Life · SCA

Weekend Update

Saturday we had a lunch date with Dulcia so I could give her the patches I forgot to bring the previous weekend, lovely taco place in Rocky River. However the route we took there was… creative. And the route home was awful thanks to an oil spill on Route 90; freeway was a parking lot! We ended up exiting (slowly) at East 55th and taking the overland route home. After that ordeal we weren’t much fit for company!

Sunday was the niece’s birthday which was a quiet affair, cake, balloons and presents and she ran off to hang out with her friends. Got to hang out with Marie and Brian a bit, which was nice.

Sewing update:

Also got some sewing in, green under-tunic is progressing. Just need to do the underarm gussets and it’ll be ready for hemming! (The under-arm gussets are the fiddliest bit, so I procrastinate a bit.)

Gold thread update:

The membrane from the dowel rod is lovely, very thin and shiny. However it’s fragile and ripped on my while trying to spiral cut it off. Boo. Not sure if it’s because I stretched it too much or left it sit too long. The extant strips are as thin as I’m cutting so that’s not it, but the period gold leaf was thicker which may add to structural integrity.

I tried cutting with a single knife instead of my double-bladed exacto knife, didn’t help much. Not sure if my knife isn’t sharp enough or maybe just my technique is off.

Have two new books from OhioLink, I may be about done with cataloging gilding recipes from period, heh. I should have done this ages ago, but I didn’t need to as a hobbyist, you know?

The next big thing is spinning with dropspindle. I need a long enough membrane strip for that test. Scary! Also I am impatient. I so want to produce a good, usable thread.

Have decided, if I go to Pennsic next year I will teach gold thread.

Knitting update:

Started knitting a sock earlier in the week, spent a lot of quality time knitting this weekend, it’s looking great but last night I checked the size and… it’s way too small. Boo! Need to decide if I go on or frog it.


Will you still love me?

Today is my husband’s 64th Birthday! So the Beatles song “When I’m 64” is quite firmly stuck on loop in my brain.

I remember my grandmother singing that song when I was a little girl, I assumed that was how old she was. It seemed an ancient and honorable age… now it seems a lot younger!

So the Beatles were right about me knitting a sweater quietly by the fireside and spending time weeding the garden, but not so much about the three grandchildren, Vera, Chuck and Dave. 🙂

Hubby is upbeat, tonight is cake and ice cream. And maybe I’ll look at prices for vacation cottages on the Isle of Wight (if it’s not too dear). We certainly do scrimp and save!

Life · SCA


Heard this morning that Mistress llyrdwyl passed away last night. It’s heartbreaking.

She was an elegant artist. I remember working with her when I was regional signet. She created such beautiful illuminations and precise calligraphy. In particular she had a way with color which impressed me. I loved seeing her work.

She was a lovely person, and will be much missed.


Weekend Update – Chock full of Tea Parties

Saturday I hosted a Jewelry Trunk show for my jewelry-making college roomates, JenBo and Heidi (kind of fun that the two girls I shared a triple with Senior year are both making jewelry now!) Anyway, it was my idea to include Heidi, I thought it would add to the fun and I did it as a tea party because I love tea parties.

Hubby baked scones on Friday and I had him do an extra batch because I was nervous. He also made a batch of gluten free ones (his first!) for our friend Gwyneth who was attending. Friday was grocery run and house cleaning.

Saturday morning, more house cleaning and making sandwiches. I picked some gladiolas from the yard for the table and herbs from the garden for the cucumber sandwiches. (I don’t like cucumbers much, but cucumber sandwiches I love! hee.)  I used the tea set I got from Constanza; 15 cups! There were more than 15 people invited, but only 14 had RSVP’d that they were coming so I was hopeful it was a good amount… and it was. 🙂 Jen and Heidi both made money on jewelry sales and I hope all the guests had fun. I did pretty good cleaning up as we went so there wasn’t a lot to do at the end of the day.  Both Jen and Heidi also gifted me with jewelry for hosting, which was really sweet of them and Jen picked up the grocery tab too which she didn’t have to!

Sunday was Kristen’s Bridal Shower which was also a tea party. This one I was a guest for though, much less pressure. 🙂 Had a good time chatting with my husband’s cousins Marylin and Charlotte as well as good friends Stacie and Sue. I did end up helping them haul gifts back home at the end, and was glad to be able to help.

