Monday, February 7, 2011

Bows n arrows (and rugs)

Just another Sunday in Remington!

Over the course of the last month or so, Chicken-Man and our friend (popularly known in the neighborhood as 'Beartooth' or 'Science Guy') have been taking a primitive skills class on bow-making at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center.

They just finished their handmade bows on Thursday night and took them out for a spin on Sunday. It was a great opportunity to enjoy one of the earliest sunny days of the year.

I even tried the bow myself, but with a 40-lb. draw, I wasn't able to get much control or speed. I'll probably get a junior size bow and arrow set. I can see archery becoming a fun early evening thing to do once the weather gets warm.

Beartooth even plucked several large wing feathers from his chickens to make fletchings (the feather part at the end of each arrow.)

They also filed notches into the backs of the arrows.

The trimmed feather ready to become fletching:

If you want the arrow to spiral, you can tie the trimmed feathers so that they are slightly staggered on the shaft (instead of directly next to each other.) There's probably a better way to describe that! For more details, a quick Google search turned up this site for making a homemade bow and arrow.

The gentleman were working on their arrows Saturday night after dinner, so the rest of us settled in on our own projects with drinks. I love crafting parties! It's so much more fun when your project involves a lot of repetitive work, and I even got a helping hand. I'm working on a rag rug that we can rest our boots and watering can on for when we water the chickens.

The rug is very simple and I'm not making it too pretty since it's just going to get dirty. Here are the basic steps to make it:

1. Tear old rags into long strips. One method is to cut the rag in a spiral so that you end up with one very long strip. Or you could just cut straight lines and tie the strips together.

2. Braid the strips.

3. Coil the braided rope, sewing as you coil so that the rug stays together.

In the photo below, you can see the beginning of the coil, the big pile of braid, and then the three balls of fabric strips that are being braided.

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