, a descendant of the jotun Fornjótr and personification of winter. Góa disappeared during the month of Þorri (the month we are currently in, which is named after her father), and was nowhere to be found. Her father and brothers arranged a sacrificial feast, Góublót, asking for guidance and hoping to retrieve her. They spent years looking for her around the land and overseas, until she was finally found in Norway, wed to the king Hrólfr.

Being among the last winter months, Góa would have been a difficult time where food supplies were running low, and a time filled with hope of an early and mild spring. This is illustrated by Icelandic proverbs such as "að þreyja þorrann og góuna" (to endure Þorri and Góa, that is, to overcome difficult times). Several aspects of the stories and traditions related to Góa are associated with hopes of fertility and growth.

Icelandic folktales describe how this month is the month of women, and that it should be greeted by the housewife on the farm. On the first day of Góa—in the eighteenth week of winter—she should rise during the night or early morning and step outside before getting dressed, walk thrice around the farm, and speak the following words:

“Velkomin sértu, góa mín,

og gakktu í bæinn;

vertu ekki úti í vindinum

vorlangan daginn”

“Welcome, my dear Góa,

and come on inside;

don’t stay out in the wind,

on this long day of spring.”

On this day the housewife would also invite her female neighbors over for a feast. The first day of Góa is celebrated in Iceland as the women's day, and men are expected to be especially attentive to the women in their lives on this day.

So never mind Valentines—welcome Góa, and please step inside!

Music: Danheim - Skjoldborg
Photography: Marius Pettersen & Valkyrja.com

Íslenzkar þjóðsögur og æfintýri
Torre och Gói i de isländska källorna
Hvenær er góa og hvað þýðir orðið eiginlega?
Hver er uppruni og saga konudagsins?

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Midwinter blót, 2019 🔥 21

Last night was the first full moon after the first new moon since the winter solstice - and time for the Old Norse Midwinter blót and Yule celebration, which is one of the four main feasts of the year.

We celebrated during the weekend by bundling up with layers of wool, packed firewood, dried and cured leg of lamb, blueberry mead and mulled wine in our backpacks, and headed into the woods.

It was dark and I didn't focus on taking that many photos, but perhaps you can perceive some of the good atmosphere through the few ones I captured. It was a wonderful weekend with close friends.

Do you celebrate Midwinter?

Music: Wardruna - Vardlokk

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Red apron dress and natural linen tunic 19

Bjørgvin is now covered by a white veil of lovely thick snow, which is not all that common since we are located by the coast and more used to clouds and rain than we'd like to admit. I used the opportunity to take a few proper photos of my newest handsewn dresses that I made last year!

The red woolen apron dress is sewn with wool thread using the same technique as my previous blue one, based on the Heiðabý/Haithabu findings. It consists of three panels (one in the front and two joining at the back), with two darts running down along the back. The darts are decorated with 6-strand braids of red and brown wool. I made this one a bit longer than my previous one, and the backside of the dress reaches down to the ground.

Shoulder loops..

The tunic/underdress is made from natural unbleached linen, and is sewn with extra gores to add width, square underarm gussets, and a keyhole neckline. The design is based on fragments from Birka, Norway.

Now it's time to pack some warmer clothes, needlebound hats and mittens, as we will be spending the evening outside in the woods with friends, with cured meats, mead and warm mulled wine around the fire! It's been a long time, and I cannot wait. ^^

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Music: Wardruna - Algir-Tognatale

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Viking market calendar - 2019 ⊕ 13

Ah, the fresh feeling brand new year... I hope you had a wonderful Yuletide, and I wish you all the best in 2019! 🌿🍂

For some of us there is however still more Yule to come during the next few weeks, and we are currently planning the upcoming midwinter blót of our little reenactment group Folkvangr.

Til árs ok friðar - To a good and peaceful year!

As always, I am also looking forward to the upcoming season of Medieval and Viking Age events with great affection! Below you'll find my annual list of things happening around Scandinavia this year.

Some markets are biennial and/or will not be arranged this year (N/A), and since it's still early some dates have not been set yet (TBA), but I'll be updating the list continuously.

If your market or event is not listed, please let me know and I'll make sure to add it!

