There are Medieval Heraldic Beasts at Pennsic. Don’t count on your electronics to catch them, though. Some of you may have seen earlier posts about this, and it is indeed true. Beasts and Monsters are coming to Pennsic! Actual beasts you can see and touch.
The medieval & analog fix for avid Pokemon hunters (and those who just enjoy a good challenge) is coming to Pennsic during War Week. Pensimon Go: The Menagerie Quest will run from 9 a.m. Monday, August 8th morning through noon on Wednesday, August 11th, is intended for all ages, and will have you finding public places at War you may never have visited.
Supplies are slightly limited (privately funded and free to participate), but sharing is allowed. Participants will collect sightings of magical creatures hidden in public spaces (please leave the critters where you find them). Prizes will be awarded for both over age 12 and under age 12 players. Results will be tallied and the winners announced in the Independent after the contest closes. Come by the offices of the Pennsic Independent Monday morning to pick up your very own Pensidex! Tour Pennsic’s public spaces, aided by location clues, to catch them all.
An online printable Pensidex, for those with electronic wizardry skills, will also be available soon – stay tuned!
14th century scholars, image from Grandes Chronique de France. Don’t worry, Schola students will NOT be required to wear robes and tonsures, unless they really want to do so. There will also be no need to sit on the floor, unless the spirit moves you.
Let the word go forth that the Shire of Sterlynge Vayle will be hosting The Sterlynge Schola on January 16, 2016 At the Trinity Memorial Church at 44 Main St., Binghamton NY 13904.
The newly minted Baroness Nest ferch Rhys, Dean of Classes, has announced the following interesting line up, from sausages to skewering enemies. Read on to find something you’d love to learn:
Baroness Nest wrote: “At long last – the class schedule!”
-The Roma in the SCA Time Period
-Just a Simple Sling (Donations for materials accepted, limit 15)
-I’m allergic to x, can you accommodate me?
-The Pavee or Irish Travelers
-So you want to Throw WHAT??!!
-Advanced Retaining for Everyone
-Of Charcoal and Lye
12:00 – LUNCH
Baroness Nest, photo courtesy of The Lady Jinx
-SCA Sign Language
-Don Po’s Guide to Fencing
-Byzantium in its Heyday
-Reinventing Events: A Round Table Discussion
-The Wurst Workshop ($5 fee, limit 12)
-Seeds in the Heart: Writing Japanese Poetry ($1 for handout)
-Care and Feeding of Edged Weapons
-Here’s a Sword, now Kill!
-But that’s not Period!
Image courtesy of the Medieval and Renaissance Graduate Student Association of Ohio State University. See how happy you’ll be, just like these students, learning about historical topics at Sterlynge Schola?
Bardic insanity will happen as well. – time(s) and place(s) to be determined!”
The event listing can be found here. The forecast for the day is looking clear. Shake off that temporary winter blahs, because Sterlynge Schola promises to be an event to rival those fabulous old-time SCA celebrations. We look forward to seeing you there!
Jo Edkins’ Bobbin Lace School: A Bobbin Lace Hedgehog (an sca-like whimsy, not necessarily historical).
Lace-Making was such a lucrative past-time in our period of study that young ladies with that talent once were financially independent. No wonder the Catholic Church used to claim that lace was an immoral addition to the wardrobe. Its use encouraged women to make a living for themselves without the help of men! Nowadays, we tend to consider it frilly and girly. I may need to rethink that attitude in light of that Feminist discovery. Shakespeare himself spoke to the well-known popularity of women and their bobbins (each thread in the pattern is wound on its own little elongated spool, or bobbin) in his play, Twelfth Nigh, that he referenced “…free maids that weave their threads with bones.” Some early bobbins have been found by collectors that were made of spindle-shaped bones such as chicken thigh bones. Nowadays, those spindled bobbins are objects of art all by themselves.
