Mending Lessons

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.

The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.

A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs.

It's nearly lunch, the early birds puttering about getting first choice of lunch foods. Jeniosa is one of those early birds, since she'd skipped breakfast because she slept too late. The beastcraft candidate sits at a table, a plate with a couple small sandwiches on it sits on the table next to a stack of what appear to be clothes that need some mending done, though for the moment they're being ignored in favour of nibbling on sandwiches and sipping klah.

To say the candidate entering the caverns was wet would be an understatement, though Judging by the smell of oil and sand that follows Kinzie this is not all caused by the gloomy and changeable weather. Luckily for her she has had the forethought to change her shoes and grab a towel, so at least the drip drip drops can be kept as much as possible from muddying up the caverns floor. Noticing Jeniosa she smiles, flicking bedraggled hair from her face before walking towards the table to grab a warming cup of klah and something to eat "Shards what with the weather I think I'm bone cold today" she says shivering as she approaches her fellow candidate.

Ocelara is there, in her almost perpetual place near to the night hearth, enthroned on that heap of sticks she calls a 'chair'. Her fingers are almost idly twisting woolly clouds of brilliant blues and purples into a thin, jewel-toned thread, which she occasionally stops to wind up onto the dropspindle she uses. Her eyes, though, are miles away, focused on one of the neutral-hued wall hangings that covers one wall. But the sounds of increasing foot traffic…and the chattering of young voices…is enough to 'bring her back'…and she blinks a few times before she considers how much spinning she's done, and then carefully packs it all away into the basket by her chair. There's a querrelous chirple from inside the basket, and she snorts, "Then don't sleep in there where I'll drop the spindle on your head!" A small brown pokes his head out, giving her an impudent look, and she cares not. Instead, she rises up and begins to make her way towards the lunch tables too. Even Headwomen have to eat!

Jeniosa looks up from her sandwich nibbling to spot Kinzie entering and soaked through to the bone. "Dragon washing in this weather, gotta love it, right?" At least it's better than her chore, which she hasn't done a whole lot of from the looks of the stack. "I saw them bring out a hearty soup, might help warm you." She presses out a chair at her table, inviting her fellow candidate to sit if she likes. "Shards, I'd probably trade you if I thought I could get away with it. Mending is…not my thing." And she rubs a finger that looks to have endured many a pin prick during the little mending work she'd done. The words from Ocelara and the actions of the firelizard do earn a brief little chuckle from beastcraft candidate and she runs a hand over the large blue draped about her neck like some kind of shimmering scarf.

Kinzie looks about for the soup Jeniosa mentions, her eyes hungry "Yeh looks like the dragons aren't as fussy about the weather as their rider counterparts" she chuckles and when the mending is mentioned her nose wrinkles "Not my thing either, I mean I can do it but…." and she looks over Jeniosa's pile with an appreciative nod "Wow you've not done badly" she says smiling, finally locating the soup she grabs a bowl, not even bothering to blow on it before putting a spoonful in her mouth…. that may have been a mistake.

Ocelara ghosts across the cavern floor gracefully, her shawl wrapped about her shoulders as she goes…but she pauses, as something catches her eye…drops of water on the floor! A slight frown, as she looks to see who is on sweeping duty…and finds no one easily at hand. She's obviously torn for a moment, before the idea of lunch wins out over duty…and she finds herself in line for a bowl of that lovely, hearty soup, and some bread. Moments later, she appears behind the pair of Candidates, "Kenzie, was it? Jeniosa…the beastcrafter?"

Jeniosa looks over her pile as well. "Well, the seamstresses will take one look at it and see how terrible a job I've done, and then whoever gets mending tomorrow will likely get to correct my mistakes." She has to chuckle at the thought. "Careful, it's hot." She warns her fellow candidate, but too late as the spoonful is already making its way into Kinzie's mouth. And then there's a headwoman behind her and she can't help but start a bit, since she wasn't paying particular attention to Ocelara. "Yes ma'am. Jeniosa of the Beastcraft." She answers, even snapping off a bit of a salute, too bad her sandwich was held in her saluting hand *splat* Ew.

"Kizzy Ma'" Is the candidates slurred burnt tongue response and Kinzie flushes bright red, reaching for some fruit juice to try and cool her mouth so a proper conversation can be had and she looks to Jeniosa glad the beastcrafter has at least the ability to talk unlike her counter part. Though the splatted sandwich causes Kinzie to cringe… wow looks like the two of them are doing well.. Kinzie decides to take this moment to nip to the kitchens to grab some water to soothe her mouth.

