Event recap: Double Wars 2010

lots of fighting … interesting classes … lazy evenings … meeting Neulakko … duke sir master master Sven … weaving … learning new skills … lots of kids everywhere … meeting friends

Flat side won – already looking forward to next year (and next SCA event)!

Back in the SCA

… not that I really left it but christmas and new years also meant a break from SCA. Tonight was this years first shire meeting and it was nice to meet everyone again. An old member turned up again after moving back to the city as well as a new member (yay!) who seemed enthusiastic and will fit in with the rest of us. We made plans for our every-other-week-meetings until summer. There will be sewing, dyeing, woodworking, calligraphy and other medievalish stuff! I have high hopes for this year.

I’m planning on going to Double Wars in May, we didn’t go last year so I’m looking forward to it. We’ll see how many other event I go to.   Civil Wars are already booked but it hardly counts since it’s my shire event. I’ve volunteered to be the head cook this year and I’m looking forward to improve the feast even more.

Going to Double Wars means I’ve got to get started on garb. Right now I have a couple of dresses that sort of fit – that’s all! The Herjolfsnäs gown need to be finished and then I hope to sew a GFD, darling husband also need new clothes. Other than that I hope to do lots of tablet weaving and dyeing this year.

What are your plans this year?

Event recap

It’s been a busy week so far with shire meeting and my mundane university class among other things. Now it’s finally time to write a few lines about the event.

We arrived on site half an hour past midnight on slippery roads due to the snow falling on Gotland. The site was the local heritage center, and we got to sleep on the stage in the big hall (a bit weird but at least we didn’t disturb anyone arriving late). Saturday started out busy with the first class at 9. I talked about documentation in my class, how to write and why. I had about 8 participants so it turned out to be a really great discussion! Then I went to the next class at 10 to listen to Åsa Vävare talk about medieval fabrics – very interesting. I also went to Raighnils class about head wear, it was interesting but a bit short. 700 years of head wear fashion in 1 hour… I expected a workshop but it was more like a quick overview. Still they did a good job.

After lunch and snacks we got to listen to a woman from Gotland University talk about her dissertation. It’s about how people (visiting Visby Medieval Week and the museum Jamtli) perceive history. Unfortunately her dissertation isn’t that good… it was a lot of “yep, I knew that” and definitely lacked that “this is the eye catching conclusion”.

I also had some time to look at Åsas new loom. It’s a rigid heddle loom, very small and easy to transport. It looks like this: loom. We also talked a bit about her project on Birgittas coif. Very interesting – must start experimenting!

At court I had the great privilege to announce the newest “guild mistress” (swedish: magister) in the Weavers Guild of Nordmark – Åsa Vävare! Yay for that! She’s a skilled weaver and it’s great that she’s willing to step forward and be recognized as one of the “I’m pretty confidant in my abilities – ask me and I shall help”-people. A bunch of other people got recognized with AoA:s, the Order of the Light (arts & science) and the Order of the Golden Ribbon (service). I got a Panache (kingdom A&S) which was especially honoring since the Queen herself had taken time time to make my scroll!

The feast followed with lots of good food. The theme was a mix of pasta, meat and cheese – what’s not to love?! 🙂 It was fun to sit down and talk to all the people that you seldom meet but I was so tired that I went to bed early. It was a really nice event and I hope they will do it again next year!

My to-do list for the next couple of weeks:

  • write some sort of article about documentation and what we discussed at my class
  • update the blog with my latest weaving projects – I just need to take some photos
  • update the blog with my apron-project!
  • finish my first Crafty Challenge project (Racaire, I’m almost finished! 🙂 )

Off we go

Later today we are leaving for Nordmarks University, the first event since Civil War in October last year. Civil War always leaves you completely drained (that the downside to organizing events) but I’m finally excited about going to an event again – yay!

This is the first year that the University isn’t organized by the Holmrike-crew, instead of Stockholm we are going to Visby. I’m looking forward to seeing how Styringheim has planned the event and I’m sure it will be excellent!

I’ll be teaching a class, “How to write documentation”, and I’m hoping there will be some discussions – not just me talking the entire time. There are several other interesting classes and workshop that I plan to attend and I hope I’ll be returning home full of inspiration.

I’ll return with a report sometime next week since I won’t be home until late Sunday evening.

Stash challenge

I just read a post on Aleydis LJwhere she wrote about a different take on the SCA A&S 50 Challenge – the Stash Challenge. The original challenge is about making 50 A&S things between 2007 and 2015 (that when SCA celebrates it’s 50th birthday). The 50 projects could either be based on depth, breath or persona. I’ve been tempted to pick up the persona challenge, making 50 project that has to do with my persona. On the other hand I doubt that I won’t make 50 things by 2015 either way, making the challenge a bit unnecessary for me. The Stash Challenge  (and here) on the other hand is perfect, this challenge is about using all the stuff that you’ve been accumulating in your stash and make 50 projects. At least 50 % of the materials has to be from your stash.

Another great part of the challenge is that you set your own rules. These are a few of the rules I’m thinking about using:

  • only SCA time period projects
  • at least 50 % of the materials has to come from my stash
  • I’m counting everything I can find at home as my stash, for example pieces of wood in the garage also counts as well as the mountain of fabric that I have
  • a documentation (or at least a how-to guide) has to accompany each project
  • UFO (unfinished objects) counts as well

I’ll be thinking about this… then we’ll see what happens!

