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The handcrafting camp at Hägnan

During Hägnans Medeltidsdagar in Luleå this summer, (that the local SCA group Frostheim organized) I had the over all responsibility to make the handcraft camp work out well. We had a camp outside (or inside if the weather was bad) with different kinds of handcrafts that each participant brought (so you could do whatever was in your interest and current project, as well as trying out some new things others had.) My work was mostly about saying “yes, good job!” and checking that the guard schedule was working. And reminding people of lunch – lunch is important!

Basically, it’s not that much work – happy handcrafters of different kinds gather and sit down during the days to craft, talk and show different kinds of handicraft to interested visitors. I usually try to make them bring many different things to work with, and to show different stages in the handcrafting process so that visitors can grasp what it really is about. Good ways of doing this is showing step-to-step pictures or unfinished objects, talk about the handicraft, lay out your tools etc. People get really interested when handcrafting is actually done – my love even got attention for winding yarn by hand when he sat down and helped me…

I also brought my market shop with me; but as usual I’m just not that interested in selling things from a specific place, when there is an opportunity to go around, talking handicraft, taking photos, sewing on projects and drinking coffee. So my market stall was mostly empty (but my friends checked it for me – thanks!) Anyway, it is good to have the shop with me because it usually spread the costs and make me afford all the traveling expenses.

Johan and Erik from Trix were performing just behind us during the week- first class entertainment while you are sewing!

I really recommend visiting handcrafting areas if you are a visitor on a medieval/viking market. Bring a project, some snack or just questions about different handcrafts and you will be almost sure to find someone who is willing to share and talk about how things are done.




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My guide to the Medieval Week at Visby

Wow- look at this! Now my guide is out in English to; thanks to Riia who translated it because I didn’t have the time.

Why should you go to Medieval Week in Visby?
Because it is a delightful, lovely, and inspiring medieval festival, perfectly suited for those
who love fantasy, tales, and the Middle Ages, both for young and old, tourists and the genuine
thing. You dedicated re-enactors travel with the understanding at it is ever so much more fun
to share in the magic with thousands of tourists.

Where will you stay?
If you have medieval camp equipment: in Stryingheim’s SCA tent camp, just outside of the
city walls. In addition to being a secure camp with guards, food, good logistics, and near to
the old city, it is also a wonderful way to find a Medieval organization near you, meet new
friends and learn more about medieval crafts, fighting, archery, and cooking. SCAdians are
known to share freely both their knowledge and friendship—I think that it is the best place to
hang out, and the location of the best parties.
If you have a modern tent or travel for the relaxed medieval experience: Medieval week’s
damping (which has two separate parts) has a reputation for being a nice campground, and
one needn’t hide one’s milk cartons and grocery bags as one must in the SCA camp, where
one does one’s best to maintain the illusion of the best parts of the Middle Ages 24 hours a
Or rent a room—it can be a little spendy, but absolutely more personal than a hotel room!

Free time at Kapitelhusgården, I like it best there during the afternoon

Where will you eat?
I, as both a vegetarian and allergic, am rarely impressed by pub or restaurant offerings. I can
usually find a little salad, some Thai, a taco plate at Yoda (here they are not stingy with the
plates), and can relax at the “Munkkällaren”, in addition to the Medieval Resturant. The Visby
Ice Cream shop (Wisby glass), sells the best fresh ice cream and the cheese shop (Wisby ost)
sells the best luxury snacks and a really good gluten-free bread.
There are also some gems with good food in the Visby city center, and some that carry tasty
food late in evening (go where the locals go!), but the best option is to buy some picnic foods
from a grocery store outside the city walls. Fill a large basket of bread, fruit, cheese, sausage,
and something to drink, complete with a fresh carrots and raspberries from the large market.
Take it all to the beach, grassy lawns by the market place, or to a free concert and enjoy the
world’s cosiest picnic. You do know that picnics can be eaten at least three times a day? PS
extra chocolate and strawberries will attract new friends.
The Fire show and picnic go very well together.

