Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pennsic 43- Peace Week to Bar Bar

I can't believe Pennsic has already come and gone yet again. It was another fabulous war!

This is the second year we've camped with Dahlradia, another Celtic Clanne strongly centered in the DC metro area. Again they made us feel super welcome and like part of the family. I really hope they'll keep us- we are litter trained! I also really love the look and set-up of our camp. We have a huge open area by the road, where we put our kitchen, fire pit, and social tent. Then, all of our tents are back in the trees for all-day shade.

Dalrhadia Camp at Pennsic

My Pretty Viking Princess Palace

One of the most fun nights each war in D-rad camp is the Tequila tasting. It's an invite only event, all the guests gather in the social tent to try different tequilas. Guests are encouraged and invited to bring their favorite tequilas or their favorite tequila infusions. We always get some great ones- my all time favorite is the orange chocolate, though all the pineapple infusions I've had were magnificent as well. This year I think there were 50+ tequilas to try! During breaks or after the tasting, there is often music or dancing.
Photo courtesy of Tim Tyson
Photo courtesy of Tim Tyson
Photo courtesy of Tim Tyson
Another favorite night at Pennsic is the Bar-Bar. Our fighting group, Concusar joins with the fighters of Anglesey and Galatia to make the Bog Alliance. We are a large group of mercenaries. That means we do not fight for a kingdom or barony, nor do we swear fealty to anyone. This means our services as fighters are up for sale to the highest (or most creative) bidder.

That's where Bar-bar night comes in. First, we Celts wear all of our best finery and get woaded up.
Photo courtesy of Tim Tyson
Photo courtesy of Tim Tyson 
Photo courtesy of Tim Tyson
Photo courtesy of Tim Tyson
Women of the Bog on Bar-Bar Night
Photo courtesy of Tim Tyson

Then, we entertain visiting royalty as they come to our camp and make bids for our fighters. All the folks in the clanne, whether they fight or not, gather to hear the offers. The prosperity of the fighters is the prosperity of the clannes.

The hosting camp, Anglesey, builds a stage. This is where our warlords sit. Since we are Barbarians, and the royalty does not speak our language, nor we theirs, Morganna is the voice of the warlords and translates between the visiting royalty and the warlords. Once all the bids are made, the warlords confer and determine which bid to accept. 

Photo Courtesy of Tim Tyson

So her'e where I"m going to leave you hanging. That's a lot of food (and pictures) for thought for the moment. Plus, I'm waiting on good ol' Ursus to post some more of his amazing pictures. Then, you'll get to hear all about War Week!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Making Felted Boots

Since I learned how to crochet this winter, one of my big goals has been to make us plenty of warm wool things so we don't freeze to death at Gulf Wars. As I've been finding patterns, I've been saving them to my pinterest so I could find them later. Then I came across these:

Linwood Crafts
Hubby immediately latched on to these and wanted a pair. And I thought, "Ya know, I think I can do that!!" And so the Felted Boots project was born.

I first chose the wool: Paton's Wool Roving in Natural.

Then I determined how I needed to change my go-to sock pattern. Because felting causes shrinkage of the item, I knew that the pre-felted sock needed to be about 1/3 bigger than normal. I did some playing around with felting swatches of this wool- trying the process with different sized hooks to see how it affected the outcome.

The pattern I used is this awesome Knee-High Boot Sock Pattern. I pretty much followed the pattern as far as stitch count, etc. I simply used bulkier wool than called for and a 10.0mm N-hook instead of the 6.0mm J-hook called for. Here's what the "sock" looked like before felting:

Then it was time to start the felting process! I did a two-fold process, part in the washing machine and part by hand on hubby's feet. First I put plenty of hot water and a little soap in the machine, along with my sock and a towel, for extra agitation. I checked on the sock's progress every few minutes- it wouldn't do have it shrink too small!! When I decided it had shrunk enough in the machine, we pulled it out, rolled the water out with a hand towel, then put them on hubby's feet. We completed the felting process on his feet to be sure that they would be shaped to his feet.

After they were felted to satisfaction, he took them off and we stuffed them with plastic bags to help them retain that shape while they dried. Here's a glimpse of the final product:

This did take about 2 skeins for the first boot (more than I expected or had) so I'm waiting on the additional wool I ordered to come before I can do the other boot.

All in all, this was completely experimental, but I'm pretty pleased with the final result!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The long road to Gulf Wars

Yes, I know I haven't written in forever. But, you know how we Celts are with writing!

We had such a blast at Gulf Wars last year, that we decided to go back again this year. We'll be camping with Crawhere again and are really looking forward to it! But, there's a LOT to do to get ready!

Last year, we were so cold. I know it was unusual, but I'm not taking any chances this year! I've learned to crochet, so I'm making us plenty of warm wool things to wear. Here are just a few examples:

I'm also experimenting with felting, so I'll share more about that tomorrow once the piece I felted is dry (and I know how it turned out!).