Pennsic War XLI Post-Mortem

OMG Pennsic!

Pennsic XLI. La Familia’s temple across the lake with morning mists.

It rained and it was hot and it was humid and it was dirty and it was fantastic and humbling and over-the-top and I wish I had done so much more and I’m so sore I can barely move and I can hardly wait to do it again. *gasp*

Most important lessons:

  • Glide and Braies continue to make me happy.
  • It is exceedingly cool to get a Pilgrim token from visiting something cool at Pennsic. I picked up both the general “Pennsic Pilgrim Badge” and a pilgrim badge for touring Casa Barducci. I’d love to be able to do something like this for our camp.. but we don’t have anything cool like that to visit. Must consider. WK party tokens?
  • Never go to the battle field without a parasol and water
  • The best and healthiest lunch on site is in the Pennsic Produce refrigerator: tomato and mozzerella balls in balsamic vinegar with a mini-loaf of Asiago bread
  • Flidais (in red) and Sylvie (in black) under a parasol at Pennsic opening ceremonies. (Picture taken by Alys Sheffield)
    It is possible to wear short-sleeved linen kirtles at Pennsic and you can survive the war with only two of them provided you have enough laundry days.. or wash your chemise(s) between wearings. That said, I’m sad there are no pictures of me in my kirtles. OH! and one pair of socks is NOT enough. [Edited to add: A friend just sent me a picture from opening ceremonies. Me, in a kirtle.. cowering under a parasol during the monsoon which was opening ceremonies 🙂 Still, it’s me in a kirtle at Pennsic. Yeah! ]
  • Teaching a class with a kit fee is a nice way to get some cash at Pennsic without having to hit up an ATM. The kit fee really did pay for the kit materials.. but it was nice to get that cash back in the middle of my Pennsic visit.
  • It’s not necessary to be drunk to have fun at a party, but it feels weird to set out to visit parties at Pennsic with the goal of not drinking. I think I need to figure this out.
  • Costco has a travel site where you can get cheap car rentals.
  • La Quinta hotel in Corapolis is just as nice as the Doubletree (and right across the street) and has a shuttle to the airport.
  • will sometimes have rooms available even when the hotels show as being sold out.

Days at war = 8.5
Time to get there = 13 hours (2 hour drive to Flidais’ house + 2 hours futzing around at Flidais’ house + 2 hrs wait in airport + 5 hours flight+ 2 hrs drive to site with shopping trip/lunch)
Time to get home = 21 hours (3 hrs wait in airport+1 hr flight+2 hr layover+5 hrs flight+8 hrs wait at SFO for Flidais to get in + 2 hr drive home)
Number of blisters on my feet this year = 0!!!
Number of people camping with West Kingdom = ~50
Number of classes I was interested in taking = Bazillion 14
Number of classes I wanted to take which were cancelled = 2
Number of classes I actually ended up attending= 5 (Anglo-Saxon Ring Pouch, Simply Plaited, Fabric and construction choices for cotehardie, Dublin Cap, 14th century frilled veils)
Number of classes I taught= 1
Number of classes I took this year that really sucked = 0 !!!
Dollars spent in the marketplace = Ahem. No comment.
Number of books bought = 1 the Handweaver’s Pattern Directory
Number of yards of fabric = 6 (hand-woven birdseye green wool)
Number of loads of post-Pennsic laundry = 3 double loads
Number of naps taken at Pennsic= 1
Number of battles I saw = 2 (Bridge Battle and Champions Battle)
Number of other camps I visited this year = 2 (Artemesia and Casa Bardicci)

Shopping scores:
– Haversack for me
– Fancy belt from Billy and Charlie for my short-sleeved kirtles
– Pilgrim badges for my outfit for Cynaguan Coronet and for Fearghus
– Bone tablet weaving cards from Smoke and Fire
The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory
– Viking shoes and Persian Boots and a viking pouch for Fearghus from Boots by Bohemond
– Fully woven Wickelbander for Fearghus and a skein of silk and 6.5 yards of birdseye wool from White Wolf and Phoenix
– Folding table for camp
– A nearly new full Panther Regent Tent (tent, poles, stakes, awning, floor cloth) ($800)
– Tent repair kit and seam sealer to work on the old tent

I wanted to get up every morning and do a walk. Sadly I only managed to do that 3 of the days I was there. On the other days.. either my alarm battery died or I forgot to set it or one night I’d stayed up VERY late helping with the West Kingdom Party and just couldn’t face getting up at 7am EST. My scale says I gained 2.5 lbs while at Pennsic (and I’ve already dropped 1.4 lbs since I’ve been back). All things considered.. I’ll call that a win.

I wore one of my two short-sleeved kirtles every day except one.. and have learned that as long as I get the kirtle on in the morning I can wear it through the whole day. Kirtled kirtles are full of win. More kirtles and more chemise would be handy. Sadly the only picture of me at Pennsic this year is me in a roman outfit.. in fact the same roman outfit from last year’s picture. Meh. More than one pair of socks is necessary. In fact plan on 1/day just to make sure you have enough.

There were some cold nights. I was able to get through them by wearing a wool hood and putting on pin-on sleeves.. but it was a little cold in the bed. It would have been nice if I’d remembered that we’d packed the bear skin and used that to cover the bed.

I taught my class (13th century women’s cap AKA: the St. Birgitta Cap) and it was well attended. It was a 3 hour class.. so I knew that would cause some people to not attend.. but still.. I had 21 people show up for the class and 14 of them stayed all of the way through to the end. I had made 23 kits so I just barely had enough. Despite a technical snafu (my tablet wouldn’t work for showing off images.. I just bulled through it without the additional pictures)(in future I’ll print the picutres out in color and have them available for show/tell), it went very well.

I didn’t get out to other camps at night as much as I would have liked. I did end up at Artemesian camp one night.. but I don’t think I went out to any other parties. Since I’ve decided that drinking isn’t my thing.. and watching other people get drunk is only of limited interest.. I need to figure out what that means for socializing after dark.

Sadly the A&S Display was scheduled opposite my class so I didn’t get to go to that.

I’m also sad that my camera was not used nearly as much as it should have been. 🙁

3 thoughts on “Pennsic War XLI Post-Mortem

    1. We’re not going next year (wedding and all) but we are planning to go the year after that. What do you say? Pennsic XLIII in 2014?

      It cost me ~$500/person for air fare(though if you’re flexible I’ve seen it as cheap as $250), $300 for car rental(which you can totally split with others), $150/person for pre-registration, $89 for 1 night’s hotel, and then food and shopping costs.

      West Kingdom will rent barracks tents so you don’t have to bring a tent.. you just need clothes, bed, bedding.


  1. I have at least one picture of you in the red kirtle from the top of the West Kingdom gate. Of the three classes I attended, yours was the best researched and presented. You totally rock.

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