Friday, December 29, 2006

Water Lillies Washing Up on the Shore of My Sanity

This is the afghan I made for my sister as a housewarming present. She and her husband bought a house last summer. I didn't have it done in time for that, and I stupidly put it aside, figuring that I would get it done for when I would go down to visit in September. Yeah, right. Well, I could always give it to them at Christmas...

Around December 10 I suddenly realized that I had to have the afghan done in only two weeks! Yikes! I still had 12 blocks to make, then I would have to sew the blocks together and put the border around it. I stayed up until midnight most nights of that last week, and finished the border in the car down to the Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul are called simply "the Cities" here, as if there were no other cities in the country).

There were many times in that week when I thought I was losing my mind. That's why I've named this afghan Water Lillies Washing Up On the Shores of My Sanity. But it's done! And it looks rather nice if I do say so myself. It looks so tranquil compared to my feelings when making it!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Goofy Movie Quotes

A friend sent me a link to a site where you enter any word you like--say, your name-- and it will put that word into a quote from a famous movie. My favorite one so far is "Keep your friends close but your Maddy closer." Isn't that fun? I really need to go to bed, but it is addictive to see what they will come up with next!

Monday, December 25, 2006

My cats

Look! Pictures of my kitties. Magic is the black cat. See? Black Magic Cat. The white cat is Merry, which is short for Merriadoc Brandybuck. Yes, there was once a Pippin. Don't ask.
Anyway, I went down to Minneaplis to spend Christmas with my sister and her husband, who hosted the presents opening event (they have a three year old, so it was an "event"!) and my brother, who hosted us all for Christmas Eve dinner. It was lovely. I got home tonight and when I came to my door, I found...
A Christmas Stocking!
It was given anonymously, but I have a pretty good idea who is responsible. There were all kinds of good stocking stuffers in it, and some of those were things for my cats! See? Merry kept herself occupied with a little stuffed mouse, and Magic batted around a little ball with a bell in it for over half an hour. I wasn't surprised that Merry played, because she loves to chase after toys, but Magic isn't very interested in toys. But she really likes that little ball!
So to my friends who are responsible for a little extra Christmas joy in my life: Thanks! You know who you are!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Coffee, Not So Good The 2nd Time Around...

Last Saturday (December 9) I was stricken by the stomach plague that's been going around. I got to work at about 7:00 and got a cup of coffee. Now that winter's here (well, it's pretty warm for December, but it's still winter) I really enjoy a cup of hot coffee in the morning. My tummy was a bit uneasy, but the night before I'd been a chaperone at the youth movie night at church and I had eaten quite a bit more than I was used to, so I figured that was it.

No. At 8:00 I left and got home just in time to experience the joy of tasting that cup of coffee going the other way. Wow. Every time I threw up that day and the next I tasted that coffee. Strangely enough, I haven't had coffee in the past week. I did get a cup this morning at work. I even had a couple sips. But instead of tasting like coffee it tasted like... Well, you can imagine what I tasted. Yuck.

I really hope I get past this soon. I enjoy coffee. But when I was 8 I threw up Rocky Road ice cream. Can't stand it to this day. Sigh. Coffee can not be permitted to go the same way.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

My Arlen Needles

Here's pair of socks I made for myself. (Yes, I occasionally keep a pair of socks that I make). I finished these actually last February, but I'm just now taking pix of some of the socks I've kept for myself. These are made from Lorna's Laces Sport weight in the persimmon colorway. I used a garter rib for the cuff. Quick and simple. And these socks are so soft! I don't really like the way the colors pool over the foot. But the colors are so pretty don't really mind so much.

There's a story connected to these socks. I had gone up to Winnipeg for an SCA event last January. On Friday night there was an archery shoot at a range down town. I don't do archery, but it's fun to watch. So I tagged along, with my knitting in hand. (I don't go anywhere without my knitting. God forbid I don't have something to do at an event) I carry my knitting in a little bag I made from scraps of upholstery fabric and cords for a drawstring. I had completed one of the socks and had just finished the ribbing on the second in car on the drive up. I set my knitting down on a chair and went around hugging friends I had not seen for a while. Then I went to sit down and knit and watch the archery.

