When people hear that I am involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism, they almost always ask if I’ve been to any of the local Renaissance Faires. I have, but the feeling I get from Faire is completely different. At Faire, I am a tourist even if I’m in garb; at Pennsic, I am a part of the event. At Faire, people ask, “I like your (mug/pouch/skirt/necklace), where did you buy it?” At SCA events, people ask, “I like your (mug/pouch/skirt/necklace), did you make it yourself?” There’s an amazing emphasis on making things yourself, on learning crafts and skills. Because it’s an ongoing society rather than a one-off event, if someone’s good at what they do, one can get recognition and even awards for their work.

Every year I go to Pennsic and see the things that people are making, doing and teaching, and it motivates me. I always leave with a feeling that there is so much out there for me to learn, and I have a wonderful opportunity in the Society to be surrounded by people who are willing and happy to teach.

I’ve been talking about learning to dye fiber and yarn recently, and then I thought, why not learn to use natural dyes as well as modern acid dyes? I put a few books into my Amazon wish list, and a few more into my shopping cart. If I don’t see them at any of the Pennsic book sellers, I’ll order them when I get home.

My goal is to cultivate a dyer’s garden and enter my handspun and dyed yarn into an Arts & Sciences display or competition at next year’s Pennsic War.

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