Welcome! I'm Ilene Johnnestoune, a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Come join me on my wanderings, as I share my interests both within and sometimes slightly outside the SCA.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How do I know when I know enough?

Greetings, and welcome back to a normal episode of Pegasus Wanderings, instead of the frantic ramblings of my last post.  J  Yes, the insanity is over, I have officially been turned into a bird, and I can now put Mistress in front of my name.  Woo hoo!!!

Now that I can turn my thoughts to other things, they of course have found their way back to art/sci.  I made a very wise choice not to try and throw something together in the 2-3 weeks I had between my elevation and Summer A/S Competition.  I probably could have done it, but it would not have been up to my standards of a proper project.

So now I am working on a couple things, with plans to enter at Village Faire in the Regional Competition, as well as Kingdom’s Winter A/S Competition.  Village Faire (VF) is in September, so I have been trying to determine what I can have ready in that time frame, and what will be better waiting until January.  It looks like the winner is going to be a 16th century Tudor coif, which I’m actually pretty excited about.  By doing this one now, it means that I can follow up with the knitted flat cap I’ve been wanting to do for Winter, and the two will go together beautifully.  I’m also really wanting to do a tablet weaving entry, so I might see if I have time for both this and the cap for Winter.  I’m not entirely sure if my skill level will be up to par for the weaving by January, so we shall see.  I will push it off to a later Regional competition if I need to.

One of the things I’ve been doing to determine which project to enter at VF is evaluating how much research I’ve already done on my various projects.  Each time I come up with a new idea for a project, I start a folder on my flash drive for it.  Then I promptly start a “What I Know” grid, so that I can fill in my facts as I find them.  When the grid is complete, I’m ready to start writing and making my project.  What is this grid, you ask?  Why, it’s one of the best tools to use when working on a project for art/sci.  It is simply a table or spreadsheet listing the ingredients, the period method, your source, your method, and your reasoning.  For example:

Ingredient / Material / Method
Period Method
Your Method
Your Reasoning
Silk thread
Worsted wool thread
Linen thread
Silk - Purstringes pg 2
Wool - Images 1-4
Linen - Images 5-8
Silk embroidery thread
Wool embroidery thread
Linen embroidery thread
Cotton embroidery thread
I am following the period method by using silk, wool, and linen threads.  I have chosen to also use cotton thread in order to compare the period fibers with a modern fiber.
Fingers, 1-3 people
Textiles pg 138
Fingers, 1 person

I am following the period method of using my fingers to create the braids.
Fasten to a fixed, sturdy structure. 
CA pg 8
Textiles pg 138
Metal straight pin, securing the braid to a small fabric covered table.

Source CA recommends pinning or tying the braid to something.  I chose to use the pinning method as I felt it would be more secure than tying.

This is part of my grid from my fingerloop braids project.

Every single component of your project should be listed in the Ingredient column.  Then as you do your research, you fill in the Period Method column.  HOWEVER, do not write anything there until you have a source to back it up.  If you can’t list a source for how you know the information, than you don’t get to write it down.  For the Source column, you can use an abbreviated name for a source, as long as it's listed in full in your bibliography.  For example, I list "Textiles" as one of my sources, which is short for "Textiles and Clothing c.1150-c.1450".  I have the full citation listed elsewhere, so I can use the shorthand version here.  Once you know the period method and you have a source for it, you can start filling in the rest.  As you make your decisions for the ingredients and methods you’re going to actually use, you write those in, then write why you made those decisions.

If you can completely fill out this grid before you start making your project, you will know everything you need to in order to have a well-documented entry.  Now, as much as I would like to take credit for this wonderful tool, I am not the creator.  My amazing teacher Mistress Adelheid (soon to be my Laurel!) taught me about this.  The real trick is making sure not to leave anything out from the Ingredients column.  Adelheid will tell you that on her enameled glass entry that went to Gulf Wars, she forgot to include glass.  Which was the most important ingredient.  She knew all the information, but completely forgot to write it down.

To all my friends (and even those I haven’t met yet!) who are working on projects, or thinking of working on projects, I strongly recommend you try out this tool.  My coif grid is pretty much full, so I will probably start writing that in the next week. I already have the linen I need to make it, so I should be able to start the construction soon as well.  I will be hand-sewing the entire piece, which is a little intimidating, but it is small and my handwork has gotten much better courtesy of the trial-by-fire that was my elevation gown.  Yes, I will post information about that soon as well.  I need to do a little info digging on that one, though, before I write a post for it.

I believe that’s all for the moment, folks.  I’ve got lots of project ideas in mind, though, and lots of research to do.  I hope you all stick along for the ride!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm Turning Into A Bird!!!!

Hello, my long lost readers!  I apologize for the unusually long delay between posts.  Things have snowballed in very interesting ways over the last few months!!  Let's see if I can get you caught up.

My last post was in November, which is when I was in full, crazy-making 'must finish this before Christmas' mode.  I didn't want to post what I was working on, on the slim chance that one of the recipients might see.  I was able to complete most of what I wanted to do, and only had to give one item as an IOU.  You can take a look at my Ravelry profile if you would like to see some of the stuff I made.  The dishcloths were a big hit, and I already have orders for more of them.  Yay!!