Blast! One of my bamboo needles was snapped in half!

These were my favorite needles! I had had them for several years, and they had never broken. One was a severely warped, which annoyed me, but they still worked just fine. I was kinda grumpy about it, but I use five needles to knit socks, and it can be done with four, so I figured I could re-arrange the stitches and carry on. But as I began to shift stitches, I realized that the next needle was also snapped. And the next needle. And the next. The only needle still whole was (of course) the warped one. I panicked. What was I going to do for the next two days with no knitting?! Until this point in my life I had known I enjoyed knitting. And at events or other places where I might be shy and have a hard time feeling like I fit in I used my knitting as a shield against feeling alone or out of place. People would see me knitting often stop and chat for a few minutes about what I was doing. (Complete strangers can become life long friends during a five minute conversation about knitting or other fiber crafts.) But I hadn't realized the extent of my addiction. I was terrified. Two days without knitting?? I asked the woman next to me if there was a yarn shop near by? If so, would they be open at 7pm on a Friday night? She looked at me blankly and said she didn't think Winnepeg had any. I began to tremble violently.

A young man named Arlen that I had met just that day overheard me asking. He probably noticed my hands shaking, too. He said there was a craft store at a mall nearby. He offered to drive me over. I was doubtful. In Fargo the craft stores do not stock size 1 double points. Straight needles for scarf knitting can be bought in various sizes. Double points in size 5 and up, yes. A few 29" Circular needles in size 8 and up, yes. But size 1 double points? No way. In Fargo they can be bought only at Pieces of String or Yarn Renaissance. But he was so nice to offer that I figured what the heck. And wouldn't you know it, Lewiscraft-in-a-mall had Susan Bates size 1 doublepoints! Metal, so they wouldn't break! (I figure someone sat on my knitting and that's how the needles broke. Hah! Try sitting on them now!) And they were reasonably priced! I bought two sets of 4. Now I was set. I was able to finish the cuff that weekend thanks to a guy who didn't knit but was friendly enough to go out of his way to give me a hand. He's clean cut, handsome, genuinely nice and young. Too young, darn it all.

That's why those particular needles are called my Arlen needles. Here we are, the following day at the event. Notice how calm and happy I look? That is thanks to Arlen and his gnerosity in offering to take me to find more knitting needles!

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Aroma of Thanksgiving

I have had serious sinus trouble for about 13 or 14 years, resulting in a loss of my sense of smell. Sure, I've been able to smell, here and there, like right after one of my sinus surgeries, or during one of my semi annual courses of prednisone. Because I love the smell of lilacs in spring, and the scent of Christmas cookies baking I've tried to arrange to have the prednisone for those times of the year. I haven't smelled Thanksgiving in 13 years. But yesterday I walked into my mom's house and smelled Thanksgiving: the turkey roasting in the oven overlaid by the tang of cranberries bubbling on the stove, and, faintly, the spice of pumpkin pie in the backround. Now THAT is something to be grateful for. Next time you smell your coffee in the morning or your soap in the shower or the fabric softener sheet in the dryer, take a deep breath and give thanks. A sense of smell should not be taken for granted.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Socks For Everyone!

Cool weather is here! That means it's time for warm wool socks!

I really enjoy knitting, and socks are the perfect, portable project. And perfect gift! You can make only so many pairs of mittens for one person, but everyone needs more than one pair of socks. And there are so many different kinds of socks. Thick warm slipper socks, dainty lace socks, fun colors socks, ankle socks, knee high socks, ribbed socks, striped socks... The list really is endless. It seems like every few days or so I find another pattarn I just *have* to try. And knitting is a stress buster for me. So my socks go everywhere with me. Doctor and dentist's waiting rooms are good for at least a couple rows. I even take them to parties. Is it irreverent to knit during church? So many patterns, so little time... Sigh.