Ocelara nods a touch, and then preemptively invites herself to the dining duo. "Let me have a look, my dear…" As if Jeniosa were much her younger! "…everyone starts somewhere, and it's never a bad idea to pick up the skill in mending…once you know how to do it for yourself, you don't have to worry about someone else doing it wrong." She gracefully slips her shawl off onto the chair's back, and holds her hand out to the Candidate's mending. "You're very lucky…when I stood…we had a real taskmistress of a Tailor who made /sure/ we knew how to mend…as if we were expected to Craft with her."

Jeniosa proceeds to make a face as the sandwich splats against her head, nice and smooth Jen, awesome. Taking up the napkin she had settled beside her plate, she proceeds to wipe as much of the sandwich splatter from herself, settling the mangled remains of the poor lunch food back onto her plate. "Well, we don't have much use for mending in the Beastcraft, unless I eventually learn to stitch up a beast." She hasn't really made it too far in vet med, definitely not far enough to worry about stitches. But she does hand the Headwoman one of her recently mended items, the stitching is not good, all uneven and loose, and there just might be the very smallest hint of blood on the piece from a needle-jabbed fingertip.

Ocelara takes the mending in hand for a moment, and notes, "It's not too bad. Did anyone actually sit down with you to begin with, and show you the basics? Or is this the result of trial and error?" She fingers the faint bloody spot on the fabric. Plenty of error?

If the menders were shown how to do it, Jeniosa likely missed it in her oversleeping. "No one showed me a thing, they just assume I knew. Like all mothers are supposed to be professionals at mending and cooking." Hrmph. "I've pricked my finger so many times I don't think I could touch a feline without it throbbing." Poor poor beastiegirl.

Ocelara frowns a touch, and then notes, "You should take yourself to the healer and let them give you a bit of weak numbweed salve for that. But you should've been shown the basics of the skill, at the very least. I'll tell you what. Find me after lunch, and bring some mending. I'll show you how to put on a patch and how to reweave. It'll save your fingers, at the very least."

Jeniosa should have been shown, well, it's true. The healer idea has her perking up a little, no more finger pain would be awesome. But then the Headwoman is asking Jen to find her after lunch for a proper 'lesson' and the petite young woman nods. "Yes'm. Anything to keep from pricking my fingers. Thank you Ma'am." Well, at least she's respectful, right? And the other half of her lunch is eyed, the sandwich lifted and a bite taken. It's a good excuse for her not to say anything else for the moment, right?

Ocelara settles into eating her own soup: the brief conversation with the Candidate having allowed it to cool down from lava-hot, and so she takes a spoonful with the help of a quarter of a roll…and looks like she enjoys it VERY much. Mmm. Hot soup!

Returning from the kitchen, mouth less swollen and certainly able to speak again, Kinzie rejoins the pair at the table. She bows her head, in shame or respect or both, her face still a little flushed as she grabs up her soup and, this time at least, makes a point of blowing on it first before taking a mouthful. Noticing the conversation about mending she watches the headwoman, also happy to learn anything she can, the mends on her trousers and shirt show her lack of skill in that department "Would it be a trouble if I joined that class too Ma'am? I didn't get a lot of time to practice before they started piling on the mending work and I'm pretty sure I didn't pick up anything they were showing me" she cringes at that rather rushed learning experience.

Jeniosa gives the returning Kinzie a brief smile between mouthfulls of sandwich. The beascraft candidate is quiet while she eats, out of respect or something, you know what your mother always said, don't talk with your mouth full. When she's eaten about half of her second sandwich, she washes it down with klah. "You should see my candidate robe, it's a terrible mess, I was surprised it did't fall apart during the hatching." She smirks a little.

Ocelara chuckles a little, amused, "We have some on hand, as always, if you feel yours won't give sufficient coverage…but they might need some mending." She lays her roll down a bit, and offers Kenzie a small but genuinely warm smile. "We'll see that both of you know how to mend, my dears…that won't be a problem at all. And you'd best learn it now…before you need to know how and you've a dragon dragging you about left and right. I understand they're horrible handfuls as youngsters."