Which activities are the best?
Medieval week begins already during the voyage over; take along a snack and something to
sew on, and you will fit in perfectly with all of the other happy medieval people who are
panic-sewing the last bits of their costumes. To sew on the ferry over is a well-established
tradition. On the return trip one doesn’t sew; one sleeps, and curses all of the parents who let
their children run wild.
The best place to relax and see entertainment is the Forum Vulgaris, at the market place,
which has been run by Proknekt for several years. Check out also the Medieval Week events
program to find such treats as open performances, dance and other workshops which occur
here and there within the city walls.
If you like the German fashions from the 1500’s then the “100 knectars” march is a must-see
cool experience. Drums and music echoes through the streets of Visby and the vibrations from
hundreds of feed can be felt through your entire body when they march through the town. Join

Kapitelhusgården is the location where I, and several other talented craftspeople teach courses
and give lectures over the week, so come by and learn a new craft technique! Many have held
their courses for several years and are real professionals who are outstanding in their field,
and here you have the chance to go to classes you would otherwise need to travel across half
of Sweden to attend.
Picnics in conjunction with the concerts, or in line for performances, and as a celebration after
performances, are cosy.
The Medieval garage sale is really fun, and is truly what it sounds like, but others have
discovered it, so be prepared to come early, and stand in line.
The Folksagosånger performance with David and Karro I will try to get to- when last I
listened to the duo they were good, witty, and had a wonderful atmosphere.

The prettiest places:
The botanical garden is one of my favourite places during the day: a beautiful garden with
nice benches and happy people strolling past. The little market at Kapitelhusgården and a
glass to drink in the afternoon before it becomes crowded. Beach walks during sunset, the
Trix fire show on Wednesday evening (go there for the atmosphere as much as the
performance), and the old city with in the city walls, with all of the narrow streets and
beautiful roses which climb along the house fronts. Magic!
Outside of Visby there is a pretty countryside on the road to the sea-stack Jungfru and the blue
lagoon, an old limestone quarry which provides clear and warm swimming water, well worth
the day’s excursion.

How long should I stay?
The whole week, at least! The town is Medieval from Saturday till the following week’s
Sunday, and if you want to see more of Gotland, you perhaps will need a few extra days. I can
never understand how a week can go by so quickly, and I never manage to see and do
everything I had planned. On the other hand, I am a confirmed Medieval nerd, and besides I
do work half the week. In recent years it has taken me several days before I even managed to see the whole market…

Think about:
It can be really bone-chilling cold in the evenings—take along a warm cloak (or jacket or
It is good to bring along a pack of re-hydration tablets to mix with drinking water during the
heat of the day when you have walked too much. Bring also a large bottle to carry water; you
can fill it at water faucets in the market.
Visby’s streets are mostly cobblestone or asphalt, take along really comfortable shoes so that
your knees don’t complain after half a week.



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Packing for the year’s first event

My event season will start rather early this year with my local group Gyllengrans event this weekend. It is a fencing camp, but we will be a bunch of people hanging indoors, drinking coffee and sewing during Saturday. Feels like a good and soft start for this year! I like to be out in advance with things, so today I packed my gear and took a look on the clothes I will be wearing.

To attend a medieval/historical event means your’re supposed to dress the time, so I took out my 16th century outfit (my new one- hang in for photos!) and looked it over. Some items needed ironing, and the woolen dresses I just hanged out for some air. I like the outfit to look put togheter, neat and matching- like something a medieval person could really have worn. One of the things that doesn’t belong is wrinkles and creasing in the wrong places, like you get on a garment when it has been in the wardrobe a long time. So take the time to iron your things and hang them out for air- it will do a difference!


Except from my outfit and a warm garment for outdoors I packed my feast gear. Plate, bowl, jug, knife and spoon, my camera and a sewing project to work on all fit in my big basket. Tomorrow I am going to the grocery to pick up some food, some cookies and fruits and then I am ready to go.


Hope you will have a great weekend, I’m sure I will!



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Det här behöver du ta med till ett SCA event

Det här är en guide för dig som ska åka på ditt första SCAevent och funderar på vad du behöver ta med dig. För att spana in den världstäckande föreningen SCA och Sveriges Nordmark så klicka på namnen/länkarna.

This is a guide to what you need for your first SCA event. Since I have only gone to SCA events in Sweden, the guide is in swedish and is written for most of the swedish events. Events might be different in other countries, but use google translate if you want a heads up on what to expect on a swedish SCA event.

