An Introduction to Hand Carding Wool

What is Carding Wool? In order to start spinning your bundle of raw wool into thread, you must first card the wool.


How to flick wool using a flick carder

How to flick wool using a flick carder

Flick Carder

Flick Carder

What is a flick carder used for?

A flick carder is a type of small carding tool that performs the following:

  • Removes vegetable matter and other debris
  • Removes the shorter fibers
  • Opens up the tips of a lock of wool to spin directly from the lock
How to flick wool using a flick carder

There are different ways you can use a flick carder.
Mainly it will depend on who you ask.
One of the…

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Wrist Distaff, What it is and how to use one

Wrist Distaff, What it is and how to use one

Bottom Whorl Drop Spindle

Lady using a drop spindle in Switzerland

What is a Wrist Distaff

A distaff is a device used for holding wool/flax for the spinner, that keeps the loose fiber in an area away from the spinning, so it will not become tangled. If you look at the picture to the right you will notice that the person using the drop spindle just has a bunch of loose fiber sitting over her hand. If shes uses a distaff…

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Six Steps to Setting Successful Goals


Six Steps to Setting Successful Goals

Why goals fail

On of the most common things that happen every year is thousands of engineers set new goals for themselves. Some of these goals may be to learn a new piece of software, get a promotion at work, or get their professional engineering license. The next most common thing is most of those goals fall to the wayside for various reason. I know I have made many attempts at setting goals and…

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Where to buy a sword

Exhibit in the Higgins Armory Museum, 100 Barber Avenue, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Where to Buy Swords?

One thing I have been asked quite a few times is where to buy swords at? Well that will depend on what you are intending for them. Some people just want a decorative sword while others want one that can actually be used. Lets take a look at the differences to help you decide which type of sword to buy

Sword Replicas

If you are going to be just using it for a decoration then your best bang for the buck is to look into buying a sword replica. The sword replicas are going to be cheaper than a functional sword. The reason they are cheaper is because of the difference in construction. If you buy a replica sword you are going to get a blade that is stainless steel. Stainless steel has the benifet of not rusting, but due to the chromium content the stainless steel would be brittler than a sword made of a carbon alloy. Another difference is the blade on a replica sword is usually stamped out of a single piece of metal. The greatly reduces the processing time. This also changes the balance of the sword, making the sword rather unweildly

Functional Sword

These will cost considerably more. The swords are generally forged by a blacksmith which adds to the cost. Also they will be made of carbon steel which is far more durable than the stainless steel, but they are not as rust resistance. This means that greater care will need to be taken in the upkeep of your sword. These swords also have a full tang. The tang is the part of the sword that is inside the hilt. In a real sword the tang is part of the blade, whereas a replica sword this may be screwed in. The reason for the full tang is when you hit something the hilt takes a lot of the shock and you do not want to swing your sword only to see your blade go flying off. If you do not believe me, take at look at this.

What else to get

When you purchase your sword there is a few things you might want to look at getting. Depending on how you plan to use the sword will depend on which one you meed. If you plan on wearing the sword you will need to make sure you have some sword of harness to attach the sword too as well as a scabbard. If you are going to just display the sword you might just need some sort of rack. One thing I would get is a cleaning to kit to keep your sword in pristine shape for years to come.

Vendors with Swords to Buy

Swords at Amazon There are a lot of movie prop/replica sword here. (Affiliate Link) has a large ammount of various swords. They range from the replicas to battle ready They6 specialize in Japanese Swords, but do carry a lot of Historical Western and Fantasy Swords. (Affiliate Link)

Lastly I would like to point out that with any weapon, care should be taken in the use of it. And remember what you see on tv, movies, and in books may not be what actually happens when you use your sword. So consider yourself warned.


In Remembrance to Owain Phyfe

[caption id=”attachment_347” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”]Owain PhyfeOwain Phyfe at the Wine Tasting. At the Louisiana Renaissance Festival[/caption]

In Memory of Owain Phyfe

It is with sad new that on September 5th, 2012 I learned Owain Phyfe passed on. He is survived by his wife Lady Paula, his sons, and all the people whose lives he touched with his music. He will be greatly missed. Owain had a passion for music that was sung during the medieval and renaissance times. You could always hear him playing the greatest hits of the 13th, 14th, and 15th century. I have also noticed that when you would hear is voice there was always a wine tasting or some other event concerning wine nearby. My first memory of Owain Phyfe was at the Louisiana Renaissance Festival in 2010. This was my first festival and I really did not know what to make of it. I was walking down the road towards the wine tasting and I could hear this hauntingly beautiful male voice singing. Over the next few visits to the faire I would always stop by to listen to him for a while. In 2011 I was able to get on the cast of the Louisiana Renaissance Festival, where I was the gardener to the Baron. I went by the name Harry Sodder (The Gardener for You Know Who). During this time I was able to mingle with the cast a little bit more and get to know them. It was during this time I was able to get a pair of wine tasting tickets. The wine tastings are hosted by a good friend of Owain, Jamie Haeuser. It was during this wine tasting, which I highly recommend, that I was able to get my first concert with Owain Phyfe, and got a lot of great wine. I really enjoyed the concert not only because of the great music, but Owain explained a lot of the songs. We got to know where they came from and what they were about. I learned the back story of “We Be Soldiers Three” Twice more I was blessed with seeing two other concerts in which he performed. It was during these concerts that I was introduced by Owain to a non-profit group called RESCU Foundation. This is the Renaissance Entertainers Services and Crafters United. This is a foundation that accepts donation and help other renaissance performers with pertinent medical bills. Owain was actively seeking donations to help others and I think I ended up giving him what I had in my pockets, which was like $10. So in honor of my friend Owain Phyfe I added a new widget to my site. This widget is for the RESCU Foundation.


Louisiana Renaissance Festival Flooded

As everyone knows, hurricane Issac has caused massive damage to people in Louisiana. It has also caused substantial damage to both the Renaissance Festival site and merchants who have invested in our festival. We have had a lot of folks that have asked if there is any way they can help the festival and the merchants that have lost equipment that they stored in their booths. We have set up a PayPal account at so people can make donations to help us make things a bit better for people who need to replace equipment or make repairs so their booth can be ready for opening this fall. After we finish our damage assessment we will provide applications for assistance to merchants with substantial damages so they can request assistance if needed. We will also make applications available to our local cast and crew who may be in need of immediate assistance. Once the site dries out we will be posting more information on cleanup days to help get the site ready for this fall. We have more than eight weeks before we open, and that is enough time to take care of everything just in time for opening!

Flood@LARF.ORG is the PayPal account set up for donations. Thank you for your support!


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