Many web pages that pop up on top of your internet searches which speak to lace history are the result of insufficient and shoddy research. Many of those repeat (plagiarize much?) the same exact and incorrect text. Therefore, if you read elsewhere that Bobbin Lace, today’s topic, was invented in the 1500s, please ignore such reckless scholarship. Lace as a whole has been with us a very long time. Lace Bobbins, particularly historic ones, are a current subject of European collector’s fever, and a great many have been found that predate the 1500’s publication of the earliest how-to manual for bobbin lace (see one good lace-bobbin scholarship paper here, and the historic lace pattern book, Le Pompe,here).
Lace in general is a great deal older than the Renaissance, and the use of bobbins to organize the threads of complicated patterns must surely predate the height of bobbin lace use. We know, as far as lace history is concerned, that ancient Egyptians had an appliqué process for decorative knotted thread, as did the Vikings, whose technique of gold- or silver-wire or colored thread lace-like appliqué was called posament. Mankind’s quest for sumptuous adornment has more to do with the development of bobbin lace than the average Tudor-era seamstress looking for yard goods. Regardless, the later you venture into the documentation of lace and bobbins, the greater evidence you can find for this beautiful and creative craft and its increasingly beautiful bobbins.
Read on to learn the history of Bobbin Lace, to find patterns and how-to videos, and even read a lace maker’s pillow construction tutorial.
Bobbin Lace: The Taming of Multitudes of Threads. An image from the historic lace slideshow of the Lacis Museum at Http://Lacismuseum.org
The Digital Archive of Documents Related to Lace can be found here. It contains as many historical documents as the author could find.
A visual archive of historic lace could be very important to you, if you are trying to decipher technique. If that’s the case, The Structures of Antique Lace website is just the tool for you.
HOW-TO BOBBIN LACE INFORMATION
If you are lost or wondering how to begin, may we suggest the Learning Bobbin Lace: Where to start web page? Its comprehensive lists and starter information are perfect for your first read.
Although not all bobbin lace pieces are meant to be yards long of repeated patterns, there is no doubt that repeat pattern lace is the most useful for Tudor and Renaissance and later-era costomers. In order to do that, you’ll find a lacemaker’s pillow very handy with its roller to lay out your repeat pattern. Look here to figure out how to make one type: Make a Bobbin Lace-maker’s Pillow.
In order to make bobbin lace, one must follow a pattern, whether for a repeated lace motif or for a single lace central figure such as the hedgehog, above. A whole bunch of them reside here: Lace patterns.
Jo Edkins’ Lace School is a one-stop source of information for the beginning and intermediate lacemaker. Most helpful are the glossary of lace terms, a pictorial index of named lace patterns, 26 free bobbin lace patterns of all shapes and sizes (one is whimsically named Winkiepin Footsides, for heaven’s sake!), and many other useful bits and links.
Medieval Speech Bubbles illustrated in this picture from Medievalbooks.nl
One of the least-used aspects of history for re-enactors is probably language. In the SCA in particular, it would be impossible to communicate if the Landsknechts spoke Renaissance German to the Vikings, who spoke ancient Norse. If the Elizabethan re-enactors spoke Elizabethan English to the early Anglo-Saxon re-enactors, they wouldn’t understand the Elizabethans even though both are speaking the same root language.
That doesn’t mean, however, that there’s nothing to be done about how we communicate amongst ourselves. There is still something we can do with the language we mostly all speak, at least to each other, to sound a little bit more historic. Consider, if you will, the following perfectly good, modernly usable, and historic English words:
Hackle (noun). Origins include the Old Norse according to etymonline.com. In Old Norse, hekla was a hooded garment (frock/shirt). The Anglo-Saxon Dictionary Online indicates that ofer-hacele refers to a cope or hood. In Old English the word also appeared as hacele, meaning a hooded coat or cloak. It also refers to the coat of an animal (dogs get their hackles up) or the neck plumage of a bird, according to Yourdictionary.com. Such ‘outer neck/shoulder coverings’ meanings seem to have transferred to the modern fishing lure made of a “cape” of male bird’s neck feathers and also as the metal tool name used since the 1500s, such tool used to comb flax or hemp fibers in preparation for spinning. It resembles the risen hackles of a dog. As a re-enactor you might acquire a hackle for yourself. Or look in your garb chest, where it could be hiding, thinking it’s an ordinary hood.
