An Evening in the Solar, Feb. 2017

Please join us on our usual third Thursday in February at 7:30pm for a social and A&S gathering featuring Tudor foods, courtesy of Lady Beatrice, and a class on hand-sewing, taught by various ladies of the canton.

The class will be a practicum with multiple instructors available for one-on-one teaching and consultation. Among our topics will be rolled hems, period materials, a subset of stitches useful in all periods & specific decorative stitches such as the Viking herringbone, and assembly techniques for seam construction such as hemming first followed by edge whipping for a spiral-bound seam.

We will meet in the usual place, 255 W. 105th St., #21. Practice materials and tools will be provided. Please bring your sewing kit, if you have one.

References for the class are courtesy of three amazing women, whose work on archaeological sewing is worth exploring in depth. First up is Heather Rose Jones, aka Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn, with her helpful article Archaeological Sewing. She also maintains the Surviving Garments Project, “a searchable catalog of surviving garments from Europe and the Mediterranean from the dawn of time up through approximately 1500.”

Next we have Jenny Baker, of the New Varangian Guard, in Australia, expert in many things including Viking, Saxon and Frankish attire. The handout for our evening tonight is her very thorough compendium of attestable Stitches and Seam Techniques.

Finally, I would bring to your attention Carolyn Priest-Dorman, aka Þóra Sharptooth, and her research into all things fiber: tablet weaving, spinning & weaving, dying, sprang, nålbinding and embroidery, such as this article on Anglo-Saxon and Viking Needlework.

Below are pictured some of our tools used in this class. I recommend using a blunt rather than a sharp needle for sewing. My preference is for a #28 cross-stitching needle. It has a large eye and a blunt tip. With the blunt tip, you a) are less likely to poke yourself and b) avoid punching through fibers in your fabric, causing less damage.

Silk & 2 weights of linen thread, cross-stitch needles, C-clamp.
Silk & 2 weights of linen thread, cross-stitch needles, C-clamp.

The threads for our experimentation are a Gütermann silk (S 303), Londonderry linen (100/3), and a Gütermann linen (much thicker and universally disliked). Gütermann silk comes in a wide range of colors & two sizes: S 303 (for sewing) and R 753 (thicker, for buttonholes).

Londonderry linen comes in 5 weights (18/3, 30/3, 50/3, 80/3, 100/3) plus a lacing weight (4). With the linen weights, the smaller number equals a thicker thread. The /3 is 3 plies (in spinning up the thread, not separable when stitching). The colored Londonderry comes in a lovely range of shades in the 1st 4 weights. Only white, gray, beige, ivory and black are available in the 100/3 weight.

The Gütermann linen is designed for buttonholes, and heavy articles like rucksacks. It washes up well but is stiff and awkward to work with. Much too large for general sewing.

The clamp, available in local hardware stores for ~$3, is a nifty way of holding one end of your seam, rather like a Victorian sewing bird. I find my stitches are easier to form, my tension is more even, my fabric slips less, and my seam / hem sews faster, when I clamp one end (say, to a table). Both my hands are free to work the needle & thread.

Commons meeting & Evening in the Solar, Jan. 2017

Please join us for a commons meeting & an evening in the solar Thursday, Jan. 19th, from 7-10pm at 255 W 105th St. #21.

Proposed agenda: Whyt Whey January 2017 Commons agenda. If you have any new business to discuss or would like to report on old business, please bring it with you. Officers, please consider if there is anything you would like to report on the populace.

For the activity portion of our evening, I (Lady Alienor Salton) will present a short talk on and demonstration of needle tatting, and teach any who wish to learn the technique. Tools & materials will be supplied. a class on Viking tablet weaving, comprised of delicious handouts and a warped loom, ready for weaving practice. The handouts are by Shelagh Lewis: Dark Age Tablet Weaving and The Narrow Oseberg Band.

Given the frigid temperatures, we will be dining on fondue, namely cheeeeeese. Hot cheeeeeese, mmmm. Volunteers to bring wine & bread would be greatly appreciated. Also fruit! For chocolate fondue, once we have emptied the cheeeeese fondue pot.

Medieval Game Night

Come join your fellow Ostgardrians in a medieval game night! We will be meeting on Thursday, Nov. 10th at 255 W. 105th St., #21, from 7-10pm, to play medieval boardgames in preparation for The Resurrection of Mangia Borgia in April of next year in a neighboring group, the Shire of Coill Tuar (Kingston, NY)

We will have multiple kits for Nine Men’s Morris and Alquerques. As the evening devolves, there will be Munchkin.