20.01 Barnas jólefest på Midgard / Childrens' Yule Feast at Midgard (NO)
08-10.02 Re Middelalderdager / Re Medieval Festival (NO)
22-24.02 Vinterviking / "Winter viking" seminar (NO)
11-12.05 Ekenäs Riddarspel og Historiska Marknad / Knights tournament at Ekenäs castle (SE)
13-14.05 Medeltidsmarknad i Kungsträdgården / Medieval Market at Kungsträdgården (SE)
29.04-05.05 Ribe Vikingemarked / Ribe Viking Market (DK)
30.04-01.05 Alsnu vikingadagar / Alsnu Viking Days (SE)
01.05-21.10 Njardarheimr, Gudvangen Viking Village (NO)
04-05.05 Ale Vikingamarknad / Ale Viking Market (SE)
17-19.05 Middelalder Majmarked / Medieval May Market (DK)
24-26.05 Gärdsjöspelen / Gärdsjöspelen (SE)
24-26.05 Oslo Middelalderfestival / Oslo Medieval Festival (NO)
25-26.05 Lödöse Medeltidsdagar / Lödöse Medieval Days (SE)
25-26.05 Runrikets Dag, Täby / The Rune Kingdom's Day (SE)
25-26.05 Tyresö medeltidsdagar / Tyresö Medieval Days (SE)
25-26.05 Vetlanda Vikingamarknad (Emådalens Vikingar) / Vikingmarket in Vetlanda (SE)
25-26.05 Vikingmarked på Leikvin (Møre frie Vikingar) / Viking Market at Leikvin (NO)
24-26.05 Vikingtinget på Tingvatn (Agder Vikinglag) / Vikingting at Tingvatn (NO)
25-26.05 Lekvattnets Medeltidsmarknad (Karmenkynna) / Lekvattnets Medieval Market (SE)
30.05-02.06 Leksands Medeltidsmarknad / Leksand Medieval Market (SE)
30.05-02.06 Smedenes Vikingemarked / Market of Blacksmiths at Kysing Strand (DK)
30.05-02.06 Vikingernes forårstræf, Ulvsborg / Vikings' spring meeting, Ulvsborg (DK)
31.05-02.06 Bjørgvin Marknad, Viking og Middelalderfestival / Bjørgvin Viking and Medieval Market (NO)
31.05-01.06 Rikstornering og marknad på Hovdala slott / Jousting Tournament at Hovdala Castle (SE)
31.05-02.06 Tønsberg Middelalderfestival / Tønsberg Medieval Festival (NO)
N/A Sigdal Viking-Middelaldermarked / Sigdal Viking and Medieval Market (NO)
06-09.06 Karmøy Vikingfestival / Karmøy Viking Market (NO)
07-10.06 Københavns Middelaldermarked / Copenhagen Medieval Market (DK)
08-09.06 Arvika Medeltidsmarknad / Arvika Medieval Market (SE)
13-17.06 Hafnarfjördur Víkingahátíð / Hafnarfjördur Viking Festival (IS)
14-16.06 Hamar Middelalderfestival / Hamar Medieval Festival (NO)
15-16.06 Esrum Middelalderdage / Esrum Medieval Days (DK)
15-16.06 Medeltidsdagarna i Lund / Medieval Festival in Lund (SE)
21-23.06 Frederikssund Vikingemarked Frederikssund Viking Market (DK)
21-23.06 Trondheim Vikingmarked / Trondheim Viking Market (NO)
21-23.06 Yddir Vikingmarked / Yddir Viking Market (NO)
28-30.06 Fotevikens vikingamarknad / Fotevikens Vikingmarket (SE)
28-30.06 Wadköping Medeltidsmarknad / Wadköping Medieval Festival (SE)
29-30.06 Silvergruvans Medeltidsdagar / Silvergruvans Medieval Days (SE)
29-30.06 Vikingemarkedet på Lindholm Høje / Viking Market at Lindholm Høje (DK)
TBA Vikingemarked på Doverodde / Viking Market at Doverodde (DK)
N/A Ramme Vikingemarked / Ramme Viking Market (DK)
N/A Sunnmøre Middelalderfestival / Sunnmøre Medieval Festival (NO)
N/A Hafrsfjordkaupangen / Hafrsfjord Viking Market (NO)
01.07-09.08 Hvolris Jernalderlandsby / Hvolris Iron Age Village (DK)
