anarra: (VinlandJanet1)
We will be at Scanfest again this year. Come and visit!
anarra: (guldguber)
It's time to replace the weaving on our Warp Weighted Loom (WWL).  The SCA has a fiber arts demo at The Big E on September 14th in the New England Center (where they sell the Cream Puffs) and we want to demo weaving on our WWL.

One wants the warps to be evenly spaced to begin the weaving. There are several ways to achieve this; but one of the best ways is to tablet weave a top band and run a supplemental weft that then turns into the warps on the

Photos )
anarra: (Default)
On Monday we gave our first School Demo with the Skogar Þrostur and it went very well!  One of the school volunteers said it was the best reenactment demo she'd seen in that school since her kids first started going there 17 years ago.  Wow!
The kids were great, so kudos to the teachers for class discipline.  They also asked a myriad of really good questions so kudos to the teachers again for fostering curiosity and not being afraid to ask questions.
The school took photos and put them up on their web site so you can see us. The tent belongs to Ann and Kurt, who have a student at the school and were the ones who contacted us and invited us to come.  We sent the kids back to class through the Viking tent so they could see the inside of it.
We talked about how Viking ships were built and how they sailed from Norway to Iceland to Greenland and then to Canada. We told them about Leif Ericsson who was the first known European to discover the New World.
We talked about New World vs. Old World foods.  That a traditional Thanksgiving feast is almost entirely made of New World foods—Turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams, green beans, corn bread.  (Also maple syrup, chocolate, vanilla, peppers, chiles, tomatoes and peanuts.)  And about the Old World foods the Europeans brought to North America—Honey, apples, wheat, barley, mustard, olives….)  We gave the teachers a handout with 18 foods listed.  The kids can circle the New World foods.
We talked about Viking trading and passed around some furs.  We learned to do that at the end as they were quite excited about the furs.  We have martin, fox, mink, reindeer, rabbit and sheep.  We told the kids about the Lapps who farm reindeer similar to our farming cattle.
We also talked about clothing and how much time it takes to make.  “How many of you have more than three outfits at home?”  Every hand went up.  "Wow. I only get one new outfit a year!"  We then talked about all the work it takes to make just one yard of wool cloth—Three hours of combing to make enough roving for one hour of spinning; three hours of spinning to make enough yarn for one hour of weaving, which makes one yard of cloth.  That’s 13 hours per yard!  And that doesn’t include cleaning the wool, cutting the cloth or sewing it together by hand with a needle and thread—and you have to spin the thread, too.
Every class recited “Viking helmets did not have horns!” along with us. So there are at least 260 more people who now know that myth is false!
Ann and Kurt from the Home and School Association also took us out to lunch at a nearby Turkish restaurant. Yum.  There are many kids of Turkish descent at the school, they said, so our noting that Vikings lived in Turkey, too, was quite relevant (And Italy, France, England, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, Germany….)  In response to a question by one girl who said she was Turkish, we told about the Viking runes carved into the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul.
The school Custodian is from the Ukraine and he wanted photos of the him with the boat and us to show to his friends.
We had a wonderful time even though we were exhausted afterwards.  But we’d do it again in a minute.  Thank you for inviting us, School #3!
anarra: (Default)
Come see us at Scanfest at Vasa Park in Budd Lake New Jersey!  The Skogar Þrostur will be there in all her glory and we will also have other Norse artifacts that you can handle and ask questions about.

We will be there Sunday September 2, 2012 from 10:00am to 6:00pm.  We will tell you all about Viking ships and sailing and Norse culture!

And you can eat Swedish Pancakes, Scandinavian baked goods, pea soup and other delicious food.  Scandianavian Italian Ice, anyone?  :-)

There will be lots of Vendors selling Scandinavian merchandise and performers.

Come and have a GREAT time!
anarra: (Default)
The Skogar Þrostur will be in Windsor, CT on Sunday May 15, 2011 from 2 to 5 pm. The Hartford Lodge of the Sons of Norway is celebrating Norwegian Constitution Day at the Hayatt Summerfield Suites Hotel.  Here is the flier (1 page .pdf). Come see us there!

