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Early and Late period Cup covers

Early and Late period Cup covers

So, I’ve been a little silent lately. It wasn’t on purpose, I’ve just been working on a lot of stuff lately, and it’s sometimes hard for me to balance the things I like to do (this blog) and the things I’ve committed to doing (the things I’m going to be posting about this week). It’s not you, it’s me. Or rather, my non-existant time-management skills.

We had a big to-do this weekend. It was an SCA event called Queen’s champion. The rapier fighters (guys who fight with light metal swords, all Princess Bride style, instead of big rattan swords, in roughly the style of Braveheart) get together and compete to be the one who fights for the Queen’s honor during her reign. There’s a King’s champion, too, but they’re the rattan fighters, and don’t feature in this story. Usually, all that happens at a QC event is the fighting, but this time, they held an Arts and Sciences competition as well. The items that were put in would then be donated to the basket of gifts that the Royals hand out as largess during their reign.

I made two embroidered cup covers. Although they’re not strictly period, they’re a nice visual touch that can conceal a soda can, and keep bugs and leaves out of one’s drink. I made one early period, based on Anglo-Saxon brooches.

Anglo-Saxon Cup cover Anglo-Saxon Cup cover Anglo-Saxon Cup cover Anglo-Saxon Cup cover

The other one is a later period design, with an Tudor Rose and an Ansteorran star, and the shading created by the use of blackwork fill patterns. I think they came out nicely. I’ve got one more cup cover, a ton of calligraphy, and pictures of the actual event coming up this week. And then, hopefully, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging. Blackwork Rose and Star cup cover
Blackwork Rose and Star cup cover Blackwork Rose and Star cup cover Blackwork Rose and Star cup cover

Compass Rose Cup Cover

Compass Rose Cup Cover

A while back, I got tired of getting leaves and bugs in my cup at SCA events and made myself a cup cover. In the same post, you’ll see that I started one for Nick, too, but I never liked it. The design is good, but the colors and progression I chose for it was, um, ill-advised. Not only that, but it was a Viking-era design, embroidered in a medieval style. Not at all what an Elizabethan courtier would use. So I elected to design him a new one.
Nick's Cup Cover

Nick's Cup Cover

I chose a hybrid between a compass rose (since Nick’s persona is a sea captain and privateer) and a Tudor Rose (a very Elizabethan motif). I used a few different blackwork fill designs to create light and dark areas, and the plain fabric (100% linen, but not even weave) for negative space. I used some brass beads and faux green pearls for corner weights, and a plain running stich to hem it. I’m much happier with this one.

Nick's Cup Cover

Nick's Cup Cover

Cup Covers

Cup Covers

So, I finished some projects yesterday.

Since moving to Austin, we haven’t had a chance to do anything SCA-related. Well, that’s not entirely true.  We have been going to the Tuesday night fighter practices, but nobody (except the fighters) dresses up or anything.  Next weekend there’s a Land Court, wherein we all dress up and beg the Baron for land befitting our station and rank.

So, as a small bribe for Their Excellencies, I made some goblet covers for their largess basket. Typically nobles try to have on hand some small items with which to reward people.  Problem is, they generally don’t have time to make said items themselves, and rely on others to provide them with things to give away.

A while ago, my champion Richard linked me to a small essay that a woman had written about her views on largess. She views largess as part of her feudal duties. She doesn’t fight, so she gives largess instead, one piece for each of the “lands” that come with her awards. I thought that was a pretty cool idea. Since I just got my Award of Arms (pictures coming as soon as Richard sends me the actual scroll), I figured it’d be neat to start off giving my Excellencies some pretty things.

Blackwork Cup Covers

The covers are about 12 inches square. The next time I make them, I think I’m going to cut it down to 8 or 10 inches. They’re pretty, but they come really close to being too long. The really only work with fairly long-stemmed goblets.

Blackwork Cup Covers

The designs come from the Barony’s coat of arms. I decided to make these guys in blackwork instead of stem stitch because their Excellencies have both late German and Elizabethan personas. I figured blackwork would be quicker than German brickwork.

Blackwork Cup Covers

I tried to make the motif small enough that the laurel wreath, or at least most of it, would be visible when placed on the cup. These were so much fun; I can’t wait to make more. And more, and more. Now I know why Isabetta has a bajillion of them; they’re totally addictive.

Next up: embroidering Richard’s Champion’s favor.