Bring your favorite munchies! We will also order some family-style dinner (pizza, Chinese, Indian?).

An Evening in the Solar, Nov. 2016

At our next Arts & Sciences social gathering, Lady Alienor Salton (i.e., me) will be teaching a class on hemstitching, as learned from Mistress Genoveva von Lübeck at Pennsic University this summer, following her fabulous handout.

We will be making small linen handkerchiefs, using evenweave and silk thread. The resulting product will be both beautiful and useful.

handkerchief

handkerchief_corner

Dinner will be lasagne. Salad, bread or wine would be useful contributions, should you feel so moved.

Please RSVP (email seneschal@whytwhey.eastkingdom.org or comment here) so I can prepare enough kits.

We will meet on the third Thursday, November 17th, at 7pm, in the usual place.

Please bring your songbook! You can print a new one for yourself here.

Feast for Whyt Whey Solar, October 2016

Original redactions are found here: Iron Age Recipes. I made some changes — for one, the butter allotted to the oatcakes seemed woefully insufficient.

Oatcakes:

500g McCanns steel cut oats
250g spelt grains
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon sea salt
~1 cup water

Process oats & spelt until flour-like in consistency, with some graininess left for texture. Stir in salt. Pastry cut in butter until cornmeal-like-texture. Stir in water to make a stiff dough. Form flat cakes, cook on griddle until done. Cool. Serve with Irish cheddar. Yield: approx. 30.

Pork & barley stew:

2lbs. stew pork
6 colored carrots, chopped
1 box shredded red cabbage
2 scallions, chopped
~2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
~2 tbsp fresh parsley
3 bayleaves
~15 juniper berries, crushed
olive oil (or animal dripping)
2 bottles mead
~2 tbsp honey
1 cup pearl barley

Marinate pork overnight in mead, thyme, parsley, bay, juniper berries. Remove pork from marinade, strain out herbs & berries. In a dutch oven, heat up olive oil, brown pork, carrots, scallions, cabbage. Add marinade mead, honey, pearl barley. Simmer for 2.5 hours, partly covered & then fully covered, until tender.

Bean fritters:

3.5 oz. chopped, roasted, hazelnuts
1 box chopped rainbow chard
2 tablespoons horseradish
1 can black-eyed peas
2 cans fava beans
1 egg
~3 tablespoons salt
~1/2 cup bread flour
~1.5 sticks butter

Sauté hazelnuts & chard in butter until wilted. Move to bowl. Mix in peas, beans & horseradish. Beat in 1 egg, salt to taste, then enough bread flour to form a soft dough. Form into sausage link shapes (cylinders about 5 inches long). Fry in plenty of butter until done / browned. Yield: about 16.

Fruit in cream:

6 oz. blackberries
4.5 oz. blueberries
3.5 oz. hazelnuts, chopped
~1 cup heavy cream
honey
mint

Mix berries & nuts. Pour over cream. Drizzle with honey. Top with mint.

An Evening in the Solar, Oct. 2016

At our A&S gathering next month, Thursday, October 20th, at 7pm, please join us for a penannular brooch making demonstration & workshop, taught by Þórfinnr Hróðgeirsson. Supplies will be provided. You may also wish to bring a personal project to work on, as we will be taking turns with the anvils and hammers.

Penannular brooch by Þórfinnr Hróðgeirsson
Penannular brooch by Þórfinnr Hróðgeirsson

Please also pack your songbook, if you have one (or print a new one if you can). As we resolved earlier, we will rehearse at least one number from the songbook at each gathering.

Dinner will be selections from an Iron Age feast, namely oatcakes, bean fritters and boar stew, followed by fruit w/ cream & honey. Bring to share anything that pleases you, or simply show up. Mead will be especially appreciated!! No contribution is required beyond your excellent company.

We are meeting in the usual place, 255 W. 105th St., #21. [Directions]

An Evening in the Solar, Sept. 2016

Our next A&S gathering will be Thursday, September 15th, at 7pm, in the Usual Place: 255 W. 105th St., #21

You are invited to bring any projects you have in progress to work on & share with the other attendees.

We will review our preparations for the upcoming demo at the Cloisters for the Fort Tryon Park Medieval Festival, Sunday, Sept. 18th.

If you have a copy of the songbook, please bring it with you! Lady Godiva d’Mer will print extra copies for those who do not have a printer handy. We will rehearse for our concert at the demo.

I am little too overwhelmed with planning to properly execute the Iron Age feast I mentioned on Facebook earlier, so dinner will be a light repast as with our last few summer meetings: cheese, bread, fruit, etc. Bring to share anything that pleases you, or simply show up. No contribution is required beyond your excellent company.