"You've already been to a hatching?" Kinzie looks at Jeniosa for a moment, deciding whether now is the time to question her fellow candidate about what goes on but deciding against it… for the moment. Instead she returns to the topic of mending and smiles happily to the headwoman "I imagine it will be if…." and she leaves the if about impressing taking another mouthful of soup and looking thoughtful for a moment "never even been to a hatching and now i'm going to be stood on the sands dodging hatchlings…." she drifts slightly as she worries about that thought and hopes that not all the hatchlings will have to be dodged.

Jeniosa can't help but shift a bit at the mention of young dragons, but she's quick to hide the nervousness with another sip from her klah mug. "I guess we'll need to know how to mend if we have dragons, I hear you have to mend weyrling straps a lot when they're still growing." Sip and swallow. She nods to Kinzie. "Aye, I stood at Eastern back before I got pregnant with Rysha. They didn't search me for the last hatching there but Tarrin said it was because Rysha still needed me too much. But now I'm here, and, well..we'll see what happens."

Ocelara listens quietly as she continues to finish up her meal, daintily. She notes, "It's unusual to Search a woman with a little under two or so, unless she's willing to give them over to the fosterage of the Weyr entirely. Littles need their mums when they can have them." She considers Jeniosa thoughtfully, as if having added this bit of information about her caused the Headwoman to reconsider her a bit. But she looks to Kenzie, "Unusual to find anyone in a Weyr that's not stood at least once. I did myself, some Turns back. Just after Thea Impressed, actually…not that I did it more than once. One look at hatchling dragons rushing at me headlong was enough to dissuade me from any such desire!"

Kinzie nods as she listens to all the information, eyes sparkling with fascination and a small amount of worry with the mention of rushing hatchlings "I imagine they'd know wouldn't they, if you were ready.." by they she means the search dragons, she takes another mouthful of soup before Ocelara's mention of her not having been searched before was unusual "I haven't really been here that long, was only here a few sevendays before I was searched" she says with a shrug "funny how things like that work out, I was holdless before and travelling this is the first time I'd really stepped foot in a weyr.. not much runner racing being the main reason" and that comment gets a slight sigh.

Ocelara nods a touch, "It was a shame, losing all those runners a few turns back. I got my Marbella not long after, and luckily, she didn't sicken herself. She's no racer…just a good mount. Steady, smart…pretty girl." And obviously, the Headwoman's rather fond of the beast!

Kinzie smiles at the mention of runners and nods "Is she kept up at the stables? I worked there before I was searched and she certainly sounds familiar" the talk of runners makes the girl seem more energetic and she nods happily "I came in with Sorrin's last shipment of runners, there were some beautiful beasts in there, real good selection too" her voice carries that serious tone of someone talking about a beloved memory "My favourite was this Iernian Bay mare, real gentle nature and like a streak of lightning on the flat" Kizzy grins happily.

Jeniosa doesn't join the talk of runners, a Beastcrafter she may be but her specialty is more in the smaller animal area. "I never really got into runners, though Eastern's stable utilizes plenty of my trained felines to keep the snakes and vermin out." She seems proud of that fact.

Ocelara smiles a bit, "I was raised with ovines. We had runners to carry us along whilst the canines herded them for us…I'm no racer, though. And yes, she's in the stables. The all-spotted mare with the pretty face."

Shaking her head out of her usual runner osession Kinzie smiles to Jeniosa "I remember having felines at my dads hold when I was young, they were much more agile than the canines at catching the tunnelsnakes, awful affectionate too" she says happily before looking over to Ocelara "Ah yeh, I remember her real pretty face and nicely built too, plenty of strenghth without being too heavy" she says thoughtfull while finishing her soup and klah "I can;t avoid cleaning dragins any longer, I'd better be off" and with a respectful bow to candidate and headwoman she returns her dirty plates to the kitchen before disappearing back out into the rain,

Jeniosa nods, "They can be, but some aren't, they've all got their own distinct personalities." And then Kinzie is excusing herself and the beastcraft candidate sends a wave after her. Turning back to her lunch, she tries to figure if she's got enough room left to finish her meal or if she's done for the time being. "So you really didn't want to stand again after the first time, Ma'am?"

Ocelara offers a very genuine smile, "I've never been so scared in my entire life. Not even when we spotted a wild feline in the pastures near my father's cot! I'd rather kiss a tunnelsnake than stand again, I can promise you that." She gently stacks her dishes up, and someone's there to take them away for her. "If you're done, we can go and get you started on that lesson…I'll track Kinzie down to make sure she learns her lesson as well."

Jeniosa considers her plate, then her sore finger, then the pile of mending. "Well, I suppose there's no getting around it, really. Guess I'm ready whenever you are." She actually fears for her poor finger's wellbeing.