So here are some of the patterns that have caught my attention in the last few months:

SANJAY's Sixth Sense Sox.These are made from Sockotta, a cotton wool blend in bright summery colors. It is an easy ribbing pattern that was pretty quick and easy to do. Once I got into the pattern, I didn't have to think too hard or count too much. The pattern is one from the Six Sox Knitalong I belong to. I haven't had a bad pattern from there yet.

I started these in the spring and took them along on the morning I went in for surgery at the Mayo Clinic. Good thing I had them. I sat in that little waiting room for a couple hours, I swear. And after they had the IV hook up thingy in my arm I tried really *really* hard to knit without bending my elbow.

I finished these in June, but just now got around to sending them to my friend. Her name is Linda. Or Gwyneth. Or Sanjay. Or just G.

Daye's Unst Socks

I made these socks as a part of the KOTR Knitalong. All the socks we knit there are from nancy Bush's book Knitting On The Road. These are the Unst socks. I made them from Lion Brand Sport Weight Wool Ease. I just wanted to try this pattern. I didn't want to buy any new yarn for it (actually I DID want to buy new yarn, but I made myself a promise that I would shop only in my stash for the rest of the year) Daye had said she'd like to have socks, and one of her favorite colors was purple. Since I had the purple woolease already in stock, I decided to go with it. I like them. I think she will too. Her name is Wendy. But I never call her that. She's also called Daeg, which is pronounced "Day" but the E on the end adds elegance to the name, don't you think?

Yngvar's Sensible Men's Socks

Made from a Canadian sock wool blended with nylon in heather gray and solid black for stripes and heels and toes.

These are socks for my friend Yngvar. He's like a brother to me, only better, because he never complains when I ask him to do me a favor. I'm not the only one who thinks so. Last january, another friend from Winnepeg and I were shopping and I said I'd like to do something nice for Yggy, like make him socks. But I didn't have any extra money right then. She said she hadn't gotten him anything yet for 12th Night, so she bought the yarn. And I'm making the socks. And making the socks. And making the socks. This simple pattern should be quick and easy, right? No. I cast on 80 stitches on size 1 needles and am still working on them. Plain gray is BORING. I have to break it up eith some lace and bright colors. But they'll get done soon, Yggy, I promise!

Fina's Celtic Swirl Socks!

Work in Progress. Made with Baby Ull from Dalegarns. 100% merino wool in fingering weight. I have a friend. A tall friend. Last year I began a pair of socks for her, made from a very nice self striping yarn in a chevron pattern that showed off the stripes quite nicely, and took the first one over to her house to have her try it on. Hmmm.... She gallantly forced it on, but clearly it was bit small. She could barely pull it on over her heel. So I went back home and put those aside for a while, not sure if I wanted to frog them and try to adjust the chevron pattern to be a few stitches larger, or if I just wanted to start fresh with a new pattern entirely. Fortunately the cat took the dilemma out of my hands by doing the frogging herself. So a week ago I found a fun pattern that I thought might appeal to my friend. I almost stuck to my rule to not buy any more yarn. I had one ball of red wool in the weight I wanted and one of off white. My friend wears a large size shoe, so I knew I'd need one more ball of red. Ok, I figured buying one ball of yarn to complete what I already had wouldn't be cheating. But wouldn't you know it, my local yarn store doesn't carry Brown Sheep's Nature Spun. Can you believe it? I could have ordered online. But by golly, I wanted to start these socks NOW! I ended up buying three skeins of the baby ull. Gosh darn it. But at least that's ALL I bought.
I carefully made a swatch and did all my figurign to be sure these would fit my friend, and according to my calculations, they should fit. But the stranded color work mades knitting a little less stretchy, and I want to try these on her befoer I say they are a success.

