I realized I never shared this with you guys, so here is the documentation for my 14th C sewing thread! So here you go, this is the actual coherent version of the rambling on this post.
The ‘blurb’ for this competition recommended 1-3 pages of documentation, so I tried to keep it at 3ish. I probably could have kept going on all the theories about historical spinning techniques for….much longer. I also did not use footnotes/endnotes, and I probably should have done that.
I did NOT win the competition– the winner made a bunch of headache remedies from period recipes, which is pretty cool– and I have actually yet to read my feedback/rubric…..because anxiety….. but I will likely be doing that shortly.
I did realize looking at the other entries that, while I enjoy spinning and I really liked the project, it was probably not the best choice for a competition. Based on all the academic research that I could get my hands on there is still scholarly debate about pre-17th Century spinning techniques. We have spindle whorls, and wool combs, and pictures of people spinning, but it’s unclear how much of that is artistic interpretation. We don’t have a 14th C manual for “this is how to spin,” as we do with, say, most 19th C clothing. So it was inevitable that I had to make some decisions that were very difficult to support and document, since we just don’t know. I personally find that more interesting in terms of an experimental archeology, making-a-reproduction-and-seeing-if-it-works curiosity, but it’s probably not ideal for a situation where you will be, essentially, “graded” on documentability.
(which is not a word. But you get the point.)
So….yeah. That was my first experience with SCA A&S competitions. I definitely don’t feel like I had the “hang” of it this time, a little bit like turning in an essay with a teacher you’ve never had before, and you don’t quite know what they’re looking for. I will refrain from going on a rant about the time I wrote an essay in college about gender influences in Swan Lake and my professor knew nothing about ballet and therefore did not understand my point very well. I couldn’t exactly put videos of the Bolshoi pas de quatre in my paper.