So many projects, so little time!
This weekend was busy with mundane items, but I did manage to process the plied Icelandinc I spun last week. I had actually hoped to start dyeing it for tablet weaving, but both my pantry and the local grocery store failed to yield cream of tartar, so it will have to wait until next weekend.
I did, however, remove my broken diamond twill from the loom and wet-finishing it. I even started a new warp of linen singles for a narrow piece of fabric with which I want to do some experiments.
Now, I know from spinning my own yarn that singles (especially those spun tightly) have an amazing tendency to twist back on themselves. This stuff, however, was impressive in a not-so-good way. The warp chains actually twisted so tightly when I was beaming that I had a heck of a time unwinding them when it came time to thread the heddles. I know for the next time that I will definitely need to employ a warping trapeze and additional weight (or warping partner). I have not yet threaded the reed, so further piddling with this will have to wait until next weekend.
And speaking of next weekend, I have an aprondress construction class that I will be teaching. Guess I need to print out some handouts and gather my binders containing images of extant beads and brooches for folks to poke through.
I think, however, my highlight for the weekend was the lovely afternoon spent with some of the members of the Highland Foorde Weavers Guild! These ladies are friendly and very, very talented! I got to drool over some textile and weaving books and ended up helping someone get started with the drop spindle. I have even been invited to teach my Middle Eastern Costuming class next month (which means, I will be updating those documents sooner, rather than later).
The one thing I had really wanted to achieve but that I did not get to touch was cutting out new garb. My BF needs some foofier Viking tunics, so my plan is to start those next Sunday. As it is, I did clean out the sewing room a bit last night and dug up the plaid linen in the image above. So very not period for me, but it is 100% linen that I got for an amazing bargain last year online. I ended up cutting it into a loose-ish rectangular cut tunic for wear in muddy-yucky weather (I always like to have a couple garments that look ok, but that I wont weep over too much should they be destroyed in a really wet year). Guess that is my project for the week, and in a way, it is great because it is helping to cull my sta
I think today my mind was blown, and not in a good way.
Organizations like the SCA depend on volunteers. Events like Pennsic depend on hoards of hundreds to get the work done. This is one reason we can all go have a 2 week vacation for such a low, low cost. The work these volunteers do is not always easy, there are never enough people, and lets face it, its hot as crap, rainy, cold, and whatever else.
AND most of these people are employed full time, sometimes with more the one job or other commitments. These people have sacrificed their vacation time to give everyone else that attends Pennsic a wonderful vacation.
Many of these volunteers are official staff for the event, and some are not. And yes, it is more likely that the official staff will get the Thanks for it all (if indeed, any is given). But note, it is also the official staff that gets to deal with more of the flack. They have to contend with the cries of "this is not going my way!", "this costs too much money!", "you can't do this to me!" and not to mention all of the conspiracy theories that pop up every time you put that many people in one place (and have so many of them deeply, emotionally invested in their own personal vision of what the Dream should be).
Honestly, I feel bad for the people in those positions. They all deserve medals. Or a salary. Or at least, a "Thank you". And yes, the other volunteers (the non-staff folks that help out) deserve thank yous too! If you see someone helping out - THANK THEM! It takes a but a second and it can be very rewarding.
That being said, I do no think one should ever volunteer with the expectation of thanks. I mean, I understand WANTING thanks, but expecting it? Nah. (Of course, I also dont understand TRYING to get a Pelican... but maybe that is just me.)
Where did this all come from? Well, look at my earlier post about the Pennsic changes. Right now the staff offices are being flooded with confused people (often operating from the Rumor Mill) who need answers to things and who (this one awes me) are demanding refunds for the fact that Pennsic is a day shorter this year.
Ok, I have to say that blows my mind. I would have summed up the whole thing but saying, "Yes, the day is shorter, but no, there is no refund... the event still costs money to run (more than you think) and we did not increase the price this year. And BTW, even though YOU have to go home early, the STAFF and VOLUNTEERS will still be here cleaning up. So yes, you have to leave, but the SCA will STILL be using the site to clean up the mass mess some camps leave behind. Deal with it."
(Actually, I just saw a member of the staff say pretty much the same thing. Kudos to them!)
The staff, in their post (which I thought was informative and on point), also asked people to help out more. Move hay bails, make sure your trash is in bags if it doesn't fit in the dumpster, etc. The staff have so much to deal with and some of it is out of their control - for example -they have already stated that every dumpster that the waste management company has is on site!!! They are doing what they can, so maybe some others needs to take five minutes (or five hours) and do what they can too. It's is a shame it even had to be said, but HOPEFULLY more people will pitch in, even if they don't have time to formally volunteer. Again, PLEASE keep in mind that this is everyone's vacation.
Now, back to my mind being blown and my earlier topic of "thanks". There were actually people who took insult in the official Pennsic post (printed in its entirety in my earlier entry), because they, as non-staff volunteers, were NOT singled out for thanks. Wow. Yes, the staff was thanked, but honestly, I cannot imagine that the Mayor or anyone else does not absolutely love those who pitch in. Should they have been included? If it was a formal thank you letter, YES. But really, the point of the dang post was not to lay thanks on folks, it was to inform everyone else as to what was happening and WHY and to ask them to please lay off as these VOLUNTEERS have a lot to do in setting up the event. They should NOT be contenting with whiny emails about refunds right now. Please folks, have a little understanding for what they are dealing with (and always have to deal with) and be grown up about it and understand that an omission like that is definitely not meant as an insult. Look at the bigger picture folks.
