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An Tir/West War was a blast, and the first ever medieval Sock Wars were a hit with yarn donated from Brown Sheep. We An Tirians won, naturally. The winner knitted an entire pair of Pre-Literate stockings over the weekend. 0.o I’m a sock addict, but that’s just plain nuts!
I had the honour of meeting Dame Christian de Holcomb, who taught a fascinating class on rosaries. I learned to spin with Snorri, card weave, and more fingerloop braiding techniques from Idonia. My campmates knew that I was essentially camped out in A & S all weekend.
Here are the mistakes that I made, so you might not repeat them:
1. Forgot the plug to my air mattress. The nest that I was able to cobble together was warm, but not necessarily comfortable.
2. In the excitement of my first major event, I forgot to eat or stay hydrated throughout the weekend. Very bad idea.
3. I did not know that there were going to be showers and, therefore, did not bring soap.
4. If you are going to dye anything that you plan to wear to the event, do so well ahead of time. Luckily, my cotehardie is dark coloured so that the marks left by my black belt were unnoticeable. My hands and chemise, however, were not so lucky.
5. Should you intend to wear a particular garment to an outdoor event, do NOT under any circumstances make it white. On the other hand, I now have a gown for 12th Night.
6. I volunteered my time at Sock Wars, which necessitated an early rising. Most people would use their cell phones as an alarm, but if the event is in an area with poor reception (which most of them are) the batteries will be quickly drained. Note to self: pick up a small portable alarm clock the next time I have a full schedule at an event.
7. I planned my days too full and never got a chance to get out to the battlefield, where I knew many of the fighters.
8. My camera was allowed to sit in hot areas too long, quickly draining the fresh set with which it started.
But I didn’t screw everything up, here’s what I did right!
1. I already had a pair of Pre-Literates that were absolutely wonderful. They were very comfortable, their thickness helped prevent blisters, and kept me warm at night. After I finish the Sock Wars ones I started, I plan on making a third, vermilion pair.
2. I packed a very large basket in the morning with everything I thought I’d need throughout the day so extra trips back to camp weren’t needed. (Obviously, more food and water could have been packed).
3. Most of the food I brought did not require cooking (bread, cheese, fruit, and granola bars), allowing me more time to play. Bonus points because it’s period!
4. I have a headlamp that garnered envy from some campmates. It’s a portable light that keeps your hands free for the biffies, brushing your teeth, doing dishes, etc. I have excellent night vision, so when I do end up using a light it’s inevitably the headlamp.
5. Even though it was Independence Day, we were on the Oregon Coast so I brought my wool cloak just in case. I was very grateful for the brief flash of common sense that prompted this because I used it in my bedding, protected against the winds that picked up after sunset and the temperature dropped, and helped warm a hypothermic man who had fallen into the creek.
6. Let’s just say that chemises are not overrated. Our ancestors wore them for some very good, practical reasons.
7. I packed an extra set of shorts and a tank top. There happened to be a swimming hole on site, and my mundane pajamas worked well as an impromptu swimsuit.
8. Linen is fantastic material!