As Aida cloth didn't exist in the Renaissance, most work was done on linen, or some other kind of evenly-woven fabric. From my very first frame-able piece, I've used evenweave, which is an embroidery fabric usually made of a blend of cotton and rayon. However, I came across some Belfast linen for needlework on clearance, which I snatched up, knowing I'd find a use for it. Linen is a little more difficult to work with than evenweave, but it has really given the project a more period-appropriate look.
Secondly, I stumbled across this song on YouTube that I found myself replaying for its beauty and calm. Below is the version I first heard. It's not your typical recording space, and it's not a professional quality camera/microphone by any means, but take a couple of minutes and listen:
There are a few things to know about the song; it is one of the most popular hymns in Iceland. The lyrics are a psalm composed by the devoutly christian poet-cheiftan Kolbeinn Tumason in 1208. He had been mortally wounded in battle, and it was composed on his deathbed. The tune was composed in 1973 by Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson, but it evokes the style of a medieval chant.
Here's the first verse, translated into the modern Icelandic you hear in the song:
Heyr himna smiðr
hvers skáldit biðr;
komi mjúk til mín
Því heitk á þik
þú hefr skaptan mik;
ek em þrællinn þinn,
þú est dróttinn minn
After reading through several different English translations (both word-for-word and more poetic translations), I came up with my own version of a translation that I really liked. Here's the first verse as a teaser:
Hear my invocation, Smith of Constellations,
May your mercy come softly to me.
So I call on thee, for you have crafted me.
I am your slave, you, my Lord on High.
I really have no timeline for how long this cross-stitch will take. I tend to work on these more in the winter, and as we're just getting into the good parts of spring, I may not get back to this until late fall. In the meantime, hopefully by telling you all about it, I'll have more motivation to pick it up again when I have the time?
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!