Bitter End’s A&S defender competition

Handspun wool yarn and thread, and 8-ply cord, all used to weave and sew a hood

Handspun wool yarn and thread, and 8-ply cord, all used to weave and sew a hood

Just a few photos for today’s post. During Harvest Feast, the SCA shire of Bitter End held multiple competitions to find their defenders in different disciplines for the next year. There were two competitors, one of them a youth who also entered last year!

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Medieval Suspended Spinning using Distaffs

Master spinner demonstrates how to dress a medieval-style cone distaff with flax (linen)

Dressing a cone-shaped distaff with flax

While at Avacal September Crown (a SCA event) I took a class on using a distaff for suspended spinning. I didn’t quite get the idea behind suspended spinning (it kind of made my hand hurt pretty quickly) but I did enjoy using the distaff to control the fibre for spinning.

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Warhorse at the Military Museums

Two mounted combatants. These ladies put on an excellent show, trying to knock the ornament off the other's helm.

Two mounted combatants. These ladies put on an excellent show, trying to knock the ornament off the other’s helm.

On July 22, 2017, the SCA group in Calgary took part in “Warhorse” at the Military Museums.

“Horses have been a key part of the Military from ancient times to the modern day. We have some participants bringing horses to show off the medieval horse in various eras.”

 

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SCA at the Turku Medieval Market

Weaving being done by a member of the Finnish SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

Weaving being done by a member of the Finnish SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

In advance of my trip to Finland, I tried to connect with some of the SCA groups in the country to see if there were any events happening. Unfortunately, like the group here – the regular, casual get togethers are put on hold during the summer, so the only event that worked with the time frame that I would be in the country was the Turku Medieval Market, (Keskiaikaiset markkinat) – or perhaps it was fortunate, since I was already planning to attend!

The SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

The SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

I was really grateful to the different people I spoke to via email before my trip – all were very welcoming and encouraging for me to come out to their activities. They represented the Barony of Aarnimetsä, as well as smaller groups within the barony – aka the mundane country of Finland. In advance they invited me to join their Facebook group – and it’s interesting to see the similarities and differences between what they post on their group and what we post on ours.

Once I got to the market, I walked around and shopped first, and then once my companion was ready to relax and sit down to rest, I went off to find the Society for Creative Anachronism group! I took a few photos before introducing myself and visiting for a little. They also let me know of their big event of the summer – and invited me to try to attend the next time I am in Finland for the summer!

A woman demonstrating the drop spindle. She was one of the demonstrators at the Turku Medieval Market from the SCA group.

A woman demonstrating the drop spindle. She was one of the demonstrators at the Turku Medieval Market from the SCA group.

Largesse

To thank the Chatelaine and others who had been so nice to me even before I arrived, I brought a small pouch of largesse to gift to the group. (And of course to spread the wordfame of the Kingdom of Avacal – which I think is still the newest Kingdom in the SCA.)

Of course, I needed things that would be small, lightweight, and not likely to melt/spill/etc. Sometimes largesse takes a less period theme and goes for more practical items (I like giving little mini emergency travel sewing kits for instance for camp event garb disasters) but I also wanted to look for things that would be more period in tone, and also was aware that I needed to consider customs – so I wanted to avoid any foodstuffs, fur, seeds, etc…

I took one of the little parti-coloured pouches I made and put in some of my handspun wool yarn… along with needle books, block-printed napkins, a necklace, earrings, and a paternoster along with another little leather pouch. The other items were all made by artisans here in Avacal, and were all tagged with the artisan’s names and barony/shire or kingdom. (Or both) It made me think that I’d love to hear from people in other kingdoms who might receive my largesse, so if I make any more, I want to try to put my URL or email address on the tags too!