So much tea… why did it tire me out so much?

Life · SCA

Knitting in Early Modern Europe

So I signed up for the KEME experimental archeology thing back in April when someone posted about it. It sounded so exciting and fun! Spin some yarn, knit some circles, participate in research! eee! So up my ally!

Well, I was then quickly VERY BUSY and kept flagging the KEME emails to read later. Finally did and, erk! The deadline was today, July 21st! (Fortunately this was a couple weeks ago I read them, heh.) So it was a mad dash to finish the project.  It took more man hours than I thought. I had the yarn already spun so just had to knit my four ‘swircles’ and full and teasle two of them and mail them off… yeah, easy.

Except I made my yarn close to the size of those found in the extant hats in the study; average yarn diameter was something like 1.3 mm. My yarn is about that; thinner in spots, thicker in some (Variation is probably .5 mm to 3 mm, but those thick and thin spots were not super common, generally the yarn was around that 1.3 mm) Stupid part; this meant tiny knitting. I used size 000 needles and it took FOREVER. I was quite pleased with my swircles though and stressed about mailing them off in time.

FedEx wanted $99 to ship overnight, gah! NO! I’m dedicated, but not that dedicated, and their price actually went up for the 5 day shipping. Post office was $13.50. I sent a note to the project leader saying my swircles would be late, alas. She was understanding and said she’s actually not collecting them until the 28th so hopefully mine will still make it in time. *whew!*

If I had to do it again, I think I would ply my yarn and knit in a large size to knit more quickly. I do hope the small knitting is valuable for their research though. Also I should have fulled the fabric longer. It looked completely fulled to me after 38 minutes, and it was late at night, I wanted to go to bed, heh. Napping (teasling, basically brushing the surface to make it fuzzier) revealed the stitches again. I think more fulling would’ve alleviated that.  Ah well, I shan’t be getting MVP status on the project, but hopefully my contribution still helps their research. Can’t wait to read the final paper! 🙂


Love is all around

Some of you already know that I’m a survivor of child abuse. It’s hard to say that, still, so many, many years later. I’m still surprised sometimes how it affects my psyche.  Life is versatile and adaptable, and we all adapt to our environment to survive… then when the environment changes it’s hard to re-program that adaptation.

Case in point: I have a really, really hard time noticing positive emotions in others. I’m hyper sensitive to negative ones (which I’m told is very common for people with… interesting childhoods.) but I honestly do not expect any sort of love or gratitude and in point of fact can be sitting there moping about how no one loves me when love is actually all around me. I just don’t see it.

It’s like I’m love blind.

Getting the Dental School’s staff award yesterday was… weird. All these people saying nice things about me and telling me how great I am… it was so weird. My default is always to assume people don’t like me. (And I do also have the baggage of constantly wanting people to like me, so there’s this double whammy of both longing for a thing and not being able to tell if it’s there)

Anyway, having the love shoved in my face like that so I can’t ignore it was humbling and deeply touching.

I’ve said it to other people but I’ve got to remember it myself too; like oxygen you can’t see it but that doesn’t mean the love isn’t there, all around you.


Life · SCA

Giving up

The one big thing that’s been making me sad this last year or so is my husband giving up fighting. When he joined the SCA 20 years ago he wanted to be a knight. He made that vow before he ever authorized as a fighter. He met me on his quest to be a knight. He took up dancing because Duke Laurelen said a knight need to dance. I was the local dance instructor so… he came to me to learn to dance. And after that he felt he needed to fight for someone so he asked to carry my favor.

20 years have passed, we’re married now, he’s fought for me in Crown tournaments and I’ve been so proud of him.

As Baron he wanted to lead the troops and asked our local knights to train him… and they didn’t. And he was too proud to ask twice. And that was the start of the end. He’s watched so many get help, be trained and then get knighted past him and now he’s nearing his 64th birthday and decided to give up fighting.

It was a hard choice. It breaks my heart to think he was so close… and didn’t make it. That maybe I could’ve encouraged him better, pushed him out of his shell… I don’t know.

Crown Tournament was hard for me because all I could think was how we’d never do that again… he will never fight for me again.