Ocelara chuckles a little, and gestures, "Hand over your mending kit…and I'll show you. You've a thimble, don't you?" First things first! "Some even use two…but once you develop a few callouses, it's not so bad and you only need the one. First you take a bit of the patching fabric…and it's best if it's the same weight as the original…and you cut out a piece about a finger width wider than your hole…see?" She roughly measures out a patch the right size to match the rip in the backside of a youngster's pants. "And then before you sew it, you baste it into place, with big, rough stitches…" She slips the thimble onto her forefinger, and does exactly as she describes, making a bit 'X' over the area that needs patching. "This holds the patch in place so you don't need extra pins."

So that's what that thing is for! Jeniosa watches the Headwoman, and the woman makes it look easy no doubt. "Guess if I'd've used that thimble thing my finger may not be parying the price now." Hey, that big 'X' kinda looks like Jen's stitch job, only her 'X's are a bit smaller. "And that works to hold it in place? Bt it doesn't look like it would." Hmm, mending is tricky business.

She laughs, a touch, "Only so it doesn't slip around as you stitch it on! You can go around the edge a bit too, just to be sure it won't slip…and then you start stitching it on in all seriousness. See?" She goes quiet, making careful stitches around the edge of the fabric, with a sort of locking twist so they stay in place. "Ideally, you stitch them so close together, it look like one careful band…like a satin stitch, of sorts. You can be fancy, if you like…or just keep your stitches neat and even…once you've done it a few times, it comes easier. And the patch stays on and doesn't fray."

Locking twist, satin stitch, fancy? Jeniosa can't help but glance from the Headwoman's stitching hands to her own felinescratch scarred ones. "Well, you're an expert I think." She eyes the Headwoman's patch job and then one of the ones that she did, and frowns. Couldn't she just trade off mending for something else, surely there was some duty another candodate would gladly trade mending for.

The headwoman looks up, then laughs, "Here. You'll never learn if you don't try yourself." She offers the patchwork over again, "Here…you try. I'll walk you through the stitch till you understand it. It's a useful stitch…keeps the edges from fraying."

Jeniosa wrinkles her nose a little, hesitates, but takes up another piece of mending and eyes it. Okay, well, getting the patch is a good first step, so she decides on the patch of material that best matches weight and colour. Patch picked, got it. Now to slip that thimble thing over her finger, which smarts even at that light bit of touch from the item. Ah well, she can grin and bare it, she's been scratched and bit by plenty pf felines, what's a sore finger afterall. "Now I…tack the patch on here?" And she holds the patch over the hole in the material and tries to do that 'X' stitch to hold it in place.

Ocelara nods, "Just big, easy, sloppy stitches. You just want to hold it in place first…you'll pick those out when you're done anyway…so don't worry about them too much. They're just a bandage, if you will, until you get the patch on solid."

Jeniosa nods, "Okay." She guesses anyway. "Well, I am good at tearing out stitches." She admits with a little chuckle. With the patch tacked, sorta, she can ponder the stitch she'll use to complete the work. "Which one's easiest?" She asks, curously.

You say "Oh, the basting stitch is /easiest/…" But she grins, "Now…see…you start here." She reaches out, to guide Jeniosa's fingers, her touch light but firm. "Come up from underneath, here at the bottom, and make a stitch up into the patch…then come back down and catch your thread under your needle like /that/…see how it makes an 'L'? That's your first locked stitch…and then you do it again…""

Jeniosa is really not a domestic-type mother, but she manages, with the guiding hand, to get the first stitch in. Under, over, through? "Hmm, okay, I think I see it now. And then, to continue I just do the same thing?" Under, over, through. "Isn't it supposed to be tighter?" Maybe she needs to pull the thread a little more taut or something.

She nods, "Just a bit tighter…but it will also tighten up with the other stitches…so each one supports the next. You just follow the line of the patch all the way around. And take your time: the chore's mending, not mending everything in the pile."

Jeniosa nosewrinkles a little, "Well, at least I know all about patience, training felines takes plenty of that." And she continues the stitching until she has one side of the patch done. "Okay, so..since this is a square do I turn it? Just do the same thing but tug it different?"

Ocelara nods a touch, "Exactly. When you reach the end of the row, just turn the whole thing a quarter turn, and start over at the corner. That reinforces the corners, and helps keep your stitches locked together. Makes the edge look right even, as well. It's a nice little effect, really."