I say again, THANK you to all of the volunteers at War, official or otherwise. Thank you for making my vacation wonderful. Thank you thank you thank you all.
And yes, I will be spending some extra time helping out this year as well (no thanks necessary).
It saddens me that the staff even had to take the time to post this, but here it is:
One more thing to say about the "one day shorter". . . If you went to a regular SCA event, one that was held every year at the same place, an event of which you were very fond, and the autocrat said: "This year, folks, instead of shutting down at 10 pm, we need to clear the hall at 9 pm," would you ask for a refund percentage of your gate fee back because it was not what you got for your dollar last year (despite the fact that they haven't raise rates for years even though the event costs went up)? Would you complain that the event staff opened the doors at 9 am when they should have given you your extra hour by opening at 8 am? Would you complain that you were being ripped off by the event staff, the site owners, or some ubiquitous "They"?
Pennsic, like every other annually recurring event in the SCA changes. Sometime the changes are more noticeable than others. We are fortunate in that we have many returning staff on an annual basis. We remember what we did last year, over the last 10 years, and even 2-3 decades ago. We always end up changing something every year to cope with the needs of the site, the needs of the attendees, and the needs of the staff. We consider all needs. We discuss them. And then we make decisions. Perhaps, if you are really concerned you should begin working regularly on Pennsic staff and see it from the inside.
It may be that a future Mayor will add that extra day back in down the road, but that will only happen if we do not find (on August 4th of this year) a huge mess. What can you do to help? Carry your trash to an appropriate dumpster, do not leave it piled on the corners of roads (no matter what your neighbors do). Make sure your tent/furniture rental people are going to pick up that cushy stuff you ordered. And it you bought it at the local Goodwill, don't abandon it, take it home; if you aren't prepared to take it home, don't buy it in the first place. But not just your site needs to be clean when you leave.
Will you be you on the Battlefield/Rapier list/Archery range for that last War Point? Will you be on the Battlefield for for Closing Court? Carry a few haybales to the hay bale pile on the edge of the field. Even if you are not able to do heavy lifting, you can pick up some empty water jugs and walk them to the recycling bins. Don't leave your own trash lying on the ground, and clean up litter and help strike your kingdom, baronial, household pavilions leaving those spots as clean as you found them. Give us an hour or two of your time to move tables and chairs from the A&S tents to stacks in the Great Hall. If you are not able to do physical labor at the end of War, do some time earlier in the War sitting at a Point as a volunteer. Encourage your more physically capable friends to help as well.
The SCA runs on the chivalric virtues, the courtesy, and honor of all of us--lets remember that. The good of the group, not the good of any one small segment of the group. Pennsic runs on the goodwill of about 100 Pennsic staffers who work year round to make it so. Rather than complain about why it is not what you want it to be, come work with us to make it better each year than it was the year before.
If every single person did just one hour of public area clean up at Pennsic, we wouldn't have enough work to go around. Consider that.
My Shire's clothing guild has a Facebook page that now includes documents for sharing links for various time periods/regions for garb. I added my Viking links to it today, and while I am at it, I am also adding them here. I pulled these about a year ago, so need to add in quite a few more that I have found since. Hopefully will do it in the next couple of weeks!
Hurstwic - overview of both men's and women's clothing:
Viking Answer Lady:
http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/clothing.shtmlViking clothing from Russia:
Viking Clothing from Russia:
Non-english site with Viking clothing drawings:
Non-english site with some fantastic images (from Finland I think):
Vikings of Bjornstad:
Birka Style Men's Kaftan:
Viking Women (possibly one of the most comprehensive documents on the web)
Textiles of the Oseberg Ship:
Tablet Weaving Gallery (Amazing brocades!)
Norse Age Belts (class notes)
British Museum - PDF of items on loan for Viking exhibit in 2014
Bibliographies and Recommended Books
Viking Garment Bibliography:
For those not following the official Pennsic pages, I think the Pennsic staff members are doing a great job this year of getting information out there and stomping out rumors before they get started. The Facebook page run by the official staff can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/pennsic?ref=ts&fref=ts
A few highlights on new happenings with the event are below:
I was asked on Facebook how I made the hairpiece I wore in this photo. I finally had the opportunity to dig one out this weekend and take the necessary pictures.
The first thing you need to consider is the type of hair you purchase. You should choose the hair that is closest in color to your own (unless your hair will be entirely covered by a hat) and look for a suitable texture as well.
I have purchased several types of hair over the years, but the only ones that were convincing (on me) were the silkier types of toyokalon fiber. In addition to looking for an appropriate texture and color, I always buy the type of hair that has a bit of curl to the end as it looks more natural then the blunt cut types once braided. I have never paid more than $5 a package for this hair but have never found anything under $2 that works (there is some out there that looks more like cotton batting or badly carded wool than it does hair). There are many textures available from coarse with a bit of crimp to very fine. Use what looks best with your own hair. I have done hair pieces with just a few braids using one package of hair, or used two packages for more braids.
I am mother to a billion cats and am on journey to recreate the past via costume, textiles, culture and food.
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Blogroll of SCA & Costume Bloggers
Below is a collection of some of my favorite places online to look for SCA and historic costuming information.
More Amie Sparrow - 16th Century German Costuming
Gianetta Veronese - SCA and Costuming Blog
Grazia Morgano - 16th Century A&S
Mistress Sahra -Dress From Medieval Turku
Loose Threads: Cathy's Costume Blog
Mistress Mathilde Bourrette - By My Measure: 14th and 15th Century Costuming
More than Cod: Exploring Medieval Norway