So, my knitting is going along nicely. I have more friends that I'd like to make socks for. I just love to knit socks. I want to try so many different patterns. But I'm not sure how all of my friends would like hand knit socks. Hard thought it is for me to believe, some people don't like hand knit items. And one friend is allergic to wool. And some of my friends already knit their own socks, and better than I do.

Mostly I knit because it's therapy for me. And with my job right now, I need lots of therapy!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Game On

They're up! Both the gown and the cloak are officially up for aucti0n! It's a good feeling to have it done. I decided to offer the gown at a starting price of $9.99. I hope to have alot of people be interested in it. But I did put a reserve price of $90.00 on it. That's what it cost me to make it, and I'll be de-double-darned if I'll take less for it. If it doesn't sell I'll donate it to the next Kingdom auction or raffle. It's a pity that my dress makers dummy leans a bit to the side. The poor thing looks drunk. It makes the pictures look less than good. They all make the dress look like it's about to take off. Either that or fall over. Sigh. The gown is truly beautiful. I like how the waist is smoothly nipped in, and then swells up into the bust. Very flattering. Hard to believe I used to actually be that size!
Let the games begin!

OK, Now I'm Done

I was laying in bed this morning at 5:30, thinking about the dress, and I came to the reluctant conclusion that this dress just begged for sleeves. I had some scraps of the silvery green fabric and the satin I'd used for the underskirt, enough to make sleeves. So I got up and got them cut out and one sewn before I had to go to church to teach sunday school. Then I had to go to my mom's to help her out, and then, at last, I was able to sew theother sleeve. And I really think they complete the outfit. The dress can be worn without sleeves, or with the sleeves. And they can be worn either way. The lining makes a very pretty sleeve too.

Now, I'm going to go to ebay and get this dress and the cloak I made to go with it listed. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

At Last! It's Done!

I began the chemise at 2:00pm and finished sewing it at 9:00pm. That's way too much time for something made out of four rectangles! Of course, I couldn't make a plain chemise. Oh, no. I had to add ruffles, and lace and trim. Silly me. But it does look nice and I'm very pleased with it. It would look even nicer if I had an arm to put in the sleeve for pictures. The sleeves are extra long, so they can poof out and hang over the hands. I made some dark green velvet arm garters, that can be worn over the bicep to hold the sleeve in place and make it poof out.
So, tomorrow this goes up for auction on ebay. It has taken me three weeks to make this. Probably a total of 25 or thirty hours. But that's only a guess. I've looked at what is currently for auction on ebay, and there are several gowns that look really nice. The main theme seems to be "Pirate Wench" type dresses. I don't think my gown fits into that category, although it could be something that Miss Elizabeth Swann might have worn. I consider this more of a court gown. It would be really nice for a fancy costume party or an SCA event, or a Fantasy Convention. Friends stopped over last night and one of them has already asked me to make one for her. Since she's close to six feet tall and barely a size 7/8, this one won't fit her. This one will fit someone who is around 5'5" to 5'7" and a size 11/12. Maybe an 11/12. Is that what size has a 32" waist?
Well, if you were over at ebay and have come here to see more photos and see how the dress was made, feel free to scroll down. Most of the recent blog entries are all about this dress. Feel free to leave a comment. I'll be answering any questions on ebay. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ready, Set, Hem!

I finished sewing the lacing rings on and now I'm in the process of measuring the hem. It's almost done at last! Yippee!

After the hem is done I'll sew the chemise. At first I thought I'd make the chemise out of a semi-sheer cotton that I bought up in Winnipeg at an Indian store, where they sell sari fabrics and salwar kameez and really cool jewelry. But I was planning on making myself another chemise out of that, and I think the buyers on ebay would rather have a shiny silky fabric chemise. Besides, since I won't be making sleeves for the dress after all, it might look cool to have big puffy sleeves in a shiny satiny fabric trimmed with the left over strips of green velvet. I don't have any shiny white fabric, so I'll have to go to the store and buy some. That will raise the cost of materials up to around $90.00. So should I start the auction at $89.99? I just can't settle for selling the dress for less than it cost me to make it, especially since I've spent hours making it. I've seen some really nice looking things sell on ebay for what must be a lower price than it cost to make . That is sad. Really, really sad.