Historical use: from Teutonic Mythology by J.S. Stallybrass, London, 1883, vol. 3, “ON (ed: Old Norse.) hokul m. and hekla f., AS (ed: Anglo Saxon) hacele f. means garment, cloak, cowl, armor…And now remember Odin’s dress: the God appears in a broad-brimmed hat and a blue and speckled cloak (hekla bla, flekkot).”
Cupidity (noun) Contrary to modern usage, the erotic sense of the Latin word (a bubbling up of lust), in Modern English means ‘Overwhelming desire for wealth or possessions.’ It is often used to mean a lust for things, prestige, or power. Occasionally (let’s hope not here in our kingdom), it could apply to a fighter whose lust for the crown overwhelms his or her sense of fair play.
Used in an historical sentence: “Oh blind, oh ignorant, self-seeking cupidity which spurs as so in the short mortal life and steeps as through all eternity.” Dante Alighieri, The Inferno. (b. 1265).
Sleight (Noun or verb). Appears as early as the 12th century, From Old English (sleighthe) and Old Norse (sloegð), meaning trickery or out-witting, this word now means something akin to dexterity in a magic trick (sleight of hand) or a strategy. We could refer to our super-secret strategy for the field battle at Pennsic as sleight, if it involves cleverness or intrigue.
Used in an historical sentence: “Thus may we see that, wisdom and riches, beauty ne sleight, strengthe ne hardyness, ne may with Venus holde champartye.” Chaucer, A Knight’s Tale.
Waif (noun) Etymology Dictionary Online tells is that rather than referring to a thin person or homeless child (which it came to mean in the 1600s), in Anglo-Norman the word waif (gaif) meant lost property, flotsam, or stray animals. Oxford Dictionary Online tells us waif could be referring to the item a fleeing thief throws away. If unclaimed, the property was turned over to the Lord of the Manor. Sounds like the perfect label for an event’s lost-and-found trove! Your Dictionary also tells us that outside our period of history the word’s meaning preserved that relation to the water, as a waif is the name of the pole, pennon attached, used to mark the whale’s body so other crafts knew the carcas was claimed.
Bauchle (noun or verb). Etymology Online tells us that rather than meaning perplexed, as in modern English, the 15th c. word Baffle stems from a respelling of the Scottish bauchle, which meant to publicly disgrace someone, particularly a disgraced knight. Also from the old French bafoeur, which meant to abuse, ridicule, or trick someone. Caledonian Mercury’s website offers the information that the word typically meant a person who had passed their prime, or such a thing that should be discarded, such as an old shoe worn down at the heel. It can often refer to the act of defamation, as well as the person or object. More modern usage points to meaning confusion or a device used to impede the movement of liquid, light, or sound.
Used in an historic sentence: from an Adam Scott prayer recorded in 1865: An entreaty to God to give a young man some spark of ambition “….For if ye dinnae, he’ll be but a bauchle in the world, and a back-sitter in the neist.” Don’t we all know someone like that?
For more reading on the subject, and more great ways to medieval size your vocabulary, please visit these sites:
The Bog would like to welcome you to our event this year.
We’re calling it Throwback Three Day in the hopes that you’ll appear
To celebrate our past with us, it will be such a treat.
We’ll have marshal activities, scribal arts, and the best food to eat.
Their Majesties will be here, and the Prince and Princess, too.
What better day to meet up with old friends and with new.
Please join the Barony of St. Swithin’s Bog as we celebrate our past at this year’s Throwback Three Day event this weekend. We’re in the mood to reminisce, so bust out that old garb you haven’t worn in years, and bring us your stories and old photographs from Bog events past.
