Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Costume Update (4) and Singing in my Head

Wahoo! Last night, I got in my fabric for my costume. First thing I did was to doublecheck with my clan tartans book to make sure none of them actually represented a clan pattern. Though some were vaguely similar, none were. I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet, though. The yellow-and-black (which looks more orange-and-black to me) will almost certainly become several sets of hose. I might also make a set of knee-breeches out of this same cloth, to reproduce a pair in a portrait of Neil Gow. There are two green patterns, one a muted green with a thick brown striping, and yellow and red pinstripes; another with a brighter green field, with blocks of black and a pinstripe of white. I don't know what I'm going to do with these two. They seem too thin for a kilt, but might be appropriate for waistcoats and trews; whether they are thick enough to serve as a jacket remains to be seen.

I also got my steel-framed flintlock pistol and basket hilt sword from The Discriminating General last night. Both look fantastic! I need to stitch the sword belt tight to cinch it around the scabbard. Also, I figured out how to take the red velvet lining out of the basket without damaging it. I will probably sell my brass-handled basket hilt to a friend, along with a sword belt for it. A flint will be a necessary accessory for the pistol, and (eventually) have a vent hole drilled, so it can be fired.

All my lessons went well today. I discovered the secret for fixing the biggest problem I was having with the pipe 6/8s was to "sing it in my head" before striking in. Just from one week, I showed huge improvement from doing that. On the fiddle front, it was my last Scottish fiddle lesson until fall, and Elke wants to start sending me to the original sources (rather than the fiddle club books) next year, and start me on chords, harmonies, and variatons. Philippe has me on jigs now, and preliminary roll exercises. Mastering fiddle rolls should come quickly, I think.

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