On May 21st we will be setting up a Viking encampment with friends at the Daily Life Schola at Holcomb Farm in West Granby, CT. This is an all-day event filled with classes of every day activities of medieval life, from the daily use of Viking ships (that's us!) to baking in a bee-hive oven. If you're interested, come on by!  We will have medieval clothing to loan for you to wear. Site fee is $8 (plus $5 if you are not a member of the SCA). The classes are mostly free, though some have a modest materials fee.

We will also be at the Roundhill Highland Games at Cranbury Park in Norwalk, CT on Saturday July 2, 2011 from 8am to 6pm. We'll be talking all about Vikings in Scotland.

Speaking of which, here's an article about a Viking archeology site on the Isle of Skye. This is so very, very cool.

Aerial surveys are being carried out over Skye to help archaeologists
investigate a 12th Century Viking shipbuilding site.

Boat timbers, a stone-built quay and a canal have already been
uncovered at Loch na h-Airde on Skye's Rubh an Dunain peninsula.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of
Scotland (RCAHMS) has launched the air surveys.

Staff hope to pinpoint new sites for investigation.

Working with marine archaeologists, RCAHMS also hope to find
potential dive sites for searches for the remains of ships and other artefacts.

Archaeologists now believe the loch was the focus for maritime activity
for many centuries, from the Vikings to the MacAskill and Macleod clans of Skye.

We've spent some time working on the boat.  We've scraped and scraped and will scrape again tomorrow. We plan, probably in June, to paint it in stripes!  See this illustration from an 11th century Anglo-Saxon manuscript. (Part of this article about a Viking Grave in Oxford, England in the Smithsonian Magazine.)

Also the longships on the Bayeux Embroidery are striped and there are contemporary descriptions of "colorful" Viking ships sailing up the Seine. So we decided to be colorful ourselves!  You'll see the results at the Roundhill Highland Games.

We hope to see you all!


Sep. 8th, 2010 01:54 pm
anarra: (Default)

Labor Day Sunday we took the Skogar Þrostur to Scanfest, held at the Vasa Park in Budd Lake, New Jersey.  We used to live in  Hackettstown, just down the road from Budd Lake, so we told friends we were going to be there and Bron and her daughter Rowan and Gudrun and her son PJ came and helped us with the boat.  PJ was great!  He taught a several boys to spin wool.

Scanfest is a really fun festival.  There are a lot of Scandinavian food booths, selling things to eat that day and also food imported from Scandinavia. There are many vendors that sell Scandinavian crafts and Nordic themed clothing.  We left the boat to our friends for 45 minutes and did a bit of shopping.  We found a birch bark box for Janet to use as a sewing kit in her work basket, straw Christmas Tree decorations sewn with red thread and some laser cut wooden Christmas tree decorations.  We ate Swedish pancakes with lingon berries and had some almond and raspberry tart that I'd never had before but was wonderfully delicious.

And they had a wife carrying competition--their first.  The winner got his "wife's" weight in beer.  Contestants didn't have to carry their own wives, they could borrow anyone's or even a woman who wasn't a wife.  We had a ring-side seat and oh, boy was it fun to watch!
Wife Carrying at Scanfest 2010

But mostly we talked to people.  Which can get repetitive in a blog since the main thing we talk about is the Skogar Þrostur and the Gokstad ship and Viking ship building techniques.  We love doing Scandinavian festivals.  Lots of people at these festivals have been to the Oslo or Danish ship museums and know about boats.  They ask the most interesting questions.

Afterwords the six of us went to dinner at Janet's favorite Italian restaurant in Hackettstown.  (My favorite Indian restaurant was closed due to a fire back in March.  Sob!)  We talked and had a great time. Rowan was five when we left Hackettstown and now she's almost 13 so getting to know her more grown up was fun.

We've penciled in the date for next year--always the Sunday of Labor Day.  If you can go, go!  It's great fun.
anarra: (Default)
We went to the Viking Festival at the Scandinavian Club in Fairfield, CT and I want to post just a little bit before we collapse in damp puddles of exhaustion. 

