Below are some of the things that I loved about this particular Pennsic, and another post will follow with photos of my vigil and elevation.
My household and neighbors are awesome, and are part of what make every War so completely fantastic. Campmates singing late at night, the fantastic folks at Gabe's, who ran out into the flash storm on land grab weekend to save the largest pavilion in camp from collapsing, the fantastic meals prepared in camp, mimosas every morning, it is all part of what makes Pennsic my Home.
One of my highlights was two of the lovely ladies in my camp winning the music competition at Chalkman this year. :-)
I also love seeing the random acts of Chivalry that occur at Pennsic. This year I was heading to one of my classes with my over laden cart and a man in armor, hot from the field passed me on the road, just as I was starting to pull my cart up the hill. He turned around and came over to offer assistance with the cart (even though I was headed in the opposite direction).
Another man insisted on holding my basket for me as we stood chatting in the market place. And I have campmates who are willing to jump up and lend a hand with pretty much anything at any moment to help out.
I was offered a seat and a tasting cup at the lovely Icelandic dinner I attended. I was honored there also to hear tales of long ago told by none other than Duke Cariadoc. I also saw one person give another a couple dollars in the market when the individual was buying an item and realized they left their credit card in camp and did not quite have enough cash to cover a purchase. I saw folks clearing a path for a woman with a walker. I saw another woman with a walker who did her best to cover it to make it stand out less in a medieval atmosphere. (Oh, and kudos to the runners who went out of their way to run in garb this year, you all looked GREAT!)
I saw kindness and courtesy when my class tent was over full and there were no more chairs and Sadb Ingen Chonchobair gave her chair to another gentle who badly needed a seat and choose to sit on the floor of the class. I had a cramped second class and everyone made sure that there was space for everyone to sit so that they could see.
THIS is what the SCA is about to me and it is an honor to be part of it.
A&S and Classes
With the craziness of having to run off site so much, plus the need to finish cloth that was in camp, on the loom (more about that later), I did not have the time to go to many classes. I did however take one very interesting one on practical Viking clothing by Vicountess Ísgerðr Gulkárr. She did a great sort of "how to improve your Viking kit" class last year so I was looking forward to this one and I was not disappointed.
For my part, I taught my new class: A Deeper Look at Deeper Look at Textiles & Trim of Viking Age Dress twice. This class is not a beginners piece that describes the layers or has basic information about wearing wool and linen rather than cotton (there are SO many wonderful beginning Viking classes that I decided to approach costuming differently). I am really happy with how this class is developing and look forward to teaching it again.
My own classes were full. By full, I mean FULL. I had 25 hand outs, and nearly double that number for the first class. Thanks to one of the lovely ladies at Stierbach who went right to the University tent and arranged for a larger space. (I think that class had 45 in it, though a few more popped in part way through it.) Despite the wind and the heat, it went well.
I tried arrange for a larger tent for the War Week class, but there was not one available. Fortunately, people rounded up chairs, took seats on the ground and were generally amiable about mashing into the tent (and out into the walk way). Handouts were shared around and it seamed to go well despite the cramped quarters. I love research, and love finding ways to share that information with others. Thanks both to those who have helped me with my research and for those who come to classes.
I was asked afterwards by a friend what I was going to tweak before teaching it again (because my classes are living things and change daily based on my own research and perceived needs of the next group to take the class) and the answer is that I will likely do a survey of frequency of stitch types and add that to the discussion.
Of course, it is Pennsic so fantastic A&S geeking is everywhere. I love all the casual conversations I have with people about their arts! We also had spinning lessons in camp and loads of new folks got to learn to weave cloth this year! The A&S display was lovely, but I am very sad that I missed the Champions display (we had to leave that day as our time at the other campground was up).
I did get to stop in at Clanne Preachain's annual Early Period A&S Day in their encampment. It was AMAZING this year. Many classes were happening and lots of open demos. I very much look forward to this next year and recommend that if this is a time period of interest that you check it out as well.
I also got to partake in a period Icelandic feast that was incredible. It was so good, in fact, that I will be making a post entirely about that event.
Enough for now! I have a few more Pennsic posts and pics coming this week.