Akoites and Melampos, part 2

The Akoites and Melampos Project, part 2 Where'd I leave off, anyhow? I'm writing this offline, don't have access to what I wrote before. Also slightly under the influence of both dark cherry hard cider and books set in the Florida Keys, and between the two, I am regressing to my Southernness. So do please pardon me. I imagine I already posted the materials and the beginnings of weaving. So I'll pick up about there. The body of Akoites, ready to be cut off the loom. Sounds painful, eh? He don't seem to mind it though. To get the dolls to stand upright, you turn the middle of the strip into a flat-bottomed pocket, and put flat river stones in. Then you stitch up the sides and stuff the tube with more wool, and a layer of lavender to keep the moths away. Looks a little wonky, doesn't he? It'll be ok. Needs some more shaping is all. I foolishly tied together the warp ends at the top and stitched the shoulders closed. Foolishly, because I hadn't made the arms yet. I had to unpick it. And here are both bodies without arms, waiting. And waiting for me to do the dying of their head-wool. In the mean time, while I figure out what on earth to do now that the tea dyeing and the coffee dyeing haven't worked, I'd do some of their accoutrements. A tricorn pirate's hat for Akoites, a cloak for Melampos, and a tiny thyrsos for one or the other of them. Finally, I got the colors for the heads sorted, although not really to my satisfaction, and made the two sets of arms merely by twining lengths of yarn together. Here's Akoites, more or less finished, just needing dolphin and thyrsos, front and back. Here's Melampos, who's so dark he doesn't photograph well in my living room, but who still needs his braids finished, plus a staff and his sneks. And here's the pair of them, finished. Materials: Akoites: Plymouth Select DK Merino Superwash, white brown merino black merino red merino raw wool (hair and stuffing) lavender (stuffing) brackberry bramble, thorns removed (thyrsos) tiny pinecone (thyrsos) Dolphin: white merino silver-grey kid mohair Melampos: Plymouth Select DK Merino Superwash, black red merino (cloak, snake) white merino (cloak, snake) dark brown merino raw wool (stuffing) lavender (stuffing) no 12 crochet thread, black (hair) metallic charcoal Angelina (hair ties) blackberry bramble, thorns removed (staff)...

Akoites and Melampos, part 1

A friend has commissioned me to make dolls of two Starry Bull heroes, Akoites and Melampos. Akoites was the captain of the pirate ship that kidnapped the young Dionysos and planned to sell him as a slave. Akoites was the only one who thought this was a bad idea, because he sensed the god's divinity, but his mutinous sailors did it anyway. When Dionysos awoke, he trapped the ship in vines and turned all the sailors into dolphins -- except Akoites himself. Akoites later went on to serve as herald for Dionysos when he returned to his mother's home, Thebes, warning King Pentheus that Dionysos was a god and not to be trifled with. Melampos came upon a nest of snakes as a young man, and, killing the adults, took two of the young ones and raised them by hand. They slept on his shoulders and cleaned out his ears with their tongues, giving him the power to understand the speech of birds, beast, even insects. He went on to be a great seer and had a number of adventures, including acquiring the cattle of Phylakos, a bride, and a lot of land -- which he gave to his brother. When the Argosian women were driven mad by Dionysos, it was Melampos who healed them by correctly divining the source of the god's anger and addressing it. So. Both dolls will have the white-red-black thematic colors of the Starry Bull. Akoites will wear white, with a black tricorn pirate's hat (by request) and a red cape of cloak. His hair will be made from brown-black raw wool with sun-bleached tips. He will be accompanied by a dolphin, and possibly wear vines. Melampos will have a darker face, braided silk-thread hair in black, and wear black, with a white-and-red cloak, one red and one white snake, and possibly a thyrsos. Some pictures! Wool and yarn, almost all of the materials for the dolls. Warping! I usually hate warping, but this time it felt good. I haven't touched this loom in months. And the weaving has begun!...

Woolly Valkyrie

I did mention, way back in the Woolly Dionysos post, that I was planning to make a Woolly Valkyrie. And I did, at the time, and here she is, finally. Pictures in reverse order of creation. She need a spear and shield, but I don't currently have the stuff I'd want to do that with, so here she is. Dissassembled, or not-yet-assembled, Woolly Valkyrie:...

Woolly Dionysos

My two patron deities are Hekate and Dionysos. I work with others, but those are the most important to me. I keep altars to each of them in my ritual room, which see regular use. My Hekate altar is small and simple and fairly plain, but has multiple images of the goddess on it. My Dionysos altar is large and complex and has lots of stuff, but no image of the god. (I had one. I took it elsewhere for a ritual, and it broke.) The Zati book had instructions for a doll, so I thought I'd give it a shot. At first he was too Jesusy:Jesus does not belong on my Dionysos altar. Nope. So I added leaf and grape cluster beads to his fillet, and when that wasn't quite enough either, I borrowed some Green Man iconography, and gave him a green cloak trimmed with leaves. (Trying to make a felt leopard skin sounded like faaaaar too much work.)I am reasonably pleased. I want to make him a thyrsos, whenever I find my tiny pinecones. The vertical stripes are meant to represent the pleats in a bassara, the long version of the chiton, which Dionysos wore. (It was usually a woman's garment, so D was considered to be somewhat . . . gender transgressive, shall we say?)I'm working on a second doll, this one a Valkyrie, for the Ravelry Folklore and Fairy Tales group's read-along/knit-along/weave-along of the Volsung Saga. I did go and reread the story, if not the longer translation, and I'd forgotten most of that, but I was surprised to see how much of the rest of the mythology I remembered in the discussion. I ended up explaining the context of the mistletoe dart, and then giving some of the reasons the Aesir lose at Ragnarok, and was able to reel off a lot of it off the top of my head.I may, if this one comes out well, try doing a Hecateon somehow, the three-form Hecate pillar.In other news, I treated myself to some fancy wool batts, and am having fun spinning those. I want to chain ply the yarn and send it to my Mom, who crochets, but she doesn't do tiny fine stuff, so it's not like I can send her my usual cobweb yarns. So I'm spinning fingering weights, and it's more fun than I remember. And it goes so much faster! I'd forgotten how fast spinning can go! Whee! The wool is not as soft as I had expected, which is probably the Coopworth/Romney, but it's pretty colors. And it's fun to spin, and I'll get to practice my chain plying....