Jeniosa does as instructed, once the first side of the patch is stitched on, then she turns the clothing article around and continues along the next part. Well, it's better than her original sloppy stitching, there's room for improvement though of course. "It sure takes a lot of thread for such a small patch." She notes idly.

Ocelara notes, "Less thread than it takes to weave enough cloth to make a whole new pair of pants!" Perhaps she has a point there, "I was a Weaver, when I was a girl…not that I had a lot of potential." She chuckles, "I got bored…spinning and weaving plain white cloth. Terribly dull, that."

Jeniosa lets her silver-blue eyes dart briefly towards the Headwoman's chair and the basket that hold the dropspindle. "Is that why you always have such colourful things in your spinner? The blue and purple's real pretty. I love purplish hues." Yeah, as if someone can't tell by looking at her and her lavender wardrobe.

Ocelara actually beams, "Yes…yes it is. And they're all about consistancy too…Like yarn that'll give you a bit of sass and backtalk…makes for more interesting hats and scarves…or so I think." She chuckles, "I cannot say my Master was entirely thrilled that I thought slubs and uneven bits were the best part of yarn." Yes…she was certainly not long for the Weavercraft. "I confess, it's why I took the Search. I knew that Thea was here…she'd been my best friend at the Hall…"

Jeniosa listens to the Headwoman while she starts on the stitching again. And she can't help but chuckle. "I don't think Azurite would allow me to wear any other scarf but him." Indeed, the blue has remained draped around her neck the whole time, even through meal and mending.

Ocelara considers the flit as she continues to monitor Jeniosa's progress, "I think I'd not care for that much. Fortunately, Bihyndu and Hythar tend to want to sleep on my chair." Or in my wool. "I can't imagine one that wanted to be a pest in my shawls all day long."

Jeniosa smiles softly, "Oh he's not all that bad, I guess I'm just used to him. He's been a neck warmer ever since he was hatched. Though he does actually move once in awhile and I usually hear from the nannies that he spends the time away from me watching over Rysha. He's a sweetheart, been my constant companion for four odd turns now."

Ocelara smiles a little, "I've had Bihyndu looking towards me about the same time, I suppose. Don't know what even possessed me to want to try for him, and Hythar was much the same…silly creature. But they tend to amuse themselves, and I've no littles to look after…so mostly they watch after my girls in the stores and kitchens." Much to the annoyance of some of those 'girls'…No doubt, one or both of them are tattling little spies!

Jeniosa finishes the second side and turns the mending so she can start on the third, the stitches are looking better, though still far from perfect. "Reckon other than Citrine, Azurite's been with me the longest. It was hard at first because all he wanted to do was eat. And I really haven't tried training him to do anything, but he is a good watchguard. I bet he'd protect Rysha and me with his life if he ever felt we was in danger."

Ocelara nods yet again, considering the blue flit again. "So all the legends would have us believe. I know some find theirs to be useful, but mine are mostly just hangers on…because I feed them, no doubt."

Jeniosa chuckls softly, "Well, I guess they're just like their larger cousins, each has its own distinct personality. I don't think I've ever seen any two alike. Sure they're similar, but they're also different. Felines are like that too."

Ocelara laughs at touch, "Like a lot of folks, we had them in the barns…but I can't say I ever paid them much attention. Ours were good vermin hunters, but not so sweet tempered as you might have wanted. I got more than a few scratches as a girl, trying to make friends!" She smiles, "The lambs and kids…they were /far/ more friendly!"

Jeniosa spreads her hands, marked by various odd claw and teeth scars, setting the mending down for a minute. "Aye, well, scratches are part of my job. I think I've got scratch marks along most of my body, feline claws are sharp, especially when you're trying to tame one that's gone a tad too feral." Then the mending is taken up again, and she's set on finishing at least on article today.

Ocelara smiles and then lays the other mending back on the table, "Practice makes perfect, my dear…you're doing fine." She rises, and gives herself a good, all over stretch, before she reaches to grab hold of her finely knit shawl. Who'd want a shawl in this heat? Apparently…the Headwoman! "I'll be about the caverns, should you need help. Just look for me…or ask where I've gotten off to."

Jeniosa actually gives the Headwoman a smile, just a little one. "Thanks Ma'am. I'm sure the seamstresses will be rather happy that I've learned a few tricks." She has to chuckle, how can she not? A Beastcrafter, taking a lesson in mending, ah well, it can't be that unusual.

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