02-07.07 I Förfäders Spår, for deltakere / Ancestors' Footsteps, history event, for reenactors (SE)
05-07.07 Slaget om Trelleborgen / Battle of Trelleborgen (SE)
05-07.07 Tuna Ting Medeltidsmarknad, Börlange (Södra Dalarnas Medeltidsförening) / Tuna Ting Medieval Market, Börlange (SE)
05-07.07 Vikingafestival i Stallarholmen / Stallarholmen Viking Festival (SE)
06-07.07 Fyrkat Vikingemarked / Fyrkat Viking Market (DK)
06-07.07 Hova Riddarvecka / Hova Kinghts' Week (SE)
06-07.07 I Förfäders Spår, Vikingatida Marknad / I Förfäders Spår, Viking Market (SE)
06-07.07 Jels vikingespil og marked / Jels Viking Play and Market (DK)
06-07.07 Medeltidsdagar på Varbergs fästning / Medieval Days at Varberg Fortress (SE)
06-07.07 Midgard Vikingfestival / Midgard Viking Festival (NO)
06-07.07 Vikingemarkedet ved Højene i Jelling / Viking Market at Højene (DK)
08-12.07 Vikingemarked - Ret og Råd på Ravnebjerg / Thing and Viking Market at Ravnebjerg (DK)
09.07-05.08 Vikingar på Birka / Vikings at Birka (SE)
11-13.07 Skellefteås Medeltidsdagar på Kyrkholmen / Skellefteås Medieval Days (SE)
12-14.07 Barnas Vikingdager på Egge / Childrens' Viking Days at Egge (NO)
12-14.07 Bronseplassen Vikingmarked (Agder Vikinglag) / Bronseplassen Viking Market (NO)
13.07 Medeltidsdagen, Forsa Socken / Medieval Day, Forsa parish (SE)
13.07 Ingólfshátíð / Viking festival of Reykjavík (IS)
13.07 Medeltidsdagen vid Hunehals Borg / Medieval Day at Hunehals Borg (SE)
13-14.07 Fröja Thing Vikingamarknad / Fröja Thing Viking Market (SE)
13-21.07 Trelleborg Vikingefestival / Trelleborg Viking Festival (DK)
15-20.07 Bornholms Middelalderuge / Bornholm Medieval Week (DK)
16-21.07 Gudvangen Vikingmarked / Gudvangen Viking Market (NO)
16.07-03.08 Storholmen Vikingasommar (tirsdager til lørdager) / Storholmen Viking Summer (SE) (Tuesdays to Saturdays)
19-21.07 Medeltidsdagarna, Torpa Stenhus / Medieval Days, Torpa Stenhus (SE)
19-21.07 Sarpsborg Vikingfestival / Sarpsborg Viking Festival (NO)
20-29.07 Middelalderuka i Numedal / Medieval week in Numedal (NO)
22-29.07 Olsokdagene på Stiklestad / The Saint Olav festival at Stiklestad (NO)
24-28.07 Orø Vikingemarked / Orø Viking Market (DK)
24-28.07 Stiklastadirmarkedet / Stiklastadir Historical Market (NO)
25-27.07 Vikingamarknaden i Saltvik (Fornföreningen Fibula) / Viking Market in Saltvik (SE)
27-28.07 Moesgård Vikingetræf / The Viking Moot at Moesgård (DK)
27-28.07 Värmlands Vikingating / Värmland Viking Thing (SE)
TBA Medeltidsspelen i Medeltidsbyn Primus Vicus / Medieval Games, in the Village of Primus Vicus (SE)
N/A Borre Vikingmarked / Borre Viking Market (NO)
N/A Medeltidsdagar på Hägnan (Luleå) / Medieval Days at Hägnan in Luleå (SE)
01-05.08 Saltr vikingmarked (Boðvin Viking) / Saltr Viking Market (NO)
02-04.08 Hornbore Ting / Hornbore Ting (SE)
03-04.08 Vikingemarked i Hobro (Sildehagen) / Viking Market in Hobro (Sildehagen) (SE)
04-11.08 Medeltidsveckan på Gotland / Medieval Week at Gotland (SE)
07-11.08 Arboga Medeltidsdagar / Arboga Medieval Days (SE)
07-11.08 Lofotr Vikingfestival / Lofotr Viking Festival (NO)
