After my most recent SCA event, one of my friends explained that there is a specific pattern of picking up skills that generally happen when you are a member of this group: your first year you develop three skills; every year after the first, you add another new skill to your arsenal.
Well, next month marks the end of my first year as part of the SCA (not as an official, card-holding member, but a member non-the-less) and thus far, my skills are minimal.
While I do photography in and out of the SCA, as I begin to post more pictures, we agreed that that can be my first skill. Basically, there are members who have been awarded honors for photographing and videotaping events in the past, so even though these are not period accurate skills, they count as part of our anachronisms.
But now that we are heading into Yule – and therefore, the ‘nicer’ events – I’ve begun something brand new: embroidery.
For my first attempts, I kept things pretty simple despite the Gallagher need to jump in with both feet. I wanted to go straight into knots and color changes, and, while I think I cold have done this passably well, I decided to keep things festive but simple. For my under tunic, I built a color design using two knot styles (two chain stitches surrounding running stitches a looped contrasting color) that gave enough contrast, depth, and visual interest that they could pull the outfit together while letting it stand out from every other outfit I’ve worn this year.
I was a bit more creative and daring with my sister’s collar. I had gotten very good (and fast) at a basic chain stitch so I felt confident that I could do more than simply follow the collar-line in a contrasting color.
Adding the basic points and loops was a lot of fun and by measuring out where changes in shape would occur, I was able to have my stitches shape follow the pattern so that each side stayed symmetrical. The collar stitches move in the opposite direction of the ‘leaves’ and the intersecting circles at the bottom of the pattern are threaded so that each side is sown lower than the middle despite moving from left to right. Each of these tricks are easy enough. It’s all about moving and redirecting your strings to create a better flow, while layering circles is all about where you choose to land a stitch – over your previous stitches or under them.
So yep, that is two skills with a month left to go. However, seeing as I’m working on social skills, maybe I can chalk it up to a third! If you are interested in embroidery, or really SCA in general, I have a few pins up for you to look at and can answer any questions below!
- Taylor Gallagher