Planning for Cloisters Demo

Schedule:

Check-in (drivers): 9am.
Unload & setup: 9am – 11am.
Assemble for opening procession (front gate): 11:15am.
Opening Procession: 11:30am.
*Sprang class (Lady Alienor): noon.
Music & Dance demo: noon.
Combat demo, armored & rapier: 12:30am.
Metalwork demo (in unicorn forum!): 1pm.
*Calligraphy class (Lady Lada): 1pm.
*Nålbinding class (Lady Beatrice): 2pm.
Fashion show: 2pm.
Dance demo: 2:30pm.
Combat demo, armored & rapier: 3pm.
*Finger-loop braiding class (Ladies Arnora & Vika): 3pm.
Fiber Arts demos: 3:30pm.
Concert: 4pm.
Court: 5pm.
Pack up: 6pm (until done).

Most demos are ongoing, but have been highlighted in the printed schedule at the times given above.

Parking passes: The parking pass list has been submitted. Thank you to those who volunteered to park elsewhere! Parking passes have been requested for these 12 drivers: Suuder, Gui, Ronan, Sofya, Mungo, Magdalena, Vincenzo, Duggmore, Alienor, Brandr, Matilda & Elizabeth. All drivers are welcome to drive onsite between 9am and 11am to setup, and again after 6pm to break down. If you are on the parking pass list, you may collect your pass at 9:30am from the festival volunteers at the front gate of Fort Tryon park.

Infrastructure: Against the walkway at the top of the hill, we will have the large provincial green & white tent with private space in the back for our potluck, for resting & for armor storage. The front area of the green & white will be dedicated to demo tables, with room under the tent for visitors to step under cover. Between the green & white & the fighting list (shared among combat participants including youth combat) we will have a changing popup, divided into separate halves. In front of the green & white will be a classes tent. On either side of the classes tent we will have a chatelaine’s tent, a kid’s tent, and a number of other popups dedicated to demos. Please bring banners for color!!!

Demos: Here are the people who have told me what they are demo-ing. I assume we also have fighters & fencers who have not explicitly mentioned their demo as they do not need table space.
Arnora: inkle loom. Finger-loop braiding class.
Beatrice: nålbinding class.
Brandr: metalworking.
Mungo: either weapons or leaded glass.
Conor: stained glass demo.
Matilda: helping w/ fashion show, water bearing for ACL combat.
Arnbjorg: chain mail jewelry & Viking wire weaving.
Duggmore: chain mail jewelry & woodworking.
Vika: kirtle sewing. Finger-loop braiding class.
Judith: masks & noisemakers.
Lada: calligraphy. Calligraphy class.
Suuder: archery.
Alienor: tablet weaving. Sprang class.
Angelica: card stock paper dolls for kids table.
Sofya & Magdalena: chatelaine’s table. Brass rubbings for kids table.
Dala: helping at kids table.
Mathghamhain: youth combat.
Branimira: binder w/ embroidered favors.
Benjamin: period board games.
Wilhelm & Conandil: dancing.

Classes: we are offering 4 classes, in a central popup with tables & chairs. There will be sign-up sheets for each class available with a class limit of 10 participants.
Sprang (Lady Alienor): noon.
Calligraphy (Lady Lada): 1pm.
Nålbinding (Lady Beatrice): 2pm.
Finger-loop braiding (Ladies Arnora & Vika): 3pm.

Potluck:
Arnora: bagels & cream cheese
Angelica: ice, water, 2 large orange water dispensers, cups, flatware, plates, paper towels, garbage bags.
Vika & Simon: salami, cheese, grapes.
Judith: Scotch eggs.
Godiva: ham.
Sofya: watermelon.

As usual, the festival will be providing lunch via volunteers. Instead of providing meal tickets this year, you are asked to supply your group name (SCA) to the lunch volunteers. I can’t tell you where the food is because I have never managed to get away from the demo in prior years. We will find someone who does know on the day.

Fashion show, 2pm: To participate in the fashion show (all in garb are welcome!!), please collect an entry card from Lady Godiva. We will be asking for your geographic location, your time period, and any relevant (short!) details of your garb to which you would like to draw attention. Our voice herald will call the show, for which participants will walk a short circle on the grass to display their garb. Nothing fancy required.

Concert, 4pm: To participate in the concert, please print & bring with you or collect at the concert a songbook. All the songs are simple & most are well known to the populace. Emphasis is on social rather than professional singing.