Throwback Three Day will be held Friday July 17th-Sunday July 19th at the New Germany Grove- 1635 New Germany Rd Summerhill, Pa 15958. The site opens on Friday July 17th at 5:00pm and closes promptly at 12:00pm on Sunday. Camping is free and very much encouraged. No shower facilities are available, but please feel free to bring your own amenities. The site is discreetly wet and above ground fires are permitted. No pets allowed on site. The autocrat for this event is THLady Ursula of Rouen (Danielle Duvall, PO Box 661, Shepherdstown, WV 25443). Any questions can be sent to her at 540-287-1748 or Ursula.firstname.lastname@example.org. Co-Autocrat for this event is THLady Rois O’Faye called Rosheen (Tracey Zimmerman) who can be reached at email@example.com.
The site fee for this weekend of friends, food and fellowship will be $10 for adults, $5 for children agest 6-17. Children 5 and under are the esteemed guests of Their Excellencies. Checks can be made payable to “SCA, Inc; Barony of St. Swithin’s Bog”. There will be a $5 non-member charge.
Refreshments will be available Friday night for those camping, as well as breakfast Saturday morning. A Saturday day board is included in the site fee. Feast will be available Saturday evening for $8, and will be limited to the first 64 people. All dietary concerns should be sent to our Head Cook who promises several “Throw Back” treats and a day board that is sure to astound, Mistress AElfra Long (Sherry Meyers) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Numerous activities will be held throughout the day Saturday including: the last leg of the Kingdom A&S Challenge, the 7 Pearls fencing tournament, and the AE 500 tournament. There will be fencing and heavy pick-ups in the afternoon, as well as throwing on the thrown weapons range. Scribes are encouraged to bring their paints and brushes and compete in the 7th Annual Iron Scribe competition.
Oh yes indeed, something is brewing in Sterlynge Vayle, something that will prove to be an intoxicating combination of alcohol, mayhem, and edged weapons. Do not fear for anyone’s life, though. It’s just the annual event, Axes, Ales and Arrows! Plus, a bonus Sunday Regional Muster at the very same site!
Baroness Marianna Maria Pietrosanti supervises archery. Photo credit Michele Broton.
Axes, Ales, and Arrows
May 22-24, 2015
The Shire of Sterlynge Vayle has been home to many people over it’s decades of existence, and many wonderful events have been held in her borders. A Long Time Ago – or not as long as some might wish – they hosted an event called “Axes and Ales”. A member of their populace, Lady Briant Huntington, served as head organizer for this popular event, until one day, she left on a pilgrimage. Over a decade has come and gone since her departure, and the remaining members have become restless to find out what has happened to their shire-mate. A Quest has set before them and any who would dare to join them as they again hold Axes, Ales, and Arrows! (Hey, you didn’t think we were only going to have axes to protect us did you? We aren’t completely crazy!)
Who is this mysterious Nest person, and what fate has she forced upon the sweet, biddable Lady Briant?
The weekend’s tournaments in Thrown Weapons and Archery will all be on the theme with a goal of helping us find out just what happened to Lady Briant. Baroness Anastasie deLamoure will be organizing the weekends Thrown Weapons activities, and Baroness Mariana Maria Pietrosanti is planning some awesome Archery activities. There will be a brew tasting, as well as an evening Bardic circle. There are no plans for heavy or rapier activities but if marshals are available those so inclined may fight to their hearts content.
The event site is Evenmarch – 233 Doolittle Rd, Harpursville NY 13787, 4 miles north of Windsor (which is Exit 79 on NY Route 17/I-86) and 6 miles south of Harpursville (Exit 6 on I-88 – to 79 “East”). The Entrance for camping will be on Doolittle Road.
A tasty dayboard will be served that all may be refreshed during the day. Before departing join us for a grand feast showcasing the journey of Laird Perote Campbell and his staff as they recount their adventures heading to the Holy Land in search of Lady Briant and her search for the sacred thigh bone of Saint Ignacio .
For more excellent information on the event AND for the address, which is the location of Sunday’s Muster, please see the event announcement in full at the Hey! Event! page:
Unto the glorious kingdom of Aethelmearc do TRM Timothy and Gabrielle send greetings.