But this dress is beautiful. With people looking for halloween costumes and some fancier SCA events like 12th Night coming up, there should be plenty of people willing to pay what it is worth.

Lacing the Bodice

So, I've been plodding along with my dress for ebay, and the more I do the less I want to sell it. If I had made it in my size, I would keep it. But honestly, considering that I go to only about 5 or 6 SCA events a year, how many court gowns do I need?

I have stitched more of the dark green velvet along the open edges of the underskirt, and it looks pretty sharp against the seafoam green satin underskirt. And I finally made up my mind about how to close the bodice. I chose to go with lacing rings stitched down on top of the green velvet bodice edging. I like the rings because they won't make the fabric fray, and they won't ever fall out and leave a gaping, ugly hole. If they do come 0ff they can be sewn back on, like buttons. I have some nice gold cord that can be used as lacing. So once I've sewn the lacing rings on (slow going, sewing all twenty of them on by hand) I can hem the skirt and underskirt. Then just sew the chemise and I'm done! Can I finish by Saturday night?

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Getting Closer To Being Done

Yay! Look! I've got the skirt cut out and pleated! It's not sewn yet, because I wanted to see how it would fit. But it's looking pretty good. So after I do a few errands I'll come back and sew the pleats down and then sew the skirt to the bodice. I'm really liking this dress. I hope some other people will too, and bid on it on ebay. I'm not sure what amount to start it at. I want it to be low enough that people will want to bid, but not so low that I can't get at least my money out of it. Preferably I'll get my time paid for too. The materials cost about $75.00. Luckily, I got the silvery green fabric on sale for only $8.99 a yard. So maybe I'll start it at $69.99. I'll decide later.

The Sea Maiden's Elizabethan Gown Bodice

I began the bodice for my ebay dress last sunday. Since I've decided to make it more of a court type gown rather than a wench dress I put an inner built in corset between the dressy fabric and the lining. This will give it that nice firm look and push the bust up, if that's what the wearer wants. And I sacrificed the velvet I had chosen for sleeves to use to bind the bodice edges. I think this gives it a richer look. I'm not sure if I want to use lacing rings on the inside for a closure or grommets along the edges. I'm kinda leaning toward the hidden lacing rings, because the silvery green fabric is prone to fraying and grommets are punched through all three layers. Making a hole in the outer faric might make it fray. Of course, I could use fray check...

I have only the dress makers dummy that fits my size --well, my former size. I've put on about 15 pounds since I made this, so it really isn't my size anymore. But back to what I was saying. The bodice is a tish smaller than the dress makers dummy. So this bodice will measure approx 31-32"" at the waist and 37-38" at the bust. Those measurements can be played with a bit. For instance, if the wearer wants to go for that busty, boobs- swelling-over-the-top look, her actual measurement should be a bit larger.

Now, I have to cut out the overskirt and pleat it and sew it to the bodice. What fun.


Okay, next entry in the dress diary. Last weekend I made the underskirt. I had only two yards of the lovely sea foam green satin, so I made the front panel out of that, and the back panel, which will be under the skirt of the dress, out of a dark green cotton sateen. I decided to make a regular waistband with hooks and eyes instead of the drawstring waistband I usually use for costumes. Elastic begins to droop after a while and although a drawstring allows for a fit of a variety of sizes, they usually come untied at one point or another and it's kind of a pain to hike your overskirt up to re-tie it. So, like I said, I'm going with hooks and eyes spaced over the side fastening. It will fit a waist measurement from 29" to 32". Maybe even a little bigger, if a safety pin is sued. The bodice of the dress is going to lace up the front, and if it isn't laced all the way closed it will fit up to a 34" waist.

