The Herring Voices
Bonfield V Edition
August 30 to September 1, 1997
Da Table of Contents
Do Not Read ThisThis is Herring Voices, o'fishal newsletter of the mightyish House Red Herring of the Principality of Ealdormere of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (not Anarchism or Acronym). Herring Voices is not a corporate publication and doesn't come within a silly backhanded besotted herring's-throw of delineating SCA policy. Actually, if the corporation knew about us they'd probably disown us! (so shhhhhhh)
House Red Herring is a collective based on the equality of all of its members, as well as on the tenet of extreme silliness (without nastiness). We love everybody, and all people are welcome to join the household, if they pass initiation. [Gee. I STILL haven't been initated, so am I a member yet? -- Roland the Ragged, Webmaster]
Herring Voices is a collection of works written, drawn, and pillaged by Herrings.
WARNING! Some people may find this offensive... Please do not take this publication seriously!
!! SPOON !!
We Asked House Red Herring "If You Were A Food, What Would You Be?"
Top Ten Reasons Why Spontaneous Combustion is a Good Thing
Embroidery for Vikings
by an anonymous Norse Viking mumWhat?! The first time someone suggested I embroider, I barely managed to refrain from being physically ill. I mean, raiding, looting and inflicting pain are more my thing. When one thinks of embroidery, it tends to bring the mind such scenes as beautiful English maidens quietly sitting in a solar, listening to harp music. Of course, I mean no disrespect to ladies who like that sort of thing, but it is my calling in life to run into such scenes with an ax.
Then I actually tried embroidery. And I despised it -- I absolutely sucked at it. My lines were crooked and I kept stabbing myself with the needle. However, after a short period of time I started to realize that you just can't buy trim gaudy enough to satisfy innate Vikingness. Not in the current middle ages, anyway.
The first decision you need to make is what design to transfer onto your garb. I don't suggest you freehand-embroider anything unless you are extremely artistic or are unconcerned with the outcome. You can choose designs from almost anywhere -- my latest few have been from the Internet.
Trace the design you want (try not to start with anything too large or you may get discouraged) onto tissue paper, and pin it on top of Dritz tracing paper (available at sewing and craft stores) and to the area of your garb where you want your design. Trace it again on top of the tissue paper and it will transfer onto your garb. Unfortunately, I find that the ink from the tracing paper often rubs off as you're embroidering, so I usually trace the design again directly on the cloth with a regular pen. If anyone knows a better way, please let me know!
Next, decide which colours to use. I suggest using as many colours as possible, just for that extra measure of gaudiness. You need embroidery floss at this point, which is dirt cheap and available at craft stores and most department stores.
Now, embroidery floss usually comes so that there are six small strands of tread making up the actual floss. To outline the design I use two of the six strands. You can separate them from the main thread after you cut it (I usually cut about an arm's length).
This is the scary part. You now take the sharp pointy thing -- called a needle by embroiderers (don't tell them I told you -- it's some sort of trade secret). Thread the embroidery floss through the part of the needle that has the hole (eye) in it, making sure that you leave about two knuckle-lengths of floss on the other side of the hole or else the floss will keep slipping out of the needle when you're trying to work (grrrr, grumble). At the end of the longer end of the floss make a knot by licking your forefinger-tip, winding the floss around it once, twisting the crossed thread between your forefinger and thumb, and pulling it tight.
Now, poke the pointy part of the needle through the wrong side of the fabric so that it comes up on a line of your design (the knot should be on the wrong side of the material). It might take a few tries before you get it right. After putting the thread up until it is stopped by the knot, you move the needle further along the line a bit (small stitches make nicer work), poke it down through the fabric and bring it back up in almost the same hole as where the floss came out originally.
Keep doing that following your lines until the design is outlined. I usually use black floss for this purpose.
Make sure when you embroider that you always hold your excess thread off to the same side, or your lines will be crooked.
Someone once told me that this is a variation of a stem stitch, but only an authenticity nut of an avid embroiderer will give a fig. The most important part is that it look good.
Next, the filler stitch. This is a split stitch which was taught to me at Forward Into the Past this year. It's done almost the exact same way as the outline stitch, except as you bring your needle up through the fabric, you go between the floss fibers of where you came up from the fabric last time. Repeat this stitch (I find going around in shrinking circles work best) until the design is filled or you want to change colours.
Both of these stitches are period for Norse people of the Viking age to use, I've been told.
Sources for obtaining designs: I personally like Norse Viking history books -- many times they have examples of period Norse artwork which can be simplified and traced. The Internet is also pretty good for this sort of thing, as is clip art -- but in both instances you have to be careful that it looks period (someone's bound to bring it up if you're not careful). If you're feeling especially brave, you can draw something yourself -- such as a gripping beast/person. It's actually kind of fun -- and at least it's an honourable Viking pursuit.
Good luck... you're going to need it with these directions! And remember: if all else fails, you can always use the needle as a melee weapon (check with your local marshal first) and the embroidery floss to sew your companions back together after the battle.
FINAL NOTE: make certain to hold your material taut while your embroidering, or use an embroidering frame. Otherwise your material will get all bunchy and weird looking.
Top Ten Reasons Award Recommendations Don't Get Sent In
The Unwanted AdsFor Sale: six eight-week-old Vikings to good homes. Blue eyes, red fur, male and female. Must go -- we cannot keep them due to allergies. Call 555-LOOT between 9-5
Lady Prefix: unwanted. Please contact Goodwife Jhone if interested
For Sale: mushrooms -- reasonable rates, limited supply, variety of species. Good to rid self of pesky insects, illness, unwanted husbands, etc... Inquire at St. Agnes fountain.
Lost: six eight-week-old Viking children. Blue eyes, red hair, two girls and three boys. If you know their whereabouts, please knock at the third longhouse on the second fjord past the burned village.
Lost: one chronicler's mind. It is sorely missed. Light grey in colour. Reward. If found, please contact the babbling Viking woman with the twin sister.
Found: furry mammal-type creature. If not claimed by midwinter, consider it jerky. Contact Skallagrim the Frenzied to claim. Time is running out...