10-11.08 Bork Vikingemarked / Bork Viking Market (DK)
04.08 Vikingdag på Lygra / Viking Day at Lygra (NO)
14-18.08 Midgardsblot metalfestival / Midgardsblot Metal Festival (includes a viking market area) (NO)
17-18.08 Vikinge marked ved Kællinghøl, Bjerringbro / Kællinghøl Viking Market (DK)
23-25.08 Askøy Vikinglag Marknad / Askøy Viking Market (NO)
23-24.08 Europæisk Middelalder Festival, Horsens / European Medieval Festival, Horsens (DK)
24-25.08 Högs Gästabud, medeltids marknad med tournerspel / Medival Market and tournament at Hög (SE)
25.08 Barnens Arkeologidag, Storholmen Vikingaby / The Children’s Viking Day, Storholmen Viking Village (SE)
30.08-01.09 Söderköpings Gästabud, Medeltida marknad / Söderköpings Gästabud, Medieval market (SE)
31.08-01.09 Hove Vikingmarked (Agder Vikinglag) / Hove Viking Market (NO)
31.08-01.09 Kalundborg Middelalderfestival / Kalundborg Medieval Festival (DK)
31.08-01.09 Nordfyns Vikingemarked / Nordfyns Viking Market (DK)
31.08-01.09 Vikingemarked i Sebbersund / Viking Market in Sebbersund (DK)
TBA Jämtlands Vikinga Dagar / Jämtlands Viking Days (SE)
TBA Nivlheim vikingmarked / Nivlheim Viking Market (NO)
TBA Norrtälje Historiska dagar / Norrtälje Historical Days (SE)
N/A Festningsdagene (gamle Bergenhusdagene) / Medieval Days at Bergenhus Fortress (NO)
N/A Landa park vikingfestival, Forsand / Vikingfestival at Landa Park in Forsand (NO)
N/A Ringsted Middelalderfestival / Ringsted Medieval festival (DK)
07-08.09 Gjallarstadir Vikingmarked Lillestrøm / Gjallarstadir Viking Market (NO)
07-08.09 Ishøj Vikingemarked / Ishøj Viking Market (DK)
07-08.09 Vikingatida Höstmarknad, Gunnes Gård / Vikingage Autumn Market, Gunnes Farm (SE)
08.09 Middelalderdagen på Karmøy / Medieval Day at Karmøy (NO)
12-15.09 Tønsberg Vikingfestival / Tønsberg Viking Festival (NO)
14-15.09 Gudahagens Vikingamarknad / Gudahagens Viking Market (SE)
14-15.09 Hvolris Oldtidsmarked / Hvolris Market (DK)
14.09 Medeltidsmarknad i Västerås / Medieval Market in Västerås (SE)
TBA Store Nes Viking og Middelalder Marked / Store Nes Viking and Medieval Market (NO)
N/A Vikingmarked på Utstein kloster / Viking Market at Utstein Monastery (NO)
05-06.10 Tissø Vikingemarked / Tissø Viking Market (DK)
23-24.11 Hedensk Julemarked / Heathen Yule Market (DK)
30.11 Juleåbent på Ulvsborg / Yule at Ulvsborg (DK)
30.11-01.12 Julemarknad i Gudvangen / Yule Market in Gudvangen (NO)
06-08.12 Medeltida jul på Gotland / Medieval Yule at Gotland (SE)
08.12 Ale Julmarknad / Ale Yule Market (SE)
14.12 Frederikssund Lysfest og Vintermarked / Frederikssund Winter Market (DK)
14.12 Vintersolhvervsfest på Fyrkat / Midwinter celebration at Fyrkat (DK)
TBA Julmarknad i Medeltidsbyn Primus Vicus / Yule market, in the Village of Primus Vicus (SE)

What are your plans for the upcoming market season? Pehaps I'll get to meet some more of you in person this year!

Ps. Feel free to share this post (Valkyrja.com/130118) or its contents with credit to Valkyrja.com.

Music: Songleikr - Mann og mening

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