Remote fitting

I really like the design of the fitted dress from the late 14th century. It’s a fitted self supportive dress that gives just the right silhouette. The technique is a lot about draping and although I’ve made a few for some of the women in the shire I’ve always had a bit of a struggle to make them for myself.

Now, thanks to the wonderful Mistress Mathilde (www.mathildegirlgenius.com) I’m getting a pattern just for me. She’s working on perfecting the art of fitting by measurements only. I’m in total ave of her ability and I’m really looking forward to see how the pattern works. Lia (http://liadethornegge.livejournal.com/) has already received her pattern and the mock-up looks great!

This is really inspiring me to get started on my projects again – a smocked apron is number one on that list!

Cristina and Biorn at Double Wars 2006
Cristina and Biorn at Double Wars 2006

I survived Civil War

Civil War is over for this year. It was a nonstop weekend and it’s nice to be able to do regular stuff without having a nagging thought about the event and things to do all the time.

Despite that our original event steward dropped out in the last minute (due to mundane stress and other things) the weekend went really well. I was in the kitchen the whole weekend but somehow I did find the time to spend a little time with friends and just relax (somewhat…). Lunch and feast went well, although we had a lot of leftovers. It’s seems like such a waste since most of it went in the trash, but at least it’s better than people having to go hungry. More about the food in another post.

A few reflections that I need to keep in mind for next year:

  • for the last 5 years I’ve been either the event steward (1 time) or head cook (4 times) + we did Crowntorney last year and I shared head cook responsibilities with Fionnghuala. That means that I definitely need to take a break next year. Being in the kitchen is fun, I just don’t need the stress that comes with being head cook next year.
  • moving the serving table outside of the kitchen worked like a charm. I made this huge drape to cover up the kitchen and serving table, might want to think about decorating it for next year.
  • a snack for the serving staff was a great idé! No more cranky servers!

On a final note I got to give the Royal Artisan regalia to the queen since I won’t be able to make it to Kingdom University in November. I haven’t had any time to focus on the Royal Artisan stuff due to mundane stuff, which I really regret. At the same time it’s nice to give it to someone else and hope they will do a better job!

Biorn took a lot of pictures at Civil War, but we haven’t had the time to even start looking at them. Made later this weekend. 


Cooking workshop – the resume

Last  evening went really well, unfortunately Elsa and Padraig had to leave early due to an unhappy Otto (their son). Never the less – this is what happened:

  • got home late from work and last minute shopping at 5 pm
  • the plan was that everyone should be arriving at 5.30 – *panic*
  • everyone was a bit late, thankfully, so I got to sit down for a while and relax
  • I talk a bit about the feast menu at Civil War and the recipe for the meat pie
  • the cooking commence – our kitchen is to small (especially with children running around our feet) hopefully the renovations for the new kitchen will be finished soon
  • the pies are done around 8-ish and we can all sit down and eat – the pies were delicious!
  • the guest leave around 9, left in the house are me, hubby and a kitchen disaster
  • after much needed cleaning in the kitchen we can finally go to bed  – what a day!

Sound like a lot of whining – well, even though it was a lot to do on my part, I’ll definitely hold more cooking workshops (perhaps not 1½ weeks before Civil War though…). It was a lot of fun – and hopefully everyone learnt something about medieval cooking!

Cooking workshop

Tonight most of the members (hopefully) from my shire will meet at our house for a workshop about medieval cooking.
This meeting serves two purposes. The first is that it will be an opportunity to tell everyone about the plans I have for the food at Civil War. The shiremembers will mostly either be in the kitchen with me cooking or serving the feast on Saturday evening. We’ve always had the intention of making sure that everyone knows the menu before the event. It helps in the kitchen and it makes serving a little less stressful. When have never managed to take time to present the menu previos years so this is definately a time to treasure!
The second purpose is the have an intresting shire meeting where we actually do something productive instead of just socialising (which is nice but doesn’t attract new members). Cooking is a subject that has really interested me lately so it will be great to discuss cooking with another member who I rarely get to see and who’s also interested (and a good lot better) in cooking.

EDIT: The workshop went well, 9 people showed up at our house and I think everyone had a good time. And we did eat a good meatpie!

Compost anyone?

I’m the head cook at this years Civil War (again) and I’ve started to test and prep for the lunch and feast. Lunch, serving approx 160 people, will this year be compost with grilled chicken and cameline sauce. We’ve been going safe these last years and served a well and truly tested meatstew but both Dis and I felt that it was time to do something a bit more researched.

Compost, grilled chicken and cameline sauce
Compost, grilled chicken and cameline sauce

So, the other night I did a test run on the lunch which consisted of compost (pickled sallad), a grilled chicken and cameline sauce. The compost was very good, fresh and a great stomach filler. The chicken was very simple with a red wine and honey glaze. I was the most suprised with the cameline sauce. It had a very strong taste and really made a difference with the chicken.
Note to self: A couple of tablespoons is enough for one person.

I’ve used recepies from Medieval Cookery, but I’ve tweaked them a bit depending on how I have interpreted the original text. I’m planning on writing down a more extensive documentation, but that will have to wait a while. Just better make sure I don’t loose all the little notes I’ve made! 🙂


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