I really like the way the light hits the satin. It gleams so nicely and looks so rich. The color makes me want to call this dress the "Sea Maiden's Gown" or maybe the "Mermaid Dress."

Friday, September 29, 2006

Sewing For Ebay

Now that the weather is cool enough to be able to have the iron, the sewing machine and the serger on all at the same time I've been sewing. Halloween is coming up in a month, so it's a good time to try to sell some garb on ebay. At first I thought I'd whip a simple dress together, but somehow the plan has grown to be a more sophisticated Elizabethan gown.

I decided to use my blog to keep a sort of dress diary of the construction. I've never kept a dress diary, and this dress isn't intended to be a serious attempt at authenticity. Most of the buyers on ebay aren't looking for an accurate replica of a gown from the 16th Century. So I'm going to make this dress pretty and elegant.

First, a week ago, I went through my fabric stash and pulled out stuff that I had bought intending to make myself something but never have. It was hard to choose, because every fabric I pulled out made me say "Ooh, I bought that for an Italian Renn (or Tudor, or cotehardie). But I finally settled on a very nice silvery green damask like fabric with darker green motifs woven into it. I had green cotton for lining, and a seafoam green satin for the underskirt, and a some really nice dark green velvet for sleeves and trim. See the picture? Aren't those great colors?

The dress has begun!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Couple Current projects

Daye's Unst Socks!

A friend said I should add more projects to my blog, so here's a couple. This is by no means all of what I've got going right now. But here's some I'm willing to share right now.

Purple Unst Socks! These are from Nancy Bush's Knitting On The Road book--a great book with sock patterns of various difficulty levels. I'd say the Unst socks are about a medium difficulty. I'm knitting these as part of a Knit-A-Long. I have one sock done and I'm about half way down the leg on the other. This is a pretty simple lace pattern. I'm not carrying the lace pattern down the top of the foot because I personally don't like the sometimes bumpy texture of lace pressing into my skin under my shoe. I'm making these for a friend--Hi, Daye!--and I think she'll like them. I offered to make her a pair of socks and she listed a couple colors she liked. Luckily, purple was one of her colors and I just happened to have a skein of purple wool blend yarn in my stash. I am enjoying knitting these. (I have another pair of socks in the works, and I am finding those to be very slow going. I have to force myself to work on those.)

Another project I have going is spinning up a couple ounces of gorgeously dyed silk. Aren't those colors marvelous? A friend bought this for me as a gift after I wasn't able to go with her to a fiber festival. As soon as I got this in the mail I rushed to finish spinning and plying some wool that was on the wheel because I couldn't wait to spin this. It spins like a dream! I love the feel of fiber sliding through my fingers. It is the best therapy I know of to help me deal with the stress of life. It's even better than knitting, because there is no counting.

So, those a couple of my projects. That doesn't include the shawl I'm knitting, or the afghan I'm crocheting, or the Viking tunic I'm embroidering, or the Elizabethan gown I'm sewing to sell on ebay... More about the dress soon.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Love My Job...Not

Well, as of Monday September 18 I have been training for my new position. Management thinks the transisition is going very smoothly. Are they nuts? I just hope the system works better in live mode than testing mode. I just learned how to do my main job function yesterday. Well, learned it is a bit of a stretch. I learned how it's supposed to be done, just not how to do it. And starting in two days I will be doing this for real.

We have a person whose job title is Trainer. That's good, since we're all training for jobs we've never done in the new system. I've met her a couple times... We hadn't had any actual training until yesterday. For the first week and a half we were told where to find the manuals on the internal computer library, and that we should be studying these. The Trainer wrote up some quizzes for us to take. Open book. Yay! We can look in the manual for the answers. Of course, the manuals are over 2000 pages long, so it's kind of hard to look up the answers to these questions. I'm feeling supremely well trained, can you tell?

They are still constructing the new office around us. Hammers pounding. Power tools grinding away. Sawdust floating in the air does nothing for my allergies. I have a headache. My back hurts. I'm crabby and short tempered, and would give ten years of my life to be able to go home and forget that there is such a thing as Medicare DME.

