Laurels Prize Display at Double Wars 2015

I am very pleased that at Double Wars this year we managed to get together another Laurels Prize Display. Last year was the first time we arranged it, and we had the Tavern room at Double Wars entirely filled with awesome people and things. This year we only had seven displays, one of them put on by two people (Åsa and Mårten and their tent with furnishings), and one done by a bunch of people (Baron John of Styringheim and his minions working on smelting iron). The other gentles displaying were Lady Renike Tucher with her German 15th Century research, and embroidery, and applique and all the things. Lady Þora Sumarliðadóttir who put out a number of things related to the middle ages in Norway, and Lofoten in particular, including dried fish which you eat with butter. Baron Konrad of Knight’s Crossing and his shoemaking display. Lord Erik Dalcarlius, who is fairly new to the SCA and is working his way through trying a bunch of variations of viking shoes. He and Konrad sat next to each other and I think they had lots of fun. Viscountess Jacquelyna de Bellmont who displayed a scroll she had made including all the steps and research she did to produce it.

All of the displays were pretty cool, and the level of that we see artisans produce here is as always amazing. I personally gave my token to Viscountess Jacquelyna, because her display had the materials, the way to work the thing as well as the finished product, and she talked about her project in a thoughtful way. Anyone who checked out the display could, I think, come away with an appreciation of what it takes to produce a scroll, and maybe learn something about how you can go about making it yourself even if you are brand new to scribal things.

The attempt to produce iron from limonite was also super-cool, and John knows all about how it should work, and why, but the experiment did not in the end produce much iron at all. But it was a great learning experience, and they’ll continue with the experiment next year.

This year the scheduling was not flawless, and the Display ended up being at the same time as the Unbelted Tourney for heavy fighters and the Fencing Rose Tourney – so we had very few people come by the display to chat with the artisans, which was a shame.

Double Wars XXVIII

Before Double Wars this year I was feeling a little disillusioned, a little tired and without inspiration. After Double Wars, I am feeling inspired, delighted and like I have found the joy again.

This year, the A&S side of things had the honour to invite a guest teacher, and since I’m one of the two coordinators and there are heroes of mine out there in the world I suggested Maistresse Mathilde Bouret who now lives in the Outlands, but was made a Laurel in Atlantia. She was working on a method to draft a self supporting 14/15th century gown by measurements alone and I sent her my measurements and three photos and got back a pattern which, when I made it up, fit me perfectly. Including sleeves. So, yes, she is a hero of mine, we asked her and she said yes. Her classes were all interesting and fun, and she herself was awesome and amazing and a person we need to make sure to export over here for sure!

As a result of her coming and teaching, and me bringing all of my early clothes, I am inspired to start working on that wardrobe again. I need sewn hose. I really really need sewn hose, but they are like, the most boring thing ever to sew. I don’t know why. I also need a gown layer, something to put on top of the kirtle, for warmth, and also for pretties. I am definitely making a mi-parti gown. Or a mi-parti kirtle. Not sure which yet. I also need to do something about the purple wool surcote that I almost never wear. It’s a super heavy wool, and it’s a slip on which currently is a little on the tight side. I had to have help to get out of it and the last time it was pulled off me one of the seams ripped. I might disassemble it and make hose from the fabric?

I also wore horns one day and it was awesome. Definitely using horns more often. I managed to apply the big circular veil perfectly as well, so it draped very prettily.

I taught one class, the same as I did last year (long-armed cross stitch). This time I actually had students show up, and they seemed to have fun working the stitch. It is really very simple, but you can vary it in quite a few ways (all quite period) to create many different appearances. I brought the cushion I am working on, borrowed the Nordmark kneeling pads, and a napkin which all have long-armed cross stitch embroidery, but all look very different.