Ett försök till medeltida dräkt

Inom SCA räknas medeltiden till 600-1600 e Kr och dräktkravet kan sammanfattas till “ett seriöst försök till medeltida dräkt”. Det betyder att du gör så gott du kan, som nybörjare kanske du har en tunika eller en enkel linneklänning, som erfaren har du kanske lärt dig mer och gjort ett mer avancerat sömnadsprojekt. Dräkten har du på dig hela eventet; från det att du kommer tills eventet är slut och det är dags att åka hem.



På de allra flesta event tar du med dina egna matsaker, så även om alla måltider ingår så behöver du något att äta dem med och på. Även här ska det vara medeltida; enkla träskålar och en metallsked är en bra början. Mycket går att köpa på medeltida marknader, loppisar, beställa via nätet eller lånas av andra SCAmedlemmar. Men feastgear betyder även sådant du kan tänkas vilja dricka när det är fest, en servett i tyg, extra skålar och tallrikar för banketten och kanske ett snacks ifall du blir sugen under dagen. Jag brukar packa kanna (för dryck), mugg och glas, tallrik och skål, kniv, sked, servett och dryck i en korg att ta med till matsalen. Dölj sådant som är modernt, ställ fram sådant som är medeltida.



Beroende på vad det är för event kan det vara roligt att ta med saker att underhålla sig med i den mån du har. Ett hantverk, träningskläder för fighting eller fäktning, pilbåge och pilar, ett medeltida spel…


Sovsaker och necessär beroende på om det är ett inomhus eller ett utomhusevent.

Inom SCA så är det lite underförstått att man sover modernt inomhus och medeltida utomhus (om du inte tar med ett modernt tält och ställer upp det utanför området förstås). Står det på infon att det finns sovplatser inomhus, så betyder det att du kan ta med luftmadrass, gästsäng, liggunderlag och dyl och sova inomhus. Sovplatserna brukar beskrivas som golvplats (du får en bit golv att bo på), säng i delat rum (typ vandrarhem, ta med egna sängkläder) eller en sovplats där allt ingår. Eftersom inomhusevent ofta äger rum i bygdegårdar, stugor eller dyl som är halvmoderna förväntas du inte bo medeltida, men ta med en stor neutral filt eller liknande som du kan lägga över din sovplats på dagtid, om det är så att arrangörerna (autokraterna) uppmuntrar till en medeltida sovsal. Är eventet däremot i en utskrivet medeltida miljö/byggnad så är tanken att allt inuti ska vara medeltida, så ta med filtar och skinn att sova på (ovanpå den dolda luftmadrassen…) Tänk också på att “inomhus” inte behöver betyda “uppvärmt till lägenhetstemperatur” utan det kan vara svalare.

På utomhusevent så bor alla i medeltida tält, eller i moderna tält utanför området om man inte har ett medeltida tält. Sover du utanför området så gör du som du vill med ditt boende, men bor du i lägret förväntas det att ditt tält och allt du visar är medeltida. På det här området är alltså SCA mycket mer tolerant än lajv och reenactmentföreningar då du kan ha en helt modern inredning i tältet så länge du håller tältet stängt under eventet så ingen kan råka titta in. De flesta tycker dock att det är roligt med medeltida boende, och sover med filtar och fällar, tar med sig trämöbler och har tältet öppet för att andra ska kunna komma in på besök.


Om det finns tillgång till crash-space på eventet så betyder det att det finns ledig yta att sova på, i ett tält eller på ett golv. Platserna kommer inte vara uppmärkta eller bokade, utan du får komma och lägga ut dina saker och dela med andra så att så många som möjligt ryms. Om du sover i medeltidstält förväntas du dölja moderna saker, sover du på golvyta kan du höra med autokraterna vad som förväntas.

Ta med tandborste, handduk, tvål och annat som du gillar att använda. Bastu, badtunna, badstrand och dyl brukar ha olika klädregler men medeltida badkläder är finast, ingen säger dock nej till diskret bikini eller badbyxor. Bada naken brukar vara ok förutsatt att det inte är mitt på dagen under ett publikt/öppet event. Det vanligaste är att det finns tillgång till moderna toaletter, duschar och rinnande vatten på området. På SCAevent finns det också en diskstation där det finns diskmedel, diskborste, skräpsäckar, pantinsamling och liknande. Du diskar själv efter varje måltid.

