kickass pennsic!

Another spectacular Pennsic is behind us. Things were different this year, the most significant being the dates. We were moved up one week and required to leave early due to another event that followed. I was not happy with the change, but we still enjoyed the time we had there. Overall the weather was great! During the day it was cool enough that I didn’t have sweat running down the backs of my legs and at night I enjoyed wearing my cloak.

Our camp used to be all about staying up all night and sleeping late. However, somewhere along the way we dropped all the party people and turned into a chatty morning group. Poor Rich! He is the only one left who wants to sleep in and now he can’t because I talk too loud! One morning I got up at 6 am and walked around the neighborhood. It was the perfect time to look at other camps since no one was up yet. FYI: There are a lot of scroungy looking camps!

Front gate

Last year we made the mistake of leaving our sheet wall system at home.  Every now and then we’d have some wandering idiot go through our camp because he/she couldn’t tell that the bridge was the entrance to OUR CAMP and NOT a public through-way. Determined to end it, we had my mom paint a new sign for over the bridge, put up lanterns and attached a rope to block the way (easily moved by those who are welcomed in). Some people may think we are overly cautious about “security”, but we’ve had many issues in the past.

At the bridge

Once you get in though, it’s quite lovely.




We had a new common tent – “Big Blue” as Rich has named it. And it is big. 80 pounds big. This was the first time we put it up, so there will be modifications in the future, but we stayed dry and had plenty of space. Can you tell that the grass hadn’t been mowed in several weeks? It was mid-shin. Where is my annoying neighbor to hassle them? “Why do you let this get so high??”

Common tent

Pennsic is a great place to make friends, but sadly that means you are likely to see them only once a year. Such is the case with these ladies. We met when that little girl was 10 months old. Now she is six. Rich had taken this picture right after they came in and I hadn’t seen them in two years, so that explains the ridiculous Oprah face.


The camp has a front and back entrance. Our lovely hand-painted sheet wall panels go across the back since the front of the camp is covered in shrubbery. These are the heraldic representations of our household members. I am a squirrel. Richard is a gryphon.

Sheet wall

Back gate

And that is a quick tour of our camp. I didn’t take any other pictures, not even of my camp mates. When you are there in the middle of it, it is hard to remember to get your camera out. Also, I was using the camera on my phone and then battery died.. sooo… anyway, we have a really great group. It really does feel like a funny little family with each person having their specific role. Hooray for Pennsic. Bringing weirdos together since 1972.

friday’s question

This past weekend I went to one of the annual SCA events our group hosts. It’s at the perfect time of year – just after the holidays. I hadn’t been in garb since October, so it felt good to get into my dresses and wool cloak and put on my stockings and leather boots. I had to go find all of the various accessories I wear too. They never seem to get put away in the same place. Where is my linen veil? My leather belt and garters? My brooches and necklaces? Don’t forget the feast gear and food! I made a king’s cake (gateau du roi) and it was a disaster! Actually, the cake itself turned out great, but I’ll never make it again. Puff pastry with a filling of pastry cream and ground almonds. While there may be a shortcut on both of those, I did not take it. I made pastry cream and chopped my almonds as fine as possible. Rich asked if I’d taken a photo of it, which would have been smart since I’m talking about it now. Sadly I did not because it was quite golden and crisp.

This event, our Winter Revel, is held at a beautiful old building at Mill Creek Park in Youngstown. It has been many things over the years including a wool mill. Now it is available to rent for parties and gatherings. Upstairs there is a fireplace with wonderful woodwork from floor to ceiling. It’s the perfect place to spend an evening dancing, eating, and reveling. And honestly, it was a nice break from fibering! I had brought my spindle but left it in my basket all night long. I just enjoyed visiting with friends, sipping apple wine, and listening to music. Not every moment must be spent focusing on the thickness of my yarn, the way colors are blending, or the gauge of my stitches.

Question: What else do you like to do to relax besides knitting, spinning, crocheting, etc? Do you have other hobbies that are related to fiber? Do you ever find yourself taking a break from one hobby to enjoy another hobby?

an alternative to sheep & wool

Yes, so this weekend was THE Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, but Richard and I missed it again. However, I think we made the right choice. Friday night he and I attended a wedding for a couple we didn’t know. The mother of the bride, who invited us, is a fantastic person we met last summer during an SCA demo. She and her husband have been attending events and meetings the last few months and we’ve had the pleasure to get to know them. The wedding was really cool and funky. But the best part was seeing how happy ML was that we came. I’m excited to spend this summer going to events and working on projects with her and her husband.

On Saturday was the Coronation of Eikbrandr and Runa, the new king and queen of the Middle Kingdom. It was hosted by the Barony of the Cleftlands (Cleveland) and held at a Polish-Catholic church. They had the coronation in the church sanctuary – a perfect spot!! We spent the day meandering around, eating, knitting, dancing. At 6:00 there was a feast and it was very delicious. Three full courses plus dessert. It lasted about 2 and a half hours with multiple toasts and musical interludes. I sat with Emeline and Rickard which is always a pleasure.

At 9:00 they held evening court for the King and Queen. At this point they gave out several awards. Including one to ME – the Order of the Willow for my work in fiber arts!

The herald called out, “The King and Queen call into their court, Genevieve de Saint-Malo!” I was sitting on the floor at the back of the room, so I stood up, and Rickard escorted me down the center isle. I bowed, went up the stairs, bowed again, and knelt before them. The Queen handed me a scroll and a medallion to commemorate the occasion. I could barely keep from shaking, it was so overwhelming. The last time I received an award, my AoA (award of arms), I wasn’t present in court. So, being called before the King and Queen was quite exciting.

The scroll, which was created by a fellow SCA member (we have awesome scribes!) And the medallion, also made by a member.


willow medallion