It RAINED just before we packed up. I don't think the back of the van has ever been this wet. It's full of wet sail, wet sheep skins, wet bedding, wet table cover, wet cloak and I brought the wet Viking clothes in and they are running through the washing machine now.  Janet's feet are wrinkled still.

But we had a GREAT time.  We talked to a lot of people and they asked wonderful, interesting questions.  Carol Skog, the event coordinator, did some great publicity and now we're all over the web.  Below are two articles announcing the festival and we were interviewed several times so there will undoubtedly be articles later reporting on it.

Article on the festival with a photo of Janet and the faering boat.  Photo taken by Jeff Krug at an SCA event on May 22, 2010 called The Daily Life Schola.

Another article with the same photo by Jeff.   Note that although we are members of The Longship Company we were not at the Viking Festival in that capacity. We were there as just us, Vinland Longships.  But sometimes news gets reported oddly.

A story written on Saturday about the festival.

Anyway we had a great time. We hope they do it again next year.  They liked us a lot.  We liked them and the site and the people who came to the festival. 
anarra: (Default)

The Skogar Þrostur will be at the Scandinavian Festival at VasaPark in Budd Lake, New Jersey on September 5, 2010.


There will be music and dancing and vendors, exhibits, lectures and FOOD!


There will also be demonstrations of Hardanger embroidery, paper cutting, woodcarving, hand weaving, and bobbin lace.  Gosh, if we weren't going to be busy all day demonstrating with the Skogar Þrostur we’d be watching all of this.


The Leif Ericsson Society’s ship, the Norseman will be there, too.


Come see us both!

anarra: (Default)

The Skogar Þrostur will be featured at the Scandinavian Club in Fairfield, CT on August 21 and 22, 2010.  We will be running an educational demonstration of Viking Faerings, history, ocean going capabilities of longships, material culture and much more from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and from Noon to 4pm on Sunday. 

1352 South Pine Creek Road, Fairfield, CT 06824
Entrance Fee $10 Adult, $5 Senior, $5 Teens 13-19, Children 12 & under Free.

Also demonstrating will be the Gladsheim group of Vikings North America with their Viking encampment, Lynn E Noel, interpreting Icelandic sagas, and there will be food, games, horses and bagpipes! (Yes, Vikings were in Scotland and Ireland!)

Come by and see us.

anarra: (Default)
On May 8th we went to the Vinland Games SCA event near Harrisburg, PA.  We brought our Viking Faering boat and spent the day talking about Viking boats, Viking history, Viking culture and Viking boats.
We had a fantastic time.  There were many other classes besides our Viking Faering class and we attended the “Diet and Nutrition among Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Viking” class by Lady Ragnveig Snorradottir which was thorough, fascinating, and packed a very dense amount of information into an hour.  
Nutritional information from middens, fecal waste, pond pollen, skeletal and dental remains.  Fascinating!  And some of it has relevance even today.  Dental structure changes in developing teeth as babies are weaned from breast milk to cereals with fewer protiens happened back then just as they happen today. She got through all her material clearly and boy did we have to pay attention to so much information in an hour!  Wonderful class.
Carowyn Silveroak taught a glass bead class that I couldn't attend, alas. But I saw the beads she made and brought as examples for the students to look at, and what a dizzying variety she's made since I taught a glass bead class in Silver Rylle years ago!  They run the gammut of time periods and techniques.  Lovely work.  She's even been making her own miliflori.
The feast and dayboard were delicious!  What a splendid spread.  I was told this was Ketterlyn der Wilde's first feast as head cook and she did a wonderful job.  Day board, the main feast and even a special feast for the "Odin's Table" where spaces were auctioned off to raise money.  Everything was delicious and it all looked well researched for a Viking feast.  And hot, too, despite a problem with the electricity in the kitchen.
The people in Blak Rose are friendly and hospitable.  We felt very welcome.  Friderich Swartzwalder autocratted a fun and informative event with great food and lots of activities for everyone.  Huzzah!


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