The artisans in Drachenwald are pretty awesome, and the Laurels Prize Display was well worth visiting this year again. Not as many people as last year, unfortunately, but it was also at the same time as the fencing Rose Tourney, and the Unbelted Tourney. :(

Wednesday night there was Grand Court, and Countess Cecilia Jäger was called up along with Duke Marcus, to give out the scroll that I had -finally- finished for Helwig’s Laurel. She was elevated in 2009 and the text was finished at that time, and they both signed the scroll. I’ve just been sitting on the half-finished scroll since then, because I was terrified to mess it up every time I had to put it away and start over again on something. Anyway, it was finally finished, and since they were both there I asked them if they wanted to conclude that little piece of business. It also worked out nicely, because Cecilia was then sent off to sit vigil to contemplate elevation to the Order of the Pelican.

I was surprised and extremely honoured on Thursday when she asked me in the lunch line if I wanted to speak for her during the elevation ceremony as the representative from the Laurels. I didn’t quite understand her when she asked me, and thought she was asking me if I had something to tell her then and there, when she was in fact asking me to make a speech in court. Once I realized I got a little weak-kneed and the rest of that day was me bent over a notebook trying to form my thoughts into well-spoken words. I’m pretty pleased with what I ended up writing down, and I manage to get through the speech without breaking down and I was heard. Cecilia was pleased with it, and a few others commented that they liked it, so I think my first time as a worthy went well.

I ended up feeling extremely delicate on Thursday evening, though. I didn’t really manage to swallow much of the dinner, being nervous. So much so that I had to be helped home by two friends and spent the entire day Friday doing basically nothing. Got up at two, dragged myself to a blanket next to the list field, and then went back to bed because we had not gotten feast tickets. All of that meant that we could pack our stuff up and head home on Saturday already, and we had all of Sunday to decompress at home which was pretty nice. It did mean we didn’t even make it out to Hovdala and the market, which was a shame because we didn’t get to hug Kerstin at Medeltidsmode who had sent me a beautiful thank you note for a dress a group of us made for her.

The room we were in was also pretty awesome; myself and Edricus, Helwig, Filippa, Katheryn and Mathilde were all in one room. I would not mind a repeat of those bunk assignments even if we did have to put a chair at the foot of the bed to be able to climb up into the top bunks.

As usual, I talked to lots of people, but missed so many more. I didn’t even do one evening of camp crawl, so didn’t end up chatting to some that always can be found in their encampments. I attended a few classes, but missed more that I wanted to go to and I didn’t manage to sit down with Silwa and do woodworking on a blanket. She was busy most of the event finishing scrolls, and there was some rain getting in the way as well. I did manage to get both Silwa and Filippa to sign up for Cudgel War, however, and Cudgel is the chillest event ever so we will definitely have time to do that there.

I did take pictures… I’ll edit and upload them eventually I’m sure, but right now I’m so inspired I want to make things instead!

Facio. Disco. Gaudeo.

Double Wars post mortem

Double Wars is the best event in Drachenwald, it’s ten days with a solid fighting and A&S schedule, plus regular parties and camping. We usually stay indoors because we don’t have a car to bring the tent and stuff, and it sometimes is a little bit early, so can be a little bit chilly.

This year I was again part of the stewards, together with Meisterinne Katheryn taking care of sign-ups and scheduling for Arts and Sciences. This year we put 58 classes on the schedule (with some classes repeating a few times). Plus organizing the Laurel Academy day on Wednesday with classes taught by Laurels in the morning, followed by a general display in the afternoon for everyone else to display their stuff and talk about their projects.

It went well above my expectations, the classes went well, and the display had 12 people there (plus one more who just put their items there but did not stay to talk to people about them) who put on really cool displays of stuff. Some were more put together than others, but it is a new concept so I was certainly not expecting perfection from anyone, which made it that much more impressive that there were a few really awesome displays. All the others were also interesting and I am so glad that there was time enough for me to sit down with everyone to talk to them about their stuff. Sitting with your arts and talking about them is the best part of doing things!