This Saturday, May 23rd, the Shire of ACG is holding a fighter practice and Aethelmearc workshop. We will be working on Champions baldrics for Pennsic, put some of the finishing touches on the glorious new list field as well as a few other projects that We have in mind for the kingdom.
The workshop and practice will run all day in New Berlin PA.
I (Timothy), intend to put my helmet on for the duration of the day. providing competition and instruction to any who desire it. If I can hold my sword, and someone wishes to learn, I will instruct. If I can stand, and someone wishes to spar, I will give it my all.
I invite any and all of my brother Knights to join me.
It is our fondest desire that some of our kingdom’s many elite fencers can make the journey and work with those who desire to better themselves.
Plus, we have the workshop. Come help us take the known world’s breath away. It is our desire for everyone who journeys to Pennsic to know full well that they stand on our Kingdom’s lands, and her colors are Red and White. Bring your consort and any friends who can help with these tasks, make a day of it.
We promise you won’t be disappointed.
In glorious Lazybrook Park, Tunkhannoc, Pa, The Barony of Endless Hills held its second annual Battle of Clontarf on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, being the 1001st anniversary of this historic Irish vs Viking battle. Please enjoy the following photographs of the beautiful event site and participants, courtesy of lady Jinx (Michele Broton).
The Brute Squad enforces the court attendance of a reluctant participant, Lord Perote.
Sir Murdoch Bayne and his Lady Rioghna gift tokens of admiration for exemplary list behavior.
Perote’s Zule (Baronial Service) award.
None could stand against the Power of the Farce. Oops, Power of the Force, that is.
Frienemies, in the Fencing List
Kids and parks are a natural combination.
Lady Aesa is named Archery Champion of Endless Hills by Baroness Barbary Rose.
Wearing a poppy flower in her hair to honor Veterans, Maggie pets the Baronial Beagle, Sophia. Maggie serves in the National Guard, just like her father.
The children in attendance reaped bounty in the form of toys, a water balloon fight, and squirt guns on this too-warm day.
A Scotts Targe Shield is awarded to THL Bluestar for his chivalric actions in the heavy lists.
Archers compete for the Baronial Archery Championship.
The current gamut of Disney Princes. Could YOU reliably play a prince for a few hours?
This post is shared from the East Kingdom Facebook list:
Pennsic needs Princes! No, no, it’s not that Adam Brennan (Prince of the East) is insufficient, but they need DISNEY Princes for the Children’s Fete. (There are usually many Princesses, though the organizer would be glad of more – she’s trying to not have overlaps.)
Anyone interested in being a period Disney Prince (or Princess) for the Children’s Fete should PM me and I’ll connect you with the organizer.
It’s about 4 hours and you don’t have to be there for the whole time. I went as medieval Merida last year and it was a hoot. Loved every minute of it. I strongly suggest it!
Contact Monique Bouchard (Aneleda Falconbridge) on Facebook to volunteer or for more information. For a better idea of what happens at the Fete, please see last year’s Pennsic Independent article.
Cinderella, in a Victorian illustration. Image courtesy Andre Cefalo.
One of the most outstanding and attractive features of SCA life is the knowledge that the Cinderella Story (or the Pauper to Prince Story) can be true for a few lucky individuals. The lure is hard to resist, even for those of us who will never be a Prince or Princess in SCAdian life.
Even if it doesn’t turn out to be true for ourselves, we are often able to witness our closest and dearest friends achieve that dream, or to watch from a short distance as it happens to folks we know. In essence, this is what folk speak of when they relate life in the Society for Creative Anachronism to “The Dream.” It is the heady knowledge that a motorcycle mechanic, convenience store clerk, a legal secretary, a college librarian, a stay-at-home parent or a preschool teacher could achieve a place to belong and a status in the SCA that defies achievement in modern life.