Mat och matlagning

På de flesta event ingår mat i anmälningsavgiften och det som serveras är oftast frukost, lunch och middag. Det är inte ovanligt med ett fika eller frukt, men vet du att du är en hungrig person kan det vara klokt att ta med lite egna snacks eller äpplen. Om mat inte ingår brukar det stå om det finns tillgång till modernt kök, micro eller om maten ska lagas över öppen eld. Fråga om du är osäker. Utomhusevent där matlagning sker utomhus över eld innebär att matlagningen, allt som syns och det som äts ska vara (ett försök till) medeltida. Om eventet anger att det serveras en bankett betyder det en stor middag med flera rätter.

Ett gille eller knytisgille innebär att du ska ta med en färdiglagad medeltida maträtt att ställa fram vid ett visst tillfälle, med medeltida dukning (tallrik, skål, sked eller vad som nu behövs). Ta med en lista med ingredienser (för allergiker) att ställa fram bredvid rätten, och tänk på att om den behöver värmas eller förberedas så måste du ta reda på om det går att fixa på plats (finns det ugn, spis mm).

Om du är nybörjare, eller är på ditt första event, så säg gärna det och skriv det i din anmälan. Chansen är stor att folk kommer fråga dig om du vill ha hjälp, visa var du kan sova, lånar ut en sked om du glömde en egen och i allmänhet visa dig runt. Det kan också förekomma en valfri mängd med nytt pyssel och hantverkstekniker och en del dryck som bjuds. SCAiter är i allmänhet trevliga, hjälpsamma, tycker om att det kommer nya människor och gör alla event ideellt.



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Glötagillet 2016

My SCA group (Gyllengran) arranged a handcraft-themed event a while ago, so I thought I should show you some photos, and a couple of nice outfits that I photographed during the event. It was a chilly autumn day with a cold wind, so here comes some nice inspiration for alla of you who want to be outside without freezing. My outfit? Never mind, I actually kind of forgot it was cold outside and brought to little clothes. Lucky for me it was warm inside.

I wore my old blue winter dress, good for cold events. Here together with silk accessories like me new silk sleeves, purse, tablet woven belt and hairband, everything 14th century. But I would have needed another woolen dress, mittens and a hood to stay warm outside.


The hairdo seemed to be rather simple, but turned out a bit tricky to achieve on my own, the braids wanted to fall down so I had to use some bobby pins. But after a few tests it worked out nicely, not one of my favorites but ok and historical accurate enough. I think I need more training in hairdos….


I braided two simple braids and ended them with thin rubber bands, then I attached the braids to each other on top of my head with some bobby pins so they would lie secure while I twisted the band/ribbon around them. With the hairband I then pulled them tightly around my head, wrapped the band at the base of my neck, and knotted it at the start of the braids.


At the event, the theme for this year was “hard handicraft” which basically means any handicraft that is worked out with tree, metal, glas and the like… So we had workshops in beadmaking, bronze casting, different jewelry classes and beermaking. Beer? If you know my group, then you would know that beer is a totally appropriate thing to do during such a theme. Actually, during any event, handicraft or not… While drinking coffe, of course.

img_1310   img_1304

Historical beer making

 img_1275Making models for the bronze casting




Historical glass beads in the making, with modern equipment.


Lali’s amazing outfit from different views. English 16th century.




Y visited with a new family member


Great 16th century coat/jacket to keep warm! Have to make me one of those…


S/A kept warm with a loose fitting, woolen overdress and linen veil and wimple. Great way to protect yourself from cold winds.


Sessan in her 16th century English gown, worn over an apron, a kirtle and a shirt/shift.


Also, lace edged underpants, socks and shoes. Good way to keep warm, and underpants- they are kind of sexy right?

Need to make me a pair of those to. And maybe a new outfit to go with them…


Eleanor with her warm 14th century outfit. A dress with holes in the side for wearing your purse safely inside the dress, and warming your hands to.

Hood, veil and bycocket and a brocade purse with tassels.


I made this two stand still to take some pictures of them. E (left) is wearing his viking era outfit.

A (right) has a 14th century coat made from the Herjolfnes find with hood, mittens and a coif under a felted hat.

The SCA as a community has a period span from 600 AD to 1600 AD so during our events there’s really a mix of different time periods and outfits. Great to finding new inspiration, but sometimes hard on your saving-for-new-fabric-money…

It was a great event, and after all the workshops during the day the event continued inside with food, drinks and party during the evening.