Once I got past Christmas, I got to breathe a little, but as I mentioned I still had a project to work on.  Then we had Trident Tourney, which was quite fun, and Winter Art/Sci, where I found out that I was chosen as a Gulf Wars Champion.  Holy cow!!!  I was quite astounded, since it never even entered my mind that that was a possibility. 

That takes me to the middle of January, which is full-blown insanity time at work.  Our season runs from the first weekend in January until the end of May.  Needless to say, I did not have any time to do my usual research forays.  I poked around a little bit, and came up with an idea or two for future art/sci projects (embroidered handkerchiefs as favors!!) but nothing concrete or informative enough to post about.

So while all of this was going on, Hubby and I had decided that we were definitely going to Gulf Wars.  This meant that sewing was in order, with no time to delay.  I did make the wise decision not to make anything new.  Instead, I chose to fix and finish several things that had been needing my attention.  I put new gores in one of my underdresses so that it fits properly, tailored in a pair of pants and a caftan, and adjusted my cotehardie so that the neckline fits a little better.  (The cotehardie will need to be fussed with some more when I am ready to make a new one.  The neckline on the pattern we drafted really just doesn't work.)  Thank you Adelheid for helping make all that happen!!  I also finished (except for hemming) a 10-gore that I started several years ago, but I ended up not taking it with me.  Something about the sleeves just isn't working, so I think I am going to revisit it over the summer and see if we can work out the wrinkles.

Then there was Gulf Wars.  It was definitely a fabulous experience, much better than the first time I went.  I actually left camp and did things this time, mainly classes.  I was in one class or another almost all day, almost every day of the War.  The classes were awesome.  I took a 3-part series on card weaving that was phenomenal.  It inspired me to come home and start using my loom, and I plan to teach the class over the summer.  The teacher's method was the best I've taken, which is why I want to try teaching it.  I took two great spinning classes, and a bunch of knitting classes.  I took a few miscellaneous classes as well, that were also well taught.  Thursday of the War was devoted to helping with the Champions Battle A/S competition.  I will say, it was quite the eye-opening experience.  There may be people who are critical of our judging system, but they have no idea just how good we have it.  The judges from the other kingdoms were brutal.  There were a few of us from Trimaris that did well (I got the 2nd highest score for our Kingdom!) but in general they ripped us apart.  If I am ever chosen as a champion again, I will approach it in a much different manner than I did this time.

We got home from War safe and sound, and had 2 weeks to get ready for Coronation.  I was really looking forward to the event, since for once I didn't really have any duties.  The event was lovely, all the way up to evening court.  That's when it jumped to a whole new level, so to speak.  I had been asked at the last minute to echo-herald, so I had a prime vantage point from the back center aisle of court.  I was overjoyed when as the second piece of business they called up the Order of the Laurel, and announced my dear friend and teacher Baroness Adelheid Leinwater as a candidate to the Order.  My response was emotional, to say the least.  I think Adelheid said that I was all but suffocating her when I hugged her.  I finally regained my composure, just in time to be called up myself.  That is when the title of this post comes into play.  While I'm standing there, and the King is saying something nice about me (which I didn't really hear) I suddenly hear the court herald call forward the Order of the Pelican.  That's right, I have been chosen to join that noble Order.  The rest of my time up there is something of a blur, as my brain seized up once I realized what was happening. 

So I'm going to be elevated.  A Pelican.  Holy cow.  I'm still a little blown away by the whole concept.  I have regained enough mental ability to realize how much I have to do between now and TMT, however.  Adelheid and I have decided to join forces, and have our vigils at the same time / location.  They will be Friday evening of TMT, outside Verron Hall.  Our elevations will be separate, though.  I have asked for Saturday morning before Crown Lyst, and she has asked for Saturday evening court.

Since I'm one of those crazy late-period people, this all means that I am in panicked sewing mode.  I have a full Tudor outfit to create before the last weekend in May.  Not to mention figuring out and planning several other aspects of this shindig.  Fortunately I have great friends who are taking over a good deal of it, so that I don't have to worry about most of it.  Which is a good thing, cause I have more than enough with what's left!!

And by the way, I was supposed to be the feastcrat for Gathering of the Clans next month.  I was already panicking about that, and then I got announced.  (Adelheid's the autocrat - are we nuts or what!)  I have the best friends ever, however, in Brenna & Meghan.  There were the two amazing women who were going to be shadowing me, and teaching me how to do this whole feast thing.  As soon as I was announced, they offered to take over the feast so that I wouldn't have to worry about it.  After some thought, I decided to take them up on their offer.  It just made far too much sense not too.  So I will still be involved, and will be in the kitchen that whole weekend learning everything I can, but I will not be running the show.  Whew!

So that's where I stand.  A little dazed and confused, a little frantic, but very excited and incredibly honored.  If I'm a little quiet here over the next few months, I'm sure you'll understand.  Hope to see you at the party!!