I had tokens to leave for everyone, plus one special prize for the display that wowed me the most. However, since we had twice as many displaying as I had hoped for, I am now out of tokens! And since we are running another similar day at Cudgel War, including the display, I now have to come up with something else to give out there.

As for the loot, I had brought with me three embroidery frames for sale, two had been spoken for in advance, the big slate frame by Lady Alyna, and a small L-shaped frame by Fru Þóra. The other L-shaped frame was snatched up by Lady Renike, and another wood-turned thread reel I sold to Lady AElfwynne.

I turned right around and bought up some epic loot for my profits, to start with filament silk from Baroness Mechthild of Knight’s Crossing (which I had pre-purchased via a thread on facebook, and was delivered by Baron Konrad). I have black, white, green, red, yellow and blue so all the heraldic colours – except purple. I’m going to prepare some hanks of the white to dye at Cudgel this year. Just for fun. I might attempt to get a purple.

At the market I also abought a few things: A perfect handbag basket which can easily be made into a court-basket, perfect for a bottle, a glass and camera, plus external pouch for cookies. Or with another insert become a feast gear bag that can carry all feast gear and then store a bottle of something. It is awesome.

From Kapitelhusgården I bought a couple of small ostrich plumes for my second flat cap, plus four glass-topped pins to keep them on the hat.

From a smaller merchant I bought a blue and white linen fabric which I’ll use for pillowcase and maybe some other bedlinen things. It is gorgeous, and I hope after washing it will be even more lovely. This was the only fabric I purchased, Edricus however got fabric for a couple of new 16th Century outfits.

The only other thing I bought was a small mundane gift, which I’ll send off.

I’m now at home, all my stuff is unpacked, laundry-room is bocked for Thursday and on Friday the local shire is doing the pilgrimage from the Church in the middle of town out to Old Uppsala.

Crossing items off the checklist

  1. The tiny prize token  I posted about earlier is now completely finished. Including the markings which makes it unique for this occasion.
  2. The decision has been made as to what items I am giving out as token-tokens during the Display at Double Wars.
  3. The cross-dressing party at Double Wars is now sorted as to what I’m wearing. It includes a silly hat.
  4. The belt which has been half-assembled for three or more years has today gotten the first round of belt mounts riveted on. By me. I need to drill through two more to make it twice as blingy, but I broke my drillbit. Bronze, it turns out, is a very hard metal.
  5. Class preparations for my double embroidery workshop at Double Wars is 3/4 sorted. The materials for both stitches have been assembled and prepared and one of the two handouts has been written up. The second handout I will have to do sometime in the week.
  6. A commission job, sewing for a growing boy, was also finished. Mostly machine made, but with some hand-finishing in the details. Delivered by proxy.

So that’s a full half dozen items to cross off the list. I’m feeling all efficient, and I credit it to pancake breakfast and delightful summer warmth.

Tiny token

On Sunday I finished the drawn thread hemstitch on a tiny napkin which I had as a leftover from a handwoven linen. The hems are tiny, unnecessarily tiny, but look pretty, and they make pretty handy little tear-blotters for SCA court.

I have made one for myself previously, and this second one I thought I could make into a token I can give away, so I transferred my badge as an outline which I stitched in stemstitch in green silk. I’ve just washed the napkin with the outlines all embroidered. I am pondering if I should leave it as is, or filll in the circle that rings the seeblatt with a plaited braid stitch in either silk or metal thread.

Pros to metal thread: Looks blingy.

Cons: Not so good for blotting off tears on account of being scratchy.

Pro for leaving it as is: Finished!

Con: Not as blingy as filling the circle with some form of plaited braid stitch in silk. My device is black, green and white. The outlines on the napkin are green. Should I then do the filling in black on the white linen? Or fill with green?

I think in the end, I will leave it as just outlines, and possibly add some text to indicate when and where it was given and by whom.