This is The Dream as we know it, and few of us doubt our ability to wing it when we get there. I bet you the reader have a mental checklist just in case the Unknowable Joy happens to you. Here is mine:
The Prince and the Pauper, by Mark Twain, was made into a movie starring Errol Flynn. Image Source: Virtual Virago
Aoife’s Toolkit, in Case of Spontaneous Awesomeness
1. Tremendously spiffy outfit.
2. Spiffy outfit for spouse and/or children.
2a. That pair of incredible shoes I couldn’t justify before now.
3. Bottle of celebratory beverage and cups.
3a. More celebratory beverage because the party will be huge.
4. Upgraded feast gear.
5. Tune up the car because we WILL be traveling.
6. Travel money.
6a. Travel club membership (my car isn’t new).
6b. Hotel money.
6c. Emergency money.
6d. Spare credit cards to spread out any debt.
7. Decide who is allowed to drive my car (I gotta sleep sometime!).
8. Chiropractor money—coronets don’t wear themselves. They say that those suckers are heavy!
9. Spending money.
10. Babysitter money.
11. Dog sitters.
12. Case of 12 hour energy drinks. Make it two cases.
If you read my list you will notice that I probably left a few things off, but that is to be expected. No one can think of every instance of need. However, I can be sure if lightening strikes and somebody wins Crown Tourney while fighting for my honor, that I will be somewhat prepared to take on the job. After all, I have people who can advise me. I have a history of participation, so I know how the SCA works. Of course, there’s an entire awesome structure built solely to manage the kingdom for me. I might spend more than I wanted on a reign, but apart from that, what else could I need?
Image source The Swedish Museum, via Flikr.
As real and SCAdian history shows us, there is quite a bit more I will need. None of it is tangible, but it is essential tomy well-being and to that of the Kingdom. Acquiring these things, furthermore, will cost me something in short supply:
Time. You see, I and every person who ever wishes to sit a throne, even every person who doesn’t, will function more amiably and efficiently if we own and use the following items:
Aoife’s Awesomeness Preparation Kit, the Intangibles
1. Problem Solving Techniques.
2. Strategies for Negotiation.
3. Conflict Resolution Skills.
4. Delegation and follow through skills.
5. Humility and thankfulness.
6. Rational thought in times of emotional stress.
Learning these skills is a task that can be left to experience, but that might be a bad idea. In order to learn from my mistakes, I would first have to make them, right? Lucky for me, that learning can be accomplished by reading online, for free, the many advice columns dedicated to the subjects. Many of them are written by business professionals, but others are by life coaches. It is up to the individual to follow through, to use the tools when the occasion strikes.
If, like me, you find yourself short in training or practice in these skills, I have collected some handy links, below, to save time. After all, if you are going to be sitting the throne, you’ll probably want a refresher course, and have little time to take it. In the end, however, it will probably be my ability to deftly handle these intangible skills more than any other thing I can do to prepare ahead of time, that will determine how I as a fictional future ruler will be remembered. Do I want to go down in History, or do I want to go down in flames? The choice is mine to make, and I will make it based on my actions. Regardless of any mistakes, however, it is the last item on my Intangibles list that will make the difference when problems happen (as they always do). Forgiveness: Moving past strife into a future where hurt feelings are dissolved, where we work together to improve The Dream.
I would like to wish luck to all the combatants in the upcoming Crown Tourney. May you fight well and honorably. If you win, may you rule wisely, with many skills in your toolkit!
Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon, CL, CP
M/k/a Lis Gelatt
It might seem that ‘problem’ is another term for ‘conflict,’ but that is not always true. What if your problem is that the rain is flooding your sleeping tent, or that there are not enough chairs for the number of feast seats sold? This site will give you a quick process to identify, brainstorm, solve and follow through on a myriad of problems, even if you’ve never dealt with problems like that before.
When you are in a position of authority, you are going to need things, some of which are items, some of which are obstacles to be cleared, and some of which are tasks. With this site, learn how to deal with bullies, how to barter, getting around barricades, and how to avoid poking the sleeping bear.
Management of an emotional situation can depend entirely on how you respond. Do you know how to answer so that you project understanding? Or will your response engender further anger? Believe it or not, this is a learnable skill. Find out how at this site.