OK. Done being crabby now.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Black Furry Basketball

I have two cats that are nearly opposites. One is tiny, dainty, skinny, with long white fur and impeccable lady-like manners. The other looks like a black furry basketball with legs. If she were human she'd be the fat woman drinking beer at the local dive, spitting on the floor while insulting every other woman in the joint. The basketball is named Black Magic Cat. The poor thing has had diarrhea for the last two days. She's so fat she can't properly clean herself, and I got to the point where I decided she must have a bath. So I filled the kitchen sink with warm water, got a washcloth and captured the cat.

Cats don't like baths. I'm sure that's not a surprise to you. Magic hardly ever miaows. She was screaming bloody murder the whole time, squirming and trying desperately to escape. (Why hasn't she been declawed yet?!) That cat practically outweighs me, and she was pretty sure that if she tried hard enough she could mop the floor with me. Finally I decided her bottom was clean, and relaxed my grip ever so slightly. The next thing I know, my shirt has been given air conditioning courtesy of one seriously torked off cat. My bra now has claw snags in it. You don't need to be fluent in feline to figure out that Magic knows every dirty word there is, and is stringing them all together in a symphony of outrage.

And being a cat, she has her ways of making her displeasure felt. While I was sanitizing the sink she found my favorite chair, the one I sit in to watch TV and knit, and plopped her wet bottom right in it. When I went into the living room, there she was, smugly smiling at me as she rubbed her soaking wet butt into my chair.


I love my cats.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Crusades...

This past weekend was Labor Day Weekend. That is the traditional weekend for Castel Rouge's Gimli event. Castel Rouge is a barony in the Kingdom of Northshield, but you may recognize it more easily as Winnipeg Manitoba. Gimli is a small town on the shore of Lake Winnipeg. I've been attending the Gimli event almost every year since I joined the SCA. It is a relaxed event. There's a schedule that no one pays a lot of attention to. Friday night is given over to an after dark Baronial War Court and then we go down to the lake and shoot fire arrows over the water. We admire the Northern Lights that often make an appearance. We sleep in on Saturday morning, have brunch, wander around visiting friends, sitting on blankets, working on portable projects like embroidery or knitting or card weaving. After a while the fighters get into armor and fight for fun. There's archery, and classes and lots of down time to lay on a blanket under a tree and read or chat. If Royalty is there (most years, there is royalty) we will have court. There's a three hour long feast after that, and then people get down to partying. On Sunday we sleep late, have brunch, do archery, fighting, reading and sleeping. Monday we pack and head out.

This year on Friday night we had a little Harry Potter jeopardy game. The winner was Duke Tarrach alfson, who won a pair of hastily knit Slytherin socks. Well, not really Slytherin socks, just socks in green and white sripes. See the picture? He' s proud of those socks! he wore them all weekend!

This year a friend of mine, known in the Society as Hrodir Vigaggeir Toreson, was Knighted. This is a very big deal. The King had put him "on Vigil" back in May. Usually a peer-to-be is put on vigil and then knighted in only a Mmnth or less. But Hrodier wanted to be knighted in Castel Rouge, where he had spent alot of time and had lots of good friends. It was a moving ceremony. Hearing so many well respected people speak in his favor made me cry.

It was a really good weekend, even tho I picked up a little 24 hour stomach bug. But I'm really glad to have this weekend off, with nowhere that I have to go.

Questions about the Society for Creative Anachronism? I'd be glad to tell you what i know about it. Or go to


Well, I'm going to try my hand at blogging. We'll see how it goes :) I don't have much to say right now, but in the future I'll be chatting about some of my hobbies and what takes up my free time. I love to read, especially romance, fantasy, historical fiction and non-fiction, biographies and more. I spin wool and silk into yarn that I knit and embroider with. I make costumes for my main hobby: medieval re-creation.

More to come later!